I have to warn ahead of time that this review will be different from how I usually write my reviews because I’m actually reviewing the show as a new product rather than grading matches individually. But with that said, I also have to warn that last night was my first time watching TNA since Hulk Hogan left the company. So there may have been some changes to the product that I may have seen for the first time, but have existed in the Spike TV version of the show before I reviewed this version. So bare with me and feel free to comment below as well.
The opening to the show was pretty incredible. The show started off with great cinematography as we watched some of their stars go through their daily routine in order to prepare for the show later. It eventually cut to MVP giving a pep talk to the roster about how it’s a new channel and a new beginning. Other superstars exchanged words as well. The intro ended with the roster brawling with each other outside of the arena before making their way in and continuing the brawl through the crowd. It was a wild way to start off, but it sure as hell grabbed my attention.
The arena is smaller than I remember seeing it before. It reminded me of an independent show, which is fine. The arena looked packed enough with how the lighting covered it. I’m pretty sure there were some empty seats, but it wasn’t completely noticeable. The classic octagon ring is back. I’m not sure why it was discarded in the first place since it was one of the things that helped the company stand out. I know Hogan and Bischoff made the changes when they were in power, but I can’t imagine how they thought changing something so different in to something standard and average would improve the company.
Speaking of octagon, the show played off as more of an MMA event than an actual wrestling one. There was a serious tone to the way the wrestlers were presented, especially the main event between Bobby Lashley and Bobby Roode. I know Lashley has done MMA in the past. But if I didn’t know any better, I would have mistaken the event for an actual real fight considering how Destination America was marketing it. Regardless of TNA losing some of their viewers due to the channel not being as available, It’s awesome to see that they are finally on a station that is willing to take a lot of pride in the product and seriously market it.
As far as the show itself, it was fast paced from the beginning to end. Very indie in how the matches came off. I was a little disappointed by the Knock outs battle royal due to wanting to show my significant other how better a Knock outs match is compared to a Divas match. But I actually marked out when Awesome Kong returned. The only complaint I had about the show was that the main event was too busy. The match itself was awesome and hard hitting. But it felt like there was too much outside interference. I would have loved for Lashley to have gotten a clean victory. Having Samoa Joe and Low Ki unmask at the end of the show seemed cheesy as well. As a person who hasn’t watched the show in a long time, I was a little confused about the ending. I can only imagine how someone who has never watched the product until now due to all of the new hype would have taken it. But I enjoyed the show for what it was, and I can see it becoming a nice escape, along with NXT, away from the normal Monday affair. I haven’t decided if I’m going to start covering the show officially yet. But if next week impress me as well, I’ll give it a more in depth review. I’m just glad their premier show turned out as well as it did.