Tuesday, 29 July 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 16th July 2014

I'm back from Canada and back to reviewing. Let's get started with Xplosion.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

Now TNA has never been keen on spelling (see "Fourtune", "iMPACT" and "Xplosion".)

And yet I still didn't realise until now that Crazy Steve is actually Crazzy Steve.

Because Poor Literacy is Kewl?

That aside, this week's Xplosion Xclusive was a lot of fun.

Steve and DJ Z worked well together, and DJ Z still has the world's most awesome hair.

But I was both happy and disappointed that Steve won.

The Menagerie have been on a losing streak. But so has DJ Z. So no matter who lost, they didn't deserve it.

Still a good match.

Unlike the Match of the Week, which was fantastic.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Ultimate X between the Motor City Machine Guns and Generation Me? Hell yeah.

I won't whinge that TNA need these two teams back.

But I will say that Guns versus Wolves would be sweet.

Now for recaps.

The interviews annoyed me. I recognised two out of three and I'm 90% sure it's because they were on the previous episode of Xplosion.

Please, TNA. If you don't have enough material for a B show, don't broadcast it.

At least the Impact Wrestling Rewind was fine. It covered what it needed to.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of YouTube.

All in all, this episode of Xplosion was a bit bland. The matches were good, but everything else was just so much filler.

Cut it down to half an hour and just include the wrestling and I'd probably like it more.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 9th July 2014

Friday, 18 July 2014

TNA One Night Only: Tag Team Tournament

Surprise!

Yeah, I'm still on holiday, but this is a celebration post.

Image © Scheinwerfermann via Wikimedia Commons.

It's been six months since I started this blog. So what am I reviewing in honour of it?

Well. Back in December, TNA gave us One Night Only: Tag Team Tournament.

And here's what I think of it.

First of all, this is better than Global Impact Japan because of continuity.

Unlike that show, this is self-contained and doesn't affect the main show.

And that's how these shows should be.

Moving on, all the interviews were great. The wrestlers focussed on their tournament opponents and told stories well. Good stuff.

The wildcard matches were a good excuse to add a couple of extra teams and matches.

Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams versus Generation Me was great. And the Hotshots versus Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco, while not as good, wasn't awful.

That brings us to Round One.

The British Invasion reunion made me happy. It's always nice to see Doug Williams on a show.

Image © DANZIG666 via Wikimedia Commons.

And their match against Bobby Roode and Austin Aries, whom I've nicknamed That Damn Great, was a lot of fun.

I'll explain the nickname later, incidentally.

Although chanting for James Storm instead of Aries? Harsh, audience.

Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez versus Bad Influence made me sad for obvious reasons, but we won't dwell.

I will say that Christopher Daniels and Kazarian hugging was adorably dorky though.

Now I missed Samoa Joe and Magnus's tag team run, and it's a shame I did. They were awesome and kicked Bischoff and Brisco's asses.

GenMe versus Team 3D was sadly somewhat of a squash. GenMe deserved better than that.

Team 3D looked unstoppable, though. And Bully was fantastic on the microphone, as he often is.

Then we had the semi-finals.

That Damn Great versus Magnus and Joe was brilliant, although I didn't expect That Damn Great to win. And they probably shouldn't have. More on that later.

Image © Simon Q via Flickr.

And Team 3D's match with Chavo and Hernandez was hilarious. From Bully eye-balling a seven-year-old to Chavo randomly hugging a audience member.

This is what fun wrestling should be.

And last, we have the final: Team 3D versus That Damn Great.

The match introductions by Bully and Aries were fun as heck, and where I got the nickname That Damn Great.

And the actual wrestling was awesome.

But there were still three problems.

One: both teams were villains. Who are we supposed to support when they're all bad guys?

Two: Roode and Aries spent most of the match on the offence, which was odd. Maybe they wanted to make the evil, sexist, racist biker gang seem more sympathetic.

Three: the ending was anticlimactic. Aries accidentally took down Roode with brass knuckles and Team 3D took advantage.

Team 3D winning the tournament worked. But it would have been better if they'd faced Joe and Magnus instead.

Image © Gordon Woolley via Flickr.

Even so, I had more fun with this PPV than Global Impact Japan. Give it a look, and I'll see you when I get home.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA One Night Only: Global Impact Japan

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Off-Topic: Stark Remarks on Holiday

Just so you know, there will be no updates on Stark Remarks from Wednesday 16th (today) to Tuesday 22nd July.

Why?

Because I'm going to ConBravo in Canada!

I will be recording Xplosion and Impact while I'm gone, and I will double up on my posting schedule to make sure I review the content from both weeks.

I'll see you when I get back.

– Stark

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 13th July 2014

You want to know why I complain about TNA?

Because they can do better. And this episode proves it.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

Even the #TNA365 content worked.

Kurt Angle presenting the evening's card was neat. Although I don't know why the fuss over Jeff Hardy rather than Willow.

Willow's over with the crowd. Why change?

Also over is Austin Aries, who finally ended Sanada's X Division Championship reign. And it was awesome.

I'd love to see round three between them as a decider.

And actually, having Global Impact Japan so near this sorta worked.

What doesn't work is James Storm being a dick to Sanada.

Yes, Storm is a heel, but there's no connection between them and it's just... weird.

My least favourite part, but only because it doesn't make sense.

Speaking of being a dick, I've made two posts about Rhino and Bully Ray already (here and here).

But one thing I will mention here is this: Bully said it was Rhino's own fault he got fired from TNA.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

TNA, what is your problem with Rhino? Do you like him too much to give him proper heel motivations? What?

And why are all your employees struggling with poverty? The Menagerie aren't doing well either.

And Rebel is not a "distraction": she's a wrestler. Please let her wrestle.

Which brings us to the Knockouts Championship match, which was a great four-way bout.

Brittany is growing on me. And the ending sequence of finishers was great.

Our final championship match was my favourite: the Wolves versus Bram and Magnus, Bragnus for short.

The wrestling was awesome and the post-match attack from Bragnus worked well.

But it's weird that the Wolves have nothing to say about Bragnus putting Eddie Edwards' neck in a chair.

Some follow-up would be nice.

On the topic of champs, I've seen people complain about Bobby Lashley being silent.

To that I say: MVP talks Lashley up so well that he doesn't need to speak.

Image © Krystal Bogner via Flickr.

And this episode showed that. Great work.

As for MVP, the feud between him and Bobby Roode with Kenny King as proxy is working for me.

I can't wait for MVP's knee to heal so he and Roode can throw down properly.

And finally, the 20 Man Battle Royale.

Which was a mess.

If you have twenty men in the ring at once, it's hard to see anything or know what's going on.

It would have been better to give the match more time, start with two men, and introduce another every two minutes.

And that way, TNA have had Willow come to the ring, get thrown out, and come back later as Jeff Hardy.

Also, why did they leave Abyss out of the match but put Rockstar Spud in it?

Having said that, this match was still fun, especially the ending with EY and Hardy.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Plus JB's post-match interview and the Hardy and Lashley stare-down were simple yet effective.

As I said, a good episode. Good matches, mostly good story, and good fun.

Kudos, TNA.

– Stark

Monday, 14 July 2014

Pay the Price for Your Betrayal

On Saturday, I started explaining why I'm in Rhino's corner.

Image © Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons.

You know why Rob Van Dam was a terrible friend. And you know why the storyline was bad.

Today, things get worse. Because this is where Rhino takes prominence in the story.

Until this point, he was taking a back seat.

He was there when EV2.0 bickered with Fortune or tried to calm Rob down. But the focus was on Rob's tin-hatting and everybody trying to make him see sense.

So when he hit Dreamer with a chair on the Impact after Turning Point, outing himself as the traitor, it was a surprise.

Then TNA screwed it up.

The next week, Rhino explained himself to Dreamer, Rob and us.

While RVD was busy with paranoia, Rhino's contract expired.

But Rob being an asshole was far more important, so nobody in EV2.0 even noticed.

So Rhino went to his boss to beg for a contract renewal. So he could care for his family.

And Eric Bischoff, being Bischoff, said yes as long as Rhino turned traitor.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

It was complex. Friends versus family. Integrity versus survival. Rock versus hard place.

Nope. Rhino was the villain.

What's that? Dreamer's a father and should understand the pressures of being a breadwinner?

Nope!

Then Rhino failed to take out any of his former team. He lost to Dreamer. Then to Rob.

Then Bischoff refused him a new contract and had Fortune throw him out of the building.

I'll repeat.

Rhino will lose his job. His friends don't care. Circumstances force him to make a deal with the devil so he can look after his daughter.

And so his friends abandon him. The fans turn on him. And he ends up losing his job anyway for losing his matches.

So all that pain, suffering and abandonment?

Was for nothing.

And if you're wondering what Bully Ray was doing? He was turning heel on Devon, then doing nothing until December.

Friendship, eh?

Image © Merlin2525 via OpenClipArt.

TNA could have easily fixed this.

Method One: change Rhino's motive. Make it jealousy. Or pettiness.

Or really anything except "I didn't want my daughter to starve".

Method Two: change Dreamer and Rob's responses. Have them admit that they dropped the ball and apologise.

Except that Rhino says it's too little, too late and attacks them.

That would have nuance.

We'd feel sympathetic towards Rhino's plight. But we would also feel sympathy towards Rob and Dreamer.

But no. TNA decided it was far better for Rob and Dreamer to be sanctimonious assholes. For Rhino to be a massive woobie. For the plot to have no real resolution.

And as far as I'm concerned, this is still Rhino's character.

He's a man who wants to provide for his family. A man abandoned by his friends. A man who goes for the money first because you can trust it.

And the best part of this head-canon?

The latest episode of Impact haven't Jossed any of it.

But is Rhino still a villain?

Of course he is.

Sigh.

Image © Alex Proimos via Flickr.

– Stark

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Paranoia, Paranoia, Everybody's Coming To Get Me

So this week's opinion post was going to be about Rhino.

Image © Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons.

Except that when I started writing it, it ended up far too long.

So instead of boring you, I'm splitting it in two.

And this week, I'll be ranting about Rob Van Dam.

You may be asking why I'm bothering with this story. It's been years. Why should we still care?

Well, wrestling has a short memory, but as Jim Cornette once said, it takes seven years to forget a story.

This one isn't quite four yet. It still counts.

So let's cast our minds back to late 2010.

TNA had just revealed Immortal.

Everybody knew Eric Bischoff was a heel authority figure.

Now. Pretend that you're a TNA wrestler from back then. You're both a face and part of a group that Bischoff wants gone.

Imagine that he tells you that one of your team-mates has been calling him, trying to join his evil group.

Do you believe a word he says?

No!

If Bischoff tells you that the sky is blue, you go and check, and you take brass knuckles because it's probably a trap.

Image © RGPhotography via Wikimedia Commons.

Unless you're RVD. Then you believe every world and start wildly accusing your friends of betrayal.

This is why I hate RVD.

First, he believed Eric freaking Bischoff.

The man is practically a Saturday morning cartoon villain. All he needed was a moustache and Miss Tessmacher tied to railroad tracks.

So when RVD took him at face value, he looked unbelievably gullible and naive.

And okay, Rob had recently suffered betrayal from Jeff Hardy.

But he'd been friends with the other ECW Originals for almost fifteen years. He should know them better.

And finally, Eric Bischoff hates your group and wants you gone. He will lie to you.

Maybe it would have worked if RVD had been subtle about his doubts.

I don't know. He was too busy being irrational and pointing fingers at everybody he knew one after the other.

Image © Nemo via Pixabay.

And every single event that prompted this was an asinine misunderstanding.

Sabu accidentally hit Rob with a chair. Or Raven got jumped at the top of the ramp. The sort of thing Rob could misinterpret as malicious intent.

And yet nobody thought to Tivo Impact and show Rob that these things were accidents.

Yeah, everybody had the Idiot Ball in this plot.

In the end, Tommy Dreamer had to literally beat some sense into RVD at Turning Point.

And because they were too busy wrestling each other, they couldn't help the other EV2.0 guys in their match.

The one with contracts on the line.

That they lost.

Which meant Sabu got fired.

And that is why I hate Rob Van Dam.

Because he's a man who will treat his friends and loved ones with suspicion and doubt because his sworn enemy tells him to.

Oh, and did I mention that they constantly implied his paranoia stemmed from smoking weed?

Image © United States Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons.

In summary, RVD is an awful friend.

And it doesn't end there.

– Stark

Friday, 11 July 2014

TNA One Night Only: Global Impact Japan

TNA, we need to talk.

Again.

Image © Selena Wilke via Wikimedia Commons.

You recorded Global Impact Japan in March.

Events in this PPV had a direct effect on the storylines going at the time.

The first time you show us this programme?

July.

Nobody remembers why Gail Kim and Madison Rayne were feuding. Nobody cared in March either because the build-up sucked.

The match was fine, but Gail Kim's post-match interview smack talk was pointless.

And I'm not talking about Bad Influence's match with Junior Stars. I'm sick of flogging the dead horse.

Bad Influence rock, TNA should have kept them, the match was great. Moving on.

One problem with this show is that nothing on screen told you who the participants were.

How are we supposed to care about the matches when we don't know who half the participants are?

Mind you, I didn't care about Abyss's match with Yoshihiro Takayama because its ending was the worst part of the show.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

You have two hardcore wrestlers. Put them in a hardcore match.

Do not let them play around with one bag of tacks then have the referee lose patience and declare a no contest.

Switching gears, Bobby Roode's match with Masakatsu Funaki was fun.

Roode getting angry about Funaki's MMA moves was entertaining. And Funaki earned the victory. Good stuff.

Then you had a car crash of a six man tag match.

How did Samoa Joe end up on a team with two disrespectful jackasses?

Why does René Duprée look like Billy Idol?

And why did it seem like Masayuki Kono and Rob Terry were on the wrong teams?

And after Kono's team-mates interfering, a ref bump, and Joe walking out, the pin couldn't come fast enough.

The Tag Team Championship match between the Wolves, the BroMans and Team 246 was good.

Image © Anton via Wikimedia Commons.

Especially the fact that each team had a representative in the ring at once.

But we knew who was going to win.

They told us on Impact four months ago.

Also, this match reminded me that the Wolves' first run on the belts was short and ultimately pointless.

And the X Division Championship match between Austin Aries and Seiya Sanada had the same problem.

We knew Sanada was going to win because he's been X Division champion ever since.

But it was still the highlight of the show due to some fantastic wrestling.

Then we had the six-man international tag match from Lockdown.

Which I already covered in my review of Lockdown. Go check it out. I'll wait.

Done?

Okay. Main event.

Again, we knew Magnus would win because this is four months out of date.

The wrestling was fine. The TNA heels coming out to support Magnus made no sense. And Magnus behaved like a face all evening despite still being evil at this point.

Image © Simon Q via Flickr.

Really though, Global Impact Japan was mostly average with a gem or two and some rubbish mixed in.

The Aries and Sanada match is definitely worth your while, so do check it out if only for that.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA Slammiversary: UK Air Date 18th June 2014

Thursday, 10 July 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 9th July 2014

I'm about to be a killjoy. Sorry. Not sorry.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

First, hurray! Nobody from the Match of the Week is still in TNA!

Consequences Creed. Jay Lethal. Chris Sabin. Alex Shelley. And Kazarian-flavoured Suicide.

The match was outstanding. We're not going to see anything like it again soon because the X Division is dead. And I'm annoyed.

Let's move on.

To the Spin Cycle. Which was annoying.

First, nobody cares about the fart joke from last week. It was rather stupid then, and it's even stupider now. Let it die.

And the rest was dull.

So Robbie E and EC3 are too obsessed with annoying each other, so we have an intervention. People yell "feel".

Robbie E and EC3 refuse to compliment each other until Sanada arrives and everybody hugs.

Image © 2for6 via Wikimedia Commons.

Sappy. Asinine. Not funny except for Rockstar Spud's crop-top. Moving on.

The recaps were fine, although the Kenny King interview was pointless.

And finally, the Xplosion Xclusive.

Tigre Uno's new nickname is Mr Xplosion because he's always on this show.

And James Storm being here was weird. Maybe it's to show that TNA value their UK audience, but Storm on a B-show?

He crushed Tigre. Tigre always loses. I'm irritated.

Although if he'd lost to Tigre, he would've looked weak, and I would've been irritated.

Maybe I'm unpleasable. Or maybe you need more X Division wrestlers so Tigre can win once in a while.

Image © Fotosuabe via Wikimedia Commons.

Like, I don't know, any of the guys from the Match of the Week?

I'm. just. saying.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 2nd July 2014

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 6th July 2014

We've got patriotism everywhere, but no mention of winning a gold medal with a broken frikkin' neck?

You're slipping, Kurt.

But how was the episode itself?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

Staring with the Knockouts, Brittany appears to be over her Madison Rayne crush.

The set-up for this was too obvious. And after the slow-burn of James Storm and Gunner, I thought TNA understood that.

Still. We do need more heel Knockouts right now.

And heel Knockouts brings us to the Beautiful People and Kurt Angle's best decision ever.

Swapping out Brian Stiffler for Brian Hebner.

Thank you, Kurt.

And Angelina Love's match with Gail Kim was good, apart from the ending.

It seems to me that a no contest and keeping the belt is the better option.

Even so, it was a good match, and congrats to Gail.

And on the topic of Hebners, Earl is back! His two week getting fired storyline was so worth it.

And incidentally, Samoa Joe not trusting Kurt isn't heelish.

It's common sense when you think about how many evil authority figures TNA has had in the last few years.

Image © Jason Garber via Flickr.

Kurt's other best decision of the evening was the street fight between Kenny King and Bobby Roode.

This match was good, if short. But King still hasn't won a match since re-entering TNA. It's getting sad.

Also on a losing streak at the Menagerie, who are getting desperate for money.

I hope this drives them somewhere dark. That could be fascinating.

Oh, and a match with the Wolves ending that quickly is a sin, TNA.

Now you know I mark for the Wolves.

But you may have noticed me marking for somebody else on Twitter this week.

Rhino.

Yep, he's returned, and allied himself with EC3 against Bully Ray.

I will spare you my rant about how Bully should be the hell for wanting to assault a non-wrestling civilian. You probably saw it on Twitter.

Also the rant about why I'm on Rhino's side no matter what.

Image © Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons.

Partly because it's linked to EV2.0 shenanigans from 2010. And partly because that's now this week's opinion post.

I will say that Bully and EC3's match was good, though.

Shifting gears, I hope Christy Hemme doesn't become friends with Samuel Shaw now.

Yes, his character progression is fascinating. Yes, he apologised. Yes, it seemed sincere.

But Hemme has no obligation to accept it after he stalked her.

And if she does, that's sending a sorta squicky message to the audience.

Gunner is still awesome, though.

In other news, "Spud Across America" should not have been on this show. Feel ashamed for your padding, TNA.

And finally, the Heavyweight Championship match.

Was it short? Yes. But it did everything it needed to.

It showed how tough and determined Eric Young is. And yet it also made Bobby Lashley look like a monster.

Image © Caleb Jones via Wikimedia Commons.

It surprised me. And I liked it. Favourite part of the evening.

This episode was decent and enjoyable enough for what it was.

And you can't say fairer than that.

– Stark

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Controlling Crowds Here They Come

I'm not a WWE fan.

Image © WWE courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I've got nothing against them. If it weren't for the WWE, I wouldn't be a wrestling fan.

But I'm just not that interested in what they have to offer these days.

They're just not my priority.

But despite that, at the beginning of June, I watched a chunk of Payback out of curiosity.

Why am I bringing this up? Because of the enthusiasm of the WWE Universe.

And I want to talk about crowds.

The people watching have a big effect on wrestling events.

Take, for example, Revolution Pro Wrestling's Summer Sizzler 2014.

The wrestling was great, but the icing on the cake was the audience.

They were loud, they were eager, and they chanted like mad.

Yep. There is nothing like a good crowd to elevate a wrestling match.

And TNA's Orlando attendees are nothing like a good crowd.

I've seen livelier people in mausoleums.

And I'm not the only one who complains about it.

Dozens of people on the #ImpactUK hashtag were complaining about it. Especially Sacrifice back in April.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Jonathan Sullivan.

Sanada's X Division title match against Tigre Uno was silent.

Oh, except for when the crowd was yelling for Austin Aries or calling Sanada "Goku".

How classy.

I've noticed it on Xplosion as well. There was a match between Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky a few weeks ago that was utterly dead.

And then you have the six man tag team match that was on Impact in one of the latter Orlando episodes.

If your audience can't get excited about a match with the Wolves and Austin Aries in it, then they are beyond help.

When you compare it to the rowdiness at Payback, it's just sad.

So what's the problem?

Universal Studios.

If you have a ticket to the theme park, you can get into the Impact recordings absolutely free.

So when TNA are there, it's likely that a lot of the people watching aren't actually wrestling fans.

They don't know who's who. They don't know what's going on. They don't have the right level of excitement for the sport.

And it kills matches.

Image © Mozaika2 via Wikimedia Commons.

Remember the Aries and Wolves match I mentioned earlier?

I'm a huge fan of Aries. I mark out over the Wolves. And I was struggling to get excited about that match.

Because when the crowd is silent, when there are no chants, and when they don't get involved, it's harder for us to care.

And how demoralising must it be for those men and women in the ring when they're risking their health for silence?

We know TNA are better than that.

We've watched episodes with audiences from the UK that overflow with eagerness.

And the most recent episodes of Impact have been much more lively.

People can get excited about TNA, and those are the people who should be in the audience.

Not zombie-like theme park goers who couldn't care less about the people in the ring.

Image © OpenClips via Pixabay.

Because if the WWE can do it, TNA should too.

– Stark

Thursday, 3 July 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 2nd July 2014

Xplosion, we need to talk.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

I know I should get over AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels leaving.

They're gone. Will they come back? Maybe, maybe not.

But for now, they're not here and I need to deal with it.

But you know what would help me, TNA?

If you stopped showing us flashbacks of their amazing matches on Xplosion every few weeks to taunt me.

Of course this match was fantastic. An electric crowd, athletic moves, and two wrestlers on top of their games.

TNA just can't stop pushing that button for me. Which is a shame because the rest of the show was great.

The Xplosion Xclusive match between Brittany and Madison Rayne was good.

Although why Brian Stiffler is refereeing any Knockouts match is beyond me.

The Impact Wrestling Rewind competently covered Kurt Angle taking over from MVP.

And the unseen interviews from after EY's title loss to Bobby Lashley were fun.

And finally, the return of the Spin Cycle.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of ImpactWrestling.com.

Rockstar Spud stole this show.

From his ridiculous crop top shirt to his sparkly belt, he looked amazing.

And his attempts to interact with women were too damn funny.

Amazing.

Although I would have preferred to meet these two Knockouts as wrestlers.

It seems odd to introduce them as eye candy in a daft B show segment.

But that could be me nitpicking.

That and the AJ and Daniels thing aside, this was a fun, light-hearted episode of Xplosion.

And if you haven't seen it, hunt it down.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 25th June 2014

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 29th June 2014

I thought this week would star the six-sided ring. It's still to come.

So how was Impact in four sides?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

First, the Knockouts, and thankfully, we had Brian Hebner instead of Stiffler.

This was my first time watching Taryn Terrell and she was good. And Gail Kim pinning Angelina Love was satisfying.

A good match.

Speaking of women, Bully Ray attacking Dixie Carter still makes my skin crawl.

I'm glad that EC3 and Rockstar Spud saved her.

Leaving Ethan behind was harsh, though.

Tommy Dreamer was a surprise, though. And their brawl was pretty good.

I don't know if they're going to wrestle, but I don't think I'd mind if they did.

Of course, Dreamer makes a great link to hardcore wrestling, and our main event was nothing but hardcore.

This was my favourite part of the evening.

Bram and Magnus went above and beyond against Willow and Abyss.

This was their first chance to let loose with their ultra-violent gimmick and they did fantastically.

Excellent work from everyone in a crazy match.

Speaking of crazy, let's talk about our favourite asylum resident Samuel Shaw.

Image © Pedrohoneto via Wikimedia Commons.

Or ex-resident, rather, as he's now under Gunner's care.

I can't wait to see more of this relationship. It has so much potential.

Conversely, TNA are wasting the potential of James Storm and Ken Anderson.

Storm picking up the win was welcome, but their match was far too short.

And I have no idea why he felt compelled to psyche out Sanada.

Also, TNA crowd? Sanada was not hard to understand. Your "What?" chant was rude and really rather racist.

Still, Sanada rose above it by being pure awesome.

Taking on all three of his potential opponents and still managing to keep the title? Amazing.

I look forward to finding out who can finally topple Sanada and end his excellent title reign. It'll be fantastic.

Which brings us to the end of MVP's reign.

Incidentally, if you were playing the MVP Drinking Game, you should have had somewhere around seven shots. You're welcome.

Image © Kelly Martin via Wikimedia Commons.

This storyline is still moving too quickly.

I said that MVP and Dixie ended too quickly, and MVP's heel turn was too soon.

And likewise, MVP's reign is ending too early.

He's only been in charge and evil since mid-May. And his group have had the Heavyweight Championship for a week.

He shouldn't have lost his power so soon.

And I'm glad EY has another title shot, but they need to stop having other people speak for him.

He's fine on the mic. Trust him more.

Also, he should not win the belt back on the next episode.

Because if he does, Bobby Lashley's win will have been entirely pointless.

Bobby Roode's return is great news, though.

And Kurt Angle messing with MVP should hopefully be fun. So I will give it the benefit of the doubt.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

This episode of Impact was nothing to write home about, but not terrible either.

But with luck, Angle will bring some extra sparkle next week.

– Stark