THE SPECIALISTS TUCKER ON IMPACT 8/29: DVR Guide & Instant Reaction - let's make some sense of A.J. Styles's promo...
Aug 29, 2013 - 11:50:27 PM
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Instant Reaction - TNA Impact 8/29
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist
DVR Guide - What to Watch Later
- Styles vs. Bobby Roode (Q6)
- Daniels vs. Austin Aries (Q7)
Overall Score - 5.0
TNA's key storylines are a mess right now. The Bound for Glory Series has lost all of its credibility, A.J. Styles's character has an extreme number of inconsistencies, and the World Title situation is now being further muddied by Hulk Hogan entering the fold yet again. On the bright side, the actual match quality on tonight's program was very solid, delivering three above average matches, but the storytelling that pervaded this show prevented me from savoring those moments for very long.
So, A.J. Styles begins the meat of his C.M. Punk-esque "shoot" promo (he used his real name! This is a shoot guys!) by talking about how Kazarian and Daniels stabbed him in the back, thus convincing him to trust no one other than himself. All right. Then, he rambled about hating his job since upper management only uses him when their "next big thing" fails, asserting that he deserves better. Um... okay. I don't see how that relates at all to trusting other wrestlers, but fine. He finally says that despite claiming to hate his job, he suddenly enjoys having the company on his back, which he'll be able to do by winning the Bound for Glory Series. These assertions came out of nowhere, have no basis in TNA's universe, and weren't ever hinted at in the previous weeks of television. Why is it that he suddenly enjoys carrying the company? Why is it bad for the company to rely on him when times get tougher? How do statements like this work in kayfabe terms, considering management is always shown on TNA TV and they've rarely shown any attitude close to A.J.'s assertions? Is he a heel because he's delusional and upset about something that's not there? This segment raised more questions than answers. The promo may have made more sense with someone better on the mic like Austin Aries taking control, but Styles's delivery was so rambling and incoherent that I could hardly understand what he was trying to convey. As good as he is in the ring, he's rarely been able to make a mark with a promo, and tonight was no different. As it stands, his character is now portrayed as a bi-polar crybaby who whines about being one of the top stars of the company that TNA can always trust to fall back on. Oh, and he still hasn't explained why he's pseudo-changed back to his old Styles character. Was an explanation in this mess of a promo? Maybe. Honestly, I feel good to have understood as much as I did.
On the other side of things, Hulk Hogan has returned and reinserted himself into the Aces & Eights storyline, which would have been okay if it wasn't for Hogan's ramble at the end of Impact. I'm not asking these people to do Shakespeare here, but Hulk kept mispronouncing words (Aces of Eights, brother!), giving wrong information (Sting will challenge you for the title... this week!), and getting off track throughout. The actual material they had to work with wasn't great, either, with Bully Ray acting aggravated when Hogan gave him Brooke's divorce papers a week after he said that he never cared about her. These are small issues, sure, but they really do add up. And tonight's Impact had a lot of small issues.
Like in the Bound for Glory Series. Just like in the first year of the tournament, wrestlers have had an uneven number of matches against varying opponents, ranging from three contests to six or seven. Poor Jay Bradley! I can't take the tournament seriously when the rules are arbitrarily changed out of nowhere. Especially when the evening is listed as a "must-win" night, but the announce team never actually explains what that means. Until Hogan explained what was happening with the BFGS at the end of Impact, there was nothing to tell me how important these matches actually were other than vague exclamations by the announce team. Oh, and one more item at A.J. Styles - if you need eight points to get into the Top Four of the BFGS, don't go for a seven point pinfall.
The actual action tonight was very good, especially in the case of Daniels vs. Aries. Their pre-match confrontation was well done, and they delivered crisp, fast-paced match in the ring. Styles vs. Roode, finish aside, was also solid, and Kazarian-Hardy had a great final minute or so to their contest. Gail Kim vs. ODB suffered from the latter failing to sell her leg injury throughout the match and for an even worse finish than Styles-Roode. Getting a submission win off a submission specialist who had used submissions throughout the entire match really messed up the whole psychology of the affair. Nonetheless, the effort was there.
The stories tonight mauled an otherwise fine two-hour block of programming. Styles's character needs to shut up and get back to wrestling good matches. You know, doing what made him popular in the first place. The Bound for Glory Series needs a revamp for the next year or else the concept should be abandoned altogether, and someone needs to test Hogan on the material before he goes out in the ring again.
- TNA does have a tag division, right?
- TNA does have an X Division, right?
- Did Chris Sabin take his ball and go home, too?
- I really dug Rampage Jackson's suit. Oh yeah, that promo wasn't very good, either. These Mafia and Aces & Eights guys have been in the same rivalry for so long everything they say is starting to sound the same.
Any questions or comments? Message me on Twitter @BTuckertorch!
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