It's the last Impact before Lockdown: how well does it set up the PPV?
First, nobody cares about Austin Aries wanting half Bobby Roode's ten percent, TNA. It's dull and slows the episode to a crawl. The Six Man Elimination Tag highlighted the interplay between them much better and with more excitement.
Elsewhere with Team Dixie Carter, EC3 is desperately acting out to get his aunt's approval, and Dixie and Magnus are butting heads over strategy. The little tensions in the group are fascinating: Dixieland could well be on its way to implosion.
EC3 had some excellent mic work and his assault on Angle worked well. I hope they follow up on the storyline when Kurt is back in the ring.
Speaking of things to come, the "Coming Soon" promos were once again fantastic. Willow is still creepy, Tigre Uno still looks awesome, and Kenny King should have a good impact on the plots. Can't wait.
On the other hand, I'm struggling to care about the storylines with the Knockouts, which is why it's one of my two low points of the evening. I got bored of Velvet Sky's tiff with Chris Sabin and Alpha Female long ago, and the feud between Gail Kim and Madison Rayne over the belt is cripplingly underdeveloped. These ladies could be utterly engaging if they had a chance to hook us in, so why not give it a try, TNA?
Just look at Gunner and James Storm. They confronted each other again, exchanged verbal blows, and Storm got a cheap shot in for good measure. We know what they want and why they're fighting, so we care.
Another confrontation that worked amazingly was Joe and Magnus. The mic work was great, Magnus head-butting Joe was ballsy, and Joe making Magnus tap just added to his tremendous momentum. Great stuff.
And then there was Davey Richards.
I like Davey Richards. He's an awesome wrestler. And his injury from Aries had potential for plot.
But MVP insisting that Davey go back in the ring and wrestle was the stupidest thing I have seen this year.
I'll write more about this on Friday, but suffice it to say that this was my other low point of the evening because it proved that the Wolves and MVP don't have an ounce of common sense between the three of them.
But enough of the nadirs. What was my zenith?
Everything between Ken Anderson and Samuel Shaw.
Shaw is still unnerving to the max and his choke finisher is convincingly brutal. But even better is Anderson. He refused to take Samuel Shaw seriously, called him on his creepy rubbish at every turn, and defended Christy Hemme's choices when even security couldn't be bothered to step in. Ken Anderson is a freaking hero. Somebody give him a bonus or something.
This episode started slow, but picked up momentum and ended on a high note with Joe and Magnus. If Lockdown is this good, I'll be satisfied.
See you at the PPV.