TNA may only be about ten years old, but there's a lot storyline in those ten years. For me, Petey Williams was involved in some of the best, and some of the worst, all the while giving some of the best ring work the X Division has had to offer – more than his fabulously impressive destroyer finisher. He replaced Teddy Hart as the captain of Team Canada after training with Sabin under Scott D'Amore in Canada. Once joining TNA, Petey Williams ran with it and became a man to be reckoned with.
Petey Williams fought against the best in the X Division, and beat most of them to become a two time X Division Champion. He worked so hard, and did so much with TNA, most of which I loved, no matter whether Petey Williams was heel or face, but I have to admit that watching Petey following Scotty Steiner around, wearing the same chainmaille on his head made me cringe. Never was I so happy to see an anything on a pole match, but it was a definitive ending to Petey trying to be Steiner.
But then suddenly TNA had nothing for Petey and his contract wasn't renewed. I was in shock, and wasn't one to stay quiet about it. Stacy and I have complained about it many times since it happened, and we still don't understand why they let Petey go when they did. Yes, I'm thrilled he's back, and listening to the fans, I'm not the only one. I'm beside myself happy about Petey's return, and am hoping this is the start of something really good! Now they have to get Doug Williams back on TV, and bring Lethal back to TNA, and Amazing Red, and I'll be more than giddy! I might even stop bad talking Hogan so much.
Video > C-
Too much of the same video, too much Hogan taking face time. Some of this video worked because it was newer stuff from last week, but otherwise, they're pushing too much old crap down our throats. We know all this!
In Ring Segment > B
I really thought that A&8's would round out at 8, but they're already at 9. I know that the number eight has nothing to do with the group, but I just had a feeling about it.
Setting up with the package for AJ, the envelope for Brooke, and the pink slip for D'Lo. I have to say that D'Lo ranting about only getting a letter got me giggling. Remind you of anything that happened in WCW? The firing of Stunning Steve Austin? Further, D'Lo was 'fired' on Twitter by Dixie, and D'Lo was all happy about it when that happened, but now he's cranky about the letter? To me that writing in a circle and something you don't do in any form of fiction writing. So much of the A&8's writing has been great, but this D'Lo thing really bothers me.
I liked TNA getting the upper hand on A&8's. As much as I love Petey returning to TNA for what I hope is a big step toward fixing the X Division, I also hope Petey steps in and joins TNA in its fight against A&8's. I think he could add a lot to the group as a whole.
Backstage Segment > B
Brooke was a little over selling her angst and tweaking out, but I loved the way she handled Joey Ryan! She was fantastic with him, and he really played up the sleaze so well!
Kim & Tara vs Taryn & Velvet Sky > B & D-
I'm totally pissed about this match. Take four women who are really solid in the ring, but have them in such a joke of a match. They all looked really solid in that match, even Taryn has grown a lot, and really stepped up her game in the ring, but Ryan in there being the sleaze he is made the whole thing a joke. I'm completely disgusted!
I know why they had Ryan out there, it was all about pushing his character and what a sleaze he is, but it was at the expense of what could have been a really great match. The first grade is for the wrestling, the second grade is for all that other crap.
Winners – Tara & Kim (5:25)
In Ring Segment > C+
One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong... Four men in suits, and Hernandez still in his ring gear. I won't say it was the best contract signing I've ever seen, but also not the worse. I liked the stips being added in the way they did. I also liked how Hernandez wasn't quite as thrilled with the stips as Chavo was. Will we be seeing a feud between the two when they lose? Might just be the punch in the arm Chavo needs to get out of the rut he's been in – almost since joining TNA.
Jessie was in Jonesboro live and he said that they cut out the team's entrances – obviously – but that they also cut three to four minutes from Aries' speech. Why the heck would they do something daft like that?
Video > B-
I've heard great things about Adam Pearce, and he was solid here. I will say that he seemed to be trying too hard to be more intense, but from all I've read about his ring work, he's an intense guy.
Video > B
I actually really enjoyed Magno's video. He's really well spoken, and the subtitles didn't bother me in the least.
Gut Check – Magno vs Adam Pearce > B-
Right off the bat this match was just lovely. This is what drew me into TNA back in the day – the jaw dropping wrestling – and these two brought me back. They excited me right off the bat. Jessie told me about Magno botching off the corner, and I cringed when I saw it. The very next move Magno almost had another big botch. He was moving too fast, pushing for too much and rushing it all. He lost all the good he had at the start of the match. If it was only for Magno, I'd have given this match a D, but Pearce made it worth watching.
What started off as great give and take ended up with Pearce carrying the match. Even the moves he took seemed to have an extra something behind them. He was really working hard to show himself, and I think he did a great job of it. I hope he sticks around in TNA. He could be a lot of fun.
Winner – Pearce (4:16)
Video > C
Recapping of Sting and Hogan, does that mean we'll be seeing Hogan next?
Backstage Segment > B
AJ in A&8's? I just don't see it, but I also have no clue where they're going with him right now, and this interaction made perfect sense.
Video > D-
We all know the story, why did they have to go through it all again? Again more of this too much history and not enough now.
Backstage Segment > D
So Hogan is trying to act like imp is live tonight? Why bother? And who is he calling out? He said Sting isn't there. I'm lost.
Backstage Segment > B+
Parks has really done such a great job with this Joseph character. That man is a true actor, and I hope he finds acting work after his body can't work the ring. Actually, I hope he steps back before his badly is so bad that he can't work. And I love Angle's shirt. I think it's great what he's doing for wrestling.
In Ring Segment > B-
Storm saved this segment. It made perfect sense to put Storm into such a dynamic spot in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Storm is a redneck, and they were right in the thick of it. Hogan was rather boring and ineffectual trying to tell AJ that he understands where AJ is – bull! Hogan has trashed the face of TNA and turned him into that! I'm so not impressed with Hogan.
Jesse mentioned that there was a great lack of reaction for Hogan his second time out during this live show. There was actually a decent amount of heat for Hogan here. I wonder if anyone listened to it, or if they just brushed it off. I doubt this means we'll be seeing less of Hogan, but one can hope.
Backstage Segment > D
If Hogan was at all believable in these little segments, I'd give them better grades. Something about Hogan on mic lately has seemed so rote, and not at all organic.
Sonjay Dutt vs Mason Andrews vs Petey Williams > A
Dutt not being X Division Champ is a travesty, but saying something about Andrews not being X Division made me shake my head. I thought Andrews was a face the last time we saw him. As great as Dutt is, and how much the fans love his work, this was all about Williams – as it should be. I'm one happy girl knowing Williams is back in TNA. I'm going to have to figure out what to call Williams on a long term basis, because I prefer to refer to wrestlers I truly respect by their last names, but I always call Doug by his last name. Any thoughts on the matter?
I was shocked at how great Andrews looked in the ring. I was not at all impressed by Andrews in the ring previously. I just didn't think he was very good, but he stepped into the ring with Dutt and Petey and more than held his own. Jesse said that Andrews didn't look anywhere near as crisp live, but I have to go on what we saw on TV, and on TV I was quite impressed.
What can I say about this match? If you haven't watched it, you need to go watch it, right now! I'm serious, this is what the X Division is all about. Because of this match, I truly have faith that the X Division could be brilliant once again. Fingers crossed.
Winner – Petey Williams (5:10)
Backstage Segment > B-
Pisses on the A&8's parade? Really? I felt like I was watching elementary school boys in their play house. It picked up a bit from there. Wonder what's in that envelope. Did they sign a pre-nup? It can't be divorce papers, that would be too clean. It has to be something that holds Bully and Brooke together, not pull them apart.
10 Man Tag Match – A&8's vs Angle & Joseph & Magnus & Joe & EY > C+
Jesse tells me that they cut 6-7 minutes of this match on TV. They cut out Magnus, Angle and Joe on offense. To me that makes little to no sense. If they wanted TNA to look strong against A&8's, why did they only show EY and Joseph in the ring against them? Yes, the others were in briefly, but much of it felt disjointed. Normally I am high up on TNA's production crew. I think they're behind the eight ball and don't have the resources or money that the WWE does, but they messed up big time here.
I would loved to have seen the match in its entirety, but that would have been terribly long, especially since the ending was so terribly screwed up. For the first time in a long time Brian Hebner screwed the pooch by basically counting the three when Joseph had Wes on the mat, but then that wasn't the end of the match, or the way the match was supposed to end, obviously. I hope this doesn't all devolve into an nWo mess, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this won't be going in that direction.
Winners – A&8's (13:50)
Backstage Segment > B
Brooke is so much better than her father at all this. I never thought I'd be admitting that, but she's so natural, and it all feels so much realer coming from her. I can't say she's dressing like an executive, but I guess I have to get over that. I can't say I was dressing much differently when I was her age and had a body I was willing to flaunt. I'd be all for keeping Brooke and getting rid of her father, but I doubt we'd see that happening!
Video > D
More recap video about this? Why? They cut chunks from other segments to show this? Why?
In Ring Segment > B
Bully was mean to a little kid on his way to the ring. Was the kid a plant? I hope so, but my daughter would have laughed at him if he'd done that to her, but she's really learning how things work by asking me so many questions. She actually said that there's parts of TNA she likes a lot more than WWE, and the characters are a big part of it. How many nine year old wrestling fans have that much awareness of the industry? I'm so proud.
What I wasn't proud of was how this segment went down! They made such a huge deal about this envelope, and all it was was a front row ticket? Brooke is one of the few people who could get a front row ticket to any TNA shows without batting an eye, but they used it as a MacGuffin from the start of the show. If you're going to do something like that, the item has to be so much bigger and more interesting than a ticket. Not at all impressed by that.
What did impress me was Brooke. She's growing into a solid performer. I'm still so shocked about it myself, but she's believable, and her chemistry with Bully is still so wonderful, though so different. I'm still calling for Brooke to join Bully on the dark side.
I thought Hardy looked like a little boy getting into a fight in the school yard. His arms were flailing, and he was rather ineffectual in his brawling. I wasn't impressed, especially getting into it with the likes of Bully. I just didn't feel it. Jesse said that they cut a huge chunk off the end of the show. Here's what he said happened after Impact went off the air.
They continued to brawl back and forth until Bully hit a low blow on Hardy. Bully and Taz got out a ladder and a table, and as Bully set them up he told the fans to look on our hero. He has failed us because he is just like every one of us, a loser. Do you know who I am? Next week I will destroy you Jeff, and there is nothing you can do about it. Bully starts to put Hard on the table, and Hardy hits the Stunning Twist of Fate, then punches bully down onto the table. Hardy climbs, poses to get the fans riled up, and splashes though Bully and the table.
There were so many highs and lows in this episode of Impact. Loving Petey Williams' return, but I didn't like D'Lo so upset over his firing after being happy about it, or the envelope with the ticket, and then there's the use of too many recap videos and Hogan face time. I'm thrilled that TNA is on the road, and I know it will take a while for them to get into the groove of things, so I'm not going to trash and bash too badly, but I am going to continue to watch them very closely. Hopefully next week will pick up again as there's a lot planned for the next Impact, and they need to pull out all the stops to pull the fans in after such a huge week in wrestling. Coming off WrestleMania, even TNA has to prove themselves because the fans could be a bit burnt out, but I continue to have faith in them.