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TNA Impact Results, Review, & Video (March 8, 2016): End of the Road

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TNA Impact returned tonight from its last show in Birmingham, England for Kurt Angle's last TNA match. Let's see how they did.

The show opens with Dixie Carter in the ring and much of the locker room surrounding the ring. Dixie Carter talks up Kurt as the best pro-wrestler ever prior to introducing him. Dixie is emotional when she thanks him for what he did for TNA and what he's done for pro-wrestling in general. She echo's the crowd's chant when she says "Thank you, Angle."

Drew Galloway gets into the ring and says being able to face Kurt Angle was one of the reasons that Drew joined TNA. He said not only can they learn from Kurt in the back, but being in the ring with him is a master class. He thanks him for everything as well.

Kurt finally talks and says that when he came to TNA a decade ago, he needed to find himself. He gets emotional talking about how he's a better person inside the ring out and because of his time here. He thanks Dixie, he thanks the locker room, and he thanks the fans.

Lashley's music hits and he walks down to the ring. He thanks Angle for everything he does and for the honor to fight him in his last match, but none of it sounds very sincere. Bobby then tells Kurt that's just a shame that Kurt's not ready to face him.

This whole show is Kurt Angle-centric so any given person's enjoyment of it will hinge on their enjoyment of Kurt Angle in TNA. I say it "in TNA" because we know Kurt Angle is still going to wrestle, with a match against Rey Mysterio already booked. This isn't the final match of his career. It's the final match of his TNA career. So if people are fans of Kurt and are big TNA fans, they are probably more invested in this than those that aren't big fans of one or the other.

Given that, I felt I should know where I am coming regarding this aspect of this Impact. I'm not a life long TNA fan nor do I consider myself a TNA fanboy. I appreciate the promotion when they do good and am frustrated when they do poorly. As for Angle, I've never been the biggest Angle fan, but I've always appreciated his work. However, given his slew of injuries, one (a concussion) that he's actually wrestling through tonight, I think it's long past due for him to hang up his boots.

The emotion that comes through from Dixie and Kurt feels real and I appreciate that. Drew Galloway's speech to Kurt felt real as well. The slide into kayfabe with Lashley was a bit clunky, but that's more because they didn't do that much to build Lashley's slow turn in the month they had to build it. Because of that, his whole progression feels more rushed than it should.


Eric Young retains his King of the Mountain Championships in a KOTM match again Damo, Will Ospreay, Bram, and Jimmy Havoc.

This was one of the shortest KOTM matches I've ever seen. Not that that's the worst thing in the world.

There's no doubt the rules to this match lend itself to easily becoming a clustermuck so it's the action within the outrageous rules that is needed to carry this match, and unfortunately, that was somewhat lacking given the lack of time.

This was the last chance to give Jimmy Havoc, Damo, and Will Ospreay to get time on Impact. (In fact, it was the first time Ospreay was even on Impact this entire trip.) Ospreay had some fun moments, Damo hit one good looking two person Fallaway Slam early on in the match, and there was a quick but enjoyable standoff between buddies Bram and EY. But in the end, this match was forgettable the moment it ended.


The Miracle Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis are in the ring. At Maria's suggestion, Bennett tells the crowd he is the Miracle that will save TNA, especially since Kurt Angle is out the door. He wants to be #1 contender for the TNA title. And after he wins the title, he can be finally the man who saves TNA. Bennett then calls Dixie Carter down to the ring.

Drew Galloway responds instead. He tells Bennett that this is a wrestling company and not a charity and if he wants to be number one contender, he should do more fighting and less running his mouth "like a little bitch." The crowd starts chanting "little bitch." The Miracle gets fired up, but Maria quickly calms him down. Bennett, still a bit worked up, tells Drew that Galloway shouldn't talk about charity after he begged Kurt Angle for a second match after losing the first. The Miracle points out how the Scot carries around the Feast or Fired breifcase as if he earned something but really just won some weird game show match. He then tells Drew to go get Dixie so adults can talk.

Drew instead punches Bennett. He gets some licks in on the Miracle but the Miracle is able to escape the ring.

I didn't watch much of Bennett at all prior to his joining TNA, but I've really liked what I've seen thus far. He's been a good promo, playing the deluded heel very well. Telling Drew to go get Dixie Carter like that's something he can actually request is great delusional cockiness.

It's clear Maria is the power player, and Bennett just let's her roll with that. Bennett plays that very well. He was the hot head when Drew pushed his buttons, and it took Maria to calm him down. When Bennett was delivering his early promo, Maria was smelling and saying the words quietly to herself at times as if she had written them for him. If he's the delusional heel that isn't as good as he thinks he is, she's the mastermind who is able to harness him to get what is best for them. She continues to be excellent.

What I didn't care for about this segment was Drew Galloway. That pains me to say because I've always been a Galloway fan, but tonight, I found myself easily disliking the face here. Part of it just being completely over faces saying the word "bitch" to get a cheap pop and to sound edgy. If they need to use words like "bitch" as a crutch, then they need to get better at controlling the crowd and getting cheers without it.

It's unnecessary, and at any rate, a face should be better than that. They should be above rank name calling. Plus Drew interrupts a segment after having lost to Bennett last week (granted by some nefarious means) and he threw the first punch tonight (and granted Bennett was really pushing his buttons.) But when you have the heel making better points than the face (the Feast or Fired match is ridiculous) and the face just saying "bitch," it doesn't work. (If this sounds familiar, it's because it's the exact same thing I said about Gail Kim's promo against Maria last week.)

One last part I'd like to note about this segment. I watched it three times because I wasn't sure if at one point Drew was also applying the word "bitch" to Maria when he said "speaking of." He also may have said it to her when he was yelling at her out of the ring. However, after multiple views, I still couldn't tell for sure so I left out the heavy criticism that would draw from me. Because if your male face is calling a woman, heel or not, a bitch, then you've just failed miserably.


Gail Kim defeats Jade via pinfall to retain the Knockouts Championship

These two women have locked up before and it was fun. However, at that time, Jade was still henchwoman to Taryn Terrell so the match didn't have real weight to it. Jade was a roadblock for Gail as she earned her right to face Taryn. This time, despite little build outside Jade having been part of past Doll House feuds, it had that gravity since Jade wasn't the roadblock but the final obstacle.

The match was as good as you'd expect, and with these two women, you expect a lot. Both women know how to work and they put on a top notch match. The finish consisted of a series of roll ups from which Gail Kim was able to come out victorious. In this case, that ending works just fine because it makes it feel like Jade is at Gail's level and leaves the door open for both women to do it again soon.

And if they don't do it again soon, Jade needs to have a story to keep her featured in the Knockout's division. She came out to this match alone and was an ass kicker without the Doll House. She was imposing in the ring and backed up the trash she talked. It's time for more of this Jade in TNA.


A pre-taped Matt Hardy promo (from him sitting on his throne!) is played regarding Matt's thoughts about having to defend the title against EC3 again next week. At first he is angry, calling it a conspiracy. But he then relaxes realizing he beat EC3 for the title and then defeated him in the rematch already.

Heel Matt continues to be fun. It's odd that they're giving Carter another title match already though.


Beer Money defeats The Wolves to win the tag team championships.

This was a good match that was completely overshadowed by the fact that we lost Davey Richards for the better part of a year right here due to an ACL rupture. When Richards jumped off the top and was caught in the Lung Blower by James Storm, Davey's left leg immediately buckled and he rolled out of the ring. Referee Earl Hebner threw up the X right away and Eddie finished up the match on his own.

There's no knowing if they called a huge audible regarding the finish or if Beer Money was already scheduled to get the with. Either way, it's fortunate that they did come out on top to avoid another vacancy regarding the TNA tag titles. But it surely hurts to lose the Wolves a tag team. Here's wishing Davey a complication free recovery.


Grado comes to the ring saying he's finally got the video proof that he was screwed in the Feast or Fired reveal. However, before he can show it, Eli Drake and Jessie Godderz come out. They say Grado can't get it through his skull to leave this be so Eli is going to have to beat it into him.

They get into the ring and double team Grado. Mahabali Shera comes out to help but he is soon neutralized. Jessie then holds Grado so Drake could hit him in the head with the briefcase. Of course, Grado moves out of the way and Jessie gets hit instead. Grado then hits Drake with a cutter, steals his briefcase, and runs.

Man, this story is still going on? This is a story that deserved two, maybe three weeks. We're well past a month on this and it's still not done. An Eli Drake feud with Grado, which Grado keeps winning, shouldn't be going this long and it's worn out its welcome.


Lashley defeats Kurt Angle via pinfall after three spears.

After the match the men embrace. That is short lived; however, as Lashley spears Kurt again. Drew Galloway comes down to confront Lashley and gets a spear himself. Same goes for Eddie Edwards who runs down. Kurt makes his way back up but takes yet another spear. "Trouble...Trouble... Trouble..." blares over the speakers and Ethan Carter walks down. He gets in the ring and stares down Lashley, who just smiles and leaves.

This ended up being a really good segment, but not for the reasons it should have been. Unfortunately, as of the last year, most of Kurt Angle's matches have been very similar. Plenty of German suplexes, failed Angle Slams, and eventually the ankle lock. This match was no different and because of that, it was rather underwhelming for Angle's last TNA match.

Part of that lays on the fact that the build of this Angle/Lashley story was short and scattered. As mentioned earlier, a little more time spent with Lashley and Angle would have helped it. On Angle's part, we never really learned what he was looking to get out of these matches. We learned how he felt about his time in TNA and that's good. That's part of this too. But to make this match more gripping to overcome the repetitive nature of recent Angle matches, it would have been nice to know what Angle thought about Lashley going into this match and what this one meant to him.

However, what happened after the match was really good. The embrace after the match didn't fit with what Lashley had been doing prior, and it was good to see that he'd prefer to sacrifice that moment to show everyone he is still the destroyer. Then he laid out Drew and Eddie Edwards before staring down EC3. That reestablishes Lashley as a major heel and sets up feuds with both Drew Galloway and Ethan Carter down the line.

I would understand anyone who feels we've seen that story before, though. Towards the end of their Spike TV run, TNA ran with the unbeatable heel Bobby Lashley as TNA Champion. Hopefully they play up the heel aspect more than last time to make this feel fresh. But the post-Angle TNA landscape has plenty of places to go. And I appreciate that Kurt used his last match to build multiple angles, sacrificing an emotional crowd farewell to do so.


Pros of the Show:
  • The post main event angle sets up many possible directions
  • Mike Bennett is playing is role very well alongside Maria
  • Gail Kim and Jade had a great match (predictably)
Cons of the Show:
  • Kurt's final match felt underwhelming
  • For a man playing a face, Drew Galloway came off like a bastard in his segment with Maria and Bennett
  • A forgettable King of the Mountain match
  • This Grado/Eli Drake story is still going on?
TNA did a good job remembering Kurt Angle tonight, but the main event match was underwhelming. The post match stuff was intriguing though.

Grade: C+

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