8/12/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
PJ Black Becomes King of the Mountain
A week after Jeff Jarrett agreed to temporarily step in for the indisposed Bully Ray as Impact’s authority figure, he made a big main event. Jarrett put the King of the Mountain Title he won at Slammiversary up for grabs in a five-man main event that included both TNA and GFW wrestlers. While Jarrett stressed that GFW’s inclusion was meant to be more of a rivalry than an invasion, the wrestlers from each promotion still brawled with each other early in the show based only on the name on their paychecks.
After Drew Galloway was found laid out backstage in a fashion similar to Bully Ray, Robbie E pointlessly took his place in the main event. He joined Lashley (who squashed Jesse “The Man” Godderz to get into the match), Eric Young, PJ Black (fka Justin Gabriel), and Chris Mordetzky (fka Chris Masters, and currently one of two Impact wrestlers calling himself “the Adonis”) in a highly eclectic field. The KOTM rules naturally lend themselves to quick falls and it only took a few minutes for each wrestler to get a pin or submission and qualify to hang the belt in the middle of the ring. The biggest spots in the match were Lashley’s spear to Young to knock of off of the ladder, Young’s piledriver to Robbie E on a set of ring steps, and Black’s 450 splash off of the ladder. The last of those moves was enough for Black to get to the top of the ladder and hang the belt to become the new KOTM.
Although I like Black quite a bit, the “rivalry” between GFW and TNA felt half-baked, at best. The fun in an invasion angle is the initial surprise and the anticipation of what is to come next. In this case, the stakes are so low and the final outcome is so obvious that it feels like cynical, tired booking. Add in the facts that the show needlessly revolved around countless Jarrett segments, TNA largely trounced GFW in their encounters, and it’s so obvious that GFW and TNA are purely aligned professionally, and this story makes me less interested in Impact.
EC3 Faces Multiple Challenges
EC3 cut another outstanding promo about his ability and his accomplishments in TNA. The things he says are often not terribly interesting, but the way he delivers the lines makes him unique. Matt Hardy joined him in the ring and said he’s still focused on EC3’s TNA Title. EC3 teased mutual respect and admiration for Hardy before he denied a rematch and Tyrus attacked Hardy from behind. EC3 capped off the attack with a shot from his title belt and he left Hardy laid out. Hardy has started to look like a legitimately sympathetic and hard-working challenger for EC3. Meanwhile, PJ Black will get the next shot at EC3, and he is such a strong worker that he should be able to help EC3 to another strong match.
-Bobby Roode is always one of the best parts of Impact and this week was no exception. He flashed anger over being left out of the KOTM match (although only three of the five spots were filled at the time) and sneered at Rockstar Spud for sending Austin Aries packing. Roode easily dispatched Spud when they came to blows and then jawed with Jarrett backstage in what seemed to tease a potential match between them.
-It was an inauspicious debut for Lei’D Tapa’s Manager, Royal Red, who referred to his client as “the most fearful woman in professional wrestling.” Despite the assertion from Josh Matthews that the Tapa-Awesome Kong match would set the tone and momentum for GFW vs. TNA, they fought to a double count-out. I guess that means the invasion is going to be a no contest?
-Trevor Lee and Bryan (Curt Hawkins) Myers teamed up against The Wolves and did not acquit the GFW tag division very well. They briefly cornered Eddie Edwards, but a hot tag to Davey Richards off of a double hurricanrana got the Wolves on track. They won with a powerbomb-back stabber combination that reminded the fans not to worry about the GFW invasion.
-Tigre Uno rolled through a top-rope hurricanrana from Sonjay Dutt into a sunset flip to get a pin. The only noteworthy part of the match was Dutt’s heelish mannerisms.