Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Rundown: James Storm continues to defend his integrity, Claire creeps me out, Chavo Guererro makes his in-ring debut, and Austin Aries and Kenny King vs. Bobby Roode and Zema Ion
By Ryan Kester
Austin Aries and Kenny King vs. Bobby Roode and Zema Ion
Starting the show off with a brawl that led right into the hyped tag match was fun. I always enjoy when TNA switches up the format and keeps things fresh. All four men in the opening contest pout on a great show that told the story of Aries getting frustrated very well.
I'm still really enthused by the pairing of Aries and Roode, but I am getting more and more excited about seeing King and Ion feud. Both men still desperately need a bit of storytelling to introduce their characters to TNA's crowd and make them matter more, but the in ring product these two have produced thus far has been well done. There is a solid feud for the X-Division here and I hope TNA gets the most out of this rather than having the championship slide into obscurity as it had for so long when Aries carried the belt.
James Storm vs. Kurt Angle
I spoke at length about my misgivings of undercutting Storm's integrity by TNA's babyfaces, and TNA really amped up said undercutting this week. Everyone from Angle to Sting to the announce team seemed ready to believe that Storm is the man behind Aces and Eights. I'm not sure what TNA is hoping to get from this, but it's doing damage to Storm.
Also, the Kurt Angle finisher fest formula needs to take a break. This was the third week in a row we've seen essentially the same main event with different Angle opponents and it's becoming stale and predictable. Less is more in wrestling and TNA and Angle have relied far too heavily on this formula. It's a good formula, mind, but it needs to be used sparingly for the desired effect to work.
The baby shower was really painful to watch. Kazarian and Christopher Daniels were funny in their jabs at Styles, but the gifting segment felt like a waste of time and it ended with a tonal shift from Claire that was equal parts creepy as all hell and laugh out loud cartoonish.
Look, I'm not sure where this story idea came from or why on earth they brought in the actress for Claire, but it has produced nothing but cringe-worthy television featuring bad soap opera drama mixed with silly props. This is the one TNA story that makes my hand twitch and want to grab the remote control and TNA television will be better off when this is finally put to rest.
Chavo Guererro debuts
I have a mixed reaction when it comes to Chavo. I feel like he's a great hand to have around in TNA because he's an established guy that can do a lot to make TNA's young X-Division guys look good and he could easily help get him over.
Only, that's not what TNA is going with with Chavo. They're making him out to be a legend that is destined for gold and I'm sorry, but Chavo doesn't have the charisma to back up those claims. He's a good hand and a solid wrestler, but Chavo has always lacked that certain something that made several members of his family into stars. We're only a few weeks into his run with TNA so I have a lot more to see and Chavo has plenty of chances to surprise me and prove me wrong, but as it stands it looks like they're setting Chavo down a path that he really isn't suited for.
Last night's Impact was solid. Despite the above criticisms, the show was entertaining throughout and the time felt like it flew by. That's always the best indicator that I was having fun with what I was watching and I continued to be thrilled by how much the TNA product has improved as a whole. Yes, there are still some nagging issues TNA needs to fix, but they are in so much of a better spot than they were a year ago that it's easy to forgive the few blemishes left with TNA's production.
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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