This episode of Impact Wrestling was the second installment from Wichita Falls, TX. It was the go-home show before the second television special, Hardcore Justice, further developing the Chris Sabin/Bully Ray main event match scheduled for the show.
Bully Ray starts out the program with mentioning the contract that is supposed to be signed for Hardcore Justice. Chris Sabin appears and discusses their upcoming match, with Brooke Hogan appearing with the contract.
Only there is one stipulation.
If Bully Ray loses, similar to Sting, he cannot ever compete for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Of course, this stipulation is meant to add more intrigue in the match, but it is virtually impossible for the company's best heel to never fight for the title. It made more sense for Sting, because he is in the twilight of his career. However, we pretty much know who is going to win the match next week now.
Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe was a decent match, but surprisingly slower than expected. Honestly, it fell under the expectation level. These two have the ability to put on a great match, but they looked relatively lethargic. The interference by Mr. Anderson made sense, seeing how he is feuding with the Main Event Mafia. However, having him on commentary was just as bad as Taz's last few years behind the booth.
Mr. Anderson vs. Magnus was interesting. Again, the match was not anything to boast about, but the interference by Bobby Roode made the scoreboard a bit closer. This actually makes it less predictable of who the winner of the series could be, as well as make Magnus fight harder and be more strategic. This has the opportunity of getting him even more over with the fans.
The Tito Ortiz interview took away any kind of life the #August1Warning had in it, and that was not much. We all know that Ortiz can not work a good match yet, but having the boldness to put him on the mic was a bad idea. I suppose he had a few practice rounds before the show, but obviously that didn't work.
Moreover, to write a segment were he is supposed to intimidate the TNA locker room, only for him to verbally get his rear handed to him by Kurt Angle makes him far less intimidating. Granted, Angle did the same thing to Rampage. However, at least Rampage kept same dignity after the segment, even with he bad acting and twitching eye. TNA is going to have to execute some full-on damage control if they want Ortiz to be of any kind of relevance, especially after that segment.
Storm/Gunner/ODB vs. Robbie E/Jessie/Mickie James was okay, but nothing special. TNA is in dire need of more tag teams to revive the division, because although the Bro Mans is not a terrible addition, the division will not thrive off of this feud.
On the contrary, the Knockouts division is shaping up pretty well. Gail Kim's attack on ODB post-match should set up for either a No. 1 contender's match or a triple threat match, which both of these options are suitable.
The outcome of the Christopher Daniels vs. Kazarian match was brilliant and creative. Very well-played, and since there is no need to break up the team, showing no dissension is the way to go. Plus, neither of them has a believable chance of winning the whole series, so they might as well stay a team. The part where Booby Roode came out and unofficially declared an alliance between the three was a bit puzzling, though. I thought he was going back to his old ways and being selfish? Confusing.
Chris Sabin/Kurt Angle vs. Team 3D was a good match, and a good main event before Hardcore Justice as they showcased the two biggest feuds in the company right now. I am a bit surprised that Sabin got a clean win over Bully Ray leading into next week. Based on the interaction between the two since Sabin won the title, it appears as if they are desperately trying to make Sabin a credible champion. However, is still was rushed, and they have not accomplished that task yet.
Will Chris Sabin lose the TNA world title at Hardcore Justice? What are your thoughts on Tito Ortiz so far? Sound off below.