By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus Confronted Sting
Magnus and Sting had a solid segment that helped hype their title match for later in the show. I was glad to see them make mention of the fact of their history in Main Event Mafia as well as Magnus' victory over Sting at last year's Bound For Glory event. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Dixie Carter and company not distract from their verbal exchange. However, the backstage segment that aired prior to this was downright awful for the atrocious actor that was hired to play the attorney and took away from anything that came after it.
Gunner def. James Storm in a Briefcase on a Pole Match
I haven't enjoyed the feud between these two up thus far, but it appears to be continuing past this point. The match was fine for what it was, but they weren't given enough time for it to feel special at all, especially since it has been built up for close to three months. While the match may have been decent, the stupendously stupid finish ruined it all. It could be seen coming from a mile away when Mike Tenay said on commentary that one would have to get "full possession" of the briefcase. It still looks like Storm will be the one to go heel, which is a mistake because I have zero reason to care about Gunner being a world title contender.
Austin Aries def. Chris Sabin to Win the X-Division Championship
Of all the matches Sabin and Aries have had against one another in recent months (not counting the one at the most recent set of One Night Only tapings), this was the best of the bunch. The live crowd actually appeared to be into the action this time around and the competitors did their best to make the most of the time they were allotted. Velvet Sky helping Aries win the title wasn't much of a surprise, although I had reason to believe that Sky might end up staying with Sabin after all. Regardless, I look forward to seeing where Sabin, Aries and Sky go from here. For those keeping score at home, the X-Division title has changed hands four times in the matter of three months. That is absolutely ridiculous and I can't honestly remember a time where the belt meant less than it does right now.
Kurt Angle def. Bobby Roode in a Steel Cage Match
These two have had some great matches in the past, but this was definitely the best bout they have contested to date. I would go as far as saying that it is easily a Match of the Year contender (insert obligatory joke about TNA not lasting until the end of the year here). It was filled with excellent action, suspenseful near-falls and a spectacular story being told. While Angle's moonsault off the top of the cage was a cool visual and a nice touch, I wouldn't think that it is the best thing for his body at this point in his career. I never bought into the possibility of Angle not being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame if he lost for a second, so that made the ending outcome pretty predictable, but I have no problem with Angle going over since Roode can already brag about beating Angle multiple times in the past.
Abyss Saved Eric Young From TNA World Tag Team Champion The Bro-Mans
While I am personally a fan of Robbie E (not so much his character, but him as a wrestler since I followed him on the indy scene), it is really hard to like him when he is a part of the most obnoxious act in all of wrestling. They garner go-away heat from the crowd and have no business being tag team champions. How does attacking the tag champs automatically make Young and Abyss the contenders? I am not complaining, though, as I would much rather see the belts on them as opposed to The Bro-Mans at this point. I could speculate as to why Abyss came out and not Joesph Park, but I stopped caring a long time ago.
Samoa Joe def. Rockstar Spud
This was your basic squash match... and there isn't much else to say besides that. Joe virtually destroyed Spud, which was entertaining, but it would have been better to wait a little longer for Joe (or any face for that matter) to finally get his hands on Spud. Why not build up to that moment? The win didn't do anything for Joe, but it appears that he may be next in line for title shot.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus def. Sting in a Title vs. Contract No Disqualification Match
I said many months ago that I found the match between Magnus and Sting at Bound For Glory last year to be very disappointing. Well, I would take that match over this one any day of the week. Didn't Sting know coming into this match that he was going to be outnumbered by Dixie's henchmen? It was the same garbage that we saw two weeks ago during the title unification match, but even worse. Magnus looked extremely weak coming out of this, as there were countless points in the match where he was clearly beaten by Sting. And how many damn referee bumps does there need to be in one match? Despite all that, I am happy that Sting is apparently no longer under contract to TNA. He has done it all in the company and has nothing left to prove, so if his departure is truly legitimate, then it was the best thing for him. Sting vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania 30, anyone?
I had high hopes (stupid me) for this show considering last week's show was such a disappointment, but this was unfortunately much of the same. The only match worth watching was Angle vs. Roode, as everything else was either terribly booked or forgettable. The creative direction in TNA at the moment is simply asinine and I can't imagine it getting any worse. What is even scarier is that they are calling this a "new era" in the company. So, does that mean we are in for more of this pathetic nonsense in coming months? Thankfully, they will be overseas for the next month, so hopefully the electric atmosphere will spark a fire under officials to put forth a better product.