Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Wednesday, July 29th
Universal Studios Orlando
Orlando, FL

Austin Aries opened the show. Aries said he’s great at wrestling and he loves it. Thus Aries is upset that Bully Ray didn’t put Aries in the number one contenders match last week. Bully Ray came out. Bully didn’t care about what Aries thought. Bully declined to give Aries a shot at the World and Tag Team titles because Aries lost recent shots at both titles. Bully offered Aries an X-Division title shot but Aries didn’t want one because of how often he’s won that title. Aries said the X-Division title is for people who will never make it to the next level like Rockstar Spud. Spud came out and took exception to that. Spud talked about how much he admired Aries. Spud said Aries became the best TNA World Heavyweight champion in history, a dubious claim considering how poorly booked Aries title run was. Basically Aries thinks he much better than Spud so a match is made for next week, Spud vs. Aries – the Rockstar nickname vs. Aries TNA career. A fairly contrived way to set up a loser leaves town match for Aries, but Spud is as good a guy as any to put over on the way out I suppose.  This was a little longwinded.

Chris Melendez w/ Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young 

Before the match Melendez acknowledged that Young is a more experienced wrestler than him but he promised to never quit. Mathews mentioned nonchalantly that next weeks Impact will be No Surrender, which is the very first they’ve mentioned of that. Young dominated the match and pinned Melendez after a Piledriver. This was their second match together and for the second time it was effectively a total squash. Melendez didn’t get to show any fire or anything, he was just squashed. He thoroughly failed at exacting his revenge.

TNA Knockouts Championship – Marti Bell vs. Brooke ©

I have absolutely no idea what Marti Bell has done to earn a title shot. There’s absolutely no reason why this has to be a title match, they’re just making title matches feel worthless. Brooke attacked all three members of The Dollhouse before the match before Marti jumped her from behind. Brooke hit a clotheline off the ropes and made a comeback. Gail Kim’s music hit, Marti was distracted and Brooke hit an X-Factor (which she calls the Butterface Maker) for the win. Basic match that served as little more than a tease of Gail Kim’s new ninja character. Again, all this did was make title matches seem less important. Pointless gimmick matches, wrestling matches that seem to serve as little more than a backdrop to an angle and seem to exist out of a sense of obligation to keep this looking something like a wrestling show, and title matches that are thrown out willy nilly seem to be a staple of this show lately.

EC3 and Tyrus made their way to the ring. Matt Hardy will pick the stipulation for their title match. EC3 mocked The Hardys. EC3 said he’d be worried if the match was against Jeff, but Matt not so much. Jeff Hardy made his way to the ring, his first time on the show since breaking his leg. Hardy said EC3 makes him sick. Hardy said before long he’ll be back to full fitness and coming for EC3’s title. The announcing on this show is weird, one segment Mathews is condemning the heels and the next he’s cheer leading for EC3. And in one segment Pope is cheerleading for The Dollhouse and the next he’s rooting for the babyfaces – there’s no consistency. Jeff introduced Matt who announced that his title match vs. EC3 next week will be a Full Metal Mayhem match. Like the opening segment this was a long winded way of getting to the announcement of a Full Metal Mayhem match, with the route there not being all that compelling. The focus seemed more on Jeff, than Matt who has the title match next week. You could tell a really good story with Matt Hardy challenging for the World title that they left entirely on the table.

Mickie James & Magnus vs. James Storm & Serena

Magnus jumped Storm before the bell and they brawled around ringside for a little while before Storm eventually took over. Storm was wearing some … interesting kind of orange camouflage tights. Magnus teased a comeback once or twice but Storm cut him off. Both went for a crossbody and collided before Magnus made a tag to Mickie. Mickie ran wild but Storm pulled her off Serena by the hair. Serena took out Mickie with a gutbuster but Magnus nailed Storm with a spear. Serena called for Khoya who accidentally struck Storm with his giant stick. Mickie hit the jumping DDT on Serena for the win. For a feud ending tag match this wasn’t all that interesting. It was mostly a formulaic tag match with an overly long heat sequence. Once Magnus made the tag they essentially went straight to the finish. I was hoping for more from this match. Mickie hit Storm with her DDT after the match. **1/4

Next week will be No Surrender with Bram vs. Anderson in a No DQ match, Spud vs. Aries in a nickname vs. career match, Eli Drake vs. Drew Galloway, Gail Kim vs. The Dollhouse, and Hardy vs. EC3 for the TNA title in Full Metal Mayhem. 

TNA Hall of Fame Induction of Jeff Jarrett

Mike Tenay welcomed us to the TNA Fall of Fame induction ceremony and introduced Dixie Carter (who’s still using her heel music). Dixie talked about the first time she met Jarrett and how Jarrett started TNA. She then introduced Jarrett, who came to the ring with Karen. Jarrett thanked anybody who’s ever worked for or watched TNA. Jarrett thanked a bunch of the office and production staff before thanking Mike Tenay and Don West. He thanked the Knockouts (name dropping Kong and Kim), X-Division, the heavyweights (name dropping Mick Foley, Scott Steiner, Booker T and Kevin Nash) and tag teams (name dropping Team 3D, Triple X, AMW, Beer Money and The Motor City Machine Guns).  Jarrett thanked Dixie before Jeff talked about how he recently reconciled with his father Jerry. Jarrett choked up as he talked about his family. Jeff said thank you and left as the locker room stood on the ramp giving Jarrett a round of applause. This was a really nice segment, they made a bigger deal of their Hall of Fame than they ever have before (actually airing a proper induction ceremony) and Jarrett seemed genuinely happy to be inducted.

Final Thoughts: This show passed a little quicker than the last two weeks but it still just felt flat. It’s still the kind of show that will come and go and you’ll never think about it again. At least on paper next week’s show looks like fun.