This week's iMPACT! was an exercise in building different levels of heat for the upcoming No Surrender pay-per-view. At first glance, the card looked to be subpar. But, taking a closer look, in reality the card served its purpose; to build heat and keep us guessing.
The involvement of Dixie Carter's husband during her confrontation with Ric Flair brought instant and very personal heat to the Fourtune vs. Dixie storyline. I'm interested in seeing what Dixie's backlash on Flair will be. Will she allow Hulk Hogan to keep overriding her decisions and come off as a weak woman? Or, will she stand on her own and handle the situation like a no-nonsense businesswoman?
The future of TNA may rest on the answer to that question.
Kurt Angle's promo built both the eight-man tag team main event and No Surrender.
Samoa Joe's return against Orlando Jordan was dominant. Jeff Jarrett's appearance to ask Joe to watch his back against Kevin Nash was rebuffed. I like Joe's response. A take no prisoners stand alone, "my own" Samoa Joe is a plus for the company as a whole.
The Kevin Nash vs. Jeff Jarrett match was a time machine back to Nitro with cheap gimmick spots used by Nash, false finishes and even a ref squash. Sting's run-in was expected. Him calling out Hulk Hogan and Hulk's backdoor chair shot was even more expected.
We got more of Hulk when he basically sicced EV2 on Abyss.
Beer Money Inc. continued Fourtune's building heat as they basically squashed the FBI. The crowd was dead during this one and I fear that this beatdown will weaken EV2 more than it helps Fourtune.
The reunion promo cut by the original Beautiful People drew one of the biggest pops of the night from the crowd. Angelina's "Angel/bitch" line was an inside moment. Madison Rayne's claim of copyright or gimmick infringement made her come off sounding like Vickie Guerrero. Madison's "silicone whores!" insult sparked a catfight that was broken up by security.
This sets up a tag match next week, pitting Velvet Sky and Angelina Love against the bodyguard and Madison Rayne. I see this leading to a pay-per-view battle for the rights to "The Beautiful People" gimmick. The allegiance of Lacey Von Erich upon her return as well as that of Madison's bodyguard will factor into the outcome.
The Magnus/Desmond Wolfe promo building their tag team title match was solid. The end with Chelsea with the credit card gave me flashbacks to the old NWA Baby Doll/Dusty Rhodes storyline. If my younger readers don't know what I'm referencing, do yourselves a favor and research that one!
Once again, the match of the night featured the Motor City Machine Guns. The crowd was hot for the champs' win over Generation Me. This bout was creative and innovative. It was proof positive that the tag team division can blend perfectly with the X Division style. This match elevated Generation Me and made me glad that I'm a fan.
Sting's receipt to Ric Flair builds the heat for Fourtune vs. Sting and Kevin Nash in the future. That would place Fourtune in wars with Sting and Nash, EV2, and Dixie Carter. That's a full plate, folks! Ric better hope since he controls "They" that they can back all of his power plays for control.
I wonder if his brawl with Stevie Richards caused "Dr. Stevie" flashbacks for Abyss?
Rhino standing up to and leaving Abyss laying built EV2 back up a little after the FBI's poor showing. I enjoyed the Spanish announce table tease, too.
The main event between AJ Styles. Matt Morgan, Frankie Kazarian, and Douglas Williams and the final four in the TNA World title tournament, Kurt Angle, Pope D'Angelo Dinero, Jeff Hardy, and Mr. Anderson raised unity issues when Dinero used a blind tag to Angle to "steal" Kurt's win. That led to post-match heat between the two.
Even with the controversial ending, this match showcased seven bright futures as two legends, in Flair and Angle, gave them rubs to build toward No Surrender.
The show closed and ReAction opened with EV2 giving Fourtune a receipt that climaxed with Sabu giving Williams an Arabian facebuster through a table!
Highlights from ReAction for me were: The Beautiful People taking a shot at WWE's LayCool, The iMPACT! Player of the Week feature on Generation Me, Mr. Anderson's old school "Hot Dog and Handshake" comment, and Samoa Joe's on point shots at "The King of The Mountain" Jeff Jarrett's past history.
ReAction wrapped with Tommy Dreamer using the "cell phone" gimmick to beat down AJ Styles. By my count, EV2 won more battles than Fourtune did tonight in their war.
All in all, TNA built several heated moments last night on the way to the lead-in for No Surrender next week.
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