By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Drew Galloway def. Bram to Earn 3 Points in the World Title Series
You'd think Galloway would feel like a bigger player in this series instead of just another guy considering he's coming off a Bound for Glory main event, but apparently not. Nevertheless, he had a nice little match with Bram and they had the good in-ring chemistry I expected them to. It's just a shame we likely won't see this bloom into more of a rivalry because of Bram's legal issues. In fact, it's embarrassing he's still on TV, but I understand why he is given TNA's current situation.
Brooke def. Knockouts Champion Gail Kim to Earn 3 Points in the World Title Series (Non-title)
Brooke has come a long way as a worker these past few years, but it's evident her matches have always come against Kim. They work very well together and this match was no exception. I find it silly women are involved in the series, but not because I'm "anti-Knockouts." Rather, they have no business going after the world title (with the exception of maybe Kong) and it's especially random when you consider TNA has rarely done intergender matches in the past. That aside, I liked the match and Brooke scoring the upset win was pleasantly surprising.
Rockstar Spud def. Grado to Earn 3 Points in the World Title Series
After all the excellent work he's done so far this year, I was hoping Spud would be more of a threat in this series, but he's back to doing comedy crap with Grado. And the worst part is, is that it wasn't even remotely funny. I've seen Grado's work on the independent scene and I like him, but he has yet to click with the TNA audience and this match didn't do him any favors.
Ethan Carter III vs. Austin Aries Ended in a Draw; Both Wrestlers Earned 1 Point in the World Title Series
I don't know how they're not going to have EC3 win the whole thing if they intend to keep him undefeated the entire time, but having his matches end in draws such as in this case won't hurt. This was easily the best bout of the entire night and it felt fresh as well because I can't recall a single time these two have ever faced off one-on-one. Aries returning makes absolutely no sense (and why the hell was Rosita there?). While I'd typically be happy that Aries is back in the fold, this was filmed around the same time he was "fired" to begin with, meaning he isn't actually back with TNA.
Awesome Kong def. Madison Rayne to Earn 3 Points in the World Title Series
Again, I'm not high on the idea of women being involved in the World Title Series, but if there's any one woman who could be taken as a legitimate threat to the title, it's Kong. She didn't completely squash Rayne and I was glad Rayne scored some offense, but it was important to focus on showcasing Kong's dominance. The match was everything it needed to be and I hope Kong continues to be spotlighted throughout this series.
Lashley def. Mr. Anderson to Earn 3 Points in the World Title Series
The whole "respect" storyline between Lashley and Anderson seemingly came out of nowhere because I can't remember the last time they were ever associated with each other on TV, but it was still a solid match. The babyface vs. babyface dynamic hindered it a bit because the crowd didn't have any incentive to cheer for one guy over the other, but they put forth a commendable effort and produced an competent main event.
I'll start off by saying that I dreaded the idea of stripping Matt Hardy of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship only to hold a tournament to crown a new champion. Dixie Carter was worried about there not being a champion for a few months, but there still won't be a champ on TV for a while with this World Title Series. Ugh. Other than that, I like how we're going to be treated to entertaining in-ring action for the foreseeable future. That means there will only be one central story, but they made the most of the situation they're currently in. On the flip side, it will be hard to invest in any of the matches when we know a handful of these people are already gone from the company.