Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 12/8/16: A Twisted Fate

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 12/8/16)

A Twisted Fate 

– The opening video recapped when Ethan Carter III defeated Eli Drake to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender (and silenced Drake for the rest of 2016), which blended into a sleek “promo clash” as they dipped in separate soundbites from TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards and EC3 that pushed the big Title match. Edwards showed confidence aplenty as he claimed to be “the man” that EC3 used to be and needed to be beat, while EC3 put the belt over more than anything and that after the bell rang, friendship aside, he’d “choke his ass out.”

– The TNA Impact Grand Champion Moose/Drew Galloway/Aron Rex opening in-ring segment was a solid start that elevated the belt’s status thanks to Galloway’s reintroduction. Thanks to the taping schedule, he returned from injury since Bound For Glory and staked his claim at the belt that he looked to get beforehand. Moose also had his own promo time to play to the fans and declare his “fighting Champion” stance. Galloway bore the same “black hoodie” look that he rocked before his injury, as he came down with a cold stare. The Galloway-Moose face-off was well-done and the match will only happen in due time. That was a great cue for Rex to come in and invoke his rematch clause. He also laid in a light insult towards Galloway that implied he was fragile. The “Rexual Harassment” line was an eye-roller though.

– The TNA Impact Grand Championship match between Champion Moose and Rex did a good job as it mixed Rex’s old cheating victories with Moose’s resiliency and power. It was almost like a “passing of the torch.” Rex built himself up as the match went on, as he won the first two rounds. He wore the taped-up fingers and bolted a punch that knocked Moose out of the ring to start, as well as rubbing his hand on a towel between rounds in an assumed foreign substance. The thing that sucks about the Impact Grand Championship matches is that they’re not Best-Of-Three, so even though Rex had the first two rounds, it never actually felt like he was en route to the Title. Since Galloway was in the wings for Moose and they already established bad blood, that was fine. That said, Moose’s sudden Game Changer early in the third round to retain fit what they went for.

– Edwards’ backstage promo hyped the main event, as he chalked up that “anything was possible” because he was here because he never gave up, even after he was overlooked by Lashley. Average stuff at best, but contributed towards a good cause.

– Galloway’s backstage promo dealt deeper into his heel persona, as he faulted the company for not having his back and christened himself a captain that would have good soon. What belt will he go for? We can assume the Impact Grand Championship.

– The Mandrews-Aiden O’Shea match appeared to be out of place, but they tried to work it in a way that was tailored towards Mandrews’ recent “attitude change” that came when he attacked TNA X-Division Champion DJZ last week after a “friendly match.” Our question came with O’Shea as the fall guy here, since he was established as an authoritative enforcer who was suddenly back in the ring without explanation. It also was a confusing dynamic since O’Shea clearly acted heelish (in between utterances of “Mutt” to every human being within distance), while Mandrews also was heel, as he raked O’Shea’s eyes and rocked a gloomy expression. Mandrews hit a nice plancha, as he fought off the big man. A seated senton and shooting star press later, Mandrews emerged victorious. Good for Mandrews, but are they building him up to lose to DJZ?

– The Double Strap match between Mahabali Shera/Al Snow and The Tribunal stemmed back from two weeks ago when The Tribunal whipped Snow/Shera with their belts. Based on that, the stipulation made sense, but when they announced the ridiculous “touch the corners” stipulation, it took the fun out of it. Wrestling matches shouldn’t feel like game shows. Strap matches fall into this category, though we liked that the absurd red/green lights were absent, though it made the match hard to follow at times. The crowd emphatically chanted, “We want head!” so you knew they were deeply invested. Ha. Anyways, not much of a match unless you’re a fan of leather whips to the back. Tribunal made those whips sound good, before the faces got their own leather-laden revenge. Snow did a job on Basile Baraka, as the man’s back bled from the whips. Ouch. Once our facial muscles tired from the cringes, it was finally over when Snow/Shera touched all six sides and Tribunal was rendered “obsolete.” Or something like that.

– By golly, that’s good timing, because it was Broken Matt Hardy time. He had a dream/”premonition” that involved vivid imagery and fire. There was also an artsy caricature of him painted on a wall somewhere. He awoke and muttered, “Apacalypto.” Scary stuff.

– The EC3/Drake backstage segment set forth more main event hype, as EC3 cut a memorable promo that spoke of his belief in fate, but not luck. He talked the match up as something that brought him and Edwards here. Drake’s portion was there to remind us that he couldn’t talk, but even his “choke” gesture got shut down by EC3.

– The TNA World Tag Team Champions The Broken Hardys/Reby/King Maxel/Gregory Shane Helms/Decay in-ring segment was all about hype for “Total Nonstop Deletion,” that was revealed to take place next week entirely from the Hardy’s Cameron, North Carolina home. Hardy juggled witty jargon and referenced other wrestling figures (“Mick Mahan, Hey Man, etc.) while he mentioned that TND would feature Knockouts matches, Senor Benjamin, Vanguard 1 and Maxel’s in-ring debut. Oh yeah, Maxel donned a miniature edition of his father’s garb and that was outrageously great. His biggest announcement was an open challenge to all tag teams in time/space. That set up the other teams in this segment to come down, well, more like Decay and Helms, because he had a connection to North Carolina. Decay’s bit was just to remind the Hardys they weren’t finished with them. TNA Knockouts Champion Rosemary’s promo was stronger, as she took her belt as a means of momentum towards a mission of destruction. As we expected, Helms ate a Twist Of Fate to end things.

– A DCC hype video announced that their “mission continued” and were intrigued by TND, as they promised to “bring chaos to apocalypse.” Basically, every team the Hardys have fought so far will be featured.

– The Laurel Van Ness-Allie match with Madison Rayne on commentary followed up last week where Allie finally slapped her employer when the insults became too much before she was laid out by LVN. The bout’s hook was to see how Allie would fare in the ring. They also set up nicely pre-match that Allie was trained by Braxton Sutter, the one who LVN flaunted a relationship with in Allie’s face. Sutter’s ringside presence was a logical combat to Maria’s on LVN’s side. The crowd was also hot for Allie, so that helped. Allie did some arm drags to a big pop, probably the biggest ever for one. The Miracle’s involvement as he attacked Sutter was a good way to shake Allie’s foundation, but she stayed the course and put LVN away with a reverse DDT. Allie finally had her breakout moment and even better, she staved off Maria, who tried to sneak attack her after the bell.

– The Allie/Sutter backstage segment was great, as we saw Allie take advantage of Sutter’s statement that she could do anything she wanted, as she pulled off a nervous peck at Sutter’s lips, to his surprise.

– A TND hype video aired and it looked freaking epic. There were explosions, railroads and dives off front porches. That sounded about right. Let’s get to next week.

– The TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between EC3 and Champion Edwards received plenty of hype and had the “big match” feel, a theme of many 2016 Impact main events. The story headed in was solid. Edwards had gained momentum with every defense and had his moment as the one who beat Lashley, yet it was hard to ignore EC3’s rise, as he brandished a new chokehold finisher and stole Drake’s voice in the process. Since this was EC3’s fourth shot at the belt in the year, could he afford to go down again? This had to be his match, finally, right? That’s where the action stepped in. We got a methodical pace early, with lots of chops too. Both men had tomato red chests by the end of things. Edwards hit a suicide dive that saw him hit the guardrail on the way down. We thought Edwards would sell his knee more, but he didn’t. EC3 used his power with two consecutive sit-down powerbombs for near-falls. It was portrayed as a stalemate, as they had each other figured out. Nice psychology, as EC3 rolled out of the ring on a Boston Knee Party and managed to hit a TK3 on the floor, the match’s second. Things were rightfully dramatic to the end, as EC3 escaped a Single-Leg Boston Crab and turned the momentum his way as he locked in the chokehold without warning. Even the crowd gasped at it. Just when it seemed like Edwards had nowhere to go, he fell back and EC3’s shoulders were down. The Ref counted to three, as Edwards tapped out. It appeared that the three-count happened before the tapout, so there was “controversy” expected already. In the end, it was established as a no-contest because the three-count and submission happened simultaneously. Maybe it sets up a future rematch and questions if EC3 will go heel again since he can’t win the belt doing things the right way. The animosity between the two to end the show made sense. The finish muddied the water a bit, but this was still a very good effort right up to it.






Quick Results

  • TNA Impact Grand Championship – Moose (Champion) def. Aron Rex via pinfall to retain 
  • Mandrews def. Aiden O’Shea via pinfall 
  • Double Strap Match – Al Snow/Mahabali Shera def. The Tribunal 
  • Allie (w/Braxton Sutter) def. Laurel Van Ness (w/Maria) via pinfall 
  • TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Eddie Edwards (Champion) and Ethan Carter III to a no-contest; Edwards retains 

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 February 20, 2017, in TNA/Impact Wrestling and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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