TNA IMPACT: THE WEEKLY REVIEW 04/07/2013
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 rest of Joe’s work here.
Hulk Hogan and Austin Aries – Source: TNA Wrestling
Recap video showing the Main Event Mafia revealing Samoa Joe as their new member and the mystery behind ‘Suicide’ winning the X Division Championship.
The show begins with a camera showing the crowd going mental, almost too mental, but we all know how much a good crowd can improve a show.
Austin Aries’s music starts and he heads to the ring with the X Division belt around his waist. He grabs the mic and tells us how people either love or hate him, but either way you’ve got to show him respect. He then says that he cashed in the title for a World Title shot last year and was successful. He says he’s going to hand the belt over for a title shot right now, and demands Hulk joins him in the ring.
Hulk slowly walks to the ring, lapping up the massive ovation. Hulk takes the belt from Aries and starts to big him up, before swerving and telling him that their will be a title match tonight, but it’ll be for the X Division title in a three way dance. Hulk then announces that he’s changed Suicide’s name…to MANIK. Why not let him go by his real name? I hope it’s not someway connected to ‘Hulkamanics/Hulkamania’, get Hulk away from that division before he ruins that too.
My problem with this storyline is that he was never sanctioned for the match, and stole another wrestlers identity to enter it and then win. Why didn’t Hulk just strip him of the title on the spot?
Backstage Segment – Christopher Daniels opens the locker room and says that he’s sick of the cameras being around all the time looking for scoops, which I think was probably a dig at the amount of backstage segments TNA use. Kaz then comes to the door and says he’s going to beat AJ tonight, whether its the clean cut AJ, or ‘Bearded boyband Bieber AJ’. I absolutely love Bad Influence, and they shone here with their pretty silly but fun humour.
Jokester Daniels and Kazarian – Source: TNA Wrestling
Bound For Glory Series: AJ Styles v Kazarian
Christy Hemme announces Bad Influence, and they come out dressed as Siegfried and Roy (tonights Impact is in Las Vegas), complete with siberian tiger teddy. AJ comes out with his polar opposite entrance, really dark and moody, which then made the difference between the three men even more noticable.
AJ ducks a punch from Kaz and throws him to the outside, followed by a baseball slide. Really loud crowd tonight, really behind every move. Kaz takes over by dodging a forearm in the corner, and then hitting a high monkey flip and a leg lariat for a two count. AJ eventually fights back with some elbows and his springboard forearm, until Kaz fights to his feet, hits a jawbreaker and a dropkick into the corner. AJ attempts a rolling calf killer, which Kaz reverses into a roll-up, which even though AJ’s arms were under the bottom rope, Earl Hebner decided to count…shoddy as ever. After making their way to their feet, AJ attempts the same move but pulls it off, forcing Kaz to tap out and earning himself 10 BFG points.
Backstage Segment – Knockouts Champion Mickie James is shown walking in the back, and then asks a stagehand if he’d found that ladder she asked for. Mike Tenay wonders why she’d need a ladder as we go to commercial. I’ve noticed with Mickie’s change in character, that she’s started to dress a bit more revealing. I think this is a good thing (not in a pervy way, honest), as when characters change, they should look at themselves more closely and make adjustments so it all comes together.
Backstage Segment – Chavo is in the lockerroom talking to Hernandez, hyping him up for his match later tonight. In a week where TNA have released a fair few wrestlers in a money saving swoop, they keep Chavo backstage for two weeks? I’m sure he’ll be getting paid more than the released people anyway!
Mickie James is in the ring, where a ladder has been set up in the center. Basic heel promo by Mickie talking about her struggle to get to the top of the division, using the ladder as a metaphor. She gets onto the point that the Ladder match next week between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell is a number one contender match, and how the winner will face her and have their heart broken. Not badly delivered, but the crowd then cheered her.
Promo Video – This Video shows the three Gutcheck Judges; Al Snow, Bruce Pritchard and Danny Davis, discussing the two entrants from last week; Big O and Ryan Howe. I don’t like these segments at all, the only Gutcheck contestant I’ve actually been interested in was Joey Ryan, and they released him. They say that Ryan Howe is through to the next stage, which is where the judge vote on whether to give them a contract or not.
Bound For Glory Series: Jay Bradley v Hernandez
Bradley gets a good reaction from the crowd, really showing how much they’re into the show. Hernandez makes his way to the ring with Chavo, and the match is underway. The two big men start with some shoulder blocks and strikes, until Bradley gets the upper hand and throws Hernandez onto the ramp. He must’ve never have watched any of Hernandez’s matches before, as he set himself up for the running shoulderblock over the top rope. After a nearfall Bradley cheats with a thumb to the eye, and as the ref is checking on Hernandez, Chavo jumps in the ring and holds Bradleys leg for a distraction, Hernadez then hits a big shoulder block and the win and 7 BFG points.
Backstage Segment – Aces & 8’s are backstage, with Bully avoiding Wes Bricscos questions about Brooke Hogans real life engagement. Bully decides that no one is going to win the X Division Title Match tonight, so that they can’t cash in against him.
The Bro-Mans v James Storm and Gunner
The match starts with The Bro-Mans (Robbie E and Jesse Godderz) double teaming Gunner as the referee gets Storm out of the ring. After about a minute of that, Gunner overpowers both and gets the hot tag to Storm, who beats both men easily. He tags Gunner back in and they literally throw Robbie at Jesse, and celebrate to the crowd, who eat it up. After some quick paced action, Gunner goes for a sunset flip on Jesse, who gets held up by Robbie until Storm re-enters and superkicks him. The champs then hit a double team move, which was a variation of a powerslam, whilst storm hits a neckbreaker, on Jesse for the three count.
Although this match was very short, it was still a waste of time. With the other tag team members focussing on the Bound For Glory series, they decide to put two men together, give them a proper tag team gimmick, and then job them out in five minutes? There’s literally nobody else for the champs to face.
Backstage Segment – The Main Event Mafia are walking backstage, on their way to the ring. Samoa Joe had his best suit on, but had no tie and the collar outside his jacket, making him look like a 70’s pop star.
Kurt Angle and Sting walk down the ramp to the ring, with the crowd going especially mad for Sting. The two of them put over their intentions, and invite Joe to the ring. He comes out, gets on the mic and does his standard promo of speaking quietly at first, and then getting gradually louder (I.E. Mick Foley). Kurt says it was his idea to invite Joe to the MEM, and then says he has another member to announce…MAGNUS. Magnus comes out in a suit, which is obviously a requirement. He takes the mic from Kurt, and speaks for the first time in as long as I can remember. He puts over Sting and Kurt, and then speaks on his history with Joe. Sting then says that he heard Bully rays idea for no winner tonight, but the MEM are going to be ringside, making sure there is.
Bound For Glory Series: Joseph Park v Jeff Hardy
I don’t particularly like either of these men, so I didn’t have high hopes. The men shake hands, and the match starts. Jeff foolishly goes to shoulder block Park, and falls on his arse for his troubles. Jeff eventually splashes Park in the corner and quickly hits his signature moves, ending with a Twist of Fate. He goes to the top for the Swanton, but misses. Park picks Jeff up, hits him with some body shots and a really hard whip to the corner. Park then dominates Jeff with basic but effective manoeuvres, showing his (storyline) lack of experience. Jeff fights out, until Park hits a nice Samoan drop and heads to the second rope and delivers a perfect splash which sounded like Jeff had been killed! Eventually Jeff avoided a corner splash and went for a Whisper in the Wind, which made Park bleed from the lip. As his gimmick has been for the last few months, when Park sees blood he basically reverts into Abyss. After looking at his bloody hand, Park absolutely nailed the referee with a black hole slam for the disqualification loss. This means that Park loses 10 points, and Hardy is awarded 3.
Jeremy Borash is in the ring with the Gut Check Judges, he asks Ryan Howe to the ring. Howe comes out with a guitar, but doesn’t play it…okay. Mike and Taz shit all over the segment by making jokes about Van Hammer and his grandsons Dan and Stan, such bad jokes that they were actually kind of funny. All judges say no, and Ryan is unsuccesful.
Backstage Segment – Bully Ray is telling everyone to get on the same page and make sure there’s no winner in the title match, which leads to an argument between DOC and Mr. Anderson for the role of VP in the Aces & 8’s. Anderson says it’ll be put to the vote next week, and the gang head to the ring before the match starts.
Austin Aries and Chris Sabin – Source: TNA Wrestling
Austin Aries(c) v Chris Sabin v Manik (Triple Threat for the X-Division Championship)
Aces & 8’s make their way through the crowd, and the three men make their entrances. Aries continues to get loud cheers whatever he does. Sabin attacks both men at the bell, hitting quick dropkicks on both and a sunset flip on Manic. AA tries to grab Sabin, but is overpowered by a furious looking Sabin and thrown out. Manic with an Octopus submission, which he then turns into a pin for a near fall as AA re-enters the ring and throws him out. AA and Sabin exchange chops and strikes, and make their way onto the ramp. AA hints at a brainbuster, until Sabin reverses it into a reverse vertical suplex which sounded really loud. As the both of them make their way to their feet, Knox and DOC distract Manic and lure him to the outside, where DOC powerbombs him on the floor! The Main Event Mafia make their way out as the Aces & 8’s run away, even though they outnumber them two to one. As we come back from the break, we’re shown a replay of AA hitting a Death Valley Driver on the apron of the ring. I’ve seen a sudden influx of apron moves recently, but they do get a great reaction. In the ring, AA gets Sting’s attention before spitting in his hand and slapping Sabin, to his first boo of the night. Unfortunately this only wakes Sabin up, as he fires back with some super quick chops, an enziguri and a low dropkick to a kneeling Aries. After only getting a two count, Sabin gets AA onto his shoulders, only for AA to wriggle out, land on his feet and force Sabin back into the corner. In the corner he hits him with some viscous looking elbows and a painful sounding open hand chop to the chest. Aries went for his patent running dropkick in the corner, only to receive a kick to the face from Sabin. Sabin tries to capitalise, misses a kick of his own, and seemingly hurts his knee in the process. AA attacks the knee, successfully hits his dropkick, but when he tries to follow it with a brainbuster, is rolled up in small package for a close nearfall. Both men stand up, Sabin with a spinning kick to the stomach of Aries, who pops up and grabs Sabin for the brainbuster. Sabin kicks out, and the crowd light up. I personally can’t remember anyone kicking out of the brainbuster, even during his World Title matches. AA tries the Last Chancery Submission, but Sabin gets to the ropes. AA sets up a 450 splash but weirdly lands like it was a leg drop, Sabin takes advantage and hits his still un-named finisher (Michinoku driver with a leg hooked) but only gets a two. He then goes to his old finisher, the Cradle Shock but is rolled up by AA for yet another close two count. They exchange punches, chops and kicks, until AA gets Sabin up to the top rope and hints at a brainbuster, only for Sabin to reverse it into a top rope Cradle Shock for the three count and his title back.
What I really liked about the ending is that it showed Bully Ray looking impressed. Too often do the rivals downplay each other and make forthcoming match look one-sided, they need to make each other look good so the fans will become emotionally invested in it.
As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.