Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Wednesday, July 1
Soundstage 20
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL

The BDC (MVP, Kenny King, Low Ki, and Hernandez) vs. The Rising (Drew Galloway, Mica, and Eli Drake) – Losing Group Disbands 4 on 3 Elimination Match

This is another “Bell to Bell” Impact which basically means the pacing is going to be much better than most weeks. Mica got eliminated relatively quickly after a springboard kick from Low Ki, which certainly wasn’t a good showing for him. The BDC worked over Drew for a while before he made the tag to Drake. Drake ran wild including an Angle style suplex off the top. Drake hit MVP with a tope but tweaked his knee and couldn’t continue. He looked pretty good during that comeback. It’s now four on one.

Drew had a fun little strike exchange with Hernandez before Low Ki missed a kick and hit King and Galloway pinned both of them. Galloway dropped Low Ki shoulder first on the ring steps and it would appear that is his write out. Low Ki essentially did absolutely nothing for the last year. Hernandez hit a Border Toss and tagged in MVP who hit the Play of the Day and the Black Out kick to disband The Rising. For a blow off match between two stables this wasn’t very good. It was surprisingly uneventful, none of the eliminations landed at all and there was no heat. Even Drew fighting from underneath against the odds was surprisingly muted. All these guys are best off moving on now. This programme has done nothing for any of them. **

Magnus was in the ring as we came back from break. He reintroduced Mickie James, who at least spent a month off TV after being pushed in front of a train. At least they sold it! Mickie thanked Magnus for not rubbing it in her face because he was right about Storm all along. Mickie suggested that Storm’s group of misfits is simply him overcompensating for the lack of a woman in his life. Mickie reminded Storm that she agreed to have one more match and challenged Storm to find a female partner and face her and Magnus in an intergender tag team match. Nobody mentioned Slammiversary at all here. It’s as if it never happened.

TNA World Tag Team Championships – Austin Aries and Bobby Roode vs. The Wolves – Match Five – 30 Minute Iron Man Match

The winners will be crowned the new TNA World tag team champions. In a nice touch TNA only went to break once so around 25 minutes of the match aired. Aries and Roode looked for a lot of quick pins to take an early lead. The Wolves came back with a series of double teams until Aries isolated and began working over Edwards. Edwards caught Aries and Roode with a double huracanrana and made the hot tag to Richards. Richards ran wild punctuated by a diving headbutt to Roode while Roode was in the tree of woe. Roode and Aries eventually cut off Richards and started working over him.

Roode hit a Powerbomb with an assist dropkick by Aries but Eddie made the save. Richards made the tag to Edwards and Edwards scored a nearfall off a backpack stunner. The Wolves hit an enziguri/German but Roode kicked out. Edwards kicked out after an elbow and an Aries senton while draped across Roode’s knees. Aries locked Edwards in the Last Chancery but after escaping the clutches of Roode, Richards broke it up with a double stomp. The Wolves hit the Alarm Clock and followed with the Hammer of the Gods on Aries but Roode made the save. Aries countered an attempt at the Powerbomb/Backbreaker, and Roode and Aries hit the dropkick/Spinebuster/450 Splash (which really needs a name by the way) and scored the first fall.

Roode and Aries shifted to a more defensive strategy with a 1-0 lead and 3:30 to go by keeping The Wolves out of the ring and trying to run out the clock. Aries took out The Wolves with a heat Seeking Missile. Aries went for a ten punch but got caught in a Powerbomb/backbreaker and The Wolves tied the match 1-1 with a minute to go. Roode clocked Edwards with the tag title belt but Edwards kicked out. Roode looked for a Roode Bomb but Edwards countered into a roll up to go 2-1 up with 10 seconds left. Roode locked Edwards in the Crossface but time ran out and The Wolves won the World tag team titles.

This whole series didn’t exactly hit the heights of The Guns/Beer Money or even the 3D/Hardys/Wolves stuff last year but it was a load of fun and easily the best thing on the show while it lasted. I think structurally this match would’ve been better off had Aries and Roode scored the first fall a tad bit earlier to allow The Wolves sell the desperation a little more, and the opening stages were a little slow, but this was still a great match. The 30 minutes flew by and The Wolves are the best team to have the belts on right now. While match two was the highlight of the series, this was highlight of this show. ***3/4

TNA Knockouts Championship – Awesome Kong vs. Brooke vs. Taryn Terrell© w/ Marti Bell and Jade

Kong and Brooke went after Kong early before Taryn bailed to the floor and they went at it themselves. The Dollhouse inevitably interfered attacking Kong and pushing Brooke off the top rope. Jade dropped Kong on the ropes and Taryn hit the Taryn Cutter on Kong to retain the title. A video for a returning Gail Kim aired after the match (even though they’ve barely mentioned the fact that she’s been gone since Taryn broke her fingers). I’m incredibly sick of the interference finishes on this show. What do they achieve? If they happen so often how do they put any heat on anybody? They’re cheap, lazy finishes from a bygone era. Wrestling needs to move out of the late ‘90s and find a formula that applies to 2015. *

Mike Tenay had a big interview with Jeff Jarrett and Jeff got around three sentences out and that was it. He said there is a future between Global Force and TNA and that it’s going to shock people. That was it. Apparently part two is next week where hopefully he’ll say more than one thing.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Ethan Carter III w/ Tyrus vs. Kurt Angle©

They did the backstage walk ups as well as the big match JB ring introductions. The fact that Tyrus is accompanying EC3 means you know what’s going to happen at some stage here and I have no idea why. Angle outwrestled EC3 early and hit a couple of German suplexes. EC3 controlled Angle for a while including a Stinger Splash which he is using because he conquered Sting. EC3 sidestepped a charge, Angle struck the post and EC3 DDT’d Angle on the apron. Angle made a comeback with a clothesline and three German’s. Angle looked for the Angle Slam, EC3 escaped but Angle rattled off three more suplexes.  EC3 missed the Stinger Splash and Angle hit the Angle Slam but EC3 kicked out at 2. Angle locked on the Ankle Lock but EC3 rolled through and Angle fell to the floor. Tyrus dropped Angle with a clothesline on the floor.

EC3 went for the One Percenter but Angle picked the Ankle. EC3 pushed Angle off and walked into more suplexes, followed by another Angle Slam but EC3 kicked out again. Angle locked on the Ankle Lock but EC3 escaped and Angle Belly to Belly’d EC3 into the referee. Because of course we need a ref bump. Because of course that’s been so effective for TNA the hundreds of other times they’ve done it. Tyrus dropped Angle with a Big Ending. EC3 hit the One Percenter but Angle kicked out. Tyrus grabbed a chair but the referee ejected him. EC3 looked for another One Percenter but Angl , countered into an Ankle Lock, which he grapevined. EC3 eventually escaped and countered an Angle Slam into a roll up for the win. EC3 is the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. ***1/4

Let’s go one bit at a time here. Firstly, while he’s getting little credit for it Angle had a really solid title reign and is on course to have a really solid year. Not wrestler of the year or anything but he’s been good this year. He might no longer be able to wrestle above the calibre of his opponents and carry people like he once could, but he can certainly still more than wrestle to the calibre of his opponent. EC3 is the right man to be TNA champ right now and now is as good a time as any to pull the trigger. The build up to this match has been less than ideal, with EC3 lacking credibility. This match did nothing to help that cause. I enjoyed the match itself but the finish and the interference are silly.

EC3 should have pinned Angle after a One Percenter. I’ve said this before, but the one thing a World champion needs more than anything else is credibility. Why would you want to watch a champion who is a joke? Who isn’t to be taken seriously? Who doesn’t deserve to be champion?  Just take one look at Seth Rollins’ current WWE title run to see what happens when you systematically strip a champion of his credibility (not that Rollins had much in the first place considering how he was booked and the way in which he won the title). Beating Angle with a roll up, while also being a very underwhelming way to execute a title change, does little for EC3’s credibility.

The interference gets on my nerves even more because it was entirely unnecessary. What purpose did it serve in this match? All it did was remind me of all the other times TNA did this kind of stuff in World title matches. They do it over and over and over again and it achieves absolutely nothing other than to frustrate the viewer. As I said earlier it’s a relic of the Attitude Era, an era which WWE and TNA are so fixated on that they are steadfastly refusing to adapt to modern times.

Final Thoughts: This wasn’t necessarily a bad show. It had two good matches and the Bell to Bell format is still what Impact should look like every week (more focused, less scattered) but when it matters most TNA’s worst instincts rear their ugly head. They refuse to learn from the past. They refuse to adapt the way they do things. When their square peg doesn’t fit in the round hole their solution is to keep on pushing and try and force it in when the more rational approach would be to find a different peg. Take a look at how New Japan who, at their best, have brilliant main events which build seamlessly one into the next in a way that is incredibly satisfying. Or look at NXT who, at their best, deliver simple straightforward stories, strong believable characters and brilliant payoffs. Stop looking backwards at a different time in wrestling, whose rules and methods of success simply do not apply today (if they did TNA would be the biggest company on Earth). Start looking around you right now, and see what people are responding to in 2015 and start building a formula around that. Because the square peg is never going to fit in the round hole no matter how hard you push.