[TV Review] IMPACT Wrestling – 11/8/2012 (‘Turning Point 2012’ Go-Home Show)

On this week’s IMPACT Wrestling, Luke Gallows was given his Aces and 8’s name, ODB took on the “Hollywood Couple” without the help of her husband, Sting felt the brunt of the “Dead Man’s Hand”, and Austin Aries attempted to murder Jeff Hardy by pushing him off of a ladder. Click “read more” for a review of the highlights and lowlights of this week’s show.

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Quick Match Results:

  1. Bobby Roode pinned AJ Styles in 14:54 (B)
  2. ODB defeated Tara/Jesse Godderz in 2:37 (C)
  3. Sting/Kurt Angle defeated Devon/The Director of Chaos by DQ in 5:39 (C)
  4. Magnus/Christopher Daniels/Frankie Kazarian defeated Samoa Joe/Chavo Guerrero Jr./Hernandez in 10:52 (B-)

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*What Worked*

The Aces and 8’s “Hammer” Sting: Talk about brutal; the post-match beatdown on Sting following the tag team match was uneasy to watch as D.O.C. went psychotic and beat “The Icon” to hell with a hammer after putting him through a table. Normally I would have scoffed at the fact they used such a blunt object, but tonight I’m giving them a pass because it was not only brutal to watch, but it made The Aces and 8’s interesting. Taking out such a big star in such a violent way did a lot for their credibility. And since this was really the only time they were on the show in any large capacity, it made a bigger impact. Really good stuff that still makes me feel far more queasy than I expected it to.

Bully Ray Has Joseph Park’s Back: Joseph Park amazes me every week he’s on television and tonight his segment with Hulk Hogan and Bully Ray was no different. Park’s desperate plea to fight The Aces and 8’s even though “he’s not a wrestler” was very impassioned and he had the Impact Zone eating out of his hand. Ray, however, helped elevate it by coming to Park’s defense and getting Hogan to agree to the Aces and 8’s match (up in the air when it happens though). Ray has become a hell of a babyface, going from being a mean bully to the tough guy with a code of honor and respect. Just great stuff from everyone all around and I hope to the TNA gods that we get some segments where Ray teaches Park how to be tough.

AJ Styles Vs. Bobby Roode: The first match of the show was also the match of the night but that shouldn’t be too surprising given the talent involved. Styles and Roode were working at a noticably slower pace than normal, probably saving their energy for Sunday, but they still put on one hell of a contest. James Storm‘s involvement, both on commentary and then (sort-of) in the match worked well too and helped sell their upcoming #1 Contender triple threat match and in turn Turning Point. This is going to be the match to watch for a variety of different reasons.

Christian York Wins the Gut Check: Those of us who watched last week’s show knew that Christian York had to be a shoo-in as a Gut Check winner by the end of his match with Zema Ion and this week the judges were in agreement. Glad that York is getting an opportunity and I think he could do some big things; and although a lot of people will think this is an insult (it isn’t), I’m personally pumped to see him throw down in OVW for a little while. Congratulations Mr. York, you’ve earned it.

Austin Aries Pushes Jeff Hardy Off a Ladder: The closing segment, featuring Aries “returning” the original TNA World Title back to Hardy, was good in an of itself but the final visual of Aries knocking Hardy off the ladder then posing it on top of it himself was excellent. It still feels like a second-tier feud given some of the other things in TNA, but this did a damn good job of making the match seem worth paying for. Also that was one hell of a terrifying fall Hardy took off the ladder. I was half-expecting them to just call the match off then and there.

Overall Show: A very solid go-home show for TNA that would’ve guaranteed my money had I not already taken a shift for my day job on Sunday. The in-ring action was decent and purposeful, the storylines were above average in comparison to other weeks, and the whole show just flew by in that good way you hope for. Just great effort by everyone involved and I hope people caught it and it adds some numbers to the Turning Point buyrate. A lot of people were nervous about TNA post-BFG but it looks like they may find a way out of the woods.

*What Was Okay*

ODB Vs. Tara/Jesse Godderz: By no means a good match, but it was an entertaining almost three minutes and the Tara/Jesse stuff gets more fun from week to week (at least to me; I’m sure many others will disagree with you). More so it has finally re-sold me on the ODB character, one I had gotten bored with many moons ago.

The Six Man Tag: A fun and definitely acceptable main event for this week’s show, but still a little too chaotic for my tastes. The highlight, as always, was Daniels though; he’s just so damn good at being a heel even when he’s forced to pretend “Gangnam Style” is something we all still find funny.

Matt Morgan/Joey Ryan Confront Hulk Hogan: RVD/Ryan was added to the show at random on this show, and didn’t get much build (I’ll get to that in a second). Instead there was a brief mention and another segment of Morgan being all ominous towards Hogan and Hogan randomly chuckling at it in that “I know what he’s doing” way. It wasn’t anything bad but it’s also not anything I’m particularly interested in.

*What Didn’t Work*

Luke Gallows’ Aces and 8’s Name: At the beginning of the show we found out what TNA is now calling Gallows and it’s not pretty. His name: The Director of Chaos, or D.O.C. for short. Seriously. That’s what they came up with. Very disappointing considering the talent and especially considering that he was the one who beat Sting nearly to death with a hammer during one of the cooler Aces and 8’s segments in recent memory. He kicked a** tonight but with a name like D.O.C. I fear for his future.

Sting/Angle Vs. Aces and 8’s: Definitely the worst match on the show for one big reason: you knew it wasn’t going to end clean. And storyline-wise their matches should never end clean given their “full access” to the Impact Zone; however they dug themselves into a hole with this one because, honestly, how do you have an Aces and 8’s match without a whole lot of interference? Hard to get excited for a match featuring these bikers, but also hard to get mad considering that it’s part of their storyline. Did that make sense? I hope so. Shut up.

No Eric Young: I never ever thought I’d list a lack of Eric Young on a show as a bad thing, but given the fact they announced the mixed tag (ODB/Young Vs. Tara/Godderz) for this Sunday it would have made sense for him to show up on the show and defend his tag team partner/wife from being double teamed by the Hollywood Couple. TNA have tried to tell the story by taking that into account but not having him on the go home show was…dumb. Just dumb.

No Goddamn X-Division: Ah my favorite part of these reviews has returned; despite an X-Division title match getting signed for Turning Point, there was no continued build for it today other than a smarmy Joey Ryan casually mentioning it and no X-Division matches to speak of. I know they built it last week but they could’ve at least squeezed something in here.

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Overall Show Grade: B

  • Best Match: AJ Styles Vs. Bobby Roode
  • Worst Match: Sting/Kurt Angle Vs. Devon/D.O.C.
  • Best Segments: Sting getting beaten down by the Aces and 8’s, Bully Ray backing Joseph Park in his bid to fight the Aces and 8’s, the Aries/Hardy stuff that closed the show
  • Worst Segments: None too horrible for once. Phew.

And there’s my review for this week. Overall a very solid show that raised my spirits after a couple of bad ones. For a more detailed recap of the event, check out my live (at the time) coverage over at Pro Wrestling Ponderings.

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