By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Taryn Terrell def. Gail Kim
I had the pleasure of seeing these two face each other in person at a TNA taping over the summer. This, however, was not one of their better outings. Of course, it didn't help that the commentators goofed around the entire time and didn't help enhance the matchup whatsoever. Hell, it was better than anything we see from the Divas on the main roster, but it didn't quite live up to the standards these two have set in the past, as it didn't get good until the final few minutes and even then it lacked excitement.
James Storm def. Mr. Anderson
Were these two ever really great "rivals"? They recapped their rivalry from last summer beforehand, but that feud was rather lackluster. I guess it beats Storm facing off against Bobby Roode for the millionth time (even though their rivalry is my favorite in TNA history). While their lack of a proper storyline hurt the overall match, it was still solid and they put together a nice matchup. Sanada's interference at ringside gave Storm the rubber match win and protected Anderson in defeat.
Kenny King def. Samoa Joe, Sanada and DJ Z in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match
What issues do these have with each other to call for a Fatal 4-Way between them? If it was supposed to showcase the X-Division, it failed. All four of these guys are extremely talented, but Joe battling three guys who don't mean anything right now (or at the time this was taped, whatever) isn't exactly an intriguing narrative. The crowd sat on their hands for almost the entire match because they knew Joe was going to overcome the odds and win. Needless to say, this left a lot to be desired.
Bram def. Gunner
Again, what issues do these two have together and why should I care? They bare such a resemblance to each other that it's like I'm seeing double in the ring. Both are so irrelevant at the moment that I wasn't invested in the action whatsoever. They worked a decent match, but again, with no reason to care, the outcome didn't matter. On top of all that, the finish was sloppy and the crowd was left confused more than they were angry the heel went over.
Ethan Carter III def. Austin Aries
While this was yet another match between two guys who have zero history together, EC3 acknowledged in his pre-match promo that he wiped all of his past rivals (Sting, Kurt Angle, Bully Ray, etc.) from existence, so Aries' interruption was welcomed. Both guys are great and they had a pretty good match, but it never felt like it got out of first gear. Maybe that would have been different if they were given more time (why not scrap the pointless Bram vs. Gunner match?), but I'd like to see more of EC3 vs. Aries down the road.
Eric Young def. Abyss in a Monster's Ball Match
I appreciate Young and Abyss bringing up their past history (unlike many of the former matches), but there have been far too many hardcore/Monster's Ball matches in the last year for this to mean anything. Both guys work well in the environment, but I'm numb to the hardcore stipulations to the point where none of them pack a punch anymore. It was a decent brawl for the most part, but it didn't feel as special as it probably could have.
Angelina Love def. Madison Rayne
Honestly, of the two women's matches on this match, I enjoyed this one more. Love and Rayne have never had the best of matches together, but respectively they're great and they were able to have a nice match here. Love and Rayne kept the pace consistent throughout leading to a fun final few minutes. Rayne didn't have enough crowd support for them to care about her getting cheated out of the victory, but I enjoyed the action for what it was.
Bobby Roode def. MVP by Disqualification
Roode and MVP had a fine match, but they were only getting started before King interfered. It was a logical lead-in to the subsequent tag team match, but I personally would have preferred a longer match between MVP and Roode. They've proved in the past how good a match they can produce given the time, and a tag match involving two guys who we already saw wrestle earlier in the evening oddly seemed less interesting to me.
MVP and Kenny King def. Bobby Roode and Eric Young
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, I would have been content with a straight-up one-on-one match between Roode and MVP. The addition of Young and King seemed unnecessary and they didn't add anything to the match at all. It was a rather formulaic tag match that never found a rhythm. It didn't help that the finishing sequence was sloppy and the execution of MVP's finisher on Young came off really bad. This was another match that had the potential to be better.
Jeff Hardy def. Magnus
Despite not getting as much time as it probably should have, they definitely gave it a big fight feel with the pre-match video package and in-ring introductions. It was nice to see Magnus grace the main event for the first time in in many months, and this match was perfectly placed in the main event given Hardy's roots in the North Carolina area. While it wasn't quite on the level of their clash over the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in late 2013, it was still an entertaining match that felt like it belonged in the main event of a One Night Only event.
It's a shame these Taz and Mike Tenay phone it during these shows because if they actually called the action, the quality of these shows might be a lot better. This event in particular barely lived up to the "Rivals" name, as hardly half of the featured matches had history behind them. The rest of the matches were random and weren't even all that good. There are definitely better One Night Only installments out there that are worth the pay-per-view purchase.