Much like Monday’s RAW (read my review here), this week’s IMPACT had a tough act to follow from the previous week. The first show taped in London was a big success for TNA, with the fans providing the atmosphere TNA craves on a weekly basis. This week, the show began with the exact same atmosphere; showing just why TNA needs to move out of their permanent home, the IMPACT Zone. These thoughts were echoed by TNA wrestler Samoa Joe earlier this week, too: http://www.wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2012/0209/549534/samoa-joe/
The show began with a rather lacklustre promo between Bully Ray and Bobby Roode. While the promo may have fallen short of expectations, it still showed why Bully Ray is a top heel in TNA, and has been for a long time. He is very good on the mic and is so good at his job: annoying the live audience.
Following this was AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels. In the past these two guys have put on some classics, proving they have great chemistry from being best friends from both outside and inside the ring. The two are currently rivals in this storyline, but still showcased their great work with a pretty good back and forth match that began fast paced before being slowed by Daniels. The match finished with Daniels winning after using some knuckle dusters, which makes sense for the storyline going into the Pay Per View (PPV), Against All Odds on Sunday 12th February.
Maybe the biggest surprise from the past few months in TNA/IMPACT WRESTLING is the explosive duo of Magnus and Samoa Joe. The team have impressed both in the ring and on the mic and it shows with the crowd in London showing them a lot of love with huge cheers of adoration. They deserve the praise they get too, with Samoa Joe being a long-time staple of TNA and Magnus being one of the most improved guys of recent months. Magnus’ promo was spot on, especially a line where he corrected ‘UK’ to simply ‘England’ and followed it up with “THIS. IS. ENGLAND.” which worked the crowd into a patriotic frenzy. Their opponents at Against All Odds, TNA Tag Team Champions Crimson and Matt Morgan, played the roles of party poopers when they arrived to brawl with the relatively new team, but still expect Magnus and Joe’s popularity and in-ring ability to propel them to Tag Team Championship glory at Against All Odds on the 12th February.
Next up was the X-Division. Once a staple of TNA’s wrestling product, the X-Division is experiencing a continued revival that began around a year ago, to the delight of the majority of fans. The match on this show, a triple threat between England’s very own Douglas Williams, one half of legendary TNA tag-team the Motor City Machine Guns Alex Shelley and current TNA X-Division Champion Austin Aries, was, unfortunately, nothing more than average. The match was slowed down by Doug Williams, who was only in the match because he’s from the UK and because it would be stupid of TNA to give away Alex Shelley vs Austin Aries for free when they are scheduled for a match at Against All Odds. While it may not have been great, it still provided a few flashpoints of X-Division flavoured entertainment for the fans as a small taste of what’s to come at the Against All Odds PPV.
The storyline between Garett Bischoff and his father, Eric Bischoff is, in my opinion, the worst storyline TNA are currently running. I see it as equivalent to the John Cena/Kane storyline happening over on RAW and it’s painful to watch which is why it gets this little coverage in this review.
The only way is up from here though, right? Right! Mickie James vs Velvet Sky (two members of TNA’s Knockout (see: female) division) if you hadn’t guessed from the names, put on a match that may not have been perfect, but it still showed both women is a positive light, something TNA is very good at when compared to WWE’s Diva (see: female) division.
Finally, the show ended with a main event that saw the team of Bully Ray and Bobby Roode face James Storm and Sting. ‘The Insane Icon’ Sting was greeted by chants of “You’re A Legend” from the fans in London; chants thoroughly deserved by Sting. A fun main event that the crowd were into. Bully Ray provided some top quality entertainment by shouting out random lines during the match, whilst at the same time backing it up with some good wrestling. Bully Ray then left Roode high and dry when Roode was forced to tap out to Sting’s Scorpion Deathlock. Against All Odds will definitely be interesting when it comes to the TNA Championship.
A pretty good show overall leading into the Against All Odds PPV. This broadcast left a lot of questions to be answered at the PPV like: can Shelley pin Austin Aries again to become TNA X-Division Champion? What will happen in the TNA World Championship match? And that’s what a show before a PPV should do to try and get as many people to buy the show as possible.
What to watch:
- AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels
- The Magnus & Joe segment
- Bully Ray & Bobby Roode vs James Storm & Sting
So, what did you think of IMPACT WRESTLING this week? Leave a comment below or tweet me your views (@DeadmanDRB).