By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles Confronted Dixie Carter; Mr. Anderson Returned to Attack Bully Ray
Carter still has some work to do as far as her mic skills are concerned, but it was hard not to laugh during her opening promo with Styles. The over-the-top heel antics from her were comical, and I am not sure if that was intentional or not. Either way, Ray was excellent as usual and Anderson's return was a pleasant surprise that the live crowd was hot for (hell, they were hot for almost everything on this show). I could have waited another week to hear Anderson cut his first promo in a while, and him giving into the security guards was odd. Evidently, this wouldn't be the last time we would see him in this show, so I was impressed with his return as a whole and all signs point to him feuding with Ray going forward. I didn't mind the opening segment going so long as it brought back memories of the post-Bound For Glory show from 2011 that ran nearly 45 minutes, so I am least appreciative that this wasn't much of the same.
Knockouts Champion Gail Kim and Brooke def. ODB and Velvet Sky
Was anyone else laughing at the fact that everyone involved in this match (including Lei'd Tapa at ringside) make up for the entire Knockouts division? Anyway, the match was disappointing since it was only mere minutes long, but it was successful in furthering the feud between Kim and ODB without having ODB take the pin-fall loss. It was odd not to see tension teased between Kim, Tapa and Brooke considering it was Tapa who cost Brooke the Knockouts Championship at Bound For Glory.
Ethan Carter III def. Dewey Barnes
This was essentially the same squash match we saw at Bound For Glory from Carter, so there was nothing new here. I still find Carter's in-ring abilities and look to be impressive, but it will take time for him to get over with the audience as a heel. He already has his ties to Dixie Carter going for him, but that doesn't seem to be generating him much heat just yet. His post-match promo was rather brief and I would have liked to hear more from him to truly get a feel of how good his mic skills are.
Bobby Roode Interrupted Kurt Angle
The chemistry these two have is absolutely fantastic, both in the ring and on the mic. This segment was yet another prime example of that. I loved the fact that Roode brought up his loss to Angle from two years ago at BFG and how he avenged it on Sunday. Angle offered little explanation as to why he declined the Hall of Fame invitation, but he said enough to move past it. I am glad this feud is continuing and while next week seems a bit soon to be holding a rematch between the two, I am highly anticipating it.
The BroMans Celebrated Their World Tag Team Championship Victory
As much as I despise the team of Robbie E and Jesse, there is no denying that their receive a substantial amount of heat, but the real question is whether it is true heat or go-away heat. Despite that, their promo didn't run too long before James Storm and Gunner inevitably interrupted. I want Storm and Gunner to disband as soon as possible, so I hope their dissension starts next week if they lose their tag team title rematch. The involvement of Bad Influence seemed unnecessary, but it is hard to complain when they were extremely entertaining per usual. I didn't mind Eric Young and Joesph Park making the save, but can we please skip to the part where the commentators finally come to the realization that Abyss is Park? It is nice to see something of a tag team division back in TNA after being overlooked for far too long.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles def. Bully Ray
As good as this match was, it was hard to get excited about given the little amount of hype it received on this show. I mean, this was the rematch of the main event of the biggest show of the year for TNA, so they could have done a better job of making the match feel more special. Even still, it was another solid bout from Styles and Ray that involved another asinine ref bump, but it allowed Mr. Anderson to interfere and cost Ray the matchup. As for the post-match confrontation between Styles and Dixie, it was fine for what it was, but it went down exactly as expected. That isn't to say that there is anything wrong with that, though, as I am intrigued by where this story goes from here. Sure, it is a blatant rip-off of the Summer of Punk from 2011, but TNA might be able to do a better job with the angle if they do what TNA didn't in allowing Styles to defend the title elsewhere.
With Bound For Glory being a major disappointment, this show gave me hope regarding the future creative direction of the company. Granted, it was a talk-heavy show, but as mentioned before, it was the same way after BFG in 2011, so I expected it going into the show. The return of Anderson and Styles "walking out" made this episode newsworthy and the cliffhanger ending will hopefully give viewers an incentive to tune into next week's Halloween edition of Impact Wrestling.
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