So, do I want to talk about the downside that mid-card wrestlers in TNA make? It's more than I receive on disability, and that's not saying much. Do I want to talk about my thoughts on Hogan wanting Cena in the ring at WrestleMania XXX? I think Richard was being nicer than I could ever be. I honestly do think that Hogan vs Cena would draw, because of what it is, the epitome of epic wrestling – even if it's worse than any Divas Match they could schedule for WrestleMania. I also don't agree that fans are burnt out on Hogan. I know a lot of the IWC is, but there's so many fans, specifically old school wrestling fans, who don't watch TNA regularly, if at all. Then there's the fans who humor their kids watching wrestling, but believe it just isn't what wrestling once was, but wait, Hogan's coming back to face that wrestler our kids adore? Maybe we should order WrestleMania this year. I'm not saying I'll be thrilled if it happens, but I can see where certain people are coming from. I do know that if Hogan ever works the ring again, it's a recipe for disaster, and if Hogan is able to walk away from it without spending the rest of his life rebuilding his back, if he's able to walk at all, I'll be shocked. Further, could Hogan honestly pass WWE's Wellness Testing? I will eat my words if he can and does, but I highly doubt it's possible.
But what I really wanted to write about this week, and it wasn't Hogan, but I went off on a tangent, was Zema Ion. First off, I have to say how happy I am that he doesn't have cancer. When they first opened him up and found that tumor, I was worried about what it could be. Being me, I know too much about what can happen in one's guts, therefore I jump to all sorts of scary conclusions. That things seem to have worked out well is great, now it's time to get Ion back on TNA TV, because he was really growing and starting to show some serious promise before he became ill.
Video > B
I said I wasn't going to mention the opening video unless something jumped out at me. Other than the narrator who reminds me of the narrator from Idiocracy, and having to hear about The Wheel of Dixie, there was something huge that jumped out at me in this video. The way they cut together the FMMM between Sabin and Hardy last week, that match actually looked solid! I know I kind of ripped on it, but looking at those moves cut together, I am more impressed with some of their work from that match. Not saying that the match all together looked great, but it's obvious that they put more of their bodies on the line than I gave them credit for last week.
In Ring Segment > B+
So nice to see someone other than Hogan or Dixie start Impact! Bully, as always, was quite strong. That man has done a lot to carry TNA this past year or so. Heck, even more, but this past year has been really strong for him. Adding in Anderson made it that much better, and drew the fans in. I thought that Bully and Anderson weren't allowed to abuse each other before their match, but that's TNA for you. I do like that it's A&8's vs Anderson's career, except that it's pretty obvious which way things are going to go down next week.
Anderson vs Knux > C+
This match was just too slow. Five minutes should not feel like an iron man match! I know Knux is not an X Division wrestler, and won't be running all over that ring like Sabin, but Anderson had to slow himself so much to work with Knux that I wanted to cry! There were a couple of really solid moves in this match, and Knux didn't look bad, in fact he looked quite strong and hit some lovely moves, but he felt so plodding and slow between his moves. The only thing that really seemed to be moving in real time was Anderson's mic check.
Winner – Anderson (4:58)
Backstage Segment > B
I love Joseph, but everyone knows that! It's the little comments he makes that are so childlike that are more Abyss and less lawyer-like, but he seems to be doing more of that lately – letting Abyss bleed through bit by bit.
Backstage Segment > B+
Bad Influence is the best talking tag team in the biz-i-ness! They are so great on mic, and work together so well in the ring. It's nice that there's at least one reliable tag team TNA these days. We always know they're going to be strong on mic and in the ring, without a doubt, even if they pull something screwy.
Video > A-
I have to say that sometimes TNA hits videos right on the mark, and this was a strong one. They showed different submission holds, talked about some of the best submission workers, and pushed the main event. Honestly, this is one of the places that TNA shines, and this was a really strong video from them.
Joseph vs Daniels > B+
Jesse mentioned how Abyss is starting to leak through more in Joseph's ring work. Chris Parks has a subtlety that few in the industry seem to have these days. He's one that younger wrestlers, no matter where they work, should watch. I'd love to line up his segments and watch them straight through. From when Joseph showed up, all the way through when they give the big reveal. I think it would be really eye opening to see the progression of character and the way he slightly changes each week, and grows. I also have to say that his bridge on the bottom looks very natural, and I like that he works those little things in his characters. I've always been enthralled with Parks and his work, because no matter what he's doing, you know he's going to be interesting, reliable.
I enjoyed the work between these two in this match. Daniels, with or without Kaz, is one of the strongest in TNA, and he proves it no matter who he's in the ring with. I won't say every match is jaw dropping, but he always works the fans, and always gives a great show. He works the crowd and makes them feel like part of the show, not removed from everything in the ring, and that's huge for the fans. And, as I said earlier, Daniels is strong in the ring, even when pulling something screwy, as we all had to expect he would in this match after throwing the appletini in Joseph's face last week.
Winner – Daniels (5:22)
Backstage Segment > B-
Bully is that pumped that he doesn't care that Knux lost against Anderson? I don't believe that. The whole segment felt a bit off, even though Bully was as good as ever.
Dewey & Norv Vs EC3 > B+
I'm so annoyed and saddened to see what's happened to Hutter when he turned into EC3. He seems to have lost most of his training, and all of his charisma. It's possible to work a character like this and inject charisma into it, it's not about having no charisma, and you'd think he'd have learned that by this point, instead he's been carried by Dewey and Norv in his matches. Honestly, Dewey and Norv are jobbers who are showing up a man who has been brought in to make look good. These two men basically have nothing to lose, and they're playing their characters to the hilt! They're not worried about 'the script' and they're going all out with their characters and the fans are loving them! The fans are loving Dewey and Norv because of who they are, not because they're the faces going against EC3. They sell everything they do when on camera, and because of it, they're over like few young wrestlers are.
The grade for this match is for Dewey and Norv playing their characters and making it work. They, like Bray Wyatt, play their characters to their tippie-tippies. Every little bit of themselves are their characters, and because of that, they're believable. Curtis Axel needs to watch these two and see how they throw themselves into their characters, and don't worry about making sure they follow 'the script' to the tee.
Winner – EC3 (3:29)
Video > B+
I love these AJ videos, and what he's doing with the TNA WHC, but it's how they're being handled on Impact is the issue.
Backstage Segment > F
I have to hand this segment over to one of my favorite OTP participants, because he stated the issue perfectly.
The funniest thing about the whole thing about Dixie being mad at the AJ video, is we've already seen the WWE 2k14 commercial during impact.
Video > B
During Hardy's video, he said he'd, "still be making kids'... faces smile." The long break he took between kids' and faces brought about comments in the OTP about Hardy making more kids. Honestly, I cannot think of Hardy as a father, even though I know he is. It's just one of those things that I cannot put together in my mind.
In Ring Segment > C+
I'm so over Dixie's screechy voice. At least Vickie knows how to get over, Dixie really just doesn't get it. It's not a matter of going out there and screaming about what she thinks it wrong with things, she needs to be more than a smiling, big haired blow-up doll.
Storm is the opposite of Dixie, he knows how to work the crowd and oozes character and charisma. The fans love him for a reason, the same for Joe. Joe is completely different from Storm, but he still knows how to work it wonderfully. He didn't have to yell and scream, he has inflection to his voice, shows emotion, and has the fans wrapped around his little finger. Storm and Joe saved this segment, but then Dixie winked and chicked at them on her way out of the ring. How cheese ball can one woman get?
Backstage Segment > B
Anderson with cuffs on Garett? One of the best things that could happen to Garett's career! Keeps him out of the ring.
Kim vs Hannah Blossom > C+
Hannah Blossom showed that she still has a lot to learn, but she looked strong in certain parts of this match. Like many newer female wrestlers, she thinks she needs to yell through the whole thing. Hopefully she will get over that. Something I do like about Hannah and her sister is that they're not overly done up. They don't glob on the makeup, stuff their tops with implants or padding, and they don't fill their head with extension. They're the girls next door, and absolutely adorable. Obviously, after this match, I expect we will be seeing Holly Blossom next week, and hopefully a feud will be starting. I'd love to see The Blossoms feud with Kim, but I don't want to see Tapa involved in anyway. I have no use for her.
I also have to mention that it was Jesse who brought up how lovely both Kim and Hannah looked in this match. The colors they were wearing complimented their skin tones beautifully. Kim in mint green and Hannah in aqua, and while the colors are similar, and their skin tones are very different, they worked really well. I have to agree.
I have to bring up the kayfabe issue before moving on. We all know this show was taped last week. Kim announced on last week's show that she was taking all who challenged her, and this week we see Hannah challenging. I understand that TNA needs to keep their storylines moving, but things like this can skip a week so that it's not so glaringly obvious!
Winner – Kim (3:21)
In Ring Segment > A-
You know how I feel about Chris Parks, and how he's worked Abyss in the past, and how he's working Joseph now. I've mentioned Abyss leaking into Joseph more and more, and how great Parks it playing the part. That he called Abyss crazy as Joseph threw the crazy eyes (as Sam called them), was very funny. Having Joseph challenge Abyss to this match is a great way to bring in fans next week to see what will happen. It got everyone talking in the OTP, and I'm willing to bet people will be talking about it going into TNA return to the Zone next week!
Submission Match – Angle vs Aries > A-
I've said over and over how worried I am about Angle's health. I'm worried that he's dealing with more neuroligical issues and neuropathy than he's even willing to admit to himself. I know I've been a tweak about Angle's health for years, but we've seen so many wrestlers who have had issues after breaking their necks, and it's been a lot of years since Angle broke his.
All that being said, Angle looked really strong in this match. The distraction by Roode had me worried, but then the way Angle bounced back from it by catching Aries and hitting that belly-to-belly outside like it was nothing was sick! That man is a warrior, I'm not going to say he isn't, and working a match like this with someone like Aries makes me feel better than if he was in with someone dangerous like say Brock. Yes, I know they're with different companies, just throwing a name out there. I was a bit worried with Angle's neck being bounced off the ropes, and Aries' last chancery, but they seemed to work this match safer than most.
Angle is the master of the German suplex. That man is a cyborg when he hits that move. I wasn't sure of that nickname when they first gave it to him, but it truly is perfect for Angle. Ari countered the Angle slam twice, something you rarely see, but if anyone can do it, it's Aries! And then the way Aries hit that discus forearm was beautiful! That man shows a level of grace that so few are able to display. I wish Aries was around during the heyday of the Cruiserweights in both WCW and WWF. Heck, he'd have fit into ECW beautifully as well. He was born just a little too late.
I was a bit shocked to see Angle lock on the crossface for the win. I know Roode uses the crossface, but when I see someone like Angle use the hold I flash back to the man I think of as most synonymous with that move (at least for me), Benoit. It seems to be a move that most who knew him have avoided. I've seen Trip hit the move, and was shocked then as well.
Winner – Angle (18:10)
Stage Segment > B+
I loved how Anderson ended Impact with what started the show. He set up perfectly for Impact next week. That was smart booking of the show. Ending a show with such a big moment leaves that thought in your brain for the rest of the week, and you can't help but want to tune in next week. It was mentioned that Anderson's piledriver wasn't the best, but he did a solid job of protecting Garett's neck, and that's the most important thing at a time like that.
And now for something completely different. I was wandering the web and came across this video and absolutely had to make sure everyone else saw it. You know I love EY, but honestly, it was Velvet Sky's arm, that that she was wearing those boots to throw the ball around with EY in the arena that got me. It was also funny to see EY being a total letch toward Velvet. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and make sure you tune into WNW to hang out in the TNA Impact OTP next week, as I hope it's going to be a great show for their first night back in the Impact Zone.
Queen of WNW
KB, Jesse & David Jr.