Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - James Storm is accused of leading the Aces and Eights, Zema Ion defends the X Division Championship against Kenny King, Sting takes over as authority figure, and more
By Will Pruett
- There was a lot of focus on Claire Lynch in replays on this show, especially considering that she didn't play a big role in the actual show. There was a concerted effort to keep that story alive, while not focusing on it too much. I appreciated the effort, but I still strongly dislike the story.
- Sting, Austin Aries, and Kurt Angle confronting the Aces and Eights made total sense. I was worried that Bobby Roode was about to join them and turn this into more of an alliance against Aces and Eights, but TNA did the right thing by allowing Roode to be more of a heel.
- Austin Aries needs more distinct theme music. Currently his just sounds like generic rock with no hook. If TNA wants fans to pop for Aries, they need to give him music fans can recognize.
- I have a few qualms about James Storm being accused of being the leader of Aces and Eights. I don't believe that this is the right time to create any doubt about James Storm's character. His push in the last year has included him losing his smile and it now includes doubt that he could be attacking Sting and Hogan. He does not have the connection with the fans to survive this.
- Chavo Guerrero's debut was heavily hyped throughout the evening. Why doesn't TNA use this time to get a new wrestler over and not a wrestler that has been on the national scene in an undercard role for 15 years. Chavo doesn't add anywhere near as much as a new star would.
- Earl Hebner is now favoring Madison Rayne in Knockout's matches. This could be a fun story, but I don't really care to see it. Hebner and Rayne will be an odd couple. I don't see where this story goes where it could turn around.
- Mike Tenay and Taz should have made clear that an X Division Championship match would be happening on this show and there would be "Open Fight Night" style eliminations throughout the show. Instead, we saw Austin Aries get told by Sting to cut people from the X Division. It was weird.
- Sam Shaw wants to be a wrestler because he wants to wrestle. Wow. That's motivation.
- I liked Sam Shaw's work in the ring, but I didn't enjoy the interference from Joey Ryan in the crowd. This continues to be an odd story to tell.
- It was nice to see Douglas Williams on TV again.
- "Guerrero time" is a depressing take off on Vader time.
- Chavo's promo was decent. If he is motivated and willing to do business in TNA, I can see what the company can gain from him. If he has a big head and is determined to be the star, then he isn't worth the time.
- Kid Kash and Gunner are so dedicated to being guys with tattoos and no shirts that they got matching tattoos. This was a random pairing. I can't say it was a bad one, but random.
- If the plan with Chavo is to recreate LAX/Mexican America with Hernandez, it is the wrong plan.
- A.J. Styles and James Storm tore the house down with their match, until leading into the odd finish. This was a great effort from both men.
- TNA has done their best to make the Bound for Glory Series matches feel important on TV. They usually go long, are competitive and intense, and they usually have a decent conclusion.
- Aces and Eights never attacking James Storm was intriguing. Shouldn't Storm be disqualified because he was never attacked? Maybe the point totals (which I hope were worked out in advance) couldn't handle that, but it was odd not to have it happen.
- Al Snow didn't have time in the 30 minutes between Sam Shaw's match and his judging to watch the match? It was less than three minutes. There were commercial breaks that necessitated more time than that.
- The Gut Check concept is really annoying at this point. Almost every wrestler (three out of four) has been given a TNA contract. The one wrestler that wasn't has been on TV more than any of the others. This could be compelling TV, but right now it's a joke.
- The multitude of Barry Darsow jokes aimed at Dakota Darsow from Austin Aries made that backstage segment my favorite part of the night.
- Aries picking Kenny King for the X Division Championship match was logical. It should be interesting to see if King and Ion have a longer rivalry. Last year TNA made a mistake by putting Aries over everyone in the X Division until he was the only wrestler in it. This year, Ion needs supporting players to keep the division relevant.
- Bobby Roode's involvement in the X Division Championship match instantly makes it more important. Boosting the main event involvement in that division makes sense after Aries' title win. Next week's tag team match will only add to this prestige boost.
- Kenny King had his best match to date with Zema Ion. He looked crisp and impressive in the ring. Hopefully the next step is getting rid of his ANX tights.
- Bully Ray and Kurt Angle had a good, hard fought match. They also had a match that perfectly followed the Kurt Angle formula. I'm pretty sure we saw an almost identical match with Angle and Anderson last week. The formula works, but seeing it so often really exposes just how formulaic it is.
- The final Aces and Eights attack/brawl was more of the same. I liked the angle with Storm in theory, but it still doesn't seem like the best story to tell at this moment with Storm's character.
Solid story telling and three good matches push this Impact episode into the won column for me. Even when I don't enjoy the direction of the every character, there is still enough on this show to make me enjoy watching it. The highlight for me was the Storm vs. Styles matchup.
With the Aces and Eights mystery still running, I feel like TNA has a nice vehicle going. They have built up a lot of mysteries in the past few months. Now they need to pay them off in a way that doesn't echo Claire Lynch.
Did you enjoy TNA live? Am I way off? Feel free to email me at email@example.com or to follow me and chat me up on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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