14 September 2013

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Sept 12, 2013

No Surrender began with two excellent video packages, which really added to the overall big-show feeling of this free-PPV IMPACT Special.  The opening promo with Bully, Hogan and Mr. Anderson was kind of silly and unnecessary but we did get the "last man standing" stipulation out of it.  The Austin Aries vs. AJ Styles match was definitely good, but there is so much more potential there between these 2 that could have been tapped into and wasn't. 

I felt like the Roode/Magnus contest was very well done and Magnus got a big rub here by going over Roode.  The Manik/TJ Perkins and Hulk backstage promo was intriguing, and I think this is where Hogan is at his most effective in putting the younger guys over.  The Bully/Anderson fight was brutal and vicious, with Anderson getting the crap beat out of him.  The piledriver on the stage sealed Anderson's fate as he is definitely done with A's & 8's but potentially TNA as well.

The Chavo/SuperMex and Gunner/Storm promo was the weakest point of the night. It was sandwiched in between the 2 best matches of the night, so it was essentially set-up for failure. The Chavo blah-blah-blah here was not only due to his mediocre promo skills, but his overall misplacement on this show in general. 

Obviously AJ and Magnus had the match of the night, and it was an impressive one at that.  The EGO beat down was thrown into the fray to do some storytelling but it didn't derail the overall effect of this bout.  The last 10 minutes of this contest was pure gold, and the finishing Spiral Tap was amazing!  AJ's subsequent post-match promo left something to be desired, but he still got his point across that he wants to confront Dixie Carter.

Favorite Moment - The AJ Spiral Tap was one of the most beautiful things I have seen for ages.  I had to go back and watch it a couple times. OLD-SCHOOL!

Least Favorite Moment - Chavo.  That is all.

MVP of the Night - To me, the MVP of the night was Magnus because he got huge pops and proved he can compete in the World Title picture.  After No Surrender, there is no doubt that Magnus will be World Champion someday soon.

Grade - This was the best free-PPV IMPACT Special so far and it really delivered.  If it wasn't for Chavo's appearance it would have received and A+ from me.  He dropped it down to an A.

Nick Mann
Wow, so much to cover this week. I loved the opening video package for No Surrender, made the show feel like a big deal and reminded me of the old packages they used to put together for their PPVs. Anderson was fired up during his promo and gave me the impression he was ready to go out there and prove his worth to the company. I guess I called it with the Last Man Standing stipulation in the preview for their match.

Aries vs. Styles was great as expected; awesome counter moves between the two and some creative spots. Both men came out looking really good. That Styles Clash off the turnbuckle was crazy.

Roode and Magnus had more of traditional heel vs. face type of match, but it was very good as well. Magnus looked very strong getting the win (to my surprise) and I loved Roode berating the announcers during the commercial break before the match.

Is anyone else disappointed that Rampage and Tito Ortiz are off Impact? Say what you want about them being MMA guys, but they have personalities and I thought they added something different to the show. Plus, I was curious to see what would happen between them leading into November 2nd and beyond.

Anderson and Bully Ray had a knock down, drag out, bloody brawl that tore the house down. The crowd in St. Louis were on their feet the whole time getting behind Anderson, who again, was on fire this week. I guess he’s out of the Aces and Eights (who need some new members if they’re going to keep going) and rumor has it he may be on his way out of TNA. If this is it for Anderson, then this was a good way to go out.

AJ won the BFG Series, which isn’t much of a surprise, although I did find myself buying into the near falls from Magnus. Another strong match on a strong wrestling show that was pay per view quality. I’m not so sure about AJ’s promo after the match. Can he pull off the “threatening to leave with the belt” story-line. Not sure it’s believable or if people really want it right now, but time will tell.

Favorite Moment - Anderson screaming: “Anderson! Get the tables!!” Loved that.

Least Favorite Moment - Chavo Guerrero is a good wrestler, but he is the cure for insomnia on the mic; he sounds like a nerd trying to be cool. Where’s Konnan when we need him?

MVP of the Night - I’m going with Magnus. Two strong matches in the same night, plus his backstage segment with Sting was on the money. He looked like he belonged with the big stars. A far cry from his gladiator gimmick in 2009.

Grade - What I loved about this show was the diversity in the matches. Styles/Aries was fast paced “indy” style match, while Roode/Magnus was more of a “WWE” kind of match and Bully Ray/Anderson was a wild brawl. They had something for everybody of this show, so if you didn’t like it you probably don’t like wrestling. A+

The execution of this year's BFG Series was a huge disappointment but this week we saw how effective this tournament can be if TNA would simply keep it simple and allow the wrestlers to tell the story inside the ring.  However, this week's final four also showed me that the BFG Series could work better as a March Madness-style tournament.  It's something I believe TNA should consider going forward.  For one night, four men were on display, all vying for the company's top prize.  The best among them, AJ Styles, proved once again why he is indeed the face and the MVP of TNA.  On a night that Dixie Carter and co. needed their top star to shine, he responded with a Styles Clash off the top rope on Austin Aries and a Spiral Tap on Magnus to officially become the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.  It was simply a magical night for the Phenomenal One, and his journey has only just begun.  Similarly, the man AJ Styles will face at Bound for Glory was making a statement of his own.  Bully Ray, in a performance that reminded us all that he is the best heel in pro wrestling, essentially "ended" the TNA career of Mr. Anderson - if the rumors that could be on his way out are to be believed.  I thought the Last Man Standing match was pro wrestling at its finest but it was the post-match attack that will forever be ingrained in my brain.  Bully Ray, having been unsatisfied with just a victory, brutally attacked Mr. Anderson, finishing him off with a piledriver on the ramp.  It was the sort of moment that sent chills down my spine.  But the most poignant moment of that segment was Bully Ray taking the Aces and 8s vest off of Mr. Anderson, signaling his official ouster.

Favorite Moment - Again, I thought the moment Bully Ray pulled the vest off of Mr. Anderson was truly amazing.  These are the sort of moments that make pro wrestling so enjoyable, and dare I say, much more complex than outsiders give the genre credit for.

Least Favorite Moment - I was quite vocal about it on Twitter during the show but the appearance of Chavo Guerrero was a huge downer on an otherwise fantastic show.  I'm not a fan on Chavo's.  I simply do not feel that he brings anything to the table at this stage of his career.  He's horribly awkward on the mic, his in-ring skills are declining by the match, and he's not over.  A few fans politely applaud him out of respect but much of the audience cringes the moment his entrance music begins.

MVP of the Night - AJ Styles.  It's impressive what he accomplished this week.  The face of the company once again put the company on his back and carried them through another rough stretch.  An honorable mention to Magnus, who I believe will be a huge star in 2014, and we'll all look back at this week's show as the night he turned a corner, even in defeat.

Grade - I give this week's No Surrender a well deserved A-.  It was truly an outstanding show that left me wanting more.  An amazing night of wrestling.  Thank you, TNA.

Firstly, I have to give credit to TNA for the two great video packages that opened the show, they both hyped up the World Title and BFG Series matches perfectly emphasising how important they were. The opening promo with Bully/Hogan/Anderson was good. It made sense that Bully would try to slime his way out of fighting Anderson by trying to get them on the same page and aim their frustrations at Hogan. Anderson laying out Bully removes any doubt from the World Title match and along with Hogan's Last Man Standing stipulation added more fuel to the fire.

Very enjoyable match with AJ & Aries. Lots of reversals and some very slick spots, and that second rope reverse Styles Clash was brilliant. Magnus vs Roode was another top match, and the backstage EGO segment was very intriguing, adding another layer to the finals later in the night. Interesting backstage segment with Hulk, TJ Perkins and Dixie Carter. It was a short but nice way to set up Manik vs Hardy next week. Also the announcement of Tito & Rampage being pulled by Bellator came out of nowhere, but I doubt they will be missed between now and November.

Bully vs Anderson was a great Hardcore contest. Lots of brawling and intensity in the match. Anderson took a lot of punishment during this match, the triple powerbomb, the spear through the table and the post match piledriver on the stage. This was Anderson's best match in some time, unfortunately his injury angle may be the end of his TNA career depending on how his contract negotiations go.

The Chavo/Hernandez and GunStorm segment was....well, there. I said last week that GunStorm should be used regularly after the BFG Series, but Chavo & Hernandez were not in my vision of them being used. I hope this is just a way to have GunStorm go over next week and result in the Chavo/Hernandez split and a possible LAX reunion.

AJ Styles vs Magnus was a great BFG Series Final. Solid match with both guys looking very strong in this. The EGO interference was a big statement from the group, showing that they are a force to be reckoned with in TNA. AJ wins with a perfectly hit Spiral Tap. The promo from AJ was good too and created some interest and buzz for his face off next week with Dixie which should be very interesting to say the least.

Favorite Moment - The ending of the BFG Series Final. From the Spiral Tap to Magnus selling his loss post match, it was just great viewing for me. In that 3 minutes or so, we saw the resurrection of AJ Styles, the making of Magnus and just how important and meaningful the BFG Series is.

Least Favorite Moment - Chavo on the mic, honourable mention to the clueless looking EMT's.

MVP of the Night - My MVP was AJ Styles. 2 great matches, winning the BFG Series and a warning to the world of him dropping his biggest "pipebomb" to date. Close second is Magnus, who had a career making night at No Surrender, and has no doubt established himself as a top guy in TNA.

Grade - This was the best Free-PPV to date, and one of the best Impacts in a long time, however Chavo and his mic work weakened what would of been the perfect show for me, so this one gets an A from me. 

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