Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - A.J. Styles and Dixie Carter reveal their pet drug addict, Open Fight Night and the Bound for Glory Series intersect, Austin Aries makes his choice
By Will Pruett
- Austin Aries and Hulk Hogan kicked this show off in a fantastic way. Much like last week, Hogan did some great work in this role.
- Aries making sure the X Division Champion received an opportunity for a World Championship shot on an annual basis was a nice touch. This will allow for some intriguing storytelling around Destination X every year. The X Division Championship will have to mean something now and the men that hold it will be looked at a little differently.
- Hogan and Aries have a fun chemistry on the mic.
- Bobby Roode getting into a fight with Aries was also a nice way to kick off their program. The two of them can have a nice match that allows Roode to be challenged, but get a clean win.
- Ken Anderson's moment in the opening segment was a little odd.
- Maybe it's the staleness of Anderson's character, but I would have rather seen Christopher Daniels win their match. Daniels is a nice threatening heel. With the lack of heel depth in TNA, one would think they would be eager to push a heel as good as Daniels is.
- Brooke Hogan's office segment was not as good as Hulk's last month. It wasn't horrible either. The acting was sub-par. Wrestlers should train and not practice. The stakes didn't seem high enough. All of that said, this concept still works for me, even if it means I have to see some bad acting.
- Robbie E. seems to be in the Bound For Glory Series just to lose a lot of matches. There's nothing wrong with a guy jobbing in the series, but Robbie seems completely out of place. Crimson, one of last year's leaders, would have been a better choice in this role.
- Kurt Angle taking the easy challenge against Robbie E. was interesting. Angle looked good in this squash match.
- Taeler Hendrix's video package had its touching moments, but I didn't love her in-ring work. It was cool to see the Gut Check extend to Knockouts.
- Magnus cutting a promo about someone cheating had to be a rib, right?
- Magnus is one of my picks to be in the final four of the series. He can be a great surprise player. TNA has an opportunity to make a star simply by putting him in elite company. His journey through the series this year can set him up for a nice main event run next year.
- A.J. Styles is a very easily distracted man.
- Taeler Hendrix looked a little too happy-go-lucky in the ring for my tastes.
- Joseph Park, Bully Ray, and Abyss continue to dislike each other.
- Samoa Joe showed some great intensity and fire while calling out James Storm. I really enjoyed seeing that from him. Joe seems more motivated and in better shape than he has been recently.
- Why was Samoa Joe in his circa-2009 Bobby Lashley era shorts?
- James Storm beating Samoa Joe as fast as he did was disappointing. There were a lot of matches to get through on this show, but Joe and Storm could have easily wrestled to a time-limit draw. They are also two of my final four picks.
- I wonder if Brooke and Hulk mind sharing an office.
- D'Angelo Dinero got the win over Bully Ray, but that was entirely because of Abyss. I'd like to see some effort put into reintroducing the Dinero character in the next few weeks. We need to know who he is and what his motivations are. Dinero can talk, so turn him loose.
- Hulk Hogan called Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy his biggest stars in the series. That seemed counter productive to me.
- Velvet Sky, you were in a crappy music video, so you don't get a championship match. Wrestling matters.
- Mickie James and Tessmacher was the right choice, especially considering Tessmacher's in-ring ability. She's good, but I dot think she's good enough to carry Velvet Sky the way she needs to be carried.
- James and Tessmacher had a decent little match that did a nice job of telling Mickie James' story. She did a nice job showing frustration in the loss. I'm very interested in the return of a heel Mickie.
- Wasn't the Television Championship supposed to be defended on this show? I'm not complaining about not getting the mandatory Devon vs. someone named Robbie match, but that goes against what was laid out a couple of months ago.
- Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam was kind of a nothing match. Eight matches in one night is difficult to pull off and this show demonstrated way. Every match was shorter than necessary. It made main eventers (Van Dam, Samoa Joe) look a little too easy to beat.
- From the very beginning of Dixie Carter and A.J. Styles' segment, I had a bad feeling. I hoped for the masked attackers from last week taking them out before they could say anything, but alas, that was not to be.
- I am so very confused as to why Dixe Carter and A.J. Styles were awkwardly kissing and hugging because they were harboring a drug addict. Does that make sense to anyone else?
- Who was the drug addict that TNA hired to act in the final segment? She was awful! Her attempt at crying and her dramatic pauses made me hope and pray for a Lucha-Nexus invasion just to shut her up. Dixie Carter and A.J. Styles are bad enough actors. It almost seemed like this girl was brought in to make them look good.
- This was an awful segment. There is no way around that. The payoff for this big angle bombed terribly.
- Styles beating down both Daniels and Kazarian made them look too weak for my tastes. Are we supposed to be invested in Styles' quest for revenge? If we are, why have him get that revenge now?
This show was pretty good right up until that last segment. It wasn't a blockbuster show and I believe that is because of how many matches TNA had to cram in. Eight matches, along with two major verbal segments, were just too much for one show. I understand what they wanted to do with combining Open Fight Night with the Bound For Glory Series, but it ended up hurting the show.
Finally, why did that last segment happen to me? It was truly awful. I didn't think the payoff for Dixie and A.J. would be perfect, but I expected much better than that suck-tasticness.
Did you enjoy TNA live? Am I way off? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me and chat me up on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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