Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 5/17/16: Lumberjack Adventures
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– Something that TNA has done brilliantly in the “Pop TV era” has been their main event buildups. They pound it into your head that this is something you need to see. We hear from both competitors in separate interviews. Sometimes, there’s a video package. Maybe they’ll even brawl. Such is the example with the current main event program in TNA World Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway and Lashley. The opening video showed us how we were at the stage where they were set for an ultimate showdown. They amplified it further as they showed upon a brawl in the production area when they found each other backstage, as they needed half the locker room to separate them. Way to sell it, guys. Yes.
– It takes a lot to ask wrestling fans to suspend their disbelief upon the opening match between Willow (Jeff Hardy’s “alter-ego”) and Jeff. You see, Willow had recently attacked Jeff backstage along with two other ones. Willow had come out and spoke in a strange high-pitched voice that he was free. It had already bordered on eh levels, when Jeff came out to confront this fraud that had him upset. Of course, he was so upset, when he came out, he took time out to pelvic thrust with the fans on the barricade. Anyways, he was out to expose this “fraud” and Josh Mathews actually told us at home to “text and call our friends about this match.” Yup, nothing like a battle between a man and a fake version of his own imagination to make our non-wrestling fan friends suddenly change their minds. Ugh. As you’d imagine, Jeff quickly won with a Twist Of Fate and we were about to see him get unmasked when two other Willows came out and attacked him. Low and behold, the “biggie” was that it was a darker, more evil Matt Hardy. If we had to describe his new look, it’s Corporate Ministry Undertaker meets Ronald McDonald. The idea was at least there on paper and Matt took what he was given and sort of made it work, but this felt weird, even by TNA standards. That said, we did like how Matt used the sleeper hold similar to what Jeff did to him before he put him down with the infamous Swanton off the rafters. Maybe Big Money Matt will make a return soon, as that act still had load son untapped potential, but we’ll see where this dark road leads us.
– We were introduced to Allie, Maria’s new apprentice, as she informed Velvet Sky off her phone that Maria told her that Sky would battle Sienna and if she lost, she was done in TNA. Also liked Allie’s condescending attitude and traced many similarities to Maria herself. It’ll be fun to see the two eventually in a backstage segment together.
– After all the buildup to Lashley-Galloway and with Slammiversary so close (June 12), when we saw Dixie Carter come onto our screens, we had ultimate fears of a bait-and-switch based off the opening segment where she would’ve moved the match to the Pay-Per-View to keep the roster safe, but instead, it went in a more logical direction as we learned that the night’s World Title main event would be a lumberjack to keep everything in order. Of course, in our heads, we already saw a fluky finish play out, as it’d be the easiest way to get the match to be the Slammiversary main event. What else would you end it with?
– It was common knowledge that Sky had finished with TNA, so that considered, this was a decent way to write her off in a way that also helped further build Sienna’s in-ring credibility. Now, we don’t remember much from the actual match, but it did what it had to. Have a good one, Velvet. Nice knowing ya.
– At first, we didn’t know what to make of the duo of Maria/The Miracle, but through the weeks, they’ve done a swell job in that they’ve put themselves over without too much overexposure. Maria has emerged as the leader of the Knockouts while Miracle put himself on the map as the one to end Ethan Carter III’s oh-so-famous streak. The hype video that aired with them in full relaxation by a pool made them come off rich and confident and also sold Miracle’s perspective in his feud with EC3 thus far, that EC3 was too obsessed with the past, while he himself would be focused on the future. He sought greatness and looked to become a World Champion and Hall Of Famer.
– In another money segment/match, we saw Miracle/Maria sink to a new low as Miracle called out a “TNA Hall of Famer” in Earl Hebner and wanted to fight him. This reminded us of CM Punk when he targeted Jim Ross for some reason, but just like that worked, this also did the same. Miracle’s on a quest for greatness and pointed out that Hebner was the only active TNA Hall Of Famer. We were really about to see the two in a match together. We expected an EC3 run-in, but it wasn’t set to happen just yet. Hebner was pretty great here, as we saw him refuse to back down. We figured Miracle would win after the knockout punch, but when Hebner kicked out at two, it seemed to surprise everybody. Things furthered when Hebner struck Miracle with a low blow and he took his shirt off and threw it at Maria, but when he walked into a big boot, that ended the fun. Now came the EC3 run-in, which allowed Miracle to escape and tell him that his next “demon” was Tyrus and the match would be last man standing. Overall, an excellent segment that transitioned into what was sure to be another seamless bout.
– The Last Man Standing match between EC3 and Tyrus was actually the best effort to date from both Tyrus and “Ass-Kicking Machine” EC3. It also logically served as the next chapter in EC3’s “Road To Redemption.” Some vicious spots, like when Tyrus dropped EC3 onto two standing chairs and the powerbomb of Tyrus through the table. The guardrail samoan drop took the cake by far though, as it led to the finish that also involved steel steps and chairs on top of Tyrus to keep him down until 10. We liked how the drama continued throughout the match and how even the finish didn’t feel like it’d be the finish until it was official. Miracle’s facial expressions on stage told us what we needed to know.
– Some nice further main event hype as we saw a Lashley hype video that showed his perilous regimen when he trains. Lashley being Lashley.
– A Slammiversary match was all but confirmed based off Jeff’s backstage promo where he declared Matt was “off the deep end” and “broken.”
– Eddie Edwards continued his program with Gregory Shane Helms and his “Dynasty” (X-Division Champion Trevor Lee/Andrew Everett) as he tagged with DJ Z in battle. Disguised as a tag match, this was just your general spot-fest with no real emotion or consequences. That said, we did like how the faces outsmarted the heels and Edwards got to outsmart Helms.
– Just like we saw with Lashley, a respective hype video aired for Galloway, as he explained what it meant for him to be Champion and how it personified everything he fought so hard for in his career. Great stuff.
– Of course, just when it seemed like we’d be on the course to a near-perfect show, that was threatened with the latest installment of the “Fact Of Life” segment, which involved Eli Drake and TNA King Of The Mountain Champion Bram. Drake continued with the lame podium and “dummy, yeah” button until Bram came at him and dared him to cash in his briefcase that he bragged about moments before. All in all, Bram got in some cheap shots and Drake emerged mostly unscathed. Of course he teased a cash-in, but that was only for heat. Not the most exciting feud, but at least a face Bram is something new.
– The backstage segment with EC3, Maria and The Miracle allowed us to see the next “Redemption” chapter, as we learned that next week, EC3 would battle his last “demon” in Matt Hardy, who Miracle said was “crazier than he used to be.” It was Miracle’s last attempt to avoid EC3 and it’ll be great to see his expression when he runs out of options.
– Main event time… the Lumberjack match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship between Champion Galloway and Lashley did enough with the first 10 minutes to make us crave more when the lumberjack stipulation imploded and the match was thrown out. Smart, given that it protects both competitors and forces the bout to happen again at a later date… cough, Slammiversary, cough. At the same time, the lumberjacks brawled with each other and consisted of current feuds. The Edwards superplex on Everett onto the other competitors outside was crazy and we also saw Drake take out Bram. Galloway’s Tope Con Hilo to end the show was exciting.
- If Velvet Sky Loses, Her Career Is Over – Sienna def. Velvet Sky via pinfall
- Last Man Standing – Ethan Carter III def. Tyrus
- The Miracle (w/Maria) def. Earl Hebner via pinfall
- Eddie Edwards/DJ Z def. The Helms Dynasty (w/Gregory Shane Helms) via pinfall
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Lumberjack Match – Drew Galloway (Champion) and Lashley to a no-contest
Posted on May 28, 2016, in TNA/Impact Wrestling and tagged Allie, Bram, Dixie Carter, DJ Z, Drew Galloway, Earl Hebner, Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake, Ethan Carter III, Gregory Shane Helms, Jeff Hardy, Josh Mathews, Lashley, Maria, Matt Hardy, Sienna, Stifler, The Helms Dynasty, The Miracle, The Pope, Tyrus, Velvet Sky, Willow. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.