Impact Wrestling has had its share of detractors in past years for good reason. The company has had poor management which led to financial troubles, big name talent departures and loss of television in the United States. But recently the television product has been some of the best produced in the industry. And this past week’s episode was no exception.

Back when the company debuted on Pop TV on January 8, I complained that there was nothing really that made that show feel live and unpredictable. It was a shame as it seemed the company was wasting a good opportunity.

Fast-forward a few months later however and it’s like night and day. From the opening match until the closing segment, there was a solid energy to the show that made it fun to watch. The two hours flew by and everything that should’ve been focused on was. And they set up quite a bit for the future.

I love the opening with Eric Young backstage telling Dixie Carter that he was going to hurt Jeff Hardy. It was nice foreshadowing for the main event. This led to the TNA president coming out and making the match have a bearing on the main event. Jeff Hardy gets a victory and add the new wrinkle to the title picture.

The title picture wasn’t the only focus of the episode. Maria got a pin on Gail Kim giving her bragging rights as the new leader of the knockouts. It be interesting to see what the two can do in a singles match going forward. Maria has never had that standout in ring moment on a national stage. The future of the Knockouts Division is more intriguing than ever with the addition of Mrs. Mike Bennett. Speaking of Bennett, I like the fact that the men were out of the ring when the decision happened. Again protecting them for what was to come later on in the night.

The heel turn last week of Bobby Lashley makes him a much more compelling character. Having him attack the Pope not only gave commentary a fresh feel it made the show feel more dynamic. And showed that The Destroyer is willing to destroy whoever in his path.

Eddie Edwards and Beer Money versus The Decay was a great six man tag. The Decay trio continues to be one of the most compelling things on TNA television. With its music presentation and the addition of Rosemary there’s something very intangible about them. It’s amazing to see the revitalization of Crazy Steve and Abyss making them much more fun to watch as personalities. TNA is really on to something with this group. And it’s really given the tag team division a focus that hasn’t happened in quite a few months. With another victory against their rivals, where will TNA move the decay going forward?

Even comedy storylines like Grado versus Eli Drake felt a lot more fun on the live show. As Billy Corgan worked his magic on another part of TNA making a ladder match war the Scottish born Grado’s contract. This is without a doubt one of the most unorthodox ladder matches in history. But it was a lot of fun to watch and that’s the point. Whether it’s just as Grado or under a mask, Impact Wrestling has been doing the right thing by the characters. Comedy is good in wrestling when done right and the storyline has been done very well.

The World Title Match was quite interesting to say the least as it reminded me of that old school ECW finish at the Arena. All the storylines that have been building for the last month on television. The booking of this final segment was great. The set up a lot storylines going forward. At the end of the night, Drew Galloway cashing in his title shot against Matt Hardy was the perfect of the night. As I said in January I think Galloway should have won the World Title Series. But to their credit TNA has still created some compelling content with Matt Hardy and Ethan Carter for the last few months. Now with Galloway on top it creates a series of possibilities in regards to the main event scene.

TNA continues to move in a solid creative direction and make the biggest around on the last few months. That’s how you make an impact. Regardless of their backstage troubles Impact Wrestling is definitely making some interesting and fun shows. Those that have written off the show due to ratings or past misgivings is really doing themselves a disservice.

Will TNA/Impact Wrestling ever be as big as it once was ? I don’t know right now is sure fun to watch.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.