By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Chris Melendez def. DJ Z
I was at this show when this match was taped and Melendez was very much over with the audience. He took his time greeting fans at ringside and the troops on the ramp was a nice touch. Obviously, he was fairly green and DJ Z did his best to carry him to a passable bout, but Melendez held his own and was impressive given his situation. That's not to mention the fact that he'll only get better in time. His TNA stint is already off to a good start.
MVP Interrupted Bobby Roode
Roode continues to cut intense on the mic that builds anticipation for his upcoming title match against Lashley. Similarly, MVP has done a swell job of making Lashley out to be a monster with his mic skills and Lashley's presence alone is intimidating. Their interaction was well done and it set up the subsequent six-man tag team match nicely.
Bobby Roode, X-Division Champion Samoa Joe and Eric Young def. MVP, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley and Kenny King
These same six competitors (minus Austin Aries) had a tag match against each other not too long and this wasn't much different, but it was well-wrestled and solid from start to finish. The pace was consistent, but the finish felt like it came out of nowhere. Nevertheless, it was a good win for Roode going into his title match against Lashley and he's gotten over big as a fan favorite in the last few months.
The BroMans and Velvet Sky def. The Menagerie
I had heard reports of this match being brutally bad and Rebel being injured as a result, but it didn't come across that way on TV. I can't exactly classify this match as 'good', but it was basically exactly what I thought it would be. It featured two comedy tag teams and thus it was a fine filler bout. Two questions, though. When did The Menagerie turn babyface? Also, what happened to the tension between The Beautiful People?
Kurt Angle Called Out Ethan Carter III; EC3 def. Rhyno in a Street Fight
The segment between Angle and EC3 was decent given their past history together. EC3 is improving on the mic, but you can so easily tell Angle doesn't want to be there at all and he looks so phony. EC3 and Rhyno had a fun hardcore brawl, but TNA has to know that these matches would mean more if we didn't see them every single week. The live crowds enjoy them, but you can't expect them to draw a rating if they're held all the time. I was worried that this was leading to EC3 suffering his final singles defeat, but I was glad to see that not be the case and EC3 pick up the clean win instead.
Velvet Sky Was Voted to Grace the Cover of the 2015 Knockouts Calendar
Did anyone else know nothing of this contest? I guess I don't visit their website enough. It was kept short and sweet and Angelina Love and Sky teased a bit of tension (which I expected to occur during the mixed tag team match), but it was overshadowed when Havoc came out and started reeking... well, havoc. If her actions were any indication, she should be challenging for the Knockouts Championship at Bound For Glory, but a seven-year-old could have told you that.
James Storm and Sanada def. Austin Aries and Tajiri
The pairing of Storm and Sanada is an odd one, but their styles compliment each other nicely. Tajiri hasn't missed a beat and Aries was his usual great self in the ring. The action was enjoyable and the crowd was invested in everything they did. I liked that the heels went over to keep the babyfaces in chase mode for a little longer. I assume we'll be seeing The Great Muta and Manik added to this equation before long as well.
The Hardys def. TNA World Tag Team Champions The Wolves and Team 3D in a Tables Match in the World Tag Team Championship Series
Being there at the Manhattan Center for this match to see it live, this was a crazy spot fest and everyone put forth a strong effort. It was all extremely entertaining, but watching it back on TV reminded me how rushed it was, similar to their first encounter two weeks ago. They could have let certain spots digest before moving on, but that aside, the three teams delivered an exceptional main event and the Ladder match should be equally excellent.
There was a lot to like about this show including the entertaining main event, the six-man tag team match and the Street Fight. It was an enjoyable episode on the whole that also did an effective job of building toward No Surrender next week. It wasn't the most newsworthy show outside of Melendez's debut, but it was one of the better editions of Impact Wrestling in recent memory.