TNA Impact returned to SpikeTV last night (April 25, 2013) from the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
It was, in typical TNA fashion, a decent show with a horrendous ending.
Click here to get full results and the running live blog. But now, let's get to the reactions!
♠ Let's just jump right to the bull[explicit], because it's far too big to bury the lede. Last night's Impact Wrestling closed with Hulk Hogan running off Bully Ray with a few heavy right hands. Which in and of itself is stupid as all hell. But fine. We can say Bully wasn't expecting it. I don't like it, but I can accept it. Then Aces & 8s surrounded the ring and were about to lay the beat down on Hulk. Which is exactly what should happen. The gang has been booked strong recently, and attacking an aging Hulk would draw serious heat from the marks in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Then the lights went off, and a mysterious figure entered the ring. Who could it be? Was the AJ Styles Saga taking a giant leap forward? Would Jeff Hardy be making an early return? Could Matt Morgan -- who demanded a title shot earlier in the show -- be turning over a new leaf by doing the right thing?
Nope! It's was Sting's old, fat ass. With his trusty baseball bat, he single-handedly ran off the entire Aces & 8s gang.
Because this is how TNA works.
Instead of trying to evolve the old WCW/nWo angle, Hogan & Co. are content to just repeat themselves at the expense of everyone else. TNA had finally built Aces & 8s back up, had made Bully a fighting champion, had seemed to finally turn a corner.
And now it's gone to hell because Hogan and
the fat old fart Sting need the spotlight.
We'll see how TNA will handle this moving forward. But if this is a sign for things to come, Impact will be hard to watch.
♣ James Storm came out to open the show to congratulate AJ Styles on beating him last week (April 18), which is a very friendly thing for Storm to do. This lead into Bad Influence coming out and asking James and Styles -- who was chilling in the stands -- to go on a Fortune reunion tour to battle Aces & 8s. I will rarely complain about a callback to an old storyline, especially one that has to do with stables. I love stables. I was probably a horse in a past life.
Anyways, Storm was none too pleased by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian's request, and voiced it in the only way he knows how; by fighting! The constant beer drinking must have killed a few brain cells, though, as the numbers were not in his favor. After BI laid him out, Aces & 8s came in to finish the job.
However! Joseph Park ran in to make the save! And by make the save, I mean eat a 3D through a table.
Callbacks, failed run ins, and beat downs delivered by the heels? This is Booking 101, and it worked perfectly.
Bad Influence were not done with their...influencing. Daniels & Kaz would try to convince Bobby Roode to reform Fortune. Austin Aries heard all of this -- because what else does he have to do besides stand creepily around the corner while his partner changes into his wrestling gear? -- and there was a tease towards a Dirty Heels breakup.
I will be sad if that does happen, but I don't want them to rot away in the Tag Team Division.
But not so fast! Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez retained the Tag Team Championship against Dirty Heels after Daniels accidentally laid Roode out. So even if Roode was considering rejoining his former stablemates, this will certainly be an obstacle Daniels & Kaz have to overcome.
So we have a potential reforming stable, multiple feuds waving together, the best talent in the promotion all within the same angle, and a story that is actually interesting and will keep fans tuning in to see what happens next.
Can anyone tell me why this isn't sitting on the top of the reaction post?
♥ We got to witness not one, but two separate Knockout matches last night. Which is awesome! Tara vs. Taryn Terrell was a really fun match between an old(er) veteran and a young up and comer. Tara is so damn good in the ring when she is allowed the time. She is honestly one of my favorite workers on the roster, and the fact she is beautiful does not hurt at all. Terrell is still green, but she looks like she has been improving by leaps and bounds in only a few short weeks. It helps that she was selling for the vast majority of the match, but still. I'm really impressed with her, and look forward to see how far she can come.
The fact Terrell went over via roll up, though, is just annoying. There is nothing that ruins a match more than witnessing such a weak ending.
Our second match -- and Impact's main event! -- saw Velvet Sky retain her Knockouts Championship against Mickie James. And...it was really weak. Sky may be amazing to look at, but I would be a much happier man if I didn't have to see another one of her jumping clotheslines. To compound the problem, it looked like Sky legitimately hurt her knee jumping over a charging James. Both women did their best to work it into the match, but something did not seem right after the spot.
And of course, the match ended with a horribly awkward roll up by Sky. I want to give her a pass because of the knee injury and all, but it was so damn bad.
♦ Rob Terry destroyed Jessie Godderz. As fun as Big Rob squashes are, this made C.J. sad. I also don't approve of Robbie E walking Jessie out to the ring instead of Tara. I swear to Zeus, if TNA has broken Tara & Jessie up, I will start flipping tables.
♠ Chris Sabin is coming back! Get excited!
TNA had momentum, yet it can't help but tripping on its own feet.
There is no reason Impact has to devolve into the Hulk Hogan & Sting show. Aces & 8s had finally overcome it's jobber status, but yet again is being run off by a pair of geriatrics. It's a shame too, because the show as a whole was entertaining.
Grade (Pre-Hulk & Sting): B-
Grade (Post-Hulk & Sting): D+
What say you, Cagesiders? Am I overreacting to Hulk & Sting stealing the spotlight, or am I not coming down hard enough? Let me know how right -- or how wrong -- I am in the comments.