Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Rundown: AJ Styles' makes an abrupt shift, Brooke Tessmacher joins Bully Ray, and Bobby Roode and Bad Influence attempt to expand their faction

Posted in: Kester Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Aug 23, 2013 - 06:07 PM

By Ryan Kester

AJ Styles

Styles' turn back to his old character came off as a hotshot because TNA put a ton of work into his new darker persona over the past several months only to abandon it at the drop of a hat. It made for a great moment, and the crowd lit up when he shed the emotional act, but it's this sort of out-of-nowhere drop of a story that makes it difficult to invest in TNA stories in the first place. When there is no real guarantee for a satisfying payoff to an angle, it becomes nearly impossible to get drawn into a story's progression.

One can only hope that TNA has a plan to explain Styles' motivation and reasoning for this abrupt shift next week. I can't claim to have ever really been absorbed by the dark AJ character, but a basic explanation would go a long way towards making this move work.

Bully Ray and Brooke Tessmacher

I'm hesitant to get very excited about this development, mainly because Bully Ray is a strong heel that doesn't need a lot of fluff to gain heat. He's already the entire reason Aces and Eights gets any reaction at all, and if TNA adds too many wrinkles to Bully's act, it will only muddy him down and make him less effective.

That being said, Tessmacher committed to her new role to such a degree that I'm willing to see where TNA takes it. Even the silliest of gimmicks can work if the wrestler portraying it puts enough effort in, and Tessmacher seemed like she was having fun with the valet role.

Bobby Roode and Bad Influence

TNA is doing a good job of building up this new faction. I've said before that another faction feels like a bit much and it still does, but is doing a good job of setting up their motivations and establishing their team dynamic. Having Roode and Kazarian go over the holding-pattern tag team champions was a good way of showing off their cohesion.

The biggest issue this group is facing is the looming finals for the BFGS. With such a clear and approaching end for the faction in sight, it makes it difficult to get too invested in the group's formation. TNA is doing its damnedest to get that build in while they can, but it's still fighting an uphill battle.

Overall Show

Last night's show was ok, but there is a distinct lack of excitement coming out of the current TNA product. They're simply not doing much that is compelling mostly because TNA has been hotshotting so much in recent weeks and the booking

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