Seeing that TNA is looking to take Impact Wrestling in a new positive direction, I thought it would be a good time to give TNA a shot to see if maybe the good outweighs the bad this time. I won’t be reviewing every aspect of the show, just touching on key points that I liked and didn’t like.
written by: Erik Vasquez
The show kicks off with a Knockouts Tag Team Match. Already to me this is a positive, starting the show with action rather than talking. Kind of surprised Gail Kim is a face, last time I watched (around the time MVP debuted) she was a heel and a pretty decent one at that. The match was decent, nothing special. Good thing was it went about 11 minutes, enough time for some solid action. Another thing, Gail Kim is so good, almost criminally underrated. Quick footwork and fluid motion shows everything comes natural and just clicks. No wasted movement.
Winner: Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell
Backstage MVP walks alongside Kenny King and World Champion Bobby Lashley. MVP calls the champ the Destroyer of Worlds and the Devourer of Souls. Did Lashley forget his fedora? His tacky shirt? His beard?! Where’s Rowan?! Where’s Harper??!!! Where’s….oh sorry forgot what show I was watching.
So new World Champion Lashley (that’s right, just Lashley) comes down to the ring for his championship celebration. The last name only thing? Really? This is one of the things you’re not supposed to copy. Why? Because it makes no sense and the person who created the idea of using last names only did so as a flex of power, no real wrestling logic behind it. Good thing about this segment is they didn’t waste time with mindless talking and got right to the point. Something minor that picked up on was Bobby Roode coming to make the save for Eric Young exactly as he did last week. Almost carbon copy. Again minor to most. Commercial break before setting up the match WHY!!! When it seems as though MVP is going to fire Bobby Roode an unknown gentleman by the name of Earl Sullivan Armstrong appears on the stage to interrupt the proceedings. He says represents TNA’s Board of Directors and says MVP is no longer the Director of Wrestling Operations and with that said his replacement will be here shortly. Also Bobby Roode is no longer suspended. Unless Mr. Armstrong doesn’t make his presence known on the regular this poses a huge problem for me. Too many authoritative figures. To draw a parallel WWE too has higher up figures drunk with power. The difference is you know who those people are no mistake about it. In TNA on camera Dixie has power, MVP has power, there’s this new dude Earl Sullivan Armstrong, a new Director of Wrestling Operations is replacing MVP…it’s all too much. If you’re gonna go the heel authoritative route than just give sole power to Dixie. It’s more believable because well, she’s actually in charge.
Who are these carny people? I LIKE THEM! BRO MANS! I LIKE THEM! MANIK TALKING WITHOUT HIS MASK ON. STILL. I do not like that.
Setting up the X Division Title match the way they did with Senada fell flat. Basically all 3 men who wanted a title shot got what they wanted in the form of a 4 way match. Allow me to point out that this is only the second bout of the night and we’re 45 minutes into the 2 hour program. The match itself was really good. Very reminiscent of the classic WCW cruiserweight style matches. Senada picked up the win with an absolutely beautiful double underhook German suplex with a gorgeous bridge.
Winner and still X Division Champion: Senada
The show resumes with a second celebration but this time it’s for Dixie Carter who assumes she is the new sole person in charge of TNA. Earl Sullivan Armstrong again interrupts the good times to inform Dixie that she isn’t the new Director of Wrestling Operations. That person will be on the show later tonight. My only issue is why not right now? After Dixie dowses Armstrong in champagne before he exits the ring. As Dixie is freaking out Bully Ray comes out and threatens to put Dixie through a table. She tries to bribe Bully with $200K but not even that changes his mind. EC3 and Spud tried to make the save but to no avail. He hoists her up and just about she was about to go crashing Spud makes the save by flipping the table and getting Dixie out of there.
We come back from commercial just in time for more backstage talk. Yay.
Back to the ring and Cowboy James Storm makes his way down to the ring. He’s taking on Mr. Kenne…I mean Mr. Anderson. Nothing special. Storm caught Anderson flush with a superkick for the win.
Sam Shaw gets released from a mental institution but only if he remains under the care of Gunner. Odd pairing. Backstage James Storm confronts Senada and asks him how proud would Muta be if at Destination X Senada walks out as World Champ? But what if he chokes. Storm walks off offering good luck. More talking….
Backstage somehow EC3 got left behind by Spud and his aunt Dixie. He gets jumped by Tommy Dreamer who beats him all the way to the ring. Oddly placed fight. No officials to break it up so why not make it a match? If this isn’t a match it’s taking way too much time especially so close to the end of the show.
More backstage stuff this time with Abyss and Willow to hype up their Monster’s Ball match with Magnus and Bram. Why does Willow talk like that? Why is Willow played by Jeff Hardy? I have too many questions…
After Lashley destroys a limo driver in yet ANOTHER backstage segment the Monster’s Ball match is underway. Apparently Monster’s Ball is just random boards in each corner covered in bared wire and random objects under the ring. Bram somehow got busted open and Abyss’ 2X4 covered in nails he calls “Janice” makes an appearance. Bram handcuffs Abyss’ to a guardrail on the outside leaving Willow on his own. Abyss breaks through the cuffs (with ease). Willow loos to be going to the top to set up a Swanton but Magnus cuts him off by throwing a chair directly to Willow’s head. Willow goes crashing through one of the barbed wire boards propped up by the ring and guardrail. Abyss enters the ring with a bag full of thumbtacks. Abyss goes to chokeslam Magnus onto the tacks but Magnus cuts him off. Magnus with Janice in hand looks to strike Abyss. He counters it and ends up chokeslamming Magnus into the tacks anyway. Abyss has his back turned which allows Bram to use Janice on Abyss with a shot to the gut for the win. The actual finish spot looked a little off but an okay match nonetheless.
Time for the final segment of Impact Live. Earl Sullivan Armstrong comes out for a third time to announce that the new Director of Wrestling Operations is Kurt Angle. Angle says it’s about time TNA got their heads out of their asses. He has no ulterior motives seeing as he’s accomplished pretty much everything in the wrestling business; Angle is looking to give back. Angle gets interrupted by MVP and crew who are in shock Angle is his replacement. MVP asks if all of Angle’s personal demons are in check because he’s staring at 3 demons right now. Angle may have some authority but they have power. Angle says if they lay a finger on him he will fire them on the spot because he’s the new boss! He makes a match next week for the TNA World Championship against Eric Young. He also reinstates Bobby Roode. EY and Roode charge the ring and brawl it out to close the show.
Final Thoughts: I actually had high hopes going back into watching Impact Live. I liked that they started the show with a nice decently timed match. I’m still a fan of the Bro-Mans and the carnival crew (didn’t catch their name) seem like fun. The X Division match was the best match of the night in my opinion. However the negative seem to outshine the good this week. Simply way too much talking and way too many backstage segments. If a talking segment needs to get over keep it short, simple, and in the ring/ring area. I will say the closing has me intrigued for next week so look for another recap next Friday.