It was just five years ago that I paid $9.99 per week just to watch a professional wrestling company that was started by Jeff Jarrett and his father. TNA was born! I remember thinking to myself that there is no way this organization is going to make it. Even though I would happily pay ten bucks to see something other than the WWE at the time, I was under the impression that most wrestling fans wouldn’t buy into a bunch of WCW rejects and no namers competing in front of crowd less than two thousand people. Turned out, I was wrong and I am glad I was, because just 1 year later I would be working for that company and watch it grow from PPV to the Fox Sports Network and now prime time on Spike television for two hours on Thursday night.
While I sat and watched the first two hour edition of TNA Impact, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride. Even though I have not been with TNA for over a year now, it felt great to see how far the company has come. Who better than to analyze TNA from week to week on Wrestlezone.com than a guy who has seen it all evolve since day one? Each week, I will pick the best match of the night, biggest waste of time during the show, and give the program a grade. So let’s get started with review. Shall we?
The show started off with a great intro package with highlights of the last five years and the voice we come to associate with TNA. The first match of the night featured â<80><9c>The War Machineâ<80> Rhino vs. Black Reign. Here was a match that really got me thinking of the past. Not because the two men are veterans of the squared circle and they now fight in a 6-sided ring, but instead how both Rhodes and Rhino could have been superstars for every company they traveled to. I can’t help but think how both superstars should have gotten the push they deserve 5 years ago. Seriously, who has more charisma than Dustin or more pure energy that can shoot through the crowd like Rhino? Just watching the Black Reign character, it’s evident that Rhodes can pull of a gimmick like no other. He has definitely come a long way since being thrown over the guardrail by the Million Dollar Man and Virgil on a Saturday Nights Main Event during what I refer to as the good ol days.
TNA lived up to their name by giving us Total Nonstop Action through the match and even after. Raven, Abyss, Havok, James Mitchell, and Sting all made their way to the ring with violent intentions. Then I saw Kurt Angle come on the big screen and right away, I knew that he was somewhere Sting didn’t want him to be. To be completely honest, we have seen this scenario play out before in TNA with Sting’s family in danger. Yes Kurt, you will piss off anyone by messing with their family.
Black Machismo (Jay Lethal) just nails the Macho Man, doesn’t he? This man has done his homework. Sometimes, I really think that I am going to turn around and see Savage cutting a promo on Hulk Hogan. That is just great stuff right there. On the flip side, Sonjay Dutt just might have the worst gimmick ever.
I love Team 3D as heels. Brother Devon and Brother Ray really seem more comfortable with this role and they make it work. Fans really love to hate these two ECW alumnus. They have been known to start riots in arenas across the nation during their earlier days in the industry.
Did the whole roster make it on camera tonight? TNA definitely took advantage of the extra hour. We saw just about everyone, but the â<80><9c>King of the Mountainâ<80> Jeff Jarrett. Speaking of which, I would like to give a quick shout out to Jarrett. Congrats man! You should be very proud of what you have accomplished and I know I speak for the writers at Wrestlezone when I say that you remain in our thoughts and prayers and hope you come back soon.
Sharkboy? Never mind, I won’t go there. Just tell me it’s for the kids and I will leave it alone. More Angle/Sting segments aired during the night and really got me pumped up for the match they will have at Bound for Glory. We know Kurt is in the prime of his career, but I hope Sting brings his A Game, because if he does, we are all in for a treat.
Then there was the Robert Roode segment. I really, truly, honestly believe that there is another Canadian Superstar in the making to join the list of greats in this business such as Bret Hart, Chris Jericho, Cage, and Edge. The potential is there, but he needs to freshen up on the mic skills if you know what I mean. By the way, does anyone know who those two women were that had a confrontation at the end? TNA might need to do a better job introducing their feminine side. The one woman claimed she was in Playboy. Here is a tip, don’t hire the woman after she poses for Playboy and expect us to know who she is. Vincent K. McMahon can show you how the whole wrestling superstar to Playboy Cover Girl works.
Speaking of divas, the next match was Jackie Moore against Gail Kim. Although I have seen it before, they did have a great match due to their chemistry working with each other. Again, TNA tried to clear the locker room by sending out the Vodoo Kin Mafia, James Storm, Lance Hoyt, and others. I am not opposed to TNA having a women’s champion, but from where I sit, they will only have about 3 that can really go in the ring. Nice work on the bright red blazer Jim Cornette. I just love that you are a part of television again.
Worst Match of the Night: Team 3D vs. Team Pacman. I had a feeling that this was going to happen. I just can’t understand how TNA thinks they can make this whole Adam â<80><9c>Pacmanâ<80> Jones thing work when he can’t even physically get involved with the other wrestlers. We all know that the NFL and the Tennessee Titans won’t allow it. They are the tag team champions, but really it’s just a one man show for Ron â<80><9c>The Truthâ<80> Killings. Shows you how much talent that man has. Anybody notice how big Devon is getting? He must be hitting the gym with the â<80><9c>Big Bad Booty Daddyâ<80>, Scott Steiner. Speaking of which, how cool was it to see the Steiner Brothers doing there famous pose in the ring.
Raven vs. Abyss vs Black Reign at Bound for Glory? That alone is worth the price of admission. Should be a violent and bloody affair. Then came the Gauntlet Preview match. At first I thought I was seeing a Team Canada reunion with Roode, Young, and Petey Williams. No Canadian Destroyer (flip pile driver) for the first 2 hour Impact? What a shame! Roode proves again how good of a heel superstar he can be in this business. On the other hand, it seems as if TNA thinks it’s â<80><9c>The Wildcatâ<80> Chris Harris. He is good, but I just don’t see the total package. No offense to Lex Luger. Erik Young equals TNA’s version of Eugene and that’s all I have to say about that.
The line of the night was spoke by the World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist himself, Kurt Angle when he told the cheerleader â<80><9c>His father slapped my wife!â<80> Classic stuff by and Angle that is getting more comfortable being the funny guy. He does a really good job making fans laugh these days.
Best Match of the Night: Triple X, AJ Styles, and Christian Cage vs. LAX, Junior Fatu, and Samoa Joe. Samoa Joe came out to some new music, but the same old evil grin. Can you really have a bad match if it involves Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Samoa Joe? The answer is no and this main event stole the show. I agreed with the audience when they screamed â<80><9c>This is Awesome!â<80>
Well that is it for the first recap of TNA Impact by The Authority. To be honest, I enjoyed it more than any WWE television show I have seen in a while. Therefore, I will have to hand it to that other company and give them an A-. Well done guys. Well done.