Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Thoughts on IMPACT Wrestling: August 2nd 2011

This week on IMPACT Wrestling:

  • Kurt Angle reminded Hogan that he cannot be bought, wanted no part of Immortal and told him if he wanted Sting taken out so badly he should do it himself.
  • Rob Van Dam def. Gunner to earn 7pts in the Bound For Glory Series
  • Sting announced he was the new Network Executive and booked Anderson/Sting in a Cage Match with Fortune as the ring enforcers, as well as Abyss vs. Kendrick in an Ultimate X match, much to the annoyance of Immortal.
  • Crimson def. Bully Ray in a Bound For Glory Series match
  • Winter def. Tara
  • Brian Kendrick def. Abyss in an Ultimate X Match
  • Velvet Sky & Traci Brooks asked ODB & Jackie to put up or shut up.
  • The Network confirmed with Eric Bischoff that Sting was not in fact the Network Executive. Sting confirmed it had been a ruse and proceeded to lock Bischoff in his office with an angry looking Crow.
  • Kurt Angle d. Mr. Anderson in a Steel Cage match following interference from Bully Ray
I don’t often say this about any tv show, but last night's IMPACT Wrestling on Challenge was PERFECT. I loved this show, start to finish and it was easily my favourite episode of 2011. IMPACT Wrestling got the tone of the show right and Sting was tremendously entertaining throughout the night.

I must admit I did sigh a little at the thought of yet another person in the “Network Executive” role, not to mention that I have memories of Sting in an authority role in WCW in the summer of 1999 which wasn’t exactly his greatest moment. However I was pleasantly surprised by the swerve and it totally fit the unpredictable nature of the Sting character. I know some people just haven’t warmed to Sting’s new “joker” like persona but I’m sure there would be very few of you who did not enjoy his performance on this episode. He toned down the character a little and got the perfect blend of comedy and seriousness. 

The opening segment of the show was also pretty good, in fact one of Hogan’s best promos for some time and I loved the back and forth and little digs at each other from Angle and the Hulkster. The promo seemed to have one intention, setting the seen for an improbably return to the ring by Hulk Hogan! I know he can’t “go” like he used to, but to see him in the ring at Bound For Glory would be such a spectacle in itself, the match quality would be secondary.

Rob Van Dam and Gunner was an energetic, fast paced opener and really got me geared up for the show. Some people have accused RVD of mailing it in since joining TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, but you can’t argue with his performances of late, truly “5 Star!”.

Props this week to Austin Aries, Alex Shelley and Brian Kendrick. I haven’t enjoyed the X-Division as much since 2009 and I’m slowly but surely becoming an Austin Aries mark. Aries isn’t playing a character, like the best of them he’s simply playing himself with the volume turned way up and I can’t help but like his cockiness and border line arrogance.

Kendrick’s character is off the wall and unlike anything else in pro wrestling right now, I find him highly entertaining and his match with Abyss was exactly how a David vs. Goliath type match should go down. And what a finish!! Whoever the road agent was for this one deserves a raise.

Also must mention Bully Ray, who literally has no equal with regards Heel promos of late, “I’m playing angry birds, does it look like I’m worried about Crimson?”. It also appears that Velvet Sky will be sidetracked for a little longer with ODB and Jackie, I sure hope so for two reasons – 1. Because the longer ODB stays around the better and 2. Velvet vs. Mickie is THEE money match for the Knockouts division and deserves to be showcased on the biggest stage – Bound For Glory.

Regarding the main event, Angle vs. Mr. Anderson at Lockdown 2010 was my favourite match of the year in 2010 and I was very excited about the prospect of a rematch and whilst it wasn’t on a par with the Lockdown bout it was still highly entertaining. Filled with false finishes and ringside brawling between Fortune, Immortal and Mexican America, this match was as exciting as they come. The ending was completely unexpected on my end but something I’ve wanted to see happen for a while.

There are just so many self centred ego maniacs in Immortal, Anderson and Bully Ray arguably the biggest, that it’s unrealistic to think they would all get along in reality. So to see the relationship backfire spectacularly was well received and I just loved the dialogue between Mr. Anderson and Bully Ray, in fact “Penis Face” will likely become my new go to insult going forward, :) Hoping for a heated verbal duel from these two next week on IMPACT Wrestling.

All in all a highly entertaining, action packed show with all the key elements – Story, Anticipation, Reality, Surprise and Action and I just can’t wait for next weeks show. Thanks for reading.

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