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This Week in IMPACT Wrestling - 8/20/14 (For TNAsylum.com)

As one of their signature columns, "This Week in IMPACT Wrestling" is one of the signature columns reviewing that week's IMPACT Wrestling broadcast for TNAsylum.com. Yours truly was asked to cover the TV Review of the show for the week of August 20th, 2014. Luckily, the show was a special edition, Hardcore Justice, which was an awesome episode of IMPACT, making my assignment so much easier and so much fun to accomplish. The can read the final piece here, or in the text below.


Sure, Hardcore Justice came out of nowhere. A left field description would still feel too close. TNA never really gave us a heads up other than saying, "yo, Hardcore Jusitice is next week, check out the lineup". Needless to say, they made up for it with an interesting enough card, and of course, nailed it down with a tremendous night of wrestling. 

Honored to be in the role of bringing you this edition of "This Week on IMPACT Wrestling", the following are my thoughts, takeaways, and overall review - good, bad, or indifferent - of this week's show. 

10. Bound For Glory Is Alive! - Well what do you know, I guess there is a Bound For Glory taking place...for now. Bound For Glory 2014 might be the first ever pro wrestling event that needs an "...Is coming" video just to set up it's promotional video. 

Regardless, what seemed like an overwhelming surprise when the video aired before the main event, is also a good sign that TNA's "biggest event" of the year hasn't been forgotten. I guess...it's just in Japan, so you know, probably got lost in translation or something. 

9. Kurt Angle's Still Goofy - Kurt Angle has fit in nicely with this new role, and kudos to creative, as he hasn't nearly been the focal point of the show since. Which is a fresh of breath air from the days of Hogan kicking off every show. Although "serious" Kurt Angle is tremendous in being direct as he was with the Gail/Angelina issue, there is that goofy side of him that is entertaining and downright hilarious. 

Yup, that goofy point after explaining the tag team series was classic Kurt. Just classic stuff. 

8. Shaw's Edge - The whole Anderson/Shaw/Gunner fiasco isn't exactly one that interests me. I was intrigued at first, but things just seem well, a bit off. Much like this entire deal, the "I Quit" match came out of nowhere. Regardless, both men had a nice little match with Anderson getting the significant win via submission. The Green Bay Plunge (or whatever he's calling it these days) on the ramp was pretty sweet as well. 

As for Shaw, the character is still young and early in it's development, so I won't write it off just yet. But I already miss the true "Creepy Bastard" Sam Shaw. You know, the dude that stalks, stares, and then chokes his opponent out after getting his ass kicked for doing the first two. And even Gunner, "Mr. Intensity", seems a bit "soft" in this whole ordeal. Just waiting on someone to crack here...

7. Have You Seen Magnus? - Now, I'm sure I saw Magnus on this edition of IMPACT, but I don't recall much of it. It was nice to see him appear from all that "inner tough guy searching" he's been into lately to mention that he was back in the title hunt following Bram's big win (more on that in a bit). But then he disappeared again. Only to be seen here and there in the six sides of steel main event. 

I can't think of anyone more lost in the shuffle right now than Magnus. 

6. He's Right, The World Needs The Carters (Especially, him) - This segment was tremendous. TNA really has hit the jackpot not just with EC3, but with the overall character. From the entrance, the backstory, even what Ethan Carter wears, the guy is gold. It seems the beginning of EC3's darker side is beginning to take shape and it should be lovely.

And let's not forget the "Bitch, Bitch, Bitch" line. EC3 really has a innate ability to counter insults and counter trolling. 

As always, Spud is tremendous, as were his facials during this segment that sold all of EC3's actions without even having to say a word on the mic. And speaking of on the mic, Rhino seemed a tad bit screechy there tonight, but played the role in the betrayed victim very well. Rhino is a pro. 

5. Whistlin' Dixie - This segment was just awesome. I'm sure some had a problem with it, but I enjoyed it for the subtle comedic relief it presented. From the awkwardness of Tenay sitting at the bottom of Dixie Carter's bed for an interview, which already adds to the awkwardness that is Mike Tenay and his interviews, to the genius touch of Dixie whistling for Serge at the end of it, there was plenty of underlying comedy there. Again, at least to me. In more serious times, the interview serve it's purpose in building empathy, continuing EC3's darker side,  and foreshadowing Carter revenge. 

Poor Serge. He may have to hit the studio more often. Serge vocals for everyone's theme song coming soon! 

4. Bram! Bram! Bram! - The Stairway to Janice match was a brutal and fun opener. Especially, for those who might run into wrestling on a Wednesday night. It was the typical bumps for the Abyss character, but still some pretty sick stuff. The defeat of Abyss did seem like a big one as Bram just has his number. Very curious on where both go from here. Especially, Abyss, who may need some time away. 

3. Supporting Cast Nomination - Tenay and Taz deserve credit as the last couple of weeks they have seemed to be more focused on the in-ring action in explaining nuances, finishing moves, and the overall scene on the television screen. Tonight was no different. From mentioning Low Ki's "home field advantage", being irate at Velvet's interference, or simply continuing to put over the wrestlers, they were actually great tonight.

The camera shots of the ring and action throughout the Manhattan Center were also well done. Definitely brought out the intimacy and beauty of the building. 

Also, it's a little thing, but the pre-main event graphic of explaining the rules was a nice touch. Again, kudos all around for much of the crew not directly related to the in-ring product. 

2. "Better than the Divas" - This was a fantastic match. I know many have their opinions (and strong ones) on the state of the division, but tonight's match between Gail Kim and Angelina Love was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Have we seen it before? Sure, but I'll take effort like this again and again. Though, it was interesting to see no Taryn Terrell to even the odds. Not even a Robert Irvine run-in. No? Not interested? Okay, moving on...

1. X-Division Me EVERYTHING, Please! - This was awesome. By far my favorite occurrence and segment of the night. Samoa Joe vs. Low Ki felt like old-school X-Division action, and it still feels like there is another gear both can take things to which is exciting. The chops were intense, and there seems to be a certain motivation, almost a fire, when he gets to work this style. I'm hoping there is more to this than just random competition. I would love for this to get a back story and continue beyond just a singles match. 

Also, as stated in #3, the video package prior to the match and the promo were well done as well.

If I Could Do One Thing Differently... - It would be to give the main event more time. It felt a bit rushed, and commercial loaded (I'm guessing you have to pay the bills as you near the top of the hour), but the six man, six sides of steel could have used a bit more focus. Maybe they could have cut short the tag team segment a bit?

Favorite Line of the Night: 

What MVP Said: "Option C-ee yo ass later"

What MVP Really Meant: "I'm reeeeeeeeally enjoying this talking for the champ gig."

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