The following is a review of the latest episode of TNA Impact. It was written by TNA Correspondent Joseph Holberry (check out the bio here) Enjoy reading. Follow, comment and like! Also check out the wrestling talk series Unsanctioned Wrestling on YouTube.
TNA Impact – 13/06/2013
The show starts with a recap package. It contains the debut of Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, the wrestlers who qualified for the Bound For Glory Series (Gutcheck Winner Jay Bradley, Hernandez and Samoa Joe) and re-capped last week’s main event when Bully Ray took on Jeff Hardy in a ladder match, with a hammer hanging above the ring.
Hulk Hogan makes his entrance to a pretty loud ovation, which bodes well for the rest of the show. Hulk starts with a Mick Foley location cheap pop, then tells us how he wanted to take out Bully last week, but his daughter stopped him, so he’s asked her to stay at home this week. This week’s impact will be based on finding the rest of the BFG qualifiers, so Hulk asks Jeff Hardy to join him in the ring. After a bit of Jeff’s horrible mic work, he’s interrupted by Bobby Roode (the winner of the first BFG Series) Hulk says that he’s going to let the fans decide who will make the first call out next week at open fight night. If you don’t watch TNA, you might not be aware of Open Fight Night. It takes place once a month, and gives wrestlers the chance to call out whoever they want.
Bully Ray, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff then make their way to the ring, with Bully on the mic being brilliantly obnoxious as always, stating that it doesn’t matter who wins, because they’ll be facing him for the title and will of course lose. Hulk makes a Battle Royal for later on in the show, with the only entrants being the members of Aces & 8’s, as there’s only one slot in the Series open for them. Wes and Garett then try to attack Jeff and Bobby, but are treated like complete jobbers and are thrown out within seconds. Bobby hits Jeff with a sucker punch to the back and that’s the end of that segment, which I think went on too long.
Next up, Bad Influence (Daniels and Kazarian) are sat at a piano attempting to play it in the backstage area. This genuinely made me laugh out loud. This tag team are my favourite team in wrestling at the moment. They never fail to be entertaining. The next match is between Bad Influence and the Tag Team Champions James Storm and Gunner. A qualifying spot for the Bound For Glory Series is up for grabs, for both members of the winning team. They make some very valid points about James Storm being Tag Team Champion again with another partner, even going so far as to say that he’s had as many partners as Taylor Swift. Kaz then puts over Gunner, and says even though he’s huge and has a beard that scares children and the elderly, they aren’t scared and will win and both qualify.
Bad Influence v James Storm & Gunner Match starts with Daniels and Storm. Quick paced action, some nice arm drags and a beautiful Alabama Slam by Storm (hugely underrated move). Decent back and forth action, until Daniels hits Storm with one of the belts behind the referees back. Kaz gets the pin and the win. I thought they’d get a longer match, but it did the job.
When it comes back, the camera shows Crimson backstage, being asked why he’s returned. He seems very shifty and uninterested in talking. It cuts to Velvet holding a large envelope, saying there’s something inside that’s going to surprise Mickie James.
Crimson makes his way to the ring in some new attire (a cut off military jacket, drawing attention to his real life past in the US Army, taking in tours of Iraq) He cuts a surprisingly good promo about how his undefeated streak ended and how he was sent home for 12 months (in reality he was sent to OVW) He calls out Joseph Park, and the match begins.
Crimson v Joseph Park Crimson starts with some power moves, hard whips to the corner, and a neckbreaker. He then plays to the crowd but doesn’t get much of a reaction. Park gets a few punches in, until Crimson hits him with a great spinebuster, with is impressive on a man the size of Park. After missing a squash in the corner, Crimson gets rolled up and LOSES…to a lawyer. Sure everyone knows he’s actually Abyss, but come on? Couldn’t it have been someone else? Unless Crimson has some way of getting revenge and redeeming himself, I think that was the worst thing TNA could’ve done on a young, decent wrestlers return.
Velvet makes her way to the ring, gets the mic and says the contents of her envelope will solve the problems between her and Mickie, and asks her to come out. Mickie comes out playing her overly nice character, which I honestly don’t know what to make of. Velvet then reveals she has clearance from her doctor, and wants her rematch. Mickie looks at the document and starts downplaying it. She then kicks Velvet’s knee out, to not many boos. She then locks in an Indian Deathlock style submission until the referees break it up. After Taryn and Gail Kim’s match at Slammiversary, the Knockouts are going to have to do something special to even get close to that level.
We now catch up with Matt Morgan backstage. He has a HUGE beard now, which makes his hair plugs look even weirder. He insists that in his last match with Sting, he wasn’t pinned and he didn’t submit. He passed out in the Scorpion Deathlock (an underused ending I really like, it puts both wrestlers over – e.g. When Stone Cold passed out to the Sharpshooter). I think the TNA creative seem to like Morgan but never seem to pull the trigger.
Four Corners Tag Match: Kenny King v Matt Morgan v Rob Terry v Magnus King tags himself out immediately at the start of the match. Morgan and Terry start the match. None of the men in this match seem to have much of a fan base, so the crowd are pretty quiet. After a few no sell shoulder bumps, Morgan gets the upper hand until King tags himself back in and takes a huge flapjack from Terry. Magnus tags himself in and hits some fast clotheslines on King, hits a suplex and a top rope elbow drop but the pin is interrupted by Morgan. All four men are in the ring now. Terry his a mean chokeslam on King, Morgan hit Terry with the Carbon Footprint. Magnus throws Morgan out and hits a Michinoku Driver (GREAT MOVE) on King for the win. TNA seem to be high on Magnus but never give him any promo time or develop his character at all. He’s a talented guy but we have no reason to care about him yet.
The camera is backstage again now. A door opens, showing Eric Young warming up. He says he’s taking on Austin Aries later tonight, which should be a great match. He then says he’s excited and runs to the toilet, which wasn’t really funny and made me realise he’s not in Austin’s class and is still a comedy wrestler. There is nothing wrong with that, but he’s in a Series for a title match, which should be taken more seriously.
A recap package is now shown. Rampage is here tonight, and Sting is coming out next to speak his mind on what happened at Slammiversary.
Sting starts with a Mick Foley cheap pop. He must have not been paying attention earlier, or he just doesn’t care. Sting says a lot has happened in the last year. He bemoans the fact that he lost the match at the last PPV, with the stipulation meaning he can no longer challenge for the title.. He goes on to say no one came to help him when he was being attacked by the Aces & 8’s. He says that even though he hates Aces & 8’s, they are always there for each other like a family, and its time that he creates his own family. After a Godfather 3 quote (Which I marked out for) Sting tells us that he’s going to a place he hasn’t been to for a long time, the Main Event Mafia! After thinking about that for a while, I cannot see who he could mean, as pretty much the original line up of Main Event Mafia are either elsewhere or the number one enemy of Hulk, Eric Bischoff and TNA. For example, Scott Steiner. If you don’t know why, head to his Twitter account and find out. Some of the stuff he was saying was absolutely shocking, but it’s just what everyone really wants to say.
Austin Aries v Eric Young w/ ODB Great start to the match with some chain wrestling, with Eric fully keeping up with the Indie darling Aries. Aries leaves the ring, ODB comes in and they do some comedy stuff whilst Aries looks on disapprovingly (which makes it funny) Aries gets the upper hand and works on the head and neck of Young, which Mike Tenay decides must be to set up for the Brainbuster. How that works I have no idea. Like being dropped on your head isn’t bad enough. Young executes a great flip into the corner and over the rope, and then does a nice Ric Flair strut along the apron. He gets back in and whips Aries, who then does the exact same thing, but gets knocked off the apron to the guard rail and hit with a great Topé by Young. He throws Aries is back in and goes to the top rope, but plays to the crowd too much and lets him recover. He hits the ropes and Young drops down into the corner. Austin Aries hits the running dropkick and Brainbuster, Match done. Really good match, would love to see Eric Young in more stuff like this.
The camera is backstage again to catch Bully Ray telling the Aces & 8’s that they’ve decided who’s going to win the Battle Royal, and wants everyone to Yay or Nay it. They go through everyone until they get to DOC, who hesitates before finally agreeing. I didn’t see that coming and don’t think DOC would do well on his own, so I don’t know what we were supposed to make of that.
Chris Sabin is now shown talking backstage about his return from injuries. He is wondering out loud that if he had only blown one ACL, he may have been in Aries’ place when he swapped the X Division Title shot for the World Title shot. I really like the idea of swapping the title. It’s pretty much TNA’s equivalent to the Money in the Bank briefcase. Funny thing is that they never mentioned it when Kenny King was champ, oh dear.
Aces & 8’s Battle Royal After a minute of all the members dancing around each other, it’s made clear that Mr Anderson is the chosen one. Each member then takes turns comically jumping over the top rope in different ways, until it comes round to DOC, who refuses to play along. After Anderson shouts in his face for a while, they come to blows until Anderson throws him out, way too easily for a huge guy. The rest of the members then get into DOC’s face and they make a quick exit to the back.
Rampage Jackson joins the TNA roster – Source: http://www.mmatko.com
Rampage goes to Kurt backstage and asks him what he meant by saying that he wasn’t ready last week. Kurt calmly shoots him down by saying that wrestling isn’t something you can easily get into. Rampage accepts that and leaves.
Wow, there has been a lot of these backstage segments tonight, mostly back to back too. Aces & 8’s are backstage. DOC tells them he wants to be taken more seriously, which Bully Ray accepts. Nevertheless, they had a plan which almost went wrong. DOC then volunteers to take out AJ Styles, who has a match next against Kurt.
Kurt Angle v AJ Styles Both men look very equal at the start, very back and forth. After a few whips and shoulder blocks and a fair bit of staring at each other, AJ hits his beautiful dropkick which gets a nice reaction from the crowd. AJ hits a forearm in the corner and a painful looking backbreaker, which he seems to hit perfectly every single time. Seriously, I’ve considered AJ as one of the best in the world for years now, the guy is so reliable. Kurt hints at a comeback, until he’s cut off by a vertical suplex into the turnbuckle. Cameras show Rampage backstage watching the action, and bizarrely zooms in on his chain as they go to commercial.
As Impact comes back, AJ hits a full speed baseball slide on Kurt to the outside and then joins him out there. Kurt hits him with a overhead belly to belly on the outside, which makes a huge thud. Both men slowly climb back into the ring. Kurt executes the whip, into tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a bear hug. Great match so far, technically brilliant. Both men get to their feet, and do the YAY-BOO punch spot, where Kurt gets more boos, not sure why. AJ then hits a combo of super fast strikes and whips Kurt to the corner. It misses but he ends up doing his springboard forearm for a near fall.
Kurt comes back with a triple German suplex. AJ reverses an Angle Slam into a nice DDT for a very close near fall. AJ misses a splash into the corner, and takes an Angle Slam for another 2 count. Kurt doesn’t waste time and goes for the ankle lock. They both reverse each others submissions until AJ hits Kurt with a Spinning back kick with looked to make legitimate impact. AJ climbs to the top rope with his back to Kurt, who then quickly climbs up and attempts to German suplex AJ from the top, who lands on his feet, stunning. Then there is a run in by DOC, Knox and Anderson. They distract Kurt long enough for AJ to roll him up for the win. AJ leaves the ring whilst the 3 lads attack Kurt. Rampage makes his way to the ring and chases them off by swinging his chain (so that’s what the close up was for), to close the show.
Overall I thought the show was really good. They managed to cram a lot of matches into the two hours, without any of them seeming rushed. Like I said earlier, there were a lot of backstage segments, but that just helped to continue the storylines.
Thank you for reading my first review, I’m very happy to be working with Craig and Steven. I’ve always wanted to be involved with something like this. I fucking love wrestling.
If you have any questions, pointers or criticism, hit me up on twitter @jrholberry