16 March 2014

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Mar 13, 2014

I liked the opening with the heels playing the blame game and shifting from person to person until agreeing Bully Ray being the one to blame. I enjoyed the opening promo with MVP. It set the tone of what he wants Impact Wrestling to be going forward. I don't mind the pairing of Magnus and Abyss, but I'm not a fan of the explanation. I don't understand how the split personality issue could go unmentioned, I don't understand how Abyss can disappear to try and deal with this mental issue and come back and be just fine because Magnus gave him some money. I don't mind the make-over but I thought it was a good visual before with the face we associated with Joseph Park being shown on the body of Abyss. Not a bad match between Abyss and Joe but it followed the trend of their past matches where the two just don't seem to go well together.

I said a few weeks ago that after Lockdown I expected Gail Kim to face some new Knockouts and lose because of botched interference from Tapa, eventually leading to their split, so when it happened after just one match I was pretty surprised. Brittany didn't look too bad but It was a short match where she couldn't really show us what she's got. I liked the video with Sanada and Great Muto, it was well done and gave a nice rub to Sanada going into his Impact debut. Very fast paced tag match that really showed what both Sanada and Tigre Uno can do in the X Division. Some complained how they should be in the X Division straight away and not teaming, my take is 1. It shows what they can do and gets them over before they eventually come face to face in the X Division, and 2. their involvement in next weeks tag title match has a purpose in the BroMan's/Wolves feud. If the BroMan's win next week and pin either Uno or Sanada, the Wolves can play up the fact they lost the belts in a 3 way and we're never pinned, and their only rematch was a 3 way and they we're never beaten then.

Samuel Shaw = Continuing to raise the creepy bar on a weekly basis. The mannequin was an interesting way to keep Shaw's obsession with Christy going while she got out of dodge. Good street fight with Anderson getting some revenge after Lockdown. I'm intrigued why Joe is so upset with EY wanting to take out Abyss, the stipulation of EY and Abyss being chained together gives next weeks title match another layer that could make it unpredictable. The tribute to Dixie was hilarious, both Spud and EC3 were great and made the segment what it was. MVP is no nonsense when it comes to making signings or matches, he gets straight to the point and announces he's signed Bobby Lashley and Bobby will face EC3 next week. The Love/Sky segment wasn't as predictable as most thought, everyone expected an instant reunion however Velvet made some good points as to why the reunion shouldn't happen, I guess we'll get Velvet's decision next week.

I'm already becoming a fan of Willow, I liked the vicious side he showed, and him dismantling Spud to get revenge for him pushing Hardy off the ladder back in December was great. I enjoyed the backstage segments throughout the night starting with Bully being attacked, and then one by one taking out his attackers, ending it in the ring with Bobby Roode. I'm very excited to see the Bully Ray/Bobby Roode feud play out, arguably the two best heels and two of the best on the roster for the past 2/3 years finally squaring off should be awesome to watch.

Favorite Moment - How could I not give it to Spud and EC3 for their Tribute to Dixie. I really hope with Dixie being gone these two don't drift apart, because they are a great duo.

Least Favorite Moment - The Abyss explanation. I really don't understand how we've gone from him having a split personality and needing help to him being fine because Magnus paid him off.

MVP of the Night - Rockstar Spud stole the show. From his Tribute To Dixie to selling the beatdown from Willow, Spud gave a star performance throughout the night.

Grade - It was a very action packed show that had tons of stuff going on. While I enjoyed most, there were one or two things that I didn't liked and affected my overall opinion on the show, because of that, I'm giving this a B+.

Chris Regal
The thing that stood out to me about this week's show is the physicality, that we were accustomed to as old school TNA fans, is back.  Unfortunately, TNA lost quite a bit of their identity the last few years and the strong-style action was probably the one of the most noticeable losses.  We have seen it gradually make its return since Bound for Glory but it's picked up in the last few weeks.  And after watching this week's show, I think it's safe to say that the "art of wrestling" is no longer.

The physicality was particularly evident in the segments featuring Bully Ray.  The moment he arrived to the Impact Zone, he was brutally attacked by the Brat Pack on behalf of Bobby Roode and Dixie Carter.  Unfortunately for TNA's young lions, it would come back to bite them in the ass as one by one they felt Bully Ray's wrath.  One thing that TNA currently does so well is their ability to use backstage segments to tell a story throughout the show and oftentimes, those segments will culminate with a huge moment out in the ring like we saw this week.  If this week's brief encounter is any indication, Bully Ray vs Bobby Roode will be a really fun feud.

In other developments, MVP set the tone of the new era in TNA in which wrestlers will get an opportunity to settle their beefs on a level playing field.  It all sounds good but the beauty of pro wrestling will always be in its heels constantly trying to disrupt the status quo so I imagine things will not go as smoothly as MVP would like them to.  Personally, I enjoy the shenanigans so I hope the writers get creative with the ways the current heels try to circumvent the rules.  Magnus appears to be MVP's biggest adversary at the moment so it'll be interesting to see the lengths the world champ will go to in order to keep his title belt.

Favorite Moment - I have to go with the duo of Sanada and Tigre Uno making their Impact debuts and absolutely bringing the energy that has lacked for so long in the Impact Zone.  And in the X Division. 

Least Favorite Moment - I hate to say it but the return of Angelina Love was a bit of a bust.  The segment in which she asked Velvet Sky to re-form the Beautiful People fell flat, causing a crowd which had been lively all night to lose some of their momentum.  With that said, I'm all for the return of the Beautiful People so I hope the execution is much better going forward.

MVP of the Night - This week the honor goes to Rockstar Spud.  He began the night choking Bully Ray with his own chain and ended it by being brutally attacked by Willow.  However, it was his segment in honor of Dixie Carter that truly cemented it for me.  Spud has become one of the most entertaining characters in pro wrestling right now.  Get well soon, Spud.

Grade - Overall, this was a great show.  If you had for one night replaced the current ring with the six-sided ring and pulled out the old TNA soundstage, you'd think it was 2008 all over again.  It's good to see TNA slowly getting back their identity.  I give this week's Impact a B+.

The remaining wrestlers from Team Dixie were bound and determined to beat Bully Ray down for double crossing them at LockDown, and rightfully so.  The opening in-ring promo with MVP, Magnus, Abyss, Joe and eventually EY was fairly good.  I like the direction that things are going with MVP and his control of wrestling operations.  I like that Samoa Joe will get a rematch next week.  I don't like the current explanation of why Abyss is aligned with Magnus.  Either the writers are insulting our intelligence here or what appears to be a motivation for money will eventually morph into something that makes more sense.  To just explain it by having Magnus say he's splitting his money with Abyss is really dumb to me.  EY comes out and dropkicks The Monster out of the ring and that's that.  The subsequent impromptu match between Joe and Abyss was decent but those two have never really had great chemistry together in the ring in past matches and that held true here. 

Nice tease of showing Angelina Love in the back saying hi to JB, and then again by Willow.  Brittany made her debut and had a short, but adequate showing against Gail Kim.  The subsequent break-up and brawl between Lei'D Tapa and Gail was a welcomed sight as the 2 just aren't moving the meter anymore as a team.  In the back, Bully was found by the remaining Team Dixie and they beat him down pretty good.  Bully exacted his revenge through-out the night on them, and at one point he hilariously depantsed Zema Ion.  Speaking of Zema, they have now gotten him a proper DJ booth and he does a fine job with his introducing of The BroMans.  I missed it during the show but someone said he dropped a funny line about "Lucky Charms and everyone is trying to take their gold" or something along those lines.  Man, Sanada and Tigre Uno are both fun as hell to watch.  Very intense burst of energy with this bout and I like that we get a 3-way between these teams and The Wolves next week.  I also really dug the Japanese exchange with the Great Muta and Sanada in their taped backstage conversation as it felt unique and kind of touching. 

Samuel Shaw continues to impress me as he incorporates the Christy mannequin into the mix.  I think it fits the bill for his psychopath character but they need to be cautious about how they proceed with The Creepy Bastard as to not detract from his current momentum.  The actual Street Fight between Shaw and Anderson was fine and it makes sense that Ken would finally get one up on Samuel with a W.  EY and Joe had a brief exchange backstage as we find out that Eric will be chained to Abyss during the World Title match next week.  The "Tribute to Dixie" segment was funny as hell.  Rockstar Spud was just amazing here, and to a lesser extent, so was EC3.  I didn't realize just how entertaining Spud could be until this night but the guy is pure comedy gold.  MVP came out and ended the duos antics and made a match of Willow VS the distraught Spud.  He also brought Bobby Lashley out and told the world that he is signed to a contract. 

Another Kenny King vignette continues to get me excited to see The King of the Night return soon.  While I'm glad to see Angelina Love back, the segment with Velvet was kind of awkward and didn't make a lot of sense to me.  I'm sure it will eventually but something seemed off.  Willow destroyed Spud and his entrance was pretty unique and well-done.  This more demented and vicious side of Hardy is a welcomed and refreshing sight.  I look forward to the evolution of Willow.  The Bully thing is a ploy to get him over even more as a heel eventually.  I don't buy into the face turn and that will show over time imo.  He puts Roode through another table and that ends the show.             

Favorite Moment  - Samuel Shaw impressed me a lot again tonight and the Creepy Bastard chants continued, even in the IZ.

Least Favorite Moment - The explanation of Abyss teaming up with Magnus.

MVP of the Night - RockStar Spud stole the show with his stellar performance. 

Grade - This show was an awesomely fast-paced adrenaline rush of a show but a couple things were lacking at times.  I give it a B+.

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