TNA Impact Wrestling returned last night (Dec. 27, 2012) with a taped show featuring Open Fight Night and all the usual nonsense from the promotion.
The good news is there was some good to go along with it.
Click here to get full results and the running live blog. Now let's get right to reactions from the show.
- There are times when TNA taping at Soundstage 21 makes for an uncomfortable viewing experience, and I mean that literally. When Brooke Hogan and Bully Ray are having a lover's quarrel and they don't even need to use a microphone for us to hear their every word, it's awkward. Maybe that was the intent, for us to feel how they are supposed to feel but Brooke is an awful actor and Bully isn't capable of expressing any emotion other than anger or rage. He's become a hell of a performer but let's not pretend he has a lot of range.
- Speaking of those two, why does Bully want Hulk's respect so much? Why does he care if Hulk cares about him at all, especially if he's not really doing much with Brooke other than an occasional makeout session backstage? How weird is it for Bully Ray of all people to want Hulk Hogan's acceptance? It makes no sense and is one of the big reasons this storyline is stupid.
- When Samoa Joe was on the verge of unmasking the latest Aces and 8s member, what was the thought going through your head? Was it anything like: "Hmm, I wonder which former WWE jobber this will be"? Because that was mine, and it's the chief reason the entire group is a massive failure. Time to bail on Eric Bischoff's masturbatory biker club stable.
- Not until Sting comes back though, I guess, and the rumor mill tells us they might be dragging this thing out to Lockdown in March. Joy.
- Oh, I almost forgot, the group is in the middle of trying to recruit Mr. Anderson of all people. And their recruiting effort consisted solely of throwing two women who have no respect for themselves at him and letting him have his way with them, this after the impression was given earlier in the night that Doc had done the dirty with them himself. This was a disgusting waste of a segment in every way. Anderson might actually deserve to be shackled to these dumb jobbers.
- What are the chances Rob Van Dam smoked like five blunts before going out for that disaster of a promo calling out Christian York? It couldn't be any more obvious that he just doesn't give two shits about what he's doing. He's still in good enough shape and can still work a fine match but I was pretty sure I saw some smoke coming out of his mouth when he started his promo. At least he's honest and always himself.
- This might shock you, but I dig Robbie E. I think he's got talent and while his character is insanely annoying and I hate seeing him, I think that's more a testament to how good he is performing as said character. It's go away heat, though, and that's the issue. That "bro-off" last night was just awful in every way. I do not ever, for the remainder of the time I'm on this rock we call Earth, want to watch Robbie T do pelvic thrusts in a dimly lit ring while he's smiling up at me. Ever. Never, never again.
- Seriously, what in the fuck.
- On to the two high points of the show. The first being the tag team of Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, who absolutely come off like two guys who have expiring contracts and are just having a great time doing whatever they want before they leave. They're awesome as the smart ass heels who don't give a shit what anyone thinks. Kaz's AJ Styles impression may have been his best work. They're match with Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez was also entertaining.
- Finally, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode continue to make me wish they were doing what they're doing on a much grander stage. Can you imagine how much better they would look if they were working in front of 10,000 people at a WWE pay-per-view (PPV)? And I don't even mean I want them working for WWE, just that I want them getting that kind of exposure in front of bigger audiences who actually paid money to get in. I can't think of anything more entertaining than two awesome heels exchanging underhanded tactics while the referee gets increasingly pissed off until finally snapping and the heels teaming up to beat him down before realizing they still hate each other and fighting again. That's what happened last night and it was as amazing as it sounds. I also loved the fact that both guys found a way to put each other over in promos without affecting how much I wanted to see that match. And they did this as heels. That's talent, man, and it's being wasted in the small time.
This show generally sucked but Daniels, Kazarian, Aries, and Roode are such high spots that I'm willing to up the grade a full letter just for their contributions alone.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on the show. How did you like it?