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October 16, 2009

TNA’s Super Impact lives up to its name

Thursday night's special three-hour episode of Impact -- which was dubbed Super Impact -- featured a great match between Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles and did an excellent job of getting over Sunday’s Bound for Glory pay-per-view as a huge event.

Expectations are always high whenever Angle and Styles get in the ring together, and they delivered again. Angle continues to amaze me with his performances despite being so banged up. It’s going to be difficult for anything at BFG to top this match.

Judging by the finish, which saw Styles on the verge of tapping out from an ankle lock when the 20-minute time limit expired (who knew there are still time limits in wrestling?), I’m guessing that a program between Styles and Angle for Styles’ TNA world title will begin after BFG.

Most of the final hour of Impact consisted of “Rough Cuts”-style interviews and video packages pushing the top four matches on the pay-per-view – Styles vs. Sting, Angle vs. Matt Morgan, Mick Foley vs. Abyss, and Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe. While all of the wrestlers were in character, they came across as real people (well, except for Abyss, because that would be impossible) involved in a legitimate athletic competition. TNA president Dixie Carter, Mike Tenay and Taz also offered comments on the matches and participants. Very well done.

Other thoughts on Thursday’s show:

From what I have read, Carter’s comment about having to convince Sting to keep re-signing the past several years was a shoot. ...

One nit-pick on the BFG preview segments: Taz picked Samoa Joe to defeat Lashley “in an upset.” Sure, we all expect Lashley to win, but in the context of the show, it wouldn’t be an upset. Joe is a former TNA world champion and has victories over the likes of Angle, Sting and current champion Styles. ...

When Foley talked about Abyss being a rip-off of his character and showed videos to prove his point, it was hard to argue with him. No wonder the fans seem to be backing Foley more than Abyss in this feud. ...

When Dr. Stevie had a woman who supposedly was Lauren (her back was to the camera) tied up backstage, it was obvious that it was going to be Daffney in disguise. The big question is: Where was Lauren? She never appeared after that segment, and SoCal Val assumed her duties as backstage interviewer. ...

Hernandez was put over strong in his gauntlet match against The British Invasion. However, it sure did make TBI look pretty weak heading into their BFG match against Team 3D, Beer Money and Scott Steiner and Booker T. ...

Don West coming to ringside with Amazing Red as his “promoter” was a surprise. I thought West was treated unfairly when TNA replaced him with Taz on commentary just as West was hitting his stride as a heel announcer, so I'm glad to see him back in an on-air capacity. I think the roles should be reversed, however, with West still the color commentator and Taz as a manager. It is a good idea to give Red a mouthpiece, although West was pretty annoying when cutting Red’s promo for him. West was a lot more entertaining as a heel. When did West turn babyface, anyway? ...

West said that he has always been Red’s biggest supporter, which Tenay said as well. That’s funny, I seem to recall West belittling Red when he was getting squashed by Kevin Nash a few months ago. ...

The brawl in catering between the teams in the Full Metal Mayhem tag match at BFG looked pretty weak. ...

I really liked the Hamada-Alissa Flash falls-count-anywhere match. I actually have more interest in their program than I do the three-way feud between TNA knockouts champion ODB, Tara and Awesome Kong. ...

It looked bad when Tara’s superkick didn’t come anywhere near ODB’s face – it hit her in the upper chest – yet she still was KO’d by it. ...

Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t think Lacey Von Erich was ever tagged in during the six-woman tag match between The Beautiful People and ODB, Tara and Kong. That speaks volumes as to where LVE is as far as her wrestling ability at this point. When it comes to being eye candy, however, she doesn’t have many peers in wrestling. ...

The finish to the Lashley-Rhino stretcher match was weird, as we didn’t even see Lashley putting him in the ambulance. After a replay, Rhino was already in it and then Lashley slammed the door shut. ...

Speaking of Rhino, it’s a shame that he doesn’t have a match at BFG. He’s been a compelling character since turning heel. ...

I’m still not sure I get the Pope D’Angelo Dinero character, but he does cut a nice promo. He has a bright future. ...

So, Homicide was disguised as Suicide. TNA, you’re killing me.

Note: I conducted a phone interview with A.J. Styles Thursday. The Q&A will be posted either later tonight or early Saturday.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 8:31 PM | | Comments (34)
        

Comments

Apparently TNA got a little ahead of itself with a ppv preview for 'Turning Point.' It reveals who the winner is of the Sting and Styles match is going to be. While the outcome is logical, it really gets me mad that TNA would be so sloppy and unprofessional.

Homicide should continue to dress as Suicide and go by the ring name Chris Benoit.

What, too soon?

"So, Homicide was disguised as Suicide. TNA, you’re killing me."


now thats punny

Ugh, I hate Chris Benoit jokes.

West said that he has always been Red’s biggest supporter, which Tenay said as well. That’s funny, I seem to recall West belittling Red when he was getting squashed by Kevin Nash a few months ago. ...

I think they were referring to the old TNA Assylum days when Don West would stand up on the announcers table during Red's matches and would lead the crowd in cheering for him.

TNA REALLY needs to cut back on the "wild brawls" involving 2 or more wrestlers.....they work occasionally but more often than not it just looks like a bunch of guys having a really sloppy fake fight.

Angle/Styles was an outstanding match! One of the best so far this year. A great way to cap off the wrestling.

It looks like Joe is being buried. Going from the face of TNA to "jobber to the stars" is a big fall. While not a great talker, he should be used as a no nonsense enforcer like Benoit was and just kick tail.

I get the feeling ODB is a transition champ, which is too bad because she is a good worker and has a lot of charisma with her unique character. They should give her a decent title reign.

Hopefully Robert Rooder will become a singles wrestler and get a championship push. I think he has a lot of potential.

If Kaz is Suicide, this angle could have good legs if used as blackmail by Homicide.

TBP miss Angelina; LVE needs to go. She brings nothing. Cheerleader Melissa or Traci would be much better options.

No way tna is taking the belt off A.J. Styles, he's the best in-ring performer tna has right now. His match with Kurt Angle on impact was a classic. A.J. would have never gotten a chance to show is in-ring skills if he was in wwe. Look at Gail Kim. She went from top babyface in tna to an afterthought in wwe.

I read the title of this blog - "TNA’s Super Impact lives up to its name".
And then when I began to read your blog, all I saw was TNA's faults and negative points of this episode.
I'm bit confused. Whether this is a positive review or a negative one???

RESPONSE FROM KE: I suppose you can interpet it any way you like. I thought I made it clear that Angle and Styles had a great match and that I really liked the BFG preview show. Go back and read it again. I don't think I made a lot of negative points.

Awesome show from TNA thursdayt, roll on Bound For Glory!

AJ/Angle was awesome!


"I really hope they give these two an iron man match at some point."

"I really hope they give these two an iron man match at some point."

Amen to that.

Unlike Cena/Orton, Aj/Angle is a match I could watch forever

Bravo in the UK for some reason refused to show the 3 Hour Edition and edited IMPACT right down.

Positives:

AJ vs. Kurt with no commercials is awesome. TNA taking WWE's approach for their biggest show of the year by focusing on the hype videos, as Smackdown did for Mania this year.

Negatives:

AJ, himself, trying to hype BFG.
The brawl in catering-so sudden!
Joe clearly having no chance to win.
All the gimmick 'tweaks' last minute.
No Nash, Knockout Tag Champs?
Motor City Machine Guns Who?

Looking forward to Foley vs Abyss, Should be BRUTAL!


Bound For Glory should be an awesome show.

Hopefully this is a big turning point for TNA.

I actually think Joe vs Lashley could steal the show.

Awesome show!

I am going on Sunday and the PPV looks kick a--. My only complaint is that Joe is gonna lose.

Wow! Easily The Best Impact ever and probably the best free televised wrestling show of the year and maybe in years. I don't like The way The British Invasion was made to look like chumps going into the ppv but otherwise no complaints about this show. Pope Vs Daniels was an excellent five minute match as was Hamada Vs Flash. The build up for the tag titles match was weak. I can't say enough about the Angle-Styles match in 20 minutes they got more moves in more pyshology and was as great near falls than Orton and Cena can dream of having in a 60 minute match in a few weeks. These two guys had the crowd in the palm of their hands and for once the this is awesome chance held water. These guys are two of the best in the world and will go down as two of the best ever and tonight they showed why. Obviously they're building to a match between Styles ands A.J down the road and with more time and a finish it will likely be the match of the year. Like Don West with Red and the video buildups for the big matches at BFG were absolutely tremendous and among the best videos TNA has put together. Great show and really looking forward to the ppv on sunday.

oh yeah kudos to The TNA Broadcasters for once as they did a great job during the Styles-Angle match and that was one of the hottest wrestling crowds during the Styles-Angles match as you'll hear another example of two great wrestlers drawing in the crowd into their characters and in ring work.

That was borderline false advertising. It was just a normal 2 hour Impact with a slightly longer than usual overrun followed by a 45 minute infomercial.

AJ/Angle was AWESOME, but the pacing of this show was mind boggling. Their overall rating is going to suffer too because I bet everyone turned it off once they realized the last 45 minutes were just one big commercial.

They should have just stuck those videos in throughout the night. In the end, the main event was probably the TNA MOTY IMO, but the pacing of this show just killed it.

Excellant Impact tonight! The Best TV broadcast I've seen this year.

I think the only think I didn't care for was The British Invasion being single handidly destroyed in about 6 minutes. Other than that...this show was money from begining to end.

AJ/Sting
Angle/Morgan

has some tough competition just 3 days before the big show. Can't wait I'm definantly ordering. They did a good job hyping the show and AJ/Angle was fantastic. Especially for a free TV match

most moves we've seen from Sky as she picks up the slack. but where's the champs ? Hamada-FLash great action. loved the banners, btw...

Wow one of the best impacts in years. Maybe I'm just blind but the main event was great because two great talented wrestlers going at it. At least TNa gets a rating jump this week.....

Best. Show. Of. The. Year.

I am a WWE fan... No doubt about that but last night's IMPACT was clearly impressive... A falls count anywhere match between the women gave me a old ECW holy s--- moment.. A beautiful Asahi Moonsault from the heavens onto an Alyssa Flash laying on the table was bad---!!!

AJ vs Angle - 5 star event... I mean those guys went full bore... completely full bore... Dont think for a 2nd folks WWE wasnt watching... Keep putting on matches like these TNA and watch your fortunes continue...

Mark my words...

Angle-AJ - 60 minute Iron Man Match? WE'RE NOT WORTHY!

My goodness was that an awesome episode of IMpact. Now THAT'S how you sell a PPV. They made all of the matches seem important and the build for some of these matches have been better than anything the WWE has put up in months.

I love the Foley-Abyss storyline and how bloody it's going to be on Sunday. Nice Foley promo with the Edge reference.

Wish the tag team guys could've gotten in some action. Other than that I'm willing to watch Bound for Glory instead of my beloved Atlanta Falcons whip the Bears on National TV Sunday Night!

Solid show all around and the best thing about the Styles/Angle match, there was NO commercial breaks. This is how you do a go home show for a big PPV.

Kinda sucks for the founder, the companys finally getting their [act] strait and Jarrett's nowhere to be found.

hour Impact? *scoff* And people say they aren't turning into WCW.

But seriously, this was one of the best Impacts I've ever seen. We got good matches and the main event was quite the sight to behold.

Just one qualm; that awesome match was marred by a stupid finish. As usual, TNA takes two steps forward and 1 step back, shooting themselves in the foot in the process.

TNA continues their steady climb upward with shows that keep getting better, while RAW and Smackdown continue their gradual decline.

Another minor nitpick; it seems like they just used the hour to have a glorified hype/pimp video for Bound for Glory. But hey, they gotta drive the PPV, eh?

have to ask the question where are all of the WWE fan boys and TNA bashers when TNA delivers the best wrestling show from any company that we've seen in the past few years?

There is no doubt that the build up for BFG VI is 10x better than the build up for this years WrestleMania.

You want to know why that show was awesome right before a PPV? because it wasn't the PPV for free with just shorter matches, which is basically what WWE does these days.

That is why I find it impossible to believe that WWE actually does better than TNA, because WWE does just about everything wrong.

Every match that is on this months PPV for WWE has been a natch peopel have seen at least a dozen times. Other than the whole Jerixhow/DX, but then again it isn't going ot be the absolute first time they have wrestled.

Definately taking Kerry Von Eric at a slow pace I dont think she even got tagged into that match and otherthan the posing she only got a face shot on the apron. But she looks good and TBP need a trio so she fits in and will more than liekly fill any roll of outside interference. i expect them to win the title Sunday and set the world right. Taylor Wilde is just too boring and not that exciting and she is just there, and Sarita JUST walks in the door and wins a title like that? Good for future credibility I suppose but not good to let them hold the belts too long with so much talent on the roster. And That is why TBP are perfect champs not too much talent there but they can always be the heels to the faces teaming up and losing due to outside interfernce or bad chemistry. Best way to showcase more female wrestlers and keep the hot chicks on TV to get guys to watch.

Now i they can just put the MEM out of their misery

man, Tara is really growing on me.

when she came to Tna I was happy, but she didn't look so hot and brutal and I wanted my Victoria back. and now she is almost there. all I want from Tna to shill out the money Molly wants for a cameo, and give those two 15 minutes on ppv.

on another note: Lacey Von Erich must be really lame in the ring, cause she was protected like crazy.

now that I'm thinking about it, I want Tna to hire the REAL Lacey too, the lovely one (who could carry the beautiful people for years).

with Daffney, Flash, Sarita... i would never watch porn again.

Tremendous impact. Kurt at the age of 40 is still one of the best wrestlers in the world and his match with AJ was outstanding. I still miss Angelina because the beautiful people suck with out her.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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