By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Sting Announced the Disbanding of The Main Event Mafia
It has been quite a while since we last saw all members of The Main Event Mafia in the ring together, which goes to show just how useless the stable is now that Bully Ray is no longer champion and the Aces and Eights are no longer an issue. I am glad they actually announced their disbanding instead of simply forgetting about it, but Sting's speech was awkward. He mentioned that his next task was going to teach the younger guys in the back that they need to pay their dues, but wasn't exactly clear in what is next for his character. The subsequent promos, however, from Samoa Joe, Magnus and Kurt Angle were solid and made the TNA World Heavyweight Championship tournament feel prestigious after stating their involvement in it. Angle's brawl with Bobby Roode was intense, even if it ran a little too long. The same can be said for this segment as a whole, as it went on a few more minutes than it should have. I mean, was it really necessary to have Pacman Jones and DeQuin Evans attack Bad Influence this early in the show? There was too much to digest for just one opening segment.
Velvet Sky vs. Brooke vs. ODB in a Triple Threat No. 1 Contender's Match for the Knockouts Championship Ended in a No Contest
There were a few sloppy spots early on, but everything else after that was exceptional. Brooke and Sky aren't the best in-ring workers, and ODB isn't too great herself, but they managed to hide their weaknesses well throughout the bout. However, it all proved to be pointless, as Gail Kim's interference illogically called for the disqualification. Aren't there no disqualifications in a Triple Threat match? If nothing else, I am intrigued by Kim's open challenge, as it may mean we'll be getting some fresh, new talent in the Knockouts division. Yeah, we might have a division with more than five women!
Aces and Eights Disbanded... Only to Reunite
This segment was going so incredibly well up until the end. Garrett Bischoff, who has improved immensely since turning heel, showed good fire on the mic against Bully Ray, as did Knux. Hell, even Taz was great here, who hasn't been featured alongside the rest of the Aces and Eights for months. Mr. Anderson is also shining in his current role as a babyface and hyped his upcoming no disqualification match with Ray at Turning Point nicely. I had a bad feeling that the Aces and Eights would reunite, and it looks like I was right. The Aces and Eights have overstayed their welcome big time. What is the worth in keeping them around by this point? What a waste.
Ethan Carter III def. Dewey Barnes
Same match, different week. What is even worse is that TNA can't afford to high any more jobbers to lose to Carter. The former Derrick Bateman is impressive and all, but he needs a real program and fast. Granted, he garnered a substantial amount of heat here, but his post-match promo was much of the same. If he is going to continue to wrestle squash matches, at least give him contracted wrestlers to beat.
Bad Influence def. Joseph Park and Eric Young
TNA's tag team division is in a sad state at the moment, but this was a nice step in the right direction. This was a fun tag bout while it lasted, but it wasn't much to write home about. I was glad to see Bad Influence pick up the much needed victory, even if it was via dirty tactics. The appletini finish wasn't as ridiculous this time around since Earl Heber didn't see the splashes of the drink on the mat from where he was counting.
Austin Aries Interrupted Kurt Angle
It was great to see Aries make an appearance to help hype his match with Angle next week in the TNA title tournament, as I assumed they had just forgotten about it in favor of the Angle and Bobby Roode feud. I still don't think giving every match in the tournament a stipulation is necessary, but the Submission match between Angle and Aries next week should be great. Aries brawling with both Roode and Angle established his role as a tweener and the furthering of the feud between Angle and Roode was excellent on this show.
Jeff Hardy def. Chris Sabin in a Full Metal Mayhem Quarterfinals Match
I was worried when this match started with 10 minutes left in the show, but they surely made the most out of the time they were given and had an enjoyably matchup. The Full Metal Mayhem gimmick should be left for marquee matches and not thrown away on Impact, but the styles of both Hardy and Sabin worked well with it. It was pretty obvious that Hardy was advancing, but there were enough cool spots for the predictability not to matter. Hardy not wearing his patented makeup for once on this show was a nice touch.
Although this show was very promo-heavy, I didn't mind it one bit. This episode was all about Angle and Roode, as that feud was fantastically furthered throughout the night. The TNA title tournament was also made out to feel important with the main event match being a ton of fun to watch. The drama surrounding The Main Event Mafia and Aces and Eights was done in solid segments that has me looking forward to what is next for the two factions. TNA has really been stepping up their game since Bound For Glory, so here's hoping they can maintain the strong momentum going forward.