After seven long weeks overseas, TNA have found their way back to US soil and have retraced their steps back to the good old Impact Zone. To make this home coming return a little more special, we’re celebrating this week’s Impact with a semi-live episode! Yay for a night of some almost spoil-free material!
Despite a self-declaration that she would never ever compete in a ring, Maria Kanellis makes her TNA ring debut this week, as she teams up with hubby Mike Bennett to take on the team of Drew Galloway and Knockouts Champion Gail Kim. Also making her surprise TNA ring debut this week is Rosemary, when she teams up with her boys Abyss and Crazzy Steve to do battle against newly crowned TNA Tag Team Champions Beer Money and Eddie Edwards in a Six-Person Intergender Tag Team match.
Our first female siting comes in the form of none other than Madam Dixie Carter. The TNA President makes a brief appearance during Jeff Hardy‘s return match against Eric Young to raise the stakes a bit:
She announces that the winner of the match would be added to the main event TNA World Heavyweight Title match to square off against Ethan Carter III and the champion himself, Matt Hardy.
After Jeff Hardy wins his match, he gets a visit from big brother Matt and sister-in-law Reby Sky. The couple tries to sweet talk Jeff out of competing in the main event. Reby using Baby Hardy as an instrument of smoothing things out with Jeff and Matt Hardy promising his brother a one-on-one title match at Bound for Glory 2018! (LOL) Jeff rejects all of this and ends the segment with a Twist of Faith to Matt.
Ahead of our big mixed tag match, the Bennetts have a few choice words to their opponents, both whom have yet to be impressed by TNA’s sanctified couple:
The Bennetts relive the night when they first arrived to TNA, coming into the company with the promise of bringing change. Tonight, they will once again prove the change they’ve brought, as a courageous Maria isn’t going to back down from Gail, while Mike promises to deliver another ass kicking to Drew Galloway.
The Bennetts make their entrance first, Maria introducing her husband in the signature manner that we’ve now grown accustom to. They spot matching his and hers ring attires as they wait for the arrival of their opponents. Gail is out next but she waits for her partner to join her before entering the six side ring. A long stare down commences once all of the competitors have made their entrances.
The Knockouts Champion insists that the women start things off but that only lasts for about three seconds as Maria quickly tags her husband, forcing Gail to make a tag under these mixed tag rules. Drew rapidly disposes of Mike and makes a tag to his partner so that they collectively hit their corner clotheslines. Gail calls out Maria to enter this match again!
Maria is hesitant and Gail lets her frustration out on Mike. She lands a fury of punches to Mike and runs the ropes, where Maria sees an opening to lug Gail to the outside ring by extending the ropes. The Knockouts champion fumbles to grounds floor and Maria lands her first offense to Gail with a kick to the gut. A more confident Maria tosses Gail back to the ring to inflict more damage, going back and forth with slaps and stomping kicks. Maria follows up by running the ropes for a running elbow drop but misses when Gail rolls out the way.
Just when Gail makes it back to her feet, Maria retreats to the corner of her husband to avoid anymore confrontation with Gail. Drew brings the fight to Mike within close range of his wife, taunting her while fighting off her husband. When Mike manages to fend off Drew from a turnbuckle, he turns to his wife to make a much needed tag.
Maria obliges and tries to prevent Drew from reaching Gail but it’s no use as Drew simply overpowers her. He makes the tag to his partner and Ninja Kim soars across the ring to knock Mike off the ring apron with a dropkick. With nowhere to turn, Maria is stranded face to face with Gail, who looks to hit an Eat Defeat to the so-called woman of change. Mike quickly runs in to make the save for his wife but ends up getting an Eat Defeat instead. In the heat of the moment, a distracted Gail is rolled up from behind Maria, who pins Gail down for three count and win!
We move on to our second tag match of the night, this time it being under intergender rules.
After Eddie Edwards agreed to join forces with Beer Money, Abyss and Crazzy Steve were left to find a partner to team up with them. They looked no further than their manager Rosemary, who says her opponent have never met a girl like her before.
For the most part, Rosemary stood at her corner and infrequently got involved to pester Bobby Roode, a strategy that nearly caused her to be double suplex. However, it was Rosemary’s Kiss of Death mist that blinded Roode and distracted Eddie Edwards long enough to be rolled up by Crazzy Steve from behind for The Decay to walk out victorious! Those damn roll-ups pins are deadly.
Finally, we are treated to a heated exchange of words between Mr. and Mrs. Hardy and Dixie Carter:
The TNA President was casually tweeting out fans to set their DVR past the 11 PM mark on her iPad when Reby blasted Dixie for stacking the deck against her husband. “You’re decisions, they lack logic. Why would you cut off your nose to spite your face?” Not bad of a promo from Reby Sky here! Dixie defends her decisions of adding Jeff Hardy to the main event scene and adds one more detail to the match: a No DQ stipulation!
**SPOILER ALERT** Drew Galloway wins the title from Matt Hardy after cashing his briefcase following a cluster run-in style of a match! Congrats Drew!
Thoughts: While we did see two TNA ring debuts in one night this week, there wasn’t a whole lot to go on to fully discussing about it. Both Maria and Rosemary were very limited in these tag matches, not the most impressive or memorable way for a debut match, but they did handle their matches in different manners.
Rosemary stayed keen on her character and wasn’t really afraid to mix it up with her opponents where as Maria did everything she could to avoid any psychical contact in her match. In terms of storyline, I did enjoy the Bennetts versus Gail/Drew match as there was a story being told throughout the match. We saw Gail do whatever she could to get to Maria, even if it meant fighting off Mike with dropkicks, teamwork with Drew and that sick Eat Defeat. For her part, Maria played on her cowardly persona by tagging in her husband when she was in danger and pulled out the surprise victory.
My only real question is where do we go from here? Sure, Maria may have earned some “bragging rights” after pinning the Knockouts champion but are we expected to see her turn into an occasional wrestler now? Will this feud between Maria and Gail carry on to a possible PPV event such as Slammiversary? As always, only time will tell.