Impact Wrestling – December 8, 2016: The Last Normal One

Impact Wrestling
Date: December 8, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews

It’s the last regular show of the year as next week will be Total Nonstop Deletion because it’s a good idea to give the Hardys their own show. The big story this week is the World Title on the line as Eddie Edwards defends against Ethan Carter III. You can almost guarantee a screwy finish of some kind as TNA loves leaving us hanging. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the World Title match with both guys seeming to have a lot of respect for each other.

Here’s new Grand Champion Moose for an opening chat. We get the YOU DESERVE IT chant, which is really starting to lose meaning. The guy has been around less than six months and has only been wrestling on the big stage for less than two years. Anyway, Moose promises to be a fighting champion but here’s Drew Galloway to interrupt.

Drew says the title was built for him and now he could have a match of the year against someone like Moose. The fight is about to begin but here’s Aron Rex (now clean shaven) to interrupt. Rex says three seconds isn’t enough time for a match and threatens to sue the fans for, and I feel stupid for saying this, Rexual Harassment. He’ll have his rematch right now.

Grand Championship: Moose vs. Aron Rex

Rex is challenging and wastes no time with the loaded up punch, which knocks Moose out on the floor. Back in and Rex can only get two so we hit the chinlock. Moose makes a quick comeback to end the round but Rex still takes the first. Rex uses his evil towel to blind Moose to start the second and it’s ANOTHER chinlock. The Wind-Up Elbow gets two on the champ and more elbows give Rex the second round. Round three begins with Rex hammering away again, only to get dropkicked off the top. The Game Changer retains the title at 7:36 total.

Rating: D+. I really cannot stand this gimmick. It’s TNA trying to be creative and while it’s something new, that doesn’t mean it’s interesting. The problem here is you could take away the rounds and the match would be exactly the same. Just have Rex cheat to win any regular title and it’s the same thing. That’s a major problem but TNA just keeps running with this thing.

Eddie says he’s ready.

Galloway rants about TNA not holding the tournament for him.

Aiden O’Shea vs. Mandrews

O’Shea goes for a slam but the much smaller Mandrews falls on him to take over. Aiden’s big forearm hits the apron by mistake and now he’s ticked off. The shirt comes off and the slow beating begins, only to have Mandrews send him outside. That means a big flip dive as I’m wondering why I’m supposed to boo this guy. A springboard seated senton sets up a shooting star press to end O’Shea at 5:48.

Rating: C-. So……he’s one of the least interesting wrestlers in the division, he’s turned heel, and now he wins a match that by definition is about making someone look like a face? Normally I would attribute this to a weird taping situation where Mandrews’ turn was taped after this but, since it’s TNA, it’s just weird booking as this took place after the turn.

Mahabali Shera/Al Snow vs. Tribunal

Indian strap match, meaning they’re bound at the wrists by straps and you win by touching all six corners. They brawl on the floor to start until the wrists are strapped, meaning the Tribunal can start choking. Snow’s comeback is cut off but it’s too early to touch the buckles. Low blows and straps to the back have the Tribunal down and a double low bridging allows Snow and Shera to win at 5:19.

Rating: D-. Whatever man. I’ve been sick of this feud since the second it began and this isn’t getting any better. Hopefully this blows it off and we can go on to anything else because I have no idea why it would keep going. No one involved is interesting and no one involved is being elevated but it keeps going anyway. Such is life in TNA.

We see Matt Hardy asleep with the Seven Deities telling him about something called Apocalypto.

Ethan is ready for the title match and makes fun of Eli Drake for not being able to talk.

Here are the Hardys to talk about Tag Team Apocalypto next week. Matt says the match will be so big that Mc-Mahon or Hayman couldn’t promote it. There will be regular stars of the Impact Wrestling roster and even King Maxill will make his debut. The Tag Team Titles will be on the line in an open challenge to any tag team in the history of space and time.

Cue Shane Helms (He still works here?) to say he’ll be there. Matt can’t wait to see 3 Count or the superheroes back in action. Helms is actually bringing the Helms Dynasty and promises to be there. Cue Decay to say they’ll top the Great War when they appear as well. Helms takes a Twist of Fate.

After a break, DCC says they’ll be in North Carolina next week too.

Laurel Van Ness vs. Allie

Madison Rayne is on commentary. Before the match, Maria laughs at Allie for pretending to be a wrestler. Allie says she’s been training with Braxton Sutter, which freaks Laurel out. Sutter comes out to watch from ringside as Laurel starts beating Allie up. Allie gets in a suplex as Sutter and Mike Bennett fight to the back. With the men gone, Laurel misses a charge in the corner and a reverse DDT puts her away at 5:11.

Rating: D+. The match was nothing but the story was all it needed to be. Allie is one of the most over people on the roster and seeing her beat up Maria and company is the best idea possible. It’s also very helpful that she’s a trained wrestler so we don’t have to sit through months of her learning how to do things. Sutter vs. Bennett could be good too.

Maria tries to get in and is shoved right back down.

Video on Carter vs. Edwards.

Allie is all happy and kisses Sutter in celebration.

Total Nonstop Deletion ad.

TNA World Title: Ethan Carter III vs. Eddie Edwards

Eddie is defending and they trade armbars to start. A running knee lift cuts Eddie off and sends him to the floor as they’re definitely taking their time here. Ethan gets two off a knee drop and we take a break. Back with Carter getting two off a suplex and we’re off to a chinlock.

That goes nowhere so Eddie hits a top rope hurricanrana to very little reaction from the audience. They chop it out until Ethan is knocked outside for the suicide dive. Eddie’s rollup is countered into a sitout powerbomb for two but the TK3 doesn’t work. Back up and the champ gets crotched on the ropes for the superplex into a small package near fall.

Carter speeds things up until the Boston Knee Party sends him outside. The TK3 connects on the floor but Carter still can’t put him away. The Backpack Stunner is countered into Ethan’s rear naked choke, only to have Eddie roll onto his back. It’s a double finish as Eddie taps at the same time as the three count at 20:35.

Rating: B. The match was good but, as usual, it felt like they were just doing moves until we got to the ending. The near falls helped a lot and I buy them as equals but the ending felt a bit forced. It’s a good main event but really not enough to save the show, which wasn’t the best leading up to this.

The match is ruled a no contest so Eddie retains. Replays show that Carter’s shoulder was up at two anyway but it’s not acknowledged. I’m guessing Carter goes heel after this.

Overall Rating: C-. That main event helped a lot but there’s almost no way to save this show. Maybe they were just spent at the end of the marathon tapings or maybe TNA just isn’t capable of putting on quality TV (there’s a shocker) but so much of this show feels like a waste of time.

I can’t count how many things on here just exist with no emotional connection. When you have a gimmick match that doesn’t work, a pretty worthless big vs. little match, that stupid, stupid Snow/Shera match and a mostly bad women’s match, a good main event just isn’t enough. The show isn’t the worst in the world and is watchable at times but it’s not interesting and that’s a much bigger problem.

Results

Moose b. Aron Rex – Game Changer

Mandrews b. Aiden O’Shea – Shooting star press

Al Snow/Mahabali Shera b. Tribunal – Snow and Shera touched all six buckles

Allie b. Laurel Van Ness – Reverse DDT

Eddie Edwards vs. Ethan Carter III went to a no contest with a double finish

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