Segment 6: Velvet Sky vs. Brooke [Tessmacher]
Positives: Chris Sabin has a future as a manager, if he ever wants to do it. His bit covering Velvet’s more curvaceous parts so they audience couldn’t gawk at them was hilarious, and it got really good heat.
Considering the principals, this match was a lot less terrible than it could have been. There were a lot of bells and whistles to make it work (Sabin at ringside, Velvet’s taped ribs, etc.), but this match actually managed to tell some kind of story — not a great one or anything, mind you.
Negatives: As the match started, my long-suffering fiance said, “Wait, neither of them can wrestle!” Correct.
It seems wrestling can’t go a week without a terrible distraction finish, and this was one of those. Really? If a manager could get so engrossed in talking strategy that he couldn’t even manage a “Hey, look out behind you!” that would make him the worst manager of anything ever.
Here’s the second week in a row I’ll make this point: Velvet is a heel now, but TNA keeps booking her in babyface spots. The Knockouts division desperately needs another face, even if she’s just a jobber to bump for the heels. You can’t build around one babyface champion and three heels.
So, Tessmacher is in a match at Bound For Glory now? Well, I guess it’s marginally better than Snooki at WrestleMania. Marginally.
Segment Score: -1
Segment 7: Bad Influence vs. Magnus & Sting
Positives: This was a solid ten-minute wrestling match. Three of the four wrestlers in the ring were really good workers, and the fourth is a legend with star appeal.
Over the last few months during his Main Event Mafia run, Magnus has gotten really good at pouring on the sympathy during the sell and building the hot tag.
TNA resisted the urge to create disharmony between Magnus and Sting. As much as it bucks conventional wisdom (including that often espoused by me), a face-face match at BFG makes the most sense as a way for Sting to help elevate Magnus.
Sting was actually involved in a crisply-executed, well-timed finishing sequence. Score one for the home team.
Negatives: Magnus did a great job selling in this match, but if he’s being built as the next big babyface star, is it really time to sell? TNA is walking a fine line between elevating Magnus and making him seem like the guy who gets his ass kicked all the time.
Segment Score: +1
Segment 8: Knux & Bisch [seriously, that’s what they were calling him] vs. A.J. Styles
Positives: I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate handicap matches… but this one really worked! A.J. cleanly beat two lackeys in a way that looked like it put the fear of God in the heel champ.
The beatdown at the end helped illustrate that Ray is going to put A.J. through hell to get the World Heavyweight Title, but the match before portrayed A.J. as a guy ready, willing, and able to walk through hell. This is the formula that works!
Negatives: I hope Garret Bischoff got a strong talking to when he got through the curtain. He was just awful in this match, and you could see the frustration on A.J.’s face as he picked him up off the mat multiple times. Knux is such a solid (if unspectacular) hand that you actively feel bad for him having to share his time in the ring with “Bisch.”
Segment Score: +1
NET +/- SCORE FOR TNA IMPACT WRESTLING 10/10: +2