Hey been away a week and just saw last weeks show yesterday and saw there was no Impact thread so I'll give it a crack almost a week later if thats okay. One word: Better. Much better effort from TNA this week. This felt more like one of those Impacts from a couple years ago that I actually looked forward to watching every week. I didn't really like any of the UK shows--they felt more like televised house shows than anything else--but this show had what those shows were sorely missing. In fact, TNA's been missing a LOT of this stuff for quite some time now.
The show-opening promo was solid. Bully Ray, Hardy, Daniels and Kaz were all pretty good. Bully Ray continues put forth solid promos, and Kaz has really surprised me with how well he's come along on the mic. The only thing missing from this segment was Teddy Long. Tag team main event, playas.
The Knockouts match went just like I thought it would; Gail was tolerable on commentary, which is a compliment. She spent 3/4 of the match talking about Taryn's incompetence as a ref rather than who she would face at Lockdown. Velvet winning was never in doubt; Gail was getting the winner, so the face had to win here. I want to see Velvet get some time on the mic next week and NOT another pointless Gail Kim vs. Tessmacher match on the go-home show.
The Aries/Hernandez match was Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. I liked the way it ended, with Aries taking the shortcut to get the win. Aries and Roode are the tweeners in this three-way tag title match coming up at Lockdown.
The X-division title match was OK, I guess. I think the match was supposed to end on the missed 450 into the rollup. I have no idea why RVD went for a 450 in that situation when the usual frog splash finish would've sufficed. Kenny King is the new champ, but the match stips kind of gave it away. Bad looking botch on the finish, though.
I liked the mid-show promo with the Lethal Lockdown team reveals. Eric Young as the last guy on Team TNA was a humorous surprise.
The Gutcheck segments and match felt out of place on this show. With Lockdown so close, TNA can't really afford to be pissing away more TV time on stuff like this. With that being said, the interviews were fine and both girls looked alright in there. Not that much to the match, but it wasn't horrible. Ivelisse looks much better as a brunette.
The AJ Styles segment was pretty good. I see he's growing a beard too. Must be a trend.
The Robbies' promo segment did what it was supposed to do--be the official breakup of Big Rob and Bigger Rob. I'll miss seeing those two guys together; they had some gold segments.
The tag team main event was actually pretty good. Kaz and Daniels were entertaining, as usual. Bully Ray was in clear babyface mode during the match. A fair amount of tag team moves done, too. Thumbs up on the electric chair drop into the Swanton for the finish.
I liked the cliffhanger finish in the clubhouse. Kurt Angle now knows who the VP is and he isn't happy about it, but he got a A's and 8's beatdown for his trouble. What do ya know--the Aces & Eights storyline is actually moving now.
The second hour of this show was pretty good; I haven't said that about Impact in a long time. TNA spent most of the 4 shows in the UK wasting time instead of building for Lockdown, so this show had a "hard build" feel to it. The promos were solid, the matches weren't bad, and the backstage stuff remains good; Aries in particular had good backstage segments. The Gutcheck portion just felt like it didn't fit for some reason. More stories were touched on and forwarded, which is definitely a plus. I liked this show much better than any of the UK shows, that's for sure. I'll give this episode of Impact a borderline B/B+. Lockdown build, more promos/storylines and a faster-paced show gets a thumbs up from me. I thought it was easily the best Impact that I've seen in several weeks. Very solid from beginning to end
Didn't see much of the show, but what I saw was not great. The ending to the X division match was terrible as RVD never kicked out after the top rope move and Hebner and King just stared at each other and then King and RVD manage to botch King's finish that was ugly. I'm glad RVD is no longer the champ, but surprised the belt changed hands two weeks before the PPV and wonder if King will even defend the title at the PPv and against whom? Isn't the Styles storyline just a rip off of the Roode storyline a year ago where his family talks about how much he's changed? Styles does look much different with the beard and the wildish hair, but I don't think they have much of a plan for him. So the Robbies get a in ring segment to set up a match, but the three way tag is announced by Aries when he's on the phone with Roode? Meh. Daniels and Kaz had so many great lines in the opening segment and are a joy to watch. The build to Hardy vs Bully is really really weak as they have no issue.Eric Young being back really sucks. I am happy to see Magnus in a big match though. The Aces and Eights VP that was unmasked has to be Joseph Park who Sting snubbed and Hogan has underestimated lately. All in all, some good stuff, but mostly a underwhelming build to the ppv.
Line of the year has to go to Kaz when he mentioned the reason Brooke married Bully Raymond was because she wanted sun screen creepily put on her by someone else. I can't believe Hogan let that line go. So is AJ Styles on drugs or a Aces and Eights member or will he be playing the Sting role in this Aces and Eights and TNA feud? I hate Eric Young, but if he stifles the comedyI I can live with him.. Retire already RVD. Wish Kaz and Daniels won the main event to give them rub and have Hardy or Ray have a miscomuncation leading to the loss to give us something to latch on to with them having some issue going to the match. Please retire Taz. Liked seeing Joe and Magnus look uneasily at each other after being named to Stings team considering their history.I'll say Joe not Park is the VP of the Aces. How weak was the show closing take down of Angle? What was up with a heel like Aries telling Hardy to look out for Hogan and Ray and the nepotism angle?
I was also away a week, so it was a perfect storm of apathy. And I'm going to reiterate some of what's been echoed already -- Bully Ray is SO going to end up being the leader of the Aces and OH DEAR GOD, it's not going to make a single lick of sense!
I appreciate Kurt Angle's competence. Finally, someone figured out how to track the Aces and Eights back to their lair. Its just a shame that they didn't do that back when Joseph Park was kidnapped. Angle pulling this off helps win back competence points that he had lost with the whole Brisco thing.
Angle fighting Bane was a riveting scene. It was one of the coolest moments that I've seen in wrestling for quite a while. It was also neat at how they sprung their duel out of nowhere. They could have built up to it a lot more than they did, but I guess they'll save the build up for D'Lo's public unmasking.
My pick is still for D'Lo to be Bane. I'd prefer it to be BOTH D'Lo and Joe, so as to maximize the swerve, and to explain how we saw Bane and Joe in the same place at the same time at least once.
I hope that in a giant swerve they actually reveal there are FIVE GMs! And all FIVE members of Team TNA are the FIVE GMs! Which means Aces and Eights now rules TNA! It would be a fitting way to end this storyline.
Heyman is doing a very good job on Smackdown right now. He understands the nuances of getting people over very well. Yes, the shows are not perfect. But, they are better scripted and seem to have a purpose to everything that happens.