The Triple R: iMPACT Review: 3/20/08

Welcome to another edition of Triple R. Hopefully this week’s edition a little shorter and easier to read, which I’m sure it will be. Let’s not waste any time and dive in, shall we? To read this on the main site without HTML tags I'm too lazy to change:

Feel free to leave feedback in the thread.

Opening Segment
Well, it sucks that Booker and Roode weren’t on last week’s show but it was nice to see them open up this one. Probably one of the better feuds being booked in TNA. I really like the fact that Booker is willing to work with an up and coming talent.. Shamell’s welcome back was nice and it made sense considered she got booked. It’s nice to see Cornette as a neutral authority figure and he actually worked against Booker as well. It adds to the feud. My only complain here is that the set-up in the ring was unnecessary. Anything set up in the ring is just made to get fucked up.

Match 1: Team Pump VS. Young/Kaz
Fantastic mat work to open up the match. The way Kaz worked with Petey is a flashing neon sign that Kaz needs to compete in the X-Division. I don’t know why, but I really like this combination of Steiner and Petey, and yes, I called them Team Pump. I’m kinda iffy about this Black Reign &Rellik/Eric Young storyline though, only for the fact that I pretty much hate Black Reign. I have a feeling I might warm up to Super Eric, but I just hope TNA doesn’t take it too far based on crowd reaction. Anything Eric Young does is gonna get popped for in the iMPACT zone. TNA bookers need to be independent thinkers some times.

Match 2: Rhino VS. Tomko
What a great segment before this match. I really like the fact that TNA is willing to mix elements of shoot and work to make a really emotional segment. It really plays up Rhino joining Cage’s Lethal Lockdown team and it really builds this main event. The match though, left something to be desired. It was okay, but nothing special. But it served its purpose which set up the main event.

Lethal and So Cal Val
Haha, I really like these backstage segments. It teases the Dutt/Lethal tension and of course hints at a big match between the two. I really hope Dutt just goes full out heel and I’ll touch upon this right now.

Great work early on, but I completely hated the way it ended. It works storyline wise in terms of working Sonjay into a heel, but still, it could have been done completely better. Both are great in-ring workers and could have really put on a solid match. Of course, I’ll tolerate it, because it plants the seeds of Sonjay turning heel. Let’s just hope he drops this guru gimmick and really gets to fly as a legit heel, which is what the X-Division needs.

Match 4: Booker T VS. AJ Styles
Not a bad match between these two. Booker can still go and of course with AJ in the match you’re bound to see some good stuff. It could have been better, but came out great for a television match. I don’t want to see Karen Angle on TV for the time being, but as long as she’s staying out of the main event…it’s cool with me. It builds a possible program between AJ and Kurt, which could be great. Nice to see some more build up between Booker and Roode. I love how there’s intertwining storylines.

Decent match. Back and forth action. These girls can really work. I’m definitely feelin the friendship angle between ODB and Gail. It’s kind of an on-again, off-again type deal. But I just don’t see how this deals with Knockout championship anymore. I mean it’s not like they can do a handicap match against Kong, cause that would just suck. Good to see a sub-storyline with “The Beautiful People” and Roxxi as well. But I have a feeling it’s gonna get a little petty and ridiculous. Let’s hope not.

Kurt Angle’s Sparring Session
Not bad Kurt! I’m a pretty big MMA fan and I absolutely loved this segment. It definitely won me over and might get me a little excited for Angle/Joe despite the way I was feeling last week. Kurt’s actually not bad on the ground with his movements and nice to see some elements of MMA in wrestling. I like that TNA is really embracing MMA rather than shunning it. I marked to see a legit MMA fighter (Marcus Davis), who’s actually pretty damn good, comment positively on pro wrestling. I just don’t get how that was supposed to be clips of Joe’s training camp when no clips of him were shown at all?

Main Event
Good match, but much like the others on the show, it could have been better. It seems like the storylines were in place for the episode of iMPACT but not so much the wrestling. Some of it was there, but more was needed. A lot more build for the Lethal Lockdown match which is shaping up to be a very good match. I’m just completely disappointed with the way Sting’s return is being handled. And I’ll cover that in the Wag of the Finger.

Tip of the Hat: Lack of OTP Gimmicks
There was definitely A LOT less gimmick involvement this week than last week. All of the matches were between legit competitors without over-the-top (OTP) gimmicks except for maybe Sonjay and Petey. I can give a pass to Petey though cause his gimmick is there to complement Steiner.

Wag of the Finger: Sting’s Music Closing Out iMPACT
With TNA going live next week, Sting’s return should have been saved as a COMPLETE surprise. I understand TNA wants to get people to tune into see Sting return, but if you want your live episode to be a success, you got have some “Oh Shit” moments. There’s nothing wrong with letting the heel team close out iMPACT and reign supreme. There was no need AT ALL to play Sting’s music, especially if he’s not going to make an appearance. It should have been next week, at about the top of the 10:00 hour, or even closing out the show, where Team Tomko come out bragging. Team Cage comes out to confront and right when it looks like Team Tomko has the advantage…out comes Sting. Of course, that’s probably going to happen anyway, but it would have been better it was a complete surprise. Now that we’re expecting it…the mystique of the return is killed.

Match of the Night: Kaz/Young VS. Steiner/Petey
Great work by both teams here. Excellent exchange, good spots, fast paced action, some technical work here and there. Easily MOTN in my eyes. What sucks though, these two teams aren’t even involved in a major storyline. Matches like Booker/AJ and Tomko/Rhino need to be stepped up a notch.

Random Thoughts
-Nice to see Matt Morgan back…but why isn’t he being used?
-I think Johnny Devine might be slightly mentally challenged.
-Brother Ray is fuckin hilarious. Team 3D is winning me over again.
-Lethal Lockdown still > Joe/Angle
-Who would you rather fool around with…Angelina Love or Velvet Sky?
-Sonjay Dutt has a lot of bacne. Hmmm….
-I’m feelin the Rough Cut segments with BG and Kip James. Should make the feud something special.
-If Joe/Angle work an MMA style, that would be fuckin awesome.