By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Jeff Hardy Interrupted TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III; Hardy def. Shynron
EC3 continues to excel on the mic and he managed to carry the weaker talker Hardy to a decent segment. They're obviously teasing tension between EC3 and Tyrus since Tyrus won a No. 1 contender's match at Bound for Glory back in October, but has it even been brought up since then? You would think Tyrus would have cashed in on that opportunity by now considering it's been over three months, but we'll see if it's leading anywhere. By the way, since when was Hardy cleared to compete? I could have sworn I read recently he wouldn't be ready to go until the end of the year, but he didn't show any signs that he was working limited in this match. It was a basic squash, but it looked like he was 100 percent healed. That said, why wouldn't his in-ring return have been advertised in advance?
The Dollhouse def. The Beautiful People in a Street Fight
Last week's six-woman tag team match was total throwaway, which is why I was surprised this match was significantly better. The use of the weapons didn't feel overdone and the no disqualification stipulation actually added to the match rather than hindered it. Velvet Sky isn't a great worker, so she was protected nicely here. Giving The Dollhouse the victory was logical given Awesome Kong is the new No. 1 contender to the Knockouts Championship and has her sights set on Gail Kim.
Eric Young and Bram Interrupted Beer Money's Beer Bash
Man, it's so great to see Beer Money back. I know there are those who are disappointed Storm's NXT run didn't pan out, and while I'm slightly disappointed myself, at least he came back to TNA with a purpose. It's been nearly five years since Beer Money split up, so it feels fresh again. Needless to say, Bobby Roode and James Storm have awesome chemistry together and that showed in this segment. Bram and Young are somewhat of a makeshift team, but they do have crazy in common, so there's that. I assume they're merely a filler feud for Beer Money before they move on to the World Tag Team Championship picture.
Eric Young def. Bobby Roode to Win the King of the Mountain Championship
As well as these two work together, it's a match we've seen no less than two dozen times in the past year and I'm beyond tired of their matches. It doesn't help TNA's roster is growing thinner and thinner and they don't have many options, but I would have settled for Roode vs. Bram again or Storm vs. Young if it meant we didn't have to see Roode vs. Young for the millionth time. All that said, this was a decent match albeit a repeat of their past encounters but just not as good. As for Young winning the title, I couldn't care less because the belt is worthless.
Mr. Anderson Hosted 'Huh?' with Matt Hardy
Is 'Huh?' just a rip-off of the "What?" chant? Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised. I find Anderson to be entertaining at times, but with his new talk show, he definitely comes across as TNA's version of The Miz (as if he wasn't already). Decide for yourself whether that's a good or bad thing. Neither of them are heel at this time, so Anderson creating friction with his questions was strange, but it looks like it might be leading to a heel turn for Hardy. I'll reserve further judgement until I get a better idea as to where this is going.
X-Division Champion Tigre Uno and World Tag Team Champions The Wolves def. Eli Drake, Jessie Godderz and DJ Z
I completely forgot Uno and The Wolves were still champions because they haven't defended their titles in months (though I understand that was because of TNA's lack of fresh tapings late last year). I figured this would mostly be a showcase for the champions, and it was to an extent, but the heels scored more offense than I originally expected. At least DJ Z turning on his partners toward the end sets up a story going forward.
Matt Hardy Challenged TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III
For all the flack TNA gets for their questionable booking (and rightfully so more often than not), they have built this feud up very well since the summer. They have had a series of strong matches of the world title in the last six months, so the announcement that next week's title match will be the last chapter in the story gave it a big fight feel. Hardy promising to leave TNA if he loses was also an intriguing hook and I'm interested to see how they go about it.
Kurt Angle def. Drew Galloway
I don't know if it has always been this way, but Angle's matches are way too fast-paced for my liking. It's not even that it's nonstop action but rather everything feels too rushed. He and his opponent never allow anything to sink in, so the nearfalls aren't suspenseful at all. I don't mean to take away from the quality of the match because it was pretty good, but those are my nitpicks. Even in defeat, Galloway looked strong against Angle. If the follow-up is there, Galloway can come away from this match looking like a star.
Last week's debut episode of Pop TV was relatively solid and this was another average edition of Impact Wrestling, but nothing about the product feels different now that it's on a different network. The Creative still feels stagnant for the most part and they're lacking major star power. It's not even in bad shape; there's simply no buzz. Hopefully that will change in the months to come. This was a ho-hum show on the whole with only the main event standing out as special.