TNA Impact Review February 13th 2014

Standard
  • So we return to the parallel universe where crowds actually turn up to watch TNA: The UK. Magnus does a great job of neutralising any possibility of a positive fan reaction. He has quickly become excellent at drawing heat. Straight away this feels like a proper, big wrestling show.
  • Nice little things I like about the opening segment: Gunner’s humble entrance. MVP’s “C3PO” line.
  • I’m a sucker for some nice broad comedy. The line down the office between Dixie and MVP is priceless. I seem to be the only guy in the world who thinks TNA’s backstage segments have improved recently, but they never used to make me laugh this much.
  • MVP looks great in the ring. He should make a very nice special attraction as a wrestler. It’s great that he can still go, but I hope he doesn’t end up doing it every week. His real value to TNA is on the mic.
  • I’m not as crazy about Abyss as a lot of TNA fans. I’m glad this guy is prepared to throw himself onto tacks and through tables, but I’ve not cared for a lot of his in-ring work. However, with the debut of Joseph Park he showed he’s an able comedy actor who was a little wasted under a mask. I’m more a fan of his comedy than his drama, but he’s really emoting tonight, and it’s giving this angle real weight. I’m intrigued to see where Abyss ends up as a character, and I hope he’s got at least a little of Joseph in there.
  • And with that we’re introduced to Tim Burton Jeff. I think this could be a lot of fun, and goodness knows his character needed a refresh. I do wonder what his younger fans will make of it, and what it might do to TNA’s merch sales.
  • The appearance of Alpha Female actually provides a nice payoff for the sleazy little Sabin / Velvet angle. I’ll admit: it’s a good way to introduce a new talent. I just hope she isn’t drawn into anything too embarrassing before she gets over as the monster that the Knockouts division badly needs.
  • When Bully reveals a Liverpool shirt, it’s a great moment which demonstrates what’s wrong with Ultra Dark Bully. Fun little acts of provocation like that are out of character for him. Ultra Dark Bully is trying too hard. It’s not scary – it’s silly. But not silly enough to be funny.
  • This is a great hardcore match, though. Dramatic and brutal with a great story. It elevates Anderson and doesn’t harm Bully. Perfect, sensible, old school booking. More of this please.
  • I’m just going to come out and say it: Dixie is improving a lot. The final segment tonight with MVP was actually well acted (by wrestling standards), and intriguing. I know the purists would rather end with an in-ring segment, but received wisdom is that storyline-led final segments draw viewers in for the next show, and at least this one was quite good. Anyway, with TNA’s ratings up like they are, nobody’s in a position to argue with this logic for now.

This was the best single episode of Impact that I can remember. It’s all about the midcard. TNA don’t have a lot of talent on hand right now, but they’re focusing on giving everybody something significant to do. This is in contrast to the current WWE midcard, where virtually nobody has a meaningful feud. TNA’s approach is making for great shows and increased ratings. History would suggest that they’re very unlikely to keep this up, but it would be great for wrestling if they could.

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