Sunday, July 3, 2011

TNA iMPACT! 2/10/11

1. Devon & Samoa Joe & Rob Van Dam vs. Matt Hardy & Bully Ray & Pope - Tables Match - 3
2. Velvet Sky & Angelina Love & Winter & Mickie James vs. Sarita & Rosita & Tara & Madison Rayne - 4
3. Mr. Anderson vs. Matt Morgan -4
4. Suicide vs. Robbie E vs. Brian Kendrick - 4
5. Kurt Angle & A.J. Styles vs Jeff Hardy & Jeff Jarrett - 6

A pretty good episode, the go home show for Against All Odds '11, and some of the most fun I had watching TV wrestling this week, although the crux with TNA, is things are often given too little time/attention to feel meaningful.

The opener was lots of fun and chaotic, just far too short, felt more like an angle than a match, but had a few good moments contained within. Pope immediately bailed and was chased off by Joe and Okada (didn't I just see him at the Tokyo Dome?). Devon and Bully Ray brawled around ringside and didn't get a lot of camera time. The focus of the match, while it lasted, was Hardy and Van Dam inside the ring, all of which was quite good, packed a few momentum reversals into a brief amount of time, counters, etc. Finish was a bit hackneyed as Devon's two teenaged sons held Ray's legs on the apron so he couldn't move and Devon knocked him off through a table, problem being Bully didn't fall straight back, but paused awkwardly first looking back making sure he was in position, then let go and fell like he was a rehabilitating alcoholic taking a trust fall in an AA meeting.

I like the women's match, could see a case for scoring it lower, as only half the women were really utilized, it was short, etc. but I dug it as it was Rosita's debut and they did a real good job of establishing her and getting her over. She's Sarita's cousin, really short, lots of fire, and pretty much dominated Angelina Love who's routinely one of the most over and protected of the TNA women. Mr. Anderson and Morgan was good, not on the level of their recent PPV main event, but while on paper the match-up presents some problems, I really liked the way they laid this out, utilizing storytelling over spots, as simple things like chinlocks, etc. carried weight and the story thread of Morgan outmuscling and out-sizing Anderson was key. One puzzler was Jeff Hardy at ringside, sitting atop a fluorescent ladder, which served as a bizarre distraction but a minor one.

The three-way was the third in the last couple consecutive weeks building up contenders for the X Division championship. It was also Christopher Daniels' return to TNA under the Suicide mask. This was good for the time given (do I sound like a broken record yet? That's current TNA for you!) with each guy getting a chance to look dominant for a time, Kendrick threw some mean forearms, a few sick spills, etc. The main event was terrific as each four of the guys had a role they played to perfection. Jarrett was intimidated by Angle and tried to avoid him if at all possible, Hardy did the bulk of the work for the heels, still one of the most compelling guys at selling in the world, yet still figuring out working as a heel, Angle was focused and intense, and Styles was the spark plug that whenever he got into the ring brought the high-octane offense and explosiveness. This played out with the desired ups and downs we'd expect in the roller coaster ride that is a wrestling main event, and had a satisfying finish with Styles getting a clean victory over Jarrett, which played into the show opening promo where Bischoff and Jarrett buried AJ as an inbred hillbilly that could never rise to the next level.

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