What is up wrestling fans, I am the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at TNA Impact Wrestling on 7/28/11. You know, with how bad the last couple of episodes have gone, I should just get the hell out of dodge. Still, I feel I should at least address it because there is a chance we might see something that resembles entertainment....right? Well, let's find out and start the review.
We open the show with Kurt Angle. He immediately calls out Hulk Hogan because he has something he wants to address. Angle says Hogan has been calling Angle's phone all week long trying to get him to join Immortal, but Angle refused because he wants to win the title on his own and its about being the best in the world. I should note that this whole segment was almost dedicated to Hogan and Angle talk about the best in the world. Almost have to wonder if both guys have been paying attention to what CM Punk is doing over in the WWE? Nah, probably just a coincidence. Anyway, Hogan tells Angle he knows what its like to be the best in the world and once again reminds Angle he was winning championships before Angle was wearing diapers (Hogan's diaper speech given for the 572,394th time). Angle at this point is trying to pressure Hogan to get back in the ring and fight his own battle against Sting because Hogan is trying to get other guys to do his dirty work. Hogan tells him he will never wrestle again because of his injuries and surgeries. Angle finally says he doesn't want in Immortal and Hogan should wrestle Sting. Oh boy. All I can say is that it was only a matter of time. I mentioned in a prior review how it seemed like TNA was setting up a Hogan vs Sting match in the near future, and with BFG set to come out in October, it seems they are setting up the possibility of this match. I don't know about this? The kid inside me is saying how its a dream come true, but I know that at my current age that this is almost a disaster waiting to happen. Let's look at the facts. Hogan can barely walk. In fact, he walks so slow to that ring that they ought to create the Hogan Wheelchair so they can roll his ass down the ramp faster. Hogan's back and knees are completely shot and seem like they are going to fall apart and it could be fatal for his livelihood. Then there is Sting, who isn't as good as he used to be and age has caught up with him as well. This could end up being worse than the Captain Kirk fight....
Don't get me wrong. I loved these guys growing up and these guys are part of the reason I am a wrestling fan, but this isn't going to look good and you feel that something could really go wrong during the actual match, and I do mean something REALLY bad that could leave the world in shock. I feel the only way you can do a Sting vs Hogan match in this generation is by making it a tag team match and have the two other guys taking the majority of the bumps. Then again, this is all pure speculation by me at the moment, but it seems they are trying to get extra PPV buys since BFG is their WM and want to get casual fans to check this out. Well, if the match happens, I pray nothing bad happens because it really does seem like a disaster waiting to happen. If the Hogan/Sting match happens, I would almost assume Angle is a shoe in to win the TNA title since the BFG Series is supposed to determine the #1 Contender to the TNA title and Hogan/Sting don't need a title for their match. Then again, TNA can always make something up to completely do away with the BFG Series. I don't think that is the case, but this company also created the Top Ten Rankings last year and we all know how well THAT turned out. There was a backstage scene where Eric Bischoff is on the phone and gets some papers from some random employee. The papers where from "The Network". Oh yeah, you remember? That storyline that got a lot of buildup but really went nowhere. Its back on Impact. I have said this about TNA in the past. In fact, I am sure I said it on last week's review. Just when it seems a certain storyline or angle is done or off tv, it just shows up in an episode to make people say "Oh yeah.....they are still doing that.....ok?". You could argue that "The Network" is still there because the current kayfabe suggest that Hogan and Bischoff are on a thin leash and if they go too far, they lose the company. I know I shouldn't really be talking about this particular spot, but "The Network" would almost be the theme of tonight's show. In other words, if you hated "The Network" angle, your going to hate this show.
Match #1: Gunner vs RVD in a BFG Series Match
First matchup of the night. I was a little worried because the action hasn't really been there for the last couple of shows. This was a pretty good match to watch. I really enjoyed it. See, when TNA just cuts the bulls*** and starts doing things that resemble entertainment, it comes off well on tv. This was a good back and forth match between both guys. Gunner continues to impress me in the ring and really show he is worth all the investment TNA has been giving him. He still needs to work on his mic skills, but he has the look to go far. I still think the name "Gunner" needs to be changed since it sounds like a nickname a five year old gives his friend while playing a game of Cops and Robbers. The finish comes when RVD hits the Frogsplash for the clean win. This is a matchup you might want to check out because it was pretty fun to watch.
Winner via pinfall: RVD
Backstage with Immortal where Bischoff has called an emergency meeting. He tells the members that "The Network" wants to see more X Division stars. Bischoff immediately gets angry at Abyss because it was his job to take care of them but he failed (Actually, didn't Immortal fail in general considering they interfered in the match and Abyss still lost?). The Jarretts are there....without any explanation of them even being there. If you remember the last time the Jarretts where there, they were claiming to go back to Mexico and.....you know, I need to move forward or else this review will never end. It's TNA, so fill the plot holes yourself. Hogan shows up and he wants somebody to take out Angle tonight. Instead of doing the smart thing and having the entire stable fight Angle, he wants one guy to fight him. Immortal, bad ass group but not very bright at times. Bully Ray suggest Mr. Anderson and even goes further to say Anderson isn't a man if he can't deal with Angle. So, Anderson falls for the reverse psychology and he will take on Angle later tonight. Just when you think the scene is over, Sting arrives in a red tux. Well, at least it isn't a purple tux to keep up with the whole Joker deal. He has a cage with him and says "The Network" made him the new Executive of the show and now has more power than Hogan and Bischoff. He says Angle vs Anderson will happen, but it will be in a cage match. He also says 4Tune will be the bodyguards on the outside to make sure Immortal doesn't get involved. Some people say Sting reminds them of the Joker, but I like to think Sting's character is what you get when Heath Ledger and Jim Carrey's Mask had a child. I will not forget what Karen Jarrett said. She said how in the world can "The Network" make Sting an executive? She makes a wonderful point. Sting is nuttier than a pecan pie and your going to put him in charge of a company? Who's idea was that?
We are in the ring where Brian Kendrick and Alex Shelley have something to say. Kendrick says more of his backwards Yoda talk while Shelley is translating. It's amazing how we can understand Mexican America a lot more than Kendrick who actually speaks English. They both call out Austin Aries. He arrives and Shelley talks about how old X Division guys made the division about the spirit of competition and they feel Aries is trying to ruin that because of his heelish tactics. Once again, he is a freakin heel and that is what heels do!!! If an idiot like me can understand that, why can't these other X Division guys figure it out is beyond me. I understand its a storyline, but they could have put a little more imagination as to why Kendrick and Shelley have a grudge towards Aries other than some "moral code" the X Division lives by. Aries says he played by the rules to earn his job in the company and now he is going to play by HIS rules and he here for fame, championships, and money. Kendrick reminds him he is the champ and he won't take this lying down and that is why "The Network" made a Three Way Dance for the X Title at the Hardcore PPV. Abyss interrupts and says he demands to get his rematch for the title tonight. It seems it's a go until Sting shows up on the titantron and says the title match will be an Ultimate X Match. Anyone get the feeling TNA is overkilling the Ultimate X Match? We just saw one almost a month ago and I think this is the third or fourth one to be seen this year. It's funny how Kendrick and Shelley say Aries is killing the X Division, but I find myself way more interested in the X Division whenever he shows up. Aries is awesome and continues to be impressive. I am serious people. This guy can actually cut a promo and is really convincing as a heel. Oh, and during the commercial, they showcased the Immortal DVD again. This is almost the biggest example of wrestling logic because they have Dixie Carter on the DVD talking about the angle. Based on the kayfabe of the storyline, Dixie isn't even supposed to be affiliated with the company and thus shouldn't be appearing on the DVD unless Hogan is paying her to do so. There was also a quick backstage scene where Matt Morgan talks about having a torn pectoral muscle and has to bow out of the BFG Series. He is completely crushed about this news and claims he NEEDS the world title. Based on what I know, this is a legit injury. I feel really bad for Morgan. He had a good shot of winning the BFG Series and now has to take some time away to get healthy. All I can say is I wish Morgan the best of luck in the recovery and hopefully he gets his shot when he returns because he really looked devastated about the news and I think he has earned a shot. More BFG Series matches done during house shows. Samoa Joe still has zero points while Robert Roode and James Storm are climbing the rankings. I will talk more about the rankings after the last BFG match for tonight. In a backstage scene, Bully is playing Angry Birds while the cameraman talks to him about facing off against Crimson tonight. Bully says who the hell is Crimson and that he is a nobody. He ends the scene by saying okie dokie, which reminds me of Balls of Fury when Christopher Walken says okie dokie artichokie. Bully is a hypocrite if you think about it. During his feud with AJ Styles, he talked about how real pro wrestlers don't play video games, but here he is playing a video game. To add to the madness, Bully promotes a house show match against Styles for the upcoming weekend. What? What is the point of hyping up a match on tv that we aren't going to see? Screw it, let's just move on.
Match #2: Bully Ray vs Crimson in a BFG Series Match
It's about time they get back to the action since it has been a good half hour since the last match. Bully is literally beating the crap out of Crimson for the majority of the match. Out of nowhere, Crimson sneaks the Sky High Powerbomb and wins the match. I didn't like the way this match was designed. If you want Crimson to get over, you need him to hold his own against other competition as opposed to pulling a John Cena and winning in the last minute. I understand they don't want to make Bully look weak, but by trying to make Bully look legit they made Crimson look weak. I thought this was the guy with the bad ass undefeated streak? Don't you want that guy to look intimidating and a force to be reckon with as opposed to a guy who got lucky? Really have to question the creative staff with how this one was booked. Yeah, Crimson wins the match but he should have been made to look a little stronger than this. If you didn't want to make Bully look bad, then don't book the match and give Bully or Crimson another opponent. Anyway, Crimson's win still leaves him atop the BFG Series. He currently has 38 points and is ten points ahead of Gunner and RVD who have 28 points apiece and are sitting at second place. I almost have to wonder if they are going to have Crimson win this tournament? While it would be an interesting move, I don't think Crimson is nowhere near ready for a world title match and they should take their time with this talent or else he could end up running into the same problem as Jack Swagger. The same goes for Gunner as well, which might leave guys like Bully or RVD to win this tournament. Well....I guess we will wait and see who gets the match because its still very much in the air.
Winner via pinfall: Crimson
Backstage where Bischoff is trying to talk to "The Network", but isn't having much luck. Maybe they could build a phone that automatically connects to "The Network" like what they did in those 60s Batman tv shows. Another backstage scene of Madison Rayne going to the ring to "watch" Tara's match until Sting arrives and scares her away with the cage. At this point, I was starting to think a bat was inside the cage. I am going to say we would find out what was in the cage, and let me just say it was beyond stupid and uncreative by TNA.
Match #3: Tara vs Winter
There is almost no reason for this match to be happening since these two have no real beef with each other and have their own rivals. The ref sent Angelina Love and Miss Tessmacher to the back to make this a fair match. For a KOs match, this one was at least passable. The only real gripe I had with this match was the ending. The ref got a slight distraction, which allowed for Winter to kick Tara in the baby maker and hits a slam to win the match. Why was there a low blow done in a women's match? I have seen TNA do this a couple of times and it almost makes no sense. Now, I am a male and I know it hurts when you kick a guy in the family jewels. Not sure how a kick to a groin would really hurt a woman and its almost embarrassing that the writing staff has these women sell this particular blow. To be fair, the WWE has done this before but I see this occur a lot more on TNA. I understand Winter is a heel and needs to cheat to win, but they should have designed something a little better than a kick in the groin considering these are women and thus should try a different approach. If I were the booker, I would have had Winter use brass knucks to KO Tara and then hid them to steal the win. She cheated just like before, but at leasts it makes a little more sense.
Winner via pinfall: Winter
Match #4: Brian Kendrick vs Abyss in a Ultimate X Match for the X Division Title
The match wasn't really good, but it also wasn't designed to be good. Abyss is trying to think of another way to grab the belt. He tried jumping for the belt, but he isn't tall enough. He tried to take down the steel structure so he can grab the belt, but it failed. Kendrick was basically a rag doll in this match. Every once in a while he would get some offense against Abyss, but he was on his back for the majority of the match. The finish comes when Abyss is about to Chokeslam Kendrick, but he recovers and quickly uses the boost by Abyss to grab the belt and win the match. I will admit that was a pretty creative way to end the match. Kendrick keeps his title....hooray. Kendrick hasn't look good at all during this title run. He needed help and shenanigans to beat Abyss the first time, picks up the bones with Aries' interference last week and just managed to sneak the victory this time around. I thought champions were supposed to look strong or at least be competitors as opposed to relying on a rabbit's foot? Say what you will about Santino's second IC Championship run, he at least had the ego to make that somewhat amusing. I don't see Kendrick being champion for much longer since Aries seems to be the guy to take the title.
Winner and still X Champ: Brian Kendrick
We go from a paper champion to a comic relief champion. Eric Young continues to be on the road looking for celebrities to fight. He runs into David Hasselhoff's "agent" (I have no idea if it really was the guy or just for the sake of kayfabe. If I really cared, I would actually do some research about this). Young is talking in circles while the agent has no idea what Young wants. Young immediately gets in his ring gear to fight but the agent said something about taking acting lessons. Young says he will do so and he will be back in two days. I guess that would be the Keanu Reeves School of Acting to get it all knocked out in two days?
As I said last week, I have no idea where this is all going and I don't find it entertaining. It's just strange. There is a chance it can turn out good, but with how its turning out, it just seems like it will be a train wreck. Anyway, we are back in the ring where Traci Brooks and Velvet Sky have something to say. They quickly call out ODB and Jacki. They show up.....through the entrance ramp as opposed through the audience since they are the invaders, right? Funny how "The Network" doesn't seem to care they are taking up tv time and continue to harass and assault their employees and don't do anything about it. Traci tells the ladies that management told her to step aside and let the new crop of ladies lead the charge for the KO division and ODB and Jacki should do the same. ODB says otherwise and claims it all started with Sky since she turned this division into a Hooter's club. Sky once again talks about how she used to be bullied as a child and has earned her spot in the company. She says if ODB and Jacki want back in the company, they should ask management for a chance. Yeah, I actually have to agree with Sky. I mean, who would think to use something like logic in this situation? Once again, I find it really hard to buy Sky's sob story considering she looks like she was the most popular girl in high school as opposed to the one that is being picked on. In fact, she looks like the one who was the bully in high school. To make your mind even more trippy, wasn't she a bully when she debuted for this company with the paper bag treatment? There is a chance this is real or just kayfabe, but I also don't care about this angle to even invest in Sky's real life. Plus, how can Traci be ok with management saying to step aside because they don't think she is attractive enough or good enough for the current TNA? I also find that hard to believe considering Traci looks damn good and I am sure she can still go. The writers were all over the place with this storyline. Oh, there was also a backstage scene with 4Tune until Sting shows up and talks to them about the match for tonight. The only interesting thing here is Christopher Daniels was trying to talk to Styles about something, but it wasn't really developed. This seems like a storyline in the very early stages since it can be just about anything at this point. Sadly, this might be one of the more interesting angles that is going around in TNA.
Match #5: Kurt Angle vs Mr. Anderson in a Steel Cage Match
I can't believe this company. Just as this matchup is getting started, they quickly go to a backstage segment that ate up like 2-3 minutes. Usually when pro wrestling does this, they do the split screen. But no, all you can see is the backstage scene while the match is going on. Why wasn't this done before the match started as opposed to during the match? I know I poke fun of this every week, but this is the show that claims Wrestling Matters, right? Anyway, Bischoff finally gets a hold of "The Network" and demands to know what they are thinking by making Sting an executive. Just as Bischoff realizes "The Network" hasn't spoken to Sting in weeks, the Joker arrives with the cage. He informs Bischoff that he is NOT the executive because he is bats*** insane. He reveals the cage and it turns out its a bird. He leaves the bird with Bischoff while Bischoff acts like he is in a pool full of spiders. That's right......a bird. Not a flock of birds like in Hitchcock, just A bird. Are you freakin kidding me? The bird did look like a crow, but even one crow isn't going to make you squeal like a little girl. Come on TNA, be more creative. Why not a bucket full of scorpions or a python? Heck, if your going to get a bird, why not a vulture? A puppy would have been more fierce than the bird. I understand the metaphor they were going for, but you needed more than once bird. Reaching for the stars there, aren't you TNA? Oh, and Bischoff might as well fork over his man card if he can't handle something a Pikachu can take care of. It's pretty sad when this bird is actually the best actor for this week's show. Seriously, this bird moved on cue towards Bischoff. Give that bird a freakin paycheck. Anyway, it was really hard to get interested in the match after seeing a bird be the sign of the devil on this show. Immortal runs out there and it turns into a free for all between 4Tune and Immortal. Mexican Amercia showed up because TNA hasn't overbooked this show already. The finish comes when Anderson orders Bully to give him a chair. Bully gets angry and both play tug of war with the chair until Angle recovers to hit the Angle Slam for the win. So, Anderson joined Immortal to protect himself but hasn't won a match since joining the group? The lights go off after the match and Sting arrives to raise Angle's hand in victory and tells him only ten more days. I would talk more about this, but we need to wrap up this review and.....a freakin bird?
Winner via pinfall: Kurt Angle
Jesus Christ TNA, could you have overbooked a show any further than you did tonight? To be fair, this was a lot better than what I seen out of the last two weeks out of TNA since there were some moments where the show was running pretty well. In fact, the first hour of the show was running pretty smoothly, but the second hour was as if TNA went into overdrive to showcase every storyline imaginable. I really find it hard to watch TNA when they overbook the show because it goes too fast that you have a hard time keeping up with what's going on. I have said in the past that TNA tends to have too many storylines and too much stuff going on at one time, and this was an example of it. It almost feels like TNA wants to have the same number of storylines that the WWE has, but there is a major differences. WWE has two more hours in the week to showcase those storylines while TNA simply doesn't. Have you ever noticed that my TNA reviews are a lot longer than my WWE ones? The reason for that is because TNA has so much stuff going around that I have to address it, and a lot of the time the segment shouldn't even appear on tv. They could have easily cut out the Winter/Tara match. The match served no purpose for the show or the current KO storylines, so they could have cut that out and given more time to address the other storylines as opposed to putting the show in Turbo Mode and rush through it. I will give TNA some credit since they actually did build up the Hardcore PPV, but it went so fast and quickly that you almost loose track of things that happened. In fact, I think during the 4Tune segment, the group was talking about a match coming up at Hardcore against Immortal. Gee, would have been nice to say that in the ring as opposed to the shaky cameraman. Again, what is it with TNA and this shaky camera shooting? Do they think they are being "more real" by filming the show like this? Really, it comes off as half assed since they don't want to have an actual scene with an interview and the wrestlers, not the cameraman doing everything. This is a wrestling show, but it often feels like the show is being filmed as if we are watching a nature show. Its wrestling, not the freakin crocodile hunter or the Blair Witch Project. Not to mention I didn't even get to talk about the rivalry brewing between Bully and Anderson as of late. He just joined Immortal and he already has tension with the group? You see what I mean? TNA, you need to plan how your going to showcase you rivalries and PPV matches and actually invest the time into it as opposed to rushing through it. A lot of these storylines could have been taken care of or addressed two weeks ago. Instead, TNA almost wasted the first two weeks of PPV build around two matches and just relized they need to hurry up and quickly add matches and storylines in a fast paced manor. In WWE, they at least go a little slower for the most part to keep you relaxed and invested because WWE doesn't want your brain to explode with too much stuff going on at one time. This is another example of poor time management, which really falls on the creative staff for not sticking with a plan as opposed to changing it like a bunch of times. There are Impacts where it feels they are trying to drag out the time while times it feels there is too much going on. There is no balance since the writers can't seem to stick to writing enough stuff for a two hour show, which is why you get this inconsistent balance with TNA. Yes, I am aware of the dirt sheet reports of the WWE changing the script several times for this week's Raw, but that ran a lot more smoothly than Impact at the end of the day. I cannot really recommend watching this week's show even thought there were things about the show that were tolerable like the RVD match or Aries being Aries. Still, a bird? I still can't get over that. I walk away somewhat confused because I did enjoy a couple of things on tonight's show, but with the show moving too fast, it was really hard to get into the show. I want TNA to do better, but they need to plan things better and utilize their time better if they want to get this show out there. There are other things TNA needs to work on, but this review is already too damn long that I need to end it. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. SD will either be a Running Diary or a full review for this week. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time and.....a bird? Either way, that bird was the freakin man on Impact.