The last few weeks, it’s as if we’ve seen the two faces of TNA. Two weeks ago, TNA ran a very promo-heavy show that featured just three matches. At the time, we wrote that the company needed to focus more on the wrestling.
Well last night, TNA did just that. And truthfully, that’s something the company seems to do when it runs themed episodes of Impact Wrestling, with last night being a special No Surrender edition of the show.
All of the matches on this show were at least good, with two very good, if not borderline great, matches. Mr. Anderson pinning Bram was a good match that told a good story which also sets up for a future match down the road. Gail Kim beat the entire Dollhouse in a match that made a lot of storyline sense after Terrell bolted in the middle of the match.
Eli Drake and Drew Galloway wrestled a match that also seemed to continue their feud, setting up a future date down the road.
TNA then got down to business. The Spud-Aries match was excellent and told an excellent story with Spud picking up arguably the biggest win of his pro wrestling career. The match was great but so was the interaction afterwards. Aries brought Rockstar Spud to a new level on this show.
The main event match was also very good, and very different than the Spud-Aries match. Matt Hardy and ECIII brawled but also did some things that I felt were different, even though we’ve seen this type of match hundreds of times at this point.
It was good to see ECIII get a decisive win here. It’s okay to be the chicken heel avoiding a real challenger as a champion — which ECIII clearly is — but once in a while the champion needs to still win a big match and ECIII did it here on his own. Granted, there was some heel tactics with the low blows, but within this match that was all within the rules and ECIII coming out on top over Matt Hardy, in a match that is largely viewed as a Hardy staple, was good to see for ECIII’s development a champion.
1. Mr. Anderson pinned Bram.
2. Gail Kim pinned Marti Belle, Jade and Taryn Terrell in a handicap match.
3. Eli Drake pinned Drew Galloway.
4. Rockstar Spud pinned Austin Aries, who is now forced to leave TNA.
5. Mahabali Shera (formerly Khoya) beat James Storm via disqualification.
6. TNA World Hvt. champion Ethan Carter III beat Matt Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem match to retain his title.
1. I like Mr. Anderson and believe he’s been underutilized, so if his win over Bram leads to more for him to do on the show, it’s a positive. He was relatively untapped after WWE and TNA has dropped the ball there. One thing I didn’t like, and this happens a lot across multiple companies, but why wasn’t Bram disqualified when he tried to use the mic on Anderson? The referee was right there.
It’s only a DQ if he happens to make contact? Seems to me, if you’re trying to simulate sport, the wrestler should be punished for even attempting to cheat. If a baseball player tries to cork a bat but gets caught and doesn’t actually use the bat, he’s still getting suspended.
2. The Spud-Aries match was a really fun match and by far the biggest win of Spud’s singles career. The live crowd was very into the match, especially in the end, and they bought every nearfall. Aries did a great job as the heel trying to make the smaller, underdog Spud seem legitimate. It was also good to see Aries go out as a babyface at the end of the match, as that does a lot for Spud’s character as a babyface, that he was able to earn Aries’s respect with such a great match. Very well done by both guys.
Actually, this was not a bad show. With these themed Impacts, TNA generally focuses on the wrestling and that’s when they’re at their strength. A few weeks ago TNA ran just three matches in a two-hour show, going very promo-heavy in what felt like a WWE-lite episode. Here TNA focused almost solely on the matches with only the James Storm in-ring promo and a few backstage promos.