[TV Review] IMPACT Wrestling – 1/17/2013

Impact Wrestling Review

It was all about matrimony this week on IMPACT Wrestling as Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan attempted to tie the knot in the center of the ring. Naturally things didn’t go as planned and a new member of The Aces and 8’s was revealed. In addition a new tag team feud was born and the build to Jeff Hardy Vs. Christopher Daniels next week continued via a tag team match.

Click “read more” for quick match results and a breakdown review of the show. For a more detailed blow-by-blow account of the show itself, check out my report over at 411Mania.

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Quick Match Results:

  1. *TNA World Champion* Jeff Hardy James Storm defeated Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) when Hardy pinned Kazarian after the Twist of Fate in 11:56.
  2. Kenny King pinned Christian York after a tights-assisted roll-up in 2:52.
  3. Velvet Sky pinned Gail Kim with the In Your Face to remain the #1 contender to the Knockouts Title in 5:50.

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WHAT WORKED

Taz Joins the Aces and 8’s: Predictably the wedding between Ray and Brooke ended in travesty, but what wasn’t predictable was Taz joining the group and causing the distraction that led into the attack. Will this be successful in the long-run? I have no idea. Taz can’t wrestle and this hinges on him giving a damn and bringing his A-game on the mic. But in terms of a one-night swerve/surprise moment this was very successful. A lot, and I mean a lot, of people will disagree with me on this and that’s fine. I don’t get surprised very often with pro wrestling anymore and this was one of those rare instances where I reacted with genuine shock. And because of said shock I’m now interested in the Aces and 8’s again after months of them being just sort of there. So, for me, this worked.

Hulk Hogan Walks Brooke Down the Aisle: I enjoyed the wedding segment overall and the fact that it took up most of this week’s show irked a lot of people so your enjoyment of this week hinges on that. Now with that said my favorite non-Aces and 8’s attack moment of the wedding was Hulk Hogan showing up to walk Brooke down the aisle. “Will Hulk show?” was one of the big questions of the night, with Bully Ray even going so far as to have Sting talk to him man to man to convince him. When it seemed like it had been pointless, out “The Hulkster” came putting his own crap aside to be there for his family. I really liked that and it resonated with me, so I smiled when he showed up in the tux (and black bandanna).

Hardy/Storm Vs. Bad Influence: The first and best match of the night. A really entertaining match, and a solid way to build for the Hardy/Daniels World Title match next week on the show. Plus on such a wrestling-light episode it was the oasis for those looking for in-ring action.

Daniels Poses Over Hardy: Daniels’ post-match beatdown of Hardy, including an Angel’s Wings on Hardy’s vanity belt, was another solid way to sell their match next week. It was simple but it worked, made even better by Daniels relaxing over the fallen Hardy with the TNA World Title around his shoulder. I want to see this match, and this segment helped that desire.

Jay Bradley Wins the Gut Check: The Gut Check segments still need some work, having the judges scoot Brian Cage away before rendering an actual judgment was not the way to go, but I’m glad that Bradley got the win. He was impressive last week and he’s already got the Impact Zone rallying against him so TNA just gained itself another potentially good heel. Here’s hoping he doesn’t get shipped to OVW and gets to immediately head to the main roster a la Christian York.

 WHAT WAS OKAY

Aries & Roode: A “For Real” Tag Team: With Austin Aries and Bobby Roode coming up short in their bid for the World Title at Genesis, I was wondering where they would go from there. Well it looks like the simplest answer is the correct one as now these two are officially teaming up and have already made enemies in the TNA World Tag Team Champions Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez. Aries and Roode’s promo that essentially announced their full-on partnership was good, and the tag team division needs another good team, but their “LOL UR A MEXICAN!” insults at the champs were very bottom of the barrel. That’s the go-to when trying to build cheap heat in a quick amount of time and speaks to how shallow the tag team champs are as characters that their ethnicity is the only thing anyone can mock them on. Aries and Roode are two of TNA’s best talents and seeing them essentially move down the roster is sad, but they are very entertaining together and they make a good replacement for Bad Influence since it looks like Daniels is going to be doing more singles work (and maybe win the World Title? Please? I refuse to read the spoilers).

WHAT DIDN’T WORK

Velvet Sky Vs. Gail Kim: The tension between Kim and Knockouts ref Taryn Terrell was interesting (and justified) but the match itself was horrible. These two just weren’t working very well together and Sky hasn’t looked all that great since coming back. I’m sure Tara will figure out a way to get a good match out of her but right now…I’m not really looking forward to it. Matches like these are why.

Christian York Vs. Kenny King: I heard decent things about their match at Genesis so I had decent expectations for this match. Unfortunately they were all proven to be wishful thinking because this match, even at 3 minutes, was damn near a trainwreck. York continues to be off, at least every time I see him, his work having deteriorated since returning via Gut Check, and they just couldn’t get a rhythm going. King winning by grabbing the tights was cool, as was his reaction to winning, but otherwise…blech.

Brooke Hogan Has No Friends: For his special night Bully Ray brought in old friends Tommy Dreamer and Spike Dudley to be his groomsman. Brooke’s bridesmaids? Miss Tessmacher, Mickie James, and Christy Hemme. In other words her employees since she’s the head or whatever of the Knockouts division. That was weird and something that has bothered me since watching the show on Thursday. They couldn’t spring for her actual friends to show up?

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Overall Show Thoughts:

  • There was little to no post-Genesis build and the entire episode hinged around the wedding from the segment itself to all the backstage segments beforehand referencing it. So if you thought it was a terrible storyline, then there’s no doubt you hated this week. I, on the other hand, got into it and ended up enjoying the whole thing especially with the Taz reveal that came out of nowhere (we’ll see if that ends up being good or bad in the ensuing weeks). The tag team match was also very good as well as the Hardy/Daniels build and Bradley winning the Gut Check. It was by no means a good wrestling show if we’re talking strictly in-ring action but as an episode of IMPACT Wrestling it wasn’t all that bad. In fact this might be the week where I’ve finally “dialed in” to TNA as its own entity. Weird.

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