9/16/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Drew Galloway, Lashley, the Wolves, and Bram def. Jeff Jarrett, Eric Young, Brian Myers, Sonjay Dutt, and Chris Mordetzky. Dixie Carter Maintains Control of TNA
Judging by her recent actions, it would be reasonable for someone to assume that Dixie Carter wanted to lose control of TNA. In the Impact storyline, she brought her political rival Jeff Jarrett back to the company to induct him into the Hall of Fame. Not only did she book him in the main event of Slammiversary, she allowed him to take control of Impact for several weeks. Most bizarrely, she wagered her ownership stake in the company in a Lethal Lockdown (aka War Games) match with no reward if her team wins. Even outside of the wrestling story, TNA’s precarious TV situation begs the question of whether she would want to maintain control of the promotion.
Impact opened with a contract signing that was noteworthy only because Jarrett punched Jeremy Borash at the conclusion. Despite the contract signing, Jarrett somehow unilaterally changed the rules of the match and added Eric Young as a fifth member of his team during the show. Young was the third man to enter the match and he helped Sonjay Dutt dominate Davey Richards until Drew Galloway evened the score.
By virtue of Chris Mordetzky’s win over Galloway last week, GFW maintained a man advantage at every entrance. Brian Myers tilted the scales and Lashley ran roughshod as he entered for team TNA. Eddie Edwards followed Mordetzky before Jarrett entered last for his team. Jarrett’s team dominated with the extra man while anticipation built for a mystery fifth man for team TNA. Against all logic, TNA cast its lot with woman beater Bram as its last member and the Lockdown portion of the match began.
Galloway targeted Jarrett and had success until team GFW retrieved an array of weapons and used them to great effect. Team TNA finally turned the tide and cornered Jarrett. He turned tail and tried to escape through the camera hole in the cage. They pulled him back in and battered him with shoulder blocks and suplexes. GFW made a comeback, but Galloway finally hit Myers with a Future Shock DDT onto a trash can to win.
Dating back to the NWA, this match format has always been fun. These men did an admirable job of making a good match out of a garbage story. Even if Dixie frequently made herself seem like an incompetent businesswoman, the conclusion got a deservedly strong reaction from the fans. I was relieved that it didn’t end with a silly, pointless swerve. For the second time in less than a year, TNA appears to have gone off of regular TV on a high note.
EC3 Humiliates Jeff Hardy
EC3 forced his personal assistant Hardy to come to the ring in a suit covered in EC3 faces and ordered him to ask the fans to stop chanting “Hardy.” Spud came to the ring and antagonized EC3 by calling him “garbage.” EC3’s ego couldn’t handle the insult and he hit Spud with his microphone. When Spud got up and tried to fight back, EC3 forced Hardy to strike Spud and Hardy reluctantly obliged. Later in the show, EC3 learned that Spud will get a title shot against him (set for next week, though it’s unclear whether that will be televised). He warned Hardy about the consequences if Spud beats him.
As usual, EC3’s segment was very strong. Spud functioned as the sympathetic underdog rather than a non-credible threat. Hardy’s frustration evokes the storyline in WWE that saw Shawn Michaels enslaved by JBL. It’s an effective way for a heel to draw heat and build towards the babyface giving him his comeuppance. On the other hand, it’s not clear that we’ll ever see TNA reach that conclusion.
Gail Kim def. Brooke, Awesome Kong, and Lei’D Tapa to Become Knockouts Champion
Brooke once again tried to find a way to escape with her Knockouts Title in a match with Lei’D Tapa, Awesome Kong, and Gail Kim. The early part of the match revolved around Kong and Tapa in a female version of a hoss fight. Gail and Brook efound themselves isolated in the ring for the most entertaining stretch of wrestling in the match. After a top rope move from each woman, Gail reversed Brooke’s roll-up to pin the champion and earn her fifth Knockouts Title. Gail is one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world, so she is a good choice as champion, but Brooke deserves credit for how much she has improved in the ring.
Mahabali Shera def. Abyss
-Mahabali Shera faced Abyss, a stepping-stone match toward James Storm that felt odd on the last episode of Impact. Shera overcame a chokeslam from Abyss and hit one of his own. Storm ran in and accidentally hit Abyss with a cowbell. Shera followed it with his version of Sky High to get the win and move closer to a match against his former mentor.