Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 5/10/16: Willows In The Wind
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Willows In The Wind
– In the TNA world, all eyes were fastened upon the greatly built feud between TNA World Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway and Lashley. Their Title match was made official last week when Lashley won a triple threat #1 contender’s match with Galloway as the special guest referee. Jeff Hardy, also in last week’s match, was taken out by TNA World Tag Team Champions Decay, so we had two storms brewing.
– The opening in-ring segment with Jeff, Decay and James Storm was a good follow-up on last week’s events where Jeff got to vent about what happened to him while also letting Decay have their mic moment by revealing they’d been paid to take Jeff out for a “large prize” and declare a problem with Jeff based on his admiration of the fans. Obviously, Matt Hardy comes to mind as the culprit since he’s “Big Money,” but it would’ve been nice for Jeff and the broadcast team to at least acknowledge this. The predictability doesn’t hurt the storyline at all and is actually a great way to utilize the tag champs and build to Matt’s reveal, but they could get way more out of it by playing it up. At the same time, Storm was owed a rematch for the Tag Titles and stated his case of having Jeff team with him based on their great experience in tagging.
– The TNA World Tag Team Championship match between Champions Abyss/Crazzy Steve and Storm/Hardy was okay for what it was, mainly to keep the Tag Champions over while further progressing the mind games with Jeff with the finish. The broadcast team sounded stupid for thinking the building power went out before Willow appeared onstage, allowing the Champs to spew the mist and deliver a Black Hole Slam for the win. Wouldn’t their mics get cut off? It brings back bad 2015 memories. Large prize = big money.
– After nearly getting upstaged by Lashley last week, Galloway looked understandably amped and ready to fight, hyping that he’d call Lashley out and was happy he was #1 contender because that meant no more running away.
– Jeff seemed a bit overdramatic in his backstage promo where he was confused and angry that an imposter of his own incarnation was walking around, but him promising to reveal the fraud had us looking forward to a possible Matt appearance later on.
– Liked the realism that went into the fact that Maria/The Miracle would attend a Smashing Pumpkins to try to talk to Billy Corgan backstage to push their own agenda. It sounded somewhat foolish for Corgan to suddenly praise Maria for her job as Knockouts leader, but there was something interesting when Maria opened the platform for Miracle to talk about his own ideas.
– The in-ring segment between Galloway, Lashley and Eli Drake was by far the show’s best thing. This suddenly felt like a heated, personal feud, even though we think it has more mileage as a Pay-Per-View main event than being given away on free TV, but that doesn’t stop the praise it deserves for the hype. The story here’s crystal clear too – Galloway’s over as a “fighting Champion” and Lashley does whatever he wants and intimidates people with his mouth and strength, desperate to become Champion again. In typical heel fashion, Lashley turned down an instant lock-up to push the Title match to next week, so that gets to build even more and it opened the door for Drake, who’ll always be tied to Galloway due to their affiliation from The Rising, to try to humiliate the Champion.
– We’re not exactly sure what Drake did to earn an impromptu World Title match and the idea that Drake could win was downright foolish after all the great Galloway-Lashley hype, but we’ll let it slide on the basis that Galloway’s being pushed as a “fighting Champion.” However, it was immensely difficult to buy into Drake winning this at all. We guess in TNA, all it takes to get a Title shot is to simply challenge the Champion. Overall, an okay bout that at least put Galloway’s intelligence over to overcome Drake’s cheating ways and win with the Claymore Kick/Future Shock DDT combination. What we loved was what happened afterward when Lashley speared Galloway and laid him out. Even more hype. With a couple more videos played throughout the show, this is the big match it’s supposed to be.
– This was a good promo night for one Ethan Carter III and his agenda started right from his backstage promo, where he announced that he wanted a rematch with The Miracle and was a “businessman willing to negotiate.”
– The backstage segment with TNA Knockouts Champion Jade, Gail Kim, Sienna and Maria was decent hype for the sudden Knockouts Title match while getting Maria over as a master manipulator, making Jade-Kim fight each other and announcing that Sienna would be at ringside for “motivation.”
– Another excellent verbal exchange between EC3, Miracle and Maria, unveiling the next phase in their storyline, with Miracle holding all the cards and EC3 wanting revenge. EC3 was loved by the crowd here and it also helped his witty one-liners to actually get over. Toots McGee for president, yo. Love the idea of Miracle making EC3 jump through proverbial hoops to get to have his rematch and how it was positioned as “past demons,” as it had us wonder who exactly was on that list. Obviously, Rockstar Spud and Tyrus came to mind, but we also wondered if there was anyone else. Also liked that Miracle revealed the main event’s stipulation being six sides of steel, but refused to name EC3’s opponent.
– The TNA Knockouts Championship match between Jade and Kim was okay, but never got the chance to get going as far as action. However, the silver lining here was that it was used as a platform to further push Sienna as a brute enforcer. She got physically involved in the match when she attacked Jade, causing the match to get thrown out and she hit her Yokosuka Cutter finisher on Kim. Vicious. On a good note, it also appears that Jade has started to find herself as a pseudo-babyface in the storyline’s spectrum.
– Big kudos to Al Snow for amping up his own character to help guys like Grado and Mahabali Shera get over. The hype video where he spewed a tirade from his own wrestling academy as “the old rule” to get into the business before the modern days where “anyone could walk in” and be a wrestler was stuff of legend. His position as a “pro wrestling purist” to hold superiority over newcomers is great heel logic and we also loved the Donald Trump comparison as far as his agenda to shut the door to those who didn’t belong. He was totally on point here.
– The Snow-Shera match worked on a few levels. Firstly, Snow got to look like a clever heel with his use of foreign objects throughout the bout like his own wrist tape and then how he hid it out of Referee Earl Hebner’s point of view, even putting one in his mouth when he was got rubbed down for weapons. Shera was still green as usual, but Snow covered up for that whenever possible and the finish with Grado taking away Snow’s brass knuckles, which set up Shera to hit Sky High was a good way to humiliate the heel and give Shera a victory moment. Obviously, the big build’s to a Snow-Shera match and they’re doing just fine. There was a point where Grado being onscreen was a tempting channel-changer, but this more serious role’s working for him at the right time.
– The backstage segment with Jeff and the three Willows (sounds like a decent band name) was good for what it was, despite its campy image. The main idea was that Jeff was outnumbered by three masked man pretending to be his own persona and we know Matt’s one of them, but not sure about the other two.
– The six sides of steel main event between EC3 and Spud (as revealed by Miracle/Maria) was good in terms of action, but the predictability killed it for us. Way too melodramatic and we couldn’t amp our enthusiasm any further. Spud and Ec3 always find a way to make it exciting and there was a taste of that here, but the majority of the match consisted of EC3 throwing Spud into the cage and Spud trying to constantly escape. A little bit disappointing, but EC3 gets through one demon to hopefully be on the road to facing Miracle again.
- TNA World Tag Team Championships – Crazzy Steve/Abyss (Champions) (w/Rosemary) def. James Storm/Jeff Hardy via pinfall to retain
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Drew Galloway (Champion) def. Eli Drake via pinfall to retain
- TNA Knockouts Championship – Gail Kim def. Jade (Champion) via DQ; Jade retains
- Mahabali Shera def. Al Snow via pinfall
- Six Sides Of Steel – Ethan Carter III def. Rockstar Spud via pinfall
Posted on May 21, 2016, in TNA and tagged Abyss, Al Snow, Billy Corgan, Crazzy Steve, Decay, Drew Galloway, Eli Drake, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, Grado, Jade, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, Josh Mathews, Lashley, Mahabali Shera, Maria, Rockstar Spud, Rosemary, Sienna, The Miracle, The Pope, Willow. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.