By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Kurt Angle Called Out Bobby Roode
Angle was intense while also keeping his promo short and sweet. Roode cut a great promo as well, but it felt like a repeat from these two seeing how they have brawled numerous times as of late. Even still, it was a solid segment to kick off the show with, especially with their feud being the hottest thing in TNA right now. I very much look forward to their 2-out-of-3 Falls Match next week, as it has the potential to be fantastic.
Eric Young and Joesph Park def. Bad Influence
The match was exceptional at best, but it was hard to take it seriously with this entire angle being an absolute joke. It is even worse to see such a great tag team in Bad Influence involved in such garbage. Thankfully, the end appears to be in sight with Young revealing Park to be Abyss, but I have a feeling this wasn't the blow-off. With any luck, the official end will come sooner rather than later.
Sting Interrupted Ethan Carter III
EC3's open challenges over the last two months have grown incredibly tiresome, so it was a refreshing change of pace for Sting to actually interrupt. Speaking of Sting, he hasn't appeared in a TNA ring in close to two months, so having him return him was nice placement. I had a feeling he would clash with EC3 at some point, so I am glad to see the feud finally come to fruition. I don't know how good their eventual match will end up being, but at least EC3 is in a program and might get over by the end of it.
Madison Rayne Returned to Save ODB from Knockouts Champion Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa
Similar with EC3, Kim's open challenges lost their luster weeks ago, but it was nice to see them break away from that formula here. I have no desire to see ODB and Kim feud over the Knockouts title after their series of unspectacular matches a few months ago, but ODB vs. Tapa makes sense given the fact Tapa has targeted ODB multiple times in the past. Not only that, but it is fantastic to see Rayne back in TNA after being released from TNA this past July. Don't get me wrong, the Knockouts division is still in bad shape, but bringing Rayne back was a smart move. Her history with Kim speaks for itself and should make for a fun feud between them.
Jeff Hardy and Magnus Faced Off
Dixie Carter garnered good heat from her mic work while Hardy and Magnus cut solid promos as well. Both could be better on the mic, but it was enough to make the TNA title match next week feel important. Magnus tried his best to rally the fans behind him, but Hardy is too over to the point where I feel Magnus might get booed if he wins the belt next week. Then again, it might not matter if a heel turn is in the works.
Austin Aries def. Chris Sabin to Win the X-Division Championship
These two had one of the best matches of the year on the July 4th episode, and I was hoping for more of the same here. Although the match was well paced and featured some entertaining action, I felt somewhat let down by this bout. Perhaps because they didn't built this feud at all coming out of their altercation at Bound For Glory two months ago. It was cool to see Aries win back the title and the crowd popped for the title change, but what was the point of Sabin winning the title back in the first place? What does this do to help the strap or Aries? Why should I care in the slightest? So many questions, very few answers.
Ethan Carter III, Zema Ion, Chavo Guerrero, and Gunner Won Briefcases in Feast or Fired
I expected this match to be an absolute train wreck of a match, but it actually ended up being better than expected. Everyone played their part in the matchup and there were several cool spots. The concept has been and always will be a rip-off of Money in the Bank and Deal or No Deal, but leaving viewers in suspense to see what winners hold what briefcases is an intriguing hook for next week's show. I predict that EC3 wins the world title shot, Zema Ion wins the X-Division title shot, Gunner wins the tag title shot, and Chavo Guerrero gets fired. When was the last time Chavo did anything of note on Impact?
With this being the go-home edition of Impact Wrestling before next week's Final Resolution event, I didn't anticipate this episode being anything memorable, but it actually entertained me for most of the two hours. From the return of Madison Rayne to the crowning of a new X-Division champion to the Feast or Fired match, this show held my interest and has me looking forward to what should be a great Final Resolution show.
Don't forget to vote in the WWE/TNA 2013 Year in Review Awards! Polls close December 17th!