TNA iMPACT Wrestling Result August 18th 2016 – 8/18/16
James Storm makes his way to the ring. He immediately asks referee Brian Hebner to join him. Hebner obliges. Storm wants an explanation why Hebner wasn’t in the in position to count the pinfall when Storm hit the superkick on Lashley last week. Hebner explains he was helping Jeremy Borash out of the ring and he hadn’t officially started the match at the time. That’s not enough for Storm. He demands a rematch with Bobby Lashley.
Newly crowned president Billy Corgan comes down to the ring. Corgan said that the ref’s decision is final. Storm talks about how he helped build this damn company and he will tear this ring apart until he gets what he wants. He calls Corgan just a stupid rockstar.
Security makes their way into the ring. Storm rants about how everyone else (AJ Styles, Bobby Roode) left, but he stayed around because he cares about this company. A security guard gets too close and James shoves him down. The Cowboy tells Billy he’s beaten the hell out of a lot of people in his time but he never has kicked the hell out of a rockstar.
As Storm’s exiting up the ramp, Corgan grabs the mic to tell him he’s suspended indefinitely.
It’s nice to see James Storm as something different than the beer lovin’ Cowboy. That was great in 2011 but it didn’t feel like it connected as part of the 2016 landscape. James Storm is versatile so he doesn’t have to do that character. The disgruntled employee who regrets not leaving with all his buds is an interesting one with some reality era mixed in.
The thing about this segment that didn’t allow me to connect completely was I wasn’t rooting for anyway. The crowd was all in on Storm, but I wasn’t. He was acting like a brat here, demanding a rematch for a match he lost instead of owning it. While I appreciate someone actually asking why the refs continue to suck, it seems like a chump move. His motives are understandable and that is something always appreciated. But he didn’t come off as likable (and I don’t think he was supposed.)
But Corgan doesn’t come off as likable either and I think he was supposed to. Plus he was a huge coward here by being all quiet when Storm was raving like a mad man in the ring but then suddenly found some guts as Storm is half way up the ramp. Perhaps if I were more in on Corgan, this would have landed for me more. But I’ve never cared for his on screen persona and while James Storm was acting a bit like a child, I’d love to see him beat the crap out of Corgan.
While having no one to root for kept me from investing in the segment completely, I like that they’re doing something new with Storm.
Moose defeats Eddie Edwards
It looks like the story here is going to be Moose getting tired of Mike Bennett’s bullshit. Backstage, Bennett made a comment about how Moose does what Bennett says that made the big man take pause briefly. And then Moose came out with the Miracle to Miracle’s music instead of his sweet Moose theme.
It feels like a slow burn since Bennett is still a help to Moose. Eddie Edwards hit the Boston Knee Party to the former NFL-er and The Miracle jumped on the apron to distract the referee long enough for Moose to avoid the three count.
Moose continues to be really impressive in the ring. I don’t watch Ring of Honor so his move set is new to me. He has a sweet looking dropkick which he gets some height on and did some spring board moves that looked good for a man his size. He matched up with Edwards well since they are both men used to the indie work rate well.
Much like most of the stories tonight, nothing was really advanced here, but the match was enjoyable.
Gail Kim defeats Jade via DQ when Sienna pulls her out of the ring and lays her out on the outside. Sienna then hits the Silencer on Jade inside the ring.
Maria comes out to say since Gail Kim is a loser she doesn’t get a shot at the Knockouts title.
After another pretty good match between Gail and Jade (they’ve had ones I’ve enjoyed more but their bouts are never a bad offering), this ends in a pretty disappointing DQ. Much like when Mike Bennett made up a bunch of rules for EC3 to follow and then just screws him, they’ve painted themselves in a corner with what the next step it.
They’ve left themselves a loophole since Gail technically won that they may be able to creatively play with, but this just feel like they are stretching this less than captivating angle longer to get themselves to Bound for Glory.
DJ Z defeats Braxton Sutter, Rockstar Spud, & Mandrews in a fatal four-way when he pins Mandrews.
This was your typical X Division match, featuring guys we don’t see too often doing some pretty cool looking moves with little stakes nor reason to care further. They did play up a bit briefly surrounding Spud having a vendetta against Sutter since Sutter cracked Spud’s teeth awhile back. It’s good to get a little story but there’s really nothing else of note in this match.
EC3 is in the ring and invites Drew Galloway to come out to give him an answer to Galloway’s challenge from last week (a one on one match for EC3’s main event spot at Bound for Glory at stake). Drew tells Carter that he thinks EC3’s answer is going to be no because Carter thinks he can’t be him and because Carter believes he’s done nothing wrong to him. Galloway reminds him that three times EC3 cost him a shot at getting his title back. Carter immediate accepts the challenge.
Aron Rex’s music plays. He puts Carter and Galloway over for making waves in TNA alongside everyone else in the company. Rex says he respects both men, has known them for awhile, and is excited himself to see this fight. Because he wants to see a clear cut winner, he talked to management and has been made special guest referee.
Hopefully, this leads to a heel turn for one of the men (Galloway likely) and Aron Rex. Rex is coming off obnoxious in his promos and if it’s on purpose, great. If not, it’s going to be hard for me to get behind him. He’s not humble and likable like the man can be. He’s loud, brash, and somewhat bitter. Those are heel traits.
There’s also no reason to shoehorn Rex into this story for the hell of it. Galloway/EC3 is one of TNA’s best programs currently with good pacing, motives, and character work. Given the fact that these are the three men who WWE gave up on who went to TNA, there is a story there to play with. Hopefully Rex’s involvement in this story makes sense.
The match is next week so we’ll find out then.
Eli Drake is in the ring with a microphone. He says that last week, James Storm should have lost to Eli Drake in the rematch for the King of the Mountain title he deserved. Drake talks about how he ran into Lashley backstage and Lashley denied his request at a shot at the title. (This was a quick backstage clip from earlier and not a lie).
Mahabali Shera comes down the ring. Shera says to shut up and fight him.
Eli Drake defeats Mahabali Shera
There was legit worry that Shera may get the win over Eli Drake here and that would have been so wrong. Drake continues to prove he’s a hot act, great on the mic and entertaining in the ring.
Mahabali Shera, on the other hand, has a long way to go. As a single’s athlete, he’s still very exposed. His thick accent makes it very difficult to understand just the briefest promos and while he’s improved since he started, he’s clearly still green in the ring. The best spot for him is where they’ve been using him up to now – in a tag team with Grado. A tag team is a perfect spot to hide his weaknesses. He can play the hot tag who cleans house, Grado can do most of the talking, and Shera can get some of that crowd love that’s often focused on Grado.
(Speaking of the Grado/Shera team, why weren’t they in the main event over the Tribunal who they defeated the last two matches against each other?)
It wasn’t bad to have Shera lose to help continue to build Drake, but even in a brief segment tonight it was made clear Shera’s single’s career has a bit of a ways to go.
Lashley comes down to the ring. He has two security guards hold up his X Division title and his KOTM behind him at all times. He calls Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan out to the ring. Lashley tells them he is going to unify all the titles – both the X Division and KOTM title are going away and he is declaring himself True Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Professional Wrestling.
Dixie says he has no right to make that decision but the champ disagrees. Lashley calls the KOTM title garbage and tosses it down to the ground. He says no one in the X Division can beat him so there’s no point in him defending it. That title means nothing either and he tosses it on the ground.
Dixie is pissed about how he’s treating the titles. Lashley says that since they want to disrespect the history he’s trying to make he’ll just see them at Bound for Glory. They say that he will fight prior to BFG and there will be a battle royal next week and the winner will face him for the title.
It looks like they avoided the “How does Lashley get rid of these titles” dilemma rather well. That could have been an easy corner to get trapped in and they handled it in the best manner they could. He didn’t lose the titles. He didn’t hold them forever. He just came out and said those titles were beneath him and he wasn’t going to deal with them any more.
It fits into the calm, extremely confident Lashley who thinks he’s better than everyone. Chucking the titles on the ground like their garbage is such a heel move that even if he has a point when it comes to the King of the Mountain title, it makes you want to hate him more. Credit to Dixie Carter for reacting like he just urinated on her carpet.
While I could do without two Billy Corgan segments on the show (the guys very awkward on the microphone) this did a great job of making Lashley an even bigger heel and getting those titles off of him.
Earlier in the night in a pre-taped segment, Broken Matt and Broken Jeff are planning their match. Jeff wants to use his body as a weapon but Matt had a premonition that if Jeff goes up top on the ladder with rungs, he’ll end up on the ground with one of the ladders on top of him. So tonight, Jeff will do the work but if anyone tries to introduce a ladder into the match, Matt will make sure those ladders are DELETED.
The Broken Hardys defeat Trevor Lee/Andrew Everett, the BroMans, & the Tribunal in an Ascension to Hell ladder match to become number one contenders to the tag titles.
Broken Jeff Hardy is a great addition to this story. It looked for awhile like they may be going with the typical “face is a servant to the heel” bit but this is so much better. It’s not like Jeff is a normal dude. He’s a Hardy just like Matt and the Hardys are batshit crazy. So now that he’s dressing like Matt and playing up the crazy, the Hardys are now at full tilt. They Hardys are reunited, but it feels new for a tag team that has been around for three decades already.
The only thing that didn’t fit was that Matt didn’t seem to prevent any ladders entering the ring like he said and he did more work than promised. But his premonition came true! At the end of the match, Jeff got up on one closed ladder and used it to ride over and clothesline Andrew Everett off another ladder. This ended up laying out Jeff as well. Then Matt took another ladder, set it up over his brother’s carcass, and climbed it to grab the contract.
Basically, Matt can see the future now. That means that the Decay may actually try to kidnap Maxel like he already foresaw.
Broken Hardys vs. Decay has me super pumped. These are the two most creative teams in TNA going after each other for over a month as they build to Bound for Glory. And that’s going to be really exciting.
As for tonight’s match itself, there was a ton of stuff going and sometimes the action got lost, but the BroMans and the Helms’ Dynasty both had good showings and a feud between those two teams could be an entertaining one spinning out of this.
Pros of the Show:
- The Broken Hardys!
- They got the titles off of Lashley without making him look weak, instead making him even less likable
- New direction for James Storm
Cons of the Show:
- The majority of angles just treaded water tonight, with much of the show skippable for that reason
- The Gail Kim/Maria stories is dragging
- Too much Billy Corgan on screen
Much of this show was skippable with little advancement in their stories.