What is up wrestling fans, I am the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at TNA Impact Wrestling on 8/4/11. With Hardcore Justice coming up this week, how would TNA build it up.....or not build it up? Well, let's find out and start the review.
We open up the show with Immortal already in the ring. I should note the bird that showed up last week doesn't show up this week. That already is disappointing since the bird was TNA's MVP last week. Bully Ray is on the mic and gives a quick rundown on every Immortal member. He gives Mr. Anderson the worst rundown to keep up the fact the two don't seem to like each other. Bully also talks about Immortal's rivalry with 4Tune and how it goes back and forth. Back and forth? More like its on and off since TNA isn't consistent with their storylines and they have taken breaks in between this rivalry. Bully said how "this town isn't big enough for the two of us" in regards to the two stables. I heard this line said in an episode of Spongebob Squarepants and that line seems more bad ass on that show than this one. Anderson quickly flips out since he finally realizes two minutes later than Bully insulted him and has something to say. Anderson talks about Bully's attitude towards him and he is sick of getting on his case about stuff. Bully says Anderson is weak; which is odd since its coming from a guy who has never won a world title and is only known for being a tag team guy. Anderson challenges Bully to a match at the PPV and.....starts singing? Yeah....that was a little odd to say the least, but at least he didn't sing "Friday". I actually found this rather amusing since Anderson does show at times that he can be entertaining. Bully decides to spit in Anderson's face, and now time for the two to fight while the other Immortal members try to separate the two. During all of this, 4Tune decides to interrupt. Kaz is on the mic and says Bully Ray Cyrus. Really? Bully Ray Cyrus? Why is all of Kaz's comebacks the equivalent of a second grader? Seriously, this makes John Cena and his poopy jokes seem like Chris Rock material. Out of all the 4Tune members, why is Kaz the one talking? Anyway, he says they are ready to throw-down and charge towards ring, thus making his mini promo pointless. 4Tune clears the ring, but it appears James Storm is selling a back injury after the brawl. At first, I thought this might have been a real injury, but it would be kayfabe based on what would happen later in the evening. Overall, a basic way of opening up the show. This was to address two things. The tension between Anderson and Bully and the 4Tune/Immortal PPV match. Immortal and 4Tune have had so many matches this year that I don't even care anymore. The rivalry is like a light switch since TNA seems to assume they can go back and forth with it so much that people will care. Really, I felt this segment did a lot more for the Bully/Anderson deal than the stable match. You know what I just noticed? The PPV is called Hardcore Justice, right? Well, wouldn't you figure they would center around hardcore related wrestling? Last year, they changed the name of the PPV from Hard Justice to Hardcore because of the ECW reunion. Ok, I am fine with changing the name of a PPV to cater to the ECW show; but why say its hardcore if there is no hardcore matches? That would be like the WWE doing the Royal Rumble PPV without the Royal Rumble match. To be fair, TNA never claimed this was going to be a hardcore PPV but I still don't know why you keep a gimmicky title if there is no gimmick present. They should have just changed the name of the PPV to Hard Justice since that isn't gimmicky and thus you can do put whatever the hell you want on the show. Yeah, I am definitely over analyzing this whole PPV name, but it still bothers me. I wouldn't be surprised if people send me nasty messages about this PPV name deal, but it doesn't bother me and I still think it makes no sense to call it Hardcore Justice when there is no hardcore matches. Then again, I would much rather see actual wrestling matches than hardcore matches since TNA does one of this every two weeks.
Match #1: Madison Rayne vs Miss Tessmacher
Mickie James was on commentary for this match.....why? She has no real beef with these two ladies and added nothing to commentary. Did the writers forget her rivals at the moment are Angelina Love and Winter? This is another example of TNA cramming a show because they have a bunch of other storylines they need to address. The match was nothing special. To further prove Tessmacher is basically there for fanservice, she does the stink face. Ever notice every diva/KO that is basically eye candy does the stink face? It's almost degrading in a way if you think about it. The finish comes when Tessmacher sneaks a rollup victory, which is better known as her finisher. After the match, Rayne attacks Tessmacher in a heelish fashion and Mickie says she needs to help. So, she hurries up by gentle putting down the headset, quietly walking away from the announcer's booth, grabs her title and walks to the ring as slow as possible. This spot is just screaming run in since it seemed like it took Mickie five minutes to walk down a ramp. As you would have guessed, Love attacks Mickie on the entrance ramp. Mickie does ok for a while, but then Winter shows up and the heels take down Mickie. By the way, we have no idea what happened with the Rayne/Tessmacher fight in the ring since the camera man never bothered to look back and nobody saved Tessmacher. I am going to assume Rayne killed Tessmacher since nobody stopped her. The brawl was a mess because there was stuff happening in the ring and on the entrance ramp. Again, too much s*** going on at the same time. Has the TNA creative staff ever heard the phrase time management? In fact, this entire scene needed a rewrite. I would have had Love face off against Tessmacher, that way it makes sense for Mickie to be on commentary. Love wins the match and continues the punishment, so Mickie goes in for the save. She does ok until Winter shows up and the heels stand tall. Damn, makes me think I can write a better wrestling show at times. By the way, Winter is going for the title against Mickie. I thought it was Love but it really wasn't explained until now. This KO titles match is also a bit messed up considering they have treated Winter like a sidekick between her and Love. Even when she turned Love into a zombie, Love got the attention because they gave her the title match instead of Winter. Still, its a bit weird to see Winter get the title match because even now they are showing Love getting most of the attention and talking more on the mic. Really, this would have made more sense if Winter was the main attraction from the start, but it just seems like the creative staff can't make up their minds and keeps changing the focus of this pairing. Only KO segment for this week. Oh........THANK GOD, let's move on.
Winner via pinfall: Miss Tessmacher
Match #2: Devon vs AJ Styles in a BFG Series Match
During the match, Pope comes down to sit next to Devon's family while Devon is in action. Devon sees this and doesn't seemed too thrilled. To add more to the insanity, Christopher Daniels shows up out of nowhere sitting down at ringside. Where did he come from? Seriously, he wasn't there and then BAM....there he is? Either there was a some bad editing here or Harry Potter is still doing magic tricks in TNA land. The finish comes when AJ notices Daniels and wonders why he is there. This allows Devon to recover and thus AJ tweaks his knee and Devon sneaks a rollup victory. After the match, Devon goes over to his family and argues why the Pope is there while AJ is arguing with Daniels since Daniels keeps telling AJ to "think about it". I think I am starting to figure out what is going on here between AJ and Daniels, but this was also my first theory a few weeks back. I think Daniels is asking AJ for a rematch since he was really close to winning the Dest X match and AJ just wants to move on. In other words, prepare for a possible AJ/Daniels feud for the 50th time. I had a feeling when they made the Dest X match that this would re-spark this feud, but the rivalry has been overdone for the last 5 years and it always ends in the same way, with AJ winning and AJ playing face. The only way they could make it different is if AJ was the heel in all of this, but even then there isn't that much appeal from my end.
Winner via pinfall: Devon
Backstage where the Pope talks about the winning matches in the BFG Series but he really wants to be on the same page as Devon. This Pope/Devon thing is a little odd since Pope comes off more as a good guy while Devon looks more like a dick, and I can't help but think it should be the other way around. TNA has been doing this storyline for over a month now and they are basically in a repeat stage and haven't added anything new to it. It just feels like this storyline has be doing the same thing since day one. Did TNA forget you need to add development in between the storylines for people to care? The reason Pope brings up Devon is because they will face each other in a BFG Series match at the PPV. I just hope we see a new light shining on this storyline, but this is actually one of the few storylines that actually has my attention. Not sure what that says about the show or myself, but I will take anything that is the least bit entertaining.
Match #3: Pope vs Samoa Joe in a BFG Series Match
Matt Morgan was on commentary for this match. He at least was trying to add something by talking about the credentials of both Pope and Joe. At the same time, Morgan seemed kinda depressed. I was actually thinking about this during the weekend and I noticed TNA gave Morgan a lot of face time for the BFG Series. Morgan was also the guy who came off the most excited when talking about the BFG Series and I was starting to think he might have been the guy TNA wanted to have win this series. If that was the case, who will they have win the BFG Series now? I am not particularly excited about RVD or Bully winning this series; while Crimson and Gunner would show the youth movement for TNA, it would be too soon for them to be getting a title match at their version of WM. Guys like AJ and Joe are really in there for star power and guys I wouldn't pick for a title match at this stage of the game. If there was ever an opportunity for Robert Roode to jump in the main event, now would be the opportunity. I would like to see Storm get in the top mix as well because he really is an underrated talent. Yeah, just some quick thoughts on the BFG Series as it stands since Morgan was really a threat to win the thing and now things might have to change. The match was pretty basic and it ended when Joe wins with the Rear Naked Chokehold for the submission. Devon appeared during this match to join his family. So, it appears Joe is finally on the board.....but wait. After the match, Joe continues to keep the submission move locked on the Pope and even has the Undertaker eyes while doing this. Needless to say, seeing the Deadman eyes on Joe scared the s*** out of me, but it really showed more energy out of Joe and I want to see Joe give you a 100% on a weekly basis. Since Joe doesn't want to let go of the hold, the ref reverses his decision and DQs Joe and thus Pope wins the match via DQ. During this time, Devon's kids are pleading to their father to help the Pope, but he does nothing. Again, who is the bad guy in all of this? With the DQ win, Pope wins 3 points and Joe is now the only guy left with 0 points. Go Joe?
Winner via DQ: Pope
Backstage where Joe is cutting a very angry promo. He talks about how they are holding him back with these referee decisions and says he has had enough. From this point on, everyone is responsible for their decisions even if he takes them out along the way. I actually liked this promo by Joe because he showed a lot of passion while cutting it. When I saw his eyes, it was almost like I saw the original Joe. The Joe that got in the main event and became a bigger name in the company. So, it was great seeing the old Joe, but I also hope this is a continuing trend. I still say Joe hasn't given the full effort in the last few years with TNA, which is why he has seen his career fall on hard times. I think the guy has talent and knows what to do with it, but he should show it every week as opposed to it being there whenever he feels like. As far as the storyline goes, one of two things will happen. Either Joe goes on a tear and fights to get himself back in the BFG Series, or he continues to lose and maybe this is TNA's way of writing him off the show....possibly for good. Again, I would really be shocked to hear Joe has resigned another deal with TNA because it just doesn't look like he is happy with the company, hence why he comes off as being lazy at times. Another backstage scene with Beer Money. Storm has a Street Fight against Hernandez, but he has some back pain. Roode tells him he will take over and there you go. Pretty basic scene. One more backstage scene where Bully is on the phone with Hulk Hogan since Hogan was too lazy to show up at TNA this week. Bully says having Anderson in Immortal is a mistake, while Hogan is telling him he started all of this and they want Anderson in the stable. Hogan (or at least a guy pretending to be Hogan since this is a phone conservation) tells him to apologize to Anderson. Bully says he will do it for the respect of Hogan. He hangs up the phone and says he hates Anderson.....and that hedgehog.
Match #4: Hernandez vs Robert Roode in a Street Fight
TNA, what have I told you about time management? When Beer Money gets to the ring, we have to go into this scene and explain it to everyone Roode is taking Storm's place....even though it was already addressed in a previous scene Roode would be taking his spot. This makes the earlier backstage scene pointless if they addressed it twice. This was your basic hardcore type match since it has trash cans, kendo sticks, trash can lids, chairs, and road signs. Hernandez took some vicious head shots with some of the foreign objects in this match. Really have to question either TNA management or Hernandez with this one. Since head shots in pro wrestling is a growing concern for the safety of these guys, they normally tell their guys to get their hands up when doing the head shot. WWE used to do this, but now it seems the head shots are almost banned in WWE. Still, when they do a head shot, they put the hands up. If TNA management told him to not put his hands up for these attacks, they are idiots and show no safety for their employees. If this was Hernandez's doing, then he is an idiot for not protecting his well being. The match was actually somewhat entertaining, but that was until the ending. Roode has the match won, but the ref was distracted by Rosita. Storm gets in her face only to be greeted by Cheech Marin and takes him out. Now, Sarita uses a kendo stick on Roode, but he no sells it because a woman did the attack (stereotyping in pro wrestling? Nah....). The ref clearly sees this, but TNA wants you to believe the ref isn't suppost to see this. Why does it matter if the ref sees it or not? Did we forget this is a street fight? There are no rules to this type of match and thus outside interference is actually ok. Again, why does TNA just change the rules to matches at times? Anyway, Hernandez wins the match with a rollup and had his feet propped up on the ropes. These Mexican American matches usually end up being the worst because of all the outside interference and the botches. I understand they are heels and need to cheat, but why can't the choreography be planned out better? Plus, why is there so many rollup victories tonight? Come on TNA, be more creative with your conclusions.
Winner via pinfall: Hernandez
Backstage where Bully confronts Anderson. He tells him he is sorry for his negative attitude towards him and wants a handshake. Anderson doesn't buy it because he doesn't trust him. Bully tricks him to take the handshake and Anderson takes the bait. He knees him in the groin and leaves. Anderson almost has gotten dumber since joining Immortal since his previous character would not have fallen for this. It was also announced it would be Anderson vs Bully at the PPV, where the winner scraps whatever dignity of their careers they have left.
Match #5: Austin Aries vs Alex Shelley
This was probably the best match of the night. For the little time they had, they delivered a pretty good match. I liked the spinning Figure Four Leglock Shelley pulled off. The finish comes when Aries is about to use Shelley's jacket (I know its stupid, just roll with it) as a weapon, bu the ref takes it. It looks like Shelley is about to win with the Sliced Bread, but Aries counters and hits the Brainbuster for the clean win. After the match, Aries grabs the mic and says he beat him in a wrestling fashion and continues to assault him. Brian Kendrick runs out for the save, but Aries runs away. Aries is actually making this show fun with his attitude. Seriously, we need more Aries on this show since his character is entertaining.
Winner via pinfall: Austin Aries
On location with Eric Young. He is going to get acting lessons from an "acting coach" and Young is bombing the performance. She tells Young he has no chance at being an actor in Hollywood. That's funny considering Young is showing more acting talent than half of the idiots in Hollywood. In fact, Young was a better actor than the acting coach here. Again, where is this whole Young/celebrity/TV Championship thing going? It just seems like its a cheap excuse to make more comedy scenes. To be fair, this one was actually somewhat amusing to watch. We are now in the production truck where Jeremy Borash is with Kurt Angle and they show the Angel/Sting empty arena match back in 2009 and Kurt is giving some commentary for all of this. This was kind of a cheap way to build up the Angle/Sting match for this weekend. Oh well, another excuse to eat up 10 minutes.
Match #6: RVD and Crimson vs Gunner and Scott Steiner in a BFG Series Match
The match was a mixed bag sort of match. Just seemed like the spots were Steiner was involved is where the match dragged. Crimson looked a lot better this week. After all, if you build up a undefeated streak, shouldn't you make the guy look tough? The finish comes when Crimson hits an electric chair on Steiner, but Gunner takes him on the outside. RVD goes up to hit a Frogsplash and wins the points. As I have mentioned in the past, only one person wins the points in a tag team match. Again, still makes tag team matches pointless in this BFG Series since the other guy gets no points in the process. After the match, they interviewed both RVD and Crimson since they are facing off against each other in the PPV and the winner will be leading the BFG Series. Both say the cliche stuff in how they respect the guy, but they will win the match. After tonight, Crimson leads the series with 40 points while RVD is in second at 35 points, and a bunch of guys like have like 33 points. Kinda a lazy way to build up a PPV match, but this is common in TNA and shouldn't surprise you at this point.
Winner via pinfall: RVD and Crimson
Time for the contract signing between Angle and Sting. Sting is wearing some shades, which I can't help but laugh at since he is still wearing the Joker makeup. They both sign the contacts and say their final words. They both talk about respecting each other but Angle must win to prove he is the best while Sting says he must win to keep "the power" on his side and give Dixie Carter her company back from Hogan and Eric Bischoff. The show ends with a stare down. Pretty basic way of heading into the PPV. Again, what is this "power" thing Sting keeps talking about in regards to the world title? He had it for five months and it didn't do anything to help him. How is having a world title going to give the company back to Dixie? Angle is one of the good guys and showed last week he doesn't want in Immortal, so why does it matter if Kurt takes the title off of Sting? He is clearly on the same side as Sting, so its really baffling how they keep saying Sting being champion will somehow give the company back to Dixie. This makes no sense, but this review is already too long and I am just going to end this now.
Despite a lot of the questioning I did this week, this wasn't that bad of an episode. I will say the first hour was in an overload since it seemed they almost addressed every storyline on the show. The second hour of the show went a lot slower and smoother. Plus, they actually put some decent matches for this week like the Aries match and the Street Fight was ok up until the end. Still, why all the head shots? I found this week's Impact to be a lot more manageable, but I wouldn't consider it a show worth watching. Still, I'll take an average or mediocre showing of TNA than a horrible one any day of the week. There was still some hang ups with this week's show, but I felt this was an alright show going into the PPV. TNA did seem to address every match for the PPV, so I have to at least give them credit for trying. Still, one of the reasons I am finding it hard to watch TNA is because of the storylines. It just doesn't seem there are too many storylines that are grabbing my attention. In fact, the only storylines I am interested in are the BFG Series, how Aries is used on the show, and even a little curious about the Pope/Devon deal. I don't find myself interested in the Angle/Sting match. TNA is billing this almost like its a clash of the titans, but look at the facts. Sting is nowhere near what he used to be and has lost several steps. I really look at this match and see Angle busting his ass to make it at least passable. There is always an offbeat chance Sting can rise to the occasion and deliver a classic, but it would really take something for this to happen. Anderson and Bully is somewhat interesting, but it would have meant a lot more if Anderson was with the stable for months. He has only been there for around a month and he is already having issues with the group? I just feel TNA tried to rush this particular storyline while it could have meant a lot more if planned better. Immortal and 4Tune is so played out that it seems like a filler match, which is odd considering these are the two biggest stables in TNA. Still, I will be fair and say this wasn't too bad of a showing since it did its job in building up the PPV since its this week. The PPV has some ok matches, but some matches that could drag the evening or make it suffer. It will be interesting to see what they are able to put forth. I mean, it can't be any worse than any PPV that featured Jeff Hardy this year, right? Ever noticed how the PPV and show quality has gone up since Hardy left? Yeah.....almost proving having Hardy isn't really saying much. Anyway, 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 and tonight's show. SD will either be a Running Diary for a regular review, and I will give some quick thoughts on the Hardcore PPV. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.