Hello everyone! I am glad you can join me for the Impact Wrestling Blog Zone. I asked Kendra if she would like to switch this week since I already knew the outcomes of the matches tonight. She agreed to switch. Now, I usually write the show as it goes on, so I really can’t take a look and analyze everything on the show. I was able to do that today. I do the same thing with WWE’s Raw. I ask myself many questions, but one of the main things is, “Is this needed?” I tried to ask myself this while watching the show.
Opening video - B
I have been really liking how Impact Wrestling does their opening video. It tells a story. It let’s everyone know what happened last week and the main rivalries. It’s all about informing people (old and new watchers) and it shows how the stories are progressing.
Showing crowd - B
This was actually taped halfway through the second show. It makes sense because they want to break Hogan up since he ended the show last week. Why end and then keep him in the ring for the start? Would that be too much Hulk? They actually had an Xplosion match after the ending of last week’s episode and then taped the X-Division Match for this episode before doing the following segment. At any rate, nice crowd reaction and it was all due to the announcement that Jeremy Borash said, “The loudest audience members will go backstage.”
Hulk Hogan and Sting segment - D
This may surprise a lot of people. I know most of the IWC would give this segment a bad review just because Hogan is in it, but I want to elaborate on this. First off, while the IWC may dislike Hogan, he was one of the guys who actually got the biggest pops of the entire two shows. Kurt Angle was on top with that, but Hogan, in my mind, came in second. While we have seen a lot of Hogan last week, we only saw him once this week. Sting came out and their talk actually gets a positive review from me. Hogan said he was, “Sorry.” That was what we have been waiting for. The whole story with him and Sting lasted well over a month and now they are finally back on good terms. Right there is the mutual friendship back where it belongs. Matt Morgan came around and wanted to get right in the middle of things. At the end of the day, Hulk set up Matt vs. Sting to determine the #1 Contender for the TNA World Title. That right there bugged me. Hence the low grade. Sting comes back after a month of absence and gets to be in the #1 Contender’s match? Matt really hasn’t had any matches lately and he gets in there too? Really? What about Samoa Joe? Where has he been? What about Magnus who really did fight Aces in the past? It just didn’t make sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, I like Matt and Sting, but I wouldn’t pick these two to fight. It does make sense though in regards to storyline, but not technical wise.
Chris Sabin video - A
This was not shown at the tapings. They really didn’t show any videos except for the one with Chris Sabin returning to action last week. This wasn’t shown though but it was very well made. Really showed the dedication of Chris Sabin. Really can’t give a lower grade because Chris Sabin went through so much in the past couple of years. I am glad he is back!
Kurt Angle segment - B
I don’t know who Kurt Angle is talking to, but they didn’t show this video to us either. I liked Kurt’s intensity in this segment. He has been losing far too much this year. I don’t know how many matches he actually won this year. Kurt is determined and is intense. He is looking forward to wrestling in his hometown!
X-Division Match - A
Seeing a X-Division match in person and on television is completely different. I love watching them via PPV or just on Impact Wrestling, but seeing it live gives such a better feeling. You can hear the chops and kicks. You can feel the action! Close calls and quick pinfalls... it’s all there in front of you! I was thrilled to have Chris Sabin back. I am even happier that I saw his return match in person. Sabin taunted in the corner in front of me and actually made eye contact with one another. I of course shown my appreciation! One thing that stood out in this match was the, “Two for the price of one pinfall” attempt. It looked good on television, but the people in the crowd were confused. They had no idea what was going on. Well, at least that is what I heard in my ear. I thought it was innovative and unique. Some people just can’t keep up, I guess. It was quite obvious that Chris Sabin would win, but it was a good match and now I can’t wait to see Petey Williams and Sabin in the same match. Also, I think the X-Division cam actually worked better this week then two weeks ago. I think TNA looked through the tape from the camera and picked out the best footage that the referee got. It didn’t make me dizzy and it worked.
By the way, Suicide will be returning? Who voted for that?
Jessie and Robbie E segment - D
“Sleazy and easy!” That is what I am getting out of this segment. I didn’t see this segment at the taping, but I am kind of glad I didn’t. I like the Robbie E character, think he is better than Zak Ryder, but I don’t understand how Jessie got into this. Sure, he fought Rob Terry last week, but what happened with him and Tara?
Bully Ray and Aces & 8s segment - A
First off, Bully Ray is gold on the mic! I absolutely love when he speaks. I have been told about a week ago that Ray is getting boring on the mic because he is saying the same thing. Isn’t that just like John Cena? Bully Ray is mentioning the same thing because it is working and it is true. Aces are dominate. They took out almost all of the main event roster. Anyway, I picked out a few interesting things in this segment. First off, did you notice how D-Lo Brown said he was the one who got Aces in the company? I know people were wondering about that as people suggested Jeff Jarrett or Eric Bischoff. No, it was D-Lo. Makes sense! Second, when D-Lo was making his speech on why he should face Kurt Angle, did you see the looks between Mr. Anderson and Bully Ray? Mr. Anderson probably wanted to fight Kurt, but it also looked like both of them didn’t want to hear D-Lo. It seemed like they thought he was full of it? Why? He is the VP. Don’t they believe in him? I don’t think Ray or Anderson wanted to hear him at all. Finally, D-Lo stated he is putting his colors on the line! He is putting his spot with Aces on the line. He better win the match then.
Rob Terry vs. Robbie E, Jessie, and Joey Ryan - C
Reading the reactions of this match during the Watch Party didn’t seem positive. In fact, many people attacked this match and attacked Robbie E, Jessie and Joey. Someone wrote to my on my Facebook page that Rob Terry is useless as he isn’t even in a rivalry. Actually, he is in a rivalry with Robbie E. Robbie E can’t handle Terry and brought Jessie in as well as Joey. Make sense? They can’t stop the beast... or Ryback?! Comparison with Rob Terry and Ryback are starting to float around. While I do see a comparison on how Terry is this huge force... both are completely different in terms of character and what their intensions are. I do like how Rob Terry is looking in the ring though. Did you see that double back suplex? Cool. Rob Terry never really stuck with me too much since he came into TNA, but he is really starting to get my attention.
Bobby Roode/Austin Aries with Bad Influence with Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez with James Storm segment - B
This segment really came off differently in person than it appeared on television. In person, it seemed much more intense. I remember standing up through this whole segment wondering how long it was going to last. With Roode/Austin as well as Bad Influence in the ring... I wouldn’t mind it going on for 10 minutes! Chavo and Hernandez jumped in and that was when I lost my energy. They brought James Storm in at the end to be the special guest referee for next week. Honestly, Chavo and Hernandez took me down a notch and when James entered, I wasn’t feeling it. I don’t think anyone was feeling it. In fact, Ric Santos, writer for TNANews.com, said the crowd didn’t even pop for James. I don’t remember this precise moment, but I think it was a bit strange having a special guest referee. We know James Storm is against some of the people who will be in the match. How clean will this match go?
Speaking about this match, do you realize what TNA is doing? I know people say TNA has a bad tag team division, but remember WWE in the 00s? They had The Hardy Boyz, Dugley Boys, and Edge and Christian. Those were three teams that set the level for tag teams. They made history. Those are just 3 teams. Is that all you need? Honestly, if you create an intense storyline between the three teams, that is all you need. These teams aren’t like the WWE teams in the 00s. For example, Roode and Aries don’t like each other, but they want gold. So, I think TNA is doing something right. As long as these teams are featured... they can really take off with them. As far as James Storm... either find him a partner with chemistry or put him somewhere else on the card.
Sting and Kurt Angle segment - C
This backstage segment was short and simple. Few things were said, but it led us guessing what they were going to talk about. Actually, it was pretty predictable. Nothing special, but it gives us the understanding that Sting has Kurt as one of his partners for next week’s 6 man tag match.
Gail Kim and Tara segment - B
I actually enjoyed this segment. One thing that I have noticed is that Gail Kim and Tara have chemistry. These two have been in the business for such a long time. They are veterans. They know each other. So, why not have them join together? They could also have them fight each other. I liked this segment though simply because of Gail’s cockiness and Tara’s. Both think they are the best. I had to chuckle when Gail pointed to herself as being the best while Tara thought Gail would say her. Tara’s facial expression made the segment. These two, even though are both heels, will attack each other to get on top. Nice use of characterization.
Chris Sabin segment - A
Chris Sabin was shown backstage talking about his match from earlier as well as coming back to TNA. Really, this show should have been focused around Sabin. His match should have been later, but I like hearing from Chris after the match. Like I said, it’s great seeing him back!
Kurt Angle vs. D-Lo Brown - A
Honestly, the entire audience was waiting for this moment... waiting to see Kurt Angle! Now, even though I talk to Kurt regularly, I couldn’t help but become a mark when he came out. I mean, the last time I saw him wrestle in Pittsburgh was in 2005. You can clearly see why I would be excited. Seeing Kurt wrestle is always a treat. The crowd just ate him up! As far as the match goes, I thought it was well done. It was back and forth with D-Lo controlling the middle part. The thing that stood out to me was the 6 german suplexes in a row! I thought Kurt only did 3 for a reason. I didn’t think he could handle anymore. I was so wrong and I feel quite stupid. All 6 were done tremendously. I told him that it was great seeing 6 of them in a row... but I really should have said I want to see 7 next time. ;) Also, Kurt Angle finally won a match! I didn’t think TNA believed in him anymore. I guess they do... or they were just being nice to the people in attendance.
One thing I do want to mention, even though I wrote about it before, is the fact that during Kurt Angle’s match... one official who was sitting at ringside started to do hand motions to another official to the far right of him. He mouthed that the camera went black. Basically, they weren’t taping anything. He started looking at the wires to see if any came loose. The other official was confused. It was weird! I was waiting to see what they would cut out, but they didn’t. The whole match was televised. So, I don’t know if it was a false alarm or what, but a strange scenario, no doubt!
Kurt Angle and AJ Styles segment - B
I was actually surprised Kurt Angle cut a promo after the match. He won and now is cutting a promo? TNA is really generous this week! I actually thought Kurt did a great job as the promos we seen him do in the past weren’t his greatest. I know Kendra said that he was slipping in his promos awhile back. Well, I believe he showed that he still has it like a young guy. Even my friend who I went with said this was some of the best work Kurt has done in months! One thing I liked what Kurt said to AJ is that he came to TNA because of AJ Styles and the matches they had together. Believe me, I remember those matches! How can I forget? They are simply awesome from inside out. What will AJ do? AJ, you do not want to have a problem with Kurt.
Matt Morgan segment - C
I like Matt Morgan’s intensity here as it makes him look like a real threat and monster. On the flip side, I feel like it made him look freakish and on the verge of breaking. We know the story with Matt. He is unstable. He gets carried away. Hogan even told Matt that in the beginning segment. So, Matt will really go on a rampage. It’s actually funny! Richard Gray text me before the show last week and said to take a video if I see a Matt Morgan throws a, “tantrum.” It’s well documented. Even though Matt is quite crazy and eccentric... I was a fan of him back in 2009. I was all in to give him a push for the TNA World Title. Now, I am backing off. Matt is unstable. I am not talking about his character either. At the same time, I would like to see Matt champion because I think he will actually show everyone what he is all about. He could very well be the CM Punk for TNA.
Gail Kim and Tara vs. Taryn Terrell and Mickie James - B
I talked about the crowd reaction last week while the taped show was being filmed and I said that the crowd was dying down. You can clearly see it in this match. Quite frankly, they were worn out. I guess Kurt Angle took all of the audience’s energy because we didn’t give the Knockouts anything. It was a good tag team match, but the crowd wasn’t into it and that hurts the match. Really, the highlight of the Knockout matches was ODB! ODB had some great commentary for the 3 Knockout matches for two weeks of Impact. People were just paying attention to her. Rightfully so, she is over. Yet, she is only refereeing. She tried to get Gail Kim to stop with the attack after the match. Being there, it seemed like ODB was more forceful, but it didn’t appear like that on television at all. ODB did help Taryn to the back as we didn’t see that on the show.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode segment - C
I like these two. They are in my top list of favorite stars in TNA and in overall wrestling, but was this segment really needed? We know the tag team match is happening next week. Do we really need to be reminded? I know it is all about selling, hyping and promoting, but I really don’t think this had to be done. Nothing special happened. Just a simple segment.
Matt Morgan vs. Sting - B
When this match was announced, I think the audience were actually elated. They were getting tired and they wanted to see the end of it. I could have sat there all night, but I guess people do not have the same energy. As far as the match goes... I still don’t know why this was booked. Sure, I know where Matt Morgan is coming from, but Sting? Did they deserve it? It’s pretty much the same deal with Ryback for the WWE Title. The match was pretty good. It was back and forth. It was nice seeing Sting in the ring again. Honestly, he didn’t lose a step. Sting can still work. It’s almost unbelievable! Sting is 54 years old and still can work a match like few can. One move that I remember and actually popped for was when Sting was going for The Stinger Splash, but Matt came out of the corner and hit The Carbon Footprint. The crowd actually was surprised by that. Matt nailed it! Speaking of Matt, did you hear what Todd Keneley said while both were on the outside? Todd compared Matt Morgan to Michael Myers! That literally made my night! I am a huge horror fan as the Halloween series is my favorite horror series. Comparing Matt to Michael and how they each stalk their pray is great! I think that was the point where I became interested. When Sting did win the match, Aces & 8s actually came out to ringside. Ray walked up the steel steps and stared at Sting. He then turned to the left and looked in my direction. I took a snapshot and it, quite frankly, looks like he is staring at me! The point is, they cut that from the show. The show quickly ended with Sting's win. So, Sting got the win and now we have to hear the IWC rant.
I can see why they would get upset because Bully Ray vs. Sting is not promoting young talent, but at the same time, The Rock vs. John Cena didn’t promote young talent. It’s done because it is good for business. Sting can draw. If you can draw, you are going to be in the main event. The Rock can draw and he was champion. It’s all about business. I can pretty much say that Sting will not be winning the TNA Title. I do see Bully Ray holding onto the title for Bound for Glory. That is where AJ Styles challenges him. I can see it now. Maybe the IWC will actually cheer for that.
Overall, this was a good show. It is quite different taking a step back from writing the live coverage and actually analyzing the show. All of the backstage segments weren’t shown at the taping. The beginning of the show was filmed after the X-Division match. I know Jesse Sherwood said the taping in Jonesboro was completely messed up, but I don’t think it was that bad in Indiana, PA. While I liked most of the show... parts of the show made me ponder. What are your thoughts?