SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Disco Inferno, Hornswoggle, Road Warrior Animal, Sugar Shane Helms and The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express all on the same show? Eh, why the hell not? Maybe I’m just a sucker for wrestlers from the past showing up (even the Spirit Squad and The Headbangers), as it makes things feel fresher and it plays off of history, which is often sorely ignored in wrestling. While I wouldn’t want to see any of these characters on a full-time basis, they more than served their purpose for the night.
Shooting Total Nonstop Deletion at the Hardy’s compound made it easier for the wrestlers to do whatever they wanted, including getting the (planted) crowd in on the action. During the Lashley vs. Edwards match, Lashley picked up his opponent and straight-up powerbombed him into the crowd, knocking a dozen people over in the process. It was a crazy spot, and one you couldn’t see in a normal arena these days. It brought back some of the wildness from the ECW/Attitude Era, and made for a great visual.
Tag Team Apocalypto
In a week I may change my mind, and come to hate Apocalypto due to the ramifications of what it all means, but during the actual match I was largely entertained throughout!
Total Nonstop Deletion was basically a one-match show, as the last hour of Impact was devoted to it. Viewers are likely going to love or hate what they saw, with little room in between. It’s pretty wild to see that this is what wrestling has become, as before Lucha Underground premiered, you likely couldn’t have pictured a major wrestling show featuring this much nonsense.
There was some comedy that didn’t hit in the match for me, but TNA did a solid job of capping off a memorable night with this Apocalypto. They also made Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett a bit more relevant, and gave The Bravado Brothers a fun debut. Despite having more misses than hits, I enjoyed what I saw…at least in the short-term.
Tag Team Apocalypto
Yes, a worst to go along with that best. Here’s the thing, Lucha Underground essentially did a one hour match with Aztec Warfare 3 a few weeks back. That match was booked infinitely better. It had a bit of comedy, but it actually advanced feuds, and most importantly, it had actual drama to it. Apocalypto was basically an hour long joke match. As we’ve seen throughout history, most people don’t watch wrestling on a large scale for humor. This is now the sole focus of the second (maybe third?) most watched wrestling company in the country. The important thing now is the follow-up. Half the company has now taken part in the Hardy Brothers zaniness, which means it’s going to be that much harder to go back to any sort of normalcy on Impact.
Crazzy Steve Kills A Guy
To compare with Lucha Underground once again, they’ve killed off multiple characters over the past few years, but due to their telenovela style, it works in that universe. In their world it makes sense. In their world, magical skeletons make sense too! But they have been consistent in that vision from the beginning. In TNA, though, they’ve had 14 years to build up their own universe. Crazzy Steve snapping a guy’s neck (which was played for a joke) exists in the same world as A.J. Styles once fighting his way to becoming Heavyweight Champ, and of Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe meeting for the first time and of The Main Event Mafia forming. That just doesn’t feel right.
ODB vs. Sienna
If you had told me a few months ago that Sienna and ODB were going to battle on Impact, I would have been excited about it. However, The match ended up being pretty bad. ODB seemed like she hadn’t been in the ring in quite some time, and had a bit of ring rust. Even her punches looked a lot weaker than before. Sienna needed wins like this months ago, but the company has jobbed her out so many times that she is still firmly in the rebuilding process. Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing them try again.
Many fans loved the three faces of Foley, but Jeff Hardy seems to only have one good face and two bad ones. His work as Willow produced some incredibly lame moments, and Itchweeed is something that he should have kept on the independent scene. Actually, probably not even that. At 39 years old, people tune in to see Jeff. He can mix up various forms of Jeff, much like Matt Hardy has, but his other acts stink. Hopefully Itchweeed is one and done, but since the brothers seem to be running this company, he may just be getting started.
The DCC Look Foolish
Just like WWE, TNA can’t seem to pass up a joke, even if it makes a potentially credible heel look weak. Near the end of Tag Team Apocalypto, The DCC finally got involved. Somehow Eddie Kingston and Bram didn’t get the memo. James Storm was surrounded by half-a-dozen men in masks, which made for a creepy visual, but they were all easily disposed of by Abyss. One of the masked men was a loudmouth who got pinned, and Storm found out he lost. Oh. Yeah, it would have been best to leave the group out altogether if this was the plan.
For the most part, I’ve enjoyed Matt Hardy’s Broken Universe, but when he takes things into the realm of the supernatural, I do tend to groan a bit. I’d prefer a non-sentient Vanguard 1, and I wish that the lake that turns wrestlers into other characters didn’t exist. Apocalypto really amped up the weirdness with Matt’s boat coming to life, Crazzy Steve getting shot out of a volcano and Hurricane flying. There are some people who are eating this up, but it just doesn’t work well with any program that needs to still have some basis in reality.
The thing is, how can we get excited in Eddie Edwards vs. Bobby Lashley when neither of them can fly? Is the company soon going to feature bad CGI matches of wrestlers fighting in the sky? Seriously, at this pace that doesn’t seem too far off.
TNA needs to make a choice soon on what direction they’re going, as reality and absurd fantasy aren’t making a great mix. I get it, we know wrestling is fake, but even on Game of Thrones if the dragons started shooting lasers out of their eyes and spoke in a German accent, fans wouldn’t accept it, because it doesn’t fit the tone of the show. TNA has a bit of an identity crisis on their hands, and they need to figure things out soon.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TNA IMPACT HITS & MISSES: 12/8: Full On Sandow, Matt & Jeff Hardy, Eddie Edwards, You Deserve It, Moose, Allie, Mandrews