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TNA Impact Results, Review, & Video (December 2, 2015): Sweet 16

TNA Impact returned tonight (December 2, 2015) with its first round of the World Title Series.  They are onto a 16 person elimination bracket and all of the first round matches occurred tonight.  Let's get right to the results:

Ethan Carter III defeats DJ Z via pinfall

Josh Matthews described this as a "1 seed vs. a 16 seed' which made sense because of the way both men have been booked in their time in TNA.  EC3 is still not pinned nor submitted.  DJ Z spent time as a jobber with the BroMans and then as part of the forgotten X Division.  However, if it really is such an underdog match upe, it felt like DJ Z got too much offense in.

The offense was almost 50/50 in this match, and that's despite Tyrus getting involved on the outside to aid Carter.  If EC3 is supposed to still be a big deal, and he's getting help from Tyrus on the outside, DJ Z should be struggling most of this match.  Yes, he should get a flurry in at the end to give EC3 a scare and fans something to get excited about, but he shouldn't get the same amount of offense as Carter.  This is one of those cases where the 50/50 match booking held back what could have been a more dramatic match.


Tigre Uno defeats Gail Kim via pinfall

This ended up being a really fun intergender match albeit one with an abrupt finish.  The story told was that Gail Kim was gung ho and ready to throw down with Tigre.  Tigre, however, was very conflicted early about having to wrestle a member of the opposite sex and was hesitant to really get the match going.  The announcers both did a good job helping tell that story, even pointing out that Tigre Uno is used to being a fan favorite, which he wasn't tonight.

And it was clear he definitely wasn't the fan favorite here.  They crowd booed every single move he hit on Gail.  The build to the end was fire, starting with Gail hitting an impression hurricanrana from the top rope, her body block in the corner, and her figure four lock on the ring post.  However when she went for her Eat Defeat finisher, Tigre reversed it into an awkward looking pin to get the win.

While the ending wasn't smooth and was a bit sudden, this was a well done intergender match.


Davey Richards defeats Bram via pinfall

This was a good match given the contrast of styles with Davey as the high flyer and Bram as the brutal fighter.  Richards had some control early on until Bram dropped him face first on the steel steps on the outside.  That opened up a period of time where Bram employed that brutal offense on the outside.  That was until Davey was able to knock Bram down and hit a double foot stomp from those steel steps on to Bram.  That started a run of offense for Richards.

In the end, as Bram was getting his momentum back, Davey turned it into a roll up for a win, setting up EC3 vs. Davey Richards next round, which should be another fun match.


Mahabali Shera defeats Eli Drake via pinfall

This was rather predictable since it's clear that TNA sees a future in Shera.  Much like many Shera matches, there were moments during the match while Shera danced, which is incredibly stupid because this is literally a match that is for a chance at the World Title.  No matter.  He overcame.

Eli Drake is actually a good opponent for Shera because he's a big dude as well and Shera hitting his moves on a big guy looks impressive.  It wasn't a bad match at all.  But it was one you could have easily skipped.


Matt Hardy defeats Bobby Roode via pinfall

This was a decent match but it never really seemed to click.  Part of it could be that it's hard for me to get excited by a Matt Hardy solo match.  It didn't help that Bobby Roode was working full heel here, something he was not doing going into Bound for Glory and something that wasn't really apparent during the prior matches during the World Title Series.

It's unfortunate Roode, who is one of the best on TNA's roster and has been for the last 5 years, was eliminated so early.  It was obvious that Matt Hardy wasn't going to get knocked out first round.  The World Title Series is Matt Hardy's story, along with Ethan Carter.  Doesn't mean it's not disappointing to see a top talent like Bobby Roode out of this so soon.


Prior to Awesome Kong's match with Jessie Godderz, Godderz gets on the microphone and tells Kong that he knows she's not there to wrestle but to touch is body.  He then talks up his body and tells her if she gives him a kiss, he won't have the match with her.  He closes his eyes and puckers up and she clocks him in the face.

Then, Awesome Kong beats the hell out of Jessie Godderz.  However, in the end, Godderz scores a cheap roll up pin for the victory.

Color me surprised because I swore that Kong would pick up a win here.  Not that this was bad at all.  They built up super a-hole heat on Godderz from a supremely douchey promo (which unfortunately TNA did not upload.)  And Josh Matthews acted appropriately disgusted with what Godderz had to say, which helped further it along.

After Jessie's promo, I was on board to watch Jessie get his arse whooped.  So when he snuck out a quick win, it made me dislike him more.  Mission accomplished there.  i would like to see Kong get her revenge eventually, which means they succeeded in what they tried to do.

It is odd that both knockouts lost, though neither matched up with the next round opponent well.  I don't feel this does a disservice to the knockouts because both women had really strong showings and it was clear that despite losing, Kong was the better wrestler than Jessie Godderz.


Eric Young defeats Kenny King via pinfall

Kenny King is fun to watch when he's getting his offense going and he got enough during this one to make it entertaining.  Eric Young was less crazy than usual, a couple times willing to win via count out than going outside the ring and trying to inflict more damage.  Josh Matthews and the Pope, who has continued to grow on me as announcers, explained that when the title is involved, Young isn't going to take any chances.

The match did contain that dumb move where someone is holding the rope and the other person tugs at the same rope and the first person suddenly goes flying out of the ring.  Actually they did it twice!  The ending was sudden as well and felt rushed.  A very quick grab of the referee from Eric Young was enough to distract King enough to fall victim to the pile driver.  This match could be the last time you will see Kenny King in TNA and that's unfortunate because he's a great talent.  Though TNA never used him well while he was there.


Bobby Lashley defeats Drew Galloway via pinfall

They laid this match out to be a heavyweight fight between two equal competitors and it worked as a main event.  Both guys were legitimate threats to move on to the next round, or even the finals.  While a 50/50 match in the case of DJ Z and EC3 (with Tyrus) actually hinders the match, it works just fine here.  Both men are meant to be thought as even so both are going to get a good amount of offense in.  Given the fact both men are big but can move well, it was entertaining to watch them go.

Lashley going on makes sense.  As a man who also fights MMA, he's a good candidate to crown champion.  It is disappointing to see Galloway go this soon because he's younger and I feel is more exciting of a character than Lashley.


Pros of the Show:
  • Gail Kim and Tigre Uno had a good intergender match
  • Using the Godderz/Kong match to got some heat on Jessie
  • Pretty good heavyweight main event
Cons of the Show:
  • If EC3 is going to have Tyrus' help on the outside against DJ Z, he should control the majority of the match
  • Matt Hardy and Bobby Roode didn't click
  • There were a few matches that had rather abrupt or sloppy endings
While I still miss multiple stories for different wrestlers on a wrestling show, most of the matches tonight were enjoyable.  Plus it's good to see the title series drawing to a close.

Grade:  B-

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