By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Tommy Dreamer Interrupted MVP
I like Kurt Angle in the authority role he's currently cast in, but it's evident his heart isn't into it and he's just counting down the days until his TNA contract expires. MVP continues to shine on the mic and he's the perfect mouthpiece for Lashley. I figured Dreamer's time in TNA was done after Dixie Carter was put through a table, but apparently not. I'm fine with it since I'm a fan of Dreamer, but he doesn't add much to the product and he only enforces the ECW vibe that should be no more.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley def. Tommy Dreamer in a New York City Street Fight (Non-title)
The stipulation made the match more enjoyable, but when there's seemingly a hardcore match every week, how much does it really mean? Dreamer shines in these types of matches and while this wasn't his best showing, he carried Lashley to a decent enough bout. Lashley held his own and deserves some credit as well. It wasn't an all-out war, but it was as long as it needed to be and it gave Lashley a nice win that further established him as a beast.
Taryn Terrell def. Madison Rayne in a No. 1 Contender's Match for the Knockouts Championship
Terrell has continued to shine since returning to the ring a few months ago, but this wasn't her best match back by far. Neither woman is to blame, it's just that they lack good in-ring chemistry. The live crowd (which I was a part of when this was taped) reacted to the near-falls, but it would have helped if it was announced to them (us?) that this was for a future shot at the Knockouts title. I still find it odd that Rayne's feud with Brittany was dropped so quickly. Is she turning back heel already?
Low-Ki, Crazy Steve and Tigre Uno def. Manik, Homicide and DJ Z
It's been cool to see names from the past such as Low-Ki and Homicide return to the X-Division, but they've done nothing to stand out as of late. It's not their fault but rather TNA's for not giving them anything substantial to do. This has always been the death of the division. They have great talent, but they always have random matches that don't mean anything. It was a fun match and all, but it's pointless in the long scheme of things.
Bobby Roode Called Out Eric Young
This was the third straight segment that the entrance of a wrestler was cut, and why? We were as a crowd not loud enough or something? That aside, this was a good promo from Roode and Young with both guys showing the other respect. It makes sense from a storyline standpoint to put them in another No. 1 Contender's match against other (as opposed to making the title match a Triple Threat), so this was a logical follow-up to the event of last week that sets up a big match for next week's show.
Rhyno def. Ethan Carter III by Disqualification
I wouldn't exactly call this a "money matchup", but it's a match that should be slowly built toward and not given away immediately. With that said, I was glad this match was kept short and was more an angle than anything else. Yes, Rhyno picks up the DQ in, but EC3 was the last man standing. Rockstar Spud telling him to take it easy on Rhyno gave EC3 an extra aggressive edge he didn't have before, so it's nice to see some character development from him.
Sanada def. Austin Aries
I've been intrigued by the Sanada and James Storm pairing thus far and I'm really digging Sanada's new look. It adds a lot to his current heel persona. As for the match, Sanada and Aries always work well together and this was no exception. Their were a few cool spots thrown in and Sanada utilized heel tactics (the green mist) to pick up the victory. It ties nicely into his feud with The Great Muta and Tajiri being called in to aid Aries.
Chris Melendez Made His Debut
First off, I have major respect for Melendez for battling through his dehabilitating injury and living out his dream as a wrestler. Some were fearful that TNA was copying WWE in signing someone who was similar to Zach Gowen and that they only did it for the mainstream attention, but this was a feel-good moment and from what it looks like, Melendez isn't green enough that he isn't ready for the prime time. Team 3D and Mr. Anderson all played their parts well and everything about the segment came across great on TV.
Team 3D def. The Hardys and The Wolves in Match #1 of the World Tag Team Championship Series
As expected, everyone involved put forth a strong effort and delivered an awesome match. The pace was fun and frantic, but at the same time the bout felt rushed and could have used more time. Then again, it's very possible they were holding back so they can go all out in future matches. There's three more matches to go, after all. The Team 3D win could've used more time to sink in before going out the air so they could have at least announced the stipulation for next week's match to build excitement.
I might be in the minority on this one, but I enjoyed this show on the whole more than last week's, but that might very well be because I was in attendance for some of these matches. That didn't take away from my enjoyment of it and this episode was much less of a mixed bag than last week. The action was good, the main event was very entertaining and there were several thing hyped up for next week's edition.