TNA Impact returned last night (Feb. 9) from the Impact Zone in Orlando. Two title matches, including the TNA title rematch between Lashley and Eddie Edwards, was advertised coming into this show.
You can find all of the results at the live blog here.
The Destruction of the Wolves
Well, it finally happen. The Wolves are no more.
We knew this was coming and knew it was very well coming this match. But just because we knew it was coming doesn’t mean it didn’t get off to a good start. And coupling it with the Eddie Edwards/Bobby Lashley title rematch was a smart idea. They had to get this match out of the way and finally move on from this feud. May as well couple it with the inevitable Davey Richards turn.
They did it with some brutality that I wasn’t expecting that’s a good kick off to this feud. Eddie’s wife and Davey’s wife (Angelina Love) were at ringside for this bout. At first, they were just used for Lashley to show off in front of to get some heat, but they became a bigger part of the story.
Lashley tried to use his TNA title as a weapon but Davey ran out to stop him. This lead to a sequence where Eddie hit the Boston Knee Party. But before the ref’s hand could hit the mat for 3, Davey pulled him out. Richards started screaming at Eddie how it’s become all about him.
Suddenly, Angelina Love decked Eddie’s wife! This distracted the ref, allowing Lashley to use the title on Eddie for the win.
But the Richards family wasn’t done. Angelina tossed Eddie’s wife into the ring and held her down and made her watch as Davey first beat Edwards down and then choked him with his belt. It was almost awkward, but in the good way where you think “Man, he’s taking this a bit too far.”
The only gripe I had is that I wished they had Davey interfere without looking like Lashley was going to lose to Eddie again. Maybe he could have kicked out. And maybe this just fuels the story that Eddie is the one guy who has Lashley’s number. So it’s not that big of a deal. But I would have preferred a spot that would have left the outcome without Davey’s interference a bit more open.
Other than that nitpick, but I enjoyed the beginning of the Wolves feud and I was glad to see Angelina Love as part of it.
Tyrus Stands Alone
After last week’s dominance by the DCC, who closed the show by attacking EC3 and both Eli Drake and Tyrus, the Death Crew Council open the show this week. Storm reminded us that their missions statement is to move forward and knock down anything in their path, which they’ve done. So yeah, still an super vague explanation of what their motives are. Maybe they’re trolling us at this point.
The trio were interrupted by Eli Drake and Tyrus. Tyrus, who is still speaking for Drake, stated they want revenge for last week and challenged them 2 on 3. Drake didn’t seem like he’s into that idea, but Tyrus told him it’ll be fine.
And the two men had a really good showing. They were able to isolate Bram for much of the match and use a few heelish tactics to allow themselves a double team here and there. However, the numbers served the DCC well and at the end Storm looked like he was about deliver the Last Call Superkick to Drake. However Eli was able to just avoid it and tag in Tyrus.
The big man took a punch from Storm but it had no effect. Neither did the second. So the DCC’s leader tried mind games instead, doing the old Brodus Clay dance. While Tyrus played along for a second, he soon delivered a big hit to the Cowboy and then the other two.
However when he turned around, he saw Eli Drake bailing up the ramp, leaving him to fight the three men alone. He tried to fight all three, but soon a superkick from Storm led to a DCC win.
This segment pitted heel vs. heel, but it worked really well. Just because both teams are bad, doesn’t mean that Drake and Tyrus aren’t going to want some revenge after being ambushed last week. Of course, by the end it looked like Tyrus was perhaps turning away from the villain role, but even that made sense.
Tyrus was never a true villain. He was always muscle for hire. So when he gets jumped like he did last week, he’s going to want revenge. He was more gung ho about that revenge than Drake was, who wasn’t into the 2 on 3. And it turned out that muscle for hire Tyrus had more pride than the slimy Drake, who is always out for himself and himself alone.
If this leads to a face run for the big man, I won’t mind. While it’s always easier to make a man the size of Tyrus a heel, this could work. Tyrus has improved greatly on the mic and in the ring since he’s come to TNA. So it’s worth giving it a shot if they want to try a different avenue for the big guy.
Drake is better off without Tyrus anyway, though, hopefully the plan isn’t for him to lose a feud to Tyrus because he’s lost too much lately. But otherwise, he’ll be better off solo.
The End of the Dynasty
The Trevor Lee X Division title celebration resulted in the implosion of the Helms’ Dynasty, or at least the excommunication of a member.
Shane Helms took time to call Andrew Everett the weakest link of the group, stating he’s more than willing to cut the fat. However, Everett retorted that he and Lee have won gold all over and they’ve done it without Helms. So maybe he’s not the weakest link. Maybe it’s the old man riding their coattails.
It looked like Shane was going to throw down, but instead Trevor nailed Andrew from behind and both Helms and Lee beat the hell out of the now ex-Helms Dynasty member.
It looks like they are building some stories in the X Division and this is a good place to start. Andrew Everett was always the lost man in the Dynasty so turning him babyface is a wise move and gives Lee a ready made feud.
They teased that maybe the younger guys would get rid of Helms, adding just a bit of intrigue on how the segment would play before landing on a Lee/Everett feud.
Expedition of Gold
Sometimes I think the Hardy stuff can’t get much weirder. Then I remember what I’m dealing with.
Last night, Matt Hardy let us know about his Expedition of Gold. It involves them going all around the world to win all the tag team gold until the Seven Deities decree them the greatest tag team of all of space and time. He mentioned both Ring of Honor (which is something we may see) and WWE (which is something we won’t.) And how are they going to get there? Vanguard One is going to teleport them.
But it didn’t stop there! Matt had a premonition that it was time to start and they teleported out of the Impact Zone to an unknown area which turned out to be Tijuana. They then searched for the tag champs of Mexico. They didn’t find them this week, but next week, it’s already advertised that they’ll face Pscosis and Super Crazy.
This was the typical fun stupid Hardy stuff, though it’ll be interesting how far they take this inter-promotional thing.
However, all of this does say one thing about the landscape of TNA: The tag division is dead.
The Hardy Brothers are venturing outside TNA to find any competition at this point. Not that there are really any teams for them to fight. The Wolves broke up last night. The Helms Dynasty broke up last night. And the Decay and DCC are out doing their own things outside the division.
This Hardy stuff is fun, but at one point, TNA’s tag division is going to need to be rebuilt and at this point, it’s going to have to build from the ground up.
Will Brandi Decay?
Brandi Rhodes called out Rosemary last night, who has been playing mind games with her lately trying to get her to join Decay. As Brandi should have expected, all of Decay answered. They surrounded her in the ring and soon Rosemary locked on a guillotine choke. While the men did attack her, they had her surrounded as she was being choked out.
Moose ran out to make the save, clearing the ring of Decay. Backstage later, Brandi issued a challenge for a mixed tag next week.
This was a fun segment. While Brandi is very green in the ring, she’s already strong on the microphone. That’s not too surprising. Her job for years with WWE was with a mic in her hand and she was really good at it. Hopefully, she’ll get to the point where her in ring work can catch up so they don’t have to hide her in matches all the time.
I still love everything about the Decay. Even their new music has grown on me. Rosemary owns that character 100%, with her words, her movements, and her actions.
It’s also a good spot for Moose, who needs something to do since that he’s done with Galloway for now.
So I tried to watch the Aron Rex vs. Robbie E looking for the positive in the Liberace gimmick. I’ve been clear that I don’t like but I didn’t want to fall into a rut where I double down on my opinion without continuing to reevaluate it.
And there were a couple things I liked last night. I chuckled when Rex made Rockstar Spud sing his name three times before the match started. That’s good annoyance heeling. Aron Rex, when he does fight in the ring, is ruthless. This is usually after he avoids fighting, playing the cowardly card until he’s able to use Rockstar Spud to get the advantage. He also ended the match using his rings for a loaded punch for the knockout. So clearly he’s hitting some classic heel beats.
And Rex is completely committed as is Spud.
But I still don’t like the gimmick. It’s still him playing Liberace, which is playing a known gay man as a heel. That just has too many pitfalls to become offensive or to get heat the wrong way. Not to mention it’s a gimmick that has a lowcard ceiling.
We’re going to get Rex in this form for a few more weeks. I wonder when the next set of tapings rolls around if they’ll abandon it completely or at least make it less about playing a famous gay man and more about the heel beats they’re hitting outside that.
All of the Braxton Sutter segments were done via backstage bits again this week. Remember, last we checked, Maria was holding something over Braxton (that had to do with Allie) forcing him to date Laurel Van Ness. Last week, she upped that to proposing to her.
This week, it looked like Sutter was going to do the right thing, despite whatever Maria is pulling, and break it off with Laurel. But when he dropped his water bottle and bent to one knee to pick it up, Van Ness immediately though he was proposing, said yes, and ran off.
I don’t hate this, but it’s starting to drag again. This feud will do that. They’ll drag something out until they can finally get to the next chapter and then drag that out. And what in the world can Maria have under her sleeve that can actually force a man to propose to someone he doesn’t even like?
I appreciate that this is giving Braxton some time to show his character and he’s been doing well with that. Plus Mike Bennett is priceless in these backstage segments. But we need to move past this to finally get to Maria vs. Allie once and for all.
Drew Galloway defeated Mahabali Shera in round two to retain his Grand Championship. There’s not much to say about it. This was a good match for Shera because it was able to confine his work to short bursts and Drew continues to be great as an intense heel.
Pros of the Show:
- The Wolves break up started off well
- The Hardys can teleport now
- The Dynasty turning on Everett was a good place for them to go
Cons of the Show:
- The Braxton Sutter bit is dragging
- The Aron Rex gimmick still has issues
This show saw a bunch of teams break up as they move forwards with new stories. It was a bunch of place setting with nothing ground breaking, but a solid show overall.
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