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07 September 2013

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Sept 5, 2013


BigDawg
Bully Ray was awesome on the mic all night as usual.  He smoothed things over with all of the A's & 8's except for Mr. Anderson during this opening segment.  Great tension-filled build-up between Anderson and Bully.  The Knux vs Sabin bout was decent, but the aftermath of Chris Sabin raging around backstage with his real-life girlfriend Velvet Sky was the most interesting part.  I'm not sure what they are going for at this point with Sabin being so upset, but at least a storyline is forming for Chris going into BFG.

Mickie James & ODB were entertaining with their in-ring promo, but I'm still having trouble getting excited for their match.  I thought the backstage & in-ring promos from Jay Bradley towards Hernandez were very compelling and FINALLY TNA is allowing Bradley to show off some of his personality and are doing some character development with him.  The gauntlet match was super-long, as expected, but it had some great spots along the way.  The fall into the guardrail by Mr. Anderson when he hit his head looked brutal.  AJ was the right man to win, as it made sense going into No Surrender with the Final Four participants. 

I am not sold on the Brisco & Bischoff tag team, but it was a decent match with Gunner & Storm, who have remained a complete afterthought.  The Final Four promo was very nice as the 2 final BFG Series matches next week should be amazing.  The Main Event was so-so (felt like a repeat of Slammiversary) but the intensity and craziness from Mr. Anderson afterwards was frickin' INSANE!  Anderson totally sold the No Surrender main event World Title match, and I am more excited after seeing his energy level go off the charts.

Favorite Moment - My favorite moment of the night was the final promo from Mr. Anderson on Bully Ray.  I have not seen Anderson that fired up in a long, long time.

Least Favorite Moment - The least favorite moment for me was Hulk Hogan making Tito Ortiz leave ringside during the main event, only to make it a DQ match seconds later.  That logic is pretty flawed/weird in my opinion since other people interfered in the match eventually. 

MVP of the Night - My MVP of the night was Jay Bradley as he finally began to show the potential that so many of us see in him.  He has all the tools to be a World Champion and finally is being allowed to showcase those skills.  I see big things coming from him post-BFG.

Grade - This week was not as good as last week (which is typical for the 2nd taping).  I give the show a B- overall.


MisterTNA
I thought this week's show was very good. To say this was a taped Impact, it really broke the mould of what we normally get on taped shows and set up next week's No Surrender perfectly. It made sense for Bully Ray to essential kiss the asses of the Aces & 8's, knowing next week one would be facing him, although neglecting to properly smooth things over with Mr Anderson cost him later in the night. Not a bad match from Sabin & Knux. It's going to be interesting to see where Sabin's character goes after his frustrations boiled over post-match.

Good exchange between Micke & ODB, although I still can't get into the Knockouts division that is lacking this much in depth. The exchange between Bradley & Hernandez was intriguing. Even though both's involvement seemed pointless with the inability to finish in the final four, Jay's offer to Hernandez concerning an organisation's payment to eliminate someone made their involvement meaningful.

Really enjoyed the Gauntlet Battle Royal. I think it was great they had this as the last match of the series, it made sense after the Series has been so close points-wise to give them one last chance to get into the finals. AJ gets the win and finishes first in the Series. I like AJ addressing his reason for picking Aries, noting his loss to Aries gives the match a little backstory. That match along with Roode vs Magnus should be two great semi-finals. Good promos from all 4 finalists.

I understand Brisco & Bischoff winning so Anderson was the only Aces & 8's member who lost, but to have GunStorm lose to them is ridiculous. The potential with Gunner & Storm is there, but since Slammiversary they have barely been used. Brisco & Bischoff still don't impress me, although I appreciate Garett changing his look to fit his persona. Hopefully if this is the set-up to a GunStorn vs Brisco/Bischoff Tag title match, GunStorm win and cause Brisco & Bischoff to lose their cuts.

Very similar match from Bully & Sting to their match at Slammiversary. Not a bad main event, the most important thing to come from it was Mr Anderson's turn and his title shot vs Bully next week. I loved Anderson's turn, and it was his best promo in a long time. I really look forward to next week's main event, and that is simply because of Anderson's promo.

Favourite Moment - The Mr Anderson promo. It was great to see the old Mr Anderson return. After being the biker for about 9 months, this was his most meaningful turn in his TNA career (and that's a lot of turns) and his best promo in a long time, this with the crowd reaction for it made it great for me.

Least Favourite Moment - The Brisco/Bischoff win. Not a fan of them going over the Tag Champs. Hopefully now that the BFG Series is almost over GunStorm are used a lot more and given a proper push.

MVP of the Night - It has to be Mr Anderson for me. I was a huge fan of Anderson when he first joined TNA, and his promo showed me glimpses of what made me a fan of his.

Grade - Majority of the show was fun for me, except for my only least favourite moment. This one earns an A- from me. Very fun show that had big developments but also set up No Surrender well.


Shelbin
I can't say I was overly excited about this show after reading the spoilers last week, but I must say, I couldn't have been more wrong.  It was, simply put, a fantastic show.  I have to begin with the dynamic between Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson.  It's been brewing for a few weeks and, this week, the VP of the Aces and 8s, having had enough of Bully Ray's disrespect, finally exploded on his President.  And it was truly an outstanding moment, one in which got me excited about Mr. Anderson again.  It genuinely did.  So much so, that it might've changed my mind about the contract negotiations between Anderson and TNA.  Just a week ago, I couldn't care less whether or not he and the company parted ways but, now, I'm not so sure.  I mentioned, during the show, that the Mr. Anderson turn has left me rather interested about the Aces and 8s drama for the first time.  The other huge development, this week, the BFG Series group stage, for a lack of a better term, has come to end and it is the Phenomenal One AJ Styles finishing first in the standings.  I'm not surprised but I do admit that, last week, TNA had me questioning whether or not Styles would actually advance to the final four.  Again, I won't go into how badly executed the BFG Series was this year but I will say this: for one night, the BFG Series provided some good action and, yes, some drama.  The segment to determine the semi-final matches was as entertaining as any segment on Impact this year.  AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and Magnus got me as excited as I've ever been for an upcoming episode of Impact, and that's a testament to the extraordinary talent in the final four.  I can't remember the last time I was looking forward to a match as I am next week's showdown between AJ Styles and Austin Aries.

Favorite Moment - So many to choose from, this week, but I will choose the one that made me quite curious about the direction of his character - Chris Sabin's tantrum backstage.  I'll be honest, the acting wasn't stellar but the segment made an impact on me and it left me wanting more.

Least Favorite Moment - It was the tag team champions losing to Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco, albeit by cheating.  I'm simply not interested in the young duo right now because their lame duck status essentially renders their defeat totally meaningless.  After a year's long push that included feuds with Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe, Bischoff and Brisco couldn't be more irrelevant right now.

MVP of the Night - AJ Styles.  He defeated 12 other men in the gauntlet match and essentially had the opportunity to pick his opponent in the BFG Series semi-finals.  Like a true champion, he got in the face of the Greatest Man that Ever Lived, Austin Aries, and it literally gave me goosebumps.

Grade - This show, for me, was a well-deserved B+.  The BFG Series group stage concluded nicely with a fun gauntlet match and a tremendous promo involving the final four.  And the turn by Mr. Anderson closed out the show with a bang, leaving me very excited about next week's No Surrender.


Nick Mann
We started with Bully Ray talking up the Aces and Eights, a good turn from last week as he is kissing ass in order to avoid facing one of them at No Surrender good stuff from Bully as always. Chris Sabin vs. Knux was a good "big man vs. little man" match, but to be a little knit picky, shouldn't Sabin have charged to the ring? You'd think he'd be really mad about losing his title thanks to the gang. Sabin's freak out afterwards was well done and Velvet Sky played her role perfectly. I think a heel turn with Velvet could be what the doctor ordered to help Sabin after the title loss. Mickie James has been doing some of the best mic work she has done in years. I haven't been this interested in Mickie since she was the lesbian stalker of Trish Stratus, really good stuff. The BFG Gauntlet was great, I really enjoy these matches from TNA and kind of miss when they used to do them all the time (especially with the X Division guys). The only complaint I have is that I preferred when it came down to a pinfall at the end, making it different than the Royal Rumble. The promos before the match showed us everyone's motivation for winning, even the guys that had no chance of being in the final four were given some sort of incentive to win (Bradley as the hired gun could be an interesting turn). 

To no one's surprise, AJ Styles wins but I don't think anyone minds as he would choose Austin Aries as his opponent for next week which should be quite a match.  Garret Bischoff and Wes Brisco were put together as a team to face Gun-Storm, the match was basic but gave the young guns of the Aces and Eights something to do and I think a short title program with these two teams could be good, I mean, at least it's something for the tag champs, right? I thought Magnus' promo showed that he could be a top babyface for TNA in the future and Bobby Roode showed me why he is the second best heel in TNA behind Bully. He doesn't even have to really say anything and he gets heat.  I'm looking forward to their match next week. 

So Sting vs. Ray was a non title match after all, (I didn't read the spoilers) so my criticism from last week was unfounded. It was an enjoyable main event as they kept the match short and gave it the no DQ stip to hide any limitations Sting might have and I liked how they referenced their previous match with the piledriver attempt. Mr. Anderson turning on Bully Ray was well received. Going back to old Mr. Anderson works now that he has been someone different for nearly a year.  I'm really looking forward to next week and seeing what they have in store for Bound for Glory. 

Favorite Moment - Mr. Anderson...Anderson turning on Ray, his performance during the whole segment was fantastic.

Least Favorite Moment - Can't really find to much to complain about, but I guess I was a little let down that we never found out who hired Jay Bradley maybe they're saving that for a later episode. 

MVP of the Night - Anderson...Anderson for sure, awesome all night long and now seemingly getting back to who he used to be when he was interesting...interesting. 

Grade - A. This was the best Impact in a long time and perhaps the best taped show they've done this year. I can see why the viewership was strong despite competition as the show never got boring, keeping me interested the whole time with great in ring action and still building to No Surrender next week, awesome just awesome.

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