THE SPECIALISTS TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION - Impact 8/9: Was TNA successful promoting Hardcore Justice and advancing storylines tonight?
Aug 9, 2012 - 9:51:24 PM
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Instant Reaction - TNA Impact 8/9
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist
Overall Score - 8.5
With almost half of the Hardcore Justice card being randomly thrown-together BFGS matches, I was shocked when TNA actually put a lot of effort into hyping each match. Coming out of this show, I'm actually pretty excited for this Sunday's pay-per-view. The BFGS matches did a great job hyping each four-way match, with at least two out of the three having some sort of feud be at the base of the match. TNA even gave Robbie E. a feud to work with going into the show. That takes some dedication. With a nice focus on Sunday, two good matches, and an awesome segment with Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, I thought Impact was a big success tonight.
The show started off pretty well. Bully Ray and James Storm continued to progress their feud in an entertaining way without making the storyline start to feel like it's walking in place. The only issue I had with it at all was the interruption of the Aces and Eights. Wouldn't simply giving Bully Ray the Dead Man's Hand work just as well, if not better, than having Bane on the TNA Tron talking in muffled English? A lot of the group's mystique comes from the fact that they don't speak and don't hang out like bros in the studio. They simply run out like a pack of dogs and beat up people. Guess what two things they did tonight? Plus, all of the group members "gambling" felt just a tad tacky. Come on, guys. You can do better than that.
The quality action tonight varied a good deal. RVD vs. Magnus and the Tag Title match weren't much to speak of (plus, I'm still miffed that Magnus isn't being featured at all in the Series). Garett is still very green and Mr. Anderson was awful on commentary. That being said, at least the antics of Christopher Daniels were hilariously heelish, as usual. The women's match was enjoyable, but was too short and had a few too many botches in it. Madison Rayne's kiss to Hebner was a fine way to build suspense for the KO Title match, though. With relatively no time to build up Madison for the title match, it was pretty much all they could do.
However, both Storm-Ray and Styles-Angle were fun to watch (yes, even with Claire at ringside). Angle really has to stop using the Angle Slam so much, though. It used to be one of his finishers, but at this point even Robbie E. could probably kick out of the thing. I was shocked to see Bully Ray get a clean win, but I'm all for it. It gives the show a much more sporty and unpredictable feel.
The highlight of the show in my book was the Roode-Aries segment. Their storyline has been lost in the shuffle the last few weeks, with the BFGS ramping up and the Aces and Eights attacks starting, but the winner take all situation is about the best route they could go with. TNA is showing that they're smart. They know that many people still think that Roode is going to win back the title to face James Storm. So, with this stipulation, people know that they're either going to see a title change or witness the main event of BFG become completely different than they imagined. Very good move on a good show.
The rest of the show worked pretty well. The Kenny King hype video was a good way to continue introducing him to the audience, but he still has a ways to go. TNA is actually giving Robbie E. the appearance of having a fighting chance on Sunday, which surprised me, and the Claire business was kept to a relative minimum. Overall, the show simply worked. The Aces and Eights lost a bit of their mystique, and not everything worked like it optimally would, but I'd be lying if I said that Impact failed in hyping Hardcore Justice. Color me surprised.
Any questions or comments? Feel free to message me on Twitter at BTuckertorch.
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