The biggest thing people are talking about, other than Bisch calling out Borash for owning the company, is Bobby Roode. I can't count how many times I've been asked if I think Roode went too far after the main event at Victory Road. For me that's not the first question that came to me. The first issue I had with that whole thing was Dixie herself. She has stated numerous times that she's not on-screen talent, yet TNA/IW doesn't go more than six months without her being involved in some storyline. Honestly, I'd have no issue with her being on TV if she didn't make such a stink about not being a character, not wanting to be in storylines on TV. But she keeps injecting herself into segments and making herself look so fragile, incompetent and unconvincing.
Roode stepped up and played the ultimate heel. Did he need to do all he did to push his heel status? Not really, but we all love to hate the absolute heel and Roode is stepping into that role in a big way. Also, a lot people have been complaining about WWE being so over the top corny and PG, so TNA/IW is going overboard in the other directions. I don't agree with how they're going about it, but I understand why they did it. For me it was Dixie who screwed up the end of VR, not Roode. I now am going to climb in to my writing cave and cover my head while everyone has a total freak out over what I wrote.
Okay, we good now? Good. Onto the rest of VR. I have to say that I am really unhappy about Storm versus Bully. I was not a Bully fan. I have loved Ray, but I have not liked Bully. Over time he grew on me and I am back to being a staunch supporter of his. Anyone who reads my blogs knows how I feel about Storm, so I feel this match screwed over two wonderful wrestlers. The only caveat I have on this one is that Storm did just have surgery, so keeping this so short could have been to give him another month to heel. I haven't read the spoilers, so I could be way off on this one.
I think Ion held up well against AA. To me this match makes so much more sense than Ion versus Sorensen did, even though I know there's a number who don't think Ion should be in PPVs at all yet. Being in with a consummate pro like AA can only help Ion, and his ring work has been improving. He's been tightening up his moves and I believe much of that is AA. I'm thrilled TNA/IW didn't do anything stupid like strapping Ion!
To be honest, I didn't really watch Angle and Hardy, which is saying something because it was the longest match of the PPV. I'm still not ready to trust Hardy, so I'm not willing to give him much of my attention. Then there's Angle who continues to get stranger and stranger. I really wonder what's going on with him and if he's really okay – mentally.
I enjoyed AJ and Anderson facing Daniels and Kaz, but I'm starting to agree with Gesus who is getting sick of the lame ways they keep trying to push AJ and Daniels to feud. I also agree with him that it was lame to have Anderson off TV so long to change up his character when it was working wonderfully, and then not changing him up at all. Where do they go from here? Hopefully with answers so all four can move on!
Kim and Madison wasn't as bad as I had expected it to be, but I can't say it was as good as I know it could have been.
I think we all knew going into the Tag Title Match that Joe and Magnus would win, but also that Crimson and Morgan would start their feud. My only question was which would turn heel. Turned out to be Crimson. While this match had to go down the way it did, and both Joe and Magnus looked great in the ring, this wasn't a PPV match. Now that Morgan and Crimson are out of the way, maybe Joe and Magnus can get down to some real work, but against who? Who is there for teams in TNA/IW these days?
I really thought that Terry was going to turn on Robbie, but obviously that didn't happen. While I think it's silly that he's following around Robbie the way he is, at least he's getting TV time? Either way, it was nice to see Devon come out and take the ever changing Title belt. Does this mean they're going to do something interesting with Devon and/or the Title? Believe it when I see it!
That leaves the main event. I have to admit that it wasn't my favorite match on the show, but I found the way they ended it quite interesting. That Sting knocked himself out the way he did was very different from what we're used to seeing. But beyond all that, this match was supposed to be what brought the fans to watch the PPV, make a TNA/IW PPV viable so close to WrestleMania. It didn't work. Or it didn't do it for me. I love Sting and have been impressed with his work with Roode, but it wasn't enough for the fans to spend their money. Does anyone think Victory Road was worth the money?
Video > C
Not my favorite video, when it started. It felt cheap and canned, but then they went back and showed what happened after the main event almost entirely. Why they went to stills when Roode was pulling Dixie across the ring, I don't know. This was from a PPV and they showed almost all of it. I find this very strange.
In Ring Segment > C-
Yet again Dixie is in the middle of the top rated (just guessing) storyline. Dixie is a pretty woman with an amazing body. But she looked really old here – but her too long flared jeans bagging at her ankles makes her look like she's trying to dress too young – if they had been the right length, she'd have looked almost perfect. I know she was playing at being choked up and upset. I did think it was funny that she's been talking to people all week when this was taped less than 24 hours after the incident at the PPV happened.
Tenay saying that Sting's skull was crushed on a chair when Sting was walking to the ring, I wanted to throw rotten tomatoes at the TV. I know a lot of people don't want to see Sting continue his in-ring career, but I think he can still go. I can't agree that Hogan can bring TNA/IW to the top, but Sting sure sold it with his words. The problem I have with Hogan returning is that he doesn't care enough to promote TNA/IW the way it needs to be promoted. The fans in the Zone were very happy to hear that Hogan was coming back, but I think Hogan coming back will only hurt the company. But that's not why I gave this segment a lower grade. The reason I marked this segment down the way I did was because of Dixie. She was right back to being frail and pathetic. She makes me want to shake some sense into her, and if she's anything like her 'character', then I understand why TNA/IW is floundering the way it is. Sting and his energy is the only thing that kept this segment from being an epic failure.
Backstage Segment > A-
Bully being quiet and focused the way he was, well, he was kind of creepy!
X Division Four Way - Ion vs Kash vs Neese vs Aries > A- & D-
I still want to make a capelet for AA. Slapping the taste out of Ion's mouth was wonderful! I really want to like Neese, but he has Swagger-itis – clinical lack of personality and charisma. The first part of this match was all AA, proving why he's the X Division Champ. Ion's moonsault off the corner onto KK and AA outside made me cringe. I know it was because of Sorensen, but I can't help reacting that way.
The tower of doom, that had little to do with AA, but sure had the fans hot! This match was so much better and such that we haven't seen in quite a long time from the X Division. While I understand why they inserted Bully into this match, I'm royally pissed that the best X Division match we've seen in months was ruined the way it was. I went from elation to disgust the moment Bully entered the ring – that's why I have to give this two grades. The ring work was so good, then the boot to the heart was so bad! Even though Russo is gone, obviously creative is still holding close to some of his favorite formulas.
Winner – N/A
Backstage Segment > B-
Josh Lewis from Repo Games? Lucky us! I did like the, "Do your little wrestling gimmick thing..." I actually snorted aloud at that one. Josh threw off the line perfectly straight and because of the way he handled that one line, I had to give this a better grade than I would otherwise. I also have to give Spike props for the cross promotion. It can only help TNA/IW to get more attention, that is if they actually show some of this on Repo Games! That this was straight out the best segment of the show so far really bothers my wrestling sensibilities.
Knockouts Tag Title Match – ODBEY (C) vs Rosita & Sarita > C-
I think that Rosita has such troubles being taken seriously by me in the ring because of her size. I'd really like to see Rosita in the ring with AJ (Lee) and see what the petite duo could do. But putting her in the ring with EY is just horrible! Actually, what I want to see is Kim feud with Sarita. I think that would be a great feud. Maybe the mic work wouldn't be the best – though it could be solid – it's the ring work I want to see. I think those two could really tear things up in there.
EY doing cartwheels? He does make it interesting, but not a wrestling match! Honestly, do we really expect a wrestling match when those two are Knockouts Champs? I will say that EY spent more of this match in an ODB headlock with his face in her boobs, or her tongue down his throat – EY's making out like a bandit!
Winners - ODBEY
Video > D-
Or actually stills, from the growing feud between Morgan and Crimson. Lucky us.
Backstage Segment > D
Crimson was a bit off here, but it's his first promo with this changed character, so I'll give him a bit of leeway. He does have potential, so hopefully we'll see him growing into this character. Hey, at least Snow got a few second of air time.
Video > D+
A recap of the opening segment, because it was just so long ago! At least it was the better part of the segment – Sting talking.
Backstage Segment > F
And I spoke too soon because here's Dixie! If she's anything like her TV character, all wishy-washy, no wonder TNA/IW is in the state it's in. TNA/IW needs a leader and that's absolutely not a leader! Yes, it could be a character, but after all we've seen and heard about her, it feels more like the woman that she'd want to admit, because that Dixie is downright piteous.
Backstage Segment > B
He really is not a bad looking guy. I'm talking about Abyss' 'brother' Joseph, not Hardy. I really can't wait to see where they're going with this. I imagine he's having a blast playing this character. He seems to have a slight smirk running under all his expressions.
Video > A!
Yes, I gave a TNA/IW video an A, but this one deserved it! Early Team Canada, Storm starting out with Wildcat – brilliantly cut and executed with wonderful commentary from both men. Bravo!
In Ring Segment > A-
Seeing how Storm has grown just blows my mind. He was such a kid early on, but this past year he's just exploded. The way Storm talked about football, gas prices and Roode was perfect! Just what Americans want to hear from the redneck. Then the way he looked over the guy who came out to Roode's music was great!
William Kelly? A lawyer? Those glasses? That accent? I will say that he looked great in that suit! It was cut beautifully and fit wonderfully. The way he said Frankie Kazarian was a hoot! There was a kid in the front row who was doing Santino's trumpeting motion, something I found very funny. Not as funny as the way Storm about took out Kelly. So, do we have a clue who that guy was?
Backstage Segment > C+
As I wondered earlier – is Angle losing it a bit? I will say the way he told Garett that he hates his guts had me giggling. But Angle has been feeling weird to me since his most recent return. I'm just not liking him and wonder if there's anything going on there. I don't even want to talk about Garett or I will go off about nepotism.
3 Minute Challenge – Garett vs Angle > D
Yay, nepotism and ego. For me the best part was Gunner joining the fray. Wait, Angle and Gunner fled when Hardy hit the ring? That makes absolutely no sense to me. Do I smell a Tag Match in their future?
Winner – N/A
Tag Title Match – MexA (Anarquia & Hernandez) w/ Sarita & Rosita vs Joe & Magnus (C) > B+
Rosita trying to walk down that ramp in those heels looked painful. I know she has to wear really tall heels to look like more than a child with them, but it has to be horrid trying to get down a ramp on your tippy-tippies in shoes like that! I know it's not possible, but Joe looks even chubbier than at VR.
Joe and Magnus tried a double team that seemed to fall apart in a big way. I don't know what happened, but Magnus tried to cover. Hernandez was sick! Magnus up on his shoulder like it was nothing! Taz said Hernandez looks leaner, and he does! I have to say that Hernandez looked ripped. Arn looked possitively lump in comparison. He doesn't look as imposing as he had, even somehow looked shorter – though I know that's also not possible.
Joe with the hot tag was great. Then the double team from them, wow! I did not think those two would work and they're proving me wrong each time their in the ring together! TNA/IW really needs to put together some solid teams to throw at Joe and Magnus. Maybe the Guns? That would be amazing! Oh, if I'd been Sarita, I would not have worn a skirt to the ring knowing she'd be carried out over Lewis' shoulder!
Winners – Joe & Magnus
Backstage Segment > D+
Sorry, not the biggest Hogan fan these days. He needs to either put up or shut up instead of giving TNA/IW the tiniest bits of himself and thinking he's doing something great.
Backstage Segment > D-
That was the worst faked and missed punch I think I've ever seen! And while it was funny to see Sarita and Rosita leaving with Lewis, it set a bad precedent and catered to stereotypes in a disgusting way. As a woman I'm disgusted.
Video > B-
'Longnecks & Rednecks'? Cowboy Troy? Montgomery Gentry? Okay, I do know who Montgomery Gentry is, but not Cowboy Troy. I like country music, but haven't listened to anything recent in a very long time. It might be time to don my cowboy hat and take a long car ride with the radio turned to a country station – just as long as they don't play any Mickie James!
Handicap Match – Daniels & Kaz vs Storm > A
Storm looked great in the ring from the start. So nice to see a face not be shown to be the fool and attacked from behind on the ramp. In the ring the fans were hot for Storm and he gave them everything they wanted and more. Daniels and Kaz played the perfect stooges. While they got in some shots, Storm took care of them and held the fans in the palm of his hand. It's because of the entertainment value that this segment got such a high grade. It wasn't much of a match, but the likes of Austin didn't have to do much in the ring either. I'm going to get beaten up for comparing Storm to Austin, but it's right there staring us in the face. I know Storm will never get to the level of Austin who is arguably the greatest of all time (look at the numbers), but there's so many similarities that they can't be ignored. It's not just the redneck and beer thing, it's the everyman thing, not putting on airs, being a who he is and proud of it, not needing to be corny to get over, and it's staying rough around the edges. It's the charisma that makes the fans love him and need to see him win. It's all of that and how well both Daniels and Kaz went out there and took their last call kicks to continue to push Storm further up the ladder, that I gave this such a solid grade.
Storm is the hottest commodity in TNA/IW these days, hopefully they capitalize on it in an intelligent way and not let this opportunity slip through their fingers. They need to get Storm out there on a media circuit and bring in both wrestling fans, ad the people who want to see the good guy, a real guy – not some corny caricature of a good guy – come out on top and win the big one. The only thing that makes it better is that he'll be going up against his former partner and best friend. While clichéd, it's the type of story that will steal hearts and get people rooting that much more for Storm.
The big question is will Dixie and TPTB actually take this opportunity and run with it, or will they drop the ball and let Hogan, Bisch, Flair, etc., crap all over Storm the way they did Roode when he was reaching for the Title? It wouldn't take much, just some TV spots and Storm's charisma and likability would take care of the rest.
In Ring Segment > C
Of course the fans are wild for Hogan. He is Hulk Hogan! I do wish he'd either fish or cut bait, but if he's not being pushed by Dixie to do what he should be doing for the company, why should he put his time and effort in?
I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I like the way they ended this Impact. Very interesting and left us all with a question hanging. Well, those who refuse to read spoilers, and needs to remember that moderating comments opens her up to possible spoilers, then we're left with a question for next week!
While there were a couple of really solid bits to this show, almost all of them were ripped away by bad creative or booking. I know I said the other day that everyone in the WWE works hard to give us a great show, that they do so many things so wonderfully, things we don't even notice because they're executed so well, but I don't feel the same way about TNA/IW right now. I know I said that attacking every little bit won't get us anywhere, and that we can't have every little bit of every show and every storyline go the way we want it to, but when TNA/IW gives us one of the best X Division matches that we've see in months, but then send Bully in to ruin it – then I'm going to be ragingly pissed!
That match blew AA versus Ion at VR out of the water, but they couldn't let it go to its natural end? And Bully said early on that he was going to wreak havoc on Impact, but then only attacked the X Division guys and we never saw him again. I thought he was going to take hostages and leave a path of destruction. Did they forget this, or did they cut out Bully's other segments to make more room for other backstage segments?
I don't want to end this on a sour note, so I will mention some favorite moments and start with saying again say how great the Roode/Storm video was. It felt like a WWE video and was fun thinking back to Team Canada. The way the fans chanted for Roode to be fired when Dixie first got to the ring was great. It brought me back to the days of 'Don't fire EY!' when his contract was in the hands of Roode. The last thing that really brought a smile to my face was Storm's segments. He's starting to be a really bit fish in a little pond and a copious amount of fun! (Okay, I gave you that one.)