TNA Impact returned to Spike TV last night (Sept. 12, 2013) from St. Louis, Missouri, featuring the No Surrender event that showcased the Bound for Glory Series coming to a conclusion and a heavyweight championship match.
Check out the live blog with full results right here. Now, let's get to the reactions:
- There were four matches that took place on this show, all of them given just the right amount of time for what they were trying to accomplish. Actually, the pacing of this show may have been better than any pro wrestling show I've watched all year, right on par with that "A+" episode of SmackDown a couple weeks back.
- AJ Styles and Austin Aries tore the house down and provided a perfect backdrop to the argument that guys can lose clean without losing heat. Styles looks better for having come out on top in such an epic back-and-forth battle but Aries didn't come out of this looking any worse for the wear. He's still a top guy, capable of popping into the main event scene whenever needed. What a fantastic match. The psychology, that they knew each other so well they were constantly countering all their signature spots, was exactly as it should have been.
- Magnus vs. Bobby Roode wasn't as good, but Roode did exactly what he needed to so Magnus looked like he legitimately belonged in the final with AJ. That was always the idea here, and with as bad as the BFG Series was botched in the past couple weeks, there was serious doubt that was even possible. Yet, that's what happened. It was a shorter match, but the crowd was into it because of the work of those involved.
- Finally, Styles vs. Magnus was a much better than expected main event that the St. Louis crowd helped make really special. The fact that it was the final of the couple months long Series actually felt like a big deal here, unlike in times past. Styles was always going to be the winner and while I'm not exactly enamored with his story, at least he's got one that makes some semblance of sense and he's probably the right guy for Bully Ray to drop the belt to next month.
- One issue with the BFG Series Final match: Why did Roode and Bad Influence promise to ruin the match after Roode lost to Magnus then come out for the main event to attack him and Styles before just leaving once three referees came down to push them to the back? There was an attack, it lasted a minute or two, then the match just went along as planned. It felt odd and unnecessary, unless the idea is for E.G.O. to feud with the Main Event Mafia going forward. We'll see.
- Speaking of Ray, he was great all night, from arguing with Hulk Hogan in the opening segment, to pleading with Mr. Anderson to just apologize, to his rallying cry to his Aces and 8's troops, to the Last Man Standing brawl with Anderson, to how hellishly special he was heeling it up taking Anderson out while he was being stretchered to the back. Just outstanding work all the way around.
- I think Anderson's role last night was to turn full fledged babyface but he's such an awful character, it didn't really work. Not for me, at least. Maybe you feel differently and that's fine, but there are zero redeeming qualities about this man. Getting back up again and again to take such a harsh beating from the top heel on the roster isn't enough to make me like/care about this man. He's still awful in every way.
- Hulk Hogan told T.J. Perkins that when he puts on the Manik mask, it's like Hulkamania in its heyday when Hogan would "hulk up". He actually said that without a hint of irony, or sarcasm, or smart assery. Amazing.
- Glad Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz are off television for the time being. It actually sounded like they were written off until at least after their Nov. 2 fight on Bellator pay-per-view. I'm absolutely on board with this.
- If I never have to hear James Storm talk about drinking beer again, it will be too soon. Just shut up with it.
This was actually a damn good show, as TNA delivered big with a big event up against a terrible football game -- that atrocity from the Patriots and Jets on NFL Network -- that likely had little effect on the rating.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts in the comments section below. Did you dig last night's show?