By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Dixie Carter Interrupted TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young
Please don't tell me that Dixie is back as a regular on-air character. I realize she is still in charge of the company and not wrestling operations, but then what was the point of her being fired at Lockdown if that was going to be the case? The show was so much easier to watch when she wasn't around. She was fine here with Young, even if Young's championship celebration felt a lot like Daniel Bryan's the night after he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Bully Ray was good here as well, but is he supposed to be feuding with Dixie? I fear that means Dixie is here to stay. Oh lord.
Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne def. Velvet Sky in a Street Fight
Of course, Sky isn't the best in-ring worker, but Rayne carried her to a good match here. However, why was the Street Fight stipulation necessary? It made the interference from Angelina Love at ringside obvious and it didn't even matter in the end since Rayne overcame the odds and won anyway. It wasn't a culmination of the feud or anything, so the stipulation was pointless even if it made the match more entertaining. The Beautiful People will get their heat back next week I'm sure, but this was a bit odd.
Austin Aries Interrupted MVP
It was baffling to me as to why Aries was featured in the main event of Lockdown only not to be used on the following set of TV tapings, so I was happy to see him return here and address those issues. I was also glad to hear MVP acknowledge the fact that he was screwed over by Aries last month, thus setting the stage for their feud. They have nice chemistry together on the mic and I look forward to their match next week. The only issue I had with this segment was that it felt like a rehash of when Kenny King interrupted MVP a few weeks back with similar complaints.
The Wolves def. TNA World Tag Team Champions The Bro-Mans by Disqualification
The matches between the two teams are always fun and well worked, but I found it hard to care that the titles were on the line. The Wolves have already won the belts before (and held them for all of one week), so why should it matter if they're champions again? The disqualification finish annoyed me considering we saw the exact same thing last week, but it leads me to believe we'll see the titles finally change hands at Sacrifice. If not, then this was a waste of time.
Willow def. Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
This whole feud between EC3 and Willow has been asinine and doesn't hold my interest in the slightest. Their handicap match lasted only a few minutes and the guy that was supposed to be at the disadvantage won with EC3 standing right there! That made zero sense. Thankfully, the return of Kurt Angle and his subsequent promo made up for it. His feud with EC3 was going well before it abruptly ended, so their eventual match (presumably at Sacrifice) should be a good one. Anything that gets EC3 out of this stupid feud with Willow, I'm content with.
Tigre Uno def. X-Division Champion Sanada in Match 2 of the Best of Three Series
I appreciated the effort TNA put into making fans care about Sanada via the pre-match video package, but I honestly think it wasn't enough. Their match would have been more compelling had both guys been given more established characters. As of right now, they're two faceless competitors with no identity that just happen to be good wrestlers. Uno winning to tie it up was predictable and I hope they do something before their third match to make fans want to see who wins. Kenny King waiting in the wings for a title match intrigues me, though.
Bobby Roode def. Gunner in a Tables Match
It's well-documented that I have never been Gunner's biggest fan, but he's definitely won me over more than ever in the last few weeks with his improving mic and in-ring work, especially in his feud with James Storm. He proved that here in a solid match with Roode, even if the finish was botched a bit. The important part is that they recovered nicely. It was cool to see Storm and Roode, the former Beer Money, stand side-by-side and I'll be interested to see if they reunite any time soon. Bully Ray coming to Gunner's aid made sense and sets up a tag match for next week. Gunner has already defeated Storm three or four times before, so if Storm doesn't win at Sacrifice, what's the point in resuming their rivalry?
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young def. Abyss in a Monster's Ball Match
Didn't we see this same exact match involving the same two competitors only two months ago? Despite that, they had yet another entertaining match with several crazy spots. The thumbtacks going into the back of a wrestler is never any less painful to watch every time it happens. They had a wild brawl with the logical finish of Young going over clean. Since it was a no disqualification match, one would have assumed Magnus would have interfered, but I'm glad they held off on having him come out. It was a nice, clean win for Young that boosted his credibility and hopefully put an end to his lengthy feud with Abyss.
Although there were two title matches on this show, neither of them felt consequential. While there were some strange booking decisions made, there were also a few good matches, though it still felt like a middle-of-the-road show as a whole. Even still, they did a solid job of building toward matches for the Sacrifice pay-per-view in a few weeks. All that needs to be done now is to make those matches official and set in stone for the event.
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