Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - Austin Aries' first night as TNA Champion, the Aces and Eights strike again, A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels embrace their bad acting friend, Destination X fallout
By Will Pruett
- I took the time to watch the Impact Rewind show before Impact began. I was slightly disappointed about the fact that it wasn't a rehash of the old Reaction show. Instead, it was just a one hour edit of Impact the week before. It's not a bad idea, but it wasn't exactly what I had hoped it would be.
- Bully Ray and Joseph Park had a match similar to their Slammiversary encounter, but they ratcheted up the intensity a bit. I enjoyed this match and the crowd heat it drew.
- Joseph Park losing after a big chain shot makes total sense. He isn't a wrestler and he shouldn't have the supernatural ability that wrestlers have to be hit with multiple weapons and still stand.
- Jospeh Park momentarily blacking out and becoming Abyss (or Abyss-like) when he saw his own blood was a nice touch. He is going down the road of becoming Abyss again. I don't like the end result (which will likely be boring), but the journey should be very fun.
- Why did TNA have Sting return to TV without advertising him?
- Samoa Joe and Rob Van Dam had a slow match. Both men seem to need faster guys to work around them these days and without that, they were just falling and kicking in slow motion. It wasn't the worst match I've ever seen, but it didn't jump out as good, either.
- Every time someone gets a lead in the Bound for Glory Series, I fully expect them to lose a match or two. The series is built to stay even up until the end.
- Samoa Joe losing because he got greedy for the submission points was a fun story. I wonder if it will continue, or if it will be a one-time bit.
- Claire is now smoking while she is percolating a crack baby inside of her? She must be turning heel.
- Another week, another large dose of drama from A.J. Styles, Claire, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian. This week centered around Claire actually confessing that Styles is the father. We still don't know much about Claire, besides the fact that she's an addict and pregnant. While the matches have been good, this feud needs to end.
- If A.J. Styles is confused abut whether or not he fathered a child, that probably means that he hit it and quit it. I know TNA is going to try to spin him into a good person again, but at this moment, he proved (again) that he cheated on his wife.
- It was nice to see some focus around the X Division Championship on this show. Building the main story around Jesse Sorensen and Zema Ion probably means that we'll get more of this from them until Sorensen can return. This isn't a bad story, but I hope it doesn't get repetitive.
- Dakota Darsow, on the mic and especially in the ring, looked better than he ever has in TNA. Darsow showed the style he could bring to the X Division and I would love to see him bring that on a permanent basis.
- Zema Ion's new submission hold looks fantastic.
- Austin Aries did some nice work on the mic to inaugurate his World Championship reign. I didn't love the content of his promo, but the delivery was great.
- It seemed odd for a new champion to declare a boom period. Maybe it worked better for some people, but it didn't really work great for me.
- Bobby Roode's shtick on this show was alright, but it should have been far shorter. It lasted so long that it became a comedy segment instead of a serious segment with World Championship stakes.
- Devon would like to backup Hulk Hogan. That's good for him.
- Madison Rayne and Earl Hebner is going to be this decade's Dawn Marie and Al Wilson.
- Brooke Hogan didn't do a bad job on commentary. She wasn't entertaining or particularly compelling, but she didn't embarrass herself. Honestly, she was probably more invested in the product than Taz.
- Miss Tessmacher and Gail Kim had their best match to date. These two women are very talented and can be very fun to watch. At Slammiversary they didn't have a great effort, but they more than made up for it here.
- Tessmacher can be the star of this division. It's time to give her a new compelling story now.
- Where was the TV Championship defense tonight? If TNA is as bored of Devon matches as the rest of us, they should put the belt on someone else, like Gunner or Crimson.
- Magnus' backstage promo about being a surprise in the Bound for Glory Series was great. That was a nice way to focus on him without having to spend a ton of time on him. As a bonus, they promoted a house show as well.
- Kurt Angle and Mr. Anderson had a nice Kurt Angle-style match. It was his classic main event with multiple finishers, blood, and a 2003 pacing scheme. It's a good match, but it isn't exactly the best fit for every occasion. As a TV main event, it is almost over-dramatic, especially with just 11 minutes.
- TNA is doing a great job making sense out of the Bound for Glory Series this year.
- Bobby Roode calling out Austin Aries next week should be a great moment. It should also be fun to see TNA go back to this match at Hardcore Justice. Aries proving he isn't a fluke is the right story to tell at this time.
- The Aces and Eights attacking Hogan backstage and attacking Sting again worked for me. It's been so long since we first saw them that we needed a reminder of how dangerous they are. This was a more compelling angle than the original.
This show didn't blow me away or make me want to rush out and spend money out of nowhere. It did tell compelling stories almost all the way through and produce storyline consistency while being entertaining as well. This was exactly what a wrestling show should be. It was fun to watch and the time flew by.
There is one dark spot on TNA's record at this moment: the Claire story. Of course, being a good show with one dark spot is better than being a bad show with a just one light spot. TNA is doing a really nice job creatively and deserves to have more people watching.
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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