10 October 2014

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Oct 8, 2014

We opened this week's Impact with Bobby Roode cutting a standard babyface promo wanting one more Title shot against Lashley. MVP & Kenny King come out and once again speak for Lashley and say no. Roode played it smart and took shots at King & MVP to goad them into eventually caving and giving Roode a shot if he beat both of them in the main event. Once again they pushed the fact that their could be some dissension between Lashley & MVP, however when you look back at how this relationship started with MVP as the boss and Lashley as one of his boys, and how MVP seems to have been fine with Lashley taking his place and holding the World Title, I'm confident they won't be butting heads over these issues.

Pretty good Knockouts 3-Way to start the wrestling aspect of Impact. I must say, it's great to see the women in TNA go out and have the opportunity to actually wrestle and deliver solid in-ring action, I was also relieved that Tenay & Taz kept hyping up the Knockouts title match at Bound For Glory before, during and after this bout, the graphic before the match was also eye catching and I was relieved to see them promote this match for the PPV after very little on-air build for the show. Madison wins by pulling the tights on Taryn, teasing a possible heel turn, followed by her bailing on Taryn when Havok came out and attacked her. I don't think turning Madison heel is a great idea, if they do, the only face in the KO division will be Taryn, and that doesn't leave TNA many options feud wise, especially with a heel champion. Right now it's only a vague tease, hopefully its part of some story where the Knockouts eventually realise they need to work together to take down Havok, but time will tell.

The tag match between the Revolution and Low Ki/Tigre Uno was fairly competitive, mainly acting as a way to put over the Revolution going into BFG. The match was mainly controlled by Storm & Sanada, but Low Ki did mount quite a bit of offence, probably so he looked good going into the X Division title match on Sunday, meaning the fall guy here was Tigre Uno. Not much story progression with the Revolution here, but like I said, the main purpose was to make the group look good going into Sunday, and it achieved just that. There was no better stipulation for Bram & Samuel Shaw's first encounter than a hardcore match, and while it didn't have the most time, it was an enjoyable bout. When Shaw first appeared with this character, I was hoping he would wrestle more of a hardcore, unhinged style, and after seeing this match I absolutely think it's where the character needs to go. I wasn't a fan of them trying to claim Shaw's tattoo's were inspired by Gunner, as anyone who has watched TNA for a few years has seen Shaw with tattoo's long before Gunner, but I did appreciate Mike Tenay trying to take the focus off of Taz' claim and moving attention to Shaw wrestling without a shirt and gloves, signifying that Shaw might be starting to reveal more about the real him. Bram got the win to further him as TNA's top brawler, and post match Brittany came out to tend to Shaw, hopefully setting the wheels in motion for Shaw & Brittany to get closer and become TNA's crazy couple.

The Handicap match was based around Roode overcoming the odds, every time Roode gained some momentum, it would be cut short due to him being outnumber, once MVP got sent to the back it looked like Roode would be able to face King one-on-one, however Lashley came out and got King disqualified by beating down Roode. The question coming out of this match is why did Lashley get involved, was it because he knew a Roode D'Q victory wouldn't earn him a title shot and wanted to make sure his buddies weren't embarrassed by a loss? or is Lashley afraid of facing Roode again and panicked when he thought Roode might win? Now we're starting to see that maybe Lashley has been letting MVP say no for him without consulting him because he doesn't want to admit he fears that Roode might be able to beat him. The Rockstar Spud/EC3 segment was very enjoyable, but this time for totally different reasons than before. TNA have done a wonderful job of taking an annoying character like Spud and getting the crowd behind him, during this segment you felt sorry for Spud, and I'm sure many were rooting for him to stand up to EC3. The darker side of EC3 continues to grow to the point where Carter has pushed everyone around him away and now stands alone, while I'm sad to see the dynamic duo split, I look forward to where the meaner EC3 and a face Spud go from here, both have been TNA's top characters over the last year and I'm confident that will continue.

For an entire week anticipation was building for the main event of Impact, after 3 fantastic matches in the Tag Team Series, we got the tie-breaker match we've all been waiting for, and good lord, did Full Metal Mayhem deliver. It doesn't matter how you feel about any of the men involved, after watching the 6 of them put their bodies on the line like they did to deliver the best match they possibly could, the only thing you can do is respect them. The fact that Devon & Davey Richards were both hurt going into the match, and Matt Hardy got injured during the match, you really can't fathom how they pulled off such brilliant match. There were a lot of big, risky spots in the match, but every single one was for a purpose, and every single one had fans in attendance and at home hooked from start to finish. Its safe to say that the Wolves have been established as one of the greatest teams to ever grace a TNA ring after this series, and it was great to see two legendary teams in Team 3D and the Hardy's, who we've seen can still go at the highest level during this series, pass the touch to Eddie & Davey and confirm they are one of, if not the best tag team on the planet today. A great end to the series, a great end to Impact and a huge thank you to all 6 men for delivering an outstanding series that showcased tag team wrestling at its finest, and ended with what I believe is the match of 2014.

Favorite Moment - Full Metal Mayhem without question, and it will probably be my favorite moment of the entire year after such a spectacle.

Least Favorite Moment - Its nitpicking, but probably the Madison heel turn tease. I wasn't a fan of heel Madison and TBH, right now the Knockouts division doesn't need another heel.

MVP of the Night - It would be an injustice to not share this between the Hardys, Team 3D and the Wolves. Thoroughly deserved.

Grade - Very enjoyable Impact from my perspective. Going in I thought maybe Full Metal Mayhem would carry the rest of the show, however every match on the show was solid, and the promo segments were done well and progressed things nicely. Without Full Metal Mayhem this would have still been a very good show, so with it I think its more than deserving of an A grade from me.

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