Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - Matt Morgan's transformation from athlete to cartoon, Sting wins a title shot, Kurt Angle makes D'Lo quit, and more!
By Will Pruett
Matt Morgan should be a top star in WWE. Look at him. He has the build, the ability, and the charisma to be in the shoes of John Cena, or, at the very least, Randy Orton or Sheamus. Matt Morgan should be a World Heavyweight Champion in the biggest wrestling company in the world. Morgan is a special athlete with a ton of ability. John Cena may have been called "The Prototype," but Matt Morgan is a prototype.
Matt Morgan is an impressive athlete as well. As opposed to being over the top and absolutely ridiculous, Morgan works best when he is allowed to just be himself. He's an athlete with a ton of ability. Sometimes he is a jerk. Sometimes he is a nice guys. Most importantly, he is always a real person. This is the effective version of Matt Morgan.
In a rematch from Slammiversary 2009 (a match with membership in the Main Event Mafia on the line for Morgan), Morgan fought Sting in the main event of this episode of Impact.
This match did not feature the effective version of Matt Morgan. Rather than enter with the calm confident demeanor of an athlete, Morgan entered angry. Rather than enter in clothes an athlete might wear, Morgan wore a gold cape. Rather than spend time warming up, Morgan spent time spiking his hair. Matt Morgan has been transformed from a real athlete to a cartoon character. In the process, the essence of what made him stand out in a world of big men has been lost.
I could complain about Sting beating Morgan, just as he did in 2009, but I don't expect anything else. Two wrestlers from the late 1990's will once again face off for TNA's top championship on pay-per-view. This is how it works. Matt Morgan never had a chance.
- Hulk Hogan and Sting's opening segment was far more than it needed to be. It set up both next week's main event where another group will try to rid TNA of Aces and Eights, and the evening's number one contender match. It also gave us the reunion of Hogan and Sting. These may seem like major story points, but they fell flat.
- Hogan and Sting were fighting for almost three weeks! It's about time they make up. I figured eliminating pay-per-views would slow down the pace of storytelling in TNA, but instead they are still moving at the same pace. Why not really explore what this format can do for them?
- Matt Morgan has gone from looking like a premier athlete to a cartoon character. I didn't mind the beard, but the spiked hair in front is ridiculous. His who act used to be based on being a real athlete. Now he is another big guy, much like Rob Terry.
- Chris Sabin has been rehabbing his knees for two years. In his return match, wouldn't it have been prudent for his opponents to try to attack his knees? Where is the logic in the X Division?
- Chris Sabin vs. Xema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt was what I've come to expect from the new X Division: flips galore, the Refer-eye cam, a couple dives, and a complete and utter lack of a story. Instead of using the format to tell stories, it is just enabling TNA creative's habit of ignoring the wrestlers in the division.
- Bully Ray's motivation speech to the gang was fun. Wes Brisco's response to it was hilarious. I don't know if I've seen a wrestler as bad as Wes both in the ring and on the mic. His performances are on another level of bad.
- D'Lo Brown put his spot in Aces and Eights on the line without prompting or fanfare. Was this TNA's way of getting him out of the stable after they promised a reveal and had to deliver him?
- Rob Terry beat three guys. We live in a world where Brian Cage didn't even get into the second round of Gut Check and Rob Terry is beating three wrestlers at once. How do things like this happen?
- Bobby Roode and Austin Aries had a nice promo segment with Bad Influence. This tag team feud has been fun to watch develop, and aside form last week's odd tease of Fortune's return, it has been good. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian are still ridiculously entertaining and doing the best work of their careers.
- Keep Chavo Guerrero away from microphones. Please.
- Why is James Storm suddenly a referee in the tag team division? This is another example of not having a direct opponent or feud for Storm, but still keeping him on the show. Wy doesn't anyone in Aces and Eights have a real feud? They all hate TNA, but the wrestlers in TNA don't bother them all that much. James Storm vs. Ken Anderson could actually be entertaining.
- Kurt Angle has never lost an "I Quit" match. Next week, the Aces and Eights will attempt to beat him in another format he has never lost in: a lingerie pillow fight.
- D'Lo Brown didn't look too bad in the ring, but he also didn't look good. He's not pretending to be a full time wrestler, so I can't be too upset about it. He and Angle had a passable, short gimmick match.
- I had Brown vs. Angle pegged as a Slammiversary match. I wonder what the plan is for Angle at the pay-per-view now.
- The segment between Angle and A.J. Styles was more of the same from what we've seen in these A.J. Styles segments. Is next week the time when we finally get a decision from him? Styles wasn't advertised (or even mentioned) when the six man was brought up later.
- I'm actually enjoying the storytelling in the Knockout's Division at this moment more than anywhere else on TNA's roster. We're seeing stale programs everywhere else, but plenty of focus on key feuds in the Knockouts Division. Taryn Terrell (who is, by her own admission, a hot mess) is playing her new plucky babyface role really well.
- Gail Kim is the Bret Hart of women's wrestling. She has the delusion, the nationality, and the Figure Four around the ring post. What more does she need?
- Matt Morgan wearing Hulk Hogan's cape is the second dumbest wardrobe choice in wrestling history.
- Sting vs. Morgan didn't impress me. The ending actually depressed me.
How does Sting end up in the top babyface slot right now? TNA has decided not to go with all sorts of other logical options here. They have James Storm. They have A.J. Styles. They even have Matt Morgan, who could play a reluctant babyface force really well. They've made to decision to go with Sting and Hulk Hogan. I don't blame the old guard for being reluctant to give up top spots. I blame the creative team for allowing it to happen.
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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