Quality wrestling entertainment has returned with this fantastic live episode of TNA, which featured the perfect mix of a variety in content and a constant in quality. From Ultimate-X to Bound for Glory, this episode was stocked full of good ideas and TNA has actually managed to execute it in a way that has resulted in one of the best episodes for quite some time. What was it about this episode that was a sign of TNA taking it to a new level?
This week’s Impact Live! was perhaps one of the best of this year. We started off with a great Ultimate X match, a real showcasing for Austin Aries, although we didn’t see much of Chris Sabin in the match. Austin Aries delivers with Impact and it is amazing that Aries has built himself up so well in TNA and is now on the path to The Heavyweight Championship. After the match, A Double informs us that he has his sights set on the heavyweight title and Hulk Hogan comes out and pushes Aries in a big way. Aries has been much loved and respected by the audience and by TNA. Aries on Impact this week is a perfect example of why. He is a dominant force in the ring; he has such a powerful presence and wrestles with conviction. I believe that we will see Aries with a heavyweight title this year. This first segment of Impact Wrestling was only the start of many good decisions by TNA this week. As stated in my previous opinion piece, I do think that the only miss of this week’s Impact was the AJ/Dixie love storyline.
Let’s take a look at all the original ideas that TNA has had or mentioned this week. We have the Ultimate-X match, gauntlet match, the return of the Bound for Glory series, Gut Check and Open Call Out, Fight Night, airing Live over the summer, weekly TV Title defences as well as a new overall feel to the format of the show.
In the Bound for Glory Gauntlet we see the return of The Pope as well as Abyss (aside from Slammiversary). Storm was bound to get this win and it’s quite obvious that TNA will be building up to another title match between Roode and Storm. Regardless, this was a great Gauntlet match and everyone seemed to be on their A game tonight. Anderson wrestled valiantly against Roode but ultimately had to tap out. Now we’ve got both Roode and Storm as building forces, ready to collide. What got me the most excited about TNA this week though was the closing segment, where we see Sting discuss his induction into the Hall of Fame. Sting then gets attacked by a group of guys wearing masks. This closes off TNA and leaves us with a lot of questions. And this was exactly what Sting would’ve wanted.
This end segment got me excited with wrestling in a way that I haven’t been for many years. We all remember the good old days of the 90s, when WCW and WWF were in their prime. There were common themes back then in both companies in terms of story lines and factions, which were all attributes of a similar show format. I think that one way of looking at this closing segment was it being a subtle nod to Sting. This was an honor for The Icon to not only thank TNA and the fans for the induction into the hall of fame, but to also relive some of the greatest moments of his career. This is bringing excitement back into the world of professional wrestling: the audience has been alive more than ever over the past couple of weeks, the wrestling itself is at such a high standard and the format of the show is getting more diverse and original. They will grow exponentially if they continue to provide this level of quality wrestling - I just hope that TNA are able to keep up with it