Mickie James: Heel
The new Knockouts champion has undergone an attitude change as of late, and her performances have benefited from it.
In a backstage segment during Thursday's show, Mickie feigned sympathy for Velvet Sky and the attack she suffered at the hands of Gail Kim a week earlier. She made excuses for not helping Velvet and then brought up Taryn Terrell rescuing Velvet and "stealing" their match at Slammiversary. The former champion went on to tell Mickie that she was healed and that they should have their match later on, but Mickie weaseled her way out of it, claiming to have a match with a woman that Velvet had overlooked while champion.
That woman would be Gut Check winner Taeler Hendrix, who made her first appearance on the show in over a year.
Mickie was great in her role as condescending champion, completely disrespecting Hendrix and looking past her to an easy victory. Instead, the young Knockout proved to be a challenge for Mickie, who eventually had to feign a knee injury of her own in order to catch Taeler off guard and pick up the win.
The current Knockouts champion was so good in her role Thursday night that it is difficult to imagine that she has not been a full-fledged heel in seven years.
Bound For Glory Series Qualifiers
The Bound For Glory series is one of the unique ideas that TNA got right and, as a result, the main event of its annual October pay-per-view event means more than any other match of the year. The top contender is determined via a point system in which wins over other TNA wrestlers actually matter.
This year, rather than naming the competitors in the series, qualifying matches were held to determine which deserving stars would compete for the right to face the TNA World champion at Bound For Glory.
The qualifying matches, which included Hernandez vs. Chavo Guerrero and Samoa Joe vs. Robbie E, are an excellent way to make the series feel even more prestigious and important than it already does.
Brooke Can't Still Love Bully, Can She?
Impact Wrestling went off the air with Hulk Hogan just about to bash Bully Ray's head in with a pipe when Brooke Hogan stopped him. The three exchanged glances as the show faded to black.
In recent weeks, the question has repeatedly been asked as to whether or not Brooke still loves her husband. Thursday night was the latest development in that story.
Regardless of one's opinion of soap opera-like storylines in professional wrestling, the unfolding of the story between Brooke and Bully, with Hulk as the centerpiece, is the type of program that made wrestling so popular during the late 1990s and one that provides an alternative to the straight-forward stories offered on WWE programming.