Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Hitlist: Aces & 8s, worst stipulations ever for A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, Austin Aries promo, Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray, Samoa Joe vs. Magnus, Taryn Terrell debuts
By Jason Powell
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TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Opening segment: Austin Aries delivers his promos with such confidence, poise, and conviction that it's believable when he says he's not a placeholder champion and that the TNA Title is a prized possession. His promo was brief due to the interruptions of Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray, but he really packed a punch in the short time he was given. Meanwhile, putting Hardy and Ray out there with Aries provided star power in the opening segment and gave viewers a chance to consider the Bound For Glory main event possibilities.
Samoa Joe vs. Magnus: A good BFG Series match with the intriguing factor of the two being former TNA Tag Champions and current GHC Champions in Japan. I like the way the match was competitive, yet seemed like two partners facing off rather than a Joe style fight. The post-match angle with Magnus striking Joe with a chair was an interesting development. Magnus continues to impress. TNA took a chance on him due to his charisma and mic work and he's paid them back by continuing to develop the in-ring part of his game. Magnus hasn't meant much in the BFG Series, but hopefully creative is about to get behind his character.
A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels: If you were able to get past the ridiculous stipulations of this match (more on that below), then surely you enjoyed the 1,043,289th Styles vs. Daniels match. I'm fairly certain they've now had more physical contact with one another than they have their own wives.
Aces & 8s: My interest level increased when they agreed to fight the TNA crew next week. The attacks have become a bit predictable. They are taking the right approach in delaying the gratification of viewers by not revealing the identities of the faction members prematurely, yet I also want to feel like we're getting closer to that moment. It was also nice to see them put the James Storm drama behind them. It felt like the TNA wrestlers were the only people in the world who were questioning his loyalty. After a few weeks of wheel spinning, it feels like the Aces and 8s story is moving forward. It's not taking the world by storm, but I'm starting to find it more intriguing. I still wonder if the members wearing "prospect" patches means there are higher ranking members that we haven't seen.
Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray: A good television main event that gave viewers star power and good action without sacrificing a meaningful pay-per-view match. Hardy putting himself in the title picture via the opening segment combined with his main event win made him feel more relevant than he's felt on TNA television in a long time. I know he digs the makeup, but I really wish he would save it for big matches.
Overall show: A solid two hours of in-ring action and storytelling with good setup for next week's show. Impact is the most consistently solid pro wrestling show on television these days. They have their ups and downs, but the down weeks this year haven't been disastrous.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
A.J. Styles the matchmaker: Perhaps that should read "A.J. Styles the moron." Did the current creative team consult Vince Russo when they came up with the idea of having Styles agree to accept fatherhood of Claire Lynch's child if he lost this match? The only way this could have been more ridiculous is if they had put a baby on a pole and the object for Styles was to knock it to the ground. Styles was really willing to pay child support for 18 years just just to get a paternity test that his lawyer could have forced without the risk? By the way, does Sting have legal stroke that somehow would have forced Claire to submit to paternity testing when she wasn't even there to agree to the stipulation? Finally, who did Claire piss off to the point that her looks were compared to a lizard and a foot in the same segment?
Taryn Terrell signing: I can't say this won't turn out to be a good move for TNA in the long run, but it didn't feel like a big deal last night. She wasn't very good in the ring in WWE and the live crowd at the Impact Zone either didn't remember her or didn't care. That said, I'm keeping an open mind in that perhaps they have a role in mind for her beyond just random Knockouts wrestler.
Brooke Hogan: Brooke did a nice job with her verbal exchange with Madison Rayne, but she really struggled when it was time to change facial expressions and show fear for the Aces & 8s. She's done a solid job with that in past pre-tapes with Sting, but her reaction to being cornered by the faction left a lot to be desired. Meanwhile, Brooke's slip and fall on the stage was reminiscent of Shockmaster's WCW debut. It cracked me up, but it was more embarrassing for her than it is "Miss" fodder. That said, here's hoping she thinks twice about wearing hooker boots on television in the future.
Bobby Roode promo: This struck me as Roode trying to be cute and clever rather than going for heat. It's not a major miss and it's nothing that will set his character back long term, but I expected better from Roode and more from creative on the first show after he lost the title and the right to a rematch. I can't come down too hard on it because I applaud the idea of him experimenting and attempting to add layers to his act. The tease at the end regarding what comes next for him was mildly intriguing. I just hope TNA creative already knows the answer and isn't having him fill time while they figure it out.
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