Credit story to Completely Damaged.
Hello again, Damaged fans! Today is Friday, February 3, 2012, and I am back with this week’s iMPACT Wrestling review. This week, TNA traveled across the pond to the UK for a world-wind tour that included two recordings of their Thursday night broadcast. The additions of Sting and Hulk Hogan were made for obvious reason, and clearly paid off. TNA packed out the Wembley Arena for what would become the largest crowd in their ten year history. Say what you want about iMPACT Wrestling folks. I’m about giving credit where it’s due. I’ve been saying for weeks that TNA has something to build on, and they continue to show it. However viewed, TNA is still our only nationally televised alternative to “The Machine”. Therefore, I continue to try to do my best to take as much out of it as I can. A hot crowd is so important…and we got that last night. UK fans have always been passionate about their wrestling. They were into it. For insiders and journalists, we got to see the company on a global stage. We always hear about TNA going on tour abroad…but now we got to see it. I hope we see more of it.
I so bad want to see a gigantic boom in business for EVERY company on the face of the planet. I mean that with every fiber that is me. The Monday Night War. It was both the best and worst thing that ever happened to wrestling. Demand was high, talent was abundant, and business became very lucrative for many involved. However, as in all wars, there must be a winner and a loser. Vince was the victor. The losers? The wrestling business as a whole. Not just WCW. That’s another debate for another day. Bottom line is I wish TNA well, just as I do new companies like the Urban Wrestling Federation. One of the reasons I signed with them is because I’ve felt for a long time that this business needed some kind of kick in the ass. The UWF might be wearing the proper boot. It may be ROH…CHIKARA…or maybe Shane Douglas’s new Extreme Reunion fed slated to begin this Spring. Whatever it is, I can’t wait for it to occur. One of my favorite tags @the1jimmydylan on Twitter is #IWantWrestling. It speaks for itself.
It was your typical opening montage to set up the main event for the show and get the crowd going. Some damage control as well as Bully Ray and Bobby Roode explained why Jeff Hardy was unable to make the tour after last week’s Table match. We know why Jeff really can’t cross the pond. They then popped the crowd into oblivion when Sting came out to set the night. Strange outcome when he denies Roode’s request for a handicap match against James Storm, but puts the Cowboy in two separate singles matches against Ray and Roode. If you’ve been paying attention over the past few weeks, you could see the Against All Odds main event shaping. From the moment Bully Ray agreed to help Roode in the defense against Hardy, he has been owed a title shot more or less. Well, you know…by TNA’s standards. I said it a couple weeks ago right here. Sting made the Fatal 4-Way official for the pay-per-view forcing Roode to defend his championship against Bully Ray, and the two guys he’s shafted multiple times…Jeff Hardy and James Storm.
Samoa Joe & Magnus def. Matt Morgan & Crimson (Non-Title)
I’ve been praising this angle for weeks. Since Samoa Joe & Magnus first began to gel and form into an actual team. Splitting them up in a pair of single matches over two weeks is a fairly common practice that I feel can be very effective if used properly. I think TNA did that well over the last two shows, and it really put the challengers into a light where they should now be viewed as viable threats to the tag titles. After everything that’s happened, I feel it was enough to earn Joe and Magnus a title shot at the pay-per-view. I’m not a big fan of giving the pay-per-view matches away for free on TV. The only difference this week was the wrinkle of a stipulation that I never heard of. A “Buckingham Brawl” decided by a coin flip before the start. The loser of the coin toss must wrestle traditional style using tags, while the winners get to operate “tornado”, or handicap style. While I like the concept, I already believe Morgan and Crimson might lose at Against All Odds. I believe that because Joe and Magnus have laid the champs out for the past three weeks. I don’t think they needed to lose, cleanly at that, on iMPACT, with less than two weeks to go. With that being said, the match was still good, and I’m psyched to see which team emerges victorious when it’s all said and done.
Eric Bischoff calls out Garret Bischoff
It was announced that this would be the week the world would find out who young Garret’s trainer was. Eric apparently found out at the gym last week and didn’t want anyone to know. The Immortal boss called Garret out to basically call his bluff. EB told his son that he was kidding himself at best if he thought this trainer was going to actually return to help him do anything. After the back and forth, Garret makes a phone call in the ring before telling his father that he was wrong, and that his trainer wanted to meet EB in the ring later in the night.
Austin Aries def. Mike Haskins
A missed opportunity occurred in this one IMO. If it were up to me, I would use every opportunity I could to establish my company’s championships as “World” championships. Meaning title defenses on foreign soil. And yeah, occasionally a title change over seas. TNA has done a fair job of this at times, especially when it comes to the X Divison. Since Aries has been crying about no competition in TNA for months now, I thought that would’ve been more reason to have this match be contested with the title on the line. The fact that the champ’s opposition was a hometown boy from London only sweetened the pot. In any event, a good X Division match. I feel sorry for Haskins though. Not only did he have to deal with his hometown audibly cheering for Austin Aries, the poor kid almost killed himself when he attempted a shooting star press at the end. If you didn’t see it, YouTube it now! How bad was it? Think Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle at WrestleMania! Haskins was lucky he didn’t break his neck, but he did land on his face. The mishap allowed Aries to hit his brainbuster into the Last Chancery for the submission.
Bobby Roode def. James Storm
I know…if you’ve seen it once you’ve seen it a thousand times. This is another reason why I’m against putting pay-per-view matches on TV. Because the chosen move sets of these two, watching them wrestle each other is like a weird mash up of Y2J, Carlito, Triple H, and HBK. They went at it til Bully Ray came down and interfered, leading to Storm’s defeat. After the bell, Roode and Ray attempted to do a number on Storm, but Sting ran in for the save and told Storm he had his back.
Tara def. Gail Kim
I’m going to start sounding like a broken record pretty soon. Again they gave away an upcoming pay-per-view match on iMPACT. Some might say this is TNA putting their best foot forward on their marquee show while in the UK, but there’s clearly other ways to do it. While I give TNA credit where it’s due, they also have room improvement. They have a lot of talent with tons of potential. Tapping into that potential is where they lack, and the lack of given opportunities is often the culprit. A good match that went about six minutes before Tara scored the Window’s Peak and pinned the Knockouts Champion in the non-title contest.
Garret Bischoff’s Trainer Revealed
When I talked about this last week, I spoke about TNA’s shortcomings in the past when it comes to delivering on “big reveals” either at the end of a storyline, or the peak of a mystery angle. After watching for over twenty years some things are just too predictable. I know there’s a lot of readers out there that agree. Here’s one that almost could have been anyone. Eric Bischoff has pissed off his fair share of big names in this business to make this angle intriguing from the onset. However, on the night we’re to find out, it’s made to be very anti-climactic by the continuous announcements throughout the night that Hulk Hogan was back and going to make an appearance. Of course the news of Hogan making the trip was public before the shows happened, but no one knew what he’d be doing. TV viewers surely didn’t know. There was no need to build Hogan’s return and the revelation of Garret’s trainer as if they were unrelated. After more intimidation from Eric and Gunner, Hogan comes out to the only pop that truly rivaled Sting’s first appearance of the night. He and Garret take it to Gunner and expel him from the ring. Gunner saves his boss before he becomes shark food and the celebration continued. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but it’s obviously so true. It seems as if Hulkamania lives on, and in this form, if it’s truly still hot…then this could do well for TNA. He’s been Hollywood since arriving in the company. Fans still love the Red & Yellow. If they will still pack arenas every eighteen inches, then I say run with it. Make that money that TNA needs. But it’s not just about that. Great wrestling must accompany it.
James Storm def. Bully Ray
In the other half of Sting’s crazy creation, Storm was able to come away with the win. When Roode attempted to return the favor to his “good buddy” Bully Ray, Sting intervened again…this time wielding a cricket bat instead of what we’re used to seeing. Taz lets us know that there’s no baseball in the UK. Sting’s interference allows Storm to nail Ray with the Last Call for the win. The stare-downs ensued as Tenay and Taz closed the show, informing viewers that iMPACT will be back in the UK next week!
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Title: Bell to Bell – TNA iMPACT Invasion Review
Submited by: bayragni
Category: Show Reviews
Added on: February 3rd, 2012
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