Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - A.J. Styles vs. James Storm, The Aces & 8's attack everyone, Miss Tessmacher and Mickie James wrestle in slow motion
By Will Pruett
The main subject in TNA is the "balance of power." We heard about it on this show from everyone backstage talking about Jeff Hardy leaving, the commentators in almost every moment, the Aces and Eights, and in everything we hear from Hulk Hogan. Even the titles are about the balance of power and somehow they offer more.
This is not something we hear about in most sports. When the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup this year, they won't suddenly have more power over how the NHL is ran. They will be champions. Being a champion should be what matters in wrestling.
By making power the ultimate prize (as TNA has done), the champion of the promotion is actually the person with the most power. In this case, that person is Hulk Hogan (who was actually absent on this show). With power being the championship and goal of all the wrestlers, should we be seeing a series of vignettes with wrestlers training for office jobs?
If the Aces and Eights have "all the power," why aren't they booking unfair matches and forcing the hands of authority figures? Why isn't there an Aces and Eights authority figure?
Power cannot be won or loss in a wrestling match. It is not a commodity TNA can actually allow fans to buy into. It isn't possible for me to go to TNA's website and see rankings of who has the most power. It is an idea TNA can use to make people believe something is at stake and something is happening when nothing is. In a wrestling world that refuses to accept and place value in wins and losses, power seems to be all they have left.
In this way, Hulk Hogan, without wrestling, is still World Champion.
- This show opened with a long video recap of the last two months of TNA stories, but no new opening video (which debuted last week). Is that video only for live shows?
- There were quite a few videos with Hulk Hogan looking sad as Jeff Hardy was put into an ambulance. Hogan seems to have the expression locked in.
- Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff suffered from many of the logical issues the handicap matches on Smackdown and Raw did this past week. Angle lost the match, due to a chain from Aces and Eights and the first long beating from Aces and Eights began. This was a theme on this show.
- The small promos for the X Division Championship match made the match seem like a much bigger deal. I'd love for more X Division wrestlers to get exposure like this in the scaled down and heavily gimmicked division.
- TNA's X-Cam (or, as I like to think of it, the zombie WCW refer-eye cam) basically just showed you what a ringside camera would, but yellower. If you like yellow, you're going to love this camera. If you don't, well, maybe this isn't for you.
- The X Division match was fine for what it was. I can't say I get too invested in the triple threat matches.
- Petey Williams on TV for TNA in another month is definitely a good thing. He brings athleticism and fun to his matches.
- For the entire night, there was an odd chemistry between Mickie James and Brooke Tessmacher. It began in their backstage segment and continued into their match. I believe it is beginning to signal a character transition with Mickie, but it felt unnatural tonight.
- One of the issues with Aces and Eights is their policy of attacking everyone. Their attacks don't allow the people they attack to stand out. One week, Kurt Angle wants vengeance, the next, it's Magnus. They aren't focussed on anything and its hard to cheer for or against anyone in this scenario.
- James and Tessmacher had one of the slowest and most awkward matches I've seen in a long time. ODB's involvement was part of this, as she felt tacked on. The action never got going. There seemed to be an attempt to make them look evenly matched, but they were actually just kind of there. The match was unimpressive for sure.
- Joseph Park got beat up by Team 3D in a shower. Next.
- Mickie James' promo also called for a character transition. I can see her using Velvet Sky's injury against her next week and being evil Mickie for a little while.
- There are three tag teams in TNA (Mexican America 7.4, Roode and Aries, Bad Influence) and the segment between them was fun. Bad Influence and Roode and Aries do a nice job interacting and trying to out-heel each other. Chavo and Hernandez play off of it by being the stable babyfaces. This would be a nice top three chemistry, but it worries me to see it as the only three chemistry.
- Matt Morgan's hair and beard have crossed the line from threatening to laughable.
- Almost every match on this show ended (or began) with an Aces and Eights beat down. Samoa Joe getting beat up in his chubby guy wrestling t-shirt was a little much for me. I understand what TNA is trying to do, but there are more creative and dynamic ways to tell a story than repeating the same chapter over and over.
- A.J. Styles wrestling as the new A.J. Styles was interesting. He hasn't seemed to find his style yet, but it is evolving far more than it did when he was mini-Ric Flair. Dark alternate universe A.J. Styles was fun.
- James Storm really means nothing in TNA right now. I truly believe this can all be traced back to Lockdown last year and TNA's odd decision on that night.
- At this point, I know who Bully Ray is.
This show just didn't shine. TNA as to find a way to get people invested in their product and their lead story. Centering it around power instead of gold is not the way to get there. I don't know why power is the most important commodity in wrestling to them, but it needs to stop. I don't mind the occasional power struggle, but this one hasn't been well thought out and it is definitely dragging on.
So, what did you think of the show? Agree? Disagree? Either way, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me and interact on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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