The show goes on the road this week, and for once the audience seems to care. There’s a huge difference between Impact on location and Impact at Universal Studios. There isn’t much difference in the storyline progressions, as those are all running about the exact same, but the in-ring work went up a level. TNA should at least be doing every PPV somewhere that isn’t Universal, and I hope Impact on the road becomes a trend by the end of the year. They really need to give some of these guys separate segments, as they’re still forcing as many people as they can on screen at once.
The show opens with Hogan’s music, what else? The only difference this week is that he’s actually hiding his fake uncooked spaghetti hair now. He did have some fun with a guy in the crowd on his way to ring, so that was a plus. Angle and Sting coming out didn’t add much variety to the show either, but the crowd was actually into the show for once. They set-up the main event in the least interesting way possible, but at least it moves the story along.
Bound For Glory Series Match: Rob Van Dam v Gunner (***): Matt Morgan has been better than 90% of wrestling commentators I’ve heard in the past year. Samoa Joe’s character having some direction isn’t bad to see, but it’s just so lazy. Joe comes out to interfere, and won’t allow Matt Morgan to stop him, but some random guy in the beard steps in and he backs up? RVD is well over with the crowd, which adds to the bout. I was hoping not to see Jerry Lynn for once, but it makes too much sense for him to be involved in some way. RVD couldn’t plant his second leg on the top rope, but managed to jump out of the botch smoothly. It’s not an amazing match, but it is perfectly acceptable.
Eric Bischoff pulling the swerve on Traci Brooks was funny. It stopped being funny as soon as Karen Whats-her-name came out. Not a fan of Bischoff, but even less of a fan Karen. The segment took care of a little storytelling (Jackie/ODB are “full time”), but it was dragging on a bit toward the end.
Austin Aries & Kid Kash v Brian Kendrick & Jesse Sorensen (***): Brian Kendrick’s hat is absolutely hilarious. Aries is so good at working the everyman for himself heel gimmick, which shines in a random pairing tag match. It’s silly that the oldest guy in the bout is named “Kid”, I recommend Grown Ass Man Kash, but that’s just me. Aries’ suicide dive was one of the more vicious I’ve seen in a long time. Another fine match.
Impact trying to work the video packages like WWE, and I can’t complain. It’s the right idea to try and hip casual fans to what’s been going on… Even if it is downright ridiculous.
Jeff Hardy announced to return next week on Impact… No comment.
Angle/Hogan talking about killing the Network made no sense. I guess that’s what happens when you give two delusional people a room and a camera.
Knockouts Championship Match: Winter (C) w/Angelina Love v Mickie James (***): They should really get rid of this Hardcore Country gimmick of Mickie’s. It implies nothing good, as there is nothing hardcore about her on-screen work. It’s just one of those lame TNA innuendos. It wasn’t the cleanest match, but they used their time well. Knockouts matches are rarely the issue with TNA, even if Earl Hebner is the ref. Mickie winning doesn’t really effect my feelings in anyway, but she needs to turn heel and feud with Velvet Sky.
Morgan and Joe brawling was a good segment. Morgan got the crowd going with his step stomp, never seen that. Joe’s chair/post sandwich spot blew the crowd’s collective mind.
Robbie E/Rob Terry storyline continuing, and Eric Young back in action? Funny segment.
AJ and Daniels’ backstage segment didn’t do much, but it wasn’t nonsense like Hogan/Angle.
Immortal promo about nothing we didn’t already know. Some people just want more screen time. Instead of spreading it out among all 7 people in the room in the 3/4 different segments, Hogan shoves these people in one room and focuses the camera on himself with sleazy E in the frame.
Christopher Daniels v AJ Styles (***): When these two work together it reminds me of Rey Jr./Eddie Guerrero. We’ve seen it 100 times, but it’s always quality. Also like Rey/Eddie these two blend high flying and technical mat work flawlessly. AJ’s Springboard Elbow looked devastating. Daniels won the match on what was seemingly a botch, which was a ugly. Perhaps they were out of time. Daniels going with his classic post-match snub seemed to get some heat.
TNA Championship Match: Kurt Angle (C) v Sting w/Hulk Hogan as Special Enforcer (***): Kurt Angle and Scott Steiner should tag, they could break the record for suplexes in a match. They’re in the same stable, make it happen TNA! Sting making Gunner look foolish for the second week in a row was funny. It was funny seeing Sting no-sell Hogan’s chair shot, as Hogan is the no-sell Miyagi. Funny ending for that reason, but predictable WCW/NWO nonsense. Anderson returning from the possible rape with Sting’s black bat was funny. Wasn’t Anderson just the anti-Sting a few months ago?
Best Impact since Destination X.