April 17, 2009
I haven’t watched Impact in over a month. I’ve been so busy and for the most part fed up with the nonsensical booking of all pro-wrestling shows of late, that I just had to take a break. I caught bits and pieces of WWE but just couldn’t subject myself to the frustration that is Impact. Well tonight after a refreshing vacation, I jumped back in and gave Impact a try and OH MY GOD, AM I GLAD I DID.
Impact was freakin great. I don’t mean great “by Impact standards”; I mean flat out, straight up, this was a great show. I am SO happy right now as I type this. I think a lot of people wrongly perceive me as a TNA hater. I guess that’s understandable considering how often I rant about the program but the truth is, I love the TNA roster and the venom in my rants comes from my desire to see this company succeed and my frustration when I believe it is being counter productive to that desired success.
Every week that I watch this show I hope that it is great and I will be able to rave about it in some way. That has not been the case very often in the past but man was it the case tonight. This show was so great, I mean even Tenay and West were good tonight. The show on the whole and a few of the angles specifically were intriguing enough that West and Tenay could put over what happened and discuss it with out getting tied up in fake heel/face bickering.
Lockdown is this Sunday, and after not seeing Impact in 3-5 weeks I watched this show and can actually name 7 of the PPV matches for this Sunday and have interest in seeing most of them. That is an absolute HOME RUN, I rant all the time that this show needs to promote the PPVs so they can draw money and after just one show I WANT TO SEE THIS SHOW. Hell I might even order the Damn thing and I NEVER buy PPVs. Way to go TNA.
I don’t want to break down the whole show so I’m going to just look at the three main angles, which I thought TNA got over very well tonight.
Tag Team Domination: This feud has been going on long enough that I was familiar with it before starting this show. The Rough Cut segment was awesome, and really made me think this match and both titles MEANT something. Using Runt and Balls was a solid idea especially considering that the show is in Philly, where these guys are likely most over. Having Beer Money completely destroy these guys did create heat and made them look very strong. Having NO physical contact with Team 3D was paramount so this segment was a HUGE success. Good angle between two great teams; this should be a great match.
Foley – Sting: I didn’t like the Foley interviews Cactus jack bit, and fast forwarded through it but I stopped when Sting came out and from that point on anyway this segment ruled. I’m not sure if a double turn has been in the works or not (last I watched Foley was a full face and Sting was mainly a heel) but this altercation felt heavy and important. Foley came off like a dangerous heel, and Sting is very good in the Baby face role. The bit at the end with Foley having the music play was a great idea, and even added to the intensity of the beat down. It was almost a new twist on the old New Jack gimmick with playing music during the assault. With the music there was no need for Tenay and West to say anything and it made it seem like more was going on. This was very good and hyped this match beautifully. Kudos also to Mick Foley who looks like he’s dropped at least 50lbs since I watched the show last.
The Main Event: This was done so amazingly well I almost can’t believe it. The end of this show was so good it would have salvaged even the worst Impact but tonight it was just icing on the cake. This is how you make somebody a star again. I’ve always been a huge fan of Christopher Daniels and I thought they should have brought him back at the start of the Front Line / MEM feud, but after tonight I have no complaints. This was perfect, and everything fell into place. Christopher Daniels’ announcement as the 4th man was presented as a big deal. Jarrett put it over, they had AJ on the split screen to put it over, the crowd delivered and popped HUGE, and they even cut to Kurt who sold it huge. EVERYONE in the building put this over like it was monumental. I know this isn’t rocket science but not even WWE gets stuff this right anymore. You want to make somebody a star, have everybody in the company react like he IS one!!!
Now you follow that up with the fact that Daniels is a great worker, you put him in the ring with Kurt Angle, another great worker, and you give them enough time to have a great match, and life as a viewer becomes oh so fantastic. If all that wasn’t good enough we get a great finish. This is where things could have fallen apart. The heels have to get the man advantage, giving the baby faces the edge is never a good idea, but you don’t really want to beat Daniels in his return match. The finish tonight gave Daniels the perceived victory and gave the heels the PPV advantage. Kudos to whoever came up with the pin; had this been the same old same old double pin German suplex spot this finish would have fallen flat. This was a creative pin and executed well enough that I didn’t even notice that Daniels shoulders were down on the pin and the way Chris used his arm to brace Kurt up on his shoulders, it didn’t even look like he was trying to keep his own shoulders down. AWESOME AWESOME JOB!!!
Kudos also to Cornette for repeating the line that Daniels initiated the move. This was just a little thing but I popped huge for it. It put over the fact that while Daniels shoulders may have been down, he was in no way being pinned by Kurt. This segment gave us a great wrestling match, put Daniels back on the map as a HUGE star, got the heels the edge at the PPV, furthered the question of JJ’s loyalties, and just all around hyped this match for Sunday. HOME F’N RUN!!!!
To everyone at TNA, I may bitch about you guys a lot, but I speak from the heart and am more than happy to give you your due when you deserve it, and My God do you deserve it this week. This was a great freakin show, with some great angles, and great wrestling matches. Please everyone out there TNA Lockdown this Sunday live on PPV, send the message that this kind of programming works and this is what we would like to see more of. ORDER this PPV.