By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Decent opening segment involving Sting, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and Aces and 8s. The mic work was fine and there was really nothing out of the ordinary. It was pretty basic and helped set up the main event for later in the night, so it was successful in that sense. Fun match with Kenny King defeating Zema Ion to advance in the X-Division title tournament. It was a typical X-Division match in the sense that it featured some cool spots but didn't last long. I would've enjoyed a few extra minutes of this match, but the outcome was still logical with King going over to face Christian York at Genesis on Sunday. An appearance by X-Division Rob Van Dam would've helped as well.
Harmless mixed tag team match with Robbie T and Miss Tessmacher defeating Knockouts Champion Tara and Jesse. The match wasn't long at all, but that wasn't the focus anyway. Robbie T's antics were pure silliness, but I was completely fine with it. They seem to be teasing tension between the two Robbies, so I find that somewhat intriguing. However, given the fact that this had a comedic purpose, there was no need for Tara to be involved when she should instead be focusing on the next challenger for her title.
Nice Gut Check match with Ray Bradley defeating Brian Cage. This is a massive improvement over the original Gut Check match in making both competitors look good. The match wasn't anything special, but both guys impressive me here and worked a solid match. Bradley looks menacing and I have my fingers crossed that he earns a TNA contract next week.
Throwaway promo featuring Hulk Hogan and Brooke Hogan. I was content with the Joseph Park stuff, but that character has seemed to have lost some steam in recent months. The promo involving the Hogans once again made little to no sense and did offer anything new in the story-line. It was used to kill time and leave the angle in worse shape than when it started.
Solid tag team match with World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy and James Storm defeating Austin Aries and Bobby Roode by disqualification. Some may have felt that Roode and Aries should've taken a more serious route heading into the Triple Threat title match on Sunday, but I personally loved their hilarious antics throughout the night. The match itself was well-wrestled, but the finish was weak even if it was logical. It's nice to see Bad Influence interfere to further their feud with stuff, but it felt like there was too much going on at once and everything felt rushed. However, I'm glad Roode and Aries have the momentum going into Genesis since they'll more than likely come up short of winning the title anyway,
Disappointing match with Sting quickly defeating Mike Knox. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson match not happen, mostly because that's a blockbuster match that is best saved for a later date. I would've been just fine with Knox laying out Angle and leaving it at that, but they just had to make into a match with Sting basically squashing Knox in minutes. They just unveiled him as a member of Aces and 8s last week, and you have him lose within minutes to someone who had a lousy return on that same show? This was mind-boggling booking from TNA that further makes me wonder what even the point of Aces and 8s is nowadays if they're not even considered a threat. I really don't have anything to say regarding the Bully Ray proposal to Brooke that followed the bout other than that I predict Brooke to turn on Ray and reveal she's aligned with Aces and 8s, but only time will tell as far as that goes.
Overall, a lackluster show that had an average first hour, but it all went downhill from there. The action as a whole was uninspiring and the build for Genesis on Sunday was horrendous. I'm not at all excited for Sunday's event, and TNA's failure to hype it accordingly plays a major factor in that. Hopefully, the show exceeds expectations and makes up for the lack of build it's received up to this point.