Aftermath of IMPACT: “Back from the Dead” – 24/05/2011

IMPACT Wrestling: “Back from the Dead”

IMPACT Wrestling: “Back from the Dead”

IMPACT Wrestling – “Back from the Dead”
Tuesday 24th May 2011 – 10pm on Challenge

Mr. Anderson continues the mindgames with his “surprise” for Sting
Ric Flair calls out Robert Roode
Gunner let’s Eric Young know he’s not in the mood for fun and games
Velvet Sky d. Winter & Angelina Love
 Matt Hardy & Eric Bischoff d. Generation Me
Kurt Angle & Jeff Jarrett agree to bout at Slammiversary with #1 Contendership & Olympic Gold medal on the line.
 Tommy Dreamer shows AJ Styles that his actions are of his own choice
 Samoa Joe d. Amazing Red
 Abyss d. Kazarian to Win the X-Division Title
 Mickie James, Miss Tessmacher and Tara d. Madison Rayne, Sarita & Rosita
 Eric Bischoff vows to destroy the X-Division

First off, deserved mention for TNA producers David Sahadi and Kevin Sullivan who did an amazing job with the new opening video and graphics for IMPACT Wrestling, great stuff. The new blue colour scheme is a lot easier on the eye and the re-designed set looked great.

However the more things change the more they stay the same as the IMPACT Wrestling era started exactly how the Impact era started for the past year: Immortal’s theme music and too many non-wrestlers walking to the ring and an eventual all out brawl between warring factions. Don’t get me wrong, i liked the segement and it set up the premise for the show well, it just felt repetitive.

Kendrick: Held his own on the mic

Kendrick: Held his own on the mic

Brian Kendrick on the other hand, was a breath of fresh air. It would seem Kendrick is stepping up as the voice of the X-Divison, a wise choice as Kendrick has great oratory skills and his character has that little edge that can make his promos unique, would have liked to see him get into the ring tonight, especially with Bischoff involved, but i suppose they’ll save that for another time.

I like the Bischoff “destruction of the X-Division” storyline as it plays on the fans common misconceptions about Eric. Bischoff and Hogan have been portrayed by the Internet as destroyers of the promotion, changing the look and feel  of the product and by and large being an Anti-TNA prescence. People forget however that Eric was the pioneer of that brought the cruiserweight style to the mainstream in the United States, i very much doubt he harbors any contempt for the X-Division in reality but its a great storyline that hopefully leads the X-Division back to prominence in the promotion.

Madison Rayne, Rosita & Sarita vs. Tara, Mickie James & Miss Tessmacher: TNA love throwing the Knockouts together in these multi-tag match-ups don’t they? If it works ratings wise i guess theres a method to the madness. Decent bout with the focus being on the Tara/Madison feud, i loved seeing the replay of the Knockout punch from Tara a Sacrifice, it made such a thud. Decent finish to the match and Miss Tessmacher is really coming along and has impressed since her return.

Abyss wins the X-Division title: Abyss winning the title actually really caught me off guard. I was half-expecting an “Against All Odds” comeback victory for the X-Division who continue to be a thorn in the side of Bischoff, but i guess they went for the shock factor and attempted to make it seem that the X-Divison was dead and buried only for a huge comeback in the coming months. Great match btw, Kazarian and Abyss’ contrasting styles made for a great dynamic, very impressive.

Samoa Joe squashes Amazing Red: Physical mis-match written all over it and made Joe look like the dominant monster that he once was. However it was one step forward, one step backward for Joe, who looked good in the squash, but then looked conquerable with how easily Crimson handled him in the post-match.

Styles confronts Tommy Dreamer: I’m actually enjoying this storyline and am intrigued to see where it goes. Whilst initially being a “loveable Tommy Dreamer forced against his will to carry out Bully Rays demands” style story, it took a new twist this week with TNA hinting that maybe, just maybe we didn’t know the REAL Tommy Dreamer at all.  Good story here, and nice touch having Immortal take out Fortune one-by-one as the night goes on, didn’t really pick up on it until this point when they got Christopher Daniels and AJ, it became apparent when they got Roode later in the show though.

Kurt Angle challenges Jeff Jarrett at Slammiversary : A feud that’s being going on for the past six months (and in my opinion one of the best feuds in TNA history) looks set to culminate at Slammiversary. And whilst it didn’t really need the extra stipulations, i for one would love to see Angle get another shot at the title – BUT that added stipulation of the Olympic Gold Medal being on the line makes me think this isn’t as cut and dry and ending as it would seem, the comedy possibilities of Jarrett with the Gold Medal would be too good to pass up in my opinion.

Nice to see that Karen Jarrett is not completely out of the picture, she’s probably the most entertaining female on the roster at the moment and hope that she’s around long term. Velvet sending her wheel chair careening down the ramp was hilarious.

Bischoff's plans to smash the X-Division apparently succeeding

Will Eric Bischoff's plans mean X-Division becomes an Ex-Division?

Matt Hardy & Eric Bischoff vs. Generation Me: I enjoyed the matchup and liked the believability that Eric let Matt Hardy do all the hardwork whilst he jumped in to get the pin and the glory at the end but can’t help but wonder if there was actually a likable babyface in this match for viewers to root for? GenMe have traditionally been portrayed as heels and after just two episodes of sudden change it’s too soon to try and pull the “sympathy” card with the viewers.

Velvet Sky vs. Winter and Angelina Love: I’m not a big fan of this feud it must be said, it’s a bit too “out there” for me but i understand the key is appealing to a wide range of viewers so i’ll bear with it as long as i get my fix of Anderson and Sting. I liked the finish which made sense as Angelina, whose weakness as a person in a trance is she can’t focus on the task at hand, lost control of the match, allowing Velvet to score a quick pin and gain an upset victory. The mystery woman who suddenly jumped Velvet, was a returning ODB, a welcome return to the Knockouts division if ever there was one.

Eric Young and Gunner feud over the Television Title : I cannot believe this angle made it to TV. I wonder if it was always in the works or simply added due to the great response the comedy segment got following the battyle royal. I hope this results in a match between the two and somehow Eric Young pulls off an upset win.

Flair & Roode: Entertaining war of words

Flair & Roode: Entertaining war of words

Roode goes face-to-face with Flair: It would seem that Robert Roode is going to get the Mentor vs. Prodigy angle that seemed destined for AJ Styles not too long ago. I loved the intensity in their verbal dual and the respect shown between the two as performers. THIS, action involving two guys who are good at what they do striving for victory and the respect that comes with it , is what the focus of IMPACT Wrestling should be. Its a simple formula but nothing works better.

Flair goading Roode into attacking him was classic Naitch and the resulting arm injury dished out by Immortal adds a new twist to the storyline. TNA did a great job of taking care of the little details aswell,  explaining that given Fortune was already taken out in various forms during the show, no one was available to make the save for Bobby Roode.

Mr. Ander-Sting?

Mr. Ander-Sting?

Anderson’s mindgames with Sting: The closing segment was the highlight of the show for me personally. I’m an Anderson mark, i’ll admit it. Seeing the old style Sting boots stepping out of the limo at the beginning of the show did cause me to raise an eyebrow but once i saw that “walk” i knew right away who it was and what was about to go down. Great surprise and boy did Anderson look incredibly like the old style surfer Sting or what? I’m guessing Sting actually lent Ken an old outfit for the segment as the gear looked incredibly like that which Sting once wore. I personally can’t wait to see these two square off at Slammiversary but want to see more verbal duels between the two in the lead up as both men can certainly talk.

Final Thoughts: All in all, TNA did one or two good things on the show, but the overall product was the exact same with little emphasis on wins and losses as the foundation for the product. In reality the on-screen product was little more than a cosmetic change. TNA is simply sticking with the same vision for the product spearheaded by Vince Russo, with the word “wrestling” tacked on to reinforce their commitment to how Russo wants to define “wrestling,” which is not necessarily how we, THE WRESTLING FANS, would define it.


About Ray Mullan
Ray Mullan is a longtime wrestling fan and Owner/Editor of TNA UK . Also a contributing writer to a number of other online wrestling media including, Wrestle Zone UK & Lords of Pain.

5 Responses to Aftermath of IMPACT: “Back from the Dead” – 24/05/2011

  1. Bigdawg801 says:

    Nice review, totally agree with you on the opening feeling “samey”, i enjoyed the last couple of weeks when they went away from the long Immortal opening promos to focusing on Velvet/the Jarretts etc. Was much fresher. All in all though i enjoyed the show. Looking forward to RVD vs. Angle next week!

  2. vantheman77 says:

    I liked last night’s show in that the X-Division were the underdogs of the night and I enjoyed how they opened up the newly-named Impact Wrestling show. Also very short backstage pre-tapes tonight, much more in ring action which is always a bouns.

    The thing with Sting and Ken Anderson dressing up like his old persona was great as Anderson I think is a more convincing look-alike than Jeff Jarrett was in 2000.

    Oh and they’re really behind Velvet Sky now eh?

  3. Mic Skills Required says:

    Good show, much better than the spoilers read (as usual).

    Nice new opening. Since the show usually opens with some sort of video package and then straight to the ring for a promo, we don’t get to see the opening sequence very often.

    I loved Eric running down the X guys at the beginning. Eric’s gonna beat some vanilla midget ass, LOL. Funny stuff. He was in top form tonight. Brian Kendrick wasn’t bad on the mic himself either. He’s getting a nice push lately. He’s one of the few in the X division with some mic skills, so it makes sense to push him as the “leader” of the X-division resistance.

    The six-woman match was alright. Miss Tessmacher got some time in the ring, which is always a good thing. No clue why the guys from Mexican America were on commentary, considering that neither of them are very good at commentating. This was basically the launching point for the Tara/Madison feud, which might shape up to be interesting.

    Abyss winning the X title is going somewhere. This isn’t the first time they’ve done a “X division is irrelevant” storyline, though. Part of me thinks they’ll go through with it and phase out the division entirely, but they might not. I wouldn’t necessarily miss it if it does go; it’s been fairly pointless for a while now. I liked Taz mentioning that the internet would be buzzing over this. It sounded very sarcastic, considering how many in the IWC put the X division on a pedestal. Thumbs up for that one.

    The Gunner/EY stuff is really Gunner’s first real feud. I’ve seen next week’s spoilers (won’t give anything away here), and if that’s the direction they’re going with it, Gunner will come out of this looking good. He pretty much has to since he’s in a feud with TNA’s version of Santino.

    They started up the Joe/Crimson feud. Should be good. Crimson will benefit from being in a program with a guy like Joe. I see they haven’t forgotten that Crimson and Red are kayfabe brothers. I don’t know what that does for Crimson, but whatever. The feud is on. Both guys can benefit from this.

    ODB is probably just back to put Velvet over. ODB is a former champ and has some credibility, so going over her will be good for Velvet. I’m not terribly enamored with ODB, but slapping her boobs was always her strongest suit.

    Speaking of the Velvet/Winter/Angelina match, it did what it needed to do. Velvet went over in the end, albeit in anticlimactic fashion (much like her feud-ending match with Sarita on March 3) Velvet’s got like 3 or 4 things going on right now–the girl is busy. Loved the wheelchair bit with Karen too. Also, Angelina and Winter are teasing hot lesbian action, which makes me happy indeed.

    Jarrett/Angle ends at Slammiversary. The stipulations give it away. It’s a big PPV, and there isn’t another “big” PPV until Bound For Glory, so this probably ends here. TNA is running another #1 contender’s match, even though the current #1 contender (Anderson) hasn’t got his shot yet. Anderson probably wins though so Sting can go focus on Hogan and their eventual BFG match (you know it’s coming).

    Solid mic skills from Roode during his promo with Flair. He’s had better promos, but this one wasn’t bad. I do like that Roode is getting solo time without having to break up Beer Money to do it.

    Really good promo from Dreamer tonight. He really felt like a heel. I’d like to see where this thing goes with him and AJ. Judging by what happened tonight, Daniels will probably be involved too, which will give him something to do as well.

    The ending with Sting and Anderson felt like it was cut short. It didn’t last as long as it probably should have. It could have used another couple of minutes, or at least have Anderson say something at the end.

    Yes, the X guys were all over the show, but thankfully the dialtones all lost, and rather convincingly I might add. 3 clean pins, and 1 of those was a squash. Hell, even Bischoff got a pinfall victory. Talk about a burial! I was laughing all the way through that.

    I’ll give this show an A-. Very entertaining. Much better than last week’s show for sure. Old feuds ending, new ones beginning, solid promos, and Bischoff owning the X division guys on the mic. Can’t get much better than that.

  4. Bennion says:

    ahhh, this episode was so much better than previous ones! of course, i still think they need to change a few things (they need to start filming outside the impact zone, utilizing a bit more talent; i mean, what happened to matt morgan and steiner?!) but overall i think the change from impact to impact WRESTLING is definately a good one.

    They used less backstage segments and focused on creating storylines (gunner/young, tara/madison, x division/bischoff) while shoing off a lot of talent; i’m really starting to like this crimson character, i hope they string out this fued with somoa joe for quite a while. However i thought that the sting/anderson section needed a little bit more time and attention; to me it seemed liek they just crammed it in at the end. overall though, very pleased witht he direction that they’re taking at the moment.

  5. wh00ps says:

    ARE they only kayfabe brothers? I was convinced it was real… their faces are so similar. Good casting if they’re not. Actually I thought it was amiss of the commentators not to mention it!

    Overall, I was disappointed. The cut at the end so we didn’t see what happened with Sting and Anderson was good… The kind of editing that would make me record xplosion too if I actually thought the “what came next” would be on there. Then I wouldn’t have missed wolfe’s return!

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