[TV Review] IMPACT Wrestling – 9/13/2012

With No Surrender now in the books, the road to Bound For Glory began last night. Did IMPACT Wrestling start with a bang or a thud? Click “read more” to find out!

Quick Results:

  1. Zema Ion (c) pinned Sonjay Dutt to retain the TNA X-Division Title in 3:28 (B-)
  2. AJ Styles pinned Frankie Kazarian to win a Tag Team Title shot for him and Kurt Angle in 10:10 (B)
  3. Chavo Guerrero Jr. pinned Christopher Daniels to win a Tag Team Title shot for him and Hernandez in 6:34 (B-)
  4. Main Event: Jeff Hardy pinned Bully Ray to keep his Bound For Glory World Title shot in 13:37 (B)

The Segments:

  • TNA World Champion Austin Aries began the show by inviting BFG Series winner Jeff Hardy to the ring. He congratulated him on winning at No Surrender and getting the right to face him at Bound For Glory. The conversation was interrupted by Bully Ray who called both of them “lucky”, which caused Hardy to challenge him to a match later that night. Ray accepted.
  • Hulk Hogan congratulated TNA World Tag Team Champions Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian on their win at No Surrender but then told them they would have to face the representatives of the top two teams (AJ Styles/Kurt Angle and Chavo Guerrero Jr./Hernandez) in singles matches tonight. If either Daniels or Kazarian lost, they would have to give the team that beat them a shot at the title. This sounds way convoluted in text-form but was explained fine on the show itself.
  • Bobby Roode came out to explain why he cost James Storm his BFG Series match at No Surrender. Storm quickly interrupted him and they brawled all over the building with Storm getting the upper hand.
  • Joseph Park met with Hulk Hogan in Hogan’s office and said he had a potential lead on the Aces and 8’s that will be revealed next Thursday. Hogan then left for the ring and left Park in charge of guarding Brooke Hogan.
  • Backstage, Bully Ray caught up with Jeff Hardy and goaded him into putting his Bound For Glory title shot on the line in their match tonight. Hardy accepted the stipulations.
  • Hulk Hogan made his way out to the ring and after putting over Jeff Hardy for his performance at No Surrender, he shifted gears towards the Aces and 8’s. He said the Impact Zone would be locked down until further notice. The Aces and 8’s appeared on the Impact-Tron and “The President” asked if Hogan had locked them out…or locked them in. He then put it in Hogan’s head that anyone that works for TNA, be it wrestler or production assistant, could be a member of their group and Hogan would have no way of knowing.
  • We got introduced to our next TNA Gut Check contestant, Evan Markopoulus who will wrestle next week for a chance at a TNA contract.
  • Tara went to the ring and brought TNA Knockouts Champion Miss Tessmacher out to congratulate her. After a whole lot of a** kissing, Tara attacked her from behind and gave her the Widow’s Peak.
  • Hulk Hogan, Dixie Carter, and others met in Hogan’s office to discuss the Aces and 8’s situation. Some want to keep the Impact Zone locked down while others want to face them head-on. It was insinuated that any one of them could also be an Aces and 8’s member.

What Worked:

  • Daniels/Ray/Hardy Segment: A low-key but effective segment that finally brought Austin Aries back to concentrating about the World Championship which is good since he’s, you know, the World Champion and all. Bully Ray was great on the mic as always.
  • AJ Styles Vs. Frankie Kazarian: These two are incapable of having a bad match together and didn’t disappoint on this go round.
  • Joseph Park: Park is one of my favorite TNA characters and he’s just so goddamn good in the role that even in minor appearances he still excels. Interested to see what his “evidence” is next week as well.
  • The Bobby Roode/James Storm Brawl: First off it was nice to see Roode back on television as he’s an effective heel and TNA sorely missed him. The brawl between the two set the stage for what will be an intense feud heading into Bound For Glory and from a storyline perspective it made total sense: why would Storm waste time talking when he could kick some ass instead?
  • The Aces and 8’s Promo: Honestly, that’s the best I’ve seen them promo-wise since they showed up. It was short, sweet, and to the point and as an added benefit it added some interesting wrinkles to the story itself.
  • Jeff Hardy Vs. Bully Ray: An excellent IMPACT Wrestling main event from two of the top guys in the company. It helped cement the fact that Hardy deserves the main event at Bound For Glory and although it knocked Ray down a couple of notches, he will recover in no time. Putting the title shot on the line was an interesting twist as well but I’m sure many people disagreed with it.
  • Overall Show: Another good outing from TNA and IMPACT Wrestling continues to be a fun and entertaining show. The two hours flew by, the matches all mattered, and the stories told were more often than not engaging. I really hope more people start giving them a chance already.

What Was Okay:

  • Zema Ion Vs. Sonjay Dutt: It was a quick match but filled with fun high spots and if you love head scissors/hurricanranas this was most definitely your jam. Still it was nothing substantial and I’m sure their No Surrender match was better.
  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. Vs. Christopher Daniels: I was surprised by how “meh” the match was, but there you go. Nothing obscene, but nothing all that amazing either. Chavo is not lighting TNA on fire.

What Didn’t Work:

  • The New Gut Check Contestant: Another scrawny looking guy who doesn’t appear to be anywhere near ready to be on a big stage. I think TNA is picking scrubs on purpose just to make Joey Ryan look good.
  • Tara Turns on Miss Tessmacher: This isn’t a slight to the storyline itself, but more for how long it took for them to actually get to Tara beating Miss Tessmacher down. Everyone could see it coming so to waste so much time on Tara overdoing it with praise was a bit annoying.
  • The TNA Brass Pow Wow: I appreciated why this segment aired (showcase that the Aces and 8’s problem is big enough that they need all the top TNA personnel to meet about it) but it went overly long and had a really tacky part in the middle where it cut to each person individually with a “gong” sound (to insinuate one of them could be a member). It was cheesy and ridiculous. But the good part? D’Lo Brown got a cameo. HELL YEAH.

Overall Show Grade: B

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