TNA iMPACT Review 3/16/17

By Lewis Carlan @PWSoth

This was week two of the new regime at IMPACT Wrestling that includes Jeff Jarrett, Bruce Prichard, and Dutch Mantell at the helm. I was quite impressed with the last week’s episode and was looking forward to this one. So, let’s get right into it.

The show opened with an “After IMPACT” segment from last week’s show. We saw Bobby Lashley’s reaction losing the title then Bruce Prichard telling Alberto El Patron that he doesn’t want to win the title “that way” (Unofficial referee made the count). We then get the meeting that was released on YouTube prior to IMPACT with Prichard and Mantell asking Alberto to give up the title. Alberto gives up the title and asks for a rematch to which they tell Alberto that it’s up to Bobby Lashley as they can’t force him to defend the title.

I understand the Dusty finish angle they are playing here to create controversy but I have one problem with it. Why can’t this committee order a rematch between the two? They are able to order Alberto to surrender the title but they can’t make a decision to have a rematch between Alberto El Patron and Bobby Lashley? Is this new committee allowing Bobby Lashley to book his own matches now? It doesn’t make sense to me. Unless they are trying to create dramatic TV as Alberto attempts to get his rematch with Bobby. I would have declared the title vacant and ordered a rematch between the two.

Another video package from last week was shown.

Alberto El Patron heads to the ring to a nice pop. He says IMPACT wrestling is his house.

It’s his house even though it’s only the second time he has been in an IMPACT ring. Go figure.

He states if it wasn’t for politics he would still be the champion and calls out Bobby Lashley. EC3’s music hits as he comes to the ring. The two of them exchanged verbal barbs with one another. EC3 said Alberto needs to earn a shot at the title and challenges him to a match which he called Si vs. 3. El Patron says he wants Lashley and EC3 is not Lashley. El Patron also said officials had “promised him a rematch”.

Um, no they didn’t El Patron. I guess they forgot to edit that part out as the storyline had obviously changed from the original rematch plans.

EC3 tells El Patron that he has “No mas testicles”. El Patron responds by calling EC3 a “bitch” which leads to a pull apart brawl between the two in which security got involved.

I thought that was a terrific opening segment between the two. Great verbal exchange and excellent brawl that created instant heat between the two and set up an intriguing match up which will be later in the show.

We get an Eddie Edwards segment as he tells us about what life is like being on the IMPACT roster and why he wants to make it great.

This whole “Make it Great” campaign is an obvious knock on the Dixie Carter regime and I have to admit that it’s 100% correct insinuating that things under Dixie’s control were not “great”.

We get a recap of how Decay came into possession  of the Tag Team titles. Then we cut to the committee as they are talking about the tag team title situation and Bruce Prichard informs everyone he has an idea then leaves the room.

Maybe his idea is in line with what they said about Bobby Lashley and he will announce that it will be up to the Hardy’s if it’s ok to move forward to crown new tag team champions. See how silly that sounds?

Next is a video package of Tyrus and Eli Drake.

Match 1 – Eli Drake and Tyrus vs. Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid

Drake and Tyrus were out first followed by new comers to IMPACT Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid. Jeremy Borash gave us a bit of background on Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid. Laredo Kid started off the match against Drake. What transpired here was basically a speed vs. power type match. Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. took early control of the match and hit a few big spots such as a suicide dive by Garza Jr. and a great looking moonsault off the top rope by Laredo Kid. The heels eventually took control of the match as Drake and Tyrus worked over Laredo Kid until he capitalized on

a mistake by Tyrus in the form of a missed elbow drop. Garza Jr. got the big tag and after a leap frog and somersault, he nailed Drake with a superkick and got a near fall. A miscue caused Drake to hit Tyrus and knocked him off the ring apron but Drake nailed a few big moves on both Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid. Drake went to tag Tyrus who was still on the ring floor which allowed Garza Jr. to roll up Drake and steal a win. Drake and Tyrus argued for a bit after the match.

Winner: Garza Jr and Laredo Kid

Eli Drake and Tyrus were not the best opponents for Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid to debut against. Maybe it was me, but it appeared that Drake had some trouble adjusting to the lucha style as I noticed a few instances of what appeared to be miscommunication. Why play a video package of Tyrus and Drake to hype them before the match only to have them lose? An introductory video package of Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. would have been the better option. Maybe a team like DJ Z and Andrew Everett would have been better first opponents? It could be possible that the loss is part of a split angle between Drake and Tyrus. Bottom line, Eli Drake should not have been the one to put them over and I feel Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. were not able to really showcase their skills.

We get footage of James Storm, Moose and Eddie Edwards in Japan’s NOAH promotion.

I sincerely hope we get some talent from NOAH on IMPACT soon as they now have a working agreement.

Match 2 – Brandi Rhodes vs. Kayci Quinn

The match never started as Cody Rhodes came down to the ring with his GFW Nex-Gen Title and said the match is NOT going to happen as IMPACT wrestling is not going to pimp out the Rhodes name. Cody turns his attention to Kayci Quinn and pulls out some money and tells her “Here is 45 dollars which is 20 dollars more than what they were going to pay you”. He then tells Quinn to go stand in the corner. He then cuts a promo on Moose, challenges him for the Grand Title and leaves with Brandi. Back from the break Rosemary is in the ring and destroying Quinn and puts her out with her red wedding finisher.

Cody Rhodes was brilliant here. Offering Quinn $45 and claiming it was $20 more than what IMPACT was paying her then telling her to stand in the corner was outstanding. He is an incredible heel. Great segment as Cody is singlehandedly creating massive interest in a Cody/Moose confrontation with Moose being in Japan. On the flip side, I feel this segment also took place because Brandi is not ready for a singles match just yet.

We got a segment from EC3 explaining why he will “Make IMPACT Great”.

Match 3 – EC3 vs. Alberto El Patron

EC3 is out first followed by El Patron. They both went at it very aggressively to start the match. They ended up on the outside where EC3 ran El Patron into a ring post. El Patron came back and ran EC3 into a post as well. There was great action here as EC3 started to maintain control of the match but that ended when he went into the post shoulder first courtesy of El Patron. El Patron worked on the arm of EC3 as he was weakening the arm for the cross arm breaker. EC3 eventually made a comeback and hit two TK3’s on El Patron. EC3 went outside to get a chair brought it in and teased using it before make the face decision to throw it out of the ring. El Patron was able to regain the advantage, lock on the cross arm breaker which led to EC3 tapping out for the first time on IMPACT Wrestling. After the match El Patron said that EC3 gave him one of the best matches of his career and applauded him which led to a handshake between the two.

Winner – Alberto El Patron

Simply an outstanding match between EC3 and El Patron. This will be one of my matches of the month without a doubt. Both wrestlers really laid it on the line here and gave us a terrific match filled with the intensity and drama that makes a great match. I am not sure if this will eventually lead to a heel turn by EC3 as he keeps falling short in big matches lately. I would welcome EC3 returning to being a heel where he has done his best work. Now, I am not sure what it means to El Patron for winning this match because it’s up to Lashley to grant a rematch, remember?

McKenzie Mitchell is backstage interviewing Reno Scum as they said that they are in IMPACT to be tag team champions. Then they went into their OY! OY! OY! yelling.

I like the team of Reno Scum but their OY! OY! OY!’s are so ANNOY! ANNOY! ANNOYING!

Next segment showed a visibly upset EC3 backstage as he kicked a garbage can and had to have Bruce Prichard calm him down.

I can feel a heel turn coming from EC3 now. I predict he will interfere in the Lashley/El Patron rematch costing El Patron the match. Of course, that is if Lashley allows the match to be booked….yes, more sarcasm.

Borash announces that he has a scoop and states that “She” will be here next week.

This is meant to lead fans to believe that it will be Dixie Carter but it won’t be. Sorry, no spoilers here either my friends….

Madison Rayne gets her turn and tells us what IMPACT means to her and how she will Make IMPACT Great.

That is followed by a Suicide video package.

Match 4 – X Division Champion Trevor Lee(with Gregory Helms) vs. Braxton Sutter(with Allie) vs. Suicide vs. Andrew Everett

From the opening bell, the match was very fast and very furious, as expected for an X Division match. Each competitor got in some early offense but the move of the night came from Everett as he hit an incredible springboard shoot star press to the outside onto the other wrestlers. He did land on the barricade but was ok thank goodness. Lee hit his patented jumping double stomp onto Suicide which is always fun to see. Suicide hit a backwards suicide dive onto everyone on the floor. Basically there were big spots all around and what would a 4 man X Division match be without a “tower of doom” suplex with all involved. Yes, we got a variation of that spot which was quite impressive. The end came when a drunken Lauren Van Ness eating wedding cake walked through the crowd and went after Allie. Sutter came out to intervene. Upon returning to the ring Lee nailed Sutter with a big knee and scored the victory.

Winner and still X-Division Champion – Trevor Lee

This was another very solid match this week on IMPACT. All 4 men worked well together and had excellent chemistry as they all hit big spots. Trevor Lee continues to shine as the best young star that IMPACT has. They should keep the title on him for a long time. While I do enjoy the 4 on 4 matches, maybe they should give us a more one on one matches for the X Division title. Give Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett 30 minutes and they will produce a 5 star quality match as they have done for other promotions. As for Laurel Van Ness, it’s obvious she will eventually bring in a few enforcers to get revenge on Braxton and Allie which could lead to an excellent program for all involved. Oh, and in case you are wondering – Caleb Konley is playing Suicide. I would prefer that they dump the Suicide character and just let Caleb Konley be Caleb Konley.

Sienna came out and warned Sutter and Allie. She said they will sleep together while in the hospital and something about Romeo and Juliet always meeting their demise.

This could get great folks! Stay tuned!

Next it’s Moose’s turn to explain what IMPACT means to him and how he will make it great.

Bruce Prichard makes his way to the ring to discuss the status of the Tag Team Titles. Prichard says that titles are won in the ring and not in space or the internet. He announces a 4 team tournament to crown new tag team champions. Decay come to the ring and introduced themselves. They tell Prichard that they want the titles. Rosemary tells Prichard they saved the titles from time and space. Reno Scum hit the ring and pump out a few more Oy’s! Their OY! fest was interrupted by Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid. Garza Jr. said they were there for the tag titles. Naturally this leads to a brawl between all three teams in which Decay clears the ring. They stood tall until LAX’s music hits and a 5 person LAX team led by Homicide and Konnan takes out Decay to close out the show.

That was a great ending segment filled with high energy and concluded with an exciting debut by the new LAX. In addition to founding members Konnan and Homicide, there are Ortiz, Santana, and female member Diamante. Diamante appeared to be around 5 feet tall but she hit a german suplex on Rosemary that would have made Brock Lesnar proud. LAX are going to be a force to reckon with at IMPACT wrestling and I expect them to dominate. The IMPACT/CRASH partnership is already paying huge dividends!

Overall, this was a terrific show and I love the direction IMPACT is taking. All the new faces are a welcome addition. They received a huge jump in ratings this week as well. I congratulate them on a job well done!

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