TNA Impact returned last night (July 28, 2016) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida with the continuation of their Bound for Glory series. Let’s jump right to it.
The show opens with Broken Matt Hardy in the ring. He summons the obsolete mule Brother Nero to join him. Of course he comes to ring to his awesome "Obsolete" music. Matt tells his brother that he's ordering him to help Matt win his match with EC3 match. Jeff resists the idea, asking why he can’t get Senior Benjamin or Vanguard One to help him instead.
EC3 comes down to the ring. Before he says anything, Matt makes a bunch of weird sounds and chomps his teeth. EC3 returns in kind, mocking the Broken One. Carter tells him it doesn't matter if it's Señor Benjamin on a lawnmower with an axe or Vanguard One with a Dilapidated Boat, it won't stop from Cater beating him all the way back to his house of horrors in Cameron. Ethan tells Jeff he has no problem with him but if he interferes with the match, it'll be war. Matt tells EC3 he's going to eat him and his cats. Carter says no one talks about Skunk and Clover so it's on... start the match now!
EC3 defeats Broken Matt Hardy to advance in the BFG Series
TNA’s YouTube channel didn’t have Jeff’s "Obsolete" music, and I had to share it with you all, so it’s the WhipClip video above. It may be my favorite part of this feud currently. I think that’s Jeff singing it too, which makes it even funnier because I imagine that Matt dragged him to a recording studio and made him sing it. And then for some reason, Jeff is singing it as he walks to the ring! That’s just gold.
Matt is surely keepin’ it weird, even mid match. But that’s the best temperature of Matt Hardy: crazy well done. He did a ton of a biting in the match, but why wouldn’t he? He’s broken. Carter was at a disadvantage due to a leg that came up a bit lame after a drop kick.
At the end of the match, Reby gave Jeff a hammer to either use or give to Matt. It was a test for the loyalty of the obsolete mule. He slid the hammer into where either man could reach it. Matt got to it first, but Carter stepped on the hammer with a bootless foot (Matt took the boot off earlier while working the leg). Matt then bites EC3’s ankle and grabs the hammer. However the ref sees this and takes the hammer. As he’s getting rid of it, EC3 hits Matt Hardy with his boot and then lands a One Percenter for the win.
The match was good with my only real issue is that it felt short for two guys who have had an epic rivalry over the last year. Otherwise, Matt keeps playing up his character to weird perfection and EC3 mocked him for it, keeping in line what who Carter is.
Just don’t mess with EC3’s cats. That’s just asking for trouble.
Gail Kim defeats Madison Rayne
They got about five minutes for this match and did the most with the time they got. But five minutes never feels like enough. The stipulation was that if Gail loses, she won’t get at title shot in the future. That was something casually mentioned by the announcers but not made a big point. Because of that, the match didn’t have the weight it should have.
Hopefully, Madison will continue with her heel turn and there’s something in store for her. That’d be better than this being just a one off thing for her as Gail runs through the rest of the division.
This following was played in two parts during the night:
Bram meets Rosemary in the woods. She tells him that she grew up on this farm as an innocent girl. She then tells a story about her cat getting sick and taking it to her mother who promised she'd make sure she gets better. But then she finds Fifi in the trash can instead. She climbed a tree to deal with her grief but fell out of it. She woke up hearing a voice (from the tree) telling her that she had a brother named Montgomery. That's how she learned the magic of the forest.
Bram says he's totally confused. Rosemary tells him what she really brought him out was to tell him was what happened in the shed.
Bram says he'll listen to this if she needs him to. It flashes back to her talking to her tree brother. She tells tree brother about her new love Johnny. She started casting spells to change things so Johnny would come around to her, and he did. But as soon as she let her guard done with Johnny... she couldn't finish. Bram says she can tell him. She needs takes him to the spot it happened. (To Be Continued...)
This was surely weird, but you know what? I dug it.
The Bram/Rosemary story had me worried about the future of Decay and it still does. But on its own, it’s been intriguing and much of that is because Rosemary is so dedicated to playing her role. Much like Broken Matt Hardy, she gives 100% to the role and gets you to buy right into it. If she didn’t give it her all, this different character would certainly fall flat. But she commits completely and it pays off.
These flashbacks were pretty much a Rosemary: Year One origin story for the mysterious woman. And while the first part of the story dragged on a bit too long and the story is really out there, it’s still drawing me in. Rosemary is a great character so delving into her backstory could help expand on that. The videos were had the creepy vibe that Rosemary embodies and that probably a large reason why this odd story worked. It seemed to fit into who she is.
Bram is playing his part well here too. After she told the first part of the story, he was like "WTF are you talking about?" which cracked me up. His relationship with her is pretty funny. First he thought she was weird but he was attracted to her so he dealt with that so he could hook up with her. But then he found himself actually falling for her and wants to be the supportive boyfriend (he said multiple times tonight he’s there for her). It would be pretty hilarious if it ends with him becoming too needy and her being like "Dude, you’ve got to back off a bit."
Moose defeats David Starr (enhancement talent)
After the match, Mike Bennett joins him in the ring. He puts over Moose as the most dominant, destructive, baddest man in pro-wrestling. Lashley's music hits. The two big dudes at each other in the ring as Bennett tries to defuse the situation. Bennett says that this match isn't going to happen now. He's got a BFG Playoff match and he needs Moose to have his back. Moose reluctantly leaves with Bennett.
Moose looked great in that squash match, which is the goal of a squash. He showed off a couple moves, including a sweet standing drop kick onto Starr who was on the top rope. Later on he delivered a brutal apron powerbomb to the poor guy.
This small sample size made me want to see Moose wrestle more, which makes this match a success.
Lashley stays in the ring, saying he wants to win all of the gold because to show how he dominates. If there's a singles title out there, he's going to take it. If anyone wants to try to stop him, come out. DJ Z, the number one contender for the X Division title, responds.
DJ Z challenges him for the X Division title right now. Lashley allows DJ Z to choose the type of match and he'll beat his ass in it. DJ picks a ladder match.
Bobby Lashley defeats DJ Z to retain the X Division title
This was a good match that gave DJ Z enough offense to look like a legit threat in TNA without taking anything away from the aura of Bobby Lashley. Making this a ladder match was a great way to give DJ Z a reason to get his licks in on the champ without diminishing the champ. The announcers even mentioned the fact that they can’t think of many ladder matches Lashley was in, making that a disadvantage for him. (This serves as an example example of how commentary can add to a match as opposed like how glossing over a major stipulation can detract from it like earlier.)
DJ Z looked as good if not better just hanging with Lashley but we still don’t know if anyone can take that X Division title. Meanwhile, Lashley has a date in the future with Moose (who is not in the BFG Playoff) and whoever is the winner of said playoff. I laud this weekly, but the intertwining plots with all the characters in the main event (and elsewhere) keeps things fresh and interesting.
Eli Drake is in the ring for the Fact of Life. He takes exception to Lashley's comments from earlier about winning all the singles titles, being the King of the Mountain Champion himself. But if Lashley wants to put two titles against one, he's cool with that. He's interrupted by James Storm.
Storm gives Drake to a beer to drink with him. Like the last time they were together, Drake takes out a gallon of water to drink instead. Storm kicks it out of the ring instead and says "Water sucks." He puts over Drake for having all the tools but calls him out for hiding behind his podium. The Cowboy asks for another King of the Mountain title match. Drake refuses so James Storm makes a joke about his dad screwing Drake's mom. The champ says he'll give him a shot at the title if The Cowboy doesn't drink any more beer. Storm drinks the two beers that are there and then agrees.
As Storm is leaving, Drake tries to hit him with the title. The Cowboy ducks and lays in some punches. However, the champ lands a low blow and Blunt Force Trauma to lay out Storm.
Eli Drake is keeping up with Storm’s over the top promos no problem. In that sense, this is a good feud. If someone can’t keep up with Storm, who is good on the stick even if he’s saying dumb things, they’re going to look bad. But Drake has no issue with that at all. He’s a great promo and in that sense, Storm is a good pick for him.
As I mentioned last week, I’m not a fan of this incarnation of James Storm in TNA’s current landscape. He’s one of those faces that I root against because of the dumb shit he says, such as hating on water (it’s 60% of you, James!) or talking about Mr. Storm banging Mrs. Drake (does Mrs. Storm have an issue with this?). But a feud with Eli Drake is the place for James Storm in TNA now (as long as he ends up elevating Drake when it’s all said in done). A stipulation of James Storm not being able to drink beer is silly, but we’ll see where it leads.
Decay defeats the BroMans in a Monsters Ball match to retain the tag team titles
TNA overdoes the hardcore matches, but this one was pretty good. They hit the classics: Abyss into a barbed wire board, some tacks, Janice. But this one delivered some other cool spots. Jessie Godderz took a good looking spill from the top rope onto a table on the floor (looked impressive but safe). Crazzy Steve took a Bro-Down onto tacks and then was turned over into the Adonis Lock face first on the tacks. And Steve isn’t afraid to sell those tacks because after the match, he licked those bad boys into his mouth! I don’t care if those are gimmick tacks or not, that looked nasty.
Rosemary was not ringside, instead hanging at the barn with her boo Bram. Steve and Abyss are good together and have chemistry, but the Decay isn’t the same without Rosemary. She’s the soul of the group and she’s what makes them electric. So no matter where they end up going with this Bram/Rosemary story, which as I said earlier is starting to intrigue me, it needs to end up with her and the Decay (maybe with Bram, maybe not.) If it ends up separating her from them, that’d be a travesty this early.
Mike Bennett (w/Maria Kanellis & Moose) def. Drew Galloway to advance to the finals in the BFG Playoffs.
This was a surprising turn of event. I was expecting them to set up a big finals match next week between Drew and EC3 next week. But instead, they opted to build that Galloway/Carter match even more while keeping the Bennett and Moose connection looking strong.
At the end of the match, the ref was down and Moose had run into take it to Drew Galloway. (He also attacked Drew prior to the match beginning.) EC3 ran down, expressly against Drew’s orders earlier on, and tossed Moose into the stairs on the outside. As Bennett was about to nail Drew with a kendo stick inside the ring, Carter slid in and grabbed the weapon. He went to nail The Miracle but ended up accidentally hitting Galloway instead. Moose then dragged Carter out of the ring and the Miracle hit his finisher on Drew for the win.
The Miracle could have taken the loss to Galloway and not looked worse for it, but it would have been a decent amount of losses clumped together after going undefeated for months. Now he looks stronger (more so with Moose at his side) looking to rematch with EC3 next week. Meanwhile, Galloway has even more reason to hate Ethan Carter as their feud slowly comes to a boil.
They are doing a slow build to Carter/Galloway, similar to like they did to Carter/Bennett, Jeff/Matt Hardy, and Galloway/Lashley at Slammiversary. Sometimes it feels like TNA rushes feuds, but when they decide to take their time and really build them up, they are really good. And EC3/Galloway is becoming one of those.
Pros of the Show:
- Drew Galloway/EC3 is becoming a great slow build feud
- There’s so much going on with Lashley’s stories, keeping it fresh
- That Moose squash match made me want to see more of him
- The Rosemary: Origins worked because she’s so dedicated to that character
Cons of the Show:
- The women’s match was pretty short and felt like an afterthought on this show
- The Decay without Rosemary isn’t as exciting
The main event scene in TNA is looking really good. Fun show overall.