The Hardcore EV 2.0 open proves that even Vince's legal tactics can't kill the spirit of south Philly Hardcore. Adding Ray to the group sets up a potentially fiery pay-per-view moment. Hulk Hogan standing in the same ring with EV 2.0 was a historic moment.
Abyss' appearance and rant about what "they" want keeps the mystery and suspense going. The fact that EV 2.0 is not "they" will only add another combustible element to TNA when they make themselves known. That's a plus for the company.
The Beautiful People's uneasy truce led to a number one contender's match between Angelina and Sarita. Angelina's victory earned her a rematch, and the back and forth action gave Sarita a rub and keeps her push going.
The usage of the Explosion footage is a smart move. It explains storyline background that only European fans have been privy to. In a word, the Eric Young/Orlando Jordan vs. Ink Inc. match was weird. Even a mannequin being involved in this one couldn't kill Ink Inc.'s climb up the tag ladder. Someone should introduce Eric Young to Al Snow!
Fortune's promo was classic Flair. His street fight with Lethal may steal the show next week. Beer Money joining the group was not a surprise. AJ Styles rechristening the Global title as the TV title is another tribute to old school wrestling in the tradition of Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson's reigns. Kurt Angle's challenge to AJ signals another epic match between two of the best on the planet.
Match number three between Beer Money and the Motor City Machine Guns was a cage war featuring a cage dive and a misfire "beer bottle spot" that saw the Guns win. This was another five-star effort that builds the Ultimate X match perfectly.
The Matt Morgan/Mr. Anderson promo showed promise. When Jeff Hardy and the Security team got involved, I expected Pope D'Angelo Dinero to even the odds. As it played out, it was too much hype just to debut a new team.
Fortune's bad night continued as Rob Terry squashed Frankie Kazarian in less time than it took AJ to get backstage. I know Terry is being portrayed in the Goldberg/Batista mode, but squashing Kaz hurts the budding heel group's image. I hope the length of this match was due strictly to time restraints and that Kaz does not get buried.
Eric Bischoff's announcement has the potential to be a game changer in the industry. Years ago, Sting commented that too many pay-per-views would swamp the fan base. It took a bad economy, a smart woman, and a few years to prove him right. If this show is in the mold of the old Clash of the Champions events, ratings should soar, and we'll get more great action without the pay-per-view prices that the "entertainment" fans will have to shell out 12-to-15 times a year. Advantage: TNA!
Abyss' interruption of the announcement got him his match with Rob Van Dam and a confrontation with the champ that led to his weapons match with Tommy Dreamer. Raven's turn revives the cornerstone EV 2.0 feud for Hardcore Justice, and Abyss' win sets up his match with RVD and the arrival of whoever "they" are.
Overall, iMPACT! gave everyone at least a taste of why they watch wrestling. From comedy to violence, Dixie and company are not afraid to go outside the box with their shows instead of staying in a repetitive sandbox of predictability.
On an outside the ring, personal note, whether you support EV 2.0 or not, please keep Tommy Dreamer and his family in your prayers. His mother-in-law underwent heart surgery yesterday and encountered complications.
My prayers are with you and your family, Tommy.
Thanks for reading until next week.
Photo courtesy: Gerweck.net