23 November 2013

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Nov 21, 2013

A refreshing opening with the #IMPACT365 video of Roode attacking Storm in a bar on Wednesday, it set the stage for the match and also kept fans who don't watch the videos in the loop, which I'm glad is being done. Dixie's verbal warning to Joe was interesting, it gives me hope that Joe will now play a role in this Heel Dixie storyline. If the outcome of the World Title tournament is what I expect it will be, Magnus getting the win and siding with Dixie, Joe would be a great first opponent for him before they get to the return of AJ Styles.

Good opening promo from Dixe & James Storm. Storm wanting a Death match really emphasised how pissed off he was at Roode, and I LOL'ed when Dixie caved after Storm's threat about calling the cops. I enjoyed the Joe vs Magnus match. I liked how Joe was obviously pissed off after his interaction with Dixie, so much so he wanted to start the match backstage. Not really a fan of the finish but I guess I'll live.

Not what I wanted/expected with the Joseph Park vs Abyss match. I knew we wouldn't get a match, but I expected more than just the confirmation that Park snaps at the sight of his own blood and not anyone else's. Bad Influence were good here and this may be the end of Joe Park, which would be a lackluster way to go out, but I expect Abyss to appear soon seeking revenge for his brother. It's a shame Candice LeRae's first shot on national TV was so short, really rushed match with Gail, could have been good but it suffered with the time constraints.

Storm vs Roode was very physical and very enjoyable. I really liked how vicious they looked when they were on the offensive, especially Roode, it really added that level of intensity these two should have after their bloody past. The finish was interesting indeed. I wasn't sure on the rules of the match, something I think they should have covered, but to have it end with Gunner throwing in the towel was an ending I never saw happening. I'm intrigued to see where Storm and Gunner go from here, a feud between the two could be good, the only question is who would benefit more from the heel turn? I guess we shall wait and see how this all plays out.

I like the potential of Samuel Shaw. Most got an American Psycho feel from Shaw, obviously we're not going to see him hack people to death with an Axe, but I can see Shaw becoming very extreme in the ring during his matches. Finally, we got an EC3 backstage segment. He really showed more of his character, and I loved it. Flying Norm & Dewey to Orlando just to tell them they sucked was awesome. EC3 vs Shark Boy was good. I'm glad EC3 is now moving on to new opponents. I guess he's going from up and coming jobbers to established jobbers, I can't wait to see who's next.

Enjoyable main event from Bully & Anderson. I'm glad the Aces & 8's are finally over, at first I was a fan of the group as I saw potential in where their direction could go, however it was nowhere near what I expected it would be and this end should have happened months ago. It was fitting to have the group ended by the hammer, and now we can finally move on to bigger and better things.

Favourite Moment - Storm vs Roode. I enjoyed the physicality of the match and the finish has me interested in Storm & Gunner. 

Least Favourite Moment - The pay-off from the Joseph Park vs Abyss angle. It didn't give us any real progression and was underwhelming for me.

MVP of the Night - James Storm. Good promo with Dixie, great match with Roode and sold his anger after losing and towards Gunner brilliantly.

Grade - I'll give this one a B+. I think the Knockouts match could have been longer and the Park/Abyss angle could have been better, but the rest of the show was pretty solid for me and deserved the grade I gave it.

The opening few minutes did play nicely as Taz and Tenay set the table with the #IMPACT365 video of Roode beating Storm down in the bar from the previous night.  Heel Dixie laid into Samoa Joe backstage and then Storm and Dixie had a nice exchange in the ring.  A Florida Death Match was a nice surprise in place of the Bull Rope Match.  Joe vs Magnus kind of lacked something, but was hard-hitting and decent.  Magnus winning was no surprise here. 

Bad Influence saved the Joseph Park/Abyss segment.  Not as much happened here as people wanted, including myself, but the bucket of blood was Carrie-like and pretty disturbing.  Park goes into Abyss only with his own blood is the only confirmation/progression here (which we all were aware of already).  This was a disappointing segment to me but Park was belittled by Kaz and Daniels and Abyss is obviously going to be involved soon.  Gail Kim vs Candice LeRae was too short and rushed; it left a lot to be desired as both women didn't get to show much here unfortunately. 

Storm vs Roode was bloody and vicious, which pleased me.  They really beat the shit out of each other here.  Great match and the ending makes sense as Gunner and Storm seem to be in the process of breaking up and beginning a feud with each other.  The show-stealing segment was the Samuel Shaw character re-introduction video.  At first it felt like a cheesy version of a #IMPACT365 video and then morphed into an American Psycho expose of Samuel.  This total reboot of his character should be very interesting to watch unfold.  Great production and execution by all parties involved with Christy Hemme and Shaw here. 

Quality backstage segments all night long from JB and his interviews.  EC3 with Norv and Dewey talking backstage was classic also; so funny and the 3 have great chemistry.  Shark Boy vs EC3 was fun and it gave Ethan another win over a different wrestler.  Bully vs Anderson was a brutal, brutal match.  Some super stiff exchanges and moves here.  Anderson through a table.  Chain shots. And finally the infamous hammer ends Aces and Eights.  I don't buy the idea of A's & 8's being "the worst faction ever".  I resent anyone that says that as it's simply not true.  However, their time was over and it was the right move to end it.  I could see an alternative storyline that would have extended it but it's best for business to not.  They ended the show with a promo for the Thanksgiving IMPACT, which I'm wondering will be a permanent feature to hype the next show now?

Favourite Moment - The Samuel Shaw segment was so well done.  I have to go with that.

Least Favourite Moment - Candice LeRae vs Gail Kim was so off......not entertaining at all.

MVP of the Night - Mr. Anderson finally got his revenge, ending A's & 8's and was the MVP of the show.

Grade - I give the show a B+ overall.  The pacing of the show felt weird at times tonight.  I expected more but it still was a good show.  This episode also had the most social media attention I have EVER seen from a Spike TV TNA show.  #TurningPoint trended on Twitter in the U.S. for a solid 2 hours straight.  It had people talking online at a higher, new level that has not been seen in a long, long time for TNA.

Chris Regal
We were all curious about what the new Impact Zone would look like.  Would it look anything like the old Impact Zone, many of us wondered?  Well, it turns out the new Impact Zone is essentially a mini-version of the set TNA used on the road.  If I hadn't known Impact was in Orlando, I would have sworn they were in Tupelo or Salt Lake City or Jonesboro or any city they visited in the last year.  The new Impact Zone is a perfect solution for the situation the company finds itself in.  Hopefully, the crowds, going forward, are more like Jonesboro and not like Wichita Falls.

This week's Impact had its issues but overall I thought the show was fun and exciting, because at the end of the day, that's all I ask from TNA.  The main event, Bully Ray vs Mr. Anderson, was enjoyable and it led to the disbanding of the Aces and 8s, which in my opinion, was long overdue.  But it was nicely done.  The visual of Mr. Anderson holding up the group's vests was a nod (and a wink) to all the TNA fans who disliked the Aces and 8s.  To those who liked them, it was a simple 'thank you'.  This is something TNA does so well - there's nuance in a every nook and cranny.

Bobby Roode vs James Storm was simply fantastic.  TNA invested so much time in this feud, a couple of years ago, and it continues to pay dividends.  There's so much history in every punch and the disdain is so genuine that it enraptures the viewer.  I, personally, was mesmerized by this match.  Some weren't a fan of Gunner's involvement but I thought it was necessary simply because the visual of James Storm not getting up after a 10-count is not what I wanted to see.

In other developments, Gail Kim defeated Candice LeRae is what was essentially a squash.  I hate to say it but LeRae's performance left a lot to be desired.  She looked nervous, unsure, and quite frankly, overwhelmed.  But I'll give her the benefit of the doubt simply because there was something off about the match, perhaps some time constraints - not the most ideal circumstances for a young talent.  Ethan Carter III defeated Shark Boy in a fun match, although the comedy was kept to a minimum, which is understandable.  EC3 is someone that the company intends to push so the writers are careful not to paint him into a comedy corner.  In the meantime, it looks like our favorite "jobbers", Norv and Dewey are sticking around and I couldn't be happier.  And finally, we saw the debut of Samuel Shaw, and the internet went insane with the American Psycho references.  What seemed like a simple re-introduction of a returning talent suddenly turned into a nuanced introduction of a new character.  And viewers were left wonderstruck.  Samuel Shaw has created quite the buzz and I, for one, can't wait to see this character develop. 

Favourite Moment - The Samuel Shaw video was, easily, my favorite of the this week's show but there were quite a few moments that were deserving of this honor.

Least Favourite Moment - The ending of Samoa Joe vs Magnus.  It was awkward and it came across poorly on television, which is why I imagine TNA did not show any replays.

MVP of the Night - Mr. Anderson, hands down.  He ended what, I believe, was a reason why so many viewers stopped watching TNA - the Aces and 8s.

Grade - This week's Impact gets a solid B from me.  There were some pacing issues but it was a fun episode that ended on a high note.  This, to me, reminded me of the TNA of old - an adrenaline rush that's enthralling and at times even a little maddening.  And that's OK because nothing is perfect.

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