Monday, 17 February 2014

TNA Impact from Manchester: UK Air Date 16th February 2014

From Glasgow, TNA goes to Manchester. Will it make a difference?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

Magnus being favoured over EC3 and the conflict that's creating has now neatly escalated to shoving and bickering during matches: I can't wait to see how this will ultimately end and whether EC3 will turn face or just turn on Dixieland.

Another potential turn is Bobby Roode, seen uncharacteristically pensive after threatening Dixie. His mounting frustration at her seems to have triggered some kind of epiphany to him, and it'll be interesting to see where this goes. A simple character moment that expressed much with little: my favourite part of the evening.

Stubbornly not turning was James Storm, who continues to surprise by having Gunner's back like he said he would. The Cowboy and the Modern Viking are on the same page and have a Tag Team Championship shot. It can only get more awesome from here.

On the other hand, Eric Young and Abyss are now officially over, and Abyss is about to go through some kind of change and find some kindred spirit somewhere. Whoever it is, I'm eager to see more of the new direction for Abyss's character.

Continuing the theme of shattered relationships, the match between Velvet Sky and Chris Sabin introduced TNA's latest Knockout, Alpha Female, who was presented as a terrific powerhouse. I look forward to a feud between her and Velvet.

Another rocky relationship is Christy Hemme and Samuel Shaw, which is still being touched on in short vignettes that keep the plot in the audience's mind without overloading us in a really skilful way. It's also still really creepy.

Speaking of creepy, Jeff's new-to-TNA gimmick Willow has the most unnerving laugh since Sting decided to become the Joker. I've no idea what Willow will be doing, but whatever it is, I want to see it.

Our final creep of the evening was Bully Ray, who was justly punished for taunting Anderson's wife by getting slammed into a casket. This feels like a satisfying conclusion to the feud and I hope they leave it at this.

The Wolves, however, are just beginning in TNA, and all the better for it. The tag division was crying out for a team like them, and hopefully the Wolves will breathe some life into it. Zema Ion getting beaten up was also a plus for me because I hate it. What do I mean by that, exactly? More on Friday.

MVP's match with Rockstar Spud was funny, but I'm not enjoying Spud being jobbed out so much.

And finally, my low point of the show: the ending segment with MVP and Dixie Carter. I love their conflict, but given the choice between ending the show on Mr Anderson triumphant over his great foe, or on Dixie's grumpy face, I will always pick the wrestler: anything else is an anti-climax.

The ending aside, this was a solid episode with good character moments. If TNA can keep this consistent, they'll be on to a winner.

See you Friday.

– Stark

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