This week’s episode of Impact is possibly one of the most anticipated I’ve seen in years. “The final deletion” has been hyped a lot by TNA. Not only that, but they’ve used some unique methods to market it, sending advanced copies to some of their biggest critics. To the surprise of many, “The final deletion” has received great reviews. Many are confused as to whether we will see a cinematic masterpiece, or something that’s so goofy it’s hilarious. Either way, TNA has appeared to cover themselves, so they can turn around and say – “Hey, that’s the way it was meant to be, we know exactly what we are doing”. I’ve seen a lot of people who claim to either, have not watched TNA in years, or never watched TNA before; say they will be watching this week. This is important for TNA, yes; “The final deletion” must deliver, but more importantly, so must the rest of the show. The rest of the show is what might keep these onetime viewers around, and help TNA build a more significant audience. Let’s review Impact.
We begin with Matt Hardy’s gardener warning us that these are trained professionals, and not to try this at home. Thanks man. Matt cuts a promo at his son’s birthday party. It’s just as crazy as you’d expect a Matt Hardy promo nowadays to be. A good set up for what is to come, absolute madness.
“The Miracle” Mike Bennett, who is the reigning X Division champion, and his wife, Maria, are out in the ring. It’s smart to begin this way, taking out two of Impact’s biggest stars to look to catch onetime viewers’ attentions. Bennett cuts a good promo; he wants to cash in option C, to receive a shot at the world title. While many don’t like Bennett taking the X Division title, and I can admit it devalues it in a way, it elevates the world title. This shows how much the World title means to Bennett, he will go through any means to win it. The X Division title will be elevated again when it’s in someone else’s hands, and it could be in any number of hands after tonight. Bennett is set to defend the title in an ultimate X match against every member of the X Division roster – Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, Eddie Edwards, Braxton Sutter, Rockstar Spud, Mandrews and DJ Z – the winner will be the X Division champion, and will be eligible to cash in option C. An Ultimate X match, with some fantastic talents, is a fantastic method to impress some of these onetime viewers.
Eddie Edwards wins a fantastic Ultimate X match – becoming X Division champion for the second time – the match was a fast paced, action packed, “spotfest”. Although that is saying Spotfest in the best way. We saw Spud get kicked hard in the face, apparently knocking teeth out, by Sutter. Mandrews hit a crazy moonsault from the structure. The match added a nice element of story, as Bennett was unable to climb the cables, so he attempted to climb up using a ladder. A match like this is fantastic with both the big spots, and the element of story. I think the moonsault from Mandrews was my favourite part. If you go out of your way to see any of this match, make it that moonsault.
It’s revealed that EC3 and Drew Galloway got into a brawl, after their triple threat match with Lashley last week. As a result, both have been suspended from in ring competition, they will however, go face to face, in an interview later on. The brawl was intense; it’s a nice way of moving each guy away from Lashley, while not concluding their individual feuds, so they can be continued at a later date. Again, it’s nice to see some of Impact’s bigger stars showcased while viewers who may not be regulars are watching. I’m hoping the neither man turns heel through this storyline, they both make great fiery babyfaces, and a feud between two babyfaces over who gets to the heel champion first is always nice. I think in the end EC3 will have to come through this feud as the “winner”. Galloway has had his time around the title, EC3 vs Lashley seems to the next logical step.
Up next, James Storm challenges Eli Drake for the King of The Mountain championship. This episode has been filled, with different, unique and interesting characters from the offset. A solid match between Storm and Drake. Eli retains after taking a DQ lose. Drake decided to attempt to use his title as a weapon, despite being on top in the match at that point. Seemed a little silly. However, good heel heat for Drake, by getting lucky as he fell out of the ring after the Last call, and then getting disqualified after using his title as a weapon. I love both characters, Eli has been fantastic lately, and this seems like the beginning of a new push for Storm. Storm really could be in any spot on this roster, from helping newer guys, to main eventing.
Next up is a street-fight between Jade and Marti Bell. One of my issues with Impact is how quick they progress with storylines. They only kicked the feud between these two girls off at Slammiversary a few weeks back, now it seems like this will be the blow off. Another of my gripes with Impact is how regularly they have gimmick matches. A Street fight, Ultimate X and “final deletion” all in one night. Both ladies are in street clothes, I always like that for street fights. A decent match – sadly it felt a little disjointed at times, and some of the weapon shots were a little soft. The finish was pretty cool however; Jade broke out some nun-chucks, and then hit a package piledriver on a steel chair, which was pretty sick.
We return to see that Jeff Hardy is a skilled gardener, and musician – nice. Now there is a drone, I suspect that this just gets crazier as the night goes on. A little dirt bike action too. Meanwhile, Matt Hardy ruins Jeff’s garden, damn, when does TNA debut its Gardening championship?
Mike Bennett and Maria are back out – they look pretty angry. Bennett and Maria are fantastic promos, and they truly know their characters. They go from spoilt, angry brats one second, to sucking up to Billy Corgan the next; they hit the nail on the head. Maria claims it’s either Dixie or her, she wants control of Impact. Bennett and Maria threaten to walk away unless they get their way – control of Impact and a title shot for Bennett. Bennett and Maria come to the conclusion they won’t actually quit, however, they don’t get their way either. Instead, Bennett claims he will ruin destination X next week. Again, this is interesting and plays to the characters of Bennett and Maria perfectly. This is another reason to watch Destination X next week, which I am already pumped for. I’m interested in where this storyline is going. Obviously, I hope it quickly moves on from including Dixie and Corgan, to an actual wrestler stepping up to teach the spoilt Bennett a lesson. Possibly Drew Galloway when he is done with EC3?
Bobby Lashley cuts an intimidating promo on Eddie Edwards. Lashley is so intense, and believable. I liked the production on this promo; the camera was zoomed in straight onto Lashley’s face. Again, creating a fantastic intimidating atmosphere.
The Bro mans and Raquel vs Decay. Decay are just fantastic, if you haven’t watched them, do it now. Before the match begins, Jessie reveals a secret recording of Rosemary and Bram making out. Decay doesn’t seem happy about it. At one point in the match Rosemary just goes nuts, beating on Jessie. TNA are perfect at letting characters hit exactly who they are, and what they are about right now. I think Jessie has really improved, I’m a fan of his, and he and Abyss are an interesting matchup in the ring. I do question having Jessie play the teammate in distress, and Robbie E getting the hot tag. I feel it would work better the other way around. Jessie is so incredibly agile and athletic for such a big guy. He hit a springboard move at some point, as well as an awesome enziguri over the ropes. Raquel is also much better than I thought she could have ever been. She still looks awkward standing on the side of the ring, while the Bro mans are in action though. Seems like she should be doing something, but instead just stands, looking like she is waiting for the next spot. The Bro mans pick up the win. I know that won’t be a popular result among some fans. I for sure wouldn’t want Decay dropping the titles to The Bro mans, however, this plays in well to the storyline progression.
Eddie Edwards is about to inform Jeremy Borash of his choice, on whether to cash in the X Division title for a shot at the world title. He is interrupted, by the world champion, Lashley. Again, Lashley looks to get himself out of a title match, a title match which he is worried he cannot win. Lashley’s heel work has become fantastic. He is looking to weasel his way out of a match with Eddie, although he is disguising it as saying he knows Edwards cannot do it. Lashley proposes title vs title. I’m not sure about this. I don’t want Lashley to drop the title yet. However, the X Division title will go straight back to just an afterthought, if another none X Division wrestler wins it. Next week, Eddie Edwards vs Lashley, title vs title. Something to get hyped for, no doubt about that. A short brawl between Edwards and Lashley. It ends with Edwards standing tall, holding both titles in the air. Now I think about it, Edwards as the world champion would be cool. I’ve always known I wanted to see it, just unsure if I want it this soon.
Drew Galloway and EC3 are in separate places for their interview. Both men cut fantastic promo, the tension is there between them, and I for one, am incredibly hyped for an eventual match between the two. So now EC3 and Galloway have agreed to a fight next week. TNA for sure are doing a good job at promoting next week, they know fine well that there are a lot of new or returning viewers this week. They are doing their best to draw them into more regular viewing.
Now it’s time, time for “The final deletion”. Matt is playing a violin, boy, this is going to be nuts. The match was truly crazy. It had fireworks, big dives, water and flashbacks. It was unlike anything I have ever seen in professional wrestling before. It may have been just off the walls crazy, but you cannot take away the fact it was innovative. TNA has been criticized for years for being “WWE-light” well, TNA made themselves different. Now it will go back to the norm, and I like the norm of what has been produced since the move to POP TV. However, this might have been an excellent play by TNA to pick up viewers. I applaud TNA for their effort, time will tell if this tactic of creating something truly crazy, helped to draw viewers in to the tamer normal product.
Next week looks like a lot of fun. Edwards vs Lashley in a title vs title match, the fallout from Rosemary making out with Bram, Mike Bennett promising to ruin the show and a fight between EC3 and Galloway. I will be watching. You can also expect a review on that show too. Just less fireworks and in water fighting etc…I hope. For now however, Brother Nero, this review, is OVAH.
Tags: brother Nero, Destination X, final deletion, impact, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, POP TV, TNA, ultimate x, wrestling