Welcome to this week’s edition of “Insight into Impact”, in which I’ll be discussing the 22nd November 2012 episode of TNA Impact Wrestling, and giving you my thoughts on what happened. I’d also like to apologise for the absence of this last week, it was due to unforseen circumstances.

After looking back at last week’s episode, we’re straight into GutCheck. 2nd Generation star, Wes Brisco is up, and his opponent? Garrett Bischoff…

Match 1: Wes Brisco vs Garrett Bischoff

Kurt Angle comes out to watch this match. This felt a bit of a poor match, to me seemed like a few moves came off looking awkward, and the match had a slow pace to it. Garrett did the usual basic moves, and hit an awkward looking flapjack. Wes did alright, but nothing special, and picked up the win over Garrett with a “Ranhei” style pin. Certainly seen better from Wes.

Winner: Wes Brisco

Al Snow backstage with the 4 GutCheck winners (Alex Silva, Taeler Hendrix, Sam Shaw and Christian York). Basically says tonight is Open Fight Night, and a chance for them to make a name for themselves.

Kurt Angle chatting to Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco, he congratulates Wes, but feels they need to work the crowd better, and slow the match down….really?!

Joey Ryan comes down, saying he didn’t need GutCheck to become a star, before stating Hulk Hogan is trying to split him and Matt Morgan up….but Hogan can’t do it if they become Tag Champs, which is why he is calling out Chavo Guerrero.

Match 2: Joey Ryan vs Chavo Guerrero

Chavo had early control of the match until Ryan held onto the ropes to block a waistlock. Ryan then targets Chavo’s injured shoulder, while often taking time to gloat. Chavo manages to strike with a dropkick, goes through his “Eddie tribute” moveset, but when he goes for a frog splash, Matt Morgan appears to deliver a thunderous chokeslam to Chavo. Hernandez chases Morgan out of the ring. I just couldn’t get interested in this match at all, and was thankful it was kept short.

Winner by DQ: Chavo Guerrero

Austin Aries is asked backstage about his plans tonight, he says he’ll call out someone who needs a reality check, and this will make everyone stop and take notice.

Sam Shaw enters the ring, mentions he is honoured to be a GutCheck winner, and wants to call out the 1st GutCheck winner, Alex Silva.

Match 3: Sam Shaw vs Alex Silva

An okay match between these two, Silva showed an aggressive side, and went on the offence often. Even when missing a leg drop, he was still able to get back on the attack on Shaw. Silva tries a backdrop, Shaw lands on his feet (well, wobbily lands!), before hitting a spear. Shaw strikes with a inverted headlock backbreaker, neckbreaker and then a hanging guillotine leg drop for the 3 count. Shaw looked good in this, and seems like with a bit more work, could be a good addition to the roster. Still not too sure on Silva, despite the aggression, he still seems poor.

Winner: Sam Shaw

ODB and Eric Young go into Hulk Hogan’s office…carrying the TNA turkey suit! They tell Hogan it’s a tradition to have a turkey suit match on Thanksgiving, so Hogan suggests they use Open Fight Night to call someone out. This segment ends with all 3 making poor pun jokes based on turkeys.

ODB and EY then run into Robbie E and Robbie T, and the two Robbies aren’t please to see the turkey suit is back. Robbie E wants revenge for last year, when he lost and Robbie T wore the suit. Jesse and Tara walk past, with Jesse bragging how he beat Eric last week…which causes EY to say he’ll call out Jesse AND Robbie E tonight!

There’s a video package looking back on the last few weeks for the Aces and Eights. We then go to their clubhouse to see they’re having a Thanksgiving meal. The leader gets up and throws a dart at the TNA photo board, signalling who their next target is…

Video package now looking back at Christian York’s GutCheck chance, and this is immediately followed by York making his way to the ring. He feels lucky to have made it to TNA, and with lady luck on his side, he wants to call out the one guy he respects: Jeff Hardy.

Match 4: Christian York vs Jeff Hardy

York really took this match to Hardy, and spent most the match beating down Hardy, while anytime the World Champ tried to build up offence, York shut him down. Impressive Half Nelson Suplex by York, followed by a Cannonball attack in the corner. York even blocked a Twist of Fate attempt, and hit one of his own. York tried to end it with the MoodSwing, which Hardy countered, and finally built up momentum, hitting a sunset powerbomb off the top, Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb to win. Enjoyable match, glad it got as much time as it did, and York impressed me once more. Delighted TNA took this guy on!

Winner: Jeff Hardy

Hardy and York shake hands, as Hardy goes to the top, Bobby Roode rushes in, and hits a spinebuster to York. Unaware, Hardy comes off the top rope, and turns into a huge spear from Roode, before the IT Factor stands over Hardy, holding the TNA Title and claiming he’ll regain it.

We see yet another video lookback, this time on Taeler Hendrix. It then cuts to Hendrix backstage, and Brooke Hogan comes to see her. Brooke mentions how Taeler is the only female GutCheck winner (no shit, Sherlock! She’s the only female GutCheck contestant so far!!), before telling her to go out and do a good job tonight.

Taeler Hendrix takes her turn for an Open Fight Night call out. She says she’s been working hard, and wants to see how much she measures to the “Gold Standard”. Nope, she doesn’t call out Shelton Benjamin, but instead it’s the TNA Knockouts Champion, Tara!

Match 5: Taeler Hendrix vs Tara (with Jesse)

Tara toys about with Hendrix, while often taking the time to go over to Jesse. Hendrix manages a bit of offence, including a strange looking headbutt. Jesse tries helping, but Tara knocks him off the apron by accident, and Hendrix hits a roundhouse kick for 2. Tara manages to respond with a knee to the face, before a Widow’s Peak to win. Feel the same about this, as I did after their GutCheck match. Not too keen on Taeler, and think she still needs a lot of work.

Winner: Tara

Match 6: Eric Young (with ODB) vs Jesse (with Tara) vs Robbie E (with Robbie T)

Comedy triple threat here, with Robbie E and Jesse double teaming EY, trying to one up each other. They finally turn on each other, and fight, allowing Young to try and end the match. Tara gets in, and ODB spears her, before they roll out the ring over the ref (ironically called Stiffler). Bigger Rob tries to interfere, but Robbie E runs into him, then EY throws Robbie E out. Jesse tries for his Stunner style finish, but EY rolls him up for 3! It was fine for what it was, a comedy match, and a bit of fun in the show. Kinda thing I like to see.

Winner: Eric Young

After the match, Jesse reluctantly puts on the turkey suit, and isn’t happy. He and Tara leave, allowing ODB and Eric Young to celebrate….this is ended though when the Aces and Eights appear. EY tries to cover ODB, but the Aces beat him down with a baseball bat, and handcuff ODB to a turnbuckle. Eric is pulled to the apron, and has his boot removed, before D.O.C. smashes his foot with a hammer. Security rush down to help, but the damage is done.

Daniels and Kazarian appear. Daniels jokes he’s a good friend being there for AJ Styles through his tough times. Kazarian then calls out AJ Styles to give him an ass kicking.

Match 7: Kazarian vs AJ Styles

Daniels leaves to allow this to be a 1 on 1 match. Good back and forth match here, with Kazarian often trying to cheat his way to a victory, while AJ seemed a bit off the pace (think it’s just playing on him having a “bad year”). Kazarian hit a cool looking DDT after leaping from the apron to the inside. Kaz tries to cheat once more, but Earl Hebner won’t allow it, they argue, allowing AJ to try and roll Kaz up. Kaz kicks out, but turns into a Pele Kick which helps AJ win the match. Enjoyable as always between these two, just wish it was a longer match!

Winner: AJ Styles

Austin Aries is walking backstage, saying everyone needs to watch next, he’s about to open Pandora’s Box and shock people.

Sticking to his word, Austin Aries is now in the ring. He says he doesn’t think things have been done fairly in TNA lately, and the name Hogan is to blame. So, he wants the “fake tan, bleach blonde, ugly ass” out there now….Brooke Hogan! Brooke comes out confused, but Aries says he doesn’t want to fight, but he is sick of the name Hogan. Says how she must have a hard time trying to keep her life private, and maybe thought she’d one day grow up to be “Mrs Trump or Mrs McMahon”…but never thought she’d be Mrs Bully Ray. Aries shows clips of Brooke from the last 2 weeks, in secret meetings with Bully Ray. He tells her she shouldn’t have gone for the turkey, as he could have “given her all the stuffing she could handle”. This causes Hulk Hogan and Bully Ray to come down, and Aries leaves the ring. Brooke, Hulk and Bully have a stare down, as Aries looks on, before Brooke runs off as the show goes off….

I found this to be a poor episode if I’m honest, with not much standing out. I enjoyed York/Hardy and AJ/Kazarian, and felt both matches stood out above the rest. I also felt Aries’s promo at the end was entertaining, with some funny lines coming from the former World Champion. The Triple Threat Turkey Suit match amused me, but the rest of the show just seemed crap. I didn’t enjoy the opening 3 matches, and couldn’t properly get interested in them. Alex Silva didn’t show any signs of improvement, just aggression, where as Garrett Bischoff seemed just as bad! Back to taped shows, and I’ve not enjoyed them as much as the live shows. Coincidence? Hmmm…

Thanks for taking the time to read this review, appreciate it as always!

@GoofyVillain of @TheTopRope

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