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Heavy Impact (7/29/15): The Quiet Before the Storm

Hi folks, Marie here, and I am ready to dish out some thoughts on this week’s Impact Wrestling!
This week’s card is heavy on the promos and vignettes rather on than on actual matches, and with good reason. Next week is TNA’s No Surrender, originally a pay-per-view event, but now an Impact Wresting special episode. Thus, they are using this episode as a preparation for next week’s special show.

Austin Aries’ promo

The show started with Austin Aries in the ring and about how he’s been snubbed out of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship scene. Enter Bully Ray and said that the only opportunity he can give him is for the X-Division Championship. He snorts saying been there, done that (six times, as a matter of fact). He says it’s not for him anymore, it’s for guys who will never be in the main event, guys like Rockstar Spud (which is an ironic statement, considering he created Option C, the storyline device that will enable X-Division people to be a main eventer). Rockstar Spud, joins them in the ring, bristling that not only can he hang out with Austin Aries, he can beat him too.

To make the long story short, we get a match between The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived and Rockstar Spud next week with a stipulation that if Rockstar Spud wins, Aries will quit TNA, but if Austin Aries wins, he’ll get... to be called Rockstar Austin Aries & Spud will just be called Spud?? I don’t know about you, but I will call spade a spade and call this stipulation stupid, unequal, and unfair.

We all know that this is Austin Aries’ last match, and I’m disappointed that his exit booking is just plain terrible. But just the same, it sort of makes sense that it ends with a X-Division champ versus X-Division champ. I just hope, their match in No Surrender is going to be so awesome we forget all about this stupid stipulation.

You're not the Rockstar, I am!
Sgt. Chris Melendez (with Kurt Angle) vs Eric Young

This is almost a squash match (yet again) by Eric Young to the younger wrestler, who is more of an underdog right now than Rockstar Spud. This is their fourth singles match, and all have Young dominating Melendez (more or less), so sooner or later something has to give. And funny thing too, considering that just last year Eric Young was the underdog in his feud against MVP and the Beat Down Clan. I guess it’s the way it is with pro wrestling, the circle of turns from being a face to a heel then vice versa - sometimes you’re the one being bullied, but sometimes you are the one who is doing the bullying.

On an additional note, I’m not sure why Kurt Angle was there, except possibly as a subtle passing of the real-American-hero torch to the sergeant.

A piledriver to the sarge, for the nth time
Brook Tessmacher vs Marti Bell (with Taryn Tarrell and Jade) for the TNA Knockout Championship

Intentional or not, I am disturbed of the lack of clean pins in matches that involves the Dollhouse. It is telling me that the bookers do not trust them to carry on decent in-ring storylines. They are thus forced to do their somewhat insipid sidekick gimmick, and I find that quite unfair.
No Gail Kim in today’s Knockout match. Honestly, I’m getting bored with the hints and the vignettes and the faulty light bulbs, so it’s about time we get to see her in action for next week’s No Surrender.

Like hair pulling, only more creative
Jeff Hardy Returns

As always, Ethan Carter III is a delight on the mic. He sold like a champ the where-on-earth-did-that-came-from, just-because-Bully-Ray-say-so mandate of having the Hardy brothers choose the match stipulation.  And what the Hardys chose is to have a Full Metal Mayhem match, with an additional stipulation (they say, as per Bully Ray) that no one is allowed at ringside, meaning no Tyrus to back EC3 up. The No Surrender special is getting better and better by the minute.

After months of being sidelined, Jeff came back to Impact Wrestling. He does looks good and sober, although he’s limping a little bit. So far I’m glad that they are not involving him in the EC3-Matt Hardy feud in a physical manner, as he needs all the time to heal that he can get.

Jeff Hardy being well and sober
Mickie James and Magnus vs Serena and James Storm

Most of the match is a James Storm and Magnus one-on-one, with some Serena shenanigans. This is Mickie’s first aired match in two years, so a little ring rust is expected. Yet again, it is another match with an unclean finish, with Serena calling to Khoya for interference. The interference backfired, and it resulted with Magnus and Mickie James getting the win. It’s not as explosive a match but it’s quite a good send-off to the departing Mickie and Magnus. As for Serena, I am also predicting some serious consequences in store in the next few episodes for the poor temp worker.

Guys crawling back to their mommy girlfriend/partner
Jeff Jarrett is inducted in the TNA Hall of Fame

Dixie Carter awards a medal to this year’s inductee, and Jeff Jarrett takes the microphone for some thank yous. He starts off with two blanket statements: he is very much grateful for all the people who had ever purchased a ticket, merchandise, pay-per-view, or had been and is consumer of TNA product; second, for everyone who had ever received a paycheck from TNA (I snickered on this part; what about those people who had worked for TNA and never received a paycheck?), he is grateful for them too. He had also thanked a lot of people by name: entire crew, talents, family, and friends. He sounds so honest and sincere, and had been emotional in some parts of his speech. And this apparent honesty, I think, is felt across the audience too, who are mostly respectful and appreciative. Some of the wrestlers went out to congratulate him, but Kurt Angle is noticeably absent (but then, that is expected).

Jarrett: Gonna start the invasion angle in a couple of weeks. You ready?
Bully: Yeahhhh.... nope. I'm outta here.
The episode is better than last week’s, and I will grade it a C+. The best match is the inter-gender match between Magnus, Mickie James, Serena, and James Storm. It is effective as a bridge to next week’s No Surrender, which I’m expecting to be a big one.

Did you see this week's Impact Wrestling? What did you think of the episode? What do you think about Mickie James and Magnus versus Serena and James Storm? Is Jeff Jarrett the right choice for this year’s TNA Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments!


Marie Ricana (@cris_ricana) is an IT specialist and a network/system administrator. While an engineer by profession, she dreams of becoming the next Roland Barthes or The Masked Man. One of these days, she’ll publish the most insightful book on pro wrestling in the Philippines. But for now, she is mostly writing reviews of TNA Impact Wrestling for Smark Henry.

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