The long awaited two-hour debut episode, let’s see how they did.
1) Black Reign vs. Rhino – 3
Reign is apparently another bad idea from the brain fart mind of Vince Russo. Just imagine a black Goldust with about fifty extra pounds. Reign comes out with his rat and a black box that looks like it could possibly contain a few hundred flasks of alcohol because if I was portraying Black Reign, then I would probably drink too. Rhino does nothing out of the ordinary and somehow wins. Afterwards, a slew of people such as Raven, Abyss, Havok, and Sting run-in making the match that just happened seem meaningless. Sting clears the ring and Kurt Angle appears on the video wall and Sting’s son’s football game. Yawn.
2) Jackie Moore vs. Gail Kim – 4
A short but simple diva … er, knockouts match. It gets a bonus point because Black Reign wasn’t involved. More run-ins after the match with Roxxi Laveaux and Christy Hemme. I begin to think TNA can’t do a segment or match without somebody interfering. Still better than the same divas matches that we see on Raw every week.
3) Team 3-D vs. Pacman Jones & Ron Killings – 2
Before the match, 3-D destroyed Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt in the interview area then brawled with them and promptly buried them. Killings does all the work for his team because Jones can’t wrestle because of legalities between TNA and the Tennessee Titans. Jones tags in and Bubba throws a football at him. That’s the most athletic thing I’ve seen Bubba do in his TNA tenure. VKM runs in and beats up Killings for the DQ finish. WHAT THE FUCK IS THE DEAL WITH ALL THE INTERFERENCE IN THESE MATCHES!!!! Then the Steiners run out, looking older and more immobile than ever, and pose.
4) 10-Man Gauntlet Battle Royal – 5
Participants include but are not limited to James Storm, Kaz, Robert Roode, Petey Williams, Eric Young, Jimmy Rave, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Lance Hoyt, and Chris Harris. This was touted as a preview for the Fight for the Right Match at Bound for Glory. If you’ve never seen a gauntlet battle royal then it’s basically a modified Royal Rumble match in which the last two guys compete in a one-fall match. For some reason, I always enjoy these. This was fast paced and everything was happening at once. Young wins after pinning Storm. Two big things happened in this match: no interference and it went longer than ten minutes. I’m impressed.
5) Christopher Daniels, Senshi, A.J. Styles, & Christian Cage vs. LAX, Junior Fatu, & Samoa Joe – 5
This has the makings to be very interesting. I still don’t like Fatu and the damn stinkface, especially now that he’s bigger than ever. Early on, Homicide did a nice plancha and landed on his feet. Everything is going really fast. Elix Skipper is at ringside and gets thrown in by Joe for no apparent reason. The end saw Joe hit a muscle buster on Senshi for the win. I would like to see Joe and Senshi hook up in TNA. Definitely a fun way to close out the show.
The first hour was pretty much the same Impact you’ve seen in past months with random run-ins, interference, and quick matches. The second hour was much better. The battle royal and the main event were given time to develop and the outcome was pleasing. Now, if TNA could run both hours like they ran the second hour, with matches that had time to develop and little to no interference, then they’ll have success. This is what they’ve been working towards and now it’s time to step up or step aside.