Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Hit List: Willow vs. Rockstar Spud, Bully Ray, Sanada and Tigre Uno vs. BroMans, The Beautiful People won't stop talking, Sam Shaw takes a turn for the worse
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to the 71-minute audio review of TNA Impact Wrestling that Will Pruett and Zack Zimmerman recorded earlier today, and the WWE NXT audio review that Zack and Darren Gutteridge record every Friday. Plus, they are listening to the first part of the Dot Net Weekly audio show from Thursday and will hear the second part of the news and analysis show later today. Join us on the ad-free version of the website via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Sanada and Tigre Uno vs. BroMans: A good high-energy Impact debut for Sanada and Tigre Uno. BroMans are clearly cast as the vulnerable pest heel tag champions. It's not doing much for me, but perhaps it will come in handy when the Wolves are on the chase (for titles they already won once, sigh). Nevertheless, Sanada and Uno came off well and the live crowd was receptive.
Bully Ray: His explanation for why he went against Dixie Carter at Lockdown was disappointing, but the fans really took to the babyface character. It's amazing how quickly the fans will forget for the right wrestler, as he was just threatening Mr. Anderson's wife and newborn children, and it wasn't too long ago that Ray's character took them for a ride before turning on Hulk Hogan and Brooke Hogan. Ray went from feeling flat as a heel to suddenly feeling like the hottest babyface character in the company.
Willow vs. Rockstar Spud: Putting aside the decision to have Hardy play his alter ego for a moment, the match came off well with Hardy beating up a character with a lot of heat. I still believe the Spud character would be hotter if they didn't have him get his ass kicked every other week and made people wait for that payoff, but I digress. The Willow character definitely grabs the attention of viewers. The umbrella entrance is cool and the entrance music is strong. I can't decide whether it's a bold move for TNA to book Hardy as Willow or absolute insanity.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Overall show: Wrestlers sold for shots with note boards, a flimsy poster board, and an umbrella. The crowd was bored by the TNA Champion, which has more to do with the way he's been booked than the performer himself. In fact, with the exception of pest heel Rockstar Spud, most of the heels feel really flat right now. Abyss just returned (kind of) with a new look and it already feels like he needs three months away from television. I didn't hate this show or anything, but I didn't end the night looking forward to next week's show or feeling any better about the TNA product than I did coming out of those awful big match finishes at Lockdown.
Angelina Love and Velvet Sky: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They wouldn't stop talking. I was looking forward to seeing The Beautiful People reunite on this show and TNA could have simply given fans a cool moment right out of the gate, but instead they decided to build up to that or a feud between the two with a bunch of talking about things most people don't care about. I watch Impact every week and I can't even remember what the storyline issues were between the two when Love left the company. I just remember them as a hot act and would have enjoyed this so much more if they skipped all the nonsense and surprised viewers with a cool reunion moment. Instead, I went from being happy to seeing Love back on TNA television to wishing they would both stop talking and get off my television.
Bobby Roode: His character has become all bark and no bite. I was actually hope he would turn babyface because his heel persona feels played out. The guy is such a talented wrestler and I think the company would be in a better place if he was the TNA Champion rather than Magnus, but there's just something missing. He'll have good matches with Bully Ray and they probably trade wins before Ray ultimately goes over. Maybe the problem with Roode is that the formula for the Ray program has been the formula for most of his programs.
Sam Shaw: I've been a Sam Shaw character apologist because it's admittedly a guilty pleasure. They really lost me last night with the half mannequin dressed up like Christy Hemme. There have been some really awful moments during this character's brief fun, yet Shaw's performance and believability has kept me engaged. Can we just pretend like the mannequin thing never happened? Anderson plays off the character really well. However, Shaw should be dominating his matches still, not trading wins with Anderson or anyone else.
Brittany, Gail Kim, and Lei'D Tapa: I felt bad for her because her debut and upset win over Gail were immediately shoved aside for the Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa breakup. The Beautiful People babbled on endlessly, whereas this Knockout angle actually felt rushed. Why not tease this by having Kim shove Tapa for a few weeks and actually make fans want to see Tapa snap? Tapa standing up for herself seemed to click with the crowd at least, but it's too bad I almost forgot that Brittany debuted.
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