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Posted in: The Crow's Nest
The TNA Tribute: Impact Review
By TheCrow
Feb 14, 2013 - 10:15:32 PM



1) The TNA Tribute: Impact Review (02/14/13)




It's been a long time, but The TNA Tribute is back. This was a weekly staple for me when I was still writing in the Columns Forum, but became more of a rarity when I got put on the Main Page. I'm still not sure why, but it is what it is.

Anyways, tonight is the second last pre-taped Impact from the UK. I did read the spoilers when they first came out, but thankfully I've since forgotten the outcomes enough to be able to enjoy the show as if it were airing live.

But enough with the introduction, it's time for IMPACT.

******



Segment 1: Hulk Hogan (In-ring)

In yet another example of how superior the UK crowds are during TNA shows, this is probably the biggest pop Hogan has received in quite some time.
Hogan announces four matches tonight: RVD vs. James Storm, Daniels vs. Magnus, Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe, and Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries. Hot damn, that sounds like a hell of a card. Apparently the guy who impresses Hogan the most is getting the TNA World Heavyweight Championship match at Lockdown against Jeff Hardy.
Hogan also announces another match for Lockdown that's going to see "Team TNA" face off against Aces & Eights, and the TNA team will be captained by none other than Sting.
Again, this crowd is already on FIRE tonight. Hogan and Sting really aren't exaggerating here, saying that the UK fans are incredible.
Sting says he's going to do what Hogan is doing, and he'll watch everything tonight, and pick three teammates based on who impresses him the most.
Despite the show starting with Hogan and Sting, that was a hell of a way to get the crowd hot. This is the kind of thing TNA needs to do more often, making Impact must-see TV. Even though the spoilers for tonight have been out for some time now, this show has a hell of a lot of promise to be great.

Match 1: Daniels (w/ Kazarian) VS Magnus

Not surprisingly, the crowd EXPLODES for Magnus' entrance. Dude is a superstar in the making, and I'm glad TNA is doing the smart thing by building him slowly.
On the flip side, Daniels is getting insane heat, both during his entrance and the early part of the match itself. Perfect pairing in this match.
I'm not the biggest fan of Taz, that's no secret, but he's actually doing a great job as a heel commentator tonight. He's doing a great job of putting Magnus over, but at the same time he's staying in character. I know, I'm shocked too.
If neither of these guys gets the World Title shot or a spot on Team TNA, they need to have a match against each other at Lockdown. I'd have some "Kazarian is banned from ringside" stipulation, because seeing these guys go at it in a fair one-on-one encounter would be great.
And as I type that, Kaz gets sent back to the locker room by the ref.
Very impressive victory for Magnus there. I'm very curious to see if this push continues when TNA returns to the States.

Winner: Magnus

Segment 2: Bully Ray & Brooke Hogan (Brooke's office)

Bully is talking about how he's disappointed in himself for getting injured, and that he just wanted to impress Hulk and win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Brooke's mad that Bully doesn't wear his wedding ring. Are the seeds being planted already for a split? *fingers crossed*
Since Bully won't be competing tonight, apparently the two of them are going out shopping for Valentine's Day.

Segment 3: Magnus (Backstage)

Hell of a promo from Magnus here, talking about how being away from TNA for 3 months was hell for him. His injury may not have been legit, but he's doing a hell of a job here making it seem as though it was. The guy clearly has a passion for the business, and once again, he's a superstar in the making.

Match 2: Samoa Joe VS Kurt Angle

Quick voice-over during Kurt's entrance here where Kurt talks about the IOC decision to take wrestling out of the Olympics. He's obviously pretty pissed about the decision, and I'm not at all surprised he's jumping to the head of the movement to have the decision reversed. #SaveOlympicWrestling
Not the first time we've seen these two face off against each other, but considering just how good those matches have been, I have no problem watching it again. Joe is already stepping up his game, and we're not even 5 minutes into the match.
For what seems like the millionth time, this crowd is HOT tonight. Please America, learn how to be fans.
I get that TNA has some kind of partnership with Bellator, but the announcers REALLY need to chill with how much they talk about it during matches. You've got a potential classic unfolding in front of you, and you're talking about some MMA organization that very few people care about. Do your jobs please.
Stupid commercial breaks…
Not surprisingly, this has already been a PPV quality match. Both guys are really stepping it up tonight.
The roof just about came off the building when Angle hit that third German Suplex. Seriously, the awesomeness of these fans cannot be overstated.
Not many guys could make it look like they were about to make Samoa Joe tap out, but Angle just did. Dude is a legend.
Well, I'm surprised it took this long for Briscoe and Garret to come out and interfere.
…and that didn't take long either. So long Wes and Garret, you should maybe bring backup next time if you don't feel like getting your asses kicked again.

Winner: No Contest

Segment 4: Dixie Carter, "Party" Marty, The Blossom Twins (Backstage)

Apparently all three of them are going to be in action tonight in some capacity, and Rockstar Spud will make an appearance at some point as well. I fear for how they're going to be received in the States, because even the UK pops for these three (Spud not included) are subpar. I guess that's what happens when you highlight people on a "reality" show that nobody watches.

Match 3: "Party" Marty & The Blossom Twins VS Gail Kim, Tara & Jessie

Not a great sign when the heels are getting louder pops from the crowd than the hometown heroes. Just sayin'.
Pretty sure Marty botched that kick and legitimately just booted Jessie in the side of the head. Jessie looked like he legitimately didn't know where he was for a second there.
You can play to the crowd as much as you want, Marty, but it doesn't seem to be helping your cause too much.
Back from the break, and it looks like we'll finally get to see the women enter the fray.
The Blossom Twins really need to come up with a way to let people tell the difference between them. The slight difference in hair colour is not nearly enough, and that's going to hurt their chances with the crowd. Hell, even the commentators are having trouble sorting out who is who.
It's too bad that these British Boot Camp people aren't getting great pops, because they're each actually pretty good in the ring, from what I've seen so far.
The heels have dominated the majority of this match, which tells me that they're probably taking the L tonight.
Seriously, the commentators AGAIN are talking about how they don't know which Blossom Twin is which. Come on girls, even a name on the back of your tights would help immensely.
Whichever twin is in the ring right now finally managed to wake the crowd up, which is nice to see.
Damn, that was a nice double-team move by the Blossoms there. Could the Knockouts Tag Division finally have a legitimate team?
So… "Party" Marty just overshot that suicide dive. By a large amount. Dude just about killed himself colliding with the barrier.
So much for the hometown heroes winning…

Winners: Gail Kim, Tara & Jessie

Gail Kim cuts a promo after the match, putting over a future encounter between herself and Tara for the TNA Knockouts Championship next week. I'd be 100% okay with that, these two work very well in the ring together. She asks Brooke Hogan to make it official, prompting Brooke to come out to the ring.

Segment 5: Brooke Hogan, Gail Kim, Tara, Jessie (In-Ring)

So instead of a one-on-one match, Brooke Tessmacher has been added into the mix for next week. But Brooke says she's not done yet, and announces Velvet Sky as a fourth competitor.
A four-way elimination match? Alright, I can dig it. It's nice to see a women's match get some actual attention and build.

Segment 6: Bobby Roode & Austin Aries (Backstage)

These two are absolutely amazing as a tag team. Bit of animosity between them, but they manage to make it work. I wouldn't be upset to see both of them in the title match at Lockdown against Hardy, because they are both deserving of another World Title run.

Match 4: Rob Van Dam VS James Storm

Much to my surprise, RVD's crowd reaction isn't great tonight. Is he not liked in the UK or something?
And on the other end of the spectrum, the crowd goes bananas (#ThankYouGwenStefani) for James Storm.
Is RVD actually getting boo'd right now? When was the last time a TNA crowd didn't cheer for this man?
So far, this has been the weakest match of the night, but it's still better than average. Honestly, this has been the best Impact in quite some time.
Pretty standard fare from both men so far. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, there's just no "wow factor" yet.
On a positive note, the crowd is getting a lot more vocal as this match progresses. Seems to be very much in Storm's favour, oddly enough.
Well that was short. Either they had to cut the match short to fit in time constraints, or one of these guys is working injured. Nice to see Storm get the clean win though, a victory over RVD seems to be a rare thing in TNA.

Winner: James Storm

Segment 7: Joseph Park, Hulk Hogan (Hogan's Office)

LOL @ Park campaigning (with posters, buttons and all) to get the World Heavyweight Championship match at Lockdown.
Apparently Brooke is trying to get her father to make some kind of big decision tonight, and Hulk looks like he's not sure about whatever it is. I'd assume it has to do with Bully Ray in some way, since that always seems to make Hulk hesitate.

Segment 8: Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan (Hogan's Office)

Back from commercial, and as I assumed, they are indeed talking about Bully Ray. Brooke is trying to get Hulk to embrace nepotism and give the World Title shot to her husband. Just because that's how you got your job doesn't mean it's the proper way to do things sweetheart.

Match 5: Austin Aries VS Bobby Roode

Looks like this match is going to get some decent time tonight. Still about half an hour left in the show, and aside from Hogan's "big announcement", this is the last scheduled thing on the show. Excellent.
Roode gets on the mic and talks about how Hogan is screwing with his and Aries' plan to take over TNA by winning all the titles and bring prestige back to the belts. Aries takes over and says that Hogan's plan won't work because he and Roode are on the same page, and they're going to do what's right for business.
More genius chemistry between these guys, as both of them expected the other guy to lay down after a "finger point of doom".
Aries says he'll lay down for Roode, but sure enough he goes back on his word and tries to roll-up Roode instead. And we go to commercial, because why the hell not?
Back from the break, and the match is fully underway. Both guys look pissed that the other wouldn't lay down, and the crowd is eating it up.
I can't wait for the day that these guys break up and get to face each other in a lengthy program. Two of the best that TNA has to offer, no doubt.
Roode needs to consider using that spinebuster as an actual finisher. Dude hits it with so much impact, it would be believable as a way to end a match.
Aries' 450 splash is a thing of beauty. Just sayin'.
That hold really wouldn't be hard to counter. All Roode had to do was drop his weight down and he'd have Aries pinned.
Roode taking a page out of Eddie's playbook there, slamming a chair against the mat and acting as though his opponent hit him. Aries does the same, and the ref looks confused as to what just happened.
Chavo and Hernandez make their way to ringside, and get the loudest boos of the night. Apparently the UK has no love for LAX 2.0.
I don't usually like that kind of ending, but a double count out was probably the best way to end things there. Neither man should have lost clean, so now they get to both look strong.

Winner: Double Countout

Segment 9: Hulk Hogan, Sting (Hogan's Office)

Hogan sounds like he's considering naming Bully Ray the #1 Contender for Jeff Hardy's title. Look kids! Nepotism works!
LOL @ Hogan going the wrong way out of his office and Sting having to correct him.

Segment 10: Hulk Hogan (In Ring)

Hogan out to another massive pop, ready to make his announcement.
I wondered if Aces & Eights would be making an appearance tonight, and sure enough here they are.
A&8 apparently fears Bully Ray, because as soon as he came out they backed right off.
And here comes Sting to join the party, holding 3 black baseball bats. Goodbye A&8, nice of you to make an appearance.
Wait, so we're NOT going to hear who Hulk picked as the #1 Contender, or who Sting picked to join his team at Lockdown? Well that's just unfortunate.

******

Match of the Night: Magnus VS Daniels
It was a toss-up between this and Angle/Joe, but in the end, it's the crowd that made the difference. They were hot for this match from the beginning, and only got louder as the match went on. That, and Magnus proved that he deserves to be considered the future of TNA.

Superstar of the Night: Magnus
Biggest pops of the night, best match of the night, and a very solid promo. This wasn't even close for me, and I don't think anybody else deserves this "title" tonight. Honorable mention goes to the fans in attendance, because they were amazing all night long.

Asshole of the Night: Hulk Hogan
All night, they were hyping that Hogan would be making a big announcement, only to end the show with a random appearance by Aces & Eights. Not digging that.

******

Overall, that was easily the best Impact of the year, and possible the best in quite some time. The matches were all solid, the fans were amazing, and the segments were all kept relatively short, allowing each match to receive a respectable amount of time. THIS is the kind of show that TNA needs to be putting out on a regular basis, because people who may not watch as loyally as I do would be much more likely to do so if the product was regularly this good.

I'm looking forward to next week being the last pre-taped show of their UK tour. TNA is going on the road very soon, and I'm excited to see what that's going to do for the product. The UK fans have been amazing, but it'll be nice to have a live product again.

That's all for tonight though folks. If you haven't yet done so, check out the ongoing NXT competition in the Columns Forum, because there's some great stuff being written. I'll be back soon enough, so keep your eyes peeled. Until next time…

******

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