1) Recap of last week’s show made it seem better than it really was.
2) Sting and Dixie sort of talk in the back and I ask again – why isn’t Sting appearing in films? If he can keep a straight face when faced with her, he can out-act Cena by a country mile.
3) Bully Ray with Miss Tessmacher come out, but no leash this time. He then delivers a promo. Pro-Dixie and anti-AJ until he is interrupted by the remaining Aces and Eights. Knux’s little promo is a good one and to show how good a heel Bully Ray is, this is actually turning the rest of As&8s into almost faces. Apparently it’s A&8s v MEM tonight, and if A&8s lose, one of them gets put out of the club.
4) Jesse and Robbie E (the Bromans… not Bromance, though they pronounce it Bromance…) and Gail Kim v ODB, Eric Young and Joseph Park. Count the suck in the ring at the moment. ODB v Gail Kim would not be a bad match, but then you add… the others.
5) After 6 minutes of… stuff that feels like it lasts for an hour, Park hits a second rope splash, EY hits a flying elbow and ODB hits a running splash all on Jesse for the ODB pin. Well, at least it’s over now.
6) Hulk Hogan backstage says he’s here to fix the crap. The crap. Well, if anyone would know about crap, it’s HH.
7) Austin Aries comes out to cheers. He delivers a promo about Austin Aries until he is interrupted (quelle surprise!) by Kenny King. Back and forth between them until King jumps AA, who is obviously a face now. Aries calls for a match, and King tries to weasel out but can’t and that’s a way to start a match.
8) That is a nice blade job from the youngster King. And I can say that because we haven’t seen blade jobs every week, so it makes its impact that little more intense.
9) Aries wins in a good match. Maybe a little basic, but that’s okay because they told a story in the ring. Well, Aries told a story and King went along for the ride.
10) Lei’d Tapa promo video airs. She could be an interesting addition to the Knockouts roster.
11) Sabin runs into Aries backstage and it sort of foreshadows a match without really foreshadowing. Okay.
12) Recap of last week’s AJ-Dixie thing leads to Hulk Hogan coming out to the ring and, damn!, that guy can still get a reception from a crowd that is phenomenal. The pop is not a little one, but is there any pop greater? And he delivers a promo that has the crowd on side from the word go. He promises to bring AJ and Dixie out and he has the crowd looking forward to an interview?! As much as I grew up disliking the guy, there is no doubting the reasons he resonated so much with the public from the time he stepped foot in the ring with Rocky Balboa.
13) Is it just me, or is Taz only playing the role of heel announcer now when talking about Aces & Eights?
14) Video to hype the return of Kurt Angle to TNA at Bound For Glory. And he’ll be… doing what exactly?
15) AJ doesn’t say much about Hogan backstage.
16) X-Division championship, Chris Sabin (with Velvet Sky) v Manik. Thank God Sky’s just a valet now and not actually attempting to wrestle. I wonder if Manik and Suicide are brothers – they have similar costumes, after all.
17) Manik retains with an interesting roll-up, and then Sabin attacks Manik after the bell. Aries makes the save. Another good match. More actual wrestling than a spot-fest X-Division match and Sabin has a good heel persona going on now. And if this sets up Sabin v Aries, I’m all for it. I’m not a big fan of the champion being used like this, but at least he won, and at least the new feud doesn’t involve the belt. Mind you, I thought we’d have a reveal afterwards of Aries being under the mask, so at least they didn’t go that route.
18) “[Magnus] is really good at losing, probably better than anyone else.” “Come on, maniacal laugh! It’s how bad guys laugh.” Kazarian and Daniels are so damn entertaining. But foreshadowing abounds tonight.
19) Aces & Eights v Main Event Mafia. Seeing these 2 teams, add in EGO, Hernandez, Chavo and Homicide, and maybe another group… I wouldn’t mind seeing a 6-man title in TNA. It’d be different and new.
20) The match takes 2 minutes to break down completely. EGO take out Magnus (as foreshadowed already… sigh) but Sting and Joe still win against three, with Briscoe eating the pin. Not a bad match, and I think Bischoff has actually improved in the ring… which puts him one up on Anderson. Two up, if you count the fact Bischoff has a job. So, of course, Bully Ray comes out afterwards to kick Briscoe out of As&8s. Knux and Bischoff refuse so Bully Ray does it himself. We almost get a break up of the group, but not quite. Just kill it already.
21) Hogan comes out and calls out AJ Styles. He offers Styles a contract. Out comes Carter. Apparently Hogan is just an “employ”. She abuses AJ and rips up the contract. Hogan looks perturbed. AJ is kicked out of the ring. Seriously, he just leaves, like any good ‘rebel’ would. Emasculation is the new weapon of choice, obviously. Dixie then rips on the people and the 99% of people who don’t live in her world. An interesting promo. Not necessarily a good one but interesting, channelling her inner Vince McMahon. But the channel clearly has a problem with static. And once AJ goes, man does it drag. After the rest of the show, it drags. So… I’m seeing the same thing on WWE and TNA, and the acting on WWE is actually better? Next week Hogan has to make a decision.
My son, who loves wrestling in all its myriad forms, lasted until about a minute into the first match, then went to play with Lego. He came down at one point, entering in time to see the X-Division match, and watched till the end, then hung around for the next match until Bully Ray came out to rip Briscoe a new one. He came back as Dixie entered the ring, left, came back again and asked, “Is she still talking?”
TNA could not hold the interest of an 8 year old who has watched Wrestlemania 4 at least four times. Yes, that whole tournament has held his attention better than a two hour television show. He can even handle a three hour Raw on most occasions. But not this Impact. I asked if he wanted to watch next week with me and he gave me the look only an 8 year old who thinks his father is a moron can actually give.
Tags: Aces & Eights, Austin Aries, blood, bound for glory, Bully Ray, chris sabin, Daniels, dixie carter, Eric Young, Gail Kim, Hulk Hogan, kazarian, Kenny King, Kurt Angle, Lei'd Tapa, magnus, Manik, miss tessmacher, ODB, Sting, Taz, Velvet Sky