By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Samoa Joe def. Kenny King
This show is seemingly all about rekindling old rivalries or continuing current ones (at least feuds that were going on at the time this was taped), so where was the history between these two? I can hardly remember them ever clashing in TNA. While that made the match feel fresh, it was also random and hard to care about it because there aren't any established issues between them. The match was good, but they're capable of a lot more and the finish came before they could find a real rhythm. This is a rivalry I wouldn't mind seeing over the X-Division Championship down the line.
Knockouts Champion Gail Kim def. Angelina Love and Madison Rayne in a Triple Threat Match
Unlike the previous match, all three ladies in this matchup have history with each other, so it was a lot easier to care about each of the competitors. They all work well together and they put together a nice little match. They managed to keep things interesting without having to rely on many rest holds and it resulted in one of the better Triple Threat matches I've seen from TNA as of late. The outcome was never in doubt, but the match was good enough where the predictability of it didn't take away from the action.
The Great Sanada def. Austin Aries
Aries' pre-match comments did a lot to make this match mean more than it probably would have without them. Of course, it also helped that these two have history over the X-Division Championship. This was taped early on in the alliance between James Storm and Sanada, hence why their appearances are vastly different from what they are today. Aries and Sanada worked a very fun match that showcased both guys' tremendous talents. Aries was wisely protected by Storm's interference and Sanada picked up a big win over the former world champion.
Mr. Anderson and Gunner def. Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud
One of the biggest issues with taping these shows so far in advance is that so much changes in such a short period of time. Look no further than the pairing of EC3 and Spud. They were partners in this match, yet they're currently ruthless rivals on TV. It makes TNA look second rate (as if they weren't already) and makes the match essentially meaningless because you know they're no longer a team, even if EC3 walked out on him at the end. Worse yet, most of this match consisted of comedy that wasn't even funny. I get the occasional kick out of Spud and think he is very good at what he does, but EC3 shouldn't be involved in humor at this stage of his career.
Eric Young def. Magnus
These two had a brief feud over the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in early 2014, but other than that, their history isn't strong enough to make this match feel like an intense rivalry. They're both excellent athletes and they worked a fairly good match, don't get me wrong, but it felt like it was lacking something. It was solid for what it was and the crowd liked Young, but it wasn't anything you'll remember coming out of this show.
Bram def. Abyss in a Monster's Ball Match
I've grown so tiresome of seeing these two work hardcore matches. It's not that they're bad because they're actually enjoyable at times. That said, I hate seeing Bram labeled as a "hardcore" wrestler because he so much potential to be more than that. We see so many of these hardcore matches in TNA (nearly on a weekly basis) that they lose meaning after a while. It was a decent matchup and any fan of extreme matches will like it, but it just wasn't for me since it was a repeat of what we've seen before from them.
Bobby Roode def. James Storm
Roode vs. Storm has always been my favorite feud in TNA history, so I may have enjoyed this match more than some, but even I can admit that this match was a bit underwhelming. I wouldn't blame the dynamic since I think Roode being the babyface and Storm being the heel freshened things up a bit. I also realize they've had a million matches and we would've seen everything from them by not, but rather it felt like they never reached the next gear. They were in the "feeling out" process before going straight to the finishers. Perhaps they didn't have enough time to tell a proper story. It was a good match while it lasted, but not even close to being on the same level as some of their past battles.
Jeff Hardy def. MVP
It didn't occur to me until watching this match that these two haven't crossed paths much at all since MVP's arrival in TNA about a year ago. That's probably due to Hardy being in the tag team division for most of the last year, but it was cool to see two longtime rivals in WWE mix it up for the first time in years. The action was slow early on, but they picked up the pace down the stretch and delivered a good match. It was easily the best match of the night and therefore the best match to close the show with.
Most of these One Night Only shows are complete throwaway, but this was one of the better installments they've put on that I've seen. Most of the matches had history behind them and I liked how they were all treated with video packages to give viewers a refresher of each of the wrestlers' respective career "turning points," tying into the theme of show nicely. Granted, most of those matches were meant to kill time, but they did it in an effective manner. Although this isn't saying much, I'd rate this show as one of the best One Night Only events, and if you're willing to make the purchase, the solid in-ring action make it worth your while.
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