SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Before we get started, I just wanted to note that every week Mike McMahon and I will be hosting a PWTorch Livecast TNA Impact post-show. It starts right after Impact ends. We’ll be recapping Impact, covering all the big talking points from the show and chatting with live callers. Our first episode was last night, and it was a lot of fun. So feel free to join in to talk all things TNA.
But for now, let’s talk some hits and misses!
Building Galloway vs. Moose: All right. I’m going to be honest here. Last night’s show was not a good one. It was easily the worst episode of this new era. However, I did like how they set up the Grand Championship match quite a bit. So that’s kind of encouraging! For starters, they positioned the title match in the main event. They also built to the match throughout the entire show, and featured not only sit-down interviews with both men, but aired highlights of their TNA runs so far. It was a bit awkward at times (especially because Aron Rex was highlighted in those videos multiple times, and it made you realize how strangely he’s evolved in such a short amount of time), but overall this was pretty strong. I hope future main events featuring a title—any title—receive this same level of treatment.
Maria’s Mystery: I think pretty much every week I’ve done the Hits and Misses for Impact Allie has ended up on the hits side. I’m not sold on Braxton Sutter being her suitor (I probably would have cast someone else, I think Rockstar Spud would have been great, plus it would save us from what he’s doing now. Anyway…), but I’m actually intrigued with what Maria told him that immediately made him dump Allie and reluctantly go with Laurel Van Ness. Allie also did a great job of reacting to the breakup. It got me right in the heart. It’s wrestling’s most “soap opera” storyline at the moment, but it’s a pretty good one.
As a side annoyance… when exactly were those skits supposed to have taken place? Sutter said he was just in the ring training Allie. Um…no he wasn’t, there was just an hour’s worth of the show before that! Maybe he snuck in during a commercial break? Then he drove off into the night with Van Ness, who was casually wearing some pink wrestling attire, despite not being on Impact to that point. Minor issue. Overall another fun chapter.
Robbie E Grows Up… Kind Of: Last week he wore adult clothing. This week he got pants and new music! I’ll take anything I can get when it comes to one of wrestling’s most awful characters over the past few years. On the Livecast, Mike and I both agreed that Robbie E has some talent, but it may be hard for him to get over due to his portrayal over the past few years. Still, due to how depleted their roster is, it’s at least worth trying.
Brooke is Back: A mild hit here. The thing is, TNA desperately needs some new talent. Brooke improved quite a bit during her last run, so it’s nice to see her back in the ring. Deonna Purrazzo did a fine job as well by putting over the returning wrestler. Purrazzo wasn’t buried in the process, so hopefully she comes back as a regular, if only to fill in the numbers for the actual division and to give us some fresh matches. It was a decent five minute match, but the company badly needs to step it up in a big way to compete with the women’s divisions on Raw and SmackDown.
Fact of Life: You take the good (Eli Drake), you take the bad (everything else), you take them both and there you have…this Fact of Life segment. I just quoted the theme song to the The Facts of Life for that intro, which probably isn’t fair to do, because the lame ‘80s sitcom probably didn’t churn out anything as bad as that segment (I say “probably” because I’ve only seen a few episodes. I’m not that crazy!). That was 2017’s worst segment in a major promotion, and it could be awhile before it’s topped. It reduced DCC to comedy acts (a complete, huge waste of all three men), it had obnoxious canned laughter and it only further highlighted the absurdity of the match stipulation. I just can’t wrap my head around someone in upper management saying “All right now, let’s draw big smiles on the DCC masks in Sharpies! That will be a great gag!” Did they forget they are heels? Actually, are they still heels? I have no idea what is going on with half the roster right now, and that segment highlighted the worst of the promotion. Just complete garbage.
Race for the Case: TNA’s history of making things way, way, way too complicated continued. You needed a masters in mathematics to try and figure out their old Bound for Glory Series, and well…I don’t know if anyone was capable of understanding what they were trying for in Race for the Case. I sure as hell couldn’t. The announcers didn’t seem to be able to either. Josh Matthews at one point literally said “Stay with us!” That means even he realized he was watching a bunch of nonsense. I don’t even know where to begin with noting what was wrong with the match, but I’ll try.
Why were some people working as tag teams? DCC, The Hardys and Tyrus and Eli Drake worked in pairs. But why did they stop when they got one case? Drake and Tyrus were the only ones in the ring when Eli grabbed his. SO WHY DIDN’T TYRUS GRAB ANOTHER CASE? There was no rule stating he couldn’t. So even if it was supposed to be only one case per team (which makes no sense, because then teams should have fought over it), then why didn’t everyone in the match have a partner? Where was Abyss to help out Crazzy Steve? What were even the rules for grabbing the case? Jesse Godderz dropped his, and DCC got to pick it up and were awarded the winners. That apparently was legal.
Even after the match was over, I still had no idea what had happened and what it all meant. It was a gigantic mess that wasn’t thought through. Also…perhaps most importantly, why did Tyrus keep calling them suitcases? They were clearly briefcases! If this is the spiritual successor to Feast or Fired, then the only clear answer is that TNA just needs to stop hanging things from poles for the next five years.
Eddie’s Fashion Crisis: I usually don’t harp on wrestler’s attire too much (I’m wearing track pants as I write this, so I have no place to judge), but I find it interesting how much Eddie has changed up his look lately, and yet still doesn’t feel like a champ. After he first won the World Heavyweight Title he dressed up in a suit and a tie. It didn’t seem to fit his personality. It was like he was going to his nephew’s first communion. Last night he had on some tight black jeans, while wearing a backwards hat on and chewing on some gum. I mean, at least spit the gum out before you appear on TV in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Keep trying Eddie, you’ll make something work! Maybe a pair of Zubaz next week?
Don is Back: Hey Don West is back! Well, in the form of a commercial. I have no problem with him returning to the company, but man, that was a really annoying ad he was in that they ran multiple time. It would have been nice to re-establish him, by putting him in a fun, brief backstage segment. Instead he just yelled at us to go buy old Crimson and Manik shirts. Fans who have started watching Impact over the past few years probably wondered who this crazy guy screaming at them was.
Literally: After one of those ads Josh Matthews told us that “Don West is literally giving away the farm!” No Tony Schiavone, I mean Josh, I literally don’t think he is going to.