It's nice to see that TNA is taking the big step they absolutely need to take them to the next level. This is one of the smartest moves they've made as a company in a very long time, and hopefully it will help propel them to the next level. I will admit that I'm very excited, but also a bit worried. There's still the issue of Hogan, Bisch and the way too many on the roster have been and are being treated, but Dixie is the only one who can really take care of those issues, and I have to say she doesn't seem to have the backbone to step up and do what really needs to be done.
The other thing that's been happening in connection with TNA, or at least kind of attached to TNA, is all the questions and possibilities with Jeff Hardy. Will he stay with TNA? Will he go to the WWE? If he stays, will he get all he wants from TNA, up to and including being the Champ over others who really deserve the strap? If he goes to the WWE, what will they do with him there? Will he be propelled to the top of the roster
Video > C-
Recapping Hogan, Bully, Brooke, etc. Of course they had to spend enough time to recap the whole storyline! They kept the Angle, Garett and Wes history short and to the point.
In Ring Segment > B
Wes, with his hair down, sure looks like the consummate bay guy. I loved the pulled back good boy look he had before he turned heel, but with his hair down he is perfect for A&8's! And then there's the baby faced good boy Garett. While I barely believe him in A&8's, the fact that there's a Bischoff in A&8's is making me roll my eyes at the whole thing right now.
Gerald Brisco gave Hogan his first set of boots? I didn't know that, but I also haven't been able to get through more than 20 pages of any of his books. Maybe if I had them on audio I could stomach them. It was a great way to get through King's and SCSA's.
The 'you can't wrestle!' chants for Wes really shocked me. I thought he was pretty solid in the ring, but maybe that's me.
Backstage Segment > D
Jessie on MySpace? Too funny! Even funnier is getting Brooke a coffee. I have to say I'm not liking Tara in the cougar role. It's not working for me knowing what I know about her previous achievements in the ring, and with characters.
X Division Championship Match – RVD (c) vs Kenny King vs Zema Ion > B
The fans in Manchester were hot for RVD and his ECW history. I will give Ion props for barely even touching RVD and King as he flew outside. It's the best way to keep him from injuring more of the roster. Actually, Ion and King worked the ring well before RVD returned, and then it was King who's kick was quite off the mark on RVD! That was the first time I saw Ion look at all solid in the ring, and it was King who was doing most of the work. Even Ion's gorgeous DDT was almost all RVD's work. Ion did take a big clothesline outside, on the cement, and bounced back up like it was nothing.
There was a lot of fast moves and high flying in this match. They worked hard to make the match look great, and much of it did. There was also a lot of sloppiness in there. With three wrestlers in the ring, many things can be overlooked, but I was looking for them. They all messed up a number of times, but in the end, it looked good, and the fans there seemed to love it.
Winner – RVD (5:57)
Backstage Segment > C+
Roode and Aries were solid here, but nothing at all interesting or exciting. They were not the Aries and Roode who have been giving us such great mic lately, so this was really boring.
British Boot Camp > B+
I'd love to see the Blossom Twins in TNA. I think they'd be a real asset to the company. Nothing against Rockstar Spud, I just have found the girls very sweet and endearing while being tough in the ring.
Backstage Segment > B
Prichard talking to D-Lo about Wes and Garett joining A&8's about had me on the floor! D-Lo playing the straight man after being the mouthpiece for A&8's for so long is hysterical! I really hope that they eventually unmask D-Lo so we can enjoy the fallout.
Storm vs Jessie > C+
Jessie was wonderfully horrible, but his blow-up-doll open mouthed reaction was just terrible! But then it turned into a match, and that's not a good thing. Storm is too good to be facing off with the likes of Jessie. From main event to showing a Big Brother loser how to take a bump. Jessie again looked like a doll when eating the eye of the storm. His facial expressions are so over-the-top that he would have been a better fit for the industry in the 80's! While Storm looked good in the ring, that he had to be in this match was so sad. If TNA had strapped him, then their Champ would have been able to travel outside the USA.
Winner Storm (3:05)
Tag Team Championship Match – Chavo & Hernandez (c) vs Aries & Roode > A-
I don't really like Aries and Roode being comic relief, but they sure handled it well while wrestling a really solid match. That's something we rarely see from the comedy in TNA. Aries and Roode are two of the best in TNA, and I understand moving them around, sending them after the TTC, but they really should be in the WHC scene. They're both so great, but it seems as though certain people in TNA think that Hardy is better. I want to know what they're smoking!
Aries and Roode are a wonderful team, and great guys for Hernandez and Chavo to be facing, but how long will either Aries or Roode be happy not going after Hardy? The fans were wild for Aries, and they are everywhere, no matter if Aries is heel or face, but he's not getting his due because of the Golden Boy.
I would be remiss if I didn't say anything about Hernandez and Chavo. Those two men worked that ring as hard as their opponents. The four of them kicked butt in that ring, but when Hernandez got the hot tag, he looked unstoppable. I love how they have meld together in the ring. I'm sure they're going to be great coming back after Aries and Roode for the TTC.
As if the majority of that match wasn't good enough, the final minutes were just astounding! The work between those four are jaw dropping.
Winners – Aries & Roode (17:59)
Backstage Segment > B+
Sting, Bully and Brooke were really solid in this segment, then Hogan messed it all up. Bully pulled the segment back up with his 'do you know who I am?' speech. Though Hogan's final comment looked a little dark. Are they going to pull a swerve on us? Is Hogan going to be the leader of A&8's? Many people in the IWC have been calling for Bully, and sometimes Brooke, to lead A&8's. VKM hates it when we do things like that, and sometimes goes in a terrible direction to throw us off. Is TNA going to try the same thing by putting Hogan in A&8's? I sure hope not!
Video > D
Why are they recapping AJ's horrible year now? It's not like he returned in the next segment. We know AJ had a crappy year!
Tara vs Tessmacher > B
I guess this was before Tessmacher got sick in the UK, or after some recovery. She actually looked decent in the ring, but so did Tara. The two of them worked some creative and unusual moves, whiles also sticking to what they know. I thought Tessmacher was going to pop out of her top a couple times. Then again, I also thought she was going to be half bald the way Tara flung her around by her hair.
Not all of the match was good, but it was still better than most of what we see from the Divas. The Knockouts usually go out there and really work the ring hard, giving the fans a great match. This was no exception, possibly better than some of the matches we've seen from them recently.
Winner – Tessmacher (6:24)
In Ring Segment > B-
Rockstar Spud is a little guy, but I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do. The locals sounded like they like the guy, but the front row – where the camera could see – didn't look to be too into them.
I know they could just as easily go back to Robbie E and Robbie T when they're on this side of the pond, but I hope not. Terry is so much better with out Robbie, and I am itching to see Terry trash Robbie in that ring. That much better if he kind of joins up with Spud, and hangs with Tessmacher.
Backstage Segment > B+
The way Sting and Bully left Brooke backstage made me wonder what might happen to her this time. Hopefully she won't be flashing the fans again if A&8's grab her again.
Video > D
Recapping to show why Hardy can't be in the UK. Yeah, I believe that!
Tables Match – A&8's (Devon & DOC) vs Bully & Sting >
I love Bully in war paint! As much as I think it would make sense for Bully and Brooke to take over A&8's, I love Bully as a good guy with Sting. He works so well with Sting, and it has to be a lot of fun. Besides, he gets to kiss a beautiful blonde, right under her father's nose!
Hogan mad a big deal of saying that the Tables Match is all for Bully, it's his match. The problem with that is that it's also Devon's match, and they neglected to mention that part of it.
Dang, that superplex from Sting on a guy as big as DOC is sick! I really didn't think he'd actually try that move, never mind hit it! But then Bully Hulked up and I was annoyed. It's just one of those things. We see it so often from Cena that it's not at all special these days. On the other hand, being 'part of the Hogan family' does make it a little better than the way Super Cena does it. It worked really well for the match, and was great for the Manchester fans. That Hogan and Brooke joined them in the ring after it was over, and everyone was so wonderfully in character – Bully and Brooke – made the whole thing come together very well. Better than I'd like to admit.
Winners – Bully & Sting (14:09)
This is what TNA does so much better when they're in the UK. Not only was there a solid Knockouts match, but we saw an X Division Match that wasn't bad, a TTC match where the straps changed hands, and this main event. There was approximately 46 minutes of wrestling in the two hour show. To me, that's a wrestling show! So while there were a lot of blah segments, the wrestling sure made up for it. This is what I'm hoping to see when TNA goes on the road!
I'm very excited for the first Impact on the road. Just to let everyone know, the Blog Zone will be posted late for that show because Gesus and his lovely wife are attending the show, and he's going to write up something about being there live. I think it will be a nice little addition to the BZ. Fingers crossed that the shows will continue to be as good as this episode was!