[TV Review] IMPACT Wrestling – 9/27/2012

This week on IMPACT Wrestling: A new TV Champion is crowned, the latest Gut Check contestant faces the judges, more matches are announced for Bound For Glory, and Hulk Hogan and Sting head to the Aces and 8’s clubhouse…through awkward circumstances.

Quick Match Results:

  1. Christopher Daniels defeated Kurt Angle and Chavo Guerrero Jr. in 9:07 (B-)
  2. Tara pinned ODB (w/ Eric Young) to become the #1 Contender for the Knockouts Title in 4:43 (B-)
  3. Samoa Joe defeated Mr. Anderson by knockout to become the new TNA Television Champion in 5:17 (C)
  4. [TNA World Champion] Austin Aries/Jeff Hardy defeated Bully Ray/Bobby Roode in 14:02 (B)

Quick Segment Rundown:

  • Hulk Hogan came out to open the show. He hyped up “Championship Thursday” and said a new TV Champion would be crowned tonight. He then announced that James Storm and Bobby Roode would go one on one at Bound For Glory in a Street Fight with MMA fighter King Mo as the “special enforcer”. After that bit of house cleaning, Hogan turned his attention to the Aces and 8’s and said he was going to meet them on their turf tonight. Sting unexpectedly made his return to television and said he was going to back Hogan up tonight against the Aces and 8’s.
  • Hulk Hogan eliminated Magnus from TV Title contention, leaving Samoa Joe, Garett Bischoff, and Mr. Anderson as the final three.
  • Brooke Hogan met with Tara backstage and told her that she was going to have to earn her title shot against Miss Tessmacher tonight in a #1 Contenders match. Tara kept taking calls her from “Hollywood” boyfriend during the discussing, prompting Brooke to steal the phone at the end of the segment.
  • Before deliberating over Gut Check contestant Evan MarkopoulosBruce Prichard dressed down Al Snow for hitting a “civilian” a few weeks ago to further his feud with Joey Ryan.
  • Hulk Hogan eliminated Garett Bischoff from contention and announced Samoa Joe and Mr. Anderson would meet to decide the new TV Champion.
  • Bobby Roode caught up with TNA World Champion Austin Aries in his dressing room. Roode admitted to being Bully Ray‘s partner for tonight’s main event and then said that as much as he had riding on the Bound For Glory main event (Roode can’t get another title shot as long as Aries is champion), he also didn’t think Jeff Hardy should become champion. Roode continued to sew doubts into Aries’ mind about Hardy.
  • Hulk Hogan and Sting were ambushed by the Aces and 8’s backstage and kidnapped in a white van. We caught up with them later, tied to chairs, where they went sort of face to face with “The President”. A deal was struck: Hogan would pick two of TNA’s toughest competitors to face two of the toughest Aces and 8’s members at Bound For Glory. If Aces and 8’s wins, they get “full access” to the Impact Zone and by proxy TNA. Fearing for Joseph Park‘s safety, he agreed to the stipulations but Aces and 8’s decided to keep Park in the Clubhouse “as insurance”.
  • Evan Markopoulos faced the TNA Gut Check judges and by a vote of 2-1, was not granted a TNA contract.
  • At the conclusion of the show, Hulk Hogan and Sting were brought back to the Impact Zone by the Aces and 8’s, the most courteous evil biker gang in the history of pro wrestling.

*What Worked*

The Opening Segment: A good opening promo by The Hulkster that set the stage for the night’s events as well as added a blockbuster match for Bound For Glory. Although the segment sagged a little once Sting made his appearance (I’ll get to that later), I thought it was a good way to hype the show for anyone just tuning in.

Daniels/Angle/Guerrero: The triple threat match itself was okay and watchable, thanks to the excellent heel work by Daniels (why hasn’t he ever been World Champion?) and the high talent quality, but this worked for me more as a nice way to hype up the upcoming tag team triple threat match at Bound For Glory. Each competitor was initially seconded by their partner but after it almost turned into anarchy due to the tensions, the ref kicked Kazarian/Styles/Hernandez out of the ringside. It was a simple but effective way to show how crazy things are getting and how amped all three teams are face one another. I approve.

ODB/Tara: Sometimes it’s wonderful to be surprised; I had low expectations going into this match but it turned out to be very entertaining. They really went at each other and even Eric Young was funny with his comedic routines outside of the ring. It made me hate him less for the first time in awhile. Tara was also great in heel mode during this match, snatching the win by faking a knee injury and rolling ODB up (with her foot on the rope, no less)! Tara seems motivated and important for the first time in forever.

Samoa Joe Becomes Grand Slam Champion: By winning the TV Title tonight, Samoa Joe has now officially won every belt that can possibly be won in TNA. It’s great to see him get this level of success, even if the match itself wasn’t so great (touch on that in a little bit, don’t you love of all this suspense)? And with Joe in possession of the TV Title, prestige has been added and the potential to rebuild that division is high. I’m keeping my fingers cross they don’t bungle it.

The Main Event: As usual, the main event of IMPACT Wrestling delivered. All four man worked their asses off, with Ray and Roode playing excellent heel roles (although let’s be fair, Roode felt like the odd man out here and the fact James Storm didn’t stick his nose into the proceedings is a bit…weird). The tension between Aries and Hardy was also fun to watch, with Aries doing everything in his power to upstage Hardy and prove he’s just as good as his Bound For Glory opponent. For those reading this, that probably sounds like backwards logic but if you watch the show, it makes a bit more sense.

Overall Show: Many props to TNA for a really good and meaningful edition of IMPACT Wrestling. More matches for Bound For Glory were announced, giving their biggest event of the year the foundation most of their PPV’s tend to lack around this same time. The hype is going along smoothly although it will have its detractors, and despite some pitfalls here and there, the two hours breezed by and presented entertaining television that made me want to purchase the PPV. And considering TNA wants my money, I’d call that a success.

*What Was Okay*

The Aces and 8’s Kidnap Hulk Hogan and Sting: The hokiness of this storyline cannot be overstated; laws are being broken left and right, people are being hit with weapons that would kill a normal man, and this week the full on kidnapping of TNA’s two biggest stars pushed it beyond believability (I know wrestling is fake, but come on). However as ridiculous as it was, it actually served a purpose and progressed the storyline. It also made a blockbuster (for TNA anyway) match for Bound For Glory with massive potential ramifications. And the way Hogan and Sting were kidnapped, a woman came up disguised as a TNA production assistant and sprayed them in the eyes to distract them, was amazing. I’m glad they went back to that whole “anyone could be a member of the Aces and 8’s” creed they brought up two weeks ago.

Samoa Joe Vs. Mr. Anderson: A good chunk of people who watched the show dug this match but I just couldn’t get into it. The chemistry just wasn’t there and considering how talented Joe is, I have to put the blame on Anderson for this one. The finish was also a dud, not because of how it ended (Joe choking Anderson out), but because it how badly it came across on TV. In short it flatlined, with the Impact Zone crowd not reacting much to what happened, and it made it look bad on television. Also as special as Joe’s accomplishment is, it didn’t really come across that way afterwards as well. It seemed like just another title win. I felt like it should’ve had more prestige.

*What Didn’t Work*

Sting Was Useless: Sting made his big return to the show after disappearing for a few weeks due to reasons never explained. He proceeded to then cut a horrible promo, get kidnapped alongside Hogan, and offer nothing more than yelling and anger. To put it bluntly he was useless and didn’t really need to be there. His presence was superfluous to the whole situation.

The TNA Gut Check Result: The conclusion to the latest TNA Gut Check was as uninspired as ever, with the focus in the beginning being about Al Snow and Joey Ryan, and the result itself lacking any sort of drama. It just felt like wasted TV time to me and I still cling to my conspiracy theory that every Gut Check contestant post-Ryan has been bland on purpose.

King Mo Being Announced as Special Enforcer: This is more of a personal negative for me and I’ll tell you why: I don’t watch MMA so I have no idea who or what a King Mo is.

Once Again, No X-Division: Another week sans the X-Division and at this point the title has about as much prestige as the Knockouts Tag Team Titles (but at least those champions got to be on the show!). It’s unfathomable that this keeps happening and as I promised last week I will keep bitching about this until it gets TV time again. I need my goddamn flippy floppy fix.

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