By Graham "GSM" Matthews
MVP def. Low-Ki in a New York City Gold Rush Qualifying Match
Being in attendance for this match, I can tell you that this was one of the best matches of the night at that taping. MVP and Low-Ki have very similar styles and both have experience wrestling over in Japan, making this match extremely entertaining. It was a very physical match from start to finish and I liked the fact MVP scored the clean win. Low-Ki hasn't been used to his full potential since being brought back into the mix earlier this summer, but this was by far his best bout to date.
Tajiri def. Robbie E in a New York City Gold Rush Qualifying Match
The BroMans annoy me to no end (and not in a good way), but I think Robbie can flourish on his own if he's cast as a singles competitor. He hasn't been without a partner in years, so I'd love to see him break away from the other two at some point. The Jersey Shore gimmick hasn't been relevant in years. Have TNA officials not picked up on that yet?! Nevertheless, this was a fun bout with the outcome never being in doubt. Still, it's always a treat to see Tajiri in action.
Austin Aries def. Knux in a New York City Gold Rush Qualifying Match
It felt like a mismatch on paper, but the two had a better match than I expected them to. Knux was sloppy and slow in spots, but Austin carried him to a passable match. It had some enjoyable action and Austin had an impressive outing against a competitor bigger than him. We've seen him execute the Brain Buster on much larger opponents in the past, but it never ceases to amaze me. I'm still struggling to figure out whether The Menagerie is a babyface or heel act.
Mr. Anderson def. Magnus in a New York City Gold Rush Qualifying Match
This was another match that was taped at the show I attended last month, and it wasn't surprising that we (the crowd) were dead for most of it. It was held so late in the show that people were waiting for the main event and for the show to end. It was a decent enough matchup, but nothing out of the ordinary. I'm a fan of both guys and wish they found direction in singles competition since they're capable of so much more.
Abyss def. Sam Shaw in a New York City Gold Rush Qualifying Match
It was an interesting clash of characters given their similarities, but this was easily the worst of the Gold Rush matches. It wasn't a horrendous match by any means, but virtually no one cared. Abyss hasn't been relevant in forever and Shaw's gimmick is stupid. The match shouldn't have lasted as long as it did, though I hate to complain about lengthy matches. If nothing else, I'm glad Gunner didn't get involved in any way.
Austin Aries Won the New York City Gold Rush Tournament
Multi-man matches can be hit or miss depending on the format, but they managed to consistently keep things interesting. It wasn't the most exciting match, but all six competitors got their spots in and worked a well-paced contest. Aside from MVP, Aries was the closest to the main event scene of them all, so it made sense to have him win. If I had to take a guess, he'll be challenging Samoa Joe for the X-Division Championship given their history and the fact Aries already took on Lashley for the TNA title.
I loved the fact that the entire show centered around the Gold Rush tournament and that there weren't any talking segments, but at the same time, there wasn't much if any storyline progression at all. This would have been fine any other week of the year, but their biggest pay-per-view of the year, Bound for Glory, is a little over two weeks away. No matches have been announced for the event and there's not even a clear direction that they seem to be taking. That's embarassing no matter how you look at it. While this was a meaningless show in the long scheme of things, it was enjoyable for being a one night only event and providing a hook for next week's edition. It was also a fun way to close out TNA's summer in New York.