Best/Worst/So Much Is Happening: 10 men enter, one of them is Gunner
This week we’re treated to a patented “Don’t call it a rumble” rumble-style TNA gauntlet battle royal. I might secretly love these even though the format doesn’t really make sense for what it’s called, but I love rumbles and I love the opportunity to tell multiple stories within one match, because when it’s done right, it’s glorious. This one is maybe…not quite that.
Much to the shock of anyone reading, Ethan Carter III (he of brand new shirt fame) is a for real highlight, and I have no shame in admitting that when he was eliminated I furrowed my brow so hard it started to hurt. I went full Miz Girl for most of the show, but this is one of the last times we get to see him this episode, and goshdarnit I want my Magnus-EC3 feud because it makes sense in continuity and also I want it give it to me why can’t I just have it already.
This battle royal also confirms that Oh My God Gunner Why Aren’t You Dead Yet And Can I Help Change That James Storm is my jam, and I am so on board with him just busting people’s faces and never speaking ever. Everyone eventually finds their niche, and I Hate You So Much That I Wish Your Family And Everyone You Love Would Just Die Already is somehow his.
Other than that, it’s tepid at best. Willow shows up to rub his velvet old lady pants all over a bunch of people, bringing out our own precious rainbow-coloured Rockstar Spud, in a wheelchair, making my heart just a wee bit happier than it was before. This joy is tempered by Gunner smashing his head into the turnbuckle multiple times because when Impact prematurely pulls the plug on The Superkick of the Cowboy Who Wants You Dead James Storm storyline, the pieces are in place for a serious PSA on PTSD. And lo, Eric Young has beaten the odds to become the number one contender for Magnus’ title.
Best: Wrestlers on commentary
Magnus wanders out to be a total sh*tbag on commentary, and I love it. One of the things I always point to as a great thing they used to do but don’t anymore is guest wrestler commentary. It’s fun, it breaks up the monotony of the Tenay-Tazz circle-jerk, it further tells the story of what’s happening with the characters in the ring, and it forces you to be engaged with the match instead of just tuning most of it out because commentary in Impact is of no value to anyone. Can we make this a thing going forward? Maybe get Rockstar Spud on commentary? EC3? WILLOW ON COMMERY DOMMERY TALKTALKS?
Magnus is also there so that Eric Young can call him out in person, setting the stage for the title match later tonight. Having him out there already is so much more convenient, no? Ugh Impact just do this more please.
Worst: MVP, not for the first time, definitely not for the last time
MVP acquiesces to Eric Young’s request for a title match that night, which is fine, but then has to swing his dick around, making it known that “Magnus Rules,” or, “Traditional Rules of a Title Match Almost Everywhere” do not count, and he will forfeit the belt should he be counted out or disqualified. Magnus (rightfully) shouts that he can’t do that, but he can because he’s drunk with power and no one can see that he’s a cruel tyrant, bending the rules as he sees fit for people he likes more than anyone else. He also bans Abyss from ringside, which is fair seeing as the dude listed on the roster and the current Television Champion supposedly doesn’t work for Impact, so he can essentially be escorted from the premises whenever they see fit. We don’t get that explanation, mind you, but who needs logic when you have a pocket square, amirite?
Best: Rockstar Spud
I am so glad Rockstar Spud got to be more than petulant guy who couldn’t keep his tongue in his mouth/could only throw three punches in a match and never do anything else. He’s lovely, and I want him to be my travel-sized British friend – a pocket-sized pal. He thoughtfully decorates an office to welcome back the Dame of Dixieland, but…wait…
Dixie’s mad at everything, including Spud, and if you look closely you can actually pinpoint the second my heart breaks.
Best: FLIBBERTY FWAH IT’S TH’WILLOW
After yelling at Spud for being so willing to turn on him and work for MVP the second she left (despite him being only one of three people vocally still loyal to Dixie), she storms off. Spud hears a knock at the door, assumes it’s Dixie coming to apologize, but NO IT’S WILLOW EEEEEAAAHAHAHAHA. Willow vs. Office Plant is the thing you didn’t know you needed in your life, but now don’t know how you ever lived without it. I tried to find a gif of it because it’s so stupid it loops around to incredible, but the only things I could find were some still shots, a couple of aggressive sex confession posts, and a fanfic that involves a Mary Sue cyborg who likes to dance and kiss Willow after inter-gender tag matches.
Jeff Hardy fans are weird as f*ck.