TNA started off with their normal “This is TNA package” and then into a huge video hyping up their product for the debut. I enjoyed the video aspect of it as it was a great montage. However, they definitely need to re-do the audio parts of their videos for now on. They are way too deep for an audience that is not going to read into it that much and it pretty much delivers the same exact message as every freakin’ TNA PPV opener: “We are TNA. We are the new age. We own you.” Repetition is not a good thing, especially in a promotion that puts the shine on the guys doing the same flips night after night. The new Impact! opening package that played was tight though and we head right into the action.
AJ Styles Vs. Roderick Strong
Match was okay, and what I would expect from an AJ Styles match at this point. AJ Styles used no psychology in this match at any time. This is what I don’t get about the guy. You can’t make a case for his matches one bit because he is literally just flipping around the ring with no care as to making sense. This match is a perfect shining example. AJ started by doing arm drags, then he did chops, then he flipped about hitting the full body impact, then he did an Enziguri and the Pele focusing on the neck as well as the Inverted DDT, and then he did a full body impact move with the Styles Clash. AJ’s finishing move may be great, but it has no meaning in what he does. AJ’s move set basically encompasses the whole body, which is stupid and not believable because he doesn’t do enough to wear down any one part of the body and the whole body wouldn’t give out because of that. It just makes no sense. Now, I know AJ Styles had strep throat going into this match and I was prepared to write this match off on his sake because of that, but this match is the exact same one as all of his other matches so why should I review it differently? Strong was great in here though as he sold AJ’s offense really well and was always trying to work that back with attempted German Suplexes, stiff kicks to spine, and well-placed back breakers. I can just imagine him screaming “Work, AJ. Work!” in the back of his mind while working AJ too. Daniels even came out during this match and really didn’t do as much for the match as you would think he would from ringside. Finish came when AJ hit the Pele, Inverted DDT off the Springboard Moonsault (another move that boggles my mind in terms of making sense), and the Styles Clash in that order in a like 30 second time span. Yeah, AJ Styles is an amazing worker. Sarcasm again is wasted in print.
Winner: AJ Styles
Star Wrestler: Roderick Strong
I do think the match was a great way to open the match (though what we saw was actually the fourth match of the night as apparently the first one had too many botches in it and needed to be re-taped). AJ’s athleticism was a great focal point to have early on, and even if I don’t like it, it’s going to get the product over which is good. Strong was great here though as he sold everything and basically went around with Styles’ nonsensical psychology. When he had the chance to go on offense, everything he did was towards that back which was great. I would have liked to see him hit some more back moves to make a struggle for AJ seem more evident and get him over more, but literally, it’s TNA. What do you expect?
After the match, we go to Don West and Mike Tenay and they hype up the product. God, what a freakin’ joke of an announcing team too. In the opening match, they said at least three times, “I bet you’re noticing the six sided ring.” Well, I did the first time; the second and third time you said it, I bet I was noticing how idiotic you are. West eyeballs the camera like it’s a jelly doughnut as they hype up the rest of the card and we go to our first commercial break.
Commercial break version TNA number one.
Back from break, they show a Monty Brown package hyping him up. David Sahadi said in a recent interview that the guy TNA wants to be the “face” of the promotion was going to be showcased on the first Impact! heavily, and by this promo, it seems it’s Monty Brown. I think that’s a pretty smart move as Brown has always been to me TNA’s version of Goldberg. The only problem is that it’s going to make no sense to have TNA hyping up the face of the promotion that is a heel right now. Brown should have been turned a month or two ago and been face for the casual audience. Having all that stuff being said about him and clips of his wins is going to get the crowd behind him, and having him come out and insult them and cheat is just going to make no freakin’ sense. Meanwhile, the video itself was a joke. Brown virtually can’t do anything right. He’s a real joke in the ring and I don’t even see how the casual fan will buy into a guy wearing leopard jackets and screaming in a high pitched voice. I really don’t. I just don’t see what the casual fan sees in him, and even more, the supposed smart fans who jerk themselves off to him screaming POUNCE. Jeez.
Shane Douglas is then with Monty Brown to interview him and Monty Brown starts it how? By putting himself over? TNA over? Spike TV over? Nope. He holds an insanely high note for ten seconds in a move that makes less sense than AJ Styles’ offense. I don’t care what anyone says; the fact that TNA’s next big star opens his promos by holding falsetto notes shows me why TNA is not even in the top ten promotions in the world today in terms of quality. This whole Serengeti gimmick is just not working either. It makes no sense to have a former NFL star do a gimmick like that at all as opposed to an actual athlete gimmick the could be pushing. Brown then does the usual “Pounce, period” phrase to end the gimmick and you can tell by the way he’s doing it that he literally can not go as high and as rough as he used to. So he started the promo with a high pitched squeal and he ended it with one, and you’re going to sit there and tell me he’s not playing a gay gimmick on some subliminal level? Yeah, right. Shane Douglas then watches him leave in disbelief (which had to be at the lack of talent) and then says there is a huge commotion going on in the back. We go there and Raven is destroying everyone. Why? I guess because he’s pissed he lost his title, but why would he do it at some random point? Jeez, make sense TNA. For once in your life, I beg of you: make sense!
Monty Brown Vs. Lex Lovett
Quick squash with nothing to it but a power move, an offense by Lovett that was completely in vain, and the Pounce. Can’t complain much about the booking since this is the way to build up Brown, but as far as Brown’s move, mannerisms, and taunts? I needed a good laugh so I thank you, Mr. Brown.
Winner: Monty Brown
Star Wrestler: Monty Brown
Thanks for the laughs, Monty.
Commercial break version TNA number two.
We come back and see the Bound For Glory package that, like I said, says the same damn thing as every other package TNA does. Get a new writer, damn. They then show an X Division package that was actually really good and got the division over very well. I especially liked them showing Samoa Joe as soon as they said “no limits.”
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