Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - Open Fight Night, Joseph Park is kidnapped, Shaq has Hulk Hogan's back, Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray, James Storm challenges Bobby Roode, and more
By Will Pruett
- The "previously on Impact" segments are getting a little too long for my tastes. I would like to see it focus on one or two keys stories instead of trying to get across everything we will be seeing that evening.
- Was I the only person expecting a little more involvement from Shaq on this show?
- Actually, was I the only person expecting a little more from Aces and Eights on this show as well? The story seems stuck and waiting to move forward at this point.
- I was pleasantly surprised by the Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez. It was Chavo's best match since his TNA debut and it continued the great work we have seen from Angle and Styles together.
- I am thoroughly unexcited by the triple threat match for the Tag Team Championships at Bound for Glory. I don't believe it will be a bad match, but the addition of Chavo and Hernandez assures me that we will not see a classic match like at Slammiversary.
- Did Sting officially turn over his baseball bat gimmick to Hulk Hogan?
- The audio mistakes in the backstage segment between Dixie Carter and Bruce Prichard made the segment really hard to understand. Even without the audio issues, I had no idea what they were talking about. Was Carter finally telling Prichard that his shirts are ridiculous?
- It's a shame Doug Williams isn't used for more than just Gut Check segments. He's a fun character that could be a nice centerpiece for the TV Championship division or the X Division.
- Evan Markopoulos is not a good wrestler. How exactly does an eighteen year old kid qualify for a Gut Check?
- James Storm seemed to trip over his words an awful lot during his promo calling out Bobby Roode. I usually love Storm's mic work, but this was a rough outing.
- Roode's attempt to ditch an Open Fight Night challenge was nice to see. I was wondering if he would get away with it and thankful Hogan reminded him that "everybody fights."
- The actual match/fight between Roode and Storm was a compelling segment. Their feud really needed to amp up the intensity and this match helped it to do so.
- In years past, we have seen the cameras at the Impact Zone follow people everywhere. Was there a cutback at some point? Did the cables for cameras get shorter? It's odd just to see two wrestlers go through the door and see the show let them go.
- Are Storm and Roode still fighting in Orlando?
- Is TNA preparing for an Austin Aries heel turn? It seems a little too soon, but with him being matches up with Jeff Hardy and being quite rude to him at points, it would make sense.
- If Tara's boyfriend is a member of the Hebner family, I quit.
- Was Rob Van Dam just told to list his Bound for Glory opponents? What was with his comment about only doing the Van-Terminator there? This was an odd Bound for Glory moments video package.
- Does it seem a little odd to anyone else that Joseph Park was hit in the head with a hammer? I'm usually willing to excuse Triple H's use of a sledgehammer, but this hammering seemed altogether impossible.
- I'm hoping that Joseph Park backed up his laptop.
- Why would Hulk Hogan going to the Aces and Eights clubhouse do anything?
- Austin Aries calling out Bully Ray made sense. I'm not a fan of Aries trying to do everything Hardy does, but if TNA is going to run this kind of angle, this was a good start.
- I'm not sure I liked how much punishment Austin Aries took from Bully Ray. We've seen Aries do some great things with Ray and this match made Aries look like a little too much of a little punk.
- I sincerely hope that Bully Ray is not being added to the World Championship match at Bound for Glory by virtue of his victory over Austin Aries. Aries vs. Hardy is a hard sell at this moment, but adding Bully Ray makes the match seem that much less meaningful.
There was a certain point when Open Fight Night meant a night filled with short promos and a whole lot of in ring action. This show was the opposite. The in ring action was decent, but there wasn't much of it. It felt like too few stories were forwarded in a meaningful way this week.
A year ago, I could have celebrated an edition of Impact like this one, but the standard is so much higher now.
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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