By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Magnus Interrupted TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray
Dixie Carter did a better job with pacing her promo this week. It wasn't fantastic, but at least she wasn't rushing through it this week, which was a plus. Not to mention the fact that she once again garnered a massive amount of heat from the live crowd. Ray's promo was good while it lasted, and Magnus showed great fire against the world champ. All around, this was a solid segment and kicked off the show on a high note.
Robbie E def. Hernandez, Daniels and Eric Young in a Fatal 4 Way to Earn the Opportunity to Enter Last in the Pre-Show Gauntlet Tag Team Match at Bound For Glory
Robbie and Young are both comedic figures, Hernandez can be solid in the ring at times, and Daniels is just flat out entertaining. The styles of these four competitors didn't mesh well here, but they didn't need to. They kept the action short and sweet with everyone involved hitting their signature maneuvers at one point or another. Robbie E winning was a bit of a shocker, but it was good to see the commentators play it up as a big win for BroMans. However, I surely hope they don't become the No. 1 contenders to the tag team titles on Sunday.
AJ Styles Addressed the Bounty Against Him
The bounty was something I would have liked to see put in place against Styles a few weeks ago, but with Dixie Carter just recently turning heel, I guess that was out of the question. Nonetheless, Styles has never been known as a master of the mic, but this was a good promo. It set the theme for the rest of the night with everyone attacking him at all angles and also led into the subsequent match between Gunner and Knux.
TNA World Tag Team Champion Gunner def. Knux
I have said this numerous times in the past, but Gunner and James Storm are a terrible tag team. It feels like a forced pairing and the two have zero chemistry with each other. I like Storm on his own and I have never cared for Gunner, but I have my fingers crossed they drop the tag titles at Bound For Glory. As for this match, it was decent for what it was, but I don't understand why it happened. If this was supposed to a warm-up for the tag champs going into Sunday, why not put them in a tag match against Knux and Garrett Bischoff instead?
Samoa Joe def. Chris Sabin
I was expecting much more from these guys than what we got, but it was fun while it lasted. I am still partially torn on Sabin's new heel persona, but if TNA plans on going forward with it (which it looks like they will be), I believe it has all the potential in the world to be great. However, feeding him to Joe in a matter of minutes won't do him any favors. Sure, he got the better of Joe at certain points, but he tapped out before Joe even fully locked in the submission, which made him look weak. Thankfully, the post-match brawl featuring all the competitors in Sunday's Ultimate X match was very well done and has me highly anticipated the upcoming title bout.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray def. Magnus (Non-title)
I don't know if it wise to hold this match mere days before TNA's biggest event of the year, but if this was the last show Ray will be champion for, then it was well worth it. Magnus held his ground against Ray and was protected via the low blow at the end. Ray shouldn't be losing before the pay-per-view, and Magnus' loss gives me hope he goes over on Sunday. I still think a Magnus heel turn would be absolutely asinine, but only time will tell as to whether it ultimately comes to fruition.
Bobby Roode Confronted Kurt Angle
This feud would have benefited from having a few more weeks added to it, but they have certainly made the most of what they have been given. Angle's promo was good and touched on all the major points, and the same can be said for Roode's promo. Their heated exchange made me even more excited for their BFG match, and I loved the fact they made mention of their BFG main event match from two years ago. Sure, it hasn't had the best build-up, but Roode vs. Angle is one match I am definitely looking forward to at the pending pay-per-view.
AJ Styles and Bully Ray Signed a Contract for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match
As previously stated, Styles isn't always fantastic on the mic, but his promos on this show were undoubtedly among his best in recent memory. Both he and Ray really emphasized how much the TNA title means to them, adding even more meaning to their upcoming matchup. I am beyond glad Carter's role was kept limited and this strong segment was all about the title match on Sunday and not her vendetta against Hulk Hogan. This contract signing gave the match a big fight feel and ended the show on a high note going into Bound For Glory.
I have criticized TNA in the past weeks for failing to make Bound For Glory feel as important as it should be, but they did an excellent job on this show with providing last minute hype for almost all of the advertised matches. The only match on the card that didn't receive much build was the Knockouts Championship match, but I credit Gail Kim and Brooke for at least attempting to give fans an incentive to care. This episode was mostly promo-heavy, which worked to perfection given the fact that it was necessary in ensure viewers that BFG has the potential to be epic. Kudos to TNA for putting together a successful go-home show and here's hoping the pending pay-per-view lives up to everyone's lofty expectations.
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