Lashley and Ethan Carter III Challenged TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards
Edwards continues to come off well as the fighting champion, but TNA should have had a hotter opening to their first show of the new year and, more importantly, their first show under the new ownership of Anthem. All three men played their roles well and they set up the main event effectively while also a teasing a surprise for later in the show, but these are the same three stars who have been battling for the belts for months. Why not incorporate a few new fresh faces into the mix on this show?
Impact Grand Champion Moose def. Mike Bennett
I wasn't a huge fan of the match these two had at Bound for Glory back in October (which felt like a phoned-in performance), but this was a much more entertaining encounter. I'm slightly surprised they're keeping the three rounds gimmick simply because it appeared to be a Billy Corgan creation, but this was the best bout of its kind to date in my opinion. I thought Bennett might have been on his way out after some of his comments toward the company late last year, but perhaps he'll be sticking around now that Dixie Carter is out of power.
Swoggle def. Rockstar Spud
Who needs AJ Styles when you have Hornswoggle? Take that, Meekmahon! In all seriousness, he's a harmless signing by TNA, but I'm not sure how much use he will be to them. If nothing else, they aren't portraying him like a child like WWE did, so that's a plus. The match lasted all of one minute, so it wasn't anything of note, but Spud's subsequent promo where he "quit" the company has me intrigued. I would love if it was real and he took part in WWE's United Kingdom Championship Tournament next weekend along with Mandrews, but I doubt that is the case.
Eli Drake Hosted Fact of Life with World Tag Team Champions The Broken Hardyz
Well, the buzz surrounding The Broken Hardys has yet to fade (away and classify itself as obsolete) and they remain the most over act on the roster. They had an enjoyable exchange on the mic with Drake and built toward their tag team match on Friday's One Night Only pay-per-view. Did anyone honestly know about that before it was announced on this show? On a side note, I'm glad Drake acknowledged his recently rivalry with EC3 and I hope we have yet to see the end of it.
Decay def. The Helms Dynasty
It's a shame Decay changed their theme because their last one was so great. Perhaps TNA was allowed to use it because of Billy Corgan? Just a thought. Anyway, it looks like Decay are faces now. Why? I have zero idea, but at least they have a feud lined up with The DCC. It actually makes sense if you watched Total Nonstop Deletion and saw Decay eliminate The DCC from Tag Team Apocalypto. That should be a decent as it's something new for TNA's tag team scene.
Sienna def. Allie
It was about time they got to the point in this story where Allie finally learned how to wrestle. By the way, she has always been a tremendous talent (just watch her work on the independent scene as Cherry Bomb), but only now has she learned her way around the ring in storyline. I really liked the way this match was structured with Allie taking the fight to Sienna only to fall short of victory. Allie, similar to Sami Zayn, can benefit from losing as an ultimate underdog and Sienna has already suffered enough defeats during her time in TNA, so it was imperative she won here.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards def. Lashley and Ethan Carter III in a Triple Threat Match
This was a standard Triple Threat match in that it was very well-wrestled but nothing stood out about it. We've seen the same matches between these three since the summer, so it's obvious they have great chemistry together, but I'm ready for new blood to enter the title picture. Davey Richards' return was pretty predictable, but I'm curious as to whether he's cleared to compete yet. Remember, he came back at Destination X but still wasn't ready to wrestle. Here's hoping this is the end of Lashley and EC3 in the world title scene for now.
I read earlier in the week that TNA wouldn't be doing anything drastic during this set of tapings and will hold off on any surprises until March. That was apparent on this show because while it was a solid show from start to finish, it was hardly newsworthy. Swoggle wrestled, but who cares? The two title matches were the only parts of this edition of Impact Wrestling that were watching, but Dixie Carter being out of power is definitely a step in the right direction.
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