Last week’s TNA Impact gave us the wild Delete or Decay event, which ended with Senor Benjamin being kidnapped, Brother Nero being “mutilated” and Vanguard I being destroyed. This week’s show looks to be somewhat noteworthy, Aron Rex’s TNA wrestling debut and the follow up to Delete or Decay.
TNA Impact Review 9-15-16
Impact Grand Championship Tournament
The first match in the tournament tonight was Aron Rex versus Trevor Lee. Unlike last week, they announced who won the judges decisions after each round. Aron Rex won the first round, 29-28. About two minutes in to the second round, Rex defeated Trevor Lee with a spinning elbow, which the Pope kept saying was a punch when it clearly wasn’t.
The second match of the tournament tonight was Eddie Edwards versus Mahabali Shera. The match started off with a lot of chain wrestling before the action spilled outside. The clock ran out with Edwards holding Shera in a submission maneuver. Edwards won round one 30-27. In the second round, Shera dominated while attacking Edwards ribs. Shera won the round 29-28. Both men came out firing in the third round, only for Edwards to catch Shera in a single leg Boston crab that caused Shera to tap. The semi-finals of the Grand Championship tournament will feature Eddie Edwards, Aron Rex, Drew Galloway and Eli Drake.
Rating: 6/10 – Aron Rex is not in the best shape that we have seen him in. He seems a little heavier and looked to move a little slower in the ring. It was no surprise to see Rex go over, as the finals appears to be shaping up as Rex versus Drew Galloway even though we have yet to see an actual bracket. The format of the match is still hard to get used to. Just as the match gets some momentum, the clock in the first round runs out. There is some potential for some quick hitting matches where someone hits a finisher quickly to win a match, but they haven’t gone that way yet. Another question is how do you qualify for the championship after the tournament? Will random wrestlers be chosen to have the matches?
Gimmick match of all gimmick matches
There was an “exposed turnbuckle, empty arena match” featuring Rockstar Spud versus Braxton Sutter. Josh Matthews and The Pope played it up as being too dangerous for fans to see, but they still show it on TV. The fight immediately went into the stands and seating areas, with Sutter destroying Spud. Eventually, Spud hit Sutter with a nut shot and started to take control with some stiff punches to the head. Sutter regained control and was thrown into the exposed turn buckle multiple times. Eventually, Sutter pinned Spud, who was spitting up blood.
Rating 4/10 – Sure, maybe Spud deserves credit for taking some of the punishment he did, but something like this just feels completely unnecessary on a television show. At the same time, many people would feel slighted if they paid for a product and one of the matches took place in an empty arena that they had to watch on a screen. The whole feud just did not feel big enough to need a match like this to blow it off.
Determining the Number One Contender for Knockout Championship
Maria Kanellis announced that Gail Kim’s Hall of Fame Induction would actually take place tonight. During the “induction,” Maria played a highlight video of Gail which was centered around Maria beating Kim. Dixie Carter came to the ring and announced that there would be a Knockouts Gauntlet match, with the winner facing Maria at Bound for Glory.
The rules of the gauntlet match are pretty strange. The match starts with two knockouts, with one new knockout entering every 60 seconds. During the match, a knockout has to be tossed over the top rope. Once there are two knockouts left, a referee will get in the ring for a traditional finish. The first competitor was Jade, followed by Allie. Maria cut Allie off and introduced someone who was better than Allie, Laurel Vanness. The third entrant was Sienna, who worked with Vanness to put the boots to Jade. Gail Kim was the fourth entrant, who quickly went to work on Sienna and Vanness. The fifth entrant was Marti Bell. Bell and Vanness put the boots to Jade in a corner while Sienna and Kim work on the other side. The next entrant was Raquel, who went after just about anyone she could. Madison Rayne was the final knockout to enter the gauntlet match. After the commercial break, each one of the knockouts took turns hitting their finishing maneuvers on each other. Laurel Vanness eliminated Madison Rayne. Shortly after, Jade was eliminated by Marti Bell, who was in turn eliminated by Vanness. Sienna dumped Raquel, who took a nasty bump to the outside. Gail Kim eliminated Laurel Vanness, leaving Gail Kim and Sienna as the final two, thus becoming a traditional match. After a couple of minutes, Gail Kim hit Eat Defeat on Sienna and pinned her to become the number one contender.
Review: 4/10 – Some of the women tried hard and Gail Kim was the obvious right choice. But the match itself didn’t make any sense format wise. The knockouts all came out so quickly that they should have all been in the ring to start. None were even eliminated by the time all of the women had entered the match. Vanness was put over pretty strong by eliminating two of the women, but it almost felt like a waste of a debut if she wasn’t going to win. Sienna’s work in the ring and everything about Allie is just terrible.
Broken Matt Recovers House Hardy
Broken Matt took Brother Nero into the lake of reincarnation to heal him, and dunked him under water. When Jeff came above water, he was holding the terrible looking TNA Championship that he carried when he was the champion and threw out a “you can’t see me” line. As Jeff was smoking a cigarette, Matt said this was not the reincarnation he needed and dunked him back under. Brother Nero came back above the water and started saying “obsolete, delete, obsolete, delete.” Matt proclaimed that he has recovered one member of House Hardy and had two more to go.
Broken Matt was shown walking through the woods looking for Vanguard I. He eventually came across the drone laying in a tree. Broken Matt picked it up and held it close. Matt prayed to the Seven Deity’s to bring Vanguard back. Matt touched Vanguard and could see memories of Vanguard and Senor Benjamin doing yard work and playing chess together. Eventually, Vanguard I came back to life.
Vanguard I went on the hunt for Senor Benjamin and found him locked up in a shed. Vanguard I went and got Broken Matt, who untied Benjamin. Broken Matt said that at Bound For Glory, a great war is coming.
Back in the Impact Zone, Broken Matt told The Decay that they had gone too far and that at Bound For Glory, they would delete them. The Decay’s music interrupted them, and Rosemary said that King Maxel deserved a better family. Abyss and Crazzy Steve said that Matt and Nero would never take their titles and that they deserved to decay. Matt challenged The Decay to a “great war” and not a normal wrestling match, to which The Decay accepted. Rosemary told Reby that she was an pathetic, unfit mother, which lead to a fight that the Hardy brothers got the better of.
Rating: 6/10 – The video packages were all entertaining, but the microphone work in the arena left a lot to be desired. This is arguable the most popular storyline TNA has going right now and is rightfully the focus of a lot of the show. However, they were smart to not close the show with this, as it would have felt like a flat ending.
Bobby Lashley versus Ethan Carter III Hype
Bobby Lashley was interviewed by Jeremy Borash, in which Lashley proclaimed that he beat Ethan Carter III enough last week that there is no main event for Bound For Glory. While saying that no one in the back had the guts to challenge him, Grado’s music hit. Lashley got in his face saying it was a joke that he was out there, to which Grado replied that Borash is a bigger joke than any one. Grado said he wanted to prove that he is no joke and told Lashley that he was a coward, which is why he attacked EC3 at the press conference. Grado said that Lashley can be beaten, which lead to Lashley attacking Grado with an elbow, followed up by a spear. Lashley got back on the mic and said he would kill anyone on the roster and no one can beat him. Moose’s music played, and he walked slowly to the ring. The two men got face to face and threw punches at each other. Eventually, Moose got the better of Lashley, who left the ring. Moose challenged Lashley to a match for tonight.
Later in the night, Moose came to the ring to fight Lashley, but Lashley said it wasn’t going to happen because he is a business man. Lashley challenged Moose to a match at Bound For Glory for “the big money.” Moose agreed with Lashley and said that they would fight at Bound For Glory, but he couldn’t wait and punched Lashley. The fight eventually spilled outside, around the announcers table and back in to the ring. Mike Bennett attacked Moose, which allowed Lashley to hit a spear on Moose. Ethan Carter’s music hit, who came to Moose’s rescue with his ribs taped up. Carter hit a double clothesline on Lashley and Bennett and the show abruptly ended.
Rating: 6/10 – It’s always great to see people have a desire to win any wrestling promotions most coveted title, but it also felt odd for Moose to just completely ignore the fact that he had a match at Bound For Glory with Bennett during their initial exchange. During the final segment, Moose seemed to agree to a match with Lashley, but Ethan Carter returning seems to completely negate that. The crowd didn’t really have a great reaction to Carter showing up, so it did not come across as a very big deal. The show ended very abruptly after the double clothesline from Carter.
Overall Rating: 5/10 –The show was timed decently, but overall wasn’t as newsworthy as anticipated. Rex’s debut match did not feel like as big of a deal as it should have been, given the way they treated his on screen debut. The highlight of the show was definitely the video segments of the Delete and Decay feud and it was rightfully showcased throughout the night. The ending segment was clearly done to plant seeds of a Bobby Lashley and Moose feud after Lashley’s match with Ethan Carter at Bound For Glory.