Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - Genesis' final hype, Gut Check evolves, Bully Ray proposes to Brooke Hogan, Aces and Eights hammer Kurt Angle, and more!

Posted in: Pruett Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Jan 11, 2013 - 02:15 PM

By Will Pruett

- I'd be okay with Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle forming a tag team called "Shooter and Killer" with Sting as their manager. In fact, that may be the very best result of the Aces and Eights story.

- I was actually intrigued by the Mr. Anderson story on this show. I felt like it was pretty entertaining and a fine use of Anderson. I also just found Anderson a little more entertaining on this show than I have in a long time. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

- Brooke Hogan calls Bully Ray by his given name, Mark. I knew his first name wasn't Bully, but why use his first name? She could just call him Ray or Bubba. This breaks the kayfabe a little more than I'd like.

- Kenny King vs. Zema Ion was a fun, short, athletic match. I liked it an awful lot. King is an act that could be the centerpiece of the X Division for a long while, taking on babyface challengers.

- I laughed at almost everything Robbie T. did on this show. This was some very fun wrestling comedy that was perfectly positioned. His tag team match and post match dancing didn't overstay its welcome and was charming.

- Why does every babyface Diva or Knockout resort to butt-based offense? I liked Miss Tessmacher at the beginning of 2012 and I think he act can be pretty special, but why does she have only one offensive weapon?

- The new Gut Check concept is really great. I like it far more than the old one. Two rookies facing each other is more compelling than a rookie losing to an established star. Making it two rookies that can work is even more interesting. Jay Bradley vs. Brian Cage was a nice short match where both men had their working boots on.

- It should be fun to see how the judging works with one man being guaranteed a contract and the other not getting one. I'm interested in Gut Check for the first time in a long time.

- Brian Cage is a Southern California indie standout that I've seen multiple times. While he wasn't a large focus in this match, he is immensely talented. It was great to see him get some national TV exposure.

- The Aces and Eights hideout looks like a stereotypical party in a teen movie. Is it supposed to?

- Joseph Park entertains the heck out of me, but him learning to wrestle scares me. I don't expect him to have a classic with Devon like he did with Bully Ray, but it could be good. Is this the one match Aces and Eights actually wins on this show?

- I appreciate the effort from TNA to imply attempted communication between Brooke Hogan and Hulk throughout the week. It took a little too long to get it, but I liked it.

- Brooke and Hulk's story just isn't compelling to me. It's two non-wrestlers feuding over a wrestler and I don't see how it leads to an actual match or compelling story. My only hope for the story is for Brooke and Bully to turn on Hulk, in a situation that could revitalize the entire Aces and Eights story.

- While I didn't mind a lot of he comedy between Austin Aries and Bobby Roode in the last few weeks, I would have rather seen them get serious about the TNA Championship. They argued about t-shirts instead of titles and that was weak.

- Also weak was the interference in the tag team match that somehow didn't end in a disqualification. The referee (Brian Hebner in his ridiculous shoes) watched James Storm get hit by Kazarian and Christopher Daniels and was completely cool with it. He did eventually disqualify Austin Aries, but why not call the interference? TNA made their official look dumb yet again.

- This tag team match was a weak final build to the TNA Championship match.

- This show needed a little more Bad Influence than it had.

- Matt Morgan wears a cape and tags with Joey Ryan. I don't know why either of those things are happening.

- I even enjoyed Mr. Anderson's full ring entrance on this show. Again, pulling him off TV has helped him recharge the character.

- Kurt Angle got hammered by Aces and Eights' Mike Knox. I was surprised to see a repeat of the Sting angle from a couple of months ago. Angle sold the attack well, although I'm pretty sure paramedics would throw a neck brace on Angle prior to moving him.

- Mike Knox got some decent heat on him before he lost a three minute match to Sting. This was a huge missed opportunity. Sting's return to the ring came out of nowhere. Knox lost in his first match since being unmasked to a wrestler over 50 years old. This was a disappointing segment.

- Is Mike Knox going to sell the hammer attack for as long as Sting has?

- The marriage proposal that closed the show was a little hokey for my tastes. Then again, it was leading to a wrestling wedding, so hokey is probably okay.

- Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan's proposal segment definitely overshadowed the build to Genesis (which I also understand given next week is Belator's debut). It's poor timing.

I felt like the promotion for Genesis on this show was more fit for the last monthly pay-per-view than the first quarterly pay-per-view. In other words, it was weak. I didn't appreciate the go-home aspects of the show, as much as I enjoyed some other parts.

I'm looking forward to the wrestling wedding, mostly because I tend to love wrestling weddings. It has nothing to do with the story around them, as much as a little special programming entertains me.

Did you enjoy TNA this week? Am I way off? Feel free to email me at or to follow me and chat me up on twitter at

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