By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Kurt Angle Confronted TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley
They've been doing a solid job of building tension between Angle and Lashley and setting up a future clash between the two, but was it necessary for them to confront each other on this show? MVP got himself noticed by interrupting the segment, but the focus should be on the title match between him and Lashley, not Angle and Lashley just yet. I appreciate the foreshadowing, but this time would have been better used as a last minute effort to put heat on the main event (although they did that effectively did that via backstage segments throughout the night).
Rockstar Spud and Mr. Anderson def. Ethan Carter III and Tyrus
I was among the minority who was still enjoying the Spud vs. EC3 feud, but I agree with the general consensus that it has seemed to have jumped the shark in recent weeks. It's all about Anderson, Tyrus and the obsession with hair for some reason, basically anything but the bad blood between Spud and EC3 that got this rivalry started in the first place. The match was decent for what it was, but it was a lose-lose situation. Spud needed the win and EC3 couldn't be pinned, forcing Tyrus to be the one to take the loss for the team.
Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell Called Out Awesome Kong
After watching an old episode of ECW from 2009 just recently (don't judge me), it appears Terrell's mic skills are just bad now as they were then. It just comes across so obvious that she's reciting lines. She's still a sight for sore eyes, though, so no complains from me. Gail Kim's involvement in the segment was logical given her history with both Terrell and Awesome Kong, and I'm hoping this is leading to another classic series of matches between them. In the meantime, we might be in for a brief title feud between Terrell and Kong. Crowds are still reacting favorably to Kong, but she's been booked more like an impartial monster rather than a clear cut face or heel.
Robbie E and Angelina Love def. Chris Melendez and Brooke
As much as The BroMans annoy me to no end, I've gotten a kick out of the Robbie vs. Brooke feud since it started. They were never an established couple outside of The Amazing Race, and Brooke hasn't been on TNA TV for well over a year, but they're making it work to the best of their ability. The match was mostly comedy and the only thing that stuck out to be how directionless Melendez is at the moment. He came in with a lot of buzz last summer only to fizzle out a lot sooner than I expected him to. I don't even know what you would do with him right now, but it's just odd to see him doing next to nothing after being featured so prominently not too long ago.
Austin Aries def. Samoa Joe
Knowing Joe is now gone from TNA, it was nice to see these two face each other one final time. They worked a very enjoyable matchup with a consistent pace. As entertaining as it was, it would've meant more had Joe not been positioned as a background player in the Beat Down Clan in the last two months. I was glad to see the match not end with a non-finish and Joe was able to get his heat back with the post-match attack, so smart booking there.
Noam Dar vs. Rampage Jackson Went to a No Contest
I couldn't have cared less about the match when it first stated because I know nothing about either of these guys aside from them being participants on the second season of British Bootcamp. That said, I was happy to see Bram interfere only mere moments into the matchup. It was a nice way of giving him more momentum before Magnus returns, though I could have done without Grado getting squashed by him. The other two seemed to be enough, why ruin any fanfare Grado had from last week's win by feeding him to Bram here?
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley def. MVP in a No Disqualification Match
If there weren't any disqualifications all along, why didn't the Beat Down Clan get involved from the start? A little logic goes a long way. Anyway, it amazes me how far Lashley has progressed in the ring since his last run in wrestling several years back. I wouldn't go so far to say he's become a great wrestler, but he can hold his own if his opponent is a strong enough worker. The early goings of the bout were pretty solid, but it turned into a complete train wreck with all the interference down the stretch. It got to the point where it was hard to keep track of it all. Drew Galloway's run-in was cool, and although I'm happy t o see him in TNA, his minor appearances haven't packed a punch because they haven't been treated as big deals. Hopefully this puts the Lashley-MVP feud to rest for the time being.
This week's edition felt like a mixed bag, as there were a few things I enjoyed to an extent (the main event and Aries vs. Joe) and other things I didn't really care for (the two tag team matches and Bram's segment). The main event was the only thing worth watching from the show for the sheer fact the world title was on the line, but everything else felt like filler after last week's stacked episode.