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Tha "iMPACT!" Investigation

Thursday’s episode of “iMPACT!” was fittingly titled “Powers Unite,” as the Main Event Mafia and World Elite formed a partnership, bringing the grand total of group members to 15. As if 8 members of the MEM wasn’t stupid enough already.

Of course, I don’t expect the partnership to last long (partnerships never do in TNA), but there were no indications from the group members or from Mike Tenay and Don West that this was a short-term arrangement.

There were some positives to come out of this storyline development, however. For one, it was nice to see Eric Young cut a heel promo at the top of the show, and he got a “rub” being in the ring amongst the likes of Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, and the other stars.

I’d be remiss, though, if I didn’t mention that the anti-American gimmick is more than a little tired at this point.

For two, the huge brawl, or “riot” as Tenay termed it, that took place during and after the 8-man tag match of Beer Money and Team 3D vs. Booker T, Scott Steiner, Rob Terry, and Doug Williams was entertaining. It included much of the TNA roster, and was enhanced by impressive camera work: “security” footage was used, cameramen frantically hurried to film the riot, and numerous jump cuts were used in an attempt to film the footage from three locations throughout the arena. The “police” were even called in to break up the riot.

As entertaining as the segment was, it would have been better placed at the end of the show. How were the wrestlers expected to follow that? Well, Sting and Brutus Magnus -- two participants in the riot -- did in the main event, and neither one sold the effects of the brawl.

Their match was OK, but it seemed silly following the intense brawl, especially since it led to yet another brawl taking place after the match.

Other thoughts on the show . . .

- TNA seems intent on pushing Hernandez hard, which is a great move. Coming off a huge win over Samoa Joe last week, Super Mex cleared MEM-WE out of the ring at the end of the show.

He also had a sit-down interview with Tenay. Truthfully, the big guy didn’t come off too well – it wasn’t the right format for him. But I’m convinced he has the charisma to be a major player.

The point of the interview was clear enough, though: Hernandez, for the time being, is on his own in a hunt for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, while his partner, Homicide, focuses on the X-Division title.

- I like the Bobby Lashley signing. I’ve never been a fan of his (that’s probably an understatement), but he has WWE star power, having been in, among other things, the co-main event of the highest grossing WrestleMania ever. And he’s not a washed up wrestler with WWE star power. He’s a young guy who the fed had planned to make into a major, major star. Moreover, he has MMA credibility.

His eventual title match with Angle (it has to happen!) could potentially shatter TNA PPV records.

Lashley took a backseat in this episode while participating in the brawl, but already next week’s “iMPACT!” preview is hyping an exclusive sit-down interview with the former ECW champion.

- I’m not exactly sure how Mick Foley is supposed to be immediately accepted as a babyface -- and TNA’s defender -- after playing the selfish heel as TNA champ for the past few months. But I guess we’re supposed to forget about that.

- I sort of got a kick out of Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin pretending they didn’t know what a camera was because they hadn’t been booked on TV for a month. At the very least, I like that they acknowledged the camera being there and that they were being filmed, just like Taz did last week. That’s something rarely seen on WWE TV.

- I’m glad to see the Beautiful People vs. ODB/Cody Deaner feud developing, a feud I’ve been privately wishing to happen for a few months. It’s the pretty, mean girls vs. the butchy, trailer park trash. That shit writes itself.

- I have to admit it: I like Don West as the heel colour commentator. Maybe part of it is for nostalgic reasons, but West is doing a good job, particularly when trying to justify the behaviours of the heel wrestlers.

For example, during Young vs. Daniels, he defended Showtime by saying that his recent turn was justified – he’s finally becoming a serious wrestler. Another example: when Sheik Abdul Bashir, Kiyoshi, and Young interfered in the 8-man tag, West remarked that they were merely offering their pals “a little moral support.”

- Overall, it was a good two hours of TV. And since TNA is always compared to WWE . . . it was better than most "Raw" offerings over the past few months.

Even the Main Event Mafia isn't as stale as Triple H and John Cena.

3 comments: on "Tha "iMPACT!" Investigation"

Christopher Casúr said...

The idea of having MEM/WE as a collective unit reeks of the old nWo. Hopefully, as you said, it doesn't last long, but does last long enough for Eric Young to not just disappear from the scenes at the conclusion of the storyline, as he so often does.

Hernanez as a singles star? Matt Morgan being used in the main event? HYPE. Maybe TNA knew what they were doing all along.

I don't get why everybody cracks on Lashley. Go back and watch his matches from mid-2006 when he wasn't being billed as an unstoppable monster. He can sell, and as a former amateur wrestler, he can move around a bit. His biggest flaring flaw was that he REALLY needed a mouthpiece (like when Lesnar first debuted...let's not forget how bad Brock was on the stick). Bobby's really a guy whose legitimacy suffered from how WWE booked him.

Sorry, Andy Steele, but you're dead wrong on Don West. He spent so much time saying ridiculous shit as a face color commentator that it's damn near impossible to take him seriously as a heel commentator. How over the top he is in trying to act like a heel comes across with every stupid line he says. He's really trying too hard because he's doing a job that he's not good at.

D.J.B. said...

Ok imagine this in the most frantic, out of breath, just crammed down 11 bar-bee-cue samitches Jim Ross voice. "Damn you Andrew Gray, damn you to hell." With this review you have almost made me want to watch TNA. I will fight the power, and I refuse to give in at the moment.

Don't you know that Deaner guy? I think I've heard of him or read about him though. Also you say trailer park like it's a bad thing.

Here's my thing with Bobby Lindsay though, much like my thing with Don West, he/they spent so much damn time being characters that weren't worth a damn that it's hard to forget about that. I'd much rather forgive and forget with Lindsay than West, because Don West sucked so hard for so long that it's hard to accept anything he does except maybe retiring.

Andrew Gray said...

Christopher Plunkett - The funny thing is, I'm pretty sure TNA wants it to reek of nWo. After the "riot," Tenay said something to the effect of, "We haven't seen anything like this since the days of the nWo." I made a mental note to mention that in the recap, then forgot. Should probably write that down next time.

From what I remember, selling was one of Lashley's weaker areas, so I'll have to go back and look. Although -- not selling is a little more forgiveable for someone his size, as opposed to Mysterio, for example.

And come on, give Don West a chance.

DJB - It probably would be best to resist the temptation, because you and I (and everyone else) know that putting together a consistently good string of shows is not something TNA is good at. But then . . . how are you going to watch the Deaner?

And come on, give Don West a chance.