TNA Impact Wrestling Has a New Champion

Ethan Carter III captured his first World Title by defeating Kurt Angle in Impact Wrestling’s main event on Wednesday …

Ethan Carter III’s journey to the top of TNA is complete. Last night, in the main event of Impact Wrestling, ECIII pinned Kurt Angle to become the new TNA World Hvt. Champion, putting the exclamation point on a two-year journey for ECIII, as he’s become one of TNA’s top heels in the process.

There were times in the match where Angle’s age really showed. ECIII is 14 years younger than Angle, and it was evident in certain shots. Angle just appeared a lot older, which is the first time I can really remember thinking that. Part of it, I’m sure, has to do with the miles he’s put on his body. ECIII, even at his size, was more mobile than Angle and had much better flexibility. Angle’s next surgeries, and he’s reportedly having another to remove a tumor soon, makes him appear very stiff in his movements. That said, he’s still one of the best performers in the world, especially when it comes to psychology.

The finish came out of nowhere, which also happened in an earlier match on the show. Angle had hit 14 german suplexes on ECIII and lifted him to go for an Angle Slam, but ECIII rolled through and folded Angle into a jackknife pin for the three count. The clean finish was good for ECIII. Earlier in the match, Brian Hebner had ejected Tyrus from ringside, which again helped ECIII get over as a wrestler, beating Angle on his own without any help.

ECIII’s evolution in under two years is quite remarkable. He debuted as Dixie Carter’s spoiled nephew and was fodder with Rockstar Spud for a good portion of that early run, basically taking the beatings for Dixie because she wasn’t taking any bumps as the heel in charge. But TNA did a good job keeping him blemish free. A two-year undefeated streak is hard to pull off in pro wrestling, especially with two hours of television to fill every week. I’m sure at times TNA thought of having someone snap that streak, but running ECIII as an undefeated champion is going to make whoever beats him a big deal.

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TNA should let ECIII run with the title for a while now. Their television status is somewhat up in the, but assuming they either stay on Destination America, or move to another network this fall, a one-year run with ECIII on top could be interesting. I also don’t think TNA should go with an established wrestler taking the title from him. They should be grooming a babyface now, with the hope to have him ready in a year. Maybe Drew Galloway.

TNA is a television wrestling company. They have some time to make this work right, without rushing it. Here’s to hoping they do the right thing.

Quick Strikes

1. There was no on-screen graphic during the iron man match, which as a viewer, I didn’t appreciate it. Every once in a while a scoreboard graphic would air, but it would have given the match a more sport-like feel if they added some type of score bar with a countdown clock showing you the score, and how much time was left. They had a countdown on the screen inside the arena, but nothing over the TV airing. Just a small detail that was lacking during what was otherwise a terrific match.

2. Drew Galloway’s rising is on more after it lost an elimination match to the Beat Down Clan. That’s fine. Galloway is going to be better off as a singles wrestler in TNA anyway. No offense to his partners, but Galloway was the start of the group.

3. Global Force Wrestling and TNA hyped a special interview with Jeff Jarrett, explaining the future of the relationship between TNA and GFW. But, hardly any of it actually aired. Mike Tenay asked Jarrett what winning King of the Mountain at Slammiversary meant for the future of TNA and GFW, and Jarrett said that there will be a future between the two companies moving forward. TNA then cut the interview off, hyping Part 2 to air next week on Impact. What a disappointment. It felt like a bait-and-switch tactic, even though it wasn’t by pure definition. Still, it left the viewer with a sour taste, not delivering on what felt like a promised angle.

Match Results

1. The Beat Down Clan def. The Rising in an elimination match

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2. TNA Tag Title Match: The Wolves def. The Dirty Heels, 2-1, in a 30-minute iron man match.

3. TNA Knockouts Title Match: Taryn Terrell [c] def. Awesome Kong and Brooke in a three-way match.

4. TNA World Title Match: Ethan Carter III def. Kurt Angle [c] to become the new TNA World Hvt. Champion.

The Finish

On the whole, this was a very good show. In fact, I think you could argue that it was TNA’s best episode since airing on Destination America. The focus was on the in-ring product, which is TNA’s strength. If TNA can settle into a groove of being ROH style, only with better production value, that’s a good show. ROH has tremendous wrestling — probably the best on U.S. television — but it’s a stripped down production. TNA has the talent on its roster to have similar match quality (though not exactly the same) only with a much better production value.