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TUCKER ON IMPACT: Instant Reaction & DVR Guide - Final U.K. show captures how TNA arrived at No Man's Land

Feb 21, 2013 - 10:33:57 PM
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Instant Reaction - TNA Impact 2/21
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


DVR Guide - What to Watch

- Knockouts Title match (Q4/Q5)
- Main event post-match (Q8)

Overall Score - 4.0

Maybe it was issues stemming from taping four televised shows in less than a week, but tonight's Impact had absolutely no juice behind it. Not only was TNA's story progression slow and weak (as it has been for some time now), but at the same time the in-ring segments were for the most part a travesty to watch. And, if that didn't fail, the announcing did. From top to bottom, tonight's show was a lazy effort from just about everyone involved.

First, the match quality. Tonight's show produced some wrestling that various wrestlers in the back should be openly chastised for, Rob Van Dam in particular. Having an off-night is one thing, but even for RVD he was slow and lazy tonight. His match with Kenny King was a pacing disaster. Van Dam hardly played to the crowd, barely did his moves, and did just enough to ensure the match wasn't a dud. He hit every single one of his marquee moves like Hulk Hogan would if his spine had about five more years of wear and tear on it.

While not offensive like RVD's performance, there wasn't much to talk about in terms of in-ring quality tonight. Garett Bischoff vs. Samoa Joe was pretty bad as well, with Joe lazily staggering around the ring and Garett almost missing his cue in the post-match beat down. The other matches ranged from bad (main event) to mediocre and meaningless (eight-man tag), with the only exception being the Knockouts Title match. It was well-structured, told a solid story and got over both Velvet and Gail Kim in the process. The only issue with it? The announcing.

I was one of the more vocal opponents of the three-man booth of Booker T, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler on Raw a while back, and the TNA booth is in an even worse state right now. For one, Taz doesn't make any sense. When he tries to be a heel, his once so-bad-they're-funny quips turn into non-sensical jabbering. He spent about a minute trying to relate a pun to the Aces and Eights, and it did nothing but detract from the match and the product as a whole. He isn't getting over any heel characters at all. Michael Cole was a terrible heel announcer, but at least he had some conviction behind what he said. When he was The Miz's cheerleader leading up to WrestleMania 27, he at least made it seem like he legitimately was a Miz fanboy. Taz just says whatever he feel like on commentary, no matter what it is, and as a result the announce team quality has plummeted recently. Tonight was worse than most.

This brings me back to the Knockouts match. Besides Taz yammering on like a psychopath, the other two commentators did a terrible job of both telling the story in the ring and making each nearfall mean something. This match was for a title, and yet they hardly mentioned Tara losing because Jessie couldn't help her, and every single pin they treated as if it was a jobber match. With proper commentary, the match would've been in the two-and-three-fourths-star range, but the lack of conviction from the commentary booth made it seem like a trivial match. With no big-fight feel, some magic was lost in the match. And that's a shame, because it was one of the only reasons to watch the show.

At the very least, the Aces and Eights have gained a modicum of heat back after the Hogan attack and tag match win tonight. Of course, they did only succeed in beating two borderline retired wrestlers and a guy with a quad tear, but anything is better than nothing at the moment. Everything else tonight was subpar, with the company's turgid story arc continuing to slowly pay off. Long storylines only work when you have enough events in them to warrant lasting so long.

The big Aces and Eights reveal could've happened at Bound for Glory, but not now. Cramming everything that's happened between Slammiversary and BFG or even through Genesis would have provided engaging television. As it stands, TNA programming is the most stagnant it's been in a long time. Tonight wasn't too hideous, but there's nothing capturing my attention. At least back in 2010 when TNA was consistently putting on terrible shows, it was entertaining because of how bad it was. Now, it's just boring. And that is the entertainment equivalent of No Man's Land.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to message me on Twitter @BTuckertorch .


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