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Csonka’s TNA Impact Review 8.04.16

August 4, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s TNA Impact Review 8.04.16  

TNA Impact Review 8.04.16

King of the Mountain Title match: James Storm defeated Champion Eli Drake @ 7:05 via pin [***]
Handicap Match: Gail Kim defeated Allie & Sienna @ 5:48 via pin []
– The Hardy Boyz defeated Chuck Taylor & JT Dunn @ 6:20 via pin [**½]
Handicap Match: Mahabali Shera and Grado defeated The Tribunal @ 5:55 via pin []
Bound for Glory Playoff Finals Match: EC3 defeated Mike Bennett @ 17:30 via pin [***¼]

– We see footage from last week, where a pissed off Drew Galloway is going to get his revenge on EC3

EC3 and Mike Bennett Talk: So these two guys are fighting in the main event for tonight, and the thing is that they didn’t need to do this. They have the footage and the story already in place to where video packages through out the show would have done a good job to set the stage. You only have two hours and there are others that need the time. The other thing is that TNA has fallen into the WWE trap and are starting the shows every week with the promo segments. I love when they start with matches or something different, it is appreciated and also makes the show feel not as predictable. As for this particular segment, it was what you’d expect; they play well off of each other and it was good, but felt as if we’ve seen it before. Moose arrived and beat down EC3, which was done to allow him to play the resilient face in the main event and place don’t in the mind of the fans.

– Eli Drake asked if he could talk to us. He said words about tonight’s title defense, and honestly I have come to the realization that for me he works better in short bursts and sound bites than in long talking segments.

– We get another wacky (but perfectly character appropriate) Rosemary video package. The tree talks and is hr brother she never knew she had, there are ghosts and likely murder.

King of the Mountain Title Match: Champion Eli Drake vs. James Storm: If Storm loses, he cannot drink beer, ride his boozer cruiser or use his theme music ever again. Storm attacked Drake as he made his entrance, but Drake quickly turned the tide and took control. Drake worked a solid control segment, not a heat really because it did not last very long. Storm made a good comeback, the crowd was into it but Drake cut him off when he tried to go up top. Drake did the dead jump to the top and hit an overhead superplex for a near fall. Drake grabbed the KOTM title belt, Storm stopped that and hit the whirly bird for a near fall. Drake tried to mist Storm with the beer, but hit the ref. Storm had a roll up for the win but the ref was blinded. Drake then got a near fall off the belt shot. They picked up the pace well, and had some nice back and forth, leading to Storm winning with the HBK/Shelton Benjamin finish (Drake did a springboard into the ring and ate the superkick). You can talk all day about “heels doing heel things” and shit like that, but I wish that they would have cut the bullshit and just let them go for the time they had. They seem to really like Drake and want to do things with him, but he lacks a signature match; these two worked well together and if they would have just let them work a dedicated sprint, Drake would have come out of this much better. Instead, he feels like he has no momentum, as he lost in the first round of the BFG Playoffs and then lost here. The match was good, but if you’re going to have Drake lose, let him really shine and not go the lazy route.

Lashley Gives No Fucks About Your Title Win: Lashley congratulated Storm for winning, and said that they are champions because they are winners and they beat people. Storm liked Lashley’s title and remembered when he beat an Olympian, Kurt Angle, in a minute to win it. Lashley is only an NCAA champion, so he could beat him in 30-seconds or so. Lashley didn’t have time for Strom’s jokes, explained that he was he best and was collecting titles, which makes Storm afraid. Strom didn’t back down, and v told him that brave people get their ass beat every day. He challenges Storm to a title vs. titles match for net week, or Strom could just hand him over the belt right now. HE EVEN OFFERED TO BUY HIM A REPLICA BELT TO CONSOLE HIM HAHAHAHA I LOVE LASHLEY. Storm accepted. My God give no fucks Lashley is so great, the man who thinks he’s better than everyone because of his background and the fact that he is an MMA fighter collecting titles is awesome.

– Allie, Maria and Gail Kim all meet backstage. Kim has to wrestle tonight, and Maria says she will never get the title back. Allie annoys Maria, so she booked Allie vs. Kim.

– Back to Rosemary and Bram. Bram is actually starting to get freaked out, but Rosemary promises to tell him the story.

– Maria arrived before the match and said this would be a handicap match, as Allie will team with Sienna.

Allie & Sienna vs. Gail Kim: Kim went to attack Allie, which allowed Sienna to beat Kim down. Sienna forced Allie to tag in, she got overwhelmed after a few kicks so Sienna tagged back in and took control. Allie would tag in and get a cheap shot and tag back out, Kim tried to fight back but Sienna hit the sack of shit slam to slow her down. I have to say that it feels ridiculous watching Allie “pretend to not know how to wrestle” even if she plays the role well. After a double down, Kim sent Sienna to the floor and worked over Allie. Sienna would cut off eat defeat and hit the AK 47, allowing Allie to cover for a near fall. Sienna then accidentally hit the pounce on Allie, Kim sent Sienna to the floor and pinned Allie. Again, Allie does good at the job she’s been given, but it wasn’t a good wrestling match and I just cannot get into the Kim vs. Maria angle.

– Matt Hardy said that Jeff failed him last week, just like he did when he got hurt when they won the tag titles. Matt promised to tell a story later, revealing Jeff’s fate.

– Lashley vs. Storm main events next week.

Broken Matt Hardy Speaks: Reby announces Matt for his promo segment. Matt then demanded that Vanguard 1 summon Jeff, who then made his way to the ring. Matt of course knew that Brother Nero would come. Matt is not pleased that Jeff ruined his match last week, and then spoke about how the fans always loved him the most when they tagged. Matt came to TNA to win the tag titles, but Jeff betrayed him when he got hurt. Matt wants Jeff to put the money back into his pockets that he stole. He demands that Jeff win the tag titles back, on his own, and he is also banned from jumping off the top rope. Matt actually called him a spot monkey.

The Hardy Boyz vs. Chuck Taylor & JT Dunn: So they jumped Jeff as Matt did running commentary on the house mic. Matt was angry as the fans chanted for Jeff, because that name has been deleted. Dunn and Taylor controlled most of the way, using quick tags. Taylor and Dunn looked good in the time that they got here, Matt pulled a fan over the railing and tried to eat his face. He even had fake blood on his mouth after the attack. Jeff made his comeback, ran through his trademark stuff and hit two twists of fate on Taylor and then Dunn countered one and hit a superkick for a near fall. Jeff fought back and hit the twist of fate, tried to go up top and Matt got in the ring to stop him. Jeff jumped over him and hit the swanton. Matt hit the twist of fate on Jeff, tagged himself in and stole the pin. The match was solid stuff overall, but the crowd rebelling against Matt and chanting for Jeff worked well. Matt then declared the winners as himself and his obsolete mule. I hope that this leads to more opportunities for Dunn and Taylor, they did well here, especially considering that they were basically background pieces for this segment.

Al Snow fired up the Tribunal backstage.

Mahabali Shera and Grado vs. The Tribunal (Basile Baraka, Baron Dax and Al Snow): Mahabali Shera and Grado have no friends and no money to hire Tyrus again, so this is a handicap match. The Tribunal worked over Grado early, keeping him from tagging out. Snow mocked Shera, but that allowed Grado to fight back, but they cut him off again. Snow repeatedly slammed Grado, the heels distracted the ref and Shera, Grado got a roll up for about 13, but the ref was too late to get there. Grado finally made the tag, Shera fought off all three Tribunal members and then Grado returned to help. They hit stereo slams, Snow tried to use the knux but Shera stopped him and ht the sky high for the win. The match itself wasn’t bad as much as it was bland and no one cared. The Tribunal feels completely dead as an act, especially after dropping a handicap match to the goof troop. Add onto that, you ran two handicap matches on the same show, with the undermanned side winning both, which hurts the gimmick of the handicap match. Although to be fair, it’s not like anyone in this segment was going anywhere anyway. It would be one thing if the crowd loved the comedy guys, but they barely react to them and there was no heat for this. It’s time to cut ties with all of these guys, they bring nothing to the product and their segments are the definition of filler. You have guys like DJ Z, Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett DYING to get time, but nope, Al Snow and his projects get it instead.

– Rosemary was back to tell her story. Johnny was a bad boy, she made a potion and tried to make his blood run black. Bram was done with this shit and was getting tired. Bram then told her to get over her heartbreak because everyone has been there. She freaked out, and Steve and Abyss appeared to attack Bram. They put him in the trunk of a car and left. Well that escalated quickly.

– We got some a short video package for EC3 vs. Bennett. This went to a backstage interview with EC3, who promised to win tonight even if Bennett brought Moose, a caribou and the whole wilderness.

– We get a video package for Tyrus, he’s the fixer.

Bound For Glory Playoff Finals: Ethan Carter III vs. Mike Bennett w/Maria: EC3 did a nice job of selling the attack from Moose, showing constant discomfort and grabbing at his ribs. Again, the attack was specifically designed to put him at a disadvantage, to garner sympathy and set him up to fight form the bottom from the start. They worked a simple, but smart match with EC3 paying good attention to the little things and selling those ribs. It makes that attack from earlier important and not just another angle. They worked through a commercial break, and when they came back Bennett was still in control, working the abdominal stretch and getting some help from the ropes. EC3 eventually escaped, tried to fire up but they both had the same idea and collided as they both went for cross bodies. They got to their feet, EC3 missed the corner splash and Bennett then worked rolling Germans. EC3 was able to stop that and hit a German of his own, Bennett countered the one percenter but EC3 did the single arm lift into a powerbomb for a near fall. The action has picked up well, but in doing so EC3 became a bit lax in the selling of the ribs. EC3 went up top, distracted by Maria allowing Bennett to fight back. They battled up top and Bennett hit the cutter off the top, which got a near fall. Maria slid in a kendo stick, but the ref got involved and he tossed her to the back, but the kendo was still in the ring. EC3 avoided the kendo, one percenter hit but only for a near fall as the ref was still on the floor. Moose tried to get involved, but Eddie Edwards stopped him with a dive and they brawled into the crowd. Bennett used the kendo and then hit the miracle in progress for a near fall. They revisited the spot that Bennett previously beat EC3 on, but EC3 as too smart this time and after some back and forth, EC3 hit the one percenter to score the win. This was an overall good main event, with the right guy winning. They set the stage well early in the show with the Moose attack and giving a lot of doubt in the outcome, and shenanigans were expected, but they meant less because we saw them in the opening title match. If you’re going to do the extra curriculars in the main event, you have to take them out of that opener otherwise it feels like too much. I think they could have trimmed a little time (2-minutes or so) to tighten things up (like the dropped selling down the stretch) and the match comes off better.

* End scene.

* Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Average
The 411
An overall solid show this week, with the main points being that we have a #1 contender set for Bound for Glory and a big title match between Lashley and Storm for next week. Once again, when TNA tends to feel weak, it comes down to the production/agenting of the product; in a lot of ways this felt like an end of the taping cycle show, where it sort of just lost energy and some of the focus. Hopefully they have plans locked in for next week.