Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - Austin Aries calls out "Arm Breaker," the semi-finals of the Bound for Glory Series are set, Championship Thursday features Daniels and Kazarian defending
By Will Pruett
- While the video packages that began the night helped to set up the Bound for Glory Series and did a good job of that, there were just a few minutes too many spent on them. In the first 45 minutes of the show, everything seemed to move slowly due to the packages.
- Impact seems to open with a match at least a third of the time these days. I always enjoy it and this match was no exception. Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe had a nice, restrained effort in this one. Now that we know they'll be wrestling at No Surrender as well, the restraint here makes sense. They gave themselves plenty of room to increase intensity on Sunday night.
- Let me get this straight: Hulk Hogan approved the use of torture to make the Aces and Eights member speak? That seems a little extreme to me. I know Sayid justified it on Lost, but this is a wrestling company that regularly has wrestlers involve cops and has a lawyer running around backstage. This was exceptionally weak storytelling.
- Even more egregious about the Aces and Eights torture angle is that it involved Austin Aries doing the actual torture. TNA has a hot act as World Champion, but they insist on involving him in ridiculous situations. This wasn't ridiculous in a good way (like the hug of the year on Raw). It was ridiculous in a "I want to change the channel" way.
- I liked the angle between Samoa Joe and Magnus. I wish it would have been more consistently mentioned between their match a month ago and this moment on Impact. This felt like a story that was dropped, then picked back up on this moment.
- Maybe this comes from a lack of real investment in any of the talent involved, but the backstage "Championship Thursday" segments were especially weak this month. No one did a great job stating their case and Hogan didn't exactly draw anything great out of them.
- The little angle that set up Tara vs. Gail Kim was fun. It told a nice story for this show and gave a reason for a random Knockouts match to occur.
- Joey Ryan's act in TNA is a joke character attempting to do something serious. I'm glad it is finally getting a payoff, but the angle has stretched on beyond believability at this point.
- Does anyone think that Joey Ryan vs. Al Snow will be compelling or exciting? Also, why was Al Snow's speech underscored?
- Will Kris Lewie show up at No Surrender and punch Al Snow? He was desperate enough to commit criminal acts last week, wasn't he?
- Seriously, this show went straight from a lawyer talking backstage to a man torturing another man with pliers. A camera happened to be present at both events.
- Rob Van Dam is on his way from claiming the "World's Dumbest Babyface" award from Sting. Congratulations for that, RVD. Keep pointing those thumbs.
- I love seeing Bully Ray in the final four of the Bound for Glory Series. Ray has been awesome lately, especially his in-ring work. He's become the total package in the ring and on the mic and it's nice to see him in a high profile role.
- Is "Arm Breaker" actually what we're going to call the Aces and Eights guy? He didn't even break Aries' arm. Seriously, Aries is wearing a black sleeve thing he probably stole from Jeff Hardy's bag. This angle took such a wrong turn on this night, it's absurd.
- James Storm had a chance to deliver a fired up promo? I'm in! This worked, although a recap of his last year was actually just a reminder of how poorly told his recent story is. I feel bad for Storm because it feels like his time to catch fire has passed.
- Going back to last year's Bound for Glory Series was an interesting touch from Storm. I'm excited to see Storm vs. Bully Ray at No Surrender. Also, did Storm steal his wallet chain from Bully's bag? Why was he wearing that?
- Chavo and Hernandez did a really nice job in the tag team match with Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. While I'm not invested in the characters, they worked well together. Hernandez and Guerrero could actually be a decent tag team act in the ring, even if they feel like a reboot of a reboot of a dead act.
- I like the idea of a rematch of Angle and Styles vs. Kazarian and Daniels, but I am worried. After learning that Angle is working hurt, why put him in a situation where he will be forced to work up to a high standard. I know a tag team match is easier to work, but I still worry for Angle. He really should be taking time off to heal and not working a high impact tag team match.
- Can Teddy Long please get Hogan-style pyro for match announcements?
- The closing segment with Austin Aries, Mike, and "Arm Breaker" was puzzling. It was the same ending we've seen for a few weeks. Aces and Eights overkill is officially upon us.
- So, why did Bobby Roode lose his smile?
This was a weak edition of Impact. The combination of torture, unexciting tag teams, and odd moments really made this show feel like an old school TNA Impact episode. This was a major miss and it came at a very bad time.
While it as a miss, No Surrender could be a very good show. The end of the Bound for Glory Series will be exciting to watch. It should be fun to see some of the other matches on the show, even with a total lack of build up (Zema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt). All in all, it will probably continue the recent string of good pay-per-views.
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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