Saturday, February 07, 2015

This Week on IMPACT Wrestling

By Talon
February 6, 2015

Due to my hectic Friday Night schedule, I have agreed to take over "This Week on IMPACT Wrestling" for the foreseeable future. I will add my own flavor to this column; one of which has been my favorite TNAsylum column on the site.

Last night for the first time ever, TNA presented Lockdown on broadcast television. When this was announced part of me liked the idea of moving all PPVs to TV. More of their audience would see the shows. There were some drawbacks though such as relying too much on their TV partners as well as doubting if TNA could actually make their specials feel special. Lockdown should be a good indicator if they could.

Let me just say that aside from the presence of the Six Sides of Steel and the loaded card, this show didn't feel much different from a regular episode of IMPACT. TNA will need to find a way to make their specials stand out visually. Whether this means different colored ropes, a different ring apron or something else, it needs to feel important.

A second major issue with this show was that it really needed a third hour. Many of the matches felt too short. They actually filmed Brooke vs Robbie E in an amazing race but had to cut the segment down to highlights because of the lack of time. If they had a third hour, we could have actually seen the full match and the other matches could have gotten more time to breathe. If TNA continues doing specials, they need to ask Destination America for more time. It is a necessity at this point.

-The opening Tag Team Championship match was a fun way to open the show. Usually the steel structure neutralizes outside interference but it didn't do a good job of that tonight. Specifically in this match, Khoya, Manik and Great Sanada all interfered. I like how their numbers play into the narrative of The Revolution. 

The Twist of Fate from the top was pretty cool to see. The Revolution gained heat when Khoya attacked Hardy outside the ring. The mist from Sanada was a pretty sweet spot that led to the finish.

Jeff Hardy tried to fight off the Revolution after the match but in the end, he took a huge bump from the top of the cage onto the steps below. It was a way to write him off from the UK tour. This match just shows that until the numbers are neutralized, The Revolution is going to continue running roughshod over the tag team division.

-The segment with the BDC and Team Angle was just a way to hype Lethal Lockdown later in the night. It was nothing special and pretty forgettable. Honestly, Gunner's injury didn't even play into the main event so this segment could have been completely cut in the end.

As I mentioned last night, while I like EY's crazy character, there are times when he is trying too hard. Last night during this segment, he was trying to hard and it came off as unrealistic.

-I loved the hype video for Havok vs Awesome Kong. It made this match feel huge. Godzilla vs King Kong in the Knockouts Division.

Josh Mathews made an error at the beginning of the match saying that the referee wouldn't ring the bell until they got in the ring, but then saw the referee ring the bell. Errors like this shouldn't be made with the show being taped. It just made Mathews and Taz look bad. I did like Mathews' reference to Kong's time in WWE bringing her own brand "of Kharma to the WWE."

While this match was slower paced, I didn't like seeing two goliaths going at it and no-selling each other. My favorite part was seeing Kong get right back up following the Harlot Slayer from Havok. While this match was a bit too short, it was fun while it lasted. Here is hoping this isn't the end of the feud.

-I enjoyed the Beautiful People segment. TNA finally explained Angelina's reaction to Velvet being fired. Angelina was really good here acting supportive but really being happy about it. She is such a bitch treating her friend like this. I don't know if Velvet is coming back to TNA but she has a storyline to come back to.

-Roode vs EY was a fun brawl that could have been given a few more minutes as well. What we got was good though. This felt like a feud-ender with Roode splitting EY open and the closing minutes with Roode yelling down to EY before putting him away. My gut is that these two will keep going at it for now but this was a cool chapter in their rivalry.

-I am pretty disappointed that after all that hype about trying new production techniques, TNA has backed off of them in the past few weeks. I like when Mathews and Taz address us from TNA HQ. TNA should be pushing these new techniques and should try and find new ways to move storylines forward. The lighting and close-up camera shots are one thing but they should be doing more taking cameras backstage.

On that same token, I wish TNA would do more with Unlocked. Right now it is pretty much the same show as IMPACT with a few pop-up messages. I was hoping for a bit more original content such as reactions and more interviews. I need a reason to watch the show and at this point, I don't have one.

-I liked the story told in Spandrews vs Tyrus. Spud and Mandrews are likeable underdogs. Spud's senton from the top was definitely a highlight of the night. Mandrews looked like he hit hard on the steps when EC3 tripped him. EC3 used this as a way to distract Spud so Tyrus could get the win. This isn't over between them but like Roode vs EY, feels like a good chapter. Spud and Mandrews would be a fun high-flying tag team.

-Despite reports, the Brooke vs Robbie E amazing race looked like fun comedy. I would have liked to see the whole segment but like I mentioned above, it seemed they were scraping for time.

-Lethal Lockdown shared a similar pattern as all former Lethal Lockdown Matches have, villains dominate the match due to their numbers until the final person comes in. In this case, it was Lashley. I was kind of hoping for some sort of surprise instead of Lashley but from a storyline-standpoint it makes sense. The action was fast until the final moments.

Unlike previous Lethal Lockdown Matches, this one didn't have that one standout moment that makes you awe. This match didn't have the roof of earlier Lockdown Matches but that is likely a thing of the past. There was plenty of weapon use though and some pretty good wrestling throughout. I loved the finishing sequence where the three heroes locked in their Submission moves while Lashley finished MVP off with a Spear. Personally, I felt the Beatdown Clan would have benefited more from the win. Things get predictable when only the heroes can win this type of match.

When you pit this match against previous Lethal Lockdown contests, this one could be considered mediocre. With that said, there was some strong action that gave the heroes a nice win over the nasty faction that has been making their lives a living hell.

Final Thoughts: This was a nice special episode of IMPACT but when you rate it against previous Lockdowns, the TV format really hurt this show. Lockdown needs more time to breathe and needs to be live. The action we got on this show was very good but could have arguably been better. This show also needed more moments to stand out.