May 15, 2015
The "Hardcore War" episode of IMPACT opened with World Champion, Kurt Angle setting up his team tonight. He first brought out Chris Melendez. I understand Melendez's backstory but I don't feel he has enough experience to be featured like this at this point. I feel he should be tagging with someone to get that experience. There are plenty of underutilized guys (Gunner) who should be given this spot.
EY and Angle will meet one more time in an I Quit Match on the next episode. After a brawl between Team Angle and EY/BDC, Lashley returned as the fifth member of Team Angle. Its nice to have Lashley back. Now with his and Melendez's involvement, one of the members of the Rising wouldn't be part of the match.
That turned out to be Eli Drake. From his facial expressions, I could see Drake turning on The Rising within the next month. He stood up with Drew and Micah (spelling) but was overlooked in favor of Chris Melendez. I would be upset if I was him.
*The Knockouts tag team match was solid. It was nice to see Rebel back. Judging by Josh Mathews' commentary, it looks like the Menagerie is done for which doesn't bode well for Knux who hasn't been seen since late 2014. This was a way to introduce Marti Bell and Jade as a threat. I like their finishing maneuver slam.
*The stuff with Anderson and EC3 was okay in continuing their feud. Anderson was really obnoxious here. It has been a pattern recently. He goaded Tyrus into a match by calling him a bitch. Anderson ended up winning and earning a match against EC3 next episode. Later in the show, it looked like someone was building a cage or something to lock Tyrus in.
My guess is that EC3 wins cleanly while Tyrus in unable to help. This will give EC3 a clean win in his campaign to become World Champion.
*I liked the brawl with Magnus and the Revolution. It was a way to cross-promote BBQ Pitmasters. It was also a way for James Storm to indirectly be able to get physical with Magnus while also looking innocent. I am hoping that TNA has something better for Manik within the next few months. He would do better in the X Division with a bit more time to speak. Abyss could be repackaged but you have heard this before.
*The Wolves vs Dirty Heels match was a solid first match in the series. I am hoping it gets better as this just felt like a tease of what they are capable of. The Wolves lead 1-0.
*The stuff with the Dollhouse is very over-the-top. It is different from anything else they are doing. The Pillow Talk backstage segment and in-ring segment were both unique. I like the personal aspect as Taryn is just being a bitch trying to get in the mind of Gail. Gail is clearly a better wrestler but Taryn is playing mind games with her. Taryn was awesome in her lingerie. I loved when she yelled to have her music and then thanked them right after nicely.
My girlfriend isn't a huge fan of wrestling but she wanted to punch Taryn here. She sympathized with Gail and would have done the same. When these segments connect with casual viewers, you know you are doing something right.
BTW, still unsure about the Dollhouse's new theme. The pacing is kinda weird but I guess the music is more mainstream. I'm curious to see what other themes Billy Corgan can bring to TNA.
*Josh Mathews was joined by Mike Tenay this week. At time Mathews heeled things up. While Tenay and Mathews had good chemistry, I have grown to like Mathews on commentary solo. Should be interesting where announcing goes from here.
*I really enjoyed the segment between Robbie E and Jessie. It established Robbie as the fun character while also establishing Jessie as the guy who snapped. Three quick losses can do that to you. I foresee Robbie taking some time off while Jessie establishes his new character with a short feud with DJ Z. I'm hoping Robbie is re-packaged during this time off as he needs to move away from the Jersey Shore stuff.
*Next week will be a replay of Slammiversary 2014 due to Memorial Day weekend. I personally don't like this move since I have already seen and own the PPV. I won't be watching. I am wondering how TNA will deal with programming since they taped something for the May 22nd IMPACT. Hopefully, we get to see it here in the United States in some capacity.
One move I do like is the move to Wednesdays. I honestly don't care what the catalyst for this is. Personally, Wednesdays are better for me. I missed a handful of episodes this year due to having other plans on Fridays. I would have missed more over the Summer. At least now I will be able to watch it every week. TNA should have been on Wednesdays from the get go this year.
*Hardcore War is basically Lethal Lockdown without the cage. I liked TNA keeping Homicide in the story even if he couldn't be at these shows. He was a logical guess. EY going to Bram makes sense as both guys have a screw loose. I am hoping TNA can continue featuring Bram.
I like the Hardcore War Match. The 2014 version was one of my favorite matches last year. It could main event a B-level PPV. We got the highlights with big dives and finishers. EY ended up winning with a Piledriver on Chris Melendez. Afterwards, he tore Melendez's prosthetic leg off and attacked Kurt Angle with it. This is an edgy segment that sensitive fans won't like. It was a memorable visual even if I disagree with Melendez's role in it.