Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Hitlist: Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and Chris Sabin, Jeff Hardy vs. James Storm, Bully Ray and Joseph Park, Kenny King vs. Lars Only, Flip Cassanova vs. Dakota Darsow, final hype for Destination X
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to the new Quick Hits audio update regarding the Kenny King and Ring of Honor drama with additional notes regarding the TNA Impact Wrestling television show and the Destination X pay-per-view. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Chris Sabin and Bobby Roode: A strong angle that put some serious heat on Roode. The TNA Champion continues to improve by the week and the confidence he's gained on the mic is very apparent. He doesn't look like he's thinking about remember lines. Rather, he's smooth on the mic and he's made major improvements with his facial expressions and his overall presence. He's grown into the role of the top heel in the company and it's been a lot of fun to watch him progress. There was a time when I felt he needed a valet or something extra added to his act, but that's not longer the case. Meanwhile, Sabin was totally sympathetic and I like that they left us with a cliffhanger in terms of what he was going to say before Roode interrupted him.
Final hype for Bobby Roode and Austin Aries: This was the best final hype we've seen for a TNA pay-per-view main event in a long time. This is the company that once made it seem like they couldn't care less about their pay-per-view product aside from the excellent work the production team did with the Before The Bell videos. Roode scored major heat from the Sabin segment, and Aries stood his ground and showed the type of confidence and poise you want from a challenger heading into a big pay-per-view main event. I'm expecting a great match from these two on Sunday and I'm looking forward to this match more than any other TNA main event in years.
Jeff Hardy vs. James Storm: A good television main event. They stalled a bit early on, but it was entertaining down the stretch. They've done a nice job of making the BFG Series matches feel important and they should take on even more meaning as we get closer to the actual pay-per-view. Storm is doing well enough as a babyface that he can take the loss. Plus, it gives his character a hurdle to overcome once they get down to the final four in the series. It still feels like creative hasn't found anything for Hardy to sink his teeth into. The BFG Series helps, but it would be nice to see him in a real feud.
Bully Ray and Joseph Park: I'm amazed at how much they've been able to get out of the Joseph Park saga. I was ready for it to end at one point, yet I now find myself enjoying the ride, particularly since it puts off the inevitable return of the tired Abyss character. Here's hoping that there's a new twist on Abyss once this is all said and done. Meanwhile, Ray's mic work was awesome as usual. The Twitter announcement was fun, but I'm still pissed that he didn't actually launch a Myspace page.
Kenny King vs. Lars Only: Yes, the entire hit is for Kenny King. Lars Only (a/k/a Johnny Yuma) wasn't ready for prime time, and Taz couldn't help but have some fun with his look and in-ring mistakes on the mic. It was a nice surprise to see King and he's a strong addition to the X Division. The added drama that Ring of Honor created with their press release rant actually works to King and TNA's advantage because it has people talking.
Miss Tessmacher and Tara vs. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne: A decent television match, though it didn't do anything to make me look forward to the Knockouts Title match involving Tessmacher and Kim that will take place next week. The Hit is for the match and the fact that they mixed in some athletic sex appeal.
Overall show: Another quality edition of Impact. I don't know how long it's going to take for the improved product to lead to better ratings, but the viewers who refuse to give the show another look are missing out on the most consistently entertaining pro wrestling television show on television right now. It's not a flawless product and there are some things I could live without (see the Crack Whore Claire mess), but there is much more good than bad most weeks. TNA finally seems to have found the right creative mix and I definitely see the strong show quality as a trend and not just a flukey mirage.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Flip Cassanova vs. Dakota Darsow: Cassanova broke Darsow's nose and then nearly stomped on it again while performing a flashy top rope finishing move. I'd rather see more simplistic high spots executed properly than a flashy move performed recklessly. Here's hoping TNA makes it up to Darsow by taking care of him in the four-way Last Chance match at the pay-per-view. I'm not saying he has to win the match if they have someone else in mind, but he should definitely get a chance to shine.
Devon vs. Crimson: The weekly TV Title defense returned after a two-week hiatus and it still felt like a throwaway match that involves a throwaway title. Crimson is now on a losing streak after going undefeated until last month's pay-per-view.
Madison Rayne and Earl Hebner: It was some light comedy relief that I saw coming a while back. I'm not going to hate on it completely, though my concern is that the entertaining Madison character is moving into something completely over the top and potentially damaging. On the flip side, I get a kick out of Rayne's character and I could actually see her making this fun.
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