I've already been called on this, but I'm going there. I just don't like TNA taping Impact. While I understand why they're taping, it's for the holidays, and a lot of TNA's wrestlers are with TNA for the easier schedule, but this feels like a step backward. I might sound really nasty in saying this, but today is not Thanksgiving, that's next week. I guess it's cool that TNA has given their roster more time off, but I think it's terrible timing! They're coming off Turning Point, and they could really run in some big directions and make things shocking, but not if it's taped; and Impact has seen some better ratings lately. Not saying they were good, but they were looking up. I think TNA has shot themselves in the foot until the start of next year.
Do I think they should have to be there next week for a live show on Thanksgiving Day, no, I don't. Yes, I know that there's a number of wrestlers on the roster who are not from the USA and do not celebrate our Thanksgiving Day, but I don't see as they should be working when the rest of the roster has off. I actually went through the entire roster listed on the Impact Wrestling website to see how much of the roster was born in the USA. I thought it would be interesting to see how many of the wrestlers might actually care about being home with their families next Thursday. Only eight of the people listed on the roster page were born outside the USA, and that really shocked me. Of course Roode, EY and Kim are from Canada, but so is Alex Silva and Sarita! And I knew that Williams, Magnus and Robbie T are from the UK, and they're the only ones. As far as I could find, everyone else was born in the USA – that's including Taeler, Ion, Rosita, Hernandez and York. Honestly, I think it's great that they're getting Thanksgiving Day off to be home with their friends, and don't be surprised if I'm late getting the BZ out next week for that reason.
Does this mean they're not pulling out the turkey suit? Don't tell me! I'm not reading the spoilers!
Video > C+
Listening to the narrator for Impact's opening video I don't get that same horrible reaction that I get from the narrator starting RAW! His voice doesn't have that 'I'm explaining down to little children' tone to it. I think it works much better than the one working for the WWE. I'm not saying it was a very good video, but the narrator is better than WWE's, and I try to give TNA props where they deserve them.
In Ring Segment > D-
Little TV screen? I know Storm didn't mean it in a negative way, but it rubbed me a bit wrong. Take it for what it is, you know I rarely say anything negative about Storm these days. Other than that, he was great, as always.
When Roode came out, I could see the direction this was going because of the spoiler I read on WNW this past week. No, not ripping on Richard for posting the spoiler, and I didn't have to read it, but I did. It was the only Impact spoiler I read this week, and it annoyed me so much that I made sure I didn't read any more. That three way match at Turning Point was too good for them to change their minds and go in a different direction so quickly. It's just more of the screwing of Storm.
I also have to say that Roode's comment about Storm's daughter turning 18 really disgusted me. I've spoken openly about families and children being dragged into storylines – whether they're shown on screen or not – and how it's really not cool, but that comment to a whole new disgusting level. That pisses me off a lot more than Heyman faking a heart attack in the ring on RAW. That one little comment took a solid segment and brought it down to almost failure.
Backstage Segment > D
They're making such a huge deal about AJ not getting a TNA Title shot for a year, what's the big deal? He hasn't been Champ in quite a while, and hasn't been in the run for it in quite a while. You could say that AJ being the face of TNA, he doesn't need to hold gold – as is so often said about Cena – but I do think AJ should be wearing gold periodically and it's been too long. I can see where they're going with this storyline, but it would mean more if AJ had been the running for any belts recently. In some ways it feels like they're making a bigger deal out of this than it really is at this point. I'd be more annoyed to see him back in the turkey costume than him going without a run for the gold. Hogan making so much of it here was making a mountain out of a speck of sand.
Video > C+
Well cut video, but this show is dragging so low right now that I'm having troubles being brought back in.
Backstage Segment > B
I have to say I'm liking the way A&8's are throwing darts to pick their victim. It's a fresh way of doing things. And taking out Sting wasn't good enough?
X Division Title Match – RVD (c) vs Kid Kash > B-
Does this mean that TNA is going to start paying attention to the X Division again? The way they were working was so fluid and lovely at points, then RVD would lose his train of thought and it seemed as though the whole match was thrown off kilter. Kash has worked with RVD for years, since they were in ECW together. The way those two crashed was a little sick, and then RVD seemed to get turned around again! While I've always liked Kash, I've been a huge RVD fan since back in the day, but his matches have looked really choppy lately. He finished off well, but Kash carried that match for me. I'm really starting to question whether RVD wants to be in TNA with the performances he's been giving in the ring.
Winner – RVD (3:56)
Backstage Segment > B
I love ODBEY, but I wasn't expecting to see them both on Impact. I have to admit I'm thrilled. Their chemistry is great and he works off ODB's raunchiness so well. Since his 'head injury' his little boy side has made him that much more unique, and it works. Or it would if TNA wasn't screwing him over financially. Honestly, I have to admit that I have trouble looking at EY now without seeing him with a sword trying to take out jumping fish while he was (badly) trying to water ski. I give the man props for creativity, no matter what show he's on.
Backstage Segment > D
Angle is looking for a partner between Garett and Wes? I hate to say it, but he had to go with Garett considering Wes' health right now. Beyond that, this segment felt so plastic and like they weren't sure of their lines. Not up to Angle's best.
Jessie w/ Tara vs EY w/ ODB > C+
Taz talking about golden showers? Good to see that TNA isn't PG! I was hoping that EY would make Jessie look good in the ring, but when Jessie went for Joe's power slam, he struggled through it while twisting in a strange way. It just wasn't anywhere near crisp. I will say that Jessie hit a really solid drop kick! That was unexpected after how bad he'd been looking.
I find it hysterical that Jessie can be out to the ring in trunks, but EY removes his shorts and it's the most disgusting thing in the world. EY's power slam was not as fast as Joe's,but it sure looked crisp. I also think Jessie's finisher was a bit of an overused move, but it is a fairly easy one for him to pick up early on in his career. All in all, I thought Jessie seemed to get into a groove and his moves got better as he worked the match. From what we saw, I don't see him being the most exciting wrestler, but he held his own pretty well and stayed in character while he did so. Personally I thought it was more entertaining than the previous match while still looking solid, but it shouldn't have as Jessie should not be expected to be performing to any level close to RVD. His moves weren't as good, but his overall performance was.
Winner – Jessie (5:04)
Video > B
Nothing like showing us almost all of Joseph's match at Turning Point! Recap videos are one thing, but why show us so much of the match? I'm so confused!
Backstage Segment > B+
Dang! Stacy told me the other night that he expected to see Bully tasked with training Joseph to be a wrestler. When Joseph said something about being trained, I told Stacy to shut up. Even thought it's not what he said was going to happen, Joseph going to wrestling school could be really cool! Hopefully they show some segments of him 'learning' to wrestle. The WWE did a great job of it when Regal was training Eugene, but I think TNA could take it to a whole new level with Joseph!
In Ring Segment > C+
So DOC is back at it with his rubber ball peen? Gave D-Lo, Snow and Kenney a chance to get some face time. And don't tell me D-Lo is getting face time, he's under a mask when he's with A&8's. I do have to say that Magnus is a confusing victim, but maybe it was a way to end his feud with Joe. They needed to blow it off somehow, and nothing has felt very final. If Magnus is out with two broken legs (knees, hair folicles), then Joe can fight against someone else for a while. I do think DOC's toy hammer is a little much as a weapon. It just doesn't feel right, but I can't put my finger on why.
Further interesting that it was Bully who made the save, but they're setting up any direction he might go, and they're doing it well. Magnus' biting his hand and shaking while being taken out on a stretcher was a bit much, but he had to do something.
Video > B-
There was so much they could have done at Turning Point with both belts hanging from those hooks! I really expected to see some interesting work with those belts, but they didn't go there. Okay, it was funny to see Aries raising them out of Hardy's reach, but beyond that, I think TNA dropped the ball creatively. I also don't understand why they're showing such long chunks of the matches from TP. Did they not tape enough for a two hour Impact? Maybe some of the other matches, but this was the main event and the TNA Title. This really confuses me.
Backstage Segment > D
This segment was pretty solid. Aries wasn't as on his game, but he was decent. Then they had to go into Hardy's head and listen to his thoughts while he sat there with that brooding looking on his face. I'm sorry, I just don't buy Hardy as the deep artistic type. His belt designs have shown me that he thinks he is, but he just doesn't have it in him. Flying off ladders is not much compared to chopping off an ear.
Garett & Angle vs A&8's > B
Angle was quite strong on mic starting this match. I was impressed from the bell, but then Angle hit a really horrible belly-to-belly. I don't know who was to blame for it, Angle or Devon, but it was just cruddy!
While Garett didn't do a lot in the ring, he hit a lovely shoulder block and a pretty strong drop kick. While they're not the most highly technical moves, Garett hit them as if they were nothing, and make them look effortless. I never thought I'd be up on Garett's ring work, but it looks as thought he's been really working hard on his skills. I give him props for not floating on the job that his father gave him, but he's making something of himself in that job.
Angle seems to be able to hit German suplexes on about anyone! I know wrestlers have their key moves that they use in almost every match and they hit them better than most others. Angle has a couple key moves, but the way he hits that German suplex always leaves me impressed.
This was actually quite a solid match, and I love how it ended with the mule kick. That the faces are not adverse to cheat back to win a match makes the whole storyline more interesting. I'm really glad they shoehorned this match into this show because the show needed all the help it could get.
(I missed this match the first time through as I had to make a bathroom run. Because of that this segment is kind of out of the flow with the rest of the BZ. Going back to watch this really brought a smile to my face. I'd been thinking that most of the matches on this show blew, but this brought my feeling for the show up as a whole.)
Winners – Angle & Garett (4:43)
Backstage Segment > B+
A sofa back to the door? That isn't a bit odd! I read someone had commented somewhere on WNW that TNA was stealing this Bully/Brooke storyline from WWE's Cena/AJ storyline. I just shook my head and moved on, but I am really interested in seeing where they're going to go with this. Brooke and Bully are such an unexpected 'couple' and I think that's what makes it so worth following.
Backstage Segment > D+
Suddenly AJ is all a mess? I think they needed to set this up a little better than they did. And what an ugly hat!
#1 Contender Knockouts Battle Royal > C+
Nice to see that there's more than three Knockouts still on the roster! I know Mickie had some health issues to deal with, but we haven't seen much of Kim, and I can't think of the last time we saw Madison on Impact! I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I'm glad to see her back. Kim and Madison were making nasty comments about Tessmacher, not that unusual, but they were talking to Hemme and she was smirking with them. I thought that Hemme was supposed to be a good girl!
I like that the Knockouts have to be sent over the top rope and out to be eliminated from this match. It always feels as though the Divas are half assing it when they can roll out under the bottom rope and land on their feet to be eliminated. Oh, wait, that was Kim!
I like that Tessmacher was sent out the hard way, and ODB hit hard when she landed. Madison's elimination was hysterical, and then there were two, and what a two they were. Mickie looked more ring ready than she's seemed in a while. She looks like she's skimmed off a little of that weight that had been slowing her down and throwing her off her stride in the ring. She also has a smile she hadn't had in a while before she left. Hopefully she's feeling better and ready to put in the time needed to make her ring work look solid again. She looked pretty good here.
Winner – Mickie (5:31)
Backstage Segment > B+
Oooh, I liked AJ's creepy way of coming out of the shadows there. Hopefully this will be an organic evolution of AJ's character. Hopefully TNA does right by him and makes wherever they're going with him work and not look as silly as him in that turkey costume!
Backstage Segment > C
I thought that was glaringly obvious. They threw him out earlier, but he was running around beating up Magnus with them? It was not at all believable that DOC had been tossed out.
Video > C
What is up with showing so much of what happened at TP? Looks like they didn't put together enough to fill up the show, so they gave us big chunks of the PPV.
In Ring Segment > epic fail
I was so hoping that AJ was going to go somewhere interesting with this, and he looked as though he might be going there, but then out came Daniels and Kaz again. I really thought we were going somewhere with this, but the only place we're going is back to AJ facing off against Daniels in the ring, AGAIN! I don't believe this 'one last time' crap. They really could have done something creative with AJ, instead they went down this same tired road. Everyone keeps saying that the WWE has been booking themselves into a mess, I think this is as messy as the whole Survivor Series main event right now, and I don't really want to see any of it.
Backstage Segment > B
The truth? What truth is that Aries? I'm even more confused!
Video > B
It's about time we see some of these Gut Check kids back on Impact. Then again a lot of them needed some training, but York is more than ready to go, so it is good timing.
Backstage Segment > B
Wes for Gut Check? Is his health good enough for that? Interesting that D-Lo likes Wes, brings it all back to A&8's. Why would he need to go through Gut Check if he's already with A&8's? Either way, it's quite the idea, and Angle played it well.
#1 Contender Match – Storm vs Roode > B+
As per usual, these two were sick in the ring. They work so beautifully together, tagging or facing off. All that being said, I'm still annoyed about the reasoning behind this match. It's more of Storm getting screwed over, and I don't like it. But, I do have to admit that this was a beautiful match. They left it all out there, and did it so well after doing even more the night before. This match has made most of the crap I've had to sit through worth while. Not saying I would willingly sit through the entire show again just to see this match, but this match was sure a shining light at the end of a dark and dreary mess.
Even though I don't agree with how all this went down, and I'm hoping the cheating will bring Storm back into the TNA Title run, this match was just great. Finally a reason to smile, and I'm not at all shocked that it was BMI who left it all in the ring. Thanks to Roode and Storm for saving this Impact.
Winner – Roode (12:29)
At first I thought I was being hard on this episode of Impact because it was taped and I was being pissy about that. But the more I thought through the show, and reread some of the segments I really ripped on, the more I think it was just a piss poor show. They had so many places they could have really run with things creatively, yet they didn't. I think I'm most down on Roode's comment about Storm's daughter, and that TNA really flipping dropped with ball with AJ. The last thing I want to see right now is more of the same, and Daniels facing off with AJ is absolutely more of the same! There's so much they could do with AJ, but they're fluffing him off and that's not the way to treat the face of TNA. I'm really upset about this. Hopefully TNA will pick a direction and run with things, because this show was all over the place, and not much of it creative or even very good.