It seems like at every turn TNA is making mistakes that could be detrimental to the company as a whole. Hiring Brook as an executive in charge of the Knockouts. Putting Garett in the ring as a wrestler. Letting too many young talented wrestlers go and bring in old guys who WWE doesn't think should be in the ring. These are just a couple of the biggest problems that have come about since bringing in Hogan and Bisch. I was one of the few who kept an open mind and hoped for the best when they came in. Now we've all be burned, but none as much as those employed by TNA, mostly the wrestlers. Guys who were on Impact every week who are either rarely seen or not even with TNA, who were pushed aside to open up money for the likes of Garett, Ion, Haskins, Sorensen and King Mo. While I'd think they might bet better than the Nasty Boys, I wouldn't know as we so rarely see any but Garett, and we know why we see him so often.
I have to say I'm a bit shocked that TNA is going after the WWE legally for contract tampering. While I know Panda backs TNA, how much money are they going to be willing to dump into these lawsuits against the WWE? We already know that the WWE has no trouble locking court cases up for year and will keep pouring money into legal until problems go away. This could be an interesting one, but I don't see how TNA will come out on top of this one. It might just be smarter for TNA to take the fall with these wrestlers let them go and move on.
Video > D
It was very slow paced, not exactly the fast and up beat start to the show. It also sounded like the narrator was talking to a class of first graders! I've become more relaxed about TNA starting with videos, realized that it's the way they're doing things and get used to it, but this was a snooze-fest! After watching only that, I bet many turned the channel or hit the FF button.
Backstage Segment (8:16) > D-
I think NOT work! Any changes that gives us less Hogan and Bisch, more wrestling, then I'll be happy.
Wait! Hogan looped here! He showed them the script, then said that the show was starting with him, and those four guys in his office, and he's grilling them. So Hogan showed them the script (as if they've never seen one) that they obviously already saw because they were in his office going over the scripted segment they were having right then! I think time travel paradoxes make more sense than Hogan in the start of this segment. It is scripted, which he admits, but then it's an open forum? And why are they deciding who will face Roode? I thought they fought last week and won, and would be facing off against each other this week, and the winner would face Roode at the end of the night. That was my understanding last week, but now Hogan has decided that Bully is out of the running for the Title shot? Sorry, but that makes no sense to me. This is supposed to be a wrestling show! This isn't supposed to be two hours of Hogan flexing his political muscle when he doesn't know Jack s*** about the industry today!
Angle, of all people, talking about Title reign length not mattering is funny. It was interesting hearing AJ saying that TNA Titles are the only ones that matter there. I give AJ huge props for saying that, and obviously meaning it.
But then all the mindless arguing from Bully was just too much. This is supposed to be Total Nonstop Action, not them sitting around and arguing who is the best to face Roode and why. Normally I'm annoyed with Teddy Long's "Let's decided this in the ring." and "Let's take it to the ring to decide...", but right now I'd welcome a bit of the Teddy Long flow chart! (If you haven't seen it, you can find a number of them under Teddy Long flowchart or Teddy Long decision chart online.)
Hogan says Roode is controlling the pace of TNA? NO! Hogan and Bisch are the ones who are dictating the pace of TNA and screwing it up at every turn. The fact that Impact started with 8:16 of Hogan verbally poking four guys and three of them arguing about it shows just what control Hogan has in TNA. Bravo TNA, great way to bring the viewership up! No wonder the Sacrifice buy rate was under 10,000!
Opening Music > C
The Open Fight Night music and graphics were solid, but some casual viewers might not understand that this really is Impact and not a whole new show by TNA. I think it's great that they're doing OFN, but I think they need to be clearer in their explanation.
In Ring Segment > F
I notice that Kim has a piece of tape around her new wedding band. What makes her the most dominant Knockouts Champ? Is it in the numbers? I'll check that out before next week. I really think that Kim on mic here sucked. She yelled more than spoke and sounded horrid. What craptastic mic work from Kim! The best thing about this segment was Madison being in the clouds and not paying any attention to Kim. (Yes, I am grading harder, but this would have failed before I stepped things up!)
ODBEY vs Gail Kim & Madison Rayne (5:01) > D
The smile on EY's face when he was working the ring with Kim was so funny. I know this match was supposed to be comic relief, but there were a few decent wrestling moves. Not a lot, but a few. I found it interesting that Madison went from wanting to make a good impression to being back to her screechy self, then right back to being in the clouds. The hip tosses and the slams from EY looked good. He worked well with them being much lighter than those he's normally in the ring with.
Okay, I'm confused again. I thought on Open Fight Night that anyone could challenge for a Title shot. I was under the impression that Kim and Madison were challenging for the Knockouts Tag Team Title. But then Kim and Madison won the match, but not the belts. This is exactly the type of thing I've been saying about TNA not being clear about what's going on.
Winners – Madison & Kim
Backstage Segment > C
I understand showing someone backstage heading for the ring before commercial, but why just show Roode walking along for no reason. It's not as if it's an exciting new thing that he's just shown up in TNA for the first time in 20 years (yes, I know), so I don't see why they're wasting valuable Hogan time, I mean ring time on this.
Backstage Segment (0:24) > C-
Now who is Hogan the great bringing in to help destroy TNA?
RVD vs Gunner (2:52) > B-
Wait, RVD is a better role model than Roode? Okay, to each his own. I know I've said this before, but I'm very impressed with Gunner. He went from being crap with Murphy to really impressing me. The best thing he did was lose Murphy. Gunner doesn't need RVD making him look good, Gunner does it on his own.
Taz said RVD about kicked Gunner's face off, but as I saw it, RVD barely touched that chair with his foot. A glancing blow at best. But then RVD came back with that 5 star frog splash! I am floored by the distance RVD got on that one! Gunner was way across that ring and while RVD hurt himself in his landing, RVD almost always hurts himself when he hits that move. Honestly, the distance RVD got off that 5 star frog splash raise the grade for this match a number of points. Not a full grade, but at least a half a grade.
Winner – RVD
Devon vs Garett (1:50) > D+
Must be nice to jump ahead of so many hard working folks just because your daddy is a big wig in the company. Yes, I could be talking about Brook, but this time I'm talking about Garett. When crap like this starts happening, the locker room will fall apart, if it hasn't already.
Devon did a great job of keeping the fans interested and giving Garett props. Devon did all he could to make Garett's extremely rudimentary ring skills look passable. The swinging neck breaker Garett hit on Devon was slow and it was obvious that Garett was thinking the move through step by step as he hit it, but Devon went at Garett's speed which made it look better than it could have with another opponent. At least it was a short match?
After Devon and Garett gained control of the Robbies, I will give Garett credit for the heart he showed. He looked thrilled to be in that ring with Devon and willing to do anything for Devon. Maybe we're seeing a forming team between Devon and Garett, a way to even the score against Robbie Squared? If that's the case, then Garett is in good hands. He could learn a lot from Devon, and this is a role I'd love to see Devon in as he's always seemed like a wonderful man and he has so much to teach younger wrestlers.
Backstage Segment (2:31) > D-
Wait, Hogan has been in on his phone since the last time they were in this 'meeting', how did we get back here? I will say I'm thrilled that Hardy was eliminated the way he was. It is still too soon in my book. The thing that really bothered me about this segment was the time travel paradox. The show started with them in this meeting, then Hogan was on the phone, then they were back in this same meeting like it hadn't ended. Angle was worried about not knowing who would face Roode until the last moment and Hogan said it wouldn't be the last moment, but time is running out on this show. So much for Hogan's script and anything to do with this making any semblance of sense. They could have easily taken all this Hogan time and put these four in the ring for some Total Nonstop Action. Instead we've seen Knockouts, RVD and Gunner for less than three minutes, and Devon with Bisch's boy for less than two! There's been almost a minute and a half more Hogan on screen to this point than there's been actual wrestling, and half of that time was Knockouts. Not wanting to bash the Knockouts, but they're not what they once was or could be. But beyond that, it's so wrong that Hogan's had more face time than all the match time combined to this point. Just WRONG!
Video > C
I still want to know why Abyss went from being Chris Parks to Chris Park. Now, I'm loving this storyline, but we've seen this video. I want more!
In Ring Segment >
I have to say that the girl in the front row, the one Bully was yelling at, handled it well. She handled it too well. I can understand wanting to be on camera, but she hammed it up too much for my taste. Though I have to say that Bully yelling into the mic doesn't annoy me half as much as Kim did. He might be loud and mouthy, but he's not screechy the way she came across earlier.
I loved the "YES!" "YES!" "YES!" chants from the fans. Even better was the way they pointed exactly as Bryan does. I'm wondering why the fans in the Zone picked Joseph to start using the "YES!" chants on.
What I loved even more was the facial expressions on Joseph. I always thought VKM's reasoning behind not liking masked wrestlers was bunk, and I thought we saw a lot of Abyss' facial expressions, but now that we see his whole face, I'm floored as how great he is. The way he talks about his brother Chris, you know, Abyss! How he holds his hand up just a little shorter than himself. The way he falls into semi-legalese and works the fans. Bully with his 'Not guilty' was just great, the only thing missing was that look that Joseph usually gives when Bully's not looking. I don't know if he didn't do it, or if it hit the editing room floor, but I missed seeing that smirk behind Bully's back. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this segment.
Video > B-
Joey Ryan is a natural for this Gut Check thing that TNA thinks is such a great idea. He's already working with TNA in King Ka Ring, so this seems to be a natural, and I really want one of his 'legalize sleaze' t-shirts (I posted it on Stacy's facebook page so he knows I'm interested). I find it interesting that Ryan said he was at Disney Land when he got the call for Gut Check as the Impact Zone is in Universal Studios. I will say he wasn't as full out in his character as he can be, but I think it worked pretty well for what Gut Check is in the first place. Then again, losing Kendrick, Shelley and then Sabin in September, they're hurting for better X Division guys that they're willing to put on Impact.
Gut Check – Joey Ryan vs Austin Aries (4:06) > A-
Al Snow and his panel of judges? Is Flair actually there for this? Will he be there to judge Ryan? Wait, I really like Aries' cape! I'd been complaining about how cheesy his capes had been, but this is nice. Not saying I wouldn't love to make a cape for Aries, but this one looks nice. I know that this was taped right after Sacrifice, but those bruises and scrapes from his match with Bully look rough!
I really didn't like seeing Ryan's arms up to catch Aries the way he did outside the ring. To me it lost some of the charm of Aries flying when Ryan was so ready to catch him. Other than that, I completely enjoyed this match. Aries has been the star in the ring recently. Yes, AJ is the face of TNA, but he hasn't been in the ring as much. Almost every week Aries is in the ring and puts on the best part of the show. Right now Aries is carrying TNA for me. He's the highlight of every show and the reason I tune in without much fuss. Okay, Aries and that I'm able to get all of my frustration for the week out on TNA because they give me new reasons every week to be either annoyed, baffled or outright pissed. But then Aries puts a smile on my face. Thanks Aries for making TNA worth watching.
Winner – Aries - of course!
Video > F
Slammiversary, October 16, 2011, of course they had to show Hogan hulking up and taking out Immortal. Why does it always have to be Hogan? The size of the ego that man carries around, no wonder his knees and back are trashed! I'm amazed he can get out of bed in the morning for the weight of that ego. I just want one show that's all wrestling and no fogies! Is that too much to ask? I'm just so burnt out on Hogan!
In Ring Segment (1:54) > D
I split this us as much to keep times as anything. Honestly, I though Hogan was going to go on a lot longer than this. I was surprised, but it doesn't mean I wanted to see it or we needed to see it. That time would have been better served as ring time or someone who're really working hard to get that time, not Hogan.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Bobby Roode (C) vs AJ Styles (13:18) > A
I really liked the half hug between AJ and Angle. The way AJ rubbed Angle's head was cute, but made me wonder if Angle was really okay with this. Both Roode and AJ were hard hitting and moving fast from the bell which was very cool to see.
After the commercial they were working just as hard. Roode did a great job of controlling the match, keeping on AJ's left arm. While AJ might have pushed back a little, that bump he took on the stars was sick. Well, it all looked good until the show went split screen, right back to Hogan again. Hogan had to be in the middle of a great match like this? When is enough enough?
Ouch, the way AJ landed on the apron looked as though it could have been bad with someone with less experience. After AJ flew it was interesting to hear Taz say it was 'vintage' Styles. That missile drop kick was sick! Wow, that was jaw dropping! The back and forth work, then AJ with the submission hold! Back and forth again, that match should have had the whole arena at a frenzy. They were enjoying it, but no where to the level this match, and these men, deserved. Pele was a bit off, but still seemed to do what it needed to do. That 450 was beautiful. Of course it would have been better if he'd been able to connect, but still looked beautiful. What was also wonderful was that these two were give the better part of fifteen minutes to work that ring. It's been quite a while since we've seen such a long match on Impact, especially between two as great as Roode and Styles. The second thing TNA did right on this episode.
Winner – Roode
In Ring Segment (5:14) > B
I thought Roode wanted golden confetti. Who picked those colors? Roode obviously got champagne in his eyes and it was hurting. I didn't think Hogan could drink with all the pain meds he's been on. I know it was just a sip, but even that little bit can be bad.
Sting looked great! I know it was just a couple moves, but he looked ten years younger and a few pounds lighter. The way Sting grabbed Hogan and kissed him brought a big smile to my face. Honestly, the only reason the grade for this is as high as it is, even after all that Hogan, is because of Sting and how well he worked with Roode here. Yes, Roode was great, but most of his great was in reaction to Sting's return. While I love Sting, I wasn't so sure he should be coming back after Roode, but seeing how nimble Sting was here, I'm excited.
Hogan saying it's showtime was just bad! Not sure how I feel about Impact moving to 8pm, but at least I'll be getting to bed earlier! I will give Hogan props for announcing the opening match next week. Having Sting in the ring against Roode in a Lumberjack Match should bring in some fans, hopefully.
As Impact went to commercial during the Knockouts TTC Match, there was this tiny clip saying Brooke Hogan coming to TNA. She was in tiny yellow shorts, ripping a yellow t-shirt off to show a red bikini top. Since when is showing off your body part of being an executive? If that's all there was to it, I could have been an executive from when I was 16 until I was almost 30! And someone said WWE was barely above pornography? I know that comment was because of Linda McMahon's political ambitions, but has Joshua Fisher watched TNA?
If my math is correct, which I'm not guaranteeing as it's late and I've never had a brain for math, but I've come up with about 27:07 of ring work and only 18:19 of Hogan in this episode. While eighteen minutes of Hogan is too much, have to say that almost a half hour of wrestling is not too bad for TNA. Actually, between the Gut Check match and the main event, there was some solid wrestling on Impact. Now all they have to do is keep up with the wrestling and cut back on the Hogan. I don't think that's too much to ask.