TNA Impact Wrestling returned last night (Nov. 22) on Thanksgiving with a taped show featuring Open Fight Night, the return of all the Gut Check winners, and an explosive bombshell from Austin Aries.
Yes, folks, Brooke Hogan is getting a real storyline.
Let's get right to reactions from the show.
- It tickles me pink that the first real storyline Brooke Hogan is getting with TNA involves her allegedly getting busy with Bully Ray. And you know the Hulkster had to give his okay for this, so Ray was probably hand picked, which means Hulk is high enough on Ray that he's okay with letting him be in a storyline that calls for fans to think he's regularly boning down with Hulk's daughter.
- Austin Aries, by the way, was awesome as the antagonist in this scenario. He never quite fit as babyface champion because he's clearly best suited as the cocky heel, which he pulled off to perfection while talking down Brooke as the smarmy asshole. "If you're that hungry for some love, you didn't have to settle for the turkey, A Double would have gave you all the stuffing you can handle." That's perfect and came off great on TV.
- Bully Ray in a dress shirt? Bully Ray confused over his feelings for Brooke? Brooke confused over her feelings for Bully? Hulk caught in the middle and not knowing how to feel? I actually think this is compelling? Yeah, I think I actually think this is compelling.
- Christopher Daniels is a damn fine heel but I can't handle another match with AJ Styles. Sure, they deliver damn near every time but 658 matches is enough.
- Wes Briscoe's Gut Check was Garrett Bischoff? And this wasn't done ironically? I'm not entirely sure that's the case. The match wasn't worth the time they spent on it and goofy Kurt Angle being goofy and cheering everyone on just felt weird.
- I really wanted Joey Ryan on the TNA roster and now that he's here and regularly appearing on television, I'm underwhelmed. Am I the only one?
- Matt Morgan, on the other hand, is intriguing. I just can't help but wonder if his work is dying a slow death because of where he's plying it. If he was in WWE and doing the exact same thing he is now in TNA, he would be over as hell wouldn't he? I think so.
- Sam Shaw vs. Alex Silva was fun, awful sleeve tattoo notwithstanding.
- Jeff Hardy giving up all that offense to Christian York and really putting him over strong deserves applause. Really, he didn't have to do that and it would have been easy to take the night off and let the guy die in front of that crowd but Hardy actually wrestled like he was in there with another star. Kudos.
- The one Gut Check contestant who looked awful was Taeler Hendrix and based on her treatment, I'm guessing TNA is feeling similar. Why have her come back just to get dominated by Tara again?
- Eric Young might be gone thanks to those damn Aces and 8s but really no one cares anymore because he's a bigger star on his TV show and the Aces and 8s have X-Pac heat at this point. Seriously, though, could they be any more underwhelming? Where could this possibly be headed? It's pointless.
- You guys, Brooke Hogan is boning down with Bully Ray. This is phenomenal.
This show was centered on the return of the Gut Check winners but it was more of a Gut Check for fans of the product who had a pro football game on national television as another option.
Plus, it was Thanksgiving. They didn't need to put their best foot forward, though the final segment, as I've said so many times already, really had me tickled.
That's it from me, though, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to give us your thoughts on last night's episode of Impact in the comments section below.