Bully made a big deal about his joining the Twitter-verse and sent out his first tweet LIVE ON IMPACT. This changes everything. The Joseph Park came out and they did a good job of referring to their past while hyping their future match next week. The crowd is crazy hot for Joseph Park. Not many folks on the roster are getting this kind of response. Bully throws in his monkey wrench by saying he has a restraining order against Park's brother Abyss, so ol' Joe gonna have to get it done alone this time. Fun and relatively quick segment. I can't think of many reasons why a talking segment should go longer than this, which was about 7 minutes.
This was then followed up by Austin Aries and Hogan having a ridiculous awkward conversation. Hogan starts it off by gesturing to Aries' X-Division title and saying, "I need you to hand this belt over. Now. Later tonight. End of the show. Whenever you want." And it just got worse from there.
TV TITLE MATCH
CRIMSON vs. DEVON
Crimson was pretty bad in this. He's a big guy, but doesn't have a lot of presence. And his offense looked a little weak. Devon was fine, I guess, but he's not a particularly engaging champion.
After the match Madison Rayne revealed her crush to be Earl Hebner and gave him a big smooch. Even Hebner rolled his eyes afterwards. Oh well, at least it doesn't take up a lot of time.
CHRIS SABIN SHOULD DO SOMETHING ELSE
Sabin, who tore his ACL, again, gives a dry promo about how he might be considering retirement. Robert Roode comes out and gives a nice promo about how Sabin is just another example of the problems with the X-Division mentality. He mentions Jesse Sorenson and how they've ruined their bodies for little reward. He then brings it around to Austin Aries who he will make an example of at the PPV. He then kicks Sabin's leg out from under his leg(I wrote that on purpose folks) and beats on him until Aries makes the save. Really great idea for building the match and building the division before their PPV. The stakes are getting a little higher for this show, with Aries wanting to prove X-Division guys can be World Champions and the X-Division guys getting to showcase their style or wrestling...without crippling themselves, hopefully.
DAKOTA DARSOW vs. FLIP CASSANOVA(aka Flip Kendrick)
Not such a good match. Flip was trying to fit all his shit in but was moving at half speed like a practice, and Darso looked awkward. Both guys seemed a little unsure, and clunky in their execution. This felt kind of consistent with what I've seen of Flip on the indies, as he usually only looks good in multi-mans where he doesn't have to carry any type of structure.
GAIL KIM & MADISON RAYNE vs. TESSMACHER & TARA
Tara and Gail Kim looked like the only two who were wrestlers. Besides technical execution they just seemed like the only two comfortable in their bodies. It really just illustrates the gulf between female talent in American wrestling.
AJ STYLES TALKS TO DANIELS AND KAZ
The whole baby thing wasn't followed up very well, instead they kind of went into go home promo mode about why people should watch their match this Sunday. Out of the three, Daniels seemed like the only one, truly comfortable on the mic.
KENNY KING vs. LARS ONLY
That stupid bandana. Say you're in a fight and someone puts you in a headlock and your bandana comes off. Are you going to worry about it and try to hold it on? No. Say you're the guy putting on the headlock and your opponent's bandana comes off, are you going to worry about it and kick it out of the ring? No. That's what the ref is for. To clear the ring of debris. Lars is pretty bad beyond that. Goofy selling and weak offense. After the first bit I thought I was going to hate this, but about half way through Kenny King seemed to just take over and make everything feel right. That was kind of cool, actually. It felt like he went, "Hey, I need to make this count." and he didn't just fit his shit in, but tried to make the match work from a technical aspect. I appreciate that.
After the match, Kenny runs into Austin Aries and they explain pleasantries. Really cool moment there, that automatically put Kenny on people's radar as someone worth paying attention too - more so than his match.
JEFF HARDY vs. JAMES STORM
This wasn't very good at all. Half the match is James Storm looking tired and watching Jeff Hardy try to get up. And I couldn't really fathom what they were so exhausted for, they hadn't really done anything. And with Hardy's offense looking so limp it made even less sense. I actually liked the finish as Storm continually waiting for Jeff to get up bit him in the ass, because Jeff was ready to strike like a cobra and hit his Twist of Fate. Other than that, this was a clunker of no real substance.
H² (A² +R²)/X
So Hogan called out Aries to relinquish the belt and got Roode. Roode gave another promo this time saying that Austin Aries' destruction would be on Hogan's hand. Aries came in and gave a couple options, with the one that involved him taking his shirt off being the winner. Some decent talking that didn't go on forever, and Aries seriously looked like he belonged in that ring as a main event guy. I so want him to win at Destination X.
Wrestling content was weak. And it's not like they didn't try to give us something. The competitors just didn't come through. The storylines were handled pretty well overall. Another strong point for TNA is the way they break up the talking segments. They keep them relatively short and spread out over decent sized TV matches. WWE tend to open with 20 minutes of talking. the last few weeks TNA has kept nearly every segment under 7 minutes. And they get their point across very quickly. They may not have many great talkers(Aries, Roode, Bully, Joe Park, are the tops) but no matter what they get in and get the hell out so we can keep moving. Their backstage segments are edited well, and they pop in and out at the right time. TNA has worked on keeping this faster pace in the past and it just felt too frenetic. Now they've learned how to break things up in order to keep things moving but not to the point that you can't keep up.
And even though this show wasn't particularly good, TNA didn't feature segments and stories that interest me and make me want to watch more. Hell they even do a good job at building to future segments. In the WWE Joseph Parka vs. Bully Ray would have been announced when the show started, but here they've built interest for the TV rematch by giving it two weeks and hyping it.
So yeah, it's not a great show, but they seem to have figured a lot of stuff out to keep my attention, so they get props for that.