Impact Recap for 8/8
The most interesting thing on this week’s Impact was seeing who felt like working…and who just went through the motions. This was part 2 of a taping in front of a poor crowd in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Jeff Hardy pinned Samoa Joe for 7 points in the Bound For Glory Series. Good match. Joe tried to get the crowd going…but the crowd was shit. Hardy had his usual Hardy match, which for a year now has been a good thing. The best spot was a Joe enziguri in the corner that Hardy took and sold better than I’ve ever seen anyone do it. He looked like his neck broke as he whipped his head around and crumpled to the ground in a heap. Mr. Anderson, who was on commentary with Taz and Jeremy Borash (who was being held hostage), stood up which apparently distracted Joe. That didn’t come off very well.
Magnus was disqualified against Mr. Anderson and lost 10 points in the BFG series. Anderson picked up 3 points for the “win”. The deal here is that Bobby Roode came out and hit Anderson with a chair to get Magnus (the series leader) DQ’d and bring his total down. There is a giant logic flaw with this plan. The point of the BFG series is to get yourself into the final 4. It doesn’t matter if you are the points leader…just that you qualify for the playoff tournament. With that understanding of the series…Roode should be targeting the guys ranked from 4th place through whoever is just ahead of him. Taking 10 points from the leader not only brings him no closer to making the finals…giving 3 points to Anderson actually makes his road harder. I get that they think people won’t notice or think about it…but it makes Roode look very stupid. Oh…and as for the match…it sucked. It sucked despite Magnus working hard to get something out of Anderson. Anderson just took the night off completely here. Magnus is in a spot where he knows he’s got a really good shot at being a future top guy so he is working his ass off to get himself and his moves over. Anderson gave zero fucks. More on this in the random topics section.
The last BFG series match this week was a double count out between Bad Influence partners Daniels and Kazarian. They teased problems but ended up just taking the 2 points each. After the match Bobby Roode came out and announced that the three of them had formed an alliance to change the landscape of the series and promised that one of them would win the whole thing. I wish they’d just have the matches and treat them with respect. Too much to ask to keep angles out of the series I guess.
The main event saw Chris Sabin and Kurt Angle beat Bully Ray and Devon when Sabin pinned Bully. Good match. Bully Ray in particular was tremendous here. Sabin makes a good foil for him. This was largely a showcase for Sabin and Bully since their big rematch is next week. Sabin pinning Bully again here, and an added stipulation that if Bully loses he can never challenge for the TNA title again, really seems to tip that finish.
There was a filler 6 person tag with James Storm, Gunner and ODB facing Jesse Godderz, Robbie E and Mickie James. Storm/Gunner/ODB won a decent undercard match. Godderz has something. Mickie didn’t do much but that’s her character, and her character is excellent. Just filler for feuds that aren’t that interesting. Storm and Gunner need the BFG series to end so they can get some kind of challengers.
They did a segment where Tito Ortiz couldn’t or wouldn’t explain why he was in TNA. I would have laughed for a month if he just plainly stated “I’m here because Spike TV told me to be here”. They then did the exact same thing they did when Rampage Jackson debuted. They sent Kurt Angle out for a stare down. I get it…Angle is the most legit guy they have (well…had/have…we’ll get to that in the random topics section too)…but it wouldn’t have killed them to give the spot to Joe which at least physically would have been more impressive. Bully Ray came out and says he doesn’t respect either of them. In a backstage segment later Ortiz said he’d be at Hardcore Justice next week. I’m guessing his coyness about why he’s in TNA will lead to him being the reason Bully Ray gets his belt back. They are building to a Rampage vs. Ortiz fight after all…it makes little sense for them to both be babyfaces in this world.
The show was pretty unremarkable to be kind. There were some good matches here…but the Roode/Daniels/Kaz stuff really sours the BFG series and the dead crowd made it a chore.
Bound For Glory Series Leaderboard
1. Magnus – 39 points (5 matches)
Qualified by winning a 4 way over Kenny King, Matt Morgan and Rob Terry (6/13 Impact)
Made Kazarian submit for 10 points (6/20 Impact)
Pinned Bobby Roode for 7 points (6/27 Impact)
Pinned Hernandez for 7 points (6/27, Ottumwa, IA)
Won the Joker’s Wild tournament for 25 points (7/11 Impact)
Was Disqualified vs. Mr. Anderson for -10 points (8/8 Impact)
2. Samoa Joe – 26 points (7 matches)
Qualified by defeating Robbie E (6/6 Impact)
Went to a draw with AJ Styles for 2 points (6/20 Impact)
Made Mr. Anderson submit for 10 points (6/27 Impact)
Pinned Kaz for 7 points (6/28, St. Joseph MO)
Pinned Jay Bradley for 7 points (6/19, Danville, IL)
3. Jeff Hardy – 24 points (6 matches)
Qualified by winning the 2012 BFG series
Pinned Bobby Roode for 7 points (6/20 Impact)
Won via DQ vs. Joseph Park for 3 points (7/4 Impact)
Pinned Austin Aries for 7 points (7/5, Brooklyn NY)
Pinned Samoa Joe for 7 points (8/8 Impact)
4. Mr. Anderson – 24 points (7 matches)
Qualified by winning a battle royal (6/13 Impact)
Pinned Joseph Park for 7 points (6/20 Impact)
Pinned Hernandez for 7 points (7/25 Impact)
Pinned AJ Styles for 7 points (7/26, Columbus, GA)
Won via DQ vs. Magnus for 3 points (8/8 Impact)
5. Christopher Daniels – 23 points (5 matches)
Qualified by winning a tag match against James Storm and Gunner (6/13 Impact)
Pinned Hernandez for 7 points (6/20 Impact)
Pinned Joseph Park for 7 points (7/6, White Plains NY)
Pinned Samoa Joe for 7 points (7/25 Impact)
Went to a Draw with Kazarian for 2 points (8/8 Impact)
6. AJ Styles – 22 points (6 matches)
Qualified by beating Kurt Angle (6/13 Impact)
Went to a Draw with Samoa Joe for 2 points (6/20 Impact)
Made Kaz submit for 10 points (7/4 Impact)
Made Jeff Hardy submit for 10 points (7/25 Impact)
7. Austin Aries – 21 points (5 matches)
Qualified by beating Eric Young (6/13 Impact)
Pinned Jay Bradley for 7 points (6/20 Impact)
Pinned Bobby Roode for 7 points (7/18 Destination X)
Pinned AJ Styles for 7 points (8/1 Impact)
8. Bobby Roode – 7 points (5 matches)
Qualified by winning 2011 BFG series
Pinned Hernandez for 7 points (8/1 Impact)
9. Hernandez – 7 points (6 matches)
Qualified by beating Chavo Guerrero (6/6 Impact)
Pinned Jay Bradley for 7 points (7/4 Impact)
10. Kazarian – 2 points (5 matches)
Qualified by winning a tag match against James Storm and Gunner (6/13 Impact)
Went to a Draw with Daniels for 2 points (8/8 Impact)
11. Jay Bradley – 0 points (5 matches)
Qualified by winning Gut Check tournament (6/2 Slammiversary)
12. Joseph Park – -3 points (5 matches)
Qualified by defeating Crimson (6/13 Impact)
Was Disqualified vs. Jeff Hardy for -10 points (7/4 Impact)
Pinned Jay Bradley for 7 points (8/1 Impact)
Hardcore Justice Preview for 8/15
There is a loaded lineup set for TNA’s second attempt at branding a special “PPV quality” episode of Impact. A hopefully much better crowd in Norfolk, VA will see the big TNA title rematch, an (almost) all star ladder match, a turning point in the Aces and 8’s/Main Event Mafia war and a knockouts tornado tag match.
The Main Event will see TNA Champion Chris Sabin defend his title in a steel cage against Bully Ray. If Bully Ray loses he will never receive another TNA title shot. I expect a very good match here. I also expect Bully Ray to win the title back. I could have seen them sticking with Sabin for another month until they added the “no more title shots” stipulation. The only thing that would change that would be Bully Ray’s contract coming up and TNA deciding to make him a cost cutting casualty when it runs out. Bully signed a new deal last year around this time…but I don’t know the length and I honestly don’t think they’d want to let him walk after the push they’ve invested in him. Is it possible that Bully Ray not being able to challenge for the title would become a storyline catalyst for him to go after a Hulk Hogan match? I suppose…but there are a million other ways to get there without having to waste the stip.
Next up we have what was supposed to be a 5 on 5 match between the Main Event Mafia and the Aces and 8’s. Kurt Angle went to rehab so who knows when he’ll be back. The wrestler who takes the fall (in what I assume is now a 4 on 4 or 4 on 5 match) will be gone from TNA forever. Looking at the 9 guys there are a few that simply can’t lose unless the plan is to destroy another stip… Magnus, Anderson, Joe and Rampage aren’t going anywhere. Everyone else the case can be made. Sting would be easily the most noteworthy person who could lose. Any of the Aces and 8’s guys losing wouldn’t mean anything. Devon has more name value than Knux, Bischoff and Brisco…but who would really care? Since I assume Bully Ray is winning the title back…it makes sense for the Aces and 8’s to drop a guy here.
Keeping some tradition from last year…there is going to be a 4 man ladder match for 20 points in the BFG series. Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries vs. Kazarian in what should be a great match. I’m going to assume, to keep things fair, that we’ll be seeing 2 other 4 man matches in the near future (like…the same taping to air the next week) so that the other 8 BFG series participants have equal change to gain 20 points. As for this match…it’s loaded. 3 of the 4 are highly pushed stars in the company…which means Kazarian (who just started a “heels taking over the series” storyline) will probably win. It makes all the storyline sense for Roode and Daniels to run in and hand Kaz the 20 points. It would take Kaz from his bottom feeding 2 points right into the mix near the top.
They’ve also announced a Knockouts tornado tag match with Mickie James and Gail Kim taking on ODB and Velvet Sky. Since it’s not for the title you can expect the babyfaces to get the win.
Hardcore Justice looks to be a bit on the predictable side…but man they have some matches that should deliver a hell of a free TV show.
Magnus announced that he has signed a new 2 year contract with TNA. Apparently Samoa Joe recently re-signed as well. The article in a magazine Magnus writes for referenced the recent signings of Magnus, Joe and Roode (back when his contract ran out under Bruce Prichard’s watch) signals that, despite financial troubles, TNA is keen on retaining what they consider their core talent. Well…those are certainly three of the right guys. I, personally, would like to see them move away from the Mr. Anderson’s and even Sting’s and focus all of their time and energy on guys like Styles, Aries, Roode, Magnus, Joe, Daniels, Kaz, Sabin and Storm. Those guys should be the unquestioned top guys. They’ve done a better job the last couple of years treating them as such…but it’s time to go all in. It’s good to have a Jeff Hardy and a Kurt Angle…but you don’t also need a Ken Anderson, Sting, RVD and so on. Luckily it looks like their struggles are going to force their hand here. It’s why RVD is gone (he verbally agreed to a new deal and Prichard stopped returning his calls)…and that’s a GOOD thing. They should have been planning better for this. Magnus is the only blue chip prospect they’ve developed since they moved from the Nashville fairgrounds. Think about that. Guys like Joe and Aries don’t count…they’d already made their name elsewhere. Magnus they found. Back in the day they found Bobby Roode and James Storm and Chris Sabin. Nowadays they barely even look. It’s why, when people scoff at a guy like Gunner because…who’s he?, I root for a guy like Gunner. Gunner is THEIRS. Magnus was Gunner once. So was Bobby Roode. So was Chris Sabin. They need more Gunners. It’s why they shouldn’t have cut Crimson. If you have 8 Gunners or 8 Crimsons…you might get another Roode or two. Magnus was green as grass when they put him on TV…now he’s in position to become a top guy. Unfortunately they don’t have anyone in the pipeline behind him. It’s going to have taken Magnus 6 years to get where he’s going, and there was every chance he wouldn’t have developed at all. Forget picking between a new Sting contract or keeping the core…what TNA needs is a time machine. Go back to 2008 and sign 9 more people like Magnus who you think have potential. They’d be in a much better spot today. Today…when they still aren’t out looking for more guys like Magnus…
Kurt Angle went to rehab, as mentioned.
The list of upcoming TV/PPV tapings is as follows:
8/15- Norfolk, VA (the live 8/15 Hardcore Justice show and the taped 8/22 show)
8/29- Cleveland, OH (the live 8/29 show and the taped 9/5 show)
9/12 – St. Louis, MO (the live 9/12 show and the taped 9/19 show)
9/26 – Little Rock, AR (the live 9/26 show and the taped 10/3 show)
10/20- San Diego, CA – Bound For Glory