Okay, I'm back from helping out Dad with the family business! While it's work that my body really isn't used to, it felt good to be on my feet and helping in any way that I could. These couple days are always hard work, but we bring in absolutely everybody who can help out, so I get to see people I only see once a year. I also got to see my sister and her hubby, who I don't get to see enough of. I'm running off the enjoyment and excitement of it all. Well, I was until I got home and Gesus shot me an IM and asked me what I thought of Brooke being hired by TNA. Now, I'd seen rumor of Brooke being hired and had hoped it was just rumor. Sadly, it isn't. Coming off walking back into the family business as upper management (a job I earned on my own merit when I was there full time), but not all of the employees there now know this, so I worked just as hard to prove myself and my ideas. Actually, it was pretty cool that a couple of my suggestions were approved and will be put into operation this week.
But that was me proving myself to the employees who respect my father's business knowledge. My father has dedicated his life to this company from the day it was started, he didn't just come in, change how the whole company runs and screw over 90% of the employees in the process, the way Hogan and Bisch did. While we're nothing compared to Panda Energy as we only have about a hundred employees, we sure as heck know how to run a company better than Dixie. We're no better than our weakest link, but Dixie doesn't see that her weakest links are the ones who are bringing in even weaker links - their kids – and turning many, if not most, of the locker room against them.
While putting Garett on TV and pushing him the way they have has been a HUGE mistake, bringing Brooke in is a thousand times worse in my opinion. At first I flashed back to the issues some people had when Steph and Shane-O-Mac started appear on WWE TV and were pushed as characters and as wrestlers, but then I remembered that that Steph and Shane had been around the business their whole lives and where people the locker room knew. Then both of them stepped up and really proved themselves. Shane-O-Mac jumped off places and did things that really impressed the trained wrestlers. Steph's ring work wasn't as good, but she proved herself on mic, as both heel and face, and has further stepped up to be an amazing businesswoman. As Richard said earlier this week, reading Jericho's book he's realizing how much he misses Steph's 'billion dollar princess' gimmick. The two of them stepped up and proved to the fans, their father and themselves that they had what it took because they were both personally invested in the company, being that it was their family's business and livelihood. Hogan and Bisch, never mind Brooke and Garett, have that investment into TNA. Hogan and Bisch have proven that over and over that they have little care for TNA. Their actions and words online show how little they truly care about the fans and the wrestling company. I really hope Hogan and Bisch don't take TNA down piece by piece, but it sure looks as though they only care about their own themselves and their families. Things could get very ugly very quickly if Dixie doesn't grow a set and take control of her company.
Video > A-
I normally complain about TNA's opening videos, but this one was spot on. Short, sweet and to the point. Made me want to go watch Sacrifice. Okay, I'll admit it, I haven't watched it as of yet. I did read WNW's coverage! Yes, I do plan on watching the PPV.
In Ring Segment > D-
Roode is great on mic, but starting EVERY Impact with Roode is getting to me in a big way. Having such a solid heel at the top of TNA is working well for them, but if they keep running Roode the exact same way every week, people will become bored, and very quickly. Wait, seven days and Roode will be the longest reigning Champ? How does that figure if he loses the strap for the show that's taped this week and shown next week? That's one thing that gets very screwy with taped wrestling shows. And while Dixie claims they're going live soon, I'll believe it when I see it.
I was thrilled to hear how Roode called out Hogan. Hogan seems to get away with everything in TNA, so a little nastiness in his direction warms my heart. I love the green M&Ms and gold confetti from Canada? If it hadn't been over eight minutes (8:07 – yes, I timed it) of Hogan thinking he's all that and more, that segment could have been good. Heck, Sting would have been great in that segment. Please, Hogan, go away and take Brooke with you!
Video > B-
I loved seeing Abyss back on Impact last week. Can't wait to see where they're going with this storyline next!
Open Fight Night Qualifier - Bully vs RVD (3:28) > B-
I know Bully is a jerk, and the deliberate way he ripped up that sign was quite fun, but then he needed his wallet chain and the ref because he was very obviously afraid of RVD - too funny. Wait, so a kick to Bully's head makes him drop like a Rock with his eyes rolled back, but then he bounced up and on the attack? Though I do have to say that Bully's elbow drop while holding RVD's leg was a very nice looking move! It was nothing we haven't seen, but Bully made it look new and creative. While RVD sold his bumps from Bully really well, he over the "injuries" he sustained at Sacrifice. Some might think this grade is a bit harsh, but this match was little more than average and average is a C.
Winner – Bully
Backstage Segment > B
The Kardashians? Oh, please, someone save us all from Bully and the Kardashians! Joseph's facial expressions are priceless! I've always thought that Abyss was one of the best of showing his emotions through the mask, but without the mask I was about on the floor laughing. Joseph saved this segment from Bully and the Kardashians.
Video > D
I couldn't watch this without thinking about what a bloody mess Spike and Dixie are making here with King Mo. I'm wondering how much his contract is worth and how bad it's going to hurt both companies, but specifically TNA. Dixie is not a very smart business woman, so I doubt she got the best end of this deal. Also, Dixie looked really strange and fake here. I will be addressing King Mo his TNA/MMA crossover next week. I have some research and reasoning to do before I open my mouth publicly about this whole situation.
Backstage Segment > C+
So, who is Madison all excited over? Interesting! And while I understand why they put together this Triple Threat Match for the Knockouts Title, we all know how it's going to go down! Of course there will be issues between Tessmacher and Velvet Sky when they're actually in the match. Their friendship will be thrust aside for the want of gold.
Open Fight Night Wild Card Battle Royal – Robbie E, Robbie T, Gunner, Magnus, Crimson, Austin Aries, AJ Styles, Garett, Devon, EY, ODB (7:04) > B+
Taz was quite shocked when it was obvious ODB was in this match. Heck, EY is in Knockouts matches, so why shouldn't ODB be in male matches? It's not like she's a little slip of a thing. She didn't last long, but that they took out Crimson brought a big smile to my face. Sadly that won't be a true loss for him.
Magnus was out early, but Joe is in a singles match in this tourney? So much for them teaming! But who is Madison mooning over? Guess my hopes that it was Joseph was way off the mark!
I said there would be some growing issues between E and T, looks as though I might be right! While E eliminating T was funny, the way E lied, but was then eliminated by Devon was great. The Robbies need to leave Devon alone and find something else to do. And Garett is like a dingleberry, he just wouldn't let go! Then he eliminated Devon? That's not cool for so many reasons!
Wow, that pele on Garett was SICK! He took it like a champ (small c), but he'd NOTHING compared to AJ and AA. We've been itching to see Bryan and Punk face off in the WWE (we know they have in ROH), but I would be just as thrilled to see AJ vs AA in a PPV match. The two of them are awesome and leave me with my jaw hanging open on a regular basis, but together was mind boggling. I hope they do something smart and have those two facing off sometime very soon.
When Gunner eliminated AA, I was worried that he'd be able to take out AJ too. Luckily TNA creative thought this through and didn't just throw a dart at the wall to pick the winner. Taz said that was probably the best battle royal he's ever seen in his life? Has Taz been spending too much time with RVD lately? I will admit that AJ and AA were enough to push this up a full letter grade (they were 1:11 of the just over seven minute match, and I would have given this match a C+ or less if not for that 1:11), but it wasn't the best he's ever seen in his life. Not by a long shot! Unlike with RAW, I do stop my stopwatch during commercials during matches on Impact because we really have no clue how long was cut out of the show. Also, we didn't see who Madison was mooning over in this match!
Winner – AJ
Video > B
They actually did a solid job of putting together this video and hit all the important parts of the storyline. At first I was going to give it a C, but after thinking it through I realized that it was better than I was giving it credit for and it was a good time for a recap.
In Ring Segment > B+
Nice to see AJ on mic. It's been a long time since he's had something to talk about and has been able to do it in a passionate way. For a while there he was coming off a bit flat.
I will say that the use of an ipad was interesting. Even more interesting was the video played on the ipad. I will say that Dixie played that well. Maybe she's more suited to silent films? If I didn't know it was storyline, I'd wonder if there was any truth behind it. I think it's a very interesting direction to take things with the golden boy of TNA. I'm impressed with the idea they're running with and I'm keeping my toes crossed that they don't screw this one up.
Video > B+
I'd love to see Angle and Joe feud again, if it means something. They should really have a solid goal for their feud – more than that they have history – but it doesn't mean I don't want to see them fight. I'm just worried about Angle, isn't he injured from Sacrifice?
Backstage Segment > A
Short, sweet and to the point! While this is a great start – look at my hand, slap with the other – it's still not quite enough for me. I want a solid basis for this feud. I know I should be thrilled that Joe is getting into a solid feud again – though I thought he and Magnus could go far – but I think these two could do so much more with an added reason or two for this. I predict now that whoever wins their match tonight (if there is a clear winner) that the other will cost them the match next week on Open Fight Night. I don't read spoilers, so I could be hugely off base, but that's my feel at this point.
Backstage Segment > B
Again with the ipad? What are they after, a promotional contract? I do like that Anderson is willing to say it was a controversial ending at Sacrifice. I'm impressed that they timed their ending so well. I know it's what they do, but when they're down to fractions of a second on these things, I can't help but be impressed. The 'Does those trunks make my butt look big?' was too funny. Though he said he was kidding, I know us ladies aren't the only ones who think about those things.
Video > D-
Jim Burress is not the best on mic. He was stiff and hard to understand at certain points. Dixie sounded great by comparison. And I don't want to come off as catty here, but she needs to find someone new to do her hair! Normally Dixie looks beautiful. Her hair, makeup, dress and accessories are spot on. In this little video her hair was big, but not in a good way. It stuck out and hung strangely. Either it was just a bad hair day for her, or whoever did her hair needs to not do that again so Dixie can go back to looking lovely, as she normally does.
Video > A
I loved how they recapped Slammiversary 2005. That was, in my opinion, one of the top matches in TNA's history. I think I need to go back and re-watch that match, and not just to soak up the six sides of steel!
Open Fight Night Qualifier - Anderson vs Hardy (5:55) > B+
I have to admit that I actually sat down and watched this match straight through without typing a word about it. Other than live shows, I don't just sit back and watch without writing at least something about the match. I sat down to re-watch the match and I'm fairly impressed. Anderson really hit some solid moves on Hardy, things I hadn't seen before, specifically the way he slammed Hardy to the match through the ropes. Anderson and Hardy really seem to work the match well together. While I don't like that the chants are usually for Hardy, I understand as many of the fans in the Zone seem to have their absolute favorites, whether they make sense or not.
I will also admit that Hardy hit some solid moves, more crisp than I remember from him. As simple as a chop block and a Russian leg sweep, but they looked solid, not at all wishy-washy. I figured Hardy could win this one after how things went down at the PPV, and this match was close enough that anyone could have won it. I'm hoping we see more from the two of them in the ring together. The hug at the end warmed my heart. Just one more step to me liking Hardy again. Actually, that hug, though it really seemed honest, adds a lot to their continued matches; shows that they do care for each other and that this isn't a hateful feud. That's something that's so rarely seen, so it adds a lovely fresh dimension to it all – and brought the grade up just that much more, even though they could have easily gone twice as long and further drew the fans in. So annoying that the solid matches just aren't given the time to grow on Impact.
Winner – Hardy
Video > B+
Another great moment between Joe and Angle. Guess they're really building to a feud between these two? I'd really love to see this as a solid feud again.
Knockouts Championship Match – Gail Kim (C) vs Velvet Sky vs Tessmacher (5:05) > B
As I expected, they went after Kim as soon as the bell rang. What I wasn't expecting was the other two purposefully locking up, rather than doing it out of anger for each other. They looked good together, but when Kim returned to the ring, things really ratcheted up a notch. The holds and moves were solid, especially that double missile drop kick. Velvet's finisher looked bad, but it was Tessmacher's fault, but Kim finished up the match the way I expected her to. The Divas are being left in the dust of the Knockouts. We thought things would be stepped up with Kim's return, and while it took longer than we expected, they really are stepping things up. While I can't say this was the best Knockouts match we've seen recently, it's a heck of a lot better than anything we've seen from the Divas in well over a year, or even more. (Remember, grading on a curve.)
Winner – Kim
Video > A
I have to say I like how they're pushing Slammiversay and TNA's ten year anniversary. They're stepping things up in this regard, hopefully it isn't ruined by what's going on in the company as a whole. They showed so many amazing moments in this one short video, maybe people will go back and look at some of the great moments of TNA's past and push for them to return to the days of those amazing matches.
Open Fight Night Qualifier – Angle vs Joe (8:44) > A-
I just realized something odd as Joe and Angle circled each other, before any big moves were thrown in this match, the only tattoos I see in that ring is the small one on Angle's shoulder blade. It's just odd to see to much un-tattooed skin in the ring. I now many, even most wrestlers, are tattooed, even if not heavily, but that the only tattoo showing is barely bigger than a US silver dollar is shocking. Not saying it's good or bad, just interesting.
Roode out to watch Joe and Angle makes me think that it could be one of them going after him next. Is Roode foreshadowing? Either way, Joe and Angle in the ring together brings a smiles to my face and a warm spot to my heart. What I don't like is how the camera is watching Roode talk rather than the work in the ring from those great wrestlers. Sorry, any time taken away from the likes of Joe or Angle in the ring – them together is that much better – is just wrong. I know I complain about Angle periodically, but I do recognize that he is an amazing wrestler. I just worry that Angle won't be able to get up from certain moves. I know that physically, right now, he's in impressive shape as he was working toward the Olympics, and honestly, it's shown in this match. Angle looks stronger than he has at any other time this past year. He's back on the way he hadn't been during his feud with Jeff Jarrett. Maybe he is in condition to continue in the ring longer than I originally thought.
That uber fast slam is amazing! Then Angle coming back with the three Germans! Joe is not a little guy, and he's put on much of the weight he had lost. He might be back to heavy, but he still moves so much faster than he should be able to move. As much as I adore Orton, Joe's slam is just that much faster. It's easy to see the speed difference between them just by watching with the naked eye. That someone of Orton's size, athleticism and speed can't hit that move as fast as Joe just shows how amazing Joe really is.
The way Angle and Joe went back and forth during this match, either of them could have won this match, but I really didn't like how Angle got the win. Joe was not beaten down enough to take that pinfall the way he did. It didn't sit right with me, the way it would have had the match lasted twice as long, but maybe that's what they were going for. Either way, I hope Joe and Angle continue on in a feud as this match felt like the rebirth of something that could be just beautiful.
Winner – Angle
In Ring Segment > A-
I know it wasn't really an in ring segment, but I loved seeing Hardy, then Bully, then AJ coming out and physically reminding Roode of what's coming next week on Impact. A wonderful way to end Impact, bravo.
I have a lot to think about, contemplate about this show. A lot of really solid things happened on this show, but there were some crappy moments too. Hopefully TNA will continue on a few paths – AJ and AA, Joe and Angle, Joseph and Abyss, Madison and her crush. There's some great ideas here, now they just have to run with them in ways that make sense. Normally I don't come out of an episode of Impact with hope, but I actually have some right now - as long as Dixie, Hogan, Bisch and their offspring don't destroy the company from the inside out.