This is not a review of this week’s “Impact.”

It’s more of a commentary, based on the assumption that you saw it or read other reviews, and know what happened. I enjoyed the show far too much to even attempt a real-time, so look at this as more of an editorial.

Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles: Great idea to start the show with this. It’s the latest in Angle’s attempt to work his way through the top ten contenders to the World Heavyweight title, and no one watching believes for a second that Angle is losing. The whole “Angle retires if he loses” stipulation is so detrimental to suspending disbelief and getting into the match. Nobody believes that Angle is leaving wrestling for good at this point. It’s just so UNNECESSARY! The entire process for determining who is at what contender spot is so vague and convoluted anyway that it almost doesn’t matter. Can anyone tell me who is at what position in the Top Ten? No. You can’t. I’m the TNA representative for BWF, and even I have no idea. And I actually TRY to understand it! At least AJ’s Television title wasn’t on the line here. That being said, these two can’t help but have really good to great matches, and they were allowed to simply go, with no run-ins, cheap finishes, or other nonsense. The eight minutes or so that they got helped, too. AJ’s new tattoo surprised me, but did anyone else notice that the cameras seemed to be trying to not show it as much as possible? AJ ended up tapping to the Angle Lock, and he did so very quickly.

Winner: Kurt Angle

Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne: This was a Knockouts championship title match. Why are they making a point of saying “TNA Knockouts Women’s Championship” now? They rarely, if ever, said “Women’s” before, whether it’s written on the belt or not. Is it not obvious that the Knockouts are women? I’m pretty sure that we can all tell. This match was too short, and had far too much going on outside of the actual title match part. I’m a big fan of Angelina Love. I like her as a character and as a wrestler. She’s better as a heel, but that can’t be helped at the moment. Biker Chick shows up again, only to be de-helmeted by Velvet Sky. ‘Tis all for naught, as Biker Chick had the foresight to wear a mask under the giant helmet that belongs on “Spaceballs.” All this allowed Love to pin Rayne and take back her title. And there was much rejoicing. Can we focus on Knockouts who aren’t part of The Beautiful People storyline, please??? Hamada? Taylor Wilde? Sarita? Daffney? Rosey Lotta Love? To the best of my knowledge, they’re all still here. Do something with them!

Winner (and NEW Knockouts Champion): Angelina Love

Mr. Anderson vs. Matt Morgan vs. “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero: I must respectfully disagree with those who wrote that cutting wrestlers’ entrances in favor of longer matches is good. For one thing, it isn’t entrances that take up a ridiculous amount of time on the show every week. It’s the stupid segments and skits, the three-minute squash matches involving people about whom no one cares (Rob Terry and Orlando Jordan, I’m looking in YOUR direction!), and the lengthy in-ring babblings of HHHogan, Bischoff, Nash, and Flair. For another thing, The Pope has one of the greatest entrances in the history of professional wrestling, and depriving the Congregation of that entrance is tantamount to violations of the Geneva Conventions. This match was also too short, but I was intrigued by the dynamic between Anderson and The Pope, and whether they would be able to team up and take out Morgan. A Pope/Anderson feud could have been interesting, and there’s plenty of reason behind it, but both guys are now quite popular, and I don’t see a feud working well with no true heel. Anderson drops Pope with the Mic Check, but Morgan lands the Carbon Footprint on Anderson and steals the pin. Nice.

Winner: Matt Morgan

Jeff Hardy Versus The World: You know I had to go there. You just wish that you’d thought of it first. When a challenge is issued to “the entire wrestling world,” it has to be answered by someone outside of the company or fans will be disappointed. It’s the nature of that type of challenge. I was personally hoping that rumors of Tyler Black signing with WWE would prove red herrings, and he would show up to fight Hardy. You know, for a big surprise. Roderick Strong would have been another good choice. Nope! Out of the entirety of the professional wrestling world, we get – Shannon Moore. This was a letdown. Yes, Moore gave a good reason for being the one who accepted the challenge, but that isn’t the point. Why bother leading us on with an open challenge to the entire wrestling world when an open challenge to the TNA roster would have made more sense? Moore proceeds to have the best match I’ve ever seen from him, and he dominated Hardy for much of the going. Hardy, of course, gets the win, but Moore knew all of Hardy’s tricks, as well he should. This was a very solid, well-done match. It just shouldn’t have been set up under the circumstances that it was.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

Beer Money vs. the Motor City Machine Guns: Sweet. Mother. Of. God. This was what I (and so many of you) were waiting for, and words cannot describe how well worth it the wait was. That’s far too many “w”s. This was the fifth and final match in the “best of five” series for the tag team titles. The stipulation was a “2 out of 3 Falls” match, which was perfectly great, but an Ultimate X match should never have preceded it. Wow! and wow! And wow again! This was some of the best wrestling period, and certainly the best tag team wrestling, of this year. Match of the night, match of the week, match of the year! Ok, maybe not, but it will be close. The pacing was excellent, with the first fall (scored by Beer Money) taking a long time to happen, and the second fall (scored by the MCMG) coming almost on the heels of the first one. There must have been five legitimate near-falls after that. For clarification, a two-count is NOT a near-fall. They are not the same thing. A real near-fall is a two-count that makes most of the audience sincerely believe that the match is over and won. Nobody does a tornado DDT like the future Mr. Drowgoddess, Chris Sabin. Nobody takes a tornado DDT like Robert Roode. This was all power against speed, and both sides pulled off fantastic double-team work. Beer Money really shouldn’t do the “Beer! Money!” chant with the crowd if they’re supposed to get booed. I know, it’s fun, but that works better for babyfaces, which Beer Money are not. Despite my personal bias, this truly was one of the best wrestling matches one could ever hope to see, and this is the sort of thing that TNA should be focusing on and airing on its programming. When the MCMGs scored the third and final fall, retaining the titles, the place exploded. No, really, pyro went off and everything! I know it couldn’t have been, but this really should have been the main event. Anyone who hasn’t watched this match: Do not walk, RUN to the nearest computer and check it out at once! The chants of “This is awesome,” “This is wrestling,” and “Match of the year!” were completely deserved in this case. That a twenty-minute match only had one commercial break was amazing. TNA should make a point of that.

Winners (and STILL Tag Team Champions): the Motor City Machine Guns

Abyss vs. Rob Van Dam (w/ Eric Bischoff as special referee): A “Stairway to Janice” match? Too close to an “_________ on a Pole” match for my taste. I can’t lie, it was attention-grabbing when Abyss tried to retrieve his girl Janice while RVD made his entrance, and RVD rushed the ring and dropkicked the ladder. Not being a fan of this sort of match, credit must be given where it is due. This was a good main event match. Not just acceptable, actually good. Too many shots of Dixie Carter hiding behind Terry Taylor at ringside. Dixie should not be an on-air character, period. She is not a powerful woman. She is not a dominant woman. She comes off as a frazzled schoolteacher yelling at a student who has gotten to her. She in no way inspires respect, fear, or the camaraderie. Keep her off tv. The attempts at the Miss Elizabeth “concerned” expression aren’t working either. Abyss used tacks, shattered glass, and plywood with barbed wire. Can Abyss not understand that in the Ten Commandments of Pro Wrestling, if you set it up, you’re going through it? He does. RVD kicks the barbed wire board into Abyss’s face, hits Rolling Thunder on a table, and pretty much hurts himself as much as Abyss. SICK bump to the floor by RVD. Abyss knocks the ladder over with RVD on the top. You know, the part with the sticker on it that says, “This is not a step?” That part. RVD looks knocked out. Abyss retrieves Janice after all, and tries to use her. RVD, however, isn’t really dead, and ends this with a Van Terminator across the ring, kicking the barbed wire plywood into Abyss’s face again, followed by a Five Star Frogsplash.

Winner (and STILL World Heavyweight Champion): Rob Van Dam

The “Less talk, more action” note does not apply to HHHogan. He walks out and spends the next several minutes putting over RVD as World Champ, the rest of the show, the EV 2.0 faction, and the performances at the “Hardcore Justice” ppv. Newsflash, you glow-in-the-dark saddlebag with eyes! They don’t NEED your endorsement. You aren’t “putting them over,” you’re hogging camera time. Nothing that you say will make more people view RVD as a credible world champion, the original ECW as a group that had a tremendous influence on the wrestling product that followed it, or the guys who helped build TNA as great wrestlers who are worthy of adoration. NOTHING! There is no good reason whatsoever for HHHogan to be out here. He invites those members of EV 2.0 who are still around to join him in the ring for a proper thank-you. Again, as if they need one. They come out, and more kissing up to Dixie Carter ensues. This is really sickening. The lights go out, and everyone thinks it’s the Sandman. Nope! It’s Fortune! The beatdown that follows makes the Nexus invasion look like a junior high play by comparison. I scoffed at the writer who posted that he felt like he was back watching an original ECW show, but he spoke the truth. It was bloody, violent, and realistic in almost every way. I wanted to see James Storm take out the Sandman, just because. Flair grabbing at Dixie and shouting that she caused all of this made it clear that the “they” to whom Abyss kept referring is Fortune. Honestly, does anyone else think that the original “they” were either the ECW guys or a completely different group of people, and that the Russo penchant for swerves made him change it to Fortune at the last second, purely because no one would see it coming? Maybe it’s just me. Seriously fantastic beatdown, and a great way to end the show. Yes, RVD looked like he was in a bad horror movie, but I’d still buy that Abyss worked him over with Janice backstage. It’s off to the hospital for RVD.

TNA Reaction: The interviews were very well-done, and having this as a regular feature is a good idea. AJ Styles and Kazarian talking backstage about how TNA and Dixie had regularly brought in “outside” people instead of letting those who built the company be the stars hit all the points that needed to be made. The best heels are the ones who tell the truth, and no one can dispute the veracity of those statements. Here’s to an “invasion” of the TNA guys taking back their company from the ECW/WWE cast-offs. I know you won’t believe me, but I had the same idea as Lance Storm about the only way to salvage TNA’s storylines. He just posted it first. Check out his website and see what I mean, if you don’t already know. LOVED the video package with the MCMG. When asked about their favorite kind of match, Sabin says “a straight-up wrestling match” just as Shelley says “the kind that we win.” They mention potential feuds with Generation Me, Ink, Inc. , Team 3D (if they can sort themselves out, Sabin says), and the new team of Magnus and Desmond Wolfe. *spit take* What? Since when? TNA has put Desmond Wolfe, who debuted kicking the crap out of Kurt Angle, in a tag team? Oh, Jeebus….

In Closing: This is by far the best episode of “Impact” in four years, possibly ever. If TNA would air shows in this format, with fewer commercial breaks during matches, longer and higher-quality matches, more matches and less pointless babbling and mindless sketches, and a realistic feel to everything, they’ll have that proverbial license to print money. It wasn’t perfect, but it was excellent. Please, please, please do it again, TNA! This needs to be what “Impact” is like every week.

Peace out,



  1. It really was a fantastic episode. Great synopsis! I watched SD tonight trying hard to care, but WWE got completely trumped this week on all shows by "that Florida promotion."

  2. Gee, I couldn't have said it better myself. I watched RAW this week KNOWING that there was no chance in all hell that I'd enjoy the show after the awesome show that was HardCORE Justice. I haven't watched NXT in a week, but I was genuinely excited for "The Whole F'N Show." I still need to see the beatdown at the end of the show – and in fact I'm going to watch it as soon as I'm done typing this comment.

    Drow, I said the exact same thing you said – if TNA put on a show like this every week, they'd be the number one wrestling promotion in the world in no time. Every single match I saw on iMPACT was well worth watching, and I can't think of a WWE match this year that comes close to the MCMG/Beer Money match. As I said in the comments for the Power Poll, it will be a damn shame if any of them don't make next week's list after that effort.

    The company is called Total Nonstop Action, and for one glorious week, they've lived up to that moniker.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RSS Feeds

Posts by Category