TNA Impact 05/07/16: FINAL DELETION Review
Brother Nero, I knew you’d review this
The following review does contain spoilers and results.
Having jumped back into wrestling full force, keeping up with everything is hard. WWE swamps, New Japan is something that I mostly pay attention to through articles or Wrestling Observer Radio and Lucha Underground is something I’m always catching up on. Then there’s TNA. Even when I was watching wrestling years ago, it was something that I rarely tuned into, even when they pulled a WCW and brought in tons of old talent that had expired back when WCW was in its prime. Even with plenty of free time on my hands at the moment, I just don’t watch it — unless it’s on YouTube in small bite sized chunks.
The stigma of TNA trying to play catch up to WWE has left them in a pit of shit since forever and for the most part, it’s something that just influenced how I view it. There’s nothing good in a vast majority of TNA’s previous stuff, it’s absolute tripe of the largest magnitude and even now, a lot that still remains. The entire company is in a weird state of free fall and when it stables itself, it’s like their clinging to a piece of cargo from the exploding plane they’re falling from.
Though, with a crowded and dull main event card and an assortment of bad to good wrestling, TNA have held onto The Hardy Boys forever and they’ve secretly been the best and worst thing in the company.
TNA have seemingly given complete control to Matt and Jeff Hardy in the last few weeks of the show though. In fact, the last few years have allowed Jeff to enact on his shite pretentious or Willow gimmicks (from what I can tell, the crowd sort of get behind it?) and Matt to stride forward as an excellent, obnoxious heel in the guise of BIG MONEY MATT in the main event scene.
So when Matt Hardy lost to Jeff a while back, that should have been the end of the feud. Matt tweeted that he was done, his back was hurt and it was time for him to move on. But this is wrestling and that was taped weeks in advance, with photos getting out of a new look for Matt Hardy on Reddit etc. After taking a bad bump, his mind had been lost. His belt gone, Matt Hardy became Broken, with a Tim Burton-esque look to match. Everything should have gone horrifically wrong and it… didn’t?
Matt was revealed to be a fake Willow, beat up Jeff and things just got weirder. TNA produced a five minute mini-movie — similar to that of what WCW used to do without the budget — and it was so fantastically, brilliantly bad that it did that cyclical thing in these situations where it became good.
Things built to Slammiversary, which was okay for the most part. The problem with it, is that we’ve seen these two do this shtick for years and it’s actually nothing we’ve seen before. A Swanton Bomb there, Twist of Fate here and what have you. The great thing about the Hardys is that you’re guaranteed something good, even if it is trite at this point.
So after many teases, TNA have come to the climax of this Hardy vs Hardy feud and, well, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Main show thoughts:
The whole show was actually okay. It’s never going to be outstanding, especially with the piss poor production values that plague the show. Everything from the choice of cuts during matches to show a replay, to Josh Matthews babbling on worse than JBL on RAW and everything either being shot too close or as if they cameramen are stood on a jackhammer whenever anything happens backstage, it’s like TNA are trying a bit too hard.
For instance, in the X-Division match that opened the show, Mandrews took out nearly everyone with this moonsault from high up and when they cut — mind this is taped — they chose every camera angle that either completely missed it or did a fucking atrocious job of showing it off. I’m unsure if there were cameras on the other side that could have caught it, but they had a camera angle that worked during the live match and didn’t bother to show that again.
I actually enjoyed the street fight, as Jade and Marti Bell went at it hard. This is what I noticed from comparing it to RAW the previous night, is that TNA’s ladies seem to hit much harder, resulting in moves that actually look like they hurt, in comparison to WWE’s ladies, where they’ll pull off a move and essentially float to the ground like paper. Though, these two might be standouts from the ‘Knockouts Division’ (good fucking lord) if Botchamania’s new favourite clip is anything to go by.
The tag match and King of the Mountain match were trash, with sloppy execution and shit heel, disqualification gimmick finish plaguing them respectively.
An okay show, nothing spectacular, in some cases very TNA and with camera work that just outright ruins genuinely good matches.
With the actual show out of the way, we come onto the FINAL DELETION.
This will deal with both the TV broadcast and the Director’s Cut uploaded on YouTube.
The Final Deletion segment is a masterclass of complete lack of experience with whatever camera they were using, poor direction and two guys in their forties who seem to have gone back to their backyard wrestling days. It felt like the Hardys saw Lucha Underground and convinced Dixie Carter that they could do it, within whatever budget they were given (probably like, a couple hundred bucks).
Matt is celebrating his son’s birthday with his wife, as their gardener comes in to give a present. It’s an extraordinary xylophone. Reby, Matt’s wife, asks where his present is and he says it’s too big to be materialistic, telling Reby that Maxel will burn forever, like the “one” candle jammed into the cake. He sends the gardener to prepare the battlefield for “massacre”.
TNA actually pulled something smart off, in that they advertised the segment at Jeff’s house as a “At home with Jeff” deal. Like we’d get a look at his home, see what he does in his time off etc. But no, what happened completely blindsided me with so much laughter, I actually had to go pee.
Jeff’s house is invaded by drones, including Vanguard 1 (which has a hologram of Matt throwing up the V1 sign) and destroys them with his guitar and chases V1 on his bike. Why? TO DISTRACT BROTHER NERO SO MATT CAN RUIN HIS LAWN DESIGN.
The sheer stupidity is intoxicating all the way throughout. Even on the TV broadcast, interrupted by countless adverts for what I think was a Mars Bar being called a Milky Way, I was begging for it to come back on.
Senor Benjamin, the gardener, sets up the area and is handed a large quantity of gasoline, all of which is needed to delete Brother Nero. After the referee is told to “ count the pin or… record the SUBMEESHON”, Matt summons Jeff through the medium OF THE VIOLIN.
Then the match starts. It’s tripe. This is quite literally the most expensive and viewed broadcast of a backyard wrestling match, of all time. They don’t bother with holds or actual wrestling, opting to throw each other into the feeblest, artificial leaf fence to grace the earth. Twist of Fates, Swantons and weapons are the meat and potatoes of the match. Jeff fails to hit Matt with a Swanton from the tree and Matt goes one step too far by launching fireworks at Brother Nero.
It’s at this point, everything in the ring is over. Matt grabs what might be a rake or saw and makes his way through the smog left by the fireworks. Jeff meets him at point blank range with another firework launcher.
“Brother Nero, it’s OVAH — oh shit.”
I had to gag myself at four in the morning, as I started to genuinely cry from the pure stupidity of it all. Here’s two wrestlers, each legends in their own rights, fighting in their backyard and shooting fireworks at each other. Matt Hardy, running and yelling “IT’S A DILAPIDATED BOAT”, is almost worth the two and half hour wait itself.
There’s a cringe worthy appearance by Willow, who is thankfully tased by Senor Benjamin as Matt is thrown to floor. He finds Willow passed out, pins him and discovers that it’s Benjamin! The twist!
Final Deletion just never stops piling on the ham, it keeps going. In the finish, as Jeff prepares to leap from a GIANT WOODEN VERSION OF HIS SYMBOL, Matt lights it ablaze with MAXEL’S CANDLE. But it kind of just ends. Matt makes the pin, but there’s no conclusion to it. It finishes like any other televised wrestling feud, with one person on their back and a winner. You can’t do that in this though, you’ve done something more than a wrestling match.
You’ve used wrestling to tell this absolutely ridiculous story, seen it hit big online and given us something that — while arguably smart — will force us (or me) to watch TNA next week, but the finish was bobbins. It doesn’t feel right, in comparison to how daftly great everything else was in it.
TNA have found something to latch onto. It wasn’t produced well at all, with more camera cuts than a month’s worth of WWE’s RAW. It felt as if the team behind it didn’t feel equipped to deal with what this was and were guessing as they went along, as much as both the Hardys were.
In the end, I think it just fed into it. It felt unique at least. While the actual match contained within didn’t meet any, even the lowest expectation, it certainly was something only The Hardy Boys could have put together.
I fucking loved it.