TNA Blog Zone – Joe, Joe, Joe As Champ, Champ, Champ!

Hello everyone! Alex Barie, or @McMahon101, here for the IW Blog Zone column. I am filling in for Kendra Bunyon this week as she was unable to write this. I always wanted to write a blog here on WNW. I jumped on the opportunity when I read that she won’t be writing this blog this week. I already write the Impact Wrestling results, so why not give my in-depth thoughts?! Some think I am a TNA mark, but I honestly just like the product better than WWE. I have been quite open on Twitter recently about showing my opinion about WWE, so I wanted to go into this show and really look at it segment by segment and a show as a whole.

Brooks wrote the Raw blog this week it got raving reviews. He did a tremendous job and deserves the credit. I have no idea how to even follow up on that blog. I have to though. It’s go time!

Opening Video

They started with a video package, like always. It focused on the story lines of James Storm/Bobby Roode, Aces and 8s, and Jeff Hardy/Austin Aries. With Bound for Glory 3 weeks away, it’s time for TNA to get serious about the pay-per-view. As of now, those are the three biggest stories going on. Honestly, the stories aren’t bad. It is a wide variety. They have the long feud story of James/Roode, the unpredictable story of Aces and 8s, and the World Title Match of Austin/Jeff.

I give this video recap a B+.

Hulk Hogan Opening

After the weekly introduction from Taz and Mike Tenay, as well as the firework display, we heard Hulk Hogan’s music. He came out with the baseball bat and came into the ring. This promo is like every other promo that Hulk does. It is just as repetitive as Randy Orton’s. Some say CM Punk’s has been repetitive each wek. While I may agree with that to an extent, his promos are certainly more interesting…..only if he can pull the rope on the pipebomb. Anyway, Hogan gives us some announcements about the show tonight. One thing he brought up was Devon. I want to talk about this for a second. I have reported here on WNW for the past week or so of how bad Hulk wants Devon. As we know, Devon’s contract with TNA has expired and the negotiations fell flat. It’s a real shame. Hogan praised Devon in this segment and says he really wants him but they have to move on. Honestly, if I had to pick one or the other, I would have picked Bully Ray to be the first priority to resign. Would I want both? Of course. I think Ray proved to be a better asset character wise. Devon and Ray have their own wrestling school so it should have been priority to keep both, but they couldn’t. Hogan is making a big deal about Devon now. I don’t understand though. They really never pushed Devon. They gave him the Television Title and said he was suppose to defend it each week. He didn’t. I know it’s not Devon’s fault, but the storyline fell flat and Devon suffered. Moving forward, Sting came out to meet Hogan in the ring. I actually liked the lines of Hogan telling Sting that he only took his bat while Sting replying that his bat is Hogan’s bat. Besides that, it was an easy confrontation between the two.

I give this Hulk Hogan segment a B.

Ken Anderson Video

A Bound for Glory memory video is played and it has Mr. Anderson. It was a nice and short clip hyping the upcoming pay-per-view. Simple as that. I do have to say that I love these memory videos for the PPV. It plugs the PPV but also tells a story with many stars. You hear from stars that you wouldn’t hear much from. Not only that, they seem more out of character as they answer truthfully.

I give this Ken Anderson video a B.

Kurt Angle vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Daniels

I have to apologize to the readers of WNW because I reported on the site that Kurt and AJ were facing Chavo and Hernandez. That is what Kurt said but it looks like TNA changed the script the day of the show. I actually would rather see a triple threat match than a tag match. Anyway, this was a really good match between the three. When they took the first commercial break in this match, I thought it was going to be changed into the tag team match. It wasn’t. Instead, they sent AJ Styles, Hernandez, and Kazarian backstage. It made the match better. I liked the set-up between Chavo and Kurt. Angle even asked Chavo what he wanted him to do. Kurt went on to say that he is just trying to win the match. Speaking of Kurt, he was able to hit some great moves during the match like the german suplexes, belly to belly suplexes, and the Angle Slam. Kurt didn’t win though. Daniels picked up the win and it was nicely done.

I give this Triple Threat Match an A-.

Hulk Hogan Segment #2

This Hogan segment is dealt with the Championship Thursday idea and who would fight for the Television Championship. Hogan continued to praise Devon. I think it was a good idea that they told the viewers what actually happened to Devon. I would have been against it if they quietly let it go. You can’t do that in this business. I liked how they flowed from Devon to Garett Bischoff and how Devon was partners with him. It gave Garett something to actually talk about because he really couldn’t say anything else as to why he deserves a title. I am not against Bischoff but he shouldn’t be in a title match at all. It is almost like Ryback. I am against Magnus being pushed out first. In my Kurt Angle interview, he praised Magnus. Magnus actually thanked Kurt for the compliment. I know it went all the way up to the TNA offices. We seen Magnus get quite a bit of air time since my interview as Magnus turned against Samoa Joe and then attacked Rob Van Dam. Magnus is a guy that I wouldn’t mind seeing on television. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a title match. I think he has what it takes but he hasn’t been given the opportunity to show us yet. It’s just like Bobby Roode. When Roode got the chance, he blossomed. Magnus could do the same. I would have sent Bischoff out first, but that’s me.

I give this Hulk Hogan Segment #2 a C+.

Tara and Brooke Hogan Segment

When writing the results, I felt like this segment was simply put in there last minute. They had half of the triple thread match, the full Hogan segment and now this segment before a commercial. It seemed like they squeezed this right into the script. Tara as heel has always been my favorite. I wrote before that I loved when she was heel in the WWE in 2002 against Trish Stratus. That sticks out in my mind and I will always remember her with that. Trust me, that is a good thing. Tara is playing a different type of heel though with this new boyfriend she has. He’s from Hollywood and she calls him “baby boo.” After their first chat on the phone, Tara gets another vibe. She told Brooke that she was getting a vibration…..I can only imagine how much Tara may like that. I was somewhat surprised Brooke took the phone and talked to the Hollywood guy. She hung up and took the phone. If I was Tara, I would sue….but then again, I think it was a flip phone so I wouldn’t even bother.

I give this Tara and Brooke Hogan Segment a C-.

Tara vs. ODB

I have to admit, when Brooke announced that Tara would be fighting, I really wasn’t interested in who she would be fighting against. I was expect the same stars that would fight. I then realized…..they are all gone. WInter is gone. Velvet Sky is gone. Angelina Love is gone. Sarita and Rostia hasn’t been on television in months and Mickie James is taking a few weeks off. Honestly, the knockout division is in trouble. They are losing and not using lots of their stars. I know the mindset of TNA though. They focus on one rivalry in the division. Right now, it’s Tara and Ms. Tessmacher. I like this rivalry. I like the story behind it. Those two are really the only ones being used right now. Sadly, I forgot all about ODB! She came out and I quickly got excited for this match. ODB is one of those characters that you can’t miss. It’s not her looks (well it can be if you like that style) but it is her attitude. It is her personality. Beyond that, her and Eric Young are tremendous together. They are a comedy duo. They remind me of Beth Phoenix and Santino. I actually like Eric and ODB better. Anyway, the match was good. ODB has no problem taking bumps in the ring. Tara pulled out the old knee injury angle to pick up the win. Tara sold the injury nicely. Being on live TV, you can’t really tell what to believe it if looks that believable. Tara was obviously faking and she picked up the win. The win was pretty predictable because it was a #1 contenders match.

I give this Tara vs. ODB match a B.

Bruce Prichard, Taz, and Al Snow Segment

A short video played hyping up the Gut Check Evaluation that would air later on in the show. The video was short and sweet. With it being that short, I wouldn’t even bother giving it a grade.

Bruce Prichard, Al Snow, and Taz Segment #2

The segment starts with Bruce and Al. Bruce talks to Al about him and his Joey Ryan obsession. I really don’t know where they want to go with this angle. We haven’t seen Joey since he appeared about a month ago, but if I remember correctly, Joey is suppose to get another challenge. I am pretty sure Joey took that offer but I could be wrong. If he didn’t, I don’t know why they are still talking about him. If he did take it, where is he? Taz walks in on the segment and the three talk about Even, this week’s Gut Check worker. They are focusing on his age and his experience, but also his passion. This video really was nice and I honestly wanted to hear if they would give him a contract.

I give this Bruce, Al, and Taz segment #2 a B.

Bully Ray Segment

Bully Ray was walking backstage and the camera man caught up to him. I, without a doubt, been high up on Bully Ray since he turned heel a year ago. At first, I didn’t know if Ray had it in him. If it was a time to change from tag team to single competition, it would have been the time. Ray took the ball and ran. He proved himself to me, but really to everyone. Ray is one of the top heels in TNA. Him and Roode are right up there. I would go as far as to say Ray is the top heel in the company. Bully was able to pull off the calf-zilla and twittah machine catch phrase….and because of that, I give him huge props! This segment showed how great of a heel Ray is.

I give this Bully Ray segment an A!

Hulk Hogan Segment With Bischoff, Joe, and Anderson

The time is now for Championship Thursday. Who would fight for the Television Title. Since Hogan did not eliminate Bischoff at the beginning, I had no idea if they would put him in the match or not. It wouldn’t surprise me if they did. I was totally against it. I am glad Hogan told Bischoff to go. These Championship decision making stories are actually pretty truthful. You don’t hear a lot of people talking about people not getting title shots because they are unexperienced and haven’t done much on the show yet. WWE should actually do this and we wouldn’t see Ryback go against The Miz or end the show against CM Punk! As far as this segment, Bischoff is gone and the match is Joe and Anderson. It’s a good match for the title. I would have liked to see Magnus vs. Joe? Yeah. There is a story behind that. I am hoping Magnus does get time to shine and gets titles, but Joe vs. Ken is nice to see.

I give this Hulk Hogan Segment with Bischoff, Joe, and Anderson a B+.

Austin Aries With Jeff Hardy Segment

Did anyone come across this segment being low in volume? I had trouble hearing Jeff Hardy. This segment came on right after a commercial, so the mics may have been altered during that time. Either way, I was able to hear Jeff but it was faint. I like these two and I am glad TNA came up with this match for Bound for Glory. Does Jeff deserve a title shot? The answer is probably 50/50. I am impressed that Jeff finally cleaned his act up. I am proud he was able to do so but I wonder how long it will last. We know Jeff was clean before only to go back on it. If Jeff does stay clean, he would gain more of my respect. I think he showed me enough now to gain a title shot but I wouldn’t put the title on him. I know Jeff’s contract is ending soon and TNA wants Jeff to be in the main event or win the title so it would influence him to resign. I don’t want to see Jeff as champion. I like Aries as champion, but TNA hasn’t used him to his full potential. Austin had more time on television while he was #1 contender than he is as World Champion. It doesn’t make sense. I see a huge future in him. TNA needs to put him on television more and really should give him the ball to make his own moment…..that CM Punk moment. Either way, I can’t wait for this match at Bound for Glory.

I give this Austin Aries with Jeff Hardy segment a B-.

Samoa Joe vs. Mr. Anderson

This match was for the Television Title. I talked about the segments leading up to this match but I want to talk about this title. I think TNA should get rid of it. TNA hasn’t showed their interest in the title. They said it is a championship for television and it will be defended each week. Well, that didn’t happen. TNA falls short on things but this is one major thing, in my mind. You can’t tell us on the show and then not proceed with it. Don’t be like WWE and forget the past. Don’t be like WWE and forget what happened. The history is in the past but you can’t forget the past. The past led to where everyone and where everything is at right now. Forgetting it is like forgetting your life or the company. Imagine BP forgetting their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? They would just continue without acknowledging it at all. That is unprofessional and millions of people would attack the business. You can’t forget your past. Simple as that. Now, TNA wants to continue with this title and I think it is appropriate to put the title on Samoa Joe. Not only does he deserve a title, should deserve the World Title, but I think he can make this title relevant again…..that is if TNA books it right. Joe always has great matches. That is not the problem. If TNA doesn’t follow up on the title, it will make Joe look bad and that one thing TNA doesn’t need to do. They need to do the opposite. They need Joe to succeed. He did before and they need to push him back up to the top. He is a main event star and he should be used as one. Overall, this match was great and I would say it was the match of the night.

I give this Samoa Joe vs. Mr. Anderson match an A+.

Hulk Hogan and Sting with Aces and 8s Segment

Since last week, I have been wondering how Hulk Hogan would get to the Aces and 8s clubhouse. I mean, we don’t know where it is at, so how would Hogan get there. Well, my question was answered. I like the short pep talk Hogan gave to Sting but it quickly stopped by the Aces and 8s. Some would question how Hogan and Sting could be kidnaped. I mean, just look at who they are. Well, that is simple. It’s two men vs. 5-7-10 guys. It’s complete logic. The illogical part would be if Hogan and Sting beat all of them up. I am glad TNA took this route. They took Hogan and Sting away. They put them in a van and drove them off. So their clubhouse is away from the Impact Zone? It just makes the whole faction more mysterious.

I give this Hulk Hogan and Sting with Aces and 8s segment a B-.

Gut Check Evaluation

It is time for the Gut Check evaluation for Even Markopoulos. If it was my option, I would not sign him simply because he did not impress me in his match, even though he did not get a chance when he fought Douglas Williams. He is a young gun and I would be interested to have him in a developmental spot to work and groom him. The kid would have a long and huge future. Starting young is amazing. It gives you time, which so many people need in this business. The problem is, does he have the talent? I am not surprised that they did not sign him. It just wouldn’t make sense based on his match last week. His promo he gave Al Snow was actually good as he went way back to the year he was born and what Al was doing that year. Either he knew he would be in this situation or he knows a lot about Al’s career. Either way, it did seem out of the norm. I hope Even continues to wrestle and hopefully he will improve as the years go by. It’s never to early to start wrestling.

I give this Gut Check evaluation a B.

Hulk Hogan, Sting, and Aces and 8s Footage

A video stream was sent in to the show, according to Mike Tenay and it showed Sting and Hogan in the clubhouse of Aces and 8s. They pulled the sacks off of Hogan and Sting. It was a short clip but it only led to bigger things to come. Sometimes bigger isn’t better though. With this short video, I don’t see a point of grading it.

Hulk Hogan, Sting, and Aces and 8s Segment in the Clubhouse

I really want to say positive things about this segment, but I really can’t. I have quite a few problems with it and it’s mostly of the way it was produced. First of all, I can’t stand these voice changers that Aces and 8s have. I can hardly hear the members. I need to turn up my computer and really listen. I can’t even type because I have to hear what they are saying. The second problem is the lighting. When the camera paned around to show the clubhouse, I could barely see anything. This was the case when they rolled Mr. Parks in. I had to look and wonder what he was on and if he was motionless or not. It was just a badly produced spot. I know Eric Bischoff does a lot on how the show is produced and I would like the segment if I could actually sit and pay attention. With me typing, I found it a challenge and it could have easily been better. Speaking of Eric, a lot of people wrote in the comment section that they are sure it is Eric Bischoff who was talking. I watched that segment again and I can agree and disagree. The body structure does look like Eric’s body. I can see that. As far as the voice, it is up in the air. There are parts where it seems like that is the way he talks and there are parts where it doesn’t seem like that. If I had to pick someone to fill that hat and jacket, I would pick Eric, but I wouldn’t go and say he is part of Aces and 8s. We know D-Lo Brown is part of the group but he may just be playing the part and may not actually be in the faction once they are revealed. The hat guy did say that Hogan did run him out. They had fun together but Hogan ruined it. Eric can fit that spot. Hogan ran a lot of people out of TNA though. Lots of people say Jeff Jarrett. In order to make this faction successful, it has to be Eric or Jeff. Without a big name like them and the history those two possess, the faction could blow up and be a bust. I am still waiting for them to reveal themselves and it may happen at Bound for Glory or after. If this story continues, there is no doubt you will see Aces and 8s for a couple more months. I don’t see them going away that fast.

I give this Hulk Hogan, Sting, and Aces and 8s segment a C-.

James Storm Segment

James Storm had a short and clear segment backstage. It addressed Roode and his match at Bound for Glory. James really portrayed his character nicely in it as well as showing his hatred for Roode. These two are probably far off from hating each other in real life, but James is able to make the hatred believable and it shows. James does a nice job and I can’t wait for their match at the pay-per-view. I hope King Mo doesn’t ruin it. Just let Roode and Storm fight and all will go well.

I give this James Storm segment a B.

Bobby Roode and Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries

I went on the record to say that I dislike shows ending in tag team matches if the teams aren’t involved in the tag team division. I know I did this on my online wrestling company when I wrote the scripts of the shows, but I had so many people on the roster, I had to make those matches. I always wanted the main event to be a singles match or just a segment. I always find those endings a lot more unpredictable and exciting than a tag team match. As far as this tag team match, it housed four of the best and biggest stars in TNA right now. You knew going in that you wouldn’t see any double team moves as each want to shine out of the other stars. The match was real good. The one spot I remember is Roode knocking Jeff off the top rope. Jeff landed on the back of his head. It was a tough bump. I literally paused typing to see if Jeff was alright. Luckily, he was. The ending picked up with all four stars getting involved. Aries hit the brain buster but Jeff tagged himself in for the finish. This type of ending has been seen time after time, and that is one of the reasons why I don’t like tag matches ending the show. Jeff pinned Roode. I don’t see the full picture here. Austin got defeated by Bully Ray last week and then Hardy pinned Roode. Jeff really does not have any upperhand. I would have had Ray get pinned and Jeff could say that he pinned Bully while Austin couldn’t. That would add to the story. It would diminish Ray either because he can still say he beat the World Champion. The ending was the exact same as last week, Jeff and Austin face to face. I liked it last week but don’t do it again. TNA has the habit of repeating the ending….we seen that with Aces and 8s and how they ended the show the same way about a month or so ago. I know these two are both faces, so it’s hard to do any battling to end the show.

I would give this Bobby Roode and Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries match a B+.

I would totally recommend TNA to do a different ending for next week’s show. I’m interested to see if TNA will have Jeff vs. Aries in the main event for Bound for Glory or Aces and 8s tag team match. Whichever they decide, they have to make that the bigger story. They should end with that. They ended with Jeff and Aries for two weeks, so maybe give it to Aces and 8s…..AGAIN! I just want to have them change it up. Overall, the show was good. It was not the best show TNA did this year, not at all, but it wasn’t the worst show by any means. I would give the overall show a B because of the decent matches and some nicely done segments. I hope TNA picks it up as we draw close to Bound for Glory. They need to. As of this writing, the television rating for the show was released. It got a .99 rating. I would except it to be at least a 1.00 or higher. It’s disappointing with Bound for Glory coming. I remember last year….the show before the PPV got a lot of viewers. Pretty sure it did. It was a great sign so let’s hope that is one thing that repeats from last year.

I want to thank everyone for reading my IW Blog Zone post. I encourage you to give your reactions to my thoughts and your own thoughts of the show. I look forward to seeing what you have to say. Kendra should be back to writing this next week. Catch me while I post news here on WNW or my Impact Wrestling live coverage. You can also tweet me anytime. Thanks again and appreciate your feedback!

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  • The Dude

    Just read your little tirade on twitter. The funny thing is, the reasons why you said WWE ratings are down can be said for TNA also. You talk about CM Punk not “drawing”, who exactly draws in TNA?

    • Alex Barie

      There are lots of reasons why Raw's ratings are like they are. Football attributes to that greatly, but you can't blame it on that alone. The problem is people watching football instead of Raw. They aren't watching Raw because it's not interesting to them. Blame that on the creative bookers and writers as well as Vince. Now, the WWE Champion, World Champion, TNA Champion is, well should, be the main thing that draws. They are the top of the show…..even CM Punk said that himself. I always find the champion to be the biggest star on that entire show. With that being said, they are also part of the problem. They aren't drawing….they aren't producing ratings. Take into account Mick Foley and The Rock's "This is your life" segment. It may be a stretch for that, but that went against Monday Night Football and WCW. As far as TNA goes…..no one draws for TNA. I admit that clearly. They have the talented stars but you can have all of the talent you want….if the producers don't give you the ball and push you to the moon, no one will know if you can draw.

  • D.L.

    Did anyone notice that the TV title was the old heavyweight title not the red piece of crap that has had several different names

  • Bigdaddychuck

    Tna and wwe are both battling football.. Tna won’t draw until they get out of impact zone. They need to go on the road or film it in a bigger arena.

  • Guy Landau

    Alex – as you'll be able to read on my Weekly Rundown – Evan Markopoulis was BRILLIANT. We actually started out the same age, and we are the same age. Thing is, he gets it to the fullest extent. He knows he's small and can't show a Doug Williams up. However, his subtle mannerisms were great in that match and his timing was perfect. What little offense he got in was good, and you can't give someone like that more offense than he got. However, seeing him conduct himself in the ring, taking a beating, selling like a champ and doing things in a scarily accurate way makes me think he is one of the best wrestlers – POTENTIALLY – that I've ever seen. He has a huge upside, and for TNA not to take advantage of that in their developmental territory is madness as far as I'm concerned. Is he TV ready now? No, even if only because of his size. However, let the man grow a bit, and teach him whatever he's lacking (from last week's match I can't tell what he's got so far as far as crisp execution of constructing long, even matches is concerned, but I can tell he could get wherever you need him to if you just guide him there), and you'll have one of the strongest talents ever on your roster to groom to greatness.