Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - Hardcore Justice fallout, The Aces and Eights are challenged, James Storm's name is cleared, A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels #382, Samoa Joe vs. Magnus
By Will Pruett
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- Austin Aries transitioning into the Aces and Eights story makes sense in this moment. It's definitely a big enough story to warrant the World Champion being a part of it. I'm interested to see how this parlays into his next pay-per-view opponent and if it will be Aries on a team or in a championship match.
- Jeff Hardy getting involved with Aries opens up another opportunity for Bound for Glory. Aries as champion actually makes the next month of television more exciting and less predictable. I could see Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, and Bully Ray as potential challengers for Aries. With Roode, we all knew the endgame was James Storm. With Aries, speculation becomes part of the fun.
- Does Bully Ray being a part of the anti-Aces and Eights force signal a babyface turn for him? I'm not a huge fan of roster-splitting feuds (like nWo vs. WCW) because there is usually a lacking end. Can Aces and Eights change that?
- I like the way Magnus vs. Samoa Joe kicked off with a mention of their tag team past. This disappointed me with Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles, so I was happy to see it here. Magnus getting some character development is definitely a good call. He's one of the most improved wrestlers and best talkers on the roster.
- Two competitors wrapped up their Bound for Glory Series adventures on this show: Magnus and Christopher Daniels. Mike Tenay and Taz didn't mention this at all. They are doing a nice job of mentioning the struggle to make it to the top, but they aren't doing anything about people at the bottom of the series. This is a small complaint, but it's something I would love to see improved next year.
- Magnus assaulting Samoa Joe after their match might be the beginning of what could be one of my favorite feuds this year. Magnus needs an edge and a character. Joe seems to need something to be passionate about. Both of these things are accomplished in this feud,
- It suddenly occurs to me that Brooke Hogan isn't great in front of a live crowd.
- How is it that no one else ruled that Madison Rayne couldn't have Earl Hebner referee her matches prior to her winning the Knockout's Championship. If authority figures are going to exist in wrestling and they are supposed to be fair, why place that doubt in people's minds?
- Sting's passionate promo challenging Aces and Eights was great. It was short, sweet, and to the point. Sting's improvement on the mic has been fun to watch in the past couple of years.
- Why would losing a match mean that A.J. Styles is the father of Claire's crack baby? Should he leave that up to a paternity test anyways? Couldn't he have taken that test a month ago and ended this debate?
- A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels are incapable of having a bad match together. This match lacked the intensity of their Last Man Standing match last month, but it was still great. Now that we have seen this, I would love to see this feud killed off for about four years. One more Styles and Daniels blow off is acceptable, but it should end soon.
- The match between Styles and Daniels went over 15 minutes. Of course, the only people that would notice that are online fans that care about match times. It's inconsistent in the TNA universe, but it doesn't kill the credibility of the product.
- I've rarely seen Styles use the Pele Kick as a finisher, but I like it when he does. It's a beautiful move and, when he connects with it as well as he did in this match, it works as a finish.
- Is Hulk Hogan really bad with names? I'm assuming that's why he ultimately refers to everyone as "Jack" at least once per conversation. He memorized one name a few years ago and it's all he knows now.
- Jeff Hardy's mic work on this show was really good. I normally don't like it when Hardy talks, but in both instances on this show, it worked.
- Was the idea with the Bobby Roode promo to send him off to lose his smile the way James Storm left? It seemed that way. I'm pretty confused about what is happening with Roode. I'm guessing that one way or another we see him up against James Storm at Bound for Glory, but the path there is unclear.
- The Gut Check competitor for next week has had a rough life. That means that even if he loses the match in 4 seconds, he will be awarded a contract. Can we skip the rest of it now?
- It was fun to see Taryn Terrell on Impact. I liked Tiffany quite a bit as the General Manager of ECW in 2009, so I'm excited to see what she does in TNA.
- What was the point of the Knockout's Championship change at Hardcore Justice?
- I'm glad Aces and Eights employs a camera man.
- Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy was a very impressive match. I didn't have high hopes for it, but both men looked great in this one. Bully Ray is continuing this hot streak longer than I ever thought possible.
- James Storm kicking Jeff Hardy opens up another interesting possibility for a feud in the future. There is a ton of opportunity with all of the new blood at the top of the card in TNA.
- I am so happy that we finally saw James Storm get attacked by Aces and Eights. This was the wrong story to tell with Storm and it has finally ended. Now he can be one of the babyface avengers, which he has needed to be from the beginning.
This was a fun and compelling episode of Impact Wrestling. The in-ring action was mostly good. The stories told were all basically good. I'm excited by the new feuds that seem to be starting up in TNA. Placing new stars at the top of the card really helps to make everyone feel fresh. TNA creative is doing a great job of making the product feel new.
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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