By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Bully Ray Interrupted Dixie Carter
The announcement of a tournament for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship was interesting, but as I stated last week, it is way too reminicent of what WWE did with the Summer of Punk two years ago. That being said, TNA has the potential to have a lot more fun with this storyline than WWE did (i.e. having AJ Styles defend the belt elsewhere). I am glad Ray wasn't inserted into the title tournament, as he lost his rematch last week against Styles and it was logical for Dixie not to put him in since she let him down. Mr. Anderson's brawl with Ray was well done that helped further their feud.
TNA World Tag Team Champions Robbie E and Jesse def. James Storm and Gunner
After putting on a pleasantly surprising match at Bound For Glory, these two teams failed to have as good of a match on this show. It was decent for what it was, but it abruptly ended and involved a flat finish. I was fine with Robbie and Jesse cheating to win, but only if it means Storm and Gunner are now allowed to go their separate ways and move onto bigger and better things. There are other teams that can contend for the straps. Storm belongs in singles competition, plain and simple.
Ethan Carter III def. Norv Fernum
Was this Bound For Glory rematch night or something? Better yet, are Norv Fernum and Dewey Barnes the only two local athletes TNA has at their expense? Are in such financial trouble that they can't afford to hire anymore jobbers? Questions aside, this was your basic squash match with it being all about Carter, of course. The live crowd initially booed when Fernum entered (probably because they knew it was the same schmuck from BFG), but they warmed up to him when he scored some offense over Carter. Carter's pre-match promo was once again way too short, and I hope we something more substantial from him on next week's show.
Magnus Won a Gauntlet Match to Qualify for the TNA Title Tournament
TNA has overdone the Gauntlet match to death to the point where I have just gotten sick of seeing them (the same can be said for WWE). That being said, the match was mediocre, the ending result was pretty predictable from the moment Sting was announced as an entrant. Predictability isn't always a bad thing, though, as Magnus going over was the best possible outcome. As much as I don't want to see Magnus turn full-fledged heel, they did a nice job of hinting at it here with Magnus throwing Sting over the top rope to pick up the win.
Knockouts Champion Gail Kim def. ODB
I wasn't overly impressed by the last string of matches between Kim and ODB, and this match was much of the same. It wasn't bad per se, but their chemistry simply isn't as good as that of Kim and Taryn Terrell from earlier this year. I couldn't care less about this particular feud, but at least there is something of a storyline in the Knockouts division right now. With ODB coming up short in her title rematch, will she continue to chase the gold or does the rivalry end here? If it's the latter, I don't who else (besides Velvet Sky, possibly) could contend for the gold.
Abyss Saved Eric Young From Bad Influence
The various backstage segments involving Bad Influence that aired throughout the night were extremely entertaining and proved why they are indeed among the best tandems in all of pro wrestling today. This segment was almost exactly what we saw at BFG, only on a smaller scale since it was on Impact. Abyss' return to Impact Wrestling was fitting with it being Halloween and made for a crowd-pleasing moment. As Kazarian and Daniels stated earlier on in the show, will the Television Championship make a comeback as well? TNA might as well scrap that strap at this point, as it literally serves zero purpose.
Bobby Roode def. Kurt Angle by Forfeit
Similar to their BFG match, Angle and Roode worked an excellent match that the live crowd (who had been sitting through their fourth hour of wrestling by this point in the show) was very much into. The numerous submission reversals toward the end grew to be slightly tiresome, but it made for nice suspense. The finish was essentially to identical to the one in their BFG bout, but it was a smart way of giving Roode the clean win while still protecting Angle. I still question TNA for putting this match on free TV one week removed from their biggest show of the year, but the feud looks to be far from over.
In a sense, I felt like I was watching a much better version of BFG. I didn't have high hopes for this show, but the two title matches and very well wrestled main event made it worth watching. As a major mark for Halloween, I enjoyed the holiday theme aspect of the show and found the edition as a whole to be enjoyable. Angle's apparent "injury" will also make for an intriguing cliffhanger going into the next episode of Impact Wrestling.