The show started with the odd feud between Bully Ray and Joseph Park, who is a big dude, but isn’t supposed to be a wrestler. To Park’s credit, he did a good job of making it seem as though he had no clue how to wrestle, despite the fact that he was technically doing just that. Their Street Fight was entertaining enough, though it made Bully Ray look weak, considering that his opponent isn’t a wrestler. Ray won, but got slammed by Park afterward, presumably suggesting that Abyss and Park – supposedly brothers – are the same person. But that’s just a guess. See, this is why it’s tough to jump into an episodic TV show.
Samoa Joe leads the ‘Bound for Glory’ Series, which is some kind of ranking system to decide the number one contender at their biggest event. He fought Rob Van Dam, who picked up a surprise roll-up victory after looking a little weak in the match. This was good, though, and the Series is interesting in that it adds realism, something that WWE lacks right now.
Following his loss to AJ Styles at ‘Destination X’, Christopher Daniels cut a promo, along with Kazarian. They brought out AJ’s pregnant lady friend, Claire, and provoked her until she told AJ that he’s the kid’s dad. Alrighty then. The next actual match was Zema Ion – yes, that’s his name, and he’s the X-Division Champ – against Dakota Darsow. This wasn’t a long match, but there were some nice moves in this one before Ion picked up the win and jumped his opponent after the match.
At the halfway mark, Austin Aries, the new Heavyweight Champion, came out for a promo. He said some exciting things, talking about the buzz around TNA. It was only a matter of time until Bobby Roode interrupted. Roode did a great job of not being able to handle the title switch.
Apparently, Brooke Hogan is the executive of the Knockouts Division. In less ridiculous news, Gail Kim fought the champion, Miss Tessmacher. In spite of Brooke being on commentary, the two women in the ring put on a great, great match, where the champion retained.
The entire night had been building to Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle, as part of the BFG Series, utilizing various promo packages and making for a broadcast that actually felt as if it were telling a contained story, even while it furthered on-going story lines. Angle took a pretty hard-fought match with an Angle Slam. Once again, this was good stuff.
Sting came out to close the show, calling out the group that attacked him weeks ago. Hulk Hogan was supposed to join him, but he had been jumped backstage by the same group and they followed suit by getting Sting again. Hopefully the reveal of those guys’ identities and/or agendas will be worth it.
Honestly, ‘Impact’ was solid from beginning to end. Everything presented had something to offer and worked into a story that was going somewhere, and that’s more than WWE can say for its programming, right now. The show offers a lot more actual wrestling without sacrificing much of anything. The commentary isn’t flashy, but it does its job. While the fans in the Impact Zone react strongly to everything, getting out of there and into bigger arenas is the last step to make the show really great. Hopefully, next week’s broadcast will be just as good.
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