By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Dixie Carter Was Constantly Interrupted
I think it is common knowledge by this point that Carter can either be hit or miss on the mic, and this certainly wasn't one of her best promos. The crowd popped for every wrestler that interrupted her, but it grew annoying by the time James Storm came out. Promos should never take up a quarter of the show, especially at the start of the program. A tag match was made for the main event and it lead into the subsequent match between Storm and Gunner, so at least it was effective to an extent.
Gunner vs. James Storm for the Feast or Fired Briefcase Ended in a Double Count-out
Does anyone else hate it when people put the briefcases they earned on the line in a match? Granted, it wasn't up to Gunner, but it still devalues the briefcase and the title shot it contains. They worked a good match, but nothing memorable. I wish they would have held off on it until a later date and hyped it in advance, but the non-finish kept the feud alive. I am still unsure which of the two will end up turning heel, but I hope it is Gunner since he is better suited as a heel.
Brooke Called Out Bully Ray
We haven't seen much of Brooke since the disbanding of Aces and Eights last month, so it was nice to see her back to address her situation with Bully Ray. Her promo was fine for what it was, but the focus was on Ray and his new dark character. It is a refreshing change of pace for his persona and it was good to see him cut ties with Brooke and go out on his own. I have no idea where he goes from here, but it appears his feud with Mr. Anderson will continue going forward and I am enjoying the on-going evolution of his character.
Joseph Park def. Bad Influence in a Monster's Ball Match
Is it just me or have the Monster's Ball matches in recent years gotten lamer and lamer? Compare this match to a Monster's Ball match from five years ago and you would be surprised by how tame this match was. The fact Bad Influence couldn't even win in a 2-on-1 situation was a disappointment and doesn't bode well for their credibility, either. The only positive coming out of this is that Park finally realizes he is Abyss. It was about damn time.
Lei'd Tapa def. ODB
Tapa is still somewhat green in the ring, but he seems to be improving on a weekly basis. ODB carried her to a half-decent match, but then again, ODB isn't the greatest in-ring worker, either. The match was kept relatively short and sweet and Tapa went over strong, despite the fact it wasn't a clean win. Gail Kim's post-match promo helped further her feud with Madison Rayne as well.
Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud and World Tag Team Champions The Bro-Mans def. Sting and Jeff Hardy in a 4-on-2 Handicap Match
It was solid tag team match overall, but I couldn't get past the fact that it was two legends against four scrubs. Even still, it was a well-wrestled bout and I have enjoyed the Sting-EC3 feud thus far. Having EC3 pin Sting to pick up the victory for his team was perfect in that it gives him a big win while Sting and Hardy lose nothing for being against the odds. Hardy "quitting" TNA came out of nowhere (although it build towards throughout the show), but it isn't legitimate since it is TNA's way of writing him out of storylines for the near future so he can't appear on the UK tour. Regardless, it is an intriguing angle and I am eager to see how Hardy eventually returns.
Nothing on the show stood out all that much, but it was a decent showing from TNA as a whole. All four of the matches were complete throwaway, but at least a handful of feuds were furthered. The two promo segments were solid as well. The Magnus video packages that aired throughout the night were an excellent touch and helped (or at least attempted to) make sense of his recent heel turn. TNA has a lot to look forward to in coming weeks, so here's hoping they can keep up the excitement going into 2014.