By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Bobby Roode Interrupted Austin Aries
Obviously, Aries has always been an excellent mic worker, but hasn't been able to showcase his spectacular skills on the mic in a great while. He made his pending match with AJ Styles feel very meaningful and stressed the fact it's the first ever one-on-one meeting between the two. Roode's promo was great as well and it's nice to see TNA making a story out of his recent losing streak. All in all, this was a solid segment that certainly set the tone for the rest of the night.
Bobby Roode def. Hernandez to Earn 7 Points in the Bound For Glory Series
The match wasn't anything special, but at least both competitors put forth a good effort. Hernandez's matches are usually hit or miss, but Roode was able to pull a decent bout out of him here. Roode relegating to dirty tactics to pick up the win was logical, but what wasn't logical was the fact that the referee didn't notice shards of glass still in the ring when Roode pinned Hernandez. This is isn't the first time this has happened, either, so you would think TNA would have learned their lesson by now. Regardless, I'm glad Roode finally has a win under his belt in the BFG Series.
Joesph Park def. Jay Bradley to Earn 7 Points in the Bound For Glory Series
I've enjoyed the Park character since its debut in early 2012 and haven't stopped enjoying it since. I'm not a huge fan of Eric Young, but he can be humorous at times, and he seemed to work well as Park's manager here. I hope this doesn't lead to Park discovering he's Abyss, though, as I see no need to bring that character back on a regular basis. As for Bradley, he has potential, but being the "job guy" in the BFG Series does him no favors.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Chris Sabin def. X-Division Champion Manik (Non-title)
While they wrestled a good match, it far less special than I expected it to be. This was a Champion vs. Champion match, which are quite rare in TNA nowadays. That being said, the action didn't live up to the hype. Personally, I'm not high on Manik and feel like TNA dropped the ball on the character when they unmasked him a few months ago. The crowd hasn't been given him an incentive to care about the character, either. If nothing else, this was a nice win for Sabin and him getting the better of Bully Ray was an effective way of furthering their feud.
ODB vs. Gail Kim Ended in a Double Count-out
This feud started just last week, so I was confused as to why they were blowing off the rivalry so quickly. Thankfully, the non-finish keeps the feud alive for the time being. As for the match, it was fine for what it was, but nothing out of the ordinary. It was a nice change of pace to see ODB competing again given the fact she hasn't been an active wrestler in many months.
Austin Aries def. AJ Styles to Earn 7 Points in the Bound For Glory Series
What a great match this was. They hyped the hell out of this dream match going into it, and definitely delivered. The action was extremely entertaining and left this viewer wanting more the end of it. The finish was strange, but it wasn't decisive enough to leave out the option for a rematch down the line. I've been loving Styles' heel persona thus far, and Aries continues to shine, so I'd be completely content if either one of these competitors ultimately won the BFG Series.
Tito Ortiz is Revealed as the One Behind #August1Warning
The exchange between Main Event Mafia and Aces and Eights was short and sweet, but that was probably because it occurred so late in the broadcast. Nonetheless, I like the idea of a five-on-five match between the two tandems at Hardcore Justice in a few weeks and the added stipulation that whoever gets pinned will be fired from TNA. As for the #August1Warning reveal, I can't say I'm surprised. This was heavily rumored over the course of the week and was the least interesting route they could have taken. I understand he has star power, but after King Mo and Rampage Jackson, was it really necessary to sign Ortiz, too? I just don't see the point, especially at a time when TNA is attempting to cut costs. They might end up doing something with him in coming weeks, but as of now, this was another case of dropping the ball on something that had the potential to be great.
Aside from the lackluster ending, this was a pretty solid show. There were a handful of well wrestled matches as well as successful story-line progression. The focus is fully on Hardcore Justice in two weeks, so it's good to see TNA hyping that up now to be a special show. However, there are still plenty of things about the company that irk me to no end at the moment and I hope they can get their act together soon before it starts to turn off viewers.