By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Eddie Edwards def. Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett and DJ Z in a Fatal 4-Way Match to Win the X-Division Championship
As I mentioned in my prediction piece on Friday, I assumed the X-Division Championship match would open the event just because that's the way it has always been in TNA. It was a fantastic first match from an in-ring standpoint, but as I've said time and time again in the past, TNA could be doing so much more with their X-Division. It's been neglected for years, and essentially telling viewers that the X-Division will forever be a glorified spot-fest is the wrong message to send. Edwards capturing the gold was a nice change of pace, but I was surprised it was the champ who got pinned and not one of the other two competitors. Also, why should fans care about Lee losing the title when his character hasn't been established at all?
The Tribunal def. Grado and Mahabali Shera
Grado and Shera are unfunny comedy characters, The Tribunal don't interest me in the slightest and Al Snow is an annoying manager. Basically, I knew coming into this contest it was going to be trash, so it's not as if the poor quality shocked me in any way. The tag team finisher The Tribunal used came off really bad, but I suppose it was only fitting that a terrible match had a terrible finish. On the bright side, they got the match over with early, but what's worse is that the feud likely isn't over yet. Ugh.
Sienna def. Jade and Gail Kim in a Triple Threat Match to Win the Knockouts Championship
Why play the video package for Kim vs. Maria if the match wasn't going to happen due to Maria's injury? Part of me is actually happy the match didn't come to fruition because now they can drag it out a little longer and hopefully culminate it at Bound for Glory. Unfortunately, the Triple Threat match we received instead was fairly disappointing considering who was involved. The crowd might have been dead for Jade vs. Sienna anyway, but the in-ring work in this match was not strong at all. It was more of a mess than anything, and the finish with Marti Belle costing Jade the win was flat. Belle didn't soak in the moment at all and Sienna just doesn't have the same buzz about her she did a month or so ago. Perhaps winning the belt is a step in the right direction for her, but seeing is believing.
James Storm def. Braxton Sutter
This was a completely meaningless match that accomplished nothing. I guess it was good to get Storm on the show given he's a TNA original, but there was no purpose in putting him up against Sutter only to have the newcomer lose. This might to lead to Sutter turning on Storm eventually, but that would be a dumb decision right now with his character attempting to build sympathy with the fans as of late. By the way, how much do you think Storm is regretting re-signing with TNA at this point, especially after his ex-tag team partner Bobby Roode debuted in the promotion over the weekend?
King of the Mountain Champion Eli Drake def. Bram
The match was fine for what it was, and I like both guys, but it was difficult to care about who won. The feud has largely been dull and it doesn't help that it's been over a title that has zero value. Drake is evolving into a great heel, but he needs more seasoning. I was much more content with this match than the rest of the undercard simply because it was a pretty straightforward match and didn't have a convoluted conclusion.
Ethan Carter III def. Mike Bennett
I was very glad the story they told throughout the bout matched the build. It didn't have the big fight feel I hoped it would, but the nearfalls were suspenseful and each of them put forth an excellent effort. Maria interfering toward the end made me question why she wasn't banned from ringside to begin with, but at least she wasn't constantly getting involved as she easily could have. I was fine with EC3 handing Bennett his first loss because EC3 needed a win eventually and I don't think Bennett loses anything in defeat.
Jeff Hardy def. Matt Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem Match
It amazes me that one ending to Impact Wrestling a few weeks ago involving these two got everyone invested in the pay-per-view, or at least reminded them it was happening. It also amazes me Jeff is still taking the crazy bumps he is at this stage of his career. You'd think he'd tone down his in-ring style a bit if he really wants that one last WWE run. Nevertheless, this was as entertaining as I figured it would be with the stipulation working to their advantage. It was a train wreck in the best way possible and I liked how it took as much as it did for Jeff to put Matt away, but it will be interesting to see where both of them go from here.
World Tag Team Champions Decay def. The BroMans
This match was bound to die a death having to follow the Full Metal Mayhem match, but I give them credit for managing to hold the audience's attention to an extent. Sadly, the crowd wasn't too engaged in the final few minutes of the match when the pace actually picked up. Honestly, I would rather seen one of the other undercard matches receive this slot so the crowd wasn't as dead for it. It was by no means a barn-burner of a bout, but it deserved better. Meanwhile, thank the lord The BroMans didn't win the straps here. I like Decay's act while The BroMans aren't clicking whatsoever.
Lashley def. Drew Galloway in a Submission and Knockout Only Match to Win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Galloway and Lashley have done an exceptional job of building up this match to mean something. That said, it's such a shame the audience sat on their hands for a majority of the match as they did throughout most of the night. Don't let the lack of crowd reaction hinder your enjoyment of the match, however, as this was a hard-hitting affair and the added submission stipulation made it more exciting than your typical Last Man Standing match. I loved how Lashley went over in decisive fashion and didn't have to cheat to win. He hasn't been booked this dominant since his first title reign two years ago, so I was happy with the title change. Galloway retaining would have done nothing to make me look forward to what's next on Impact.
Normally, I would blame the Impact Zone for being an atrocious atmosphere, and I'm sure that was a factor, but considering two tragedies occurred in Orlando this weekend, it's hard to blame them (classy move by TNA to start the show with the moment of silence by the way). As someone who has been signing the praises of TNA in recent months, this was a major letdown for me. The main event and the Full Metal Mayhem match saved the show from being a complete waste of time, but EC3 vs. Bennett was underwhelming and the rest of the undercard was plagued with subpar storylines and brutal finishes. I had high hopes for Slammiversary, and needless to say, it failed to meet my expectations. Again, though, the two aforementioned matchups are recommend viewing.