Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 2/9/16: Back In The UK
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Back In The UK
– TNA always seems to bring their A-game when traveling 4000 miles overseas to the United Kingdom. Anybody who remembers the classic Ethan Carter III-Rockstar Spud “Hair Vs. Hair” match can attest that this crowd brings something US crowds lack. The opening video did a good job of wrapping up several ongoing storylines in 90 seconds – Beer Money’s reunion tour, the new X-Division Champion Trevor Lee/Gregory Shane Helms alliance, the formation of the American Horror Story-esque tag team Decay (Abyss/Crazzy Steve/Rosemary) and more.
– The opening in-ring segment with TNA World Heavyweight Champion Matt Hardy, Reby, Tyrus and Maxel (yes, we’re counting the baby) shined the spotlight brighter on the “Matt Hardy Brand” and the results didn’t disappoint. Hardy is having the run of his career with this gimmick and there were no signs of slowing down, especially with the goal of hyping up EC3’s return, out to get revenge. It wasn’t even Hardy here who excelled. Everybody got time to talk. Tyrus took credit for EC3’s undefeated streak and Reby insulted the fans for cheering EC3 and not her “trendsetter husband.” The hook for Hardy demanding that Dixie Carter acknowledge his plea to fire EC3 was a good one to stay interested in the show.
– It was probably no shocker that the “heavyweight, galactic collision” between Lashley and Bram failed to connect with fans beyond the “deranged and delusional” team of TNA King Of The Mountain Champion Eric Young/Bram. While the finish stood consistent with Bram/Young’s mission to “destroy everything,” the accidental Title shot hit probably stood out to plant seeds to break Young/Bram up, but who knows for sure? At last there was no Raquel this week. She does that headband-wearing Lashley no favors.
– The Reby/Matt/Tyrus backstage segment did more solid hype for the final segment by showing that Tyrus wasn’t here to play around, “hand-selecting” the finest security guards Manchester had to offer.
– The in-ring segment with Kurt Angle, Maria and “The Miracle” Mike Bennett was fine for what it was, if the plan is to do a Bennett-Angle match where Bennett actually works his way under Angle’s skin enough to have the match happen. Angle had his moment with the receptive Manchester crowd and got interrupted by Maria, who set it up by calling Angle’s words “fake,” then Bennett spoke up how he enjoyed watching Angle wrestle when he was younger, looking forward to the moment where he’d beat him. Angle’s stance that he only fought men who respected him was solid, though it also kind of makes Angle look scared. Albeit, it’s a decent way to get the heel to try to make the match happen. We’re confident that’s where it’s heading.
– The sleazy Beer Money reunion tour isn’t complete without the boozer cruiser, which seen its return on this episode, as a “gift” that Bobby Roode got James Storm, as the team looked to cash in their Tag team Title shot against the current Champions, The Wolves.
– It’s another week and the duo of Lee/Helms continues to gel as the X-Division actually begins to tell actual storylines. On the other side, we had Tigre Uno immediately invoking his rematch clause and looked to be on his game with his athletic moves. Lee’s character and “neanderthal” tendencies were also emphasized here, as well as Helms transitioning from “coach” to “physical instigator,” which went into the finish as he got involved to help Lee retain. We wonder who’ll target Lee next, but his style breathes new life into the division.
– The Beer Money-Decay match was impromptu, but a decent transition from BM calling out The Wolves, since Decay held the Tag Titles despite not being the Champions. We dug Rosemary’s creepy morbid promo too. The match was average and the DQ finish was eh, but at least it prevented Decay from suffering a decisive loss early in their formation. The post-match developments with Wolves coming out to save BM from further attacks to challenge Decay to a Monster’s Ball match for the Titles wasn’t bad in theory, but has there ever been a classic Monster’s Ball match?
– In terms of Reby’s manipulative character, we loved the idea of her kissing up to Dixie backstage to try to convince her that Matt meant good intentions behind his words. What told us her controlling side was out and about was the way she rolled her eyes when walking away from Carter. Brilliant.
– On paper, it’s a bit hard to feel sympathetic for a fired babyface who claims he was “screwed” by the company and trespassing on company property with “proof” and upon first glance, it made Eli Drake look like the babyface for trying to get rid of Grado since was disturbing the peace, if you will. However, it begins to look like TNA went the smarter route by having Drake try to silence Grado from saying he was indeed screwed over by purposely being given the “fired” briefcase. Or, they could simply do without the match entirely.
– Drew Galloway’s promo towards his match with Angle was quite solid in showing how important it was to him this time to beat Angle in his hometown and cement the notion that he was the present and no longer the future.
– Just when The Dollhouse rechristened themselves with a repurposed Awesome Kong, her untimely release again hits TNA where it hurts – creatively. At best, Marti Bell/Jade/Rebel look like a team, but there’s no cohesion because their leader’s missing without explanation. While the numbers advantage helped Jade beat Madison Rayne, all the heat came undone when Gail Kim cleared all Dollhouse from the ring. At least give Dollhouse a chance to establish themselves as threats again sans Kong.
– Given the earlier angle (no pun intended), we half-expected a Bennett run-in during or towards the end of the Angle-Galloway match, but they avoided it entirely and simply let the two tear down the house. Sure, it was your formulaic Angle main event with him and Galloway kicking out of finishers galore, but it felt more important than usual here, since Galloway was portrayed as being on the same level. Even better, Galloway winning by submission gives him his biggest win to date and Angle puts over the young guy and all is right with the world.
– The final in-ring segment with Matt, Tyrus, Reby, Dixie, Rockstar Spud and EC3 was handled well in terms of showing Matt bully around Dixie into trying to get her to fire her own nephew, while Spud tied into things nicely when he defended EC3 for backing his threats up to the same crowd he was humiliated in front of the past year. The Tyrus attack on Spud was expected, but made sense. The key was to shine light upon EC3’s past dastardly actions by those who he wronged, but showing that a new leaf was turned and paled in comparison to what Matt was currently doing to the Title’s legacy. EC3’s actual return showed him kicking the security’s ass and being so close to getting his hands on Hardy, only for Hardy to escape hiding behind his wife. We also like that EC3 didn’t speak a word here, creating more hooks for next week.
- Lashley def. Bram (w/Eric Young) via pinfall
- X-Division Championship – Trevor Lee (Champion) (w/Gregory Shane Helms) def. Tigre Uno via pinfall to retain
- Beer Money def. Decay (w/Rosemary) via DQ
- Jade (w/Rebel, Marti Bell) def. Madison Rayne via pinfall
- Drew Galloway def. Kurt Angle via submission
Posted on February 18, 2016, in TNA/Impact Wrestling and tagged Beer Money, Bram, Decay, Dixie Carter, Drew Galloway, Eli Drake, Eric Young, Ethan Carter III, Grado, Gregory Shane Helms, Jade, Jeremy Borash, Josh Mathews, Kurt Angle, Lashley, Maria, Marti Bell, Matt Hardy, Maxel Hardy, Mike Bennett, Rebel, Reby, Rockstar Spud, Rosemary, The Dollhouse, The Pope, The Wolves, Tigre Uno, Trevor Lee, Tyrus. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.