Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Rundown: The Bound For Glory Series continued, Taeler Hendrix gets judged, Claire is sticking around, the X-Division qualifiers begin, and Bobby Roode and Austin Aries face off
By Ryan Kester
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries had a hell of a promo exchange in the ring. They have chemistry on the mic that is simply fun to watch. One can only hope that that chemistry will extend into the ring. Aries is primed to break into the main event, and I hope these two can come up with a match that gives Aries the momentum he needs to get to that level and stay there.
My only real complaint about this segment was how quickly TNA moved on from it. TNA is still working out the kinks with its new live format, but they had this problem before where they gave everything the same amount of focus and attention and failed to give viewers time to reflect on the important bits. I know TNA is attempting to accomplish a lot lately, but that can't come at the expense of the build for what could be the breakout moment for one of their future stars.
Both matches last night were very entertaining to watch. The first was more of a spot fest, but it was a well-executed one. Rashad Cameron and Mason Andrews had a more traditional match, but it still felt distinctly like an X-Division match and was a treat.
I am looking forward to the tournament to crown the new X Division Champion, I simply hope that this isn't another filler PPV for TNA. This same idea of bringing in a slew of new guys happened last year, and yet Aries is currently the only X-Division guy that still regularly appears on television.
Bound For Glory Series
While nothing extraordinary took place this week in the BFGS, I love how it makes what would otherwise be random throwaways feel relevant. TNA is handling the series better this year than they did before, and it could be a real boon for them as long as they don't try and overthink it.
I also like how it set up a spot with Hogan telling Jeff Hardy and James Storm that they were two of the top guys and he wanted them to face each other to see who was better. It's simple, but little moments like that keep viewers returning, makes both guys feel important, and helps get over the series as a whole.
I've made no bones about my dislike for the Gut Check format, and this round was no different. With Joey Ryan's return, TNA has shown that it's better to fail a Gut Check than it is to pass it. Between all three hopefuls losing and the in-depth discussion pointing out the participants' faults, TNA isn't making stars with this concept; they are filling television segments with counter-productive material.
While I'm on that train of thought, the "reality" TNA is trying to establish with the judging isn't working for me. TNA floods those segments with insider talk to make it feel raw and unscripted, but it has the polar opposite effect. The discussion segments come off as incredibly rehearsed, and the consistent one judge votes yes, one judge votes no, promo, decision is predictable. I like the idea of giving a new guy a shot to make it on the roster, I really do, but the game show within a wrestling show hasn't clicked for me and it's doing more harm than good for the hopefuls.
Claire is still a thing
I was critical of this angle last week when I thought it was the payoff to the entire angle. Now it appears that TNA is content to book this story on the fly; throwing ideas at a wall and seeing what sticks. If this was the original story path from TNA creative day one, then shame on them. This story is faulty at bets and jumped the shark so terribly that I am just waiting for it to be over.
The biggest problem with this angle, and I have touched on it a few times before, it calls upon a high degree of acting talent from three people that simply do not have the chops to pull it off. Dixie Carter, AJ Styles, and now Claire are not believable in the roles they have been given, and on top of the convoluted story, there is no way to suspend your disbelief long enough to be entertained.
If there's one positive that came out of this angle this week, it was Christopher Daniels and Kazarian remaining a team and recapturing the Tag team Titles. They have been compelling throughout this angle and they're the only remaining tag team of note in TNA that has not been split up or had one of its members leave or get fired.
Last night's show entertaining me. Was it the best product possible or perfect? No, but as I covered the show last night time felt like it flew by rather than slowing to a crawl. That's always the best indicator that I am enjoying what I am watching and that was certainly the case this week.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.
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