Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Hitlist: James Storm's teased connection with Aces and Eights and match against A.J. Styles, Bully Ray vs. Kurt Angle, Sam Shaw Gut Check, Chavo Guerrero, Sting as interim authority figure
By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Bully Ray vs. Kurt Angle: DirecTV was off my shit list after working out their differences with Viacom. I used past tense because moments prior to this match, my satellite cut out due to rain showers. It didn't last long and I did get to see everything after the commercial break, including the good near falls down the stretch. At some point, I'd like to see Ray established as a heel who is capable of beating the top guys like Angle. I'm not saying he had to win here, but I think his matches would be more meaningful with a clean win over the right opponent. At this point, I just assume he'll lose whenever he works with Angle and other top babyfaces, and it doesn't have to be that way.
James Storm vs. A.J. Styles: Another quality BFG Series match with a bailout finish thanks to the interference by Aces and Eights. I like the story they're telling with Bobby Roode accusing James Storm of being being the mystery faction. Of course, I don't expect that to be the case, but it made for some interesting television last night and set up next week's Storm vs. Roode main event nicely.
Kid Kash: The Chavo Guerrero introduction was well received by the live crowd, but the segment was made by the awesome heel mic work of Kid Kash. The guy cracks me up whenever he gets real mic time and I wish TNA would do more with him. Did Chavo say the people say he's a wrestling legend? No offense to the guy, but that's laying it on a bit thick. I'm more excited about the Kash and Gunner pairing than I am the predictable Hernandez and Chavo partnership. I'd rather see Chavo used in the X Division where he can help the younger wrestlers improve use his name value to elevate them.
Sam Shaw vs. Douglas Williams: Shaw looked good during the match and I'd like to see more of him...with better ring gear. He got a lot of offense in on the former X Division Champion and was protected by showing that he was distracted by the commotion with Joey Ryan when the momentum of the match shifted. A good showing for Shaw. Here's hoping he's not the latest Gut Check winner to disappear.
Zema Ion vs. Kenny King: A minor Hit. The match quality was good and that's the only thing that got the fans excited. They have no reason to feel anything regarding King because they don't know anything about him. TNA viewers probably feel like they know more about Sam Shaw after his appearance last night than they do King. It's just not enough that online fans know he worked in Ring of Honor. It also didn't help that King flashed a cocky look at a deflated Sonjay Dutt after Austin Aries announced that King would be getting the title shot. The finish of the match seemed to baffle the announcers, who should have immediately pointed out that Roode targeted King due to his friendship with Austin Aries. By the way, I know I couldn't have been the only one who chuckled when Bruce Prichard accidentally walked into the backstage shot of Aries revealing whether King or Sonjay would get the title shot.
Overall show: A good mix of mic work and quality in-ring action. The Aces and Eights attacks were solid, though I am looking forward to the unveiling because they group looks minor league in their hoods. There were some things about the show that I didn't care for, yet it continues to be a consistently entertaining television show.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Gut Check: In general, it's hard to care about Gut Check when the only contestant who gets television time is the guy who lost. These segments should be so much better. I like the concept, but they just aren't making the small changes that would make it better. Did Bruce Prichard really say that Shaw was "performing his ass off"? Why couldn't Al Snow go to the production truck and watch Shaw's match since he missed it the first time?
Sting as the authority figure: What a boring letdown. Granted, it was only online hype for the opening segment, but I was hoping for something less predictable. I'm still not sure what Dixie Carter's character is so busy doing on Thursday nights that she can't run the show at least on a short-term basis. Anyway, I was hopeful that Sting was coming out to give Jeff Jarrett the babyface endorsement, only to eventually have it revealed that Jarrett was behind Aces and Eights.
Production: Sure, we all take it for granted when everything goes right and rarely praise the typically dependable job audio. That said, this was an off night for TNA. They had problems with Bobby Roode's mic early, and then the first X Division elimination segment backstage had the annoying feedback.
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