-Wow this was a shockingly unobjectionable episode of Impact. Actively good show. Tenay’s shitty facials hurt the opening mic work butI dug Jeff Jarrett’s humble babyface opening mic work. Really played well into his initial reasons for leaving. I really liked the stuff about “All Sting has done since coming back is give and give and give. Time for me too to give back.”. The whole Sting as model of babyface behavior that inspires Jarrett really elevates the whole Sting/Abyss angle. Sting gave an example of heroic self sacrifice that inspired. Angle coming out as selfish face might have worked if Angle were better on the mic. Also Angle standing next to Jarrett really exposes how short Angle is.
-Ok who the fuck was in charge of laying out matches and time management on this show? Normally you get a minute of a match followed by five minutes of commercials followed by closing two minutes of match. This week we got all matches in full. They showed you introductions of wrestlers pre-commerical, then went to commercial then gave you matches in full. That makes a tremendous difference. And I enjoyed all three matches on this weeks show. All three worked differently, all three with good finishes. Weird.
The four way was basically worked as a tag with face/heel structure emphasized. Samoa Joe is a guy who has looked really bad when booked as back up muscle, but is really great at working role of ace. Here he worked role of ace and fit him like a glove. Styles and Daniels worked heel. Worked heel as guys who eats face offense, not heel as guys who cuts off face offense…and it worked. Daniels took a great eat of a spinebuster and I really liked the everyone out of position baseball bat finish. The Roode v Harris match was worked with Roode not as bumping heel but as heel who constantly cuts off faces run of offense. Wow Roode needs to get away from the endless feuds with ex-Team Canada members. This was the most I’ve enojoyed him in ring in ages. Gail Kim comes to ring with the handcuffs and I hadn’t seen her do that since AMW split, still the actual handcuff finish was a cool handcuff finish. Outisde of Abyss leaping up into the 3D the main was also good. Long time since I’ve seen Dudleys work opponents who they sell for and well that improves any match and the Cage and Abyss try for Doomsday Device leading to Cage taking giant bump was neat finish.
-The final beatdown on Abyss was plenty grizzly.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
- Is Nash supposed to be parodying the stupidity of Russo? Last week Tenay explained the Nash angle as “Nash is lending a hand to many of the X division wrestlers, giving them suggestions on how to expand their character and fanbase.” This week Dutt comes out in Nash’s Diesel costume and they mock it as shitty gimmick. The gimmick that got Nash over is mocked as being as shitty as OZ, or Vinnie Vegas. The message of the segment being that it’s the performer and not the gimmick that gets a wrestler “over”. Of course this is followed up by Lethal coming out and continuing to do his Savage impression. Nash tells him he’s booked them in a three way and Lethal makes some joke about how "Machismo is a One woman Man”. Fucking pussies won’t let him joke “You mean with Steph and Shane again. Oooh yeah”. Promotion wants to do parodies but doesn’t have the balls to make them edgy. Speaking of the stupidity of Russo, AJ Styles continues to be booked as guy who takes a giant death bump on every PPV and then sells no damage on the follow up Impact. Its like wrestling doesn’t hurt. Christopher Daniels with the tails and Sting mask looks like the gayest thing that ever gayed. If they didn’t tell me it was a Sting mask, I would have thought he was working an Eyes Wide Shut perversity gimmick. Sting announces to Angle that next week “you and me, winner gets Christian Cage”. Did he check that with the NWA committee? Get Cornette’s approval? The PPV match stipulation was winner gets title shot? And the follow up show has Sting say “that PPV stip is now null and void”. That’s how you kill match stips. And damn Russo must have had a horrible highschool experience as the show motif of slow witted guys getting manipulated is played too hard. James Mitchell taunting Abyss by blowing in his hair really makes no sense for the character but felt like it had to be autobiographical. Really you can’t have slow witted guy being abused be both the main event angle and the midcard angle. You run the same angle twice in one show and they cancel each other out. When Mitchell wasn’t blowing in Abyss’ hair he was threatening to call the police to have Abyss’ mother arrested for “perjury, obstruction of justice, and attempted murder”. “Perjury”? “Obstruction of justice”? Abyss’ mom testified against Abyss? Really? He’s protecting the mother who testified against him? So in the end when Abyss fucks up did Mitchell call the police? Or did they just beat on him without having his mother arrested? The final beatdown on Abyss was plenty grizzly but it went way too long and this type of thing really needs Tony Zane and Mike Jackson to try to run in and stop the beatdown before getting tossed out of the ring. Or at least TNA security. Where’s Sting? I thought Sting was about giving and giving and giving. Sting isn’t going to come out. You need to have someone try to stop the carnage even if security, Tony Zane, Mike Jackson and Sting are all thrown out of the ring, you need to have someone make an attempt to save. If no-one cares enough to try to stop the beatdown, the message to the audience is that no-one cares. If no-one else cares, why should the audience?
HHH's using the sleeper makes sense. He's used it successfully before (in the Ironman match vs. the Rock, if I'm not mistaken). It's a basic enough move that it can be pulled off at any time, and one that applied properly can actually DO something.