By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Dixie Carter Revealed Bully Ray as the New Authority Figure
Don't get me wrong, I like Bully Ray, but I was really hoping Ray would go back to WWE full-time or at least work a part-time schedule on the main roster or in NXT. It's been six months since the Royal Rumble, so I guess he shouldn't be holding out for the phone call. I feel like he's done it all in TNA, but at least he's coming back in a non-wrestling role and we have a non-tyrannical babyface in charge (for the time being, anyway). That was reassuring to see, but the "bringing TNA back to the promise land" line felt hallow considering many of the talents surrounding the ring are now gone and given all the recent bad press surrounding the company.
Drew Galloway Won a No. 1 Contender's Battle Royal for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Battle royals tend to be hit or miss and this definitely fell in the latter category. Who picked out the people who would be involved anyway? Because from my perspective, hardly any of the competitors deserved to be in there. It also didn't help that a majority of the eliminations took place during the commercial break. It's one thing to have them take place on an app during the break (i.e. WWE) as a hook for fans to download it, but in this case, it made the match feel like a waste of time.
X-Division Champion Tigre Uno def. Rockstar Spud, DJ Z and Grado in a Fatal 4-Way Match
Well, it was exactly what I expected: despite Tigre Uno winning the X-Division Championship, the division feels no different, as in it's still an afterthought. The title still means nothing, and henceforth viewers have zero reason to care about who wins. As was the case in the previous match, who determined those three were worthy? Other than Spud having his rematch, DJ Z and Grado have done absolutely nothing to earn title shots. It was a fun little match and the in-ring action isn't the issue with the division; it's the lackluster way it's portrayed.
Brooke def. Taryn Terrell to Win the Knockouts Championship
While they worked a decent match, it didn't have the "big fight feel" that often comes with title matches because it didn't have much storyline support. Yes, Brooke has been feuding with The Dollhouse on-and-off as of late, but there never seemed to be a chase for the championship, so her winning the belt back (and ending Terrell's record-setting reign) didn't come across like a major moment. Brooke's improved as a worker, but I'm surprised they went with her as the new champion over Awesome Kong.
Kurt Angle Announced His Injury; Eric Young Attacked Chris Melendez
It's very unfortunate to hear Angle has a tumor in his neck, but from what I've read in recent weeks, the surgery he had to remove it was successful. He handled the promo very well and he has a ready-made rematch with Ethan Carter III for the TNA title upon his return. Young interrupting was a decent way of putting heat on him, but I thought we were past that feud. At the very least, it furthered his program with Chris Melendez, who took a nasty bump with that piledriver on the outside.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III def. Drew Galloway
I'm very high on Galloway's abilities and potential if TNA can build him up as well as they have EC3, but it would have helped if TNA took more time to establish him as a credible singles star before fast-tracking him to the TNA title picture. He'll get there at some point, but it was only two weeks ago that his faction split up and prior to this point, he hadn't been involved in the main event at all (other than at the throwaway Slammiversary pay-per-view). Nevertheless, EC3 and Galloway contested a very solid match that would have benefited from a longer build, but it was obvious from the backstage segment earlier in the evening that Eli Drake would turn on Galloway. I suppose it's a logical feud, but Galloway should be focused on working with top-tier stars so he can build momentum for himself.
I don't recall anything being advertised for this show other than the identity of the new authority figure being revealed let alone three title matches, so that felt like a missed opportunity to me. It didn't have the feel of a major show that it should have, but it certainly wasn't bad. There were plenty of newsworthy moments and the in-ring action was acceptable on the whole, but the biggest problem the product faces right now is that there isn't anything in particular that is peaking my interest. Hopefully that changes with new feuds and storylines kicking off in the near future.