31 October 2014

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Oct 29, 2014

Over the course of the last few months there are several things TNA have done to make Impact a consistently good product, but one thing that TNA has improved tremendously in recent times is buzz around their top feuds. Impact opened this week with a great hype package for Roode vs Lashley 2 later in the night, accompanied by footage of both Champion & Challenger arriving to start the "big fight feel" atmosphere that would continue throughout the evening. We then got straight into the action with the first semi-final in the tag team tournament with MVP & Kenny King taking on Samoa Joe & Low Ki. It wasn't the balls to the wall match it could have been, but it got a good amount of time to build the hot tag for Joe and eventually for him and Ki to get the win. I must say, the Joe/Ki pairing was a great idea for this tournament, like it was hyped on commentary, sometimes the most interesting teams are those that have been fierce rivals in the past, and while I thought MVP and King would win due to their experience as a team, and the fact the likely winners in the other semi-final would be the face team of the Hardys, I found myself wanting Joe & Ki to win just to see them team at least one more time and put on a show against the Hardys, which thankfully will go down next week.

I liked the Bram/Magnus promo quite a bit, simply because while both men were together, their individual time on the mic made what their mindset and intentions are, and gave us more depth to their characters. For Bram, its clear that after dominating Abyss over the summer, he feels he is the King of Hardcore, and he intends to prove it by taking out every hardcore legend he can get his hands on. As for Magnus, he is motivated by his fall in recent months, he knows he's better and he is determined to show his World Title win wasn't a one off, and that he really is the future of TNA. I thought it was a necessity for Tenay & Taz to explain why it wasn't Bully Ray that came out to help his brother with Bram & Magnus, I'm sure quite a few casual fans would have expected Bully to come out so it was a good idea when Dreamer appeared to let them know why Bully wasn't around. Standard brawl that more than likely will lead to a Hardcore tag match in the coming weeks where Bram & Magnus should get the win to add to their resume. The fact TNA have made Shark Boy's weight gain into a storyline is hilarious, I'm sure some don't care for it which is fair enough but I personally think it fills the comedy void that has been made by EC3's more vicious character shift and Rockstar Spud playing more of an underdog, it probably won't lead to anything but I'm happy to have a chuckle every week watching the fat guy wearing the Shark mask who talks like Steve Austin clutch onto a hot dog and play the role of "lazy pro wrestler".

The Knockouts tag match was interesting to watch, mainly because of Madison Rayne and her actions. During the match Madison refused to directly help out Taryn, yet was happy to get a few shots in on TBP, I'm not sure whether it was to acknowledge while Madison has turned heel, she doesn't forget the past like most and still hats Angelina & Velvet, or that Madison's turn isn't a clear cut as we would have thought and its rather a new attitude where everyone in the division is a threat to her road back to the KO title. One way or another, it will be interesting to see what Madison does next, and might give us an idea of where she is heading. The Hardys vs EC3 & Tyrus was a good, short tag match that saw the Hardys advance to the tournament finals. Tyrus looked pretty dominant in this match, however the Hardys showed they could overcome him and EC3 with their experience and ability as a top duo. The Hardys vs Joe & Ki should be a fantastic match to end this tournament, and it really is a match I look forward to seeing, it should be another great tag match to add to the already long list created this year.

The Revolution continues to be the best thing in TNA right now. Storm cut yet another great promo and has really taken this character and ran with it. I like how Davey is conflicted by the offer Storm has given him, we've seen how Storm can charm anyone into his Revolution with Manik & Sanada, but to see someone that has been established as loyal and logical as Richards start to believe whatever Storm and Manik have been saying to him tells us their gospel posses a lot of power. Storm vs Edwards was a nice impromptu match, with the ending really raising the question whether or not Davey allowed his partner to be beaten by the Cowboy. Roode vs Lashley 2 was yet again a great World Title match that delivered a great moment with Roode winning the World title. The match wasn't as good or as long as the first, however that isn't to say it wasn't a great match by any means. The finish wasn't what we would have expected, however its obvious that their going for match 3 to be the decider. Match one saw Roode give Lashley his biggest test to date, match 2 saw Roode get the victory by a hair, so expect match 3, which Mike Tenay hyped almost instantly after the main event ended, to have a clear cut winner that will end a classic trilogy. Commiserations to Lashley, who has been the most dominant World Champion is TNA history, and has raised his game to a level which I thought wasn't in him.

Favorite Moment - I loved seeing Bobby win the World Title, he's been the most consistent performer for TNA the last 3 years, and after his first reign, this moment was something I've been waiting for a long time to see. 

Least Favorite Moment - Nothing stood out as bad to me, but I'd say the thing I enjoyed the least was Madison's turn, like I said a while ago, the division already had very few faces, so unless what they do with Madison delivers, I think this was the wrong move.

MVP of the Night - Without a doubt Bobby Roode. This past Wednesday was the culmination of a journey Bobby's been on since March, and after coming so close last time, it was gratifying to see him achieve his goal on his second, and probably final attempt.

Grade - I thought this week delivered on several levels, we got some great action, character progression and solid promos. While it wasn't the perfect episode, it was pretty damn good indeed, and in my eyes deserved a A-.

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