Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - The Aces and Eights battle the TNA roster, Austin Aries is underplayed, Hulk Hogan goes Hollywood again
By Will Pruett
- Was that an Aces and Eights music video that opened Impact? I guess the idea was to show them arriving in large numbers, but it came off like an overproduced piece for the rebel group.
- Sting is doing some great work cutting intense, angry, and passionate promos against Aces and Eights. They aren't masterpieces that will go down in wrestling history, but they are tremendous pieces that show how a babyface should show fire on the mic. The development of Stings promo skills has been an understated story in the last couple years.
- The first two Aces and Eights members to be attacked thanking Sting and the TNA roster was an eerie moment. It's the type of visual that we rarely see in wrestling.
- I'm torn about the TNA roster uniting to defend against Aces and Eights. It makes sense that they would defend what they consider to be theirs. It also downplays all of the other feuds and stories happening in TNA at this moment. I've been high on this story, but now that it seems to be involving the entire roster, I'm worried about it.
- Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara told a fun story, with the student challenging the teacher. I'm guessing we will see more from these women. They set up the story well for them to move forward. This is a far better use of the Knockout's Division than watching Earl Hebner make out with someone 1/3rd his age.
- Taryn Terrell's role as the permanent Knockout referee is a fun concept. I like the attempt from TNA to do something different in that division.
- Once again, logic reigns in the Bound for Glory Series as A.J. Styles, Rob Van Dam, and Robbie E. were all given the opportunity to fight for the points they would have gained from D'Angelo Dinero. I continue to be impressed by how TNA has booked this series. They can do more, but it's hard not to call this year a win.
- The triple threat for Pope's remaining opponents was a pretty fun match. As always, Styles was impressive. Van Dam seemed motivated. Robbie E. played his pest heel role well. Robbie E. sneaking in to win was a surprise. However, with Styles and Van Dam both in the top four, it made sense not to give them another victory.
- I'm really interested in seeing how the top four will change in the next couple weeks leading into No Surrender. I'm surprised by how the Bound for Glory Series has held my interest for the last few months.
- Jeff Hardy did some really nice work calling out Robbie T. It wasn't a brilliant match, but it was effective. Hardy worked pretty well with Terry and Terry held up his end of things well.
- The A.J. Styles paternity test segment was just obnoxious. I know it was the wrap up of a major storyline, but nothing about it was that great. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian tried on the mic, but it was more of the same from those two.
- Claire Lynch's lawyer was a far better actor than Claire Lynch herself. Finally writing Claire off of television is one of the best moves TNA can make for their overall show quality.
- Does this mean that the Styles vs. Daniels feud is over? I'd accept another match between them, but then I hope they are not in the same match for about two years. This over a year long feud has been a little too much of a good thing.
- I feel for the Gut Check competitor, Kris Lewie, if his story is true, but I don't think a sob story entitles a wrestler to a TNA contract. This is the biggest issue with Gut Check at this moment; the sob story takes precedence over the actual wrestling ability.
- How did Sting know that he was face to face with "Hollywood" Hogan? Painted on black stubble, brother.
- Sting embraced the evil version of Hulk Hogan, even though he worked tirelessly about a year ago to bring it the good version of the Hulkster. Sting needs to figure out what he wants in this relationship with Hogan and pursue it.
- So Alex Silva was in OVW, then he won a TNA contract, which means that he stays in OVW? Can someone explain this to me?
- No one calls Gunner "Mr. Intensity" and no one ever will.
- Kris Lewie moves awkwardly in the ring. He also just has an awkward body shape, being short and stout, much like a teapot.
- Kris Lewie screams as provides sound effects with his punches like a 12 year old boy pretending to be a wrestler in his living room. I'm not impressed.
- TNA should make a concerted effort to give every finisher a name and have Mike Tenay and Taz use those names. Calling Gunner's finishing move just "his move" instead of a proper name doesn't do any favors for anyone.
- ODB was actually hilarious backstage talking to Eric Young on the phone. I go back and forth about these segments, but this one was awesome.
- So why didn't Ken Anderson decide to go for the submission win to push him into the top four? He settled for remaining below the red line instead of working hard to push himself above it. These are some of the logical errors that TNA needs to fix going into next year. The series has been good, but it can be great.
- Bully Ray continued his string of good TV matches with this one. His effort with Anderson was quite good. It was the best match of this episode of Impact. It's still amazing to see how Bully Ray has turned around his career.
- Austin Aries was really underutilized on this show. He should be right along with Sting calling out Aces and Eights. He shouldn't be just another soldier. Even a small promo from Aries would have fixed this error.
- The show closing, wild brawl between the TNA roster and Aces and Eights was a little too much for me. There were a ton of flaws with it and it isn't the strongest story direction for TNA to take. This brawl harkened back to the Main Event Mafia days where two out of three episodes ended with one of these.
- How many people are in Aces and Eights? It went from five or seven from a few weeks ago to something close to 20 on this show. This worries me. Are they going to establish characters in Aces and Eights or are we going to see a bunch of masked interchangeable bikers forever?
- If Austin Aries was going to be the focus the of closing attack and the show-closing angle? Why did he not speak? He seemed like just another wrestler, not a target worth attacking.
While this episode of Impact Wrestling had focus, some solid action, and told a (mostly) consistent story, I cannot call it a good episode. The Aces and Eights story jumped the shark with them seemingly having 20 members. The "TNA unites" story was weak and I believe it hurt the current feuds in the promotion. The focus of this show ended up hurting the show.
On top of those things, we had an inconsistent presentation of Open Fight Night. What happened to the title match main event? It was just odd. TNA has been fairly consistent lately, but they really took a step back with this episode. I'm hoping it is just a misstep, not a permanent change.
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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