Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Rundown: Jeff Hardy continues to show up Austin Aries, the Aces and Eights leader makes his first appearance, and Samoa Joe becomes the new TNA TV Champion

Posted in: Kester Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Sep 28, 2012 - 06:48 PM

By Ryan Kester

Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy

It looks like Aries is beginning his heel turn leading into Bound For Glory, and I imagine he will go full heel and cheat to retain at the PPV. I hope TNA doesn't go that route as they ended last year's Bound For Glory in a cheap manner, and that would really be a sign to many that things in TNA haven't changed.

I've received several emails from readers complaining that the new direction with Aries and his quest for the same notoriety as the top merch guy is too similar to the current CM Punk vs. John Cena angle in WWE, and I have to agree with them. This isn't helped at all by how Hardy won the series when he hadn't received any story focus during the series itself.

Now, I don't think TNA is blatantly ripping WWE off, but it's always in TNA's best interests to keep up with the WWE product and shy away from parallels because they do not want to come off as WWE lite. TNA has had that problem in the past and they really should aim to come off as their own product and not a wannabe company. Again, I don't think that's what's happening here, but I can understand the misgivings of viewers who are taken out of this story because it feels so similar to what's happening in the other company.

Aces and Eights

I enjoyed how TNA managed to up the stakes by having the leader of the group show up without revealing his identity. I imagine that reveal is slated for Bound For Glory and is going to be the impetus for the next year's faction roster-splitting brouhaha. Please disregard the next paragraph if you'd rather not have this storyline potentially spoiled by my speculation.

I have had a slew of emails and tweets asking if the leader of Aces and Eights is Eric Bischoff. While I hope beyond hope that that is not the case, the leader certainly spoke with his cadence and he was small enough to be Bischoff. If that is the direction we are headed, TNA is once again showing that they are only recycling storylines. Yes, the names are different and we may have some new character involved, but this would just feel and act like another Immortals or Main Event Mafia retread. TNA has produced some better TV this past few months, but they will undo a lot of that goodwill with me if they go down that path again.

Samoa Joe

I like the idea of Samoa Joe getting a championship in TNA. He's in a bit of no man's land with his character and having him work on building up the TV Title's prestige is better than having him continue to flounder in creative limbo.

I also enjoyed how Joe won the title. Joe utilizing the rear naked choke and constantly switching positioning to keep his opponent from the ropes added a bit of drama to a submission finisher when they can easily look cartoonish or flat when they last longer than a few seconds. Joe has really shifted back to the submission aspect of his character since the BFGS, ad I enjoy how he's managing to keep it feeling fresh.

Overall Show

Last night's show was another solid-but-not-good edition of Impact. They've really lost some of their momentum for me in the past month and they are failing to get me excited for Bound For Glory. TNA is building this like any other PPV when in previous years their build would be in full swing at this point. They really need to pick up the pace in the next few weeks.

If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.

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