Last night's TNA Impact was a special "Championship Thursday" edition of the weekly wrestling show, where three belts were up for grabs. Austin Aries challenged Jeff Hardy for the TNA Heavyweight Championship, Kurt Angle challenged Devon for the TV Championship and Mickie James challenged Tara for the Knockouts Championship.
It was a very wrestling focused episode of Impact that also showcased other non-Championship matches. So what was good, what was bad and what was just plain strange about Impact this week?
1) The show placed a focus on actual wrestling matches. TNA is notorious for their often-strange choice of backstage segments and storylines. So, as a wrestling fan, it was very refreshing to watch an episode of Impact that consisted mostly of wrestling.
2) The budding feud between Kenny King and RVD intensified. In a non-championship match, Kenny King teamed with RVD (who he beat last week on Impact) to take on the team of Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan. It was a match that should have been a rather interesting clash of different in ring styles. Instead, we saw Kenny King abandon his partner RVD and head up the ramp, while RVD fell victim to a Carbon Footprint from Matt Morgan and lost the match. King then stared at RVD from the top of the ramp and gloated at his partner, making it very well known that he has the current upper hand in their rivalry.
This feud between King and Van Dam is one of the most revitalizing rivalries that the Impact Zone has seen in a long while, and it needs to stretch across a few more PPV's. The two have great in ring chemistry together, and there is no doubt that Impact is in need of such excitement.
3) The entire Hardy VS Aries match was amazing, as fans have come to expect. Hardy and Aries know how to put on a good feud, as Aries is a natural bad guy. The two are both great wrestlers who understand their craft and know what it takes to put on a show. Sure, their match last night wasn't as great as the last time the two clashed, but it's still good to see such a high quality match on TV.
The best part though came before the match, when Aries mocked those weird inner monologue promos that Hardy cuts. It was priceless.
1) Kurt Angle needs to stop wrestling. Now, Kurt Angle is a wrestler that deserves respect. He no doubt helped to shape professional wrestling as it is today. However, there comes a time when wrestlers get past their prime, and Kurt Angle is well beyond his. His match against Devon for the TV Championship was just ugly. Perhaps it's time Angle moved into an on screen manager or authority position, something akin to his days as GM of Smackdown.
2) Aces and Eights are no longer believable as a threatening, rogue group. Last night on Impact, during a promo by Hulk Hogan (that Aces and Eights interrupted) all it took to clear them away from the ring was Bully Ray running down to the ring.
One man was able to chase off a handful of wrestlers apparently more than capable of taking out a single person. So why was Bully able to scare them off? At this point, Aces and Eights has run its course. It was a good faction at first, but now they just don't seem to evoke any sort or reaction from the crowd.
3) Kazarian had a Christmas special, and it was just plain terrible. The dialogue was awful, the premise was awful; everything was just awful about it. Which, to be honest, is a bit surprising. Kazarian and Christopher Daniels are normally two of the best characters to watch on Impact, but they missed the mark with the Christmas segment.
The worst part? James Storm interrupting and letting it be known that messing with Christmas is taking things way too far.
1) The show closed with Bully Ray making out with Brooke Hogan. It was just weird to see. Sure, the relationship storyline between Hogan and Ray has been developing for some time now, but it was just a bit off putting seeing the two kissing. It just seemed wrong, almost like it should have been saved for further down the storyline. The strangest part was that Hulk saw them kissing, and didn't do a thing about it. A huge part of the story is that Hulk doesn't trust Bully, so it didn't really fit at all.
2) TNA revealed that the person behind their cryptic 1.3.13 videos is Sting, and he wants to take out Aces and Eights with his bat. It's unclear why they decided to spoil whom the vignettes were about before the date, but it doesn't really make sense. One needs look no further than Chris Jericho to see how successful properly performed mystery segments can be.
What do you think were the best, worst and strangest segments of Impact? Sound off in the comments section below.