Kester's TNA Impact Rundown: Samoa Joe joins the Main Event Mafia, Austin Aries captures the X Division Championship, and Mickie James overcomes Velvet Sky
By Ryan Kester
Main Event Mafia and Aces and Eights
Another night, another new recruit for the Main Event Mafia. The issue is that Sting's reason for reforming the group with new guys was the lack of support he received when he was attacked by Aces and Eights at Slammiversary. When the stable is being formed entirely from the same people that didn't come out to aid him in his plight, it creates a plot hole that you could drive a truck through.
While the lack of story consistently is irksome, the biggest issue I have with the Main Event Mafia angle is that it's taking complete precedent over the Bound For Glory Series. TNA handled the series well last year by giving it the lion's share of their storytelling focus, and they told little angles throughout that highlighted various aspects of the individual wrestlers. This year, it's all about a struggle for power, forming allegiances, and Hogan family drama. The matches in the BFGS are supposed to mean something, but that isn't going to work if the first time they get the storytelling focus is when the final four is right around the corner.
Austin Aries and Chris Sabin
First of all, this made for a great moment at the end of the show. Austin Aries' reveal as the guy taking the fight to Bully Ray drew a great crowd reaction and was a great moment for his character. The moment existing in a vacuum worked wonders.
Unfortunately, Aries is now the challenger for the World Championship when the main event scene couldn't possibly be more muddied. The fledgling Main Event Mafia is setup to be the counterweight to Aces and Eights, and Bully Ray is primarily feuding with Hulk Hogan. On top of that, Aries is in the Bound For Glory Series, which is already feeling like an afterthought to the faction squabbles. When so much of TNA feels like a rehash of old angles and ideas, the last thing the promotion needs is a complete retread of the X Division cash in with Aries.
In addition to everything else, this move wasted all the momentum TNA built with Chris Sabin over the past few months. TNA had a chance to add a fresh face to their upper-midcard/main event roster, and instead they elected to play it safe with something that worked before. It's that very reason why the product feels stale overall; TNA needs to invest in younger talent and keep them at the top.
Mickie James and Velvet Sky
While the match that took place on last night's Impact wasn't much to write home about, the story involved with the main TNA women's feud has been good enough to keep me entertained during the contests. A good story can go a long way in making botches and a lack of in-ring chemistry between wrestlers forgivable.
That being said, I am looking forward to this current version of Mickie James moving on to work with other wrestlers. She seems more invested in this run than she has in anything else she's done since returning to TNA, and it's making for entertaining television.
Last night's Impact left a lot to be desired. The Bound For Glory Series should be enough to keep most viewers interested, but it's playing such a background role that it doesn't carry the weight it should. TNA is embroiled in a series of angle rehashes, and after last night, it unfortunately looks like that approach is here to stay.
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.
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