By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Good opening segment featuring AJ Styles, James Storm, Bad Influence and Aces and Eights. Everyone played their roles well, and Styles continues to be an intriguing act. This was a smart way to further Storm's feud with Styles without giving too much away. Bad Influence teasing a Fortune reunion is extremely exciting, as it's always possible they could indeed rival Aces and Eights. The run-in from Aces and Eights at the end was logical, but it didn't seem all that necessary.
Fine match with Taryn Terrell defeating Tara. It was given more time than one time would expect and told a story while it lasted. Terrell is still green in the ring, but a solid worker such as Tara can bring her to a good match. Terrell sold well for Tara's offense, which made her eventual victory feel like a bigger deal. I'm not sure if they are continuing Terrell's feud with Gail Kim, as Kim was surpisingly absent from this show.
Basic match with Rob Terry squashing Jesse. Terry has been involved in a number of squash matches in recent weeks, so this wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Terry controlled most of the match before putting Jesse away with his powerful finisher. Robbie E and Jesse would make for a nice pairing, but where does that leave Tara? Furthermore, Terry can't be involved in squash matches forever, so I'm interested as to how he will be utilized going forward.
Entertaining match with Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez successfully defending their World Tag Team Championships against Bobby Roode and Austin Aries. They kept a consistent pace throughout the bout with the suspenseful near-falls being a nice touch down the stretch. This wasn't as exciting as their past encounters, but it was successfull in teasing dissension between Roode, Aries and Bad Influence. With only three tag teams currently in the division, I'm left confused as to what teams Guerrero and Hernandez will feud with next.
Solid segment between Hulk Hogan and Matt Morgan. Morgan has never been a great mic worker, but he showed promise in his promo. Hogan was decent as well, but nothing was revealed that we didn't know before. I like the rub Morgan is getting by being involved with Hogan, but what role will he play in this on-going story-line with Aces and Eights?
Lackluster match with Velvet Sky successfully defending her Knockouts Championship against Mickie James. These are the two most notable names in the Knockouts division at the moment, so I was a bit underwhelmed by this bout. James was unable to carry Sky to a good match, as most of the spots were awkward and sloppy. Sky retaining the strap doesn't come as any surprise, but I hope to see James turn heel at some point in the near future so this feud can continue.
Typical segment between Hulk Hogan and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray. Ray did an effective job of recapping the domination of Aces and Eights since the start and Hogan's rebuttal was nice as well. However, Sting's involvement was pretty predictable and leads me to believe we'll be seeing him challenge for the title at Slammiversary. This is a better scenario than having Ray face Hogan, but the fact that Sting and Hogan are still the top faces in the company bores me. They've been constant characters in recent years and have shown zero signs of evolution since then. TNA's relliance on these two goes to show that they need to do a better job of building fresh faces in the main event scene.
Overall, a good show that featured some decent in-ring action, but the excess of promos overshadowed most of it. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as most of the segments on this show served a purpose and built towards June's Slammiversary event. Hulk Hogan felt overexposed on this show, so here's hoping they do a better job of filling time in coming weeks.
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