By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Standard segment featuring Aces and 8s, Kurt Angle and the rest of Team TNA. Everyone played their roles well, but nothing seemed to be furthered here. Angle interrupting Aces and 8s' promo was logical, but it led to a brawl we've seen multiple times before. If nothing else, this did an effective job of hyping the multi-man match later in the night.
Throwaway tag team match with Gail Kim and Tara defeating Taryn Terrell and Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky. While the match was well wrestled, having Joey Ryan act as the referee for this bout was a complete disaster. I understand why he didn't make any counts or calls during the course of the contest, but it definitely hindered the match as a whole. Nonetheless, this did a nice job of furthering the feud between Kim and Terrell going into their one-on-one match on next week's show.
Nice contract signing between World Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Austin Aries and the team of Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero. Roode and Aries made this segment entertaining with their shennanigans while also hyping next week's tag team title match. With the stipulations attached to the bout, it looks to be extremely exciting.
Fine Gut Check Challenge with Pearce Morgan defeating Magno. Morgan was incredibly impressive both in the ring and on the mic, but the same can't be said for Magno. Maybe it was his tall stature, but his moves came off as sloppy and didn't seem to flow all that well. I'm glad Morgan picked up the victory here and I hope to see him win a TNA contract next week. On a side note, having Morgan winning the match with the use of dirty tactics was a good way of establishing him as a heel.
Strange segment involving Hulk Hogan, AJ Styles and James Storm. I've enjoyed the story of Styles up to this point, but why did Hogan feel the need to get involved when it has absolutely nothing to do with him? It seems like they've rushed the angle with Styles potentially joining Aces and 8s, but I'm fine with it. However, the mic work of Storm and Hogan here left a lot to be desired. I'm certainly intrigued by what comes next in this suspenseful story, but this was a odd way of continuing it.
Fun Triple Threat match with Petey Williams defeating Sonjay Dutt and Mason Andrews. I really like the new rules of the X-Division and this match helped make those newly established rules feel important. As expected, the bout was very fast-paced and involved a number of exciting spots. It's great to see both Williams and Andrews back in TNA, as they can both certainly add something to the lacking X-Division. Of course, it was awesome to see the Canadian Destroyer for the first time in years as well.
Solid ten-man tag team match with Aces and 8s defeating Kurt Angle, Magnus, Samoa Joe, Eric Young and Joseph Park. The action was formulaic for the most part, but it maintained a nice pace throughout the bout. The final few minutes were chaotic, yet suspenseful at the same time. It's nice to see Aces and 8s pick up yet another victory, as it will only further establish them as a legitimate threat.
Decent segment between TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan to close the show. Ray was brilliant on the mic as always and did a great job of getting under the skin of Brooke. For once, I actually tolerated Brooke on the mic and was fine with her delivery. It leads me to believe that she might be turning heel at some point in time, which would be smart booking. Jeff Hardy's subsequent brawl with Ray was effective in building towards their title match for next week.
Overall, a mildly boring show that didn't feature as much excitement as past editions, but that was too be expected. While nothing on this show was necessarily bad, nothing lit the world on fire, either. That being said, it was used as a build-up show for next week's blockbuster edition. The live crowd was dead on this show, but that was acceptable since this was the second straight show they sat through.
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