By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Jeff Hardy Called Out TNA World Heavyweight Champion Matt Hardy
Although Matt is a natural babyface, he has flourished as a heel in the past and he has already settled into his new role as seen in this segment. It was logical to have The Hardy Boyz kick off the show following the events that transpired last week and their back-and-forth on the mic was kept short and sweet as it should have been without giving too much away. It also effectively set up their title match in the main event later on in the night.
Grado, Drew Galloway, Eli Drake and James Storm Won Feast or Fired Briefcases
I've never been a fan of the Feast or Fired concept simply because the match itself is an absolute mess. The crowd sat on their hands for a majority of the match, and while I realize it was likely because it was late in the taping, the match itself is just total anarchy (not in the good way) and hard to follow. Who would want to cheer someone winning a briefcase if they're potentially getting fired? It didn't help that the match mostly featured wrestlers that the audience couldn't care less about.
X-Division Champion Tigre Uno def. Mandrews and DJ Z in a Triple Threat Match
This was a classic case of a well-wrestled X-Division match that had zero build behind it, so as a result, there was no suspense behind any of the nearfalls. TNA has been doing this for years: because the X-Division has been neglected for so long, they put random wrestlers in contention for the championship that don't have the slightest chance of winning, so how are fans supposed to take them seriously? Although the match was inconsequential, the post-match confrontation between Tigre Uno and Shane Helms was well done. Helms has appeared in the past (including at Bound for Glory) and a match between him and Uno over the title has the potential to be a ton of fun. My only gripe with it is that it should be saved for later down the line instead of rushing into it next week.
Awesome Kong def. Velvet Sky
It amazes me that, for as long as she has been with TNA, Sky is still mediocre at best in the ring. She has absolutely improved, but she can't be counted on for a passable performance at all. Thankfully, Kong did most of the work in this match and carried her to a decent bout within a few minutes. It was imperative for her to get her heat back after losing to Gail Kim last week.
World Tag Team Champions The Wolves def. Crazzy Steve and Abyss by Disqualification (Non-title)
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually enjoy the team of Crazzy Steve and Abyss. Lord knows TNA needs tag teams right now (yes, they have Beer Money and The Wolves, but who else?), and they have pretty good chemistry together as their gimmicks gel perfectly. The goth girl looked a little low budget, but I'm digging Crazzy Steve's new look. The match was fine for what it was, but it was designed to build to a future tag title match between them with the heels getting the better of the babyfaces.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy Went to a No Contest
Needless to say, I'm glad this match didn't ultimately come to fruition as it would have been asinine to give it away this early (then again, this is TNA after all, so I wouldn't have put it past them). The match barely even begun before the interference from Eric Young and Bram, so there's a feud for Jeff Hardy to keep him busy upon his return (remember, he can't travel to the United Kingdom). Matt now has rivalries in place with Ethan Carter III and Kurt Angle (depending on when he's done with the company), so he has an entertaining title run ahead of him if he continues to portray this character so well.
I will definitely say that my interest in TNA has drastically increased since their Pop TV premiere. I know I said at the time (and it was only a few weeks ago) that there wasn't any buzz surrounding the product, and there still isn't on a grand scale, but at least there's a few feuds that have me hopeful. The main event scene is looking solid at the moment, the tag team scene is being built back up, and even the Knockouts and X-Division guys have something going for them right now. The Feast or Fired gimmick on this show was rather silly, but everything else mostly gets a thumbs up from me.