17 August 2014

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Aug 14, 2014

Chris Regal
This week's Impact was a bit of a letdown for me.  I thought TNA missed an opportunity to capitalize on last week's momentum but instead, they seemed content to simply take a step back and set up next week's Hardcore Justice.  I suppose I'm being a bit hard on TNA because the last two weeks of Impact were going to be hard to outdo but I can't help how I feel.

That's not to say, however, that the show was bad.  In fact, I thought there were quite a few positives, highlighted by the Hardys vs Team 3D opening segment and match.  The opening promo was a nice stroll down memory lane and the main event was quite a bit of fun, especially if you're a fan of tag team wrestling.  Another match that was really good was the six-man tag match featuring MVP, Lashley, and Kenny King vs Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and Eric Young.  Although there was not much storyline progression, each wrestler was able to be spotlighted nicely.

The X Division #1 Contenders match was fun but I can't help but feel like it was merely a way to get every wrestler in the Division some TV time.  I wish TNA instead opted for a singles match between the two losers in last week's X Division title match (Low Ki and Sanada).  I like that TNA's giving every talent a chance but I feel that #1 Contenders matches should feel a bit more meaningful.

In other developments, Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud, and Rhino were arrested by the NYPD because they attempted to hijack the show by not leaving the ring.  This segment got a good laugh out of me as the antics of EC3 and Spud were simply hilarious.  This appears to be the end of Team Dixie as every member has now either been put though, suffered an injury, or been arrested.  And lastly, Abyss and Bram agreed to a Stairway to Janice match next week, which appears to include every weapon except fire.  It's hard to imagine that these two will outdo their Monsters Ball performance but if they do, we are in for a treat. 

Favorite Moment - For me, it was the short segment that featured James Storm and Sanada.  Storm continue to tease a revolution so it'll be interesting to see if he will recruit other members.

Least Favorite Moment - Unfortunately, the Gunner vs Mr. Anderson match and entire segment was a disaster.  The crowd were not interested at all and quite frankly, I wasn't either.

MVP of the Night - It's a tough one this week but I'll give it to both the Hardys and Team 3D which were easily the highlight of the night.

Grade - This show paled in comparison to the last few weeks but that's not necessarily a bad thing because Impact has been outstanding.  This week's Impact felt a little like filler to me.  For that reason, I give it a C+.

This week we opened fittingly with Bully Ray to celebrate Dixie going through the table and thanking the fans and his brother Devon, which lead to the Hardy's coming out. What made this moment special for me was the crowd, when the Hardys music hit the crowd erupted and knew them interrupting Team 3D was going to lead to something special, which it did after they set up their first match against each other in 12 years as the main event. Pretty good X Division Scramble as the opening match, especially Manik vs Tigre Uno and Homicide vs Low Ki. Low Ki gets the win and will face Samoa Joe for the X Division title next week in what I think is the first time they've gone one on one in TNA, and what I know will be a great match.Once again EC3 and Spud were hilarious in their segment. After Angle called the cops to escort them and Rhino from the building, it was pure gold with Spud getting pissed and claiming diplomatic immunity and then EC3 going on a rant and trying to bribe the cops, the backstage segment afterwards was also great.

Gunner vs Anderson wasn't the best match, but it was never meant to be, it was more like an argument and a match in one, Samuel lost his cool this week and retaliated to Anderson punching him. We still don't know where this is going to go, but we need something to sink our teeth into soon or this angle is going to start losing people's interest. Good KO four way that really continued this Beautiful People break-up story that started last week. Some good spots and the crowd were into the match, Gail wins and now we look to next week where Gail will face Angelina in A Last Knockout Standing match after their brawl post Impact. The 6 man tag was a smart way to have all 6 men on the show this week and it also delivered a solid match. Yet again Lashley hit a sick looking spear on Aries and got the win for his team, continuing his run of dominance.

Recently Bram has looked great in this rivalry with Abyss, and in the process has really established the fact he is absolutely nuts. Nice promo between him and Abyss to set up next weeks Stairway to Janice match, and after the brutality of the Monsters Ball last week, I expect it will be a violent encounter. The video with James Storm was great, he's really owning this character and making himself come across as pure evil, and his words to Sanada about his "revolution" were very interesting, I guess we'll see if Sanada will accept Storm as him mentor and become "great". Team 3D vs The Hardy's without a doubt delivered, watching this match you wouldn't have believe it was 12 years since they faced off. Nice nod from Team 3D with the old school gear for one night, great match and a really cool moment to see these two teams go at it one more time.

Favorite Moment - Without a doubt the Hardys vs Team 3D. I've been a long time fan of both teams so it was awesome to see them do it one more time, not because of the nostalgia but the fact it delivered on every level. Special mention for the James Storm video which was great.

Least Favorite Moment - I'm gonna have to nit-pick a little and say the lack of developments in the Shaw/Gunner/Anderson story. I'm starting to get a little impatient and want to see this angle make a definitive turn.

MVP of the Night - Spud was fantastic in his segments on the show, so he gets the nod from me.

Grade - This weeks show was a mix of fallout from last week and set up to next week's Hardcore Justice, it was a little weird after weeks and weeks of shows that have been in the moment as opposed to setting up next week, but it doesn't mean it wasn't a good show. This week I'll give Impact a B.

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