By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Moose Saved TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards and Ethan Carter III From Eli Drake and Mike Bennett
Drake's mic work is always entertaining, but I believe Bennett cut the best promo of everyone in this segment and it's just a shame he's lost a bit of momentum since that huge victory over EC3 earlier in the year. They did set the stage nicely for the world title qualifying matches, though, and Moose making the save for the babyfaces was a logical transition into his subsequent match with Bennett.
Mike Bennet def. Moose by Count-out to Qualify For the TNA World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
I got a chuckle out of Josh Mathews saying on commentary that these two were "longtime allies" when in reality they had only been on the same side for a month or two before Moose turned on Bennett. Considering this was a rematch from Bound for Glory, they really should have promoted this match in advance, which TNA has done a good job of more often than not this year. That said, I enjoyed this encounter much more than their first match at BFG and it was more than just an average match this time around. The count-out finish allowed Bennett to advance while protecting Moose in defeat.
The Tribunal Attacked Al Snow and Mahabali Shera
I never cared for Snow being a part of Tribunal's act. Hell, I've never cared for Tribunal period. They've already lost their shot at the World Tag Team Championship, so what is there left for them to do? If this segment was any indication, they're headed toward a feud with Shera... again. Ugh. Wasn't Shera aligned with Tyrus at one point? Or has that already been scrapped? In so many words, this was a waste.
Ethan Carter III def. Abyss to Qualify For the TNA World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
Other than being a former world champion, I'd be curious to find out why Abyss was involved in a qualifying match over someone like Aron Rex. I dig Decay's act, but Abyss does nothing for me on his own, which is why I like him in the tag team scene. EC3 did the impossible by carrying him to a passable match, but obviously, the opener was better than this. The decisive submission win for EC3 was a nice touch, though.
Rosemary Attacked Knockouts Champion Gail Kim and Jade
The story here was that Kim appeared to be on the verge of retiring and passing the torch to Jade when Decay interrupted and laid wasted to the babyfaces. We haven't seen too much of Rosemary in the ring throughout her TNA stint, so I don't know how good the matches between her and Kim could be if that is indeed the next feud for the title. Is the division that depleted they have to turn to a manager to enter the title picture? If nothing else, it's something fresh... well, kind of, since Kim was abducted by Decay earlier this year.
Trevor Lee def. Rockstar Spud and X-Division Champion DJ Z in a Triple Threat Match to Qualify For the TNA World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender's Match (Non-title)
I would have kept the X-Division guys out of the world title picture all together because they should be doing their own thing, but this was a well-wrestled match. Per usual, it was fun while it lasted yet ultimately nothing special due to how short it was. Lee winning shocked me, though, because he hasn't had anything going for him for months, but I do applaud TNA for going with someone new.
Lashley def. Robbie E and Grado in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match to Qualify For the TNA World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
I don't know what's worse: The BroMans or this new version with Grado. I get the occasional kick out of Grado, but he feels so watered down in TNA. Lashley is a total badass, however, so I liked seeing him beat the living crap out of the comedic duo. He's already lost to Edwards twice, so I don't think he'll become the No. 1 contender next week again, but I hope he has direction coming out of that match.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards def. Eli Drake
Although Edwards' TNA title win came out of nowhere last month, TNA did a decent job of building him up in the weeks that followed with credible wins over Lashley and Cody. He came across like a main event player here, but Drake did not. I know, I have been praising him for months, but it was way too soon for him to challenging for the belt. As a result, fans couldn't buy into any of his nearfalls. The video package that aired on him earlier in the evening was well done, and he had a solid showing here, but I'm not sure he gained anything in this match. Anyway, DCC attacked Edwards afterward and revealed themselves to be Bram, Eddie Kingston, and James Storm, so I'm officially invested in what they're all about.
While there are a few things on the show each week that simply aren't for me, the program by and large continues to entertain me. The stuff surrounding the world title picture always manages to hold my interest and the Hardy Boyz segments on this edition of Impact Wrestling with Matt having amnesia were hilarious. This episode gets a thumbs up and I'm glad they announced a No. 1 Contender's match for fans to look forward to next week.