TNA Impact aired tonight with another offering from their last set of tapings in Orlando. They have the No Surrender special next week. Let's see how they did to get us all excited for it.
Austin Aries comes down to the ring and calls out Bully Ray for not putting him in the #1 Contenders match for the TNA title. Bully says that Aries recently lost to Angle so he needs to work his way back up. Aries then asks for a tag championship match for the Dirty Heels. Bully shoots that down too since they just lost the Best of Five Series to the Wolves. He does offer him a shot at the X Division title.
Austin scoffs at that, saying "been there, done that." He says he's too good for that title. That title is for guys who will never be Heavyweight champion like Rockstar Spud. Spud comes down and tells Aries he respects him and hearing that from a guy he looks up to hurts him, especially since Aries did so much for guys like Spud when he created Option C. Aries tells Spud that he created Option C for Aries, no one else.
Austin tells Spud he'll give him a chance to prove he can hang with a guy like him next week. Spud says he'll show he can not just hang with him but he'll beat Aries. Double A says that if he loses to Spud, he doesn't deserve to be in Impact. That sets up a match for next week: Aries vs Rockstar Spud. If Spud wins, Aries leaves Impact. if Aries win, he takes the "Rockstar" moniker from Rockstar Spud.
This all plays as a set up to next week's No Surrender special. Unfortunately, the knowledge that Aries is in fact leaving TNA and has already worked in Ring of Honor since makes the suspense of that upcoming match null and the impact of this segment diminished.
Aries works as a fine heel here because he's Austin Aries and he's a great performer. His burial of the X Division did not quite work as heel heat like it should because the X Division has been garbage since he left it so it felt more like a sad reality than a heat seeker.
I'm intrigued for next week not to see who will win, but how well Aries puts over Spud on his way out. Austin Aries is one of the best in the game. I've noted before that Spud's offense seems limited in the ring. Next week against the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived will be a good time to show when the Rockstar really can do.
Chris Melendez comes to the ring with Kurt Angle for his match against Eric Young. Melendez cuts a quick promo where he says that he owns the fact he's lost to Young already. But he states that he does not accept defeat. He never has over seas in the military nor did he when he got back. He does not plan to now.
Chris Melendez is then defeated by Eric Young via pinfall after a pile driver.
This loss baffled me a bit. The story may be about Chris Melendez overcoming multiple defeats to claim finally victory over Eric Young. However, TNA has been so stop and go when it comes to this story. It's been technically going on for months since the Hardcore War in May when Young ripped off the Sarge's leg. But in that time they've had two matches and I think two segments otherwise. That's giving fans way too much time between the story to stay invested. I even thought it was over after their last match because it was so long before they mentioned it again.
And this is all a disservice to the Sarge. I've said it before, but he's someone they should be focusing on. He should have TV time fairly often. He's a ready made baby face who's a pretty good promo. Coming out and saying "I own my losses but as before, I will keep trying" is the best baby face promo there is. But unfortuantely he took an abrupt pile driver yet again to Young and we won't know for awhile if this story is over yet.
Another note: I've thought this prior but an Angle/Melendez tag team when Angle is healthy again would be a good thing for both men.
Brooke defeats Marti Bell (with distraction help from Gail Kim after the Doll House exploited their numbers) to retain the Knockouts title
This was one of those matches that suffered largely due to the predictability of the booking. It was clear that Marti Bell wasn't going to win the title. And I think many could have guessed that Gail was going to appear again since she is really the main foil to Taryn Terrell and not Brooke. We can likely expect this to happen when Brooke defends against Jade as well.
This isn't saying that TNA shouldn't have put the belt on Marti Bell to avoid predictability. But it may not have been wise to book a match where the fans can guess the repetitive outcome.
None of this does Brooke any favors either. She's been in the backseat of this entire story despite now being champion. Plus she hasn't won the title on her own nor defended it without help. Both times, Gail
Wyatt Kim mystically appeared to help even the numbers. While the help was to even the odds, this clearly isn't Brooke's story and it doesn't help Brooke nor the title she holds.
This could all have been done just the same without the "calling out" of Donald Trump. They could have advertised it as "Tigre Uno's exclusive on his thoughts on Donald Trump" and they wouldn't have had that foolish ending where they say "Wow, Trump was too much of a coward to show up."
- Everyone in the Storm/Magnus feud still giving it their all
- At least EC3 is back
- Real emotion from Jeff Jarrett in his promo
- Aries leaving lessened the impact of that segment
- That was the payoff to "Calling out Donald Trump?"
- Jeff Hardy continues to be an average at best promo
- TNA's pacing/booking of Melendez doesn't make sense
- Repetitive Knockouts segment that leaves the champ looking poor