Impact’s Booking Took Steps Back This Week

Lashley trashed titles and a new No. 1 contender is set before the BFG World Title match & the BFG No. 1 contender puts status at stake ...

Overall, this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling felt like it did more damage than good in a number of storylines.

Lashley trashed the KOTM Title, which is fine, because it sounds like that title is going away. In fact, Lashley made a good point when he asked what that title even meant? But they could have come up with a better solution to have him relinquish the X Division Title rather than having him throw it down in disgust.

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In fact, looking at how this story played out, I’m not sure why the X Division Title even needed to be involved. They would have just unified the KOTM and World Titles. The visual of Lashley with all three was cool, but they could have said Lashley won all titles he was eligible for, and he was outside of the X Division weight class, or something.

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There was also a lot of Billy Corgan on this show, and up until tonight, his presence hasn’t bothered me. However, tonight he was somewhere between a heel and a babyface, and I’m so turned off by heel authority figure storylines. Hopefully this isn’t where they go with Corgan and Storm, because that’s not something I’m interested in seeing. If TNA goes in this direction, it’s a putrid decision. TNA has been really creative this year and has produced some very compelling and original ideas. Recycling a lame storyline, that hasn’t worked in almost 20 years, is not continuing that trend. In fact, I’d argue it’s a big step back.

The Knockouts Division is also starting to feel stale. TNA is doing what it can with a limited roster, but it just feels like the same thing every week for about the last month. TNA has done a lot of good, creatively, in 2016, so I’m willing to give them somewhat of a pass every once in a while. But on the whole, this episode felt like it did more harm than good from a number of storyline perspectives.

Then there is the setup next week, with Corgan and Dixie forcing Lashley to defend the title before Bound for Glory. Why did we have a Bound for Glory playoff to determine a No. 1 contender, if we’re just going to give away a title shot in a battle royal next week? I’ve been really high on TNA for most of 2016, but so far this episode has really bothered me and this segment continues that trend. They just finished a tournament to determine a title shot and two weeks later, the person who won that tournament is inexplicably putting that title shot on the line, and they’re going to give someone else a title shot out of a battle royal. Okay …

On top of that, ECIII is putting the No. 1 contender status he won on the line against Drew Galloway next week.

1. Moose beat Eddie Edwards

Good match with Moose getting a solid win against someone who has been featured prominently on TNA television. They are seriously hinting at a Moose babyface turn. Mike Bennett came to the ring with Moose and Bennett’s music played, which Moose seemed upset with.

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2. Gail Kim beat Jade via DQ after Sienna’s interference

Good match that could have been better with a little more time, perhaps on a pay-per-view. It’s hard to give any match, outside of a main event, more than five minutes on a two-hour show. But if Gail-Jade were ever on one of TNA’s pay-per-views, it would be an excellent 10-12 minute match.

3. D.J. Z beat Rockstar Spud, Mandrews & Braxton Sutter

There was a whole lot of action in this match. D.J. Z was really sharp here, with most of his moves looking really impactful and sharp. There was a good story, in short snippets, told between Sutter and Spud as well. I’d like to see them go one-on-one after this, especially with the backstory of Spud’s teeth getting kicked in. … I did get a chuckle out of the announce team referencing Mandrews as being a “multi-time champion” by now if he didn’t showcase to the crowd so much and try for extra moves. No offense, but he hasn’t been booked in a position to ever really be that close to the X Title. It sounded really forced. TNA can get Mandrews to that point, but they need to build him up.

4. Eli Drake beat Mahabali Shera

For a short win going Drake’s way, Shera had a lot of offense in this match. It’s tough to gauge what that means, but with Grado not at ringside, and only mentioned in passing by the announce team, it’s possible they are separating them.

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5. Brother Nero & Broken Matt Hardy beat The BroMans, The Tribunal and The Helms Dynasty to become No. 1 contenders to Decay’s Tag Titles

There’s going to be a whole lot of weird going on when Broken Matt and Brother Nero face Decay for the Tag Titles, but that’s a whole lot of weird that I’m interested in seeing.

After the match, Hardy celebrates by holding his arms out. Brother Nero gets up and throws down the ladder. Brother Nero points at Hardy and Brother Nero appears to be celebrating with him.