TNA Impact returned last night (Feb. 16) with one of the latter tapings from their first set of 2017.
You can find all the results at the live blog here.
A Wolves Repeat
The Wolves had two segments tonight. It started when Eddie Edwards came out demanding Davey come to the ring to take the beating he deserved. Eddie was pissed and since Richards and his wife Angelina Love involved Eddie’s wife, he was understandably well past working things out. However, instead of Davey, he got Angelina Love, who lambasted Eddie for not being there for them when Davey was injured and she was nine months pregnant. Davey finally came out and it eventually turned into a pull apart brawl that set up a street fight for later the evening.
This segment was pretty good. Davey’s mic work is a bit improved now that he’s playing a angry douche and Angelina speaking for him and getting extra heat was a great touch. The pull apart brawl showed how much these guys hated each other. Good segment to slowly build the story.
That’s why already booking a one on one match just a week after they broke up felt extremely rushed. Even though it didn’t have a real ending, they should still tease out the first time these guys go face to face. The Wolves have been a team since arriving in TNA two years ago. No need to rush their break up. (Especially because I don’t know where either guys will go after this is all said and done.)
Things went south for Eddie in the street fight when he tried to introduce a chair. Angelina got into the ring with a chair herself so like an idiot, Eddie decided to drop his. Of course, Davey picked it up and beat him with it. Eddie’s wife ran down to try to stop the assault, but she got immediately decked by Angelina, handcuffed to the ropes, and forced to watch as Davey just unloaded on her husband.
Angelina then rested the other chair on the head of Eddie and Davie hit it with his. (The best play by play announcer in the world called this a Con-Chair-To, but a Con-Chair-To is when the head is between the two chairs.) Since referee Earl Hebner took a kick to the beanbags from Angelina, it was Love who counted the pin. Therefore, the match technically didn’t have a winner. But it was Davey, who Angelina called The American Wolf, who was left standing tall.
The end game worked to get heat on the heels, especially when Love and Richards briefly made out on top of a fallen Edwards, but they still should have taken time getting to this point. They pretty much ran the same ending as last week and without any build between the two, it doesn’t add much to it.
Impact is known to rush angles, but this is one they cannot. They would have been better served just running the first segment and saving the fight itself for next week or two weeks from now.
World’s Weakly Collide
Lashley came down to the ring to cut a promo about how he’s unmatched in both pro-wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts. Then MMA fighter Josh Barnett came out. And no one seemed to care.
The crowd didn’t seem to know who he was, or if they did, they didn’t seem to care. I don’t really know who he is. I’ve heard the name, but I don’t follow MMA so he was just a guy to me. And he didn’t do anything to make me care. He cut a promo that wasn’t at all engaging, talking about how Lashley hasn’t lived up and has been a disappointment, which was dead wrong.
Lashley has been excellent in kayfabe and out. He’s booked as a dominant champion (unless it’s against Eddie Edwards). The performer has the swagger, has found his voice on the mic, and usually puts on a pretty good match. So clearly Barnett had no clue what he’s talking about, which kills babyface credibility. It would have worked better if he put over Bobby’s dominance and offered himself as new competition instead of saying he needed Lashley to prove himself to him.
They gave us no reason to care. The announcers mentioned he’s an MMA fighter and mentioned his credentials, but that’s not enough to sell me on a match. Do these guys have real history? Were they friends? Were they enemies? Give me a reason to give a damn. Because all I saw was a dude who cut a lame wrestling promo.
They booked a title match for next week but didn’t give us a reason to care.
The Hardys were in Tijuana and convinced the local booker (Konnan!) to give them a title match, pretty much by just telling him they’d work for free. They prepped Vanguard One to be ready to teleport them out immediately after the match. (Konnan may have been my favorite part of this, playing the sleazy promoter who will do anything to make or save money.)
While all of the backstage stuff was fun and different even from other Hardy bits, the match wasn’t anything worth tuning in for. It was covered over maybe a minute or two of quick, heavily edited footage (mixed with footage of Vanguard One hanging out with a bunch of ladies). There were zero extended periods of action or a semblance of a match to watch.
Perhaps it was because Lucha Underground didn’t let their referee, who was officiating this match, show up on TV that they decided to do it this way. (Though they blurred out his face and it wasn’t too distracting.) Maybe it was the plan all along. But the big ending to the Tijuana bit, the match itself, was disappointing. We didn’t need to see the entire match, the last 5 minutes would have sufficed. But this is a match we haven’t seen before in a different venue. Let us actually see it.
Eli Drake is speaking again. It was something that needed to happen after they dropped the ball on the first time he was silenced. The original time he stopped speaking it was because he lost to EC3 in a match. But the stipulation was he couldn’t talk all of 2016 and there was only one episode left in 2016 and he was barely on. Because they misplayed that, they did a thing where he voluntarily withheld his voice because the fans didn’t deserve it. It didn’t work.
Now that Tyrus is feuding with Eli instead of speaking for him, they had no choice but to go back to Eli talking again. That’s great because as soon as he opens his mouth, I’m hooked.
Drake has a match with Tyrus next week. Hopefully, he doesn’t take yet another L.
In the show’s opener, Moose and Brandi Rhodes defeated Rosemary and Crazzy Steve.
It went as you’d expected. They kept Brandi out of the ring until the very end and she was asked to do very little. Most of the match was Moose being kept from tagging out, with Abyss illegally interfering on the outside.
Finally, Brandi got involved and she and Moose hit Rosemary and Steve with punches while chanting “Moose.” Moose hit his discus clothesline for the win. I still wonder if they can get a full one on one match out of Brandi against Rosemary, but we’ll see about that later.
This match opened the show, which was nice. So often, shows open with a promo that it’s good to switch things up here and there to give it just a slightly fresher feel.
DCC’s Step Back
Kingston faced off against Jessie Godderz one on one tonight. My assumption was that this was going to be a chance to show off one of TNA’s newer talents and have him get the win over Godderz, who hasn’t been doing much of anything this set of tapings.
Instead, Godderz picked up the win. After the match, the lights went out and the rest of the DCC appeared in the ring, but Jessie used that time to escape up the ramp to avoid an inevitable 3 on 1 beat down.
This certainly feels like a step down for the DCC after two weeks of booking them like a dominant team. But that shouldn’t be too surprising. They don’t seem to know how to capitalize on any cool moments they have with this trio. One week they’re beating up EC3, Eli Drake, and Tyrus. Then next thing we know, they’re getting outsmarted by Jessie Godderz.
Jessie is getting some more singles time, which is fine I suppose. He’s had a couple singles runs that haven’t done much already, but maybe third times the charm.
We got interspersed clips of both Braxton Sutter’s bachelor party and Laurel Van Ness’ bachelorette party.
The bachelorette party was standard fare for Maria torturing and berating Allie. This is where she broke the news that Laurel was marrying Braxton. She made Allie the ring bearer for next week’s wedding and berated her a bunch on her party planning. This’ll all hopefully payoff finally next week.
The good stuff was at the bachelor party, where Mike Bennett cemented himself as that douche everyone knew and hated in college. In fact, this party was pretty much the worst frat party you’ve ever been too. There’s the one guy who’s too old to be there. The guy who’s always high (he died when another did climbed a ladder and jumped on him), and keg stands. And Braxton was everyone at that party who just wanted to go home but for some reason couldn’t.
They end up all watching porn (well they allude to the fact that’s where it went) when the stripper was not to their liking. Braxton got a measure of revenge before he left when everyone was passed out so he moved the stripper next to Bennett each other, took a picture of them, and texted it to Maria.
That should go well.
Maria’s other feud
Despite Maria trying to interfere multiple times, Brooke defeated Sieanna via roll up, furthering her issues with the First Lady. There’s not much to say here. With Maria still not done with her issues with Allie, it’s hard to get excited for her having issues with Brooke.
Pros of the Show:
- Drake is talking again
- Worst. Bachelor Party. Ever.
Cons of the Show:
- The Josh Barnett segment
- Not getting to actually see the tag title match
- Rushing the Wolves angle
This wasn’t a great week for Impact. The Josh Barnett segment was a dud, the Wolves angle feels rushed, and we didn’t get to actually see much of the Hardys’ tag match. The rest of the stuff was average.
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