By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley Interrupted Ethan Carter III
Other than Jeff Hardy, I don't think there is any doubt that EC3 is the most over performer in the company right now, especially based off how the crowd responded to him before he even started talking here. That said, he was the right winner of the Bound for Glory Playoffs, and his title match against Lashley should be treat if their brief interaction was any indication. I was glad they didn't give too much away and instead branched off into separate matches for the night with Lashley brawling with James Storm and EC3 joining forces with Eddie Edwards to take on Mike Bennett and Moose.
Mike Bennett and Moose def. Ethan Carter III and Eddie Edwards
I have been enjoying Edwards' mini-push as a top-tier talent as of late, but I thought Davey Richards was cleared to compete after he returned at Destination X? Apparently not. Anyway, this was a solid, well-wrestled tag team where everyone involved played their parts well. Moose teasing tension with Bennett was interesting, and I guess that answers the question as to what both men will be up to at Bound for Glory. Sure, they've only been aligned for a few weeks, but Moose should have been a babyface from the get-go because of his catchy chant.
Aron Rex Debuted
It seems to be in every TNA star's contract who comes over from WWE that they must bash their former employer by talking about how they aren't "sports entertainers"... but not Rex. Granted, he did allude to them at a few points, but he didn't off come bitter as much as he did motivated, which is great. I liked how he had a different presentation here than what we were used to seeing from him in WWE and they should have taken this same serious approach with him once he was done with the Damien Mizdow stuff. Needless to say, I always believed he was highly underutilized in WWE and he should be allowed to shine in TNA.
Gail Kim def. Marti Bell in a No Disqualification Match
I understand the emphasis being on Kim heading into her Hall of Fame induction Bound for Glory weekend, but her steamrolling over the entire Knockouts division has done nothing for me. The depth of the division is already weak as it is, and Kim establishing dominance over everyone else does nobody any favors. The match was fine for what it was, and Bell isn't atrocious, but she just hasn't gotten over as a heel yet, so the crowd sat on their hands for this match.
Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy def. The Tribunal
I think Jeff may have finally found a way to elicit heat, even as a babyface: by saying the fans want The Hardy Boyz of old back. That is actually the farthest thing from the truth. Everyone is digging Matt's "Broken" character, so here's hoping that isn't the end game in all of this. As for the match itself, I couldn't care less about The Tribunal, but Matt's entertaining antics made it bearable for me, as well as the post-match craziness. Their World Tag Team Championship storyline has the potential to be fun.
Drew Galloway Addressed Ethan Carter III
This character development for Galloway has been a pleasure to watch unfold and was overdue for him. I don't how well he'll thrive as a heel if that's indeed the direction they're headed in with him, but it's been so far, so good. And EC3 would be a complete fool to put his Bound for Glory title shot on the line in a match with Galloway, yet I fully expect him to do it, anyway. Wrestling logic, people.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion and X-Division Champion Lashley def. James Storm to Win the King of the Mountain Championship
I loved the video packages that aired throughout the night hyping up Storm's first one-on-one world title match in nearly five years. It certainly enhanced my enjoyment of the matchup, and the in-ring action was excellent. Lashley has been killing it during his latest monster run, but Storm deserves credit as well for showing why he still should be at the main event level. The back-to-back Last Call superkicks to Lashley made for a very suspenseful nearfall, and both men emerged from this match looking great. With three titles in tow, Lashley is virtually unstoppable at the moment.
While the awesome main event was the highlight of the night for me, the rest of this semi-live edition of Impact Wrestling held up pretty well. Aron Rex's debut is well worth going out of your way to see, in addition to the the Hardy Boyz storyline per usual. I would like to think this type of quality programming will continue through Bound for Glory, but seeing is believing.