OPENING VIDEO PACKAGE- a good, mostly Aries-focused video package to build up tonight’s world title match.
BOBBY LASHLEY vs. SAMI CALLIHAN (w/OVE)- 6/10
OVE’s dumb masks need to go. That sh*t isn’t cool unless you go all the way with it like Joey Gacy in CZW.
Sami had a baseball bat that he immediately tried to hit Lashley with. Why didn’t the referee take it away from him? The ref then clearly saw the Crists grab Lashley and pull him off the apron but didn’t call for a DQ. He later saw them interfere a second time and still did nothing. Other than that stuff, this was a very good brawl that was hurt by Sonjay Dutt’s terrible commentary.
Lashley was about to win but the Crists ran in for the DQ. This wasn’t a bad DQ, but it was a frustrating one. It’s the sort of finish that I would be a lot more accepting of in a promotion that doesn’t have a reputation for constantly doing dirty or bad finishes. It makes sense for the story for Lashley to not just win the feud after one match and having Sami lose here would have made him look like a total punk because he’s the guy “going after the big fish” to prove himself, but that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying. I think it would have been slightly better if they had just attacked Lashley when he was about to hit the spear so Sami could save face a little more, but I think a dirty victory of some sort for Sami would have been the best way to do with this, because that not only gives Sami something to brag about, but it’s also a lot more palatable than a DQ. Also, if they were going to go to a DQ, I really would have liked them to not go so long here (maybe go eight or nine minutes instead of fourteen to save the time for other matches).
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Eddie Edwards shows up to save Lashley from OVE. Sonjay Dutt gave BY FAR the most pathetic “what’s he doing here?” I have ever heard. He did not appear to give one single sh*t.
Josh then ran down the card for us, and he included a plug for Allie meeting her secret admirer. Is TNA going to be sending a camera crew to this? WHY? What kayfabe reason is there for them to waste time with this on their wrestling show? (And, from the way it was filmed, it seemed like we were just supposed to pretend that the camera wasn’t there, which makes this create an even bigger disconnect).
MCKENZIE INTERVIEWS ELI DRAKE & CHRIS ADONIS- Eli was good until he went on for too long. Adonis was silent.
LAX HANG OUT IN THEIR LOCKER ROOM- this felt like a big waste of time. Konnan commended Homicide for the way he had “expanded our operations in Tijuana” and “took over,” then ordered him to go to the same in Mexico City. The way he phrased this was so vague it could have referred to anything from organizing a political party to opening a new McDonalds franchise to selling drugs to promoting a wrestling company to organizing a coup against the government.
Also, Konnan used some terms to refer to Lee & Konley that probably won’t make GLAAD very happy. Speaking of those two, shouldn’t LAX be trying to get their bandanas back from those guys instead of sitting around drinking tequila and plays cards? This segment made Ortiz and Santana look more like extras for The Konnan Show than the guys who we are trying to get over because they’re doing all of the work in the ring.
ALLIE SHOWS UP AT THE BUILDING- there is a weird sound effect and evil cackling, then she stumbles on seemingly nothing… and then, magically, a sticky note from her secret admirer that was not previously there (I went back and checked) appears on her suitcase, telling her where to meet him/her. So Allie’s secret admirer now has magical powers. Oh goody.
This came right after they chose to show us- of all of the clips in their entire library- the wedding from last year where Braxton Sutter left Laurel at the altar to be with Allie as their “Flashback Moment of the Week,” so if Braxton Sutter doesn’t figure into all of this in some way, I’m going to be annoyed.
AUSTIN ARIES PROMO- the lighting here made this painfully to look at. His promo wasn’t bad, but it felt like he’s just saying things I’ve already heard.
TNA IN NEW ORLEANS COMMERCIAL- they have decided to follow in WWE’s flawed footsteps by trying to get me excited to see their show by giving their hype video a soundtrack of soft jazz. You’ve got a f*cking fleur de lis and it says “New Orleans, LA” on the screen. Is it too much to ask for music that makes me feel hyped? And get rid of that f*cking bell, too. That’s like Cornette Era ROH lame, and when combined with the jazz it made me feel like I was watching an old-timey wrestling commercial in a Ken Burns documentary.
MCKENZIE INTERVIEWS MOOSE- okay segment.
McKenzie says it seems like Moose had cost Alberto the #1 contendership match last week. He did? Can I maybe get a replay so I have some idea of why Alberto might think that?
Moose started to give a rebuttal but Alberto jumped him and they brawled.
ROSEMARY vs. HANIA THE HUNTRESS- 4/10
This grudge match was so important that the announcers completely ignored it to talk about who Allie’s secret admirer might be, and Sonjay wasn’t even taking that seriously, either, so they buried both things. Then Josh had the temerity to bring up the fact that people criticize him on Twitter. Here’s a hint for any wrestling announcer out there: bringing up the fact that people on Twitter don’t like you instead of doing your f*cking job and calling the match is just pouring more fuel on the fire.
Hania did some cool-looking stuff, then got pinned when Rosemary rolled over on her flying crossbody. Hania attacked Rosemary after the match and threw her into the steps. She went for something else but Rosemary fought her off and Hania ran away. This was a meh angle.
MATT SYDAL &… JOHNNY IMPACT? (MAYBE?) BACKSTAGE- apparently they’re pals now.
EC III HAS BROUGHT BACK TYRUS- I fail to see why this is something I should be excited about.
ALLIE LOOKS FOR HER SECRET ADMIRER- She goes to tunnel 22 and finds a box of chocolates and a card with her name on it. We’ve got more creepy sound effects. She reads the card. Then Laurel sneaks out of a box and attacks her, but Allie easily fends her off, throws her back into the box and shouts “get back in the box.” She didn’t lock it or anything, but I guess Laurel just decided to obey her, because she didn’t come back out. Allie stormed off, then stormed back to kick the box (because apparently this segment needed comedy), and then storms off again.
Look… I can’t say that any of this doesn’t make sense (although a large chunk of that is due to the hackneyed excuse that Laurel is crazy and therefore she can do something idiotic like try to hide in a box rather than any of the other million convenient hiding places right there). But what I can say is that doing this was a mistake because, quite frankly, it was a stupid waste of time. What was the purpose of it? To reignite the feud between Allie and Laurel? If you’re going to do that then at least have Laurel come out on top here and get some f*cking heat. Imagine Laurel beating the sh*t out of Allie and trying to shove the chocolate (wrapped and all) down her throat while going on a crazed rant explaining that this is her ultimate revenge for Allie running her life (not only is it the day after Valentine’s day, but we are also just over a week away from what would have been Laurel and Braxton’s first anniversary). If you’re going to do this then make Laurel feel DANGEROUS. This made her feel like a female Heath Slater.
Sonjay later tried to push on us that this was supposed to show that Allie is now a strong powerful woman and not the “naïve girl” of last year, but at no point during this did she come off like that. She was the same goofball she always is.
MATT SYDAL & JOHNNY IMPACT vs. ETHAN CARTER III & TYRUS- 6.5/10
Sonjay’s commentary made it seem like the company booked Ethan against both babyfaces and told him to go find his own partner or else he’d have to face them alone, which makes the company look like idiots.
The match was good for the time it got. Ethan got his feet on the ropes and pinned Impact, so he’s probably getting added to Mundo’s big title match in March.
JIMMY JACOBS & KONGO KONG GO TO PARK, PARK, & PARK TO BOTHER JOSEPH PARK- bad
How did either TNA or Jimmy (we’ll assume he hired his own cameraman rather than TNA sending one of theirs along to be an accomplice to Jimmy’s crime [and, for old times, sake, I’ll pretend it’s Tyler Black]) get the security camera feed for this video package? This bothers me because sticking those few seconds of footage from the security camera into this literally served no purpose, and yet it opens up a plot-hole… so why the hell would they do it?
They start smashing sh*t, including the picture of Grandma Jenny. I don’t give a single sh*t about this.
And do you know what the worst part of this is? That there was a way to do this that at least doesn’t make the company seem like it doesn’t give a sh*t about (or even arguably glorifies) its wrestlers committing crimes. What you do is you have someone tell us that this happened last night, then show us the video, provided courtesy of Park, Park, & Park, and say that that Joseph hasn’t filed charges as of yet, but will be making a public statement about it next week on Impact. There. Same angle, but no plot-holes. This took me three minutes to think up.
BRIAN CAGE vs. JOHN CRUZ- squash
TREVOR LEE & CALEB KONLEY BACKSTAGE- they’re trying to find LAX to bring the fight to them. They made fat jokes at Fallah Bahh, then attacked guys in full body costumes they assumed were LAX but were actually two other dudes. As if this wasn’t dumb enough, they added f*cking background music to it.
TNA X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH: Taiji Ishimori(c) vs. El Hijo Del Fantasma- 7/10
So Fantasma’s team loses a tag match last week to Ishimori’s team, and somehow this results in Fantasma getting a title shot? Why can’t they just do the sensible thing and either give Sydal (the guy who got the pin last week) the title shot or make this match non-title. They seem to be going out of their way to kill the value of wins and losses on this show.
The announcers’ fawning over Ishimori’s entrance music and talking about how supposedly cool it is that he’s in the music video came off as so painfully forced it made it lame. Sonjay tells us that he thinks the guys in full body costumes were imposters. Whatever. The match was great, but would have been just as great without the belt on the line.
It is announced that Johnny Impact will put his #1 contendership on the line against EC III next week. Why? Yes, Ethan pinned him, but Johnny has to know it was a dirty pin and Impact management has to know it was a dirty pin, so how did this come about? I’m not saying there aren’t plausible ways it could have happened (for example, Johnny could have come across Ethan bragging about beating him and challenged him to a match next week to prove who is the better wrestler and gotten goaded into putting his title shot on the line); I’m saying it feels like we’re missing an important part of the story here.
TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Austin Aries(c) vs. Eli Drake (w/Chris Adonis)- 7.75/10
Aries came out with four belts but Josh only named three of them, which made him look silly. These guys had a really great match, and what’s more it was a clean TNA World Heavyweight Title defense… and in a main event, no less! Both guys worked the head, and Adonis’ presence payed off in a really great finishing sequence.
This was very much a tale of two shows, as most of the in-ring stuff was good, but most of the other stuff stunk. They’ve convinced me to give it at least another week or two. Maybe I’ll go until this Crossroads show on March 8th.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Sonjay Dutt emphasized that Lashley is an MMA fighter while repeatedly describing him as “real,” concluding with the atrocious line that Lashley is “as real as it gets in professional wrestling.”
You know. Because wrestling is fake. Thanks for making sure I’m acutely aware of that while I’m trying to watch this match. What’s next? Are you going to tell me that the moves don’t really hurt as much as the wrestlers make it seem like they do. What a f*cking idiot.
2. Sami Callihan managed to counter Lashley’s dreaded spear by catching him in a guillotine choke… and Sonjay’s comment on this is to question Sami’s wisdom for “going submission style on a guy like Bobby Lashley.”
HE’S AVOIDED THE OTHER GUY’S MOVE AND LOCKED HIM IN A DANGEROUS SUBMISSION HOLD! In what way is that possibly unwise?
3. Sonjay Dutt- “I hear a lot of vernacular coming out of Matt Sydal that I just don’t understand.”
If you don’t understand it then, almost by definition, it isn’t vernacular.
All Impact Wrestling (FKA TNA/GFW 2017) Reviews and Discussions
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