What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at TNA Impact Wrestling 4/26/12. How did the first episode of Open Fight Night fair? Let's find out and start the review.
We open up the show with Hulk Hogan giving a pep talk to all of his champions. Way to blow your own load, Hogan. He said Samoa Joe and Magnus are the greatest tag team ever….
At the end of the day, Hogan decides that Joe and Magnus will defend their tag team titles. The guy said TNA has a large amount of tag team competition. You could combine the tag teams from BOTH WWE and TNA and can still count them on one hand. Hogan says Joe and Magnus will either defend the titles against the Motor City Machine Guns, Christopher Daniels and Kaz, Eric Young and ODB, and Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy. Yeah, cuz when you think of tag team wrestling, you think of the amazing tag team of Anderson and Hardy. Where would this show be without that inspiring tag team? Yeah, now we got a show……I'm done. Old man river will make his decision later in the show on who gets the title shot.
Match #1: Devon vs Bully Ray; TV Championship
Devon comes out to defend his title. Since this is OFN, Devon challenges Bully Ray to a match. The TNA roster would watch the show for the rest of the night. Easiest paycheck ever. Bully arrives and isn't interested in the match, but Devon attacks him and we have a match. I'm shocked that I'm saying this, but this was probably the best match of the night. It was more like a slugfest, but the big guys found a way to make it work. The finish comes when Devon hits the Spinebuster for the clean victory. So, Devon beat Bully cleanly? Isn't Bully one of the major heels on this show, and he's losing to guys like Devon? For some reason, this irks me. I wasn't big on the idea of this match taking place. I understand that Devon has a vendetta against Bully since he backstabbed him, but I think another person would've been a better choice. Well, what's done is done. If you allow your mind to drift away from Bully being a major player on this show and the other stuff, you might like this match. In fact, that's what I did. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do it all night long.
Winner via pinfall and still TV Champion: Devon
Austin Aries is in the back and cuts a very short promo on how Bully lost this match because he wasn't able to cheat. Nice for Aries to use the previous match as a segway for his speech. He wants to make an impression later tonight. The impression that I get. Hey, don't judge. There's a backstage scene with Kurt Angle, Daniels, and Kaz. Kurt is pissed off at Daniels and Kaz for interfering in his match last week. Kurt warns them to not get involved in his match or he will unleash a side of Kurt you have never seen before. Kurt unleashed? He's not gonna turn into a werehog now, is he?
Match #2: Jeremy Borash vs Eric Bischoff
Jeremy Borash comes to the ring and calls out Eric Bischoff. If you aren't apart of the IWC or a hardcore fan of TNA, you would have no idea what this is about. Hell, even I know very little about this and I'm on the internet. I don't have all the details, but I can give you the abridged version. Borash and Bischoff had a falling out over on Twitter/Facebook. Bischoff said how Borash is not good at his job……or he doesn't like him…..something involving alcohol…..shrimp cocktail? Something along those lines. I told you I didn't know all the facts, and I honestly don't care. Yeah, so don't even bother trying to explain it to me. Anyway, Borash gloats about how Bischoff is out of a job and how he deserves it. Borash challenges Eric to a match. Bully shows up and hits a low blow on Borash. Eric pins Borash. Yeah, I like how Borash just stands there and takes the pinfall. I get that Bully literally just busted his balls, but you have this wonderful things called arms and shoulders. Try using them next time. Eric's position during the pinfall looked weird too. It almost looked like Eric was in sexual position for Borash. How did THIS make it past the censors? So, Eric finds a way to have some fun despite this being his last day on the show. What does it do in the long-run? Absolutely nothing. That's a great use of time, TNA. Then again, it's only for one night, so I can let it slide……for now. The other thing I didn't like is that this scene was because of something that happened on Twitter/Facebook. If you want to use something that happened on Twitter/Facebook for the show, that's okay; but for the love of God, explain it to the general audience. Not everyone pays attention to Twitter, so imagine this being shown to someone who has no knowledge of this? They would literally say, "What the hell is going on?" and be confused with what they are seeing. It isn't like Borash is a regular character on this show. General audience probably saw Borash and said, "Who is that?". Yeah, I honestly can't blame you if you thought that. Now, I'm not hating on Borash. I think the guy does solid work for this company and is under appreciated for what he does, but the general audience is still clueless on who he is and what he represents. Hell, even I was lost during this scene. The Impact Zone ate it up, but don't use that as an argument The Impact Zone cheers for anything. They would cheer their asses off and say "This is awesome" if you threw a Snickers bar in their face. Speaking of Bischoff, why are the not editing his name like last week? Either stick with the concept or just leave it alone. It just looks stupid at the end of the day. Maybe it cost extra for that bleep sound?
Winner via pinfall: Eric Bischoff
Match #3: Anarquia vs Kurt Angle
Mexican America comes out and talks about being disrespected. They issue an open challenge to anyone in the back. An open challenge on OFN? That's crazy talk. So, Kurt accepts a match against Mexican America? Did he just turn face? Well, that has to be the laziest face turn ever. It's like they didn't even try. Match lasted about a minute. Kurt wins with the Ankle Lock submission hold. Tune in for next week when Kurt says he hates you and turns heel again. Seriously, he will go out there and say three words in order to turn heel.
Winner via submission: Kurt Angle
Match #4: Alex Silva vs Robbie E
So, you're probably wondering who in the world is Alex Silva. Well, this is the guy being brought in for the Gut Check. The Gut Check is when they give a random Indy guy a tryout and three judges determine if he gets a contact or not. I gotta hand it to TNA. They managed to find someone more generic than Garett Bischoff. Nothing about this guy stands out. He's got tattoos. Yeah……so does 75% of the wrestles from around the world. Then again, this is just his look. We can't judge a book by its cover. Al Snow introduced Silva and claimed to be one of the judges. We are in the middle of a Gut Check match and we don't know the identities of the three judges yet? Is this idea even finished? This pretty much tells me that TNA thought of an idea and rushed it. Nothing good comes from rushing anything, let alone a concept like this. Silva lost in minutes to a DDT by Robbie E. The guy didn't even get to attack. It was pretty much a jobber/squash match. Wasn't the idea of this concept to show off what these guys had the ability to do? So, why are they having him get killed? The guy probably got about seven minutes of screen time. Its almost like they sent the guy out there to fail. You would think that TNA would want to make an everlasting impression with first OFN, but how does a jobber match do that? Maybe that was the idea. The commentators did say that Silva was very nervous, so that did transition well on TV. Still, this was not the best way to kick off the Gut Check. I feel really bad for Silva. He was pretty much thrown in the lion's den and was made to be a fool. Then again, maybe that's what they were going for? Who knows? The guy looks bad losing to Robbie in seconds. The same Robbie E that manages to get screen time every month. Yeah, so I don't come out with high hopes after the first Gut Check. It can only get better (I'm hoping), but you would think they would make this a special night since it's the first edition of the Gut Check.
Winner via uncreative staff: Robbie E
Throughout the night, people would express their feelings on Bischoff leaving the company. I wish he was taking his son with him, but that's another story. Anyway, I'm skipping most of these segments. I like the line Dixie Carter said. She said she doesn't like Bischoff since she took the company from her. That's not what happened. Last I remember, Dixie was too stupid to read a contract and she signed her company away without thinking twice. You should always read the contract…..ALWAYS……
People in the wrestling world can really be idiots sometimes. We get a scene of Hogan talking to all the tag teams. This is when I remember the show starting to drag. Yeah, it was dragging before this, but it was very noticeable here. Hogan asks the tag teams why they deserve a title shot. Kaz and Daniels poke fun of the other teams, the MCMG have heart for the business, Anderson and Hardy don't get along and kiss, while ODB and Eric Young say…….wait, wait ,wait, WAIT!!! Did Anderson just kiss Hardy? Did he really kiss him on the cheek to make a sarcastic comment towards Hogan?
You can tell Hogan is talking out of his ass when he mentions how ODB and EY are deserving of a tag team match. EY even made the offer that ODB would like to persuade Hogan in their hotel room. Hey, there's already one rumor going around of a Hogan sex tape. We don't need another. At the end of it, he eliminates the MCMG since he's concerned about Chris Sabin's knee. So, Hogan eliminates the only team that is a legit tag team? You know what. You try piecing tonight's show together. I gave up a long time ago. In fact, you review the rest of this show. You finish the review. I'm gonna play some video games while you finish up….
Hogan would re-group the remaining tag teams to make his decision. I know I'm jumping ahead, but I don't care anymore. Not sure why Hogan eliminated ODB and EY. I think EY sent Hogan a message to bribe him with the hotel room, but EY continues to act like an idiot. The dialogue didn't make much sense. So, I'm not a big fan of these scenes. Hogan is talking way too much. It shouldn't take this long to determine who gets what. I understand this is the main gimmick of OFN, but they need to make these scenes shorter. Oh, and I like how Hogan is one of the judges for Gut Check, but he isn't paying attention to Silva. You gotta try harder, brother!!!
Match #5: Tessmacher vs Gail Kim
Tessmacher challenges Gail to a match. Yeah, the wrestling world isn't talking about Tessmacher defeating Gail. In fact, I didn't even remember that until she brought it up. I don't know about you folks, but tonight's show feels like it's going really slow. The finish comes when Tessmacher hits the strangest finisher ever. It look like it did nothing to Gail. Tessmacher lifted her up, but Gail ended up going into the bulldog position. It looked really awkward. It almost looked like Gail KO'd herself. I'm not sure if it was a botch or miscommunication, but it looked off. At least in my eyes. Wasn't there a storyline between Gail and Velvet Sky? Why is Tessmacher now getting involved? Well, this should explain a few things.
One guy in creative who pays attention: But it isn't gonna make sense from the previous scenes.
Rest of creative staff: Who cares. Let's get our drink on.
Winner via pinfall: Tessmacher
Kaz and Daniels are backstage. They talk tag team championship and exposing AJ Styles on next week. Silly Kaz and Daniels. TNA creative hasn't thought that far in advance. In fact, here's what I think will end up happening. Kaz and Daniels are close to exposing the "truth" until AJ shows up and attacks them. There goes another week of no answers. This storyline moves slower than a slug. Silva is backstage with Robert Roode. Bobby punches Silva and leaves. That's all Bobby does this week. If you're a Roode fan, tonight wasn't your night. Al explains to Silva he will be evaluated by the judges next week. They explained something? THEY EXPLAINED SOMETHING?
And I was ready to give them this tagline. Impact Wrestling: YOU figure it out, cuz we sure as hell aren't. Joseph Parks runs into Bully. Yeah, I told you he was in a hurry to find his brother. I like to think that Abyss is probably being tortured somewhere and Joseph is taking his sweet time in finding him. You gotta love wrestling logic. Well, at least something else on this show got me to laugh. Anyway, Bully says he knows nothing on Abyss and he would never tell him anyway. Once Bully leaves, Joseph starts to laugh. Hey, I'm laughing too. Let's all laugh…
…..I love the Joker, but not that Sting/Joker crap.
Match #6: Samoa Joe and Magnus vs Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy; Tag Team Championships
Both teams arrive in the ring, but Hogan decides on Anderson and Hardy to get the match. I wonder how he determined who would get the match. It was probably a very complicated decision….
He picks Hardy and Anderson because they don't get along. Do I really have to go on another rant? Screw it, we're moving on. MOVING ON!!! This was a good match, but I didn't like it as much as the opening match. In fact, the show started off well, but it just hasn't been like that for the rest of the evening. The finish comes when Joe counters a rollthrough and applies the Chokehold. I loved how he applied it. Very cat-like……or fat-like. Whichever you prefer. Anderson taps out and Joe and Magnus remain champs. Great choice, brother!!!
Winner via submission and still Tag Champs: Samoa Joe and Magnus
Time for the Bischoff appreciation party. Flair, Gunner, Bully, Kaz, and Daniels are in the ring. They buy him a watch. Gunner talks about how Bischoff gave him opportunities. Yes he did…….and Gunner blew every single one of them. Bully says Bischoff is the wind beneath his wings. What, no Brokeback Mountain music for this part? Garett arrives with a couple of guys (including Aries, so at least they tied that together). Borash wants to induct Bischoff in the TNA Shed of Shame. Out comes a porter potty. A fight breaks out between the good and bad guys. Garett grabs his father and tosses him inside the porter potty. They tip it over, and the show ends with Bischoff covered in s***. What a perfect analogy. Eric's career is in the sh***er. Eric is down in the dumps. TNA took that s*** out of there. I can go on, but I think I've had my fun.
For this being the first episode of OFN, it was very disappointing. To be fair, this is the first OFN and it was due to have some rough spots, but this didn't even looked like it was planned out. They bring in a guy who was made out of twigs to get destroyed by the failed, cloning experiment of Zack Ryder. Hogan's decision took longer than Lebron's decision, and the whole night was about Bischoff. I have no problem doing the Bischoff thing, but tonight was Open Fight Night. Couldn't they have waited to do the Bischoff stuff until next week? No, they wanted to jam it all in the same show. There was a lot of stuff going on tonight. It can be a challenge to keep track of everything that went on in this show. I'm sorry, but when I have to go back and re-watch certain clips just to listen to the dialogue or a finish, that ruins the fun for me. I wanted to like this show, but it honestly felt like a chore trying to watch this. In fact, I had to take several breaks while writing this article. Yeah, I really wasn't up for reviewing this episode. TNA tried to do things differently tonight, but it felt short on many areas. They will need to re-think the concept before the next OFN. I still think this is a great idea and I want to see new things on wrestling programs, but this was a very rough first outing. I just didn't find tonight's show fun and entertaining. Those are the two important elements when watching wrestling. Last week's show was fun and entertaining, so what happened here? Hopefully, they can polish up the errors of the first OFN and improve it. For this being the first OFN, I don't think it left the best impression. What do you think? Did you like the OFN? Did you think it bombed? Did you think it fell in-between and want to give it another chance? Right now, I would say I'm closer to the last one. That's gonna 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. Yeah, I really didn't enjoy writing this review, which is why I think this review sucks. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show. See you next time.