Impact Wrestling Review: September 15th 2016 (Empty Arena Match, Big Match Build & Marketing)

There are two more episodes to go before Bound for Glory, in all honesty, the build has dragged a little, however, I’m certainly excited for the show. Generally I’m a bigger fan of the fallout of big shows, as opposed to the build-up. Bound for Glory itself I’m sure will be excellent, however, I’m also excited for the next chapter following the show. Since the last Bound for Glory, Impact has generally been pretty fantastic week to week. The world title tournament was slightly hit and miss. Since the turn of the year though, the show has been consistently above average. This show rests somewhere in the middle, again it was nothing special, shows in the build up to Bound for Glory can’t be expected to be anything special.

I want to start by having a look at the Braxton Sutter Vs Rockstar Spud empty area match. TNA did really well with this match in my opinion. Empty area matches are rare, so it was nice to see that, additionally, having the turnbuckles exposed made this match stand out, but the stipulation wasn’t too out there either. Spud and Sutter’s feud was pretty organic. It all came about from Sutter accidentally knocking some teeth out of Spud’s mouth, during a multi man match. I commend TNA for taking a real situation and using it to play into a storyline. Both men were aggressive and did their best to make this as realistic as possible. Spud rushing Sutter on the ramp conveyed a real anger.

I’m happy that TNA allowed Spud and Sutter to have such a match. It’s easy for a wrestling company to reserve more of the special attraction matches for the main event talent. However, both of these guys are really talented and they showed they can make good use of such a stipulation. This does raise a question though; these two guys have been competing in the X Division as of late. They’ve been having this feud, while X Division champion – DJ Z – Doesn’t seem to have much going on. Hopefully they can use the next two shows to put something together for the X Division championship at Bound for Glory. Following Bound for Glory, hopefully we get something with a little more substance in the X Division. There are a lot of talented wrestlers in that Division, some proper storylines and regular segments and matches would surely be made the most of.

Lashley and EC3’s feud really does have the feel of a big time match. I am very much looking forward to it, much of that excitement being because of how fantastic both men have been this year. In particular, this has probably been my favourite year of Lashley in his entire career. Having said that, it does feel like Bound for Glory probably would be the right time to have the title switch hands. EC3 would be a good choice as next champion, plus it would certainly fit the storyline that has been built around Ethan so far this year. Ethan’s redemption would be met if he was to win the Championship back. Should Ethan win the title, there are already a few possible challengers lined up. Lashley would be due a rematch, plus Drew Galloway and Mike Bennett would be expected to challenge Ethan at some point. Both of which would be call backs to previous storylines. I’m excited to see where the world title scene goes after Bound for Glory.

The Impact championship final still looks like it will end up Aron Rex Vs Drew Galloway. Which is a match I’d happily watch at Bound for Glory. Rex has been made to look like a star since joining Impact and Galloway has always been one of my favourites. Both other semi-finalists are worthy competitors; Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake both have limitless potential in Impact wrestling. I’d expect a Galloway Vs Rex final; however, having watched the Live CWC final earlier this week, I don’t really trust my instincts when it comes to tournaments all that much anymore. I am still enamoured with the idea of the Grand Championship. I’m looking forward to Galloway Vs Edwards for sure, as I feel that match will fit into the stipulations perfectly.

I’d like to add, we saw the debut of Laurel Van Ness on this episode, the former Chelsea Green. I’ve not seen a whole lot of Chelsea; I have seen a couple of her Indy matches and was a frequent viewer of tough enough when she was on it. From what I’ve seen, she is pretty good. She certainly looked confident portraying the character of Laurel Van Ness on this episode, so it’s so far, so good for the newest knockout on the roster. Hopefully she gets a good amount of microphone time and backstage segments in the coming weeks, in order to really show off her character.

Finally, I want to talk about some of the marketing TNA does. Firstly, every time I write one of these reviews, I can go to TNA’s website and I see previews for at least two things happening next week. I like that, it gives me a reason to tune in, things to be excited for. This is compared to what the WWE do a lot, where for a lot of weekly shows; they hardly promote anything in advance. I also saw that TNA were handing out flyers at the UFC event (and I believe some other events too maybe) that were like missing posters for Senior Benjamin. I love that, because it’s such an easy, probably pretty cheap, but fun and quirky way of advertising your show. You don’t need to spend thousands on television advertisements etc. I’ve seen some similar methods from TNA throughout this year, hopefully it continues.

So the build-up for Bound for Glory continues next week. We will see both semi-finals in the Grand Championship tournament. Nothing else is advertised as of yet, although I imagine we will see the typical match build up for the matches we will see at Bound for Glory; which is starting to look like a pretty great card.

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