TNA Blog Zone – Were They Locked Out, Or In?

With so much going on with King, I have to admit that I completely forgot about No Surrender this past Sunday. Now, I have a confession to make, I didn’t watch NoSur. Anyone who reads either of my blogs regularly knows that I rarely miss watching a PPV, and recently haven’t missed a local show – specifically WWE house shows, and any WWE shows in Boston. So I didn’t watch NoSur, I’m not going to the WWE house show in Portland on Saturday, nor am I going to NoC in Boston this Sunday. I have a good friend getting married on Saturday, and I’m going to a wedding California the end of the month. Living on a fixed income (making me sound even older than I am), there was just no way that I was going to be able to see any of these shows.

So, rather than complaining about the creative moves I’m not sure I agree with, I’m going to sit back and watch Impact. I have to reserve my thoughts on what went down at NoSur – that I read all about on WNW, as it happened (plug, plug) – until I see where they’re taking things. Originally I was downright pissed that Joe lost, then that Storm would not be going to BFG to face Aries. I have to say I was a bit shocked that it wasn’t Bully going to BFG, as with his contract in the air, that would have been a natural to keep his interest.

Show Starts

Video > B+

Being as I didn’t watch NoSur, I have to admit the recap was nice. I already knew what happened on the show, as most TNA fans would, even if they didn’t watch the PPV, because it seems as though the majority of TNA fans are also part of the IWC in some way.

In Ring Segment > B

Aries being right back to his glamorous self is darn sexy. I like that he threw that all aside for NoSur, but this is a big part of what makes Aries a top man in this industry. I like that he is who he is, even though he’s rather short for many in the industry, he’s someone the industry needs as a whole. Aries is one of those over-the-top characters who would have been huge in the 80′s and 90′s, no matter his stature.

Hardy handled himself wonderfully when he got to the ring, but then Bully. Actually, Bully took what could have turned very boring, into something great. He has become something so much more than I thought he could be, and I will be really bummed if he doesn’t get his contract ironed out with TNA. Honestly, a year ago, I didn’t think I’d ever feel this way about Bully, but he’s really lost some weight and upped his game in a huge way. I didn’t think Bully had this much personality, nor that he could be a singles competitor the way he’s become.

X Division Championship Match – Sonjay Dutt vs Zema Ion (C) > A&D

It was great hearing Tenay and Taz send their best to King. I did expect them to say it at some point, but they came out early in the show, and while it sounded perfunctory from Tenay, Taz was beautifully honest, and that really does mean a lot.

And then there’s Sonjay! Normally, when I really respect a wrestler, I refer to them by their last name in my writing. Recently Dolph became Ziggler for me, and for good reason. But there’s something in me that calls Sonjay by his first name, and Ion by his last, and I adore and respect Sonjay more than so many others, and Ion I can barely stomach watching him because of the belt over his shoulder.

Going into this match I figured that maybe TNA thought Sonjay winning the belt in a rematch on Impact would be a better idea, and it sure looked like he was going to win. Sonjay was a-fricken-mazing in that ring. He was the epitome of what an X Division Champ is, yet he was again screwed over by Ion and TNA. I can’t think of anyone on the roster right now who deserves to be X Division Champ more than Sonjay, and I’m going to keep pushing for it because of all the time, hard work, pain, blood, sweat and tears he’s put into the X Division. Heck, what he showed us in those three minutes were sick! I could have sat and watched Sonjay for another ten minutes, and my smile would have only grown bigger. Maybe they’re pushing to make Sonjay’s eventual X Division Title win to be that much grander, but all I’m seeing is Sonjay getting screwed over by a guy who is just too green to be carrying gold, and the company that’s screwed him over for years. Watching Sonjay work that ring so beautifully makes my heart heavy because it feels like he will never attain the gold at the end of the rainbow. (In case what I wrote wasn’t clear, the A is for Sonjay’s ring work, the D is for how hard he’s worked to continually get knocked down from the top, where he’s proven he deserves to be.)

Winner – Ion (3:14)

Backstage Segment > B+

Okay, if that appletini was so gross, why did Hogan drink half of it down before complaining about the taste? Actually, I have to say that the way Hogan ‘played’ them was well executed. I’m the first to bash Hogan lately, but I actually enjoyed that segment.

Backstage Segment > B-

That exchange between Angle and AJ was so boring! But then there’s Brisco. It’s just so obvious that Brisco is part of A&8′s.

Video > B+

Well, maybe I did miss something interesting on NoSur! I thought that video showed me a lot of what I missed, and left me wanting for more. Maybe not watching NoSur has made Impact a lot more entertaining for me? I’m going to keep that thought in my back pocket as Impact continues. I’ll revisit that in my ending.

In Ring Segment > B+

I loved the ‘Go back home!’ chants for Roode. I guess I can understand why TNA want to push Storm versus Roode again, there’s still a lot of bad feelings there, but they pushed him so hard in the BFG Series, and now that’s all for naught, and I feel a little cheap for rooting for Storm for so long. I completely understand Roode screwing Storm over the way he did, but Storm fighting Roode feels cheap compared to Storm facing Aries for the strap.

On the other hand, these men have chemistry flowing out of every pour! What made them a wonderful team also makes them the fiercest competitors. While I am enjoying their all out hatred for each other, and understand where it’s coming from, I want to see Storm strapped. It’s going to take a lot to win me over, but this segment, not a word from Storm, absolutely helped. A BIG step in the right direction!

BFG Memories – 2009 > A-

Lovely little segment for AJ. If all off these BFG Memories segments are that good, it’s going to be a great month. It was both a well produced video, and a very short video. It left a nice warm place in my heart, but didn’t take ten minutes to do it.

AJ vs Kaz > B+

AJ’s hip toss and arm drags right from the start were so beautiful. He makes it all look so effortless, and I think that’s why he’s made it so far. He has an easy grace about his ring work that so few master, and it seems to come so naturally. When my daughter Ellie and I would watch TNA on Fox Sports, we were always waiting and hoping to see AJ work the ring, just to see his mastery.

>Commercial

What the heck happened between AJ and Kaz on the apron? I know Kaz didn’t hit his head, at all, even though they showed the replay of it, and Taz talked about Kaz landing on his head as they played it! Then Kaz’s monkey flip on AJ was really scary looking.

Then they got back in the ring and AJ looked great again. Wonder what that was about. Normally AJ is as graceful outside the ring as in, but not here. I have to admit I’m glad AJ went over Kaz here, I’m not in the mood to see Angle turn heel and feud with AJ over this.

Winner – AJ (10:13)

Backstage Segment > A-

Watching Joseph like this, I wonder if Abyss is part of A&8′s. That would be a really interesting. The chemistry between Joseph and Brooke is a riot! Too funny! I’ve always been an Abyss fan, but seeing this character is just so much fun. Stacy and I got into a discussion about Parks ending up in the WWE (pipe dream, no truth to this, not even rumor, just pipe dreams). Stacy was trying to figure out how he could be related to Kane. Cousin? I, of course, decided it had to be Katie Vick’s love child with Kane. The novelization Kane’s life is a bit different from the storyline we’ve seen on the WWE, so it is possible. Sorry, had this on my mind and had to go there.

Backstage Segment > C+

Of course Hardy was going to put his Title shot up! That was not a shocker, and this segment wasn’t anything exciting.

Video > B

They’re continuing to push both A&8′s and what went down at NoSur. It is a bit much, but the way they’re feeding tid-bits of info, it’s working well. If they continue to keep them short, I won’t complain about a couple more.

In Ring Segment > B

Bully deserves a rematch with Hardy, but Storm doesn’t deserve a rematch? That really rubs me the wrong way.

I will say that the bit by A&8′s brought back that little taste of question, that fear that maybe Hogan trying to keep them out will only backfire. Of course Brisco is part of A&8′s, and he was walking around backstage with Angle. That was just one way that A&8′s proved that they’re in the building; not at all locked out. Other than none of the masks being removed, this faction has been a lot of fun. I don’t know how much longer they can run without anyone getting unmasked, and how long it will work without an unmasking, but right now creative is still doing a wonderful job of keeping us guessing, and the TNA roster questioning who might be lurking around every corner.

Video > D-

We JUST saw what happened with Hogan and A&8′s, we don’t need a recap this soon!

Backstage Segment > C

Chavito and Hernandez were a big cliché here. This isn’t LAX, and it isn’t Chavito and Eddie, it’s time for them to form their own unique team. Guess while TNA creative is working well on A&8′s, they’re dropping the ball here.

Daniels vs Chavito > B-

I’m normally a huge Daniels fan, but he really bored me here. Chavito was the one making the bigger moves, and Daniels was more about the blows. The match held my attention, and didn’t look horrible, at all, but it wasn’t until the three amigos that I stopped worrying about my nails being wet and was really pushed to start typing and really have some emotion behind anything. I love seeing Chavito hit the 3 amigos, and the 5 star frog splash, but I also think he needs to finish with moves other than those.

Winner – Chavito (6:33)

Gut Check > C+

I actually recognize Evan. I’m sure I’ve seen him wrestle live. Actually, I saw Brian Fury (someone I’d LOVE to see in TNA) in the background of Evan’s video. I’m going to do some research on this guy before Gut Check, see what I can find out for you. Anyone knows anything about him, please let me know. Honestly, I’m not sure I can be unbiased grading this guy right now, so I’m going to call it down the middle for tonight. I thought he was decent on mic, but being semi-local, I might be wanting to see more than he gave. I’d like your honest opinion on this guy.

Video > B-

That was a nice short recap of something that wasn’t the segment earlier.

Backstage Segment > A-

I love Storm like this! This man can talk, and can put out such passion. He’s really great, and I hope that after this feud is over, he gets a chance at the strap.

BFG Memories 2005 > B+

That was a great moment for Kim. I have to say her ring gear has gotten much better, but he ring work has always been top notch.

In Ring Segment > B

The way Tara announced Tessmacher to the ring, I was sure Tara was going heel. Taz’s comment about Oprah just further made me sure we were seeing the start of a feud. Tessmacher came off as really plastic here. Normally she’s more endearing than she was here. Normally she’s the sexy girl next door, but here she was the one I wanted to really dislike. Even better was the guys chanting and cheering for Tara beating Tessmacher down! I think the best was Tara kicking the imaginary dirt back over Tessmacher. Until I got my service dog I’d not been around dogs much, but I’ve learned that if those black labs have gone near our mailbox, Dragon will kick back the dirt like that. Them was fighting kicks!

Backstage Segment > A-

D-Lo sitting next to Dixie while she’s talking about A&8′s made me laugh out loud, then I had to explain to Ellie why I was laughing about that. Even better was Hogan and Prichard wondering about someone in that room being part of A&8′s. I thought they all handled this well, and poked a bit of fun at those of us who have been watching TNA and A&8′s so closely. Of course they know who we’re predicting are in A&8′s, as well as the talk of how the mouthpiece of the group has been – at some points – D-Lo. There’s even been questions about Hogan possibly being part of the group, so Prichard asking Hogan is he was part of them was great. Segments like this don’t work very often, but the tongue in cheek way they handled this one was great.

BFG Series Title Match Re-Match – Bully vs Hardy >

I have to admit that I didn’t see them fight it out on NoSur, so this is fresh for me, but still not something I care to see. Why is Bully getting a rematch when Hardy was attacked by someone outside the match, but Storm isn’t? I know, get over it, but it makes me feel that the BFG Series was such a waste.

Honestly, I wasn’t overly impressed by this match. These two guys have been part of some of the better battles we’ve seen over the years. Their TLC matches are legendary, but this felt like a match of near falls with only a few really great moves. The superplex Bully hit on Hardy was absolutely jaw dropping. Hardy was poised up there so beautifully, then he just flew through the air. But even after that a number of their moves felt stilted, and in the end, I still didn’t care who got the win. It felt like too long with not enough excitement – even though Tenay and Taz tried to inject it with their voices – and not even a payoff that felt that exciting. I know a title shot is big, but this match didn’t seem to even have that much weight on it.

Winner – Hardy (13:35)

Post Show

Okay, I will say that Impact was entertaining in some ways, some of which because I missed NoSur, but in other ways I found this Impact really lacking. I loved Storm’s passion, but wasn’t at all interested in Hardy and Bully in the ring. I loved the segment backstage when all the big wigs were sitting around talking about what to do about A&8′s, but they were questioning each others involvement in the group. They handled that wonderfully, but then we saw virtually nothing of A&8′s on the show. I know having them on the tron, and questioning if they were locked out or in, after seeing Brisco, and then D-Lo, but I still wanted a tiny bit more proof that at least one of the group was inside, somehow. Okay, maybe the man of multiple personalities – Abyss/Joseph – could end up as part of A&8′s, as well as having that wonderfully awkward moment with Brooke, but they didn’t go any further with anything strange between Joseph and Brooke. Maybe they will do it next week, but I felt we were left hanging there. Also, since I’m being a tiny bit cranky about loose ends, Angle made a big deal about he and Brisco watching AJ’s match, but we never saw them again, not even a moment where Angle is happy his partner won his match.

Overall I thought it was a decent episode of Impact, but not their best by any stretch. There were some great moments, and some jaw dropping moves, but there wasn’t enough glue holding the whole show together. The flow felt choppy, and I said, there were more loose ends left dangling than normal. Hopefully TNA will address some of those issues and even them out before next week’s show.

KB

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  • Filip

    The gut check guy is known as elia markopalus aka ari cohen aka ryback jobber

  • scott seefong

    long time wrestling fan, and my interest was lost to the x factor.

  • Indy Worker from Mass

    I worked Elia a few months back, when he was just 17 years of age. Honestly, he is very good for his age. Great look, great gimmick. And it does help that he trained at Chaotic, with great workers like Mikaze, Alex Arion, Brian Fury, Brian Milonas, and Handsome Johnny. If you get a chance, on youtube, look him up. Type in Elia Markopolus Chaotic wrestling or NECW Elia Markopolus. You will be entertained.

  • Mastermind

    If one of rejected gutcheck competitors gets unmasked and exposed as A&8′s member it will be great since noone apart from unknown guy got unmasked

  • dave c

    i wouldn't be surprised if joey ryan was part of A&8's

  • Steve l

    Kb you are right. Aboit Dlo that segment was great and really hinted at it.

  • Richie

    I believe Chavito and Eddies finisher is just called the Frogsplash. RVDs is called the 5 star.

  • DeathDancer

    I'm wondering why they are taking a new GutCheck contender when Al Snow has challenged Joey Ryan. I guess I was under the assumption that this was the next Gutcheck we were going to see…ah well.
    Right now there are so many ways they can pull the A&8s that it's making me think creative are waiting for certain people i.e. Bully, Morgan to sign before they reveal everything at BFG. Honestly right now, there aren't many clues, lots of misdirection, and 1 unimportant maskings to date…so I really don't think they have even decided where they are going with it. Hopefully turns out well because it's been such a great story.
    By the way, Kendra, you've always said Bobby Roode reminds you of a young HHH…it just occured to me that Hunter has copied Roode's hairstyle…