Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, September 22
Soundstage 20, Universal Studios
Impact Grand Championship – Semi Final
Drew Galloway def. Eddie Edwards by Split Decision
They started by exchanging strikes before Edwards went for a dive. Galloway caught Edwards and dropped him back first on the apron. Galloway controlled the remainder of Round 1 and took Round 1 via split decision. Judge three awarded the round to Edwards, which was a dubious decision.
Edwards came flying out in Round 2, maintaining the advantage in spite of a German out of the corner by Galloway. Edwards hit his big dive. Edwards continued his attack and the announcers failed to point out why. The scoring system encourages physicality and aggression. So it encourages wrestlers staying on the offensive. The announcers have to reinforce that. That scoring criteria dictates how these matches should be worked. Edwards took the second round once again by split decision. Based on the work, the first two rounds should have been unanimous. Though that may be laying the seeds for poor judging decisions down the line (a useful tool in a division like this but one that should be deployed exceedingly sparingly).
The sense of urgency was kicked up a notch as each man exchanged submission attempts and counters. We had a chop war before they exchanged big moves. Galloway connected with the Future Shock but time ran out (just as Edwards kicked out). This was the first Impact Grand Championship to go to judges decision. Galloway took the final round and will advance to the final at Bound For Glory on October 2nd. It is little surprise that these two in particular had the best Grand Championship format match to date. ***1/2
After the match Galloway insisted that Lashley and EC3 would be incapable of following him at Bound For Glory. EC3 came out and Drew insisted that EC3 would never beat Galloway under Grand Championship rules. Lashley then came out but Mike Bennett attacked EC3 from behind. Lashley flattened EC3 with a Spear before Moose made the save but got laid out. I like the way TNA has inter-weaved their main stories for the last six months. Things aren’t isolated and happening in a vacuum. Stories are fluid. They cross over and interact and spin off into new issues. It makes the whole product feel interconnected. It makes it feel alive. It’s dynamic.
Impact Grand Championship – Semi Final
Aron Rex def. Eli Drake by Pinfall
Rex and Drake bantered a little before the match. That was the first time Rex actually showed some personality in TNA so far. They had a cagey feeling out process before Rex took control. Rex unanimously took Round 1. Drake guillotined Rex on the top rope and took control, winning Round 2. Rex quickly won the match via pinfall after hitting the Revelator (a discuss punch/forearm) with 2:20 left in Round 3. Rex’s first two TNA matches haven’t exactly set the world alight. He will face Drew Galloway at Bound For Glory, which on live PPV should be the biggest test of his headline credentials. **
TNA revealed that Cody Rhodes (going simply by Cody) will debut at Bound For Glory on October 2nd.
I feel like TNA could potentially do for Cody what it did for Christian eleven years ago. Cody was a strange case in WWE in that he clearly had potential but he never really had a clear chance to fulfill it. While obviously Cody is working everywhere at the moment and his commitment to TNA in the long run remains to be seen, he fits right in with Galloway, Edwards, Rex, Drake, Lashley, EC3, Bennett, and Moose and can work to the standard that TNA generally ask of people. Stylistically TNA is a great fit for him (and really the best fit outside of WWE) and like Christian it should afford him opportunities to be the star of the show, with all the learning experiences that come with that.
Decay made their way to the ring with The Great War looming in the horizon at Bound For Glory. The Nobodies by Marilyn Manson really helps add atmosphere to Decay’s entrance. Decay declared that Bound For Glory will be the end of The Hardys forever. The crowd were gleefully chanting Delete and Obsolete. Matt appeared in the crowd and promised to Delete Decay’s tag team title reign. The lights went out and Decay were tried to the ringposts when they came back on. Reby attacked Rosemary before Rosemary escaped. Reby and Rosemary will go one on one next week. Now that The Hardys have fully turned and they have strong foils in Decay, this feud is landing much better in front of the live crowd. This exchange was their most enjoyable and energetic to date.
TNA X-Division Championship
DJ Z © def. Trevor Lee
DJ Z cut a promo about how much he has matured since his last reign in 2012 and then issued an open challenge. Lee controlled the early exchanges before DJ Z came back with a big dive. DJ Z hit a top rope hurricanrana and followed with the ZDT for the win. Far too short to even scratch the surface of what these two would be capable of at their best but really enjoyable for what it was. Everett jumped DJ Z after the match but Eddie Edwards made the save. Edwards vs. DJ Z for the title is set for next week. **3/4
Maria def. Nameless Woman
This was Maria’s pre-Bound For Glory public workout. Maria demeaned Allie a little before the match. The unnamed woman was Luscious Latasha. Maria never removed the Knockouts title from her waist. Maria won with a sledge to the gut. NR
Maria vs. Masked Ninja Lady – No Contest
Allie was supposed to get Maria a second opponent but she forgot. A Masked Ninja Lady came out instead. Shock of all shocks the ninja was Gail Kim. Sienna distracted Kim long enough for Maria to escape. Simple enough stuff. Maria is unlikable and Kim wants to beat her up. NR
EC3 and Moose def. Mike Bennett and Bobby Lashley
EC3 had his ribs taped due to Lashley’s attack a couple of weeks ago. EC3 and Moose ran wild before the break but Lashley and Bennett were in control coming back. EC3 made the tag and Moose ran wild. Moose looked great during his comeback. EC3 reversed the Miracle In Progress into a pinfall to score the win. Solid tag match but more of a backdrop to the post-match than a match itself. Lashley and EC3 had a pull apart after the match. Billy Corgan booked Team EC3 vs. Team Lashley in Lethal Lockdown for next week with the winner picking the stipulation for Bound For Glory. **1/4
TNA has done a very good job of outlining both Lashley and EC3’s respective stories in the year to date. They’ve done a really good job slowly building toward EC3 vs. Lashley as their big match since March. But for me they’ve yet to really hard sell me on why the match is absolutely essential. The closest they’ve come was the tremendous press conference a couple of weeks ago. It feels like they need a hard push for that match next week.
This was a much better show that last week. Noteworthy because of the announcement of Cody Rhodes’ impending TNA arrival, it also featured a strong Drew Galloway/Eddie Edwards match with most of the key characters popping in a much better way.