Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - Abyss returns, Roode and Aires take on Bad Influence, James Storm passes out Superkicks, Aces and Eights deal with D'Lo, and more!
By Will Pruett
There is a major difference between telling a logical story and telling a good story. This week, in discussions with Jake Barnett on the Dot Net Countdown show (cheap plug!), I discussed this. Telling a logical story is extremely important in wrestling. In a universe that often makes it too hard for fans to suspend disbelief, wrestling must be logical. If it isn't, there is a major problem. Telling a logical story should be the base of a wrestling story. It should go without saying.
Telling a compelling story should be the goal of every wrestling promotion. Logic is a mandate. A compelling story is often hard to find and construct. It begins with logic (as a compelling story cannot be created without a basic suspension of disbelief), but it should follow through with excitement, twists, turns, and dynamic characters. Fans should be able to invest in wrestling emotionally and compelling stories allow this.
TNA is telling a logical (in most ways, at least) story with the Aces and Eights, but they aren't telling a compelling one. There is one lead babyface in the Aces and Eights story. There is one lead heel. Everyone else (the rest of the roster) is just kind of hanging out. Occasionally they have matches, which is good for them.
On this show, another hero for TNA arose and it was a most unexpected one. Abyss returned to take out the Aces and Eights and save Kurt Angle and Sting. It was both a logical (Bully Ray took out Abyss in January 2012) and compelling. It was also poorly executed from a physical standpoint (Abyss seemed very rusty at doing the Abyss act). It's easy to ignore the negative here, because the return worked.
Where does TNA go with their new split-personality hero? What can they do? Will he be promoted as a major warrior in the Aces and Eights war (a role James Storm and Magnus would also play well)? Will he end up not mattering in three weeks? Hopefully it is the former. The return worked.
- The opening segment of this show was really well put together. Sting, Kurt Angle, and (the darkest timeline's) A.J. Styles all played their roles really well. It set up the grand mystery and ultimate payoff at the end of the show. This episode of Impact Wrestling was really focussed when it came to telling stories and the effort was appreciated.
- Gail Kim continued to be the Bret Hart of woman's wrestling this week. Yes, I am so proud of this joke that I'm using it again.
- Mickie James has a country album out, thus she must dress as Daisy Duke.
- The Knockouts Division is quietly producing compelling characters with believable motivations. It's not glamorous, but it is working. Great stories could be told very soon with the cast they're assembling.
- Does everyone in TNA drink prior to or while performing? On this show we saw the Aces and Eights, James Storm, Bad Influence, ODB, and Austin Aries all consume alcohol. Does TNA need an intervention?
- I liked the segments involving D'Lo Brown for the most part. It gave the Aces and Eights a reason to be on TV without more posturing and engine revving.
- How many times is Magnus going to return after a beating, win, them get beat up again? It's almost comedic.
- How did D'Lo not notice he was holding Doc's leg? He was purposefully not looking. This was a strange and awkward ending.
- Hulk Hogan volunteering to take third slot was everything wrong with TNA in a nutshell.
- I'm happy to hear Hogan, Sting, and Angle trade some empty platitudes about Magnus. He is, at least, worth them.
- Aries and Roode vs. Bad Influence was a lot like the Aries vs. Roode match from a few months ago. They were all trying to top each other with their heeling. It was a fun ten minutes.
- James Storm still doesn't quite fit in with the tag scene, and he could be better used elsewhere, but he was entertaining as a special referee in this match.
- I still don't understand the overall story of Storm, Roode, Aries, Daniels, and Kazarian.
- The video for the return of Suicide was almost cool enough to make me overlook the overt stupidity of a gimmick based on killing oneself.
-Kenny King was really good on this show and shined in the mic time allotted to him. His segment with Chris Sabin was basic, but it also worked really well. This is what the X Division has been lacking. They have the talent, now they need the stories.
- I would love to see King vs. Sabin become a one-on-one feud, with or without the X Division Championship on the line.
- As I mentioned above, the return of Abyss worked for me, as did the entire tag team main event. The challenge now is the story going forward. Is this a new chapter or another meaningless segment of time?
This was a very good and very focussed episode of Impact. Every story gained something in this episode. Every feud featured worked in one way or another. It might have been the best Impact episode this year.
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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