Review: Impact Wrestling 13/06/2013 Hour 2

Opening the second hour of this week's Impact Wrestling was another BFG Series qualifying match, Austin Aries vs Eric Young. Naturally, Young's chances of beating 'The Greatest Man That Ever Lived' were slim to none, but all credit to him, he knows how to entertain a crowd. Both he and 'wife' ODB are infinitely entertaining. I particularly enjoyed the spot where after Aries had spun around on Young's back, ODB entered the ring and allowed Young to spin around on hers. They're a quality double act and it's a shame Young has to spend so long away from TNA shooting his nature show. Exemplified by the video package bringing to attention the pair are still the Knockout Tag Team Champions and have failed to defend their titles in over six months! Austin Aries was his usual cocky self, dominating proceedings and even getting a healthy crowd response. I did worry slightly however, as Aries looked even more pissed off than usual. This is a star who easily grows disenchanted with the wrestling business and I fear he's still reeling from the Christy Hemme incident last month. I trust TNA appreciate what a world class athlete they have in Aries and he's treated well in the coming months. Sufficed to say, entrance into the BFG Series bodes well, as he nailed Eric Young with a devastating Brainbuster and moved into the tournament with ease.

Next up was the Aces & Eights' Battle Royal. Set up by Hogan at the top of the show, designed to divide the group, it almost did just that. Mr Anderson, being the new VP of the group, was clearly their pick for winner and entry into the BFG Series. Most members had no problem with this, being eliminated from the match in a variety of silly ways. He finger-banged Brisco (that just sounds wrong), spun Bischoff around in an exaggerated manner, had Knox backing away in fear and "convinced" Devon to get the tables. I'm not usually a fan of Aces & Eights, but this segment was pretty funny. The only fly in the ointment was when Anderson attempted to "magically" throw Doc over the top rope and the big man merely looked at him in disgust. After a few more tries, Anderson grew weary of Doc's defiance and the former Luke Gallows exploded on the Asshole. That had to have been the defining segment of Doc's career and the biggest face pop he'll ever likely receive. He looked good rebelling against his brothers, perhaps planting the seeds for something more down the line. Unfortunately, Anderson dumped his ass out of the ring and achieved the desired result regardless.

To close the show, we had another amazing installment of AJ Styles vs Kurt Angle. What's left to be said about these two top tier talents and their combined magnificence. A few months ago, Angle even admitted Styles was the reason he came to TNA in the first place (Samoa Joe must be hanging his head in shame and walking away like Charlie Brown right now). We've seen this match a thousand times now and yet somehow they still find ways to make it different and entertaining. Hell, they only just worked Slammiversary together, giving yet another possible Match of the Year candidate. Where a TV main event would usually get the short end of the stick, seeing far less innovation than their PPV counterpart, I don't think either man is capable of giving it less than their all. AJ's new tweener character being nicely reinforced with several terrifying moves to Angle, namely his new Calf-killer submission and a nasty looking snap DDT into the corner. Eventually, AJ won the match by taking advantage of a distraction from Aces & Eights to roll Angle up from behind, but at this point it didn't matter who won, we'd already been thoroughly entertained and there will always be another encounter for the loser to gain his heat back.

However, rather than ending on Styles' celebration, the Phenomenal One was quick to hightail it out of there, leaving Angle to take the brunt of Aces & Eights' fury alone. But the Olympic Gold Medalist wasn't alone for long, as TNA's latest acquisition, Rampage Jackson, ran down to the ring and chased off the Sons of Anarchy wannabes with his chain (which you'll never actually see connect with anyone, despite swinging it here, there and everywhere ala Abyss' Janice). This nicely played into the pair's confrontation from last week and hyped their eventual match together. Not that it's going to be any time soon, mind you. Rampage still has months of work to be done down in developmental at OVW before he can even think about getting in the ring with the best worker of our time. In hindsight, it's a little strange to devote two weeks of shows to building to a match that won't happen for the foreseeable future, but I suppose if the opposition can book their main events a year in advance, anything is possible in this business. Fingers crossed the MMA star will be ready for something by Bound for Glory in October.

8 out of 10

A show that started off poorly, but slowly rebuilt our trust over the course of an hour and amazed us with it's second.

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