After last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling, we sit only a little more than one month away from Bound for Glory, TNA’s biggest show of the year.
There were a lot of developments on Thursday’s episode of Impact. ECIII retained his title shot and will be facing the World Champion, most likely Lashley. Also, Drew Galloway turned heel after that match against ECIII, beating up Aron Rex, who was the special referee. That’s another match we can probably pencil in.
Considering the storylines right now, we can project that card to look something like this:
– Bobby Lashley vs. ECIII for the TNA World Title- The Hardys vs. Decay for the TNA Tag Titles- Moose vs. Mike Bennett- Aron Rex vs. Drew Galloway- Gail Kim vs. Maria (maybe?)- Knockouts Title Match- X-Division Title match probably featuring D.J. Z
That’s seven possible matches, and it’s leaving off guys like Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake, Bram, James Storm and The BroMans, who have all been featured prominently on television the last several weeks.
A lot can be said for the lack of depth on TNA’s roster. Heck, I’ve written about it and even tweeted something similar last night, when the show began with a battle royal featuring a lot of the mid-card talent.
But there’s an important fact we tend to forget sometimes. Impact is only a two-hour program, once per week. They’re not filling five hours of original programming on a weekly basis like WWE.
Compare Impact to SmackDown. Right, it’s not a stretch to make the argument that TNA’s talent roster is deeper than that of SmackDown’s, especially with John Cena away for what is, reportedly, the next several months. Just earlier this week, we wondered who Dolph Ziggler would be feuding with if he’s not in the WWE Title picture?
TNA, meanwhile, could be leaving some guys in the upper-tier of their mid-card off one of their biggest shows of the calendar year.
Lack of depth on TNA’s roster is a myth, and that’s because they’ve done a good job building up their talent, especially former WWE talent that never hit their mark under Vince McMahon.
1. Mike Bennett won a battle royal to become the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Hvt. Title
This battle royal accomplished quite a bit. First, Mike Bennett is the No. 1 contender, but perhaps the bigger story is he screwed over his muscle, Moose, in the process. They’ve been teasing for the last few weeks that Moose isn’t happy with Bennett and that’s getting very close to a boiling point. It’s a little soon for Moose to turn – he debuted a few weeks ago, why not just debut him as a babyface? – but the crowd is getting behind him and if that’s the case, TNA is smart to run with it. It’s almost the opposite of what WWE is doing with Roman Reigns.
Lashley was on commentary here and he was very good. It was a nice touch to see Pope leave the ringside table, selling their rivalry from earlier this year. Lashley’s demeanor and his answers to Mathews’s questions were really on point, sometimes laughing and he sounded a lot more natural and much less robotic.
2. Abyss beat Brother Nero
It’s hard to tell if Matt Hardy is a babyface or a heel. He’s a tweener, in the best sense. He was a babyface in the early parts of the segment, taking against Rosemary and Decay, but then he was more of a heel at the end of the segment, talking down Jeff Hardy about how he needed to accept who he is and not use the top rope anymore.
3. Allie beat Sienna (c), Jade, Marti Bell and Madison Rayne in a five-way match to win the Knockouts Title
Allie is the new Knockouts Champion, after getting knocked out herself. Marti Bell hit Allie with her baton and then she fell on a knocked out Madison Rayne for a three count after Jade ran in and dropkicked Marti.
There was a lot of hints at the Bennett/Maria empire beginning to crumble. Allie won the Knockouts Title, and Maria probably won’t be happy with that (neither will Sienna), and Moose doesn’t seem thrilled about Bennett stealing his title shot in the battle royal earlier.
4. Ethan Carter III beat Drew Galloway to retain his BFG title shot with Aron Rex as special referee
This was a very good match that could have been on a pay-per-view without a problem. The series of chops was intense and both guys showcased some really strong power moves.
ECIII won the match when he flipped over into a jackknife pin. Prior to the match, throughout the show, they were showing clips of a summit on a pool’s roof deck where ECIII and Galloway talked out their differences before the match.
Galloway turned heel after the match, attacking Rex after ECIII left the ring. It wasn’t totally unexpected, but TNA also didn’t drop a lot of hints either, which was good. His turn here is believable as well. He’s frustrated. ECIII cost him the title more than once, and now in his opportunity to get the title back, ECIII beats him clean.
And by attacking Rex, that sets up a very good match for Bound for Glory.