By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley Confronted Mike Bennett
Was it just me or did this whole segment feel like something straight out of a soap opera? Okay, so wrestling is essentially a glorified soap opera with men in tights, but I couldn't have been the only one who thought it was weird that they were talking about Moose going out to dinner with Lashley behind Bennett's back. On the bright side, I liked that this led to more dissension between Bennett and Moose with Moose's gradual face turn already underway with the reaction he received from the crowd here. I didn't hear him speak too much in Ring of Honor, so I was pleasantly surprised by his mic work in this segment.
"Broken" Matt Hardy def. World Tag Team Champion Crazzy Steve
If it wasn't apparent by this point, the Hardys appear to be the babyfaces in their feud with Decay, which is a wise move considering how over Matt has gotten himself with his "Broken" character. And once again, the unusual antics from the Hardys were what made this match entertaining, and Matt scoring the win avenged Jeff's recent loss to Abyss. They've hands down been the best part about the program for months, so I really enjoyed the ongoing storyline regarding "the kidnapping of King Maxel" that went on throughout the rest of the show.
DJ Z def. Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, Mandrews, Rockstar Spud and Braxton Sutter in an Ultimate X Match to Win the X-Division Championship
Another Ultimate X where I was not at all invested in any of the competitors because they have largely meant nothing. The only X-Division wrestler to get any sort of development lately is DJ Z, so I suppose it was fitting he won, but he needs to ditch that dumb name soon. It was a well-wrestled match and everyone involved put forth a strong effort, but they need to truly convince me that the division is going to be taken seriously again.
Drew Galloway and Aron Rex Brawled
Galloway did everything he could as a babyface in the year and a half he's been in TNA, so it was high time he switched up his character a bit by going heel. This was a solid first promo from him, and I liked the logic that Rex is virtually doing the same thing he did when he initially came in by proving his previous employers (i.e. WWE) wrong. Rex showed good fire when he charged at Galloway and I have faith they can have a compelling program heading into Bound for Glory.
Ethan Carter III def. Eli Drake
I commend Drake for trying his best to make it seem like he had a chance, but did anyone honestly see him as a threat to EC3, who has suffered only one loss by pinfall in the near three years he's been with the company? I can't complain, though, because Drake is so damn entertaining and he had an impressive outing here. My only gripe with it was that I wished it would have lasted a bit longer.
Maria def. Allie to Win the Knockouts Championship
You knew where this storyline was going as soon as you saw Maria wearing her wrestling trunks earlier in the evening, but I thought the whole thing played out exceptionally. Sienna comes across as a background player in all of this, but Maria and Allie are the more engaging characters anyway, so whatever. Allie has managed to win over the audience these past few weeks, so Maria was able to get herself even more over as a heel by beating her for the title. I'm sure (or at least hope) it will lead to some sort of payoff with Allie sometime soon, and I can definitely see Gail Kim being the one to unseat Maria as champion in their likely Bound for Glory match.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley def. Mike Bennett
Heel vs. heel matches tend to be hit or miss, but this served its purpose and the crowd was split on who they wanted to win. It was a rather standard matchup from an in-ring standpoint, even though Moose being at ringside telegraphed the finish big time. That said, I'm content with Moose finally splitting from Bennett because the crowd was receptive and it sets up their Bound for Glory match nicely.
How was last week the Turning Point show yet this episode wasn't? This was a much more newsworthy show featuring two title changes and a world title defense in the main event. Combine all that with a serviceable Galloway/Rex segment and more "broken" brilliance and you have you have yourself an above-average edition of Impact Wrestling. Let the road to Bound for Glory begin!