The tone was set for this week's show when it began with a four sided ring. This is the first episode of the new creative regime?
Throughout the show there were teasers of a mystery man arriving. It looked kind-of like Jarrett. My hope was that it would be Jessie Godderz or Robbie E. Probably the best plausible candidate would have been Rockstar Spud.
1. Grand Championship: Matt Sydal (c) defeated Fallah Bahh
Sydal has changed the rules of the Grand Championship to be a normal midcard title, with no rounds, no judges, and no reason to exist. He also claimed before the match to have being given a new vision by a Guru. (Who probably will not turn out to be the same Guru chick who turned Lashley heel, and caused dissension in the Bro-mans, but we can hope.) Sydal is still nominally a face, but was even more heelish this week.
Bahh is growing into a Rikishi role quite nicely.
ECIII is now gunning for the world title, hence why he is not pursuing a rematch against Sydal.
Backstage, Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley were plotting. Lee has a new plan to carry out rather than aim for an X-title rematch. He remains an implausible cult leader, but now he wears Hawaiian shirts. Why not!
2. Bobby Lashley defeated KM
Elsewhere, "Princess" Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong told Joseph Park to bring them Abyss to fight.
Pluto TV rewind of the night was Abyss trying to drown someone, only stopping because 'you can't win the title from a dead man'. I suppose TNA pools did not contain the waters of the Lake of Resurrection back then.
Lashley announced that he was going to continue to do both wrestling and MMA, thus ending his multi-month saga in the way we all expected. Eddie Edwards then kinda talked smack towards him. Is Edwards still the Japan world champion?
3. Kiera Hogan defeated Laurel Van Ness, non title match
Hogan won in her debut, due to a distraction from Allie.
Interview with ECIII and Patron. ECIII is still a Carter, and the world still needs him.
Ohio Versus Everything told LAX 2017 that they are going to take a break from their feud. Trevor Lee and Konley then attacked LAX 2017. Lee and Konley want the tag belts!
Moose and Johnny Impact were interviewed. Moose kept almost calling him Johnny Mundo.
Global Wrestling Network rewind was... Drew Galloway fighting ECIII in 2016. This was an unwise idea. It was a reminder of how TNA 2016 outclasses everything on the air today. Galloway was a passionate figure who was a believable champion. ECIII had the crowd enthralled. Showing a Broken Universe skit would have been safer. We can all understand why the Broken Universe might have needed to end. But ending good quality traditional characters like Galloway? Bad reminder of what could have been, and what should be.
Apocalyptic promo video for a new debuting dude.
4. Moose and Johnny Impact defeated Alberto El Patron and Ethan Carter III when Moose pinned Patron
The main event segment was Chris Adonis playing tribute videos of Eli Drake. Drake was flattered. The Adonis/Drake bromance has been something that Impact has been doing a great job of.
The mystery man turned out to be a returning Austin Aries.
Aries challenged Drake to a title match. Drake was cocky and accepted without prep time. Aries quickly took out Adonis and somehow got the better of Drake in a minute or so.
5. Impact Global Championship: Austin Aries defeated Eli Drake (c) to become the new world champion
Drake's title reign could have stood to be longer. It is frustrating when TNA does the "champion defeats his longtime rivals only to quickly lose to a new challenger" trope. Last week's blowoff match should have been followed with a break for Drake while Aries got built up as a new rival. The new guy winning so quickly makes the former rivals look subpar. I'm reminded of how Big Money Matt finally prevailed once and for all against Jeff and Ethan, only for Galloway to swoop in and beat him post-match. I wish they would let the heel champion have a couple of weeks to enjoy himself after a win.
On the plus side, there is more potential mileage out of Aries as the Champion rather than as a contender.
Aries's previous TNA run was divided into two parts: First run as X-division champion, and then his rivalry/bromance with Bobby Roode. His work with Roode was phenomenal, but other than his cup of coffee run with the world title, otherwise Aries just came up short constantly. Him winning the world title right out of the gates at least helps him shake his choker vibe. This will be the first time seeing what a world title reign looks like for Aries with Roode and Hardy absent.
I didn't watch this, but it's jarring reading how many different segments are "I know I cared about [X] last week, but now I'm focused on [Y]". The new crew wasn't really attached to much the old crew was doing and this feels like they just ripped the bandaid off.