By Graham "GSM" Matthews
X-Division Champion DJ Z def. Trevor Lee
It didn't surprise me in the slightest that this X-Division Championship match wasn't advertised prior to this weekend because the division has been so poorly showcased for years now. It also didn't surprise me that their match opened the event, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing given it hardly had any storyline significance compared to other matchups on the card. They contested a very fun match and filled with a number of sick spots, but the biggest issue this division faces is a lack of character development. What have we learned about Lee since he arrived earlier this year? Nevertheless, this the right match to kick off the night with.
Eli Drake Won the Bound for Gold Gauntlet Battle Royal
TNA does so many of these Gauntlet Battle Royals that they lost their luster a long time ago and are rarely ever exciting. That said, this was a fine way of getting all the undercard competitors on the show and appears to be an annual fixture going forward, even though none of them had a real chance of winning other than Drake. The guy has been an absolute goldmine for months now, so I was very happy he won the whole thing.
Moose def. Mike Bennett
Moose's football entrance looked a little too low-rent for my taste, but at least it was unique, so I'll give TNA that. Anyway, he's come a long way as an athlete since his Ring of Honor debut two years ago and has a pretty impressive arsenal for a man his size. He worked well with Bennett and they produced a good match, but there wasn't anything overly special about it beyond that.
Aron Rex def. Eddie Edwards to Become the Inaugural Impact Grand Champion
I started to come around to the MMA-style format of the division, but this match didn't do anything for me whatsoever. Not only did the match suffer from a lack of excitement, but there were so many factors that caused it to fall flat. First and foremost, I was initially on board with Rex coming to TNA, but so far he's been a bust because he seemingly doesn't have a gimmick. Then, they had no documented issues because Edwards replaced an injured Drew Galloway at the last minute. Finally, the lights went out (the "Pay the Light Bill" chant was hysterical) and they spoiled the outcome by airing a graphic indicating Rex won. In so many words, this was a total train wreck.
Gail Kim Was Inducted Into the TNA Hall of Fame
Say what you will about the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of TNA's Hall of Fame, but there is no denying that the ceremonies are done with such class and this was no exception. Kim delivered an excellent speech and is unquestionably deserving of the honor given all of her accolades from WWE and especially TNA. The surprise returns of Christy Hemme, Taryn Terrell and Awesome Kong were nice touches as well.
"Broken" Matt Hardy and Brother Nero def. Decay in a "Great War" to Win the World Tag Team Championship
This was what I was looking forward to more than anything else on this show and it definitely delivered. I was worried that they would contest something along the lines of a Monster's Ball bout and not what we've seen from the Hardys before in Final Deletion and Delete or Decay, but the pre-taped segments were fantastic and the matchup lived up to the hype in that way. The "obsolete" act is so over at the moment that it would have been stupid to not put the belts on them, but props to Decay for having a great reign as well as their enjoyable involvement in this feud.
Gail Kim def. Maria to Win the Knockouts Championship
I assumed this match would be cut short by a few minutes after the Great War went a little long, but it might have actually worked out for the better. In storyline, Maria isn't a trained wrestler, so this was never meant to be a competitive contest. She attempted to escape Kim at every turn, but ultimately, she received her comeuppance at long last, hopefully putting an end to this drawn-out program. Cody Rhodes' debut couldn't have come at a better time and the crowd was hot for him and his wife Brandi Rhodes. I know he's in TNA for a feud with Bennett and Maria, but here's hoping he sticks around longer and eventually enters the main event scene where he belongs.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley def. Ethan Carter III
Lashley's shocking spear to EC3 from the onset of the match was well done. It set the stage for the remainder of the bout, and while it didn't have that "big fight feel" about it, they produced a strong main event matchup that picked up the pace in the second half. I for sure thought EC3 was winning the title here, but I'm happy TNA went with the clean heel win instead. EC3 is still relatively popular as a babyface, but Lashley has been killing it as champion and essentially all year round, so I loved the move to keep the belt on him for a while longer.
If you watched this show expecting TNA to make some sort of announcement regarding their future, you must have been disappointed because it wasn't even acknowledged. But from a product standpoint, this was the perfect culmination of what has been one of TNA's better years in recent memory. The Great War was undoubtedly the best thing on the entire show, but the rest of the night featured plenty of entertaining action. Thus, this had to have been the best installment of BFG this company has put on since at least 2012.