By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Bully Ray Returned to TNA
Was there ever any doubt it would be Bully Ray? If you look at the list of former world champions in TNA, none of them were likely to return. Heck, most of them are probably with WWE! It's a big get for TNA, but I can't help but feel disappointed that Bully Ray isn't back with WWE. That isn't on him or TNA but rather on WWE for not signing him. I wrote an article a few weeks back about how he'd be an excellent addition to the tag team division there, but apparently WWE has no interest. That said, this could be just a one-off return for Ray, but we'll have to see in coming weeks.
Ethan Carter III def. Mr. Anderson in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
It was obvious the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation was going to be chosen by the fans, but it's not often they can do interactive polls because the show is almost always taped, so I can't fault them. The match was fun while it lasted and the interference from Tyrus had to be expected. EC3 didn't look weak for getting help because he was allowed to, and Anderson wasn't hurt by the loss. I don't see the need for a rematch, but I'd be surprised if they blew the feud off this early.
Drew Galloway def. MVP
MVP's promo about being all about the money was full of fire and I loved it, but everything else about this segment felt bland. It's only been a month or two yet I'm already tired of the Rising vs. Beat Down Clan feud. It seems like they say the same things every week, challenge each other to a match or just brawl. I'm not exactly sure why I'm supposed to care, either. It's a good thing most of people involved in this angle are good wrestlers because at least the matches have been solid, including this one, but MVP and Galloway never seemed to find a rhythm before the abrupt finish. I, like many, am waiting for the next chapter in this storyline.
Magnus Attacked James Storm
Storm has been doing excellent in this manipulator role, but I fear it will make Magnus and/or Mickie James looked gullible in the end. I hope that isn't the case and Mickie ultimately catches on to his act, but as I've said before, I'm intrigued as to where this is supposed to be leading because I have zero clue. On a side note, shouldn't The Revolution be scrapped at this point? They haven't been appearing alongside Storm for a while now and they serve no purpose as Storm is much better on his own.
The Dollhouse def. Gail Kim and Awesome Kong in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match
This was another match that didn't feel like it got enough time. They made the most of the time they were allotted, but it didn't match that "big fight feel" it was given last week, especially with it being billed as the first time ever that Kim and Kong have joined forces. Contrary to popular opinion, I don't mind The Dollhouse, and while it certainly is a silly gimmick, I like the story that Taryn Terrell enlisted the help of Jade and Marti Belle so she could prolong her Knockouts Championship reign.
The Hardyz Relinquished the World Tag Team Championship
It's really unfortunate to see The Hardyz be forced to drop the tag titles as I was looking forward to their first run with the straps. It'll be interesting to see if Matt Hardy is given something to in the meantime or if he's taken off TV entirely until his brother returns. Meanwhile, it's great to see Austin Aries and Bobby Roode reform. I loved their pairing the first time around and they can inject life into the dwindling tag team division. Their upcoming best of five series with The Wolves should be nothing short of stellar.
Velvet Sky Interrupted Angelina Love
Following the return of her real life boyfriend Bully Ray earlier in the night, we all had to see this one coming. Sky's return didn't feel like the big deal it should have because she wasn't gone for all that gone. Wasn't she last on TV two months ago or so? Still, they have a story ready for her with Angelina Love. We've seen it before, but at leat it gives Sky something to do (other than Bully Ray -- zing!) for the foreseeable future.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle def. Eric Young (Bully Ray as Special Guest Referee)
It was weird for Angle and Young to go from facing each other in a non-title Stretcher match to facing off for the title in a standard singles match. They have solid chemistry together so they contested it a decent match, but it was far too overbooked at the end, though that's par for the course in TNA so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. What I was surprised by, however, was how Bully didn't play a bigger role in the bout than he did. Young attacked him at one point, but he didn't lay out him out during the match or afterward. Perhaps they're setting something up for later down the line? There also wasn't anything that will keeps viewers in suspense because Angle successfully retained and that was it; no new challengers were established and the hero won the war.
The live aspect of this show intrigued me (even though it was on a few hour tape delay), and although it was noteworthy for the returns of Bully Ray and Velvet Sky, there wasn't anything outside of the segment regarding the tag team titles that excited me. The main event wasn't remotely special, The Rising vs. Beat Down Clan feud has already grown tiresome, and the Falls Count Anywhere match didn't live up to its full potential. However, the product was been entertaining to watch for the most part and I'm hoping they can get back on track with a quality show next week.