By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Magnus and Douglas Williams def. Gunner and Chris Sabin in a Joker's Wild Match
Words can't describe how happy I was to see British Invasion reunite. They were my favorite tag team in TNA several years ago along with Beer Money and was very cool to see them back together, especially in England. Granted, it might have been for one night only, but the live crowd loved them and they worked a good opener with Gunner and Sabin. They were the right team to go over and kicked off the night on a high note. Why TNA ever got rid of Williams and didn't do more with him when they had him is beyond me.
Samoa Joe and Bad Bones def. Daniels and Robbie E in a Joker's Wild Match
Daniels and Robbie E tag teaming together was basically foreshadowed with the pre-match backstage segment, but at least their opponents weren't Kazarian and Jesse. Didn't Bad Bones face Joe a few months ago on an episode of Impact Wrestling? That made the match more interesting, along with the fact that their styles meshed well together. I didn't care to see Bones advance to the Battle Royal, but at least Joe did. Is Bad Bones under contract with TNA at all or is he a developmental guy or was he just there for a tryout?
Bully Ray and Rockstar Spud def. Austin Aries and Mr. Anderson in a Joker's Wild Match
This was no technical masterpiece but it was never intended to be. It was pure fun from start to finish that both the live crowd and I personally loved. Spud started out the match as a hated heel, but he won the fans over despite acting like a heel for the rest of the match and into the main event Battle Royal. What was funnier was that he and Ray are now currently feuding, though they weren't at the time this was filmed (February). Aries and Anderson played good foils to Ray and Spud and Aries sold his shock of losing to Spud perfectly.
The Wolves def. Bobby Roode and James Storm in a Joker's Wild Match
The Wolves being picked to team with each other was unrealistic and defeated the purpose of the pay-per-view's concept, but I was fine with it given who their opponents were. Beer Money! Along with British Invasion, Beer Money is one of my favorite tag teams of all-time, and while they have/had animosity with each other, I really liked how they put that aside here and stayed on the same page while bringing back some of their old antics. They worked a great match with The Wolves that really demonstrated how awesome both tandems are. I was initially disappointed with The Wolves going over, but the commentators mentioned how it was a passing of the torch in some respects and I enjoyed that. This was a dream match in my eyes and it was by far the match of the night.
Eric Young and Ethan Carter III def. Curry Man and Kazarian in a Joker's Wild Match
The fact that Curry Man and Kazarian got paired up was hilarious given that Curry Man is Daniels under a mask. What wasn't hilarious is how the two teams tried to trade partners. It confused the crowd and wasn't nearly as entertaining as the duo of Bully Ray and Rockstar Spud. All four competitors tried hard to humor the crowd, but they fell flat. There was nice spots here and there, but it wasn't a great effort and rather disappointing.
Samuel Shaw and Abyss def. DJ Zema and Jesse in a Joker's Wild Match
I didn't care to see Zema and Jesse team up (then again, I didn't care to see them in the tournament at all), but Shaw and Abyss made for a very intriguing team given their similar bizarre gimmicks. The match itself was really nothing to write home about, but Shaw and Abyss made for a cool dynamic to the point where I wouldn't mind seeing them feud later down the road. It also made for a solid story between the two going into the Battle Royal in the main event.
ODB, Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky def. Gail Kim, Lei'D Tapa and Alpha Female in an Elimination Match
Was this matchup really necessary? I know they tried to kill time between the qualifying matches and the main event Battle Royal with a Knockouts match, but this was bad enough to the point where I wish it wasn't featured to begin with. Everyone involved being so outdated didn't help matters, as Sky is now a heel, Kim is a face and Tapa and Alpha Female are gone from the company. It was poorly wrestled and I didn't care for the tension between Tapa and Kim simply because we already know what it was leading to.
Ethan Carter III Won a Joker's Wild Gauntlet Battle Royal for $100,000
TNA has done so many types of these Gauntlet Battle Royals in the last year or so that I've grown so tiresome of them, but this one in particular was well worked and I didn't have a major problem with it. The Wolves starting out against each other was interesting, but they aren't over enough yet where the crowd didn't have an incentive to cheer one guy over the other. Shaw was eliminated too quickly by Abyss where their story didn't get the time it deserved to develop. The biggest highlight of this match was Rockstar Spud and how the crowd absolutely adored him throughout. The backstage segment that aired earlier with Spud, EC3 and Magnus telegraphed the finish, but it was a big victory for EC3 that gave him more heat since he eliminated England's own Magnus to win it.
It's been a few months since we last had a One Night Only pay-per-view, but of all the ones I've seen, this was definitely the best. The concept of it was cool with competitors randomly being paired together and it made for some fun tandems and great matches. Aside from a few gems (such as when they dissed Mike Adamle), the commentary was atrocious as usual, but that's almost always been the case with these kind of events that it wasn't much of a surprise. The England crowd definitely enhanced the atmosphere of the event and made it that much more enjoyable. A lot has changed since this show was taped three months ago, but even still, it was an entertaining night of action that I suggest checking out if you have the time to spare.
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