TNA Impact returned last night (Nov. 17, 2016) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida promising to crown a new #1 contender.
You can find the results at the live blog here.
While we learned the identity of the DCC last week, we didn’t learn anything else about them this week.
The show opened with Eddie Edwards calling out the trio of James Storm, Bram, and Kingston after they attacked him last week. This lead to a predictable 3 on 1 assault and Jeff Hardy (who has pretty much given up on anything Brother Nero-esque) ran out to make the save. That set up a 3 on 2 main event between Edwards and Hardy against the DCC.
The first match for the DCC was a unorganized, lackluster affair that served more as a brawl than a match. It was to the point that early on, it seemed like the match wasn’t going to happen and it was just a random brawl. It wasn’t until after a commercial break that one of the men went for a cover and eventually Josh Mathews mentioned "Oh this is a no DQ match." This could be some personal preference, but random brawls are often boring. Especially one with little focus in the ring and just guys beating up other guys in the periphery.
There were some good spots. Kingston took a suplex onto two open chairs set up back to back that was brutal looking. But all in all, this was a skippable match that DCC won (which they should have.)
As for why they are together, we didn’t get any answers to this. There was a short video of the stable talking about how they are about chaos and not titles, but if that’s it, that’s weak. There could be more, but it’s unclear if that’s something we should be looking out for. It’s the job of the announcers to let us know that. Mathews should be saying "Why do these guys want chaos? What is their agenda?" to make it known that there’s more to these guys than three dudes who are wrecking shit. Or maybe that’s it for motive and that’s even more disappointing.
The reveal of who’s behind the masks was fun last week. But there was nothing intriguing to follow up this week.
Don’t lose your voice
EC3 defeated Lashley, Trevor Lee, and Mike Bennett in a fatal 4-way to become #1 contender to the TNA title. The match saw Bennett and Lee attempt to work as a unit but continue to get increasingly pissy at each other as they kept the other from pinning EC3.
Carter was able to fight back in the end and submitted Trevor Lee to win the title shot.
This was all in all a fun match. It was good to see Trevor Lee get some time to show off and he looked good in there. His bickering with Mike Bennett, who is a great character, was really entertaining and of course the guy can wrestle. Here’s hoping that they use Trevor more than just in the X Force Gold matches after his showing tonight.
However, it was after that that things got interesting. Eli Drake, who was unsuccessful in his title match last week, hosted the Fact of Life right after the match. He called EC3 to join him, to which Carter obliged.
Much like Carter did weeks ago, Drake tried to convince EC3 to put his newly won title shot on the line against him. And much like Drake did when EC3 tried it, Carter declined. So Drake tried to sweeten the pot, offering Carter the same offer Carter offered him - if he loses the match, he won’t chase the title for a year.
But that’s not what Ethan wanted. He wants the competition. And he wants the match with Eli. So he made a counter offer. He’ll put his title shot on the line but Drake has to put something really valuable up: his voice. Meaning if Drake wins, he becomes number one contender but if EC3 wins, Drake can’t say a word for the rest of 2016.
Wow, what a stipulation. Eli’s voice is his life and it would be a shame to see him lose it. But then again, watching Drake work with just facial expressions could be great as well. Something’s got to give. Either Eli gets another shot at Eddie Edwards or he can’t say a word for the rest of the year. That’s a match with some stakes.
The entire segment with Carter and Drake was on point, as been this feud. Drake having the gall to offer Carter the exact same proposal that he called stupid just weeks back is fun, subtle heeling. But what sets Carter and Drake apart is EC3 wants the competition. He wants people coming at hime. And he wants to fight Eli. But he was going to make him risk something that mattered.
Now they go head to head next week. I love me some Eli Drake on the microphone so I’ll be rooting for him big time, but this match looks to be a strong culmination to a standout feud.
Brandi Rhodes continued working out her issues with Team Maria tonight. She had to find a partner for a match against Laurel Van Ness and Sienna. Brandi chose Madison Rayne, the most experienced woman on the roster.
Much like last time she was in a tag match, Rhodes was on the apron most of the time as the seasoned veteran handled most of the work in the ring. This was the second match Brandi had in TNA so it made sense for her to be the hot tag instead of the face in peril. She still looks shaky in the ring so may as well limit how much she’s needed to wrestle while she continues to hone the craft.
Brandi ended up picking up the win on Sienna during the end of the match, which got a bit sloppy. I’m curious to see what the end game of this is. A one on one match with Maria makes sense, but it’s unclear if Brandi is ready for that just yet. And if that isn’t going to be a good match just yet, they may as well work out a different way to end it.
They also continued to tell Allie’s story. Backstage prior to the match, Allie was noticeable upset when Laurel Van Ness made it known she was texting with Braxton Sutter (who Allie adorably refers to as "Mr. Braxton.") Maria also sent Allie to the back before the tag match to prevent her from being Brandi’s tag partner, despite the fact that she never was Brandi’s partner.
Allie’s character work continues to be incredible but this story needs to start moving. The worst thing that happened to Allie was when Maria made her lay down for the title months ago. The more distance between that moment and when she finally stands up to Maria, the less impact the payoff moment will have. It’s time to take this story to the next chapter where Allie finally stands up for herself. If it stays here for much longer, people are going to start losing interest in seeing the payoff.
Rex vs. Godderz
Aron Rex and Jessie Godderz had a match tonight, and it surely seems like that’s all these guy sdo. They’ve had two Grand Championship matches, a backstage brawl, and now a one on one match and that was all in the span of about a month.
While Rex as a heel has been much more enjoyable than him as a babyface, this feud could likely use more time on a microphone (at least for Rex to continue getting heat) than it does more matches between the guys. Especially because the end of this feud is likely going to be another match between these guys, which is something we’ve seen plenty.
Godderz won tonight and Mathews already hinted that that means he’ll get another title shot soon.
A vacant title
Gail Kim announced that she’ll unfortunately have to vacate her Knockouts title due to an injury she sustained in her match with Maria. It’s always upsetting when someone gets hurt and is unable to compete. I hope her recovery is speedy.
A new Knockouts champion will be decided in a match between Rosemary and Jade in two weeks. While that match should be great, tonight’s Decay offering setting the table didn’t make much sense.
Crazzy Steve and Abyss interrupted Jade who was filming a Pop TV advert and told her to go find Rosemary. Now remember, last week, Rosemary assaulted both Gail Kim and Jade. But despite Jade having every reason to go on a tear and rip into Rosemary, instead she slowly walked around and called out for Rosemary in a soft voice as if someone was looking for a friend.
When she did find her, they had a conversation where Rosemary did her usual cryptic ramblings and I believe Rosemary challenged her to a cage match. Jade, who has had the character of someone who’s ready to fight those who have wronged her (as seen in her Marti Bell feud) was cool with just listening to Rosemary and letting her know they’re going to fight for the title. It was an odd segment given the disconnect between last week’s events and this week’s follow up.
Even so, the match should be boss.
Matt wasn’t on the show much this week, but he still shined while he was. He was still in Cameron trying to remember as his brother fought their battle down south. Matt’s inability to understand anything about his Broken personal continues to highlight how outrageous the Broken Matt character really is.
He was astonished that he’d given out green beans to children on Halloween In fact, he didn’t believe it. He unsubscribed from the newsletter from the Young Bucks because he "didn’t like rock and roll."
That’s when Reby decided to whip out the big guns. She showed him the Final Deletion and Matt was utterly appalled at what he saw him doing to his own brother. There looked be a glimmer of hope when it appeared he was having a premonintion, but it was just a sneeze.
Matt’s got a ways to go before he’ll be any help to Brother Hero.
Mahabli Shera defeated Basile Baraka one on one, then Baron Dax came out to make it a two on one assault post match. Then Al Snow came out to assist Shera and they did a Mega Powers handshake.
I’m to the point with this story that I can’t muster up anything to say about it. It was a segment that happened.
Pros of the Show:
- Drake/EC3 set up a big match for next week
- Fatal four way was fun and Trevor Lee got a chance to shine
- Matt Hardy trying to remember may be the best wrinkle to his character yet
Cons of the Show:
- The DCC felt rather pointless tonight
- Many stories, such as Rex/Godderz and the Maria/Brandi/Allie stuff seem to be just treading water
- The Rosemary/Jade segment felt out of place after Rosemary’s attack last week
EC3 winning the #1 contendership leading into his spot with Drake was great and Matt Hardy delivered in his brief segments, but much of this show was skippable.
Sounds off below, Cagesiders.