By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley and Ethan Carter III Chose Their Lethal Lockdown Teams
The wrestlers EC3 and Lashley chose to be a part of their respective teams were extremely predictable given all of them will be involved in the main matches at Bound for Glory, but it was a good kind of predictable. Having random wrestlers take part in each team would have made zero sense. Beyond that, EC3 and Lashley delivered strong mic work that hyped up the night's Lethal Lockdown match as well as their upcoming championship clash.
X-Division Champion DJ Z def. Eddie Edwards
This was along the same lines as essentially every other X-Division match in recent years in that it was very well-wrestled but there was little incentive to cheer for one guy over the other. Edwards has had more of a character arc this year than DJ Z, but they had a one week build and that was it. Not to mention the match was mere minutes long, so it was hardly enough time for me to invest in the action. It looks like we'll be getting yet another multi-man match with Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett on Sunday. Didn't we already see something similar at Bound for Glory?
Josh Mathews Sat Down with Mike Bennett and Moose
Bennett's remarkable mic work has really gone under the radar since his feud with EC3 ended over the summer, but this sit-down segment provided him with a platform to cut one of his best promos in recent memory. As for Moose, he comes across as much more natural in TNA than he ever did in Ring of Honor and I'm happy that he's doing most of the talking now. They recapped their feud nicely and had me looking forward to their Bound for Glory match by the end of it.
Laurel Vanness def. Madison Rayne
While Vanness is still relatively green in the ring (and it showed in this match), the potential is there, and at least she plays her snobby character nicely. The match really wasn't anything of note, but the tension teased between her and Allie was well done. It's a shame Vanness was introduced so late because by this point, it's too late to do a match between them at the pay-per-view.
Drew Galloway and Aron Rex Came Face-to-Face
It's so sweet that Galloway has been able to reinvent himself as a heel and he feels fresher than he has in a while. He was decent as a babyface, but even in WWE, he was a wonderful heel. Believe it or not, he cut the better promo between him and Rex here. I wouldn't blame TNA for dropping the ball on Rex just yet, but so far, he's felt like just another guy and fairly generic. Nevertheless, a good final face-off between them.
Reby Sky def. Rosemary by Disqualification
I'm not completely sure, but this might have marked Sky's first singles match in TNA. She isn't amazing, and I don't know the extent of Rosemary's wrestling experience either, but they kept it short and sweet as they should have. The brawl that ensued afterward was entertaining and the perfect prelude to "The Great War" coming up. Props to the women for taking such a sick table bump, too.
McKenzie Mitchell Sat Down with Knockouts Champion Maria and Gail Kim
Although I enjoyed the other sit-down interview with Bennett and Moose slightly more, this was still solid and both women were fine in their respective roles. As I've said several times as of late, I commend TNA for keeping this program going since the start of the year, and I'm shocked they've managed to restrain themselves from booking the bout ahead of the event. Their promos didn't feature anything we haven't heard from them before, but it was effective hype for their Knockouts title match.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley, Mike Bennett, Drew Galloway and Knockouts Champion Maria def. Ethan Carter III, Moose, Aron Rex and Gail Kim in a Lethal Lockdown Match
The thing I've never liked about Lethal Lockdown matches is that they take way too long to get going. Up until everyone enters, it's simply a ton of brawling. And then the weapons are introduced and they're just not necessary. Basically, the Lethal Lockdown match isn't my favorite, but if nothing else, Lashley went over strong at the end by shockingly forcing EC3 to pass out and all four feuds were furthered accordingly. Correct if I'm wrong here, but this might have been the first Lethal Lockdown match ever where the heels won.
The TNA product has been firing on all cylinders this year and deserves credit for turning its ship around, at least from a creative standpoint. They're in major trouble financially this weekend, but my prediction is that the company lives on. Either way, this was a strong go-home show with an excellent focus on most of the matches taking place at the pay-per-view and a newsworthy main event that had Bound for Glory implications.