10 Thoughts on… TNA Impact on Pop TV 05.10.2016 (Maria, Maria, Maria, EC3 vs. Rockstar Spud, Gail Kim vs. Jade, Jeff Hardy & James Storm vs. Decay)

TNA has a new #1 contender, and a big PPV to build to, so let’s see how this week’s Impact fairs!

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1. Jeff Hardy kicks off the show with a promo segment. He calls out Decay, and Abyss claims they were paid off to attack Jeff. Then they go for a gang beating, but James Storm makes the save, setting up a tag match later in the show.

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2. Jeff Hardy & James Storm vs. Abyss & Crazzy Steve. Solid match with good action, nothing too standout. Honestly we’ve seen various combinations of these three guys (minus Steve) 100s of times. The finish is when a new WILLOW OF THE WHISP twirls an umbrella on the rampway, allowing Abyss to use the MIST and blind Jeff. Decay wins. Russo-rific segment.

3. There was iPhone video backstage of Maria and Mike Bennett buttering up Billy Corgan. It’s funny that they used vertical video so that 2/3s of the screen were not video to the left and right. Later in a regular backstage segment, Maria sets up a KO title match between Gail Kim and Jade, threatening them with Sienna. Maria also mentioned 5 star matches from “Davey M” which was weird and random.

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4. Drew Galloway and Bobby Lashley do an in ring promo segment to set up a World Title match for next week. Lashley has so little inflexion in his voice. Drew cut a solid promo, but he still screams a bit too much. This does seem like a big time World Title match.

5. Eli Drake comes down and cuts a great promo on Drew, and gets a World Title match against Drew Galloway. They were paired in the Rising last year before that group dissolved and their feud continues. Really strong singles match, probably the best match on TNA in a few weeks. Drake got a lot in but ultimately Drew won clean with the Future Shock. Lashley speared Drew after the match.

6. EC3 comes out for another big promo segment on this show. He calls out Mike Bennett who comes out with Maria. EC3 gets in a couple of zingers, but Bennett says he is done with EC3 and has nothing more to prove. Decent segment but there have been 3 very similar promo face-offs already on this show. Bennett sets up a path of “demons” from EC3’s past to setup a rematch down the line (Slammiversary 2016?).

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7. Gail Kim vs. Jade for the Knockouts Title. Sienna came down to ringside and eventually attacked both.

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8. Al Snow cut an angry promo backstage, and then had a match against Mahabali Shera. Snow pulled a lot of obvious old school heel moves. I really hate this storyline.

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9. Jeff Hardy is shown backstage searching for Willow. A whole team of evil Willows beats him down.

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10. The main event ended up being Rockstar Spud against EC3 in the cage. A decent brawl but I still don’t think Spud is credible in the ring. This is telling a nice story for babyface EC3 to work through some people to get his rematch against Bennett.

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So. Much. Maria. There are fun parts of Impact, but there is a pretty thin roster and it showed on this episode. Jeff Hardy revisting Willow storylines is not a positive. The push for Galloway/Lashley and Bennett/EC3 were strong long term builds.

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