Impact Wrestling makes its return after one of the best PPV's in a long time and we get treated to not just one but two championship matches.
Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin vs. Zema Ion for the X-Division Championship in an Ultimate X Match. And the return of the Bound For Glory Series in the form of a big gauntlet match, what more could you want?
This week there was very little wrong with the show, and while some will disagree, I am not just tooting the TNA horn, it was this good.
At the end of the show, TNA succeeded in doing one thing, making me believe that missing next week wasn't even an option. And isn't that the point?
Ultimate X Match - The match was a good one and AA was still in great form. Zema needs to work on a few things, and Sabin produced nicely until he hurt himself. The match seemed to be cut short because of Sabin's injury (which seemed legit).
Hogan/Aries Promo - I liked the promo (I didn't like what was said, but that's on the next slide) and both men said everything they needed to and they kept it short. Hogan and Aries are masters at working the mic, so I never expected it to fail.
Bully Ray/Joseph Park Backstage Segment - This angle gets a lot of backstage segments and almost all of them seem to work. Abyss is moving more into Mick Foley territory than ever before with the multiple personalities. Bully Ray always does good work.
AJ/Dixie Backstage Segments - I know it seems like a trashy "daytime soap," but I love this storyline and these little backstage segments have really whetted my appetite for next week.
Gauntlet (Battle Royal) Match - At first I was really not sold on this match (especially because it was a royal rumble match and not a gauntlet) but as it went on I couldn't help but get into it. The additions of three of my favorite mid card wrestlers in Pope, Magnus and Robbie E were the icing on the cake for me.
James Storm Promo - You know you're doing something right when the crowd is going completely nuts while you're talking. It's great to see Storm back in action.
Madison Rayne vs. Miss Tessmacher - Short match that was just there to get Tessmacher over by cleanly beating Gail Kim's BFF. Debut of Tessmacher's new finisher (what is it called?) and I like it.
Gail Kim/Brooke Hogan Backstage Promo - I don't like Brooke and she doesn't bring anything to the company, but the moment she dropped the "I choose when you get your rematch" line on Gail, I was sold on the segment. Great work by Gail Kim with the facial expressions as well.
Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson - Not a long match, but Roode was dominant. I love Roode; he has this old-school style about him that really works. Anderson was in great form, but I never thought he was going to win and that hurt the match.
Sting Promo & Beat down - The promo was all right and I liked how Sting mentioned both Jeff and Jerry Jarrett, but it's the beat down that will have everyone talking. Early money seems to be on AAA invading TNA, but all three guys looked white (with one slightly tanned), so I'm not so sure yet.
Hulk Hogan Ultimatum to Austin Aries - To borrow the catchphrase of The Miz, REALLY? I know that Aries has to drop the X-Division title some time but where is the harm in him dropping it to RVD and giving RVD time in the X-Division? I like that Hogan said, "I can't have one guy holding multiple titles" but this just feels cheap.
Devon vs. Hernandez - It wasn't that good of a match. Hernandez came out of the gates early and the match started well, but at no point did I believe Hernandez could win and isn't that the point of a title match? Towards the end, both men seemed to screw up spots and it really hurt the value of the match.
-Chris Sabin and Zema Ion got jobber entrances, can we at least make it look like Aries could lose? Giving the challengers jobber entrances guarantees the champion will retain.
-Zema is telegraphing his moves quite a bit in this match. He needs to work on that.
-I think Sabin may have legitimately injured himself again he was limping a lot during his last moments and was clutching his left leg outside the ring. (Just looked at the highlights and he injured his right knee when he was sent over the ropes by Aries onto Zema)
-Austin Aries made a T-Ball reference.
-Seriously, this is how Aries' title reign comes to an end?
-Hernandez was just introduced as "from Houston, Texas" but at Slammiversary was a part of Mexican America. I knew that was a screw up by Christy Hemme.
-I don't think TNA understands what a gauntlet match is. This is a Royal Rumble rip off, a lot quicker than an actual gauntlet match. They don't even have a countdown so the crowd has to play catchup.
-WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU HAVE A COMMERCIAL DURING THE GAUNTLET MATCH? THAT'S THE WORST POSSIBLE MATCH TO DO IT!
-There's a countdown out of nowhere; it's like they heard me.
-Pope is in the new Batman movie? When did this happen?
-Reaction to each Gauntlet Match Competitor: AJ Styles (well duh), Jeff Hardy (what's Anderson going to do after tonight if Hardy is busy?), RVD (we just saw RVD/Hardy/Anderson last night, now two of the first three men are RVD & Hardy?), Magnus (nice to see him getting TV time), Bully Ray (Bully for Champion), Kurt Angle (that's the second time tag team champs have been in this tournament), D'Angelo Dinero (POPE IS BACK ABOUT DAMN TIME), Robbie E (the feud with Devon is actually over!!), Daniels (as it should be), Samoa Joe (I'm completely happy now), James Storm (here is your favourite).
-Miss Tessmacher has a great tag line on her entrance video "don't mess with Tess."
-Brooke Hogan looked a lot less orange and a lot better tonight.
-Was Ice Ice Baby playing during the second Dixie/AJ segment?