Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 3/15/16: Prepare To Be Future Shocked
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Prepare To Be Future Shocked
– Ever since Slammiversary 2015, TNA hasn’t had the best track record for “live” shows (we put that in quotations since the show’s taped a few hours in advance), but with a TNA World Heavyweight Championship match booked as well as Jeff Hardy’s return, there was at least something to look forward to. Even though this was the second year in a row where an injury angle “took out” Hardy before an overseas tour to the United Kingdom before he returns on the first show back, we’d let it slide.
– It’s amazing how TNA King Of The Mountain Champion Eric Young has come a long way from a “meh” comedy babyface to one of the company’s best deranged heels. EY was especially angry on this show, as he fired a tirade towards Dixie Carter at a production table backstage about how he’d promise to hurt Hardy and blame it all on her. That said, it made a little sense for Dixie to come out and turn EY’s “lack of opportunities” into a direct one, with the EY-Jeff Hardy match being for a spot in the main event TNA World Title match involving Champion Matt Hardy and Ethan Carter III. Given how Hardy was set to be his brother’s first Title defense before being taken out, it seemed weird that he wouldn’t be automatically rewarded that second chance. As for the match, it started from the get-go with endless energy and the notion that Jeff hadn’t lost a step, which is always good. Young also did a lot of spitting on the hard camera crowd. Ew. Anyways, this was your general few minutes of back-and-forth action until Jeff hit the Swanton Bomb and won the match like we figured.
– The in-ring segment with Reby, Matt, Maxel and Jeff Hardy was successful in getting over that Matt clearly didn’t want to fight his brother for his Title and was looking for any excuse in the book, including trying to postpone the one-on-one match for Bound For Glory 2018 (funny) and handing his own baby son over to Jeff to hold to convince him he was “family.” Reby calling him “Maxel’s second favorite wrestler” was hilarious. It was easy to see through Matt and thankfully, Jeff did too and twice turned down a deal to give up his spot for his own chance at the Title later down the road. Jeff turned it up a notch by giving his brother a Twist Of Fate. The censor screen went off twice when he appeared to flip off Matt (which it didn’t even cover) but replays later in the show allowed us to see he was simply doing his “handgun” gesture.
– Decay’s backstage attack on Eddie Edwards was random, but it fit the realm of Decay’s collaborated twisted mindset. They are a fixture in the tag team division, so maybe their goal was wiping out The Wolves completely.
– The backstage promo from The Miracle/Maria was irony at its finest, but well-delivered in a good way, as they staked their claim that they weren’t afraid to fight and wanted to shut up their offenders, Drew Galloway and TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim. The irony was that Maria was dodging Kim at every turn, while Miracle was sneaking in cheap shots at Galloway.
– The backstage segment with TNA World Tag Team Champions Beer Money and Edwards was good in setting up the eventual six-person tag, as the good guy Champs stepped in to defend Edwards and sought to take out Decay with him.
– The Mixed Tag match between Miracle/Maria and Kim/Galloway was good, doing enough to advance the feud without overstaying its welcome. Liked how all four used the traditional elements of a mixed tag to sneak in cheap shots, as Maria continuously used Miracle to get out of fighting Kim until Kim took him out and then was suckered into a school boy pin where Maria pulled on the tights, allowing the heels to come away victorious. Maria also did enough in the ring to pass by, but avoiding enough to make us want to see more.
– Another show highlight was the in-ring segment with Lashley, Josh Mathews and The Pope. Basically, Lashley came out smiling and slapping hands with fans and by the end, garnered massive heat. He cried over a lack of recognition and being overlooked by everybody, so in turn, he’d make himself be recognized by destroying everyone. It’s used in heel logic pretty great and including the idea for having him attack Mathews by tossing him across the ring was a good one. The added bonus of Pope coming in to defend Mathews was also logical and well-done, as well as the spear that took Pope out. Will The Pope get back in the ring while Lashley accumulates feuds with most of TNA’s babyfaces?
– Decay’s backstage promo was hauntingly straight-forward, as Abyss did the talking, bragging about taking out Davey Richards and setting up that Rosemary would join the six-person tag, because she’s crazy like that.
– The backstage segment with EC3 and Jeff Hardy was briefly intense, but we liked how EC3 implied that Jeff was put in the match as one of Matt’s “master plans” given how it happened with both Tyrus and Rockstar Spud turning on him prior. On the other side, Jeff was talking about seeing a “new” EC3, yet took offense to his accusations. Clever.
– Decay has warmed up to us in only the way a horror-crazed trio can. Maybe it’s the look or the Marilyn Manson theme, but it’s clicking in all the right ways. Their match with Beer Money/Edwards was good while it lasted, as we saw Rosemary get physically involved, yet not in a way that felt immensely out of place. The key was giving Decay a credible win and this was helping with that, as Rosemary used her mist and allowed Crazzy Steve to get a low blow/school boy pin.
– The backstage segment with Grado and Billy Corgan was successful in hyping their later segment, as Corgan sought a final solution to the briefcase fiasco.
– The backstage segment with Matt Hardy, Reby and Dixie fit everyone’s characters, as the spouses tried to criticize Dixie’s decision and she stuck it to them by saying there’d be no countouts or disqualifications to argue against Matt trying to deliberately get himself DQ’d. Um, aren’t three-way matches traditionally DQ-free?
– As far as this whole Grado-Drake briefcase storyline, it gives us mixed feelings. On one hand, it has helped Grado transform from fledgling comedic babyface to a sympathetic figure that can connect with fans. That was probably the main goal, but where it goes wrong for us is how Drake was eventually caught switching the cases on camera the night of the reveal, yet he didn’t face consequences for that or get fired himself. Granted, we’re happy that didn’t happen because Drake is one of TNA’s better heels, but in the storyline context, it made little sense. That said, the “Grado’s Contract Ladder Match” was entertaining and was one of the few moments Grado ditched the comedy and pulled off some daring spots, like that plancha off the ladder, even though he took out Mahabali Shera, who came out to help him. Did also like that Jessie Godderz got involved and there was a moment where it appeared doubtful that Grado would win, but that was part of the magic when Grado knocked Drake off the ladder and earned his way back into TNA.
– So, they hinted at a Young-Bram split based on how EY was yelling at Bram for not being there for him, yet they also hinted at a “Willow”-Young feud, which sounds unnecessary.
– The three-way main event for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship between Champion Matt Hardy, Jeff and EC3 was good while it lasted as a match. We’ll explain what we mean a few lines down. There was a fun dynamic with Jeff refusing to work along with Matt when asked, and EC3-Jeff went at each other too in between taking out Matt. What played out had the classic TNA overbooking, but done with a smarter purpose. Matt ended up having Young/Bram attack Jeff again, taking him out with a piledriver on the concrete floor (poor Jeff, but it made sense since it tied back to Young’s comments towards Dixie at the show’s start) and then had Rockstar Spud/Tyrus take out EC3 until that failed and EC3 pulled off a One Percenter before being attacked by The Miracle and a Twist Of Fate, kicking out for a good near-fall. Miracle finally took him out with a chair and brought him through the crowd, which made it appear that Hardy would retain thanks to his brain until Galloway’s music sounded and he cashed-in and a Claiborne Kick/Future Shock later, ended his Title reign. Ooh, that rhymed. The way it played out was actually well-done and Galloway deserves the spotlight, but this was sure to happen in the future. With “Big Money Matt” such a hot act as Champion, was taking the belt off him so soon the best move? TNA did set up several new feuds out of what happened here, but sometimes we question the long-term.
- Winner Wins Spot In Main Event TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Jeff Hardy def. Eric Young via pinfall
- Mixed Tag – The Miracle/Maria def. Gail Kim/Drew Galloway via pinfall
- Six-Person Tag – Decay def. Beer Money/Eddie Edwards via pinfall
- Grado’s TNA Contract On The Line – Ladder Match – Grado def. Eli Drake
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Matt Hardy (Champion), Ethan Carter III and Jeff Hardy to an apparent no-contest
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Drew Galloway def. Matt Hardy (Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion via “Feast Or Fired” Briefcase Cash-In
Posted on March 20, 2016, in TNA/Impact Wrestling and tagged Beer Money, Billy Corgan, Bram, Decay, Dixie Carter, Drew Galloway, Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake, Eric Young, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, Grado, Jeff Hardy, Jessie Godderz, Josh Mathews, Lashley, Mahabali Shera, Maria, Matt Hardy, Maxel Hardy, Reby, The Miracle, The Pope, Willow. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.