From top to bottom, tonight’s episode of TNA’s Impact Wrestling from Salt Lake City, UT was the most entertaining episode in recent memory. Though tonight was promo heavy, the in-ring action was just as entertaining and better. As always, Booking Impact! looks at the in-ring action and analyses the outcome of each bout to determine if the victor should have been the victor. Booking Impact! starts now!
GAIL KIM & BROOKE W/ LEI’D TAPA VS. VELVET SKY & ODB
TNA Booking Sheet: Gail Kim & Brooke def. Velvet Sky & ODB w/ assistance from Lei’D Tapa.
Ric’s Booking Sheet: Gail Kim & Brooke def. Velvet Sky & ODB w/ assistance from Lei’D Tapa.
Analysis: Impact Wrestling’s in-ring action kicked off with a Knockouts Tag Team Match which saw Gail Kim and Brooke defeat Velvet Sky and ODB. The match itself was as solid as can be but more importantly, continued the evolution of the Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa business relationship while keeping ODB as a player. Velvet Sky and Brooke were also given their time to make their marks in the Knockouts Division.
Gail and Brooke take the victory tonight via the assist by Lei’D Tapa in order to keep the Tapa/ Kim combo hot after Bound for Glory. In another time, TNA would not have focused on this pairing and waited an extra week or two before revisiting. However, this was a smart move to get the ladies on television and start to build them up in their division. With a new direction that TNA Wrestling will be taking soon, it’s time to get the Knockouts in order with a confirmed heel and confirmed face. Gail Kim is the antagonist next to Tapa, so who will be the protagonist? ODB should continue her title aspirations while Velvet makes her presence felt in both her division and in Chris Sabin’s matches/ promo’s.
ETHAN CARTER III VS. DEWEY BARNES
TNA Booking Sheet: EC3 def. Dewey Barnes.
Ric’s Booking Sheet: EC3 def. Dewey Barnes.
Analysis: Like his Bound for Glory contest on Sunday, Ethan Carter III faced local jobber Dewey Barnes. In another bout which should have been as short as possible, but was lengthier than needed, EC3 picked up the victory.
The Ethan Carter III’s character is gold. He has the look, the charisma and the skill to be not only a huge player in TNA, but to be a champion. The former Derrick Bateman’s portrayal is spot on and one cannot help but pay attention to him as he performs. The issue with the booking of EC3 is his lack of total dominance. He has faced two local jobbers in two TNA Wrestling matches and in both instances the men he’s faced had him on the ropes at times. Granted their offense has been short lived against EC3, the fact is he needs to be booked to totally squash. EC3 cannot look to have any vulnerabilities against local workers if we are to buy him as a great commodity. Only when he is booked against the top tier competition of TNA should we then begin to see Carter struggle to maintain his dominance. EC3 picks up the win without question, but it is the match leading up to his victory that should have been slightly reworked in his favor to perfection.
TNA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: AJ STYLES(C) VS. BULLY RAY
TNA Booking Sheet: AJ Styles def. Bully Ray to retain w/ assistance from Mr. Anderson.
Ric’s Booking Sheet: AJ Styles def. Bully Ray to retain w/ assistance from Mr. Anderson.
Analysis: Bully Ray and AJ Styles put on another solid and hard as hell wrestling match with AJ Styles as the retaining champion with help from Mr. Anderson. After a year long build up to this moment, it makes absolute sense to have AJ Styles remain champion.
The interesting aspect is AJ “taking” the TNA World Championship from Dixie Carter. What does this mean for the AJ Styles character and the real life backstage contract negotiations? Blurring the lines between reality and story, the right way, make this an interesting situation. An AJ Styles victory certainly progresses the ongoing feud with Dixie Carter. Throwing Mr. Anderson into the mix adds even more complexity with his now evident program with Bully Ray. AJ Styles is leading the charge for change in TNA and tonight’s win was a must in order to progress his story with Dixie Carter further and to add more meat to this already intriguing program.
Tonight’s Impact Wrestling was, as stated, promo heavy and that aspect will be discussed in the next installment of Making An Impact! However, it was a very well organized program and every aspect of the show progressed and held meaning towards the next episode. Regarding the in-ring action, do you agree with the 3 for 3 agreement between TNA’s Booking Sheet and Ric’s Booking Sheet? Sound off below and let’s get the conversation started!
NOTE: Though comments and discussion are encouraged, we ask that spoilers for next week’s Impact Wrestling broadcast are NOT provided in the comments area in consideration of your fellow readers who do not wish to be spoiled. Thank you.
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