17 October 2014

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Oct 15, 2014

For the first Post-BFG episode of IMPACT, I thought this show held up very well.  It's serendipitous for me to be able to review this show as I was front-row at the first Post-BFG IMPACT in Salt Lake City last year (100% LIVE btw).  I am stunned at the fact that those tapings were 12 months ago.  The company was in such a different place storyline-wise and in their overall direction.  The main storyline of that show was AJ Styles as TNA World Champion, as he had just beaten Bully Ray at BFG 2013 in San Diego.  The final shot of that show was AJ driving away in the convertible with the World Title held in the air.  Fast forward a year and we now have Lashley in the midst of a long, dominant run as World Champion.  This current show started off with Angle and Lashley discussing the #1 Contenders match for later that evening.  Lashley also threw out the tease of a future match with Kurt, which was nicely done. 

Backstage we got a Matt Hardy promo which was quickly interrupted by Magnus.  The Brit showed a more devious, intriguing side here which evolved into a first-time match being made between the two.  Havok continued to show her dominance as Madison Rayne was disposed of in their KnockOuts Title match.  Madison and Havok did just fine but the end result was fairly predictable as her newly named chokeslam, The Harlot Slayer, earned the amazon a pinfall.  We learned that Devon is sticking around for a while according to his conversation with Kurt Angle.  Something tells me that Bully Ray is not completely done either, but we shall see in time.  The surprise of the night for me was the Magnus VS Matt Hardy bout.  They were really going after each other and hard-hitting during their fight.  The power-bomb by Magnus, as he tossed Matt Hardy into the edge of the ring on the outside, was absolutely SICK.  I have no idea how Hardy was not hurt on that maneuver.  His back took a major bump there and he still finished the match very well and ended up getting the "W".  Matt Hardy has never been a favorite of mine, but between the Tag Title Series and this match he has my respect for sure. 

The Menagerie (Crazzy Steve, Knux & Rebel) VS DJ Z, Jessie and Angelina was probably the low point of the night but it still was serviceable and entertaining.  I did not miss The Freak at all and I hope to not see him in TNA ever again.  That DDT finisher from Crazzy Steve is fairly impressive.  I knew he had it in him, but he hadn't been able to really showcase his skills much until this point.  I still am not certain where The Menagerie is headed but we'll see if the writers go back to progressing their storyline at some point.  Having some brief backstage interviews with EY, Jeff Hardy, Aries and Roode was a nice touch throughout the evening.

I really dug the EC3 reveal of Tyrus (formerly known as Brodus Clay) as his new bodyguard.  I realize it is a divisive issue to bring in another ex-WWE guy, especially one that had such a horrible gimmick in the WWE.  I was surprised to hear about this debut when it was spoiled for me on Twitter last month but I wanted to remain objective until I saw how it came across on TV.  I don't think Tyrus' debut could have gone any better.  He fits well with Ethan and is finally settling into a more natural role for him.  Now, I don't think his ceiling is being in the World Title picture but TNA did need another big man that can work in the mid-card.  I like him much more than Snitsky or Big Zeke.  Tyrus has potential to be a very nice acquisition for TNA and I hope he is at least signed for the next 12 months.  The Sharkboy out-of-shape gimmick is brilliant and had me laughing pretty hard. 

It's a shame that TNA didn't get a better viewership for this show because it really was a quality program.  The Wolves vignette was trippy and unique as they challenged all comers to fight them for the tag titles.  The 8 Team Tag Tournament starts next week and it figures to be a fun one to watch.  The main event 4-way match really delivered as four of the best wrestlers in the world put together a fantastic fight.  Some great spots here as eventually it got down to Aries and Roode, who are coincidentally the top 2 contenders in my opinion.  After a deservingly long TV bout, Roode comes out the winner and will challenge Lashley again for the World Title.  All 4 men in the ring congratulating each other was a nice moment, and has nothing to do with "TNA dying like WCW".  Anyone who has that opinion and is reading into things that much is a complete douchebag.   

Favorite Moment - The main event 4-way was another MOTY candidate.  Some unbelievable wrestling from TNA's roster in recent months. 

Least Favorite Moment - I enjoyed it all so I will skip this for only the 2nd time ever. 

MVP of the Night - The debut of Tyrus was well received on social media as he got people talking.  I really thought his debut was well-orchestrated and he should be interesting to watch going forward as EC3's hired muscle.

Grade - Coming off of Full Metal Mayhem last week, of course there was going to be some drop-off in intensity.  Also, it's an odd position to have pre-taped post-BFG episodes.  Taking all of that into account I will give this show an A- overall as I thought it was a good, fun IMPACT. 

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