I'm a bit late posting this, I know. I had time to either do iMPACT results on Thursday or post a column, and since I got tired of reading the subpar reporting from the site I had previously copy/pasted from when I didn't have the time to do my own, I figured I'd go with the former. But here we are, the column you've all been waiting for. So enjoy it.
Segment 1: James Storm, Bobby Roode (In-Ring)
I'm probably not alone in this, but damn am I looking forward to the match between these two guys tonight. Match of the night, no doubt in my mind. Crowd is going wild for these guys right now. I still say Storm is one of the most underrated promo guys in the business today. He's no Ric Flair or Rock, but he can fire that crowd up as soon as he picks that microphone up.
The tension between these two is incredible. It's hard to do that when your whole deal is that the two of you are best friends, but there's some definite envy brewing under that cowboy hat James Storm has on. That's going to add so much to the match tonight. Can't disagree with Storm on that one. I've figured both of these guys as future World Champions for some time now.
Hey there's that attitude coming from Storm I mentioned earlier. He's saying he "might just be a little better" than Bobby Roode tonight. Oh no he didn't! Storm busts out the "Sorry 'bout your damn luck" line on his own partner. This match is going to be incredible tonight. No doubt about it.
Segment 2: Sting (Backstage)
Nothing of major note here, just showing his arrival to the arena. Sting's wearing a yellow Hulkamania shirt under a bright red suit. Someone needs to give that boy some fashion tips. Just awful.
Video Package 1: Hulk Hogan Debuts in TNA
So we're getting some videos tonight chronicling Hogan's time in TNA. First one's kind of a letdown as it just shows Hogan stepping on to the ramp, getting some cheers, then the video ends. Cool?
Match 1: Gunner vs. Kazarian
Nice to see a match taking place that makes sense in a storyline way. Gunner attacks Kaz last week, Kaz gets his revenge in a match this week. Pretty simple booking there. I'm sure even Russo could figure that one out. I don't mean to make a Taz-esque comment about a dude's body, but Gunner looks like he's been hitting the gym a little harder as of late. It's amazing how that can instantly make him look like a more credible threat in the ring.
They're really booking Gunner strong in this match. I guess it was about time he continued the momentum he gained during the BFG Series. Kind of an anticlimactic ending there, but damn that was a brutal looking submission. Kaz tapped out pretty quick.
You know what pisses me off? When the referee reverses a decision for a BS reason. At the time the ending bell rang there was no DQ and Gunner won. What happens after the bell is of no concern to the referee. That single-handedly almost ruined what was otherwise a decent match. Result: Kazarian wins via DQ in 4:12
Segment 3: Ken Anderson (In-Ring)
"I'm out here with my hat in my hands…well, not really because I have hat head." - Nice try at being hilarious, but you failed. Come back later. Apparently he's out here to apologize to his assholes tonight.
I can't help but think a lot of this promo is directed at Randy Orton for some reason. For those of you not watching, Anderson's talking about watching guys who "kiss ass and swing from the boss' nuts" have their stock rise quickly in the company, but he's never been good at the political game and has to work for everything he has gained in the business. Was Bully Ray just waiting back there for Ken to say something bad about him? As soon as he got called a "douchebag", his music hits and out he comes.
Some not-so-subtle dick jokes here, talking about how "Bully Ray's chain is huge". No reaction from the crowd for those. Hey idiots, the announcers already said you guys have a match at the PPV. Sooo why are you acting like it's still up in the air? It's already official, the match is happening, this whole segment is unnecessary so far.
You know what else I hate? When a gimmick match has the name of a city in it. What exactly is the difference between a "Philadelphia Falls Count Anywhere" and a normal "Falls Count Anywhere" match? Are they going to have to wear the jersey of a shitty sports team at BFG or something?
Segment 3: Mystery Camera Guy, Eric Bischoff (Backstage)
MCG is looking for Bischoff's thoughts on Hogan's upcoming retirement, and this actually sounds more like a press conference than a wrestling promo. It's about time Bischoff did something right for a change.
Segment 5: Brian Kendrick
I understood about half of what Kendrick just mumbled. Something about how he's going to get the belt back and clean up the X-Division? Oh and of course he called Kid Kash a scumbag, prompting Kash to walk up from behind and lay the smack down. Please just kill that stupid hippy idiot Kash. That alone would earn you a title shot in my books. "You wanna clean something up? Clean up your own blood…bitch" - Kash, continuing his streak of awesome.
Match 2: Mickie James & Velvet Sky VS Madison Rayne & Winter
No matter how many times I hear it, Winter's theme music creeps the hell out of me. It's an absolute perfect fit for her character. LOL @ Madison trying to steal the spotlight on their entrance (she came out with Winter and Angelina) only to be shoved off to the side. Winter is my future wife, I'm convinced.
Wow, women's wrestlers using basic tag match psychology like using quick tags to stay fresh? It's almost like someone at TNA read my last column about Divas and Knockouts and are rewarding me. Knockouts > Divas any day of the week, and tonight is a prime example why I believe that. No love for Earl Hebner from Madison this week. Come on, the old bastard needs love just as much as the rest of us.
Velvet Sky just delivered an impressive looking Pedigree, so I can only imagine someone hacked her and made her steal the move. That's a real excuse these days right? Madison pulls out the quick pin there for her team and looks super strong heading into the title match at Bound For Glory. Rayne/Winter win via pinfall in 4:40
Video Package 2: Hogan Teams With Abyss
Really? This deserved a video package? It literally just showed himself walking to the ring with Abyss, cut to a smile from Dixie Carter in the crowd, and then it was over. 0/2 on these packages so far.
Segment 6: Kurt Angle, Eric Bischoff (Backstage)
Angle's pretty pissed that Jeff Hardy didn't listen to him and stay away from the company. I guess that's what happens when you have no actual power and still try to hand out orders. Bischoff's going to take care of the situation and comes out to the ring. The crowd is not loving him right now, but I imagine that has more to do with Jeff Hardy being back than it does with Bischoff being able to gain any real heat.
Segment 7: Eric Bischoff (In-Ring)
"Sit down, shut up, and take notes." - Hell of a way to start an announcement. I wish my professors would start class like that, I might pay attention more. See Bully Ray? That's how it's done. Someone gets called out to the ring, and there's a DELAY in them actually coming out. Little things like that help out the realism of the show.
"You have turned dropping the ball into an art form." - Bischoff, really going for the throat tonight. "You are one of the most charismatic stars I've ever met, but you're also one of the biggest screwups I've ever laid eyes on." - WOW! Bischoff is just destroying Hardy tonight. One thing's for sure, Hardy's getting all the sympathy tonight.
"When you came to the ring, SO pilled up, you let me down, you let Hogan down, you let everybody down. So why don't you just 12-Step your way right out of my ring." - I have not been this entertained by a Bischoff promo in a very VERY long time. Well done sir. Hey Jeff, I appreciate what you're trying to do and all, but giving a Twist of Fate to the guy who has the power to give you a job probably isn't the best idea. But since he basically just banned you, I guess it's okay. At least you were smart enough to run before Immortal got their hands on you.
And just like that, Jeff Hardy has made himself back into a fan favourite. Say what you want about the guy, but he's on his way back to the top. No way TNA lets him slip away. Go serve your time Jeff, I'll be waiting for you when you get back.
Video Package 3: Hogan Takes Over TNA
Well at least this video is actually a Hogan event worth noting. It was the night after the lawsuit settled and Hogan took over the company. Problem with this video? They're trying to build Hogan up as a face for his "retirement" tonight, and this video kind of undoes that. Granted he's been a heel most of the time he's been here, but still.
Match 3: Samoa Joe VS Crimson
Well at least Crimson's getting a better crowd reaction now. Too bad he still only has one facial expression, kind of in between being angry and being severely constipated. I don't get how Crimson's punches can look so damn weak. He's a big dude, he's gotta be able to put some more power behind those fists.
I'm far from being Crimson's biggest fan, but this is some of his best in-ring work yet. And wouldn't you know it, it's against one of the company's best wrestlers. If they were smart…(pause for the haters to say that TNA isn't smart)…they would be promoting a long feud between Joe and Crimson to give the youngster a veteran to learn from. Joe is still being booked like an absolute beast tonight. His W/L record may not be the greatest, but that guy looks like a legit threat every time he steps in the ring. Joe is back baby.
I was actually convinced for a minute there that Joe was going to make Crimson submit. Also, Crimson's shoulders are down, he should have lost. What, really? A rollup counter to a submission? Another weak ending to an otherwise solid match. Result: Crimson wins via pinfall in 5:19
Segment 8: Mystery Camera Guy, Bully Ray (Gym)
Another segment where Ray tries to deny the match is taking place on PPV. Dude, it's already been announced. You have a match at Bound For Glory, get over it.
Video Package: Bobby Roode
Wow, I forgot how different Roode looked with short curly hair. I prefer the ponytail, that's for sure. Sweet! Video shots of my hometown arena in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. I've been to that arena countless times before. Kind of neat to see it on a non-local TV station. This makes two weeks in a row that they've aired footage from that town.
Nice commentary from Roode's parents there. They are really doing an amazing job of building Roode up to a legitimate main event talent. If he somehow doesn't win the title at the PPV, I'm going to be more than shocked. I might cry a little.
Match 4: James Storm VS Bobby Roode
Here we go, the match that I've been waiting for all night. In my opinion it's even more important for Storm to have a strong showing tonight and prove that he could be a title contender as well. Roode's achieved the success, and if Storm can pull it off against him tonight I imagine there's a future feud between these two. The crowd is going absolutely batshit for both of these guys. TNA, you're sitting on a potential gold mine here. Money feud.
Storm's dominating the action so far, but that super kick he just missed made the crowd pop hard. The announcers are really playing up just how well these guys know each other, and having Storm almost hit his finisher this early only for Roode to duck because he knew it was coming adds an awesome sense of drama to the match. The announcers just got word that we're getting another match between Styles and Daniels on the BFG card, and it's going to be an "I Quit" match. Nice stipulation choice, but since the last match they had was already hyped as their last match against each other this is still kind of frustrating.
Careful James Storm, wouldn't want anyone thinking you're stealing moves from Randy Orton. Everyone knows he invented the DDT, obviously. I don't think the crowd has been silent once in this match. This should be a wakeup call to management. Great crowd reaction to a (so far) great match? Pull the trigger TNA. Give me Storm vs. Roode for the title.
And the move thieving continues! Codebreaker into a Backstabber! Storm is clearly stealing moves from Jericho and Carlito here. Be original, jeeze. (Disclaimer: In case you're not bright enough to catch it, I'm not suggesting that he's actually stealing anything. It's a joke, treat it as such.) Damnit, this match was doing just fine without Kurt Angle coming out to interfere. Also, why is he interfering to help Roode? Isn't he supposed to be doing everything he can to break Roode's spirit before the title match?
At least the interference didn't directly cause Storm to lose. On the other hand, it was still unnecessary. Roode should have won this match clean. Result: Roode wins via pinfall in 10:19
Segment 9: Hulk Hogan (In-Ring)
So Hogan's trying to get face pops for his reaction, but he's wearing an Immortal shirt? You'd think he'd be smart enough to maybe throw on the old red-and-yellow for a night. Hell, even Sting was wearing a Hulkamania shirt earlier. This "retirement" promo sounds just a bit too scripted to me. Given that I was already pretty sure this whole thing was bullshit anyways, this promo really solidifies it for me.
The crowd is less energetic for this promo than they were for the last match. That really says something to me. Oh. My. God. This might just be the cutest thing I have ever seen:
I really wish that Hulkamania was really going away forever, but I could never be that lucky. I was wondering how long it would take before Sting made an appearance. Sure enough, he's still wearing the red suit from earlier.
"Nothing lasts forever in this business, and you need to know when it's time to leave me alone" - If only Hogan would take his own advice here and walk away for good… Sting mentions how cameras are everywhere, so I can only imagine that we're going to see some kind of incriminating footage on Hogan.
Sure enough, Hogan and Bischoff are hanging out in a bathroom somewhere backstage and talking about how dumb the fans are for believing that he was actually retiring. I'm pretty sure no one really believed it in the first place guys, but whatever floats your boat I guess. So Hogan won't wrestle Sting, but he'll fight him? Interesting. So we have a "fight" at Bound For Glory where the fate of the company is at stake. Hogan wins, he stays in power. Sting wins, Hulk hands the company back to Dixie Carter.
"Got what I wanted, ta ta for now" - Best ring exit ever by Sting. Totally calm, totally cool, but enraging to the guy he just punkd.
Match of the Night: James Storm vs. Bobby Roode
Come on, did you really expect anything else? This match was easily a PPV quality match and is probably one of the best matches either man has been involved with for some time now. Even more than before now I really hope these two feud over the title down the line, because that could be some wicked TV.
Superstar of the Night: James Storm
This was a hard one, but it came down to either Storm, Roode, or Jeff Hardy. Storm won out in the end because his opening promo set up the drama for his match nicely, and then he went out and wow'd the crowd in that match. Both Storm and Roode have stepped their games up in a big way and it's only a matter of time before both men become big time players in the company.
Asshole of the Night: Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson
It really doesn't take a genius to figure this one out. Both men acted like there would be no match at the PPV, despite the fact that literally seconds beforehand the announcers said there would be. It's not like this is the first time that this kind of inconsistency has happened on iMPACT, but it's still an annoying bit to people who pay attention to it.
Overall I think this is one of the best iMPACT's that has aired in some time. The big complaint I have about the show is the amount of subpar finishes in the matches. We had 2 rollups that came out of nowhere (both of which hurt an otherwise solid match), a decision reversal because someone held a submission after they won the match, and interference in the main event that weakened someone to the point they couldn't hit their finisher. The rollups I can excuse, because they happen from time to time. But I HATE when referees reverse a decision after the match is over. It just doesn't happen ever in real sports, so it shouldn't happen in an entertainment show that emulates real sport. The ref does not have that kind of power, and since the shenanigans that usually cause these reversals happen after the match is officially over they should not play into the final result. It's a cheap tactic and should be forever banned from professional wrestling.
As for Angle's interference in the main event, it just didn't make any sense to me. The match was going along great, and then he came out and threw Storm into the steel steps. First problem, the interference itself. There was no need for it and it took some of the focus away from what was happening in the ring. Secondly, why on earth would Angle screw Storm out of the victory? Isn't his main goal right now to break Roode so he's not at 100% for their title match? So logically, it would make more sense for him to attack Roode if he's going to attack somebody. I would have done away with the interference altogether, and if he really had to make an appearance at some point I would have had Angle come to the top of the ramp after the match for that commonly used staredown angle.
But at the end of the day, iMPACT was good this week. There were some parts that were less than stellar, but those things occur in any wrestling show regardless of the company that's putting it on. This is the kind of momentum that TNA needs right now, and I can only hope that Hogan resigning with the company doesn't kill it.
That's all for me for now folks. As always feel free to shoot me a line if you want to share your thoughts, either through the Facebook feed, a PM here on the site, or to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you soon.
Soundtrack From the Nest
Korn has been gracing my playlist for years now, but their last couple of efforts have fallen kind of flat in my opinion. Skrillex is a fairly new face on my iPod, although I do have his old band "From First to Last" on there from years ago. When I saw that these guys had teamed up to put out a new song I was practically chomping at the bit to get my hands on it. Thanks to the wonders of the iTunes Store I didn't have to wait long, and now this song gets ridiculous amounts of play.