By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Fine match with Mr. Anderson quickly defeating Gunner. It was a nice change of pace to kick off the show and was decent action. The outcome was never in doubt, but in helped give Anderson the momentum he needed after being absent from television in recent weeks. As for Kash and Gunner, they're a fun duo, but have absolutely nothing to do at the moment.
Smart booking with Tara and Gail Kim defeating TNA Knockouts Champion Miss Tessmacher and ODB. The action was solid, as all four workers are great in the ring. It furthered the respective rivalries involved and gave Tara some heat going into her title match at Bound For Glory by pinning the champ.
Solid segment involving Al Snow and Joey Ryan. They've been building towards this feud for months and this was a logical way to incorporate it into Bound For Glory. I have no desire to see Snow wrestle, but it'll be cool to see him step back in the ring with the same guy who's been taking cheap shots at him in recent months. The crowd was receptive towards it, so that's all that matters.
Good match with TNA Television Champion Samoa Joe successfully retaining his title against Rob Van Dam. The match felt random, but it was excusable since the Television title is supposed to be defended every week on television. That being said, I'm glad they're going back to that gimmick and reinstating relevancy into the title by having a top name like Joe defend it against other top names such as RVD in good matches. The finish was also cool and well done. Although, they should've had Magnus play some sort of role during the contest since he'll be vying for the title next Sunday.
Great match with Chavo Guerrero defeating Kurt Angle. I would've liked to see either AJ Styles or Hernanadez wrestle this week since Angle and Guerrero wrestled last week, but it was still an entertaining match down the stretch. It provided tension between the two teams, which will help enhance the three-way stipulation at Bound for Glory. Chavo scoring the win here was shocking, so I guess they're determined on pushing him or making his team look credible heading into the tag title match.
Standard match with Zemi Ion successfully retaining his X-Division Championship against Douglas Williams. I'm a fan of Williams, but since when did he turn face? That seemed strange to me. Nonetheless, he's an experienced veteran who can help put over younger talent, in this case Zema Ion. As much as I don't like Ion, he has potential to be a nice heel champ, but they have to expose him on television more with more title defenses that are built up to in order to mean something. However, Ion injuring Williams was well done and helps put heat on him as champs by making me look more aggressive and vicious.
Brief Triple Threat match with Bully Ray defeating TNA World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy. This is something I would've liked to see as the Bound For Glory main event, so I have no idea as to why it was given away on free television and within mere minutes. It lasted all of three minutes, and a majority of that was during the commercial break. While I enjoy the idea of Ray winning, it does nothing for either Aries or Hardy heading into their respective title match at Bound For Glory.
Decent ending segment featuring Sting, Hulk Hogan, and Bully Ray. Mr. Anderson was a logical choice to fight for Team TNA at Bound For Glory given his victory earlier in the night, but having him get attacked by Aces and 8s was even smarter booking. This allowed Ray to take his spot, which we all assume will lead to Ray being revealed as the one behind the stable. Sure, it may be predictable, but it's the best route to take. Accepting Ray onto Team TNA in the final moments of the broadcast was intriguing and helped set up where it will lead to next week.
Overall, a great edition of Impact Wrestling that featured some solid hype and successful build for Bound For Glory. TNA hasn't done the best job of making the show feel like it's their biggest of the year, but the card is still stacked with excellent matches that I'm highly anticipating.