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It is once again time to react to the events of Impact Wrestling, and contemplate what they are doing right and wrong. However, this edition is special for two reasons. It is Open Fight Night, and the show is emanating from Manchester, England, and so you can be pretty sure to expect some old stereotypes being brought up by heels in order to draw some cheap heat. The English crowds are usually fired up as they often don’t get to feature as the background to a weekly wrestling recording, so they should provide suitably raucous responses to the drama that takes place in the ring.

But where are we in TNA after last week? The show ended with an Aces & Eights attack on the World Champion Jeff Hardy after he had successfully defended his title against Christopher Daniels. Now that the group has begun to target the World Champion, one has to wonder how the company respond to attacks on their No. 1 guy. Or maybe it could write Hardy out of this week’s show, and allow the gang to fully explain their actions against the champion. Have they got a challenger amongst their ranks? Furthermore, Hulk Hogan will return, and after the empassioned speech by Bully Ray and the show of support by Sting, we wait with baited breath to see if the general manager reinstates the currently suspended Ray. The main event tonight will also be special, with Kurt Angle and Mr. Anderson battling in a steel cage, in a rematch of their encounter at Lockdown 2010. If it is anywhere near the quality of that match, then we will be in for a great end to the show, but don’t expect as clean a finish with the Aces & Eights lurking in the background.

7. “You May Beat Me For The World Championship, But You Will Never Take My Appletinis!”

The show opens with the arrival of the outlandishly cocky Christopher Daniels and his chum Kazarian, and they come sporting blue warpaint, a reference to the great Scot William Wallace. For those unfamiliar with British news, currently there is a desire from Scotland to break away from Great Britain and become independent, and even at the best of times the English and Scottish components of the union do not really get on. The two self-righteous “sex bombs” go on to rile the predominantly English crowd over their many failings next to their far more fantastic neighbours from the North. Not entirely original, but it was useful at getting the crowd immediately against these two. Daniels had an excellent contest with Jeff Hardy for the World Championship last week, and doubtless this was mentioned by the pair, who were disappointed about not getting the job done. An excellent example of heel whinging on show.

This brings out the resident Brit Magnus, who had been put on the shelf three months earlier after an assault by Aces & Eights. After spouting some very PG British insults in the direction of the two in the ring, he proceeded to kick them out with very little difficulty and the patriotic support of the crowd. I had a few issues with this, as the point of Impact is that it should be a little more edgy to attract fans away from the WWE, so the use of the term “muppet” to verbally belittle your opponents isn’t that intimidating. Also two men, one of whom was last week fighting competitively for the world title, were quickly dispatched of by one man who had just returned from a long-term injury – I guess the home-field advantage really is a factor. Magnus then grabs his microphone and announces the real reason he was out here… to challenge Devon to a match as revenge for the injuries he suffered. The music of Aces & Eights blares over the speakers as the first match of the evening is about to get underway.

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This article was first posted on February 2, 2013