By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Fun Triple Threat match to kick off the show with Kenny King successfully defending his X-Division Championship against Zema Ion and Christian York. There was never any doubt that King would be going over here, but the action was fact-paced and kept a consistent pace throughout. It made for an exciting opener and the live crowd was certainly hot for it. The only issue is the fact is that these three are the only competitors in the X-Division aside from Rob Van Dam, so who will be next to challenge for the title?
Harmless match with Joseph Park defeating Joey Ryan. Park has remained entertaining over the last year while Ryan generated impressive heat from the live crowd with his pre-match promo. Ryan makes for a nice comedy character, but he should be used in a more meaningful role at some point. Regardless, this match was short and sweet for the most part.
Decent match with Velvet Sky successfully defending her Knockouts Championship against Gail Kim. Obviously, the match focused on the feud between Gail Kim and referee Taryn Terrell, but the action was actually exceptional for what we ending up getting. I can't say I'm excited to see Terrell moving into a wrestling role in the near future since she's not the best worker to begin with, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well the angle between her and Kim went over with the live crowd.
Forgettable match with Robbie T defeating Robbie E. The match-up had the right build-up, but hardly anyone cares about either of these guys. That being said, the bout was nothing more than filler and the official break-up of the tandem. I fear Robbie T entering singles competition, as he's extremely limited in the ring when he's on his own.
Entertaining Triple Threat Tag Team match with Bobby Roode and Austin Aries successfully defending their World Tag Team Championships against Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero as well as Bad Influence. The styles of the three teams meshed nicely and developed great chemistry over the course of the contest. Everyone was able to hit their signature spots and was easily the most electrifying match of the night. Roode and Aries are a brilliant tandem, so I'm glad they retained, but I'm left wondering where they go from here.
Good Steel Cage match with Wes Brisco defeating Kurt Angle. The match basically consisted of Brisco taking bumps for Angle, but it was done in a way that it was fun to watch. D'Lo Brown's interference was expected, but it helped further his feud with Angle, aside from the fact that a feud between the two in 2013 isn't something I'm looking forward to. Although I'm not high on Bricso's abilities, it was nice to see him pick up the victory here.
Solid Lethal Lockdown match with Team TNA defeating Aces and Eights. I liked how Magnus was the first one to enter for his team before being joined by former tag team partner Samoa Joe, which made for a fun reunion between the two. Nothing stood about as being all that memorable until Sting entered, who received an awesome reaction from the San Antonio crowd. Eric Young hitting a flying elbow off the top of the cage was a cool visual, and it was interesting to see him be the one to score the win for his team. The ending outcome came as no surprise, but it still devalues the credibility of Aces and Eights.
Great Steel Cage match with Bully Ray defeating Jeff Hardy to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The match was very well-wrestled and the powerbomb from the top of the cage onto Hardy was a sweet spot. The first run-in from Aces and Eights was unnecessary, but Ray turning on Hardy later in the match was extremely well done. This is what we should have seen happen at Bound for Glory, but I guess it's better later than never. Ray's post-match promo talking about he used Hulk Hogan and screwed his daughter Brooke was excellent and brought back the classic version of Bully Ray that we haven't seen in months. Aces and Eights hardly means anything anymore, but it's still great to see Ray finally revealed as the leader of the stable. Not only that, but he is more than deserving of winning his first World title, so that was a smart booking decision as well.
Overall, a great show that certainly exceeded my expectations and definitely delivered in terms of sheer entertainment. The action was awesome and most of the matches had the right outcomes, despite the fact they were predictable. The card was well-structured in putting the top main event matches on last and ending the show in the controversial fashion that they did. The live San Antonio crowd was hot the entire night and was certainly one of the best environments TNA has ever been apart of. What was saw at this event (specifically the conclusion) has me highly anticipating the upcoming episode of Impact Wrestling on Thursday night.