By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus Interrupted MVP
This was a logical followup to last week's train wreck of a main event match, but it was mostly a formulaic segment. Everyone played their roles well, but it's hard to get excited about the announcement a TNA title match next week that will more than likely end in a screwy finish as always. The brawl that broke out was predictable and it was odd how it randomly cut to commercial. Despite clearly knowing Magnus cheated to retain last week, MVP took no action despite making him defend his title in a match where he'll be able to cheat. The continuation of the segment after the break wasn't much better, though this was the best promo Eric Young has cut to date and I liked how he referenced everything he's had to endure in the last ten years. As much as I like MVP, nothing has changed since he took over wrestling operations.
The Wolves def. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus and Abyss
Surprisingly enough, I found this to be the best match The Wolves have contested in since their arrival in TNA. It started out slow, but the action heated up down the stretch. The live crowd was into the final few minutes of the match (as was I), but the finish seem to come out of complete nowhere. I realize the commentators made the case that he tapped out to save his health for next week, but the live crowd doesn't know that. Plus, how big of a win is it for Eddie Edwards if Magnus has zero credibility?
Velvet Sky Confronted Angelina Love
It's always great to see see Love, but seeing her with a mic in her hand made my eyes roll. She and Sky once again babbled on in the middle of the ring for the third straight week, but at least this segment served a purpose in building toward which side Sky would choose later in the night. Another plus to this segment was that it was kept short and brief and thankfully not dragged out like their past promos have.
Bully Ray Called Out Bobby Roode
As illogical as it is for Bully Ray to be a face after all the evil he did just a few short weeks ago, at least he's making the most of it. He clearly has the crowd behind him (well, most of them anyway) and his promos are still solid. Roode was also excellent in his role and their brawl was well done. The talent between the two of them leads me to believe that the feud will be good and so will their matches against each other even if the storyline doesn't make sense.
Angelina Love def. Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne (Non-title)
The match was decent enough, but both ladies are good workers and are capable of having a better match together. The crowd didn't really care for the action anyway, as most eyes were on Velvet Sky at ringside (whose wouldn't be?). Her heel turn could be seen coming from a mile away, but it was the best booking decision. It forces Rayne to overcome the odds in a two-on-one situation and puts The Beautiful People back in their element as heels.
Samoa Joe def. Eric Young
The commentators did a swell job of putting Young over as a serious competitors throughout the bout, but anything he gained from those comments was quickly erased when he lost within minutes. It was a well wrestled match while it lasted and I would have liked to see it go longer, but it's hard to take Young seriously when he's been treated like comic relief for far too long. Young didn't tap out, sure, but I'm still not intrigued by his character at the moment.
Gunner def. James Storm in a No Disqualification Match
I really liked how they recapped the feud over the course of the night by highlights its key moments over the last year. They made good use of the extreme environment and it was a nice touch for them to go straight after each other given their personal hatred for one another. The action was enjoyable and the near-falls were suspenseful toward the end. All things considered, I liked this match more than their Lockdown encounter. Although I was just starting to get into this feud, Gunner going over seems to indicate the rivalry is finished.
There were some things on this show I couldn't care less for (the vignettes with Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud and Willow were just plain silly and stupid), but as a whole, this was one of the better episodes of Impact Wrestling in recent week. There were some solid segments, good matches and logical furthering (or conclusion) of feuds, so there isn't much to complain about. I still can't say I'm all that enthralled by the product right now, but this was a nice effort by TNA and I hope to see them keep it up in coming weeks.