Reviewing the 9/15/11 episode of IMPACT WRESTLINGâ€¦
1. Quite possibly the best exchange(or lecture rather) or backstage segment TNA has had in a while came when AJ Styles really laid into Jeff Hardy when he came up to talk to him. Intense and felt very real, which I am sure it was really from AJ’s heart on behalf of the entire company. I highly recommend checking this segment out to anyone curious of the content.
2. Velvet Sky impressed me this week when she was matched up against her former BFF Angelina Love. The finish kind of seemed ridiculous with Angelina calling for Winter to interfere twice while Earl Hebner would have been able to see it in full daylight, but it backfired and Velvet advanced as one of the three combatants to face Winter for her title at Bound for Glory(BFG). I think if Velvet wins the title at BFG, an extended program with Angelina may really be good for her career. Working with a good friend and I speak from my own experience, can really help up your game because each of you continue to push each other for the good of each other’s career and to really help each other look better in the ring. I did like the nice touch of having Angelina attack Velvet during the setting loose of the pigeons. It’s about time a Knockout was smart enough to do that and Angelina should know more than anyone about letting those pigeons loose.
3. I really felt TNA made great use of their backstage segments this week. From the ones with AJ & Devon giving Jeff Hardy a piece of their mind, to Kurt Angle’s interactions with Eric Bischoff and Kazarian to Sting/Hogan/Flair as well as the one postmatch with Kazarian/Bobby Roode. All good stuff. TNA also previewed next week with some marquee match ups promoted which really is a great idea to get fans hyped for next week including the Bully Ray/Jerry Lynn promo for their match against RVD/Anderson next week. Although one of them should have mentioned that Anderson and Rob really aren’t the best of friends and that could be their downfall.
4. I really can’t say this enough, but as much as I despise Kurt Angle’s affiliation with Immortal, which is beyond dumb in my opinion, having Kurt Angle orchestrate Robert Roode vs. Immortal in one on one match ups all the way to Bound For Glory each week is a very cool way to give Impact fans an awesome match each week leading to what should be a very good match between Kurt and Robert at Bound For Glory. Kurt could have easily asked Hogan for that favor instead of joining Immortal to give him power to do so.
5. Without revealing TNA’s plans in the coming weeks(hard not to given the scope of one particular announcement), I can’t help but feel that the follow up to the finally delivered Sting vs. Ric Flair match this week, especially with the match up of Hulk Hogan vs. Sting on the line for BFG, really diminishes the importance of everything including Sting’s big win here as well as what everyone and everything has worked leading to the pay off of this angle. Unless there is a ruse along the way, which is what I immediately thought regarding Hogan’s future “announcement”, then I can’t help but feel this angle which is supposed to lead to a crescendo and TNA’s proverbial “bang” is going to end with a whimper thus rendering meaningless Sting’s crusade these many months. I mean if Hulk Hogan doesn’t end up wrestling Sting at Bound For Glory then wasn’t this a colossal waste of time? Hell, they are still building this match as of this week knowing what they are doing two days later at the tapings. I really hope there is a ruse otherwise the Booking IQ of TNA is going to reach new depths of stupidity. That being said there are still two tapings left before BFG, so anything still can happen. Trying to ignore what I know, Sting vs. Flair didn’t embarrass itself and both guys worked hard to put this angle over and ended the program on a high note.
6. Move of the Night:
Samoa Joe’s Modified Figure Four finisher on Matt Morgan
7. Lines of the Night:
a. Sting to Ric Flair
Sting- “If the only way that I can get to Hogan is over your dead body then you die tonight Ric.”
b. A-Double Austin Aries talking about renaming the X-Division the A-Double division
Aries- “Because you see everyone is at the A level. I’m at the A-Double level. That’s a whole level above everybody else.”
8. Match of the Night
Robert Roode vs. KazarianÂ
Awesome chain wrestling and a great intense back and forth match up between Fortune stable mates. The match itself really put over Roode at a high level as well as prove he is ready for a big time match with Kurt Angle. It was a great set up to the match with Kurt making the match ups at the start of the show, him trying to get in Kazarian’s head during the show and then the post match follow up with Kazarian and Roode backstage putting the intensity of the match aside, putting over each other with mutual respect. I even liked the little touch of having TNA agent Pat Kenney aka Simon Diamond try to go up to them like they might fight before they settled on another handshake backstage. Great job by all involved here. Awesome match.
9.Â Final Show Thoughts:
The build up for Bound For Glory which started this week was rock solid. Definitely ends the streak of horrible Impacts. This week was something you can feel good about referring to friends if they are curious about Impact Wrestling. If you have given up on TNA, I highly recommend checking this past week’s episode out since it’s been one of the better ones in a while. The match between Roode and Kazarian alone was worth it. Samoa Joe picked up a big win making Morgan submit which is a step in the right direction after I ripped TNA’s decision to have Joe lose to a man who shouldn’t be 100% at the PPV to Dixie Carter on Twitter. Crimson vowed revenge on Joe in a decent promo “via satellite”. It’s doubtful Joe would be allowed to win at BFG against Crimson, but Crimson’s first loss should be a big deal and I still hold out that glimmer of hope that Joe should be that guy since he had his streak snapped by Kurt Angle and this would be just due for Crimson to lose to what was once a very hard man to beat and an unstoppable force in Samoa Joe. If they truly want to make Joe a force and relevant again, then they need to give him that big win. It was also mentioned briefly by Lynn in his promo with Bully Ray that he is facing Rob Van Dam at BFG. I’m looking forward to that one and am glad TNA did the smart thing giving Jerry and Rob another platform to showcase themselves. BFG is shaping up nicely.
10. IMPACT PLAYERs of the WEEK:Â
Robert Roode, Kazarian, Sting, Ric Flair, Velvet Sky, AJ Styles
Big win for Roode and Kaz looked very good in the loss. Kudos to older stars Sting and Flair for their effort, Sky scored a big win and looked good in doing so and big props to AJ in his believable promo on Hardy backstage.
That is all.
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