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   November 26, 2014



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Impact: New and old faces
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Following an eventful Lockdown PPV, TNA followed up with an even more eventful edition of Impact, which featured returns, debuts and all sorts of news.

We kicked off the show with Team Roode backstage discussing the loss Sunday and vowing revenge on Bully Ray. All too short before we get MVP coming to the ring to talk about his team's victory. He talks about his new policy, which didn't excite me much.

The chatter leads to Magnus coming out, seconded by his new associate, Abyss, who now has a fancier mask after going sans face protector yesterday. Bizarre. He also has a new jacket. Anyhoo, Joe comes out soon after and we find out the rematch for the strap will be next week, while this week...

Match 1 - Joe vs. Abyss

You should be proud - I was this close to putting the title as Joe vs. The Volcano. Match plods along until Abyss goes to get Janis, which leads to Eric Young coming out to stop the insanity.

Winner: Abyss (DQ)

Post-match, Young continued to beat down Abyss until a dropkick sent him out of the ring.

Backstage, Jeremy Borash awaits Bully Ray's arrival when Angelina Love wanders in. Hmm....

Back from break, Borash is still waiting when this time we get the first live shot of Willow on Impact. I'm curious about the character and it seems Jeff Hardy is investing in it.

Match 2 - Brittany vs. Gail Kim

Good indication of how razor thin the Knockouts roster is - Brittany (Santana Garrett) kicks off her career vs the lead (or is that only?) female heel in the company. Note, Lei D Tapa is the only accompanist, making me wonder if Alpha Female has VISA issues to overcome before reaching North American shores.

Short match which saw Tapa run misguided interference, leading to Brittany picking up the win via rollup.

Winner: Brittany

Post match, Tapa and Kim get into it. So apparently Tapa's a face now too. Seriously, can anyone tell me another KO that is genuinely heel at this point?

Of course, we then get the TNA rushed cut to the back where Team Roode greets Bully's arrival (note: no sign of Borash here, who must've gone for a coffee. Way to be a roving reporter JB!) and beat him down.

I'm going to elaborate here for a second - TNA has the breakup of a long-running bodyguard and KO and, rather than showing all the fallout, go STRAIGHT to the back. This is so Russoriffic it's disgusting. I was watching old Nitro ep's earlier this week and I had serious trouble engaging in anything on the shows because of how fast the transitions were. Seriously TNA producers - slow it down, let a story, especially a major incident, resonate for a bit before you cut to the next piece.

Now then, DJ-Z is annoying as all hell in his intro of the Bro-Mans, and I can't wait for someone to destroy his booth. Seriously, he's overtaken Rockstar Spud as the most annoying character on the TNA roster.

Match 3 - Bro-Mans vs. Tigre Uno/Senada

Before the match begins we get an 'earlier' conversation between Senada and Keiji Muto, where the latter puts the weight of Puro on the former's shoulders.

The international squad easily handles the American champs. Somewhere, Iron Sheik spat.

Winners: Tigre Uno/Senada

Backstage, Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne are chatting and Madison brings up that Angelina's back. This is curious to Velvet.

We cut to the Bro-Mans locker room where they kvetch about their loss, only for Bully Ray to emerge and kick the holy hell out of all three. He didn't do enough to DJ-Z in my opinion.

Sam Shaw is then shown in a pre-match cut, allegedly talking to Christy Hemme.

Backstage Joe confronts Young about his interference. EY informs Joe he's been able to fenagle him being cuffed to Abyss for the championship match next week. I'm calling an EY heel turn.

Next up was one of the most god awful performances by a wrestler in some time, as Spud practically dies in the ring as he and EC3 tribute Dixie Carter. Seriously, this was horrible. The end result was MVP coming out and announcing Spud is now a full-time wrestler and will battle Willow tonight, while Carter will square off next week with Bobby Lashley, who comes out

Carter escapes to the back after a decent staredown with Lashley, only to be assaulted by a foamcore-wielding Bully Ray. UGH!

Match 4 - Sam Shaw vs. Ken Anderson

Ok two points of contention here:

1> Why the heck does Sam Shaw have a dummy that has a fake wig when we know he has some of Christy's hair? Make the dummy look a little more realistic to get the creepiness over more. Shaw's done an amazing job with this character but TNA is stunting the development.

2> Why in blue hell would you have Shaw lose to Anderson tonight? MOMENTUM people! God...

Winner: Ken Anderson

After a Willow backstage shot and a Kenny King vignette, Angelina Love comes down to the ring and asks for Velvet to join her. Bottom line - she wants to reunite the Beautiful People, Velvet is unsure. I assume this leads to a Velvet heel turn somehow.

Match 5 - Rockstar Spud vs. Willow

Willow dominates until he uses his umbrella on Spud's... rockstars? Sure. I actually like this angle - It gives Willow this unpredictability and shows the dementia going on inside the character's head. Imagine Zodiac not being a farcical character.

Winner: Rockstar Spud (DQ)

Ray comes out to the ring as Spud lays in pain and Willow heads to the back. Ray talks about how ending up in the coffin a couple weeks back awoke him and now he wants to take out Bobby Roode before he becomes another Dixie Carter. End result - Roode goes through a table.

Overall I was happy with storyline advancement tonight but man, TNA has got to clean up their production. It's getting worse every week, or at least it seems like it.

See you next time!