Josh’s Final Impact
March 1, 2013
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
Back in the states TNA started the final stretch of the road towards Lockdown this week and the Impact Zone crowd sounded pretty hot for it. The opening segment with Bad Influence and Hardy/Ray was pretty entertaining, especially when Bad Influence got involved. Bully Ray saying all the stuff about not deserving his title shot just continues to solidify my belief that he’s going to end up turning at Lockdown.
Velvet & Tara was too short to be anything and they just did that to tie up any loose ends with Tara before Velvet moves onto Gail Kim.
Aries and Hernandez put on a pretty entertaining match with another Eddie Guerrero-style finish (you know that’s always going to be fun for me). I would much rather just get Bad Influence vs. Aries/Roode at Lockdown but the 3-Way should still be pretty damn good. For that matches sake I’m hoping the rumors about Lockdown not having EVERY match in a cage are true, because that match will far better without the restrictions of a cage. I doubt that will be the case though.
RVD & King had their best match yet all the way up until the finish and Earl Hebner botched the ever living hell out of it. The whole point of the finish was supposed to be RVD trying something different with the 450 Splash and missing it, with King capitalizing but for some dumb reason Hebner stopped counting after 2. King looked legit pissed and then they had to call an audible with King hitting his finisher for the clean win. I would assume some sort of rematch is coming at Lockdown.
The Team TNA/Team Aces segment was really strong and Sting did a great job introducing all of his teammates. Eric Young got a good reaction and not only does it make sense for Team TNA but it was an actual surprise (I definitely wasn’t expecting it) and it’s someone that’s been a part of TNA as long as anyone else. An interesting thing about Team TNA is that every single member has been in TNA since at least 2008. James Storm has been there since the very first show in 2002, Eric Young has been there since 2004, Samoa Joe & Sting since 2005 (Sting actually was in TNA in 2003 but made his full time return in 2005), and Magnus since 2008.
I really enjoyed the two Gut Check girls and both girls have loads of potential in my opinion. Felez is a lot more seasoned and has wrestled literally all over the world and has legit training from some of the best in the business. She also has a unique style mixing her MMA background with her lucha background. I’ve only seen a little of her stuff from her brief stint in Mexico, but she definitely seems like she would be a nice addition to the Knockouts right away. She also has a great story that they can play off of with her background, her vignette was really good and made you want to pull for her. Tapa on the other hand is fairly green but man is she impressive in size. She’s still young to the business but she has the pedigree (Barbarian’s niece) and unique size for a woman which she uses for some great power moves. She seemed a bit unsure of herself at times in the match and a little awkward at times as well, but the potential is certainly there. You have to girls here that are unique. One that has a unique story and in-ring style while the other has a unique look and size. For me I’d like to see Felez signed and put on the main roster right away while Tapa could really benefit from some seasoning in OVW.
I’m really digging this stuff with AJ Styles. It’s a slow burn so they’re not throwing everything at once at the viewer, but they introduced his wife and friend telling us how AJ has changed for the worse and then him showing up with a much different look. Giving AJ a bit of an edge is definitely something that I can get behind though I don’t know that him being a full blown heel could ever work. More of a tweener “I only give a damn about myself” character would work, in my opinion, but give TNA kudos for TRYING this at the least. They have legitimately given the AJ Styles character a reason to turn on everyone after the awful 2012 he had with the Crackhead Claire and Daniels stuff.
I’m not sure where the Robbie E and Bigger Rob stuff is going to end up other than the obvious babyface turn for Rob Terry which we’ve already seen. I don’t really know what it’s going to accomplish.
Bad Influence and Hardy/Ray put on a hell of a tag team match. Hardy & Ray are obviously tag experts so it wasn’t hard getting back in the saddle for them, and they put together some really impressive double team moves. Bad Influence was really on point with the chemistry and tag moves as well.
Some solid action last night and positive build toward Lockdown which hopefully will continue next week. There wasn’t any Hulk Hogan and only a brief 10 second Brooke Hogan sighting so I don’t know what the usual suspects are going to be able to gripe about this week.
– Promo/Segment of the Night: TIE (Bully & Hardy/Bad Influence, AJ Styles)
– Match of the Night: Hardy & Ray vs. Bad Influence (***)
– Overall Grade: B
Until next week… PEACE!
Follow me on Twitter: @BamaBoyJosh
Josh Boutwell is the official recapper of TNA Impact Wrestling for Wrestleview.com.