By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Austin Aries def. Kenny King
King has been with Bobby Lashley and MVP for so long that you forget how excellent of an athlete he is. There's no better way to remind viewers of what he's capable of in the ring than to put him in a match against Aries. The two have history dating back to their Ring of Honor days, so even though it wasn't acknowledged by the (clueless) commentators, it was a nice touch. This bout didn't blow me away, but it was still a very well-wrestled match and a great way of kicking off the night.
Bram def. Davey Richards
Bram, despite being branded as a "hardcore" wrestler in recent months, is actually a great wrestler and that was on full display here. Similar to King, there was no better opponent for him to go one-on-one with than Richards. They had a really nice match with a lot of back-and-forth action. It was also cool to see Bram pick up the victory and advance to the gauntlet later in the night. He has all the tools to be a top star in TNA, they just need to get him away from all the hardcore crap and get him back to wrestling matches like this one.
James Storm and Kazarian def. The Menagerie
It's been months since they debuted in TNA and I'm still not sold on The Menagerie. To me, it's a silly gimmick with very limited potential. Storm, who's now leading his own cult, should be nowhere near these guys. As for Kazarian, this must have been one of his final TNA matches since I believe he was gone from the company shortly thereafter. The match was fine for what it was and Storm and Kazarian put forth an effort to get the best out of them. Of course, I was glad Storm and Kazarian went over since that was the most logical move.
Bobby Lashley def. Samoa Joe
Despite their similar backgrounds in MMA, I can't recall one exceptional match these two have had together. Their matches have never been bad, but they haven't been as good as I'd like them to be. They worked well with each other here and it was a decent match but hardly the best up to this point. Joe was well protected with King's interference. This show was taped after Lashley turned heel but before it aired on TV, so I don't blame the live crowd for their lukewarm reaction to the finish.
Abyss def. Mr. Anderson
Anderson was mega over during his entrance, which is why I found his loss to Abyss so surprising. It was odd seeing Abyss win, but I guess this show was taped at a time when he was still relevant. The match was decent yet nothing special, and I honestly didn't expect much different from the two. It receiving only a few minutes didn't help matters.
The BroMans def. Bully Ray and Rockstar Spud
This was the obligatory "comedic relief" match on the show and it was absolutely atrocious. And I thought WWE's attempts at comedy were bad. Seriously, this was painful to sit through. I enjoy the Spud act, but I might have found this more humorous had I had the show on mute. The fake laughing from Taz and Mike Tenay is worse than the Raw commentators' which is quite the feat. Spud went through a table afterward anyway, but it didn't make up for all the crap that took place before it.
Gunner def. Magnus
These two had a great earlier this year on Impact in England and this was more of the same from them. I wouldn't go so far to call it exciting, but there was never a dull moment and they kept a consistent pace. Neither Gunner nor Magnus mean much nowadays unfortunately despite their bright first half of 2014, but the crowd was into the action of this match, regardless.
Ethan Carter III def. Sanada
Of all the matches on the show, I enjoyed this one the most if only because it was fresh. The two had a nice little match with some enjoyable action. Sanada was still bland by this point, but being the great heel he is, EC3 got the best out of him. I also liked how EC3 picked up the win in clean fashion after capitalizing off Sanada's injury.
Samuel Shaw def. Crazy Steve
I couldn't have cared less for this match. Shaw is damaged goods and Crazy Steve is such a stupid gimmick that it's hard to take it seriously. This match was more about it being a clash of the freaks than it being a mat classic, but thankfully it served its purpose in that sense and didn't overstay its welcome.
Eddie Edwards def. DJ Z and Tigre Uno in a Triple Threat Match
This was your typical Triple Threat X-Division match that featured a lot of fun spots that didn't mean anything. DJ Z and Tigre Uno have been enhancement talent for the better part of this year, so you had to know neither of them were winning this thing. Regardless, all three wrestlers performed well and delivered a solid matchup with a predictable finish.
Gunner Won a Gauntlet Battle Royal For a Future TNA Title Shot
I've noted in the past how TNA seems to have an obsession with Gauntlet Battle Royals on these One Night Only shows and because of their overexposure, I rarely ever enjoy them. They're never stellar, but this one in particular was pretty horrible. The attempts at comedy were deplorable and all the eliminations were anticlimactic. To top it all off, the One Night Only winners never get the title shots they're promised, so what's the point?
There's been some weak One Night Only shows that I've seen over the last year and a half, but this was definitely one of the weaker ones in recent memory. A few of the early matches were solid, but everything else ranged from decent to mediocre, making for a forgettable show on the whole. It was three hours worth of matches crammed together with none of them holding any real meaning. Needless to say, this is not at all worth going out of way to watch.
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