Saturday, November 08, 2014

This Week on IMPACT Wrestling

By JSO
November 5, 2014
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


Bobby Roode vs. MVP – Bobby Roode is the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion because, in the words (and voice) of Bad Influence, ♫♫ He’s off the chain, he’s off the chaiiinnnn, yeah! ♫♫ MVP, however, did his whole "conspiracy" promo to downplay Roode's victory and goad him into a title match, which Kurt Angle immediately booked to stir the pot between MVP and Lashley. The main event was solid. I like this formula where the new champion faces an ally of the former champion, to A) put over the first title defense and B) build the rematch down the line. TNA also did a good job incorporating the continuity of MVP suspending Roode back in May, as well as planting the seeds for Lashley going solo in the future.

Tag Tournament Final – Good tag match between the Hardys versus Samoa Joe and Low Ki. Both teams had a fun sequence towards the end of the match, with multiple counters and pin breaks, before the Hardys hit the Swanton/Moonsault combo for the win. I would have preferred Joe and Low Ki to win this tournament to spice things up (The Wolves had challenged anybody on the TNA roster), but I guess the Hardys were the safe bet since they're the more experienced and popular team. It really does feel like TNA is building to one more major title run for the Hardys, so we'll see what happens. Regardless, it's been a treat to see tag team wrestling brought to the forefront over the past several months.

Gail Kim vs. Havok – TNA has scored a home run with Havok. The "Warning" vignettes, the path of destruction, and even the little things such as the red smoke and the maniacal laugh have all been brilliant. Gail and Havok got off to an explosive start before the opening bell, which fueled the intensity for their Knockouts title rematch. I loved the story of the underdog versus the juggernaut, and did you notice the symbolism of Gail dressed in white and Havok dressed in black? Always the fighter, Gail had some good comebacks with the Flying Dragon, Eat Defeat and Crossbody. Unfortunately, Havok is like the final boss from a video game that you can't beat, and once again Gail fell victim to the Harlot Slayer. Kudos to both ladies for a terrific performance.

I'm With Spud, You're A Loser – "You're a wanker, a big-nose douche bag, and I don't need you anymore!"... Rockstar Spud cut a spirited promo, talking about his falling out with EC3. I can't remember how this "I'm With Spud" movement got started, but it's become a huge deal now and fits perfectly with his journey in TNA. What really cemented it, in my opinion, was Jeremy Borash saying that Spud won over a lot of people during British Boot Camp and then hugged him as a proud friend. Of course, that brought out EC3 to antagonize Spud and call us a bunch of losers, because he's the 1%. And how about that bitch slap on JB – didn't see that coming! EC3 and Spud are definitely on top of their game, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The Creepy Bastards and Gunner – There's something about Brittany... and Samuel Shaw. The crazies were getting hot and heavy in the ring, when Gunner came out and confronted Shaw face to face. It was pretty straightforward, as the heels got the upper hand and took out Gunner to end the segment. They're going back to the well for Samuel Shaw with the creepy bastard persona and the Kata Gatame finisher, but also adding this new layer with a crazy, hot chick who actually appreciates his twisted mind. I think this pairing could have some legs, depending on how far they want to push the "crazy meter," so to speak. Oh, and Gunner can slowly regain his edge by not being somebody's friend anymore.

Hardcore Rules Match – So, one week after Bram and Magnus declared that they were going to wipe out the hardcore dinosaurs, they lost to Devon and Tommy f'n Dreamer. The hardcore stuff was fine, although I wish they would mix things up by adding new weapons or something. The finish, on the other hand, was... ugh. Magnus was the first British world champion in 108 years, and now look at him – he's right back to 2010 Magnus when he struggled to win a match. Yes, Bram was protected in defeat, but was that really necessary? I don't know, maybe Bram and Magnus will crash House of Hardcore next week and shoot an angle there?

Introducing Mahabali Shera – Despite the uncertainty of TNA’s television deal, we saw the debut of Indian sensation Mahabali Shera. Well, at least a video package and a pre-tape. That’s their M.O. nowadays, as John Gaburick is awesome at building new characters with a purpose. What’s more, we have another international star joining the TNA roster, following the debuts of Bram (England), Sanada (Japan) and Tigre Uno (Mexico) earlier this year. I like that Kurt Angle endorsed Shera as potentially the next big superstar, and hell, Shera’s English was pretty good for what it was. The pre-tape of Manik recruiting Shera for the revolution makes sense since Shera is a rookie trying to navigate a whole new world in TNA, unlike Davey Richards who is already a successful champion as one-half of the Wolves.