"Open Challenge" Match
It takes 400 days to build up a streak…and about two minutes to destroy it, apparently. And you know what? I am absolutely okay with that decision. Many aren't so much upset that Crimson lost, but that his career and streak just meant that little to TNA management. I think that's ridiculous! Crimson wasn't working; his streak wasn't getting over. If sacrificing it to give James Storm a big return and springboard him into the main event, so be it. If Crimson is as good as he says he is…we'll see him in a title match eventually. The cream always rises to the top, as they say.
Like I said in my preview piece, Brooke Hogan's presence in the Knockout's division was bound to be reflected in a changing of the guard. My problem with all of this — outside of the name Brooke Hogan being anywhere near a wrestling product — is that a face champion under a face regime just isn't entertaining. Gail Kim cheating her way to every victory with the aid of Karen Jarrett and Madison Rayne builds some great drama; give me one good reason to care about Brooke Hogan, Velvet Sky in a music video I'm never going to watch, or Tessmacher as the Champion.
Alright, so who was the guy under the Abyss mask? I was wondering if they'd go down this road, but now they've got themselves in a sticky situation. Do they continue trying to play off Joseph Park and Abyss as two separate entities, and how long could they possibly keep that up for? The smart money is on Abyss and Bully Ray colliding in yet another match, but I'm more interested in how they're going to "kill off" Joseph in the process…
Remember earlier how I said that sometimes the "moment" is within the match itself? This isn't exactly one of those unique situations… This was about as good as you'd expect it to be, physically speaking, but damn did they tell a good story in the process. About 80% of that credit can go to Bully Ray for doing exactly what he's been doing for months: being the most dominant and imposing heel in the industry. The other 20% rests on Abyss' shoulders, for playing the part of the timid lawyer for much longer than any fan — myself included — would have predicted. My favorite element of this match was watching Abyss (AKA Joseph Park) actually trying to be as terrible as the character called for. It's one thing to go out and wrestle a match, it's another to forget what you've spent years training your body to do, and actually look like an amateur on purpose!
If nothing else this match did exactly what any PPV segment should strive to do: I'm legitimately looking forward to Impact Wrestling on Thursday night to see how this all plays out.
AJ StylesAustin Ariesbobby roodebully rayCrimsongail kimhernandezJames StormJeff HardyJoseph Parkkid kashKurt Anglemiss tessmacherMr. Andersonrob van damsamoa joeStingTNATNA SlammiversaryHave a news tip?Attended an event and want to send a live report?