By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Opening Segment: Aside from getting a chuckle out of Jeff needing to wear face paint during all his segments, everyone was on point here. Matt Hardy has gone all-in on this heel turn and he is primed to have the run of his life here as “Big Money Matt”. Matt has always had the ability, but never the opportunity, and he’s making the most out of it. Cosmetically, Matt and Reby look great as the evil king and queen of Impact. Tyrus holding the baby was classic! Jeff Hardy is the most natural he’s been in a long time and primed to get a good babyface run out of this. I wouldn’t want to see them feed Matt to Jeff though as Matt can easily get a handful of talents over to strengthen TNA as a whole.
Tigre Uno and Gregory Helms: This was was your obligatoryTNA three-way match that means nothing. They’re running out of X Division guys too as it feel like we’ve seen Tigre face DJ Zema and Mark Andrews several times last year. What makes me mildly optimistic is this storyline they’ve been building up since last year between Uno and Shane Helms. While the reasoning was strange, Josh Mathews and D’Angelo Dinero said last year that this was going to be a feud because Helms had the X Division title painted green because of The Hurricane. The ultimate hope, as stupid as the story has been built due to green paint, is that we FINALLY get a basic story in the X Division. That said, this is far from the first time that TNA has promised a “revival” of the X-Division.
The Wolves vs. Steve and Abyss: I never thought I’d be intrigued by Crazzy Steve, but there seems to be some effort put into this act and if executed correctly it can work. Just don’t turn Abyss yet again. It took a heel turn to turn him here. Are they heels? Maybe? They beat up the Wolves and Beer Money, so probably. What is also good about this; is that it adds a tag team to a division with only the Wolves and Beer Money. Do we count Eli Drake and Jessie Godderz? I don’t want to.
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy: Last year James Storm pushed Jeff off a cage. This year, Jeff takes a piledriver to give him his annual write-off because he can’t travel to the the UK. While it’s usually vintage bad TNA to have run-in fests, TNA has done a better job mitigating them by keeping them at a minimum and evened up. They accomplished several things here – they reinforced Matt Hardy’s “family” as heels, Steve and Abyss got to be showcased in a main event setting, Jeff Hardy gets to take his annual break, and Kurt Angle gets inserted as a potential Matt Hardy opponent.
Overall Show: While not as hot as last week, they don’t need a hot show every week. TNA is still better than last year this time as in addition to their added focus, they are promoting serial programming that leads week into week. This week we got to see chapter one of Matt Hardy’s ascension as Big Money. The Tag and X Division’s has little bits of progression with no hot-shotting, which in turn makes you want to tune in next week to see more. As viewers of Impact, I know there’s still that guarded optimism at all times due to TNA burning fans in the past, but so far they are doing a good job of not letting viewers down. Let’s hope they keep this up after escaping their Feast or Fired show with little-to-no damage.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Feast or Fired: There is little to get excited for with this match in the first place. They already have other Money in the Bank clones out there and this is the worse of them all (the others include Option C and whatever Tyrus has). Plus, as we found out last year this is technically not a match as anyone from the outside like Velvet Sky can run in and get fired or a world title match. I do get a chuckle wondering if what would have happened if Eric Young had won the title shot for his own title belt. The old Showtime EY would have an entertaining match with himself. I’m also not sure why they took out the X Title in favor of the Booker T belt, which is the Jeff Jarrett Belt now? I’d really dig it if they plastered a golden Jeff Jarrett face on that belt, just for kicks.
Awesome Kong vs. Velvet Sky: I was about to give it a Hit, because Kong came off well in these squash matches. The problem is I can’t help but think that this match should have been swapped with last week’s title match to build up Kong. I’m not quite sure how TNA can build the Knockouts after having the Beautiful People look like shells of their former selves, and having Gail Kim disseminate and destroy the Dollhouse single-handedly. TNA is doing an excellent job of building up Gail Kim, but it seems a bit scorched earth with no division left after Gail has beaten everyone. The number two in the division to me is the Gothic Clown gal, just for showing up and looking cool.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net staffer John Moore returning for an in-depth discussion on NXT, AEW, Impact Wrestling, MLW, and the NWA, and more...