wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s TNA Impact Review 5.31.16

May 31, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Broken Matt Hardy
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Csonka’s TNA Impact Review 5.31.16  

TNA Impact Review 5.31.16

Non-Title Match: KOTM Champion Bram defeated Lashley @ 6:27 via DQ [**½]
KOTM Title Match: Eli Drake defeated Champion Bram @ 1:10 via pin to become the New KOTM Champion [NR]
#1 Contender’s Match: The BroMans defeated Rockstar Spud and Tyrus @ 4:04 via pin [*]
– Gail Kim and Jade defeated Allie and Sienna @ 5:25 via pin []
– Mike Bennett defeated James Storm @ 6:05 via pin [**¾]
Non-Title Handicap Match: TNA Champion Drew Galloway defeated The Decay @ 6:25 via pin [**¼]

– Dixie talks to a mystery person backstage (it’s EC3), she spoke with Billy Corgan and promised that the mystery man would behave himself, and he is in control of tonight’s show.

Talky Time With Maria and Mike: Maria and Mike condescendingly spoke about Dixie Carter putting someone in charge tonight, and thought they should be in charge. EC3 made his way out, and said that Bennett went back on their deal. Their match is now official for Slammiversary, and he offers to give Bennett the night off so that he is 100% for the PPV. Bennett claimed that taking him off the show would hurt ratings and ad revenue. EC3 clarified, Bennett has the night off from wrestling, but not from some basic work. He then made Bennett a custodial engineer for the evening, starting with the toilets, since it was taco Tuesday. Maria threw a fit, which led to EC3 revealing that she will have a job evaluation later tonight. EC3 told them to leave, they refused, which got EC3 fired up and they backed off. Lashley then appeared, and said one day they would fight, and Lashley promised to spear his ass. Yup. EC3 then said Galloway gets to pick his opponent tonight, and here comes Galloway as we went to an odd commercial break. EC3 was really good here, not that Mike and Maria were bad, but EC3 really shined. The job evaluation shit is something I can do without, but at least it works in the context of the story.

– We then came back to the bathroom, not to the arena with Galloway. They made poop jokes.

– Back in the arena, Galloway revealed that Bram was Lashley’s opponent.

KOTM Champion Bram vs. Lashley: They went back and forth, slugging it out right away. As the ref separated them, Lashley took the advantage with the cheap shot. Bram battled back as he sent Lashley to the floor. They brawled on the floor, with Lashley slamming Bram to the barricade and taking control. Back in the ring, Lashley dominated, working him over in the corner and hitting a snap suplex for a near fall. Bram battled back with running forearms and a knee strike for a near fall. A spin kick connected, and Bram got a near fall. Lashley countered the DDT, and then hit a spinebuster. Lashley continued to work him over, and then got a chair. He hit Bram for the DQ. He then hit the spear two times and laid out Bram. Galloway made the save and chased off Lashley. This was a solid match overall, and also protected both guys as neither needed to lose.

KOTM Champion Bram vs. Eli Drake: Eli Drake arrived to cash in his Feast or Fired briefcase. Drake covered, but Bram kicked out. He tried to take the case and leave, but the bell had already sounded. Bram tried to fight back, but Drake beat him down in the corner and hit a knee and clothesline for the win and title. I liked that they gave Bram some fight there, with Drake coming off as the asshole that knew he had to cash (after Lashley did the real work) to win.

– The BroMans spoke about their guru. Raquel arrived and told them they needed focus. It then turned into a bikini photo shoot.

– EC3 was happy with Bennett’s toilet cleaning skills. Earl dropped a deuce, and Bennett ran him down. EC3 defended Earl, and then revealed that Bennett would be refereeing a match tonight.

– Eli Drake celebrated is title win backstage. He pretended to share his champagne and kept knocking it out of people’s hands

– We get video of Matt Hardy at his house; he’s still doing the horrible accent. He hyped their Slammiversary match and promised Jeff’s personal Armageddon.

The Bromans w/Raquel vs. Rockstar Spud and Tyrus: Mike Bennett is the special referee. On commentary, they say the winners get a tag title shot at Slammiversary. This is the state of the tag team division; two guys (Rockstar Spud and Tyrus) that lost a handicap match last week and haven’t been presented as a tag team are getting a shot at the tag titles. The BroMans controlled early, Bennett was not counting for them and basically not giving a shit about his job. Tyrus attacked and took the heat on Robbie. Tyrus and Spud worked over Robbie, Tyrus kept breaking the rules and Bennett didn’t care. Tyrus hit the big ending on Robbie, tagged in Spud as Raquel distracted Tyrus. This distracted Spud, Jessie tagged in and tossed Spud onto Tyrus and Robbie then dove onto them both. BroDown on Spud, followed by the crab and Spud tapped. Bennett didn’t call for the bell at first, but finally did. The match was poor, and the fact that it was a #1 contender’s match was completely over shadowed by Bennett’s shenanigans didn’t help. He was being a heel yes, but it took away from the completely thrown together #1 contender’s match. This was not good at all.

– Maria was on the phone, complaining to Billy Corgan. EC3 interrupted and took her phone and ended the call. Maria wanted to know if Gail Kim would be fired or suspended. The job evaluation is next.


EC3 Gives Maria a Job Evaluation: Maria, Allie and Sienna make their way to the ring. EC3 tried to banish Allie and Sienna, Maria said they could stay; EC3 didn’t have time for that shit and banished them from the ring. Maria thought she was doing a good job, EC3 disagreed and brought out Gail Kim. Maria said, “If wrestling promoters did what ever they wanted, no one would make any money.” Low hanging fruit. Gail wanted a match for Slammiversary, Maria tried to get out of the match, but EC3 made the match anyway since he was in power. Maria promised to get into the hall of fame after she kicks Kim’s ass at Slammiversary. EC3 then made Allie and Sienna vs. Gail and Jade for tonight. EC3 again did well, but the segment was a chore to get through. Not bad so much as boring and building to something I have no desire to watch. They have invested so much time into Gail vs. Maria, and I hope that they do well, but so much time invested while they needed to be pushing the X-Division and rebuilding the tag division, it comes across as a waste.

Gail Kim and Jade vs. Allie and Sienna: Allie isn’t even in ring gear. EC3 makes Maria sit with him at ringside. They are making Allie run from Kim, acting like she’s not even a wrestler, which is bad form since they have previously used her as a wrestler. Just changing her name doesn’t change that. She managed to run and tag in Sienna, she went back and forth with Kim and then Jade tagged in they double teamed Sienna, with Jade getting a bridging suplex for a near fall. She and Kim continued to work over Sienna and Allie, but Sienna finally was able to cut them off and worked over Kim in the corner. Good heat from Sienna, using her size and strength advantage to keep control. Allie tagged back in and continued to pretend to not be a wrestler, which is so stupid. Jade got the tag, and made the big comeback on Sienna. She connected with the missile dropkick for a near fall as Allie made the save, and ran away. Sienna got knocked into Sienna, which was called a tag. Jade worked her over, Kim hit eat defeat on Sienna and then Jade hit the package piledriver on for the win. The booking of Allie was idiotic here, I get that she’s Maria’s assistant, but you cannot simply take someone that you previously used as a wrestler and make her into this, it’s insulting to the fan base, and took away from this match.

– Jeff Hardy arrives at Matt’s house, Reby has Maxell and is bailing because Matt lost his mind. Matt played piano as Jeff entered. Jeff demanded Matt sign the contract, but Matt said they have to go to the sanctuary to make this official.

– Mike Bennett then arrived in the ring an complained about all of the shit he’s had to do tonight. He claimed he was the best wrestler in the world, and said he was done. EC3 claimed he was a liar, and booked Bennett in a match with James Storm.

Mike Bennett w/Maria vs. James Storm: They brawled right away, with Storm taking control early. Bennett they made a big babyface like comeback, which felt odd, but he took over and tried to ground Storm. Bennett worked with good aggression here, playing into his anger over how EC3 has run the show tonight. Storm finally fired up and made his comeback, playing the hits and keeping the pace strong. He hit the whirly bird, which got a near fall. They worked some real nice back and forth here, Storm hit a lung blower and set for the last call but Maria grabbed his beer and distracted him. She slapped him and then Bennett rolled him up for the win. Shit ending to a pretty good match overall, they had a good pacing and worked well together. The thing is, they didn’t need that finish here. Sometimes, heels just need to win, and considering Bennett is in a major PPV match and Storm is doing exactly jack and shit, they should have given Bennett the clean win here to give him the proper momentum heading into the PPV.

– Post match, EC3 said the games were over, and that at Slammiversary they will face off. EC3 will come to Bennett’s church and will burn that bitch down. Storm then hit Bennett with a superkick.

Al Snow Introduces The Tribunal: Al Snow came to the ring and introduced Sylvester LeFort (now Basille Baracca) and Marcus Louis (now Baron Dax). They are the Tribunal. Snow mocked the fans and said he was taking control with the use of these superior athletes. They cut a promo, and got the WHAT treatment as they tried to explain that they would be Snow’s tribunal, and make sure that they bring a reign of terror to TNA. Snow claimed that they were real athletes, and didn’t need weapons to win matches. Snow showed footage of his win last week, claiming he won with a wrestling move, but it was edited to not show his weapon use. Grado and Shera arrived, and Grado claimed Snow was a liar. Shera said he didn’t understand Grado. We see footage of Snow using a trashcan lid to help him score his victory. Snow claimed that the footage was doctored, and that kids can use those fancy apps to edit things. OH MY GOD WHY IS THIS A THING? Grado and Shera brawled with the Tribunal, Snow attacked with a chair and that allowed the Tribunal to take control as Snow barked orders. This was not good, grumpy old man Snow could have been fine in a smaller dose, but this angle keeps going and I fear that we’re getting a PPV match from these guys. I do not think it’s good, I don’t care about it and it is taking valuable time away from more important programs. Can you imagine if they took this time wasted on this angle and used it on the tag and or X-Divisions.

EC3 has jokes.

– Braxton Sutter (Pepper Parks) is shown backstage, which goes into a video package/personality profile. I like the idea behind the video, it’s a good tool, but I question introducing someone new this close to the PPV when you need to be focused on building the card and selling it.

– Back to Matt and Jeff, as they go to another building on Matt’s property. It’s Matt’s training center with his ring. Back to the arena.

– Lashley revealed that Galloway would have to face The Decay.

TNA Champion Drew Galloway vs. The Decay: Galloway tried to fight them off, and almost killed Steve when he dumped him over the barricade. Galloway was doing well for himself, but when he refused to fight Rosemary (who did attack him) that allowed Abyss to attack, and then Decay took the heat and worked over Galloway on the floor and posted him. After over two-minutes of that Decay finally started to follow the rules and tagged in and out. After a solid heat, Galloway made his comeback and started dropping bodies everywhere. Rosemary again got involved, Galloway looked to attack but let her go to take out Steve. He went for the claymore but ran into a chokeslam from Abyss, which got a near fall. Rosemary got Janice, Lashley ran in and speared Abyss by accident. Galloway tossed him and hit the claymore on Steve, future shock followed and he pins the tag team champions. The match was solid, but I hated the ending. It’s monumentally stupid for one man, to win a match like this, especially against the tag team champions. Unless a bunch of others run in, it makes no sense and makes the champions look weak prior to the PPV. I hated when Cena would beat the tag champions by himself, hated when Punk beat the Shield by himself, and was not a fan in any way of this. How hard is it for Lashley to run in for the DQ, so everyone is protected 12 days from their PPV?

– Back at Hardy’s house, in the building where the ring is. Matt signed the contract, and Jeff challenged him to a fight right there. Reby and Maxell returned and Reby threw the baby at Jeff (it was a doll), Matt tased Jeff and then hit a side effect off of the apron and though the table. Matt claimed that “brother Nero was over, done.”

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Much like last week, I don’t think the show was bas as much as it wasn’t very good and could have easily been better. EC3 and Bennett were good in their roles tonight, and the Drake cash in made perfect sense and fit his character well. But the tag title scene is completely thrown together with no real thought, which is a complete shame. Some will claim that they are doing what they can with what they have, but they could have worked to make it better and not wait until two-weeks from the PPV to throw together a match like they did tonight. I have no desire to see the Kim vs. Maria match, and felt that while the feud had been solidly built, tonight’s promo wasn’t very good and did nothing to change my mind. The booking of Allie is ridiculous. Mike Bennett really should have won clean tonight, they keep saying he is a star and that they want him to be one of their top guys, then book him like one because James Storm is not doing anything. If you want people to buy into him, he needs wins over guys that are lower on the card than he is, and that is Storm. The Al Snow, Tribunal, Grado and Shera segments are a complete waste of time and do nothing to add quality to the programming. I would kill for the X-Division guys to get the time they have received. Galloway defeating Decay was a poor call, and was the perfect time for a non-finish/DQ finish to protect everyone going into the PPV. Finally, the Matt and Jeff stuff was what it was, at least it built to their match, but I wouldn’t say it made me want to see their match. The show could have and should have been better, especially with the PPV so close. In recent weeks I had felt that they were close, missing the mark but getting close to getting the momentum that they needed. I though this week would be their week, but it just didn’t work for me. Here’s hoping that they can lock it in next week to sell the PPV.