TNA Impact Wrestling Hitlist: Taz ruins the Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan wedding, Jeff Hardy and James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, Christian York vs. Kenny King
By Jason Powell
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TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Jeff Hardy and James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian: I thought we might see Daniels get a cheap win over Hardy to get some heat going into his title match next week. It seems as if Hardy is on the John Cena plan in that he's being cast as a dominant babyface. As tired as the formula has become with Cena, it may be just what TNA needs right now to cement Hardy as their top star. My only concern is that they will burn through credible opponents quickly by making him look so strong (see Bobby Roode and Austin Aries), but they really need a true face of the company and they seem to be establishing Hardy as that guy. By the way, why were the Impact Zone fans chanting "you still got it" at Hardy as if he were a 50-something wrestler who needs the reassurance?
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Taz turn: I hope no one in TNA is patting themselves on the back because fans didn't see it coming. No one predicted the Taz heel turn because it wasn't an intriguing option. It doesn't set up a big match or suddenly make the slumping Aces & 8's faction feel relevant. I do like the end result of Taz being a heel. He can be a great promo guy when he's inspired and I'm all for true heel color commentators (though I'm not sure how an Aces & 8's member could still be a TNA color commentator). However, the idea of the color commentator who can't wrestle turning heel as part of TNA's heavily hyped wedding angle was a big letdown. The guy hasn't wrestled for over a decade and that's not going to change. TNA did a good job of creating some buzz for the wedding and building it up throughout the show. Rather than put Bully Ray back on track by turning him heel or putting heat on another wrestler who could make the company money, they turned a retired wrestler turned commentator heel. Taz might turn out to be excellent in his new role, but that doesn't mean he should have been thrust into the spotlight on this particular night.
Overall show: I bought into the buildup for the wedding and was left feeling totally underwhelmed by the payoff. Brooke Hogan falling out of her dress and telling her dad that her boobs fell out as the show was going off the air felt like one of those "only in TNA" moments. Despite the lopsided Hits vs. Misses count, there were some positives on this show. I like that they took they took the wedding seriously enough to bring in Tommy Dreamer and Brother Runt for surprises appearances and that they built up the wedding consistently throughout the night. In fact, it overshadowed everything in a way that left me anxious to see it play out. Had the payoff of the wedding angle been more satisfying then I would be looking at this show differently today. I was hoping for a game changing moment. Instead, I watched a retired wrestler turned color commentator turn heel.
Gut Check: I was happy to see Jay Bradley get the contract, but TNA still needs to show viewers that there's a reason to care. Most of the Gut Check wrestlers have disappeared to OVW only to be heard from on Thanksgiving night. It's hard to get emotionally invested in the contest when you feel like you won't see the winner again anytime soon. Until that changes, it feels like much ado about nothing. Here's hoping this changes with Bradley, who is experienced enough that he doesn't need the long stay in Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Christian York vs. Kenny King: King shined at Genesis on the mic and he did a nice job of carrying his cocky heel character over to his match with York. This match was disappointing compared to the tournament finals at the pay-per-view. It was good to see King get his win back and it's nice to see York dropping some of the muscle mass that was bogging him down more than anything, but they didn't didn't click this time around.
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries confronted by Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez: Why are Roode and Aries suddenly playing the part of the comedic tag team when TNA already has Christopher Daniels and Kazarian? Roode and Aries appear to be having fun with their act, yet it feels more mid-card than main event to me. And lord knows TNA needs main event star power. If these two can flip the switch and go back into main event seriousness and still be taken seriously then it's all good, but I am concerned. As for the tag champs, TNA really needs to keep Chavo Guerrero away from live microphones.
Velvet Sky: What was up with Velvet's appearance? I try to avoid focussing too much on the cosmetics of the Knockouts, but that retro look was just too out there to ignore. The hair and the makeup were actually distracting. She's an attractive woman who just swung and missed with that look.
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