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TNA Blog Zone - Manchester Is Where He Lay

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This is Ric Santos and welcome to the TNA Blog Zone here on It's Friday and this week's episode of IMPACT Wrestling is in the books with debuts, teasers and alot of build towards Lockdown.

The opening of the show was very good and straight to the point. It's always unnecessary to have an in-ring opening promo last more than 10 minutes. The heroes and villains were presented, the obstacles laid down and let's get to it. What started out as Ethan Carter III versus Gunner for their respective Feast or Fired briefcases in a Ladder Mathc evolved into a tag team Ladder Match for the briefcases with Magnus and Storm getting involved. EC3 was the standout in this contest. Whether taking a bump or giving one, he made a point to look like a star and he did. Magnus, Storm and Gunner all looked good as well, but it was EC3's moment in the sun. Gunner & Storm take the win and both the world title and tag title briefcases, you it will be interesting to see how the briefcases will come into play as we move along.

After the solid opening contests, we're treated to a few backstage moments. First, Mr. Anderson is interviewed and is preparing for his main event Casket Match against Bully Ray. The build up to this Casket Match has been spot on, more so than their meeting several weeks ago. It feels dark and heavy, which is right up both of their alley. It would have been built even better if they were featured prominently every week leading up to IMPACT's main event, but in this case, quality trumps over quantity.

The BroMans w/ DJ Zema Ion are then in Dixie's office breathing down Rockstar Spud's neck about the loss of the tag title briefcase, only to be interrupted by MVP and a match made: The BroMans w/ DJ Zema Ion versus The Wolves and a mystery partner. More MVP, more screen time to connect with the fans and have an impact (no pun intended) on the show and more evolution of Team Dixie. Unlike Magnus' and EC3's drama, The BroMans complaining and wanting answers is good for the story and good for The BroMans. They are an important part of the TNA roster and should be showcased as such. They are out of their shell and are leading the way when called to do so. They looked good next to MVP and we have a match set. Rockstar Spud is as entertaining as always.

Samoa Joe was on the side of The Wolves on the way to their victory against The BroMans and DJ Zema Ion. The focus was on The Wolves, as the rumblings have been heard and felt since their television debut weeks ago. In their in-ring debut, they were solid as can be. However, The Wolves could be best suited to showcase their talked about talents in their own tag team bouts with no third person on their side involved. The crowd and viewers would be able to better gauge just how good, or even how bad, The Wolves are/ can be/ should be/ could be. Joe was solid and The BroMans/ DJ Zema Ion were on point, playing their roles very well. 2014 is going to be a terrific year for The BroMans if TNA management continues to trust them.

What began as Velvet Sky asking Dixie Carter to cancel her match against Chris Sabin, to which Dixie denied, turned into MVP and Rockstar Spud set to meet up in the ring in an official match and MVP's in-ring debut with TNA Wrestling.

Before the Velvet Sky segment above, we had a shot of Abyss making his way and attacking a TNA employee, asking" "What are you looking at?" before letting him go. It's advertised as "Abyss Unmasked" tonight and the in-ring segment between himself and Eric Young was a refreshing change in the Abyss saga. It looks as if Joseph Park has accepted that he is Abyss. but says he can't be the monster and must find someone who understands. So while this entire situation is STILL not resolved, at the least it's gone on to the point it should have reached much sooner. Now it gets a little interesting and, hopefully, will be paced better now than before.

Over at for our TNA News Live! piece, click here to view, an interesting comment was received regarding Samuel Shaw and that comment read "Probably the most interesting story in wrestling today". That's a bold statement and one that may be true. Samuel Shaw's character is intriguing and continuing his storyline with Christy Hemmme last night was the perfect shot of Shaw. What is his agenda? What will he do next outside and inside of the ring? He has a tremendous look and a character that just grows on you with every vignette or backstage happening. TNA should keep this steady pace and build up the next potential superstar in TNA.

A squash match yes, but MVP got in the played his part very well. It wasn't long enough to showcase his in-ring abilities or to gauge the ring rust (if any), but it was nostalgic and fun seeing MVP perform again. Whether this becomes a regular occurrence or a few matches here and there throughout his TNA tenure will play out as we move along.

A teaser for Jeff Har... sorry, Willow is shown. If you don't know, Jeff Hardy's old persona was Willow the Wisp and it lools like he'll be bringing that character to IMPACT Wrestling. It may not be a full time time, possibly a persona we see here and there, much like Mick Foley turning into Cactus Jack or Mankind or Dude Love. That would be a welcome character change for Hardy actually. They could build on his eccentric mentality and, though no building it as a whole new person Jeff has no control over, have Hardy call Willow from within when the moment calls for it. This is an aspect of the Jeff Hardy character that may be very fun to see.

Bobby Roode and Dixie Carter are working very well together. Roode wants his promised title match but Dixie confirms he lost the shot when he lost to Joe last week and the tension is just building up nicely. More dysfunction in Dixie's world and more questions for the former champion. With security taking him away after his calmed down (sad?) interview, let's see how this plays out and what The IT Factor will have in store for us next week.

Chris Sabin's "match" against Velvet Sky was ruined by a new female in TNA Wrestling. Known in the wrestling community as Alpha Female, she took out Velvet Sky and looks to have an alliance with Chris Sabin. Good for Alpha Female to make her in-ring presence felt, but this is a very different turn for Chris Sabin's heel persona. Personally, and I will always state this, Chris Sabin should not have been turned heel or atleast be booked as a heel differently than what has been shown to us. The question also has to be asked: Are we interested in Chris Sabin and his current program? As much as we were tuned in to see this new female, will we care next week? Time will tell.

Before the matchup, a fantastic backstage segment with Bully Ray looking through Anderson's things and calling his wife was shown and it was glorious. That is how you build up a personal feud and that is where you take Bully Ray's character. It was perfect on all fronts. The match itself was very rough (in a good way) and Anderson picked up the win in the Casket Match. This was billed as their final match, so what's next for Anderson and Bully? Maybe this won't be the last match or maybe Anderson shoots for the stars and enters the main event scene. Bully Ray won't be involved, so it's uncertain what will happen next with Bully, but it will be good without a doubt. Back to the match, it was a fight and a great way to close out the in-ring portion of the broadcast. Anderson and Bully work extremely well together and cheers to them.

To end the night, Dixie and MVP met and a challenge was made for the control of TNA Wrestling at Lockdown: Team Dixie versus Team MVP in a Lethal Lockdown Match. With Jeff Hardy's return, Samoa Joe and Magnus' beef and now Team Dixie versus Team MVP (you know it will happen), Lockdown 2014 is shaping up to be a helluva pay-per-view event. It may be too early to state this, but this next pay-per-view event could be one of the best shows of the year. And it's all steel cage matches again! This is getting good.

Last night's IMPACT Wrestling broadcast gets a solid A-. Not only did we get a Ladder Match and a Casket Match on free television, which someone on Twitter actually complained about and questioned TNA's logic for providing on free TV (you just can't please the haters, can you?), but we also had good build towards Lockdown and we got to see alot of storylines progress in a very good pace. The minus comes from no Gail Kim/ Madison Rayne drama, no Bad Influence and no Austin Aries. What TNA does is switch up some of the cast of characters with each broadcast, but they should get into the habit of atleast mentioning stars that won't appear on the show so the home viewers don't forget or ask "Where's this person?".

Overall, it was a very entertaining IMPACT broadcast and we move on to next week's show with more to come. Give us your thoughts on last night's IMPACT Wrestling in the comments below, just have respect when commenting. Enjoy your weekend and until next time!

Loved Villain Or Misunderstood Anti-Hero,

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