By Graham "GSM" Matthews
MVP Called Out TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young
It continues to annoy me that this show always opens with a promo from either MVP or Young. It's never anything different and it always kicks off the show on a sour note. That said, this was a logical follow-up to the events that occurred at Slammiversary and the promos from both individuals were fine. The segment was also a nice tie-in to the subsequent championship match.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young def. Kenny King
I thought Young and King had a short match last week, and then they have a three minute contest on this show. No world title match should ever be this short, but I can see why it was. Granted, these two have the potential to have a much better match than this, but with Young still having to defend the title again later on in the night, it was logical for this bout to be brief. MVP's post-match promo finally brought out his aggressive side and it was fun to watch. It also made several matches official for later in the night.
TNA World Tag Team Champions The Wolves def. Samoa Joe & Austin Aries and Willow & Abyss
I was deathly afraid that The Bro-Mans would be announced as the mystery team and I couldn't have been happier that it was Willow and Abyss instead. The fact the match consisted of three face tag teams made for an odd dynamic, but the action was still entertaining. All three teams worked hard and delivered a fun matchup.
Tommy Dreamer Confronted Dixie Carter
I was excited for Dreamer's appearance as I have been following the (staged) drama between him and Dixie and while they showed the back-and-forth tweets between the two, it would have helped if they showed Dreamer's promo from the most recent House of Hardcore event for fans that weren't aware of the angle. Nevertheless, it was still very cool to see Dreamer on Impact Wrestling again cutting a passionate promo. I liked the way he referenced the Hardcore Justice event from 2010 and Dixie's involvement in it. Dixie's "turn" on Dreamer could be seen coming from a mile away, but it was still a well done segment. I'm not sure where this angle is going, but I'm intrigued thus far.
TNA World Tag Team Champions The Wolves def. Bram and Magnus by Disqualification
I really like the idea of a Magnus and Bram tag team and I figured The Wolves defending twice in one night would set up a title change here. If The Wolves retained anyway, then what was the point? The match was fine while it lasted, but it wasn't long enough to really get a grasp of how well the two teams work together. Still, this could be a money feud over the straps at some point and I'm glad they didn't give away the finish here.
The Beautiful People Interrupted Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim
First off, I'm very happy to see Terrell back after a near-year long absence and she looks better than ever. I really enjoyed the series of matches Terrell and Kim had last summer and the tease for a tie-breaker between the two was interesting. The Beautiful People coming out was logical and it set up a tag match between the two teams for a later date. I hope to see Terrell win the Knockouts Championship at some point down the line and defend against Kim at Bound for Glory, but that's merely my booking.
Lashley def. Eric Young to Win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Young carried Lashley to a good match, but the finish overshadowed it all. I was not a proponent to put the belt on Young to begin with, but if they're going to have him win it, why not run with it? He was just starting to put his comedy days behind him and be taken seriously as a main event star. Did plans change because MVP's still injured? I guess we'll never know, but it feels like this was done to simply pop a rating. Should we expect a title change for every live show TNA does? I'm not at all suggesting that Young won't still be contention for the TNA title in coming months, but in retrospect, fans will remember him as a paper champion since his reign only lasted two months and it was overshadowed by all the authority figure nonsense. At least Lashley is a believable threat as champion and hopefully he holds it until at least Bound for Glory at this point. Bobby Roode's return was a hot moment and a face turn for him feels like a refreshing change of pace.
I was more excited for this show than anything else TNA related in a long time, but it was a mixed bag. There's a lot of plot holes with MVP as the heel authority figure, such as why he didn't just strip or fire Young to get the belt off him. It's been done to death in wrestling and it doesn't intrigue me in the slightest. That said, I'm happy Roode has returned and I look forward to what he does in coming weeks. The Knockouts division is also coming around nicely, so it's good to know that there's a least a few things going on in TNA right now that are worth investing in.