Good morning from New York City and welcome to the TNA Blog Zone here on Wrestling News World. I will first start off by saying that last night's episode of IMPACT Wrestling was a great show. If you missed the show and decided to watch WWE NXT live instead, watch IMPACT Wrestling from your DVR (you did record it, right?) and you'll be thoroughly entertained. Let's get down to business now starting with the matches.
ABYSS DEFEATS SAMOA JOE VIA DISQUALIFICATION DUE TO INTERFERENCE BY ERIC YOUNG
Digging the new Abyss mask, but not so much with the hair cut. In any case, IMPACT Wrestling opens with Samoa Joe taking on Abyss after an initial in-ring promo between Magnus, Abyss, Samoa Joe and MVP. The match held nothing of extreme significance, but was a good way to set the tone for the night. Eric Young causes Joe to take the DQ loss, which could have been more effective if the match outcome came before EY joins in. Samoa Joe's spotlight was taken by Eric Young, which would be fine in any other time outside of the heavyweight title picture. However, as Joe will face Magnus in a rematch next week, Joe needed to look as dominant as ever. I'm glad TNA made a point to acknowledge this with a backstage segment later in the night between Eric Young and Samoa Joe, so this may develop into something interesting between the two.
BRITTANY DEFEATS GAIL KIM w/ LEI'D TAPA
Brittany makes her TNA Wrestling debut against Gail Kim with a victory over the former Knockouts champion. There's not much knowledge on Brittany, aka Santana Garrett, on my part so last night was my first viewing of the new Knockout. She looked good throughout the match and seemed to know what she was doing in the ring. Gail Kim was as solid as she's ever been with the amount of time given and her priorities within the match. Speaking of Gail, was she the right opponent to face Brittany? Coming off of a loss at Lockdown for the TNA Knockouts Championship and then taking a loss to Brittany doesn't do Gail any favors. If Brittany were to face any other Knockout, it would have worked out better considering Gail was (is?) a championship contender. However, Gail gives Brittany some shine and more power to Brittany for a successful debut. The story after the match was the implosion of Lei'D Tapa and Gail Kim, which everyone knew was bound to happen. It's evident that Lei'D Tapa will come out as the babyface of the feud, so this is TNA's chance to bring us into Tapa's world so we may then invest our time in her character, her ring work and her program with Gail Kim.
TNA X-DIVISION CHAMPION SANADA & TIGRE UNO DEFEAT TNA TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BROMANS w/ DJ Z
A great tag team match with Sanada looking very strong and standing out as the champion he is. Very cool moment backstage with Sanada having a talk with The Great Muta. It's great to see TNA taking the steps needed to have us care for the new talent coming in and follow them as they continue their TNA tenure. I've only seen Sanada compete once against AJ Styles for Wrestle-1, which you can watch by clicking here. Sanada is the real deal and hopefully his style and persona can translate well on American wrestling screens. If the reaction to the match last night by the crowd was any indication, he'll be just fine. I still don't think Tigre Uno has shown us the level he can attain in the ring. He's been very good, but he needs to find his opportunity and take advantage of it. My only real gripe was how weak The BroMans looked at the end of the match. Coming off of attacking Bully Ray (more on that later in the Blog Zone), The BroMans should have maintained their viciousness and really give it to Sanada and Tigre Uno after the bout to make the point that they are the alpha tag team in TNA Wrestling.
MR. ANDERSON DEFEATS SAMUEL SHAW IN A STREET FIGHT
Samuel Shaw continues to breathe more life into his persona each week, now with a Christy Hemme mannequin brought to ringside. We saw Shaw talking to "Christy" backstage (not shown on camera) and I figured it was his mannequin. A good match with Anderson taking the win. With Shaw's Lockdown win and Anderson's win, a rubber match should obviously take place. Exposure for Shaw is key and Anderson returning to a strong position in TNA Wrestling is the goal here, so good showing. I would have preferred a no contest with the two battling all the way outside of the area with no idea where they go, but a trilogy looks to be in order regardless. It could extend further into more gimmick style matches or end in a traditional one on one contest. This feud, particularly because of Samuel Shaw, can end outside of a wrestling ring if needed.
ROCKSTAR SPUD DEFEATS WILLOW VIA DISQUALIFICATION
The setup to this bout will be discussed at the bottom, but this was not about Spud or Willow picking up the win or loss. Looking back at each match, tonight's in-ring was to showcase the new TNA Wrestling talent and direction. Even though Willow is Jeff Hardy, the character is new to the TNA fanbase and his intentions needed to be on display. Willow gets himself disqualified and destroys Rockstar Spud afterwards. The question I had during my viewing was: Will Jeff Hardy acknowledge Willow? Is this an alter ego he has no control over or is this just a way for Hardy to "hide behind a mask" so he justifies his viciousness? Like Samuel Shaw, Willow can be an extremely intriguing character if done right. Rockstar Spud is someone who is used as comic relief and as an enhancement worker of sorts, but he could be used to really get a good in-ring streak going so don't sleep on Spud just yet in that area. He had a great moment earlier in the night so he is in a very good place in TNA.
Alot's been covered, but we're not done yet TNA Blog Zone faithful!
MVP IN CONTROL
As stated in the beginning of the Blog Zone, MVP opened the show with Magnus, Abyss and Samoa Joe. Ever since MVP made his TNA debut, the quality of the product has really picked up and continues to do so. A TNA title match is set up for next week and a new direction is presented with MVP's "Motivate, Validate, Participate" edict. I like this direction and you can feel a difference with Dixie Carter out of the picture (atleast for now) and the focus on total nonstop action (pun intended). Speaking of which, Rockstar Spud and EC3 had a good segment dedicated to Dixie Carter with a huge picture of Dixie in the ring. Spud was hilarious and has a way of taking control of the camera when he's given a prominent role. MVP comes out to set up Spud Vs. Willow and also brings out a returning Bobby Lashley for a match against EC3 next week. Slowly but surely, it looks like TNA is undoing some of the Hogan Era mistakes, so it's exciting to see how they handle the show as me move forward.
ANGELINA LOVE RETURNS
A night of returns and debuts! Angelina Love is back and wants to reunite The Beautiful People. The Beautiful People are a great team, but can be most effective as a heel team. A babyface version of The Beautiful People has the potential to be a little bit too sentimental with one another. They should start off as babyfaces, of course, but bring out the bad girls they once were to have that strong presence again. This goes out to Velvet Sky especially, as she works great as a heel. Where does this leave Madison Rayne? I smell a possible feud with Angelina with Beautiful People history playing into their possible story.
BULLY RAY TAKES VENGEANCE INTO HIS OWN HANDS
We end the Blog Zone looking at Bully Ray and members of Team Roode. Literally from beginning to end, Bully Ray and Team Roode just went at it. Bully Ray took a hardcore beating at the beginning of the show and stalked the members of Team Roode throughout the night and taking them out (except for Austin Aries as he disappeared). Bobby Roode was put through a table to end the show in glorious fashion. Some would say that his turn at Lockdown was not expected, but what has Bully done during his time in TNA? Swerving is his specialty and this past week was no different. Bully is looking for a prominent spot again on TNA television and took full advantage of the opportunity as he always does. Bobby is still strong as the second biggest heel in the company next to Magnus, but this program can certain elevate Roode further into an eventual title match down the road. Same with Bully, this program can bring out a championship reward depending on how things play out with Magnus' current program.
RATING AND FINAL THOUGHTS
This was an A+ show hands down as last night's IMPACT Wrestling was well produced and planned out extremely well. It was fun, intriguing, action packed and no one took too much time to get their points across whether in a match or promo. Not that she was terrible, but it was refreshing to have an IMPACT broadcast without Dixie Carter. The danger with having her heel persona so prominent on TNA television was the overexposure, much like Hulk Hogan. Dixie Carter will make an appearance again, but sporadic appearances are best. Her purpose has been fulfilled and the foundation has been set by her and her feud with MVP (Thank you Dixie!), so let's get TNA back to the wrestling and return to the slogan "Wrestling Matters", shall we?
Loved Villain Or Misunderstood Anti-Hero,
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