This week’s episode of TNA Impact Wrestling opened with general manager Hulk Hogan. He announced that four matches will take place throughout the night featuring wrestlers he felt were the most deserving of a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
At the end of the night, he would choose the most impressive for the title shot at Lockdown. He then brought out Sting, who will be the captain of Team TNA against the Aces & Eights in Lethal Lockdown. Sting declared that he’d choose three guys for his team, and that was the end of the segment.
I liked this opening segment. It was all about business, and it got the build to Lockdown underway. The Lockdown event is about a month away, so I was hoping that they’d start the hype here.
I’m not that big a fan of the “choose the most impressive” part of the four matches. Most impressive doesn’t necessarily mean most deserving. I would have liked to just see an eight-man tournament instead.
As for Lethal Lockdown, the match is one of my favorites. I always loved NWA/WCW War Games, and TNA’s is the same thing except with one ring instead of two. With it being TNA vs. Aces & Eights, I’m hoping this will be the end of the storyline. While there have been parts I really liked, it’s just time to end it.
Christopher Daniels vs. Magnus
Magnus picked up the victory here after hitting a top rope elbow drop. Daniels and Magnus had a good, back-and-forth match. The action was solid, and both wrestlers performed quite well. They have pretty good chemistry in the ring with one another.
I don’t know if Magnus as a babyface will continue when they return to the United States, but if it does, I would love to see more from him and Daniels.
Magnus is one of TNA’s best younger talents. He can get the job done in the ring, and he can deliver a good promo when he’s given a microphone. Being in the ring with someone with the experience of Daniels really benefited him. If he can hang in the ring with one of TNA’s best overall talents, then he could have a bright future if the company keeps pushing him.
Daniels was great here, too, but that really is no surprise. I really hope TNA puts the World title on him sometime this year. He’s on a roll right now.
The creepy cameraman then opened the locker room door of Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan. Bully was disappointed over some injury he sustained. He prides himself on being a warrior, but didn’t want to pout. He was going to take Brooke dancing, but before they left, Brooke had to remind him to put his wedding ring back on.
Bully’s not wearing his wedding ring? Something has got to be up. This is not Bully Ray we’re seeing. All of the sucking up to Hulk, playing the sympathy card with Brooke and not wearing his ring has got to be leading to something.
To me, all signs are pointing to Bully using Brooke to get to Hulk. Bully Ray wants to be World champion, and if Triple H taught us anything, the best way to do so is to marry the boss’s daughter.
Magnus then appeared to talk about how he was 26 years old and has been wrestling since he was 19. He had more fuel in the tank than anyone else, and has proven that he has what it takes to be a World champion.
Magnus cut a good promo here. He has improved so much since his early days in TNA with the British Invasion. I believe him when he says that he has what it takes. He proves that when he’s in the ring. TNA should at least give him the Television Championship so he can get his foot in the door of the main event scene.
Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
The match ended in a no-contest when Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco attacked both men. I thought that the overall match was decent at best. The action was slow and disappointing coming from two guys who know each other so well in the ring.
I knew this wasn’t going to be a classic like some of their other matches, but I was expecting something better. They still work well with one another; It’s just that they toned it down in this match.
The extra-long commercial break in the middle didn’t help matters either. Seriously, those commercials seemed to last forever!
The attack by Bischoff and Brisco leads me to believe that all four men are going to be in Lethal Lockdown. It’s a feud within the feud, so it makes sense to me.
The Blossom Twins and Party Marty vs. Gail Kim, Tara and Jessie Godderz
Before the match, Dixie Carter was backstage with the Blossom Twins and Party Marty. Despite losing British Boot Camp, they were getting a chance here so they should give it their all. I like seeing Dixie Carter interact with talent. She always works well with people. I have never seen either the Blossom Twins or Marty wrestle before, so this was quite exciting.
As for the match, Gail Kim picked up the win for her team after hitting the Eat Defeat on one of the Blossom Twins. I enjoyed this match, though it was mainly thanks to the Knockouts.
The action between the Gail Kim, Tara and the Blossom Twins was quite good. I really liked the twins. They’re solid performers and held their own in the ring with veterans like Gail and Tara. I really hope that TNA keeps them as performers, as the Knockouts division could use some more depth.
The action between Marty and Jessie wasn’t the greatest. Most of it was during a commercial, so that probably didn’t help matters. One thing of note happened, and that was Marty missing a suicide dive by going over Jessie’s head and hitting the steel barricade hard.
That seemed to be more Jessie’s fault, though, as he looked to be out of position. If he was just a step or two back, Marty would have hit the move perfectly.
Post-match, Gail Kim wanted a title match against Tara. That brought out Brooke, who gave her a shot at the title next week. She wasn’t alone, though, as the match would be a Fatal Four Way Elimination match with Miss Tessmacher and Velvet Sky.
Well that’s certainly something to look forward to next week. I really hope this is Velvet’s time to get the title back!
Backstage, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode said that Hulk Hogan was scared. He was trying to drive a wedge between them, but it wouldn’t work since they were on the same page. Aries and Roode truly are great together. Their chemistry in the ring, and just talking to each other, is flawless. I love how this storyline is going so far!
James Storm vs. Rob Van Dam
James Storm defeated the X-Division champion with the Last Call superkick in a decent match. The action was pretty slow and a bit boring at times. I don’t think Storm and Van Dam work too well together.
They have zero chemistry and just didn’t click at all in this match. Van Dam just going through the motions really doesn’t help either. All he has is the same set of moves he’s been doing for over a decade, and once he does them, he’s finished.
It’s like he stops caring after he hits his signature moves. He did pull out one surprise in this match, though, when he went for the Coast-to-Coast. He ended up missing, but it was still good to see him pull out a move he doesn’t do that often anymore. Other than that, he was the same old RVD.
Storm seems to have slowed down a bit, too. He has his moments of intensity, but he doesn’t move around as quickly as he used to. Overall, TNA should have given them different opponents.
Backstage, Joseph Park showed up at Hulk Hogan’s office. He was campaigning to be World champion in 2013, and even hired a campaign manager. Hogan told him the boys were ribbing him, and closed the door to talk to Brooke. Joseph Park as the TNA champion? Well that would certainly be interesting. I highly doubt it would happen, though.
Back from commercial and the cameraman teleported into the room with the Hogan’s. Brooke was telling poppa Hulk that Bully worked hurt and wanted to be like Hulk. The Hulkster declared that he has to remain objective in his decision about Jeff Hardy’s challenger.
There you have it. Bully Ray gave Brooke a sob story about working hurt and wanting to be World champion, and she went directly to daddy about it. The bully is still a bully. He’s just using his talents in a different way.
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode
After declaring that they were on the same page, Aries and Roode both attempted the dreaded Finger Poke of Doom. Aries soon laid down for Roode, but reversed it into a pin of his own. The match then got started, which ended in a double count-out after they were distracted by Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez.
This match was very well done. Whether they were arguing, trying to cheat, constantly countering each other or trying to pull an Eddie Guerrero with the fake steel chair shots, both Aries and Roode delivered in this match.
The action was very good and their storyline provided some great entertainment. This was really fun to watch, and was definitely the best part of the night.
The count-out finish was the best way to end the match, too. If one got a victory over the other, the one on the losing end would never hear the end of it. It would make the storyline even more interesting than it already is, but I’m glad they’re sticking to the course they have already laid out.
Jeff Hardy’s Lockdown Challenger Is…
Nobody, at least not yet. Before Hogan could make the announcement, the Aces & Eights surrounded the ring. Hogan was soon joined by a limping Bully Ray, who changed into his ring gear for some reason, and Sting with a cricket bat. The biker gang, who outnumbered the guys in the ring, just backed away and left.
I don’t get why they just walk away. There are eight, or more, of them and just three opponents. Those three opponents are a guy with a leg injury, another who can barely move and Sting. The only real threat was Sting, but they just walked away. If eight or more guys are going to run away from three people, then the gang really isn’t very menacing, are they?
With Bully Ray coming out to save Hogan, I think Hulk’s going to end up picking him for the title shot. He had nothing to do with the four matches earlier, but he’s “family.” When everything is all said and done, I can see Bully Ray as TNA World Heavyweight champion, and as a member of the Aces & Eights.
Overall, I thought this was a solid episode of Impact Wrestling, but it wasn’t without its disappointments. While two of the four main matches delivered, as did the Knockouts in their match, the two other matches failed to do so.
Along with the good matches, what got the show over for me was the crowd and build for Lockdown. The London crowd was into the whole show, and it created a good feel on television.
For Lockdown, fans know that Lethal Lockdown is returning, while a No. 1 contender for Jeff Hardy’s World Heavyweight Championship is on the way. With Guerrero and Hernandez distracting Aries and Roode, that feud is certainly not over yet, so that very well could be the Tag Team Championship match.
Storylines and feuds were developed, so everything went well. This definitely wasn’t their best show in England, though.
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