7/8/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
EC3 Defends TNA Title Against All Challengers
The first episode of Impact in the EC3 era undoubtedly revolved around the new champion. He sat in on commentary for two matches, wrestled three more matches (albeit short ones), and appeared in a lengthy promo segment at the end of the show. Altogether, it was an effective way to revolve the show around his unique talents- he is charismatic and entertaining, though not a great in-ring wrestler. Much like The Miz in his WWE Title reign, it works to have him at the center of a lot of stories that are not exclusively in the ring.
EC3’s coronation started with two joke matches against undisputed jobbers. He quickly defeated Norv Fernum and then Shark Boy to rack up some pointless, yet humorous, title defenses. Kurt Angle stormed to the ring with a contract and demanded his rematch, which took place in the show’s main event slot.
The match between Angle and EC3 was not much more than EC3’s previous comedy matches. Angle hit a few German suplexes and took out Tyrus. He locked EC3 in the Ankle Lock and EC3 punched the referee in the face to get himself intentionally disqualified.
After the cheap title defense, Dixie Carter returned and called EC3’s actions disgraceful. She said that he needed to prove himself as a champion and needed someone to run the show and keep EC3 in check. The show went off the air with that cliff hanger lingering- who would be the next authority figure on Impact? It was an effective way to raise intrigue for next week. The EC3 era appears to be off on the right foot.
Drew Galloway def The Revolution
In a promo with his former Rising stable-mates, Galloway officially disbanded the group per the stipulation of their match with the Beat Down Clan last week. He said that he would miss his partners, but would stick to the mission of standing up for wrestling, whatever that means.
Later in the show, Galloway faced off with Abyss, Khoya, and Manik of the Revolution by himself- a cult without its leader. Galloway fought his way through the crowd for quite some time until Khoya hit him with a big sit-down powerbomb. Before Khoya could get the pin, Abyss pulled him off and said he wanted to finish the match. The disagreement allowed Galloway to throw them to the outside and hit Manik with a back-breaker and a single leg dropkick to win.
While I think a hard reset for Galloway is timely and necessary, I’m not sure this show demonstrated enough of a change. Galloway is charismatic and his wrestling acumen was apparent in this match. The problem is that his persona and motivation in TNA have never made sense and I’m not sure he did anything to clear up that confusion on Impact.
-EC3’s presence continued on commentary during the match between Lashley and Tyrus. Lashley struggled with the big man until he lifted him off of the turnbuckle and carried him into the ring for an electric chair. He finished him off with a spear to get a meaningful win and put himself on track for a possible title shot down the road.
-Matt Hardy claimed that he softened up Kurt Angle for EC3 and put up a surprisingly competitive fight in a handicap match against the Dirty Heels. A Twist of Fate on Bobby Roode put him in control, but Austin Aries answered with a discus forearm. When Hardy tried to suplex Aries into the ring, Roode held his feet from outside and assisted his partner for the win. It’s a minor way for the Heels to get some heat back after losing to the Wolves, but ultimately it’s small potatoes, particularly with Aries on his way out.
-Bram got himself disqualified in a match against Mr. Anderson and proceeded to beat Andreson with the mic he uses for his introduction. The crowd was totally dead during the beating, likely because the Bram character has been quite flimsy. Nonetheless, a rivalry with Anderson has some promise and could help him get on track.
-Velvet Sky showed some ring rust against former ally Madison Rayne early in the match. Madison put her in a head scissors and repeatedly drove her face into the mat. Velvet recovered with a series of kicks and a stunner to get a win. While I was skeptical of her new persona at first, the edgier Velvet is starting to win me over because it shows a clean break from the Beautiful People era.
-Another Mike Tenay interview with Jeff and Karen Jarrett only highlighted how little Jarrett has done with Global Force Wrestling in the last 14 months. The point of the interview was to announce what everyone already knew- that the TNA King of the Mountain Title would be the centerpiece of GFW.
-Jessie Godderz finally got a win over Robbie E, this time in a street fight. He powerbombed Robbie through two chairs, and Robbie somehow kicked out at two. He trapped Robbie under a chair and locked him in a Boston Crab, which made Robbie pass out. Once again, it was mystifying that a comedy angle was played for dramatic effect.