There's so many things that I could be saying about TNA/IW right now. Between what Bisch said about Borash (work or not) Storm's ankle surgery (hope all went well), Jesse Sorensen's positive MRI and X-Rays (yay!), Jarrett being in a movie with Selena Gomez (I have an 8 year old daughter, so I know too much about Gomez), but it's Scott Hall I need to talk about tonight.
As most everyone knows by now, Scott Hall is out of rehab and already having serious issues. A lot of the people who commented on the situation, here on WNW, have said that the WWE and almost everyone else should cut their losses and just chalk Hall up to another messed up wrestler who is gone before his time. While I understand why they're saying this, why should the WWE keep sending good money after bad to help a lost cause, I also know how hard it is to have a family member in this situation. Hall is a father and does have people who care about him, even after everything he's put them through, they love him.
After so many years of watching my brother rollercoaster, but never staying clean for long, I'm shocked that Hall is still alive. My heart goes out to Hall, his family and friends. I don't think anything short of full time rehab, 24/7, will keep Hall clean and dry, but since that's doubtfully an option, I worry every day that he's not in rehab that he won't make it. As horrible as it sounds, at least then he won't be hurting any longer.
Backstage Segment > C
I know it was just Sting and Roode coming into the show. This little change in opening the show is nice. Okay, it would be nice if it wasn't the second week in a row they did things this way. I know that Garett spoke last week, but no one spoke this week, but it's a very similar opening. Basically all I want is a little variety.
Video > C
Nothing thrilling, just setting up for Victory Road, so not much I can say about it.
In Ring Segment > A
My youngest is usually in bed before TNA/IW starts, but tomorrow is a teacher's workshop and we'd been hanging out and shooting the bull. She came down in her PJ's and I stopped Impact to say goodnight and Storm was on the screen. He was on his way down the ramp, hair down, sunglasses on and Sam stopped dead. Even at eight years old she was enthralled by this man. She might not be mine biologically, but she is very much my girl in so many ways. I'm so proud of her taste in men to crush on!
Storm was ON here! I loved how he didn't finish his catchphrase and said that Roode would need all the luck he could get! Beautifully done. Then that his long hair doesn't cover up his red neck! Storm could really lead TNA/IW with the Title in hand. Not saying anything bad about Roode, but I'm itching for Storm to hold the gold in a real way.
Kiss his calves? As I said last week, I've had a turn around on Bully Ray. He's blossomed into a whole new man recently. Between slimming down and evolving his character, Storm isn't the only one who earned the grade for this segment. While I don't really want to see Ray's calves, I really do want to see him on Impact weekly.
And in comes D-Lo, Snow and Kenney. I love Snow, but this isn't the way I want to be seeing him. I love how Ray brought out Gunner, and I further liked how the small fight with Storm was handled. I'd love to see a match between Gunner and Storm.
Backstage Segment > C+
The screaming of Madison is one thing, but Kim? It just doesn't feel right. I can't wait for them to feud. Not saying that Madison is on Kim's level in the ring (yes, I know what you're going to say Chris), but it could be a very interesting feud. So, which will turn face for it?
Video > B
Roode might not think Sting is in his prime, but he can still hold his own in the ring better than most of his contemporaries.
Madison vs Velvet Sky > C
I was called out (personally) for being on Madison's nude panties when the likes of Velvet shows off her bum every week. My feeling is that at least Velvet isn't trying to make herself look like she's not wearing anything under her micro-minis. Yes, Velvet has had a few terrible wedgies, but she's known for her bod and isn't trying to look overly naked. What I will say is that I love the little boy shorts that Madison has worn the past couple weeks. They emphasize her petite frame while showing off one of her best natural assets. Heck, even Madison's not natural assets are better than most in that they're not so terribly huge for her frame that she looks like she'd never be able to plank.
I also have to say that this match was a lot better than I expected it to be. Velvet's ring work has taken some great leaps over the years, so her ring work isn't just about her bod and silly moves that are more sexual than anything. Madison and Velvet worked the ring well together and some of their moves looked solid. Also, it was nice to see a Knockouts Match that didn't have a screwy ending. Yes, she pulled the tights, but that's simple heel work. There was no one else involved that screwed it up that I liked.
Winner – Madison
Video > B-
I'm enjoying the teasing of the feud between Crimson and Morgan. I'm a Morgan fan and while Crimson is still green-ish, I think it could be fun. Will Morgan be the person to end Crimson's streak? As much as I love Morgan, I hope not. I want to see it be Joe or Angle.
Crimson w/ Morgan vs Joe w/ Magnus > B+
I loved Magnus' 'Save the tatas shirt'! Great awareness for breast cancer while using my favorite word for them – tatas! Beyond that, Joe was on to start his match. He looked great against Crimson. It's between Joe's real streak and the work between these two that I think it should be Joe to end the streak. Just writing the word streak makes me think of Taker and the streak that shouldn't be ended.
I'm always in awe at the speed of Joe's scoop slam. Orton's is impressive, but at Joe's size, I'm blown away. Of course Crimson had to win this one, and of course Morgan had to be involved in some way. It puts them on the same page going into VR where things should go very wrong.
Winner – Crimson
Backstage Segment > C
Just showing someone walking backstage doesn't usually elate me to a great grade, or make me fail a segment, that's why I go average, middle of the road, in grading them. The one thing I will say about Aries, that man has serious style!
In Ring Segment > B+
I loved AA's necklace! Not many men would carry off a choker of such large glass beads. I also have to say that he showed a solid video. Says something about the production crew. Remember this video when they slide back to schlock and I get pissy about it. They can do really nice videos.
I loved that Ion threatened AA with what happened to Sorensen – an accident! For the first time I'm actually taking Ion serious on mic. He has a lot of distance to go, but he's made a great leap recently. Seeing him in decent street clothes, nothing flashy, working with someone who is so good, Ion was solid. While I'm not sure about his catchphrase, 'I'm not just f'n pretty, but I'm pretty f'n dangerous!', I can see him going far with it. Is this one of the first times we've heard it, or have I just been tuning Ion out whenever he speaks?
Backstage Segment > C+
Not Abyss' brother's best segment, but not horrid either. Sure makes me wonder if Gunner might be implicated in Abyss' disappearance. I'd love to see Abyss/Joesph feud with Gunner, and maybe Bully, but how would they carry out a tag match?
Backstage Segment > B-
The ODBEY wedding is going to be hysterical! VFW halls? Bowling Alleys? Minnesota State Fair? Shocker, we all knew they would get married on Impact! Just as long as Cody Deaner doesn't show up and claim they're married, then I'm golden! I do have to say that they're chemistry is so enjoyable to watch. They feel like an old married couple.
Backstage Segment > B
I have to say that I completely agree with Angle's assessment of Garett. Nepotism is hard at work in TNA/IW! Must be nice to be able to be a wrestler just because his daddy has a hand in the pot. And Angle hate Hardy? Okay, fine, but where is this all coming from? What was the catalyst for this feud? Angle is so good, but I want to know why he's so unhappy with Hardy this time around.
Video > B+
I really liked the Sting video. There's been so many incarnations of Sting, and we've seen a lot of them lately, but what about early Sting? What about early Sting? Will he be showing off pink or yellow?
Gail Kim vs Mickie James > C+
It's not all because Kim has amazing thighs and tush, but wow Mickie's thighs and bum looks huge in comparison. Mickie is not a chubby girl in any way, but her love handles and belly pooch are proof that she's not been working out anywhere near as hard as she used to. She's not in ring shape and nothing she wears can hide that. I actually was waiting for Kim to be stuck flailing under Mickie the way she did below EY last week.
What is will say is that Kim was on fire in this match! She started on Mickie's right knee and methodically took it apart. The submission moves were beautiful and Mickie sold them, but then when Mickie nipped up on that 'injured' knee a didn't make a big deal of it, she lost any respect she'd earned. I wasn't thrilled about Kim using the strap, but honestly it's not much worse than Madison pulling Velvet's tights and an obligatory heel move. Honestly, if Mickie was up to snuff, this would have been a solid match, but since she's slacked off her body, her timing and movements have been slightly off making her ring work look nowhere near as solid. I'm bummed as she could have a great feud with Kim, but that's not happening. Kim can carry Mickie only so much, and so much of this match was Kim.
Winner – Kim
Backstage Segment > B
AJ and Anderson? I actually like it. It's unexpected, therefore interesting. This is a fun twist in the storyline and I can't wait to see how it pans out.
Daniels vs Anderson > B+
The banter between Taz and Tenay about Stockholm Syndrome was so bad! I know Taz is supposed to be rough around the edges, not downright stupid! On the other hand, I loved Anderson on the mic! "Where the hell have you guys been? I've missed you assholes!" I don't know anyone else who could say that the way he did and get such love. Even better was that he let the fans say Anderson for him the second time.
When I saw Daniels was busted open, I rewound the show and we all went on blading alert. While I have no clue how he got the cut – Taz said ropes maybe – but it sure isn't the normal spot for blading (eyebrows, forehead and hairline gush blood better than cheek), plus he had no time to do it. It was just odd that he got busted open the way he did. When he left the ring and realized he was bleeding, he kind of flicked his hand with blood on it an it seemed as though the mandatory front row blonde ended up with some blood on her hand. She was dressed to the nines for this show – hair, makeup, jewelry, red dress – but was not impressed with the blood. Might have been a good thing she was wearing a red dress.
Anderson looked decent in the ring. His hip tosses were solid, but nothing stellar. Has be been doing other things or wrestling elsewhere? He looked a bit pudgier in the gut than in the past. Taz and Tenay spoke about ring rust, but Anderson didn't seem off at all to me. He hit an enziguri that dropped my jaw. I didn't know Anderson hit that move. It seems like a smaller guy's move, but Anderson hit it like it was nothing. Daniels looked really on the money in this match. His shoulder to Anderson, then the bridging northern lights suplex was lovely. Even before Kaz came to the ring, I thought Daniels would win this one setting up for Anderson and AJ to come back with the win at VR. I was surprised, but impressed that they didn't go with the normal routine of the heels winning along, but the faces coming back for the win at the PPV. Because of how this match played out, I'm not sure how I'm going to predict VR.
Winner – Anderson
Backstage Segment > B-
Yes, Angle 'cost' Hardy the Title, but why? I can understand why Hardy is pissed, but why Angle. Tenay mentioned that Angle is jealous. That still means nothing to me. This whole thing feels formulaic, just something for Angle to do while waiting for the Olympics. Yes, they're both main event talent, but this feud doesn't feel that way. I'm trying really hard to put my feelings about Hardy as a person aside in saying all this, but I just don't see the reason behind this feud.
5 Minute Match – Angle vs Garett > B-
I never want to see anyone's career ended, but this isn't Garett's career, this is a boy who is in the ring because of who his daddy is. People said the same about Shane-O-Mac, but then Shane really worked the ring, put his body on the line and proved that he wasn't just a poor little rich kid who was in the ring because of his daddy. Okay, maybe early on that's what it was, but Shane proved himself.
Angle's belly-to-belly release suplex looked rather weak, but I don't know if he's to blame, or if was Garett's fault. I'm just shocked that Angle willingly put himself in the ring with Garett. I think it was last week that Angle took an ugly DDT from Garett. I just don't like it and won't like it unless the kid actually proves himself in the ring. The grade I gave this match was all for Angle. Otherwise it would have been an F. I really wanted to be behind Garett when he first showed up, but he's proven he's not a wrestler.
Winner – N/A
Video > D
I thought it was hysterical that Robbie E was laughing at the toy TV Title belt when he had that joke of a belt over his shoulder. From that distance it didn't look as bad as when they had zoomed in on it, but it was still very obviously dull and dingy looking. The whole segment was a waste in my book, as is the TV Title. That Robbie isn't in a feud with anyone and is taking on anyone at random for the second PPV in a row, what a joke!
Gunner w/ Bully vs Storm > B-
I might catch some flack for this, but I think Gunner could do well as a midcard in the WWE. He has a look, an intensity, can hold his own in the ring and not bad on mic. I could see it, if he hadn't made his name in TNA/IW. Okay, I said that, then saw a truly horrible body drop on Gunner. I've seen Storm hit those before and have never seen anything that bad from him. I think Gunner didn't rotate enough.
I was shocked to see Storm take Gunner out that quickly. I was expecting a hard hitting and all out match between these guys, but only Storm was really hard hitting. Yes, I expected to see Storm win – if the match had a clean ending – but this was short and made Gunner look weak, which he isn't. Other than the horrible body drop, that was a solid match that could have easily gone on for three or four times longer. The length of the match is the reason behind the grade. It really felt like they were going to have a reasonably long solid match, but then the ref told them to wrap it up quick. I feel gypped!
Winner - Storm
Video > D
The same video clip from early in the show? They should have given Storm and Gunner those extra moments.
Video > C+
Then after the commercial there was more Sting/Roode video. While a decent video and really setup for VR, this was time that could have been spend on Storm/Gunner. Not happy, even though it was a decent video.
In Ring Segment > A
Wait, they bleeped out Roode saying ass, but not Anderson saying asshole? Does that make any sense? I will say that Roode wwas really great on mic. The words he spoke, his tone, how he said what he said. Roode was great!
But then Sting snapped and wow did that segment go to a whole other level. The simple way he flipped the table, the went off. The face paint was brilliant! Roode took the abuse and sold it all. That's the way to go home to a PPV, or at least it's a great way for TNA/IW to do it!
I'm a bit shocked to admit that I'm looking forward to Victory Road. The biggest reason is Sting, he is really putting it all out there. I know it's their way to combat WrestleMania, but they're really no competition. As excited as I am to see VR, it is still small leagues compared to WM. I feel so torn because some of my favorite wrestlers are in TNA/IW, yet they will never get to the pinnacle because who they work for doesn't have a clue what they're doing. Russo was an easy object of our abuse, but in reality there's so much wrong in TNA/IW that Russo was just one small cog in the mess.
During the Anderson/Daniels match Taz mentioned that Joseph Park is a lawyer from Chicago. I thought Abyss' name was Chris Parks (it is his real name), so why is it Joseph Park without the S? I have listened carefully each time the name has been said and it's always been Park. I wonder if they're going to make something of the missing S, or what they're doing with it? Did Sesame Street borrow the letter and not return it?
Make sure you check in on our VR Predicts and tell us what you think might happen.