By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Kurt Angle Bid Farewell
I want Angle back in WWE as much as the next guy, but you can't deny that the past ten years he's spent in TNA have really meant something to him, as they should have. The fact he was on the verge of crying (as well as Dixie Carter) proved that. He's had a hell of a run and I'm glad they've made a major happening out of his retirement from the company. Drew Galloway and even Lashley, who hasn't been known for his exceptional mic skills, played their roles well and did a great job of celebrating Angle's illustrious career while also building to Lashley's last match with Angle in the main event.
King of the Mountain Champion Eric Young def. Jimmy Havoc, Will Ospreay, Big Damo and Bram in a King of the Mountain Match
I'm slightly surprised this match wasn't advertised ahead of time, but then again, I couldn't care less. King of the Mountain matches are traditionally awful because they're so damn convuluted and this one was no exception. It wasn't technically a terrible match, but I zoned out during the nearfalls and waited for a winner to be crowned. What's worse is that Ospreay is an amazing athlete and this was a complete waste of his talent.
Drew Galloway Interrupted Mike Bennett
Coming off Bennett's victory over Galloway last week, I'm happy to see this feud resuming and this was another step in the right direction. Bennett and Maria are finally getting a decent hold on the "miracle" gimmick and these promos, especially Maria's mic work, are allowing their skills to shine through. I was fine with Galloway getting the better of Bennett this week because it was logical to give him some of his momentum back following the loss.
Knockouts Champion Gail Kim def. Jade
For all of their faults in making The Dollhouse look like a weak stable, TNA has done a nice job of building up Jade as a legitimate threat to the Knockouts title in recent weeks, to the point where I thought she had the match won on a few occasions. She and Kim found a very good chemistry together and produced a well-wrestled match in the six minutes they were allotted. Although Kim won clean, I'm glad it was via a roll-up, meaning there is a chance this isn't the end of the line for this title program.
Beer Money def. The Wolves to Win the World Tag Team Championship
This has been the matchup I've been eagerly anticipating since Beer Money reformed two months ago and it ultimately lived up to my lofty expectations. The babyface vs. babyface dynamic didn't hurt the bout whatsoever as the crowd was split on who to root for. The two tandems had a highly entertaining exchange with a fun finish and the right team winning. Davey Richards was legitimately injured anyway and will out of action for the foreseeable future, so at least we have a rematch to look forward when he eventually returns to the ring.
Eli Drake Interrupted Grado
It's only been a few weeks and I'm already sick of this stupid storyline. Hell, I wasn't the least bit excited for it when it initially started. I get a kick out of Grado's shtick, but I have zero idea what the end-game is supposed to be here, and I'm not too interested to find out. It will probably get to a point where fans forget Grado was even "fired" to begin with. Stop the pain!
Lashley def. Kurt Angle
First off, TNA deserves all the credit in the world for hyping up Angle's Farewell Tour as excellently as they have over the past two months and especially on this show. The video packages that aired throughout the evening highlighting his greatest TNA moments were wonderful and the in-ring introductions gave this bout a big fight feel. They delivered as great of a match as I thought they would that was on the level of their battles from last spring. I loved the story with Lashley wanting to score his first ever victory over Angle, which he was ultimately successful in doing. The post-match attack on Angle was also effective in putting him over in a huge way and it looks like a Lashley vs. EC3 program is coming in the near future, so that can be promising.
Needless to say, this night was all about Angle's retirement (and it deserved to be) and it made for an awesome episode on the whole. In addition to the superb main event, we were treated to two terrific title matches and a noteworthy title change. The King of the Mountain match and the segment with Grado and Drake were throwaway, but they definitely didn't take away from this edition of Impact Wrestling in the slightest. I'm looking forward to next week's "live" show and where the storylines will take shape from there.