Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 3/8/16: An Olympic Farewell
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
An Olympic Farewell
– Even after his most accomplished WWE years, Kurt Angle went on to garner success in TNA, easily becoming the company’s top acquisition to this day, one of the few times they truly shocked the wrestling world. Whether you want to admit it or not, you paid attention to the Angle-Samoa Joe feud and other classic moments. Angle personified everything good with TNA during his 10-year stint there and like all great things, it had to conclude. The stage was set and the final match was booked, it was only a matter of seeing it play out. The opening video did a respectable job of chronicling Angle’s key TNA moments – head-butting Joe, beating Lashley for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, his moonsault off the top of the cage, etc.
– The opening in-ring segment involving Angle, Dixie Carter, Drew Galloway and Lashley was quite good (and maybe a relief for those tired of the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Matt Hardy and his family) and appropriately set things up for the main event while also delivering a genuinely emotional rhetoric from Carter, who expressed appreciation from a business aspect and for all he did for the company. Galloway was his classic self in calling Angle a big inspiration for his own coming to TNA. Angle’s portion of the promo fit as well, as he said that he came to TNA to find himself and felt he was retiring as a better person. Lashley’s portion started out with the genuinely dominant tone of those prior, calling Angle a reason why he got into the business and thanked him for giving him the honor of fighting him for his last match, before becoming intense and saying he saw fear in Angle’s eyes and deemed him unready. Well, damn.
– While we normally poop on the King Of The Mountain concept and the fact that it now has its own pointless belt, props to TNA for not advertising this one ahead of time, since it would’ve turned people off. On that note, the KOTM match with Champion Eric Young, Bram, Will Ospreay, Big Damo and Jimmy Havoc came off incredibly last-minute. We guess Havoc was a babyface from the way he played to the crowd and gave them a pleasing “jump off the penalty box” spot that has been repeated too many times, but he was taken out of the match by a steel step pildriver from Young. The only other noteworthy moment out of this was the brief Young-Bram scuffle, but it was all moot by the time the match ended, with EY retaining. Highly uneventful, but if anything, it indirectly hyped Jeff Hardy’s return live next week, where he’d be gunning for EY for taking him out all those weeks ago.
– The Dixie-Maria backstage segment hyped The Miracle’s later in-ring segment and we saw Maria try to get ahead by pleasing her boss, failing miserably. That was about it, really.
– One of the few pluses of having Billy Corgan around is production with licensed music. How much cooler does Decay look in these music videos with Marilyn Manson’s “The Nobodies” (their theme song) music video also blended in with snippets of in-ring footage?
– The in-ring segment with The Miracle, Maria and Galloway advanced their feud decently. It fit Miracle’s character to continue to lay cheap insults towards the retiring Angle and try to fill the hole he’ll leave on the roster. He was delusional for thinking Dixie would come out and name him #1 Contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but that was the perfect cue for Galloway to come in and criticize Miracle for thinking TNA was a charity case. Miracle’s response was probably his brightest moment on the stick, as he brought up arguments that Galloway won a “game show thingy” for his World Title shot and had to beg Angle for a second match since he wasn’t “man enough” to beat him the first time. Miracle almost sounded like CM Punk on the mic there for a moment, which is the biggest compliment you can probably throw out there. At the same time, it fit Galloway’s character to sneak in the sucker punch this time, since he was stirring from Miracle beating him last week by cheating. Miracle didn’t lose much since he got to escape the ring before the Claiborne Kick could connect.
– The backstage segment with Angle and the TNA World Tag Team Champions, The Wolves was a cool moment where we got to see the Champs talk about their appreciation for Angle, while he “passed down” the ankle lock to Davey Richards. This also hyped the match against Beer Money, probably making the viewer want to root for The Wolves since they had Angle’s endorsement.
– Based off her experience in the indies, Jade’s a fine wrestler. In TNA, she was saddled to the Dollhouse faction and was good as a sidekick, but when the time came for her to take the spotlight, it was an understatement to call it underwhelming. Did anybody even give her a chance against Knockouts Champion Gail Kim in a Title encounter? Playing them evenly matched against one another was fine for match quality, but it sort of weakened Kim to an extent since it took her a while to put Jade away and the finish (a roll-up pin) made it look like the bout could’ve gone either way. At least Jade was completely on her own here. Some of the ring work here was also nicely handled, in terms of the submission maneuvers anyways.
– It’s only fitting that Hardy gets a red throne to sit upon and cut promos on. It fit his character to complain about Ethan Carter III getting another Title shot next week on the live Impact and he questioned there being a conspiracy against him since he already defeated EC3 in their rematch, but looked forward to beating him a third time.
– The TNA World Tag Team Championship match between Champions Wolves and Beer Money was a fun match complete with good near-falls. With Angle’s endorsement and the crowd on their side, it appeared to be set up as The Wolves retaining, especially with BM working a more contemporary heel-esque style in the ring, so we were surprised to see BM get the Titles here. Given Richards’ torn ACL towards the end, it was probably the best call, since it avoided The Wolves needing to relinquish the belts, but man, something has to be up with those belts. With BM’s return stint almost running its course, it was a good time to change things up by awarding them the belts.
– The Lashley-Galloway backstage segment continued Lashley’s big threats, this time towards Galloway, as he said there’d be a new top dog in the company after this night and it wouldn’t be him.
– The Miracle-Angle backstage segment was done possibly to give Miracle a final rub off Angle, since he hyped the main event by putting himself over as the “guy who could’ve been” and promised that Angle deserved whatever Lashley would dish out. Angle got the last word here by telling Miracle he’d better hope he never came back because it’d be “damn real.” Not sure why they needed to interact yet again, but it wasn’t bad.
– Another weeks goes by and Grado’s “proof” goes without being shown. The in-ring segment with him, Eli Drake, Jessie Godderz and Mahabali Shera was predictable and gave us nothing new besides Grado running away with Drake’s briefcase. We all know this will end with Grado showing us video proof of Drake switching the briefcases and likely getting fired, but the Drake character has so much more to offer and that’s not an insult, that’s just a fact of life. Oh come on, we had to.
– Given the emotional context of it being Angle’s farewell match, TNA handled it brilliantly by playing a hype video about Angle’s career with input from guys like Gregory Shane Helms, Earl Hebner and Al Snow about his influence on them and the business overall. This also had the “big match” feel since it took up the show’s final half hour and had limited commercial breaks. Was it their best match? Nah, far from it, but the right guy went over, almost shockingly, since Lashley beat Angle, but only after three spears and after getting out of the Angle Lock. We figured the big sportsmanship moment of Lashley and Angle embracing after the bell was coming, so it was a nice surprise to see TNA devote time to storyline by having Lashley strike Angle to resounding boos and spear him again, attacking the Referee and thwarting off save attempts from Galloway and Eddie Edwards. The cool part of it was seeing EC3 be the one to come out to run Lashley off, yet in a way that didn’t call for physicality with the two. How many of you want to guess Lashley plays a role in Matt retaining next week? Lashley got big heat at least, so that was great. That said, it’s only right Angle’s last TNA moments are spent laid out on the canvas and fans will probably sour on that, but he helped put younger talent over and he’d have it no other way.
- TNA King Of The Mountain Championship – King Of The Mountain Match – Eric Young (Champion) def. Bram, Will Ospreay, Big Damo and Jimmy Havoc to retain
- Knockouts Championship – Gail Kim (Champion) def. Jade via pinfall to retain
- TNA World Tag Team Championship – Beer Money def. The Wolves (Champions) via pinfall to become new Champions
- Lashley def. Kurt Angle via pinfall
Posted on March 12, 2016, in TNA/Impact Wrestling and tagged Beer Money, Big Damo, Bram, Decay, Dixie Carter, Drew Galloway, Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake, Eric Young, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, Grado, Jade, Jessie Godderz, Jimmy Havoc, Josh Mathews, Kurt Angle, Lashley, Mahabali Shera, Maria, Matt Hardy, The Miracle, The Pope, The Wolves, Will Ospreay. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.