Impact Recap for 12/5
The finals of the tournament to crown the next TNA Champion are set (and already taped for that matter). TNA has so many weeks in the can that breaking down where they are heading without spoiling anything is becoming more and more difficult. They have already taped the next FIVE Impacts. Further complicating matters is that they taped the last 4 of those over 3 days so figuring out what airs when is nigh on impossible at this point. This makes examining the shows tricky. I can’t really comment on where they may be going with stories (since I know where they’re going) and I can’t put the pieces of stories into their place in the bigger picture without giving away said bigger picture.
What I can say is that, for better or worse, all of the things that they’ve been slowly building for weeks will start seeing their payoffs and story advancement very soon.
Jeff Hardy defeated Bobby Roode in a tables match to advance to the finals. Fun match. It was interesting watching Bobby Roode out of his element as they went for a “tease table finishes” style instead of doing much straight wrestling. He still continued his string of delivering good matches. The best spot was Roode rolling off of a table in the ring while Hardy set up a swanton…so Hardy did the swanton over the table and on to Roode instead. It was pretty smart booking to have a tables match since Roode had to drop a match in the midst of his dominating Kurt Angle storyline. At least this way there was no pin or submission and the loss won’t really stick to him.
Magnus defeated Kurt Angle in a good Last Man Standing match to earn the title match with Hardy. Magnus went toe to toe with Angle for the duration (which honestly did more to make him look legitimate than pretty much any of his wins) until Roode came out and laid Angle out. Magnus was down from an Angle Slam at the time but beat the count to win. They played it out like Magnus was just the beneficiary of good fortune here…but we all see where this is going.
Bro Mans defeated James Storm and Gunner by DQ. Zema Ion’s DJ gimmick is pretty spectacular. He’s so annoying. Storm had the match won until Gunner got the team DQ’d. He threw the ref out of the ring in a fit of rage after Robbie E spit beer in his face. Storm and Gunner are still heading to splitsville.
And our weekly squash segments this week saw EC3 defeat Earl Hebner by forcing him to lay down and having his son count the fall, and Gail Kim destroy Laura Dennis in an open challenge. After the Knockout’s match ODB came down and started fighting with Lei’D Tapa which the crowd was really in to. EC3 also got great heat for his whole segment. Both of these storylines will see some true advancement next week.
The story of the show was Dixie waiting to get her TNA title back from AJ Styles. When the package finally arrived it was a cheap title (that looked like the Legends title) that was either a toy or made out of paper. The show ended with an AJ Styles video telling her that he gave her the perfect title for the paper champion she was going to crown in 2 weeks.
Elsewhere on the show Bad Influence revealed to the world that Joseph Park was lying about being a lawyer and that his law firm closed a long time ago. This is another story that will see big advancement next week.
In the character development department this week we had videos featuring Chris Sabin and Samuel Shaw. Sabin’s was in preparation for his X title defense against Austin Aries next week. He sat with Velvet saying the sweetest things about how he could only overcome his setbacks because of “you” and while she took this as him finally showing some actual kindness…he was talking to his X title. Shaw’s contribution this week was a date with Christy Hemme. When Hemme excuses herself to the bathroom Shaw’s personality transformed into the psychopath again, this time threatening the waiter because of how he was looking at Hemme. When Christy came back he was all smiles again. Good thing for him she doesn’t watch these videos…or Impact. It’ll still be a couple of weeks until we see Shaw in the ring but I’m curious how this gimmick will translate into the ring.
Impact Preview for 12/12
Feast or Fired returns. This is the match where 4 briefcases are put on polls and the midcard guys all try to bring one down. One will have a TNA title shot, one an X title shot, one a tag title shot and one will have a pink slip. It’s like Money in the Bank only the match is always terrible and they never book the cases like they matter.
Chris Sabin defends the X title against Austin Aries. Aries has become quite lost in the new creative direction. They should work on that. If AJ Styles leaves he’s probably the best pick to replace him as a top babyface in the company.
Bad Influence will face Eric Young and Joseph Park.
Gail Kim has another open challenge segment and EC3 has another…EC3 segment. As I said both will get to the next level this week…and the timing is pretty much perfect as both acts (EC3, Gail/Tapa) are starting to get bigger reactions.
The latest “One Night Only” PPV, “World Cup” is now up. I’ll review it next week. I’m sure it’s awful.
TNA actually won’t be in the new Impact Zone for a while (which may help keep that crowd into things…they’ve actually been quite good so far). The future taping schedule is as follows:
12/29 – One Night Only: Hardcore Justice (Lowell, MA) Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson in a cage, Aries/Joe/Sabin in a cage, Eric Young and Abyss vs. Bad Influence in Full Metal Mayhem, EC3 vs. Tommy Dreamer in a tables match
12/30 – One Night Only: Old Scool (Poughkeepsie, NY) Bully Ray vs. Tommy Dreamer in a street fight, Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss in Monster’s Ball, Roode vs. Storm in a last man standing match
1/16 – Impact taping: Genesis (Huntsville, AL) taping the 1/16 and 1/23 shows. It’s worth noting that Sting is scheduled to work the 1/16 show. What this means for his contract status past 2013 is anyone’s guess.
1/29-2/2 TNA will be in the UK taping 2 more One Night Only PPVs and several episodes of Impact. So we may not see the Impact Zone again until at least March.