06 April 2014

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - April 3, 2014

I really, really liked this show.  I hope they learn their lesson of breaking up the monotonous and lengthy show-starting promos with matches and action right off the bat like they did here.  Right away IMPACT kicked off with the Tables Match of Bully & Willow VS Roode & EC3.  An entertaining and hard-hitting fight.  Willow dragged off a wheel-chair-bound and helpless Rockstar Spud to torture him somewhere (hence leaving the match).  Roode and EC3 then proceeded to put Bully through 3 tables, which was impressive.  The 2nd match that kept things going was Samuel Shaw VS Mr. Anderson in a straight-jacket match.  I still think Samuel is showing us more and more depth of character as the weeks go on.  He was really disturbing (in a remarkable way) when he finally had Anderson in the straight jacket after he'd won the match and was writhing around on top of him.  All bloody and sinister-looking, Samuel has these subtle nuances to his character that myself and others really enjoy.

Kenny King made an impression all night and I thought his official return went well.  He isn't gonna take shit from anyone, including MVP, and I like that kind of swagger.  This is only the beginning for The King Of The Night.  He also had a brief altercation back-stage with The Wolves.  A nice little X-Division match still occurred despite the initial interruption from King.  I'm glad we are finally getting to see more of what Sanada can do in the ring.  Between his Xplosion matches and this Best-Of-3 series with Tigre Uno, he is showcasing more of his move-set as time goes on.  When have you not seen a best-of-any # series go to the final possible match?  Maybe never? 

The KnockOuts portions of the show were fine as The Beautiful People and Madison & Brittany were given ample screen time.  The division is slowly but surely reforming and regrouping.  The Magnus/Abyss promo where Mags told The Monster that he "loves him" was kind of intriguing.  It's an attempt at mind-control by the champ to control the seemingly unstable Monster.  If Magnus keeps saying Abyss' father's name over and over, he may just get The Sinister Minister after all.  Please TNA, don't tease me by having James Mitchell's name thrown around without it amounting to something.  Another funny coincidence (that probably is meaningless) is that Abyss' new mask/look is similar to Judas Mesias' mask/look when he had feuded with Abyss in the past and even as recently as a ONO PPV (HardCore Justice) last year.  That's the last time we saw James Mitchell too.  So maybe, just maybe, Mitchell is instructing Abyss to fool Magnus into false security until the time is right?  We shall see.

I feel like I've said enough about the Knux vignettes lately in the comment sections and past RingSides so I won't expound on it much again here.  I am anticipating a turn in his storyline soon as we don't have the real hook involved here yet.  MVP VS Kenny King was a slower-paced chain wrestling exhibition match until tempers flared.  Kenny King is going to be pimp-slapping fools for a while now and MVP is first on his list it appears.  The Main Event 4-way was a good bout.  It was built up well all night and I thought it delivered.  I know people are hating on EY and Abyss being in a World Title match.  To that I say GET OVER IT!  If you think TNA would really put the title on Abyss or EY on a taped IMPACT episode then you don't know pro-wrestling.  It was intended to tell a story and it did a good job of that.  Abyss is getting the lackey treatment from Magnus and that's only going to work for so long.  The brief preview popped up at the end of the show to tease the #WrathOfDixie for next week.  Again, people shit on this teaser but it is not a contradiction of what happened at LockDown.  They aren't that stupid, come on.  It will all be explained so don't get your panties in a bunch. 
Favorite Moment  - I liked the visual of Samuel Shaw being bloody and disturbing as usual post-straight-jacket-match. 

Least Favorite Moment -  There's not much I didn't like on this show, so I will skip this. 

MVP of the Night - I will say Kenny King as he got a good amount of screen time and went right after a big player in TNA. 

Grade - I enjoyed this show more than most I've seen in the IZ.  I give it an A-.

It was a nice change of pace to start the show with the tag team tables match, fun match with a very nice finish with Roode putting Bully through 3 tables, adding even more fuel to their feud. To say it was the rubber match, the straitjacket match with Samuel Shaw and Mr Anderson was pretty short. Shaw seemed to have difficulty getting the jacket on Anderson which kind of took me out of the moment, but I assume with Shaw wining this isn't the end of the feud between him and Anderson.

I just know I'm going to enjoy Kenny King's new King Of The Night gimmick, him being driven around in the golf cart, giving cash to backstage workers and generally being an arrogant SOB works for me. I wasn't shocked that he crashed the party when the X Division match was about to start, but what did shock me was MVP's involvement, the subsequent match between the two, and how it seems how the two are going to work a program with one another. The KOTN gimmick can be great for King, and by having him return and work with one of the top characters in TNA right now should give him a pretty good launching pad for his new persona.

I really enjoyed the Sanada/Tigre Uno match. This best of three should be very fun indeed, both guys seem to be the one's to bring attention back to the X Division, and the best of 3 by all accounts should achieve that. While I thought it was a logical segment to have, I wasn't really invested in the Magnus/Abyss promo. I've noticed the last few weeks I don't seem as interested in the World Title picture, and I attribute that to the lack of explanation behind the Abyss/Magnus pairing, I know some of you may disagree but It's become a road block for me to get into the pairing. The Knux video's continue to interest me, I think it would be really cool if they revealed these video's were from a few months ago, thus explaining why we haven't seen Knux since November. I'm intrigued to see what these video's will lead to for Kunx and how they will play into his return.

Pretty sweet return entrance for the Beautiful People, and not a bad tag match either to establish their viciousness. I don't know if its her trying to hard, or its intentional, but something doesn't seem right about how enthusiastic Brittany was teaming with Madison, is she just pretending and already aligned with TBP? If it was just her being herself, then she might want to tone it down a bit, because she might come across as annoying in future. Magnus trying to get EC3's help was pretty funny, I like how their still having these two interact with one another, because they could be gold as either a team or against one another. Decent 4 way main event with quite a lot going on throughout. Not understanding exactly what power Magnus has over Abyss made for a confusing finish IMO, Magnus retains and apparently next week Dixie's back, which makes me wonder why she's back and interested in seeing what's going to happen next week.

Favorite Moment - The King Of The Night interrupting the X Division match. I really think King is going to run with this gimmick and it should make for some great TV.

Least Favorite Moment - The Magnus/Abyss in-ring segment, see above for why.

MVP of the Night - It goes to the returning Kenny King. The King Of The Night made a pretty big splash on his first night back, and after getting one over on the boss, you have to admit night one of the KOTN was a success.

Grade - Another decent showing from TNA, there was some good with The King Of The Night, the start of the Best of 3 and the opening Tag Team Tables match, therefore I give this one a B

Chris Regal
As I watched this week's Impact, I couldn't help but feel that TNA are stuck in neutral right now.  Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed the show but there was something about it that didn't quite work for me.  After giving it some thought this weekend, I've come to the realization that the Magnus title reign is falling flat on its face.  I thought the writers were going in the right direction with his character when he was feuding with Samoa Joe but the addition of Abyss as his insurance policy has essentially let the air out of proverbial balloon, in my opinion.  As a result, I thought this week's world title match felt like an afterthought simply to further complicate the dynamic between Magnus and Abyss.  If there wasn't a title involved, I could perhaps find myself interested in this relationship but the fact that the company's top prize is being held hostage in this ridiculous plot doesn't sit well with me.

Kenny King's return was one of the highlights of this week's show and I'm glad to see that the company is booking him in a significant feud with MVP upon his return.  I've maintained for quite some time that King is miscast as an X Division wrestler so I hope he continues to feud with talents who are a bit higher on the totem pole.  This week, I think we all witnessed how charismatic King can be if the writers unleash him and his promo with MVP was nothing short of fantastic.  Their exhibition match was a nice change of pace and although the ending was a bit confusing, it served its purpose in revealing the true nature of the King of the Night.  I'm definitely looking forward to this feud as both men can truly bring it on the mic and their matches should be really good.

In other developments, the Bully Ray vs Bobby Roode feud progressed nicely with Ray going through three tables, although I'm not sure I'm crazy with all these table spots as it's going to take an insane spot in their final encounter to truly make an impact.  The Beautiful People debuted as a team and like the vixens of violence that they are, they defeated Madison Rayne and Brittany.  Angelina Love and Velvet Sky together again has made the Knockouts Division interesting again.  And finally, Samuel Shaw defeated Mr. Anderson in a straightjacket match via his finisher, which is certainly ideal for a match such as this.  I can't imagine this is the end of the feud but I think it's time to take the Shaw character to the next level with Christy Hemme, whom I still think will play a pivotal role in Shaw's evolution.

Favorite Moment - I hate to say it but I'm struggling to find one that I truly feel deserves this honor but I will go with Samuel Shaw's post-match antics.  It was subtle but the way he proceeded to rub up against a comatose Mr Anderson and smell him was brilliant character development.  This is the sort of thing TNA does so well and I suspect it's due to their willingness to allow their talents the freedom to add these types of elements into their characters. 

Least Favorite Moment - For me, no follow up to Willow kidnapping Rockstar Spud nor was there any mention of last week's brutal match between Gunner and James Storm.

MVP of the Night - I thought Kenny King stood out on this week's show.  TNA handed him the ball and he ran with it all the way into the endzone.  Great job by him.

Grade - Again, I thought it was a decent show but it lacked a spark that unfortunately too many shows at the Impact Zone do.  Overall, this was a wrestling-heavy show and I feel that TNA is at their best with a good mix of wrestling and promos.  We didn't get that this week.  Instead, we got lots of wrestling and much of it was quite average.  For that reason, this week's Impact gets a C+ from me.

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