Impact is a lot like an all-you-can-eat buffet; lots of different things in a short amount of time.
Segments come one after the other and don’t even allow us to digest what’s happened before the next one starts.
This episode featured a couple of quality matches and a stellar promo segment, but this “crash” style of television hurt in the way it made it easy to forget in the midst of everything else.
Let’s break it down by each segment:
- The opening video focused on the “struggle” between Aces and Eights and the TNA Roster as well as the TNA Championship, as it should.
- Whoa, Jeff Hardy without face paint? What’s going on this week?
- The Jeff Hardy hallway “thoughts” segment was WTF-tastic.
- Glad to see Jeremy Borash on commentary, he’s much better than Mike Tenay.
- X-Division Championship- Rob Van Dam def. Zema Ion to retain X-Divison Championship: Okay match. It felt as if they tried to do way too much in a short amount of time. The new voices on commentary did help tell both men’s stories, but things happened way too fast. Ion’s lost almost all of his heat.
- Matt Morgan’s post-match attack on RVD sent a message to Hulk Hogan alright, but what does Goofball Joey Ryan add to Morgan’s act?
- Aries makes such a better heel. He has his personality back. It needed that edge. He plays the perfect jerk.
- Kazarian and Daniels were at their best at the segment’s start when they complained about the “conspiracy.” They insulted the fans and then expected them to sign their petition. Daniels’ “Dos Stereotypicos” comment was great. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez came out aggressive, which made them look good and the stage is set for their match.
- If anything, these Hogan elimination segments allow us to see where the competitors’ heads are at. Mr. Anderson has been stuck in a rut and his early elimination was predictable. Aries was priceless as he antagonized Anderson for not kissing Hogan’s ass enough and claimed he was better than Anderson. The mini-brawl at least set up the Anderson/Aries match effectively, if we could ignore the Director that yelled “cut.” Ugh.
- So, the Aces and Eights decide their victims by a dart toss? That says a lot.
- TNA Television Title- Samoa Joe def. Robbie T (w/Robbie E) to retain TNA Television Title: Joe continued to feast. Who Joe will challenge next should be fun to see. Of course, Joe’s a guy who should be in the Main Event picture, but at least he’s made the TV Title important.
- Tessmacher is serious and focused. The “chaser” role may be the best thing for her.
- Bully Ray got eliminated, but in a way that gave him direction and set up the later confrontation with Devon.
- Anderson looked real powerful when he yelled at a stage hand. Seriously?
- Austin Aries def. Mr. Anderson: These two brought it right from the get-go. It was unique to see these two work together. They meshed well in the ring. Aries’ fluky win and contradictory “cheaters never win” comment is the perfect way for his character to win at the moment.
- Brooke Hogan, Jessie and Tara just don’t mix in a segment. Something was way off there.
- TNA Knockouts Championship- Tara (w/Jessie) def. Miss Tessmacher to retain TNA Knockouts Championship: Nothing special. Jesse had his way and made sure Tara won.
- Post-match, Brooke Hogan came out and announced the ODB/Jessie match. That should be fun and unusual.
- It was hard to suspend disbelief for the Chris Parks/Hulk Hogan segment. Aces and Eights aren’t killers, no matter how much TNA wants to make it seem.
- A strong segment between Bully Ray and Devon. Ray speaks with such intensity you can’t help but listen to his words. Devon’s stepped up his promo game as well since the reveal. Put the two together and it’s gold.
- It appears TNA has tried to make Joey Ryan/Matt Morgan the Shawn Michaels/Diesel of 2012.
- Next week’s Gut Check on Christian York has potential. On one hand, you could argue that this should be for young, up-and-coming wrestlers, but Gut Check would also be effective if it gives other guys a second chance.
- Hogan chose Angle over Storm, but promised Storm something big. One has to wonder where that will lead.
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship- Jeff Hardy def. Kurt Angle to retain TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Solid, but since Hardy won the belt two weeks ago, you never felt Hardy was ever in danger of a loss, as close as Angle made it seem. Angle looked good in defeat. It took numerous Twist of Fates, Swanton Bombs and the quickness of a School Boy pin to catch him off-guard and put him away.
- Aries laid Hardy out post-match and announced his challenge at Turning Point and walked out with the original Belt and oh yeah, Aces and Eights beat down Angle in the ring. Just hecticness all up in here.
Final Thoughts: So this was “Championship Thursday.” Next week is “Open Fight Night.” It’s just way too much to digest. Not every show needs a theme or gimmick. Just put out quality wrestling with quality promos and that’s all you need. Reliance on gimmicks has hurt TNA’s product more than it’s helped. If they stuck to the basics, they could be so much better than they are.