By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Effective opening segment featuring Hulk Hogan, Sting and Matt Morgan. It was more of the same from last week, but it established a marquee match for next week and the main event for later in the night. It wasn't the greatest segment ever, but it was simple and effective, which is all you can ever ask for.
Nice Triple Threat match with Chris Sabin defeating Zema Ion and Sonjay Dutt to earn a future shot at the X-Division Championship. Sabin looked impressive in his return and was easily the star of this match. However, the bout wasn't given enough time to get out of first gear. The Triple Threat concept for the X-Division hasn't been a bad idea thus far, but it needs some serious tweaking. The matches have lacked story-telling, which makes these contests nothing more than spot fests.
Basic Handicap match with Rob Terry squashing Robbie E, Jesse and Joey Ryan. They've done a superb job of establishing Terry as a dominant beast up to this point, but a win over a bunch of enhancement talent doesn't do him much justice. The trio sold well for Terry and were already irrelevant, so the loss neither helped them nor hindered them.
Good segment between the tandem of Austin Aries and Bobby Roode and Bad Influence. We've seen these two tag teams cross paths before, but this segment took a more serious approach. While I enjoy both teams, I can't say I'm looking forward to the match between them next week to determine the new number one contenders for the titles. It's a true shame that TNA has only three tandems to offer in its tag division, as the company once had the best tag division in all of wrestling.
Decent "I Quit" match with Kurt Angle defeating D'Lo Brown. The stipulation felt unnecessary, and this felt like a match we would have seen at Slammiversary rather than on a random episode of Impact Wrestling. Nonetheless, the action was exceptional and Brown put forth his best effort. I'm not sure if Brown will be kicked out of Aces and Eights or not, but in all honesty, I couldn't care less.
Fine tag team match with Taryn Terrell and Mickie James defeating Gail Kim and Tara. There was nothing all that special about this match, but everyone played their roles well. Terrell has been booked nicely thus far, so I was glad to see her score the victory here. It seemed as if they were teasing a James heel turn during her title match with Velvet Sky last week, but nothing in this bout made me think they were furthering that story-line.
Solid match with Sting defeating Matt Morgan to become the new number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. It wasn't a five star classic, but the two worked well together to deliver an entertaining contest down the stretch. It took Morgan a significant amount of time to tap out to Sting's finisher, so it was important he looked strong in defeat. Even still, I'm not thrilled that Sting is once again competing for the title at Slammiversary, as it goes to show that TNA simply has no faith in anyone else as their top babyface.
Overall, a decent show that seemed to be planting the seeds for a number of matches at Slammiversary, but also advertising matches for next week's show. Nothing on this show was worth watching again, but nothing was truly terrible, either. Here's hoping the pace starts to pick up as Slammiversary quickly approaches.