By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Hardys Confronted Team 3D
Bully Ray's promo was a logical follow-up to the events of last week and the less said about Dixie Carter at this point, the better. As Matt Hardy mentioned in his promo, it's been a long time since we last saw these two teams in the same ring, so it obviously made for a cool moment. They danced around their way of saying the names of the events they wrestled at, but they recapped their history nicely and the live crowd was begging for "one more match" between them. When it was decided upon, the crowd popped big and it built anticipation for what would be an exciting main event match.
Low-Ki def. Homicide, Tigre Uno, Manik, Crazy Steve and DJ Z in a Six-Way Scramble No. 1 Contender's Match for X-Division Championship
The outcome of this match was foreshadowed from the start since Low-Ki was the only one who received an entrance, and rightfully so. None of the other guys involved, except for maybe Homicide, are relevant and added very little to this match. Their eliminations were done quickly, thankfully, and the exchange between Homicide and Low-Ki at the end was fun. Low-Ki vs. Samoa Joe for the X-Division Championship should be one hell of a match. The Scramble match had completely different rules the last time it was held in WWE years ago, so billing this bout as such was inaccurate from my view.
Kurt Angle Had Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud and Rhino Arrested
EC3 is improving on the mic at a rapid pace and he's even better when he shows aggression during his delivery like he did here. The crowd absolutely despises him, and that's what made his arrest that much more entertaining, along with Spud who is always a riot. The audience enjoyed seeing them get carried off by the police, but this is the third time in the last few weeks in wrestling that someone has been arrested. Granted, this was taped long before the arrests of Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella, but it was just bad timing. I'm curious as to what's next for this heel trio going forward now that Dixie Carter is (presumably) off TV for good.
Mr. Anderson def. Gunner by Disqualification
This entire angle involving Anderson, Gunner and Sam Shaw is completely asinine, makes no sense and is not intriguing at all. The match was mediocre since the crowd couldn't have cared less based off their various chants. I'm not sure if this makes Anderson the heel or what, but what's worse is that despite how stupid the story is, there was no real progression of it here. Thus, this was nothing more than a waste of time.
Gail Kim def. Taryn Terrell, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky in a Fatal 4-Way for the Knockouts Championship
The four way nature of the match worked in hiding Sky's weaknesses and exploiting the strengths of the better workers. Any in-ring interaction between Kim and Terrell is great and The Beautiful People also played their parts well by teasing tension. A breakup between the two feels premature at this point since they reunited not too long ago, but it added an extra layer to this match. Kim retaining was a smart move in building toward the eventual rubber match between her and Terrell.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley, MVP and Kenny King def. Austin Aries, Eric Young and Bobby Roode
This was a very well wrestled match with everyone involved having their time to shine. The action was solid throughout and they managed to hold the audience's interest as well. Lashley picking up the clean victory for his time was great to see, as it continues to build up his credibility as champion. I'm an Aries fan and all, but he was the right one to take the loss here as Roode and Young still appear to be in the title picture.
Abyss Called Out Bram
The idea of Janice, a 2-by-4 with nails sticking out the side of it, in 2014 is so beyond stupid that it's mind boggling to me why TNA is continuing to use it on TV. Focusing an entire storyline around it is even worse and I can't say I'm thrilled to see a match contested over it next week on TV. With that said, Bram has been showing very good character progression during this feud and I hope it elevates him to the next level in the process.
Team 3D def. The Hardys
As expected, this highly anticipated matchup delivered in being on the level of their clashes from years ago. The action was entertaining, they kept a consistent pace and the fans in attendance ate it all up. There were a lot of suspenseful near-falls and a few botches here and there, but that of course comes with the territory more often than not. The showing of respect from the two teams afterward was a nice touch and I'm sure it won't be the last time we see them in the ring together.
The Anderson/Shaw match and the segment between Abyss and Bram made my eyes roll, but everything else was either good or great. Some will say that there was too much talking, but I didn't get that vibe at all. The X-Division match, the Knockouts match and of course the main event were all excellent and the rest rounded out what was a solid episode of Impact. It was also smart of them to hype what's on tap for next week's Hardcore Justice show and give viewers an incentive to tune in, although I must say that they should have done a better job of promoting the fact that they'll be airing on Wednesdays from this point forward.