Sting forces TNA World Champ Bully Ray to submit.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray Addressed the Aces and Eights
There wasn't much to this segment, but it was decent for what it was worth. Ray cut a good promo as expected, but kept it short and sweet. It also hyped his title match next week against an Aces and Eights member as well as lead into Knux's subsequent match with Chris Sabin.
Knux def. Chris Sabin by Disqualification
I expected Sabin to get a bigger pop than he did considering the fact this was his first televised appearance in three weeks. Nonetheless, he had a nice outing against Knux in what was a throwaway match. It prematurely ended, though, and was never able to pick up the pace. I still hate the whole hammer gimmick, and I don't like the idea of attaching it to Sabin. His backstage segment with Velvet Sky after the match seemed to foreshadow a heel turn for him, which I think would be a mistake right now since he was just getting over as a babyface.
ODB Interrupted Knockouts Champion Mickie James
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I still very much wish that Taryn Terrell was feuding with James over the Knockouts Championship instead of ODB. Don't get me wrong, I like ODB, but I think Terrell would have been a more fitting opponent for James. This segment was fun and didn't drag on as much as I expected it to. James was getting cheered at the start, but she did a good job of turning that into heat by referring to Miley Cyrus (the ultimate heel in today's culture). One would assume that James and ODB would face off for the title at Bound For Glory, but I'm not if the feud can stay interesting for another month.
AJ Styles Won a Gauntlet Match to Earn 20 Points in the Bound For Glory Series
I liked how they got the undercard wrestlers in the ring first and saved the big names for last. I also liked the fact that Jeremy Borash made mention beforehand of how Hernandez and Jay Bradley had nothing to gain, so at least TNA didn't attempt to insult the viewer's intelligence. The match itself was entertaining enough, but the final few minutes felt rushed. The eliminations should have been spaced out a bit more, which is why Styles' final elimination of Daniels felt a bit anticlimactic. Although Styles winning was predictable, it was the best choice, as he's the most logical pick to win the BFGS.
Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco def. World Tag Team Champions James Storm and Gunner (Non-title)
There was nothing necessarily wrong with the match, but it was completely forgettable. As big of a fan as I am of Storm, he's being wasted away in a random pairing with Gunner. I want them to be successful champs, but they're never on television and dropping the belts to Bischoff and Brisco might be the best thing at this point. On the other hand, Brisco and Bischoff are terrible, had zero heat (the crowd couldn't have cared less when they won), and I want the Aces and Eights to disappear as soon as possible.
AJ Styles Chose to Face Austin Aries Next Week in the BFGS Semi-Finals
Wow, everyone involved in this segment produced strong mic work. Style didn't ramble nearly as much as he did last week and kept his promo straight to the point. His chemistry with Aries is off the charts and although I wanted them to face off in the finals, I'm glad they're even facing each other at all after the mind boggling finish to their last match. Booby Roode was intense on the mic while Magnus cut arguably the best promo of his career to date. I realize he probably won't win the tournament next week, but there is undoubtedly money in him as champion someday.
Sting def. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray in a No Disqualification Match (Non-title)
Let me start off by saying that Hulk Hogan banning Tito Ortiz from ringside then making the match no disqualification made zero sense. Anyway, the match was solid for the most part, but it needed more time to truly feel memorable. Besides, Ray and Sting don't have the best in-ring chemistry, so I didn't expect a five star classic to begin with. The interference from Aces and Eights and The Main Event Mafia was predictable, as was Mr. Anderson's face turn. The crowd popped for it, and Anderson resorting to his old shtick for the first time in a long while made for a cool moment. He has turned far too many times for it to matter by this point, but I'm enjoying it for now.
The first half of this show was uninspiring, but it was only worth watching for the stuff involving the BFGS as well as Mr. Anderson's face turn. Everything else was either decent or merely forgettable, so don't bother going out of your way to see anything outside of the BFGS segments. They built up No Surrender nicely, so I hope TNA continues their strong streak of entertaining events by delivering a great show next week, as it will be their last major stop until Bound For Glory.