Impact Review: 1/23/2014


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Second part of Genesis coming up. Time for Impact Wrestling.

Dixie Carter, Rockstar Spud, Magnus and lawyer backstage/Magnus, EC3 and Rockstar promo in-ring

Dixie is very anxious when Magnus arrives. The lawyer tells Magnus what Dixie already knows, somebody is attempting a hostile takeover of the company. The Board of Directors wants somebody in Sting’s corner for the title match. Magnus asks for the match to be no DQ and no countout to keep the playing field even, Dixie and the lawyer abide.

Magnus is furious because he believes Sting has been begging to get a man in his corner. Magnus attacks Sting’s character, until “The Icon” comes out. Magnus brings up when he made Sting tap out at Bound For Glory, and Sting says that he remembers that, but he’s a true champion who always gets up when he gets knocked down. Magnus hits Sting, but Sting comes back at him and keeps him down until Rockstar and EC3 get him. They attack Sting until Samoa Joe comes out for the save. As the other three men retreat, Sting announces that Joe will be the one in his corner.

After the commercial, Rockstar is freaking out about Joe. He wants to incapacitate Joe so he can’t interfere in the title match. Dixie suggests Rockstar go one-on-one with Joe, Rockstar is terrified, but reluctantly agrees.

My Take: The lawyer was really bad on camera. Other than that, the backstage portion was well done, but it was too long.

In-ring, Rockstar and EC3’s facial expressions and reactions to everything Magnus said were fantastic, they’re both very funny guys. I like the execution of all the guys in the ring, I just don’t like the addition of Joe to Sting’s corner. Too often, Sting’s matches don’t end clean, with somebody in his corner, the chances of this one ending clean are small.

Rockstar seems like he will get killed, but that match could have some shenanigans as well.

Gunner vs. James Storm (Briefcase on a pole match, briefcase contains World Title shot)

After stepping over Storm to originally win the briefcase, Gunner accepted the challenge from his former tag team partner to put the briefcase on the line again.

At the end, Storm took the briefcase off the pole while on Gunner’s shoulders, but Gunner hit a top rope electric chair. Storm lost control of the briefcase, essentially like a fumble in football. The two men fought on the ground for it, but Gunner gained possession and won the match.

My Take: I don’t like “___ on a pole” matches, ladder matches are much better, but to be fair, the styles of these two men probably fit the pole match better.

Ugly end to this match. Gunner should have gotten it on his own, Storm should have put Gunner over clean.

Kurt Angle backstage/Velvet Sky #365

Angle says if he doesn’t win, he doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, or in TNA at all.

After a video package recapping Austin Aries’ challenge for Chris Sabin to defend his title with Velvet locked in a cage, we saw a #365 video from Velvet. She received a package from Sabin with some contents, that she will “know what to do with” when the time comes. Including what looks like a lead pipe.

My Take: TNA does this a lot. They oversell a match, Angle’s win is too predictable now.

As for Velvet, she’s going to use the lead pipe. Either on Sabin, for their storyline breakup, or on Aries, finally turning heel after having a heel boyfriend all this time.

Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries (X-Division Championship match, with Velvet Sky in a cage)

Velvet comes to the ring with a bag. Good back-and-forth, but Sabin gains control late and goes for the bag, but he finds nothing but a teddy bear. Aries hits the brainbuster and wins the match and the championship.

My Take: That was a good match, it should have gotten more time. I like that Velvet didn’t directly interfere.

The Wolves pre-taped promo

The Wolves say that they don’t dance, they dominate. They were insulted that Dixie wanted them to tryout, and they’re glad that the new investor knew enough to sign them. Eddie Edwards announces that the mystery investor will be revealed next week.

My Take: Sorry Rhodes brothers, The (American) Wolves are the best tag-team on the planet. The WWE passed and TNA did a smart thing by picking them up.

Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode (Steel Cage Match, if Roode wins, Angle cannot accept a HOF induction)

Angle did a moonsault from the top of the cage, and did not hit it. A little miscommunication on the spot where Roode tried to crawl out of the cage, he had to crawl very slowly, because Angle was slow to get up. Angle ends up with the win by climbing out of the cage just before Roode crawls out the door.

My Take: I’ve said this in the past with WWE, when you do a match too many times in a short time frame, it becomes harder and harder to invest in. Even if it is Angle and Roode, who are two of the best in the business. The match was good, not great. Plenty of good spots, it just didn’t come together to be a great match.

EC3 and Rockstar backstage

EC3 walks in and sees Rockstar looking nervous. He compares him to a man dubbed “The American Dream”, and he dubs Rockstar “The British Dream”. EC3 fires up Rockstar, but he looks very unconvinced himself.

My Take: These guys are funny, and they do a great job together. EC3’s facial expression at the end was gold.

Bro-Mans and Zema Ion promo/Eric Young and Abyss attack/Samoa Joe backstage

Jessie, Robbie and Zema all get time on the mic, talking like “bros”. It’s obnoxious, but it’s funny. Taz had a good line at the end, “hashtag bad, annoying promo”.

Eric Young out first, he attacks but that doesn’t go well. Abyss out next with more success, he clears the ring. He puts EY in position for a chokeslam, but lets him go after EY pleads with him.

Backstage, Joe simply looks into the camera to tell Rockstar that he’s going to start tearing a path through this company, and he’s starting with him.

My Take: The Bro-Mans and Zema Ion do these characters right, especially with all the “hashtags”.

EY is good, he’s a very fun character that the crowd loves to get behind. I can’t stand Abyss, I get the size appeal, but he’s so clunky in the ring.

Joe scares me through the TV when he gets serious, that’s all I can really say about that.

Rockstar Spud vs. Samoa Joe/Joe post-match promo

Christy Hemme sounds much more serious when she introduces Samoa Joe. Rockstar got some offense in when he attacked Joe’s weak knee, but that didn’t last long. Joe hits the muscle buster, then makes Rockstar tap out.

Joe grabs the mic and says that to get Sting out of TNA, they’re going to have to go through him.

My Take: I don’t really know what to make of this. It makes you wonder why Dixie would put Rockstar in this match if she knew this would be the result. I’m going to hold judgement and see if this goes somewhere.

Joe can really sell his serious demeanor on the mic, anytime he does it, it boosts the storyline.

Magnus vs. Sting (World Championship Match, No DQ and no countouts, if Sting loses he loses his contract)

EC3 comes down mid-way through the match, but Joe gets in his face and EC3 retreats. EC3 returns with Bad Influence, Bad Influence attack Joe, while EC3 helps Magnus attack Sting. Joe and Sting weather the storm, and Sting hits the Scorpion Death Drop. Before the ref can count three, Zema Ion runs down and pulls the ref out of the ring. Joe gets Zema, but the Bro-Mans get him back. The Bro-Mans, Zema, Bad Influence, and EC3 attack Sting, but Angle makes the save. Sting hits a superplex, but there’s no ref. The ref climbs in and Magnus kicks out in two. The ref accidentally takes a Stinger Splash. With the ref out, Sting puts on the Scorpion Deathlock and Magnus taps out, but before the ref can see, Bobby Roode hits a forearm to the back of Sting’s head. Magnus hits a driver and puts the cover on Sting. Dixie comes down with Earl Hebner and he reluctantly counts to three to give Magnus the win.

After the match, Dixie handed Sting’s contract to Magnus. Magnus rips it up and drops the pieces on Sting. Magnus, EC3 and Dixie stand tall over Sting.

My Take: Way too much going on in this match. This is the part that TNA’s not getting. Sting just put Dixie over. She’s got the power to get anything she wants done, and that’s important for the current storyline. However, putting Magnus over should have been the main goal of that match, and with all the interference, that just didn’t happen. I don’t believe him as a champion, because he needed help from six men to get it done, and one of them is currently working as a DJ (Zema Ion). The match was a good performance by all the men involved, but it didn’t accomplish what it needed to accomplish.

Overall Impression

Not a bad showing from TNA. They claim to be heading in a new direction, and they showed signs of that here. They still need to get their world champion over, and I believe Samoa Joe is the man for the job. I believe in TNA, and I really hope that they get their act together, because they have a good roster. They may never compete with WWE, but they can certainly carve out a nice Thursday night audience for themselves if the booking improves.