Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Wednesday, September 2
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
The show opened with Jeff Jarrett and the Global Force crew making their way to ringside. The explanation for Jarrett being able to come and go as he pleases is due to him still being part owner. Karen said she saw how much Jeff loved TNA so she started a hostile corporate takeover to take back what should have been Jeff’s. Jeff said nobody can compete with the Global Force roster so to prove that Chris Mordetzky issued an open challenge which was answered by Bobby Lashley.
Chris Mordetzky vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley overpowered and outwrestled Mordetzky in the early stages until Mordetzky cut Lashley off with an axe handle. The match spilled out to the floor and Mordetzky threw Lashley into the steps. Back in the ring and Mordetzky hit a nice double underhook suplex. I’ve always liked that move. Lashley made a comeback including a German suplex and a delayed vertical. Lashley went for a Spear but Mordetzky countered with a spinebuster. Mordetzky went for the Mordetzky Lock but Lashley escaped, hit a running powerslam followed by a Spear before the GFW roster ran in for the DQ. This was a fun little match. Lashley is great, Mordetzky is solid and they worked a nice power match before the finish. **1/2
The Wolves attempted to save Lashley but got laid out as well. Apparently nobody else in TNA cares, not even Spud, Robbie E and Mark Andrews who tried to run off GFW last week. Karen Jarrett came to ringside with Magnus’ Feast or Fired tag team title shot which it appears TNA remembered existed. Last we saw Magnus on this show he was teaming with Mickie James to fend off The Revolution so I can imagine some viewers being quite confused as to how they acquired the briefcase and where the hell Magnus went. They tried to cash in the case. Earl Hebner refused to allow them to cash it in, saying he’s cashed in before with Jeff Jarrett (which I’m personally taking as an acknowledgement that Earl was in fact in cahoots with Jarrett during the Slammiversary 2006 King of the Mountain main event, finally putting a lid on that story nine years later). Jeff decked Earl and then got Scott D’Amore to bully Brian Stiffler into starting the match.
TNA World Tag Team Championships – Trevor Lee and Brian Myers vs. The Wolves©
Lee tried to pin Edwards right away but he kicked out. Myers and Lee continued to try and put away Edwards but couldn’t. Edwards caught Lee in a single leg crab while Richards locked a Texas cloverleaf on Myers. Dutt interfered resulting in Lee hitting Edwards with the Feast or Fired briefcase to win the TNA tag team titles. They really haven’t done a good job establishing the Global Force roster as legitimate threats. Despite beating down Edwards and Richards before the match, Lee and Myers still had to cheat to win. Only Mordetzky has had any promo time but he was nearly beaten by Lashley in the opener. Dutt has failed to beat Tigre Uno twice now and Tapa couldn’t beat Kong. Black is the only one to actually win so far but since then he lost back to back matches to EC3 and Roode. Even prior to winning the tag titles Lee and Myers lost to The Wolves. The audience has no reason to care about any of the Global Force folks aside from Jarrett and none of them seem like credible threats to the likes of Roode, Lashley or The Wolves. Not to mention, we don’t really have a grasp of what they’re fighting for. Yeah, they are fighting on the side of Global Force but what does Global Force mean to any of them? Why are they willing to go to war for GFW? Why are they willing to go to war for Jarrett? At least later in the show they gave Team TNA some promo time to explain their motives.
King of the Mountain Championship – Bobby Roode vs. PJ Black
Before the match Roode talked about how he was a TNA original and how this was TNA’s house. And yet Roode was nowhere to be seen minutes later when Dixie was soliciting defenders of TNA. This appeared to be a face turn for Roode, his third turn in a little over a year and second in three months. They brawled for a little while before Black hit two straight suicide dives and took control. Roode hit a blockbuster and exchanged strikes with Black. Roode hit a spinebuster for a near fall. Roode hit a Falcon Arrow for another near fall. Black hit a tornado DDT followed by a springboard moonsault but Roode kicked out. Roode got his feet up on another moonsault attempt and locked in the crossface. Dutt interfered and Black rolled up Roode but Roode kicked out. Drew Galloway fought off Dutt and Roode beat Black with the Roode Bomb to win the title. This never really picked up any momentum or flow and naturally the interference didn’t do it any favours. The work was good but the GFW/TNA backdrop was more a hindrance than a help. **3/4
Jeff Jarrett and the Global Force roster hit the ring and Roode bailed. Jeff Jarrett called out Dixie. Jarrett and Dixie started “shooting” about how Dixie replaced Jarrett with failed regime after failed regime. Dixie said everything Jarrett did was about ego while she was always trying to build the best team. She accused Jarrett of jumping ship while she stayed fighting the fight. Dixie made Jarrett an offer – a match where each picks a team to face each other in Lethal Lockdown with the winner owning all of TNA. Jarrett pointed out all the people standing behind him but nobody was standing behind Dixie. Drew Galloway came out and said he was willing to fight for TNA, that he was willing to stand up for Dixie. Drew was joined by The Wolves and Lashley. This was all a little too inside baseball until Drew came out and passionately grounded it in a much simpler, more effective you vs. us dynamic. The big match will happen, not at Bound For Glory which is a month from today, but rather on Impact in two weeks. This company makes baffling decisions when it comes to PPV.
Kenny King was in the ring after the break. He reintroduced himself to the crowd as just plain old Kenny King. He doesn’t want to be known as the kind of guy who takes the easy way out so from now on he’s going to be a stand up fellow. He brought back the old 2012 relic Open Fight Night which was answered by Bram.
Kenny King vs. Bram
King hit a kick followed by a nice corkscrew plancha. I must give Josh Mathews credit for his ability to segue to plugging silly Destination America shows. This was a fairly short match which Bram won with the Brighter Side of Suffering. What a bizarre presentation. King turns babyface and says he promises to stand up for decent values from now on and then essentially gets squashed by Bram. What was the point of the pre-match promo? What was the point of redefining King’s character only to cut the legs out from under him immediately? *
Velvet Sky made her way to the ring and discussed The Dollhouse’s attack on her last week. She called out Taryn. Taryn appeared on the big screen and said she would destroy Velvet on every level. Jade, Rebel and Marti Bell made their way to the ring and attacked Velvet. Angelina Love and Madison Rayne made the save and The Beautiful People reunited. Madison and Angelina constituted the fourth turn of this show (along with Roode and King) not to mention Rebel’s turn last week as well as the mass Global Force turn. That’s a lot of upheaval in two weeks. This is yet another Beautiful People reunion but Angelina and particularly Velvet have always been better off together than apart. At least it gives The Dollhouse a proper foil.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III© – If Matt loses Jeff becomes EC3’s assistant
Matt got the better of EC3 early but EC3 had control as we came back from break. Hardy hit a Side Effect for a near fall. And then the referee was bumped. There…was a ref bump. A…ref…bump. And then phantom pins and interference and belt shots and even more interference and a cheap finish. Look I don’t care anymore. EC3 won with a low blow and a roll up. *1/4
I really like Matt Hardy. I really like EC3. There is absolutely no reason I shouldn’t enjoy a World title match between the two. Unless of course they aren’t put in a position to succeed. As usual TNA fail to learn from anything. It’s the same ref bump, overbooked nonsense that hasn’t worked over and over and over again. The same formula that drove away TNA’s PPV audience. The same formula that means I can never, ever get excited for World title matches because I know exactly what I’m in store for no matter how good the match is on paper. It’s just maddening to see them do the same thing again and again.
Who actually enjoys this? Who actually enjoys such contrived story telling that is nothing but a sorry holdover from the late 1990’s approach to wrestling? Having the constant need to force controversy and concoct drama in the desperate hope of engaging your audience instead of simply trusting in your extremely talented performers to deliver something special, something memorable. This match was just one in a long string of matches ruined by overbooking in TNA. Nobody is going to remember it. Nobody is going to be talking about this for the next week. Nobody is going to seek it out. And nobody is going to feel like they need to tune in to the next TNA title match. It will create no buzz. It just leaves a feeling of dissatisfaction. And yet they persist with the exact same approach time and time again. They never learn. They never iterate. They never improve. Nothing ever changes.
Final Thoughts: This show added up to less than the sum of its parts. A needlessly rushed, poorly executed invasion story and the usual nonsense in the main event soured the whole experience. It gives the impression of a company with a thoroughly broken story telling process devoid of confidence and an abject inability to learn from mistakes and improve. It also gives the impression of a company that doesn’t have sufficient belief in its extremely talented performers’ ability to draw in viewers with their performances and personality; which is a real shame because TNA still have a roster full of guys and girls capable of producing a damn good television show. If only they’d ever be put in a position to actually do it.