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31 August 2014

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Aug 27, 2014


Chris Regal
The thing I was looking forward to the most coming into this week's show was the first match in the tag title series between the Wolves, the Hardys, and Team 3D.  And I must say, it did not disappoint.  Yes, it could've been longer but I think it's important to realize that this is only the first match, and the only one without a stipulation, so its main objective was to set the tone for the rest of the series.  And that it did.  I'm very excited about the next match.

Before the tag title match, Team 3D were in the ring, along with Kurt Angle and Mr. Anderson, to introduce TNA's latest signing, Chris Melendez.  I won't describe his story simply because I wouldn't do it justice. I do, however, recommend you watch this video even if you already did during the show because it perfectly illustrates the man that Chris Melendez is.  I absolutely loved the way TNA treated his debut because this is the sort of story and character that no writer can pen because it's real.  One by one, Angle, Anderson, and Team 3D explained to us the events that led to Melendez coming to TNA, each pausing for a moment due to the live crowd's chanting of "USA" or "Thank you, Chris".  The fans in NYC were spot on in this segment and many of them had tears in their eyes because they understood that they were witnessing a truly historic moment.  I think we will all look back on this night as the night that Sergeant Chris Melendez touched our hearts and he didn't even have to say a word.  The look on his face did it all. Easily, one of the best segments you'll see in pro wrestling all year.

Before I move on, please make sure you give TNA's newest talent a follow on Twitter.

Another moment I was anticipating was the reveal of the Great Sanada and again, I came away quite satisfied with the result.  I've read some criticisms about this segment, mostly that Sanada did a poor job imitating the Great Muta, and I think we need to realize that it's exactly that, an imitation.  An intentionally poor imitation.  Let's not forget that James Storm and Sanada are mocking the Great Muta.  This is not a case of "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" but rather one drenched in disrespect of a legend, and using his own disciple to do so.  This is my favorite storyline right now and its precisely due to the performances of its two stars.  I also really like Austin Aries' involvement simply because his rivalry with Sanada has been truly fantastic, and I hope this lead to an Aries/Storm feud.

In other developments, Ethan Carter III wanted no part in wrestling Rhino it seemed, presumably because there were no weapons involved, so he took matters into his own hands and absolutely destroyed his opponent with a chair.  As angry as Rhino was before, I'm sure this will push him over the edge, resulting in some sort of hardcore match at some point.  Rockstar Spud's involvement was, once again, quite interesting in that he seemed to feel a bit of sympathy for Rhino, causing him to disrupt EC3's attack.  It's obvious that Spud has a soft spot for Rhino but I'm curious to see how EC3 reacts to his best friend's inability or unwillingness to support him completely.  I'd hate to see the two split up as I find their act quite enjoyable but I'm also loving the dynamic here.  It should be fun to see play out, and what exactly the endgame is.

Favorite Moment - The introduction of Chris Melendez was an amazing moment to experience as a fan.  It was truly a magical moment that was real for him.  And it was real for us.

Least Favorite Moment - I'm afraid the honor goes to the Knockouts match this week.  A sloppy affair that did have a couple of nice spots but overall, it was a mess.  I will give the ladies credit for gaining the respect of the crowd by the end, as they really wanted no part of this match at the start.

MVP of the Night - For me, the MVP was Chris Melendez.  There's nothing more I can say about the man.

Grade - A great show that featured the start of the tag title series, Chris Melendez's debut, as well as the set up for next week's Roode vs Young clash for a chance to earn a world title shot.  Overall, this week's Impact gets a well-deserved B from me.


BigDawg
Kurt Angle is still getting on my nerves nearly every time he's on-screen.  The fact that he's advertised for the Bethlehem tapings makes me cringe a bit.  Those tapings may be his last appearances for TNA.  Thanks Kurt, now moving on.  MVPKingLashley's promo was decent but this is the one promo that I thought could have been shorter and it would've still been just as effective.  Dreamer VS Lashley was kind of a blasé and I don't see how Dreamer fits into the role as a competitor for The Destroyer.  10-15 years ago, it would've been an awesome match.  Currently, it felt displaced.  Yes, Tommy is super over in NYC but it's almost like TNA Creative had run out of ideas and just threw this match together haphazardly.  The tease of Havok coming next week was exciting to see.  It appears that the Creepy Bastard persona of Samuel Shaw has returned (thankfully) as he just couldn't change completely in the end.  I'm glad they decided to go back to this, as it's the better fit for Samuel.  Now he needs to be separated from Mr. Anderson ASAP.

Taryn Terrell Vs Madison Rayne was unimpressive.  They don't have great chemistry together in the ring, but I do like Taryn's finisher.  I hope the ring rust is off of Taryn soon because it would be nice to get the same quality of match from her and Gail as we got in their first 2 matches last year.  The 6 man X-Division match was decent but it felt kind of been-there-done-that.  Again, shooting so many episodes in the same venue started to show in this edition of IMPACT and this bout was another example of that.  The same roster members getting matches over and over again, and the attempt to get them all on-screen is starting to become more evident.  I thought the Rhino backstage promo was intense and classic War Machine.  I really enjoyed the EY/Bobby Roode in-ring promo as the 2 really got me excited for their match next week.  The Tinder thing with The BroMans was silly but served its purpose I suppose.

I liked the EC3/Rhino match but it is interesting how little of a fight Rhino put up here.  It's a catch 22, similar to the Bram/Abyss program, where you need the veteran to put over the younger star but you'd think the vet would win at least one match in the series.....and after this match, I don't think Rhino will win any matches so it seems more like an exercise in futility.  I do like this more vicious side of Ethan and the tease of a possible Spud/EC3 separation.  The reintroduction of Sanada as The Great Sanada was well done and I was surprised to see him go over Aries yet again.  Storm forming this group is definitely one of the most intriguing storylines in TNA.  The debut of Chris Melendez was classy and inspiring.  I can't wait to see what he can do in the ring.  The best part of the night was the main event match of Team 3D VS The Hardy Boyz VS The Wolves in the inaugural match of the Tag Team Series.  Yes, it could have gotten more time, but they packed in the action for the last 10 minutes of IMPACT.  Team 3D wins the opener of the series and now we get a Tables Match for #2.  The crowd is buoying up some of these shows since they are so hot and active, but this show fell somewhat flat overall.

Favorite Moment  - The main event Tag Team Series match was poetry in motion.  Simply brilliant.  

Least Favorite Moment - The KnockOuts match seemed clunky.  Madison is just not a very good worker IMHO.  That paired with the rusty Taryn was a bad combination.

MVP of the Night - To me, EC3 stood out the most as he is taking his character to a new level.

Grade - I wasn't into this episode as much as most of the other NYC shows;  B- overall.

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