Hopefully this will be the week that STING begins giving us
some real answers about the bats that have been showing up in surprising
circumstances for the last several weeks. Yes. STING shows up, except that he’s
Steve Borden on the way to the building. Nothing supernatural going on here. I
should say that I appreciate how the narration continues to refer to his
psychological tactics and doesn’t try to pretend its magic.
A great start to Impact with Awesome Kong coming out first.
After last week’s brutal, intense street fight match with Gail Kim, starting
with Kong is a great idea.
Awesome Kong vs. Sojourner Bolt:
What’s up with Raisha Saeed’s makeup? It looks odd and
totally wrong with her hijab. I’m also glad that they handled Gail Kim’s
departure in a classy fashion. I anticipated that they would try to use the
match to put Kong over as more of a monster and claim that she’s the reason Kim
left. They didn’t. Hopefully this means Kim is more likely to come back as soon
as her WWE contract concludes.
ODB provides a great, effective run-in at the end of this
match. Kong looks desperate to escape from ODB. Great visuals here.
Another solid Rough Cut featuring Consequences Creed. Creed
looks to be a legitimate star in the making. It always helps to make fans care
about the people in the ring.
Sheik Abdul Bashir and “Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams
(c) vs. Consequences Creed and “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal:
Some fun spots and a high level of activity in this match.
There’s a nice dynamic building between Williams and Bashir. Unfortunately, Don
West’s commentary totally confuses the actual story that’s being told and
focuses on Bashir’s disloyalty… which doesn’t really exist.
ODB doesn’t make a lot of sense in her interview with Lauren
but she provides lots of cheerable moments.
Karen’s Angle with Abyss: uh, I mean, Chris Parks:
This is by far the most he’s ever spoken. It’s a big
adjustment to hear him talk. The rocking back and forth is even more Mankind
than usual. Pulling out clumps of hair. I hope this means Mick’s planning to
accept the Abyss open challenge. Otherwise, another dual personality character? Really?
Karen looks appropriately weirded out with Parks in her
face. Finally she does a decent job. Not good but manageable.
The Beautiful People and Kip James are quite funny again.
They make lots of sex jokes and pump themselves up appropriately. The funniest
moment of all though is the Spike censor button. They bleep Angelina Love
saying ‘ass’ even though ODB just referred to herself as a ‘bitch’. Hello? Are
you even trying?
Is this really four straight interview segments? Oh
goodness. Angle plays it nicely and is appropriately bothered. How's about a little rasslin' now?
Jimmy Rave vs. Curry Man:
Some fun spots and quick offense. Not much happens but the story
of the match is the aftermath.
This rash of female violence against men is simply absurd.
Rahka Khan’s interference against Creed made more sense and happened outside
the ring and behind his back. It also didn't have anything to do with her gender. Okay, that’s fine. Hemme slapping Curry Man then
giving him a ball shot in the middle of the ring? Crazy. Crazy and only happening because Hemme's a woman. I’m glad that Cornette
is responding by inserting Hemme into a 6 person match. Cornette plays it great
here. He’s funny and appropriately lascivious.
Jeremiah? Great stuff. Booker’s accent was from someplace
I’ve never been. The whole thing was pretty fun but I have to say, Booker T
winning the Four Ways to Glory match might be a great plan for the World title.
That way, he gets a short run on top and Joe has to fight back to get his title
(“The title he never lost!” Mike Tenay will cry for weeks on end), a position in which he'd likely be much more comfortable- and over.
Kevin Nash gives a great interview with Jeremy Borash. He
clearly lays out his motives both if Joe is ready in his eyes or if he is not.
He also reminds everyone of his own championship pedigree. I hope next week
Tenay talks very specifically about every man in the championship challenge
matches being a multiple time former World champion. I think this is the sort
of subtle commentary that helps build credibility for guys like Rhino and AJ
Kurt Angle vs. Kevin Nash:
This was a better match than I expected. Angle and Nash
don’t seem to mesh very well to me but everything worked well enough. Again,
the match was not particularly the story here. I’m getting excited about the
Four Ways to Glory match. Even
though I think Christian Cage is a tremendous wrestler, I think AJ Styles
should win next week. That could lead helpfully to a phenomenal match. The four
guys that would be in this match (Joe, Booker, Angle and Styles) all have a
great combination of outstanding agility and strong physical style. **It’s the lack of hard hitting moves that makes me want to keep Cage out of this match, and although he’d be
fine, it’s been so long since he won a big singles match, TNA would be better
served by putting AJ in it anyway. (And yes, I've heard all about his contract situation but I try hard to watch TV as a fan and consider what I want to see- as a fan.)
You could also have a great scenario heading out of the match that
features Booker in a defense against Joe and a culmination of Styles-Angle just
in time for Bound for Glory. I think they’re in a great position in the main
event level. It’s a step or two below that wherein they’re struggling. And why
I still think they need a secondary title.
Jeff Jarrett’s re-introduction-
This is a big deal. TNA could definitely use Jarrett’s
presence to make a big push into the mainstream. Hopefully the slow burn won't diminish the splash Jarrett can make.
So Cal Val will put her love on the line for a wrestling
match. Just when we thought the camp was fading…
"We don’t play wrestling dress up." "TNA Knockouts cross the
line." It’s a great ad except that they show (and ugh, we hear) Karen Angle.
She’s only eye candy. Oh yeah, only eye candy that’s married to their biggest
The Beautiful People vs. Roxxi Laveaux and Taylor Wilde (c):
Wow, another women’s match that lasts long enough to get a
‘justified’ commercial break. The Beautiful People are a really good team with
interesting offense and a real willingness to sell and take hard bumps. Velvet
Sky is still a little rough at times but Angelina is great and Velvet works
really hard at it. The end of this match worked pretty well for me. I don’t
like spraying in wrestling unless it’s done Muta style but considering the rest
of their gimmick it makes good sense. Of course once again, a woman hits a man.
Vince, stop beating the horse, it’s waaay dead.
Rhino makes the save. Okay, I don’t get it yet but as long
as it means Rhino is doing something other than counting ceiling lights I’m
Great build up for the STING explanation-
I just wanna help the young guys. Interesting? It’s all
about respect for the Stinger. Samoa Joe gets the Ric Flair story told to him.
Nice touch, sure to start some speculation about Flair’s possible entry into
TNA. AJ Styles gets the tongue lashing too. I wonder if this really will be the
start of a Millionaire’s Club kind of faction? Nice t-shirt on AJ’s back
tonight. He does a good job standing up for himself. The physical confrontation
was fairly well-played too.
I really wonder how many TNA fans don’t recognize the music
ending the show tonight. I wonder how quickly the Jarrett pseudo appearances