14 September 2014

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Sep 10, 2014

We had a feel good moment to open the show with Chris Melendez making his in-ring debut on the eve of 9/11. It was very short and wasn't the best of matches however this was all about the story of Chris Melendez, and it provided a very warm and patriotic feeling to see him get the W in his debut. Good promo segment to hype the World Title match next week, followed by a decent 6 man tag that gave Roode another victory and more momentum going into the title match vs Lashley next week. I'm quite surprised their doing Roode vs Lashley so soon, as I thought it would be build up to culminate at BFG, so it seems TNA have something else up their sleeve for the PPV, because I would like to think they wouldn't have the main event be a rematch to a bout that aired on free TV the month prior. We got confirmation that Brittany is into Samuel Shaw big time, and I'm hoping her introduction to this storyline will result in another twist and see the Samuel of old return to our screens.

Wasn't really into the Menagerie vs BroMans & Velvet, it's only purpose was to be comedy filler, and for me it didn't really work. It seemed a few months ago we we're going to get into detail why the Menagerie needed money and who they were indebted to, but it looks like those plans were dropped and I haven't really been given a reason to care about the group since. EC3 continues to shine and had a good segment with Kurt Angle, which was good to see Angle address EC3 after weeks of Carter complaining and making demands. The Street fight showed once again the more aggressive style EC3 has adopted since his Aunt D was injured, and it was good to see Rhino put him over again and make Carter look good. The Knockouts Calendar cover reveal stuff really didn't need to be on the show. I can't understand why they have been teasing a rift in the Beautiful People the last few weeks and at the same time paired them up with the Bro Mans, but we'll have to see where they are taking this. I also didn't understand why none of the other babyfaces didn't help Gail Kim out when Havok showed up, we've established the fact Taryn has a great respect for Gail, and so does Madison Rayne, so why wouldn't they help her out against such an imposing force?

Without a doubt the most interesting story in TNA right now is James Storm and his revolution. This week we headed back to the shack where Sanada had his awakening, and this time it was Manik tied up in the chair. They teased that a re-born Manik may not have a mask, or at least a reduced mask after Storm made reference to his disciple's talking. I look forward to seeing the re-born Manik debut in the coming weeks. The tag match was pretty good, the heels cheated to get the win and Sanada got another victory, once again establishing the effectiveness of Storm leadership. Nice brawl between Havok and Gail Kim to establish the hatred these two already have for one another, and after laying out security, Havok looked like a very strong force by the end of the show. The second match in the Tag Series lived up to the hype and delivered big time, all three teams gave it everything and were impressive, this match got a little more time than the first and it was filled with even more great action. The Hardys got the win and announced the 3rd match next week would be a ladder match, which should be awesome.

Favorite Moment - I am such a big fan of this story with James Storm and his revolution, and I really enjoyed the segment with him & Manik before the latter received his awakening.

Least Favorite Moment - The BroMans & Velvet vs The Menagerie just wasn't for me.

MVP of the Night - This week really established Havok as a dominant force in the KO division, both of her appearances on the show ended with her standing tall over several victims, making her look very impressive.

Grade - This week's show was a little drop in quality for me, not a solid as what we've seen in recent times, but still had several good points to make it a decent show, so I'll give it B-.

Chris Regal
It was a tale of two halves this week with an uninspiring first hour and a fantastic second hour.  I'll quickly share with you my thoughts on the first hour before I move on to the positives.  The only segments I enjoyed in the first hour were the Bobby Roode promo and the six-man tag match that followed.  The match itself was fun and showcased six of the company's top talents right now.  Unfortunately, there was also a long filler match between the BroMans and the Menagerie that simply killed the show's momentum for me. There were so many problems with this match but my biggest problem with it is the fact that it took TV time away from talents who could've used it.  Overall, I found it all so tedious and I'm dreading any future matches involving the Menagerie in particular.  In my opinion, this group is a complete dud and TNA needs to pull the plug.  And lastly, we saw the debut of Chris Melendez inside the ring.  I'll be honest, as wonderful a moment as it was to see this young man wrestling on national TV, I came across feeling that he's much too limited and green inside the ring to legitimately be a threat.  I suppose it's fine to feed him DJ Z, who's been a glorified jobber, but how many of those does TNA have on their roster?  Will fans be OK with TNA feeding him wrestlers like Mr. Anderson, Kenny King, and others?  Because it's coming.

On to the positives...the tag title series continues to deliver in a huge way as the Wolves, Team 3D, and the Hardys competed in a tables match.  TNA gave this match some time to deliver but interestingly enough, the three teams needed no feeling out period and they all just jumped in and went after each other.  In the end, the Hardys won, allowing them to choose a ladder match for next week, and I can't be more excited for that.  We also saw Tajiri's in-ring TNA debut and although he looked a little off with his kicks last week, I'm glad to see that he hasn't lost a step this week.  His kicks were as stiff as I remember and that bodes well for his future in TNA and Wrestle-1.  The match, also featuring James Storm, the Great Sanada, and Austin Aries was a lot of fun.  The relationship between Storm and Sanada seems to have evolved from slaps to the face to a pat on the back and a hug, which is an interesting development in this story.

Ethan Carter III was put over again this week as he defeated Rhino in a street fight.  I'm surprised how easily EC3 went over Rhino in a hardcore match but then I thought about it and realized that EC3 has had quite a bit of practice since coming to TNA.  Incidentally, there was no Spud by EC3's side this week.  And finally, even though Havok had quite a debut last week, she raised the bar this week by continuing her destruction on the Knockouts Division...and TNA security.  Her manhandling the security guards was a holy shit moments because, one, I didn't expect it, and two, she looked so dominant.  It was truly impressive.

Favorite Moment - I have to go with Havok chokeslamming the male security guard onto the floor.  It was unexpected and as result, made quite an impact.  I can't wait to see what's next for Havok as it seems no one's safe.

Least Favorite Moment - The BroMans vs Menagerie match was excruciatingly bad, in my opinion.  If TNA insists on featuring some comedy segments, I would at least do something that's actually funny and would leave that for the backstage segments. 

MVP of the Night - There were so many this week but I'll give it to Havok.  She made her mark this week and everyone's now on high alert.

Grade - Unfortunately, a couple of bad segments brought this show down for me but luckily, it ended on a high note, leaving me excited for next week's No Surrender.  Overall, this week's Impact earned a solid B+ for that second hour.

The opening to IMPACT was obviously a classy move on TNA's part with the presentation of U.S. colors and homage to September 11th previous to the introduction of Chris Melendez.  I imagine that the theory with Melendez is to appeal to a different audience and it was savvy to do so on this occasion.  The actual match between DJ Z and Sarge was pretty uneventful and kind of exposed Chris for being green.  Yes, it was a nice, patriotic moment but beyond that I wasn't impressed.  The Roode and MVPKingLashley promo was pretty good, and it served as a nice build for No Surrender next week.  Yes, No Surrender is next week, in case you didn't know (which because I hadn't read the spoilers I didn't).  This will be the 3rd free-PPV in the series of the NYC tapings.  Joe, EY & Roode VS MKL was fine for what it was as we got a bit more progression amongst the combatants involved. 

A brief backstage clip with Brittany and Gunner again teased her mysterious relationship with Samuel.  The Menagerie VS BroMans and Velvet was the kind of match where you just have to suspend your disbelief and take it for what it is.  I frankly was surprised at how well Knux and Crazzy Steve wrestled and the positive reaction that they garnered.  Rebel did fine in her wrestling debut as very little was expected from such a novice.  I actually found the Crazzy Steve/Velvet stuff to be funny and I'd like to see where it goes from here.  EC3 continued to show us why he's being groomed as a future World Champ in his promo with Angle.  I'm disappointed that we didn't get to see the "napping during the boring chants" stuff from EC3 as TNA actually had a picture of it on their website from this episode but cut it from the broadcast (probably due to lack of time?).  The Street Fight with Rhino and EC3 was well done and Ethan winning was a given. 

Not much to say about the KnockOuts Calendar cover reveal segment (The BP tension was meh) besides Havok coming down and being a badass.  Havok has made a significant impact in just 2 weeks on-screen and her feud with Gail is building up well.  Her later dominance of the 2 male security guards showed us just how strong of a monster heel she can be for TNA.  The Storm/Sanada and Manik vignette "from earlier this week" was creepy and awesome as Storm's group continues to intrigue me more than any other part of the show.  The Tajiri/Aries VS Storm/Sanada match was decent and furthered this storyline heading in to Bound For Glory.  The Tables match in the Tag Title Series was entertaining and quality as expected.  These guys really have put their bodies on the line each time they've faced off.  The Hardy Boyz come out the victors and choose a ladder match for bout #3 next week at No Surrender.  

Favorite Moment  - The James Storm/Sanada vignette with Manik was dark and interesting.  It takes the cake from me.   

Least Favorite Moment - The actual match between Melendez and DJ Z made myself (and others) question the effectiveness of Sarge's TNA future, although I'm sure they have a plan to better utilize him.   

MVP of the Night - Havok looked damn good during this episode. 

Grade - I thought it was a solid episode overall.  I give it a B.

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