Federation: Impact Wrestling
The build up to Sacrifice felt almost nonexistent, sure most of the matches presented on the night were in one way or another the end of some feud. This being said it felt very disjointed since most of the buildup seemed far away and no longer relevant. On the paper TNA presented a gimmick PPV, almost every single match had some form of stipulation that also felt like a way to make it more interesting. That being said Sacrifice was actually a very good pay per view when it came down to the wrestling, the company has got a strong roster, but suffers from storylines that have little or no urgency to them. The recent cutbacks in wrestlers has also damaged TNA and one can only hope that they have a great plan to recoup those losses.
The Wolves vs. Bro-Mans & Dj Z (handicap Tag Team championship match)
What made TNA so good in the past was that they had a strong X-division, women’s division and Tag division, today this is unfortunately not so. All three divisions run on some form of skeleton crew and this leads to repetitive matches and tired storylines. The addition of The Wolves (Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards) to the roster has been a long awaited boost to the roster and they will thrive much more on Impact than NXT, but the loss of Bad Influence, the split of Aries/Roode, Gunner/Storm, has made the landscape bare.
That being said the match between Bro-Mans and The Wolves was good, fast-paced and with many entertaining spots. The comical aspect of Robbie and Jessie as well as Zema pitted against the hard-hitting style of Richards and Edwards works well. Unfortunately The Wolves have been using the same moves in the last three matches leading up to Sacrifice, but after watching the two following Impact shows they have pulled out others from their arsenal.
The title win was deserved and long awaited, but leaves the question…who will they feud with next?
Willow/Kurt Angle vs. Rockstar Spud/EC3
Not much can be said about this match. Nothing really gets resolved and it seems more to have been added so that the wrestlers would have a spot at the show. It was also obvious that Angle was unable to carry his end by himself and therefore Willow was added. EC3 is a good wrestler and shows a lot of in ring comedy without making it too silly. Spud on the other hand looks a bit too ridiculous amongst the bigger guys and need to enter an expanding X-division, where he could shine. He has been a OVW TV champion, show why.
Tigre Uno vs. Sanada (X-division championship)
Just like the Tag division the X-division is limping like an injured deer. They need to inject some blood in it and they have teased such an injection by bringing Aries and King back to Impact, but nothing happens. A 2 out of 3 matches between Uno and Sanada was unmotivated except to show that Impact has all but abandoned the division. One cannot use One Night Only Xtravaganza or Destination X as justification that the division is still important.
The match between the two highflyers was excellent with alot of back and action and the outcome uncertain. There was innovation and quickness and everything was genuinely enjoyable. The thing to do is to have at least one X-division match per Impact show, not necessarily a championship match, with a variety of stars to bring the relevance of it back.
Mr. Anderson vs. Samuel Shaw (committed match)
One would have thought that this issue had been resolved long ago, but it keeps on coming. The buildup has been slow and entertaining and Shaw and Anderson are both good workers and performers. One can mourn the fact that Shaw has gone from being an X-division athlete to a heavyweight, he is more needed there. The match was good and the Dexter-persona of Shaw well played, the outcome was expected and probably not a surprise to anyone.
“Cowboy” James Storm vs. Gunner (I quit match)
Like Shaw and Anderson this is a feud that one might feel has gone too long. At the last PP V it should have ended, but TNA felt it needed one final bought. Both Gunner and Storm are good workers, the first has got a limited amount of moves, but makes them count and if you were to compare him to any wrestler from the old days he would hold his own. Storm on the other hand has always been evolving, always adding moves, but he isn’t agile enough to sell all the moves and he comes off quite stiff. Gunner has been growing as a wrestler and is absolutely turning into a fan favorite while Storm is now where he is supposed to be, a heel.
The match was everything one would want from an I Quit match and it goes that extra step that TNA has not dared to do on Impact, even though there has been several Monster’s Balls. This was a really solid match with violence and a strong showing from both guys.
Bobby Roode vs. Bully Ray (Tables Match)
Both Bully Ray and Roode are great in ring competitors and I do think that Bully plays a better face than he does a heel. There is something endearing about him that way and he is very good at getting the crowd on his side. Roode just goes from strength to strength, always adding new moves and when you think you know him he adds a dropkick. The match was good and well-paced though the trouble with tables matches are always weird since the match ends when a table is broken. The addition of Dixie Carter felt a bit contrived, but furthers the feud and keeps her relevant.
Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne (Knockouts Championship)
This would be third division in TNA that is currently suffering, like the X-division there are too few wrestlers in the knockouts division causing matches and feuds to be repetitive and somewhat dull. The introduction of Brittney and return of Angelina Love and Taryn Terell have been welcome. The strength within TNA is that they actually have women wrestlers who can wrestle and it shows. Love and Rayne had a matchup that could rival any of the men on the roster.
Love’s win was expected and in line with the Beautiful People’s heel turn.
Magnus vs. Eric Young (World Heavyweight Championship)
The decision to put the championship belt on EY, no matter the reason, was a good idea. With the absence of Samoa Joe, departure of Sting and A.J. Styles, injury of Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy’s Willow persona and Storm’s heel turn he is the wrestler who is most over. The fact that he has moved from the goofy persona has left him open to showcase his skills. Young is a tremendous athlete and a wrestler with a high level skill set. It is quite obvious that he can have a good match with anyone. Magnus, like Gunner, is more limited in his moves, but is a strong competitor and plays his role perfectly.
This match was very good, but could have been better with someone equal to EY. What is particularly enjoyable is the how Young has pointed out his history with TNA and the fans really pop for this, wrestling fans love continuity.
In closing, Sacrifice was, despite the gimmicks, very good and the strength was the skill of the wrestlers.