By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Excellent match with TNA World Champion Austin Aries defeating James Storm. It had a fresh feel to it since it was the first ever meeting between the two, and involved extremely entertaining action. Storm was protected after Bobby Roode interfered and allowed Aries to pick up the victory, so that made logical sense. Aries needed a victory going into Bound For Glory, so this was a fantastic way to kick off a wrestlingshow.
Forgettable match with Hernandez defeating AJ Styles. It wasn't given enough time and featured throwaway action. Styles and Angle haven't been made to look like a credible team going into Bound For Glory, but at least Chavo and Hernandez do. The Triple Threat tag team title match on Sunday has the potential to be great, but this was not a nice preview of it.
Effective promo featuring X-Division Champion Zema Ion and Rob Van Dam. While I personally dislike Ion, he has a ton of upside to his character that is just being wasted by not having him appear on television more often. That being said, I'm glad he's being featured on the Bound For Glory card (albeit at the last minute), especially against a seasoned veteran such as RVD. Those two can have one hell of an opening match on Sunday, so it's nice to see it receive some sort of build-up without being announced randomly.
Fun match with the World Tag Team Champions Daniels and Kazarian defeating Sting and Bully Ray by disqualification. The live crowd ate up the antics from Ray and Sting, so I'm now actually looking forward to their teaming at Bound For Glory. There's no doubt in mind that Ray will be turning on Sting come their match on Sunday, so this was a nice way for the fans to embrace Ray as a face before his "heel turn" at Bound For Glory. Sure, the tag team champs might've been made to look weak, but they sold the offense well and still picked up the victory regardless.
Good match with Knockouts Champion Miss Tessmacher defeating Gail Kim. These two have had great matches in the past and this was no exception. They were given time to shine and provided one of the better Knockouts matches in recent months. They also managed to further build towards Tessmacher's upcoming title defense against Tara, so that was also well done and effective.
Solid match with Jeff Hardy defeating Bobby Roode via disqualification. Some may argue that it went on too long, but I personally enjoyed the action. It was a great main event for a go-home show and showcased both Roode and Hardy. Austin Aries's shocking rant promo that followed was absolutely awesome, and while it may have been reminiscent of CM Punk's from last year, it was still a suspenseful cliffhanger going into Sunday. I question the move to turn Aries into a full-fledged heel so quickly, but they must've thought the people were going to be behind Hardy at the event anyway.
Overall, a great edition of Impact Wrestling that certainly has me looking forward to Bound For Glory on Sunday. This show featured solid action, offered final build for every match on Sunday's card, and entertained this viewer for the entire two hours.