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 October 8th, 2014. Another great show that featured a very memorable Full Metal Mayhem match. You can read the final piece here, or in the text below.
Technically, this week's IMPACT was the go home show for Bound For Glory 2014, but it never had that true feeling of a pay-per-view on the horizon. Rather, the company had something very special in store for us right before the "biggest" event of the year. Yeah, I know, it just adds to the complexity that is Impact Wrestling fandom right now.
Nonetheless, my number has been called by the coaches to deliver this edition of "This Week...". The following are thoughts, takeaways, and overall review - good, bad, or indifferent - of this week's show.
10. The Shaw-shank Offensive - It's actually quite nice to see Sam "Call me Samuel" Shaw as a character beginning to round out in an interesting way. Though, I miss the over-the-top, super creepy bastard shtick, we've never seen Shaw display some of the athleticism he has in the past on Gutcheck. It's a nice slow development of the character. Though, it would be nice to finally get a name for his finishing "chokehold".
Also, what was up with Tenay's statement of us "never seeing Shaw wrestle without his sleeves"?
9. Small Packages - "I never say small packages in a knockouts match". Taz strikes again.
Nonetheless, you had to feel terrible for the girls here who really worked hard, but there is only so much you can do without energy in the building. More on that later.
Regardless, I'm a fan of Taryn using the RKO-like version of the Ace Crusher. I'm looking forward to seeing if Madison will turn heel after leaving Taryn high and dry to the monster, Havok.
8. Low-Ki is Must See - I really enjoyed the Low-Ki/Tigre Uno vs. Storm/Sanada match. It was a solid match that gave Storm and Sanada some momentum heading into Bound For Glory and as always, showing off the athleticism of the x-division usuals.
Also, is it me, or has Low-Ki been absolutely tremendous since returning? He has such a unique approach and style that really lends to giving the undercard legs leading into any main story of the night.
7. IMPACT Library - It's the huge elephant in the room, or well, not in the room when it comes to the first few segments of the night. Sure, TNA did a superb job of arranging the show with increasingly more people and energy in attendance, but the lack of response and passion from the crowd in the opening segment with Bobby Roode, MVP, and Kenny King was tough. It was even worse during the knockout match when the voices of the wrestlers in the ring were the most pronounced in the building.
I get they taped several shows in a short span and that attendance was low for a few of them, but during these moments it comes across really bad, almost making you feel sympathetic to the talent, rather than just enjoying the show.
6. Wolves Can Talk! - I'm an old school fan, sometimes I feel there needs to be more promos of the wrestlers talking into the camera rather than a "backstage segment/skit". Just me, I guess. I feel I get more from the character in that sense.
However, watching the Wolves interrupt Team 3D and delivering a pretty fiery voicing on the series and their place among the three tag teams was a very nice touch. The Wolves delivered big time and it not only added to the match to come, but gave the Wolves a different dynamic they haven't had since joining TNA.
5. Spud > Virgil - The EC3 and Rockstar Spud segment really took me back in time to watching Virgil stand up to Ted DiBiase. Instead of having to pick up the money, Spud refused to be called a loser, and it was a nice touch to a babyface turn that has been brewing, and really, organically happening, over the summer. Unlike poor Virgil, Rockstar Spud has an insane amount of charisma that will carry him into this feud, and beyond.
And yes, EC3 is amazing. "Victory after victory, after victory, after victory...." Simple, but yet such great delivery makes it awesome.
4. PPV Cramming - TNA pretty much shoved a lineup to us tonight and told us to buy it. No mention of who these Wrestle-1 guys are or where these matches came from (Velvet Sky vs. Havok? What?!). You just have to love Taz's description of Team 3D's match with Abyss and Tommy Dreamer as being "with two men who are all about hardcore also".
I have to second Talon's thoughts from earlier this week that Slammiversary ought to be the company's biggest show. The only match that feels worthy of being on this show is James Storm and Sanada vs. Tajiri and The Great Muta. Because there is an actually backstory to the match. But I guess that's where the cultural and partnership interest comes into play here.
I'll eventually get around to watching Bound For Glory as I am intrigued, but it's hard to believe anyone outside of the really connected, hardcore wrestling fan caring about this event.
3. TNA Post Production - With half an empty building (and that's being very generous), TNA's post production crew deserve tons of credit for doing as much as they did to hide the weaknesses from the live taping. Were they still visible? Sure. But from taking alternative angles, to cutting entrances which showed off an awkward set with no one near it, as well as other possible damaging tidbits, in my opinion at least, they pulled off a miracle in what could have been an absolutely dreadful presentation.
2. True Professionals - Too often we saw veterans who came to TNA phone it in, and on their way out, do so even more. Of course, all of this right before they trash the company upon the expiration of their deal. I tip my cap to Team 3D for doing business the right way in coming back to finish the series, and of course, doing so in an absolute dangerous match. Especially considering Devon's injuries. The duo could have phoned it in, but as the true professionals and deserving of their Hall of Fame credentials, gave it 100% in what could be their final match on IMPACT Wrestling. And if it is, boy did they leave a memory. No burned bridges. Again, true professionals.
1. Full Metal Mayhem - No words can justify this match. If you haven't seen it, please stop reading this - seriously don't even finish it - and watch this match!
If I Could Have Done One Thing Differently... - I would have tried to find a way to get some extra time after the match to let what had just happened breathe a bit. Possibly a recap of the entire match with highlights, and maybe close the show with the crowd's response to all of the men in the ring.
Of course that's nitpicking on my part. I found the show to be really solid.
Gunner Said: "Man, have you thought about trying to be yourself instead of trying to be somebody else?"
What Gunner Really Meant: "Dude, you really think those tattoos look good?"