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TNA Impact Results, Review, & Video (June 28, 2016): An Interactive World

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TNA Impact returned from Orlando last night (June 28, 2016) with another installment of Impact wrestling. Let’s see how they did.

The show opens with Maria Kanellis and X Division champ Mike Bennett in the ring. Maria thanks Billy Corgan for being fair unlike Dixie Carter. Mike Bennett then talks about using Option C in 2 weeks at Destination X. He tells Lashley that he's got something he wants and the Destroyer isn't half the man the Miracle is.

Of course, Lashley comes out to respond to this. Lashley talks about his title match tonight and calls Bennett an "afterthought." The Miracle says that he hopes Drew Galloway, EC3, and Lashley tear each other apart tonight because at Destination X, he's taking that title.

Now Ethan Carter takes his turn to come on out. He verbally spars with Lashley for a bit. When Mike Bennett injects, EC3 calls him out for using a musician to get the match and cheating his way to the title.

Billy Corgan now comes out and he’s not happy that EC3 is "imputing his name." Carter ends up suggesting that everyone in the X Division get a shot at the title tonight. Corgan is actually OK with that idea. Bennett will have to defend his title against the winner of a battle royal tonight.

Bennett and EC3 start fighting. Lashley gets involved and this becomes a 2 on 1 until Galloway runs out to make the save. However, when Drew is going for a Claymore on Lashley, the Destroyer moves and Galloway nails EC3 instead.

I’ve always enjoyed stories with many interconnecting relationships even despite main feuds. It adds an extra layer. Sometimes, stories are very narrow: These two men are going to feud and then afterwards they’ll move on to someone else. TNA blurs the lines of feuds a bit more. Yes, Bobby Lashley has a main event match against both Drew Galloway and EC3 and that was represented in this segment, but they also have Mike Bennett looming over the entire thing due to Option C. And even though he and EC3 are done feuding, they still hate each other. Drew and EC3 have been eyeing each other for awhile. All these dudes have problems with each other and we don’t exactly know where that’s going to go. That keeps things fresh instead of just announcing a match and treading water for a month before the match happens.

With everyone involved, the segment went a bit too long but at least it set up multiple things for later in the night.

Sienna defeats Gail Kim to retain her Knockouts championship

This was a short bout with not enough time to really get invested in the match itself. The ending was a bit over booked. Allie tried to get involved, then Jade ran out to stop her, which prompted Marti Bell to run out and nail Jade with the night stick. Allie then got involved again which distracted Gail long enough to allow Sienna to get the win.

It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. It puts both KOs feud on display, which is nice. And Allie continues to be incredible as with her overtly shrill voice this time running down Gail Kim.

Eli Drake is hosting the Fact of Life. Eli talks awhile about mashed potatoes but somehow is able to bring it around to how his being KOTM champion has rattled some guys in the back. And then he introduces his guest: James Storm.

After a little back and forth, James Storm wants to turn the Dummy Buzzer into a drinking game. Drake pulls out a gallon of water to play, which gets boos from the crowd (to which he says "You're booing water?") Drake eventually tells James that he’s the KOTM champion and asks Storm where his title is.

Storm talks about how his title is a guy who has busted his ass and given it all to this company. Drake runs him down again to the point that Storm gets pissed. He said that they're going to play a new game: Every time he Drake hits the Dummy Buzzer, Storm is going to slap the piss out of him. Drake said that the show is over. Storm goes to leave, but when Drake tosses his beer behind him, he ends up getting a Last Call Superkick.

This segment had some hits and misses, which is common for a comedy segment. James Storm had a bit calling Drake “Eli Dork,” which came off dumb. But that’s the thing about bits like that. Some are going to find it stupid and others are going to eat it up. That crowd ate it up, which is important. And when James Storm was still doing silly “I like to drink” James Storm against Drake’s super arrogance, the segment felt like it was dragging.

But it had it’s moments of enjoyment. Eli Drake introducing himself in a different voice while crouching behind his podium was superb. His long story about mashed potatoes was strangely enjoyable. And most importantly, it picked up when Drake hit a nerve with Storm and the Cowboy had to get serious.

Drake called the Cowboy out from being washed up while he has a title. And that rings too true for Storm, who does feel like a man without a spot in TNA currently. He was willing to leave with just a warning to Eli that “they’ll meet again later.” But when Drake pushed his luck and tosses the beer bottle after Storm, that’s enough arrogance from the younger guy to earn him a superkick.

This could be a good feud for both men. Storm needs something to do and Drake needs a feud with a big name to continue to elevate him. While I think this feud should end with Eli going over to help build him, there’s a lot of story to be told before the outcome is something to debate.

Reby Hardy wheels Matt Hardy out to the ring. That's right, he's in a wheelchair. Matt can't stand up "because his extremities won't allow such luxuries" but he has Reby wheel around the ring to see the fans who have allowed this to happen. He talks about how he detests the Creatures. He rants on Brother Nero and then calls him out.

Jeff Hardy limps to the ring. Matt says he needs one more match that he needs to win. He wants a match in six week (so he can heal from those life threatening injuries.) Matt says that the winner of this match gets to own the name Hardy. Jeff takes the match, which seems to upset Reby and they argue.

Matt Hardy then stands up (he's healed!!) and attacks his brother. He takes a chair to Jeff, then puts his head in the chair, and delivers a Twist of Fate. He then tells Brother Nero the final match will happen in one weeks time and it will not happen in front of this hell hole of the Impact Zone. No... it'll be at the Sanctuary of their Genesis in Cameron, North Carolina!!

It’s happening!!! I’ve said multiple times that after the wonder that was the Director’s Cut contract signing, no match would live up to such ridiculousness unless it was filmed in Matt Hardy’s backyard. And now it is! And it’s going to be marvelous.

Matt was great tonight, having Reby wheel him around the ring while his weird piano music theme music played in the background. The man is becoming a national treasure and I hope he never becomes unbroken.

Braxton Sutter wins the battle royal to get to face Mike Bennett for the X Division title.

Immediately after the match, Shane Helms and the Helms Dynasty lay the boots to Sutter since he eliminated both members in the match.

Mike Bennett then gets in the ring and hits the Miracle in Progress on an already beaten Braxton Sutter to retain the X Division title.

This segment is another example of TNA mixing up feuds. While Bennett is really feuding with Eddie Edwards as his main focus, now Braxton Sutter has an issue with him. Sutter also has an issue with Rockstar Spud, who beat him down with a belt last week, and the Helms Dynasty, who cost him any chance at the X Division title tonight. There are many directions these guys can go. Again it makes it more interesting when a show is one big world that acknowledges other parts of the world even if nothing comes of it immediately.

This segment didn’t do too much to really highlight the X Division (though the fact they have enough members in the X Division to have a battle royal was impressive.) But it helped to continue make Bennett a really unlikeable heel. He sat at the desk mocking the X Division (he was trained by Ultimo Monkey Flip you know) while holding the title he cheated to win and denying it the entire time.

Then he not only picks the bones and gets the easy win on Sutter after the work was already done, but he lays in some post match punches for good measure. And of course he brags about it in the back later.

Tyrus, Grado, & Mahabali Shera defeats Al Snow & The Tribunal

Well, this story is still going on.

Looks like they downgraded Tyrus. They had him as the bodyguard to two world champions. Now he’s enforcer for the comedy duo of Grado and Shera? I’ve become a fan of Grado, but his stuff is so comedy oriented that it’s tough to take anyone who is involved in a Grado feud seriously. Maybe Tyrus is a gun for hire and this is just his first job, and TNA social advertising as #TheFixer may be just that, but like with the Tribunal, starting off anything in a Grado feud diminishes it.

And this resulted in the first loss of the Tribunal, which seems like a waste. While I try not to split hairs on things, I felt Al Snow could have taken that pinfall instead of new comer Basile Baraka (formerly Sylvester LeFort) to keep the new team from taking a pin.

Lashley defeats EC3 and Drew Galloway to retain the TNA title.

This was a decent match that got about ten minutes to tell its story. While they accomplished somethings in the this match, mainly building the Galloway/Carter feud which I’ll touch on shortly, they could have used more time to make this match feel more like a big deal. While we all kind of know this wasn’t going to be some big title match with a sweeping title match, a little more time could have helped build it to at least tease that it could be. And that time could have come from that Grado/Tyrus segment without issue.

The relationship between EC3 and Galloway took center stage in this bout. They opted to work together a bit at times to take Bobby Lashley out of the match but when it was time to go at each other, they went all out. Galloway chopped Ethan so hard that Ethan’s chest was bleeding. And in the end, when EC3 was setting up from a One Percenter on the champ, it was a Claymore kick from Galloway to Carter that allowed Lashley to hit spears on both men and pick up the win. (He pinned Carter.)

After a couple weeks of Drew telling Ethan “You cost me the title,” Carter can accuse Drew of the same thing. If the purpose of this title match was to be a chapter in a long Carter/Galloway feud, I’m in for that. Part of me wonders if a full Galloway heel turn may be in the future and I’d be very interested in that, but either way, this could be a big money program.

Pros of the Show:

  • Multiple instances of wider roster interaction instead of ultra focused feuds
  • Broken Matt Hardy continues to rule
  • Drake/Storm could be a goo feud.

Cons of the Show:

  • The entire Tribunal/Grado/Shera feud is still going and now Tyrus has been thrown in
  • Both major talking segments on the show felt they dragged a bit long.

Outside the continuing Grado/Snow feud, this show didn’t have anything really bad, but outside the Hardys, nothing really that great either.

Grade: C+

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