Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 8/18/16: Ascension To Hell

TNA Impact WrestlingBy Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 8/18/16)

Ascension To Hell 

– The opening video showcased one of TNA’s biggest draws at the moment – TNA King Of The Mountain Champion/TNA X-Division Champion/TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley and how he managed to get his way to uber-gold glory. It questioned what his next move would be, a smart way to look at things.

– The backstage segment with Lashley, Aron Rex, TNA President Billy Corgan and Dixie Carter set things off with the right amount of tension. What was highlighted was that Rex was in good graces with Dixie/Corgan and we saw a brief face-off between Lashley and Rex, no words exchanged. Probably will be something with those two down the road.

– The opening in-ring segment with James Storm, Corgan and Brian Hebner started things with some “controversy.” Basically, Storm was pissed with Hebner that he missed the pin he had on Lashley within the first 10 seconds of their match last week as Hebner got Jeremy Borash out of the ring and pointed to that as his downfall. Storm’s requests for a rematch with Lashley were met with murmurs from Corgan, who imposed that he couldn’t win the big one. Storm was enraged and took a hammer to the turnbuckles as he put over that he was an original and stood over guys like AJ Styles and Bobby Roode. His big mistake was taking out a security guard and repeated threats to Corgan. The decision by Corgan to indefinitely suspend Storm due to his actions made sense from an authoritative perspective, but it seemed to be an odd way to write Storm out of the picture. Corgan definitely wasn’t out for cheers that’s for sure, especially the way he condescendingly called after Storm, “Woo hoo, cowboy!” or something along those lines.

– The backstage segment with The Miracle, Maria and Moose served hype for Moose’s upcoming match with Eddie Edwards based off their recent conflicts. Miracle thrived in the chaotic atmosphere and looked to take advantage with his “game changer.” Moose was eager to knock out Edwards “too easy” and Miracle still had his sights on the World Title.

– The backstage segment with Storm saw him get escorted by security as he screamed at the camera guy for filming him and he got into his car and sped off. Will that be the last of Storm for a while?

– The Edwards-Moose match had storyline logic in that Edwards wanted revenge on the former National Football league star for how he cost him the TNA X-Division Championship and a chance to be World Champion. A good thing they did was have Moose come out to Miracle’s music, which should help diffuse the “Moose” chants and gestures. Decent match in that Edwards stuck to his usual aerial repertoire while Moose took to the sky a few times. After some nice near-falls on both ends, Edwards took too many risks as he was taken out by Moose’s Go To Hell after a suicide dive that took out Miracle on the outside.

– Maria continues to leak her influence upon the Knockouts Division, as evidenced by the backstage segment with her, Allie and Jade that hyped Jade’s match with Gail Kim. The gist of it was that Jade didn’t want to play by Maria’s lowly rules and suffered for speaking out, as Maria ruled that if she didn’t beat Kim, then she would never get another shot at the TNA Knockouts Championship. We also saw Maria yell at Allie again over something stupid. We suspect Allie will eventually turn on Maria.

– The Kim-Jade match where if Jade lost, she’d never get another shot at the KO Title was okay by usual standards, but nothing outstanding. Kim’s pre-taped promo was good because it established her respect for Jade and her own determination to go through the whole locker room to get her hands on Maria, the long-term storyline at hand. You could tell both ladies tried hard, but we were a bit confused at the DQ finish where TNA Knockouts Champion Sienna attacked Kim on the outside and then Jade in the ring. Jade technically won, yet Maria decided Kim would never get a KO Title shot again. Seems a bit premature to end it like that. The fun was in Kim’s chase. Perhaps Dixie/Corgan will get involved in Kim’s favor.

– The backstage segment with Lashley, DJZ, Braxton Sutter and Mandrews continued Lashley’s big ego boost, as he bragged about a big announcement and belittled the X-Division roster to “all you X-guys.” The only one to show fire from this group (as you’d expect) was DJZ, who made a claim that one of them would eventually get to beat him, while Lashley almost laughed at it. Looked like they were building to a DJZ-Lashley match based off that.

– The Four-Way match between DJZ, Sutter, Rockstar Spud and Mandrews featured a decent advance of the Spud-Sutter feud while confined to the limitations of the X-Division. We learned that Spud now wore braces because of his tooth injury from Sutter. Lots of fancy in-ring action, but felt largely unnecessary lots of the time. The only one to really stick out was DJZ, as we predicted off the previous segment. He was designed to look like the star, especially in how he hit his finisher on two opponents to score the pin.

– Ethan Carter III’s backstage promo hyped an upcoming in-ring segment where he’d answer Drew Galloway’s challenge to him from last week. He referred to it as a “predicament.” Oh, is it ever.

– The backstage segment with Dixie and Corgan also hyped the future in-ring segment that’d involve Lashley’s “announcement” as she informed Corgan that his deal with Lashley had everyone on edge and something needed to be done about it now. They’re starting to come off a little too much like Stephanie McMahon/Mick Foley, even though they technically came before them.

– The in-ring segment with EC3, Galloway and Rex pushed the hype towards next week’s match, as we learned that Galloway felt EC3 wouldn’t accept his match offer and EC3 enthusiastically did. Yup, the two will fight again to determine who’ll really main event BFG. Galloway’s recent heel tendencies seemed to be halted once he stated he only wanted what was fair. Rex’s involvement in this made sense from his character’s perspective of keeping things pure, yet we question his full intentions in this. Galloway’s face once Rex announced himself as the special guest referee for next week’s match was priceless. He must’ve felt as if something could potentially happen again. They played it up perfectly, because then again, it could just go exactly as planned, to keep Rex as the good guy. The reason we bring it up is because EC3 likely beats Galloway to keep the announced match with Lashley the same, but then we could see Galloway work with Rex when either one turns on the other.

– The backstage segment with Eli Drake, Lashley and Sienna served as a main interaction between Drake and Lashley, all because Lashley had Drake’s former Title. Lashley continued to talk down to everybody as he claimed he “didn’t need a catchphrase” and would deal with Drake’s threats towards him down the road. It was entertaining to see Drake try to challenge Lashley, only for the Champ to put that offer in the back burner in lieu of his big announcement. Also found it interesting that he tried to assert himself onto Sienna, who warned him not to get cute. Perhaps this was Lashley’s attempt to get possession of the KO Title too, since it’s the closest he could get.

– The vignette with “Broken” Matt Hardy and Brother Nero provided hype for the big TNA World Tag Team Championships #1 Contender’s Four-Way Ladder Match that’d pit them against The Bro-Mans, The Tribunal and Andrew Everett/Trevor Lee. It also lightly continued the Hardys saga in a way that saw Matt warn Nero not to use his body with ladders or their plan would fail. Don’t forget – Nero is believing in Matt’s words now, rendering himself completely obsolete. To sum it all up, we saw both Matt and Nero shove ladders to the ground. Damn those step thingies. We also learned that Matt wanted Nero to do it on his own, but he’d intervene if the opposition came at him with a ladder. Basically, it was crazy and perfect.

– We’ve seen little teases of a potential Drake face turn based off his promo before his match with Mahabali Shera. The crowd even began to chant, “Dummy, Yeah!” and he didn’t seem to be against it. It was also funny to hear him reference the conversation with Lashley and make it sound like he had the World Champ scared in his boots. The heel side of him crept back up once he mocked Storm and his feel-good farm boy vignettes and his loss to Lashley, before he was interrupted by Shera when he wanted a piece of Lashley. It was a bit odd to hear Shera mock Drake’s catchphrase, but it was a good lead-in to what was surprisingly a competitive match. Luckily, it was Drake who emerged decisively victorious with the Blunt Force Trauma finisher. Surely, Drake would’ve looked immensely stupid if he lost that one. We like that this builds towards a potential Drake-Lashley bout. They’re just having Lashley feud with everybody in TNA, aren’t they? Guess he’s their version of NXT-era Kevin Owens.

– The backstage segment with Dixie, Corgan and Lashley saw one last attempt by the authoritative figures to find out what his announcement would be, only for the Champ to throw in their faces that he owned all the power by way of gold, so they’d have to find out along with the rest of the world.

– The in-ring segment with Lashley, Dixie and Corgan was newsworthy, but maybe for the wrong reasons. The gist of Lahsley’s announcement was that he attempted to unify the Championships he held into an Undisputed World Championship, which was met with a thumbs down from Corgan. Lashley’s power went to his head, as he put down both the KOTM and X-Division belts and carelessly threw them to the canvas. That did sort of devalue both belts, but who cared about KOTM anyway? We had more set for next week’s “Turning Point”-themed episode, as Corgan booked an invitational battle royale to determine who’d be next to challenge Lashley for the World Title, a match Lashley would have before BFG, when he tried to take his ball and go home. We also gathered from this that maybe the “Triple Crown” storyline had come to a screeching halt. It was fun watching Lashley get all those belts and they could’ve made some stars with whoever would beat him for them. The X-Division could’ve especially used them.

– Corgan’s backstage promo was a reaction to what we saw moments before and confirmed that Lashley “vacated” the X-Division and KOTM belts, as he promised new Champions. Well, all that buildup for nothing. On the good side though, Lashley has become great on the mic. Naturally, he spoke about himself, so maybe that’s the inspiration he needed to draw from.

– The main event “Ascension To Hell” TNA World Tag Team Championships #1 Contender’s Four-Way match between Matt/Nero, Bro-Mans, Tribunal and Everett/Lee was entertaining as far as the stipulation. We had a feeling all along it was going to be the Hardys winning this, as we saw more Matt brilliantness when he began to bit this opponents and intervened when Jeff began to get outnumbered. Perhaps this was Matt turning face? Hard to tell, but this Hardys story is great in of itself. So many twists and turns and it all makes sense. Just curious to see what happens when Reby and Jeff next interact. Everett/Lee blended into the high-flying section, Tribunal were there for heel foils and Bro-Mans were sadly inconsequential to the match. Still good and we got the expected result. Also liked the symbolic image as Matt took down the contract with Jeff laid out underneath the ladder upon which he stood. The best part of it all is that it sets up a Hardys-TNA World Tag Team Champions Decay match down the road. Can’t wait for that.






Quick Results

  • Moose (w/The Miracle) def. Eddie Edwards via pinfall 
  • If Jade Loses, She Will Never Get Another Shot At The TNA Knockouts Championship Again – Jade def. Gail Kim via DQ
  • Four-Way Match – DJZ def. Rockstar Spud, Braxton Sutter and Mandrews via pinfall 
  • Eli Drake def. Mahabali Shera via pinfall 
  • “Ascension To Hell” TNA World Tag Team Championships #1 Contender’s Four-Way Ladder Match – “Broken” Matt Hardy/Brother Nero def. The Bro-Mans (w/Raquel), The Tribunal and Andrew Everett/Trevor Lee

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on October 1, 2016, in TNA/Impact Wrestling and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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