01 June 2014

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - May 29, 2014

Bully opens the show as a man on a mission, making his targets clear, MLK & #TeamDixie.  liked the visual when MVP came out with all the tables in the background, they looked like tombstone's ready made for each of Bully's victims. Bully gets ambushed, leading to the save from EY, Aries & The Wolves, poor Spud goes through another table, and we segue into a 6-man tag with MLK vs Aries & The Wolves. I enjoyed this tag match, both teams looked good with MVP, King & Lashley getting the win. Bram looked like a barbarian this week, even against someone half his size like Tigre Uno, he still looked hell bent on absolutely destroying him, all the while trying to bring the old Magnus out. Bram vs Willow next week should be physical, and I think that maybe Magnus will make up his mind on whether or not to listen to Bram and embrace the violence.

The backstage segment with Gunner & Anderson was pretty funny, the "Dr. Phil...Shatter" line made me chuckle, I think these guys could work as a part time tag duo, but right now I'm interested in seeing where Gunner goes with Samuel and Anderson's feud with Storm. Their tag match was pretty good with The BroMans, but the interesting thing was post match, when the Menagerie showed up and surrounded the BroMans. A feud between these two groups make sense due them both having three guys on both sides, and the fact the feud would be more comedy relief than anything, but now that Robbie E has gone off to do the Amazing Race, I wonder if this will go past the next few weeks of taped shows and if so, which due from the Menagerie will take on Jesse & DJZ. Dixie & MVP had another face-off with Dixie trying to convince MVP to team up with her, however from the looks of it these two won't be on the same side for a while.

Kenny King was great with his ring introductions, the guy is hilarious with some of the stuff he comes out with. A lot of stalling and little action in the main event, which should be expected seeing as Bully & EY didn't want to face each other and were more concerned about EC3 and MLK. A brawl at the end leads to the return of Samoa Joe, which was a nice moment, unfortunately the IZ was dead all night and Mike Tenay didn't sound excited at all that Joe was back to help EY & Bully.

Favorite Moment - The opening 6 man tag was pretty good, Aries & The Wolves worked very well together, and seeing them team up was nice for longtime fans of theirs.

Least Favorite Moment - The KO stuff again, the fact their going with a lesbian angle with Brittany shows me why I have stopped reviewing the KO segments of the show. 

MVP of the Night - Kenny King looked good on Impact, he was as funny as he was fluent on the mic before the main event, and he looked good in the tag match, and from what I saw in it, I hope we get King vs Aries at Slammiversary.

Grade - Good show on most parts, wasn't the perfect show but there was a lot more good than there was bad, so I'll give this show an B+/A-.

Chris Regal
This week's Impact was going to have a tough time topping last week's for me and unfortunately, it didn't quite reach that level.  Don't get me wrong I liked this week's show but I thought it meandered at times, particularly the Menagerie segment as well as the double dose of Knockouts.  For some reason, I find that episodes that feature two in-ring Knockouts segments lose momentum, primarily due to the fact that the division really has absolutely no buzz right now.  I suppose it does now with Brittany's confession to Madison Rayne but again, I found it all a little too contrived.

The segments that were the most successful were the ones featuring the top storyline that includes a good portion of the roster.  The battle lines were drawn this week as the babyfaces were able to stand united against Money Power Respect.  Unfortunately, the heel faction has one thing that the babyfaces do not, and that's the power to make executive decisions, including fire any one of them at any time.  This is an unfair advantage for MVP's crew but it's one that keeps his guys in control even if they're outnumbered.  We saw this week how MVP's power can wreck havoc on the babyfaces as he booked Bully Ray and Eric Young in a match, while Lashley, King, and MVP disrupted the proceedings every chance they got.  However, the numbers game keeps going the faces' way with the return of Samoa Joe so it should be an interesting battle.

I enjoyed the six-man tag match (MVP, Bobby Lashley, & Kenny King vs Austin Aries, Davey Richards, & Eddie Edwards), which featured quite a few stiff shots down the stretch.  This is the type of match, unfortunately, that suffers from being on a taped show with a crowd that has checked out.  In front of a live crowd, this match would have been outstanding.

I like that TNA has given Bully Ray a narrative and that is to put six people through tables.  It's a tiny detail but it gives the fans something to look forward to and as his enemies go through a table one by one, the anticipation will build when it's time for that last person to go through the table with her name on it.  This week, Rockstar Spud was the first.  I must say, the table spot was insane as it reminded me of the old ECW table spots that were famous for their great height and force.  Bully Ray practically destroyed Rockstar Spud.

Favorite Moment - The Rockstar Spud table spot was ridiculous and it deserves this honor.

Least Favorite Moment - I will have to give it to the Menagerie segment.  It was pointless and quite awkward.  The BroMans were forced to stand in the ring looking terrified while the carnies slowly came out to the ring one by one.  It was one of those blatantly forced moments that TNA typically avoids. 

MVP of the Night - I don't think anyone stood out this week as the faction wars heated up but I will give it to Bully Ray as his "six tables" narrative is the one that has stuck with me.

Grade - This week's show was not as good as last week's but it was still fairly good, minus the issues I outlined above.  Overall, a decent show that earned a B- from me.

This was one of my favorite IMPACT shows in recent memory.  It seemed like most things just really flowed well and I was very engaged.  The opening promo with Bully Ray and the MVP/Dixie Alliance was intriguing.  On a side-note, I am a stickler for details so I found it odd that whoever spray painted the tables couldn't spell "Lashley" correctly.  Spud takes a ride in his beautiful suit through the wood.  The ensuing Aries/Wolves VS MVP/King/Lashley match was very well done.  This was my favorite match of the night and it really delivered.  Watching The Greatest Man That Ever Lived work together with Davey and Eddie was fantastic.  MVP's squad gets the win, but I took away from this fight a desire to see Kenny King VS Aries in future matches (which I believe we will). 

I continue to be impressed by Bram.  I mean this bout with Tigre Uno was just a squash match to show us what he could do in the ring.  Bram is a very intense hooligan and I like that a lot.  Eventually Magnus is either going to form a tag team with Bram or feud with him.  I still can't decide which honestly.  The line of the night was dropped by Mr. Anderson on Gunner when he called him "Dr. Phil Shatter" (Gunner's real name) while discussing his visits to Samuel Shaw in the psych ward.  Anderson is a quick-witted dude, no doubt.  The subsequent Gunner/Anderson VS BroMans match was decent but the end game here was The Menagerie showing up to send Robbie E away for a while due to his fear of clowns.  Little did we know that it was because he's taking off time to be on The Amazing Race show with Brooke, but now it all makes sense in retrospect.  You guys know my admiration for The Menagerie (especially Crazzy Steve) so I won't embellish any further on that here.  Eventually when the road IMPACTs (and Slammiversary) start happening I will write a Bark of the Dawg column on The Menagerie.  Until then I will reserve my complete judgment on the group. 

The Dixie/MVP/Bully/EY promo seemed like it was getting a bit  repetitive here, but again we saw a tease for Dixie to go through a table.  TBP VS Brittany & Gail Kim was a serviceable match.  The stuff with Madison and Brittany afterwards was kind of interesting but not really my cup of tea.  I loved the impromptu ring announcer stuff that Kenny King did for the Main Event.  The King of The Night is showing us personality and swagger.  Bully VS EY was just a vehicle to bring Samoa Joe back to fight off Money Power Respect.  I actually got very excited when I heard Joe's music hit and he came running out to the ring.  I thought he was coming back at some point, but again, being surprised really adds to the show for me personally.  I loved the stare-down that he had with MVP.  A brief preview video for next weeks episode and that's all she wrote. 
Favorite Moment  - The Wolves & Aries teaming up was a really nice moment.

Least Favorite Moment -  I have to pick the Knockouts stuff again. 

MVP of the Night - I thought Kenny King had the best showing overall. 

Grade - This show gets an A- from me.  Lots to like here as Slammiversary is nearing.

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