Booking Impact! – The Final Dance At The Impact Zone

Good evening TNA/ Impact Wrestling faithful. Tonight’s episode was a historic one as it was the final night Impact Wrestling would emanate from The Impact Zone. There is a long road ahead now (no pun intended) for TNA/ Impact Wrestling starting next week in Chicago. I imagine it will be a great night of TNA/ Impact Wrestling programming but I want to look at tonight’s episode again and give my thoughts and opinions on how I would have booked the matches at the final Impact Wrestling at The Impact Zone.
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IMPACT WRESTLING – 3/7/2013 – THE IMPACT ZONE

Jeff Hardy (TNA World Champion) Vs. Austin Aries
Being the final Impact Wrestling at the Impact Zone, I would have preferred a bout of this caliber to have been the main event of the evening. It was a strong opening, but I would have booked this at the end of the night.

I completely disagree with the finish of the match. Matt Morgan has absolutely no purpose interfering. Why? Morgan hasn’t been seen until last week when Sting was refused. All of a sudden, he’s attacking Hardy (who, by the way, has nothing to do with the Team TNA angle anyway). Clearly sloppy booking. I would have put Hardy over Aries to build his stock going into Lockdown. After the match, Bully would come down and have a good ol’ fashion stare down with Hardy in the middle of ring and silently proclaim that The Bully is coming to take the world title.

I would have positioned the last face off between Hardy and Bully at the end of tonight’s broadcast right at the beginning of the show without Hulk Hogan appearing. I would have Austin Aries come out, say his piece to Hardy and set up the main event of Austin Aries Vs. Jeff Hardy at the end of the night.

Back to Morgan. Creative can spin it any way they like, but Matt Morgan has no businesses in the world title picture right now. No build at all and sloppy booking.

Best of 3 Series: Match 1 for the Man Advantage at Lockdown – Devon Vs. Sting
I thought the booking of this match was on point and I can honestly say that I would not have changed a thing. Devon over Sting is exactly how I would have went with Aces & 8′s looking to have the lead at the moment. The interference from the “fan” added to the mystery of Aces & 8′s. I like that Devon is getting that shine and is deserving to be in the main event scene. This also adds to possible inner conflict within Team TNA as their leader was taken down. Will they see him as a possible weak link? By the way, was Sting opened up hardway? Ouch.

Velvet Sky (TNA Knockouts Champion), Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez Vs. Gail Kim, Kazarian & Christopher Daniels
I agree with the finish of the match with Gail Kim over Velvet Sky for the team win via Eat Defeat/ Eat the Feet. I think building Gail is priority going forward in order to have a dominant heel Knockout and Velvet needs an opponent that can give her a run for her money. Tonight’s match up displayed the always great talents of Chavo/ Hernandez and Kazarian/ Daniels but I think it focused heavy on the Knockout’s Championship for Lockdown. I think that was the best way to go with this one and how I see it building towards the pay-per-view.

Best of 3 Series: Match 2 for the Man Advantage at Lockdown – D.O.C. & Garrett Bischoff Vs. Magnus & Samoa Joe
I agree with Magnus & Samoa Joe over in this one. However, I would have built on the question of trust within the team. Have Magnus and Joe bicker throughout the match and nearly lose but ultimately pick up the win. A game of “Can you top this”? would have been great to see, especially if they were hitting their specialties on Garrett Bischoff. Afterwards, an angry handshake would have been an interesting way to send them on their way to the back and forward towards Lockdown.

TNA Gut Check
Lei’D Tapa has the look and presence needed to be a superstar, but she is too green. She can get better in time but to be awarded a contract at this stage? I don’t agree. Ivelisse, who has much more experience in the ring (as displayed last week)and on TV (WWE Tough Enough), should have advanced. My pick if I were booking: Ivelisse.

Best of 3 Series: Match 3 for the Man Advantage at Lockdown – Mr. Anderson Vs. “The Cowboy” James Storm
I also have Anderson over Storm for this main event. Traditionally, it’s mostly heel advantage in matches like the one coming up at Lockdown. Anderson gets the win but I would have made this final showdown much longer and epic (as epic as I could have made it anyway). I would have an all out brawl between Aces & 8′s and Team TNA, only to have Magnus and Joe bicker again and fight each other. It would lead to Aces & 8′s backing away, laughing at Team TNA imploding while Anderson gets the win in the ring. All members would leave the ring or outside one after another, bitter, only to have Sting alone in the middle of the ring with a look of dejection and concern for this Sunday at Lockdown.

Random thoughts
- Wes Briscoe is terrible on the mic and terrible expressing himself physically. He needs to step back and work on both aspects if he expects to be involved with TNA/ Impact Wrestling for the long haul.

- Austin Aries is entertaining and solid as always, though I wish he would have had more time verbally via backstage segments.

- D’Lo and Devon are both two men who should be getting the shine they deserve. D’Lo is underrated and Devon should have been in the main event scene a long time ago.

- I’m not sure I enjoy Velvet Sky as Knockouts Champion. I’m a Gail Kim fan so I will be biased and hope Gail picks up the win at the pay-per-view but it’s doubtful.

- Magnus is making himself known and that is a talent I am looking forward to seeing more of.

For the final Impact Wrestling at the Impact Zone, I suppose it did what it needed to do in regards to story progression and build. It should have been a bigger night for TNA and I am disappointed in what was produced in that sense. Next week needs to be a solid show in Chicago so I hope they were saving their big guns for next week.

Thanks for reading my thoughts on how I would have booked tonight’s Impact Wrestling. I will continue with Booking Impact! next week after the Chicago show and look out for my prediction piece next week as well for the Chicago show based on the events of Lockdown. Enjoy and cheers!

“Don’t hate the playa, hate the game”

Follow me on twitter: @RealRicSantos

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