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: Main Event Mafia Promo/Angle-Roode Confrontation
Positives: This segment got right to the point: The Main Event Mafia are amicably separating to pursue their singles careers.
I really liked the format of this segment with The Mafia coming to the ring as a group, cutting individual promos, and leaving when they were done. It felt different and helped emphasize how each of these men is on a different path.
There is really solid heat for the Roode-Angle feud because Kurt Angle is a strong, well-established babyface and Robert Roode is a strong, well-established heel. The pull-apart brawl they did was really well-executed and made it seem like Roode and Angle want to tear each other’s heads off. If TNA can get past this stupid injury angle and emphasize the “who’s the better man” aspect of this feud, it could become a storyline that could help repair the company’s badly-damaged image.
Negatives: Sting’s whole speech about “entitlement” backstage was a little strange. It wasn’t clear at all who he was talking about, and nothing that’s been presented on TV recently seemed congruent with what he was talking about. It seemed “insider” for the sake of being insider. I felt like I had missed some big dirt sheet rumor.
Segment Score: +1
Segment 2: Bad Influence Get Beat Up By Pacman Jones & DeQuin Evans
Positives: This could have been a lot worse. Thankfully, TNA picked two pros in Bad Influence to make it work.
Negatives: Imagine you ran a wrestling company that was all about showing what manly men wrestlers are. Then, imagine you invited two non-wrestlers to come handily emasculate two of your most regular-featured wrestlers. Huh.
Yeah, imagine that.
This felt like a good moment for the live crowd in Cincinnati, but I don’t think too many people on the national level are raring to pop for Pacman Jones.
Segment Score: +0
Segment 3: Velvet Sky vs. Brooke Tessmacher vs. ODB — Number One Contender’s Match
Positives: The parts of this match that actually involved wrestling between the three people in the match were solid. Velvet Sky knows how to play the part of Velvet Sky, even if she’s not a very good wrestler, and Tessmacher has improved a lot in the last year.
I basically called the finish with my “Worst Case Scenario.” I guess that’s a positive.
Gail Kim’s open challenge is a good thing because it means that the Knockouts division will get a much-needed infusion of new talent
Negatives: Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of butts, but seriously, does a match that begins with an ass-wiggling contest seem like a serious competition between top-tier athletes? It makes me really angry how wrestling companies act like “good-looking woman” and “tough competitor” are mutually exclusive terms.
For someone who’s supposed to be a super-strong monster, Lei’D Tapa sure struggles a lot when she picks people up.
Segment Score: -1