Impact Wrestling on Spike TV August 4, 2011
Opening segment Review:
Immortal with Bully Ray open the show, as Bully Ray tells the crowd to shut up to gain immediate heat. He calls out Ken Anderson as they go back and forth about Immortal and Fortune. Ray says Anderson is the guy who lost the title, and calls him weak. Ray says he is the next guy to win the title, and says Anderson is a piece of dog crap. Anderson then challenges Ray to a match at Hardcore Justice, as Bully Ray spits in the face of Anderson. Out comes Fortune and Immortal. leading to a brawl.
Bully Ray has always been good on the microphone and this continues to show that he has taken this opportunity and ran with it. My problem is how good of a match he and Anderson can put on. They are both two different wrestlers inside the ring, but given all of the ridiculous booking, this one I did not mind. This segment gets a B. Good exchange on the mic, and the stable interaction also makes it more intriguing. You feel like Russo has an idea to ruin this though. Kidding. Kind of.
Miss Tessmacher def Madison Rayne Review:
Quick knockouts match here, as a surprise rollup from Tessmacher gives her the victory over Madison Rayne. Rayne gets a few offensive moves, mockes Mickie James at the commentators table, and Tessmacher gets the 3 count.
Reaction: The feud of James and Rayne continue on a small note. This match seemed out of place and should have been put in the second hour. With a good beginning, I feel like Impact slowed down quickly and took a lot of interest out of the show. Bound For Glory match should have been here to continue entertaining in ring performances. This segment gets a D.
Bound for Glory Series Match: Devon vs. AJ Styles Review:
AJ and Devon exchange offense, as Devon hits a spinning elbow in the ring, Styles tries to hit a Styles Clash early, as Devon counters into an attempted DDT, only to have Styles hit a pele kick. Christopher Daniels and the Pope come out to cause some sorts of distraction on Devon and AJ Styles at seperate times. Styles tweaks his knee when trying to jump off the turnbuckle, and Devon gets the victory. After the match, we learn that Pope and Devon have a Bound for Glory match at Hardcore Justice.
I have always been a fan of Styles, but it seems like his character has taken step after step back since holding the World Title. He is great in the ring, average on the mic, and have a pretty good look considering. I am not a big proponent of what Devon does in the ring, but this match, with all of the outside distractions, could have been much better with a good flow and better timing. Especially from two veterans in this industry. This segment gets a C.
Bound for Glory Series Match: Pope D'Angelo Dinero def Samoa Joe Review:
Pope slaps Joe and escapes after Joe tried to use his feet to gain quick offense. Pope hits a dropkick and locks in an armbar, but the power of Joe gains him on the offensive immediately after. Pope hits more of his arsenal, including an atomic drop and spinebuster. Pope taps out, but Joe basically chokes him out and does not let up. The ref reverses his decision and declares the Pope the victor.
Reaction: I really liked this match, not because of the great wrestling, but it showed a weakness of Joe, but also shows they need him to become a monster if they want to put him over again. Samoa Joe has size and athleticism, thats about it, and they need to use these tools to make him what he used to be. After the match, he says he is not responsible for what happens next, which I enjoyed. Pope is good in the ring, but still needs to get that one big win to propel his career. This segment gets a B.
Hernandez def Bobby Roode in a Street Fight Review:
This is your typical street fight match, as steel chairs are used, as well as a bunch of weapons thrown into the ring. Hernandez hits Rood in the head with a trash can lid and Roode fires back. The action goes to the outside for a bit, and then the big spot is Roode superplexing Hernandez, followed by shots on Hernandez with a kendo stick. Hernandez hits Roode with a shoulder block, but as the ref is distracted, Sarita hits Roode with a kendo stick, and then as he chases her, gets rolled up by Hernandez. Hernandez uses the old ropes for more leverage to get the pinfall.
Both men put on a good hardcore match here. Let's face it, street fight is the same thing as saying hardcore. Hernandez and Roode have always been two of my favorites to watch for different reasons. Hernandez really seems like he cares about what he is doing when he enters the ring. He isn't ripped into steroids, but looks like a fighter. Roode has the look, has the size, and the cocky attitude where I buy what he sells me. I would love to see these two guys consistently in the main event picture, but as we all know, that is a revolving door currently shut by already established guys, which isn't a terrible thing. This segment gets a B+, still room to improve the storyline and not make this something we enjoy only once.
Austin Aries def Alex Shelly Review:
Aries attacks Shelley before the bell rings, and chokes him on the ropes. Shelley counters with knees to the face. We have fast-paced action throughout the match, with a few submission holds mixed in. Aries holds only Shelley and hits a neckbreaker on the apron. Later on, Shelley hits a suicide dive, and then gets a two count. Clever move when Aries uses Shelleys metal spikes on his jacket as a weapon. Aries picks up the victory after a low kick, folllowed by a Brain Buster. Aries continues the beat down until Brian Kendrick comes out and saves Shelley from further damage.
Entertaining match, with a good pace, and two guys who can really work between the ropes. A few questionable moves, but I did enjoy the creativity of using his jacket spikes against Shelley. That is thinking outside the box. Not much reaction during, as I sat back and enjoyed why wrestling matters to these guys. This segment gets a B-, just because it was solid but nothing great stuck out. They went through the motions.
Bound for Glory Series Match Rob Van Dam and Crimson def Scott Steiner and Gunner
Steiner starts the match aggressively on RVD, as panders the crowd in doing do. Typical chops to the chest on Van Dam, followed by a full nelson slam. Gunner gets a standing moonsault on him after being tripped up, and in comes Crimson. Suplex and T-Bone slam, but Crimson is stopped after interference from Steiner. An elbow, followed by some impressive Steiner push ups give Crimson a world of pain. RVD and Steiner get hot tags, and RVD hits rolling thunder. all four guys are on the outside fighting. Crimson spears Gunner, and RVD hits the Five Star Frog Splash, but Steiner attacks RVD with a Steiner Line, Crimson hits Steiner off the turnbuckle, and RVD hits his signature for the win.
I still feel that Scott Steiner needs to hang the boots up. Immobile and irresponsible in the ring, someone is going to get hurt by him. Personally, he is a guy who has not added to his repertoire in years and relies on other people to make him look good. Rob Van Dam can still go, and I did like what I saw in this match by Gunner and Crimson. There is no doubt that I liked the continuity and tag team wrestling with Van Dam and Crimson, and feel like both of these guys work hard and are usually pretty spot on with their timing inside the ring, which is vastly underrated. This segment gets a B.
Jeremy Borash puts over Hardcore Justice, and then introduces Kurt Angle and Sting. Both sign the contract quickly, and the final comments finish the show. Kurt says he respects Sting, and calls him the "Icon." He finished by saying he will shake Sting's hand and walk out with the championship. Sting uses his joker impersonation at first, but says he is a fan of Kurt Angle. He puts over Kurt's accomplishments and abilities, and says the TNA Championship is his life. He vowed to bring the company back to Dixie Carter. Finally, the show ends with Sting saying he is taking the company away from Hulk and Eric, and that is real.
Reaction: I wish there was some sort of dispute between the two. Yes, they respect each other and we all know that, but add some element of competition between the two. I like the realism of it, but wrestling isn't real all the time for a reason. They will put on a great match at the PPV, but the end left me wanting more, but at the same time, but feeling a bit empty about it. This segment gets a C, add some brawling or something to show they both are aggressive and want to beat the other one. Kurt should have one upped Sting to end the show, but they did enough for me to buy the Pay Per View.
Overall: Good matches in the ring, with a few parts that could have been left out. Steiner needs to go, and I feel Roode and Hernandez could really be something good given a big opportunity. I have this complaint every week, please make storylines and feuds consistent. Let there be two or three months with the same people in the same matches, with a few tweaks. It is so hard to keep track of who is heel and who is face. Too many times where booking gets lazy and throws random matches and people together. Overall, the show gets a C for me.
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