By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Ethan Carter III and Drew Galloway Interrupted TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley
Has Lashley been taking acting classes or something these last few months? This was the best damn promo I've heard him cut to date! It continues to amaze me how much his mic work has improved this year alone and it couldn't have come at a better time with Lashley in the midst of his best run to date (possibly eclipsing his dominant reign from 2014). EC3 and Galloway played their roles here, but in my opinion, Lashley shined the brightest here. Meanwhile, the segment successfully set up the main event title match as well as tease Lashley vs. EC3 as a future feud.
King of the Mountain Champion Eli Drake vs. Jeff Hardy Ended in a No Contest
I was curious as to why Hardy even wanted a shot at the King of the Mountain title to begin with. It's worthless! As for the match, it was more competitive than I thought it would be, and I say that as a good thing. Drake isn't at all close to being on Hardy's offense, but he scored a pleasantly surprising amount of offense against the former world champion. Matt Hardy's interference was predictable but necessary in keeping his rivalry with Jeff alive. I don't know how they'll be able to top their Full Metal Mayhem match from Slammiversary, but I guess it makes sense for them to continue feuding given the Internet attention it has received lately.
X-Division Champion Eddie Edwards def. Trevor Lee
This was basically the same match from Slammiversary without Andrew Everett and DJ Z involved. I don't mean to slight the effort of the competitors because they definitely work well together and produce fun matches, but as I mentioned in my Slammiversary review, we know nothing about Lee, so therefore viewers don't have any incentive to care about him. This feud has gone on long enough already, so I hope this was the blowoff and Edwards moves on to a fresh challenger.
Gail Kim Was Announced as the 2016 Inductee Into the TNA Hall of Fame
Kim didn't even cross my mind as a potential candidate to be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame, but she is absolutely a deserving recipient of the honor. The video package pretty much said it all, but she's a record-setting five-time Knockouts champion as well as the inaugural champion, not to mention the standard bearer of the division since its inception nearly a decade ago. It's cool for TNA to put their first woman into the hall and Kim was the perfect person for it.
World Tag Team Champions Decay def. The BroMans, The Tribunal, and Grado & Mahabli Shera in a Four Corners Tag Team Match
I could understand The Tribunal getting a title shot following their Slammiversary win, but it made zero sense to have Grado and Shera involved in this match, especially since they're a makeshift tag team. However, it didn't bother me too much because I realized it was just another way of furthering the feud between Decay and BroMans without having BroMans get directly beat again. The match itself was fine for what it was, but far too short considering how many teams were involved. I was glad Decay retained the titles, but I still couldn't care less about their program with BroMans.
Maria Called Out Dixie Carter
I was wondering why Maria would risk getting fired by verbally berating the TNA President, but I suppose the story is that she feels she's safe as long as she's friends with Billy Corgan (whose promo delivery was absolutely awful by the way). But wouldn't she have the power to overrule Billy and fire Maria anyway? Perhaps it'll be explained in due time, but all I hope is that this doesn't lead to another power struggle between Carter and Corgan. The commentators played off Dixie slapping Maria as a major moment, but the slap looked weak and felt anticlimactic.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley def. Drew Galloway
The match between Lashley and Galloway at Slammiversary was one of the saving graces of the show and they produced another enjoyable match on this edition of Impact. Pinfalls were in play this time, so it made for suspenseful nearfalls down the stretch and solid storytelling with Galloway selling his injuries from Sunday. I liked how EC3 inadvertently cost Galloway the title and Lashley was able to capitalize off his interference, so it's safe to say a Triple Threat match is coming between these two.
It's such a shame this show wasn't broadcast "live" (they were on tape delay regardless) on Pop TV due to technical difficulties. The first live show TNA does in over five months and it doesn't even air on time. Bummer. That aside, this was an entertaining episode all things considered with decent wrestling, four title matches, a newsworthy Hall of Fame-related announcement and plenty of fallout of Slammiversary. I wasn't high on the pay-per-view, but this helped move the on-air product in the right direction and I was happy several feuds seemed to have culminated so fresh feuds can now commence.