Welcome to the TNA Blog Zone here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com. Last night's edition of IMPACT Wrestling ended with one true world heavyweight champion in a match that took a turn from the beginning. We'll get into that as we look back on the night, so here we go with TNA Blog Zone!
IN-RING: DIXIE CARTER CALLS OUT AJ STYLES TO SIGN THE ONE NIGHT CONTRACT
I thought this was a good way to kick off the night, though this could have been effective as a closing segment for a past episode if say the coronation of Magnus were to open. Nevertheless, we have our set up and the main event is on. AJ Styles was hot on the mic, even getting in a bleep on TV (which I'm still trying to figure out what was said!). Magnus in to enhance the segment and we're continuing the night with the first point made in good timing for the first contest of the night.
MATCH: JOSEPH PARK & ERIC YOUNG VS. TNA TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BROMANS(W)
An interesting aspect even before the match took place was Dixie Carter asking for the services of Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa and also of The BroMans. Something needed to be done that was very important and all parties obliged. As we figured out, Tapa and Kim took out ODB in the back to distract EY and The BroMans attacked Joseph Park after their win, taking him out. Aside from enhancing the overall story of the night (there was a comment in the opening segment involving AJ Styles' supporters), this was a good way to get talent on screen. Utilizing your heel champions and getting everyone possible on TV so fans don't forget them is a good move. My only gripe is, once again, Joseph Park is stagnant and no Abyss tease is made. Can we please end this Joseph Park storyline? Please?
BACKSTAGE: SAMOA JOE TELLS DIXIE HOW IT IS/ STING ARRIVES
Samoa Joe is finally on TNA television after what seemed like, well, forever. Samoa Joe was trending for some time on Twitter, which goes to show just how loved he is by the hardcore fans. The matchup of EC3 versus Joe is set up to my excitement, it being the first real test for EC3 and Joe getting back in the ring. There's a foreshadowing of events to come as Joe proclaims that there are people who will watch AJ's back, setting up certain events throughout the night we'll touch on as we move along. Sting also makes an appearance with Eric Young carrying ODB off, also setting up a Sting/ Dixie Carter face to face, which is always interesting to see because of the passion shown by Sting.
IN-RING: JAMES STORM CALLS OUT GUNNER AND A MATCH IS OFFICIAL
I've always liked James Storm and this was another strong showing. I knew he wouldn't be turned full heel after his tag team match with Bobby Roode, this being more of an anti-hero version of James Storm who's looking to beat the respect out of Gunner. Gunner is focused right now and, hopefully, TNA sticks with him and features him as prominently as possible as he is the TNA World Heavyweight Championship briefcase holder. With all title holders in TNA being heel champions, we certainly need more babyfaces who can answer the call when needed. This was another good segment that didn't drag on and got to the point. So far, the pacing has been pretty good and the story is getting exciting for me.
MATCH: ETHAN CARTER III VS. SAMOA JOE
This match really started backstage, during commercial and finally into the ring. This had the potential to be a very stiff matchup, but was cut short due to interference by Rockstar Spud. The contest was officially thrown out, but shouldn't this have been a disqualification win for Samoa Joe and a loss for EC3? I can only imagine TNA doesn't want to give EC3 a loss right now and not like this. Does this mean EC3 will take a loss to Sting come there matchup at Genesis next week? Not necessarily, but when EC3 takes his first loss, it will be a good victory for whomever is the victor. If Joe is taken out for a while because of the attack (with a wrench to the knee), he will be off TNA TV again. Let's hope that's not the case.
BACKSTAGE: JEREMY BORASH INTERVIEWS KURT ANGLE/ AJ STYLES SITS AND REFLECTS ON THE TNA CHAMPIONSHIP/ JOE SEES A DOCTOR/ STING AND DIXIE TRADE WORDS
Kurt Angle is pumped for his open challenge steel cage match coming up and it's nothing new to note that he is in top form. We have a good moment to see AJ Styles sitting and looking at his title belt. Samoa Joe is seeing a doctor and the severity of his knee is played out. I don't think we'll see Joe next week and if we do, he'll certainly have a limited role. Afterwards, Sting is in the back with an unconscious Gunner and James Storm. Sting knows Dixie is behind this and has some words with her. This kind of Sting is always a treat to see, as you never know what direction they will take him. The last time Sting was riled up to this point, we got The Insane Icon. Wouldn't it be cool to see that Sting come out again? By this time, we also already know that Dixie is taking out potential AJ supporters. A tried and true method throughout wrestling history to stack the odds against AJ Styles. As far as generating heat, this is a good way to do that. It also gives the element of uncertainty for the main event.
STEEL CAGE MATCH: KURT ANGLE(W) VS. BAD INFLUENCE
Entertaining cage match with Bad Influence and Kurt Angle. There were a few spots in the cage that made this, without question, match of the night. Nothing too crazy, but enough to fully grab our attention and want to invest in the men performing. Roode coming out in his wrestling gear only to announce Bad Influence as Angle's opponents was a nice touch in furthering their upcoming battle without physicality between the two. A loss is never a bad thing for Bad Influence, as we'll see later in the night.
BACKSTAGE: DIXIE ASKS FOR THE SERVICES OF BOBBY ROODE/ KURT ANGLE LEAVES DUE TO AN EMERGENCY
Dixie requesting help from Bobby Roode is just furthering tonight's main storyline with the world heavyweight championship. I loved Bobby Roode's reaction to him facing Sting in the steel cage as well. So Roode is to take out Sting next. Kurt Angle, after posing with fans in the back, is advised of an emergency by Al Snow and driven to the airport(?). I forget exactly where but Angle is gone and even more "friends of AJ" are out of the picture.
STEEL CAGE MATCH: BOBBY ROODE(W) VS. STING
I don't remember too much of this match, but it was a solid outing by both. It wasn't an analysis of the in-ring work, but seeing how the story plays out. Will Sting fall or will Dixie's plan take the fall? With a little help from EC3 and Rockstar Spud, Roode wins but doesn't take out Sting the way others were. Again, I don't remember too much of the match itself, but what needed to be done was done and that's the important thing. I will say that the heel factions tonight are looking incredibly strong, no?
VIDEO: MR. ANDERSON MEETS DARK BULLY IN A FUNERAL HOME
As Hollywood drama as this video was, it was one of the highlights of the night. Bully Ray, or Dark Bully as I dub him, is on another stratosphere with his character portrayal. Mr. Anderson is also looking good and is being used in what is surely an important program for TNA. These two are outside of the initial story and we need that now that the Dixie Carter situation is blowing out of proportions tonight. I will say it was a whee bit silly to have Bully disappear after Anderson looked at the casket and back to Bully, no longer there. However, it was a very interesting package and Bully is totally the MVP in this case.
BACKSTAGE: STING CONFRONTS DIXIE AGAIN
The final confrontation of the night between Sting and Dixie was a little strange. After the yelling and finger pointing from earlier, a calm Dixie reminds Sting of his contract status and how AJ Styles wouldn't risk his professional life for Sting, so why would Sting do it? She was a little sensual in her depiction (as sensual as you would imagine the Dixie character to be) and drove in to Sting how in control she really was. When you bring in the contract situation, the lines of reality and TV are blurred again. This was probably the better of the Dixie segments.
UNDISPUTED TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: AJ STYLES VS. MAGNUS(W)
This was the match I was waiting to write about because of the controversy surrounding it. Magnus is the winner and undisputed champion due to interference throughout the "match". Now that the announcement of the wiiner is out of the way, here is my reaction: the main event "match" was ridiculous and not in a good way. In a match of this magnitude, the majority needed to be one on one, but we didn't get that at any moment of the "match". From the start until the end, we saw interference from essentially all of the heels on the roster with the exception of Bully Ray and Chris Sabin. One match was reminiscent of the struggles of Daniel Bryan over at WWE. What I mean is, at no point did it ever seem that AJ Styles had a legitimate chance at not just winning, but even having a straight up singles match. I understand the logic of getting maximum heat to enhance your heel persona and faction, I truly get that. However, when you hype a match like this, there needs to be one on one. I don't mind interference at all, but to the point taken yesterday where it was a glorified beat down for 10+ minutes? Sting tried to help, but the numbers game was too much and Team Dixie looked too strong throughout the night. Well, I suppose Dixie and company did their job in the end, right? Looking back, yes the goal was to remove the title from AJ and write him off as he is no longer with TNA Wrestling. However, this send off for AJ was not the deserved send off that should have been given. I don't mind AJ losing to Magnus by interference, I want to make that point, but it was a bit much to have everyone fight AJ except Magnus (essentially) only for Magnus to involve himself for the pin. It felt that way anyway. Dixie and company got their heat, but this important match should have been done differently. Again, I understand what the goal was on the part of Dixie and her team and I understand the point of generating heat, but this match could have played out differently to honor AJ Styles is all I'm saying.
The show overall was very entertaining and gripping, especially with the systematic take down of AJ Styles supporters. The main event itself should not be the main focus for a show rating, but did have a negative impact. Also, no Chris Sabin or Austin Aries to be seen? That was odd considering their X-Division match last week.
What were your thoughts on last night's IMPACT Wrestling broadcast with the crazy main event? Give us your thoughts below and thank you for reading another edition of the TNA Blog Zone!
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