iMPACT Testing- September 15th, 2016

In a search for ratings, Impact is trying to blaze its own trail and after last weeks ‘Delete or Decay,’ how does this week’s Impact hold up? There’s some good and some bad, so let’s break it down.

The show opens with “Broken” Matt Hardy assessing the damage to the Hardy compound, Matt the finds Brother Nero and takes him to the water to perform a rejuvenation ceremony. He comes out with a cigarette, purple shirt, tie and Hardy title says “you can’t see me,” this causes Matt throws him away, time for a new one. We get Brother Nero again. He’s off to find Vanguard 1. Overall a humorous segment, setting up tonight Hardy affairs. Once in the woods, Matt finds Vanguard 1 rather quickly, but he’s dead! Matt holds him in his arms and starts to weep, praying that the Seven Deities would bring his best friend to life. Sure as shit, Vanguard 1 lights up and goes off to look for the missing Senior Benjamin who must have been close by cause he’s found within walking distance of Broken Matt who is just behind Vanguard 1 as he finds him. Later in the night we get the Matt, Jeff, and Reby are in the ring waging war against the Decay who show up one by one to surround the ring. Rosemary states that Maxel deserves a stable home and that Reby is an unfit mother. Those are fighting words right there. The crowd starts chanting “War” and the two factions brawl with the Hardy’s sending the Decay packing. Overall it was decent but a little underwhelming compared to the previous week.

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In the main event picture, we have Bobby Lashley as our TNA Champion and EC3 as our challenger at Bound for Glory. Lashley recaps that last week following their contract signing Lashley, and EC3 battled it out in and empty Impact Zone ending with EC3 in an ambulance. To which Grado takes great offense to and decides to let Lashley know, doesn’t end well, Grado eats a spear and out storms, Moose. The two brawl and Moose challenges Lashley for later on tonight. Let’s just skip right to it, shall we? The time comes for the match and guess what? I don’t happen. Lashley claims his a big crowd and big money fighter. Funny thing is Bobby, as long as you’re with TNA, they’re no big crowds in your future good sir. Nonetheless, the two plan to take the match to Bound for Glory since there no sign of EC3 and what do ya know? Out walks EC3. I got nothing to say, this close to Bound for Glory and there hinting at a main event change? Maybe I missed something. I’m confused.

Aron Rex would defeat Trevor Lee in a match for the Grand Prix Championship tournament with a running spinning elbow and the pin in a very even contest. Both were aggressive; the match was back and forth, and some solid shots were given. After all, that’s what the “judges” are looking for. Nothing match to be completely honest, Lee looked good; Rex was just there really. If it weren’t for the match rules, I wouldn’t have even bothered. Later in the night, Eddie Edwards would go on to defeat Mahabali Shera in the other Grand Prix match. If you’ve ever seen a Mahabali Shera, match you’d understand why that’s all I’m going to say.

Some people may disagree with me but Gail Kim being inducting into the TNA Hall of Fame is a underwhelming sell, to make matters worse her feud going into Bound for Glory is with (Spoiler Alert) Maria, a non-wrestler who is famous for having a sweet ass and showing it off. That’s it. This week Maria and Allie, who’s in the midst of a face turn are in the ring; Maria demands that Gail Kim comes out right now to be inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight on Impact. They show a video of the two times Maria has gotten the upper hand on Gail and give her a framed picture of their Knockouts Champion, none other that Maria herself. Then joined by Dixie Carter; TNA’s Stephanie McMahon, who declares that Gail gets inducted at Bound for Glory and if she wins the Knockouts Gauntlet tonight it will be Gail Kim vs. Maria at Bound for Glory. Yay… Although Maria did cut a fairly decent promo, that’s about where it ends. We know already that this match will be in the shitter so why to bother with caring. If you want to feel that Gail Kim getting inducted into the Hall of Fame is important why not have her have a good match instead of the one that’s given to us.

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Probably the best segment of the night is the Bare Turnbuckle match between Rockstar Spud and Braxton Sutter. This all boils down to Braxton hitting Spud so hard that he needed to get adult braces. Spud would then have Braxton’s mouth clamp onto the turnbuckle and curb stomp him, leading to tonight. The two brawl all across the Impact Zone, much more effectively than EC3 and Lashley last week. The best part is Spuds selling; he’s great at allowing himself to look vulnerable and convincing you of his pain. He actually started to cry at on point in time. Back in the ring, Braxton places Spuds mouth on the turnbuckle and gives him a receipt for what was done to him and pins him one, two, three. Once again the selling and storytelling were marvelous mainly due to Spud getting punched right in the braces and wincing in pain.

The last thing we’ll discuss this week is the Knockouts Gauntlet. It’s one of those TNA matches where it’s like the Royal Rumble but when its down to the last two competitors you may win by submission or pinfall. Jade and newcomer Laurel Van Ness or Chelsi of Tough Enough fame. No one gets eliminated until all women are in the ring so here’s the rest of the list of competitors. Sienna, Gail Kim, Marti Bell, Raquel and Madison Rayne; who is the first one to be eliminated. It comes down to Gail Kim and Sienna; a good choice among all the bad decisions made in this contest. Match ends with Sienna missing a scissors and Gail catching her for the Eat Defeat for the win. Stay away from this match, nothing good can come of it.

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Overall, this week’s Impact does survive the iMPACT Testing, only by the skin of its teeth though. The show doesn’t quite live up to last week. The highlights would be the Bare Turnbuckle match and the Hardy’s with Decay. Stay away from the Knockouts Gauntlet and the Edwards/Shera Grand Prix bought.

2.5 out of 5