It's been quite the interesting week in TNA. The rumors have been flying all over the web. People I know and trust are putting out conflicting reports about things that are going down in TNA and OVW. I have not had a chance to talk to who I know in the trenches as it's been the 4th of July, and I didn't want to disturb them. Therefore I've been sitting back and waiting to see what else comes out. I will say that I'm trying to get an interview with Taeler Hendrix, but not guaranteeing anything.
The interview that has been confirmed is with Douglas Williams! I'm so excited about this, and have to thank Alex for helping me iron this out and confirm it. So, if anyone has a question they would like me to ask Williams, post here, or send me a note on Facebook.
In Ring Segment > B+
I really enjoyed Aries on mic. I guess in some ways it's a good thing he's not on mic all the time, it makes the time he is that much more special. Wish Hogan prescribed to the same theory. But really, Aries was strong, creative, and handled the fans well. I will admit that this was the perfect time for Hogan, he didn't take up too much time and gave the LV fans a reason to cheer with his cheap pops. I won't be able to tell if Hogan spent too much time in the ring, or on mic, until after we see what happens on Impact next week. Beyond that, Aries and Sabin really carried this segment wonderfully, and set up for a great main event. I'm not sure how I feel about the Manik name yet. I'm glad Suicide is gone, but he's in the same costume, and the way Hogan suddenly decided to change his name felt really lame. How about something creative, not just, he's Manik now because I said so.
Backstage Segment > B-
I liked the Perry reference, but other than that, this segment wasn't anything thrilling, and surely not up to BI's normal mic work.
BFG Series – Kaz vs AJ > B+
Kaz and AJ were pretty solid in the ring together, but do you really expect anything less from the two of them? Kaz will never be to the level of AJ in the ring, but Kaz is like Kane, he's a work horse who does what needs to be done and has a solid career doing just that. At one point during this match I started feeling bad for Kaz that he just can't seem to reach AJ, but then I realized that Kaz will leave a legacy very different from AJ, and that's not a bad thing at all. Brings me back to Kane, and what a work horse Kaz has become in TNA.
Winner – AJ (4:01)
Backstage Segment > C-
That backstage segment made Chavo look like the happy puppy trying to keep up with his human. He's a Guerrero and he's been reduced to this? And it wasn't even a very good this.
In Ring Segment > B
Mickie has finally hit her stride with this heel turn! She never really felt believable as a face and this promo showed that she is truly more in her element as a heel. Honestly, I wonder if this isn't how she is in real life! And while I have to say that her choice to wear heels to climb a ladder to cut this promo was a bit daft, as it made her shaky as she climbed. But any nerves she had seemed to dissipate as she started talking about her recent accolades. She may very well prove herself to be worthy of a long reign.
Gut Check Discussion > D
These Gut Check discussions between Prichard, Snow and Davis are getting worse and worse. Add in the rumors I've been seeing about Snow's promises and possible issues at OVW, and I'm not sure what to think or believe about all this Gut Check crap. At least in the beginning it felt a bit more realistic, but these days it feels like they could be arguing about anyone in the industry, not necessarily Big O or Skidmark.
Backstage Gut Check Segment >D-
Prichard felt so demeaning here. I don't know if that was the plan, but he really made me annoyed. Throwing O-Zone at Big O was the ultimate in ickiness.
BFG Series – Hernandez vs Bradley > C-
This match was quite a letdown. Actually, it seems as though Hernandez has been quite a letdown the past couple months, and putting him in the ring with the likes of Bradley made them both look rather rough. Nothing felt very dynamic between them, as it should. These are two really big guys, and they should have made this match look strong, and possibly scary, but instead they seemed to fumble around and not make it look very good. I keep hoping things will get better with Hernandez, or maybe something will happen between him and Chavo, but Chavo's helping actually made it so Hernandez won the match. That was not expected, but also not very interesting either.
Winner – Hernandez (3:12)
Backstage Segment > B
I like the ever growing cracks in A&8's. Wes questioning Bully about Brooke makes me wonder where they're going with it. Also interesting that they brought Brooke's actual engagement into the storyline. TNA is usually solid about wrapping up storylines such as this, so I am expecting we will get some resolution, even if it isn't soon.
Bromance vs Storm & Gunner > B
I know they're Bro Mans, but I cannot get past the Bromance comment, and not sure I will see Jessie and Robbie as anything but a bromance. I have said all along that Robbie is better in the ring than he's been booked, and he showed it in this match – finally! Even Jessie looked solid in this match, something I didn't expect to see any time soon. This match was a lovely delight that was so unexpected. This match felt longer than it actually was, but in a good way. When at first I was not thrilled with these two teams facing off, I was actually quite impressed. I might even be up for more matches between these teams in the coming weeks.
Winners – Storm & Gunner (3:04)
In Ring Segment > A-
I have to make a confession, I actually stumbled across the spoiler for this segment. But it didn't ruin it in the least for me. Sting and Angle to the ring in suits looked amazing, and were great on mic. Joe left me dumbfounded when he came out looking that hot. Joe's gonna kill you, not Joe looks hot in a suit like he's Main Event Mafia and gonna kill you! I was tweaking enough with Joe in the suit, but then Magnus came out. I have to admit that I've been that much more of a Magnus fan since the interview, even though he's really proved himself this past year, and he is going to be the top of TNA, it was talking to him that really showed me his heart, and what a nice guy he is. He was so sweet, and really put Joe over, and that showed me a lot about him. But then he came out in that suit and I swooned a bit. Kind of gross as he's my daughter's age, exactly my daughter's age. They share a birthday. Anyway, I think Magnus as part of the New MEM is fabby. Magnus is going to bring a whole new flavor to the group, and really rounds them out well. I think Magnus fits into that group better than almost anyone else.
BFG Series – Hardy vs Joseph > B
I might be alone in this, but I really enjoyed this match. One thing about the BFG Series is that different and unexpected matches pop up as everyone faces everyone else. Joseph really stayed in character and worked it well, and Hardy showed how he can work the ring with about everyone – no matter what character he's playing. Jesse and I agreed that it was bound to happen that Joseph took out a ref when he saw red. And it makes it so he has almost no chance to win the BFG Series.
I also have to say that Joseph's seeing red thing makes me further think that we're going to be seeing that Joseph and Abyss are the same man with a split personality. For me it's the only way I can think that they can do it. I absolutely could be wrong on this, but it makes so much sense. I wouldn't be against seeing Dr. Stevie return for that to happen. My 'Calling Dr. Stevie' t-shirt from Pro Wrestling Tees came in the mail today, and I love it. I'll have to take a pic and post it soon.
Winner – Hardy via DQ (8:07)
Gut Check > F
I have to admit that I'm happy Skidmark wasn't picked up by TNA. I know he's in OVW, but still doesn't mean he should be in TNA right now. They're cleaning out the roster, not adding to it. Not sure how I feel about Skidmark and Spud as the New New Rockers, but that's just me. Honestly, I'd like to say it's weak creative, but with those two, it makes perfect sense. And then there's Snow, Prichard and Davis. Davis was the best of the group for me, and I'm a huge Snow fan.
Backstage Segment > B+
They're continuing the cracks in A&8's, and doing a great job with it. DOC is showing more personality than I thought possible, and I still think Anderson is a mole. Something about Anderson in A&8's still feels off, and I like it.
Video > B
I really enjoyed the video about the Knockouts Ladder Match. It was well produced, and the Knockouts have proven how well they work together. I cannot wait to see this match, and because of all that, I cannot trash this video. Also helps that there were VERY few videos on this episode of Impact.
X Division Title Match – Aries (c) vs Sabin vs Manik > A
Many of us have been complaining about how all the X Division matches have be Triple Threat, but they took care of that in this match. I feel kind of bad for Perkins as he keeps getting the short end of the stick, and still stuck under that hood, but he worked the match well for the time he was in it. Actually, Perkins looked downright first-rate in this match.
Certain people thought that Sabin losing the X Division Title, then re-winning it made the Title look lame and not worth the metal it's made of (though not so eloquently stated). I have to disagree with this. Aries is possibly the best wrestler on the roster, and in the top five best wrestlers between TNA and WWE. That TNA used Aries stealing the belt the way he did, then have Sabin win it back so cleanly shows that TNA really does believe in Sabin. Sabin held his own in the ring with Aries, basically one on one, and beat him. I'm blown away at the work we saw between Aries and Sabin, especially at the end of that match. The first all hail Sabin was great. Then when Aries reversed it, I was in shock. But that the third all hail Sabin off the top to seal the win had me cheering! Yes, I was actually yelling as Sabin got the three over Aries in this match.
Winner & new X Division Champion – Sabin (16:22)
There were some great highs, and some pretty sad lows in this episode of Impact. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do next week, but I will be waiting longer than normal as I will be at an SCA event next weekend, and missing Impact. Alex will be writing the Blog Zone for me, as I covered for him last night with the live results.