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TNA Impact 4th January 2010 Review by Michael Hallam

January 12, 2010   ·   0 Comments

TNA impact Review

The return of the Monday Night War?

By Mike Hallam

So the man most synonymous with the wrestling industry, Hulk Hogan finally debuted on TNA this past week. The show promised much and delivered on that promise. Not only did Hogan debut, but so did Ric Flair, Jeff Hardy, the “band” of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman, even Sean Morley aka Val Venis showed up to play cards with The Beautiful People.

TNA might not have the money to compete with Vince, but their roster certainly proved on Impat that they have the heart. None more so than in the main event, with AJ Styles putting his World Title on the line against Kurt Angle. In a spirited battle, Styles remained on top and their match was certainly the best of the night. Hints of an alignment with Ric Flair, who had earlier turned up in his trademark limousine and entered Styles locker room, will only add to his value moving forwards.

The TNA Womens Division also impressed me. Dixie Carter says she has the best Womens Division on the planet and Im inclined to agree. Awesome Kong and Hamada were particularly impressive and can clearly wrestle unlike many of the “Divas” of the WWE. Equally impressive was Pope, whose mic skills, charisma and overall ability make him a clear one to watch out for. Even Orlando Jordan thought so, who appeared to tell Pope as much and was another surprise appearance on the night.

Yet, it was the first match of the night that perhaps showed exactly how much more TNA has to do. The Six Sided Steel Asylum match was more than just poor, and the TNA fans could clearly be heard letting the new management know what they thought of it. Even the return of Jeff Hardy at the end of it was not used to its full potential. As the shocked fans watched Hardy emerge from the crowd, Im sure like me, they were all expecting a big Jeff Hardy bump yet he simply climbed up the steel structure in order to sit half way up, a wasted opportunity and the match itself was the only blight on an otherwise impressive night. We certainly wont be seeing the Six Sided Steel Asylum match again, with TNA plans afoot to ditch their trademark six-sided ring for the more traditional four sided kind.

The return of Hogan was always going to be the highlight of the night and it didnt disappoint. It was an interesting angle to have the apparent reunion of Hall, Nash and Waltman alongside the debut of Hogan. Theres plenty of old rivalries and tensions to explore in the weeks to come and Hogan stood in the ring telling “his band”” that this was a different time, giving a clear indication that he was ready to put the next generation over. It was the same “bands” unwillingness to put over the next generation that had ultimately killed the old WCW. Yet as Hogan told them it was time to change things round, Sting looked on from the rafters, whilst Mick Foley was trying to enter the building to confront him. Foley eventually found Eric Bischoffs office, only to be met by a beating at the hands of Hall, Nash and Waltman. The storyline seems to be forming around the concept of “will Hogan put over the young guys or not”, which will make for interesting viewing. I guess only time will tell as to whether he will or not but ultimately Hogan must surely know that in order for it not to be a WCW revisited, the young guys have to be put over. Now is indeed a different time.

In spite of record viewers, Impact was easily trounced by Raw in the ratings. Ultimately, even with a great first show of the new era, even with Hogan, Flair and Dixie Carter, it is difficult to see anything other than WWE remaining in top spot. What I think we have seen is a realignment of the industry and the re-introduction of competition to a wrestling business that has been eight years without any. It is very unlikely that this process will end with TNA capturing the number one spot, but it will result in TNA becoming a much stronger number two organisation and this can only be good for the business as a whole. Its no coincidence that Raw featured the return of Bret Hart last week with “Iron” Mike Tyson appearing this week.

Overall, it was an entertaining first show of the year for Impact and one that will have me tuning in again next week. I doubt we have seen the return of an all out war, but as Hogan himself would tell you “never say never”.

Michael Hallam


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