Wednesday, 11 May 2011

TNA iMPACT! Review: "The Network is Coming" - 10/05/2011


Tuesday 10th May 2011 – 10pm on Challenge

Kurt Angle & Velvet Sky d. Jeff Jarrett, Winter & Angelina
Hogan & Bischoff speculate on the identity of the Network Representative
The X-Division wrestlers deliver a message to Eric Bischoff
TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James d. Miss Tessmacher
Crimson lets Samoa Joe know how he feels about his “Help” last week
Rob Terry d. Murphy in a Loser Leaves Immortal match
AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels d. Bully Ray & Gunner via DQ as Tommy Dreamer attacked AJ
Mexican America Celebrate Cinco De Mayo
Sangriento d. Suicide
Bobby Roode has a message for Hulk Hogan

For the second consecutive week TNA delivers a show that looks and feels completely different. For a start the majority of Main Event players are given the night off, No Mr. Anderson and Sting and Rob Van Dam are on screen for no more than a cup of coffee.

Instead the spotlight this week was focused on the Jarretts who focus their attention on who they believed to be Kurt Angle’s hired “Mistress” – Velvet Sky. Velvet sure held her own in the confrontation with Karen Jarrett, their exchange was fluid and realistic and the addition of Winter and Angelina into the mix, furthering that storyline was a nice touch. Of course we all knew Kurt would eventually intervene and setup a main event that seemed hotly anticipated from the crowd.

The Main Event match-up itself was great, and a great finish that made Velvet Sky look like a million bucks (as if she needs the assistance!) and i indeed hope this is the beginning of her run to the Knockouts title, Mickie James vs Velvet is a money match if ever there was one. Kurt’s tease at the end setup the Mistresses’ reveal next week, i still firmly believe it’s someone not currently on the TNA Roster.

Honorable mention to Robert Roode as well this week. He’s continually shown he can hold his own on the mic with the best of them and Roode delivered a scathing promo this week and i sense with the emotion he showed, some of his words for Hogan were legitimately from the heart. As much as i love Beer Money and never want to see wrestlings best tag-team split, Bobby Roode is destined to be a World Champion someday soon, perhaps this is the beginning.

Great promo from Matt Hardy again this week, i like how their teasing a Jeff Hardy return, think it’s still too early given his court date in June but i guess we’ll find out next week.

Also interesting to note the mentions of Jay Lethal’s firing on tonights show, strange they would allow that, i’m beginning to believe the whole deal has been a work.

The show also saw the iMPACT! debut of Sangriento. Whilst i like the idea of introducing a new “Luchador” to the X-Division, and i think Amazing Red is the perfect guy to put under the hood, i’m just not sure the character itself is right. “Sangriento” translates as “Bloodthirsty”, a great moniker but unfortunately that get-up is just hilariously bad, especially when compared with the awesome Suicide costume. Would have much preferred to have seen Red take over from Daniels as Suicide rather than Okada, and they simply could have started some hype videos for Suicide’s return to build anticpation, everyone loves that character. Decent match that unfortunately ended, just as it was heating up, Sangriento’s finisher is certainly unique!

As big a defender as i have been of Mexican America, i didn’t enjoy the Cinco De Mayo celebrations. Anarquia just dosen’t cut it on the mic for me, he’s too over the top and comes across as an Eddie Guerrero knock-off, Hernandez should have led proceedings. Made sense to have an ex-Serviceman in Jesse Neal answer the call to defend the US, especially with patriotism running high following the Bin Laden death. Looks like Ink Inc. have been slotted into Motor City’s role in this feud following Chris Sabin’s injury.

I said it once and i’ll say it again, i cannot believe how entertaining Bully Ray has been of late. Thrown into the mix following Jeff Hardy’s incident at Victory Road, i didn’t expect much of him but his run has been tremendous and he generates heat like no other. The matchup against Styles and Daniels this week was entertaining, and certainly had a shocking ending with Tommy Dreamer piledriving AJ Styles. It was heavily hinted that Dreamer was working against his will and has been issued a “Do it or your Fired” option from Immortal, interesting to see were this story goes. By the way, did everyone notice when Fortune where speculating over Dreamer’s motives, they mentioned if it had to do with EV2? WOW! Now that’s storyline continuity folks.

Rob Terry versus Murphy i’m not even going to comment on, they let Lethal go and yet had to fill this show with that? Found it hilarious that Eric Bischoff mentioned how dire the match was backstage.

Loved the to and fro between Joe and Crimson this week. I’m hoping Crimson goes over Abyss, goes on a win streak and eventually is tested by Joe resulting in a mutual appreciation between the two. Joe is a guy that can give Crimson a stamp of approval and turn a guy full of potential into a Upper-Mid Card player.

WOW! Miss Tessmacher sure looks different…anyone not excited by her recent return should be now! Sure, her gimmick is basically just a slutty secretary, not the most creative of ideas but hey i’m not complaining. Great entrance and a decent match with Mickie who looks like her shoulder injury has healed up fine. Nice touch for Mickie to ensure Madison put something on the line at the pay-per view, continuity again folks!

I found the X-Division segments a surprise. I know it makes sense as Bischoff was percieved to have kept the cruiserweights down in WCW, but he’ll he WAS the guy that brought that division to the mainstream in the US, if anything he should be a supporter of them but what the hell. Was Bischoff really supposed to throw that coffee around Kendrick? Looked like an accident and hit Kendrick right on the hand, ouch!

Enjoyed the speculation between Bischoff and Hogan over the identity of the Network Representative. They went through Flair, Russo etc. and even Goldberg following the X-Division guys humorous paint job on Hogan’s rental car. At this stage i know who the network rep is going to be next week, and i think its the perfect and most logical choice.

All in all a decent show tonight, but i would be lying if i said it didn’t feel flat given the lack of big names – Mr. Anderson, Sting, RVD etc. I did however thoroughly enjoy the main event and it’s lead up. It was different, fresh and as a result it felt bigger to me than event the World Title bout last week! The highlight of a show that was little more than an advertisement for next week, which in my opinion looks like being a truly memorable show that will be talked about for years to come.

Until next week, thanks for reading.

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