Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, November 3
Impact Zone
Soundstage 20, Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Photos (c) jeanmariebiele.com

Brandi Rhodes opened the show updating everybody on the condition of Cody (Rhodes) after Lashley attacked him last week. She promised Cody would be back and pivoted to her own role in the Knockouts division before being interrupted by Maria. If Gail Kim was unable to produce compelling matches with Maria I worry about the possibility of Maria vs. Brandi matches. Maria offered Brandi an to join her “lady squad” with Sienna and Laurel Van Ness. Brandi declined and got dropped with an AK-47 by Sienna for her troubles. Maria is a natural entry feud for Brandi but I’d rather they have settled the beef between Maria and Allie before transitioning to another programme. Both Maria and Brandi are good promos, the end game isn’t all that appealing.

Impact Grand Championship
Aron Rex © def. Jessie Godderz

The Impact Grand Championship rules can be found here. This followed a similar pattern to most of Rex’s title defenses. Godderz dominated Rounds 1 and 2 but Rex cheated to retain the title in Round 3. Rex is dreadfully suited to this format. His condescending cheating babyface character shows a great deal more promise than his original bland act did, but his work just hasn’t been compelling in the slightest. *1/2

Go For Broke (DJZ, Mark Andrews and Braxton Sutter) def. Rockstar Spud and Decay (Abyss and Crazy Steve), and Andrew Everett, Trevor Lee and Marshe Rockett

I’m on board with Team X Gold if for no other reason than its gotten Mark Andrews on TV a lot more in recent weeks. A man from each team was in the ring at once. DJZ did some cool flippy stuff.

Everybody worked over Andrews for a while before Abyss and Rockett got stuck into each other. Andrews made the tag to Sutter who ran wild. Decay were ejected for not obeying the referees five count resulting in Sutter pinning Spud after a downward spiral. I like that they’re establishing Go For Broke as the team to beat in Team X Gold. Now they just have to be given something to fight for. Josh Mathews lied about things trending again after the match. He hasn’t done that in a while (or he has and I haven’t noticed – TNA commentary is like white noise to me at times, Pope is fine but Josh can be terrible) and it’s very dumb – lying to your audience for no reason is ill-advised in all scenarios. Fun little tag match. **1/2

TNA World Tag Team Championships
The Hardys (Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero) © vs. DCC (Random Masked Fellow #1 and Random Masked Fellow #2) – No Contest

Obviously most will connect DCC to Los Ingobernables de Japon, but they give me more of an F Society from Mr Robot vibe. DCC attacked The Hardys before the match and looked to leave but Jeff demanded they return and fight. I have no problem with heel stables – a collection of wrestlers who simply operate as a group – the second they try to take over the company I’m out. They brawled randomly for a while before Earl Hebner threw the match out for little discernible reason. They brawled backstage some more after the match. The highlight was Jeff popping out of a box and shouting “Jeff in the box!” Matt was dropped from a forklift and appeared to lose his memory. *

EC3 was in the ring and called out Eli Drake. EC3 whipped himself into a frenzy and proposed a match for Eli Drake’s Bound For Gold title shot vs. EC3 never challenging for the world title again. Drake declined saying he’s going to cash in his title shot next week instead. I love when heels aren’t buffoons. These two are great together. EC3 has been full of energy and vigour since Bound For Glory with Drake being a great foil for him. Also I adore a heel being smart enough not to be goaded into doing something that’s not in his interests. He was just like “No thanks bud, I’m good!” EC3 wants Drake more than Drake wants EC3 and Drake is more than willing to use that to wind EC3 up.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Eddie Edwards © def. Bobby Lashley

They aired a series of excellent character profiles to flesh out Eddie Edwards throughout the show. Bobby Lashley has been one of my favourite wrestlers to watch this year. He is an utter beast who mows through everybody he wrestles, but his Achilles heel is his own hubris. His sheer overconfidence is the only thing that makes him beatable. And that ownership of character seeps through to everything he does, every little nuance in the ring defines that character. It’s really fun to watch, especially when paired with as compelling an underdog as Eddie Edwards. The formula for this match was simple but timeless – Lashley dominates, Edwards fought for his life for every inch he could get.

They got too cute for their own good with the finish. In trying for a finish that both protected Lashley while giving Edwards as fair a win as possible they came out with neither. After a ref bump Lashley had Edwards pinned. Lashley was going to be disqualified for attacking a referee but turned into a Boston Knee Party and the ref fast counted Lashley. So Lashley was beaten and Edwards got a cheap win aster taking a visual pin. That’s lose/lose in my book. Finish aside though this match was great stuff and would’ve benefit from a more legitimate finish. ***3/4

Final Thoughts:

Slow to start as some of the usual suspects under-delivered, but then the show kicked into gear building to an excellent Eddie Edwards/Bobby Lashley main event.