TNA Impact returned to Spike TV last night (June 6, 2013) from Atlanta, Georgia, featuring its latest effort with all the fallout from the Slammiversary pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in Boston, as well as the debut of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Click here to get full results and the running live blog. Now let's get right to reactions:
- Let's start with Rampage Jackson and his big debut and why TNA did it the right way: For starters, they played him up like a big star because, well, that's what you should do in a situation like this. And for one of the first times ever, he was treated like that by the fans. Did you see all those fancy phone cameras directed at him during his howling entrance? The dude is a legitimate former star who, at one time, drew a million buys on PPV for a non-title fight under the UFC banner. That's impressive under any metric at any time. He's got the chops to be a star, too, and that showed in his brief segment with Kurt Angle. Sure, he was shaky and a bit nervous at first, but once he turned it on, his intensity was solid and his star power more than makes up for it. He's got presence too. That's important.
- Plus, that howl can get over big in the pro wrestling world. So can the chain. He's a guy the company can monetize, and fast, if they know how to handle him. The problem, of course, is no one has any confidence that that will be the case. Asking him to simply have an intense staredown with Angle, himself one of the more intense guys on the roster, was a smart play for his debut. But what's next?
- Now let's talk about Brooke Hogan, because -- and I know you're going to want to kill me here -- I'm really, really looking forward to heel Brooke Hogan. Face Brooke Hogan who follows in daddy's footsteps and calls all the Knockouts "girl" and has that bubbly fake smile plastered on her face at all times is hard to stomach. But what would a heel Brooke look like? I'm so curious to find out.
- That being said, I didn't like how they advanced that angle last night. Hulk Hogan sneaking up on Bully Ray to bash him over the head with a hammer? Come on. Just ... come on. And Brooke running up in high heels without speaking to save him? Come on. Just ... come on. And Bully turning around noticing as much and not laying Hogan out despite being the biggest, baddest heel on the roster and Hulk being 987-years-old with a bum hand? Come on. Just ... come on.
- Alright, I'm done with the come on stuff.
- Actually, no I'm not. That's because: A hammer ladder match? Come on. Did Vince Russo come back for the night and get the book back? You bring Jeff Hardy back and book him in a ladder match, that's great, but you put a hammer up there to let him get down? If you're going to have him lose anyway, why not make it a title match and really try to hook your viewer? I don't get it. Sure, it made sense storyline wise, what with Aces and 8s killing everyone with that very hammer, but come on. Just ... come on.
- Why did Hogan bother talking up next week as the Bound for Glory Series Selection Show only to have multiple BFG Series qualifying matches later on? By the way, Samoa Joe deserves a good run while Hernandez should stay near the bottom with Jay Bradley.
- I don't even want to talk about this Abyss/Joseph Park thing anymore. I get it, you want to tell a long term storyline and there's an added focus on not just dropping an angle, but I can't care anymore. I just can't.
- I can care about Mickie James, who is working an awesome heel character that feels really fresh. The way she's messing with Velvet Sky is the best. She even got a decent little match out of Taeler Hendrix. Hey, wait a minute, who the fuck is Taeler Hendrix?
- What's there to say about the six-man tag team match? Great work from all involved. Super surprised that Gunner actually got chants when he wasn't even in the match. Is he actually getting over?
This was your typical episode of Impact. I wasn't blown away by anything, had some problems with the way things were booked, and the wrestling was mostly good.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts in the comments section below.