Monday has come and gone. I was pretty impressed with both Raw and Impact. And because of that, I'm going to break it down to three parts. The first part will focus around Impact. The second part, coming out either later today or tomorrow, will focus around Raw. The last part, which will hopefully have the ratings, will come each 15 minutes of the show and see what could have been different and which show came out on top. With that said, let's kick it off with TNA Impact.
Great way to start off Impact. The crowd was VERY hot to begin the show. Having the Hogan/Abyss team come out and get the crowd pump was a smart idea. The crowd played an important part about how big the night was and they didn't let up the entire Hogan promo. Hogan can still cut a promo and it was very smart to not allow Abyss on the mic. He's a monster and shouldn't talk. Hogan's promo wasn't too long and he just just enough to put over Spike, TNA, and himself.
LOVED the Styles robe. People can hate on his gimmick all they want, but Styles as a Flair wannabe is great. He's a country boy his entire life and it's time to live the good life. People got to understand that part of wrestling is an act and Styles is living it up. Great to see.
I wasn't expecting too much from the main event match since it started the show. Like all wrestling companies, on a big night, you tease the fans, have something break down, and then restart the match later that night. It's typical, but TNA did a good job on it. A nice taste of what the four men can do and showcase what Styles can do. Hogan didn't get too much offense and the little showcase was just to put the heels over and show that STING is back.
Sting could have easily gone one or two ways. There is as much history between Sting and AJ/Flair as there is Sting and Hogan/Abyss. I love the turn, though. Sting hasn't been a real heel in years, if ever. Sure, he joined the Mafia, but he wasn't really that big of a heel. He wasn't like Angle or Steiner. He was just basically there on his own agenda.
I could care less about blood. If anything, it was a shot to WWE saying we can show blood. Blood doesn't make me like or dislike a product. It may to some people, but I could care less to see old men bleed. That's just me.
Also, is it me, or do the old men (Hogan/Flair/Sting) look overweight? Looks like Sting hasn't been in the gym since he last wrestled. I'll touch on that later, though.
For the first segment, it gave the audience a taste of what is to come and gave us a nice turn with Sting. Very enjoyable segment that, if the viewers had turned to watch Impact over Raw, viewers would probably be sticking to Impact. Done very well.
The Sting/Dixie angle I didn't like. I don't blame it on Dixie either. Sting should have really choked her and had more anger in his voice. He sounded like a weak child. He needed more of a man voice. Dixie then should have walked away scared or just sat down confused.
Again, I love the Styles gimmick. He looks like a little kid looking up to his idol. I'm digging it. He's got the energy and look. As for Flair, he's gold on the mic. He's a perfect manager. There is no one in the business that can cut a promo like the Nature Boy. You want to play Guts and Glory, dial the Nature Boy baby. I can't get enough Flair on the mic.
Abyss, eh, again, he shouldn't be talking. Instead of screaming, he should have grunted and broke stuff. He's a monster so let's use him like a monster. Shit should have broke.
Is it me or does Hogan's new girl look like a drag with big plastic boobs? I can deal with Brooke because she is cute but Hogan, come on man, you can do better.
Kaz on the mic. I digged it. He can be the future of the X Division. Not digging that gay eye makeup, but whatever. Crowd is behind the X Division and that's a good key. Viewers need to be behind the X Division so they can be showcased. Kaz put the guys over and he just might be the face of the Division.
I love Daniels. It's about time Daniels is showcased and put over. A Kaz and Daniels feud for the X Division Championship is something I'd pay good money to see. Daniels put himself over very nicely and reminded us on the mic why he is X.
Doug Williams, current X Division Champion, he gets good heat for being a British man. However, calling Kaz an old man? Doug looks older than Kaz. With that withstanding, it was good to see Kaz and Daniels going at it on the mic. Williams stood back and watched, something that was very smart booking.
Here comes Eric. Glad Eric put over the X Division. We have to remember that Eric put over the cruiserweights back in the day. He didn't skyrocket them to the top, but he did allow them to be showcased. Nice triple threat match he made to showcase one of the greatest division in this sport today.
The match was high paced and lots of good spots. This is wrestling. Kaz, Daniels, and Williams put on one hell of a television match and the crowd as all over it. From Jan 4th where TNA did the X Division no justice to this, a HUGE improvement. There was no commercial break, which was great, I just didn't like the cut to Dixie Carter. Let these guys get their full TV time as these men deserve it and the crowd made the match that much better. Not sure how long the match, but it seemed like a fair amount of time. I just wish that the announcers didn't focus on the Dixie issue and focus on the match.
Shocked Williams retained and am not happy about Moore getting the title shot at the Pay-Per-View. Could it be because of the Traci/Kaz mess that cost Kaz the big PPV payday? Maybe, but who knows. I just don't like Moore or his stupid gimmick. However, Eric is probably high on Moore from over on WCW. Not looking forward to Moore and Williams.
Nice Dixie interview. She was pissed, didn't talk too much, and laid the law down. I enjoyed it. As they say in the business, less is more.
LOVED how TNA decided to strip the TNA Knockout Tag Team Champions. I understand Kong is gone, but TNA didn't even reveal that. Just the 30 day rule. Not like TNA ever talks about releases on Impact. The only release I ever remember them talking about was about Christian and the only reason they did that was so M.E.M. can beat his ass down.
Outside Velvet's screaming, I actually enjoyed this Women's match. I'm not really a fan of women wrestling, but this match came across pretty good. Again, like the X Division, on Jan 4th, TNA didn't do a very good job showcasing the girls. This time they gave them a pretty decent match, though it was quick, but it came across on TV as a good match. I, for one, am extremely happy that the Beautiful People won the match as they are one of the highest rated segments on the show and deserve to have a run as champions. They play the perfect heels and now with Daffney as the beast, this group is going to be good.
Once again, in typical TNA fashion, a match that was talked about to happen didn't. Wolfe came in and attacked the Pope and thus, the match was canceled. WWE wouldn't do this and Pope would have wrestled. I like the beat down, but I'm not a fan of matches being made than canceled.
Nice postmatch celebration with the Beautiful People. They play the typical blondes to a perfect T and they deserve the time to get over. Typical T & A anyways. Nothing wrong with that, right?
More talking about the Sting beatdown. I understand how big it is, but come on, let's get some action. Let's not kill the crowd and make the viewers switch over to WWE to see what they are putting on. I was never a fan of recaps, especially when they recap the same thing over and over.
Love how Taz tried to make Sting come across as a heel, but failed. The fans still love the man and just because he beat down Hogan, you think they are going to turn on him? No. Something much bigger needs to happen for Sting to be a heel for these fans. These fans wanted Sting to come back in the first place and they aren't going to just turn on him.
The crowd were already chanting RVD when Sting was jumping up and down in the ring and they EXPLODED when his name was on the big screen. Sting looked pissed and boy did RVD get in there quick and get the job done. I'm actually a fan of this match for a couple of reasons. First, if you look at Sting, like I said before, he looks out of shape. Dude didn't even take off his jacket the whole time on camera. I doubt he went to the gym. Sting wrestling probably wouldn't be a good idea. Second, this is RVD. He came in there with a lot of energy and got the job done. A lot of fans are probably pissed because they didn't get to see a real match but I liked it. Sting was caught off guard, RVD came in, bing and a bang, match is over, RVD wins.
As for the post match beatdown, Chris Jericho hated it and bashed it. I, however, looked at it from a storyline. The fans are HOT for RVD. You want Sting to become a heel. This was the PERFECT man for Sting to beat down and have the fans PISS at him. Beating up Hogan or Abyss isn't going to give you heat. Beat up the man the fans chant for, the one that fans have been dying to see, beat his ass with the bat and destroy him. That's how you create heat. Now, when Sting gets to a respectable weight, we have one hell of a match to look forward to.
I wasn't too interested in seeing Hogan come out again. I can understand why he did, because Sting jumped him at the start of the show, but it seemed to make the show drag a bit. It did, however, allow Sting to pick apart RVD a bit more. I guess we are going to see Sting versus Hogan again. I believe it was the highest grossing Pay-Per-View in WCW history, so why not try to recreate the magic. As a Sting fan, if this match does happen at a big PPV, I'll probably get it.
The Nash and Young team I'm ok with. I feel Nash has a bad rep and really hasn't done much bad in TNA. Young, I've been behind for a while. Dumb idea to team him with World Elite, but this new angle isn't bad. I actually enjoyed the confrontation between the Band and Nash/Young. And is it me or does Pac actually look pretty in shape? I loved how they played to the crowd and got themselves over. Rather you love them or you hate them, they are still a draw in the business.
Nash and Hall are comedy together. The Elvis joke, alive or dead, pure comedy. And in the business, it is all about the money. Eric did a good job playing his GM role and isn't showing himself as a heel or face. Good segment giving the right amount of time, I enjoyed it.
The match was good between Waltman and Young. Young came out with a lot of energy and frustration. He was a bit sloppy, but at least he came out with energy. Waltman did his part well, sold the moves, and hit a nice kick. Waltman may still be able to wrestle, if he gets his head on straight.
US Army, I see. The Anderson and Angle feud is considered the top feud in TNA right now. The promos are good, I just don't really see the need to use the high school dropouts, sorry, Military (Kennedy words) in this feud. It's a very touchy subject for a lot of people and really shouldn't be used to further a feud. Just my opinion. Take that away, though, and the feud was given good time on the show and makes one interested in their match at the PPV. I know some people are going to mock Angle for ripping off Cena, but I view Angle as more of an American hero than Cena.
Not sure what Earl is talking about a second chance, maybe the Angle/Styles screwjob, though I didn't know he hasn't been on TV since. Whatever the case, with the talk, I am expecting Earl to throw out the match down the line or allow Hogan to get killed. One or the other.
Nice Jeff Jarrett promo with James Storm. Jeff doesn't know who to trust now, Storm is looking to move to the top, nice dynamics. About time Beer Money gets featured and with this match, we might get a BM and Foley/Jeff feud out of it. Got to feel bad about Double J now. He hooks up with Angle's wife and now he lost all control of the company. Foley is in his typical role and it seems like Beer Money are back to heels.
Again, Abyss shouldn't talk. What killed Kane's character is the mask being taken off and him talking. Same with Abyss now. I'm ok with having Brooke on TV. I might be one of the few. I mean, if the McMahons can be on TV, why not the Hogans? We know Hogan's trouble over the past years and it doesn't need to be brought up again and again. Doubt this will be Hogan's last time as I see either a Hogan/Flair or a Hogan/Sting match down the line. Money talks, as they say.
The main event wasn't awful. Interesting to see Hogan and Flair start the match. I didn't really expect to see them do much. And from the get-go, Flair gets busted open. Typical Flair. Hogan gets most of the offense, getting his revenge on Flair from the start of the show. Abyss gets some of Flair while Styles plays the coward heel role.
Styles gets in some chops on Hogan after Flair finally turns the tide. I liked how they were outside that Styles talked down to Brooke and put her in her place. The match got a good amount of time, wasn't as horrible as people expected, and a nice ending with Abyss pinning the champion.
As for the aftermatch, well, like most people thought, Jeff Hardy made his return. Wolfe and Pope came in first, tried to even the odds for each side, and then the crowd exploded for Jeff Hardy. Rather you love him or wish he would disappear, the guy draws a good reaction (not as big as RVD, though) and made quite the impact on the show. I, for one, am interested in seeing how he gets booked.
The show was actually pretty good. A lot of storyline advancements and good debuts. This was one of the better shows in quite some time. Sadly, though, the ratings didn't do this Impact justice. However, give it a week as the DVR ratings will come in, and I expect Impact to get a nice job. Again, from the past few shows, TNA did come off looking really good and there was much more good than bad. Sadly, because of the way the last few Impacts have been booked, it looks like it turned people away before they could really showcase a pretty damn good show.