By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley and Ethan Carter III Interrupted X-Division Champion Mike Bennett
Although Dixie Carter was absent from this week's episode, Billy Corgan still had to have his presence felt. Thankfully, his role was kept short and sweet, and his mic work was better than it has been in recent weeks. Lashley, EC3 and Bennett shined per usual and set up the night's X-Division Battle Royal and main event nicely.
Knockouts Champion Sienna def. Gail Kim
This really should have felt like a bigger deal than it did, and the fact it was mere minutes long didn't help matters. Sienna is fresh off winning the title and Kim was announced as the newest inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame, so I would have waited awhile before going back to this match, especially over the title. I still couldn't care less about the Jade vs. Marti Bell feud, and now what is Sienna supposed to do if she's pretty much run through the entire division?
King of the Mountain Champion Eli Drake Hosted 'Fact of Life' with James Storm
Drake's over reliance on his "dummy" catchphrase is going to be extremely annoying to some, and entertaining to others. I fall in the latter category, and at the very least, the line is catching on with those in attendance (which is impressive considering most of those fans likely don't pay attention to the product). Storm only helped increased the quality of the segment with his involvement and these two could have a fun feud, but I can't help but think he would be better utilized at the main event level.
Matt Hardy Attacked Jeff Hardy
Ugh, it's the feud that just won't die. Don't get me wrong, it's been enjoyable and I understand why TNA would want to continue it coming off the mainstream buzz it's received recently, but the booking has been ass-backwards. Matt should have won the first two matches to help get heat on him because at this point, how do fans see him as a threat to beat Jeff after losing the first two times? We'll see how this plays out, but I can't say I'm not slightly skeptical.
Braxton Sutter Won a No. 1 Contender's Battle Royal For the X-Division Championship; X-Division Champion Mike Bennett def. Sutter
When you see all the X-Division competitors in one ring, it hits you just how depleted the division is. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because that has been the case for the past five years, but it's depressing all the same. Meanwhile, Sutter has been a curious case thus far. I liked the vignettes that aired leading up to his debut, but he beat a no-namer in his first match only to lose to Storm at Slammiversary and then beat Rockstar Spud the following week. That feud wasn't furthered here, and instead it looks like he might be beginning a program with The Helms Dynasty. I'm not sure what to think at this point. Obviously, the subsequent match was so short that it was basically a waste yet characteristic of Bennett to want to capitalize on the injured Sutter.
Grado, Mahabali Shera and Tyrus def. Al Snow and The Tribunal
Speaking of feuds that need to be put out of their misery, I wasn't at all engaged in this match because it didn't matter to me who won, though Tyrus as the third man on the babyside side was mildly intriguing. I do have to question, though: why turn him so late? There was a great opportunity for him to stand up to EC3, Matt Hardy or even Spud, but they instead chose to turn him at random in a program no one cares about. On a side note, I didn't need to see Snow in trunks. Where were the long tights he once wore?
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley def. Ethan Carter III and Drew Galloway in a Triple Threat Match
This match really should have been given more time than it was in order to reach that next gear, but they did make great use of the time they were allotted. All three competitors have strong chemistry together and they told a solid story with both of the babyfaces being desperate to regain the gold. I'm interested to see whether the teased tension between EC3 and Galloway will end up leading to anything of note, and I imagine it will now that Lashley has beaten them both and should move on to fresh faces to defend against.
Although the good outweighed the bad on this edition of Impact Wrestling, I was left with plenty more questions than answers, and not in a way where it makes me want to keep watching to find out what happens next. It was more in a way where I was scratching my head at a few of the decisions made. At any rate, this show was successful in progressing a number of storylines and the main event scene continues to be the best part about the program at the moment.