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    Thursday, April 7, 2016

    Heavy Impact (4/7/16): Best Served Cold

    Six sides of steel to finally end Jeff Hardy/Eric Young and Bram, Pope and Lashley culminate in a street fight, an impromptu triple threat match for the Knockouts Championship, and Matt Hardy finally gets his rematch against Drew Galloway for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a special episode of Impact Wrestling titled Revenge. Does it all hold up?

    As cold as a TV dinner

    Maybe it's just me and there just isn't enough weekly TNA programming to constantly barrage a viewer with promotion, but I wasn't entirely sure that this week's episode was really a special PPV-adjace TV episode. WWE has eight hours of programming every week and quick minute-long spots on the Network in which they could advertise PPVs, so you always know when they're going to be—and more importantly, that they're looming closer and closer.

    That, or their promotion game is just weak. There have been mentions of the Revenge episode last week, but no one ever made any official decisions about it. If this is a special episode (and it sure feels like it) then TNA needs to start actively writing toward it at the beginning of every cycle. I get that the storylines organically built up to these climaxes, but the way it played out felt like everything just decided to happen at this particular week of Impact Wrestling. Would it be too much for them to say that there's gonna be a big episode at this particular date, and then fill the matches in later?

    I know it sounds like I'm completely brainwashed by how the WWE runs their programming and storytelling, but if nothing feels too special, how can we treat it as special? Or maybe I'm still not sure what it is about Impact Wrestling that makes me feel like everything's just... ordinary.

    Speaking of special, while he's solid, Drew Galloway needs to start wrestling his now-weekly World Heavyweight Championship defenses like actual main events. Granted, it's not really his fault; TNA allots so much time to lengthy talk segments that they don't leave enough time for their matches. The main event ended up being only a little over 10 minutes, by my estimation, and how do you work a world title-caliber match with that much time?

    But it also is his fault, as it is many of the TNA wrestlers; there's something—I've written about this for as long as I've been writing this column, and I can't explain what it is and I can't tell if it's the general lack of allotted ring time, or even editing—that seems to be compelling them to never slow down in their matches. There's very little time to breathe and allow the audience to digest the action in the match. John Cena can go around 10 minutes in his U.S. Open Challenge, but all of them are good, maximized bouts.

    And if TNA wants to commit to Drew as a fighting champion with weekly defenses, then start giving him enough time to really work. Make the championship match special every week. Give it at least 15 minutes. Cut the talking; reduce some minutes and maximize them. I think Drew is a great champion and I like what you're doing with him, but he needs to be more of a focal point.

    Minor impacts

    • Congratulations are in order to Jade (the wrestler formerly known as Mia Yim) for winning the Knockouts Championship. Just a little over two years ago, she was working the indies and even wrestling in Manila just to gain experience and make money (and I'm not even sure how much she made here)—now she's holding the second most prestigious women's title in the business.
    • That said, let me just put that angle on blast: apparently, the past two weeks of build for this match was really stupid, as it turns out both Maria and Gail Kim didn't talk to official TNA officials to set up their respective #1 contender's matches (that gave us Jade and Madison Rayne). Both women looked evil for messing with other people's careers (even though Maria is a heel), but no one looked more stupid than Dixie Carter, who let these unofficial #1 contender's matches happen for two weeks without saying anything. Seriously, she couldn't at least have stepped in after the Beautiful People match last week to make the title match official, and promote it for a week? Why does no one in TNA think of these things?
    • Also, the Knockouts title match ran for under 10 minutes. Make of that what you will.
    • Why is no one competing for the X Division Championship? Spud isn't even doing anything! Why did you even let go of TJ Perkins?
    • I was about to give them props for the angle they ran involving Tyrus and his anytime, anywhere world title shot he won at Bound for Glory, but the payoff was so damn weak. In a nutshell: Tyrus teases cashing in his shot soon, and come main event time, he teases joining the match... only for Matt Hardy to take advantage of Drew McIntyre turning his back. That's it. That's the entire payoff, and they even had two backstage segments building up Tyrus going solo. I get that it's theoretically an effective heel move, but the payoff was so shoddily-executed that even Josh Mathews sounded like he didn't quite understand what was going on.
    • The Pope/Lashley match was so useless and heatless that it just ended up wasting minutes that could've gone to the Knockouts title match and the main event. I'm glad that it's over, though.

    Quick results

    • Jeff Hardy def. Eric Young in a non-title Six Sides of Steel match after a Swanton Bomb off the top of the cage
    • Lashley def. Pope in a Street Fight
    • Jade (w/ Maria) def. Gail Kim (c) and Madison Rayne in a triple threat match to become the new TNA Knockouts Champion by pinning Madison Rayne after an STO
    • Drew Galloway (c) def. Matt Hardy (w/ Rockstar Spud and Tyrus) by submission with an Iron Maiden to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship


    Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry and one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, but really hates Davey Richards with his entire soul.
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    Item Reviewed: Heavy Impact (4/7/16): Best Served Cold Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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