Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - No Surrender fallout and rematches, The Impact Zone is placed on Lockdown, Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries build begins, a conference of authority figures, and more
By Will Pruett
- It's always good to see TNA open the show with their champion, Austin Aries. As critical as I was of Aries' presentation last month, TNA does, more often than not, present him as a major star. They did that on this show.
- Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries may be a little too respectful at this moment. It will be interesting to see how TNA builds this babyface vs. babyface matchup going into Bound for Glory. They need a hot feud, but they will also (most likely) want to keep both men as babyfaces. This is far more difficult to book than a standard heel vs. babyface rivalry.
- I like Bully Ray quite a bit, but I still don't know that I would want to see him in the Bound for Glory main event. He is compelling. His character is strong. I just don't know if I want to watch him in that situation.
- TNA, through Taz and Tenay, offering Jerry Lawler their best wishes as he recovers was a classy move. Stay classy, TNA.
- So, at No Surrender we saw an X Division Championship match with no buildup. What did TNA do instead of building it up for Impact? They put the exact same match on television without even a commercial break of notice. I wish they would present the X Division as the exciting and compelling thing it could be.
- Sonjay Dutt and Zema Ion had a good match together. I may have actually enjoyed this effort more than their pay-per-view one.
- Zema Ion's character is fun in small doses, but he needs time to develop it into a character that people can accept and boo weekly. It's in TNA's best interest to allow Ion time on TV on a weekly basis.
- Remember when Christopher Daniels was attempting to be a pseudo-religious cult leader? Who knew that all it would take to bring out an entertaining personality in him would be a couple Appletinis?
- Has Wes Brisco shown up backstage since his last interaction with Kurt Angle over a month ago? Talk about a slow burn introduction.
- The small amount of dissonance between Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles has been interesting to watch. I'd love to see them have some moments where they bond as a team (for some reason Mick Foley and Al Snow on a roller coaster just came to mind) and express some common goals though.
- Here is what I like about this new incarnation of the James Storm vs. Bobby Roode rivalry: It is being brought back to their tag team days, so it feels like the breakup is more recent. This is a great move, as it gives purpose to this feud beyond the World Championship, which is what it was about before.
- While some may feel that not having the championship involved takes away from Roode vs. Storm, I actually think the Championship adds more to Hardy vs. Aries than it takes away from Roode vs. Storm. Because of that, I can still say that I'm a fan of the Aries title win.
- Kazarian vs. A.J. Styles was a really good television match that felt longer than it actually was. For a moment I questioned whether this match would ever end. The action was more than solid, but it just seemed long.
- If I were Hulk Hogan, I would never trust an overweight lawyer that can't even appropriately speak carny with my daughter. That said, I was hoping we would get a couple segments of Joseph Park annoying Brooke Hogan.
- I wonder how often Jeff Hardy runs into something in the back at the Impact Zone trying to be cool showing off the markup on his eyelids. It was creepy and fun at first, but now it is just old. I love Hardy's facepaint, but I could do without the eye details.
- I'm critical of having the Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray match on this show for two reasons. The first, it was the main event of No Surrender and TNA just decided to have the match again four days later. That makes it feel lazy and makes the pay-per-view feel less important. The second, Hardy put his title shot on the line for absolutely nothing and would have looked like the biggest idiot ever had he lost.
- If Jeff Hardy isn't from this planet, is he legally able to work for TNA? Do they do interplanetary background checks?
- I liked the Aces and Eights threat that they were being locked in the Impact Zone. It makes you question why Hogan didn't try the lockdown approach months ago instead of waiting until now.
- Hogan had a much better night on this show than he did at No Surrender.
- Chavo Guerrero continues to use Eddie Guerrero's moveset as his own. Was this in Eddie's will? I can understand a child of Eddie's using his moves, but Chavo doing so feels exploitive.
- Chavo winning a tag title shot for himself and Hernandez is far less exciting than Angle and Styles winning one. I hope we see two separate matches, not a three-way.
- Next week's Gut Check competitor is just eighteen. His video was well done, but even without knowing that, he came off as super young on the mic.
- I liked the Bound for Glory moment videos that played throughout the night. Gail Kim's was especially poignant.
- It was predictable, but I liked the segment with Miss Tessmacher and Tara. This heel turn should make Tara more interesting and help Tessmacher get more over. It should be interesting to see what kind of match they can put together with a traditional heel and babyface dynamic working for them.
- According to this show, the power structure in TNA is Brother Love, D'Lo Brown (without his chest protector), Al Snow (without Head), Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan, and Dixie Carter. This explains so much about the last ten years of the company.
- What was that backstage segment with the aforementioned players supposed to be? At one moment it seemed like they were going for realism, but in the next, there was over dramatic music playing as each person's face was shown. Things like this continue to make TNA a slightly embarrassing show to watch.
- I'm assuming that at Bound for Glory we will get a major heel turn from one of the "power players" that was in the back. This will set up another year-long angle with a major faction. TNA does this at Bound for Glory shows in even numbered years (2008 - Main Event Mafia, 2010 - Immortal).
- I understand the idea behind Jeff Hardy putting up his title shot and keeping it. They want to affirm that Hardy is on a roll going into Bound for Glory. There are better ways to do this than having Hardy look dumb. A simple match against a top star would have affirmed Hardy in the same way.
- Where was Samoa Joe on this show? Since he was so high up in the Bound for Glory rankings, I would have liked to have seen more from him in response to his loss at the pay-per-view. Wrestling in general does a poor job of following up on characters when they lose.
- Hardy vs. Bully was a good match. They weren't hampered with the story, like they were at No Surrender, so they were able to do more in the ring. I don't like that this match occurred, but the quality of it was fine.
This show kicked off the road to Bound for Glory by looking back on No Surrender. Instead of moving forward, TNA took a week to reflect and reaffirm what they did on Sunday. As far as story-telling goes, this is not a bad idea. They have a ton of time to build up to October. However, they chose to reflect by making the pay-per-view feel worthless to those that ordered it.
This wasn't a bad show for in-ring action. One of the only reasons I can say it was bad would probably be the backstage segment with the power players in TNA. That said, this segment as bad enough that it makes me think poorly about the whole show. I'm going with a mild thumbs up this week. There's still work to be done and this week had a few too many steps back for me.
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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