The Reign Of Carter
– The opening video highlighted Ethan Carter III becoming new World Heavyweight Champion by beating Kurt Angle, still TNA’s brightest moment of hope to date. If you’re an EC3 fan, then you probably dug this episode a lot based on all of his offset humor throughout the night. It’s not a good thing though since it’s a bad way to showcase your top heel as Champion. Compare this to Jay Lethal in Ring Of Honor. He was brash and overconfident sure, but he has handled the gold perfectly by taking on all comers. EC3 spent the night here joking around and being a scared heel. It’s not the route you want to go when you need as many eyes on TNA as possible.
EC3 Goes For The Gold
– The opening video hyped the Kurt Angle-Ethan Carter III World Heavyweight Championship match. If only this was Slammiversary material. Actually, a lot of this show was what should’ve been Slammiversary. This was undoubtedly the best Impact of the Destination America era in terms of consistent top-to-bottom enjoyment.
– Only TNA would push harder for a free television show next week than it’s Pay-Per-View (first in the year) four days from the air date, right? For all the stories of financial shortcomings and backlash, this is actually a chance for good money to be made and when the company finds itself in these situations, you have to wonder why they didn’t push Slammiversary harder. Yeah, sure – you had the nostalgia factor with all these past names coming back with surprise appearances, but it was still not enough to salvage the lackluster build of things thus far. One of TNA’s bright spots has been Ethan Carter III and starting the live show off with him and Tyrus was the right way to go. EC3 did have all the power, walking with a “Miz”-like swagger and he did a good job of teasing TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle’s opponent as someone who had “legacy” in the business.
– The opening video dramatically put over the “innovation” of the X-Division and hyped all the qualifying matches that would lead to a three-way with the winner to crown a new Champion. Also hyped was Rockstar Spud-Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, where the winner would defend against Austin Aries.
There’s Always An Option C
– There was certainly a lot of Ethan Carter III on this episode, as he was all over the opening video and segment. The over-the-top celebrations fit his gimmick, though we’re not quite sure where the barbershop quintet factor into things, but it was sort of epic hilarity to hear his theme song sung in that fashion. Continuity was also followed here since we saw EC3 finally reach his goal of being number one in the Top 5 rankings system, meaning a World Title shot was imminent. Love that TNA is basically throwing out all they can to logically postpone that from happening, as World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle came out to do, reminding us all that X-Divison Champion Rockstar Spud had “option C” of giving up his title for a chance at the World Title come Destination X, which would obviously postpone EC3’s shot. This had a great hook that EC3 would tempt Spud with an offer later on in the show, while Angle took out one of the quintet members.
Last Friday Night
– The cold tension between Eric Young and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle was captured excellently on this episode form start to finish. Starting things with a random cameraman in the passenger seat of Young’s car made us wonder just what was going on in the first place, but was used as a set-up to the apparent parking lot brawl that ensued seconds later since Angle was already waiting for him.
– The opening video hyped the 10-man Hardcore War gauntlet match between Team Kurt Angle and Team Eric Young, promising elevated violence, or something like that. This sort of felt randomly strung together, huh?
Hunting For Hidden Gold
– The opening video put over how the Tag Team Championship tournament came to be with the relinquishing of the belts by The Wolves – with eight teams taking off, going to four in Ultimate X. The concept itself is actually pretty nifty to fill time for a two-hour show and was the perfect opportunity to make the Tag division somewhat relevant again. Read the rest of this entry