Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 9/22/16: Feeling Grand
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– Total Nonstop Action has been more than just the company name. It has been a fair way to describe the slow, yet steady build to Bound For Glory, the biggest show of the year to come on Oct. 2 on Pay-Per-View. The opening video focused on the “Great War” between The Broken Hardys and TNA World Tag Team Champions Decay, the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley-Ethan Carter III feud and the Miracle-Moose feud. With 10 days left until BFG, the possibilities were endless.
– The Impact Grand Championship Tournament Semifinal match between Drew Galloway and Eddie Edwards was easily the best tourney match to date. Ever since Galloway turned heel on newcomer Aron Rex, it had been established that the two would inevitably battle down the road. The brackets have worked out for both men so that this showdown could also coincidentally be the tourney Finals. Yet, they haven’t pulled many punches in zooming right past other talents in the process. Take a guy like Edwards, who could always pull a last minute rally and still make it look great. Even though it never felt like a Galloway victory was in doubt, both men deserve props for their utilization of the three-round stipulation format down to its core. It irked us that the judges don’t even sit at a table together, as they were seated on opposite sides of the ring. Hard to be presented as a cohesive unit like that. Anyways, Edwards’ “in the moment” style was a perfect contrast to Galloway’s recently refined, aggressive-with-intent gimmick. Round one went to Galloway, as these scoring patterns never change, with decisions always 10-9 in one’s favor. Edwards dictated most of Round two, most notably with consecutive suicide dives to close out the round. The Final Round was easily the best of the bunch, as they traded nice technical maneuvers. Edwards boldly countered the Iron Maiden submission (a first) before Galloway answered back with some stiff kicks. For the first time ever, a tourney match winded down to the final seconds, as Galloway couldn’t put Edwards away with the Future Shock DDT. Classic cliffhanger finish as we were left to wonder who the judges would appoint the winner. Surprise, surprise – it was Galloway. Big props though, as that was about as even as you could portray it to happen.
– The in-ring segment with Galloway, EC3, Miracle and Moose gave us an instant follow-up to the opener as Galloway claimed the system was “rigged.” EC3 briefly exchanged verbal spars as Galloway accused him of “family help” and that he wouldn’t last two rounds in a Grand Championship match. This drew out Lashley, who crossed paths on the ramp with Galloway before he stared down EC3 from outside, which set an opportunity for Miracle to attack from behind. Low and behold, we ended up with some action with Miracle/Lashley and EC3/Moose in the ring. A logical set up for the tag main event, which blended two high-profile BFG bouts.
– The buildup of Allie as a sympathetic babyface by the great heel mic work of TNA Knockouts Champion Maria has also been stellar and a treat to see throughout the weeks. This was enhanced further with the backstage segment with the two as Maria was eager to send a message to Gail Kim (her BFG opponent) that she was the best KO Champ in history and forced Allie to find her opponents for a “Public Workout” for later. She bullied Allie around some more. Classic.
– Even though the Impact Grand Championship Tournament Semifinal match between Rex and Eli Drake also felt inevitably in Rex’s favor to set up the Rex-Galloway match with meaning, that didn’t stop TNA from a clash video package as both Rex/Drake explained the tourney’s importance and how they came past their first round opponents. Good stuff.
– The Miracle-Lashley backstage segment was entertaining as Miracle sucked up to the Champ as he called him an unstoppable “best friend” and the Champ saw right through it. He even tried to use the chance to ask Lashley for an eventual Title match. Funny.
– Fortunately, Rex had a better showing on the mic as he showed past moments of that Damien Sandow greatness with witty insults and the like. Unfortunately, the Impact Grand Championship Tournament Semifinal match with him and Drake was quite bad. The action went similar in set up to the opener, but lacked the same depth and energy. The crowd was luckily into it, as they chanted “baby oil” at Drake. Sadly, they didn’t utilize the rules to their advantage like Edwards-Galloway did and it was like we waited for Rex to get the win, albeit in the final round. Not sure what to make of Rex’s “Revelator” finisher either. It was that even a real word? Plus, way to sugarcoat it, Commentator Josh Mathews. “Out of anywhere”? Really?
– The backstage segment with Decay and Vanguard 1 progressed “The Great War” storyline as the Champs sought pleasure in “Broken Destruction” through words and were approached by the drone, which displayed a hologram of Señor Benjamin as he held up a shovel that read, “Delete” and laughed in sinister fashion. It was more epic than words can describe. You have to see it for yourself.
– The backstage segment with Rex and Galloway was easy buildup to their BFG feud, with no physicality this time and instead a war of words. Galloway was eager to make history and Rex wanted nothing more than to put Galloway in the hospital. The logic was a bit twisted, but at least they tried to make it mean something. Should’ve made it more about this new Championship and what it’ll bring for both their careers.
– Easily the most memorable part of the episode was the Cody video package that hyped his TNA debut for BFG. So nice it aired twice. He looked like a star with his designer suit, sunglasses and classy sports car. Clever use of the word “Roads” too. Mathews deemed him the “Son Of The American Dream.” Basically, they did what they could without a directly mention of the Rhodes name.
– We got more solid advancement in “The Great War” hype with the in-ring segment with Decay and The Broken Hardys. Decay have really settled into their roles as heels and we also liked how each Crazzy Steve, Abyss and Rosemary got to each speak. The words were simple, yet fancy, but the imagery was so powerful that it resonated in your mind. That’s what has made this feud work so brilliantly. At the same time, the Hardys answered back with their over “Delete” and “Obsolete” catchphrases. The biggest twist of the segment was the heels and their thought that they outnumbered the Hardys three to two, until the lights came off and came back on with Abyss/Steve tied up in respective corners, which left Rosemary prey to Reby’s spear. Reby had a solid line to close it out as she mentioned never to mess with a mother and her child, as Rosemary’s mother would be left to be the only one without a baby. Ouch. As always, excellent stuff.
– The Moose/EC3 backstage segment followed the vibe of Miracle/Lashley in that EC3 wanted to get his hands on Lashley and warned Moose to steer clear of him, to which Moose said he beat up whomever he wanted whenever he wanted. Moose had a similar ideology to Lashley, yet was on the “good guy” side. Easily a good way to establish a little tension between the babyfaces, as even though they had common enemies, they wouldn’t let that stop them from their goal at hand.
– This was a good effort to put some depth into TNA X-Division Champion DJZ as a “fighting Champion” as he also cut a promo where he discussed his first-ever reign and how it was marred by immaturity, cockiness and disrespect (quite the contrary, as that was some of DJZ’s best work) but he “turned a new leaf.” His call-out to defend the belt against “any X-Division guy” limited his opponent options to about five guys, so we weren’t surprised to see Trevor Lee answer it, with Andrew Everett as his side. The TNA X-Division Championship match between Champion DJZ and Lee was a standard showcase for DJZ’s pleasant moveset to get over while Lee kept up his intense nature with Everett in his back pocket. Of course, DJZ overcame all that as he defeated Lee with the ZDT after a nice springboard huracanrana. The post-match angle that involved Edwards was good as we saw Edwards save DJZ from the double heel beatdown and laid down a challenge for the Title for next week. DJZ accepted, which meant next week’s go-home episode was made to be even stronger. Cool way to spruce up the show. Perhaps they use next week’s match to set up a tag for BFG between the two faces and heels.
– The backstage segment with Allie and Maria kept the same energy from their first segment as Maria continued to bully Allie around as far as who her opponent was concerned. Allie made the perfect “pout” face to end it.
– Another “Fixer” informercial aired. Where will it all go?
– The “Public Workout” segment with Maria, Allie, Sienna, The Local Jobber and Kim was a cool way to hype the Kim-Maria BFG feud with the other goal to get Allie over more. Maria’s so great on the mic that she didn’t even involve Allie in her promo and yet the people chanted for her. Think of it as similar to what the late Larry Sweeney used to do to Bobby Dempsey back in Ring Of Honor’s Sweet & Sour, Inc. days. Yes, Sienna is Chris Hero in that case. Funny thing was that Sienna looked a bit displeased after Maria told her this night wasn’t about her future Title shot, but about her instead. This led to a “gauntlet” where Maria made easy work of a local jobber with a few strikes and a measly pin. The “trick” of the segment was Maria’s expected next opponent being a lady in a black morphsuit who did ninja moves. Wonder who that could be. Despite the blatant racial stereotyping, it was a cool little foil that worked out as Kim revealed herself to Maria when Allie tried to warn her that she never booked a second opponent. In the end, Sienna stopped Kim from an Eat Defeat, but took one herself. Would’ve been even cooler had Kim actually beaten Maria as the morphsuit and then revealed herself.
– The Lashley/Miracle-EC3/Moose match was short in length, yet didn’t feel it. We had some solid ring work from all involved, as Moose got to beat up Miracle some, while EC3 laid in some shots on Lashley. It was also apparent that the Moose/Miracle team wouldn’t win “Communication Of The Year” award either, which would lead to their downfall, as EC3 pinned Miracle on a whim, with no finisher necessary. The post-match angle was good as we saw a pull-away brawl between EC3 and Lashley, but we wish the X-Division wasn’t relegated to makeshift security team. This led to the show closer announcement by TNA President Billy Corgan that the brawl meant that next week’s show would be a “Special Edition” as BFG would happen three days earlier, with EC3 and Lashley in respective captain roles of teams of four in Lethal Lockdown where the winner would get to decide the stipulation for the BFG match. Overbooked? Sure, but it’s BFG. Biggest show of the year. If you’ll go big, do it now.
- Impact Grand Championship Tournament – Semifinal – Drew Galloway def. Eddie Edwards via Judges’ split decision two rounds to one to advance
- Impact Grand Championship Tournament – Semifinal – Aron Rex def. Eli Drake via pinfall to advance
- TNA X-Division Championship – DJZ (Champion) def. Trevor Lee (w/Andrew Everett) via pinfall to retain
- Public Workout – Maria (w/Sienna, Allie) def. Local Jobber via pinfall
- Ethan Carter III/Moose def. Lashley/The Miracle via pinfall
Posted on November 19, 2016, in TNA and tagged Allie, Andrew Everett, Aron Rex, Bound For Glory, Cody, Decay, DJZ, Drew Galloway, Eli Drake, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, Josh Mathews, Lashley, Local Jobber, Maria, Moose, Señor Benjamin, Sienna, The Fixer, The Great War, The Miracle, The Pope, TNA, TNA Grand Championship Tournament, Trevor Lee, Vanguard 1. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.