Last week TNA went live for the summer of 2012, and I sat through an entire episode for the first time in years (maybe ever).
I like that TNA seems to be going in a concentrated direction at this moment in history. They are focusing on more reality-based programming with freedom for their wrestlers to be who they are. There are elements of this breakdown that I liked and disliked last week, but for the first time in a long time, I could actually see indications of an identity when watching Impact.
That much is good.
This week’s Impact is the go-home for Slammiversary.
TNA has put out its weekly preview.
I am currently interested in TNA, generally speaking, but for this week’s Impact, I’d have to go line-by-line.
In the main event this week on Impact, TNA Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode will team with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian to take on Sting, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles. At Slammiversary this Sunday, these six men break down like this: Bobby Roode versus Sting for the Heavyweight Championship and Christopher Daniels and Kazarian take on Kurt Angle and AJ Styles.
As far as matches go, this will be an interesting and entertaining one. It is a way to get many of the guys who will be showcased at Slammiversary into one setting. It also features six men who can carry their own weight in the ring.
There are always things that interest me about a matchup going into a PPV. Who scores the pin? Primarily it is Sting or Bobby Roode that get the three count, especially as Sting has already defeated Bobby Roode in the lead up to Slammiversary.
It may just be me, but when a guy loses quite a bit going into a PPV, I always think he might have a better chance at the event. If the winner comes from one of the men in the tag match, however, it will have less indication for me.
There is one thing I’m watching for at Slammiversary when it comes to AJ Styles and Kurt Angle: for one of these men to turn on the other.
I might be completely off base, but I’m not sure I trust either man right now.
My interest rate in the main event for Impact is four stars.
AJ Styles may be in a tag match at Slammiversary, but he’s been featured one-on-one with Dixie Carter quite a bit in a video by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian.
I’ve had people complain to me that Impact ended with one of these videos and Dixie Carter storming the set. I disagree with the disagreement.
As far as stories go, this is kind of a big one.
Dixie Carter possibly having an affair with AJ Styles—come on!
That’s sort of big.
The Dixie Carter character is still establishing herself, and this would be a pretty big blemish on her character. Whereas AJ Styles is always thought of as the squeaky-clean baby face, yet he is heel almost often as not.
The main thing that interests me is my suspicion that AJ Styles or Kurt Angle may turn at the PPV. It reminds me of when Ric Flair assisted Sting against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. The rivalry became intense leading into the PPV, but it led to a reforming of the 4 Horsemen and Flair turning on Sting.
I could see Christopher Daniels and Kazarian as supporting cast for Kurt Angle or some twist with AJ Styles.
If not, we are left simply with the affair between AJ Styles and Dixie Carter, which is intriguing, but I’m not sure if these two have the on-air talent to make it really pop.
My interest, because of a possible turn, props this one up to four stars as well.
It seems there is a 4-Way Knockouts match to determine who faces Gail Kim at Slammiversary, but we are not told who the four Knockouts are.
I suspect this will be one of Brooke Hogan’s first attempts at storyline as there was no time for a proper set up last week, which was a low point on Impact. I came out and said people should give Brooke Hogan a chance before they condemn her, and then she was stuck with a weird in-ring back-and-forth with her boss Dixie Carter and no storyline to accompany it.
It is difficult to retain a lot of interest in this segment and match while knowing so little about it. The fact that it is so poorly hyped doesn't give me a lot of confidence.
I will give it a gracious two stars.
This—Bully Ray versus Joseph Park—is my favorite storyline in TNA right now.
It is for two reasons: Bully Ray is doing the best of anyone in TNA right now. He is always interesting, always threatening and is the picture of what is right about letting a guy be who he is.
I also like Joseph Park. He is, in case you don’t know, the on-screen brother of Abyss and an attorney. He plays his role well and sweats a lot while doing it.
He has had run-ins with Bully Ray for weeks now.
This week it will be scheduled in a contract signing.
This is easily the segment I’m most looking forward to, and it will get five stars because I have loved each of their exchanges so far.
Joseph Park feels like a real outsider in the business, and I am genuinely curious to see where this will go.
My interest for this week’s Impact, based on the segments announced, is represented by two 4s, a 2, and a 5.
Totaled and averaged it would be a 3.75, which is between a high C and a low B.
I will round my score to a B-.
I am still interested in the new direction of TNA and the live summer of Impact, but it seems that it started too close to the next PPV. I am sort of excited to see what happens on the other side of Slammiversary.
The preview is not what I hoped it would be, but it’s not bad either.
A B- means a company is sitting in a place where it could climb or fall at any moment.
What is your interest rating for this week’s Impact?