Monday, 13 January 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 12th January 2014

They've been tweeting about it. We've been waiting for it. And now it's arrived: the long-awaited TNA Impact pitting Magnus against AJ Styles to find the one true champion.

What did I think?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

The Friends of AJ angle started off rough when it failed to clarify that Eric Young and Joseph Park were part of it before they were taken out. However, the assaults were well-executed and played, particularly Samoa Joe trying to battle through the pain of his leg injury, and they had enough variety to keep me wondering what would happen next.

I'm interested to see if Joseph Park's potential concussion will be part of his ongoing split personality storyline or not.

I'm looking forward to the re-match between James Storm and Gunner, but I have noticed that we're being encouraged to support Gunner, even though I feel Storm is the one in the right, not helped by the interview where he made peace with Kurt Angle. This could just confuse us as an audience rather than showing us moral shades of grey.

And I'm getting tired of the interviews. The clips are on YouTube, and that's where they should stay. The show should be for new material, not replaying their online content.

Kurt Angle has won a match for the first time in at least two months, and both he and Bobby Roode are going into Genesis with momentum. This has helped rekindle my interest in their feud because until now, Angle had lost every match and didn't appear to be a threat to Roode, which made the conflict boring. Now it has some life to it again, and about time too.

Sting butting heads with an increasingly megalomaniacal Dixie was fun to watch. The way Sting advocates for the younger wrestlers like the team dad is always fun, and the segments helped build excitement for the main event.

Unfortunately, said main event was a let-down and my least favourite part of the show, Despite good build up from the opening segment with AJ, Dixie and Magnus. The interference from EC3 and Rockstar Spud came too early and the match became farcical. AJ looked strong for surviving as long as he did against the Zerg Rush of heels, but he had no time to show off his strong in-ring skills one-on-one and the match was a disappointing send-off for the Phenomenal One.

The highlight of the evening for me was Ken Anderson confronting Bully Ray at the funeral parlour. It hit all the right notes: Bully Ray was intimidating and even downright scary, and Anderson responding seriously instead of with sarcasm help sell it as a serious, dramatic moment. Although Bully managing to vanish into thin air at the end was silly, this was still my favourite part of the show.

Overall? A decent episode of Impact that fell at the final hurdle. I expect better from Genesis.

I'll see you again on Friday.

– Stark

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