Even though this is the BZ, something went down this week that I just have to talk about. Yes, I am talking about Kia. My heart goes out to her and her boyfriend. While I understand how hard it is to lose someone you love dearly, I can't imagine losing a child. My kids mean the world to me, even though none of them are biologically mine. I just can't imagine, but hope that now that she's talking about it, they will get the help and support they need.
As little as I want to follow the horrible trauma Kia and her boyfriend are going through with anything, I do have to, for the first time ever, give some props to Russo. If what Richard posted about Russo in Premium today is true, then he earned some serious props in my book. I've said it once, don't ever expect me to say anything nice about Russo again unless he truly earns it.
Video > C
So we're reading that one of the reasons Russo left was possibly to help his son further his career in the industry, and this episode of Impact starts with the fruit of Bisch's loins.
Backstage Segment > C
Are they rubbing all of this in Russo's face, or was the plan all along to push Garett? As I said a few weeks ago, how far would this kid be going in the industry if his last name wasn't Bischoff? To me there's a reason he's not in the WWE.
In Ring Segment > D-
Ugh, Flair and Bisch. This is almost the last thing I want to see on ANY wrestling show right now. I can't get over how old Flair is looking. The comb-over and around, trying to hide his skull through such thin hair is one thing, but that Flair is showing that old man thing where his nose and ears look like they've suddenly grown huge on his head. He really needs to get out of the wrestling ring, in any and all capacities.
Bisch acting all caring to Flair, then shocked when Angle came out – over selling and looking like a total donkey through it all. Yes, he's playing the character, but it's a character that's run its course. Heck, it ran its course over a decade ago! On the other hand, I'm really looking forward to Gunner tagging with Angle. I've been on the Gunner bandwagon for quite a while, I jumped on very early and glad I did. I really like Gunner.
Backstage Segment >B+
Sting is really good at playing crazy. He just sells it so well. EY coming to Sting for his permission to get something for ODB. Sting lost his crazy there for a few moments, but when he called EY Bobby, I was all giggles. Even further, the looks EY gave Sting, especially leaving, that man is a gift to comedy! I know some won't agree on my grade for this one, but I was entertained by this segment. I smiled! It also didn't hurt that this segment wasn't very long. But that I don't like is the possibility of ODB and EY being Knockouts Tag Team Champs. I can see this turning into a terrible mess.
Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match – Madison & Kim (C) vs ODB & EY > D+
I have to say that Madison looked really cute in her red pleather boy shorts. They went great with her pseudo chain maille top. Much better than the nude panties. Sorry (Chris Storm), but I'm still not impressed with Madison's ring work. She always looks as though she's afraid she'll break a nail; just too prissy in there for my taste. Though I do have to say I wasn't impressed with EY spinning the Knockouts around on his shoulders the way he did. It made the whole thing look silly and lame, as did the way Kim flailed under EY for the three. Kim is one tough cookie and it would be nothing for her to roll him off her. The whole thing made a mockery of the belts. Not saying they meant much before this, but now I have no respect for them.
Winners & new Knockouts Tag Team Champs – ODB & EY
In Ring Segment > B+
I split up EY's proposal from the match as both EY and ODB sold their characters and emotions well, much better than anyone sold in that match! Studio apartment? Well, on what EY makes from TNA/IW, makes sense! I loved the way she turned and dropped to one knee.
Backstage Segment > A
I'm sorry, I have to give this short segment a great grade. He hadn't even gotten through saying Impact Wrestling when I started yelling for Stacy to get back in the room. It was all in the voice, I knew exactly who it was. I rewound it and Stacy didn't realize who it was until he heard the name Park. Joseph Park? Is Abyss going to be playing his own brother? It was Park, not Parks, so I don't know what the plan is. As a woman who has struggled all my life to make my hair as curly as possible (yes Blitz, I know), I'm bummed to see that he's cut off his curls, but he is a lot better looking than the few pictures I've been able to dig up online. I'm really interested to see where they go with this, I just hope they keep the Abyss character masked. So a wig for him too? Seems like that's going around way too much for the monster characters right now.
Backstage Segment > B+
As annoyed as I am at Bully Ray, I do have to agree with Chris (Storm) that he really is a consummate pro. He knows how the industry works and knows how to work it. Bully on mic is a fantastic thing and many a young wrestler could learn from him. That I loath him so much just means he's doing his job well. Though I do have to wonder if he's so great playing the jackass because he is one in real life. I've read stories, but have never met him in person, so I cannot say personally. If he's even half as pissing as Shane Douglas was (out of character), then playing Bully wouldn't be much of a stretch.
Backstage Segment > A
I really liked how Aries talked about giving the 'money match away for free'. That's something that's been talked about a lot lately online and in my own home. WWE loves to give us PPV rematches on RAW following an event, something that makes some sense if handled well, but it's done so regularly that many of the PPVs have lost their spark. I have to agree with Aries on this one (and I think Storm mentioned it in one of his Blogs – Lance, not Chris), why buy the cow when you're getting the milk for free? The only thing I don't like is that Sting is getting the blame for these bad business decisions for the X Division when we all know that there's a lot of trouble backstage but little of it is actually Sting. Yes, he's the TV figure head for everyone to tell their woes and blame, but it's so much easier to blame the figure head when it's someone like Bisch – especially when it's not telling the person pertinent information face to face (reminds me of how certain people were fired from WCW). And they're saying the words, stating things that are being done terribly wrong in TNA/IW, but are they going to do anything more than talk about it? Doubtful.
X Division Title Match – Austin Aries (C) vs Zema Ion > A-
I forgot to mention last week that Ion looks less like Goku when he's not in blue and orange, but he still looks rather anime with that hair and his ring gear. I will say again, I'd love to make a cape for Aries as that black one just doesn't do him justice.
Wow, Aries going from a headstand to a drop kick in such a fluid motion was beautiful. The ego from it, then the string of moves when he returned to the ring – that man is awe inspiring! Ion looked solid with his spiral, then how he flew off the corner and ate mat like it was nothing. He took that bump like a trooper.
I think it's quite interesting that Aries is a heel, but the fans love him for his ego and his ring work. Also, there's about no way to turn Ion at all face right now. No matter who's fault the accident was (personally, I say it was both Ion and Jesse, as well as whoever decided to put them in a PPV match together where they felt they had to go all out and prove themselves, in the end being in over their heads), the fans are going to blame Ion, so he's almost automatically going to be uber heel for quite a while, no matter what he could do.
Such a solid match from the start, then it was cut short. Obviously they hadn't scheduled this match to be very long, again screwing the X Division. TPTB can see there's issues in how the X Division is being handled, yet they're doing nothing but talking about it; making it into its own storyline. That pisses me off so much! (I changed the grade on this more than a dozen times. Please tell me what you think.)
Winner – Ion via DQ, Aries still X Division Champ
Backstage Segment > B+
Yay, I was right, he is playing his own brother! So cool. He still has that slight lisp, but he so well spoken. I'm very impressed with this so radically different character from him. I also have to say that TNA/IW is so much better at following storylines and remembering history than that other company is and those other companies were when they were in business.
In Ring Segment > B+
I'm so not interested in Bully's calves, but I will say that Bully getting all mouthy about Storm about guaranteed that they would be facing off at Victory Road. Sting out with Bully was fun. The high fives were just silly!
Backstage Segment > C+
Of course Roode has to be all cranky about Bully. He's in his ring gear, hair all wet down, but he's not ready! I know Roode meant he wasn't ready for a Title match, but it was still funny to watch him tweak out about it all while he's not just in his ring gear, but with his hair wet down and everything. Also, I knew Sting was going to screw Bully in some way. I figured it was not making it a Title match as Bully never really asked for a Title match, just demanded Bobby!
Bobby Roode vs Bully Ray > B+
I will say it was nice to see a handful of guys in the front rows, mixed in with the four or so girls who are always there for eye candy. Those guys were rowdy, something nice to see from the Orlando fans. The two blondes with them didn't seem thrilled, but neither did the same girls who are always in that spot. They seemed to have lost most of their interest in TNA/IW, as most of the fans who are always in the Impact Zone.
I really liked seeing this match get 'personal'. When Bully pushed Bobby down, Bobby came back with that bitch slap. They really started hitting hard and giving us a solid match. I will say that their timing was a bit off when booby went for the pin and Earl pulled the three just s split second before Bully kicked out. Actually, other than that Bully looked stronger and better in the ring than I remember seeing him. Taz and Tenay talked about Bully being in better shape than ever, and I have to agree. I had been saying it was time for Bully to hang them up, but as hard hitting as he was in this match, I have to say I was wrong. Yes, I said it, go ahead and cackle, you know who you are!
While this match didn't have a clean ending, I am alright with that. There was so much going on storyline wise in this match, both between Bobby and Bully, but also when Storm came in. So many layers to this match and that there wasn't an ending just heightened the drama between the three of them. Even Sting for setting it all up. This was hard hitting and added another layer to the characters and the stories.
Winner – nope!
Backstage Segment > D
Garett says he's a little familiar with Gunner? I thought Gunner was the only one Garett's faced in the ring in TNA/IW. Odd comment in my book. Okay, Garett has a look, cute boy, he even has charisma – not like his father, but it's getting better – but from what I've seen he's running on his name alone at this point and I don't like it. Brings me right back to Hogan bringing in Brutus, Nasty and others when he came into TNA/IW. That type of nepotism ticks me off to no end and that's about all I've seen from Garett so far.
Video > B+
I really like the videos of the fans talking. While TNA/IW doesn't seem to have a clue about advertising, these little videos have to be bringing fans into house shows.
Backstage Segment > B
Again Abyss' 'brother' was great, but the transition between talking Abyss to talking about Morgan and Crimson tagging was really crappy. The brother should have left in another direction, not right at the camera the way he did. That little bit would have cleaned up that segment a lot.
Crimson & Morgan vs Robbie E & Terry > B-
What is up with those pink sweaters? They weren't being laughed at enough, so they added a whole other layer of idiot on top of it? I have no trouble with men in pink, not even powder pink, but powder pink cardigans with their ring gear? Yeah, no, that doesn't work.
While I've never thought much about Crimson's ring work, he looked so much better than Terry in this match. Terry was all muscle and bluster, while Crimson actually had some style in the ring, with his moves. Then Morgan just dominated when he came in, yet Crimson stole the win. Are we going to see them tear each other apart at VR, or will it be Lockdown?
Winners – Crimson & Morgan
Video > B+
Did AJ flash back to the 70's? What was up with those sunglasses? Other than that, AJ was as solid as ever. He's always so good, no matter what he does.
Backstage Segment > B+
Gunner and Angle worked really well here together. Their chemistry felt right and the flow of the segment was right for both of them. I will say that Angle stole the segment at the end, but it's Angle and he's just that good.
Video > B
Nice little setup, reminder of what's been going down with AJ, Kaz and Daniels. It wasn't too long, or big and cumbersome. Short, sweet and to the point, as videos of this type should be, unless they're setting up for a huge PPV match, then I'd give more leeway to length and grandeur.
In Ring Segment > A
AJ sure is a star! He had the fans in his back pocket, even the girls in the front rows. He really came in and worked the crowd better than almost everyone else on the show. He not only came out and was loved, but he further set the emotion level for Daniels and Kaz to get the heat.
I have picked on AJ's sunglasses being rather 70's and I have picked on Daniels' choice of attire to wear to the ring, but I have to say that his leather blazer might seem very 70's to some, but on him it was amazing. Daniels is not a big and overly muscled guy and that blazed accentuated his smaller frame and slim build in a beautiful way without making him look at all weak. What a great piece on Daniels, and nice to see him wearing it with jeans and not pleated pants.
Okay, I'll admit it, I wasn't expecting Anderson to come out here. I will say I'm thrilled to see his hair is back to platinum because the pictures I saw from a house show with his hair darker didn't work at all. I love not reading the spoilers for this show! That was just fabby! I can't wait to see these four guys go after each other. There's so many things they can do with these four, and they're all such versatile wrestlers as well as characters, so we could be in for a treat with this feud!
Backstage Segment > C
Not doing a great job of looking like a well funded wrestling show with that crappy door with what could be a punch hole it it. Unless the whole was part of a storyline, that other company sure wouldn't let that be shown on TV.
Video > B
Again, these videos show how the fans love the house shows.
Gunner & Angle vs Garett & Hardy > B&F!
I completely understand Angle wanting to get down to a certain weight for the Olympics, as it will be easier for him to wrestle at a lower weight at his age. Honestly, I think he looks good, trimmer, at this weight. The only thing that strikes me as strange is just how scrawny his arms look in comparison to the rest of his body. I know absolutely nothing about amateur wrestling, so that might be a good thing, just in the professional wrestling ring, seeing someone with such thin arms who isn't a Diva/Knockout, or the size of Spike Dudley, it just looks odd. I've said my peace on this and won't continue to harp on it, but if someone can fill me in as to if this will help him in amateur wrestling, please explain.
I just realized that this match was taped at a different time than some of the earlier matches and segments as the girls in the front row are dressed differently and the guys I commented on being so into the show earlier were replaced by a group of kids. While the fans are into this match, I wish that group of guys were there as they'd make this match that much better.
I thought we were going to see Garett show off his ring skills, instead there was more time spent with Hardy getting beaten down and Garett being the little kid who couldn't be kept out of the ring only to screw his partner over more. It was just so glaringly obvious that it made me wish I was back to watching Bully and Bobby in the ring again over this – and Angle is in this match! As much as I loath to admit it, Hardy brought it back some when he flew onto Gunner.
Angle must really be friends with Bisch, or owe Bisch a huge favor to get in the ring with Garett who sure plays it fast and loose in the ring. The speed and sloppiness of Garett in the ring, then landing Angle on his head the way he did, I hope they don't let Garett back in the ring for a very long time, but we all know nepotism runs rampant in TNA/IW, if you are from certain families. I'm completely disgusted by what I just saw on my TV. Garett in the ring is so much worse than any of the Knockouts. I still don't know why Angle got in the ring with him. The F part of that grade was all for Garett.
Winners – Hardy & Garett
I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but Stone Cold Steve Austin's newest movie that's come out on DVD was advertised during this episode of Impact. Have to love that Spike will take whoever will advertise, no matter the possible competition.
While this episode of Impact wasn't bad, had a number of great little segments, sadly few of them were actual wrestling matches. It about drives me batty to watch all this talent being wasted when they could be in the ring. Even the best promos and vignettes don't make up for some solid X Division action. Though I will admit that I'm loving the Abyss' 'brother' thing. For the first time in quite a while they have something mysterious and interesting going on and I'm excited to see where they're going to take this. The other part of this show that really drew me in was Aries and where they're taking the X Division. Hopefully they take it somewhere because it's been wallowing for quite a while and it's horrible to see the shambles it's fallen into.
Okay, I have been avoiding this all night, but I just can't hold it in any longer. Hogan doesn't know who the chick in the video is and it was like five years ago? I know he's a huge worldwide star of TV and the silver screen, a fabulous wrestler taking on all comers and role model to all youngsters, but he doesn't know who she is? Maybe I'm a prude, but that's just horrid! Maybe not as horrific as the thought of Hogan, the Naugahyde barcalounger getting naked and having sex, but still pretty gross. And then to add insult to injury, why would anyone really want to see Hogan having sex? The thought of Waltman was bad enough!