Sunday, March 01, 2015

This Week on IMPACT Wrestling

By Talon
February 27, 2015

-I have to open this thing with a criticism. TNA has been on Destination America since January 7th. There have been eight episodes of IMPACT. Despite all their promises about pulling back the curtain and doing different things, it has been the exact opposite. Aside from the lighting and weird camera angles, most of the way the show is presented is exactly how it was on Spike. The most innovative thing they have done since January 7th was the opening to that show.

I'm not saying the show is bad by any means but it could be better. Many of the things we see on TV feel like deja vu. TNA really needs to pull back the curtains and expand on their characters. Like what they did with Knux and Rebel, or The Hunt for Willow or segments like that. It puts TNA characters in segments that feel different from what we usually see them in.

On top of that, I believe TNA is wasting Unlocked by making it a glorified replay of IMPACT. TNA has been wanting additional programming for years and now that they have it, they aren't using it to full potential. Unlocked should be like Reaction was years ago. Have highlights of the matches but include extra interviews, reactions and segments. It gives other characters additional time to stand out and make an impact. 

-The show kicked off by Kurt Angle calling out Lashley. Angle is pissed that during last week's Gauntlet Match, Lashley was there but didn't have his back. Because of that, Angle won't have Lashley's back tonight. The BDC came out and hyped tonight's main event saying MVP/BDC would be the new World Champion. I like their gear.

This was a good segment to continue teasing the rift between Lashley and Angle. It looks to be these two down the line. Its a matchup that should probably be saved for a major show like Slammiversary. TNA could probably drag it out until then and use guys like MVP and Austin Aries and placeholders. The problem is that they are burning through their fresh matchups really quick. MVP vs Kurt Angle could have been saved until Lockdown but they gave it away the first night they were on Destination America. It happens often in the company.

TNA did a good job though of making Lashley vs MVP feel like a big match with the recap of the stuff between the two. MVP vs Lashley is a fresh matchup even if it isn't a dream match. So far, few have been able to overcome the numbers of the BDC and TNA put Lashley in jeopardy early on by telling us that Angle wouldn't have his back.

-I thought the tag team match with Mr. Anderson/Spud vs Tyrus and EC3 was okay but I am waiting for the big match between EC3 and Spud (Hair vs Hair?). Anderson has held his own against both and has evened the odds for Spud. Tonight, Spud used the Underdog (the former Acid Drop) to defeat Tyrus. I love that name.

-I really enjoyed the stuff with the Knockouts tonight. The proud champion in Taryn Terrell calls out Awesome Kong only to get a visit with Gail Kim. Gail really builds up Havok and Kong by reviewing their dominant history. If Kong did that to Havok, what do you think she will do to you? It was a cool warning.

Afterwards, despite the warning, Taryn stayed in the ring and went face to face with Kong, who quickly overpowered her. These two are going to go at it. The question is whether Taryn can hold onto her title after it is said and done.

-I didn't care for the mixed tag team match. Its nice to see them doing something with Chris Melendez but this was a throwaway match.

-Bram is one of the best rising stars in TNA right now. His attack on Noam Dar, Rampage and later Grado while searching for Magnus was well done. All three took the Impaler DDT well. It makes sense to have them as fodder for Bram since they likely won't be sticking around in the future.

-Austin Aries vs the departing Samoa Joe was a good back and forth contest. These two have had better matches in the past but this one didn't disappoint. It made sense for Joe to play the spoiler to Austin Aries and his plans to cash in on the winner of the main event. After the match, the BDC ended up putting Aries through a table (with two moves) and took his case. 

I want to wish Samoa Joe the best of luck. He has been in TNA since 2005 and has done many good things in the company. After spending so much time in a company, you constantly have to reinvent yourself. I don't believe Joe did that. To me, he was a stale character to have on TV. His matches, character and promo were all the same throughout the years. Tonight, he will be appearing on an ROH PPV and I am sure there will be F*ck TNA chants to go along with him. Joe will be successful outside of TNA. Thanks for the memories Joe. Hope to see you back in a few years.

-The World Title Match was solid. There was a lot of interference after a ref bump. The BDC, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, Gunner and finally Drew Galloway were all involved (with Galloway being the determining factor). A lot of extra-curricular activities in this one with Lashley coming out on top. Next week it will be EY vs Roode vs Angle for a World Title shot.

Final Thoughts: The two highlights for me were the Bram promo and the Knockouts stuff. Aries vs Joe was a good match and the main event was solid with all the interference. My hope is TNA can capitalize more on progressing as a company in the next few months.