By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray Interrupted AJ Styles
Styles is not the best mic worker, but this was definitely one of his better promos. It is about damn time that Styles shifted his attention to Ray as well as to the TNA title. I liked the fact that Styles mentioned how he hadn't "seen" the belt in over a year and how Ray referenced their feud from a few years ago. This was a very solid opening segment that did a lot to add to the main event of Bound For Glory.
X-Division Champion Manik and Jeff Hardy def. Chris Sabin and Kenny King
It was odd to see Sabin and King given their rivalry against one another from just a few short months ago, but that is just nitpicking things. Aside from that, this was a fun match to build towards the newly added X-Division title match at Bound For Glory. However, what was the point of bringing King back into the fold if he isn't going to be involved in this match? I suppose it is possible that he could be thrown into the mix later on, but I feel bad for him after taking the fall last week and this week in addition to getting the shaft at BFG.
EGO def. Magnus in a Gauntlet Match
It was great to see Magnus put over in a big way by not only demanding this match, but defeating Daniels and Kazarian back-to-back. Sure, he ultimately fell victim to Bobby Roode, but it made for some smart booking after Magnus got the best of Roode in the BFG Series a few weeks ago. Plus, Kaz's attack on Magnus and his subsequent injury gave him an out for losing. I was hoping not to see Magnus and Sting face off at BFG, but solely because I think it would be incredibly stupid to turn Magnus heel at this point in time when he is gradually gaining momentum as a babyface. However, this match could be a great way to make Magnus look like a top-tier talent in the eyes of the fans, assuming he defeats Sting at the event.
Velvet Sky vs. Brooke Tessmacher in a No. 1 Contender's Match for the Knockouts Championship Went to a No Contest
It is sad to see the Knockouts division reduced to a minimal amount of women wrestlers, but at least Lei'd Tapa is finally being called up. I don't think she is ready for the main roster just yet (she looked rather green at the recent One Night Only event), but TNA had no choice if they wanted their Knockouts division to remain in existence. I'm fine with the idea of Sky feuding with Tapa, but does this mean the title won't be on the line at BFG after all?
Samoa Joe def. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray by Disqualification
These two are capable of having a much better match than they did, as this bout felt rushed and forgettable. They weren't given enough time at all and it didn't serve much of a purpose aside from furthering the feud between Styles and Ray. The finish was clunky and confusing, but at least Styles coming in to save Joe woke the crowd up. By the way, with Sting and Magnus facing off at BFG, where does this leave Joe?
Hulk Hogan Refused Dixie Carter's Offer
This was the first time in a while that Hogan didn't ramble during his promo, which is a plus all by itself. The segment as a whole, though, didn't do much for this viewer, but I'm glad Hogan is finally gone from TNA. Turning Carter heel is still an odd choice, but at least she is running with it nicely and garnering good heat from the live crowd. For some strange reason, I feel we haven't seen the last of Hogan in TNA and that he will "surprisingly" return at BFG, but I surely hope I am wrong.
After a streak of lackluster shows, this episode was an immense improvement and successfully built towards BFG in more ways than one. The additions of the X-Division title match as well as Magnus vs. Sting to the card were well done and I am highly anticipating both matches. Granted, TNA still has a long way to go to make the casual viewer excited for the event, but this was a good start. However, with only two shows left, TNA really needs to heavily hype the pending pay-per-view by adding more matches sooner rather than later.