By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus Called Out MVP
It was great to see Magnus cut his own promo for once and not have Dixie Carter cut one for him. He is excellent on the mic and I enjoyed his verbal exchange with MVP. He has all the tools to be a major player in TNA, but his recent lackluster booking has hindered him significantly. This segment showed how good he can be when he isn't hiding behind Dixie. The subsequent brawl that ensued was fine for what it was, but at least it helped hype the main event title match for later in the night.
Samoa Joe def. DJ Zema and World Tag Team Champions The Bro-Mans in a 3-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match
Joe has been on fire in recent weeks and cut yet another intense promo prior to the match, but the real issue here was having the tag team champions lose in a three-on-one scenario. Then again, it's The Bro-Mans, so I don't expect them to be booked any differently. If that's the case, why are they the title holders to begin with? As annoyed I am by The Bro-Mans, they have their place on the card as comedy fodder enhancement talent (as we saw here), not champions. Thus, I hope The Wolves beat them for the belts sooner rather than later.
Gail Kim def. Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne in a Street Fight (Non-title)
Sure, the feud was deserving of a hardcore match, but these two have hardly been featured on TNA TV since their last title match in January, so it felt like it came out of nowhere. It was well wrestled as expected given it involved the company's two best women wrestlers, but it could have used a few more minutes to feel more special. The finish was quite random and I question the move to give Kim the victory. Why not keep Ranye's reign going strong by giving her another win here? I had high hopes for this bout, but it ultimately disappointed and I don't wish to see the rivalry continue by this point, though I'm sure we'll see the two clash in a steel cage match at Lockdown.
Dixie Carter Interrupted Bobby Roode
Roode has made for a great heel the last two years, but I am very intrigued by his apparent face turn. He cut a very good promo and the live crowd was very receptive toward it. It was odd to see him "quit" only to make amends with Dixie. Even if his team does win at Lockdown, why would he want to work with her as an owner of the company? I would hope that Roode ends up turning on his team at the event and goes full-fledged babyface there, but only time will tell.
The Wolves def. Bad Influence
How depressing is it that neither of these teams are the tag champs at the moment? I expected a great match from both tandems and they definitely delivered. They have fun chemistry together and produced an entertaining contest. The Wolves are definitely championship worthy (as are Bad Influence), so I see no reason why they shouldn't be tag champs right now. I could easily see both duos on opposite teams come the Lethal Lockdown match.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Magnus def. Gunner in a No Disqualification Match
The match itself was actually pretty solid and better than expected. Both competitors put forth a strong effort and produced a quality main event. The finish was telegraphed from the moment the match was announced as being held under no disqualification rules. (Not so) Fun fact: every TNA title match for the last six months has been no disqualification. How ridiculous is that? Storm's heel turn on Gunner is long overdue, but it still doesn't mean I wanted to see it happen. I still personally prefer Storm as a face, but we will see how this pans out. Gunner would have been the perfect opponent for Magnus to beat cleanly, but that sadly wasn't the case. The worst part was that Storm's heel turn didn't have time to sink in before the show came to a close. Poor planning on TNA's part.
After taking a turn for the better since going overseas, TNA was back to its old shenanigans on this show. It wasn't wrestling-heavy at all and none of the matches particularly stood out, which is a shame. The dirty finishes ruined most of the matches and gave me no optimism regarding this company's future. For once, it wasn't even the overexposure of Dixie Carter. It was just a massive mix of bad booking and asinine angles. Here's hoping things improve with Lockdown quickly approaching.