TNA Impact Wrestling returned to Spike TV last night (March 14) with the go-home show for the Lockdown pay-per-view (PPV) coming live out of the Sears Centre Arena in Chicago, IL.
It was an all around good show. For TNA, at least.
Click here to get full results and the running live blog. But now, let's get to the reactions!
- There's something very cool out TNA getting out of the Impact Zone. Everything is just better in a full sized arena. The matches look better, the energy feels better, even the music sounds better. I know touring is costing TNA a fortune, but it is completely worth it for how great the product comes across.
- Bully Ray is the NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion and the President of Aces & 8s. The former is a very good thing; the latter, not so much. However, there may be some hope that Bully is bringing the masked group up. This could be an entirely different Aces & 8s we are seeing. They have a leader. They have a direction. They have strength. The whole "run away from Hulk Hogan and Bully" thing now actually makes sense if you think about it in terms of having Bully earn his father-in-law's trust. If we draw a line in the sand and call everything before Sunday's Lockdown (March 10) "Before Bully" and everything later "After Bully," I think I can handle this a bit easier.
- That being said, the group is still stupid. They spend all show in their secret clubhouse drinking beer and planning raids on the talent. The fact they stood strong to close to show is significantly better, but we're still closing the show on a Aces & 8s vs. TNA brawl. Bully's skill can only improve this hodgepodge team of jobbers and has beens so much. I'm glad that they are on the way up, but I think it's a low ceiling.
- The way the show was set up, everyone had to work around the goliath time sink that is Aces & 8s. It's a shame too, because there were a few moments that were actually good.
- Austin Aries and Bobby Roode continue to be the greatest thing the promotion has. Whether it's bickering with Sting in matching "Dirty Heels" t-shirts to Aries having an actually entertaining match with the aforementioned
hackSting, These two should be getting far more screen time than they are.
- Christopher Daniels and Kazarian coming out in Road Warriors' facepaint was brilliant heeling that only they could pull off. They continue to prove to be having the most fun in all of pro wrestling, and it shows every time they step in the ring. James Storm coming out and stacking up Daniels for the pinfall was disappointing, but it all led to...
- The return of AJ Styles, and he is taking out everybody! He's taking out Daniels and Kazarian! He's taking out Storm! He's taking out his razors and throwing them away! This is the new, stubbled filled AJ Styles. I, for one, am very excited to see where this heads.
- Gail Kim, Tara, Mickie James, and Velvet Sky put on a fun tag team Knockouts match. The big angle coming out of it is Kim and Knockouts referee Taryn Terrell continue to bicker and lay hands on each other. I don't know how either of them can get away with doing that, so expect this to be dropped for two weeks before randomly being picked back up.
- As much as I love Joseph Park, he should be getting stomped by Matt Morgan Why? Because Morgen is a freak of nature and should be stomping over everyone. The man looked good in the ring, and even got some chants from the Chicago faithful. It's almost a shame he isn't working for that other promotion.
- Park -- a Chicago native -- trying to use his hometown Chicago Cubs to get a cheap pop, only for it to backfire with the pro-Chicago White Sox -- although I guess they could be Milwaukee Brewers fans that far north? -- crowd was just beautiful. Nice save by using the Chicago Blackhawks, though, Park.
- Rob Terry is a boss. That is all.
All told, a decent show from TNA. It really is a shame the promotion is putting all its eggs in the proverbial masked basket. Aces & 8s is getting better, but there's still far too much time being spent on in.
What say you, Cagesiders? How are you enjoying this new iteration of TNA and Aces & 8s? Feel free to let me know how right -- or how wrong -- I am in the comments.