TNA Impact returned last night (Nov. 10, 2016) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida with another main event world title match.
For all the results of the episode, you can check the live blog here.
No rest for the weary
Eli Drake got his TNA title shot against Eddie Edwards tonight. While it’s possible Drake may have had a title shot in the past, this is the first one that really felt like he had a chance to win.
Eli Drake has been outright impressive during his time in TNA. He’s proven to be one of the best they have on the microphone, including a couple catchy, quotable catchphrases the fans dig, and is a strong, charismatic character. He is an example of why TNA is good for the business - if it weren’t for TNA, he wouldn’t have gotten the platform to show off his talents to a decent audience.
Given how well he’s done, a Drake victory was surely possible. It was not meant to be; however, given after a fun match, Edwards retained with his Boston Knee Party.
The only thing that upset me was that my guy didn’t win. But the fact that I have a wrestler I’m attached to enough that I’m a bit bummed when he doesn’t win is a good thing. There’s no docking points there. And Edwards is a good champion. He’s one of their best wrestlers in the ring on the roster currently so keeping the title with him ensures all the title matches will be exciting to watch.
So after defending his title successfully in the second match in as many weeks, you’d think Eddie would get a chance to rest.
Instead, the mysterious DCC trio attack him, leaving him laying in the middle of the ring post match. To leave us with more intrigue, they finally unmasked as Impact went off the air.
Now we know that the three men that were targeting the Hardys and now the TNA heavyweight champion are newcomer Eddie Kingston, Bram, and James Storm.
We now have the answer of "who?" but the big cliffhanger is now "why?" Last we saw Bram, the Decay locked him in the trunk of their car. Rosemary later said "They took care of him." James Storm was indefinitely suspended by Billy Corgan after throwing a tantrum when he last lost a title match to Bobby Lashley last summer. And we’ll just need to learn who Eddie Kingston is. (The announcers didn’t refer to him by name but since I follow Jade on Twitter, I know him as Jade’s boyfriend.)
This was a well done transition. They gave us a title match and after the match ended with the champ getting a much cleaner looking win than last week, they slid right into the DCC story. Eli Drake, despite losing, has a big feud with EC3 still brewing so he’ll be OK. (The fact that Eli came up short in this match will give some fuel to EC3 who was accused of the same thing from Drake.)
Crowning a number one contender
Tonight they had a series of matches to start the crowning of a number one contender. They didn’t specify if this is a tournament or if the winners of these matches will find themselves in a single multi-man match. It would be nice if TNA could explain their plan to crown a number one contender. It’s not as if keeping it a secret is going to help anything.
As part of this, last night we had the following matches:
Mike Bennett defeated Moose
This was a good match with some fun exchanges in the middle of the match where Bennett kept trying to hit his cutter but Moose kept blocking. So the Miracle turned to a series of superkicks (one targeting Moose’s knee that had been Bennett’s target earlier). He finally hit the cutter but it wasn’t enough to put Moose away.
The fight spilled outside and Bennett was able avoid Moose, who crashed into the ring steps. The Miracle slid into the ring before the ref hit 10 to win by count out.
It’s good to see the Miracle pick up the win here. I’ve found him impressive since debuting and he is talented enough to stay near the main event.
Trevor Lee defeated DJ Z and Rockstar Spud
This was a really fun X Division match. DJ Z, even with a broken wrist (which the announcers mentioned) is stunning in the ring. As is Trevor Lee. While Spud can’t keep up with them with the high flying, he has his character work to contribute.
It’s amazing how fun the X Division can be when they have a match where they’re fighting for something concrete.
Hopefully this win means they’ll start focusing on Lee a bit more, who’s been underutilized since joining TNA.
Bobby Lashley defeated both Grado and Robbie E in an handicapped match.
This was just meant to remind us that despite dropping two matches to Eddie Edwards, Lashley is still a bad dude. There was a point in the match where Lashley lifted Robbie into a vertical suplex and Grado ran in and started punching Lashley’s midsection. Lashley completely no sold the punches, pushed Grado off, and then finished delivering the suplex.
EC3 defeated Abyss
EC3 ended up outlasting Abyss and submitting him with a sleeper. It was a decent match.
Asides from them announced Abyss as "one half of Decay" despite the fact he’s clearly one third, there’s not much to be said here.
Remember who you are
The Hardys were represented by pre-taped Cameron, NC segments. And unlike their Halloween bits that were hit or miss, this one was money all the way through.
Matt Hardy was fantastic as someone who didn’t remember anything about who he is, which is superb because who he is is batshit nuts. He wore a sweater over a white collar shirt, a stark contrast to his wild broken apparel. He didn’t even remember he was a wrestler when Jeff told him they were tag team champions. He called his wife "Debbie" and Jeff "Brother Hero." And my favorite part was when they try to play the "Obsolete" song to jog his memory but when it’s his turn to sing "Obsolete!" he just looks at them with utter bewilderment.
Then Jeff takes Matt to the lake to see Skarsgård but Matt has no idea why he’d be friends with a boat. This whole bit tonight was shining a spotlight on how utter ridiculous the Broken Hardy world has always been and now Matt is seeing it through the eyes of the initiated.
Jeff tried to get Matt to go into the lake to heal himself, but the water was too cold for Matt, so Jeff peaced saying he’d go take care of the DCC himself.
This was just pure, stupid fun.
I actually had a mini-rant written under the Abyss match asking "Where the hell is Rosemary" but then they answered my questions later on in a superb re-debut segment.
While Abyss and Crazzy Steve have been slumming it up in the X Division, we haven’t seen the Decay as a trio since they lost their tag team rematch against the Hardys the episode after Bound for Glory.
It really seemed that they didn’t have something for one of TNA’s hottest acts but now they’ve started something new.
It started with Gail Kim addressing the crowd They played up an announcement as if she was going to retire. She even called Jade down and told her she’s the future of women’s wrestling. And then as she finally got back to her announcement the music hits.
For the first time in months, all three members of Decay made their way to the ring. Tonight was all about Rosemary. She sprayed the mist in face of Gail and then hit her F5 on Jade. Then Steve held Jade in the corner to watch as Rosemary choked out Gail.
To add some more damage, Abyss held a garbage can in front of Jade and Rosemary goes coast to coast on it.
Hopefully this is leading to Rosemary as a full time wrestler. The KOs division is slim and Rosemary can go in the ring. Tonight set her up as a real threat and we can get matches between Rosemary and Gail and Rosemary and Jade in the future. Can’t complain about that.
A badder Tribunal
Tonight, the Tribunal showed off their more aggressive side. Al Snow returned and joined them in the ring for what the former ECW legend thought was a reunion. He was mistaken. Snow was told by Baron Dax and Basile Baraka that they never needed him. Then they attacked their former coach.
This part of the segment was needed. The Tribunal had a failed launch and resetting them as a more ruthless tag team is the right move. Using Al Snow to show that they aren’t who they were when they debuted is even better.
Where this segment lost me was when Mahabali Shera came out to help Al Snow and then got beaten up himself. Shera had zero reason to help Al Snow. His issues were with Al Snow even before they introduced the Tribunal. And it’s not as if Al Snow was suddenly a babyface. He was the same douche he always was when the segment began and he. It just happened that the Tribunal were done with him. Shera was playing the stupid babyface for even trying to get involved given he has no love for anybody in that ring.
While that lack of continuity is always something that rubs me wrong, it’s nice to see they are trying to right the Tribunal ship.
Aron Rex was only briefly on this week and only in a backstage segment, but the dude cracked me up. He’s already firing better as a heel than he did as the debuting babyface.
Tonight, Jessie Godderz waited for him to arrive to beat him up for all the underhanded tactics Rex had been using to defeat the BroMan. Rex was driven to the arena and saw Jessie before he got out of the car and said, "Looks like someone had too much creatine, he's looking upset." He then gets out of the car revealing the fact he’s wearing a shirt so ridiculous it could be a distant cousin of Jerry Seinfeld’s puffy shirt. (Seriously, the shirt made me laugh out loud). He acted like he has no clue whey Jessie is upset, telling Jessie that Godderz has "the second best jawline in TNA" and to take advantage of that.
Godderz does get his licks in before Rex has to rake the eyes and run off but this is the most enjoyable Rex has been since joining TNA.
Pros of the Show:
- Great main event sequence going from the fun title match to the DCC reveal
- The Hardys were hilarious tonight
- Rosemary’s back!
- Heel Rex is pretty damn funny
Cons of the Show:
- Mahabali Shera helping Al Snow doesn’t fit continuity at all.
Tonight was a fun show. Not all the qualifying matches were great, but it’s always good to give random matches meaning.