Sting said something lovely in an interview this week. I loved how he said he was moving into the next season of his life. I think that's beautifully said, and very similar to something another legendary wrestler said to me a few months back. When I met Kevin Nash at an event he had a good laugh at the action figure I brought for him to sign. He talked about all the hair he had back then. We discussed all the hair dye he's used for various characters. He said that he'd been graying since he was in his 20's. I told Nash that I thought he looked very nice with his hair short and gray. Nash looked at me and said, "This is how I am supposed to look at this point in my life." I thought that was a lovely way of putting it, and I got the same warm and fuzzy feeling that I get from Sting's comment. It's nice when aging wrestlers can recognize their limitations and don't try to act as though they're still 25.
RVD thinks the WWE made him more relevant in the 0.48 second vignette than TNA did in three years. I actually brought this up to Alex before RVD said this, and while he did agree that TNA did work less and less with RVD through the three years, he didn't admit that TNA dropped the ball with RVD. Personally, I thought TNA treated RVD like absolute crap the better part of two and a half of the three years he was with the company. While RVD might be a smaller fish in a bigger pond, he knows what he's going to get from the WWE going in, and I have to think that it's somewhat comforting for him.
I also have to comment on Hogan's Twitter comment about RVD being back in the WWE. He said he knew nothing of RVD's status, and that's all up to Dixie. It seems to me that Hogan's role in the company changes according to what suits him for that moment. Either way, you'd think he would know whether someone like RVD was with the company, returning to the company, or possibly picked up by WWE. I'm not sure who is more to blame here, Dixie or Hogan. Personally, I'd think RVD being signed to the WWE is big enough that Hogan would be informed about it, but that's just me, and maybe I'm underestimating the way TNA is being run as a company. Either way, it seemed like one more way that Hogan stuck his foot in it very publicly, and again threw Dixie under the bus. Most people might not see it that way, might not see it as a biggie at all, but if TNA wants to be competitive, they need to tighten up the company as a whole, and put a muzzle on Hogan as he keeps stepping in it on Twitter.
Backstage Segment > A
In the Open Thread Party Jesse said Sting looked fabby in that suit. He was poking fun at me, but was also absolutely right. We rarely see Sting dressed in a suit, but when he does, he's an incredibly dapper man. Sting is sexy in almost anything he wears, but that suit left me in a puddle of drool.
Video > B+
I complain about the opening videos, but this BFG Series video was just lovely! What a great way to open Impact!
In Ring Segment > B+
Please don't think Alex is writing this, but this was the perfect role for Hogan starting the show. He was actually being the GM, and I didn't feel like he was out there to stroke his own ego. He really ran things like a GM, handled the things that needed to be handled and did it well.
Are we really shocked that Hardy won in the voting? Are we really shocked that Hardy called out Roode? Honestly, I'm so excited about the BFG Series that I don't care where the matches start!
BFG Series Match – Anderson vs Joseph > B
Anderson said he's a tweener this week. That little comment further makes me think that he's a mole. Anderson really part of Main Event Mafia? Guaranteed 'W'? Better was the way Anderson called Joseph to the ring, using his mic skills we haven't heard from him recently.
I enjoyed watching Anderson and Joseph in the ring together. Parks is great at playing his Joseph character, and selling that he's greener than goose poop. You just want to cheer for him because he's so endearing. That Anderson 'couldn't' beat Joseph without help could make things quite interesting for him going forward. Yes, he got the win, but how many more will he get, and will he be able to do it without help?
Winner – Anderson +7 (5:05)
Backstage Segment > B+
Dissension in the ranks. The cracks are forming! This is a great group, and I'm interested in seeing who ends up peeling off from the group first.
BFG Series Match – Aries vs Bradley > C-
I wasn't at all impressed with Bradley on mic, but he looked stronger in the ring than he has when we've seen him before. Still not really thrilled with him yet as. His biggest moves seem to be pushing Aries away, and putting his foot in the air. Jesse said that Bradley reminds him of A-Ry, and I have to agree. Both just need more time before they're really ready to be in the ring on TV. Aries looks tiny compared to him, but he hits things like that crucifix and that brain buster and makes them look great. Well, the brain buster would have looked great if Bradley had helped Aries with it. Aries struggled to keep Bradley up because he didn't help him enough. A guy the size of Aries needs help with balance when the guy he's lifting outweighs him by 51lbs! Honestly, if I was only grading Aries, he'd get a B+, but I had to grade the entire match, and that includes Bradley's bumbling around the ring and looking a total mess. He's going to be the bur under the saddle of the BFG Series.
Winner – Aries +7 (3:38)
Video > B
I like that they threw in the Main Event Mafia video here. They didn't start the show with it, so this was a great time to put it in. as long as they don't beat us over the head with it, I'm golden.
Backstage Segment > A-
Short, sweet, to the point, and so sexy doing it. I like the crazy and wild Sting, but I also like this leader of MEM as well.
Backstage Segment > B+
Who's hand did Sting shake? Angle? It sure looked like Angle's hand to me.
BFG Series Match – Hernandez vs Daniels > B-
I decided that Chavo's pep talk was so short that I'd add it into this match. I will say Chavo was better on mic than Hernandez! I thought Hernandez was usually better than that on mic.
Hernandez looked strong, but not much else. He's turned into a 5 moves of doom wrestler, and it's getting quite boring. Other than his running shoulder block, Hernandez wasn't much fun here. Daniels, on the other hand seemed to be all over that ring, and working it hard. Yes, Hernandez's mouth was busted open but Daniels was the one who impressed. I loved seeing the BME, it seems like it's been so long since we've seen it! Why is Hernandez in the BFG Series and not Chavo? To me this is bad booking.
Winner – Daniels +7 (3:38)
BFG Series Match – Kaz vs Magnus > B+
Kaz doesn't have the mic skills of Daniels, but he sure came off decent here. He's not the best, but he's worlds ahead of Hernandez! I have to admit that Kaz looked pretty solid here until the end. Another short match, but it looked really solid. Both of these men worked the ring well together, and while Kaz isn't as strong in the ring as Magnus is, but working with Magnus he looked stronger than he normally does. If I wasn't already a huge Magnus fan, this match would have drawn me in. It's the little things like that lovely cloverleaf he put on Kaz to win the match and get the extra three points. I don't care if Dixie got all gooey over Magnus – so not professional – the man is the future of the industry (not just TNA).
Winner – Magnus +10 (2:52)
Backstage Segment > B+
Since when does Hogan have any say about his daughter's marriage? She's over 18! Even if she wasn't over 18, she's married, so he'd have no say anyway. I love how Bully is playing this one. They teased their relationship slowly, they built it well, then crashed it fast. Now they're slowly building again. Whoever is doing the writing and the pacing of this storyline is doing it right.
In Ring Segment > C+
ODB is in a dress! Dang, she looks hot! EY kind of stole that segment out from under Brooke, and she had trouble recovering and I couldn't help but laugh at her for it. Now, I'm going to have a me moment and comment on how well dressed both Brooke and Kim were. That dress on Kim was sick! But then there's the Knockouts Champ who couldn't get her shirt to fit the way she wanted, so she had it tucked into her bra! I know she's playing the southern country girl, but that doesn't mean she needs to look cheap. A minute with a sewing machine and her top would have looked so much better. I know the WWE has at least one seamstress on the road with them, doesn't TNA? It seems like such an obvious need to me. I know it's a little thing, but it's those little things that mean the difference between looking bush league and looking professional.
Beyond all that, Brooke was a bit rough here, but she held it together. Mickie was just tacky. I think she's overplaying the heel part of things and it's coming off as cartoonish, and not in a good way. I know a lot of people are liking her heel turn, but I think it's terrible. She needs Regal to teach her how to be a good heel.
Backstage Segment > C+
That was too quick for Brooke to go from the ring to the limo. I know they're starting to tape an hour early and have time to edit, but it looked edited for time, and it's little things like that that bother me about TNA.
BFG Series Match – AJ vs Joe > B+
I loved the lighting for AJ on mic, and how he spoke. I'm impressed with how he's carrying this newest character change. Joe and AJ are so great in the ring, but this match has a totally different flavor because of AJ being a heel. The slow build at the start of the match really helped bring the show back from the fever pitch it had been at, and brought it to a pace that wouldn't wear out the fans and leave us in need of a nap.
Joe hit the fastest power slam I've ever seen. I'd love to see what a speed gun on Joe and Orton would say. I'm always impressed by Orton's power slams, but something about the way Joe hits it that always leaves me in awe. Why was this not the main event? I understand TNA wanting the past two BFG Series winners in the main event, then why not have Joe and AJ face off on next week's Impact, or the week after? This is a main event quality match from two of the best in TNA, in the industry, and it's a slap in the face to them that they weren't.
Even though I know that TNA is now taping their shows earlier in the evening, so they have time to edit the shows a bit before they air, I'm a little put out by this match. I time each of the matches on RAW and Impact each week. TNA made such a big deal about this match going to a 15 minute time limit, but my stopwatch said it was exactly 14 minutes. So either their timing was off, or they cut a full minute out of this match. It was bad enough that we lost three minutes of this match to commercials, they had to take another minute because of editing? To me that's really not cool. Further, TNA has to know that there's going to be some obsessive people, like me, out in the world who will time the matches and notice this extra minute gone from the match. I cannot be the only person who noticed that this match only ran for 14 minutes on TV. To me that was the perfectly wrong time to edit out of the show, as it will be noticed, second, I find it strange that they edited out exactly one minute of the match. I know my timing isn't perfect, but it was exactly 14 minutes by my stopwatch.
Draw – AJ +2 & Joe +2 (14:00)
Backstage Segment > B
Brooke is really coming back? This could get interesting. It makes sense that they do this on the first night of the taping. I'm excited to see what will happen.
Backstage Segment > C+
X Division Championship Match next week. When will they find the time with all these BFG Series Matches?
BFG Series Match – Hardy vs Roode > B
These two in the ring together are almost guaranteed to be fantastic, but coming off the match between AJ and Joe, I'm not sure the fans will care as much. I think these matches needed to be on different shows. Further, Hardy took care of Roode easier than I thought he should of. This is Roode and he was made to look a little weaker than I'd have liked. Actually, after seeing AJ face Joe in the ring, this was somewhat of a letdown. It wasn't a bad match, in fact the ring work was quite solid, but after that long match from AJ and Joe, this just wasn't as good. I really feel that TNA screwed up by putting both of these matches on the same show.
Winner – Hardy +7 (6:15)
Backstage Segment > B+
Sting can wrap so much into one sentence and a glance. The man really is fantastic!
In Ring Segment > A-
Dang, I have missed that Main Event Mafia music! This was a lovely first step for MEM. The way Sting so lazily started to remove his tie, and how he ignored Bully, was topnotch. Bully sold his ire well, but it was obvious that he really didn't get it until his boys didn't run to his aid. Now, the thing I find interesting is that when Sting pointed to the tron, and we all saw why the rest of A&8's were not rushing to Bully's aid, but only three members of A&8's were visible. We saw Wes with the keg between his legs. Garett could be recognized by his sideburns. The third person that was down had to be Anderson, even though we didn't see his face, because he's the only one who really fits that build.
There was a lively discussion during the Open Thread Party about who would be joining Main Event Mafia, and why. The dissension in A&8's makes many of us think that one of the group will somehow leave and end up with MEM, but who? A lot of people, especially myself, have thought that Anderson was a mole since day one, and he would sure fit in with MEM. It does look as though DOC is having issues with the group, but he sure isn't a main eventer. Further, it was also discussed who else might be joining MEM. Most of us agreed that it was Angle would be the first to join, and have agreed since Sting announced that he was re-forming the group last week, but who else.
Sting said he didn't trust anyone on the TNA roster, so he'd be going outside TNA to bring together the family. Obviously Angle is on the roster, but he does make perfect sense, and worthy of overlooking that change in history. But who else could be brought in? Kevin Nash is under a legends contract with the WWE, and good friends with Trip. Booker T is under contract with the WWE, and just recently had surgery. Scotty Steiner has pretty much been black balled by TNA for the comments he made on Twitter, and the lawsuit that followed. Joe joined MEM later, and he is always a possibility, but he's involved with the BFG Series right now. Names such as Batista and Goldberg have been bounced around, but there's problems with both of them, the biggest being money. So who would be the best person to be brought back to save TNA? Why not the man who created TNA in the first place? During the conversation, WNW reader Michael Andrew Smith brought up Jeff Jarrett's name. I had thought about it myself, but only in passing. The more we discussed JJ, and the more I thought about it, JJ makes more sense than almost anyone else.
There were some serious issues with Impact, and also some great moments. While TNA tried to give us a lot of wrestling, or at least a lot of short matches, for the BFG Series, they ended up throwing so much at the fans at such a fevered pitch that it felt as though they were doing all they could before they would never be able to show us these wrestlers again. The first hour felt so rushed that it was hard to enjoy. The second hour slowed things down, but with some questionable outcomes. What should have been main events for two shows, they were both thrown into one, making them both less than they would otherwise be. The combined wrestling time was 35:28, and that's only counting 14 minutes for AJ versus Joe. Honestly, that is a lot of wrestling for a two hour show, especially when you realize that RAW averages 47-53 minutes of wrestling most weeks, but that's split over six matches, and one of those matches was 14 minutes long. Those numbers are not good for those in the matches.
On the other hand, TNA pushed the Knockouts, setting up for future matches. They pushed A&8's – both in the ring, and the relationship between Bully and Brooke. They pushed BFG Series in a huge way. And they pushed Sting both building Main Event Mafia, and well as them taking the first steps toward destroying A&8's. So while there was a lot going on in this episode of Impact, actually too much, TNA still left us excited and wanting more.