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Heavy Impact (10/21/15): The Future People



Marie here and it’s now time for the latest in the world of Impact Wrestling!


It’s week three of the World Title Series tournament. In this show, we get to see the second preliminary matches for Group Champions, and the first ones for Group Future Four and Group X Division. Things are either heating up—or cooling down, depending on who you are in the TNA roster.



Mr. Anderson vs Austin Aries in a 15-Minute Time Limit Match




I’m glad they gave Mr. Anderson back his mic. It’s so much a tradition that it’s a little bit upsetting not only for him, but for everyone else to not hear Mr. A introduce himself on the ramp.


There is an obvious difference of style between the two wrestlers, with Mr. Anderson delivering power attacks while Austin Aries taking impressive but high-risk maneuvers. Despite, or more likely because of that, the result is a fun match and such a great start to tonight’s card. There is a sense of urgency in Mr. Anderson’s attacks, given that he needs to win this match to stay in the tournament. This desperation is what Aries shrewdly exploited, enabling him to get the victory via an awesome brainbuster from the top rope with just a few seconds to spare!






Great showing, as can be expected from the two ex-champions. Despite being youngish (he’s not in his 40s yet) and in his peak health, Mr. Anderson is treated like the token veteran within the roster, partly because of his extensive career but most likely to fill up the void left by Kurt Angle (and the tacit refusal of the Hardy brothers to play that part). I find this a disservice to a good wrestler like Ken Anderson, who should be given another run for the championship.


Unfortunately for Mr. A, he has lost his chance for the belt this time. With his loss in tonight’s match, he is therefore eliminated from the tournament.



Tigre Uno vs Mandrews in a 15-Minute Time Limit Match




I find this the weakest match in tonight’s show. As with any Tigre Uno matches, there’s a lot of fast and flashy spots but not much in-ring story to tell. In the end, the X Division champion gets the win and the coveted three points with a Sabretooth Splash.




Mandrews needs to do a lot more training, and that greenness shows in his uneven performance. While he did an impressive standing moonsault after surfing on Tigre Uno’s back, he did botch a lot in this match, which he covers somewhat badly with cocky panache. He also tends to overly ham his smartypants asshole character too much, that his in-ring preening ends up laughably corny rather than believably threatening.



For shame, TNA (tsk, tsk)




TNA then aired a big chunk of the EC3/Drew Galloway/Matt Hardy Triple Threat main event match from Bound for Glory two weeks ago. With the reiterations of the same tired story from Josh Matthews, the Pope, and even from wrestlers’ promos, I can’t think of a good reason why they felt the need to air this. Honestly, we all need to move on from that storyline.


What’s more, it pisses me off thinking that the roughly 15 minutes they wasted airing the Bound for Glory match could have been placed for better use in airing the two Group Future Four matches: a win via Boston Crab submission by Jessie Godderz against Crimson, and a full 15-minute draw between Eli Drake and Micah. These two matches were just mentioned by the commentators as to have happened earlier, and we only get to see few seconds of summary video packages for each. Based on these video summaries, the two matches that we’ve missed seem to had pretty darn good wrestling too.


By giving them such jobber-like treatment, TNA is telling us that this group isn’t as important as the rest. Boo on you, TNA.



Manik vs DJZ  in a 15-Minute Time Limit Match


Next up, it’s our two kababayans on the ring for their chance to earn the points that determine their fates in the World Title Series tournament. Yay, Pinoy Pride!


Manik has his mask back on, permanently perhaps. While it would have been nice to see his face while wrestling, I have to grudgingly admit that the mask gives him a distinguishing feature, something to separate him from the rest of the pack. His gear is darn nifty too, with the stylized Philippine symbolism on his costume, and the new, less bulky looking mask he’s wearing.


Meanwhile, DJZ is still using his BroMans get-up and character. His BroMans brothers had slowly but surely gone up and up, but DJZ unfortunately got left behind. He needs to reinvent his character, stat.
Very good technical wrestling and a pretty decent in-ring story are what we are given in this match. DJZ tried to speed things up, but Manik was able to catch up with him, particularly focusing on his right shoulder and arm via armbars and twists. But DJZ was no slouch when it comes to being creative. He instead uses his legs to provide offense, through huracanranas and dropkicks. In the end, a Detonation Kick finally did DJZ in, then a pin and finally, a three-point win for Manik!





Ethan Carter III vs Bobby Lashley  in a 15-Minute Time Limit Match



The point that all the panel interviews, promos, and flashbacks in this episode are trying to get across is that the only reason EC3 got the opportunities, wins, and finally the championship is because he deliberately surrounds himself with people that are willing to do the hard work or take the bump for him. That is a given about his character, of course, so the more interesting thing to ask is why drill that point to us now? Why establish the point ad nauseam, even during the main event? So yeah okay, we get it, there’s going to be a big change happening soon between EC3 and his bodyguard, such that the main event has more to do with the dynamics and the impact of having Tyrus on EC3’s side, rather than the interaction between the two contenders in the said match.


As always, Bobby Lashley dominates EC3 from the get go, with powerbombs, suplexes, spinebusters, and other feats of strength. So what EC3 repeatedly does is go out of the ring and have Tyrus sneak out a shenanigan or two. (By the way, I know pro wrestling referees are trained to act blind, but my gosh, TNA referees are so blind they should be out there with a cane and a guide dog.) Lashley tried to be a trooper and all, but in the end he succumbed via a low blow from EC3, followed by a One Percenter. EC3 gets the win with only a few seconds to spare. With his four points, he is tied for the lead with Austin Aries in Group Champions!





All in all, a decent show but seriously marred by the lapse of judgement in the middle with that decision to re-air of the Bound for Glory main event rather than show the Group Future Four’s matches. Next week, we will have the second round of preliminaries for Group TNA Originals, Group UK, and Group Knockouts, culminating in a pretty awesome main event, Awesome Kong vs. Gail Kim!


Did you see this week's Impact Wrestling? What did you think of the episode? How do you feel about EC3’s win over Bobby Lashley? What do you think about not being to see the Group Future Four’s matches? Who do you think will win in next week’s matches? Let us know in the comments!
Photos taken from ImpactWrestling.com
*****


Marie Ricana (@cris_ricana) is an IT specialist and a network/system administrator. While an engineer by profession, she dreams of becoming the next Roland Barthes or The Masked Man. One of these days, she’ll publish the most insightful book on pro wrestling in the Philippines. But for now, she is mostly writing reviews of TNA Impact Wrestling for Smark Henry.

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