Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 1/12/17: Rexual Chocolate
By 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.
– The opening video highlighted the Triple-Threat TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Champion Eddie Edwards, Ethan Carter III and Bobby Lashley. They omitted the One Night Only: Live Pay-Per-View for reasons unknown. Davey Richards’ return prevented Lashley’s shenanigans as he helped his Wolves partner retain. Being that there were established conflicts between Richards/EC3 on ONO, weird that they didn’t even show that. Maybe they’ll follow up on it later.
– The TNA World Tag Team Champions The Broken Hardys backstage promo hyped up their big defense against The Wolves. They built them up as one of history’s best teams, but it also met their mission to become the best team in space/history. They were primed for ultra deletion. Sure, they’ve done Hardys-Wolves before (most notably in 2014 in the Hammerstein Ballroom), but this was the first instance we’d see Wolves face the “Broken Universe.” For what should be treated like a bigger match, we’re surprised it was thrown out there with no prior hype. We’re not disappointed though.
– The EC3/Lashley in-ring segment wrote itself. EC3 addressed his problems with Richards that dated back to when he was hit (albeit by accident) with a chair and that cost him the belt. It was noted that before that, Lashley offered EC3 a chair to use and he turned it down and flipped the bird. Liked EC3’s promo style as he literally aired his grievances in front of the first row. He wasn’t in full pander mode as he actually claimed The Wolves weren’t what they seemed. He carried himself well as he called them out, but got Lashley instead. To Lashley’s argument that EC3 would’ve won had he used the chair carried some merit. The Last Man Standing proposal by Lashley sealed the deal that it’d happen. EC3 referenced the Anthem Owl as a way to joke around, which angered Lashley. EC3 accepted the match, but wanted it now, not later. That looked like Bruce Prichard on set as officials cleared the little brawl that was sparked. Apparently, it was made official after the commercial break.
– The Last Man Standing match between EC3 and Lashley to get to Edwards began intensely. The action spilled into the crowd briefly before Lashley hit a powerslam onto the floor. Add to that a Lashley suplex onto the ramp and EC3 had some neat bruises. EC3 answered back with the TK3 and an awkward German suplex that nearly sent Lashley onto his neck. EC3 hit a superplex as for some reason, the ring posts and ropes looked flimsy. Lashley countered back with a superplex of his own and came back up with a Spear. Liked the way Commentator Josh Mathews counted both guys down from 10 as opposed to the other way around to build drama. Lashley hit a second Spear and went to the announce table. Wish they didn’t have him do that as that told us that EC3 would get up. EC3 barely beat the count before he fell back down. The two exchanged strikes with a table set in the corner. Lashley hit a spinebuster and EC3 replied with a One Percenter and a Spear that put them through the table. Smart moment as Lashley got back onto his feet by falling out of the ring. EC3 followed him outside with a chair and struck him with it about nine or 10 times. Ouch. When that didn’t keep him down, he hit the Sleeper on the apron. Lashley felt himself fading, which prompted him to jump off the apron with EC3 through two tables below. Was this going to be a double count? Hope not. Luckily, Lashley just beat the count before EC3 to get the win. Great match between the two that fit their styles and was something different. We do wonder if they are tarnishing EC3’s babyface persona by having him lose big matches so often. It feels like he never gains true momentum.
– Parts of the old TNA are creeping back up on us, as “Feast Or Fired” would come back next week. This time, it was hyped as “Race For The Case.” Maybe they’re getting rid of the firing concept. It was always a cop-out way to write someone off TV. For what it was worth, “Open Fight Night” would also come back in the future too. Let’s hope they don’t bring back the four-sided ring and Aces & Eights too.
– The Eli Drake/Tyrus backstage segment was actually a great way to transition Drake from a catchphrase-spewing comedy heel to a more serious act. They beat up on a crew member and forced him to read a statement made on paper that blamed the fans for this new behavior. Sure, beating up a crew guy isn’t the toughest “bad guy” thing to do, but this could only mean good things. Were Drake/Tyrus an official team now after they fought together last week?
– The Rockstar Spud/Aron Rex/Robbie E in-ring segment was well… something. Firstly, the crowd didn’t take Spud seriously as he stood in a blue police outfit amongst chants of “Sergeant Pepper.” Hard to argue that one. He introduced Rex as the “Sultan Of Showmanship,” “Prince Of Pageantry,” and “Alchemist Of Entertainment.” We were in for a sight as Rex channeled Liberace with new “Hallelujah” music and a more flamboyant character. He also donned a furry white robe as Mathews used the term, “Transitioned” rather loosely. Apparently, Rex also had on some lipstick. Boy, was this a far cry from the “Cheating” Rex that was getting over as the Impact Grand Champion. He began to sound like Roger from “American Dad.” He began to use his last name as a way to describe things – “Rexcellent,” “Rexual Harassment,” etc. The crowd just seemed more confused than anything, though they did boo if that was the desired reaction. The claim that the reason for this new change was that no one ever paid to see him wrestle. Sort of weak, but it’s something new. Robbie E came out to immediately insert some testosterone to the environment. This could actually help someone like Robbie. Luckily, he brought up that Spud recently lost to a two-year old and a little person and quit the company. He called Rex the “same old jackass” before he went to attack Spud. Eventually, the heels got the best of him. Rex broke out his vicious side with a barrage of elbows and geared up for the ring punch. We at least like that they kept that aspect of his gimmick. Maybe this could work. Is Rex going to be an icon of irony? Definitely came out of left field, but let’s see how things go down in the coming weeks.
– DCC’s backstage promo was the one thing they seemed to be missing before all their involvement in random matches. Character exposition. They each spoke about their reasonings for being in the group and they actually made sense. Glad that Bram brought up his past with Decay as the reason to join. Kingston had it a little easier, yet it resonated to fans that knew him from the independent circuit. He said he paid dues for 15 years and was criticized for being “too street.” Storm’s portion of the promo was a little cliche if you put into account his leader days from The Revolution, but at least we got a little more background on why the group’s together and what their real mission statement is. We also learned that DCC stood for “Death Crew Council.”
– The Maria/Allie backstage segment was delightful as far as their ongoing storyline that never fails. Maria reprimanded Allie for looking at a video of Braxton Sutter on her phone. We found out that Maria would have The Miracle take on Sutter later on. The end of this was comedy gold as Maria purposely put her fur coat over the vegan Allie’s head and made her walk.
– The Crazzy Steve/Abyss-Bram/Kingston match continued off this little DCC-Decay quarrel. We like the idea of the feud, but it still remains confusing in that Decay as a whole seem to be babyfaces, yet TNA Knockouts Champion Rosemary’s still heel. The action was more of a brawl that fit the feud. Bram/Kingston hit a double Alabama Slam on Steve. Abyss eventually got the hot tag as he did a double slam into the corner. Steve dove off the top rope onto the others outside. The finish appeared to be a case of slight mistiming as the Referee called for the bell just before Storm hit Abyss with a water bottle. This sparked another brawl, as Storm pursued Rosemary at ringside. Storm/Bram shoved Abyss into a cage in the crowd, as Steve went after Kingston. Guess this will carry over to next week?
– The Wolves’ backstage segment was a great way to hype up the main event. They appear to slowly be building to a heel turn by Richards, as the World Title acts as a barrier instead of Edwards’ means of motivation for the team. Richards apologized about last week and the team was simply pepped.
– The Exclusive Sit-Down Interview with Brooke revolved around her full-time return to TNA. Great timing, as she was improving immensely in the ring before her departure. They also brought a “human” aspect to her character as she spoke about how rewarding it was to be a new mother and established a personal connection with the audience at home off the bat. She also called the reason for her return was that she missed the adrenaline rush and wanted to be KO Champion again. Maybe we’ll get that feud soon? Her in-ring return at the Impact Zone was hyped for next week. Alrighty then.
– The Miracle-Sutter match originally missed the Allie Factor, but we figured that was on purpose. It was nice to see Sutter not stuck in X-Division Hell. To cover some highlights, Miracle dropkicked Sutter off the apron, which sent him crashing into the railing on the way down. Sutter hit a nice second turnbuckle neckbreaker. Maria provided a distraction from ringside so that Miracle could hit the Miracle In Progress and a piledriver after. It was clear that Miracle would’ve won the match right here if he didn’t gloat and kiss his wife on the apron. The crowd’s chants for Allie were finally answered as she came out and cheered Sutter on. Maria grabbed ahold of her and forced her to watch the match. Sutter stole the win with a jackknife cover on Miracle. They called it a “signature victory” for Sutter, which we guess could be true. It’s all about the art of the followup.
– The Miracle/Maria backstage segment saw them angry about what transpired until Miracle reminded Maria that she owned Allie. She had a grand idea for what she’d do and refused to tell even Miracle. Nice.
– The Rosemary/Jade in-ring segment was actually well-done in retrospect. Rosemary came out first and actually got a good reaction from the crowd. She took credit for “darkness consuming the Division” and it’d spread all around. Jade came out with a slightly different hairstyle and boldly wanted her rematch. Rosemary accepted in the form of a Monster’s Ball. Should be fun to see a female version of the match. Jade wasn’t perfect on the mic, but was a step up above what we’d seen in the past. She said she could be sick and twisted too, but that we hadn’t seen it yet. The “Demon Bitch” line drew a strong reaction and we liked how Jade scouted Rosemary’s attack from behind to catch her off-guard. The two exchanged kicks and Jade unleashed a martial arts-like flurry of offense. Before she could hit a package piledriver, the Champ escaped. This was a solid segment to hype up their next encounter. We’ll give TNA credit for that. They usually do these kinds of segments well. No different here, as Jade continues to benefit from being the chaser here.
– The TNA World Tag Team Championship match between The Wolves and Champions The Broken Hardys was a new incarnation of their last rivalry. Commentary smartly brought up their history, as we glanced back at their Manhattan Center battles of 2014. Mathews also brought up the occurrence that while Richards was sidelined, Edwards achieved great singles success as World Champion. As far as the action, it had its moments. Matt bit Edwards’ hand. Edwards hit a double huracanrana and tagged in Richards. Impressive spot where Richards hit a Northern Lights suplex on Matt while he had Jeff in a pin. He also had Matt in a kneebar whilst holding Jeff in an ankle lock. The Wolves brought some psychology to the ring as they targeted Matt’s legs using the ring post. Matt hit the Side Effect on Richards as Jeff was tagged in for a hot sequence. Jeff hit a double Whisper In The Wind. The Wolves came back with some momentum and convincingly almost scored the pin before Matt broke it up. Richards was hit with the Twist Of Fate and the Swanton Bomb before Edwards broke it up at the last second. That could’ve been the finish right there. Richards tried to tell Edwards to come back into the ring after he dove outside onto Matt instead of following up on a double-team move. That one second cost The Wolves the match as Jeff pinned Richards to end things. Uh oh. Nice tension was established between the Wolves to end the show as The Broken Hardys remained the best team in space/time. Sound about right. Will we get that turn next week? It’s definitely coming.
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender’s Match – Last Man Standing – Lashley def. Ethan Carter III
- Crazzy Steve/Abyss (w/Rosemary) def. Bram/Kingston (w/James Storm) via DQ
- Braxton Sutter def. The Miracle (w/Maria) via pinfall
- TNA World Tag Team Championship – The Broken Hardys (Champions) def. The Wolves via pinfall to retain
Posted on May 20, 2017, in TNA/Impact Wrestling and tagged Abyss, Allie, Aron Rex, Bram, Braxton Sutter, Brooke, Crazzy Steve, DCC, Eli Drake, Ethan Carter III, Jade, James Storm, Josh Mathews, Kingston, Lashley, Maria, Robbie e, Rockstar Spud, Rosemary, The Broken Hardys, The Miracle, The Pope, The Wolves, Tyrus. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.