By Graham "GSM" Matthews
X-Division Champion Tigre Uno def. DJ Z and Manik in a Triple Threat Elimination Match
What is with TNA constantly putting the X-Division competitors in Triple Threat matches? They make for fun little matches, sure, but that's all they are at the end of the day. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the action in this match and there was never a dull moment, thus keeping the live crowd engaged throughout, but there never seemed to be a story to it. Plus, how did DJ Z and Manik earn title shots anyway? They've been irrelevant as of late, so they never had a chance of winning the strap here (which means next to nothing after all the title changes in recent years), but if nothing else, it was a good opener from an in-ring standpoint.
Robbie E def. Jesse Godderz
Giving Robbie a change in entrance music is a step in the right direction in turning him babyface, but he has to do more to endear himself to the audience. The match was better than I thought it would be, but the crowd wasn't hot for Robbie or his win because he just hasn't connected yet. While the match exceeded expectations, it had no business going past the 10 minute mark. Hopefully this is the last we see these two against each other and they can both move on to other endeavors.
Bram def. Matt Morgan in a Street Fight
TNA has typecast Bram as a hardcore competitor this last year and I really wish they wouldn't. He has so much more to offer than just being a guy who competes in hardcore matches, and I can't say as to whether the damage has already been done. Nevertheless, this was a fine match but ultimately unspectacular. It was clunky at points, which wasn't too shocking considering Morgan hasn't been in the ring for the last two years. I was glad Bram went over in the end as he's the one sticking around and Morgan isn't (Bram did sign multiple new contracts, remember?).
Austin Aries def. Davey Richards to Choose the Stipulation for Match #5 in the Best of Five Series for the Vacant World Tag Team Championship
I loved the most recent singles match between these two teams on an episode of Impact Wrestling (I forget who the participants were) and I loved this match even more. It's weird given that other than the winner being able to choose the stipulation, this match didn't hold much significance. While I wish they would have gone with the final match in the series on this pay-per-view, I realize why they opted to save it for television this upcoming week (but I still don't agree with the move). It was very well-wrestled and given great time, but the quick roll-up win fell flat for the finish. To my knowledge, Aries wrapped up his TNA run at last week's tapings, so this was officially his final match in the company, and what a way to go out.
Brooke and Awesome Kong def. The Dollhouse in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match
When I found out this match wasn't for the Knockouts Championship and they were saving the title match for Impact Wrestling this week, I immediately lost all interest in this bout. At least with the previous match it tied into the pending title encounter; this match did no such thing. All five women did well and it wasn't a terrible match by any stretch, but I had a hard time investing in who would win because the outcome was irrelevant. That said, it was smart to have the babyfaces go over seeing as how they'll be the ones contending for the gold on Wednesday.
James Storm def. Magnus in an Unsanctioned Match
It seemed silly to me to have two Hardcore matches on one show, but this is TNA after all. This was obviously the better of the two as well as the best bout on the entire card. Storm and Magnus went all out by utilizing the extreme environment to their full advantage, executing several sweet spots and telling an excellent story. The feud leading up to this point has been terrible, granted, but this was the match I was hoping for between these two and they definitely delivered. Similar to Aries, this was reportedly the final TNA match for both men, and again, it was great to see both longtime TNA wrestlers to end their tenures on a high note.
Ethan Carter III and Tyrus def. Lashley and Mr. Anderson
With EC3 only days away from challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, this was merely a warm-up for him, so it succeeded in being just that. Otherwise, it was a fine tag team bout, but nothing special whatsoever. Lashley and Anderson didn't have any chemistry as a team and it was mostly formulaic. The right team went over, but having EC3 pin Lashley was an odd move. They might have wanted to give EC3 a pinfall win over a credible opponent, but pinning Anderson would have the same exact effect and protected Lashley as well.
Jeff Jarrett def. Eric Young, Bobby Roode, Matt Hardy and Drew Galloway in a King of the Mountain Match to Win the King of the Mountain Championship
What in the blue hell was this supposed to be? I'll tell you what it was: A typical TNA trainwreck. I've been a TNA fan since 2008, but I had never seen one before prior to this and now I'm glad I hadn't. Anyone familiar with this gimmick match knows how much of a mess it is and I'm stunned they brought it out of retirement. I guess they needed something to sell this show on, but I can imagine only the TNA die-hards were going to buy this event for this one match since everyone else is aware of how asinine it is. I give props to everyone involved for putting forth a commendable effort, but it was too difficult to follow and even the commentary team had a tough time with it. I cringed when I saw they were resurrecting the Legends/Global/Television/whatever the hell you want to call it as the King of the Mountain Championship. Who honestly cares? I sure didn't and I couldn't care less whether Jarrett brings it to Global Force Wrestling, either. In a way, though, this was a fitting conclusion to the show presented by a company that is infamous for garbage like this.
I'm still amazed TNA did next to nothing to make this event feel special in any way, shape or form. Then again, they completely neglected their Bound for Glory "extravaganza" last year, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. The only match they attempted to tout as being meaningful was the King of the Mountain match, but all it made for was a confusing and catastrophic main event that left a sour taste in this viewer's mouth. Aries vs. Richards and especially Storm vs. Magnus were awesome, but everything else was mediocre and exactly what you'd expect from a company that didn't bother to hype this event in advance. In other words, it was a waste of three hours, though I'd recommend giving the Unsanctioned match a watch.