Each week I do articles where I watch RAW and Smackdown and give my thoughts an analysis on them.  Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re just recaps, but for the past few months, none of them have been TNA Impact.

Tonight, that changes.  At least for tonight.  Or until I get tired of writing this because Impact gets unwatchable.

I was a big fan of WCW and watched Nitro each week and most episodes of Thunder.  I doubt I’ll stop watching Impact halfway through due to its quality, but we’ll see.

The opening segment was decent, though it was probably a bit too long.  You’d think with pre-taped shows, they could edit it down to be more effective.  I haven’t watched in a while, so this gives me a good update on the history between RVD and Mr Anderson, as well as showing me that Sting was the ref last week for the #1 contenders match, even though it was Earl Hebner who called for the DQ to give the win to RVD.

Does anyone else think that Earl Hebner loses more credibility by saying “I’ll suspend you for 90 days” if you touch me, and yet nothing happened due to Anderson kneeing him in the gut?  Empty threats just look lame, and I really don’t buy Earl stepping up to Anderson… nor should I.

Sting shows up and tells Anderson to pick on someone his own size?  I can buy that.  RVD shows up and says he doesn’t want toget his title shot that way?  Alright, that still works for me, and the overall segment is selling some stuff I could be buying.

Then Bischoff and Hogan hit the entrance stage, they setup a match that seems a bit convoluted, though I’l admit that it might make more sense if I had seen the past few episodes of Impact.  Bischoff says they’re booking it because it’s a ratings grabber, and I guess we’re supposed to think that those guys actually pay attention to what the fans want.  We’ll see how it goes.

The backstage segments where they were trying to get a comment from Ken “No Comment, Get Out Of My Face” Anderson (…Anderson) and Rob Van Dam and Sting were decent.  They were far better and far more realistic than those “stand in front of a random TNA backdrop” promos they used to use.  They should use the TNA ReAction format a bit more.  Everyone I’ve talked to enjoyed that program when it was on.

So that six-man “ratings grab” tag match that Bischoff setup?  I finally found out what it’s going to be:  Abyss, Bubba & Matt Hardy vs Sting, RVD & Ken Anderson.  And it’ll be a Steel Cage Match.  I can just FEEL the ratings going up just thinking about it…

In all seriousness, it should be alright.

Hype for an upcoming match… Shannon Moore vs Scott Steiner?  Are they serious?  We’ll have to see where this goes, but I’m not optimistic.

Seriously, Shannon Moore, with all his tattoos, his spike-adorned jacket, and his face decorated with makeup to look like baseball seams (timely, here on Opening Day), is talking about how Scott Steiner is out of touch with the world today?  Lame.

Then we get Steiner’s reaction promo, which was awesome, classic Big Poppa Pump where he talks about girlfriend-stealing and how he’s going to get Shannon Moore and smack-a-man-bitch.  Classic.

Outside, a camera crew has caught up with Bubba, and we get a terrible interview.  That’s not to say that there was anything wrong with what Bubba said or how he said it, because he did a good job.  The guy asking questions?  That’s a different story.  I think they found some random guy who tried to refuse to be on camera due to being too nervous to talk on film, and they forced him into asking questions.  And by the way, Bubba, calling yourself the Baddest BMF…  It just sounds lame because the B in BMF = “Bad Ass”.

Elsewhere, apparently one of my favorite competitors in WWE, Eric Young, is not only still working with Orlando Jordan, but now they’re together as a tag team?  What a waste.

Match – Shannon Moore vs Big Poppa Pump

Now the reason for this match makes sense.  Last week, Moore took the chain mail head covering from Steiner and pretended to wipe his ass with it.  Nice…

Eric Young is on commentary, and he makes an announcement that actually interests me a little bit.  There’s going to be some sort of four-way tag team match, with Ink Inc, Steiner & Crimson, Eric Young & Orlando Jordan, and the fourth team being a mystery team.

Nice moment where Eric Young speculates that the other team might be Demolition, Sabu & Taz or the Beverly Brothers.

Outcome – Scott Steiner gets the win for his team with a top-rope FrankenSteiner

After the match, we find out that the fourth team is actually British Invasion, with Magnus and Douglas Williams (I’m disappointed it’s not Desmond Wolfe, but I guess this means he could still be a singles competitor).

Ken Anderson backstage shows that he has lost his mind, as he talks to a poster for Lockdown with his own face on it, further saying “No Comment”.  They could’ve done without this segment.

Jeff Jarrett, in a different room, is talking to the same poster, complaining about a potential cage match with Kurt Angle for Lockdown.

Wait, the Young Bucks are feuding with each other?  Who would’ve thought that a tag team with real life brothers would result to feuding with each other?  And the hype video, showing the same clips twice?  Seems like it could’ve been half as long, and they could’ve done voice-over instead of actually showing one of the Buck guys talking to the camera.

If someone can tell me the difference between these guys, I’d appreciate it.

Match – Max vs Jeremy, Battle Of The Bucks

Anyone else thinking that they could have a Loser Leaves TNA match called “The Buck Stops Here”?

So Jeremy Buck seems to be the respectful brother who is just wrestling his brother because he has to.  Max is the one who looks like a smaller version of Matt Hardy.  Matt, Max, M.  Jeremy, Jeff, J.  I think I found my way to remember their names.

In all seriousness, this is actually a really entertaining match.  It’s a shame the announcers are hard-selling other things while it’s going on.  You can barely hear the crowd, which seems to be into the match.

Outcome – Mean Max Buck gets the win with a nice flip-over stunner from the top rope, and apparently he told Jeremy he’d beat him.

Backstage, Beer Money and Kazarian show up.  Excellent use of a 5 second spot.

Backstage, Winter is trying to console Angelina Love after they apparently lost the Knockouts Tag Titles, apparently after something Velvet did?  Winter gave Angelina a cup and encouraged her to drink it… and for some reason I’m thinking that Winter spiked the drink and she’s going to use whatever’s in there to brainwash Angelina.  From the clips I’m seeing, it looks like she has already been doing that.  Supernatural in wrestling is questionable.  Mind control?  Ugh.

Match – Velvet Sky vs Winter

Is there any doubt that Velvet Sky is the most sexually charged competitor in wrestling?  Incredible.

Winter sporting some crazy eye makeup which makes it look like she’s blindfolded… and honestly I don’t think I saw the whites of her eyes during her entrance, which was weird because they had a close-up of her, and I have a fairly good sized HD television.

Fairly good match from the ladies, and at times both of them looked really hot.  Maybe it’s because I’m writing this at 11:30 pm and it’s been a long day…

Late in the match, Angelina Love shows up to watch… and she’s in a transe?  And Velvet Sky gets distracted by that?  We know where this is going…

Outcome – Winter gets the victory with an interesting looking submission.

Mr Anderson comes to the ring with a mic in hand, and after having no comment for the first half of the show, he calls out Sting and pretends to apologize… but then the two brawl through the crowd.  Decent, though it’s probably going on a bit too long, especially when TNA has soo many wrestlers on the roster who could benefit from having some in-ring time or some on-screen exposure in a different way.

Abyss, Bully Ray and Matt Hardy rush the ring, and let’s count the minutes before Rob Van Dam shows up.  I guess this just goes to show that TNA’s locker rooms for the good guys are further away than the ones for the bad guys.

Not only does Rob Van Dam show up late, but he waits for his theme music to hit before he rushes the ring.  I’m surprised he didn’t stop at the top of the ramp ahead of time to do his double thumb-point.

So RVD shows up and helps Sting who’s just fighting Bubba Bully Ray, but he won’t help Ken Anderson who’s getting double-teamed?  Sting doesn’t walk the gray-area, and he helps out Ken Anderson, and the bad guys walk away.

I could enjoy a tag team of Matt Hardy and Bully Ray.  I don’t like how Abyss fits into any of that, as I’ve always seen Abyss as a loner monster.

Backstage, Karen Angle makes some phone call to security with Jeff Jarrett making all sorts of noises in the background, making it sound like she’s in danger.  Another segment which was twice as long as it needed to be.  Seriously, they should’ve taped it again and said “you have 10 seconds, make them count”.

Standing next to Bully Ray, Abyss and Matt Hardy, Ric Flair looks completely out of place.  Seriously, are there three guys in the business who are less similar in all respects than those guys with Ric Flair?

We get a clip of Velvet Sky backstage being interviewed, and her hotness keeps me from hearing exactly what she was saying… but I did catch something about Velvet thinking Angelina is drugged… and I think I like the pacing of that angle.  There are a few other things I like more…

Kurt Angle shows up, he’s tired of his personal life being messed with, and apparently Jeff Jarrett has something for Rob Terry to take care of.  There’s a ref, so apparently we’re getting a match.

Match – Rob Terry vs Kurt Angle

Another thing I like about TNA that WWE doesn’t do well (because there is a list):  Kurt Angle is wearing jeans.  He wasn’t expecting a match, so they didn’t go the contrived route of having him wear his ring gear to the ring to yell at Jeff Jarrett.  Angle was coming for a fight, not a match, and he’s dressed appropriately.

Rob Terry gets a little bit of offense, but Kurt Angle shows his wrestling skills, rolls through a slam attempt and locks on his signature submission.

Outcome – Kurt Angle wins by submission with the Ankle Lock

Jeff Jarrett tries to escape the ringside area, but Kurt Angle catches up to him, tries to lock in an ankle lock, but Jarrett gets away.  They run backstage, and apparently Kurt Angle never learned how to chase people as a kid, because he totally misses Jeff running behind something, and instead Kurt goes outside… where Karen Jarrett (formerly Karen Angle) knew Kurt would eventually be going, and Kurt gets arrested for suspected assault.

Beer Money and Kazarian talking backstage, worried about what’s going on with RVD, Sting and Ken Anderson.  Apparently they feel like they need to insert themselves into something…

Apparently Hulk Hogan likes the chaos that has been created from this six-man tag match

Main Event – Bully Ray & Abyss & Matt Hardy vs Sting & RVD & Ken Anderson

After brawling around the arena earlier, Ken Anderson is perfectly fine to show up for this match?

So Sting, who has to get into a steel cage with three guys who want to tear him apart, attacks Ken Anderson at the top of the ramp, cutting his team down to two members?  Logic fail.

Did anyone else think it was awesome that Ken Anderson just sat in a chair at ringside?  If I got attacked by one of my supposed partners two minutes ago, I wouldn’t be too psyched to get in there and help out either.

Hulk Hogan, wearing some sort of weird back brace that he could be wearing underneath his shirt, yells at Ken Anderson, telling him to get into the cage like he’s dealing with a petulant child.

How lame did Hogan look, backing away from Ken Anderson?  I realize he’s in a back brace, but he could still take a punch and punch Anderson back.

So Ken gets into the cage, and Sting goes to work on his own partner?  What an idiot.  All three of the guys on the other team are standing there, waiting to pounce, and he couldn’t just work with Anderson for a minute?

Something tells me that the end of this match is going to happen with Anderson and Sting working together, their team getting the win, and then there being a weird look of distrust between the two.

The match realy gets cooking, the good guys make their comeback, Sting and RVD look to be in control, and Ken Anderson stops RVD from hitting the frog splash, setting him up for getting hit with a Bubba Bomb by Bully Ray (they really should change the name of that move if he’s being called “Bully Ray” now).

Outcome – Bad Guys get the win over the Good Guys

Yes, I realize the Bad Guys are called Immortal, but they’re just average (or above-average), so the name doesn’t fit, and I’m not using it.

Ken Anderson leaves the ring, Fortune shows up, and even with his guys out-numbered 5-to-3, Ric Flair padlucks shut the cage.  His big plan: give Bully Ray a big chain… and it works.  Bad Guys trio get the big advantage, leaving the good guys on the mat, some of them bleeding (notably Kazarian sporting a crimson mask).

Things go a little long… and Christopher Daniels returns!  He climbs the cage and does a HUGE splash off the top of the cage onto the bad guys, and he celebrates along with the crowd.

That would’ve been a good place to end the show, but apparently the announcers tell us that we’re coming right back…?

Yep, six more minutes to go.  In case you weren’t watching the past 10 minutes, they recap it for you.  Ugh.  Couldn’t they have figured out the amount of time they filled, then taped another segment backstage?  Where was Samoa Joe?  The Pope?  Maybe even a Desmond Wolfe hype video?  Jay Lethal?

Ric Flair is fuming backstage, talks about how he doesn’t know who Christopher Daniels is, and even after Abyss tells him who Daniels is, Flair just refers to him as “AJ Styles’ Best Friend”.

Flair keeps fuming, and the other members of his squad ramble, and this is not a good way to end the show.

Now it’s Christopher Daniels to speak up?  They should’ve saved the past 6 minutes for the start of next week’s Impact.

I’ll update this article as I make my way through the show.  Once it’s done I’ll be adding polls throughout, and if you’re on the fence about whether or not to check out the polls, you might consider that hundreds of people enjoy voting in them each week in my other articles.