BOBBY LASHLEY PROMO - he claims the Wolves screwed him out of the title last night. I honestly don't remember what happened in that match. Maybe instead of wasting time with a promo they could show us a quick recap and then cut right to the wrestling match? It would make perfect sense for Lashley have given this speech he gave here to someone in TNA management earlier today, or even last night after the match, and for said TNA officials to have then booked the wrestling match we're about to see here, as opposed to TNA having apparently gone on the air without having an opener booked.
BOBBY LASHLEY vs. DAVEY RICHARDS- 7.5/10
Yup. Davey's back, and he looks pretty darn fully recovered. They told a good story of speed vs. power, while also having Davey utilize his arsenal of leg submissions to try to increase that advantage as much as possible, as well as to take away Lashley's most potent weapon: the spear. GREAT opener.
Are those 8 ½ x11 pieces of paper with "Wolves Nation" written in plain black font on them supposed to be signs? Because if they are, they are by far the most pathetic signs I have ever seen. Calling them fifth-rate would be giving them way too much credit. Twenty-fifth would still be too much.
MCKENZIE INTERVIEWS ZEMA ION ABOUT HIS UPCOMING TITLE MATCH - meh.
FOUR-WAY ELIMINATION MATCH FOR THE TNA X-DIVISION TITLE:
DJ Zema Ion(c) vs. Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett vs. Braxton Sutter- 6.75/10
Josh explained that Gregory Shane Helms is not out here managing his two proteges because he got misted by Rosemary last night. You know... that thing they wash off with water. And it's not like it was one of those specially-colored mists, either. It was just plain old normal green mist.
Lee and Everett had a big argument after Lee got eliminated that was clearly kayfabe, but the cameraman missed the whole thing, instead decided to focus on DJZ just sitting in the ring and doing nothing. New logo, new owners, same old TNA.
A minute or so later Lee slammed DJZ's wrist (which apparently DJZ recently had surgery on) into the ring post, but before he did so, shouted to the camera that was right in front to him to "MAKE SURE YOU GET THIS ON CAMERA!" In other words "DON'T CUT AWAY FROM IMPORTANT SPOTS, YOU MORON!" (I assume he saw on the AnthemTron that the camera was not focused on him and Everett during their argument).
They actually spent some time working over the wrist, which helped me get into this match. It's funny how refreshing it is to get something resembling a story when you're gotten so many pointless, multi-man X-Division Title spot fests with no build that you go into a match feeling numb to it.
THE WOLVES BACKSTAGE - A GREAT segment teasing dissension between the two, but this is a segment that should have happened on Impact, not on a PPV.
ROBBIE E. PROMO - bad.
First of all, this whole thing was a waste of time. Secondly, there is the content. Robbie E. declared that he was a "new Robbie E." This is at least the third time in the past few years that we've been told we are getting a "new Robbie E." and he always sounds and acts just like the old Robbie E. He also never manages to get anywhere above the bottom of the mid-card (yes, even as tag champ, because that's how little those belts meant during the time the Bro-Mans held them). You'd think that by this point a company in the dire financial straits that TNA has been in for the past few years would have cut their losses and just stopped using this guy, but instead they are giving him mic time on a PPV.
He is here to make an open challenge because he is crazy and crazy people like fighting and crazy things happen when you're live. He really said all of that. He then immediately restricts his supposedly "open" challenge only to members of the DCC, a group he has absolutely no quarrel with. If you want to do Robbie E. vs. a member of the DCC so damn badly, would it really have been too much work to spare thirty seconds of last night's Impact to show the dastardly heel DCC jumping Robbie backstage? Then not only would this match have some meaning to it, but you could have announced it last night on TV so people could actually know what they were getting when they ordered this PPV, and so you wouldn't have to waste time on the PPV with a pointless promo.
BRAM vs. ROBBIE E.- 2.5/10
Bram came out, without the other members of the DCC even though they usually all show up together. He wasted time cutting a promo talking about how he was going to kick Robbie's ass, etc. etc. Then, when he got down to the ring, this guy who is supposed to be a sadistic member of a violent gang who have been going around attacking people just because suddenly decides that he'd rather take the night off and starts to head to the back. This was all done so that he could be on outside so that they could start hot by having Robbie dive onto him. Of course, all Robbie did was plain old cross-body, and while it looked good, it looked nowhere near as good as the dives we've seen in the previous two matches.
Despite starting off by hitting the first move of the match (and a big one at that), Robbie was getting his ass kicked within thirty seconds. Bram beat him up for an extremely large portion of the match. They wanted me to see Robbie as this "never say die" babyface, but Robbie's pre-match goofball promo made that impossible. To add to the frustration, someone decided that f*cking Robbie E. needed to be protected, so Bram had to hit a low blow before hitting the Brighter Side of Suffering for the win.
ANYTHING GOES MATCH
Moose vs. Mike Bennett (w/Maria Kanellis Bennett)- 7.25/10
We got a video package recapping last night's set-up for this match, but that match has nothing to do with why these two are having a no disqualifications match. There is history between these guys and this is the blow-off to one of the bigger feuds TNA has had over the past few months, but they completely ignored that. The closest we got to any real acknowledgement of that was Bennett cutting a great promo in an interview with JB, but even that didn't feel like it built this up as well as a proper video package would have (although it was a great promo and even with a proper video package I wouldn't have cut it from the show). They had a pretty great weapons match, but the after all of the weapons spots and table spots they had done, a rainmaker feels pretty anti-climactic as a finish.
ELI DRAKE'S TAG TEAM PARTNER WILL BE... when he said that he "had a problem" I was really hoping that his partner would wind up being Simon Diamond (who I think is still working for TNA as a road agent). Instead, I'm stuck with Tyrus, who might well be the least over man in TNA (which is a rather impressive accomplishment, when you think about it).
MARSHE ROCKETT PROMO - oh no! He's possessed by Caprice Coleman. Like Caprice, he has randomly started calling people "jive turkeys" as if this is supposed to be some big controversial thing in 2017. He wasted two minutes cutting a pointless promo in which said absolutely nothing. F*ck this company
MAHABALI SHERA vs. MARSHE ROCKETT- 2/10
It's sh*t like this that is one of the reasons why 2016 TNA was so unbearable, and is part of the reason why TNA has not made any progress in attempting to pull themselves out of the pitiful hole they have dug themselves into.
They have these characters that go nowhere and do absolutely nothing. Grado, Shera, Al Snow, the Tribunal, Robbie E., Jesse Godderz, Tyrus, Aiden O'Shea, Andrew Everett, Marshe Rockett, even Bram falls into this category... they have these guys and they just waste time with them, either by putting them in completely random, irrelevant matches like this one that succeed at nothing but filling time, or by putting them in feuds like the Tribunal & Al Snow vs. Shera & Grado that spin their wheels for months at a time, or just by having them do the same things and the play the same roles over and over again, never in any way developing. Imagine how much better TNA would be if they fired two thirds of these guys and then took the others and made a concerted effort to give them real storylines in which they do things that actually have some sort of lasting effect on them or those around them.
But no. Instead of that, let's waste ten minutes of PPV time on a moronic promo by Marshe Rockett that turns him into a joke and then having him wrestle Mahabali Shera. That's definitely a better use of our time than giving the top few matches on this show each a couple of extra minutes to wrestle.
The match was boring, and made worse by the fact that I know it will have absolutely no relevance to anything ever.
GAIL KIM PROMO - she says that she isn't retired, and when she is healthy again she will be back for her title. And just like that we have completely killed any suspense in the upcoming championship match.
GAIL KIM & ROSEMARY SEGMENT- HORRIBLE
Rosemary comes out and she cuts one of her stupid promos in her stupid over-dramatic voice and I so sick and tired of this sh*t. It is completely beyond me how anyone can possibly enjoy Decay (and especially Rosemary and Abyss). Decay is just TNA's version of the Wyatt Family, with Rosemary in Bray's role as chief spouter of bullsh*t. All she does is talk and talk and talk waste time with these stupid promos where she speaks a million words but manages to say absolutely nothing.
Actually, do you know what? Decay is even more annoying than the Wyatt Family. Bray Wyatt is like a bad cartoon character. He's big and hairy and he does his magic tricks and he says things that are supposedly scary and then tells you to "run!" or warns you that "we're here." He's meant to scare children, and he's probably at least partially effective at it.
Rosemary, though (and the rest of Decay... and the DCC, too, while we're at it. And that what Hardys have become since after The Final Deletion), is a bad art house film. And when I say bad, I mean every negative, cynical stereotype of an art house film that you can think of. The sort of sh*t you would see from someone who has gone to several real, quality art films, but doesn't actually grasp the art- the intricacies of plot or symbolism or motif, or how using certain cinematographic techniques can subconsciously effect the audience to create feelings of confusion or fear or of being overwhelmed by speed of things that are happening around you. Someone who sees what was done, but with no understanding of why, so when he/she goes to make his/her own art house film, it's just filled with weird random sh*t and effects and odd camera angles and crazy swerves in the plot that exist for no other reason than they fall into creator's sorely lacking understanding of things that an art house film is "supposed to have." That's what Rosemary is. And that is even worse because while Bray Wyatt's role as a character isn't to scare anyone older than age nine, Rosemary is intended for us grown-ups. She is there for us to appreciate how "sophisticated" and "complex" her character his, and what wonderful art is behind it... and the whole time, artists themselves completely fail to realize that their knowledge of the art- in this case, storytelling- is pathetically lacking.
Oh. Rosemary implied that Gail is a coward who is faking an injury so Gail punched Rosemary a few times and referees quickly broke them up. So yeah... they did an angle a PPV in order to build up to a match that will almost certainly happen on free TV, and almost certainly be many months away. And they wonder why they don't make any money.
TNA KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH
Rosemary(c) vs. Sienna- 2.25/10
Sienna did a finger-biting spot. Then, like a minute later, she was dumb enough to stick her own finger in Rosemary's mouth. Guess what happened. (And don't tell me that she was trying to go for a fishhook because it was right in front of the referee, so either way she's a moron).
This was another boring match with another pointlessly dirty finish. Also, both dirty finishes have involved "TNA Hall of Famer Senior Official Earl Hebner" which makes the TNA Hall of Fame look like a total joke (which it is). Earl pulling Sienna off of Rosemary when she was in the ropes three straight times and warning her not to do it again, then not disqualifying her when she shoved him made Earl look like crap, too.
This is a heel vs. heel match that we are getting out of the way for the logical reason that Sienna is, indeed, entitled to a rematch. Rosemary is currently feuding with two different babyfaces. There was no reason for her to not win this match cleanly, other than the fact that whoever is booking TNA seems to be allergic to them.
JESSE GODDERZ PROMO - a total heel promo from someone who is supposed to be a babyface.
JESSE GODDERZ vs. JAMES STORM (w/The DCC)- 5/10
The match was fine, but once again, it served no purpose on this PPV. I was also unhappy with our big scary heel group needing to cheat to be an undercard jamoke.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - dumb.
The lights go off and then Decay teleport into the ring. They blow mist in the DCC's eyes and then Abyss hits Kingston with a chokeslam. Then the lights go off so they can magically teleport away, because apparently TNA thinks that magical teleportation is cool.
EC III PROMO - SOOOOOOO annoying. He kept loudly emphasizing the word "one" whenever it came up. By the end of this, I wanted to see Eddie Edwards rip off "ONE!" of Ethan's limbs and shove said limb as far as possible into "ONE!" of Ethan's orifices in as painful a manner as possible. Ethan is supposed to be a babyface.
BROKEN HARDYS PROMO - decent
TNA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
The Hardy Boyz(c) vs. Eli Drake & Tyrus- 5.75/10
I rarely catch people calling spots, but you could clearly hear a "one more" before the last "E-LI-DRAKE!"- "DELETE!" taunt-battle. The match was your usual bland tag team match. Jeff was the babyface in peril.
TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
Eddie Edwards(c) vs. Ethan Carter III- 7.25/10
You know, I don't think the six establishing shots of Lashley sitting there watching the match we've gotten over the first three minutes of this match were enough. Why don't we cut to another one while the wrestlers are in the middle of a spot, and let's linger on him this time just to make sure the viewers remember that he is sitting here.
This was on its way to being a pretty great match until they overbooked the hell out of it. Eddie Edwards in particular came out of this looking like crap, as not only did EC III get a visual pinfall on him, but he needed a Lashley spear to help him put EC III down. Yes, I understand that they're trying to keep Ethan viable as a challenger and I understand that this finish builds to both Davey vs. EC III and Wolves vs. Ethan and Lashley and could play into the earlier Eddie-Davey segment, but I'm just SOOOOOOOO sick and tired of dirty finishes in this company, and especially in main events. It's like they're the only ones who still haven't figure out why their product has fallen the way it has over the past decade, to the point that they are winding up here, on PopTV, with less people caring about them or buying their PPVs than when they had a one-hour show at Midnight on Saturday nights on Spike TV and didn't have over a decade of national TV exposure with big-name stars like Sting and Kurt Angle behind them.
Every time I watch one of these shows and get excited because it seems to be going well in the beginning I always wind up angry by the end of the night because TNA will never cease to be TNA. One of these days, I'll learn my lesson, but even if I don't, then one of these days I won't be watching these anymore because they won't have learned their lesson, and they'll be gone.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Josh Mathews claimed that the ankle lock had been "bestowed" upon Davey Richards by Kurt Angle, as if Davey wasn't doing the move for YEARS before the two even met, and as if some segment had happened where Kurt taught Davey the move and gave him his blessing to use it (none ever has).