By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Beat Down Clan Called Out Drew Galloway
Galloway proved with this one promo that he could have been a star in WWE had they not butchered his push. I could have done without the wrestling vs. sports entertainment stuff (don't talk about it, just show it), but that aside, he cut a strong promo and I like how he's positioning himself as the mouthpiece of the people. He should've been made out to look like a big deal since his debut, but better late than never. Meanwhile, it was nice to see King stand on his own as well. He's been a background player in the Beat Down Clan and I was glad he broke out of his shell here.
Drew Galloway def. Kenny King
Personally, I was hoping for more of a match between these two as it felt more like a brawl because they were both in their street clothes. That said, it added to the realism of it that they'd get right into it instead of going to the back and getting changed into their gear first. Because they were in their street clothes, it dragged at some points and wasn't as good as it could have been from a wrestling standpoint, but both guys showed nice agression and have a decent brawl. Galloway picking up the win was the right move and if they continue to push him properly, he can be something really special in TNA.
Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle and Eric Young Brawled
It would have been nice if they hyped this match at least a week out to make it feel as special it should, but this was an effective last ditch effort to put heat on the match. Roode did his usual yelling shtick during his promo, but at least he along with Angle kept it short and sweet. Young played his role well, making for a solid segment on the whole that served its purpose in building to the No. 1 Contender's match.
Bram def. Matt Hardy
The pre-match backstage segment between Bram and Hardy went a long way in adding to this match and making it mean something. It wasn't anything special, but they worked a decent match and Bram got a nice win out of it (Jeff is out with an "injury," so Matt doesn't lose anything in defeat). Maguns looked more motivated than ever in his attack on Bram and his post-match promo. This is the fire he should have had during his original run as a babyface and I'm happy to see him finally flourishing. His feud with Bram has a lot of potential to be great, so here's hoping it meets my lofty expectations.
Rockstar Spud Called Out Ethan Carter III
As previously noted, the feud between Spud and EC3 has lost some steam and taken a backseat in recent weeks with the involvement of Tyrus and Mr. Anderson, but it was encouraging they got back on track here with this one-on-one confrontation. Both Spud and EC3 showed good aggression and got back to the roots of their feud, as well as acknowledging EC3's long standing undefeated streak. The stipulation of their hair being on the line in their match doesn't do much for me, but they succeeded in getting me interested in their upcoming encounter.
Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell def. Awesome Kong by Disqualification
Terrell was able to get some offense in, but for the most part, Kong completely dominated this match, and that's exactly the way it should have been. She's a monster of a women and her relentlessly beating down on Terrell gave the champ sympathy from the fans. They booed the disqualification finish, but it was a wise way of furthering the feud while protecting both ladies. Furthermore, the face-off between Kong and Gail Kim afterward was an intriguing preview of what might be coming between them sooner rather than later.
The Wolves def. The Revolution to Win the World Tag Team Championship
This was easily the best bout these two tandems have contested against each other to date. It was filled with fun nearfalls and a ton of suspense, though with those things came too much interference. It got to a point of ridiculousness by the end, but it was still a very fun match. Honestly, I would have rather seen The Hardys win their first tag titles before The Wolves won them back, and maybe that's still the plan at some point, but this was a cool moment, nevertheless. By the way, the camera crew missed several spots that left the commentators confused as to what went down.
Kurt Angle def. Bobby Roode and Eric Young in a No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
As expected, all three talents worked great together and had a solid main event match. The action was entertaining and although the ending outcome was never in doubt, they did a superb job of making the live crowd believe in the possibility of Roode or Young winning. It appears the feud between Young and Roode has yet to reach its end, but one can only hope it does soon. 'The commentators pointed out how the referee didn't see Young hitting Roode with the chair at the end, but why should it have mattered? There aren't any disqualifications in a Triple Threat match. Regardless, Angle was a logical winner (even though Destination America spoiled it in their commercials throughout the night) and it sets up his long awaited clash with Lashley over the title.
Maybe I'm in the minority on this one, but I found this to be an excellent show overall. From Magnus' return to the crowning of new tag champs to an above average main event, there were a handful of highlights that made it an enjoyable episode. Plus, the live crowd was hot for most of the night and made for an electric environment. TNA almost always puts their best foot forward when they travel overseas to the United Kingdom, hence why I'm very much looking forward to the next few weeks of TV given what they've already advertised through the end of the month.
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