October 7, 2015
First things first, I actually like how we got to the tournament. While there are plenty of gaps in logic, I enjoyed the whole injunction storyline. To me, it is characteristic of EC3 to do this. Matt Hardy looks honorable relinquishing the title to help his company. We also get a cool tournament out of it to boot.
The World Title Series is very similar to the Bound For Glory Series, only the rules are much more consistent and the prize is greater. 32 wrestlers start the tournament in group play. In this round-robin tournament, the participants are broken up into 8 groups of four. Wins gain wrestlers 3 points, Draws earn 1 point and Losses earn 0 points. There are also 15 minute time limits to matches. The top two scorers from each bracket will advance.
The round of 16 is a single-elimination tournament without any time limits. Win and you advance, lose and you go home.
The first four groups were announced this week. Group UK is Drew Galloway, Bram, Rockstar Spud and Grado. Group Knockout is Awesome Kong, Gail Kim, Brooke and Madison Rayne. Group Wildcard is Aiden O'Shea, Mahabali Shera, Crazzy Steve and Kenny King. Group Champion is EC3, Mr. Anderson, Lashley and Austin Aries.
The other four groups will be announced this week. If you can't wait for that, you can read the taping results from July here.
In certain doses, I like the sports-feel of this tournament. Wins and losses matter and competition is on the forefront. Hopefully a clear World Champion is established by the end of this. I may have a different opinion by the time this is over but until thing, I will enjoy this thing.
While the virtual set could use improvement, I like the ESPN'esque style to it with Pope and Mathews making predictions and recapping events. The reaction style segments before and after matches add to the contests. Finally, I like the roundtable discussion between the wrestlers as it adds context to the matches. The only thing I would like to see different is for them to happen before the matches.
Drew Galloway and Bram kicked things off for the WTS on Wednesday. Its so disappointing to see Bram in legal trouble with his future now in jeopardy. These two had a solid match. Drew is a wildcard in this thing. He came so close to winning the World Title and he seems to be the favorite out of his group.
While I like having intergender matches, I don't know if I buy any of the Knockouts winning this tournament. Clearly Gail Kim and Awesome Kong have the best chance. Both could get a few wins but as champion, I don't see it. Both Knockouts Matches were fun tonight.
Rockstar Spud vs Grado was a fun match. I could see why some may not like it but I enjoyed the references to guys like Triple H, The Rock, Stone Cold, Undertaker, AJ, Kurt Angle and John Cena. I enjoy Grado more than others on the internet.
The EC3 vs Austin Aries match to me was the highlight of the night. It was cool seeing Austin Aries (and Thea Trinidad) back in IMPACT Wrestling. The explanation about why he was allowed back in was lame but I can overlook it. These two had a very good match. The time limit thing came into play as both these guys wouldn't suffer the loss. I would love to see these guys go at it again in the future.
Lashley vs Mr. Anderson was also a strong match but not as good as EC3/Aries. I like how we will see combinations through this tournament format that we usually wouldn't see. Lashley picked up the win here.
As of now, the tournament style works. As a fan of storylines and variety in my wrestling show, I don't know if the excitement will continue for yours truly. Until that fades away though, keep things up TNA. This was a fun and very unique show.