[TV Review] IMPACT Wrestling – 12/20/2012

Impact Wrestling Review

This week on IMPACT Wrestling, four contestants vie for a shot at the Knockouts Title, the Bully Ray/Hulk Hogan/Brooke Hogan situation gets a little hairier, and in the main event Jeff Hardy defends his TNA World Heavyweight Title against Austin Aries.

Click “read more” for quick match results and a breakdown review of the show. For a full-blown detailed recap, check out my live coverage over at Pro Wrestling Ponderings.

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Quick Match Results:

  1. Devon (c) pinned Kurt Angle to retain the TNA Television Title after Aces and 8’s interference (11:06).
  2. Joey Ryan/Matt Morgan defeated Kenny King/*TNA X-Division Champion* Rob Van Dam when Ryan pinned Van Dam after Morgan connected with a Carbon Footprint (4:51).
  3. Tara (w/ Jessie Godderz) (c) pinned Mickie James to retain the TNA Knockouts Title (6:58).
  4. Jeff Hardy (c) pinned Austin Aries to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Title (18:04).

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*What Worked*

[[Jeff Hardy Vs. Austin Aries]]: Hardy and Aries have already proven they have tremendous chemistry with one another, and they did so again tonight in the main event. An excellent match and the best television main event I’ve seen from TNA since I jumped back on board in July. The Bobby Roode interference even fit perfectly and made sense within the context of the story, pretty much guaranteeing a triple threat match for the title at Genesis. A step down from their previous encounters? Arguable. But still what a stellar 18 minute match; I could watch these guys wrestle all damn day.

[[Frankie Kazarian’s Christmas Party]]: A harmless and goofy segment, but a fun one thanks to Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. They continued to mock AJ Styles while also having some fun at the expense of Christmas, bringing out their own Santa Claus (who had some good one-liners in his own right). Once James Storm showed up it edged really close to the “too goofy to still work” line but all in all I was very entertained by this. Kazarian/Daniels are in that good spot where they’re just down to do whatever comes to their mind because f*ck it it’s not like TNA brass is paying much attention.

[[Kenny King Abandons Rob Van Dam]]: The tag team match itself had its moments; King/RVD worked really well as a team and were fun to watch and I always welcome Joey Ryan on my television. However the best moment came towards the end when King, facing the wrath of a potential Carbon Footprint, literally peaced out of the match and let RVD take the boot and the pinfall loss. He’s still towing the face/heel line, at least until he finally attacks RVD for real, but King is gaining personality. I’m glad TNA remembered his existence. Alsoalso there’s gonna be a feud over the X-Division Title so much rejoicing must take place. Party at my house.

[[Tara Vs. Mickie James]]: A solid match between these two and much respect towards Jessie Godderz as well who continues to impress me week after week. The finish seemed a little botched, an inverted atomic drop turned into almost a GTS, but overall I enjoyed this. James brought her working boots when returning to action.

[[Overall Show]]: After a rough show last week, I found this episode of IMPACT Wrestling to be far more entertaining and far more fluid. The matches all had a purpose, storylines were pushed forward (for better or worse), and the main event was stellar and high above what they normally do on the show in-ring-wise. Yes flaws still existed but overall the two hours flew by and I didn’t want to change my channel once. That’s a good thing.

*What Was Okay*

[[Kurt Angle Vs. Devon]]: If you had to pick a bad match out of the show, this would have to be it; Angle is working hurt and it showed in this matchup as he didn’t really bring the goods. The match was fine, better than I expected actually, but these two just don’t work well together. Glad The Aces and 8’s ended up winning though; they’ve been on a losing streak lately which has been making them look like b*tches.

[[Bully Ray Saves Hulk Hogan]]: Hulk Hogan announcing that Wrestler of the Year voting had begun was cool, especially since it didn’t pertain to any apps, but that and the subsequent Aces and 8’s interruption were just an excuse to get Bully Ray out there to save Hogan once again. Without Brooke Hogan in the spotlight, the Ray/Hogan issue is interesting and I liked Hogan still not trusting or liking Ray despite the help. I don’t think the Ray/Devon match will ever happen though…sorry.

*What Didn’t Work*

[[Championship Thursday Deliberation]]: The Knockouts Title deliberation was painful like all of the other Championship Thursday deliberations, but this one had the added oomph of sexism. Brooke Hogan eliminating ODB because she should be home caring for the “injured” Eric Young was…yikes. Just yikes. And although the other two segments ended up making more sense and gave a decent enough explanation as to why Mickie James got the shot over ODB, Miss Tessmacher, and Velvet Sky, that opening segment was crappy enough to ruin the rest of them in the end.

[[The “1-3-13” Reveal]]: For the past few weeks TNA has been running “mysterious” 1-3-13 promos and this week instead of just keeping up the mystique they just went ahead and revealed it: Sting. It’s Sting. He’s coming back to finish off The Aces and 8’s. A massive letdown? Yes. But at least this is “Crow” Sting and not “Joker” Sting so that’s…something. Either way it’s a lackluster payoff that they hot-shotted instead of waiting until the designated date to reveal. Methinks someone in TNA realized it was going to piss a lot of people off so they just went early.

[[The Final Segment]]: After an excellent main event the show immediately cut to backstage where Hulk Hogan discovered Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan making out and promptly got into his car in a huff. Now while this is storyline development and I’m happy they’re doing that, this should not have been the last moment on the show. Jeff Hardy had just retained his title thanks to unknown interference from Bobby Roode and it seemed like it should’ve played off of that more, not have Hogan find out Ray and Brooke were playing tonsil hockey in the parking garage. Took the wind out of my sails.

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