Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Hitlist: Bobby Roode vs. James Storm for Storm's No. 1 contender status, Mickie James wins a Knockouts battle royal, Aces & 8's vs. Kurt Angle and Garett Bischoff
By Jason Powell
Check out Will Pruett's All Access audio review of TNA Impact Wrestling on the main page or in the podcast section.
TNA Impact Hits
Bobby Roode vs. James Storm: I'm looking past the insanity of Storm putting his No. 1 contender status on the line until we get to the Misses section. This is simply for the main event match. The crowd didn't seem all that fired up about seeing this match again when they set it up during the opening segment, but the fans rallied behind Storm and were anti-Roode throughout the match. I really hope they get these guys away from each other soon. I've enjoyed their feud, but it either needs the TNA Championship or they need new programs.
Knockouts Battle Royal: A solid five-woman battle royal (really, a five person battle royal?) with the right woman going over. It's been a long time since Mickie James was positioned well in the Knockouts Division. I still wish they would abandon the hardcore country routine and get back to the athletic James that worked so well in WWE, but this was a step toward getting her back on track.
A.J. Styles: A good promo with Styles doing a good job of portraying the frustrated and depressed persona that he's been given. I never thought I'd say this, but I could really do without seeing Styles vs. Daniels again. We've just seen the match so many times and the hype that this will be the last time felt hollow. Perhaps it will be with A.J. working toward a heel turn, but seeing is believing.
Rob Van Dam vs. Kid Kash: A solid way to kick off the show's in-ring action. I couldn't help but think about how it paled in comparison to the great matches they had together in ECW and how wasted Kash is in TNA, but it was a solid, albeit forgettable television match.
TNA Impact Misses
Overall show: A minor Miss. I didn't like Impact. I didn't really dislike Impact. I just feel indifferent about Impact and the overall TNA product right now, which is enough to warrant a Miss. TNA seems reluctant to move on to new programs for many of its wrestlers and thus it feels like the wrestlers and the company are just spinning their wheels at this point.
James Storm and Bobby Roode opening: Storm was goaded into putting his No. 1 contender status on the line. He looks like a dope for putting his shot on the line simply because Roode goaded him into it. This would have played so much better if they had gone back to the three-way stipulation from Turning Point. Roode could have agreed to take the same fate as A.J. Styles in that he wouldn't be eligible for a TNA Title shot until Bound For Glory next year if he lost the match. At least then Storm would have had some incentive to put his title shot on the line. Sure, Roode looks like a smart heel, but Storm looks like a gullible meathead.
Kurt Angle and Garett Bischoff vs. Aces & 8's: Major damage is being done to the Aces & 8's faction with each clean loss they are on the wrong side of. Angle pinned Devon clean despite other members of the faction standing at ringside, and now two members fail to defeat Angle and Bischoff in a tag match. They can beat up Brutus Magnus and Sting with hammers in gang attacks all they want, but they won't mean anything in the ring if they continue lose matches.
Aces & 8's weapons attacks: I actually liked it when an Aces & 8's member struck Joseph Park with a hammer while they were holding him hostage. As much as the prolonged kidnapping with no consequences seemed absurd, the hammer strike and the quick cutaway was jarring. Sons of Anarchy is a popular show and seems to be a big inspiration for TNA's heel faction. Viewers who watch that show expect major violence from their television bikers. The problem is that TNA is overdoing it. Granted, the attack on Sting sent him to the hospital in the storyline world and Magnus will be off television for a while, but viewers become numb to the hammer shots with each strike. I'd rather see the wrestler biker gang put a guy through a table or use a punishing wrestling move and have the announcers sell it as the most violent thing ever than see weapons used so flippantly.
Jeff Hardy internal dialogue: TNA deserves credit for being creative with many of their production techniques, including some that seem to have, um, inspired WWE. This is not one of them. I enjoyed the promo that Austin Aries cut on Jeff Hardy backstage, but it was ruined once we heard Hardy's inner thoughts. I like that many of the backstage pre-tapes are done in a way that make them feel live. This ruins that vibe and feels completely out of place in pro wrestling. TNA swung and missed on this one. Here's hoping they can admit that to themselves rather than digging their heels in. That said, maybe I'm the one missing something with this. We'll be running a poll later today to get your thoughts on this concept.
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