By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Magnus Called Out Abyss
Keeping Magnus off last week's show gave viewers a refreshing break from his character and I liked his promo here. It wasn't anything excellent, but he covered all ground from Eric Young winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to Abyss failing to "do his job" as Magnus' lackey. The whole storyline with Magnus and Abyss felt rushed considering they joined forces only a month ago. Does this turn Abyss back face? At least the live crowd were happy to see the split by reacting to the announcement of the match between the two. Also, MVP offering to give Abyss a "full-time spot" on the TNA roster made zero sense since he was already a part of the roster to begin with. Didn't he contend for the title a few weeks back?
Kurt Angle def. Rockstar Spud
Since this was Angle's first match back from injury, you'd think there would be more buzz around it, but that's nitpicking things. It was the squash match it needed to be with Spud scoring some offense toward the end. It was smart to preserve Angle going into the event given he's coming off injury. The match was nothing of note, but it furthered the feud between him and Ethan Carter III and Willow making the save afterward built toward the tag team match at Sacrifice.
The Beautiful People Attacked Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne
Lord knows we've seen The Beautiful People in far too many talking segments since their reformation, but it had been a few weeks since their last promo so this was tolerable. During their confrontation with Rayne, they brushed upon their history as a group, garnered good heat from the attack and were fended off by the babyface Brittany. I like Brittany siding with Rayne getting involved in the feud since she hasn't been used all that much since her debut and it also evens the odds for the outnumbered Rayne.
Bobby Lashley def. Kenny King by Count-out
It's ridiculous that Lashley already feels like an afterthought despite returning only a month ago at Lockdown. He received a great reaction upon his comeback to the company, but TNA has failed to do anything with him since. He isn't the greatest worker in the world, but he had a surprisingly good match with King here, who I suspect carried him a bit. The highlight of the bout came when Lashley caught King in mid-air for a suplex. That was pretty unique. King getting himself counted out protects him in defeat and I hope this isn't the last time we see these two face off.
MVP def. Austin Aries
It was nice to see Aries back in the ring for the first time since Lockdown. I expected a great match out of these two and they definitely delivered. I was worried they wouldn't receive enough time but they did, though they probably could have gone a few more minutes. The final few minutes were well done, but MVP's clean win doesn't do anything for Aries. Will this feud continue going forward or was this just a one-off match?
James Storm and Bobby Roode def. Gunner and Bully Ray
All four competitors worked a solid match and everyone involved was able to shine at one point or another. It was well paced and everyone worked in their signature spots. Bully Ray bringing out the table seemed silly, but at least it hyped his Tables match with Roode on Sunday. Storm's superkick was excellently executed and the heels were the right team to go over. Though they didn't enter to their old entrance music (I didn't expect them to anyway), it was cool to see Beer Money back together for one night.
The Beautiful People def. Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne and Gail Kim
The pairing of Rayne and Kim made no sense to me. Turning Kim babyface would be pointless considering ODB and Brittany are already babyfaces. Storm and Roode teaming up was just as strange, but at least they weren't feuding a mere month ago. The match was fine for what it was, but it was all about The Beautiful People building momentum to set up Rayne retaining on Sunday. Of everything involving the Knockouts on this show, I was most intrigued by Rayne choosing Kim as her partner over Brittany. I'd love to see her in a psychotic role and I'm glad they're taking their time with it.
Abyss def. Magnus by Disqualification
I had no problem with the match itself as it was decent enough, but as previously mentioned, I had a hard time buying into the fact that these two are splitting up after such a short stint. I also didn't take the "Abyss gets a roster spot if he wins" stipulation seriously given that he already is on the roster. He's the freakin' Television Champion! Eric Young performed well on commentary, but didn't add anything to the match. Magnus showing his vicious side by attacking Abyss and Young with a steel chair was the best move to make since Magnus desperately needed heat going into his title match with Young and it made him look credible for once. That being said, I suspect Abyss to screw Magnus out of the title on Sunday.
Unlike with Lockdown, I actually remembered that there's a pay-per-view this Sunday, so at least TNA did a better job of hyping their pay-per-view this time around. I can't say I'm highly anticipating the event, but the card has the potential to be very good and I hold out hope that it is at least enjoyable. This edition, while not the most entertaining, did a solid job of building toward Sunday's show and hyping almost all of the advertised matches.