A hardcore reunion took place at the end of this week's Impact which was full of total nonstop action and intrigue. Abyss' opening old school promo brought back images of Abdullah the Butcher and Sabu with his use of "Janice" and a side of beef as props and set the stage that began to take TNA "beyond extreme."
Sarita's claim that Taylor Wilde was holding her back ignited a brawl and streetfight that was as intense of a women's match as I've seen in more than thirty years of watching wrestling. This was no roll around, hair pulling catfight. These ladies put it all on the line. It was a perfect build for a Hard Justice rematch and another example of an established star elevating deserving young talent.
The Ms. Tessmacher—Kevin Nash segment seemed to be a throw away until Nash confronted Jarrett and inserted himself into the "They're Here" storyline that began to unfold at the end of the show.
We got a brief glimpse into the diversity of styles that TNA is injecting into the X division with the Brian Kendrick vs. Douglas Williams "I Quit" match. The blending of high flying risk takers and Williams' classic shoot style that reminds me of Dory Funk Jr should mean nothing less than a bright future for TNA'S signature division.
Samoa Joe was over with the crowd and impressive against Desmond Wolfe and Rob Terry. Magnus' return and infatuation with Chelsea didn't steal Joe's thunder. I'd love to see Joe get the Global title and face Desmond Wolfe.
I'm thrilled that TNA made the best of five series between the Motor City Machine Guns and Beer Money. I was completely focused on this match coming off of their Match of the Year candidate at Victory Road. These teams bring back fond memories of the Midnight Express vs. Rock 'n' Roll Express feud. The screwjob finish did not tarnish the series. It builds up the streetfight and beyond.
The Pope vs. Morgan match featured two upwardly mobile stars of the future as Pope got a victory in his return to the Impact Zone. Mr. Anderson's run-in sets the stage for a series of "Can Pope trust him?" matches that could easily steal shows.
The Beautiful People promos were well done and on the verge of the Lethal/Flair promo level with the back and forth "dumb blonde pills, boobs and asses" insults. When the talking stopped and Angelina, Madison, the "mystery woman", and Velvet clashed it began what is a multi-faceted storyline around the Knockout title, loyalty and the identity of the "mystery woman."
Jeff Hardy's match against Jay Lethal was short. Both men put on a good showing and the loss should not effect Lethal's push. I think the tag team match should have been the main event, though.
Ric Flair's induction of A.J. Styles and Kazarian into "Fortune" was a given. The tease of an upset Wolfe may set the stage for A.J. vs. Wolfe. Those matches would be epic!
The show came full circle with a top notch promo from Abyss and RVD. Mick Foley's return signaled "their" arrival and a hardcore beatdown of Abyss, security and the TNA locker room that was ended by Dixie Carter's proclamation that she "invited them."
Those words add to the ultimate build for not just Hard Justice but the future direction of TNA as a whole. Is Hulkamania with Bischoff over? Who do Sting and Nash side with? What does Jarrett's future hold? We are about to find out because it seems that Dixie likes her action "Extreme!!"
Photo courtesy of Impactwrestling.com.