Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Rundown: Bully Ray stands tall over Sting, Mickie James continues her turn, and Bad Influence, Austin Aries, and Bobby Roode vs. James Storm, Gunner, Chavo Guerrero, and Hernandez
By Ryan Kester
Bully Ray and Sting
TNA was fully invested in selling their main event for Slammiversary last night, as they should be, and they provided both men time to shin throughout the evening. Sting got a pinfall victory early in the show and Bully Ray stood tall with the belt over a battered Sting to end the evening. All-in-all, a solid go-home effort for the main event.
The issue remains, however, that no amount of selling can really change the match that will take place at Slammiversary. It's simply not a match I care to see again. I'll be watching this Sunday more to see the direction TNA is planning to go for the next few months rather than to see someone take on TNA's top heel. With any luck, TNA will transition out of this feud with a satisfying story and utilize the Bound For Glory Series to shift focus from the power struggle angle to an act that Ray can help either solidify or get over due to his impressive heat.
I'm anticipating a Brooke Hogan heel turn at Slammiversary, like many others, but that notion worries me all the same. With how much time TNA has spent between Ray and Hulk Hogan working together and feuding over this past year, it could all too easily set up a match between the two at Bound For Glory. I hope TNA proves that to be false, but the fact that they booked Sting in one of their four PPV main events of the year gives me a great deal of pause.
The angle TNA is using to urn James is a good one, but I feel like James laid it on way too thick last night. The desire to have her turn be apparent is understandable, but a turn of this nature requires a little more subtlety than what was done last night.
All that being said, James came off as being completely invested in her act for the first time in a long time. There's something that is captivating about an act that just seems to click with the wrestler portraying it, and James made the act enjoyable. TNA still needs to reign it in a bit, but they are on the right track.
8 Man Tag
This was a solid match that managed to give each man a chance to shine without giving away enough action to makes Sunday's match worthless. TNA's tag team division may not be the deepest out there, but TNA has made Sunday's fatal fourway tag appealing.
Gunner got a better chance to show off his new moveset last night, and he seems to have found a way to live up to the "Mr. Intensity" gimmick TNA has given him. He's not entirely there yet, but in his last run he was completely ignorable, whereas last night he came off as comfortable in his role and ready for the attention creative is giving him.
Last night's show was a solid effort, but it wasn't enough to sway people that weren't already going to buy Slammiversary into parting with their money. TNA still hasn't found their rhythm for utilizing the time between their PPVs properly, but it is a good sign to see so few of the matches on the card that were simply thrown together.
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