Okay, let’s give this another go.
Random numbers of thoughts are awesome!
1) I actually like their “previously… on TNA” as it just admits that this is a TV show, and gives you a recap that you can accept as being from a TV show.
2) AJ comes out. He has no contract, but he still has an entrance, so that’s okay, right?
3) He’s not here to talk about Hogan or Dixie, but Bully Ray. And talk he does. Rather well, until the aforementioned Bully comes out to interrupt, accompanied only by his pet Brooke, and delivers a fine promo that goes on a little long. Then we have duelling promos for a bit and AJ announces that it’s Bully Ray v Samoa Joe tonight. Look, not a bad opening, but I am over the 10 minute opening mic segments. Not just from TNA but also WWE. And why have AJ announce Bully’s opponent? And where were the rest of Aces and Eights?
4) Backstage and Dixie kicks AJ out after saying that BFG will be his last obligation for TNA. So… does that mean they’re going to recycle another WWE storyline – the Punk leaves with the title one when he doesn’t have a contract? Goody.
5) Austin Aries joins us on commentary for Kenny King and Chris Sabin v Manik (“I’d say he’s the best looking guy in this match.” – Aries) and Jeff Hardy. This could be fun.
6) With Taz and Aries mutually verbally fellating one another on commentary, Tenay barely able to call the match between plugging the Jeff Hardy fitness app and dealing with his co-workers, I so wanted to turn the volume down to deal with this one.
7) In a nice nod to continuity, last week’s cut on King opens up again and Aries makes note of how he did it.
8) It breaks down, Manik hits King with an odd but great looking move and Hardy hits the senton on King for the pin. Really good match.
9) Post-match Sabin attacks Hardy and Manik, Aries makes the save and then calls for a 4-way – Sabin, Aries, Manik, Hardy – at BFG. No King? But Hardy has a better idea. He’s never been in an Ultimate X match, so he wants that. The crowd cheers, Aries likes it, Sabin hates it, and we have a match that should be well worth seeing at BFG.
10) Sting and Hogan reminisce about Bischoff going mad with power and comparing him to Dixie. “After 35 years in this business I didn’t think anything could be worse than Bischoff, but she is.” (Hogan) A gift arrives from Dixie. “She is worse than Bischoff. He never gave me anything.” (Hogan) So sue me, I enjoyed this backstage bit, and TNA does this so much better than WWE.
11) Recap of Magnus v EGO, and so he is challenging the three EGO members to a gauntlet match series. They are really going out of their way to build up Magnus.
12) First up is Daniels. Really strong back and forth match until Magnus gets the boot up on a BME attempt and then gets the pin. Then we have Kazarian and Magnus jump starts it. Another good match that ends when Magnus turns the fad to black into a cloverleaf for the submission win. So finally it’s Bobby Roode, and he takes his time coming to the ring, giving Kazarian a chance to clip the knee of Magnus, and if you didn’t see that coming, how long have you been watching wrestling? Roode works the knee over in a textbook working the body part manner, and Magnus sells it perfectly. These two are doing some old school goodness here, because even Roode’s crossface makes sense as Magnus can’t use his leg to push himself to the ropes. Roode eventually locks in the ankle lock and Magnus has to give up. Wow, so he went through all of that and still came up short? Interesting development.
13) Magnus is upset and Sting comes out. Magnus says he doesn’t have “it”, no matter what Sting, Angle and Joe say. They have a back and forth about Magnus’ career and then, “Flair put you on the map. Who’s gonna put me on the map?” (Magnus) “Me! Me!” (Sting) Sting and Magnus at BFG. Make that 2 matches that could make BFG worth watching. They shake hands afterwards.
14) Aries visits Hogan backstage and they have a D&M and it feels… right. Christ, for all the crap TNA gets, their work backstage is so much better than WWE. For the most part.
15) The recap of Hogan’s time in TNA, including when he took the company from Dixie and put it up against Sting. Every little thing is mentioned, including Brooke Hogan ‘marrying’ Bully Ray. Interesting video package.
16) Sabin isn’t going to be ringside for Velvet’s match because he has to think about himself. This heel persona is actually growing on me.
17) We have an EGO backstage segment where Roode will be the first inductee into the EGO hall of fame and… not all backstage bits are winners. Clearly.
(This is definitely a YMMV situation, though.)
18) Number one contender’s match for the Knockouts title at BFG – Brooke Tessmacher v Velvet Sky. But Lei’D Tapa comes out and just slaughters Velvet Sky. And she’s a screamer. No match? So we don’t get to see Velvet wrestle? Tapa is automatically a face in my book after that. She’s big and she’s strong and she bears an unfortunate resemblance to her uncle (the Barbarian), and her moves looked nice and strong. So what happens with the women’s match at BFG? Will it be a 3-way? A 4-way? A pillow fight battle royal Buff Bagwell on a pole match? Who cares?
19) The Ethan vignette is awful. “There better be lions.” Really?
20) GunStorm promo package, mainly to remind people that TNA has tag team champions.
21) BFG run-down. Tag team gauntlet match, winner to face Gunstorm, X-Division Ultimate X, Sting v Magnus, Bully Ray v AJ. Card looks good so far. And then we have a Kurt Angle video package. Just to remind people that they also have Angle.
22) Bully Ray v Samoa Joe. Basic match, back and forth in nature and the crowd is into it. Not a masterpiece, but certainly watchable. And then we get the ref bump, Bully taps with no ref, Joe checks on the ref, Bully loads up a chain, the ref sees it, Bully is DQ’ed, Joe wins. Again, if you didn’t see that ending coming, how long have you been watching wrestling? Bully continues to attack Joe after the match, lifts up the mats to piledrive Joe on the concrete and sets him up. AJ Styles runs out of the crowd and makes the save, then runs back through the crowd to escape security. Crowd goes nuts for AJ.
22a) Again – where were the rest of the Aces and Eights?!
23) Hulk Hogan v Dixie Carter, The Ultimate Showdown Of The Century, This Is It, We Really Mean It This Time, Main Event Promo! Carter’s delivery has improved, I’ll give her that much. “Are you ready to take a ride on the Dixie train?” But how in the hell can Carter take Hogan to the next level? What next level is there for the man who slammed Andre the Giant [who weighed 1549 pounds] in front of 237,500 people at the Pontiac Superdome, who single-handedly saved wrestling when he and he alone formed the New World Order, and who went into the ring knowingly full well that Verne Gagne had told Iron Sheik to not only break Hogan’s legs but then shoot him through the head with a gun hidden in his pointy-toed boots? The crowd is firmly behind Hogan here, anyway. He talks very briefly… and then he quits. Just like that. Carter tries to talk him out of it, but he fobs her off. She grabs his leg like a high school Scarlett O’Hara in their year-ending version of Gone With The Wind, and then when that doesn’t work she yells that’s fired anyway. If this is real and he hasn’t signed a contract, what an odd way for Hogan to go out. If this is kayfabe, then next week the new masked General Manager – Mr Yellow America Rider Machine – will make his debut!
Okay, I’m going to say this and then shake my own head in disbelief – this was quite the watchable episode of Impact. After a couple of weeks when it was a chore, this was actually a bit of fun, the story-lines were pushed in the right direction and it didn’t outstay its welcome. BUT… 3 matches? Okay, one was a long gauntlet match which could count as three separate matches, but, realistically, 3 matches on a wrestling show? At least throw a squash match in somewhere to give us something. And this was an episode that could be used to teach a course in Wrestling Clichés 101.
Not sure if I’ll catch next week’s Impact (!), but I’m actually looking forward to Bound For Glory on October 20. I know, I know… I’ll hand in my IWC membership card on the way out. (If there is an IWC…)
Tags: AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, bound for glory, Brooke Tessmacher, Bully Ray, chris sabin, Daniels, dixie carter, gunner, Hulk Hogan, impact, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, kazarian, Kenny King, Kurt Angle, Lei'd Tapa, magnus, Manik, mike tenay, miss tessmacher, Samoa Joe, Sting, Taz, TNA, ultimate x, Velvet Sky