Twilling's TNA Impact Hitlist: Jeff Hardy's new belt, Brother Ray turns on Brother Devon, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, Rhino turns on EV2, Matt Morgan earns a future title shot, and more
By Rich Twilling
TNA Impact Hits
A.J. Styles vs. Stevie Richards: With Styles in the ring and Richards being in the shape he is in, it was no surprise this was a good six minute match. It was. The problem is not many people care about Richards and beyond that, Styles is as lukewarm now as he has been at any time in his career. I cringed at how Richards took the Styles' Clash, with his face up instead of face down. Bad on the neck. Despite all of that, it was a good match.
Jeff Hardy's new TNA Heavyweight Championship belt: Okay, I do not like personalized belts and I prefer a majestic, strong looking piece that showcases what a championship should, power and prestige. That being said, if anyone is going to have his own belt, Hardy would be a good choice. The belt itself is quite the sight and is impressive. That being said, I hope they get the old belt out of the trash for the next champion.
Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair: It is not a positive thing, but these two are the only two wrestlers/former wrestlers on the show that command an audience when they speak. So, it's good when either Hogan or Flair get on the mic or are involved in backstage segments, but it is not a good thing that nobody else commands the screen like they do.
TNA Impact Misses
NWO-like opening segment: There were some positives and negatives about this, but overall, it just dragged on and on. When each babyface came out to establish who he was feuding with, it at least drew some battle lines, but none of the potential/current feuds really jumped out as "must see."
Brother Ray attacks Brother Devon and the announcers go silent: This was predictable, but I just don't want to see a feud between these two. Beyond that, when they actually do retire, the have to do it as a team, right? So, they will have to have one more "last run." Finally, there is a right time for the announcers to let what is happening speak for itself, but this was not one of those times. They were very talkative and just went mute. No expression of surprise, sorrow, or anger, which would have far more logical.
Rhino turns on EV2 to help Fortune: Nobody saw it coming and I don't think anybody cared to see it coming. Rhino has shown in the past he can deliver when given the opportunity, but Rhino vs. Rob Van Dam is another impending feud that is unlikely to set the world on fire. I hope it surprises me, but as of now, I don't see it happening.
The Pope, Abyss, and Eric Bischoff: Nothing about this throughout the night clicked at all. Bischoff played the cowardly heel well, but in his case, he should have fought back when The Pope attacked him. Also, Pope vowed to get Bischoff in the casket, so Bischoff should have had someone with him at all times. Pope got to him too easily. Finally, the payoff is another Abyss vs. Pope match, and I have no desire to see that again.
Matt Morgan defeats three Fortune members; Doug Williams out of the group: I hate it when one guy beats three. Yes, Beer Money and Ric Flair left Williams for dead, but Morgan hung in there for awhile before that. They didn't make it clear, but it looked to me that Williams is out of Fortune, which makes little sense. Williams working in a Flair led faction is a perfect role for a natural heel who is a great wrestler. Kudos though to the idea of Morgan earning a future title shot.
Jeff Hardy cuts a normal promo: Hardy's cryptic and eerie videos are extremely well done. His promos are not. He came to the ring last night and cut a promo. Hardy is not a middle of the ring promo guy and it showed. They need to play to his strengths and having him cut promos, especially when Hogan and Flair cut promos, is not playing to his strengths.
Robbie E and Cookie vs. Jay Lethal and Taylor Wilde: This match felt like it lasted ten times longer than it actually did. What stood out the most was how badly Taylor Wilde played her role here. She couldn't control herself on the apron and why? Because Cookie is annoying? Okay. It cost her team the match. Beyond that, I am just not into the Jersey Shore gimmick at all, although I credit Eckos for playing the part well.
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