By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Jeff Hardy Saved TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards From The DCC
It's amazing how much Edwards has grown as a mic worker in such a short span of time. He's now much more comfortable and confident when he talks compared to a month or two ago, so he's settling into the role of world champion nicely. It looks like Jeff Hardy (not Brother Nero) is back for the meantime while "Broken" Matt Hardy recovers from amnesia, and he was a good babyface to slot here considering his own bad blood with The DCC from recent weeks.
Jessie Godderz def. Impact Grand Champion Aron Rex (Non-title)
Similar to their last outing, and I never thought I'd say this, but Godderz impressed me more here than Rex did. That has pretty much been the case with Rex since he arrived in TNA. He's a better heel than a babyface, so I'm glad he seems to have officially turned, but his bouts largely bore me to tears. This was better than anything I have seen from them thus far, though, and Godderz winning should earn him another title shot against Rex.
Brandi Rhodes and Madison Rayne def. Sienna and Laurel Van Ness
I said this a few weeks back during the mixed tag team match main event, but I'm sorry, Brandi is absolutely awful. Rayne was fine here, Van Ness is progressing well and Sienna tried, but none of them could carry Brandi to a competent contest. I guess TNA thought she had some buzz following her WWE departure and thus signed her, but she hasn't been an asset to this division so far and it will take quite a bit for her to get better. Having Brandi pin Sienna was the biggest question mark because Sienna should have been a monster heel from the get-go in TNA and the booking of her character has been atrocious.
Ethan Carter III def. Trevor Lee, Mike Bennett and Lashley in a No. 1 Contender's Fatal 4-Way Match For the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
This match didn't fall victim to same tired troupes that most multi-man matches do and I loved how the pace was kept consistent throughout. The in-ring action was exciting and above all else, I thought Lee had a breakout performance here. When you take him out of the X-Division and put him up against people higher on the card, he shines. He was the right person to take the fall here, and EC3 was a logical winner with the road to redemption he's been on lately.
Eli Drake Hosted Fact of Life with Ethan Carter III
While I enjoyed their initial encounter on Fact of Life slightly more, this was still very good with both guys bringing their A-game on the microphone. Drake does not at all feel out of place in a segment with one of TNA's top stars and I'm really digging where this feud is headed. I'm glad EC3 didn't put his title shot on the line with nothing else up for grabs like a dummy (see what I did there?), and instead wagered something in return.
Mahabali Shera def. Basile Baraka
I thought we moved past Shera's feud with The Tribunal months ago? Rekindling that rivalry was not exactly what I had in mind. This was abysmal at best, and thankfully, it didn't eat up more television time than it did. I also couldn't care less about Al Snow's apparent involvement, either. I simply have no desire to see him feuding against his former proteges. A waste of time was all this was. On a side note, must all Indian wrestlers use the Camel Clutch as their finisher? Jeez.
The DCC def. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards and World Tag Team Champion Jeff Hardy in a No Disqualification 3-on-2 Handicap Match
I expected a full-on angle from this, but we ended up getting a really entertaining matchup. I did find it weird, though, that The DCC were a part of what was a comedy brawl with The Hardy Boyz two weeks ago and then had this brutal match. At least it's early enough where fans can still take them seriously, and beating two top stars clean in the main event definitely helped establish the group as a dominant force. The DCC chasing the tag titles while James Storm goes after the world title would be a blast if that's the direction they're headed in.
Aside from the terrible women's match and forgettable Shera vs. Baraka match, this was a damn good edition of Impact Wrestling. Then again, that shouldn't be too surprising considering the whole television product has been great this year. The main event is well worth checking out, along with the EC3 and Drake stuff and the Fatal 4-Way. Next week's episode should promise to be a treat as well with (hopefully) a new Knockouts Champion being crowned after Gail Kim vacated the gold and EC3 vs. Drake.