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 TNA World Tag Team Championship Three-Way match between Champions The Broken Hardys, Crazzy Steve/Abyss and Bram/Kingston was about as formulaic as you can get in terms of putting a multi-team match together. With the Hardys on this “mission” to become the best team in space/time, it was hard to believe that they’d ever lose this, albeit it was a good attempt to establish other threats in the division. DCC will always be cheating pushovers and Decay are just crazy mofos. Not much of a story to tell, but they’re all here and want to wrestle and it’s Genesis (or Genesis-themed, they’d have you believe) so why not? There was also a good amount of hype towards the next week’s “Open Fight Night” episode, though with little structure introduced besides those goofy briefcases and the idea that anybody can be called out at any time. Isn’t that every wrestling show? Matt Hardy’s “pree-muh-nee-shun” that we’d see them “start a tag team revolution” was intriguing, but alas, it only opened the door for James Storm to drop a reference about that time he led a group of disgruntled midcarders in 2015. Not that 2017 is any different. Shaking our heads. Decay’s only vocal trophy was that they “eradicated Beer Money from TNA.” True as that could’ve been, that wasn’t much of a line. DCC held a briefcase, though we don’t remember what color or that it’ll actually matter. Same for “Nefarious Brother Nero.” On with the match, we suppose. With the silly tag-in scenario for a multi-man underway, the crowd was obviously into the Champs the most. DCC broke rules when they could and Decay was just crazy mofos again. That’s their thing. What don’t you get, child? Matt did break out this cool bulldog/clothesline combo on Kingston (not Kofi)/Steve. The finish was unfortunate for the decayed ones as Steve’s green mist went into Kingston and with not-Kofi out of the equation, Steve took a crazy Twist Of Fate from Matt, while Nero took care of everyone else. Don’t you love that?
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
– 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.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Genrally, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s “One Night Only” Pay-Per-View specials are reminiscent of themed filler with a few marquee matchups, but ultimately nothing special.
Last year, we made an exception to cover a “Live!” edition of the show which featured The Miracle/Maria’s debut and Beer Money’s return.
A year later, Beer Money’s gone, but Miracle/Maria remain. They half-heartedly pushed the show on the previous night’s Impact Wrestling, so with this now an apparent tradition and with the company under new ownership, we figured why not see what happens?
The thing with TNA so far in 2017 was that we had fears of major changes, but two shows in, it’s apparent they’ve retained a lot of 2016’s flavor, which was fine with us because that was probably the company’s best creative year.
Destination X 2016
– Say what you want, but “The Final Deletion” was one of the more unique storylines in TNA history. From its simple yet deep story of a brotherly rivalry mixed with Matt Hardy’s character evolution into darker territory and top-notch cinematic elements, there was a lot to like here. How does one follow-up a “Final Deletion”? The opening video did a solid job, as we saw Jeff Hardy wake up in a bed, as Matt paraded around with a black garbage bag filled with “materialistic remains of Brother Nero” as he stood upon a boat, where one of his drones dropped off a yellow tank top, what Jeff wore before he was deleted. A “Public Deletion” was hyped for later in the show. We saw more of those entertaining thematics.
An Olympic Farewell
– Even after his most accomplished WWE years, Kurt Angle went on to garner success in TNA, easily becoming the company’s top acquisition to this day, one of the few times they truly shocked the wrestling world. Whether you want to admit it or not, you paid attention to the Angle-Samoa Joe feud and other classic moments. Angle personified everything good with TNA during his 10-year stint there and like all great things, it had to conclude. The stage was set and the final match was booked, it was only a matter of seeing it play out. The opening video did a respectable job of chronicling Angle’s key TNA moments – head-butting Joe, beating Lashley for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, his moonsault off the top of the cage, etc.
– TNA has put out compelling television lately, with a wide array of storylines, whether it’s the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Matt Hardy-Ethan Carter III feud rechristened with new personas, Kurt Angle’s Farewell Tour, Decay’s rise or Beer Money against the TNA World Tag Team Champions, The Wolves. You name it, there’s something for everyone and that creates a well-rounded show. The opening video highlighted Rockstar Spud’s sudden heel turn on EC3 ending last week’s show, going back to the moment when EC3 left him bloodied, humiliated and bald last year as his reasoning. It’s a perfect time to turn Spud heel, as it allows his feud with EC3 to keep going and also gives the Matt Hardy Brand (or The Family, it’d be nice if his stable actually had a name) another new member. We also saw Spud get approval from Hardy, Reby and Tyrus backstage, Hardy calling Spud his “number one guy.”
– The opening video did a decent recap on some of the bigger storylines, like Ethan Carter III stemming back renegade-style to gain revenge on the Matt Hardy Brand, also hyping the TNA World Tag Team Championships match between the Champions, The Wolves and Decay, happening in Monster’s Ball.
Back In The UK
– TNA always seems to bring their A-game when traveling 4000 miles overseas to the United Kingdom. Anybody who remembers the classic Ethan Carter III-Rockstar Spud “Hair Vs. Hair” match can attest that this crowd brings something US crowds lack. The opening video did a good job of wrapping up several ongoing storylines in 90 seconds – Beer Money’s reunion tour, the new X-Division Champion Trevor Lee/Gregory Shane Helms alliance, the formation of the American Horror Story-esque tag team Decay (Abyss/Crazzy Steve/Rosemary) and more.
– The time was now for Ethan Carter III’s response after two weeks when the well-received “double turn” took place that gave TNA World Heavyweight Champion Matt Hardy the Title, EC3’s bodyguard Tyrus, EC3’s pride and life and anything else a man could steal from another. While this was a selling point in the show from last week, it was smart to hold off on it for now, building it for a later segment in the show. EC3 still looked himself, clad in a suit and shades, but this was him getting ready to spill his guts.
Brother Vs. Brother
– “Big Money” Matt Hardy possibly had his career moment with his latest heel turn and following promo to close out last week’s show upon winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. As always, follow-up’s key. They addressed Jeff Hardy’s thoughts on it, who was purposely recommended to go to the hospital by Matt and his wife Reby before the match so he wouldn’t intervene in their plans. We liked how the show started with Jeff being approached backstage by cameras and addressing how Matt wouldn’t return his calls or texts and needed answers. Of course it was a little silly that in the midst of a serious search for explanations, he felt the urge to go paint his face first. This was a slick lead-in to the opening video which showcased Matt’s turn by resorting to low-blows, extreme Twists Of Fates and a hammer to finally become new Champion, turning Ethan Carter III babyface in the process, also gaining EC3’s former bodyguard, Tyrus.