It’s what we have all been waiting for! The moment is finally here! It’s time for Final Deletion!
The show opens with new cult icon Senior Benjamin, not to be confused with Shelton Benjamin warning us to not try this at home.
We now see Maxel celebrating his birthday. His awkward teenage years are going to be rather interesting but take your Da to class day will certainly rule for him. Happy Birthday Maxel.
TNA X Division Championship Ultimate X Match: ***1/4
This was a great concept back in the early days of TNA and like most gimmick matches it has becomes bloated and too much of a trope of spots than a coherent match, with meaning. However that’s the beauty of spotfest gimmick matches you know what you are going to get and most of the time it’s real fun bordering on great. Trevor Lee was once again the highlight here and continues to be a talent that ascends up my worker of the year list. He’s probably somewhere in the top 15 at this point. The other guy worth pointing out is Braxton Sutter, I’ve seen him a few times on the indie circuit but he’s clicking well in TNA. He’s a guy I consistently enjoy watching. Mandrews did a sick moonsault off one of the X Rungs making this the only time Mandrews has got offense in TNA, so I can add a ½ * for that novel concept. Eddie gets the win and that’s the right choice, he’s a guy that deserves this but I do wish TNA let his run to the world title breath, and they gave him more from a storyline standpoint. Good stuff here and a great open to the show.
ECIII and Galloway
Recap of last week, where Galloway and ECIII’s confrontation. Josh Mathews tells us they face off in an interview tonight. Josh Mathews choices of words have made me cringe 25 minutes into IMPACT, he’s improving.
Up next is Eli Drake and James Storm!
King of the Mountain Championship: Eli Drake (c) vs. James Storm**
James Storm has the best entrance in wrestling, it’s up there with Roman Reigns sending goosebumps up my spine, entering through the crowd. Note the sarcasm and note that I’m laying it on pretty thick. Eli Drake’s Dummy Yeah is a rich man’s version of Y2J’s Stupid Idiot and Eli Drake sticks to the water as we saw in last week’s show. This was the match I really expected from these guys. Storm is one of the more underrated talents of the 2000’s era and Eli Drake is a paint by the numbers middle of the road worker than can be carried to a good match. He has really grown on me as a character but he still has a bit of a just the guy feel in the ring. The BFT is a pretty awesome finisher however. The match ends in a DQ as it really should of. This match felt too soon to have any kind of blow off and will continue to build on a good feud and chemistry between these two. Not a bad first step, not great either, I’m okay with wanting more but Eli needs to stand do something to stand out in the ring.
Street Fight: Jade vs. Marti Belle**3/4
Jade and Marti waste no time turning this into a shoot. Josh Mathews takes a moment to provide his take on denim, which one can assume is of the butt-dazzled variety, but this turns into a shill for recently outed shit bags Pro Wrestling Tees. I’ve puked in my mouth. I’m still waiting for the definitive Jade match and feud. She’s a good worker but has yet to stand out in TNA. Marti is rather sloppy at times and continues to be unimpressive if I’m being completely honest. Jade isn’t nearly as lethal with Nunchucks as Aja Kong is either, which is a high bar and almost unfair. She gets the win with a package piledriver on a steel chair. This feud is over and I don’t believe there was a single second of emotion investment in this feud but a decent match.
Jeff’s mows his front yard looks like Goldberg’s bicep tattoo and then he decides to play guitar. Oh my god Brother Matt has sent a drone that chants Brother Nero. I’m in tears. What the fuck is happening right now?! Jeff just Jarrett’d the drone with a guitar, and now a holographic Matt appears taunting Jeff. A holographic Matt that looked like something from WCW Saturday Night circa 1991. What a time to be alive. A high-speed pursuit ensure on Jeff’s dirt bike but it was a ruse for Matt to ruin Jeff’s yard. This has already hit *****’s. Josh Mathews makes a bad joke which I refuse to put over.
If this was EWR Sophie would kindly tell Dave Lagana that he used Mike Bennett too much tonight. TNA sure loves this guy but he’s getting played out. They continue to build this weird Corgan/Dixie/Bennett story and I’m deeply concerned Dixie will be getting in the ring to work a match but also optimistic she can be better than Dean Ambrose. She’s also slightly less robotic and wooden than Charlotte, so there is that. I really don’t care about this story at all, one of the weakest parts of Impact. It’s basically a wink and nod shoot of Dixie being a bumbling president and Billy Corgan being an obnoxious money mark. Mike also said he is going to ruin Destination X. Isn’t that the booker’s job?
Senior Benjamin Clip
Senior Benjamin is giving good brother Dylan Hales a run for the WO Rookie of the Year award. Senior Benjamin is probably the most natural rookie I’ve seen since Jun Akiyama.
Lashley cuts a promo on Edwards saying to keep the X-Division title, because he’s not ready for Lashley. This is going to be a great match, I cannot wait. It’s shoot city every time Lashley enters the picture.
The Bromans & Raquel vs. The DecayN/R
Broman’s show a clip of Bram and Rosemary eating each others faces. Hopefully this doesn’t end in Bram holding her captive in his apartment. These two teams have shown great chemistry together, the Broman’s have been hidden highlights in terms of in ring talents this year, you could make an argument that they’re better than most of the WWE tag scene, including New Day. Raquel is a talent that intrigues me in TNA, she flashed a little in the match and I would be open to seeing what she could do in the Knockouts Division. The match was quick and pretty run of the mill. Broman’s win with a roll up setting up another match between these two. They should probably look to end this feud soon.
Eddie Edwards Option C?
Eddie cuts the run of the mill promo about some succeeding some failing yadda yadda yadda and out comes Lashley before Eddie can make his decision. Shoot city time with Lashley, he thinks Eddie is an amazing wrestler and X Division champion but Lashley reminds Eddie he is the most dominant wrestler in the business. Eddie isn’t scared, and doesn’t back down. Lashley says not to vacate the title and make it TITLE FOR TITLE oh my and he’s going to rip the heart of X-Division! Eddie accepts! Lashley with a cheap shot and monster belly to belly. Sets up for the spear but Eddie counters with a knee! This was another great Lashley segment, I love this guy and he did a great job establishing Eddie was the underdog with babyface sympathy.
ECIII vs. Galloway banter on an interview
Here is another hoot of a feud, these two hate each and TNA does a great job playing it up, hell these guys do a great job playing it up. This has been one of the best feuds in wrestling and the matches have been equally as fun. Good stuff.
THE FINAL DELETION*****
Before the match even begins I find myself bleeding buckets all over the floor from blading myself. In this match bodies were bruised, necks broken (RIP Benjamin), careers ended in an instant, yes this was entertaining but the hazards were real. Matt and Jeff tried this at home and had the most innovate brawl I’ve seen since Terry Funk vs Jerry Lawler in an empty arena match. The biggest disappointment with this match was it could have done an easy 90K at Kawasaki Stadium as it was objectively better than any match Onita put on within FMW. We had it all boats, willow, fire, fireworks and tree dives. If I’m a Gabe Sapolsky, William Regal or Gedo I’m showing this match to the ZSJ’s, Sami Callihan’s, Okada’s, Balor’s of the world to help them understand that real professional wrestling doesn’t begin and end with a handshake and exchange of crisp moves with questionable selling mixed in. Real pro wrestling is a god damn shoot and if you’re not hitting people with roman candles you’re looking the camera dead and the eye and telling the world that it is what it is and what it is, is you clenching your fist and making someone bleed their own blood the hardway. This is what God, Dick Murdoch, Tracy Smothers and Terry Funk intended wrestling to be and the way professional should be. There is no other choice but to give this match ***** and put up top every ballot on this year’s award ballots. This will be the match everyone talks about in 2016, not Ospreay vs. Ricochet, not Okada vs. Tanahashi, not Lee vs. Wilkins. This match.
TNA’s legacy is that of a promotion that finds some traction and always finds away to take two steps back when it’s time to shine. They delivered the goods tonight as whole, this was not a one match show in the slightest. Everything was fun, effective and advanced stories. Next week will be show that could have two honest **** matches, you should tune in. As far as the Final Deletion, I’ve barfed out my words, made no edits and am satisfied. TNA let Matt and Jeff step out of the box, do their thing and it worked. This is one of the best shows of the year for TV wrestling. Highly recommended. 8/10.