[TV Review] IMPACT Wrestling – 10/4/2012

This week on IMPACT Wrestling, two matches were announced for Bound For Glory, the X-Division finally made an appearance, Sting and Hulk Hogan debated who would help them fight the Aces and 8’s, MMA fighter King Mo made his debut, and Bully Ray proved once again why he’s the best all-around performer in TNA.

Quick Match Results:

  1. Mr. Anderson pinned Gunner (w/ Kid Kash) in 2:29.
  2. Tara/Gail Kim defeated [TNA Knockouts Champion] Miss Tessmacher/ODB in 4:43.
  3. Samoa Joe (c) pinned Rob Van Dam to retain the TNA Television Title in 4:36.
  4. Chavo Guerrero Jr. (w/ Hernandez) pinned Kurt Angle (w/ AJ Styles) in 6:41. (Afterwards, all four men bickered in the ring as Tag Champs Christopher Daniels/Frankie Kazarian egged them on from the entrance ramp)
  5. Douglas Williams defeated [TNA X-Division Champion] Zema Ion by Disqualification in 1:15 (Ion originally won by submission but wouldn’t release the hold so the referee disqualified him)
  6. Bully Ray defeated [TNA World Champion] Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy in a non-title match.

Quick Segment Overview:

  • Hulk Hogan and Sting talk in Hogan’s office. Hogan says that Sting will be one of the two TNA wrestlers to face The Aces and 8’s at Bound For Glory and tonight they would find him a partner. Sting said he would be watching each match carefully to decide who gets the spot.
  • Al Snow invited Joey Ryan to the ring to sign his TNA contract. After Ryan put his John Hancock on the dotted line, Snow let him in on a little secret: the contract is only good for Bound For Glory. Snow then said he would be Ryan’s opponent.
  • Kurt Angle talked with Sting about potentially being his partner at Bound For Glory (with TNA Tag Team Champs Christopher Daniels/Frankie Kazarian eavesdropping) and Sting said he would think about it. Immediately after, Sting was approached by Bully Ray who wanted in on the Aces and 8’s match. Sting told him to find himself a match and prove that he has what it takes tonight.
  • Austin Aries caught up with Jeff Hardy to talk about their tag team match last week. Aries half-heartedly apologized for not being a team player and at the same time blamed Hardy for “hogging the spotlight”. Bully Ray interrupted them and challenged Hardy to a match tonight. Aries took offense, saying Ray should want to challenge him. Hardy suggested they make it a triple threat match and Ray agreed. Aries was not pleased with Hardy deciding matches for him.
  • After his match, Zema Ion got on the mic and said that although he was top of the list for potential Sting partners, he didn’t want to get involved and risk hurting his pretty face. Nothing special here, but some nice heel work regardless.
  • Bruce Prichard scolded TNA road agent D’Lo Brown for letting Matt Morgan run in and kick a referee at a house show (footage of said attack was shown on what looked to be an iPad). Brown promised it wouldn’t happen again.
  • James Storm came out and talked about wanting to beat Bobby Roode‘s face in at Bound For Glory. Roode came out and talked trash right back on the entrance ramp and then ran down the special enforcer for their match, King Mo. Roode challenged him to come out and Mo did in all of his ridiculous glory (we’ll get to that in the actual review). Mo knocked Roode to the ground and then had a beer with Storm in the center of the ring.
  • The Aces and 8’s send a video from their Clubhouse where they run down Hogan and Sting having to “audition” potential partners for the TNA side when any one of them would already be up for the task for their own team. They then alluded to torturing Joseph Park with a car battery as the video cut out.
  • Hulk Hogan and Sting came out to end the show. After much deliberation, Hogan decides on Mr. Anderson to be Sting’s partner. His theme music hits but Anderson doesn’t come out; we go backstage and see The Aces and 8’s beating Anderson down. In comes Bully Ray to the Impact Zone where he begs for the tag team partner position. After much begging and convincing by Ray and Sting, Hogan and Ray shake hands to end the show.

*What Worked*

Bully Ray: From his triple threat matches to his promo work, Ray was hands down the MVP of the night. His work in the last segment in particular was monumental stuff and the best I’ve heard him talk in a long time. Although he’s not the best in-ring worker, he’s definitely the best all-around performer they’ve got and he showed why tonight.

Kurt Angle/Chavo Guerrero Jr.: Although there were some issues (both men worked heel at different points, Chavo and Angle botched a hurricanrana spot), this was easily the best match on the card. Chavo getting the win was very surprising and the match itself also helped to build the tension going into the Bound For Glory triple threat match. It’s quickly becoming one of my more anticipated matches.

Zema Ion: His match against Douglas Williams was short but definitely did a good job at showing how menacing he can be despite the pretty face. His new armbreaker/armbar finisher looked absolutely brutal (much credit goes to Williams for that as well) and his post-match promo was short but effective at showing off his heel persona. I’m peeved that the X-Division only got 5 minutes total to show off but Ion made every minute count. He’s better than you think TNA, let him go out there and work his magic.

Samoa Joe Defends the TV Title: I probably shouldn’t be this excited at a title being defended, but I really believe in the TV Title and having Samoa Joe be its holder makes me think it can finally become relevant (i.e. not something held by Eric Young or Robbie E.). Joe looked dominating in his win over Rob Van Dam and although RVD’s stock has fallen, it’s still a pretty big win and a good way to start a title reign. His upcoming defense against Magnus at Bound For Glory should be great.

Tessmacher/ODB Vs. Tara/Gail Kim: An entertaining Knockouts tag team match with a cool finish that helped Tara look even better as a heel. Tara pinned Tessmacher tonight in the match though, so I don’t expect great things to come her way at Bound For Glory. But still I’m enjoying Tara and I’m even interested to see who her “Hollywood boyfriend” ends up being.

*What Was Okay*

Overall Show: This wasn’t by any means a bad show but it was definitely heavily on the mediocre side. The in-ring action was lackluster and I just didn’t feel as engaged as I normally do. But part of that could always be due to non-wrestling stuff. Psychology is crazy that way.

Mr. Anderson Vs. Gunner: I expected this match to be a trainwreck of epic proportions but since it was so short I found it kind of enjoyable despite not being big on either man. I put it under “okay” because although it wasn’t great, it miraculously wasn’t a detriment either.

Al Snow/Joey Ryan Confrontation: This story has been dragged out longer than it needed to be, but it was nice to see its inevitable conclusion reached tonight. The mic work wasn’t all that special and the story was hokey (why wouldn’t Ryan just read the damn contract?) so it was merely okay. But it does give Bound For Glory another meaningful match (i.e. one with a story).

The Triple Threat Main Event: I was elated with the outcome (Ray winning) but this match wasn’t all that great action-wise. I will give it props for finding a way to keep Aries/Hardy away from each other though.

Bruce Prichard and D’Lo Brown: I like that they’re acknowledging the Matt Morgan house show run-ins but this segment was still just “bleh”. It gets a minor okay for moving along the Morgan story (it better not end in a D’Lo/Matt Morgan match though).

*What Didn’t Work*

The Debut of King Mo: I don’t know if that’s how he looks when he enters an MMA fight but let’s be straight here: King Mo, with his crown and his sequined robe, looked like a jackass. In fact he looked like what a casual wrestling fan thinks a pro wrestler is supposed to look like. His introduction was very lackluster and he overshadowed the supposed “blood feud” between James Storm and Bobby Roode. A feud that I think should be headlining the event but I’ll bitch about that in 9 days when I release my official preview and predictions.

The Aces and 8’s Mumble and Torture: The Aces and 8’s Clubhouse video was hard to understand and once again stretched the believability of the whole storyline. I was not buying what anyone was selling.

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