July 8, 2015
That gap in logic aside, I did enjoy EC3 abusing his power. The thread throughout the night saw hero after hero stepping up to EC3 only to be booked in matches to keep them busy.
It started with Matt Hardy. Hardy took Angle to his limit two weeks ago and felt he was in line for a title shot. EC3 (who was very good tonight) booked him in a tag team match against the Dirty Heels. Matt's partner would be his brother Jeff (who was unfortunately still out with a broken leg). The Dirty Heels ended up defeating Matt in a handicap match.
EC3 joined Josh and Pope on commentary during this match. EC3's headset stopped working so Pope handed EC3 his. Mathews made fun of Pope. I like the commentators showing bias towards certain wrestlers but need to be careful that they're not playing a hero or a villain.
*Drew Galloway was next. After cutting a promo about how The #StandUp Movement will continue even though The Rising will have to disband, EC3 mocked him. Eli Drake's comments about "This shouldn't have happened" and "I will pay you back for opening the door for me" (paraphrasing) were very interesting with how I believe his character development will go.
Galloway was booked in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match against The Revolution (Manik, Abyss and Khoya). The Revolution has to be one of the most worthless groups on TNA TV right now. Abyss is still stale. Khoya is green as hell and Manik deserves better. Just put a bullet in this thing, TNA. The Revolution started to implode when Abyss was ordering Khoya around and stopped him from pinning Galloway. Drew ended up pinning Manik with the Running Kick.
*Mr. Anderson was next on the docket. He was booked in a match against Bram. Bram has such a great character and a few really cool nicknames "Chesterfield Plague" and "Human Hate Machine" but he needs to grow his repertoire. He didn't get much offense in during the match.
Anderson did enter Bram's territory when the Human Hate Machine smashed a chair against the loudmouth. After intimidating the production lady, Bram continued to pummel Anderson with his mic. Bram took it afterwards. I like how they have presented Bram as a very dangerous guy. Keep up the good work TNA!
*Jessie Godderz and Robbie E had an entertaining Street Fight. I think Robbie E needs to move further away from his Bromans character because he has so much potential. Robbie E did hit the Reverse DDT (his new finisher) but it didn't get the job done. TNA needs to do a better job establishing that as his primary signature move. Jessie was great with the intensity. I loved how he locked in the Adonis Crab while sitting on a chair. Is this it between them?
* EC3 then came out for his three title defenses. The first was Norv Fernum, who EC3 manhandled. The second was Shark Boy, who he also manhandled. I love the connection to Discovery and Shark Week by bringing back Shark Boy. It also pays homage to EC3's history in TNA. I was expecting Dewey Barnes next as a completion of the trifecta BUT that selfish Kurt Angle came out. EC3 was gold during this segment with his boxing corner-man stuff with Tyrus. Really enjoyed this.
* Lashley defeated Tyrus with an Electric Chair Drop and a Spear. Impressive strength from Lashley here. Lashley has kinda been lost in the shuffle since losing the title and I hope TNA finds a direction for him. He is a guy TNA should continue getting behind as he could be a good program with EC3. His run as champion last year was excellent.
* Most of the Jeff Jarrett interview was a waste of time. What we ended up learning was that GFW was taking the TNA KOTM/Legends/Global/TV title back to their promotion and could be using it as sort of an Interpromotional Championship, which I love. I can't remember it being done before. I will get into the GFW/TNA relationship in much greater depth in the near future.
I kind of wish the Jarrett segment was shortened to include the segment between EC3 and Rockstar Spud from yesterday. It would have done even more establishing EC3's abuse of power.
* Velvet Sky vs Madison Rayne was okay. Velvet has improved a little in the ring and I like her new kick combination. Keep moving forward.
* EC3 vs Angle was a storyline. It wasn't really a match. EC3 got himself disqualified after hitting the referee. This was a way to continue EC3's character without giving the real rematch away.
I know many are comparing EC3's reign to the "Reign of Magnus" but there are stark differences. During the reign of Magnus, about half a dozen wrestlers constantly interfered while Magnus looked weak. Before Magnus could prove himself, he lost the title to Eric Young. EC3 is getting a lot less help and will likely have plenty of opportunities to prove himself. I see EC3's reign much like Bobby Roode's reign; a heel sneaking away victories but proving himself in the end.
* The segment between EC3 and Dixie Carter was okay. I much rather prefer Dixie as the Southern Belle heel. She was excellent in that role. She looked uncomfortable tonight. This was a good "turning the tide" segment to show fans that EC3's shenanigans were over. EC3's biggest supporter is now telling him to rely on his skill and not his last name. Hopefully this will result in more straightforward matches for the World Title.
Dixie also revealed that she has hired somebody to run the show and make the tough calls. It was a nice hook for next week. I already know who it is so I won't go into it here. My problem is that TNA has been doing so well without the played-out authority figure role. The first six months had an anonymous TNA Management making the tough calls. It was refreshing to see. I am kind of disappointed seeing TNA go back to this concept.