By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus Interrupted MVP
Magnus and MVP are two of the better mic workers in TNA at the moment and I enjoyed their exchange here. However, Abyss' new look is ridiculous. I appreciate the effort TNA has taken in adapting and evolving his image, but his new mask is very Kane-esque. Not only that, but we already know what he looks like, so why not have him wrestle without a mask? Seeing Samoa Joe calmly walk into the ring without going straight after Magnus and Abyss was odd, even if MVP made sense of it by granting Joe against Abyss. This was segment was successful in hyping the TNA title match between Joe and Magnus next week while also leading into the subsequent bout between Abyss and Joe.
Abyss def. Samoa Joe by Disqualification
The match was decent enough, but I know better than to have high expectations for a match featuring Abyss. Joe got the best match that possibly could get out of him, so it was tremendously terrible. What was stupid, however, was Abyss resorting to using Janice, the most illogical weapon in all of wrestling, against Joe. I'm split on Eric Young resuming his feud with Abyss. On one hand, it makes sense given their history together and the crowd was heavily behind Young here. On the other hand, it's hard to take him seriously after being utilized as comedy fodder for years and the fact that we've already seen a Monster's Ball match between these two, so why would I want to see them face off again?
Brittany def. Gail Kim
I liked how TNA made Brittany's debut feel like a big deal with the video package that aired of her prior to the match. Speaking of such, the match was way too short to really get a grasp on how good she is in the ring, but performed exceptionally well and she managed to get the crowd behind her at one point. Her upset win over Kim as a nice touch, but how did Lei'D Tapa making physical contact with Kim not constitute as a disqualification, even if they are friends? Tapa turning on Kim felt like it come out of nowhere. The commentators mentioned this had been building for a few months, but it really hasn't. This felt premature, as I don't think Tapa is capable of holding her own in the ring just yet. At least the live crowd popped for her attacking Kim, though.
X-Division Champion Sanada and Tigre Uno def. World Tag Team Champions The Bro-Mans (Non-title)
TNA has yet to make Sanada's X-Division title win feel important (or even bother mentioning it), but at least they've done a good job of making Tigre Uno feel special. Of the two, Tigre Uno was the one to watch here, though Sanada was impressive as well. This was a short albeit fun tag match that got Uno and Sanada over nicely, but didn't do anything for The Bro-Mans. Why would a comedy duo such as them be tag team champs if all they do is lose? What was the point in taking the titles off The Wolves?
Rockstar Spud Paid Tribute to Dixie Carter
As annoying and as boring as this segment, I have to agree with MVP: Spud has certainly grown on me. He is entertaining in his role and it's hilarious just how over-the-top he is. As I said, though, the segment itself dragged on for far too long. MVP's announcement regarding the in-ring debuts of Willow and Bobby Lashley went over well and I look forward to seeing Lashley going one-on-one with Ethan Carter III next week.
Mr. Anderson def. Samuel Shaw in a Street Fight
I went from disliking this feud to enjoying it to not understanding it all within a span of a few weeks. Why hold the pay-per-view rematch only days later without any hype? This match thankfully didn't have as many shenanigans as it did at Lockdown, but it was far too brief to really mean anything. The Street Fight stipulation was pointless, the Christy Hemme mannequin was silly, and Shaw had all of his heat (if he had any to begin with) dissipate with this loss. As I said before, what purpose was this suppose to serve?
Angelina Love Called Out Velvet Sky
It's great to see Love back in TNA and even greater to see an actual story developing in the Knockouts division for once. However, what was this all about? They weren't at odds with each other before Love left a few years ago, so I don't understand what the animosity between them would be. The delivery of their lines at the end felt forced and Sky saying she need "time to think" didn't make much sense. I felt confused coming out of this as opposed to being excited the Beautiful People are back together (or at least I assume so).
Rockstar Spud def. Willow by Disqualification
The match was only mere minutes long, so it was obviously nothing to write home about. It seemed that Willow, like Jeff Hardy, was a face, but I'm not too sure after his attack on Spud. Mike Tenay mentioned on commentary that Spud was the one who cost Hardy the TNA title a few months ago, so the attack was logical in that sense, but Taz also mentioned that Hardy has no control over his alter-ego. Please don't tell me this a direct rip-off of the Joesph Park/Abyss storyling and that this, too, will be dragged on for two years. My guess is that the attack on Spud will write him off television for the foreseeable future, but we'll see.
Bully Ray Called Out Bobby Roode
Ray didn't at all explain his face turn from Lockdown, and although was behind him here, it still makes zero sense. What incentive do fans have to cheer a guy who threatened to piledriver someone's wife and kids only a month ago? Thus, it was hard to get invested in his attack on Roode if only because he has yet to be clearly established as a face. A Roode vs. Ray rivalry could be good, but not if the character development is complete crap.
I had high hopes for this show given what was being advertised in advance, but it failed to live up to my expectations. Granted, it was noteworthy for the debut of Brittany and the return of Angelina Love, but most of what was featured on this show fell flat. It didn't help that many TNA regulars including Austin Aries, James Storm and Gunner weren't featured, but I assume we will hear from them on upcoming episodes of Impact. The overall creative direction hasn't seem to have improved coming out Lockdown, so here's hoping they can get back on the right track and start building toward their Sacrifice pay-per-view next month. If nothing else, at least there was a significant amount of hype for next week's show, which will feature a world title match as well as Bobby Lashley vs. Ethan Carter III.