In hockey, basketball, and other sports I’m sure I’m forgetting, individual players are held accountable for their team’s performance during their time in the game through the plus/minus statistic. This week, as ever, this Impact review will attempt to score each segment as a hit (+1; a superior match or well-executed story-building segment), a miss (-1; offensive to the eyes or ears), or a push (+0; wholly acceptable, but nothing memorable) in order to find an overall rating to the show.
Segment 1: Dixie Carter Promo/Title Tournament Announcement
Positives: TNA chose the right group of wrestlers to put in title contention. There was a strong representation of TNA originals (Storm, Joe, Sabin, and Roode) as well as recognizable WWE stars (Angle and Hardy). It was also refreshing/a relief that Bully Ray is officially out of the title mix. His character was a big part of driving Impact into the ground over the last five months, so it’s good that TNA spared fans the fear that he might get the belt back soon.
Negatives: As I mentioned in my preview, this angle is infuriating because TNA finally got the title on the right babyface… and then immediately wrote him off TV.
While it was good to present video packages on each of the contenders to reinforce their legacies within the company, the editing on them was herky-jerky as hell. It was blatantly obvious that the highlight reels had not played for the live audience, which made Impact seem conspicuously taped and minor league.
Segment Score: +0
Segment 2: GunStorm vs. World Tag Champions The Bromans
Positives: Gunner has definitely improved in terms of being able to put together offense that excites the crowd and sell enough to build anticipation. It’s unfortunate that they didn’t use his time as a Tag Champion to actually push him.
Negatives: If they are going to continue to push Gunner as “The Modern Day Viking,” they really need to explain the name at some point. I get that he has a beard and kicks ass, but does that make him a viking? By that logic, the following people are vikings: Ernest Hemingway, Dustin Pedroia, and Sallah from Indiana Jones.
This match needed to be twice as long to effectively tell the story they were going for. Storm jobbed to somebody holding his ankle after he absorbed absolutely zero punishment. Considering that they were presenting him as a worthy World Championship contender only ten minutes ago, this destroyed his credibility.
Segment Score: -1
Segment 3: Ethan Carter III vs. Norv Fernum
Positives:Nobody got hurt.
Negatives: Unless you’re doing a big underdog angle (see: 1,2,3 Kid), having a rising heel obliterate the same tiny jobber two weeks in a row is pretty weak. The idea is that they roll over gradually more impressive looking jobbers until they ultimately wrestle a main roster member.
Much like the BFG match, Fernum got in just enough offense to make things awkward. Jobbers get one hope spot, not thirty seconds of offense. When a cat plays with a dead bird, the bird doesn’t get in a dropkick and a top rope crossbody.