Impact Wrestling Review (Total Nonstop Deletion)
December 17, 2016
By Gerald Bocook of Wrestleview.com
Hoo, boy. Here we go. Ten Things I Learned From Impact Wrestling
Lesson 1: Action News Means Never Having to Report Your Sources
I actually, legitimately looked up to see if there was a WCAM-7 news station, or broadcasters named Gilbert Corsey or Betty Sue Fuentes. I won’t tell you what I found, but I was enamored enough by this presentational element that I took the time to seek it out. The bits were great, broke the fourth wall just enough to not be obnoxious, and gave us a great excuse to see the action all over the area.
Lesson 2: Cheap Production Means Cheap Presentation
I really liked the cheap production of the show. I was surprised at the small crowd at the Dome of The Deletion, but given that they ended up evacuating the whole thing, it eventually made sense. I also thought the Total Nonstop Deletion graphics were a nice touch, and it really helped it feel like a separate event from your run-of-the-mill Impact Wrestling.
Lesson 3: Get a Satin Jacket
Señor Benjamin might just be the biggest badass in the world. And also the tackiest. He not only came to the ring wearing a damn Ribera satin jacket, but he took out Rockstar Spud with his damn tazer in a sneak attack because Spud was too busy threatening a baby. What a badass.
I was surprised that Señor Benjamin didn’t get involved in the Apocalypto match. He had a lot of fun bits in Delete or Decay, so I was expecting to see him hunting down Rockstar Spud in his earthmover or burying all of the tag teams at the gate, or trying to protect the homestead with Roman candles from the likes of Gregory Helms and his local roughnecks. But, alas. PUSH SEÑOR BENJAMIN!
Lesson 4: Rockstar Spud is a God Amongst (Small) Men
Rockstar Spud took a pinfall for a one-year-old, green-as-grass, actual, factual toddler. What a damn champ. Pro wrestling is full of too-tough guys that have no sense of humor anymore, so it’s good to see a guy like Spud that isn’t afraid to come out and make an absolute ass of himself for our entertainment.
Not only did Rockstar Spud lose to a li’l fella, but he hired in a huge ringer to be his tag partner during Apocalypto, Swoggle! Dylan Postl returned to your TV screen to assist Spud in the night’s main event, and just like Spud’s relationship with Decay, this one fell apart quick because Spud is… well, Spud. It was great to see Spud build up his partner and just so impressively under deliver. Swoggle’s “King of Small Style” shirt was great, and it was awesome to see him take on Lashley to absolutely no effect.
Lesson 5: Vanguard 1 Can’t Hang With the Big Boys. Or Girls
Poor Vanguard 1. After watching King Maxel successfully debut in the squared… hexagonal… circle… Vanguard 1 jumped at the opportunity to challenge Sienna for her self-proclaimed #1 Contendership, only to be told that he wouldn’t be allowed to compete! They actually bothered to make a reason for this, and as someone that loves unnecessary attention to detail, I have to commend them for blaming it on the North Carolina state athletic commission. His later involvement as he attempted to referee the match was also great, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a referee yank someone out of the ring that was trying to be the referee for a match.
Vanguard 1 also had some involvement in Apocalypto, helping to save the Hardys from being eliminated by Decay. It was pretty fun to see him trading shots with Abyss, but that’s about it.
Lesson 6: ODB Makes Barbeque Sauce
ODB is back! Bam! It was nice to see a friendly old face from the early days of Impact. She grabbed her boobs, she drank a lot, and she motorboated a drone. It was fantastic! Fun match with Sienna, and I’m interested to see if she’s going to be coming back down to Orlando.
Lesson 7: Omega Lives On in Itchweeed
If you are at all familiar with the backstory of the Hardys, they had a background wrestling promotion with some of their friends (like Shannon Moore and Gregory Helms) called Omega. Since they didn’t have tons of guys, they’d all have multiple gimmicks (this was alluded to with Helms’ comment about “High Voltage” in their promo,) and they’d wrestle multiple times in the night. Ah, to be 17 again. This idea lives on with Jeff Hardy not only wrestling in the huge Apocalypto match, but he dressed up in his Itchweeed character and beat up some local guy before attacking him with a weed whacker. Weeed whacker? It was fun for what it was, but that was about it. I do gotta say it was dope to see someone bust out the elbow drop pin for a finish, though.
Lesson 8: Lashley and Edwards Are Still Fighting
Holy crap, I loved this match. It was a great match to the end (of what we saw,) the two men just beat the ever-lovin’ crap out of each other, and the crowd even got involved, holding Lashley down so Edwards could attack him, and I loved that. Their past matches have been mostly good, but I don’t think I’m going to look back on any of them as fondly as this one. That said, the match never ended! The match went outside the Dome of The Deletion, and we saw all sorts of bits of their continued fight throughout Apocalypto, we never saw a conclusion. The last we saw of them was Edwards’ dive off the balcony. Are they still out there, in the woods, throwing each other around? The world may never know.
Lesson 9: All the Crazies Come Out For the Apocalypto
Ricky f’n Morton. Are you kidding me? And even Road Warrior Animal made an appearance. Good lord. Lots of new teams – I’m guessing guys from the local scene in North Carolina – and pretty much all of TNA (except where were the Bro-Mans?!) came out for the Apocalypto. They did a good job of building the match and introducing the teams (I think the Bravado Brothers might be making it down to Florida in one capacity or another here soon,) and it was really important to do that. The only thing in the build to Apocalypto that I didn’t like was this whole “If the Hardys lose, everyone dies” thing. Wrankled my nose form the start when it was mentioned in Matt Hardy’s promo, and the constant mentioning in the show just killed any belief that the Hardys could lose it.
Lesson 10: Don’t Be ‘Round When the Apocalypto Comes to Town
Oooookay, there’s a ton to unpack here. So much went on with this nearly hour-long match. My overall thought is, I think we’ve seen now the extent of what we can do with the format of the Hardy Compound matches. I say this because the match wasn’t really a match. Almost immediately the action left the ring, and went all over the place. The Hardys and the Helms Dynasty fought out in the streets, along the road, in front of an antique store, by a train, and back at the compound. Decay destroyed a bunch of unknown teams at the gates of the Hardy Compound. Fighting in the ring where The Final Deletion took place, and the nearby volcano. But it was heavily, heavily edited, didn’t feature the most exciting wrestling, and relied too heavily, I think, on the spectacle they created over substance. Still, I really enjoyed it. I turned off my brain an extra notch and just sat back and welcomed the Apocalypto.
I won’t go over the whole thing again, but I’ll list off some of my highlights. Gregory Helms saying that Hardys merch was on clearance in the antique shop, Ricky Morton being abandoned in the cherry picker (and later being taunted by Road Warrior Animal,) the local guys’ reactions when Decay killed one of the Bruiserweights, Spud and Swoggle, James Storm being devastated by some local trucker, Helms and both of his trips into the Lake of Reincarnation, the dig at HHH for burying young talent, the Bravado Brothers, Skarsgård getting physically involved in the match, Brother Nero’s haphazard Swanton Bomb from the cherry picker, Spud getting taken out by Swoggle and left for dead, Lashley wrecking all the local guys around the Hardy House, and Crazzy Steve being thrown into the volcano. Lord, that was so dumb and I just loved it.
I have to say, this is one of the crazier things I’ve seen in quite a long time. I went in expecting completely pants-on-head insanity and got… Well, not quite that level of crazy. Subdued craziness from what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong; this was over the top and wacky and lovely and I really enjoyed it, but I felt like something was missing. As much as I liked Delete or Decay, I really hope this will be the last of the Hardy Compound events we see for awhile. Let it rest until, like, after Bound for Glory. Give it some time to breathe. Let people want it again. And maybe don’t do two hours of TV from the Compound unless you can actually provide a solid two hours of TV. Overall, amazingly, I’d have to say this was a real middle-of-the-road show, despite how much I was excited for it and how much of it I enjoyed.