16 November 2013

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Nov 14, 2013

I wasn't as happy with this episode as some, but I didn't think it was as bad as others claimed it to be either.  I liked the Bully, A's & 8's and Anderson opening.  People still enjoy this storyline as it really was one of the most interesting happenings on the show.  Anderson vs Bully should be a stiff, vicious match again.  Anderson vs Knux was kind of blah, but the storyline was the important thing here.  Park against Daniels was OK, but kind of slow and boring at times.  Bad Influence mentioning the possible return of the TV Title was the most intriguing thing here.

I am an EC3 fan, so I have no problem with him dominating the Dewey/Norv boys over and over.  However, I am looking forward to the day when Ethan faces a real competitor.  That time is quickly approaching.  Heel Dixie is always entertaining to me.  Samoa Joe stood out in this segment as he got mouthy with Carter.  Mentioning AJ Styles was a cool thing and I like the AJ/Dixie stuff a lot.  Looks like Magnus is starting to align himself with Dixie slowly to me.

Gail vs Hannah Blossom was decent but it's just a means to an end with a REAL new Knockout title contender coming in eventually.  You all know that the Chris Parks stuff is some of my favourite.  There's not a question of that, but I think most people are curious to see how this is going to play out.  The storyline has been really drawn out for quite some time and FINALLY it will have some pay-off with Park confronting Abyss again.  Last time they did, Abyss talked to him on the big screen in the IZ.  Will that happen again or will someone else put the Abyss gear and mask on and really go face to face?  Either way, something will happen that should get people talking.

Angle vs Aries was good, but they didn't show us EVERYTHING they are capable of, and those things should rightfully be saved for a PPV.  I still thought the match was fine and the submissions were all well-executed.  Some didn't like the ending but it made sense if you look at the whole picture of the match.  Anderson pile-driving Garrett to end the show was interesting as Garrett will be absent like Wes Brisco now, most likely. 

Favourite Moment - Angle vs Aries was the most enjoyable part of the show.

Least Favourite Moment - Gail and Hannah's match was the least enjoyable.

MVP of the Night - Samoa Joe's promo felt genuine and he is shining more now that the MEM is over.

Grade - I will give this show a C+ as it did kind of drag at times.  Crowd was tired.  Lots of build for Turning Point that made this episode seem less important.

As is the case with many of the taped shows on the road, the crowd was dead for most of the night.  Unfortunately, this affected much of the action in the ring, none more than the Kurt Angle vs Austin Aries match, which deserved better.

The weren't dead all night, however, as the boos rained down on Dixie Carter during her promo midway through the show.  To me, the promo involving the four World Title Tournament participants was hugely successful, and rather enjoyable.  It was the moment that Samoa Joe, once again, proved why the fans simply adore him.  I absolutely loved his proclamation that he will win the TNA championship and defend it against AJ Styles who, Joe declared, never lost it.  A wonderful moment.  The face-to-face of James Storm and Bobby Roode was equally as wonderful.  Not many in TNA have a history like these two former teammates.  They can be kept apart for weeks but the moment they step foot in the ring together, the visions of Roode shattering the beer bottle over Storm's head to steal his world title quickly come back.  Excellent segment overall.

In other developments, the Gail Kim Open Challenge officially began with Hannah Blossom.  It was a good stiff match by the Knockouts.  Blossom was a good first opponent for Gail as it appears the opponents early on will be mostly developmental talent from OVW or the lower indies, setting things up nicely for the top talent.  Ethan Carter III took on both Dewey Barnes and Norv Fernum in a handicap match and although I loathe handicap matches, this was the exception simply because it's part of a fun storyline.  I said on Twitter during the show that ECIII (this year's best new character) vs the duo of Members Only has become one of the best feuds in pro wrestling right now.  The writers have done an exceptional job introducing three new characters, all in the same feud, two of which are jobbers.  And get this...they are all over.  It's truly remarkable.  Joseph Park announced that he will wrestle his brother Abyss on next week's Turning Point.  I'm curious to see how they pull this off but I imagine TNA have found a doppelgänger to play Abyss.  There were rumors last year that TNA were looking for someone who could play the character so I have a feeling that they found him.

Favourite Moment - For me, it was Samoa Joe's promo.  It was another reminder how the company is slowly returning to their roots, and Joe reminded us why he is still one of the most popular wrestlers in pro wrestling.

Least Favourite Moment - I don't think I disliked anything too much; the Knux vs Mr Anderson match wasn't tremendously exciting or was able to match the intensity of Anderson's feud with Bully Ray.

MVP of the Night - I would say it was Mr. Anderson.  He set the stipulations that could very well lead to the disbanding of the Aces and 8s, he defeated Knux, and he topped it off by piledriving Garett Bischoff on the ramp and hopefully ending Garett's TNA career.

Grade - The show wasn't as good as last week's but it had its moments.  The dead crowd, I thought, affected some of the segments that would have shined with a better crowd.  Overall, this week's Impact gets a solid B- from me.  Incidentally, more people watched this show than they did last week's so I think we need to put to rest any argument that ratings at all are an indicator of how good a show is.

Standard opening between the Aces & 8's and Mr Anderson. Anderson has been enjoyable since his return and I'm sure that's a sign that next week's No D'Q match with Bully will be great. I like the stipulations to the match as it makes it even more must win, and also gives us hope for the end of the Aces & 8's. Average match between Knux and Anderson with the right man winning.

I'm glad they did a little #IMPACT365 package showing the videos that set up Park vs Daniels, I'm hoping this is a regular feature so fans who don't watch the videos are kept in the loop. Not bad match from Park & Daniels, wasn't great but we still have to remember Park is a "Rookie" so I don't expect top draw matches from the character.

I still love EC3 vs Norv & Dewey. It's hilarious watching them be the over the top jobbers, but even with the comedy they still sell great for EC3 and take the 1% like pro's. I think we're getting closer to seeing EC3 face a real opponent, and I can't wait to see what he can do with a real opponent. Another Friends of AJ advert, and Dixie flipping out was great, I'm glad we're seeing these commercials and Dixie's reactions as it keeps the feud going and builds anticipation for AJ's eventual return.

I like the promo to set up the two World Title Tournament matches next week. Joe stood out with his promo mentioning AJ and calling out Dixie for her bad business. It was also cool to hear Joe intends to face Styles if he wins the tournament, unfortunately next week he's facing the guy I think will win the tournament, Magnus.

I'm glad we're getting this Gail Kim invitational to bring in new faces to the Knockouts. Hannah Blossom is a good start seeing as she along with her twin Holly are in the developmental system. It was a good match and Kim not so surprisingly won. I'm sure this will go on for several weeks to build up to a top Knockout coming in and getting the win and a subsequent title match. I couldn't believe it when Joe Park challenged Abyss, finally we are going to get major progress in this story, I'm very interested to see how this plays out next week.

Really liked Angle vs Aries. They didn't throw everything out there which is understandable, it was a submission match where no unnecessary risks should be taken, plus I'm sure they will save going all out for a PPV match against one another down the road. I liked Angle using the Crossface to win, Roode was playing mind games by coming out and watching the match, so Angle returns the favour by using his move. Anderson pile-driving Garett came out of nowhere, it was a great ending which hyped both Anderson vs Bully and the World Title tournament going into next week.

Favourite Moment - Angle vs Aries. Very good main event.

Least Favourite Moment - Anderson vs Knux. Nothing much to write home about with this one.

MVP of the Night - Samoa Joe. The promo made me feel like Joe may go down the road of the anti-establishment, authority challenging Joe who is fighting for the absent AJ Styles and the old TNA.  

Grade - C+/B-. It was a fun show that didn't really blow me away with some of the matches. The goal here was to continue the Title tournament and build Turning Point, both of which I feel were achieved.

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