TNA Impact returned last night (Nov. 24, 2016) with its Thanksgiving episode.
You can find all of the results at the live blog here.
Eli Drake and EC3’s feud came to ahead with a high stakes match tonight where Drake put him his voice against EC3’s title shot. It wasn’t the main event. That went to a lame no DQ match between Jeff Hardy and a representative of the DCC. But it’s getting the top treatment here because it sure the hell should have been.
This feud has been gold since it started. Both men are excellent on the stick and the promo battles lived up. Drake had issues with Carter because he felt everything was handed to him. Carter was tired of the overall bullcrap that would come out of Drakes mouth.
So when Drake was unsuccessful in TNA his title match, Carter was willing to put his title opportunity on the line in the match in order to shut up Drake. Literally. If Drake lost, he couldn’t say a word for the rest of the year.
And after a really good match between the two men, involving a bunch of near falls and reversals near the end, EC3 submitted Eli Drake retaining his title shot and zipping the lips of E-Li Drake.
Since Drake’s silver tongue has in essence been cut off, we’ll have to remember the last offering he gave us tonight to last us the rest of the year. Mid match, we got a swan song of Drake’s mic abilities. When he had control of the match, he picked a mic and delivered a promo as he beat down EC3, rattling off things about Thanksgiving and never shutting up. While enjoyable for us Drake fans, that will be likely something the brash Drake will come to regret.
I love Drake, but I definitely want to see what he does muted for the rest of the year. I have a feeling he’ll make that as entertaining as he is with a microphone.
Doubling down on bad
Last week, Eddie Edwards and Jeff Hardy had to endure a beat down against the DCC in a 2 on 1 no DQ handicapped match. It wasn’t entertaining outside a couple spots. It was just a brawl.
So they decided to double down this week with a no DQ match between Bram and Jeff Hardy, but it was really just a 3 on 1 beat down. It was even less entertaining than last week. Sure Jeff had a fire up after 15 minutes of watching a 3 on 1 beat down, but who cared by that point.
And for somer reason, Eddie Edwards didn’t come out to help him despite having issues with them himself and being involved in the match last week.
The DCC was an intriguing idea but the last two weeks, it’s been pretty damn bad. We don’t know anything about their intentions and the announcers aren’t asking that question so we probably won’t find out.
This has been an overall lazy effort with this story the last two weeks.
Meanwhile back in Cameron...
Matt finally remembers!
Another week of video from the Hardy Estate showed Reby trying everything to get Matt to remember. His friend the referee (who officiated the Final Deletion) and a hypnotist couldn’t get it done. And meanwhile, Señor Benjamin keeps bossing Matt around and Matt is just assuming he works for Benjamin. Vanguard One warned Benajmin that if Matt remembers, he’s in trouble.
Matt was getting frustrated. Frustrated that he couldn’t remember. Frustrated that he didn’t want to be the person everyone told him he was. He didn’t want to delete people or eat people. He just wanted to cook.
In a rant outside, he sarcastically asks the Seven Deities to reveal himself to him... and he got struck by lightening. When he work up, he said "I am Broken." And we are back.
This was entertaining enough. These segments usually are. But there seems to be a stark contrast to how Matt treats the story and how Jeff does. As of late, Jeff has just been Jeff Hardy. Not Brother Nero. Jeff Hardy.
He doesn’t dress at all like Brother Nero did prior to Bound for Glory. He doesn’t act any different than Jeff ever has. Tonight, he referred to how the "Final Deletion changed the game" when referring to his brother. However, that made it sound like a spectacle and not the big match between him and his brother that they believe it to be. One of the reasons the Broken story worked is they took it seriously within the story and it actually made sense progression wise.
Jeff Hardy just acting like Jeff Hardy again comes off as discontinuity.
Now this isn’t any major complaint but more a pet peeve thing perhaps. The story works better when everyone is all in on it.
In order to continue tormenting Allie, Maria made her dress like a pilgrim and serve her and Laurel Van Ness during their double date dinner with the Miracle and Braxton Sutter. And of course, when there’s food in a wrestling ring, at least one person is getting it all over them. This time it was Maria.
Everyone’s character work was on point this segment. Early on in their in ring dinner, Maria made everyone talk about what they were thankful for. Bennett was a complete douche and listed "The great Tom Brady" as something he’s thankful for, even before mentioning his wife. Van Ness’ character work continues to impress as every time she talks, she comes off as the spoiled rich girl she’s portraying. (She made sure to mention her "daddy’s black AmEx card" as something she’s thankful for.) Maria was her wonderfully malicious self, shutting Allie down when her assistant wanted to list off what she was thankful for (she only got "the fans in the Impact Zone" out before Maria cut her down).
But Allie couldn’t handle it when Van Ness was coming on too hard with Allie’s crush Braxton. (Braxton didn’t say a word all segment, partially because Van Ness cut him off immediately after she asked him a question.) Allie called Van Ness a "meanie" and then went to pie her in the face. Laurel moved and Maria got the pie instead. Not surprisingly, she was furious.
This was all in good fun, though my complaints that this story has seemed to stall still stand. Everyone involved here in this segment has great character work. Maria makes you want to hate her, the Miracle is an extreme douche, Allie is extremely sympathetic, and Van Ness is pretty hatable. Sutter didn’t have much to work with, but it’s clear he doesn’t care for Maria’s merry band of assholes.
X Force Gold
DJ Z’s trios team (him, Braxton Sutter, and Mandrews) won a three team elimination match, each member of the team winning an X Division title shot. (It’s unclear if it would be a triple threat or DJ Z would have to face them one on one. It’s also unclear that if DJ Z loses, if he gets multiple rematches given his rematch clause and the win tonight.)
The match was OK. I figured it’d be longer to take up some time on a Thanksgiving show, but it wasn’t too long. There was nothing of note here. Despite this match having some stakes, it’s really hard to care about the X Division in general given how they’ve been presented of the last couple years.
The Never Ending Feud
The Tribunal had a tag team match against Al Snow and Mahabali Shera. Their reboot that had me a bit excited when they briefly feuded with the Hardys has proved to be as poor as their initial debut.
This "badass" tag team got dominated by both Shera and Al Snow. Honestly, the Tribunal maybe had 5% of the offense. And then they didn’t even win. They were DQ’d when they used their belts as weapons because they couldn’t handle the aging Al Snow and friggin’ Mahabali Shera. I guess just wearing black outfits doesn’t make you badass.
This feud has no end in site so I hope you’re ready for more of this. Much much more.
Robbie E defeated Grado in a match so Grado had to wear the dreaded Thanksgiving turkey suit. While he wasn’t into at first, it’s Grado so he ended up dancing and having a good time.
This was all in dumb fun. But it does make me think back to when the BroMans broke up. I thought Robbie was going to be the guy to come out stronger in that. He’s got more natural charisma than Jessie. But he’s still doing the comedy bits while Jessie is in a midcard title feud with Aron Rex.
Pros of the Show:
- Eli Drake vs. EC3
- Maria’s Thanksgiving Dinner
Cons of the Show:
- Main event was a repeat of last week’s disappointing offering
- Will the Tribunals story with Al Snow and Shera just end already?
EC3/Drake was great. The main event stuff with Jeff Hardy and the DCC was most definitely not great. This was a mediocre show propped up by a couple good segments.
Sound off below, Cagesiders.