Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Wednesday, November 5
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
Group Knockouts Match
Madison Rayne vs. Brooke
Madison Rayne said the Knockouts started the women’s wrestling revolution (personally I wouldn’t want to go near associating myself with what WWE have been referring to as a revolution lately) including name dropping Ronda Rousey (a person who it seems impossible to escape these days) in a pre-match promo. The three other women in the group have three points so Rayne needs a win here. Brooke apparently broke her hand in her match with Gail Kim so she had her fingers splintered. Rayne hit a sliding clothesline before Brooke made a comeback with a flying clothesline. Brooke connected with a flapjack and followed with a diving elbow for two. Brooke tried for the Tesshocker but her hand gave out allowing Rayne to hit the Rayne Check for the win. This was a short, fairly simple match but didn’t really add up to much. *1/2
This is Group Knockouts as it stands:
With Kong vs. Brooke and Kim vs. Rayne still to go it’s still all up for grabs going into the final round of matches with all four women on three points.
Group UK Match
Rockstar Spud vs. Bram
Spud tried to take it to Bram but Bram overpowered him. Spud began to out speed Bram which left Bram frustrated. Bram brought things out to the floor and dropped Spud on the ring steps. Spud made a comeback punctuated by an enziguiri. Spud escaped a Brighter Side of Suffering attempt and caught a roll up for a near fall. Bram then hit the Brighter Side of Suffering for the win. Solid big man, little man match but nothing particularly interesting. Bram has still shown very little in the over a year he’s been on the roster. His matches are all just bland brawling, never really building or evolving into anything more substantial. **1/4
This is Group UK as it stands:
With Spud vs. Galloway and Grado vs. Bram still to go, this group can still go a lot of ways. We could even end up with a either a three way draw on 6 points between Galloway, Spud and Bram or a three way draw on 3 points between Bram, Spud and Grado. With no mechanism in place to determine who would go through in the case of a draw (head to head record would make most sense if they didn’t want to go straight to a playoff of some sort) I’d imagine it’s unlikely to happen.
Group X-Division Match
Manik vs. Mark Andrews
They had a nifty extended exchange of holds and counters before Manik finally took control and began working over Andrews. Andrews finally came back with a hurricanrana and a tornado DDT for a near fall. Andrews hit a double stomp but Manik got the knees up on a standing moonsault attempt. Manik locked on an armbar but Andrews escaped. Andrews hit a northern lights suplex and a standing corkscrew but ate the knees attempting a Shooting Star allowing Manik to hit the Detonation Kick to pick up the win. I really liked this – not only was it different from usual X-Division matches but it was different from what is usually presented on this show. Andrews tried to go hold for hold with Manik and failed so he started to rely on high flying to gain the advantage only for that to be his downfall in the end. It was a simple, solid story and it was well executed. ***
This is Group X-Division as it stands:
Like the previous three groups there has been very little settled in this group with Uno vs. Manik and DJ Z vs. Andrews still to go. Even Andrews can still tie for second if he and Manik both win.
They aired an interview with Jeff Hardy talking his year so far, his motor biking leg break and the Bound For Glory main event. He also mentioned he is banned from the World Title Series due to his actions at Bound For Glory, explaining why he hasn’t been in Matt’s corner. Hardy always seem very likable and down to earth with this being no different – it basically served to get people up to speed on all the happened at Bound For Glory while getting Hardy on the show.
Group Tag Team Specialists Match
Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards
The Wolves actually still entered together. They exchanged holds for a while resulting in a standoff before the break. Davey finally gained the advantage with a dropkick and a suplex. Eddie hit a sliding knee for two. Richards hit a spin kick while Edwards was up top and followed with a superplex. Both men exchanged forearms before Richards went for a handspring but Edwards caught him with a slam. Richards hit a high kick followed by a German for two. Richards went for a double stomp but Eddie avoided it and they exchanged pinfall attempts. They exchanged a series of strikes before the time limit ran out. They wrestled a very smart match. The opening exchanges were suitably cagey for two long time partners facing off. They ratcheted up the intensity as they got closer to the time limit because both men needed the three points. They didn’t go overboard and they did a really smart job of avoiding each other signature moves. This would have been elevated in a better environment but this match was great. ***1/2
This is Group Tag Team Specialists as it stands:
Matt Hardy is officially qualified with all three others still in the game for second place depending how the last two matches (Richards vs. Robbie E and Edwards vs. Hardy) pan out.
Group Wildcard Match
Mahabali Shera vs. Kenny King
The crowd preferred King, though Shera was a heel when this was taped. Shera hit a backdrop and a shoulder tackle for two. King hit a blockbuster and followed with a corkscrew splash to the floor that Shera didn’t even appear to try and catch. Both men were lucky to come out unscathed from that. King hit a spin kick for two. King missed double knees in the corner allowing Shera to make a comeback. Shera hit a delayed vertical suplex and soon after countered a King dive into a Sky High for the win. This was extremely rough in places. Shera shouldn’t be working televised singles matches unless absolutely necessary. He looks fine in short bursts but in longer matches his timing, positioning, movement and selling are all exposed – which is why he should be kept in tag matches while he works on everything else when the cameras aren’t rolling. *
This is Group Wildcard as it stands:
Shera is in pole position but nobody is out yet with the final two matches (Shera vs. O’ Shea and King vs. Steve) to go.
Group TNA Originals Match
Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode
These two usually have good but not great matches (with the notable exception being the very good Last Man Standing match they had earlier this year in March). They ran videos about the issues these two had earlier in the year (once again ignoring the long feud these two had in 2007) including a little show running angle where Young was trying to get in Roode’s head. Roode dominated Young in the early stages before Young escaped a Roode Bomb attempt with an eye rake. Roode made a little comeback before Young cut him off with a neckbreaker. Roode hit an enziguiri and both men exchanged punches. Roode hit the double R spinebuster but Young kicked out. Roode looked for the Pay Off but Young escaped and went for his Piledriver – which Roode reversed into a jackknife cover for two. Young used Earl Hebner as a shield which momentarily distracted Roode allowing Young to hit the Piledriver for the win. This was a good but not great match – entirely professional in every way, worked more as a sprint than anything else but just lacking some spice to push it over the top. ***
This is Group TNA Originals as it stands:
With Roode vs. Abyss and Young vs. Storm to go all is up for grabs with all four men on three points.
Final Thoughts: Don’t sleep on Impact – it’s the most breezily watchable it’s been in a couple of years. They’ve done a good job booking the tournament so that the last round of matches in every group still has some meaning (even in the case where Hardy has already qualified and Anderson has already been eliminated). It may feel a little inessential with the way in which this content was taped and it being the early stages of a tournament but it is really enjoyable to watch.