Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Wednesday, October 14
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
They started by recapping all that happened last week and at Bound For Glory before revealing the other four groups for their World Title Series.
Group Tag Team Specialists – Davey Richards, Matt Hardy, Robbie E, and Eddie Edwards
Group Future 4 – Micah, Jessie Godderz, a returning Crimson and Eli Drake
Group X-Division – Manik, Mark Andrews, Tigre Uno, and DJ Z
Group TNA Originals – James Storm, Eric Young, Bobby Roode and Abyss
There are an awful lot of potentially fun matches on paper across all of those groups. This show featured matches from Groups TNA Originals and Tag Team Specialists as well as Group Wildcard.
Group Tag Team Specialists Match – Matt Hardy vs. Davey Richards
They exchanged holds before Davey went for a double stomp but ate double boots to the mush. Matt hit a Side Effect on the apron after which Matt took control. Davey hit a backstabber and went punch for punch with Hardy. Davey low bridged Matt, who fell to the floor, and followed with a suicide dive. Davey hit a missile dropkick and a handspring kick for a nearfall. A sequence of counters ended in a backslide by Davey for two. Matt hit the Side Effect for a nearfall of his own. Matt leapt into a high kick, which Davey followed with an exploder suplex but missed a double stomp. That opened the door for a Hardy Twist of Fate for the win and the three points. The tag team chemistry between these two segued to a singles match resulting in a damn fine TV match. It was briskly paced and they made the most of the time they had. ***1/4
Group Wildcard Match – Aiden O’Shea vs. Kenny King
O’Shea (the former Jay Bradley) is basically doing a barroom brawler gimmick. At some stage Aiden O’Shea ripped his pants right in the crotch region. It may have been the highlight of the match. Basic speed vs. power match which King won after a springboard Blockbuster. On a roster known for fairly generic brawlers (I’m looking at you Bram), O’Shea will need something else to stand out. *3/4
Supplementary segments this week included Pope swiping left or right on the members of Group TNA Originals (picking who he thought would progress in the tournament rather than rating attractiveness), a Skype interview with EC3 (who will face Bobby Lashley next week), a bunch of roundtable discussions, a video package of Bobby Lashley beating people up and working out, as well as post match interviews with Davey Richards, Abyss, Robbie E, Eddie Edwards, and Eric Young. Like last week all of this served as a solid way of framing the tournament and giving all these matches meaning (while offering an opportunity for the wrestlers to show some personality).
Group TNA Originals Match – Eric Young vs. Abyss
They made no mention of Abyss and Young’s time as a team (in which it was revealed Abyss and Joseph Park were one and the same). Young dominated before Abyss scored a nearfall off a chokeslam. Abyss went to the floor and grabbed Janice. Earl Hebner removed Janice from the ring allowing Young to hit a low blow and a diving elbow but Abyss kicked out. Young tried for a Piledriver but got back tossed and ran into a Black Hole Slam handing Abyss the three points. These two have had better matches together, but this was fine. **
Group Tag Team Specialists Match – Robbie E vs. Eddie Edwards
They opened with an exchange of holds before Edwards scored a nearfall off a running knee. Edwards missed a corner charge and struck the ringpost. Robbie followed with a senton off the apron. Edwards booted Robbie out to the floor but both guys took each other out with a double clothesline. Robbie ducked a clothesline and hit the Boom Drop but Edwards kicked out. Eddie hit a backpack stunner for two but Edwards transitioned into a half crab. Robbie escaped and hit a reverse DDT for the win. They were playing up a potential miracle run for Robbie, saying he proved himself as a singles wrestler after this win. Really solid match, Edwards is great, and Robbie is really underrated as a wrestler. If TNA were willing to put in the effort they could build a solid midcard division around the likes of Robbie, Jessie Godderz, Eli Drake (who is a very good promo), Crimson, Micah and Kenny King. ***
The Group Tag Team Specialists table as it stands:
Group Wildcard Match – Mahabali Shera vs. Crazy Steve
In an interview earlier in the show, Steve communicated via horn. That was a warning of things to come in this match. Shera still had Khoya on his ring gear but Mathews covered for it as it being a reminder of what he’s trying to leave in the past. Shera won a short match with the Sky High. It could have been more offensive – you haven’t seen bad matches until you’ve seen Crazy Steve vs. Sam Shaw. 1/2*
Group Wildcard as it stands:
Group TNA Originals Match – James Storm vs. Bobby Roode
They spent the show telling the story of the James Storm/Bobby Roode feud through a series of videos. Storm did the Beer part of the old Beer Money taunt but Roode was having none of it. Roode and Storm brawled on the floor before Storm took control with a low blow. After a series of counters and escapes Roode hit the Double R spinebuster for two. Roode hit a blockbuster for another nearfall. Roode went for the Payoff but Storm escaped hit a headscissors, a codebreaker and a lungblower but only scored two. Storm grabbed a chair but the referee grabbed it and threw it back to the floor. This however opened the door for Storm to strike Roode with a cowbell but Roode kicked out. Storm went for the Last Call but Roode escaped. Storm went for the Eye of the Storm but Roode escaped again and hit the Payoff for the win. It’s been a long old while since Roode beat somebody with the Payoff. Storm and Roode could wrestle a ~*** in their sleep considering how often they’ve worked together and this was pretty much exactly that. They didn’t go for a big epic match with loads of nearfalls but rather a really well wrestled TV main event. ***1/4
Group TNA Originals as it stands:
Final Thoughts: This was a better show than last week by virtue of having three good matches with the same improved presentation. Impact has suddenly become a wrestling show without pretence – the last two weeks it has lived and died on the quality of its wrestling and the quality of its personalities. And what has resulted is a show that has become a breeze to watch. If TNA were so inclined this tournament could serve as a soft reset for TNA going forward in January. Next week will see the second round of matches in Group Champions (EC3 vs. Lashley and Anderson vs. Aries) as well as the first bunch of matches in Group X-Division.