TNA IMPACT: THE WEEKLY REVIEW 20/6/2013
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.
Hopefully people enjoyed my review of Impact last week, as now its going to be a weekly thing! As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.
Impact begins with footage of sting walking into the arena looking very dapper in a suit, hinting at his main event mafia idea from last week.
Promo package for the Bound For Glory Series, which recapped who qualified over the last few weeks. They also had a soundbite from each of them, I liked that, especially as a lot of them never get any mic time.
Cut to 10 of the BFG qualifiers in the ring, all staring at Mr Anderson who is on the outside. Hulk Hogan comes out and puts over the series and its prestige, then invites the first BFG series winner Bobby Roode, to the ring. He fails to mention that even though Bobby won the series, he lost his title match to Kurt Angle because the ‘creative team’ didn’t think he was ready…terrible decision, he was definitely ready and if not, why not let him run for a month and lose it at the next ppv? Anyway, Hulk asks Jeff Hardy to the ring, who comes out to a loud ovation. Hardy continues to be massively over with the crowd wherever he goes, I’m not a huge fan, but I appreciate the risks he takes/has taken for the fans. Hulk then tells us its open fight night, and we’re going to see the results of last weeks vote which was to see who gets the first call out of the night, with the winner being Hardy. Before he can make his pick, Austin Aries gets on the mic and tells Jeff ‘even though you’re the most popular man in the company, there’s always chants of AUSTIN ARIES’ which a small section of the crowd to join in. Christopher Daniels snatches the mic and tells Hardy that he DOESN’T want to take on ‘The Secretary of Offence Francois Kazarian, or the sexually delicious Christopher Daniels’. If TNA don’t give Daniels a world title run before he retires, (which may be sooner than later, he’s 43) they really don’t know what talent they’re wasting. Hardy does the obvious thing and calls out Roode, and follows that by saying a couple of vague things followed by ‘CREA-TUUURES’ before being shoved by Roode and accidentally falling backwards into Samoa Joe. This then sets off a chain reaction of everyone in the ring fighting, which the crowd go mad for. The faces get the upper hand and start clearing the ring, apart from AJ Styles who starts attacking Hardy which looked very out of place, as everyone else had finished what they were doing. Even the commentators didn’t mention it, very odd.
After the break, they recap the earlier brawl, and Mr Anderson makes his way to the ring (even though he was already out here?). He lets us know the rules of open fight night, and calls out ‘Mr Joseph Park…Paaark’ which I must admit, was brilliant.
MR ANDERSON v JOSEPH PARK
Mike Tenay puts over the fact Park qualified for the BFG series by defeating Crimson last week, which if you read my last review you’ll know, made me pretty annoyed. Match starts with some basic chain wrestling to show Parks ineptitute. After mocking Park with a few hammer and headlocks, Park realises what to do next, takes Anderson down and repeatedly slaps him on the back of the head. Anderson stands up, bluffs respect for his opponent before targeting Parks knee with a sloppy looking dropkick. Anderson with a chinlock, and then takes Park down as he tries to fight to his feet. Anderson goes for a swanton bomb and misses. Park to his feet, whips anderson and hits a back body drop. Park with a boston crab until DOC makes his way to the ring and distracts the ref, Anderson tries a schoolboy pin but only gets two. Park recovers and nails a couple of hard scoop slams and heads to the second rope. DOC kicks his knee out, Anderson recovers and grabs Park for the Mic Check and the win. Afterwards it shows Anderson smiling at DOC, to tell us that the conflict from last week is solved.
Backstage Segment – Aces & 8’s are stood backstage, listening to Anderson bragging about his match. DOC then interupts and tells him that he nearly lost until he got involved, and says he wants to be the VP of the group. Bully Ray says that will be put to a vote, and to put that to the side for tonight, as he has a problem he wants to solve, involving his wife – Brooke Hogan.
Cut to the ring – Jay Bradley is on the mic, saying he wants the guy who was champion during last years series, Austin Aries. He then says ‘come out here and get bo-sticked’? I honestly have no idea what that means, but sounds like a sexual innuedo to me. Aries walks through the stage shaking his head, probably wondering what bo-sticking is. NOTE: I later learnt that Bradleys finisher is a lariat called the ‘Boomstick’, he just said it very strangely in his promo.
AUSTIN ARIES v JAY BRADLEY
Bradley tries to rush Aries, who steps to the side and throws Bradley out. He follows that with his double axe handle from the top rope. bradley back into the ring face down, aries comes back in with a nice senton over the ropes. AA to the top rope, bradley kicks him off and gets the upper hand. bradley using a lot of strikes, until he throws AA out of the corner with a big hiptoss. AA avoids a big boot and starts attacking Bradleys legs. after some back and forth action with Bradley selling his left knee, AA hits a nice crucifix pin slam. Bradley into the corner, AA hits his running dropkick and brainbuster combination for the 3 count. AA really showed his strength with the brainbuster, as Bradley had a fair bit of height and weight over him.
Promo package of Sting and his loss at Slammiversairy, which then translates into his desire to recreate the Main Event Mafia. Surprisingly it shows highlights of the original MEM; Sting, Angle, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner and Booker T, 3 of which I very much doubt will ever be involved with TNA ever again. Cameras show Sting talking to a mystery person, who’s hidden behind some equipment. Sting says he needs to know hes 100% behind him, and extends his hand. The mystery man then gives sting a very soft looking handshake which made me cringe a bit, I hate soft handshakes in real life, and surely if you’re in an angle about getting revenge and being tough there should’ve been a bit more emotion to it. Maybe I’m overthinking a handshake, but I think attention to detail is important.
Backstage Chavo is talking to Hernandez about the BFG, trying to fire him up and get him ready for his next match. I am not a fan of Chavo at all, he’s got no character whatsoever, the only way he gets over is imitating his uncle Eddie Guerrero.
Hernandez comes to the ring, says there’s someone in the company that always pisses him off, and calls out Daniels.
HERNANDEZ v CHRISTOPHER DANIELS
Daniels starts the match by attacking Hernandez’s legs, doing the standard big vs small strategy. Hernandez with a big overhead belly to belly, and a gorilla press drop. After Daniels trys to make a comeback on the outside, he gets knocked back into the ring whilst Hernandez heads up the ramp, turns around, sprints back and connects with his running shoulder block over the top rope. Hernandez stays on course and grabs Daniels around the waist from behind, Daniels distracts Earl Hebner so he can low blow Hernandez, hits the BME (best moonsault ever) and picks up the win and the BFG points.
Back from the break, Kazarian in the ring, on the mic. He immediately calls the crowd ‘turd-burglars’ and says Bad Influence are going to dominate the Series. He says the man he’s calling out has been called ‘the next big breakout star, and he’s gorgeous, giggle, he he by Dixie Carter’, Magnus. I cannot say enough good things about Kaz and Daniels, they stand out amongst the rest of TNA by just making that little bit more of an effort to say ridiculous things.
KAZARIAN v MAGNUS
Magnus walks to the ring and goes straight for Kaz (which everyone who’s been called out has done) until they brawl to the outside and Kaz gets the upper hand. Magnus gets rolled back in, hit with some kicks and an elbow drop. Rear chinlock by Kaz, Magnus fights out and pushes him to the ropes, but cannot get any offence in. Kaz with a swinging neckbreaker and a DRAGON SLEEPER, which I haven’t seen anyone use for years. Magnus with a clothesline, Kaz tries a springboard crossbody but gets caught and slammed with a vertical suplex. Magnus then goes for a texas cloverleaf and gets the submission win! (submissions get you more points in the BFG series, technically everyone should be trying to win with them).
Backstage Hulk is on the phone, with Bully Ray sneaking around behind him, carrying a hammer. Hulk turns and catches him and says they’re going to ‘do this thing tonight’. Bully says he just wants to talk to Brooke. Hulk tells him that the two of them are done, to which Bully asks why Brooke stopped Hulk hitting him last week, calls him Dad and leaves. Bully Ray is great as the top heel of this company, he can do the brash loudmouth, but can also be quiet, almost creepy.
Brooke makes her way to the ring, with an announcement to make. She says how proud she is of the knockout division and asks them to come to the ring. Eric Young is at the front of them with ODB, because they’re the Knockout Tag Champs, which everyone had forgotten. In the ring theres only EY, ODB, Velvey Sky, Taryn Tarrell, Gail Kim and eventually Mickie James. I’m sure there were a lot more knockouts a while back, where’s Tessmacher? Brooke asks EY if he remembers the discussion they had just over a year ago, to which EY says ‘okay, we’re all humans, we make mistakes, and if you want to be technical, get down to brass tacks, carry the two over the common denominator, technically…I’m not a woman’, Which I actually laughed out loud at. The crowd starts chanting ‘NO NO NO NO’ at EY who smiles and says ‘…that’s strange’ but eventually gives up the title belts. He then says its national kissing day and plants a kiss on ODB until they fall through the ropes and run up the ramp, pretty funny.
Brooke sets up Velvets title rematch, and tells Gail that she will be having a ladder match with Taryn. If their last match is anything to go by, that should be great. I actually think Brooke is good in her role, she’s pretty smooth on the mic, and can act pretty naturally. what does stand out to me is that she towers over the rest of the knockouts, I’m surprised Hulk hasn’t gotten her to wrestle yet.
After the break we’re shown Hulk taking Brooke to a car, to get her away from Bully and what could happen later tonight.
AJ Styles makes his way to the ring with his new, moody music and low lighting. He grabs the mic and tells us that hes not concerned with aces & 8’s, or TNA, he just wants to win the World Heavyweight Title for himself. He doesn’t want the fame or the glory, he just wants the money. He goes on to say that TNA is no place for a hero, and he’s sick and tired of doing the ‘right thing’. If this was supposed to be a heel turn, I don’t think it worked. As long as AJ wrestles as well as he does, he’ll always get cheered. Samoa Joe makes his way to the ring, and the match begins.
SAMOA JOE v AJ STYLES
The match begins with headlocks, back and forth strikes. An Interesting chain of moves with Joe trying to escape the side headlock, but AJ refusing to let go. AJ eventually gets the upper hand with a kick out of the corner, a clothesline and a back body drop. Joe comes back with some jabs, a whip and a kick that sends AJ to the outside.
During this Taz says that he’d know if Bully Ray was planning something because he’s on the Aces & 8’s email list, amazing. I have grown to really like Taz, especially in this heel character, it doesn’t sound as forced as he did before (Jerry Lawler/Michael Cole take note).
AJ ends up stood on the apron, Joe stood on the floor, kicks AJ’s legs out and he takes a hard face first bump on the edge of the ring, and we go to commercial. After the break Joe is striking a woozy looking AJ, until he hits the ropes and AJ hits his beautiful backflip dropkick. Joe rolls to the outside and is hit with a baseball slide. Christy Hemme then pipes up and tells us there’s 5 minutes left in the match, to an audible ‘eh?’ from the crowd (I didn’t know it had a time limit, apparently I wasn’t alone). Both men back in the ring, AJ goes for a vertical suplex but can’t manage it, so settles for a rolling neckbreaker like Curtis Axel has been using recently. AJ runs out of the corner and gets hit with a powerslam so fast, Randy Orton could only dream. Joe goes for an Armbar, which is very logical in this series, until AJ fights out and gets to the corner. Both men head to the top rope, Joe attempts a superplex but AJ reverses it into what looked like a crossbody, but looked very dangerous. Joe hits AJ with Jabs until AJ uses a move that looks like Kofi Kingstons SOS rolling pin, but it ended with him in the calf killer, very innovative. Joe starts to turn and manages to get AJ into the choke as we’re told that there’s 30 seconds remaining. They then brawl until the time runs out, and its a draw.
Backstage Segment – We see Bully on the phone, to whom sounds to be Brooke. From what Bully is saying, it seems Brooke is happy to come back and see him. He tells her to turn the car around and head back, and sends D-Von, Knox and DOC to head out on the bikes and make sure she gets back safe.
Backstage Segment – Hulk is telling X Division Champion Chris Sabin, Kenny King and Suicide whoever wins their title match next week can then swap the title for a World Title match at Destination X. I like Sabin, he has a great comeback story but I can’t see him as the World Champ, unless they plan on pushing him hard for the next few weeks. There wasn’t even an X Division match on the card tonight, or even a segment to keep Sabin in your head.
MAIN EVENT: BOBBY ROODE v JEFF HARDY
Roode attacks Jeff as he’s making his entrance, they make their way to the ring and work through a few of Hardy’s moves at a very fast pace until Roode finally takes him down and manages to get a Crossface.
I don’t think the commentary is drawing enough attention to the submissions, if they put over the fact you get more points with them, it would make the viewers feel that the match could end at any time instead of just after a finisher.
Roode gets the upper hand and starts technically striking his way around Hardy’s body to wear him down. After playing to the crowd, Roode gets hit with a back elbow out of the corner and drops conveniently for a second rope splash from Hardy and a two count. Hardy stays on him with a dropkick to a seated Roode, and attempts a twist of fate. He gets shot off to the ropes and hit with Roodes RR Spinebuster and a nearfall. I thought that was Roodes finisher, but Hardy kicked out pretty easily? Hardy with a twist of fate which was more like a stunner, then goes to the top for the Swanton Bomb. Roode moves away at the last second and tries the crossface again. Hardy reverses that into a pin, and when both men get to their feet delivers a full on twist of fate for the win.
I felt that the main event was waaay too short, and made Roode look pretty weak next to Hardy, he should’ve gotten more offence in to make the series look a bit more equal.
Bully Ray makes his way to the ring and states the Bound For Glory series is underway, and he doesn’t care because he will do anything it takes to keep his title. He tells us to look at what he’s done to Hulk and Sting, but then says he’s more of a lover than a fighter, and asks Brooke to join him. After a minute waiting for her, he asks again, but is answered by the Main Event Mafia music. Sting makes his way out, grabs a mic and speaks on the need for a family. The crowd start a Sting chant, until Bully screams ‘AW SHUT YOUR MOUTHS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, CHANTING FOR THE MAN WHO LOST TO ME!’ which stops the chants and gets him booed instead, genius. There isn’t enough of that in wrestling, paying attention to the crowd and reacting quickly. Sting starts to take off his jacket and tie, Bully says at the snap of his fingers, the Aces will be out here and handle him. As he continues, Bully goes through with his threat and snaps his fingers. After a pause Sting laughs and points to the big screen, which shows Anderson, Garret Bischoff and Wes Brisco laid out in the back, Wes with a beer keg between his legs, that must’ve been painful. Bully tries to suckerpunch Sting, but Sting comes back until Bully tries to run away. He’s stopped at the top of the ramp by a suited Kurt Angle, who takes him down and get the Ankle lock until Bully is screaming and tapping out as Sting is shouting in his face as the show goes off the air.
Notes: I enjoyed the majority of the matches tonight, with exception to Anderson – Park. At first I liked the Park character, as it showed how Chris Park/Abyss can actually do something completely different to the character he’s been playing for the last 10 years, but I feel that its run its course. I think the gimmick would’ve worked better if in all his matches he’d come close to winning, but ultimately lose every time. After a couple of months of that, he could finally get a win, which would make it a big deal and please the crowd. Any match involving Kaz, Daniels, AJ, AA, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode is going to be at least decent, which bode well for tonight’s impact. I find it hilarious that because they’re back in the Main Event Mafia, Sting and Angle now wear suits. They’re still the same people, doing the same stuff, but y’know, that’s wrestling logic for you. I must say I’m interested to see who else joins MEM, I hope its not a huge disappointment.
Thanks for reading!