As anyone who reads my blogs know, I don't read spoilers – unless it's something absurd that everyone is already talking about – then I will peek, but also will tell everyone I peeked before starting this. Well, I didn't peek, but I did check to make sure that this show was taped outside the Impact Zone. Last week Impact was fun and exciting! I really enjoyed Impact for the first time in a very long time. Yes, for the first time since the lead in to Destination X, over six months ago, I am excited to see Impact. While it's great that I'm excited, that it took so long for me to be this excited about an episode of Impact really sucks.
I was talking to Gesus about wrestling, as we do that a lot, and I found out about the Star Wars stuff. He sent me a link to an Impact advertisement that had a lot about Star Wars. Now, I'm a scifi geek – the original three Star Wars, as well as Star Trek and so much more – but as I learned in the early days of WWECW, you don't mic scifi (or SyFy) with wrestling!
Now, my question is how did they do this? It seems very unlikely that TNA/IW has the budget to go to Lucas and do a tie in like this. Had to be them coming to TNA/IW to cross promote, pushing the new 3D release. But then if they went to a wrestling company, thinking they share fans, why TNA/IW and not the WWE? You know VKM would jump on something like this, especially this time of the year, on the Road to WM. I'm quite confused by this all and really want to know what is going on here because that promo was horrible for what I think should be a great Impact. Thoughts? Also, are you a wrestling fan who is also a scifi geek? Just wondering how big the crossover demographic really is. Even better, would you be willing to tell me what demographic you fall into? I'm female, in my 30's, 25+ year wrestling fan, 20+ year scifi fan.
Video > D
I'm sorry, I am a wrestling and scifi fan, but that video annoys me. And I just got my answer! Phantom Menace comes out on 3D tomorrow (Friday the 10th). A Thursday show is the perfect time to push the movie. I'm willing to bet VKM would want to see some serious cash out of it, and Monday is too early and Smackdown is going against their movie. While a lot of this makes sense, I still don't have to like it.
In Ring Segment > B
I've been waiting for Bully Ray to go off on Roode. He has to get a little space from Roode going into Against All Odds this weekend. To be a real four way match, they have to have issues. Even further, Sting being the Special Enforcer for that match is very cool. They did a great job of setting up and rounding out the main event at AAO – impressive! Also, Sting tagging with Storm sounds good, but this has to be the match he hurts himself with. Just sucks! How do you sit at home and watch the match knowing you're going to be injured? That has to be very odd.
Video > B
I can understand why they put this video out there. We've seen very little between these guys recently (last week) and they need to set up for AAO, so I'm not going to complain, yet. If the whole show has videos like this, then I will complain.
Daniels w/ Kaz vs AJ Styles > A-
The fans were HOT for AJ! Daniels and AJ were on and hitting everything. Daniels did a great job showing how to catch someone flipping out over the top. Yes, that was a slight jab at Miz. Sorry. Daniels was hysterical when caught with the knucks, but it also set up for more issues with Kaz later in the match.
Daniels' simple leg drop over the top rope was beautiful. It looked easy, as if it was nothing, but also a work of art. It's hard to not stop and watch a move like that over a couple times in how effortless, but beautifully executed that move was. AJ came back with a lovely enziguri, but it didn't have the effortless style that Daniels' leg drop had. Then AJ's moonsault into the inverted DDT, now that was on the level of Daniels' leg drop, but then AJ followed it up with a springboard flying forearm that was simply pulchritudinous (sorry, I like to use an interesting word in each Blog, and I've used beautiful and lovely too many times in this match – honestly, it's a new word for me). I was bummed that Daniels wasn't able to hit the BME, but that pele was great! While I wasn't thrilled with Daniels using the knucks, but the way Brian Hebner was bumped with Daniels' leg, then the blow on AJ, it was creative. I don't like screwy endings, but at least they put some creativity into this one, so I won't take anything away on the grade for it.
Winner – Daniels
In Ring Segment > A
Wow, Magnus really knows how get the fans going! They love him and for good reason, he has been ON lately! I still want to see Williams, but seeing Magnus doing so well is very cool. Magnus and Joe might be heels in the USA, but the fans in London LOVE them! Magnus looked great there. His blue eyes sparkling, muscles popping, spray tan even, and his manscaping looked great. Magnus isn't normally on my sexy list, but he is here!
It was fun to see Morgan and Crimson being the heels. They played it well and it looked as though Magnus was going to get the hometown treatment, but Joe grabbed him by his belt and dragged his ass from that ring – though the ropes! Stacy and I both laughed at this because it looked so funny. Also, why did Morgan have to take his shirt off after all was said and done? I'm a Morgan fan, but that was a bit much, even for me. No, it wasn't because I only had eyes for Magnus!
Douglas Williams vs Alex Shelley vs Austin Aries > A
Taz brought up Hemme being hot, and I had just rewound so Stacy could see her killer outfit, but then I got all excited to see Williams! It's about time he's back on Impact, even though he should have been on last week as well. I would have preferred a tag match or two X Division matches, but that's because I feel we should be seeing more of Williams, Shelley, AA and the X Division! Shelley looked fabby coming off the top onto AA with the hand motions and that one foot to AA's chest. I just wish Taz and Tenay would shut up about Star Wars!
The hand lick, then slap means nothing if the slap is on fabric! AA's chain of moves looked great, until he started showing off. Then Williams' rolling chaos, WOW! Then Shelley with that knee to AA's head, followed by sliced bread – just resplendent! TNA/IW needs to give us more X Division. That match was drool worthy.
Winner – Shelley
Backstage Segment > C-
Hogan is such a parody of himself. Then Hogan talking about watching from afar didn't do anything to make him look any better. But then throwing the cameraman out the way he did, it didn't look good to me.
Fans Segment > B-
That first woman who spoke about Williams and TNA/IW was wild! Actually, she brought up a great point about TNA/IW putting people like Williams on the shows and bringing in foreign fans. I think it's very smart and they should have Williams on a lot more! Then the guys talking about the time that everyone took for the fans, that was something that impressed me at the one house show I was able to go to. I hope they keep that up as it makes everything feel more accessible to the fans, and it will keep the fans coming back.
Backstage Segment > B
Nice to see a short little fighting segment between Gail and Tara. It seems as though much of the backstage fighting has been better than the in-ring wrestling from the Knockouts – except those few matches that have brought the bar back up again.
Video > C
I liked Tara's little setup there. She does a lot with social media and I'm always impressed with how much she promotes TNA/IW in everything she does, even on ebay. Go check her out, it's very impressive. I will say this little fight was nice to see, especially if it saves us from a long, drawn out Knockouts T&A fest.
Video > D
If Hogan thinks TNA/IW is going to be so great, why isn't he doing a damn thing to help them? Why was he sitting on his ass until a fun trip to London came about? Between all he's been saying online and all the advertising he hasn't been doing, I just can't believe him. I wish he'd stand by his word, but Hogan has a lot to prove to me at this point.
In Ring Segment > C
Of course the fans in London are thrilled to see Hogan, no matter how they can get him. I don't blame them. Even better to have him leading Bisch's youngling into possible wrestling greatness, but I want more. I want Hogan to fricken care! I think I'm asking too much.
The start of the fight between Gunner and Garett looked like little kids getting into it on the playground! And if Garett can't hold his own against Gunner here, how is he going to go toe to toe with him at AAO? Either he can hold his own in the ring, or he's never going to get far without Hogan covering his bum! Also, if Hogan recovered from a low blow that fast, what does that say about Hogan's grapefruits?
All the feuding between VKM and his kids always made me cringe. They made their fights feel really authentic, no matted what it was about. It might just be Garett here, but this feud between him and his father feels very plastic. Garett doesn't visually sell any emotions for me and so the whole thing feels flat and fake. I really want it to work, but it doesn't.
Backstage Segment > A-
Roode wanting to hug made me giggle, but then the way Ray said 'three days' about had me on the floor! That was so perfectly executed. Huge props to Bully Ray! Everyone knows I don't like him and don't want to see him on Impact, but he deserves everything in how he threw that line, then left. Bravo!
Backstage Segment > D-
Hogan, we don't need to be told what just happened in the ring ten minutes ago!
Mickie James vs Velvet Sky > D
Why are we seeing Mickie and Velvet Sky in the ring here? Two faces in the ring when we only saw a tiny bit of Tara and Gail? Then Taz knowing nothing about Star Wars made me want to go silent. If you don't have a clue, don't act like you do! Between that and the pigeons, I was about done with Taz, but then he came back with a comment about Earl trying to get up from one knee and it was only a two hour show, and I was won back over a bit. I also say that Mickie's logo on her ass didn't help anyone, especially her expanding derriere.
Wait, did we see Mickie start turning a little heelish? Actually, a lot of Mickie's moves looked rather sloppy. She couldn't be bothered to jump over Velvet, so she lifted one leg? Then her drop kick to a sitting Velvet looked craptastic! Mickie's snippiness at Earl, more of her being heelish? Taz said Mickie hit a nice snap mare, but I didn't think it was great and the set up for it was atrocious! Then the way she took Velvet's clotheslines did do anything to help her in this match, at least for me. The ending wasn't great, but I'm glad it was over as Mickie was almost painful to watch. Maybe Mickie turning heel could be good for her. It could give her character a bit of a change and possibly push her to get back to being ring ready. While Mickie still has a beautiful figure, she just hasn't looked ring ready lately and the outfits she's been wearing have only further emphasized that. I'm not calling Mickie fat! I'd love to have her figure, but I'm not working the ring.
Winner – Velvet Sky
Fan Segment > C+
I think it's very cool for TNA/IW to do these little segments with the fans. It works well with them being out of the country, or at least out of Orlando, so the fans are excited to see them. A great way for the fans to talk up TNA/IW.
Video > A
What a wonderful video of their tour! TNA/IW needs to tour more and tape on the road. The fans want to love TNA/IW, now they need to give back to us.
Video > C+
Storm in a pink polo shirt is not cool. He's supposed to be a redneck and I don't know many rednecks who wear pink polo shirts! His words were solid, but that shirt was wrong! Ray was solid and willing to admit that he will go through Roode for the Title. Hardy said the same things over again, but I don't believe him or trust him. When will he show up unable to work and be handed yet another pass? Roode is just that solid and deserving of being the TNA/IW World Heavyweight Champion.
Backstage Segment > B+
I think Sting needs to go back to his regular face paint. He's so solid in the 'GM' role, so why be insane when under the paint. Storm was great on mic, but he always is. Having him tag with Sting is a huge honor, but Storm needs to continue along with this huge push, not get lost in the mess going on around him.
Bully Ray & Bobby Roode vs James Storm & Sting > B
I love Storm's entrance! His music cutting off Roode's, then how he was in the shadows before coming in – that was darn cool. Loving Sting's purple coat with the pink fringe! Very few people could pull that off the way he does. Of course I could, but that's just how I roll. Actually, I love his 'Hart' ring gear as well, but the red gloves clashed. What a great night for the fans to see Sting tagging in the main event. Just so cool! Sting is still on my need to see list, but I worry that it won't happen. Okay, why was Storm wrestling in his t-shirt? I just don't understand why he does that sometimes. Feeling a bit bloated?
Roode all up in Sting's business, but not getting other than Sting popping at him was great! Even better was them double teaming Ray. While a bit comical, the abuse of Ray, by both Sting and Storm was fun. But the removing of the tape from Storm's ribs really annoys me. He's just fine with his ribs taped, but they remove the thin layer of tape and he's exposed and it hurts. That's a bit much for me to believe, even at this hour of the night!
Okay, Ray telling Brian Hebner that it doesn't matter what he says, ray's going to do whatever he wants, had me laughing. But what had me rolling my eyes was Ray changing corners after Sting's clotheslines so he could more easily take the stinger splash! It was when Sting went for the second splash on Roode, the one he didn't hit, that he tore his plantar fascia. It looked like he just stepped wrong and it went! He babied it, but was having obvious trouble walking on it and struggled to put the scorpion death lock on Roode to end the match. He is so lucky it wasn't his Achilles, but so are we as that would have been the end of Sting in the ring. Honestly, I don't know how he was still standing after that.
The look on Ray's face when Roode 'accidentally' crotched him was priceless! Even better when Ray ditched Roode and left him to tap out. Now Chris told me to look for a magical spot in this match, but I have no clue what he's talking about. I think it's too late and my brain is too fried (possibly because I was talking to Chris when I should have been watching TNA/IW), but I have no clue exactly what he's talking about. So he will have to clue us in on what I very obviously missed.
Winners – Sting & Storm
I just realized, during the main event, that we hadn't actually seen Taz and Tenay through either this show or last week's show. Must suck when you're not important enough to go on the tour.
I have a bad feeling in my gut about some of the grades I put out there. I feel bad that AJ and Daniels only got an A-, but only because it wasn't as long as it could have been. I further felt bad giving the X Division Match a solid A, being a better grade than AJ and Daniels, but those three kicked ass and looked great doing it. Their moves might not have been so honed and effortless looking, but they hit moves than made me mark out! I wish TPTB in TNA/IW would realize that we want to see more X Division and matches like those two.