Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 2/2/16: Farewell Detour
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– The time was now for Ethan Carter III’s response after two weeks when the well-received “double turn” took place that gave TNA World Heavyweight Champion Matt Hardy the Title, EC3’s bodyguard Tyrus, EC3’s pride and life and anything else a man could steal from another. While this was a selling point in the show from last week, it was smart to hold off on it for now, building it for a later segment in the show. EC3 still looked himself, clad in a suit and shades, but this was him getting ready to spill his guts.
– The opening in-ring segment with Matt, Reby, Tyrus, TNA King Of The Mountain Champion Eric Young, Bram, Kurt Angle, Beer Money, Decay (Abyss/Crazzy Steve/Rosemary) and TNA World Tag Team Champions, The Wolves was a lot to digest with about 12 people crammed in, but this solidly put more heat on Matt by having him deny the crowd of Jeff Hardy due to his “poor decisions” and Reby even joined in by calling Matt the superior brother the whole time. We also liked the Young-Hardy interaction as EY established respect for Hardy, but was eager for the World Title no matter who had it. The big news out of this was Angle saying TNA officials granted him a World Title match for his farewell tour, while Hardy held his own with some fierce comebacks. Angle brought his “backup” aka Beer Money/The Wolves, who were then attacked by Young/Bram and Decay, also setting up the hardcore war later on. On that note, we still think “The Bizarres” is a better team name than Decay, but at least they’re pushing Steve now.
– The Drew Galloway-Tyrus backstage segment succeeded in establishing bad blood, as Tyrus was likely defending his new boss and Champion by trying to talk Galloway out of cashing in anytime soon. Galloway didn’t back down either, calling Tyrus a big bitch, with Tyrus reminding him that he “asked for this.” More on that downwards.
– We still don’t see how Raquel benefits Lashley in any way, which sucks because that’s what all the focus was on during his match against Aiden O’Shea. On that note, Lashley’s new shirt is terrible. Angle can get away with himself on his own t-shirt given he’s retiring, but this is a new thing for other talent? Nah ahh. Confused Lashley isn’t a pretty sight and Raquel is mysterious sure, but her delivery is robotic and not the least bit intriguing. This is more Aksana than Black Lotus. Didn’t doubt Lashley winning, though we hoped for a second that Raquel was there for O’Shea instead, but not the case.
– The in-ring segment with Maria Kanellis-Bennett and TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim was interesting if not random, but we’re not sure why they felt the need to do it so soon. Maria has been long established since Ring Of Honor as a great talker and she shined in that aspect here, making bold statements that the Knockouts Division was broken and needed a miracle. We didn’t picture Maria stepping into a wrestling role, but if she is, this is a decent way to get there. Kim stood her ground too, which made sense she was a founding mother of the Division, but something about the ending left us going “eh” rather than “wow.” We did like Maria teasing a physical interaction only to back away, meaning this will pick up in the future.
– The backstage segment with The Wolves and Beer Money was basically about establishing them as friends for now and rivals to come in the near future.
– The eight-man hardcore war match between Beer Money/The Wolves and Decay/Bram/Young was the filler spot-fest everyone expected, but we liked that there was emphasis paid to getting Decay over, since Steve got the winning pinfall over one of The Wolves, which potentially puts their name in the running for a Title shot. As for the rest of that match, we’d describe it, but it’s pretty goofy in all its hardcore glory. Wrestlers basically brought down one weapon into the ring after every two minutes. It wasn’t as cool as you’d think it’d be.
– The backstage Galloway-Angle segment was them respecting each other and stuff. At least Galloway had his mind on “making headlines” behind cashing in his Title shot and getting a rematch with Angle with the Title on the line. Big hopes, Mr. Galloway. Big hopes.
– The Tyrus-Galloway match was okay while it went on, but was obviously overshadowed by “The Miracle” Mike Bennett’s attack on Galloway, which cleverly followed up on last week’s confrontation and allowed Bennett to get over with a solid heel attack, as he indented the briefcase with Galloway’s face.
– It seems certain we’ll get a Lashley-Angle rematch in the United Kingdom based on their backstage segment, that also created a wrinkle of intrigue when Lashley was rooting for Angle to win the belt so he could potentially win it back in the same building he lost it to Angle in.
– In a rare case of great long-term storytelling, they had Gregory Shane Helms come down to the ring as X-Division Champion Tigre Uno’s perceived opponent based off his words and actions dating back to Bound For Glory, but we got the golden swerve when Helms announced that it wasn’t going to be him fighting for the Title, but his new protege, someone he’d trained, Trevor Lee. Lee has the tools of a technical master, but his mic skills were lacking, so putting him with Helms can only help him going forward. The match was a good back-and-forth effort with Lee able to use his own skills to break down Tigre and eventually pull off the upset win, establishing himself quickly as new Champion.
– In the time that he needed to get his new babyface persona over, EC3 started by breaking down his past behavior, likening himself to the common man, that even though he was “unbeatable and unbreakable,” they were only words and it wasn’t impossible. He felt remorse for his past, saying he had the advantage of his last name and was “kind of a piece of shit” and it was all because winning was like an addiction to him and that’s what it was really about. He addressed Hardy taking away everything he once had and that his next step wasn’t to run away, but rather face the “sunbitch” head on and take a plane to the UK, because he had revenge on his mind and would be Hardy’s shadow over there. This was as good as you could possibly make it, staying true to EC3’s character, but making him someone more likable.
– Ironically, Hardy has now settled into the role as “new EC3,” resorting to many lowly tactics to override his natural wrestling abilities to beat Angle in his first Title defense. There was a decent exchange of suplexes and near-falls down the stretch, but the final dividend was Hardy using the Referee’s shirt to blind him, a low-blow, and help from Reby and Tyrus for the final pinfall. Good way to get more heat on Hardy.
- Lashley def. Aiden O’Shea via pinfall
- Eight-Man Hardcore War – Decay (w/Rosemary)/Bram/Eric Young def. Beer Money/The Wolves via pinfall
- Drew Galloway def. Tyrus via DQ
- X-Division Championship – Trevor Lee (w/Gregory Shane Helms) def. Tigre Uno (Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Matt Hardy (Champion) (w/Reby, Tyrus) def. Kurt Angle via pinfall to retain
Posted on February 7, 2016, in TNA and tagged Aiden O'Shea, Beer Money, Bram, Decay, Drew Galloway, Eric Young, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, Gregory Shane Helms, Josh Mathews, Kurt Angle, Lashley, Maria, Matt Hardy, Raquel, Reby, Rosemary, The Pope, The Wolves, Tigre Uno, Trevor Lee, Tyrus. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.