An image Bobby Roode couldn't handle seeing. Photo by ImpactWrestling.com.
The latest live episode of TNA Impact aired last night (July 12, 2012) on Spike TV and featured all the fallout from Destination X and a few new wrinkles to a few tired angles.
Let's skip the pleasantries and get right to reactions.
- Just to get it out of the way, I really was resolved in not live blogging Impact after last week. The show was bad, though it had its strong points, and made me feel like I was watching entirely too much wrestling. When you already have to stomach Raw every Monday and Smackdown on Friday's while working two sites and trying to maintain some level of sanity, adding Impact and all its bullshit to the mix just made me volatile. But then Destination X happened and it drew me back in. That speaks volumes as to how good that show was and, really, how well TNA does on pay-per-view. If they never held Impact and only ran PPV shows, I think I would watch every one.
- Anyway, on to last night's show. Using Twitter to get heat is fine but this whole "tweet while I'm in the ring and proudly proclaim I'm trending worldwide at my appointed time because I'm that damn good even though I'm wrestling on a program that hardly anyone watches and most that do hate" deal is stupid. You don't send a tweet and then trend worldwide. And even if you trend worldwide, that means absolutely nothing, other than a few people on Twitter are talking about you. Congratulations, you're a douche bag.
- I can definitely get behind this new wrinkle in the Joseph Park character, where he flips out when he sees blood and turns into an entirely different person. In fact, I think it would have been better to start with this in mind and have him slowly lose his mind and become Abyss. Of course, there are some loop holes in that idea but they could be fleshed out. I'm not sure where this is all headed anyway but last night kept me invested with the new wrinkle.
Thoughts on the rest of the show after the jump.
- Psychology in pro wrestling has to be the most underrated aspect of any given match. While Samoa Joe and Rob Van Dam didn't exactly tear the house down with their short BFG Series match last night, they introduced a level of psychology that is so often sorely lacking. Joe, who already has the nickname and reputation of a submission machine, has amassed most of his Series points thanks to submission wins. So when he's in a Series match and going too hard for a submission, it should cost him every now and again. See? Easy and entertaining storytelling.
- Crackhead Claire caught smoking on camera while pregnant? Come on, TNA.
- Then again, whatever. The fact that they would watch her go out to the ring, put on one of the worst performances in pro wrestling history, the crowd fail to react to her in any way at all, and still stick with her shows how dense TNA can be. AJ Styles is now the father of her baby and she has now confirmed as much. Or at least accused him of as much. He denies it, of course, for whatever reason. Then later he acts like he's not sure. How can you not be sure? Did she sleep creep you or something? Either way, the only way an angle like this works is if it's unintentionally hilarious or a parody that we're all in on. This is neither. We're supposed to buy this as serious acting and baby momma/daddy drama has no place in pro wrestling.
- Loved the simple set up to the Dakota Darsow vs. Zema Ion match. Darsow is friends with Jesse Sorensen, the guy who had his neck broken by Ion, and now he wants revenge, especially in light of how Ion acted afterwards. It works. The match was solid and the Ion gets heat on himself as champion for playing up the real life storyline. As long as Sorensen is okay with it, I like it.
- Maybe I'm the only one but I absolutely adored Bobby Roode last night. Here's a guy who just lost his world heavyweight title, the belt he held longer than anyone else in the history of the company, to a guy he called nothing more than a joke, a failure who would come up short in his one big shot after giving up the X Division title. Instead, he's the one who failed and he's left to deal with that however he can. Keep in mind, this is a guy who was willing to do anything he had to in order to keep his belt. His response to all this was perfect. He came to the ring in a daze, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there was anyone else around him. He was singularly focused on the world heavyweight title that Austin Aries was holding as his own. That's Roode's belt and he was so upset at losing it and no longer being able to say it's his, he could barely speak properly. All he could muster, essentially, was a primal scream, like a pissed off ape on a rampage. He was like Gollum and the belt his precious. He eventually got his words out, with his best argument, though it was weak, being that Aries' win was a fluke. He's reaching with that, and that's how it should be. He's a desperate man. Roode's performance last night was outstanding. Aries, the confident, borderline cocky champion helped it along by flaunting it in Roode's face. It was beautiful. The entire segment was amazing.
- If Brooke Hogan's dresses get any shorter, TNA is going to need to blur out her midsection. Seriously, put some clothing on, lady.
- Speaking of Hogan, putting her on commentary was awesome. Not because she was any good but because she was so laughably bad. Tazz and Mike Tenay were doing their best to make her look better but they're both limited so it didn't work in the slightest. "I know more about wrestling than people think. I grew up around it," she says. As if that's some great qualifier. And as she continues talking about how much she knows, she doesn't demonstrate what it is exactly she knows. She could have done so simply by naming a move Gail Kim or Brooke Tessmacher executed during their match or hell, even used some pro wrestling lingo. But she just kept acting like she knows wrestling because her dad is Hulk Hogan and she is Brooke Hogan, daughter of Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan. Hulkster. Hulkamania running wild. Brookemania. Brookester.
- How Kurt Angle manages to get so much out of his run down body is amazing. Mr. Anderson is terrible in every way, other than being serviceable inside the ropes. Their match was good and Anderson lost. What more can I ask for?
- I'm not sure I could care any less who attacked Sting. The crew of guys look like a bunch of depraved biker's who are lost in Orlando. My beef isn't even necessarily with the angle itself so much as the execution. For starters, they play Hogan's music not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES before finally showing that he was attacked backstage. I mean, are we supposed to believe Hogan was taking a nap at the Guerilla position and his music needed to be stopped and started multiple times to wake him up? Are we supposed to believe he was just going to appear on the third play of his music? If he had, we would never let them live it down. It was dumb.
- On top of that, once they did finally show Hogan laid out and bleeding in his office, it was his daughter, Brooke, who came to his rescue. The same Brooke in heels and a short dress with her tits and cooter almost popping out. I'm to believe she came in and battled off all these guys from beating on Hulk? Really?
- Finally, Sting is utterly terrible at taking a beating. He doesn't sell, he just lays there. He was literally just laying in a fetal position while like eight guys kicked and punched him. If you can't bother to actually act like you give a shit about it, Stinger, why should we?
Despite my misgivings with a few aspects of this show, it wasn't all that bad. The stuff with Roode and Aries is so over the top good, it's worth sifting through shit to get to.
What did you think of the show last night, Cagesiders?