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Heavy Impact (3/24/16): Braveheart



Last week's main event clusterfuck that saw Drew Galloway becoming the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion left a lot of claimers to the throne. (I can't even be assed to count all of them right now—that's how much of a clusterfuck the ending was.) There's really only one way to organize this entire mess, and I have to give props to TNA for going the right way: a Royal Rumble-style gauntlet match to determine a new #1 contender.

The fighting champeen


It's only been one evening, but I already feel like Drew Galloway is a breath of fresh air as champion. TNA needs a legitimate Face of the People that they can really build around, and while I feel that EC3 does have the skillset (and the crowd support) to become the franchise player, he still feels a little snooty and scumbaggy to be the top babyface. He's going to need a little more seasoning in the chase to feel like a real good guy.



Meanwhile, Drew Mac is hitting all the right points: he's got a great look, he's a solid hand in the ring now, he just wants to fight (which fans love), and he's being booked to do just that. He's a populist hero.

Anyway, using an over-the-top-rope gauntlet match (that's such a mouthful to say when you can't use the term Royal Rumble) is a pretty good and logical way to sort out the mess this creative decision has made. Although the championship rematch rightfully belongs to Matt Hardy (who also should have won the gauntlet) I'm cool with a Drew vs. Jeff title match next week, since it's just going to be a TV match.

Although it's nice that Impact is going through different matchups and experimenting what works for the main event scene, they're going to have to find two things: first, a top star who can be trusted to anchor the top for a pretty long time, and second, a world title pairing that also works in the long-term, and consistently. 

If Impact Wrestling feels like it's going nowhere, it's because there's no clearly-established top guy that comes off as a huge star. The world title has been passed around three times in the first three months of 2016, and it feels like they're still looking for that lightning in a bottle. It's great to have an ensemble cast because it means more opportunities for more people, but there needs to be a cast of just two or three that really holds everything together. Without that, it's just a bunch of B-listers (literally) trying out for the leading role. Stick to two guys and commit to them, Dixie.

(And do something about that damned King of the Mountain title.)

Minor impacts


  • I wonder if Drew adlibbed the line about too much talking on the show, because there really is too much talking on the show. How can you have "wrestling" in your show's name but only have a little over half the show dedicated to wrestling?
  • The Dollhouse breakup angle (and Maria taking Jade under her wing) is interesting, but if that was truly the end of the Dollhouse, then by God did it go out with a whimper. TNA has too many of these overly-complicated narrative threads that they rush too much. It's probably a long-term plan Maria had for Gail Kim, but it didn't really feel that way.
  • Speaking of Maria, exactly what alignment is Josh Mathews under? Isn't he the heel commentator? If yes, shouldn't he be agreeing with Maria and not picking on her? Why is Pope taking her side? Fuck Josh Mathews.
  • This new Pope/Lashley storyline is somewhat intriguing, but the way they executed it in the gauntlet match is straight up terrible. Check this: Pope, who is not a participant in the match, managed to officially eliminate Lashley by throwing him over the top rope. Lashley gets back in the ring to try and get back at Pope... only for EC3 to take over and send him packing over the ropes again. What the actual fuck? If EC3 was gonna flip him over anyway, why didn't Pope just provide a distraction? Either someone botched in the ring there, or the agent(s) did not think that through.


Photo from TNA

*****

Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry and one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, but really hates Davey Richards with his entire soul.

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