05 April 2015

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Apr 3, 2015

TNA is doing a stellar job of presenting recent episodes of IMPACT with varying themes.  The look and feel of the show was really unique and tidy this week with Bell to Bell.  I'm not personally a huge comic-book, super hero guy.  Nevertheless, I still found it to be a very fun way to break up the monotony of how the match line-up graphics are shown to the audience with the animation stuff.  It honestly looked very much like a product of the talented, real-life artist Samuel Shaw when I initially watched the show.  Afterwards, looking at his Twitter time-line, he has confirmed that those drawing were indeed his which is a great way to utilize his artist offerings and also provide a different vibe for IMPACT.  There was some questions beforehand about what "Bell to Bell" actually meant but we soon found out. 

This show had some great wrestling and each of the 3 heavily promoted matches got 2 segments worth of wrestling, which was a nice touch.  Up first was the Submission Match between the psychotic Eric Young and the "It Factor" Bobby Roode.  I have been very entertained every single time these two main event players have faced each other in the ring.  They have had some stiff, high impact type of matches with an old-school professional wrestling feel and I'm a big fan of that style.  A throw-back nuance like the shin-guard that EY has implemented is a welcomed site as it beckons the Greg "The Hammer" Valentine battles of old.  Young is bringing the figure four leg lock into his repertoire and that makes me a happy camper.  At one point Roode made Eric tap out to his cross-face but the referee was not in position to end the match.  The first victim of the dusted-off figure four is Bobby Roode.  However, I'm not convinced that this was the final match between these two.

A sobering segment followed with Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards being forced to relinquish the World Tag Titles.  Injuries happen folks, and Eddie is legitimately hurt right now.  He and The Wolves will be back ASAP because they have a lot more things to accomplish in the tag team ranks.  In the meantime, Davey Richards figures to provide us with a preview of his future singles run with TNA.  I like the idea of Davey being a kick-ass X-Division player so this could actually be a fun turn of events after all.  Of course we wish Eddie the best in his recovery.  The KnockOuts match between Angelina Love and Gail Kim wasn't anything special really.  Both are great veterans but it feels like we're biding our time with the KnockOuts until Havok returns and some other new blood is infused.

I actually enjoyed the cross-over segment with The Revolution and the cast of Ghost Asylum.  This is a clever way to promote both Destination America programs in a manner that furthers the explanation of the demented James Storm and his cult-like following.  It's a fine line to walk when bringing anything paranormal into pro-wrestling as to not alienate the core audience, but I think this could work if it is executed well.  This provided a nice cliff hanger for next week's episode that was not included in spoilers. 

This match between Magnus and Bram had a little extra oomph to it for our TNAMecca community since we were granted access to hold an exclusive Q & A session with Magnus to promote the fight earlier in the week (which you can read here).  The MagDaddy continues to show that he's unleashed a more violent and brutal side as he threw Bram around the IMPACT Zone like a rag doll at times.  A huge win for Magnus as Mickie James again got involved in the bout and was in the ring to celebrate afterwards with some well-deserved smooches for her muscle-bound man.  Both competitors looked great at times during this match as they continue to show natural chemistry together in and out of the six sides. 

I wasn't as enamored with the Angle Vs Lashley rematch as some fans seemed to be.  It was good, don't get me wrong.  This match was the first example that has stood out to me since the return to the IMPACT Zone where the crowd there at Universal Studios somewhat took me out of enjoying something as much as I could have otherwise.  To see a match like this in person and be virtually silent at times is mind-boggling to me.  The initial match between these 2 in London took place in front of a special crowd and I probably made the mistake of comparing the circumstances somehow in my mind while watching it.  It just simply did not have as big of a feel as a result and I think the 3rd match will be better.  Again, I liked the match but it felt like it will be the lowest ranked one in their series.  The ref again being out of position on the 3-count was the storyline here as we head into next week.     

Favorite Moment - I liked The Submission Match between Eric Young and Bobby Roode the most.  It was shades of Ronnie Garvin Vs Greg Valentine.

Least Favorite Moment - The KnockOuts stood out least to me and were somewhat forgettable this week.

MVP of the Night - The wrestler who gained the most out of the episode was Magnus as his reputation and potential have rebounded tremendously in recent weeks.

Grade - I enjoyed the show but it wasn't as good as some of the tremendous episodes of late.  I will give it a B- overall.

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