Impact review July 12, 2016 – Destination X (Ladder match, KO’s title, Lashley vs. Edwards Title vs. Title, a Huge return and a MAJOR debut!!)

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We return to a little bit of regularity this week, however, I’m still pretty hyped for Impact. Eddie Edwards is set for a title Vs title match with Lashley. There will be a ladder match, to determine the number one contender to the X Division title. Also, a knockouts four way match and a “fight” between Drew Galloway and EC3. Mike Bennett has also promised to ruin the show. This week again looks like it will be a very interesting show. It’s rarely I am invested as much in a match, as I am for tonight’s main event. Although, I honestly don’t know what outcome I want. I don’t want Lashley to drop the title, but I really don’t want to see Lashley holding the X Division title – I’ve decided as I write this, I am rooting for Edwards. There is still the trend of a lot of gimmick matches and title matches week to week on Impact. Which concerns me slightly, but tonight is technically a “special show”. Let’s review the Destination X edition of Impact.

Matt Hardy has named his “dilapidated boat” as Impact begins. Broken Matt is burying the remains of Brother Nero, well, Jeff’s clothing. This was exactly as odd as you’d expect, I’m not sure what else can be said about it.

We are beginning with the Ladder match to become the number one contender for the X Division title, seems like a fantastic way to kick off Impact to me. The participants are: DJ Z, Mandrews, Braxton Sutter, Spud, Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett. Assuming Edwards keeps the X Division title, as I hope he does, I’d like to see Everett win this one. As you’d expect, this match was all action. I really loved it. There was an awesome spot with Lee doing splits between two ladders, lots of athleticism and creativity on display here. Also progression in the feud between Spud and Sutter. DJ Z wins to become the number one contender; I’ve really liked how he has reinvented himself once again recently. This surly lowers Edwards odds for later tonight, as with Edwards being a face, I’m not sure I’d expect a face vs face match with Z.

Mike Bennett attacks DJ Z during a post-match interview. He had promised to ruin the show, so we can probably expect similar instances throughout the night. Again, even with his short time on the microphone here, Bennett continues to impress me. This is followed by a very good EC3 promo on Drew Galloway. One thing many, including myself, hate about a lot of WWE interviews is how they look away from the camera. EC3 looked straight into the camera here; it just made the promo better. Doing so makes it feel like he is talking directly to Galloway through the camera.

Dixie talks about the move to Thursday nights, and mentions the “Bound for Glory Playoffs” which sounds like its similar or exactly the same as the Bound for Glory series. On a personal note, the move to Thursdays works for me, Monday through to Thursday full of wrestling. Moving another hour ahead is also great as living in the UK, I’ll take shows as early as I can get them, will be getting to bed at 3am after watching Impact now. Smart of TNA to promote the playoffs going into the move though, they continue to give hooks for the next show.

Edwards and Lashley are in the ring for a promo to preview later tonight. The crowd is pretty hot in terms of ‘Impact Zone’ crowds. TNA are telling a familiar story, of the dominant world champion telling the X Division wrestler he is the underdog. It may have been done before, but it’s proven, it works very well. The crowd are very behind Edwards, which again makes me even more excited for later tonight. Lashley begins to attack Edwards. I’d assume this is being done to further stack the deck against him. Davey Richards returns to save Edwards!!! Super glad to see Richards back, however, I smell a heel turn coming.

Bram is set to take on Abyss next.

Actually, before the match takes place we will be watching some more of broken Matt Hardy; I’m of course hyped for this. Reby slid down a fireman’s pole with Maxel on her back, badass. Matt seems to be showing a replay of the final deletion to friends and family.

Bram has shaved his beard off; it’s a good look for him. I’m a big fan of Bram’s look overall, an intimidating man. A solid match between the two big men – Rosemary comes out to cost Decay the match, it seems as though it was intentional. Decay and Bram are all confused, it seems only Rosemary has any idea what is going on here. I am hoping this leads to a double cross, with Rosemary turning her back on Bram to solidify her connection with Decay.

Up next, Gail Kim vs Sienna vs Jade vs Marti Bell for the knockouts title. Again, while it’s frustrating that TNA give away gimmick matches and title matches so often, it makes basically everything on the show must see, unlike a three hour RAW, there is very little filler. I rarely find myself bored during Impact. Focusing on the match however, this should be good, I’d be disappointed to see the title taken from Sienna on her first defence, there is a lot of potential in her.

I am a big fan of Sienna, she has a great look and I’m a big fan of her music also. Sienna and Allie make a good pairing. Gail Kim is still an incredible competitor, when you think about how long she has lasted compare to a lot of the women wrestlers from her era, and is still so good, you wonder how she has done it. A nice match, Allie cost Gail Kim the win which led to Sienna winning with a sick looking move, which is essentially the pounce that Monty Brown used to use. A fun match, I’m very happy to see Sienna keep the title.
We return to the Broken Matt Hardy household. These things just get more and more off the wall, Matt Hardy is hilarious though. Wrestling doesn’t always have to take itself incredibly seriously, sometimes it’s better just to have some fun and a laugh. Next up, Broken Matt will perform the public deletion.

Damn, I feel like it has been a while since the Impact Zone’s crowd has been this hot. They’re making a lot of noise, which always helps to get you further into the show. Matt Hardy is so good at this, that it’s almost hard to believe he is only playing a character. Out comes Jeff Hardy, with no music, and Reby screaming “obsolete” at him. Reby is also just fantastic at playing her character, everything about this is just done perfectly. Matt doesn’t want Jeff to go work for “Mc-Mahan” I legitimately popped for that. Now it seems Matt wants to make Jeff his slave, basically. It’s like a far better version of that Bella twin’s storyline. I really hope this doesn’t end with Jeff making out with Matts opponent, in order to help Matt win a match.

DJ Z wants Mike Bennett in the ring right now. Even though it was a small confrontation, I liked it. Both guys just feel natural, no bad acting, just a quick, easy segment to outline what is happening. DJ Z and Bennett had a really fun match. I’d like to see a further program with those two; DJ Z also has the potential to be much higher up in the card than he has been over the past year. Bennett tried to leave the match, the entire X Division came out to stop him leaving, and getting revenge for his talking down of the X Division – DJ Z picks up the roll up win. DJ Z as I said, could be an even bigger part of this show if they role with it.

Drew Galloway cuts a passionate, excellent promo on his fight with EC3, coming up next.
I’m incredibly hyped for this fight, between probably my two favourite Impact stars, and there is a lot of competition for those spots. These guys had a sick brawl; there was an absolutely mad head-butt from Galloway as they head backstage. Now the roster has to pull them apart.

I never thought of the Wolves as great promo guys. However, earlier Edwards cut a great promo. Then the both of them had a conversation backstage. It made you completely buy into the storyline here, these guys are best friends, they mean a lot to each other – and my tin hat is now completely on, Davey has got to be turning, right?

So we’ve found out the details of the Bound for Glory playoffs – at least in terms of the competitors – Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, James Storm, Eli Drake, Mike Bennett, EC3, Drew Galloway and Bram. A good group there, considering Lashley and the Wolves cannot be placed in there; I’d say those are fairly solid picks to be the top eight on the Impact roster.

It’s time for the main event, still half an hour to go on this show, so a big angle can be expected. The match between Edwards and Lashley was simply fantastic, I was a really big fan of it, the hot crowd helped, plus the commentary team were on some of their best form. I never expected these two to have such good chemistry, but it’s for sure there.

The match is interrupted by Bennett and the debuting Moose. I am super excited to see Moose in TNA, and the dude sure did make an Impact. Clearing out the Wolves and Lashley. Moose is a beast; he has a fantastic look and hit some sick moves here. Although him debuting as a heel is slightly concerning, the “Moose” chants lend themselves to being a face, although I’m still excited for heel Moose too.

Dixie says the fans deserve a winner from the match. Dixie says she wants a winner from this match, therefore, next week it happens again – in six sides of steel. I’ve already mentioned my dislike for the constant title matches and gimmick matches. Although, doing so to draw viewers into next week’s show, which has a whole new day and timeslot is smart – and I can see why it has been done- from that point onwards I’d like to see it scaled back though.

So, I loved this episode of Impact. The best time I’ve had sitting down and watching a wrestling show in the past few weeks – this week was a little more my style than last week, although I did enjoy final deletion- I must say though, NXT and the CWC tomorrow night could knock this Impact off that perch quickly. Nonetheless, a fantastic Impact. I’m very excited going forward from here. I am still hopeful that Rosemary does not split from Decay, and Lashley somehow maybe keeps the World title but doesn’t win the X Division title. If those two things happen I’d be very happy with TNA’s direction going forward, well I’m already very happy, but I’d be even happier.

Lots to look forward to next week, of course on Thursday starting at 8 (or 1am for me). I’m already excited, but the start of the Bound for Glory playoffs and a six sides of steel match have me wanting to get right to it. Next week is set up to be one of the best weeks of wrestling, possibly in years – RAW, with a WWE title match, the draft on Smackdown, NXT and the CWC, the final part of Ultima Lucha Dos, six sides of steel and Battleground. I for one am incredibly excited.

I am 18 years old, and a journalism student at university. I write about professional wrestling and soccer. Twitter - LewisMichie0