Tuesday, March 9, 2010

TNA Impact Thoughts - March 8, 2010

If I like what I see here tonight, I just might turn this into a weekly thing.  No idea how I'm going to make it work with my DVR, but hey, good wrestling is good wrestling.

I really liked the new opening video, very slick and way better than the old one.  No surprise that TNA wanted to get the jump on WWE tonight and brought out Hulk Hogan... and Abyss, but who cares about him?  Didn't take long for a "biggest night in the history of our sport" line either, ah if only Tony Schiavone could've said it instead of the Hulkster.  

Abyss & Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair & AJ Styles had been hyped for weeks and they decided to open the show with it, but unsurprisingly, there were shenanigans involved.  A few minutes into the match, Sting returned to TNA!  Sting was staring down Flair & Styles, but SWERVE~!, Sting attacked Hogan and Abyss instead!  I never approve of Sting heel turns, it's like trying to make Ricky Steamboat a heel, ya just don't do it.  You know what else you probably shouldn't do?  Unprotected chair shots to the skull.  I know, I know, TNA wants to be "edgy" and show blood since WWE doesn't, but I don't think a 56-year-old man needs to take shots like that to prove anything.  Nothing wrong with putting your hands up.  Match is off, but Hogan said they'd finish it before the night was over.

Great promo from Ric Flair backstage.  I'm still not fond of him coming out of retirement, but no one works the mic like the Naitch.

However, no one should ever work the mic like Abyss.  "WHY STING WHYYYYY?!"  

Kazarian in the ring talking up the X-Division, good to know TNA hasn't forgotten about it, and good to know they haven't forgotten about Christopher Daniels, who claimed he is the X-Division.  Doug Williams was out next to call Daniels and Kazarian "geezers," even though he's one year younger than Daniels and five years older than Kazarian.  Oookay.  The three traded words, culminating with Kazarian calling Daniels a "selfish prick," which appropriately brought out Eric Bischoff!  Bischoff set up a triple threat match for the X-Division Championship. 

Doug Williams vs. Kazarian vs. Daniels with the X-Division Title on the line and if this is what TNA has in mind to restore the X-Division to its former glory, they're off to a good start.  Great match, but great wrestling has never been a problem for TNA, even though sometimes they forget it's their greatest strength.  Well, let me clear, it was a great match between Daniels and Kazarian and Doug Williams just happened to be the one to pick up the win... though his finisher is bad ass.  After the match, Shannon Moore attacked Doug Williams, letting him know that there's a new face in the X-Division, and he'll be his opponent at Destination X.  I know a lot of people dislike Moore, but I've never understood the hate, he'll make a good addition to the X-Division, so long as they don't forget about it again. 

Dixie Carter called Sting "Steve," SHOOT~!

The TNA Knockouts Tag Team Titles have been vacated due to Awesome Kong leaving the company, and they're being put up in a triple threat tag match: Sarita & Taylor Wilde vs. Madison Rain & Velvet Skye vs. Tara & Angelina Love.  The Knockouts are TNA's biggest advantage over WWE, and this match was decent enough, though a bit short.  Daffney interfered when Tara was in control, which gave The Beautiful People the opening they needed to capture the gold.

Backstage, Da Pope was there to do what he does best, be awesome.  Unfortunately, Desmond Wolfe does not share my view and attacked Pope's already injured ankle!

Lots of filler before Sting's match against his mystery opponent, and TNA totally blew it on the reveal, you hear the crowd go nuts and you see Sting lose his shit, but we they took too long to cut to the TNATron, which had the letters RVD on it!  Rob Van Dam is in TNA!  And he just beat Sting in less than 10 seconds!  After the "match," Sting went nutzo on RVD with his baseball bat, which went on way too long and eventually brought out Hulk Hogan, for no real reason.  Bubba The Love Sponge (ugh) held Hogan back while Sting continued to assault RVD, and once Hogan finally got close enough, Sting took out The Hulkster.  

This segment kinda bugged me because it totally distracted from RVD's debut and you got Taz on commentary saying "get some help out here for Hogan," who only got hit a couple times, but RVD was beaten for what felt like twelve minutes.  But despite my gripes, I think this is a situation where you just have to see how it plays out.  Even if it did kill RVD's debut momentum a bit, if this turns into a decent length feud between Sting and RVD, then it did what it needed to do to set things up.  If it leads to RVD doing something else entirely, then yeah, this is TNA dropping the ball again and they may has well sent him out to beat up Homicide.   


Kevin Nash & Adam Sessler's little brother, Eric Young were out next to challenge Scott Hall & Sean Waltman to a match at Destination X.  The story behind this feud makes sense, Nash is pissed because Hall and Waltman always wind up making him look bad, but does anyone want to see these three guys in the ring in 2010?  I love Scott Hall and Kevin Nash has been great in TNA, but these two haven't had a good match against each other since what, 1994?  Just to put that in perspective, Hall and Nash have never had a good match against each other, Razor Ramon and Diesel had good matches against each other.   Still, they could put Hall on the mic for two hours every Monday night and I might watch TNA more than Raw.  "I'll be the one that looks like Elvis."  I love this guy.  Waltman and Young are kinda the background noise to this one, but Eric Bischoff puts them in a match that starts right now! 

Sean Waltman vs. Eric Young! X-Pac vs. X-Play! It's wasn't so much a match as it was a fight, but it ended with one of the most old school wrestling moves, the Piledriver!  Eric Young picks up the win, but if him and Nash lose at the PPV, Hall & Waltman get "fat contracts" with TNA.

Okay, Kurt Angle's entrance with the US Army was pretty bad ass.  Very classy promo from Angle, talking up the troops and running down the disrespectful Mr. Anderson, but he kinda ruined it by calling Anderson a "bitch."  See, this is when "edgy" doesn't equal "good," it's feels forced and cheesy, especially in the context of that promo.  Mr. Anderson's brief mic work was fantastic as usual, but it didn't take long for Angle (and the United States Army) to attack.  This feud is exactly what TNA should be doing, it's a simple feud between two guys over one issue, when I say TNA needs to "simplify," they need to use Angle vs. Anderson as a model. 

Hulk Hogan backstage with Earl Hebner and Bubba The Love Sponge, was a good excuse for me to go backstage, and by "backstage," I mean "in my kitchen, getting a sandwich."

Why are Beer Money heels now?  See, this is the kind of stuff that makes me scratch my head with TNA.  Beer Money, suddenly heels, going up against Jeff Jarrett with Mick Foley as the guest referee.  Does anyone care about this?  Just press the stop button on this Jarrett, Foley, Bischoff nonsense, it's pointless.

Good thing the Oscars were last night, because Sandra Bullock can't hold a candle to Brooke Hogan. 

Main Event time (for real this time), AJ Styles & Ric Flair vs. Abyss & Hulk Hogan!  Hogan and Flair really had no business being in the ring, and I really don't need to see these two bleeding like victims of Leatherface, but I gotta admit, their brawling was kinda fun.  Nothing I want to see every week (seriously TNA, do not do this every week), but for a nostalgia trip, I think we should let it slide.  

It wasn't pretty, but Abyss & Hogan picked up the win, but we weren't done there!  Desmond Wolfe hit the ring to attack the winners, but Da Pope came down for a bit of revenge from earlier!  It was absolute bedlam in the ring, but then guess what, JEFF HARDY arrived in the Impact Zone!  Jeff Hardy cleaned house, helping out the good guys and went to the top rope to hit the Swa... and we're done.  Oh come on, you cannot cut off the show before the freaking Swanton!  Way to go TNA (or Spike), you actually "debut" Jeff Hardy the right way, treating him like a main eventer, and then miss the money shot.  This is the kind of thing I'm talking about when I complain about TNA's production.

A bit more focused than January 4th, but TNA still has Total Nonstop Attention Deficit Disorder.  I understood it on the January show, it was a special, but this is it for TNA, they're on Monday nights the exact same time as Raw.  The time for excuses is over, there's no more grading on a curve, there's no more testing the waters, they have to do this every week.  I understand making the first show big, but when you go all-in like this on week one, what do you do with week two?  

RVD, Sting and Jeff Hardy are all really cool, but did they all need to be "surprises" in this two hour block?  I know, surprises are fun, but think of all the mileage they got out of dragging out Hogan's debut, now imagine if they did that with RVD.  Did we really need seven guys brawling in a Nitro-esque post main event?  I hate playing fantasy booker, but wouldn't it have been much bigger if AJ Styles beat Abyss at Destination X, talked a bunch of crap the next night on Impact, then out comes Jeff Hardy to confront him? 

And while on the subject of AJ Styles, let's talk about the fact that I was given no reason to care about him and he simply didn't look like a World Champion. Going back to my earlier point, this is it for TNA, if they want to be competition to WWE, then they have to court new fans.  If you were tuning in for the first time, you'd know less about AJ Styles than any of the NXT Rookies, and that's definitely a problem.

I know I'm getting off on an entirely separate rant here, but for all the good parts of this show - and there were quite a few - TNA still hasn't ironed out the same problems that have been plaguing them for years.  The production is piss poor, they have pacing problems with live shows, the Impact Zone looks slightly bigger than a studio apartment, they try too hard to "surprise" us, they overcomplicate things, they rely too much on backstories from WWE and WCW, and they still can't make anything feel big.  When they let wrestlers wrestle, everything's fine, but the rest of the show still looks like amateur hour.  That was fine on Thursdays, but they made the choice to take the fight directly to WWE, and the longer these issues persist, the more glaring they will become.


5 comments:

  1. Just to point out, 'geezer' isn't used in the UK to signify an old man, it's used as slang for a any type of guy, like in America, they would say 'dude' or 'man'

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  2. Ah, I was not aware of that. Thanks TCO.

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  3. I agree with the surprises part of this. They screwed up RVD's debut and Cut off Jeff Hardy's Swanton and this was against Chris Angel. What the hell are they going to do against Stone Cold Steve Austin and the WrestleMania Rewind Matches?? The Network and TNA it's self are run by morons.

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  4. TNA's 3 legends( Sting, Flair, Hogan)....but all are heels or have been acting heelish for 2 months. So much for using name value to draw in people

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  5. If the TNA folks are going to have any hope of a chance in hell of competing with RAW, they better focus on pushing the younger stars instead of force-feeding fans the older superstars. I mean, I'd be more inclined to follow up on a feud like the Angle v. Kenderson storyline than trying to follow the nWo Lite stuff. And on another note, TNA constantly relying on Hogan and making him the Alpha & Omega of Impact won't garner them more fans.

    I want to like TNA and watch it religiously, but when the bad outweighs the good, it's going to be a big issue and if they're not intent on fixing it, might as well move back to Thursdays then.

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