By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III Interrupted The Jarretts
EC3 continues to shine on the microphone and Jeff Jarrett was fine here as well, but what the hell was with Karen Jarrett? I don't mind her as an on-air character (though she's better suited in the heel role), but her tone of voice toward EC3 was odd and the audience didn't know how to react to it. Other than that, this did a solid job of building toward the night's championship main event between EC3 and PJ Black, even though the whole "defend the title or be stripped of it" storyline was strange and no one ever bought into it.
Mr. Anderson def. Bram in an Open Mic Challenge
A stupid stipulation? Vintage TNA! In all seriousness, the stipulation actually made sense given the history between the two and how Bram assaulted Anderson with his own microphone all those weeks ago, but it came across as clunky at some points. It was the same issue I had with the Sledgehammer on a Pole match from TLC 2011: Why would the opponents bother reaching for a weapon when they could win the match anyway, in addition to how the microphone did very little damage? If nothing else, the live crowd enjoyed it, so there was that.
The Revolution Attacked Mahabali Shera
Shera can get over with the audience as a "man of the people" trying to fight for his family and his country, but the dancing was a little too much for me. I'm glad it helped him win over the fans, but I really hope that was just a one-time thing and it won't become his gimmick going forward because it has such a short shelf life. The Revolution looks more and more pathetic with the less members they have, and I have my fingers crossed that this angle will ultimately lead to their demise and Storm's subsequent departure from the company.
Gail Kim def. The Dollhouse in a 2-on-1 Handicap Six Sides of Steel Match
The in-ring action was actually quite good which shouldn't be a surprise to those who know just how good Jade (Mia Yim) is on the independent scene, but The Dollhouse is such a weak stable. It's unique, I'll give them that, but Marti Bell and Jade are made to look inferior to Kim and others every single week, so why should anyone take them seriously as a threat? The Steel Cage stipulation also felt wasted since we just saw a cage match with these same competitors a few short weeks ago.
Drew Galloway def. Eli Drake in a No Disqualification Match
I'll give credit where credit is due: Drake is a much better mic worker than I initially thought. Why did they barely let him speak when he was part of The Rising? This was another good match that featured entertaining action and a creative finish, but it left me wondering why they rushed the feud so quickly. Drake picked up the first win at No Surrender, but other than that, he has no heat. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if TNA doesn't have any plans for him beyond this or if they just let him go.
Chris Melendez Interrupted Eric Young
This is like the feud that will never end. I just don't care about it, even though this wasn't a bad talking segment by any stretch. Young has flourished in his role as a crazy character, and Melendez has come a long way on the stick as well. That said, a Winner Takes the Leg match? Really? Was the Creative Team on acid while writing these tapings? I have a really bad feeling about where this is going, but I should've known from the start given this is TNA after all.
Matt Hardy def. Tyrus
I got excited during the backstage segment with EC3, Tyrus and Hardy because I thought it might be leading to Hardy starting a feud with Tyrus in the meantime before going back after the TNA title, but nope. All it got us was a worthless two minute squash with zero build. It's bad enough they squandered the opportunity to have them feud, but it's worse that it's Tyrus in the role. He could be a dominant monster heel if they didn't have him lose so decisively and frequently. For shame.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III def. PJ Black
I would've appreciated this match getting a few more minutes, but they made the most of the time they were allotted and had a fun match. It always bothered me WWE never let Black get over with his offense as he did here with his insane high-flying maneuvers even though he could never talk. EC3 sold his offense well and the clean win only further helped establish him as a credible heel champion, so it's great they're finally starting to book him the right way.
I liked last week's show to an extent, but this was a sleeper show for me, especially given the Turning Point title. Why bother hyping it as such when it was nowhere near to being a pay-per-view-esque show? Yes, we had a TNA title match, but we get one of those almost every other week, anyway. It wasn't a terrible episode, but it didn't feature anything must-see.