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. If left wing Doug Smith is on the ice when his team scores a goal, he’s +1. If his line surrenders a goal later in the game, he’s +0. If poor Dougie is on the ice for a second opposing goal, he’s -1. This week’s Impact review will attempt to score each segment as a hit (+1), a miss (-1), or a push (+0) in order to find an overall rating for the show.
Segment 1: Sting & Kurt Angle on Reforming the Main Event Mafia
Positives: The show opened by emphasizing one of the two main storylines that will take shape over the summer: the formation of a new Main Event Mafia to challenge Aces & Eights. Sting and Angle each cut a solid promo on why the Mafia was important and established what’s at stake.
Negatives: The combined age of the two men kicking off Impact was 98. Kurt Angle’s trembling hands are scary, considering his history of spinal injuries.
Segment 1 Score: +0
Segment 2: Aces & Eights Intimidate Chris Sabin
Positives: Doc looked really intimidating here – It’s a mystery why viewers haven’t been treated to more of him in this role. Ray lived up to his name and acted like a legitimate bully, overtly acting brash and threatening while also hinting at the inherent cowardice of bullies (really, he’s scared that Chris Sabin is going to beat him up?). Ray also worked toward getting over his new catchphrase (“I’m a bad person.”), which is great.
Negatives: This exchange was rendered totally meaningless when Sabin lost the title only moments later.
Segment 2 Score: +0
Segment 3: X Division Title Match
Positives: All three wrestlers in this match were good workers. For better or for worse, the “Tower of Doom” is perhaps the signature spot in X Division history, and it was extremely well executed in this match.
Negatives: TNA takes the title off Sabin only minutes after he’s in a segment in which the World Heavyweight Champion treats him like a threat. Huh. Hogan introduced T.J. Perkins to the mainstream wrestling world like this: “This guy got beat up backstage, brother. You should feel bad for him.” Talk about building a future star.
Segment Score: -1