29 March 2015

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Mar 27, 2015

In last week's edition my colleague Chris Regal made the case to call Impact from two weeks ago one of the best shows in several years, and this week I feel I have to make the same case for last weeks Impact. The show was great from start to finish, a combination of great storytelling and incredible action made last week so much fun and continued the great run TNA has been on, so much so that it made me optimistic that this weeks return to the Impact Zone would not effect the quality of the program, and in my eyes it absolutely did not.

The theme of the show was Hardys revenge, after being put on the shelf in dramatic fashion by James Storm, Jeff Hardy was back and getting the chance to get his hands on Storm in a Lethal Lockdown-esque cage match. We opened with James Storm along with Khoya cutting a promo on Hardy inside the 6 Sides of Steel. This leads to Hardy coming out and then being jumped my Manik & Abyss before turning the tables and taking them both out. A few things I want to note from this segment, firstly, I thought Hardy's promo was pretty damn good, Jeff gets criticism for his promo's from time to time but I thought his promo was solid.

Secondly, the Revolution has stalled in my opinion. James Storm has been great as this character, but the inactivity of 3 out of the groups 5 members and the lack of explanation as to why Storm has formed this group has effected my optimism of where the story is heading. In this segment Manik & Abyss were disposed of pretty quickly, while Sanada was no where to be found. From what I saw I get the feeling the group is going to get re-structured, with Manik & Abyss heading for the exit, along with Sanada who seems to have already been dropped. While Khoya was also taken out later in the night after a brutal beating by Jeff, he didn't go down easily, making me think Storm will keep him and re-build his Revolution in the coming weeks/months.

No real explanation for Joe's departure, however the BDC acknowledged it and used it as a reason to make a statement, initially through Low Ki destroying Spud and regaining the X Division title. It was a good match with Ki mostly dominating, Spud started to come back leading to the BDC getting involved, followed by Drew Galloway causing enough of a distraction for Spud to get the inside cradle and retain. Post match the BDC are pissed and call out Drew, there's an exchange of words followed by a brawl with Drew being joined by two guys who came out from the crowd. The BDC retreat and Drew announces his new group as "The Rising". The two guys who joined Drew are Shaun Ricker, now known as El Drake, and Tevita Fifita, both who worked the ONO tapings in February and were apparently stand-outs of the new talent used that week. I like the idea of using new guys in this group, as there career's are quite literally on the rise because they are standing up for what they believe in. Its always great to see new talent and I'm excited to see what they can do and where this group can go, and after MVP's comments about "making that call" which I assume will be to Homicide, who MVP said was apart of the group when they formed, there might be another new talent on his way to make it an even fight.

The vignette for Awesome Kong was great, very well produced and also highlighted her two targets, Gail Kim & Taryn Terrell. The match against Brooke was very one sided, while Brooke fought hard Kong was too much to overcome. After the match Kong went to destroy Brooke before Taryn made the save, taking a nasty hit on the guardrail (resulting in a huge egg on her head, which you can see here) and a powerbomb through a table on the floor from Kong. Kong has established the fact she is an unstoppable force, and no one woman can stop her, the only way Kong doesn't win the Knockouts title in the near future is if the Knockouts do the smart thing and gang up to take her out, because even though they might not want to help Taryn retain the belt, it will be near impossible to get the belt off Kong in a one-on-one match compared to facing Taryn. 

It should be no shock to anyone that the Kurt Angle Title celebration had some uninvited guest, a total of 6 to be exact. Before Angle could full bask in the glory of victory, EC3 with Tyrus, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Austin Aries & Lashley all came out to make their title aspirations clear. This segment was great purely because it flaunted the depth and quality of TNA main event scene, there are so many options and directions TNA can go with Angle & the World Title. Lashley comes out last and wants a rematch, setting up Angle vs Lashley 2 as next weeks main event, the heels in the ring brawl with Roode & Aries until Mr Anderson makes the save and sets up an impromptu 6 man tag. Fun tag match between some of TNA's best that ended with EY getting the win on Aries with a figure-4. I noticed during the match Young had an oddly placed brace on his right leg, but thanks to Mathews & Taz's explanation after the match it looks like the brace is there to make the figure 4 more deadly, which I guess Young has added to his already lethal arsenal.

We got continuation of the Bram/Magnus feud this week and damn, this rivalry has been a joy to watch. This one is personal and these three are doing a great job of portraying that element. Bram has somehow managed to come across as even more insane than he did before, this week going from wanting to cave in Magnus' skull to grabbing Mickie and almost forcing her to kiss him, while Magnus has re-established himself as a top guy now standing up for the honour of his family and wanting to end Bram once and for all. While both men walked away this week, only one will when they face of this Friday, and I look forward to the pure physicality & violence these two going one-on-one will deliver.

My ow my, what a fantastic main event we got this week. James Storm & Jeff Hardy put on a great bout inside the 6 Sides of Steel. This match reminded me of just how good Jeff Hardy is, and while I expect him and Matt to have their sights set on the Tag Team titles, I think Jeff should be back in the World Title hunt by the end of the year. Storm gets just as much credit here too, he showed that not only is he a great character, but he's also a great wrestler that can put on a damn entertaining match when given the chance, which makes me really hope this Revolution storyline gets back on track and Storm can rightfully get into World Title contention. I thought the Frankensteiner and the swinging splash were great incorporations of the roof, and I absolutely think this type of cage match should be done again down the road. Great main event and another solid show from TNA.

Favorite Moment - I thought the splash at the end of the cage match was amazing, very innovative and a great way to finish such a enjoyable match.

Least Favorite Moment - It might sound nit-picky but I wasn't a fan of the Revolution forgetting the existence of Sanada. If Sanada's gone then I don't understand why Storm didn't mention it in his backstage promo with Khoya.

MVP of the Night - Hands down Jeff Hardy. On his return he took out the Revolution, had a hell of a match with James Storm and got his revenge.

Grade - I really enjoyed this weeks episode, a lot of this show was to set up where many of the ongoing story's are heading, whether it was to set up the final chapter or the next chapter, this week was a solid follow-up to last weeks show and a great set-up to what's to come, and it looks like were in for some exciting times. Top show that was worthy of an A-.

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