Impact Wrestling – December 22, 2015 (Best of 2015 Part 1)

Impact Wrestling
Date: December 22, 2015
Hosts: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero

This is a special episode as the company is debuting on Pop TV with the first half of the Best of 2015. Therefore we’ll be looking at a bunch of matches from earlier in the year and probably previewing the final four of the World Title tournament just a bit more. These shows usually fly by so let’s get to it.

Note that these matches may be clipped in the broadcast but I’ll be copying and pasting the full versions of the matches.

We open with a quick package on the year as a whole.

Josh and Pope welcome us to the show and send us back to the beginning of the year in New York City. You remember New York. It’s the town where TNA said it was tough to sell out the same 2,000 seat arena three days in a row before WWE sold out a 14,000 seat arena three nights in a row in the same city later that year. A huge brawl broke out to begin the show until boss Kurt Angle broke it up.

Clips of Roode vs. Lashley III with Lashley winning the title back.

Clips of Lashley joining and then leaving the Beat Down Clan, leading to a fight with MVP on the streets of New York. The rest of the Beat Down Clan helped take Lashley out until Angle and Roode made the save.

Lashley became the big free agent going into Lethal Lockdown.

Before we get to that, we look at the opening of the last two Feast or Fired briefcases, which saw Robbie E. sneak around being fired by getting Velvet Sky fired instead.

Clips of Lethal Lockdown.

From March 13.

Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode

Last man standing. It’s a big brawl to start with Roode getting the better of it and knocking Young out to the floor for three. The fans want tables but stop to tell Young that he sold out. He also sucks but they don’t tell him that for some reason. Young punches Bobby in the mouth a few times, only to be backdropped on the aisle. Roode charges up the ramp for a clothesline and the announcers keep mentioning Roode turning his back on Young. It’s table time (hopefully it shuts them up for a bit) but we take a break before anyone goes through it.

Back with Young putting Roode down with a running neckbreaker and dropping knees to the chest. Another neckbreaker on the floor gets seven so Young whips Bobby into the steps to put him down again. Roode backdrops out of a piledriver on the steps and uses a cameraman to get to his feet. Both guys get chairs and it’s time for a duel, followed by a double clothesline to put them both on the floor.

They make it up and back in at nine with Roode getting all fired up first. Right hands don’t get Roode very far though as Young catches him with a piledriver for another nine. Some chairs to the ribs have Roode reeling but Young picks him up, only to get piledriven onto the chair. That’s still not enough so Roode loads up the Roode Bomb, only to have Young escape and both guys head to the apron. A Roode Bomb through the table is enough to put Young away at 19:38.

Rating: B. It was violent, it was intense, and I have no idea why they’re fighting. I thought about it for a bit and remembered it, only to realize I don’t care at this point. TNA knows how to set up a first brawl, but it takes them forever to get to the blowoff and by that point, the interest isn’t there anymore. Good brawl, but this really needs to end things between them.

Quick look at Awesome Kong vs. Havok in a cage.

Also from Lockdown, Jeff Hardy is injured by the Revolution, meaning he can’t go on the European tour. You would think someone would catch on to that happening every single year.

Clips of Jeff Hardy vs. James Storm on March 27.

Clips of the Wolves vs. the Revolution in Ultimate X on March 20.

We look at Ethan Carter III shaving Jeremy Borash’s head.

Package on Carter vs. Rockstar Spud, including clips of their First Blood match and Carter shaving Spud’s head.

Video on the Rising vs. Drew Galloway.

From March 20 in London.

TNA World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Lashley

Lashley is defending. We get the old school long walks through the back to the ring to really make this feel like a big deal. After the big match intros we’re ready to go with nearly twenty five minutes for this match. The fans are behind Angle but Lashley throws him into the corner with ease. A big clothesline puts Angle down again as it’s all champ so far. Kurt goes back to basics with rolling Germans and sends Lashley to the floor, but the champ takes over again with pure power.

Back in and Lashley pounds him down in the corner before starting in on the arm and shoulder. Kurt fights up and escapes, setting up a middle rope shoulder to drop Lashley. It’s time to roll some Germans and Lashley is in trouble. Kurt lets go but snaps off five more Germans before taking down the straps. The ankle lock is countered and Lashley nails the powerslam for two as we take a break.

Back with Lashley going shoulder first into the post and getting caught in the ankle lock again. Lashley rolls through but charges into a boot, setting up the Angle Slam for two. Now the spear connects for two but Lashley takes way too much time going up, allowing Angle to avoid a splash. This time it’s Kurt going up for a high cross body but Lashley rolls through into an ankle lock of his own. Kurt grabs the rope and hits another Angle Slam only to get caught in a cross armbreaker. That gets turned over into another ankle lock with the grapevine and Lashley taps at 20:18.

Rating: B+. It’s really good but it’s clear that Angle just doesn’t have the same reserves he used to. I’m ok with the title win as it feels more like one last reign for Angle instead of making him the long term top guy again. Angle more than deserves a reign like that and if he puts over a young star (which he likely will), this is fine. Lashley looks good in a loss, but the match didn’t hit the levels of epic they were hoping for. Still though, really good stuff.

We look at the Wolves having to vacate the Tag Team Titles. These clips are all over the place with little to no reason for going from one to another.

As a followup, here’s the ending to Ultimate X from April 17 with the Hardys winning their first TNA Tag Team Titles.

Then Jeff broke his leg, forcing them to vacate the titles and possibly putting him him out of action for over a year due to knee problems.

Here’s part of Kurt Angle defending the World Title against Eric Young in an I Quit match.

Now it’s on to Ethan Carter’s push towards the World Title, meaning we see his feud with Mr. Anderson.

We look at Destination X with Kurt Angle defending against Rockstar Spud and Austin Aries.

Time for the Knockouts as we look at Taryn Terrell winning the title and then defending against Awesome Kong in a hardcore match with the help of the Dollhouse. Taryn turned heel after the match.

Video on the Dollhouse and their path of destruction through the Knockouts division.

Jeff and Karen Jarrett came back in a big surprise.

We wrap it up with three minutes out of the twenty minute match where Carter won the title.

Overall Rating: D. I’m really not sure what to say about this. It was some cross between a Best of and a WAY too packed together retrospective as they flew through the first half of the year. I could barely keep track of when these things were happening and there was almost no structure or order to this whole thing. As usual, TNA goes from one extreme to the other as they take things way too slow or put in so much stuff that you can’t keep track of a thing.

This was just all over the place and I really have no idea what I was supposed to pick up from it. A lot of stuff happens here but we’re not sure if it makes sense? That’s their message? If you didn’t watch TNA regularly, this probably confused you a lot more than made you want to watch, but that’s TNA in a nutshell: don’t worry about the substance because we can just confuse them into watching. Part two will mainly be the GFW Invasion and the tournament, meaning a bunch of stuff that has little to do with what’s coming in the new year. Same TNA as always.

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