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TNA Impact Results & Review (Jan. 5, 2017): Continuing Along

@ImpactWrestling

TNA Impact returned last night (Jan. 5) with a new set of tapings and a title match.

You can find the results from the episode at the live blog here.

Wolves Nation

The main event tonight was a triple threat match between EC3, Bobby Lashley, and Eddie Edwards for the TNA title. Both Carter and Lashley demanded a title match earlier in the evening. And both had a fine claim to it.

Bobby Lashley and Eddie Edwards never finished their match at Total Nonstop Deletion for unknown reasons. Because of that Lashley had a fair claim at the title. On the last episode of Impact in the actual Impact Zone, Ethan Carter and Eddie Edwards ended a title match in a draw. That gave EC3 a legit claim at the title as well. So Eddie, being the fighting champion he is, said he’d just fight them both. Maybe not the wisest decision, but it fits the fightin’ babyface.

The match was centered around one thing: How frickin’ dominant Bobby Lashley is. Even when Edwards and Carter tried to double team the Destroyer, he maintained control. It took them awhile, but they finally got him outside the ring and continued double teaming until he was significantly beaten down. And any time he’d stir, they’d make sure to knock him back to the floor.

It was a good strategy but this is Lashley we’re talking about. He made it back to the ring and just started kicking ass again, including suplexing both dudes at once.

At the end of the match, Ethan Carter was just speared on the floor so he wasn’t going to be an issue. But Bobby wanted to just make sure that he was going to ground the champ for good. To do so, he went and grabbed the TNA title to use as a weapon.

The ref tried to take the title, leaving me to wonder why. Triple threat matches are always no-DQ matches. It’s just the nature of it. It didn’t matter though because Davey Richards would come down to take the title from Lashley, causing a distraction long enough for Eddie to win with the Boston Knee Party.

The match itself was fun and just served as reminder that they need to make sure Bobby Lashley has something big to do on Impact even if he’s not in the title picture. He can talk, he has the look, he has the legit background, and he looks dominant in the ring. I’m all for them putting the belt back on him. Eddie Edwards is an OK champion. Lashley was a great one.

The ending was somewhat predictable since during the beginning of the show, Eddie promised a surprise for fans of the Wolves Nation. Now we wait and see if Davey screws Eddie sooner than later.


One Night Only

The Broken Hardys were on Eli Drake’s Fact of Life in a segment that was pretty much for the fans there to celebrate the Hardys, show Drake’s mouth, and to set up a match for the One Night Only pay-per-view (PPV) that is apparently tomorrow.

Eli Drake is still money in the microphone, not looking like a fool next to the super popular Broken Hardys. It ended up quickly building a match between Drake and an opponent of his choosing vs. the Hardys for the titles tomorrow. That left me a bit disappointed One Night Only PPVs may be entertaining, but they’re never worth ordering when it comes to the storylines. And if they are heading in that direction, it’d be nice to have more than a 24 hour notice.

So while it’s fun to see the Hardys and Drake, this was all to set up a match that most people won’t bother paying to watch tomorrow night. While it’s unfair to expect radical changes given the Anthem announcement was only just 24-hours ago, this was kind of a season premiere of Impact. They had two weeks of clip shows since their last legitimate episode and it’s been a month since they’ve been in the Impact Zone so in a sense, they’re returning from break. It would have been a good time to set up something more for Impact’s biggest draw, the Broken Hardys, and one of the their brightest talents in Eli Drake.


Showcasing the Grand Championship

Moose defeated Mike Bennett in a Grand Championship match to retain his title and it was a damned fun match.

I’ve totally come around on this title. They’ve haven’t done anything dumb with it like run a “crooked judge” angle. Instead it’s presented simply as a different style of match which is accompanied by different psychology. There’s no resting on your laurels in this match. Competitors need to keep on the offensive or they can risk losing on the judges count.

This was a match as even as you could get. Bennett won the first round by split decision, Moose won the second by split, and finally Moose won the third by split decision. While that almost seems predictable, this was the first match that that’s happened that way. Many matches have ended in pinfall. Most rounds haven’t been split decision rounds. This one was uniquely close.

The final round was a really fun back and forth affair with trading big moves and nearfalls. Moose showed off his athleticism by running up the ropes for a top rope moonsault. He missed it but man that was a pretty move.

This division needs more work in explaining why certain people belong in it over others. Why does Moose this division and title like Josh Mathews claims? What makes a good Grand Champion but maybe not TNA champion? Maybe there should be people who only compete in these style matches who excel at grappling. That all could help strengthen the division. But there’s definitely something to build off.


Decay’s Direction

The Decay faced the Helms Dynasty last night with Shane Helms back to his normal self. To explain away the fact that he turned into the Hurricane and literally buried his own proteges, they played a backstage segment where he claimed that he didn’t remember anything after falling into that damned lake. OK, I’ll buy it. They’re keeping the Broken Universe’s happenings part of TNA canon. They should. But they’re still not taking it completely seriously or letting something like a dude turning into a super hero (after turning into a boy band member) affect something they’re working on outside the Broken-verse.

The Decay sported new music, which was a bit disappointing. I grew to really enjoy their Manson theme. Steve and Abyss (with Rosemary in their corner) won with relative ease. It was after the match when the real feud was set up. The lights turned off and the DCC appeared behind the Decay and knocked out Steve and Abyss with beer bottles and chased Rosemary off.

This could be a great feud but we will absolutely need some clarification about what the DCC stand for, especially against agents of chaos like Decay. But given that the DCC have a bit more of that comic bookish feel like the Decay, this could be a fun feud.


A Quick Learner

Maria Kanellis and her allies Sienna and Laurel Van Ness were in the ring talking up how they’re going to kill it in 2017. But there’s one little thing they need to address from the prior year: Allie.

She calls her assistant to the ring and tells her that if she thinks she’s a wrestler, she can wrestle Sienna. Allie boldly accepts.

And I’ll be damned, 3 weeks of non-stop training since her last match has done wonders. She held her own against the muscle of Maria. However, Allie lost focus when Braxton Sutter, who came down to cheer his student on, was just hounded by Laurel Van Ness. That loss of focus allowed Sienna to hit the Silencer for the win.

Allie is doing a good job of “learning how to wrestle” which must be quite the feat for someone who actually knows how to wrestle. She’s more confident, but she still gets too excited when she hits big moves. She still may try to pull off offense she shouldn’t. And she’s not doing too much just yet. Most importantly, she incorporates her bubbly demeanor that we love so into her ring work.

They should give us a bit of information regarding what Allie’s status with Maria is. Does she still work for her? Does she work for TNA? With the story hopefully entering its final chapter, that’s information that’ll need to be tied up. But that aside, Allie is making me really confident that when this story is over, she can take this character and move onto other feuds. (And hopefully an Allie vs. Rosemary feud that is apparently a big one on the indie circuit).


The Lighter Side

Rockstar Spud came out ranting and raving that while he didn’t win a single match in 2016, 2017 will be his year. Then he called out the man who turned his back on him at Total Nonstop Deletion (Horn)Swoggle. And of course, he lost to him in rather convincing fasion.

Post match, Spud continued ranting about how he lost to a one year old boy and then a man who looked like a one year old boy. This lead to him quitting.

This was funny. Spud is perfect as the heel who can’t do anything right. He’s superb as a blowhard when on the microphone that you don’t feel bad continuing to laugh at his misfortunes. It was a quick comedy segment done right.


Pros of the Show:

  • Lashley continues to rule
  • Allie slowly learning how to wrestle makes for fun possibiities
  • Fun Grand Championship match

Cons of the Show:

  • The Hardys/Drake segment just used to set up the sudden PPV match

Overall, this was a fun show. If you tuned in for something different because of the Anthem news, you may have been disappointed. But there wasn’t going to be that much different outside them talking it up all night and the Anthem turnbuckle covers. The sale was announced yesterday and it takes time for things to change.

Not that there needs to be a major creative shift in TNA right now. All last year they focused on good characters and told solid stories. There’s always room for improvement (such as with the X Division and tag division). But Impact wasn’t bad last night because they continued stories from where they left off. Continuing to tell the stories they’ve been telling is the way to go. Doing that doesn’t at all make this a bad show.

Change will come, whether it be good or bad. There were no debuts and if you were disappointed about that, I do apologize as I mention it as a possibility in the preview from yesterday. But tonight was just a standard Impact that was a bit longer with a TNA title match. And that’s OK.

Grade: B+

Let us know what you thought in the comments.