Richard Reacts – Last Night's iMPACT A Much Better Effort Than A Week Ago

After my article last week a lot of people came to the conclusion that I was just another TNA hater. Nothing could be further from the truth but I still enjoyed the controversy that I stirred as one reader even went as far as to type me a three page email on why I didn’t know what I was talking about. The fact of the matter is, last week’s iMPACT sucked. Plain and simple, the storylines did not make sense and the booking could not have been worse. This week I was surprised with a show that I enjoyed much more but I remain baffled at the fact that this show was taped the very next night from last week’s debacle. If anyone can make sense of that, I would love to hear from you.

None of this is to say that last night’s edition of iMPACT was without its problems as the show did have some pretty significant flaws. Just when I thought “Feast or Fired” could not become anymore irrelevant, they decided to play Deal or No Deal. It makes me sick to think of what we had to suffer through to see who got the title shots and who got fired. We had a disastrous PPV match, two weeks of iMPACT angles that made no sense, along with those goofy Matt Morgan/Jim Cornette segments, only to watch JB do his best Howie Mandel impression. There is no reason to even rant about this as I now find the entire thing to be hilarious. They seriously opened iMPACT with a match with the case winners, saying the winner could take $50,000 and walk away, trade his case, or do nothing. Scott Steiner wins and trades his case, basically screwing himself out of a TNA World Title shot to Petey Williams.

OK, I’m not going to spend a lot more time ranting about this silly angle because it is irrelevant, however, let me ask some rhetorical and unanswered questions regarding the case winners. Does anyone actually see Petey Williams getting a TNA World Title shot? If he does get the shot, does anyone see him actually winning the World Title? What about Steiner wrestling in the X Division? Who sees Christopher Daniels putting the fired tag back on Senshi? Why is BG James so mad at Kip when they basically won the shot together? Does anyone see the Voodoo Kin Mafia as a legitimate threat for the Tag Titles? Anyone?

There was nothing spectacular from a wrestling perspective on last night’s show, but I can live without on occasion as long as there are some interesting angles to follow. I felt like the whole Angle Alliance/Christian Cage storyline was very entertaining on last night’s show. For it to work they are going to have to turn Christian babyface and that may have began last night when I started to hear more and more chants for the Instant Classic. It’s a case now where Christian is drawing sympathy that hopefully TNA will be able to continue it into an interesting piece.

Robert Roode is the future of professional wrestling. I am not trying to sound like a mark (or maybe I am?) but this guy has it all. Roode has the look, the charisma, the mic skills, and the in-ring talent to be one of the greatest heels of all-time. His work on last night’s iMPACT helped make last night’s show very solid. From him belittling Ms. Brooks to talking down to Sharmell, I thought it was perfect. Hopefully Roode will get a run with Booker T as I would love to see Booker pass the torch to him and put him over. Think about it, a “superstar” putting over a TNA guy, could it happen?

For everyone that criticizes women wrestling they need to watch the TNA Knockouts work. Again this week I was pleased with the action I got out of the women and I must say that I’m in love with Angelina Love. She is absolutely beautiful and works gracefully in the ring. I thought it was the right move to put the duo over the more experienced team of Jackie and Ms. Brooks because they are the future. TNA could have buried Love and Velvet Sky if they would have booked the team led by a drunken Jackie over them. Thank goodness that mistake was not made.

I’m tired of James Mitchell’s obsession with Abyss but it was saved when Judas Mesias made his return. Abyss bladed deep as hell once again to help sell the attack which I felt like made for entertaining television. The “scary” angle beforehand with Black Reign and Rellik beating up on Kaz was weak and I felt like Mesias’ attack on Abyss elevated the show. Speaking of Black Reign, did anyone notice how bad Dustin Rhodes’ forehead looked from all of the blading?

I wanted to touch on some of the backstage segments that I felt were done well on last night’s show. I loved Christian Cage taking a shot at Feast or Fired as he proclaimed that JB was busy playing Deal or No Deal. I also enjoyed how Kevin Nash told Christian that he was doing what he does best, getting paid to do nothing. FINALLY Samoa Joe remembered what he got so upset about at Turning Point as he lashed out against “superstars” in his backstage interview. Why couldn’t TNA have done this on iMPACT last week instead of making it look like Joe and Kevin Nash were dating? This episode was only taped one night later; did Vince Russo finally remember what the hell he had booked at Turning Point?

Where was the X Division Title last night? Jay Lethal put it on the line in the Lumberjack strap match against Johnny Devine but isn’t Devine supposed to have the belt? I found it funny when Team 3D came charging out of the gates trying to look all tough when all of those X Division guys backed them down. Oh how I hate some storylines, but as I promised, no more negative writing in this column. Booker’s match was solid against Chris Harris just to leave a little more of a wrestling taste in our mouths. It really looks like Booker is happy in TNA; I hope that he is able to help elevate the company.

In conclusion last night’s TNA iMPACT was a solid effort. It was by no means the show of the year but it was a refreshing rebound from the debacle that we were forced to sit through a week earlier. I hate to be overly critical with any promotion, but I feel like TNA has the most talented roster in the industry. They have superb established talent with Booker T, Christian, and Kurt Angle with a wonderful women’s division, and perhaps some of the biggest rising superstars in the world with Robert Roode and Kaz. There is no excuse for TNA to ever put on a bad show unless creative just drops the ball as they did a week ago.

Richard can be contacted at richard [at] grayinternet.com

Richard Gray is a professional wrestling journalist and frequent contributor to Rajah.com. He has been covering the world of professional wrestling since 1999 and has had the opportunity to cover ground breaking stories such as the demise of ECW, the WCW buyout, the Benoit tragedy, and more. For more on Richard check out his web site at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.