By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Mr. Anderson Interrupted Aces and Eights
Bully Ray's promo was solid and a logical follow-up to last week's "breakup" angle. Anderson cut a short and sweet promo as well that helped hype his upcoming matchup with Ray. Since Anderson recently re-signed with TNA, I highly doubt he will be losing his match with Ray, so it makes me happy knowing Aces and Eights will be ending after all. Anderson challenging any member of Aces and Eights to a match was a nice hook for following the commercial break.
Mr. Anderson def. Knux
The match was decent enough, but nothing special. It didn't help that Knux lost to someone in street clothes, but I guess it added to the realism of the bout since Anderson had no time to prepare. Anderson emerging victorious was no surprise, but it helped him build momentum toward his match against Bully Ray next week. However, shouldn't the commentators have played up the fact that this was Anderson's first TNA match in over two months?
Christopher Daniels def. Joseph Park
As much as I enjoy Bad Influence, I couldn't care less for their current feud with Park and Eric Young. This match was pretty lame, and the live crowd didn't appear to be into the action at all. Park's in-ring antics can be entertaining at times, but this contest was too short to mean much. I would rather see Bad Influence involved in the tag team title hunt. If they aren't the ones who ultimately reveal Park is Abyss, then I have lost all hope that the "mystery" will ever be solved.
Ethan Carter III def. Norv Fernum and Dewey Barnes in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Well, at least Carter faced both of them at the same time this time around instead of one-on-one. Even still, it was much of the same from EC3, who had been basically treading water since he debuted last month. Granted, the offense and charisma shown from Fernum and Barnes was comical, but the ending result was never in doubt. If nothing else, at least Carter garnered good heat from the live crowd during his post-match promo.
Dixie Carter Addressed AJ Styles
The airing of the Styles video packages have been on an excellent touch on the Styles saga in that it differs from what WWE did with the Summer of Punk two years ago. Dixie tried to make sense of it, so at least she addressed it and didn't completely ignore it. The subsequent promos from James Storm, Samoa Joe and Magnus were all great and have this viewer highly anticipating the next pair of matches in the TNA title tournament.
Knockouts Champion Gail Kim def. Hannah Blossom in an Open Challenge Match (Non-title)
I was afraid Kim would end up facing an enhancement talent, but at least it was someone fans are somewhat familiar with from British Bootcamp. Hannah had an impressive outing against Kim, who carried most of the match. It was fine for what it was and a nice, clean win for Kim. I have always liked the surprise element associated with open challenges, so I wouldn't mind seeing this drawn out for a while.
Joseph Park Issued an Open Challenge to Abyss For Next Week
Finally, we are getting closure to this asinine angle! Don't get me wrong, it was fun at first, but it has been dragged out to the point of absolute ridiculousness. (Disregard what I wrote earlier on in this review, I wrote that prior to this promo.) I truly hope it is actually revealed that Park is indeed Abyss and we don't have an "impostor Abyss" storyline, which could prove to be disastrous.
Kurt Angle def. Austin Aries in a Submission Match to Advance to the Semifinals of the TNA Title Tournament
I expected the submission stipulation to hinder the match more than help it, but I couldn't have been happier to have been wrong, as this match was actually more entertaining than their outing on the Tournament of Champions pay-per-view. There was plenty of back-and-forth action, the pace was consistent throughout and the match received great time. Bobby Roode watching from the stage helped further his feud with Angle and the final few minutes of the match were well done. Angle forcing Aries to tap out to Roode's submission maneuver was a pleasant surprise and Aries looked strong in defeat. Mr. Anderson delivering a piledriver to Garrett Bischoff on the stage ended the show rather awkwardly (Angle's facial expressions were priceless), but it served as a nice reminder of what is at stake next week at Turning Point.
The primary focus of this show was to build toward Turning Point next week, so it was certainly successful in that aspect. There wasn't much on this show to write home about, but there didn't need to be, as it served as the go-home show before Turning Point. TNA's last few "pay-per-view television specials" have been some of the best episodes of Impact Wrestling of the year, so I hope next week's event will continue the strong streak, as the advertised card has the potential to be fantastic.