My apologies for not updating this blog in so long, but I can promise it will be done so regularly from here on out. Why? Because with Impact’s new timeslot change, I am more motivated to review the show because I can get all my thoughts in before the Sandman he comes….
Tonight, I review the second of the Summer 2120 live Impacts. The short review is that this was a better show than last week, and I believe the best show in several weeks. The long form review is as follows.
Impact opened with the fallout of Dixie’s rage that closed last week’s show. She was shown going out to the production truck yelling at the production people for why they would air stuff at Christopher Daniels’ command. She had a real potty mouth with her thoughts. In a way she has a point though. How can wrestler Christopher Daniels command a production crew to air audio over a live feed? What stops people in the production truck from just saying “No”?
This brought us to the live part of the show, where Dixie tried to address the accusations. She said she was going to come clean and tell the truth. But confound it that pesky duo of Daniels and Kazarian wouldn’t allow it. They somehow had their music play as they came to the ring for the obligatory opening promo interruption. He said that Dixie is a woman, and had a void that her husband couldn’t fill, and that she turned to AJ to fill that void. Dixie was furious and slapped Daniels. Daniels yelled at Dixie to not lay hands on him, and backed her into a corner. This brought the rallying AJ for the save, and he didn’t even wait for his music to hit… Dixie ran Daniels and Kazarian out of the ring. Dixie’s husband Serg then came to the ring, made sure Dixie was OK, decked AJ with a punch, and left. Obviously he was angry that Dixie never bothered to give any rational explanation in all their nights together over these past several weeks. Anyways Dixie and AJ wound up leaving together as they went to break.
Back from break, they replayed the antics from before. Crimson was introduced for a match. A backstage camera revealed that his opponent was Austin Aries. Somehow the X-Division Champion facing an undefeated giant is not worth advertising beforehand. Anyways Samoa Joe warned Aries that his accidental spraying of him with hairspray had better been accidental. Aries pretty much blew Joe off and stepped out for his match.
Match 1: Austin Aries vs. Crimson – There was nothing terribly memorable about this match to me. Crimson threw around Aries, and Aries rallied with some speed and agility. In the end Samoa Joe came out to smack Aries behind the ref’s back. Crimson covered Aries for the win.
Winner: Crimson The good of this is it builds to an Austin Aries/Samoa Joe PPV match. The bad is it shows how shallow the X-Division really is since there are no X-Division heels to challenge for the title. Ultimately I am looking forward to this match, because I;m sure it will be fine. But it does nothing for the division, since it’s now been established that Joe can no longer compete for the title.
Backstage, Brooke Hogan made her way to the Knockouts dressing room where Velvet, Mickie, Tara, and Brooke Tessmacher all were. She introduced herself and said that she had booked all four of them in a four way #1 contenders match. The girls all seemed cool with this. Brooke also said that Velvet would be appearing in a future Montgomery Gentry music video, which all the girls liked except Mickie. Mickie of course has her own country music career, so she has an onscreen reason to feel jilted by this.
Back in the Impact Zone, Hulk Hogan made his way to the ring. He talked about the ten year anniversary of the company, and then tried to make an announcement. He said that the World Title would be defended next week. Bobby Roode’s music hit (again, somehow wrestlers can demand their music be played on the spot) and he came to the ring to confront Hogan. Roode said Hogan was not showing him proper World Champion respect. Roode claimed that if Hogan was a true manager, he’d get out of “his ring” and go back to the office. There was a tense moment teased with Hogan and Roode, before Sting’s music played and Sting ran out to make the save. Apparently AJ Styles has lost the ability to cue up his music on command. Anyway Roode tried to attack Sting, but Sting shrugged it off and chased Roode up the ramp and out of site.
After a commercial, Jospeph Park, Esq. was backstage talking to the camera saying that he fights for Truth and Justice (apparently not The American Way, that’s Superman’s gig…).
Match #2: Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky vs. Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara – Apparently Brooke is back to being simply Miss Tessmacher. This was much longer than most womens matches, and lasted through a commercial break. The end saw the usual sequence of everybody hitting their signature moves, which is fine because that’s something we watch for. Tessmacher got a rollup pin on Mickie for the win.
Winner: Miss Tessmacher. She will challenge Gail (again) for the Knockouts Title.
Backstage Bully Ray produced what he said was a new contract that he would sign tonight to face Joseph Park.
Also backstage, Hogan was shown talking on the phone with AJ, pleading with him to get back to the ring in time for the main event match.
Jeremy Borash was in the ring at a new pedestal (which was leaked on Twitter) to introduce the contract signing. Bully Ray made his way to the ring, followed by Jospeh Park. Park still has not quite figured out how to enter through the ropes. Ray presented Park with a new contract, one that excused him of all ramifications for the match at Slammiversary. Park was originally reluctant to sign it, as he claimed to never have been in a fight in his life. Ray tried goading him into signing. Suddenly, Abyss showed up on the screen, proclaiming that he had warned his little brither Joseph to stay away. But since he hasn’t Abyss may have to step in. Joseph flipped out over this, but Ray laid him out. There is a logical payoff to this (as there is the Dixie/AJ story) but I will get to that later.
Devon was shown backstage asking Garrett Bischoff to be in his corner tonight.
A flashback was shown for last week’s Gut Check results, with Taz getting in Joey Ryan’s face. Taz reiterated from the announcer’s booth that his original point still stood. Prove him wrong and come back in a few months.
Match #3 – TV Title: Devon(c) vs. Robbie E. – Nothing really to write home about. Robbie T accompanied Robbie E, Garrett accompanied Devon. There was some interference, and Devon beat Robbie E.
Winner: Devon to retain the title. This was to sell a tag match at the PPV. Yawn…
Hulk Hogan again came tot the ring to try making his announcement again. He was interrupted again. This time by Mr. Anderson. After Anderson got his full intro, Hogan called out RVD and Jeff Hardy. Each of them got full ring intros. But then again Hogan is the GM and called for them, so I can see why they get the full entrance treatment…
Hogan said he was trying to determine a #1 contender, and decided to have the winner of Anderson/RVD/Hardy at the PPV be the man that challenges next week on Impact. Way to turn those PPV buys into ratings there, Hulk.
Match #4:Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, and Bobby Roode vs. Kurt Angle, Sting, and AJ Styles – AJ was not able to make it for the match, so it became a 2 on 3 handicap match. Sting was beat around for most of the match as Angle waited for the hot tag. Before the bad guys could strike the killing blow, AJ Styles was able to run out to the ring. Styles rallied his team, and knocked out Daniels, Kaz, and Angle with an over the top rope plancha. Sting was left in the ring with Roode, where he made Roode tap to the Scorpion Deathlock once again.
Winners: Sting, Kurt Angle, and AJ Atyles. This makes a measure of Wrestling 101 sense if Roode retains at the PPV. TNA has built the reputation of leaning on established stars when they feel they are in danger. However, given the story being told with Storm, and that Sting has beaten Roode now Twice on free TV, I think the result at the PPV will be Roode retaining the title yet again. The post match showed Sting holding up the title to Roode.
Conclusion: Again, I thought this was an entertainging show. I would give it a B- if I had to issue a grade. Not bad but could have had come improvement. And it also did not make me any more motivated to see Sting/Roode. As far as the payoffs, there are two that could make the last few months of storytelling make sense.
First off, the AJ/Dixie storyline. What would make sense is that AJ and Dixie were planning some sort of surprise party for Serge. Birthday, Anniversay, whatever. That would explain why the phone call was so covert, because they didn’t want Serge to know about the surprise. AJ’s wife (whom AJ acknowledged onscreen last week) could even be part of it, having been in the hotel room Dixie and Aj were walking into a few weeks back. This would serve its purpose of making the heels look like jerks and the faces look noble, and giving them a reason to hate each other. Whether this actually happens or not remains to be seen.
Secondly, I think the most logical payoff for the Joseph Park/Bully Ray story is for Park to have been playing with Ray all along. Joseph looks and carries himself different enough from Abyss that it can be understood why Ray would not have figured out that they are one and the same. So at the big match at the PPV, Joseph Park come to the ring, and then puts on the Abyss mask, or does some other mannerisms to show that his is Abyss. Ray then craps his pants, gets beat up, and you have the next chapter to the story.
Anyway those are my thoughts. I welcome your feedback in the forums or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll see you next time when I start reviewing every Godzilla movie ever made.