One of the things I've been doing for 411mania lately is an Instant Analysis (review) of TNA Impact on Thursday nights. Well, halfway through last night's episode, a crisis came up and I wasn't able to finish watching the show (or writing my review). So, instead of letting it go to waste, here's what I had...
SEGMENT ONE: The Knockouts Live Up to Their Name
And Impact began with a backstage brawl... because one of those hasn't happened in a couple of weeks. Surprisingly, this one didn't involve Abyss; it was Mickie James and Tara, but quickly grew to involve Madison Rayne, the Beautiful People, and Sarita. It was a typical brawl, but with more screaming and hair pulling. And, like a typical TNA brawl, it just went on and on and on... Until they finally made it to the ring and Ric Flair came out with security. Then, it became 'everyone slap Ric' while he debated if he should hit Tara or Mickie James back. When he threatened to 'make a woman' out of both of them, I worried we'd finally hit the point where Flair feels the need to prove his manhood with an orgy in the middle of the ring. Thankfully, he just booked a match and ended the ten-minute brawl that stopped being entertaining nine minutes previously. Though, would someone explain to TNA that a match involving these six women after watching them fight for ten minutes isn't exactly exciting? Please? They do that every goddamn time: either have a long brawl lead into a match or have a match lead into a long brawl... What's wrong with just having a good match?
Rating: 3.5 out of 10
SEGMENT TWO: Making Fun of Concussions
Flair and Bischoff acting all buddy buddy is hard to believe... but I did love Flair wondering where Bischoff was for the last half hour... 17 minutes into the show (with commercials). Yes, the brawl may have lasted only ten minutes, but it felt like half an hour. After this, Bischoff and Flair made light of the idea of wrestling with a concussion. I know they're heels, but WHAT THE FUCK? Why not break out some steroid and somas angles while they're at it? Make light of pain killer addiction maybe? Why not have Brian Kendrick or some other young wrestler fake his death from heart failure? There are some subjects you just avoid in the wrestling business and this is one of them.
The Pope was out with a casket and cut a promo on Abyss because of his interference in his TV Title match last week. I do love hearing the Pope deliver a sermon, but that was interrupted by Abyss coming out. Abyss was pretty decent on the mic, too, saying the Pope isn't safe anymore -- and neither is any of his congregation, taking two members of the audience with him. Um, yeah? Decent start, but the finish was a little strange.
Jeff Jarrett was at his arrogant heel best by mocking Samoa Joe and Ken Anderson. Short, sweet, and completely dickish. He came close to hammering on the concussion angle, but was vague enough that it didn't come off as poor as the Flair/Bischoff stuff.
Rating: 5.0 out of 10 for everything except the Flair/Bischoff stuff, which falls somewhere in the negative... what the hell were they thinking?
SEGMENT THREE: Jay Lethal vs. Robbie E. in a Jersey Shore Street Fight
Match Result: Robbie E. pinned Jay Lethal via hairspray
Match Length: Around five minutes
Matt Morgan was out to educate Ric Flair on concussions and Flair's response: "It's the business. It's called professional wrestling." Wow. Veering wildly between after school special and horrible ignorance... THIS IS WHAT I CALL ENTERTAINING WRESTLING TELEVISION!
A Street Fight... something else that hasn't happened on Impact... er, since last week. This sort of match was a smart decision in that it allowed Robbie E. to hide some of his weaker points in the ring. More a brawl than a wrestling match, Lethal kicked things off in charge, while Robbie made a short-lived comeback before Lethal turned the tables with a kendo stick. Lethal's decision to go to the corner Cookie was standing by was an easy to spot opportunity for a clearly beaten Robbie E. to win and earn a title shot at Turning Point. And it was thanks to Cookie using hair spray against Lethal. Lethal beating on Robbie was entertaining, but the ending was forced and kind of awful.
Backstage, Angelina Love was visited again by creepy Winter who replaced the seamstress... but Velvet Sky returns and there's no Winter! Spooky. Katie Lea as Winter is done very well and this story is different. I'm not hating it.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10