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A.J. Styles: He delivered his anti-Dixie Carter promo with more confidence than we've seen from him in recent weeks. This was a million times better than the never ending promo in which he tried to explain why went emo. I assume it's partially due to the fact that he believed a lot of what he was saying. Of course, one has to question whether it's a good move to have the top babyface tear down the company and then be torn down by the owner. Thus, the hit is merely for A.J.'s delivery. TNA has to realize that when Styles was singing the praises of the talented wrestlers the company has cut, the average fan at home views most of those wrestlers as inferior undercard guys because of the way they were pushed on TNA television. Therefore, to those fans, it had to seem like Styles was out of touch.
Sting, Magnus, and Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian: A solid six-man tag match that positioned Magnus in a positive light. It remains to be seen whether the Magnus push will get him over strong, but I like the effort. Does anyone know why Bobby Roode was so willing to strike Sting with the baseball bat, yet he seemed concerned about striking Magnus with it? It would almost make sense if Magnus was turning heel, but if that's the case then why would Magnus care about saving Sting?
Aces & 8's ending: It's time. It looks like Bully Ray will end up taking a beating from Knux or perhaps the entire group at some point, but it's not like his character needs to take a break. Aces & 8's did nothing for anyone other than Bully Ray, so it would be a shame if the end of the faction dragged him down. He should be just fine with Brooke Tessmacher at his side. That said, we're a month away from Bound For Glory. Can we get to the part where Styles and Ray start hyping their title match?
Dixie Carter: The owners and upper management of pro wrestling companies have to get it through their heads that while we're certainly interested in the way they conduct their business behind the scenes, that does not extend to any desire to watch them pretend to be villainous on camera. It worked for Vince McMahon because he was truly great in his role and it was so out of the norm from what we had seen from him. The Mr. McMahon run was also set up perfectly by the Montreal Screwjob that the entire wrestling world (not just fans of the inner workings of the business) was buzzing about.
The jury is still out on whether Dixie can pull off this heel character. I have never been impressed by her acting ability and last night is no exception. I have never gotten the sense that the average fan out there cares enough about the TNA President to justify her television time, Twitter push, or the silly action figure campaign. Furthermore, the bigger pro wrestling company is already giving us a storyline with power mad employers treating their employees like dirt. That storyline features two proven and familiar performers in Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, and I still have no desire to see it and I feel like it's doing way more harm than good. Whatever happened to TNA positioning itself as an alternative?
I won't pretend to know where things are heading with Dixie's on-air character aside from speculating that she could fire Hulk Hogan's on-air character if they can't reach a new contractual agreement. I just pray that this doesn't lead to yet another heel faction in TNA. It looks like the end is near for Aces & 8's. I like the smaller EGO faction (despite the awful name), but I have no desire to see Dixie lead her version of Randy Orton and The Shield against the TNA babyfaces. I don't want to hear about her daddy's money. I don't want to hear her gloat about building TNA. I am publicly begging for a break from all non-wrestlers and part-time wrestlers being positioned as the most important people in pro wrestling storylines. I also pray that every person in a power position gets it through their heads that their television character isn't nearly as fascinating as they think it is. Let the wrestlers do their jobs in front of the camera while power players do their jobs behind it.
ODB vs. Mickie James: A flat finish to the title change. It's a shame that Mickie's contract expired this week because she has been fantastic ever since she turned heel. It's so odd to me that TNA wasted James and Ken Anderson throughout most of their run, yet put them both in positions to shine right before their contracts expire. I can't say what it felt like for fans who weren't aware of Mickie's contract status, but for this viewer ODB's title win felt like a "by default" move more than something they built up to. The Knockouts have solid ratings for the company over the years and they have been notoriously underpaid in most cases so you would think they would be among the last to go, yet suddenly the Knockout count is so low that TNA would have a hard time finding enough bodies for a Knockouts bowling team.
Jeff Hardy vs. Manik: Why in the world did this match take place? Yes, I know Manik's character wanted to test his bizarre belief that his mask gives him strength or whatever, but why is the X Division Champion losing unnecessarily to a top guy? I want to feel like the X Division Champion is the best in his weight class and be left to wonder how he would hold up against heavyweight competition, not be reminded that smaller heavyweights could take the X Division Title if they really wanted to. Chris Sabin's heel turn is fine with me. He wasn't clicking as a babyface, though my concern is that Manik is clicking even less as a babyface and most fans will end up cheering for a heel Sabin.
Gunner vs. Hernandez: This should have felt bigger. These are the two powerhouses of their team and their first singles match should have been positioned better. Rather, the focus was on Chavo Guerrero doing his fake injury bit.
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