Angle starts us off with a solid interview. He makes a nice reference to Planet
Angle to toss a bone to long time TNA fans. Of course no one has mentioned the name
Jarrett yet so it’s still slightly (unhelpfully) veiled.
We get the second half of last week’s Beer Money/Hernandez
match, as it’s Hernandez vs. Robert Roode:
Hernandez utilized what was literally the longest held
vertical suplex I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately there was no momentum built from
it as Roode rolled immediately out of the ring. That’s the one time a suplex
could have turned into a credible near fall but they blew it. Roode used a very
nice Curt Hennig style snapmare/forward rolling neck snap. Nice focus by Roode
as he hits a standing neckbreaker. Hernandez uses some interesting, varied
offense. Very impressive match for him. Storm and Roode played their parts
quite nicely and are good foils for him.
A ladder match for the gold medal? Awesome. Tonight, on
Impact! should be awesome but 1) shouldn’t this be a PPV main event or semi-main;
2) is there any chance this match will go long enough to be the stellar match
it should be and 3) why on earth would AJ Styles consent to giving Angle a
chance to get back the medal? Aaarggh.
Eric Young and BG James vs. MCMG:
Okay, I have no idea how
James is supposed to keep up but yeah, this should be a nice showcase for the
Guns. Oh. I didn’t see that one coming. A first time tag team of third tier
players defeating the Guns? Cleanly? My goodness that just doesn’t help. Well I
suppose if it means a heel turn that’s a helpful ultimate outcome but can we
please get them there in a slightly helpful way.
I love that Angle is so solicitous toward Booker T.
Surprising but a nice touch. Talking around Jarrett is more than annoying now;
it’s just ridiculous. Angle doesn’t drink? That’s pretty funny if you think
about it. I mean how many drugs does he have in his system at any one moment?
Gotta love the rationalizing.
If So Cal Val needs a new man, I don’t think she’ll have a
shortage. Super nice dress. Dutt and Lethal are getting better as they ratchet
up the intensity and draw down the cartoon. (Okay, the Lethal elbow looks
pretty weak when compared to Jericho dropping Rebecca Michaels Sunday (hello,
timing!) but most everything in wrestling pales compared to that one.)
I like the Consequences Creed Rough Cut this week too. I am
starting to wonder though if he’ll change his name to Austin Creed. Maybe that
will be his announcement when he wins the X Division title.
Matt Morgan vs. Frankie Capone:
Tenay helpfully puts Morgan over by using his demolition of
Tomko a few weeks ago. I’m a little surprised that TNA is so consistently using
squashes for Morgan but it works. ‘Let’s go Beast’ gets chanted throughout the
Impact Zone. The Hellevator was not as impressive this week because he went up
then down so quickly. Brother Ray does a great job dissing Morgan’s victory.
Abyss walks out really quickly again. It seems clear that we’re headed toward a
Team 3D/ Abyss/Morgan feud. Some potential for interesting power moves and
perhaps a helpful way of getting Morgan up the ladder a little bit.
The Nash sit down interview works well. Nash is smart enough
to know how to work the psychological angle as well as anybody. Nash calls
STING ‘Steve’ and makes a clear mistake that doesn’t get fixed or edited; he
just corrects himself. It seems so much closer to real.
The Beautiful People are good as always. Kip may add
something soon but it hasn’t happened yet. I’d be excited to see Angelina Love
get a run with the title. She’s good enough to wear it and have a couple months
of solid matches. And uh, no one who can beat Awesome Kong should get ‘knocked
out’ with a plastic makeup case. Painfully ridiculous.
Rhino is helpfully intense and finally has a chance to talk
and, looka here, wrestle a singles match. Hopefully he’ll lose and keep tagging
I’m also hoping at least one of the Four Ways to Glory
matches is heel vs. heel or face vs. face. These kind of events provide natural
opportunities to see atypical matchups.
Rhino vs. Booker T:
Booker still has amazing agility and flexibility. He doesn’t
look worse in the ring than he did five or even ten years ago. The axe kick at
the finish was a surprise to me. Still, a solid match.
Nice promo from Gail Kim. She obviously cares in the ring
but that doesn’t always come through in her personality segments.
Petey Williams (c) vs. Consequences Creed in an X Division
Williams and Creed really pulled out all the stops in this
match. Both men generated great reversals, interesting offense and lots of
fire. Good stuff. Creed looks better than I’ve seen him. Unfortunately TNA
insists on throwing extra wrestlers into every match. Bashir’s interference
rightfully pisses off Creed and Williams. A 3 way might be the very best idea.
I’m ignoring R&RI and Prince Justice Brotherhood. Do you
Awesome Kong vs. Gail Kim in a Knockouts Street Fight:
Wow. This may have been the single best women’s match I’ve
ever seen. It featured intrigue, weapons shots, highspots, smart interference
and smart responses to it, credible near falls, emotional involvement and a
very smart finish.
It’s sad that Kim is leaving as she could have had another
great series with Kong. I also wanted to see her feud with Angelina Love. I
really wanted to see if Kim could raise Love’s game to the point Love was a top
tier Knockout. Kim’s departure hurts the division substantially because she was
both beautiful and totally credible. Taylor Wilde is cute (I’m not as much a fan
of her looks as many seem to be) but so small that she needs a gimmick to beat
women like Kong, ODB and Moose. Roxxi and ODB are both very credible but
neither is traditionally beautiful. Oh well, let’s hope TNA comes up with a
strong replacement. Molly Holly? Ivory? The Holy Grail of women’s wrestlers,
Trish Stratus? What a coup that would be.
AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle in a Ladder Match for Angle’s
Olympic Gold Medal:
Styles and Angle work incredibly well together. They have
intense matches and both have incredible combination of pro and amateur
wrestling moves, agility and selling.
Booker T spoke directly and passionately to Angle which was
caught by the cameras. A helpful touch. Then Samoa Joe clearly could be heard
instructing Styles in how to work his way out of a hold. Both were really good
extra touches that help the fans get invested in the match because all the
participants seem to care so much. That’s critical. Both guys had uncomfortable
landings that were cringe worthy. Hell, even the ladder looked as though it had
been in a match. The wobble on the ladder was clearly legit.
Lights out in the Impact Zone powerfully negates the action
of the match and basically suggests that however interferes will determine the
outcome. I understand the drama but to diminish from the action so decisively
just doesn’t help. This week’s pleasant surprise for me is that Styles keeps
the medal. My hope is that Styles and Angle will meet in a cage to determine
the rightful holder of the medal. Angle of course would win that match but then
Styles could go after STING or Jarrett, hopefully winning that feud and moving
into the World title picture immediately after.