The 6/28/12 edition of IMPACT will be the first since Bobby Roode versus Austin Aries became the official main event for Destination X.
Last week my interest rating for IMPACT was an A+.
While the show didn’t reach that level of perfection (too much in one show perhaps, plus a less-than-stellar ending), it was still an episode where much transpired.
As mentioned, Austin Aries accepted the challenge for Destination X. A new rule was put into place where each year at this pay-per-view the X-division champion has the option to forfeit the title and challenge for the heavyweight championship. The night also featured matches from the Bound for Glory series, and the first ever female Gut Check.
What will happen on the second-to-last edition of IMPACT before Destination X? Can TNA walk the fine line between building towards Bound for Glory and giving proper due to Destination X?
Otherwise, you can go straight into the buildup and breakdown of the show.
Although last week’s IMPACT did not live up to the A+ interest rating I gave it (very few episodes ever will), there was at least one performance that earned an A+.
It was the King defending his throne.
Bobby Roode wasn’t even included in the preview for last week’s IMPACT, but when he burst onto the ramp after Austin Aries accepted the challenge for Destination X, he made clear who was still the man in TNA by cutting one of the best old-school promos I’ve seen in some time.
Bobby Roode has sometimes been lukewarm on the mic, but he brought down fire last week. It wasn’t the well-scripted and polished promos you may be used to from WWE. It was more an NWA style defend your turf, guard your throne and remind everyone who the champ is promo.
In fact, Bobby Roode delivered the performance I expected from Austin Aries.
The Austin Aries segment was historical, as it changed the game for all future X-division champions, but Austin Aries didn’t give the performance I expected.
Bobby Roode did.
And now these two guys have only two weeks to build to a match that threatens to be overshadowed by the long and lengthy shadow of Bound for Glory.
Two things need to happen to keep my interest at a five out of five in this one. Bobby Roode needs simply to maintain the fire he brought last week, and Austin Aries needs to step up his game.
He’s got two weeks to be the main event.
He needs to prove he can fill the large shoes he created with the big words he’s been talking for weeks.
The Bobby Roode-Austin Aries segment gets four out of five stars for interest.
Both men are capable of bringing a quality performance, but I won’t give either the benefit of the doubt until I see them together in their first official week as champion-challenger.
The Bound for Glory series is the awesome idea that takes some getting used to.
I am all-in with the Bound for Glory series, but I am still adjusting to the fact that this competition extends until September 6, 2012.
You can view the rules and current standings here.
Because this is my first time watching the Bound for Glory series play out, and because there is little else as lengthy as it, I find it difficult to balance the importance of the early going of these matches with the upcoming PPVs and with IMPACT.
For instance, the TV title couldn’t be defended last week for the six “Open Fight Night” Bound for Glory matches.
I also went in expecting Cowboy James Storm to get derailed. If this competition were shorter, that may have happened.
Instead the odds on favorite continues to dominate the standings for the time being.
James Storm is in first with 36 points. He is followed by Samoa Joe (17), Kurt Angle (10) and Mr. Anderson (nine).
If today were September 6, these would be the four men who would go on to compete for a shot at Bound for Glory.
I expect much to change between now and then, but I hope to see a great deal change sooner than later with some of the guys involved.
While guys like AJ Styles, Kurt Angle and Christopher Daniels are involved in a high-level feud, guys like RVD, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe and others are just showing up, wrestling and not really involving themselves with anything creative or current.
That needs to change.
TNA needs to find a better way of balancing the future with the here and now.
Last week I enjoyed seeing six matches, but I was not too happy with the lack of tension going into the matches. The 10-minute time limits and the randomness of it all made for less-than-thrilling moments at times.
Still, it is the Bound for Glory series, but it would help if TNA would announce the weekly matches in advance.
At least that would give the weekly matches more build.
For now my interest has slipped to three-and-a-half out of five stars.
This will be an important week for me in watching how these matches play out. I want to see some guys get involved in feuds that will matter now and at Destination X, not just wrestle vaguely for September dreams.
Last week TNA threw a swerve into the Gut Check competition when they had a Knockouts match. Taeler Hendrix became the first female to go for it at Gut Check and attempt to win a contract.
Taeler’s story is that she was misdiagnosed with cancer and lived for part of a year thinking she had cancer. It not only brought on the obvious turmoil, but it stalled her wrestling career.
The Taeler Hendrix match against Tara was not a bad one, and I am very interested to see how the three judges will treat a female applicant. They seemed to show out last month in talking down to Joey Ryan. I don’t know if this one will play out exactly like the one before it.
Truly, though—who can say? It is the first time a female will be standing in the Gut Check final decision.
And that, in itself, is history.
I give this one another three-and-a-half stars out of five, with the side note that I fully hope it will outdo my rating.
The main event on IMPACT will be AJ Styles and Kurt Angle defending the tag team straps against the guys who they won them from, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian.
I’m not going to say a lot about the drama that unfolded with AJ Styles and Dixie Carter last week. I will point out that fans continued to cheer AJ Styles and Dixie Carter when they were assumed to be in an affair, but even those fans couldn’t keep up the cheers during the unfolding story last week.
It seems that the message was AJ Styles and Dixie Carter are great, great people.
Those are the types of things you want fans to learn on their own. In the world of show don’t tell, this is one you really want to show and not tell.
It went how it went, and it seems all the surprises (unfortunately) may not be told. It seemed the segment was broken up before the story fully unfolded.
I am interested in the match but not the outside story.
I give the match four stars, but the drama around it is currently at a one.
I will stay open-minded to it, but they need to tone it down just a bit.
This segment, all things considered, gets an interest rating of three out of five stars.
Last week my interest rating was an A+ not only because the card was stacked, but because IMPACT had exceeded my interest rating two weeks in a row.
Last week it did not, and thus the interest rating doesn’t get a momentum bounce this week.
The card is supplemented by the fact that I am curious to see how Gut Check will go and I want to see if Austin Aries can seize his moment.
Still, I put my interest at a sagging B-, with the one note that I expect TNA is more than capable of earning a B+ or higher if they truly bring it this week.
Where are you interest-wise coming off this past IMPACT?
With the preview set, how interested are you in the 6/28/12 edition of IMPACT?