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13 January 2014

#REWIND365: 29 Dec - 11 Jan 2014


Welcome to #REWIND365 Where the Reaction Never Ends, a selective look at the fortnight's offerings from #IMPACT365 and the first instalment for 2014.  A new, young World Champion crowned, the parting of ways between TNA and two of its most notable alumni, 2014 is already set to be a massive year for the company as their new creative direction heads towards Genesis.
 
#REWIND365 will continue to keep an all-seeing eye on anything uploaded to #IMPACT365 during these exciting times of change, and present you my pick of the videos you can't afford to miss.  As always the picks are wholly subjective, so if you agree or disagree feel free to post your thoughts on the best uploads from the fortnight gone by.

Bronze:  Samuel Sure Is Creepy



There was a hiatus of a few weeks between Sam Shaw Samuel Shaw non-chalantly threatening to kill a waiter and his debut match, and fortunately his first match didn't disappoint.  The gloves, the creepy stares for Christy, the whispering to Norv as he choked the life out of him, it isn't the most subtle gimmick ever devised but it is great to watch.
 
I was never sold on Sam Shaw with the extreme sports persona and hearing him speak a couple of times on Xplosion, but it just goes to show that the right gimmick can draw out a star performance.  Pyschopath or sociopath?  That remains to be seen, but Shaw is playing the role to perfection when we get to hear him speak.
 
Poor Christy Hemme.  It looks like 2014 could be a bit of a rough year.

Silver:  Split Open Personalities



Much like Joseph Park and his split personalities, I am still in two minds about this storyline like a lot of other TNA fans I have spoken with.  On the one hand it feels as though it is continuing week after week with very little pay-off, but on the other hand I admire the fact that TNA are going for the slowburn on this storyline, to an extent you don't often see in wrestling today.

When the storyline prompts videos like these, I begin to appreciate it even more.

Fresh from his bout against The Bad Influence in a Monster's Ball match, Chris Parks gives a sterling performance of a man slowly becoming unhinged from a reality it appears he has created for himself.  Eyes bulging, voice on the verge of cracking, the claims of "My name's Joseph Park!" begin to sound like less of a response to the interviewer's question and more like a mantra Joseph is repeating to protect himself from a horrible truth.
 
However slow this angle is progressing, the fact that it features every week on Impact is enough to convince me that there are big things in store for Abyss in 2014.

Gold:  Farewell AJ Styles



The gold for this instalment of #REWIND365 had to go to this video that was uploaded in the wake of the simply awesome main event showdown on last Thursday's Impact, and for two good reasons.
 
There have been some people complaining that the main event was overbooked, which I find to be a bit absurd.  The entire show was engineered in such a way that the main event wouldn't be overbooked, with all of the Friends of AJ taken out backstage (bar Sting) so that the main event was just one massive screwjob instead of some horrible Face vs Heel brawl.  Some might argue that EGO's involvement wasn't necessary, as they have never officially declared themselves part of TeamDixie and operate on their own moral compass.
 
However, you only need to look at the closing scenes of that main event with Bobby Roode standing over AJ after two fireman-carry neckbreakers to realise that EGO were there for their own purposes and have future plans for the Title.  I think the video above and the bickering between the Bro Mans and Bad Influence is important to reiterate the fact that whilst EGO might share some of the same goals as TeamDixie, they are definitely a separate entity and are motivated by their own desires.
 
Fast forward to 4:30 (see below) and the second reason I feel this video deserves gold is for the outpour of love and mutual respect we see between AJ Styles and the fans once the cameras have stopped rolling on Impact.  Even with the small Orlando crowd, it is evident how much people appreciate the years of work AJ has put into TNA and whether or not this is all a big work, he will for the time-being be sorely missed.
 
They recently aired the first episode of Impact in the UK, and I found it very poetic that Jeremy Borash was performing his duties as master of ceremonies for AJ Styles' departure just as he was there announcing AJ's entrance to the ring for the first ever match on Impact all those years ago.

Wooden Spoon: Earl-y Retirement?

This week's wooden spoon is awarded to the same video that received the gold, or rather a fraction thereof (2:30-4:30).  In my opinion referees are there to be seen and not heard, moreso in the case of Earl Hebner. 
 
Will there be repercussions to his actions?  Maybe, I just hope it isn't given too much airtime.  The guy turns 65 this year so it could be a good way to retire him, which is not a bad thing as I honestly get worried watching him over-exert himself in the ring at that age.  There is already evidence of senility kicking in if Earl Hebner is taking the moral high ground on screwing people over.

Afterthoughts:

As we head into the two week long programming of Genesis, followed closely by undoubtedly the most successful Maximum Impact UK tour to date, I expect we'll see a lot of good things appearing on #IMPACT365 to hype up all of the action.
 
With Genesis quite literally meaning the beginning, and Dixie promising some new energy and new characters on Twitter, I am hopeful that we'll see some new faces on the roster or at the very least the reinvention of talent that has been absent from our screens for several months.  Given the success that EC3 has been as a character, I hope any new arrivals utilise #IMPACT365 in the same way that he did in the early weeks of his debut.

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