I'm going to start this week's BZ with an ultimate shocker. Please, sit down if you're not already, I don't want any injuries on my hands. Okay, you ready? I'm going to say something nice about Hogan. In 2004 Hulk Hogan came to Saco, Maine as his daughter Brooke performed in a family owned amusement park. A local radio stations was one of the first and most constant to play Brooke's music when she first started performing, and this was their way of coming up and giving back. Brooke performed at Funtown Splashtown USA, but before Brooke went on her father came out on the stage, and what a tiny stage it was. Normally we had a clown an hypnotist on that stage, when someone special wasn't scheduled. But Hogan came out on the stage before his daughter and thanked the fans for being there, but said that this wasn't about him, this was about Brooke and what she was doing. He would not be doing the fan thing, he was there for her and only her.
I was blown away by Hogan because he not only said it, but he stuck to his word. My family business that I've mentioned a number of times is Fun Foods Inc. We provide all the food for Funtown Splashtown USA, and have for the past 25 years. When Brooke was done performing only a small group of people actually got to meet Hogan. Only about a dozen people, my father included, who were the top people in the park met with Hogan, and he was quite gracious about the whole thing. He was honestly there just for his daughter and was only there to help her. He really did impress me that day in how much he truly cares about Brooke, and how humble he can be when it comes to her. Still bummed I didn't get to meet him, but it is what it is.
Video > C
It was an opening video. The interesting thing is that since I didn't watch Impact anywhere near as closely as I normally do the past two weeks, but I guess I saw just enough to know about everything they showed in the video. Though I will say TNA has been doing the right thing by sending out love and support to anyone and everyone needed, such as the tornado victims. It's nice to see that they're stepping up and doing those things.
In Ring Segment > B
Hogan's cheap pops were not met with the reactions I'd expect. Possibly Tampa doesn't love their hometown hero as much as said hero believes? I'd have thought they'd mark out at him mentioning certain places and people, but it seems as though those fans didn't care as they normally do.
I was running late watching this show – my internet went down hard and it took a bit to get it back working - so I knew that Sting stumbled over his words, but I thought that he covered really well, better than most these days. I was actually surprised to see that Hogan seemed to struggle a bit over his words when Brooke came to the ring as well.
Brooke might have been a bit Beetlejuice (Jesse's comment, but I agree) in that dress, but she looked slamming! That's probably the best I've seen Brooke look in months. Further, the way Bully came out and talked to her, I think she's turning heel at Slammiversary and helping Bully defeat Sting.
Video > C
Why are they bringing back Suicide? I honestly see very little reason for it, unless, at some point, Daniels and Kaz decide to unmask as both of them to screw over someone. That's the only good reason for his return, and it's still not a very good one. I would have no problem with Daniels as another masked character, but Suicide has such a stigma associated with his name.
Suicide vs Joey Ryan vs Petey Williams > A-
I have to admit that I feel a bit put out here. I love that they're rebuilding the X Division, but it feels like they bring back someone, they're hot for two weeks (one show), then they're virtually nobody. They brought back Petey, he was the man. They brought back Sabin, he was the man. Now neither are any big deal and Suicide is back. I'm thrilled that they're really rebooting the X Division, but it feels as though guys are getting a bit cast aside and quite quickly. I hope they really push the Division and these guys really get the shots they deserve, but I'll admit I'm a bit worried.
All that off my chest, this match was lovely. Ryan was solid, Petey was great and Suicide was just fantastic! It was obvious that this match was all about pushing Suicide – who I think was Daniels. He really did everything right in this match, and looked amazing. I loved his in-ropes stop. Jesse says Suicide has done this before, but when Suicide was on the most was while I was really ill, and I don't remember big chunks of those two years, so I could have done it weekly and I wouldn't remember – though Jesse says it wasn't a common thing. As much complaining as I do about Suicide, it was nice to see even more lovely X Division wrestling on Impact.
Winner – Suicide (4:05)
Backstage Segment > A-
I loved the interaction between Sabin and Storm! They were very cool to each other, very respectful, but also very honest. I'm quite impressed with how they handled it, and kept it short.
Backstage Segment > B+
Still loving the chemistry between Brooke and Bully!
Backstage Segment > B
Both Mickie and Velvet were a big plastic here, but more than that, I see Mickie turning heel. The way the two of them were gushing, especially Mickie telling Velvet how much she loves her, I think it's almost guaranteed that she's going to turn heel soon.
Gut Check Tournament - Sam Shaw vs Alex Silva > B
Well, so much for that match! I actually have to admit that I agree with Wes that he should be in this tourney. But dang Magnus is great on mic! That guy sure has the mic skills, and we know he has the ring skills, maybe he's going into a push? Fingers crossed.
Magnus vs Wes Brisco > B+
I have to say seeing Wes work the ring in jeans is so much nicer than watching him with his tights falling down! Actually, this match was really solid. It wasn't very long, and too much of it was missed due to commercials, but what we saw was fantastic. This is the first time Wes has been in the ring, on his own on Impact, and really looked solid. I'm impressed. I'm almost always impressed with Magnus these days, but I didn't think Wes looked that solid recently, so I'm thrilled. Looks as though things might be coming together a bit in TNA, and bringing Joe back is just another step in that!
Winner – Magnus via DQ (7:51)
Video > C+
Who will be the next person inducted into TNA's HOF? There's so few people who really deserve the honor, and Jeff Jarrett hasn't been treated very well these past couple years.
Backstage Segment > B-
I think that Bully is carrying A&8's quite well, but it does feel like he's carrying them. They need more than just one or two guys looking great in this faction.
Video > A
I'm completely with Angle being so upset about Olympic Wrestling being dropped. This is the perfect thing for Angle to get behind, I just wish he didn't have to.
Angle vs Anderson > B
I have to say that I wasn't overly impressed with the start of this match. Heck, they didn't show the start of the match, but then it really got going and became impressive, and not at all one sided. I was quite impressed with Anderson in this match. He worked it hard, and really kept Angle on his toes. I get why they ended the match the way they did, but every A&8's match ending dirty is getting a bit annoying. Beyond that, the actual wrestling was really solid, but not completely up to what I expect from an Angle match.
Winner – Anderson (7:59)
Backstage Segment > B
I was getting bored by Kim talking, then a flash of pink. I liked it!
Video > C
Recapping Storm's couple weeks, and I will admit that I missed some of it, but nothing I couldn't have gleaned from what comes after it.
In Ring Segment > B+
Not sure how I feel about Storm tagging again. If we get to see more of him, I'm all for it, but I still think he should be in the run for the WHC. Then again, Roode and Aries are tagging, so I guess TNA wants to use some of their best wrestlers in tags right now. Things really picked up when Roode and Aries, then BI came out. I loved seeing Shark Boy, but Robbie E?
Gunner! He looks great. Not sure how I feel about all these bushy beards in pro wrestling right now, but Gunner looks like a beast, better than ever. I loved how Storm picked him, and I hope they work well together. I've been a Gunner fan for a very long time.
Backstage Segment > B+
Time to strap Joseph? Wait, Joseph and Sting tagging? Why not?
Knockouts Title Match – Velvet Sky (c) vs Mickie James > C+
Because I am who I am, I have to comment on Velvet's ring gear. I don't know who tacked that little white strap on her black top, but they need to be slapped. That could have been a great look if built well, but that wasn't. Beyond that, the match wasn't half bad. There was a couple of times they botched, and just were off their marks, but they were given more time to work, and worked that ring harder than we've seen from the Divas in how long? I won't say this was a great Knockouts Title match, but it was a really strong Knockouts match.
Winner & new Knockouts Champ – Mickie James (9:59)
Video > D
I know they're pushing the AJ thing tonight, but we all know what's been going on, we didn't need to see it yet again!
Backstage Segment > B
I don't know biker gang mentality, but dang they're being harsh on D'Lo! They really are setting up for AJ, so it's obvious that something is going down in a big way.
In Ring Segment > B
Gee, AJ can really chug cream soda! Sorry, but cream soda foams a lot like beer, and the color is close, so it makes sense that they'd use it for something like this for someone who doesn't drink. It was so glaringly obvious that AJ wasn't going to side with A&8's, but I will admit I was shocked that he kneecapped Angle before turning on them. I really have no clue what they're doing with AJ at this point.
While there was a lot more good in this episode, I'm still not sure where they're going with a lot of the storylines right now. It feels as though A&8's is sliding a bit, and that's why Bully got all mushy at Brooke. I like that Magnus and Joe are seemingly back together and showing some strength. Also, Joseph and Sting left me smiling. I do think the best segments of the night involved Storm, and I'm thrilled with Gunner's return. Fingers crossed that things could get really fun there. So yes, taking a bit of time off from TNA helped my outlook on it all, because I'm really excited for next week!