Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - Hulk Hogan teases a return to the ring, Aces and Eights gain some heat, Bully Ray is named number on contender, and more!
By Will Pruett
- TNA has done a decent job having the specter of Jeff Hardy hang around for four weeks in a row. It was a little odd to have the World Champion missing for this long, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I expected it to be.
- I was surprised by the announcement of Bully Ray as the number one contender at Lockdown, but I probably shouldn't have been. Last week's show was entirely built around Brooke Hogan campaigning with Hulk Hogan to get Bully the title shot.
- Bully Ray's humility with Hogan is pitch perfect. He seems to be overdoing it a little bit, but is bringing just enough sincerity. Bully's work has been the highlight of TNA for the past few months and I doubt that will change.
- Bully Ray's challenge for the Aces and Eights was a really fun moment. The tease of Hulk Hogan stepping into the ring once again was almost cruel to that London crowd that loved him so much.
- The moment between Bad Influence and Roode and Aries was interesting. It was like two teams trying to do the same act to each other. It was a like having a larger version of the Aries and Roode team.
- The eight man tag was some fast paced fun for he live crowd. It seemed to be built to keep the crowd interested in the show with a ton of star power and action. I liked the match.
- Joseph Park continues to entertain me inside the ring. I'm amazed by the ability of this act to capture the imagination of so many fans. I'm also amazed that this story is still playing out and still fun to watch.
- One thing that struck me about Rockstar Spud on this show was how tiny he is. Robbie E. isn't a big guy, but he looked giant next to Spud. I wonder how long Spud's run will last given his size.
- Are we being teased with a Robbie T. babyface turn? I'd rather see Rob Terry remain a bodyguard, since I doubt his wrestling skills have improved to a passable level.
- I wish Magnus would have been featured on this show. His performances in front of the U.K. crowds were amazing and he deserved another week in the spotlight.
- The Knockouts four way was passable, but I question the booking decision to give Velvet Sky the championship. She isn't good in the ring. She just barely returned. I don't feel like we've been on a journey with Sky that just culminated. This seemed rushed because TNA got bored with Tara.
- The Knockouts Division seems to be a flavor of the month situation with TNA creative. They get excited about a woman or a story and tell half of it, then get distracted until another exciting story pops up.
- The ending of Samoa Joe vs. Garett Bischoff was easy to see coming. I didn't really mind this because Joe did the face wash, which is one of my favorite Samoa Joe moves.
- Does Wes Brisco have the ability to have the Kurt Angle formula cage match? I really doubt it, but we will find out at Lockdown. This will be a major test for the third generation star.
- I don't want every match at Lockdown to be a steel cage match. It's hard to have ten different dynamic cage matches on one night. Remember when they had an "electrified" cage match? That was pretty awful.
- The X Division is basically Rob Van Dam and a bunch of smaller guys. Kenny King was the smaller guy RVD beat this week. Will they build up a big X Division feud for Lockdown? It seems that time is not on their side, nor is major character development.
- Jeff Hardy will return on Impact next week. One has to wonder how they will build the babyface vs. babyface cage match between him and Bully Ray.
- Next week, TNA will send cameras to A.J. Styles' farm in Nashville, or something. They seem to love the angle where someone walks away after losing. I feel like any momentum Styles may have had in a heel turn has been lost during this time off.
- When will TNA wrestlers realize that playing someone's theme multiple times does not make them more likely to enter?
- I liked the main event, mostly because of the end result of it. The Aces and Eights won a real match and gained some heat. They look vicious. They look like bad asses. In this moment, they are actually a threat. It is just one week, but if TNA can build on this, they may actually have a viable faction on their hands.
- I do hope that Brooke Hogan will be turning heel along with Bully Ray. I know it is a little Triple H and Stephanie from 1999, but it would liven up her character and allow her and Bully to continue being fun to watch.
TNA made some great moves on this episode to set themselves up for being live next week. It just felt like an odd after thought because TNA is live next week. They have two episodes to get to Lockdown, so the storytelling pace should pick up big time in the next couple of weeks. TNA has a whole lot of fun stuff set up. It'll be nice to see them play it out.
Did you enjoy TNA this week? 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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