Sunday, 14 August 2011

Thoughts on IMPACT Wrestling: August 11th 2011

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With Hardcore Justice in the books, many questions remained unanswered regarding the motives of new TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle. This week on IMPACT Wrestling, we found out exactly why Kurt did it and just what's in store for TNA going forward. For my UK & Ireland based readers, this review covers the episode of IMPACT Wrestling that aired in the United States on Thursday but is not set to air on Challenge TV until Tuesday 16th August, so if you wish to avoid any spoilers look away now, otherwise read on!

After some stellar showings these past few weeks, I felt IMPACT had a disappointing showing this week, the show felt a little flat and I guess this was down to little being settled on the show, but rather the focus being on the advancement of current storylines.

A lot of people have taken issue with Kurt Angle's heel turn. I personally love it. I feel Kurt is at his best as a heel and I really liked the explanation that Kurt felt Dixie had lied to him regarding Jeff and Karen Jarrett's affair and as such he has no desire to see her return as head of the company. Hogan seems to be the lesser of two evils to Kurt. The attack on Sting also laid the groundwork for what now seems inevitable - Hulk Hogan's return to the ring.

Mr. Anderson's departure from Immortal was swift but inevitable. In reality Ego's like that just can't coexist, so it makes sense for the story to unfold this way, but given the short amount of time Anderson spent with the group and the fact that it did nothing for him, begs the question as to why he joined in the first place? Either way, I'm glad that Anderson can walk alone again and return to the tweener role that suits him perfectly.

One thing that may have gone unnoticed but is a hugely significant change to the show, was the minute or so segment where Eric Bischoff informed the X-Division stars of the new ruleset for the division - namely the imposition of a 225Ibs. weight limit. The segment introduced us to many of the newly signed talent (Kid Kash, Zema Ion, Anthony Nese, Mark Haskins and Jesse Sorensen) and finally gave some definition to the X-Division. The division has always been hugely popular but over the years has been very difficult to define and given that it previously had no set limits was then somewhat perceived as a secondary title and therefore "less important" than the World Title. The roster is now clearly divided and gives clear lines to both championships.

The highlight of the night for me was undoubtedly the Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne bout. This was such a well worked match, a world a way from the short bout at Lockdown. It was a good old fashioned Heel vs. Face bout with two unique characters going at it in hard hitting fashion.

The Bound For Glory series received alot of focus this week and that's a good thing. However I could take or leave the three way tag-match. The Pope/Devon feud lacks any clear definition and is just plain uninteresting and I have little desire to see Daniels vs. AJ Styles again. Given both mens undoubted talents, that saying something. I would much rather see AJ Styles involved in the Main Event picture. To be honest AJ is the face of TNA and he should be standing alongside Sting right now and ultimately HE, not Sting, Not Crimson, Not anyone else, should be the hero when all is said and done.

I thought the Jarrett skit was hilarious stuff. Yes, perhaps it wasn't exactly "PC" but come on, this is wrestling - it's always been about pushing peoples buttons. I hope this now sets something up with Mexican America or given Hector's involvement - something with now free agent Chavo Guerrero.

Crimson was made to look unstoppable tonight toppling three members of Immortal in the main event. TNA and Crimson need to be commended for their efforts so far. Given the post-match attack from Kurt Angle, I suspect TNA might be lining up Crimson to take on Angle at Bound For Glory. This would certainly be something I'd like to see. TNA would be getting behind a home grown star, the "Streak vs. Title" concept adds an interesting dynamic and we all know Kurt is capable of having a great match with anyone, the only question remains is whether Crimson is ready for a title run?

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