Thursday, July 31, 2014

Impact Report: 100% Full Throttle All The Time

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Well, uh, this is awkward. I had fully intended to just review this episode without addressing the situation with TNA possibly losing their TV deal, but illness and just lack of desire forced my hand, I had put it off too long and the house of cards came crashing down. It’d be wrong to not discuss it at this point.

Anything I say at this point has either been said before or just be speculation. If TNA lying about bringing Vince Russo on as a consultant was what spelled the end for TNA, I hope it was worth it. I have a hard time dealing with the amount of gloating people on the Internet are doing about the potential closure, so I won’t add on. There are people’s jobs on the line, not just the wrestlers or people on camera, but production staff that may be out of a job. Even if it was never a serious contender to WWE, it was, at times, a nice change of pace from that New York Promotion. Regardless of what you think about how Dixie Carter et al. have handled the promotion from the business and creative side, it’s a real dark day for wrestling any time a wrestling promotion closes its doors. Even though we aren’t at the point yet where TNA is definitely done for good, losing a TV deal is a serious blow to the company.

So where does this leave us? Rewatching this last week’s episode in preparation for Destination X I’m struck with a very tough revelation. TNA for the past year has had absolutely no meaning. It’s all been fluff, it’s had no, dare I say, impact whatsoever. Instead, our Impact players inhabit a weird nebulous canon where they only remember some elements of the timeline but no group of people remember all the same thing.

Every storyline that has been in place since AJ Styles left basically went elsewhere, and this has somehow fractured the TNA Timeline. Jeff Hardy rants about how Willow is a necessary evil and he may come back from time to time, ignoring that the whole thing that caused Willow to happen was the TNA faithful being forced to suddenly believe Jeff Hardy had betrayed him, and Hardy beginning to doubt himself. Thanks to Angle’s Big Red Reset Button, that trauma is gone, and now Willow is just a silly thing the younger Hardy can slip into from time to time. TNA’s relation to the outside world of wrestling is borderline at best, but they do at least attempt to acknowledge that there is a world beyond the company.

So then how do we justify the declaration that The Wolves are the best tag team IN THA WOHRLD, or bringing out Matt Hardy to erase the work of all the tag teams that have been working hard in TNA this past year by jumping to the head of the line as number one contenders for the title simply because they were a household name? It’s a shame that Matt Hardy has spent the past couple years reinventing himself in Ring of Honor but as soon as he returns to TNA that is immediately forgotten, as if the past however-long Matt’s been gone has just been a blip in the radar for the TNA roster. Or is someone doing damage to the timestream??

All along the card these ripple effects take place. Austin Aries moans about how the X Division means something, which is why he implemented Option C, which renders the X Division title as just another rung in the ladder to reach another brass ring, and why he promises Option D which basically turns every X Division title match into a World Heavyweight Championship number one contender’s match. If Aries end goal was going for the World Heavyweight Championship, why bother going after the X Division title? There wasn’t another number one contender when he returned from exile, why not just ask for a shot instead of ending Sanada’s title run just to give up the belt again? It’s almost as if Aries is stuck in a time loop where he just HAS to have the X Division title at Destination X because that’s the way it’s always been. All we got out of it is a semi-decent promo hyping Aries cashing in his title shot, which would have been more meaningful if immediately before cashing it in he hadn’t had said “Everyone expects me to do this but I don’t like doing the predictable!”. Fortunately MVP goaded Aries into doing what he basically said he was going to do since he won the title in the first place, otherwise we’d be without a main event at Destination X. The universe as we know it might have exploded!

Bully Ray complains that he can’t sleep because he needs to end Dixie Carter and put her through a table, but what threat exactly is she to the wrestling world now? Ousted from power and then forced to watch her ouster get ousted from power, she is so far removed from the vengeful boss that forced Styles and Sting out of the company in both reality and kayfabe that Bully Ray’s threats of violence are extremely horrifying instead of regular horrifying. What if Bully Ray’s brain has been swiss cheesed from all the damage to the timeline that has been happening? Maybe when Ray looks at Tommy Dreamer, he assumes Dreamer is actually Sting? I mean, they both do wrestle in their t-shirts and look like they’re melting, it’s an easy mistake to make.

Oh and then Snitsky and Ezekiel Jackson showed up. WE KNOW WHERE THOSE TWO ARE FROM, TAZZ….or do we?

I just can’t do it anymore. None of this has any meaning. It really never has since AJ Styles left. Styles leaving was the fracture in the timeline that created Universe A and Universe B. Universe A is our timeline. Universe B is where Dixie Carter didn’t throw herself at the feet of Hulk Hogan as he left, AJ Styles negotiated a new contract, the Bullet Club never overstayed their welcome, and CM Punk got to go out in a blaze of glory and pass the torch to Daniel Bryan, who never got a potential career ending neck injury.

You have to go back, Dixie. You were never meant to leave the Impact Zone! You have to go back!!