Everything Wrong with TNA Impact (and how it should have been) (in my mind) (04/05/12)

HULK HOGAN PROMO introduced by DIXIE CARTER (match announcements)
Wow what ego stroking.Dixie has Sting in the ring. They both couldn’t look average enough. In fact I saw members of the crowd that looked like bigger stars. Speaking of stars, TNA had all of its wrestlers surrounding the ring. Way to make the entire roster look like extras and background players.

Hogan plugs Lockdown and announces matches. Morgan vs Crimson at Lockdown. Knockouts challenge for #1 contender tonight. Hogan calls out Bischoff and Ric Flair on the floor argues with Hogan. Oh so Bischoff isn’t out there… either is Roode who then appears with a security force wearing suits. Well at least TNA makes him look like a star.

As I predicted any babyface as an authority figure becomes the top babyface and the top babyface that wrestles each week is always #2.Andersongets called into the ring after Roode says his piece. I never want to hearAndersontalk and thankfully he doesn’t.Andersonvs Roode is announced for tonight. Hogan then announces Jeff Hardy vs Kurt Angle for right now. I smell a lumberjack match!

JEFF HARDY vs KURT ANGLE (rushed match)
Tazz says this is a main event anywhere in the world… yep but on TNA it opens the card… because they like blowing their money matches. Eh whatever, maybe it will be a minute long and end with some cheap finish. Angle’s right leg is either hideously pale or it is taped up. Remember how I typed that I smell a lumberjack match. Nope. No chance. After a few minutes they fall to the outside and Jeff Hardy has to break the count right before he throws Kurt back in. That made little sense. Maybe with the count at 8, Jeff didn’t want to get counted out by throwing in Kurt first.

Kurt is busted open in the ring. Thankfully TNA cameras didn’t catch the blade. Eric Young’s bachelor party will air tonight. This match has good crowd enthusiasm, but it feels very rushed. Several minutes in when Angle applies the ankle lock, he is still standing. I’ve always had a problem with the standing ankle lock. It makes more sense to drop and let the guy drag you instead of letting them kick you or roll you up, but whatever.

Good finish to a match that builds to a pay-per-view in a cage. Good match, I still say it felt very rushed, but had some good energy and crowd reaction. Angle gets backstage and Hogan announces a cage match with him and Jeff Hardy. I guess I don’t have a problem with giving this match away for free to build to a pay-per-view.

FLAIR BACKSTAGE on the speaker phone with BISCHOFF
Yep Flair warns Bischoff.

BULLY RAY BACKSTAGE
Bully is trending worldwide. He gets asked Storm or Roode at Lockdown. Bully Ray says he’s the next world champion. Bully heads to the ring to call out Austin Aries.

BULLY RAY & ARIES ANGLE (great for both guys)
Bully Ray is calfzilla. He cuts down Austin Aries for his lack of size. Aries then appears. Aries acts like he is gonna cut a promo and ends up popping Bully with the microphone. After a beatdown, Bully Rag gives him a walking, diving powerbomb. It looked awesome and was worth a replay. This was great for both guys.

JOESEPH PARK BACKSTAGE (a waste of time)
Joe asks the caterer, because his brother has a ravenous appetite. You know Hulk once saw Abyss’s face. Hmmm… Oh but no one remembers that.

AJ STYLES BACKSTAGE (and a challenge)
He things James will win. AJ is now wearing gloves. Storm appears to challenge AJ. Eh this works and keeps Storm fresh with matches. AJ should want a title shot if he beats Storm and if Storm beats Roode at Lockdown.

KNOCKOUTS CHALLENGE >> MICKIE JAMES vs TARAvs WINTER vs ANGELINA LOVE vs MADISON RAYNE vs VELVET SKYE (and flawed logic)
Winter is announced from parts unknown. I could swear she’s fromEngland somewhere. If she had an American accent, I’d say she’s fromAlaska. Or how about the clouds above? Looks like Angelina is just a heel instead of with Winter. I hate to admit it, but Winter and Rayne have my two favorite themes in TNA. Why? I guess because they sound different from any other theme.

Apparently this match is the first fall with only 2 people at a time with the need to tag out. Strange. Why would anyone tag in? Just blind tags I guess. A match like this should either be 6 at a time or offer a punishment for the loser. Otherwise there is no reason to tag out. If I had to predict a winner, I’d say Velvet Skye, because that’s who won last week, but knowing TNA it could be Winter. If this was the WWE I’d say Rosita, because she’s not even in the match.

There is an awesome spot where Velvet is in with Rayne, who then tags out to Mickie James to make face vs face. When Mickie goes to get in Rayne kicks her out. This becomes a spotfest like all big matches. In the end, one woman is standing tall, which is great, because usually TNA has this problem of when there’s a winner everyone is in the ring, so you don’t get a visual of one person being above the rest.

ANDERSONBACKSTAGE with ROODE (less annoying than usual)
Anderson is backstage. Roode appears with his suited bodyguards.Anderson wonders why wait til tonight when we can fight right now? Isn’t right now tonight? Whatever. The suits get inAnderson’s face he touches their ties. They’ll wait til later tonight.

TNA at CMAs (with Kiss)
You get to see Jeff Hardy and James Storm posing with Kiss. I swear this was CMAs… Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it is the ACMs or whatever. I wonder how much Gene Simmons asked to be paid for standing in the background. 

ERIC YOUNG’s BACHELOR PARTY (and how lame it is)
3 nerds with Eric Young picking fantasy baseball online. ODB appears to give the men a party. Insults the men and chases them away. She’s subtly chasing away everyone from Eric Young. They might as well have Eric put in a closet. She then pulls Eric close for a face full of cleavage.

JAMES STORM vs AJ STYLEZ (AJ is still a star)
Montgomery Gentry is in the crowd and James says hi. This could be awesome, but since this is TNA I see it going 4 minutes. AJ looks very strange with gloves. I like how the crowd is chanting for AJ who is the midcarder. Early on AJ summersaults out of the way of the Last Call. I think TNA should just call it Last Call instead of Last Call Super Kick. Tennay plugs the MotorCity Machine Guns are next.

This match has some good logical counters and reversals, such as elbows to a rear waist lock to break the clasp. Good match, the crowd is firmly behind AJ for 80% of the match. It is interesting to see their physiques when both of them started out with the same skinny body 10 years ago. Good finish with the winner checking on his friend. This match made AJ look good and actually show his stuff.

James Storm gets on the mic and wants Robert Roode next week to look him in the eye one last time before Lockdown.

HOGAN & STING BACKSTAGE
Hogan sends Sting home. Sting says the doctors won’t let him compete. Good. Use Sting sparingly.

MONTGOMERY GENTRY BACKSTAGE w/ ROBERT ROODE
They lightly put over TNA and put over James Storm. Robert Roode appears and spits in the face of Montgomery Gentry. This was good. Hopefully TNA

MOTORCITY MACHINE GUNS vs MEXICAN AMERICA (terrible missed opportunity)
Sabin was injured one year ago in a botched spot against Mexican America. TNA really should have put this on pay-per-view with some hype behind it. People would pay money to see their return or at least their first match into their return. By just throwing out the guns it felt like Sabin had never left and he was just a regular guy. There were brief, emphatic chants of ‘Welcome back.’ But there were more chants of ‘Motor city.’

Personally, if I were Sabin, I’d be working on Anarchya’s knee to take him out and make him disappear for a while (to OVW). There was a spot where Shelly flew off the top and landed on Anarchya who had his knees bent. Not a block, just coincidental. Anyway, the Guns looked awesome.

Sabin gets on the mic and says he wants the titles. He doesn’t mention how great it is to be back.

RIC FLAIR BACKSTAGE intercepts ERIC BISCHOFF
Flair says Hogan is out of control. Eric calls Ric a two time hall-of-famer. Flair says that Hogan is out of control because he’s making matches for Lockdown. Oh no! An authority figure making matches? TNA plugs a Bischoff & Hogan in the ring for a confrontation.

HOGAN & BISCHOFF ANGLE
Hogan is in the ring and calls out Bischoff who then appears. Thank goth this wasn’t the main event after the last match. I’m much happier with this match under the main event. Eric Bischoff says blah blah blah. This is something I’ve heard from him so many times. Against Garrett Bischoff, Vince McMahon, Steve Austin. Probably other guys too.

Hogan says that Eric needs to put together a team for Lockdown and Garrett will make the other team. I like this idea. Garrett doesn’t need to be in a singles cage match. Hmmm Gunner & Mexican America vs Garrett & uh… Anthony Neese & D-Von.

If Garrett loses he’s off TNA and if Eric’s team loses he can no longer use his own name for the rest of his life. Yep… Maybe he will be Bob Smith.

STORM VIDEO
A great video recap with the split of Beer Money interviewing Storm and people from his life, his friends, wife, and family. Storm even has a baby in his arms. James Storm is Joe Everyman. This video was good and it really pushes Storm vs Roode as something special to TNA.

MR. ANDERSON vs ROBERT ROODE (what match?)
Andersonsays Mr. Anderson.Anderson. Then walks to the ring. Ken Anderson looks terrible, like he’s ill with the flu and they’re making him wrestle. Maybe he has food poisoning or something. He also wears a shirt that says ‘pro wrestling is real.’ Since he has the sleeves well cut off, it looks like the shirt says ‘no wrestling is real.’ At least Mr. Anderson has a win going into this match and at least Robert Roode has a fresh match that doesn’t involve Hardy, Bully or Storm. Wow Bobby is thin compared to the TNA title. He only has 1 set of buttons buttoned. Maybe TNA needs magnets on the belt to keep the strap from just flapping like that.

For whatever reasonAndersonhas 33 on the back of his wrestling trunks, is that his age? Is that the highway he lives next to? Tennay announces that there will be a series of matches between team Garrett vs team Gunner. I like how no one really pays attention to the match in the ring. The commentators just recap what we’ve seen and what we will see.

Ref bump. Ken Anderson gets the visionary. Well I smell the first feud after Roode loses the title at Lockdown. Heck he might not even lose the title and this might be the main event program after Lockdown. Beer bottle finish. Poor referee has to count in the glass.Andersonis bleeding. I also like how no one can say Bobby Roode, they always say Bobby Rooooo.

James Storm appears with Hogan. That’s like a boy appearing with his dad to confront a bully. Good job TNA. Hogan reverses the decision. Maybe this was inAnderson’s contract where he needs to get a win over Bobby Roooo. After that final match, I just have a bad taste in my mouth.

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