A new (old) day: Impact 3/8/2010

Impact’s new Monday night show is off and running, and everything old is new again.  Well, except for the main event talent.  They’re still old.  Of course the big selling point of this show was the “long awaited” return of Hulk Hogan to the ring, and TNA didn’t just give it to you once.  Oh, no.  They both opened and closed the show with the match between Hogan and Abyss against AJ Styles and Ric Flair.  When it was advertised that you would need to catch the first five minutes of Impact, you had to expect something was going to happen, and it did when the lights went out and returned to show Sting.  Sting took in the crowd moment for a bit, then inexplicably hit both Hogan and Abyss with his bat.  The heels left, but Hogan demanded the match be held later (rather than simply continue) with no DQ added.

Dixie Carter couldn’t get Sting’s reasoning from him, so she booked him in a match against a mystery opponent.  If you’re wondering why Dixie Carter is booking matches, I don’t know.  Everyone else does, so why not?  Anyway, before you could say “His mystery opponent will probably be Rob Van Dam”, his mystery opponent was revealed to be Rob Van Dam who beat him in two moves.  And one of those moves was not the Five Star Frog Splash.  Sting, as disappointed as the rest of us, demolished RVD with about 1200 shots from his bat, which brought out Hulk Hogan.  Words were exchanged.

The main event saw Hogan and Abyss beat Flair and Styles cleanly when Abyss hit Styles with the Black Hole Slam.  Desmond Wolfe came out, which brought out D’Angelo Dinero, but just as the heels started getting the better of everyone, Jeff Hardy arrived and cleared the ring.  Oh, and both Flair and Hogan were bleeding.  And balding.

As for the rest of the show…

  • We got some segments of Brooke Hogan worrying about her dad.  He promised her never to wrestle again after last night.  Yeah, I believe him too.
  • Kazarian explained that he came back after he got his head together, but Suicide was never mentioned – but with a name like Suicide, we can kind of guess why he’s not coming back.
  • Daniels approached Kazarian, apparently upset that Kaz has a title shot at Destination X, which also brought out X-Division Champ Doug Williams.  Eric Bischoff appeared and scheduled Kazarian’s X-Division title shot right then, adding Daniels to the match.  Williams defended by pinning Daniels.
  • Williams’ celebration was interrupted by Shannon Moore, sporting his stupid spikey look, who attacked.  Bischoff scheduled the PPV X-Division defense to be Williams vs. Moore.  Because that’s what the fans want.
  • The Beautiful People defeated Sarita & Taylor Wilde and Angelina Love & Tara to capture the vacated Knockouts Tag Team titles.  Daffney came out and hit Tara with one of the belts, allowing the Beautiful People to get the win.
  • Kevin Nash and Eric Young have a spirited debate with the Band in which Scott Hall says that they’re doing this because they  want big money contracts with TNA.  Then he calls Nash a sellout.  Gotta love him.  Bischoff books the two who don’t work there into a match at the PPV against Nash and Young.  If the Band wins, they get TNA contracts.
  • Before that, though, Syxx gets booked into a match against Eric Young.  Young wins.
  • Kurt Angle arrives with a bunch of US soldiers.  Mr. Anderson begins taunting him on the screen, but Angle catches him at the interview set and pulls him to the ring.  An Angle Slam later, Angle’s waving the flag over his opponent.  Feel free to salute.
  • Jeff Jarrett was forced into a handicap with the now apparently heel Beer Money, Inc. with Mick Foley as the special referre for no particular reason.  The match ended when a second referee prevented Jarrett from using Abyss’s barbed wire bat and counted the pinfall on Jarrett.  Follow THAT.

Looking back
I have to say that this episode was leaps and bounds better than the past two weeks…but that really isn’t saying too much.  I knew as soon as Sting appeared that he was going to turn on Hogan and Abyss.  Why hype the opening if you’re not going to do something crazy with it?  Except Sting’s heel turn really doesn’t make sense.  He was hanging out in the rafters watching Hogan when he first arrived in TNA, probably not trusting him, especially with the Band running around.  So he waits until Hogan proves himself, then attacks him?  This is a heel turn for the sake of the shock value – much like when Goldberg turned heel in late WCW, specifically because it had never been done before.  And remember how well that one turned out?

Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair weren’t as terrible as I thought they were going to be, but I did find it odd when Hogan was competing with a shirt on at the beginning of the show.  Unfortunately, Flair is still deciding to wrestle in just his trunks.  I remember when I said 10 years ago that he should be wrestling with a shirt on.  I didn’t need to see this match twice, though.  And Hogan was also involved with the Sting thing.  Are we getting Sting vs. Hogan again?

Other thoughts on the show:

  • Less Brooke Hogan, please.
  • The X-Division match was awesome, but why book a match for a PPV if you’re just going to pull it the next week?  Of course, it wasn’t Kazarian who took the loss, so he may get himself into the match.
  • Mike Tenay said that Awesome Kong and Hamada were stripped of their tag belts for not defending them in 30 days.  Wouldn’t that be booking’s fault?  Anyway, it looks like Awesome Kong really is done with TNA.
  • Why keep tag titles for a division that only has 8 people left?  Since Hogan and Bischoff took over, Alissa Flash, Roxxi, Traci Brooks  and Awesome Kong have all left the company.
  • The story of the Band has gone far past the time in which it seemed important.  This match should have happened at Against All Odds.  Anyway, it’s not like Scott Hall is going to show up for the damn thing.
  • Actually Syxx looked fine in his short match against Eric Young.  And he was wrestling in jeans.  So good for him.
  • I loved that someone finally ran backstage to shut up the person taunting them on the screen.
  • How did Beer Money end up as heels?  Wasn’t there another group that could have been used as punishment for Jeff Jarrett?  The British Invasion?  Raven and Dr. Stevie?  Motor City Machine Guns?  Hell, Brian Kendrick and Tomko?
  • And why was Mick Foley the special referee?  He didn’t even factor in the end of the match.  If Jarrett is being punished, then why put a sympathetic figure in as authority?
  • Welcome back, Jeff Hardy!  Hope to see you again in another two months!

Impact was fast-paced and action packed, and if you ignore the logic gaps, it was perfectly enjoyable.  It certainly does seem like they were phoning it in waiting for this show to come around, which is unfortunate when you realize that they only have one more episode before Destination X.  A step in the right direction, I’ll call it.


One Response to A new (old) day: Impact 3/8/2010

  1. manof1004gimmicks says:

    Rumor is someone else is to take the mantle of Suicide but I’ll believe it when I read about it later.

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