Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Impact Report: The Song Remains The Same

The more things change...
Photo Credit: Impact Wrestling.com
With Kurt Angle in place as the new “Director Of Wrestling Operations” at TNA, the company has been pushing the idea of its rebirth. Considering the events of this past week’s episode, this rebirth looks startlingly similar to a relaunch of a certain “extreme” wrestling company. Some old friends have returned to TNA, and some interesting match-ups are set for the future, but this week felt like more of the same.

I pointed this out last week, and I hate to have to reiterate. However, TNA has a bad habit of ripping off WWE’s history and drawing on wrestling connections it had no part of, but they couldn’t have made the connections to ECW (original recipe and extra WWEified) any more blatant this week if they tried. We had the return of Rhyno to the Impact Zone, squaring off against his former ECW roster-mates Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray, and siding with the Carter Family in their ongoing quest to keep matriarch Dixie from getting put through a table. I honestly don’t have much more I can say about this angle at this point. I’m never going to be okay with a supposed hero threatening a woman like how Bully has threatened Carter, and this angle has really brought the worst out of the TNA faithful. The return of Rhyno bugs me a lot, and I really despise TNA’s unwillingness to build up new talent and just trading on known names from failed companies. It’s a waste of talent and a waste of time, two things that TNA has really become known for, and it’s frustrating to see talent like Ethan Carter III wasted among washed-up old men crying about the glory days. Mr. The Third calling out Bully Ray on needing to realize he got beat was the best part of this storyline this week, but the shameless wheel-spinning needs to end and we desperately need to get to the fireworks factory.

Amongst the two main angles running this week, we had some head-scratching updates from the midcard, including a fast three way tag match between The Wolves, The Bro-Mans, and The Menagerie. We also got a title change for the Knockouts division, getting the title back on Gail Kim after some nonsensical booking with Angelina Love refusing to take a count out victory. The threat of Samuel Shaw is still on the horizon, and Austin Aries somehow got himself booked for a X-Division Championship match against Sanada, which he promised he’d cash in for heavyweight title match. Because when it’s so easy to get booked into a title match it makes sense to take the longest way into the heavyweight scene and devalue the X-Division title along the way.

Bobby Lashley continued his reign as Champion, beating Eric Young in a regular match built to set up his power and ability, and Bobby Roode as a babyface beat Kenny King in a street fight after getting jumped back stage. MVP’s Alliance put in a strong showing this week. It will still have some modicum of presence in TNA and may be a thorn in Kurt Angle’s side in the future, but what’s really confusing is how Angle’s booking is basically just the same as MVP’s was. All of the matches set this week or more or less grudge matches, and Angle even hammered home the idea that all scores will be settled in the ring and not outside of it. There’s not much we’re getting here yet that hasn’t been done before and one is left to wonder with Angle’s promise of a “reboot” will just be window dressing for the same old same old. We’re heading into the shows taped in New York, which the TNA roster has promised are the best shows they’ve done so far. Presumably there is still hope for the immediate future.

All in all, a frustrating nothing episode of TNA that seems blatantly just getting everyone ready for future shows that TNA swears this time will be better if you just give them a chance.