Review: Impact Wrestling 13/06/2013 Hour 1
Last week's Impact Wrestling ended on the cliffhanger of Brooke Hogan stopping her father from hitting her estranged husband with a hammer, the signature weapon of Bully's own Aces & Eights. For the tens of fans who actually wanted to know what happened next, you'll be going home disappointed. Whatever interest they stirred up, they threw away in a matter of minutes as Hulk Hogan announced he'd sent his daughter home. Apparently, a twenty five year old grown woman can still be grounded!
As you can probably tell, this week's episode didn't get off to the best of starts. Hulk Hogan hit the ring to deliver yet another of his rambling incoherent promos to pop the audience. I know he's the biggest name on the roster, but until he can get his facts straight as to what he's talking about, they should probably keep his segments short and sweet. I dare anyone to comprehend his explanation of the Bound for Glory Series. If we're to take him at his word, it's twelve people definitely going to be at Bound for Glory. That'd be one crowded World Title match!
Thankfully, Jeff Hardy soon appeared to put the aging Hulkster out of his misery. Yes, it was so dire a beginning, I was thankful to see the Charisma Enigma arrive, I was that desperate. Bobby Roode was the eventual highlight of the cold open, reminding everyone that he was the first winner of the Bound for Glory Series and went on to become the longest reigning World Heavyweight Champion in TNA history. Even when faced with the combined might of Aces & Eights, Roode managed to sneak a clothesline from behind on Hardy and leave the arena victorious. I'm skeptical about next week's phone vote to decide who gets to call who out first, as regardless of the result, they'll call each other out anyone. Save those dollars on your phone bill, folks.
Next up was the first match of the evening - Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs James Storm & Gunner. The winner of this Tag Team bout would see both partners entered into the Bound for Glory Series. Given that one team are the Tag Team Champions and will likely have other priorities between now and then, I had a high suspicion Bad Influence would get the nod this time around. As per usual, Daniels & Kaz were on fire, both on the microphone and in the ring. Their pre-match promo making fun of James Storm's entire career revolving around the Tag Team Division was pure gold. I loved the line about him having more partners than Taylor Swift! The two teams had a nice chemistry in the ring and I'd be happy to see them paired back up later in the year, once Bound for Glory is done and dusted. Storm and Gunner were the clear victors, up until Daniels managed to sneak an illegal blow with the title belt, allowing Kaz to make the cover and win them both entry into this year's BFG Series.
In a rare re-appearance of a once undefeated talent, we were greeted with Crimson vs Joseph Park. Still reeling from his defeat at the hands of James Storm at last year's Slammiversary, Crimson cut an impassioned promo, reminding everyone just how long a streak he'd amassed before it was cruelly cut short. I was never a fan of Crimson in his first run with the company, but I'll admit I'm hugely surprised they haven't made more of the man. After damn near winning the first BFG Series single-handed in 2011, TNA simply didn't know what to do with him. They couldn't trust him to headline their biggest show of the year and his undefeated streak was thrown away with such casual disregard, it just goes to show how little it meant in the first place. This week's show would've been an ideal opportunity for him to re-establish himself as a monster in the eyes of the fans. Unfortunately, fate had other plans, seeing him take his second straight loss against the "rookie" Joseph Park with a schoolboy roll-up. Park is clearly their pet project for the moment, rendering Crimson's return little more than a punchline. Losing to the Cowboy was one thing, but it'll be hard to come back from losing to Joseph Park, a joke in himself.
In what has to be a trend, the women of TNA once again knocked it out of the proverbial park with the in-ring confrontation between Velvet Sky and Mickie James. This angle has been simmering in the background for about a month now, with the new Champion James refusing the former Champion Sky, her rematch for the Title. Mickie, being a long-time fan favourite, had been walking a tightrope in recent weeks, refraining from her usual heroics and bordering on heel tactics, but never outright turning. But this week saw a permanent change in ol' Hardcore Country, as she mercilessly beat down Velvet in the center of the ring. I haven't seen a Heel Mickie James since her debut with WWE as Trish Stratus' stalker, in her most notable angle to date. Therefore I'm pleased to see her return to such fertile ground, something she's struggled with in recent years. That's not to ignore Velvet however, who looked absolutely stunning this week. Never have I seen anyone look so good while convulsing in pain. I'm hugely looking forward to the TNA Original's revenge, now that clear battle lines have been drawn in the sand.
Snuck onto the card, almost under the radar, there was a fantastic four way bout in the form of Magnus vs Rob Terry vs Kenny King vs Matt Morgan. With the random combination of men, one couldn't help but think this was thrown together at the last minute to justify another BFG Series entrant. But all four men rose about the throwaway nature of the contest and gave it their all. Most notably, Kenny King, who's cowardly heel tactics were hilarious throughout. These usually involved manipulating Matt Morgan into doing all the dirty work, then sneaking a tag when the big man wasn't looking. Magnus being tagged into the match felt like a big deal, which is sure to go a long way backstage for the Brit. Once Terry and Morgan had basically eliminated themselves, Magnus dominated King with a series of impressive power moves and took the pinfall with surety.
Having teased his reaction to losing at Slammiversary on Twitter, Sting finally appeared at the top of the first hour. Picking up on the fact that no member of the TNA roster ran out to help him when his career was on the line, this sparked a new attitude in Sting. Echoing AJ Styles sentiments about not being able to trust anyone around him, the Icon admires Aces & Eights' teamwork and the notion of having each other's backs. Therefore, the Icon will be looking to assemble a group of his own, a family if you will. Or even...a Mafia. Sting continues to be a master on the mic, selling the idea of a Main Event Mafia reunion with ease. If he wasn't so determined to be an in-ring performer, I'd say make him a manager for talents less able to speak for themselves *cough*RampageJackson*cough*. As for the new Main Event Mafia, I'm genuinely stumped as to who it could be. Kurt Angle would be a good idea, having fronted the former incarnation, and he'll need something to do while he's waiting for Rampage to get his act together. Samoa Joe would be another former member to look at. Beyond that, they're pretty lacking in Main Event for the Mafia. What with Scott Steiner having sued the company, Booker T happily employed across the road and Kevin Nash content to live off his Legends contract (unless Magic Mike was his cash cow...).