Pruett's Pause: TNA Impact Wrestling - Bully and Brooke's wedding ends when Taz reveals himself as an Aces and Eights member, Gut Check judging, Genesis fallout, and more!
By Will Pruett
- A big deal was made of Sting and Kurt Angle on the "Previously on TNA" package, but they were hardly on this show. Why feature them so heavily when they weren't the focus of this night?
- The return of Spike Dudley and Tommy Dreamer as the groomsmen was really fun. I liked the old school touch and the attention paid to history.
- Brooke Hogan doesn't have other friends to be her bridesmaids? It's kind of odd for a "recording superstar" like her to not have anyone else she can call. Aren't the Knockouts technically her employees?
- Was anyone else puzzled by the Impact Zone chanting "You still got it" at a current star? It's not like he's retiring or anything. Jeff Hardy probably should have shut them down when they started.
- Hardy actually did pretty well for himself during his promo prior to Bad Influence interrupting him.
- Christopher Daniels and Kazarian continue to be the best thing about watching TNA on a regular basis. They are over the top, but they find a way to keep a shred of reality in them. If you're not watching TNA, they are the reason you should start.
- James Storm is basically Jeff Hardy's little buddy in TNA. I'd say there are worst places for him to be, but Storm should legitimately be a number one babyface on his own at this point. Between his own injuries, bad timing, and creative's odd whims, Storm is a shell of what he should be.
- I enjoyed the opening tag team match and really enjoyed the promotion for next week's TNA Championship match. I really do think it's possible to use this to springboard Daniels into the Lockdown main event with Jeff Hardy, without ever taking the title off of Hardy. I would love to see it, since Daniels has certainly shown he's earned the spot.
- Can we cut the segment that shows the Gut Check judges backstage? It was supposed to be a peek into how talent evaluation works in wrestling, but all we actually see is three guys throwing insider terms around in a wink to the meta-fans. Let's move on.
- Kayfab is a more exciting concept to me than kayfabe ever was.
- I was sad to see the Gut Check judges cut Brian Cage as quickly as they did. I believe he's a future star for a major promotion and TNA may have missed the boat here.
- Jay Bradley's "kick out" promo wasn't super exciting to me. I had hoped the new format would include the wrestlers saying why they deserve a contract over the other, not another odd step in the already bad formula. Sadly, Gut Check remains a concept in need of serious help.
- Jay Bradley is definitely not a bad choice for the TNA roster, if he ever makes it there.
- Kenny King and Christian York did not have a good match, even judged by the standard of two minute matches. They seemed to lack chemistry, which is odd, since they had a pretty good match on Sunday at Genesis.
- I do like the way King and York are being established as characters in the X Division and given personalities. It's about time someone other than the champion was given that chance. Now, it's time to move Rob Van Dam out of that division and give King the chance to run with it.
- Bully Ray and Sting actually have a fun chemistry when on camera together. I'd watch them in a buddy cop movie.
- Austin Aries and Bobby Roode are still bickering backstage. I liked this at first, then accepted it as they were building to the triple threat, but now I can find no reason for it to still be happening. Even with what we saw later in the show, this is not a good direction for either character.
- As much as I like Sting with Bully Ray, I probably dislike him with Hulk Hogan more. Their segment together felt forced and uncomfortable (not in the way it was supposed to). Hogan's line about always doing the right thing and pensive thoughtful face really bothered me.
- I enjoyed Gail Kim holding Taryn Terrell responsible for her mistake at the pay-per-view, but why didn't Terrell fire back by mentioning all times she missed Gail using the same tactics? Why is Terrell in TNA again?
- Was Bully Ray's bachelor party a real thing in New York? Did TNA have a merch stand set up and try to sell Jeff Jarrett guitars at it?
- What in the world was Velvet Sky wearing? Why was her hair so big, unevenly dyed, and curly? She looked like a 50 year old woman in a body sock, not an attractive professional wrestler. I usually complain about Velvet's ability, but on this show, I couldn't get past her hair.
- Is Dixie Carter actually Brooke Hogan's mom? Did Dixie and Hulk have relations 37 years ago? Can you prove they didn't?
- I really disliked the angle with Roode and Aries confronting Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez. The last thing the main event scene needs is Roode and Aries leaving it. The tag team scene doesn't really need them either. They are fine where they are.
- When TNA pairs tag teams together solely based on race, racial humor is bound to happen. I've learned to accept it. It still bugs me and makes TNA look like a subpar and awful company, but I guess I can accept it if TNA is willing to.
- The actual wedding was a lot like a main event when you know there is going to be a run-in. Everyone was waiting for the interruption. Aren't all wrestling weddings like this? Is it odd that wrestling weddings have become a sub-genre of wrestling?
- Taz's initial interruption made him look like a grumpy little man at first. Something about him just doesn't seem as tough as he once did.
- When Taz initially came into TNA, it was as Samoa Joe's heel mouthpiece. He was quickly folded into the Main Event Mafia, then he became a commentator and we all forgot about that first part. Is he exiting TNA in a similar fashion, managing a stable?
- The big Aces and Eights attack was a nice moment of sudden chaos. These attacks have gotten slightly convoluted lately, but this one was pretty crazy.
- Brooke Hogan's acting as Bully Ray was attacked wasn't all that good. I know she was distracted trying not to expose herself to the world at the time, but she really wasn't good here.
- TNA needs to learn to cut the mics around the ring when wrestlers are communicating with each other. A seven-second delay would probably help them with that. I didn't need to hear Brooke tell her dad "My boobs out." I also didn't need to hear him say "I know" like Han Solo.
- I was surprised by Taz turning heel here, but I don't know if it was the right kind of surprise. I didn't expect him to turn, but he doesn't really enhance Aces and Eights by turning either. He's the grumpy color commentator, not a vicious heel. Aces and Eights needed something more than this.
- Does this completely stop rumors of Bully Ray returning to being a heel? He was hit with a "stone" pillar! He was knocked out cold! The love of his life was forced to have a wardrobe malfunction! He can't align with Aces and Eights now, can he?
- If Taz is TNA's lead heel and Hulk Hogan is TNA's lead babyface, what's going on there?
This show was all about the wedding and, for me, the wedding didn't deliver. The beginning of the show with Hardy and Daniels building their match for next week was good. The rest of it wasn't all that great. The big reveal in the wedding actually doesn't change anything in the landscape of TNA. The development in the tag title scene was more disappointing than promising.
TNA tried to create a big shock, but they didn't go far enough. It'll be interesting to see where they go in the next few weeks.
Did you enjoy TNA this week? Am I way off? Feel free to email me at email@example.com or to follow me and chat me up on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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