wanted to like this show overall, but I ended up only liking parts of it.
I liked the opening videos; it really made it feel like a PPV was coming up, even if it wasn't.
The opening promo segment was good all around. Hogan was solid, Bully was solid, Anderson was solid. When Hogan made the title match a Last Man Standing match, I was actually happy.
The Aries/Styles match was solid, but not awesome or anything. Better than Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling, though. Using my PPV grading system, I'd give it a B. I wasn't surprised that AJ won.
The Magnus segment in the back with Sting.....thumbs up. Not bad at all.
The Magnus/Roode match surprised me. It was fine for what it was, though. I wasn't expecting Magnus to go over there. At this point, I felt that if you're gonna bring Magnus this far, you might as well go all the way with him. That means going over AJ too. Even though I know that won't happen.
When Roode was talking to Kaz and Daniels in the back about "nobody" making it to the finals, I seriously thought they were going to just demolish both guys to the point where the match couldn't start.
Now, I've got to talk about the Bully Ray/Anderson match. I know I've been down on TNA for the vast majority of this year, but then they pull something like this out of their ass and yank me back in. This was good, like PPV-quality good. It had in-ring storytelling, post-match storytelling, blood, weapons.....damn. An A+ match if I ever saw one. Anderson looked like the man who just wouldn't stay down, and Bully looks like the guy who might have went too far. Match of the night for sure. Anderson came out of that match looking good, even though he lost and got laid out at the end. The Aces & Eights guys looked rather concerned, even after they triple-powerbombed Anderson. Hell, even Tessmacher threw in a low blow. It had everything.
And how do you follow that up? WITH CHAVO, ON THE MIC. What the fuck, TNA? At least the E has the good sense to throw the Divas out there to look pretty for a couple minutes to cool things down after a big segment. But no, you send Chavo out there with a mic. A MIC! I hear the channels changing now. Basically, Storm and Gunner have nothing to do.....might as well send Hernandez and Chavo out there. Great, just great. I would've taken the Bro Mans instead. Nothing against Storm and Gunner--they were fine here--but Chavo just ruined it. *facepalm*
The Magnus/AJ match was Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling, but that's as high as I can go with it. The guys from EGO came out at the beginning to beat both guys down (as I expected), but then AJ and Magnus proceeded to have the match anyway. So, what was the point of the run-out if they're just going to be sent to the back and the match goes on like nothing happened? Alright then. AJ pulls out the Spinal Tap, a move I don't see him do very often, to get the victory. Oh well, AJ wins the BFG series and gets a title shot at BFG. Not happy about it, but whatever. This has been written in stone since last fall, so TNA going the predictable route here was....well, extremely predictable. About as predictable as Bully turning at Lockdown was.
AJ's post-match promo was.....interesting. It wasn't great by any means, but it was interesting. It sounded like he just called out Dixie Carter. If this leads to the eventual return of Claire Lynch, I'll be happy.
So, I liked the LMS match and the opening segment. The other matches were alright. The tag team promo segment was a very noticeable blemish; why do they keep giving Chavo a microphone? Seriously! I noticed how they explained away why Tito and Rampage weren't there; I didn't notice they were missing. This was a decent show, but I can't put it in the "great" category. I'll give this episode of Impact a B-, and I haven't graded Impact in that range for quite some time. If Chavo didn't open his mouth, I just might have given this show a B. Oh well, maybe next time
Probably the best Impact of the year, but it wasn't without issues. Aries vs Styles was disappointing and was really the 4th best match of the show. Bully Vs Anderson was arguably Anderson's best match and Bully's an amazing heel. It is too bad that Bully's been tied down by a band of losers in the Aces the last six months. Roode vs Magnus was very solid with a surprising winner. I'm a big Magnus fan, but I think he's a much better heel than face. Styles vs Agnus was a very good match with a hot crowd. Styles' speech was disappointing considering it was geared and about Dixie Carter instead of wanting the world title back and Bully Ray who he had a great bloody feud with two years ago. All in all, good show, but TNA still doesn't get it making the wretched Dixie a major character and focal point of the biggest angle.
I'm apalled that some of you thought that was real. Jeez. It's just a plot device...it sets up a Jericho/Test feud for No Way Out, which delays Jericho's match with HBK until Wrestlemania and keeps HBK from wrestling in Montreal.