By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle Interrupted Ethan Carter III's Celebration
EC3 is just an absolute riot. It's amazing how a guy who went from competing against no-namers in late 2013 has come so far in the last year and a half. He's always had the talent, it just took time to tap into. The over-the-top celebration was a lot of fun and Angle played his role well. Him saying that EC3 wasn't next in line for a title shot but Rockstar Spud was due to him being X-Division Champion and Destination X being next week effectively planted the seeds for EC3's involvement in Spud's decision later in the night.
Lashley def. Eric Young
Honestly, I had completely forgotten it was Young who put Lashley on the shelf back in April. I thought Lashley was taken off TV randomly. Now knowing that, that made this match slightly more meaningful. They shouldn't have rushed to them going one-on-one because I'm more open to them feuding than Young feuding with Chris Melendez. Good on Melendez, but it feels like a step down for Young who is fresh off a TNA World Heavyweight Championship program with Angle. Nevertheless, this was a very good match from Lashley and Young and the distraction from Melendez from atop the stage protected Young in defeat.
Brooke def. Jade
Was there much of a point to this matchup? It was rather decent and I'm impressed with how much Brooke has improved in the ring, and Jade's skills in the squared circle are well-documented, but I didn't have any reason to care about the match or who won because there wasn't any set-up. That said, this might be the start of a rivalry between Brooke and Rebel against Jade and Marti Belle if the post-match backstage attack on Rebel was any indication. On a side note, Brooke is beautiful and all, but we know nothing about her other than she's happy she broke it off with Robbie E.
The Rising def. The Beat Down Clan
The feud between these two factions has been handled well for the most part over the last few months, but I'm just not all that invested in it. I don't know what it is, but it's not capturing my attention the way it should and maybe it's just not. However, the matches have been solid and this one was no exception. I'm not exactly sure how the rivalry will end, but giving The Rising the win here would be enough reason to have this be the blow-off.
Rockstar Spud Chose to Cash in the X-Division Championship for a TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match at Destination X
People have varying opinions of the "Option C" clause in TNA and whether or not it's necessary, and while it hasn't done much to make the X-Division title feel important, it always make for an exciting time as Destination X draws near. The segments with Spud throughout the night were excellent and made his decision all the more suspenseful. Bringing up Spud's history with EC3 was a very nice touch and made Spud's choice to cash in the championship for a world title shot feel like a major moment. He may not have a chance in hell of winning, but Spud has been one to watch this year and he plays the underdog character to perfection.
The Dirty Heels def. The Wolves in Match #3 in the Best of Five Series for the World Tag Team Championship
These two teams continue to raise the bar with every match they have and it's been a blast to watch. As expected, the in-ring action was incredibly entertaining and The Wolves and The Dirty Heels put forth a strong effort. Unlike past encounters, this match managed to tell more of a story with The Dirty Heels willing to do anything it took this time around to ensure victory, and that's why I liked how The Wolves picked up the first two wins in the series. I found it comical that this was the "heel" turn for two guys that were already calling themselves The Dirty Heels, but it's encouraging to see they finally officially turned and it makes sense within the context of the story of the series.
Velvet Sky Attacked Madison Rayne
Rayne complaining about not getting any TV time was a nice way to get heel heat, but the biggest problem with her promo was that she made an excellent point. The heels should never be logical, and Rayne talked about how Sky could come into the ring without being reprimanded by security despite not having a job (in storyline). That was slightly silly, but what was even worse was Sky going all Stone Cold Steve Austin on Rayne with the Stunner. I love Sky and I'm fine with new badass persona, but come on, you have to admit that was ridiculous. Thankfully, they made up for it with Angelina Love berating Sky on the microphone and then attacking her (and getting herself arrested as a result). It was a vicious assault that certainly made me more interested in their feud.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle and Rockstar Spud def. Ethan Carter III and Tyrus
As soon as the bell rang, I knew the match wouldn't live up to its full potential because they had less than ten minutes to work with. Still, they made the most of it and delivered a good match. I never like when EC3 competes in tag team matches because it's obvious Tyrus is going to take the pin for his team. I want him to be protected because he's so talented, but at least he plays the bodyguard role for EC3 well. The match itself wasn't anything to write home about, but it was a nice preview of next week's title match(es).
I look forward to Destination X every year because it always promises to be awesome, but it feels very out of place in the month of June only a few weeks before Slammiversary. With that pay-per-view less than a month away, the build to Destination X was fairly rushed, but I appreciate the effort put into making it mean something and I'm already excited for the two titles matches. The rest of this show was solid without any real complaints. There were some matches that didn't do much for me, but I enjoyed the action on the whole and the next few weeks should give us an idea of what we're getting at Slammiversary.