Well, as the second year of the Hogan era in TNA dawns, I thought that I would go back to last year and look at how it started with the 3-hour special that went up against Bret Hart’s WWE return on Raw.
1) Steel Asylum Match: Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal vs. Consequences Creed vs. Homicide vs. Kiyoshi vs. Amazing Red vs. Suicide – 2
2) ODB vs. Tara – 3
3) Awesome Kong & Hamada vs. Taylor Wilde & Sarita – 5
4) Matt Morgan & Hernandez vs. Dr. Stevie & Raven – 1
5) Desmond Wolfe vs. “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero – 4
6) Samoa Joe vs. Abyss – 4
7) Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles – 7
The show gets off to a rousing start with Hogan ass-kisser Bubba the Love Sponge interviewing a bunch of rubes outside the arena. One person made the following ridiculous statement: “Vince McMahon, you have no idea what your in for.” I guarantee Vince pissed his pants he was laughing so hard at that statement. First bout was a goofy steel asylum match. I forgot how gawdy that cage looked with the red paint and the sides with wheels on the bottom. There were so many people crammed in the ring with people doing random spots that it was hard to get a good gauge as to what was happening, although Sabin hit Lethal with a sick kick to the face. The finish was bullshit with Homicide whacking everyone with a baton and the referee calling the match a no contest. Thankfully, this was the last we’ve seen of this match. The ladies singles match was decent but only got about five minutes. I liked the part in the match where they were just slugging it out. Next up was the Hogan debut segment which featured Hall and Waltman trying to relive 15 years ago and Bischoff and Hogan talking about how they were going to turn the company “upside down”. Well, they did do that but for some reason, it seems like its going down instead of up right now. Ladies tag match was very physical. Taylor and Sarita hit a really cool looking double team dive move as the show went to a commercial break. Hamada seemed to have messed up her knee during the match. Kong was just killing Taylor and Sarita with sit-down splashes and backfists. The finish was a double team top-rope dropkick into an Awesome Bomb to win the tag belts. Match would’ve fit in nice on a Joshi undercard.
Next tag bout saw Morgan and Hernandez squash Raven and Stevie in under a minute. Match only got a point for Morgan’s ill boot to Stevie’s face to finish it. Desmond and Pope had a very enjoyable match which was fast paced and featured Desmond working on Pope’s arm for the majority of the bout. Pope’s offense was good. The match didn’t feature much selling for either guy, just a lot of popping up and going from move to move. Joe worked heel in the match with Abyss. Match was better than I remember it being and was very physical. I didn’t like the goofy Abyss character here and I still don’t like the Abyss character today. Main event was just fantastic, probably one of the top free TV matches of 2010. Right at the beginning, A.J. drilled Kurt in the dome with his heel on a dive to the outside. A masked man dressed in black randomly interfered in an angle that I don’t even remember the payoff for. Match was just reversal after reversal. The part with Angle reversing a pele kick into an ankle lock which A.J. subsequently reversed into a roll-up was great. Angle was just throwing A.J. around at will with some sick suplexes and A.J. was flying around the ring like crazy on offense. There was a sick Angle slam from the second rope near the end of the match. Match was world’s better than their match on the Genesis 2010 pay-per-view. Show as a whole was a good start to the Hogan-era but now it seems like most weeks on Impact are rehashes of 2000-01 WCW.