Wednesday, 4 May 2011

TNA iMPACT! Review: "Queen Closeau" - 03/05/2011


Tuesday 3rd May 2011 – 10pm on Challenge

Three Way for the TNA World Heavyweight Title: Sting d. Mr. Anderson, Bully Ray
Television Title Match: Gunner d. Christopher Daniels
Crimson d. Samoa Joe via DQ following interference from Abyss
Scott Steiner/Matt Morgan backstage brawl
Anarquia d. Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley Returned
Angelina Love w/Winter d. Velvet Sky
Karen Angle Interrogates the Knockouts

I’ve a confession to make, sometimes i just can’t resist reading the TV tapings results/spoilers. I know it takes away from the some of the excitement of the show, but come on, sometimes you just can’t wait to see where a storyline or an angle is going.

I must admit, when i saw the tv tapings report for this episode, aside from the comedic value i anticipated from the Karen Jarrett interrogation segment, i wasn’t that excited about anything else on the show. However occasionally there are certain times when the actual show itself comes off much better than the picture presented by the spoilers, this was one of those episodes.

For a few weeks now, TNA has been using a very predictable format for iMPACT!. Opening with a long promo (usual courtesy of Immortal) that builds the main event, throw in some short match-ups and pretapes, then finish with a hyped main event and postmatch commentary from those involved. This show was a major step away from this which in my book was a good thing, the whole show felt very different, fresh and not as cluttered.

The opening segment was pure gold. Karen and Jeff Jarrett are one of the best things on TNA right now. In particular, i thought Jeff’s reaction’s to some of the insuations from the knockouts were fantastic and really fit his current persona, he just plays the character so well. Whilst Karen and Jeff seemed to focus on Velvet Sky for the majority of the segment, this is obviously a ruse. The most logical person seemed to be Miss Tessmacher given her sudden appearance without warning last week, however is still firmly believe this is going to be someone not currently on the TNA roster.

Not much of a match from Velvet & Angelina tonight, though i guess the whole point was to put over Angelina’s new zombie character and her apparent “imperviousness to pain”. Also a big changeup by starting the show focusing on the women and not showing any of the male wrestlers aside from the ever-present Jeff Jarrett until 25 minutes into Impact. Interesting to see how this is reflected in the ratings.

Decent match-up between Anarquia and Chris Sabin. Sabin’s injury looked serious, and given the quick finish i had assumed it was legitimate. However when Alex Shelley made the save i marked out and then assumed TNA did a fantastic job of making us all believe that Sabin was really injured….i which that were the case, turns out he legitimately injured his knee. MCMG have had no luck this year and the timing couldn’t have been worse given Shelley’s comeback. Hopefully Sabin heals up soon.

Good job from Steiner and Morgan tonight, very intense backstage brawl segment. I was dubious at first of Morgan’s “Rise to the Main Event” being sidetracked by Steiner. But he made Morgan look a million bucks tonight, this feud sets Morgan up to beat a fierce former multi-time World Champion giving him instant credibility in the title scene, looking forward to their bout at Sacrifice which is surely on the way.

Sting was definately the star of this show, his wrecking of Anderson’s truck with the baseball bat was just an awesome segment and his childlike denials when confronted about it by Mr. Anderson in the ring was just done to perfection. In fact the whole exchange between Anderson and Sting was the best segment of the show for me. RVD giving his approval for a World Title showdown between Anderson and the Stinger was a surprise and i loved that just when all of the faces finally were on the same page for once, Hogan came in to change to the game up and throw Bully Ray into the mix. Loving Hogan playing the “Master Manipulator”, we all think of him like that anyway.

Apparently Gunner is going to be the recipient of a push, defeating Christopher Daniels to retain the TV Championship on tonights show. I hope we get to see these two lock up at Sacrifice in a return match because I’d like to see what Gunner can do in a 15-minute match with a wrestler of the caliber of Christopher Daniels. This match was rushed but was enjoyable while it lasted.

Samoa Joe’s promo backstage concerning his own undefeated streak upon entry into TNA and comparing it with Crimson’s current undefeated streak (which, to be honest i wasn’t aware of!) really built their match up for me. I started to get chills as i thought of the possibility of Crimson knocking off Somoa Joe, clean, and going on a Goldberg style undefeated streak. Whilst the match didn’t end the way i would have pictured, it was a decent bout. I’m looking forward to seeing Abyss vs Crimson and Sacrifice, but really want to see Crimson take the victory, he got the look and in ring ability to be a star in this business, i hope TNA makes the most of his unique abilities.

Mickie James’ thank you to the fans was a nice touch. Though given that she’s the first to hold the every major Female title in wrestling (WWE Women’s, Divas and TNA Knockouts) i thought they would have made a much bigger deal out of it, opportunity missed in my book.

The Main Event match-up was surprisingly good, with a great finish. It was also nice seeing Ray sell the effects of the head shot so heavily as he was down a long time before the replacement ref made the three count. The only thing that irked me was the tease of Anderson looking on from ringside as if he was about to pounce on Sting with the pipe only for them to cut to the backstage interview segments.

Speaking of the post match comments, Bully Ray proved once again why he deserves his spot in the main event mix in TNA with a scintillating Heel promo. We closed out with Jeff and Karen speculating on the identityof the “Mistress” that Kurt Angle has hired. Is still feel the post match comments take a little away from the anticipation of next week a little. How much more exciting would it have been to have seen the slow rise of Anderson from the mat with the pipe only to cut to the TNA Wrestling logo with Tenay stating they were out of time and to join next week for the fall out from this weeks episode? They’d have me hooked for sure.

Final Thoughts

This episode of Impact was unique because of the all-Knockout start and it did a good job of moving the storylines along, however barring the Main Event, little stood out to me. There were around 30mins of wrestling in total, given the recent talk of re-branding with an emphasis on “Wrestling” i’d hope that this means more actual in ring action going forward. TNA have a roster littered with talent, and there’s a ton of dream match-ups and pairing at their disposal, it would be a shame to waste those opportunities.

Until next week, thanks for reading.

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