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TNA Impact Preview (May 17, 2016): Drew's Biggest Challenge

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TNA Impact returns tonight (May 17, 2016) and the main event is Drew Galloway defending his TNA World Title against Bobby Lashley, which may be Drew's biggest title defense to date. And being the fighting champion he is, Galloway has already defended his title a bunch.

His first title defense was against Jeff Hardy, in a hard fought battle where Drew came out victorious. He then had to defend his title against Jeff's brother Matt, who was due a rematch. With Jeff's help to neutralize the rest of the Matt Hardy Brand, Drew came out on top of that one as well. He then faced Tyrus, who had a title shot in his pocket for awhile and despite bruised ribs from multiple spears from his opponent tonight, he held onto his title. Last week, he had an impromptu title match against Eli Drake which he won.

However, Bobby Lashley poses a challenge that none other before him did. Lashley carries a shoot fighting expertise that none of Drew's prior opponents had and holds a 14-2 record in the MMA Bellator promotion. Do you still question Bobby's shoot background? Well then watch this 1 minute 48 second video with Lashley doing some intense training and tell me you don't believe it.

But even putting that aside, Lashley is a dominant wrestler that none of the Drew's other challenges were. Lashley had two title reigns in TNA. One was at the end of TNA's Spike TV run where no one could beat him until Bobby Roode finally did, and Roode needed two tries. Lashley held it again in early 2015 until losing it to Kurt Angle. Neither Jeff Hardy nor Matt Hardy's title runs were nearly as impressive.

To make matters worse for the champion, he took a spear from Lashley last week to soften up his already injured ribs. Drew has his hands full tonight when his championship reigns will be at it's most vulnerable.

What else is on tap tonight:

1) Jeff Hardy confronts Willow

Last week, Jeff was teaming with James Storm against the Decay when he was distracted by his alter ego Willow, leading to a loss. Furious, he hunted that Willow backstage but was beaten up by two other Willows! So many Willows! Now, the show will open tonight with Jeff Hardy and Willow(s) in the ring.

This could be some mind games from the Decay, which would likely make the most sense. However, they only attacked Jeff Hardy two weeks ago because someone hired them too. That may mean their time with him is done. Maybe this is coming from his brother Matt. Or maybe, Jeff has gone insane and only he can see the Willows and no one else can. (OK, I'm pretty sure the announce team acknowledged him, but let's just say they're insane too.) Whatever it is, it's going to be ridiculous. The question is will it be the good kind of ridiculous or the bad?

2) EC3 faces his next demon from the past

Last week, Ethan Carter III's obsession with getting a win over Mike Bennett continued. With the Miracle holding all the cards, he decided he'd make EC3 jump through some hoops first. And those hoops he calls the "EC3 redemption tour." Carter will have to face, and defeat, all of his past demons in order to get a shot at Bennett. Last week, he scratched one name off the list when he defeated Rockstar Spud in a cage match. Tonight, he faces his next unknown opponent.

In the review last week, I already speculated about the fact that there aren't many people from his past that make sense and are actually available on the TNA roster. He's gone through Spud. I'm sure Tyrus will be a match eventually. However, the other of his major past enemies aren't around any more or tied up elsewhere.

Sting is retired (and was in WWE prior.) Bully Ray is in WWE. Kurt Angle is retired from TNA. Matt Hardy is out there, but I can't imagine he'll come back as part of Bennett's game. He's currently working an angle that he's retiring after his brother injured him in their I Quit match a month back. Jeff Hardy makes sense, but he's tied up with all them Willows. Plus, he's a good guy who probably wouldn't want to help out the Miracle at all. Hell, maybe they'll bring back Carter's former job squad duo of Norv Fernum and Dewey Barnes. It wouldn't be the Miracle's most devious choice, but it's possible.

So for two weeks in a row, I'm going to put it to all of you in another TNA Preview poll. If you know because you've read the spoilers, please refrain from leaving the answer in the comments.


What we'd like to see:

1) More Eli Drake/Bram

Two weeks ago, after Bram retained his title in a King of the Mountain match, Eli Drake, who was in the match, tried to cash in his KOTM Feast or Fired briefcase. Bram recovered before Drake could do so and escaped. Unfortunately for Eli, Bram is one of those guys that when you take a shot, you best hit because you don't want him on your back.

Now Drake should be the one watching his back because Bram's a wild man and now he's pissed off. This could spell bad news for E-Lye Drake.

2) The X Division

TNA had been making very slow strides with the X Division by building a small villainous faction of a bunch of dudes from North Carolina. Shane Helms is the leader and mouth piece while Trevor Lee (the X Division champion) and Andrew Everett are the young talent doing their fighting for them.

The last we saw them, and it's been like a month, they were feuding with Eddie Edwards and DJ Z. Edwards, Z, and Lee were in a triple threat match for the X Division title when Everett re-debuted as part of Team Carolina. Since then we haven't seen or heard from them. But it's the X Division. I suppose that should be expected.

Let's hope we see them again soon.


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

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