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TNA Impact Preview (April 19, 2016): A Sibling Rivalry

TNA Impact returns tonight (April 19, 2016) from Orlando. And while this show isn't billed as one of their "specials" they have a couple big matches, including a Matt vs. Jeff Hardy match which will main event.

This is not the first time the Hardy brothers had a feud. Their most memorable one (and the only one that I can recall) was their rivalry that was featured at WrestleMania 25. Personally, I'm actually enjoying this one more, even though it's the better part of a decade later and on a much small stage. Obviously, this is all a matter of opinion, but I was never into WWE version of this sibling rivalry. Part of it is because I was really digging the Jeff Hardy title run and felt that his feud with a heel Matt Hardy was a way to get the WWE title off of Jeff prior to WrestleMania.

This rivalry also includes a more excessive Matt Hardy, who's heel work has been very entertaining. Matt is over the top in a way that really works to sell how delusional of a heel he is. He has a faction (which he obnoxiously calls his "brand") that includes the big man Tyrus, but a Rockstar Spud who is clearly on some type of stimulant, his wife, and his infant son.

His heel turn 7 years ago was directly because he was tired of sharing the spotlight with Jeff and in that sense, felt rushed and a bit cheap. This round, Matt did not turn heel on his brother. Instead, it was due to months of frustrations stemming from continuing to do the right thing and getting screwed from it until he snapped. It was a better told story because it was a turn that made sense. And of course if Matt is going to be acting like an ass, Jeff isn't going to let it stand.

For those who are not caught up, this Hardy vs. Hardy match has been months in the making. The night Matt turned heel, he used Tyrus to injure Jeff enough to get him out of the building. (This is a plot point that's has been overlooked but is one of my favorites of the turn.) With his moral compass gone, Matt could do whatever it took to finally defeat EC3 for the TNA title. When Jeff confronted him, he ended up getting a title match from Matt. However, prior to the match beginning, Eric Young attacked Jeff and piledrove him through a table, all while Matt just watched on.

This caused Jeff to miss the entire UK tour. (This happens yearly because Jeff is not allowed to travel into the UK.) When Matt got back to the states, his brother was waiting for him. While Jeff more recently spent time dealing with Eric Young his brother was never far from his mind. Most recently, Jeff kept his brother from cheating in a title match against now champ Drew Galloway. That infuriated Matt enough to call out his brother for a match.

Matt wanted an "I Quit" match while Jeff wanted a Full Metal Mayhem match. This was decided in a tag match last week featuring Jeff and Drew Galloway against Matt and Tyrus. Matt's team won so tonight will be an "I Quit" match. This is the match that settled the score at Backlash in the WrestleMania 25 rematch. Jeff won.


What else is on tap for tonight:

1) A ladder match for control of the Knockouts Division

Whatever that means.

For awhile now, Maria Kanellis has been trying to take control of the Knockouts division. Her first move was to try to get the champion in her pocket. It looked like she had that under control when she gave her title match to Jade. Then she aided Jade in victory during that title match. However, last week, it was clear that Jade isn't going to be the puppet that Maria desired.

This was a segment that inexplicably involved all the Knockouts, so Billy Corgan came out and decided that the control of the Knockouts division will be decided tonight in a ladder match.

There's plenty here that doesn't make sense, the main thing being that an active talent isn't in charge of divisions in wrestling. And it's certainly not something that a babyface executive would come up with. While this will probably end with Maria winning the match and gaining control of the KOs, it's not a creative way to get there. It would have been more entertaining watching her slowly manipulate her way there instead of winning a match that makes no sense.

2) Trevor Lee (c) vs. DJ Z vs. Eddie Edwards for the X Division title

Last week, Eddie Edwards was attacked in the back prior to a match for the X Division title. Without an opponent, Trevor Lee's manager Shane Helms allowed anyone else to come down for a non-title match against the champ. It was DJ Z who responded and he ended up scoring and upset roll up on the champ.

With Edwards ready to fight and the DJ with a win over the champ, that lends itself to a triple threat match for the title. While triple threats are commonplace when the X Division is even featured, at least this match as a story to set it up, which can't be said for the X Division in 2015.


What we'd like to see:

1) Some of that new talent

It's been a couple weeks since TNA announced five new signing to TNA. It's only a matter of time until we see them pop up, especially since they were at that first round of television tapings, which should be coming near an end. New talent is important to freshen up the TNA roster which is slim. Plus, Sylvester LeFort looks bad ass with his head shaved.

2) Where is this Al Snow/Grado story going.

Last week, this story involving Al Snow attacking Grado (and Mahabali Shera) took me by surprised when Al Snow delivered two really intriguing (and really good) promos. The first promo was all an act to fool Shera, but it was telling of a story how Al Snow has had troubles transitioning into a new era of pro-wrestling: An era without the hazing and the extreme paying of dues of his yesteryear.

The second was a full on heel promo where he represented and embraced those values. This is a bold story painting the old generation as a heel. They need to get Shera out of there because no one wants to cheer for him, last week leading to the major heel of this getting cheers. But it's a story I'm interested to see how they tell.

3) What's the deal with the King of the Mountain championship?

If you read that in the Seinfeld voice, I'm totally OK with that.

The KOTM title has been absent as of late. Sure, Eric Young has been on screen, but he hasn't had the belt. The man with the Feast or Fired KOTM briefcase, E Li Drake, has been absent as well. The absent of the belt is not the worst thing as the men's roster is too slim to have three single's titles.

However it's unlikely that they are doing away with this title so we may as well see what they are going to do with it. Will it be the centerpiece of the upcoming Bram/Eric Young feud? Will it end up on E Li Drake next? Or maybe it'll be a jumping on point for one of those new guys. Young is going to have to lose it since he's left TNA.


TNA Impact airs tonight at 9 EST on Pop TV. Who's watching?

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