Last week's Impact was the best in months. And this week's?
The opening Monster's Ball match between Abyss and Eric Young was the show's highlight. Violent without gratuitousness with great spots, it officially revealed that Joseph Park is Abyss and put that plot firmly back on track. I loved it.
Why Curry Man turned up when he had no scheduled match, I do not know. Bully Ray squashing and interring him as a message to Mr Anderson made sense, but Curry Man's presence baffles me. Also, he hasn't won a match since approximately 2008. That's some losing streak.
Someone on a winning streak is Austin Aries, who powered his way through an impromptu tittle defence against Zema Ion. I'm very glad that TNA are easing on the X Division title swaps at last, and Aries was awesome.
His former rival, Chris Sabin, will be wrestling Velvet Sky next week. I'm hoping this will somebody make sense to me.
Also experiencing relationship issues were Christy Hemme and Samuel Shaw, the latter of whom was rejected by the former because she apparently watches the show, which is something I always like. This story is creepy, but I'm still fascinated by where it's going.
Then... Rockstar Spud. Spud was solid gold. Everything he did from toadying to Dixie Carter and MVP to live-tweeting the show to his underwear photo-shoot was fantastic. I love this guy.
The animosities in Dixieland still fascinate me, and contrast well with the loyalty amongst the faces. From EC3's issues with Magnus to Magnus snarking at Bobby Roode to Roode pressuring for his title shot, it's all a simmering power keg, and I look forward to the faces lighting the fuse.
And one person definitely on fire is Samoa Joe. His defiant stand against Dixie was amazing, his victory over Roode dominant and imposing. I hope his push is here to stay.
I felt sorry for EC3 being ignored by Dixie, but that passed after the sustained and vicious attack on Kurt Angle's knee that ended the non-title match with Magnus. It suggests that instead of turning face, EC3 could become a dangerous loose canon within Dixieland: I'd be happy with either.
MVP's interview about his life was lacking because of the sound quality. It was so quiet that I couldn't hear, so I couldn't care. Disappointing.
But more disappointing was his involvement in the show's nadir: his plot development with Dixie. His meeting with her seemed intended to instil doubt, like Jeff Hardy dining with her, but it failed because the attitude switch necessary for this would be far too abrupt. I never believed MVP would join Dixie, so when he rejected her at the show's climax, it had neither weight nor impact. And it ended the show not on a bang, but a whimper.
This was a good episode, but not a great one, containing great elements yet suffering from a core plot that failed to convince. Hopefully next week will be better again.
See you Friday.