TNA Blog Zone - Gunner And Storm Steal The Show

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Good morning and welcome to another edition of the TNA Blog Zone here on Wrestling News World. We start off this week looking at the drama of last night's show followed by match analysis. So, let's begin.

THE DRAMA

SHOW OPENER
The show kicked off with MVP, Magnus, Abyss, Samoa Joe and Eric Young all getting involved and setting up next week's TNA World Heavyweight Championship match. What was going to be a Three-Way Dance evolved into a Fatal Four Way and a one on one contest between Samoa Joe and EY later in the evening. Interesting developments with the story coming out of this segment being Eric Young. Could this be the moment where Eric Young is given his due for all of his years of giving, but never quite reaching the pinnacle? EY is one of the most entertaining performers on the roster and having to prefer his more serious side, EY is showing how easily he can be considered for a spot on the main event and a legitimate title run some time. With the need for more babyfaces in TNA Wrestling, Eric Young is a great choice to pass the ball to. A bit of distrust was also built on between Magnus and Abyss, which always adds a little intrigue to a world title situation. Ultimately, Magnus will find a way to retain as a title loss should not happen unless it is on pay-per-view. He's earned that much.

IT PAYS TO BE ROODE
Not an official match between Bobby Roode and Bully Ray, but the two performed well in their in-ring segment with the many tables and physicality. Bobby Roode got the better of Bully as he should have at this point. If TNA is going forward with a trend of extensive feuding with alot of back and forth, I'm all for it. In the past, TNA would keep a feud going for such a short time but seem to be keeping up with them every week until a solid end is provided. In this continuing saga, Roode builds for himself and next week's confrontation (there should surely be one). This should lead to a match at Sacrifice later on with the goal being to quell the one on one feud a bit.

THE STORY OF KNUX CONTINUES
We continue watching Knux' life outside of the ring unfold in segments presented in video packages. What TNA does with this storyline will be interesting to see. The issue that may come with this is Knux' babyface persona. Knux is a big guy with a look that doesn't necessarily scream babyface. If Knux can pull it off, then I'm very excited for him and his opportunity. However, in my heart of hearts, I feel he can portray a babyface for a little while before reverting to a full on heel again. A better position would be heel or anti-hero, but not a straight up good guy. We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

SAM SHAW IS GOLD
In a short backstage/ video segment, Samuel Shaw terrorized Christy Hemme yet again and took a lock of her hair before leaving. Samuel Shaw is the future and TNA needs to take care not to push him to a place where his character will look stupid or comical. He is being built the right way and Shaw has owned this persona. Next week he faces Mr. Anderson again, further proving that TNA is building on feuds and allowing the fans to care for the characters involved.

THE HUNT FOR WILLOW
These were very entertaining segments throughout the night as Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud searched for Willow (Jeff Hardy) in a remote and wooded area. Spud was taken hostage eventually and Willow got the upperhand on EC3, who proclaimed he was ready to play Willow's game. This is a very refreshing twist to Jeff Hardy and one reminiscent of Mick Foley and his personas. Willow has a place in TNA Wrestling next to Jeff Hardy, if Hardy breaks from the character and uses it instead as a means of force and aggression when needed. Rockstar Spud and EC3 are geniuses when it comes to their material. You can never be disappointed when it comes to either performer and last night furthered that statement. Both are now TNA Wrestling staples and I can't think of TNA Wrestling without EC3 and Spud at this time.

THE MATCHES

THE WOLVES DEF. MAGNUS & ABYSS
After asking for a match tonight from MVP against Magnus and Abyss, The Wolves prevailed over their opponents. This was a pretty solid match with Magnus taking the quick tap out. As explained later on to Abyss, the quick tap was planned as Magnus will only give it his all when the title is on the line and will not risk injury otherwise. The Wolves are simmering down a bit, which is not a bad thing. They've been presented to us, their style was put on display for us to chew on and now they are members of the roster we come to see every week. They are built up in that sense. There's no need to push them hard on the TNA viewers, but let's hope they don't eventually fall to the wayside and if so, let's hope it's not for a long time. Even that statement is premature to make, but you get the idea. 2014 should be a big year for The Wolves.

ANGELINA LOVE DEF. MADISON RAYNE
A non-title match for the Knockouts reuniting The Beautiful People indefinitely. Earlier in the night, Angelina called out Velvet to make her decision tonight following her protest of Love's attack on Madison Rayne and she did. Velvet helped Love pick up the win with backhanded tactics that was not surprising really. Velvet Sky and Angelina Love are best as a heel team. Individually they can pull of the babyface personas well enough, but as The Beautiful People, they need to be the bad girls of the Knockouts Division. The match itself was well, but it's starting to be annoying with how Madison Rayne has been booked lately. Having to be put in a position of doubt and going with the traditional "good guy (girl in this case) will overcome" is a little bit much now. Aside from the very good win at Lockdown against Gail Kim, Rayne hasn't been booked to be a prominent Knockouts champion. The writers need to really utilize Madison positively and forget how one sided her feuds always seem to be. If you're going to give her the title, don't just give her the belt, present her as the champion she is.

SAMOA JOE DEF. ERIC YOUNG
Continuing from an earlier altercation between the two in the opening segment, Samoa Joe and Eric Young faced off with Joe taking the knock out victory. As mentioned in my Booking IMPACT! article (you can read it by clicking here), this could have worked out better as a no contest. Joe is getting his title shot again, but Eric Young is stepping up and should have been made to look strong heading into next week's title match. Even though Young stated it wasn't about the title and he was there to essentially watch Joe's back so he could have his one on one chance against Magnus, you can't be too naive and think EY won't want to be champion. Next week's main event should be very interesting to see.

GUNNER DEF. "THE COWBOY" JAMES STORM
Match of the night hands down. Gunner took the ball and ran with it from beginning to end. If you had doubts about Gunner as a performer and questioned how important he is to the TNA roster, watch this match again (I'll be watching the show a second time after the Blog Zone is up as I always do). This is the kind of action we love to see and this is the kind of Gunner that needs to be featured on IMPACT Wrestling and pay-per-views going forward. If done right, Gunner is going to be the next big TNA babyface and eventual TNA world champion. Mark my words, if it isn't 2014, then 2015 will be all Gunner. Another article for TNANews.com I posted looking at the heels TNA needs, which can be read by clicking here, dives into James Storm and this match further proved my point. Storm was solid and just really kept up with this new persona in a very traditional sense, which was awesome. Like Gunner, Storm has a shot at being the next big TNA heel and eventual TNA world champion. This has the makings of an extensive and well documented feud that can last for years and continue to be entertaining with every encounter. Cheers to these two performers for a great match last night.

RATING AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Last night's IMPACT Wrestling scores a strong B+ as I still cannot get over how hour one can go by with just one matchup while hour two is match heavy. There has to be a little bit more balance and I think of the casual fans tuning in. If one hour goes by with only one wrestling match in a wrestling show, they may not stick around for hour two. Even if the main events are promoted heavily, it's a casual fan you're dealing with. Despite that, the show was overall a success and pushed along alot of feuds with alot of set up. I'll be looking forward to next week's episode very much. By the way, Kenny King is back next week!

Give us your thoughts on last night's IMPACT Wrestling, but remember to keep things respectful and just enjoy the company of your fellow readers. We're all wrestling fans, right?

Loved Villain Or Misunderstood Anti-Hero,
Ric Santos
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER:@REALRICSANTOS

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