Date: November 18, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
We’re getting closer to the end of the preliminaries and you can see most of the winners from here. It should make things a lot more interesting now that some people are eliminated and we can get down to the real contenders instead of pretending that so many people with no chance are still alive. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week and a preview of this week.
The announcers recap everyone who has already advanced.
Group Knockouts: Brooke vs. Awesome Kong
The winner advances. Brooke goes after her to start but Kong goes after her broken hand. Kong pulls Brooke up by the hand and then punches her down as this is one sided so far. The Implant Buster is broken up and Brooke tries a choke, only to be set away with ease. A low facebuster gets two on Kong but she grabs Brooke off the top for an AA. Brooke avoids a splash and the Butterface Maker gets two more. For some reason Brooke tries a suplex, earning herself a chokeslam to send Kong to the round of 16 at 6:13.
Rating: D+. This was just about every Kong match you’ve seen lately and was there any doubt that Kong and Kim were going to advance out of the group? It makes the most sense, though it didn’t make for the most interesting drama in the group as Brooke and Madison fell apart after the opening weeks. Kong basically squashed her here though and that’s the best idea all around.
Gail Kim – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Awesome Kong – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Brooke – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
Madison Rayne – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
We get a sitdown interview with Matt Hardy and Ethan Carter III (in separate locations). Matt brags about sweeping the Tag Team Specialists group which has the top talent in the world right now. Carter says if Matt was as great as he thinks he is, he would be in a real group like Group Champions. Instead Matt is navel lint and this series doesn’t end until Ethan wins.
Matt wants Ethan in the round of sixteen because he took away the greatest night of Matt’s career. Now Matt wants to take everything away from Carter, starting with that undefeated streak. Carter doesn’t care what round he meets Matt in because it’s a guaranteed victory. Ethan yells about Matt a lot and walks out of the interview.
Eric Young says James Storm would be better off not showing up tonight because Storm is a shadow of his former self.
Back from a break and we see the end of the interview again. We’ll hear more from both later.
Group X-Division: Manik vs. Tigre Uno
If Tigre wins, it’s a three way tie with Manik and DJZ, forcing a playoff. Tigre takes him down with a dive to start but Manik rolls away to avoid a second one. What looks like an Asai moonsault is broken up and Manik suplexes him on the ramp. Back in and Manik goes for the mask, followed by three straight suplexes for two.
Manik cranks on the arm as the announcers actually bring up the X-Division Title, which has now gone well over a month without being defended, just like every other title in this company. Tigre avoids a swanton but walks into a wheelbarrow gutbuster for two. Uno slams him back down and a quick split legged corkscrew moonsault out of the corner gives Tigre the pin at 7:00.
Rating: C. Just in case you haven’t had enough of this tournament yet, NOW WE GET A PLAYOFF! I’m not sure how you have a three man playoff as the logical way would be to have a triple threat and whoever takes the fall is out, but I’m sure this is going to result in multiple matches to make sure we fill in as much TV time as possible. At least the champ didn’t get pinned again so it’s not infuriating all over again. Manik working on the arm was fine, even if it didn’t lead anywhere. It was nice to see some psychology in an X-Division match for a change though so I’ll take what I can get where I can get it.
DJZ – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Manik – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Tigre Uno – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Mandrews – 0 points (0 matches remaining)
Video on Group TNA Originals.
Next week it is indeed a triple threat but under elimination rules. So we have a double elimination match in the playoff of the round robin tournament to advance to the round of sixteen in the knockout tournament. YOU THINK THIS MIGHT BE A BIT OVERBOOKED???
Pope and Josh play that bubble burst game.
Roode says he’ll do whatever it takes to win.
Group TNA Originals: James Storm vs. Eric Young
Winner advances. Young attacks Storm during the recap videos and we take a break ten seconds in. Dang it stop doing that! Back with Young in full control and stomping away. We hit a neck crank and chinlock for a bit on Storm until he comes back with an enziguri and Closing Time.
Storm is wrestling like a face here because the whole trying to kill Mickie James is forgettable. No really, that story didn’t have any staying power and Mickie was fine in like a week. The piledriver and the Eye of the Storm are both broken up and but a quick ref bump allows Young to kick Storm low. A piledriver sends Young to the round of sixteen at 10:16.
Rating: D+. Who knew Storm had turned face for this thing? Not that it matters as he’s going out soon enough anyway, which makes it a good thing that they didn’t push him forward. Instead we get Young, who has improved quite a bit in recent months. He’s still nothing great, but I’ll take this version over HE’S JUST SO CRAZY any day.
Group TNA Originals
Eric Young – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Abyss – 3 points (1 match remaining)
Bobby Roode – 3 points (1 match remaining)
James Storm – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
Preview of next week’s matches.
More with Matt Hardy as he talks about proving haters wrong, which he can’t wait to do to Ethan. He’s going to win the feud with Ethan no matter what it takes and win the World Title as a bonus. Matt vacated the title so we could proceed with business as normal. Yeah because going the better part of three months with one story and nothing but a massive tournament is normal.
Finally, he picks Roode tonight and would love to face him in the future. This has been your weekly reminder that Matt Hardy is the most interesting wrestler in the world and he’s a former World Champion and he got screwed out of the title and he WILL NOT DIE, no matter what people think. Except for TNA who will forget him when Jeff is back.
Group Wild Card: Aiden O’Shea vs. Mahabali Shera
The taped schedule rears its ugly head again as Shera has gone from all serious in his recent interviews to the dancer again here. Shera does his dancing to start before grabbing a headlock which O’Shea needs the rope to break. Off a headlock? O’Shea stomps him down in the corner but stops for some shadow boxing. More punches actually connect with Shera but he slams O’Shea off the top. Aiden misses another right hand and the Sky High gives Shera a sweep of the group at 4:51.
Rating: D-. Shera’s entire offense here was right hands, a headlock, a slam and the Sky High. That’s it. He did four moves in an entire match, assuming you don’t count the dancing. This is the kind of match that I really don’t need to see, but it’s going to get even worse when Shera gets a huge push because the show is in India next month. He has some charisma but he needs to expand his offense beyond someone in their fourth month of wrestling school.
Group Wild Card
Mahabali Shera – 9 points (0 matches remaining)
Aiden O’Shea – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
Kenny King – 3 points (1 match remaining)
Crazzy Steve – 0 points (1 match remaining)
Group Future 4: Eli Drake vs. Crimson
Crimson throws him down to start and grabs a chinlock inside the first minute. Drake sends him shoulder first into the post for two, followed by a flying armbar for one. The match is dull enough that Ethan Carter III interrupts for his interview but then storms off when it’s not his time. Crimson fights up with some ax handles to the face, only to have his bad arm snapped across the top rope. A shoulder breaker from Eli sets up a standing armbar…..for the submission at 5:16. I didn’t see that one coming.
Rating: D+. The ending was surprising and the match wasn’t bad (third arm/hand injury of the show aside) but this is a great example of a match that I have no desire to watch. That’s one of the major problems with this tournament: we have to cover all these matches that aren’t interesting and hear the announcers go on and on about how these people could be World Champion. It wasn’t bad but totally uninteresting.
Group Future 4
Eli Drake – 7 points (0 matches remaining)
Micah – 4 points (1 match remaining)
Jesse Godderz – 3 points (1 match remaining)
Crimson – 0 points (0 matches remaining)
Ethan Carter III is STILL talking about Matt Hardy because much like Matt, this feud WILL NOT DIE, even if people stopped caring a long time ago. Carter wants to beat Matt in any round and promises to win the title back because he’s still undefeated.
We recap the night so far.
Pope picks his winners for next week.
Group TNA Originals: Bobby Roode vs. Abyss
Winner advances. The threat of a chokeslam has Roode in early trouble but he fires off some running clotheslines. Abyss shows him how to do a clothesline but still can’t get the chokeslam. He settles for a big side slam and we take a break. Back with Abyss clotheslining him to the floor and wedging a chair into the corner. Pope accurately says this never works out as Abyss runs Roode over again and puts on a neck crank.
We’re under five minutes to go as Roode fights up and scores with a clothesline. A Blockbuster gets two for Roode and he sends Abyss arm first into the chair. The Crossface has Abyss in trouble but he makes the ropes in a hurry. Abyss scores with a chokeslam for two and it’s Janice time. As is the case EVERY SINGLE TIME, it gets stuck in the turnbuckle, setting up a spinebuster from Roode for the pin at 13:15.
Rating: C. You really can see the difference between the levels of talent on this show. Roode continues to be solid in the ring and Abyss, while dumb as a bag of hammers at times, can still put on a good enough match for something like this. Roode advancing is of course the right call but I can’t picture him getting beyond the semifinals.
Group TNA Originals
Eric Young – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Bobby Roode – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Abyss – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
James Storm – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
Overall Rating: D. Yes I understand that TNA has a lot of action on their show and I understand that a lot of fans like that. Yes I also understand that if I criticize TNA for anything, their fans interpret it as me being negative and not giving them the fair chance that they deserve.
I’ve been watching TNA for years now (unlike most people who gave up on it a long time ago) and this is as hard as it’s ever been to sit through. These shows feel like they’re longer than Raw could ever hope to be with one average to lame match after another as we continue to inch closer towards the real tournament. It’s probably going to get better then but the three months it’s taking to get there is killing this company.
This idea has gone on for months now and unless there’s a big curveball coming, it’s going to end with some combination of Matt Hardy, Drew Galloway and Ethan Carter III in the final, meaning the whole thing has been one big circle until we’re right back where we were around Bound For Glory. TNA needs to do something big to validate all the time and effort they’ve spent on this and putting the title on someone who has held it since June or another nostalgia story of a 40 year old who wants one last run at glory isn’t it. The tournament may appeal to some, but I’m certainly not one of them.
Awesome Kong b. Brooke – Chokeslam
Manik b. Tigre Uno – Split legged corkscrew moonsault
Eric Young b. James Storm – Piledriver
Mahabali Shera b. Aiden O’Shea – Sky High
Eli Drake b. Crimson – Standing armbar
Bobby Roode b. Abyss – Spinebuster
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