By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Ethan Carter III def. DJ Z to Advance to the Round of 8 in the World Title Series
This was a total mismatch on paper, and while the ending outcome was never in doubt, it turned out to be a decent little match. DJ Z scored more offense than I thought he would, which was a pleasant surprise given that I expected a complete squash. I'm still not a fan of his horrid gimmick, but at least he can go in the ring and produce a good match. I fully expect EC3 to make it to the finals if not win it all.
X-Division Champion Tigre Uno def. Knockouts Champion Gail Kim to Advance to the Round of 8 in the World Title Series (Non-title)
I was certainly skeptical coming into the World Title Series regarding women being involved, but they worked it out nicely. I could have done without Tigre Uno doing a hard crossbody to Kim on the outside of the ring, but everything else was a treat. They saved the comedy spots for the Awesome Kong vs. Jessie Godderz match, which was more fitting anyway, and instead had a competitive contest that saw the right person win.
World Tag Team Champion Davey Richards def. Bram to Advance to the Round of 8 in the World Title Series
Richards has always been an exceptional wrestler, but he's really come into his own as a singles competitor over the course of this World Title Series. That's not to say The Wolves should be broken up as soon as the series is over, but it's been refreshing if nothing else. I was convinced Bram was going over given how high they've been on him in the past, but I can't complain about Richards advancing. And no, Bram losing here is not an indication he has "heat" for his arrest a few months ago. This was taped long before that even happened, which is scary to think about.
Mahabli Shera def. Eli Drake to Advance to the Round of 8 in the World Title Series
Drake has grown on me throughout this series, which is why I was slightly disappointed he didn't advance. Granted, I knew for a fact Shera was going farther in the tourney because officials are high on him for whatever reason, but simply put he isn't even close to being ready right now. This was a nothing match, but it was best to keep it as brief as possible to hide Shera's in-ring weaknesses.
Matt Hardy def. King of the Mountain Champion Bobby Roode to Advance to the Round of 8 in the World Title Series (Non-title)
We haven't seen too much (if anything at all) of these two against each other before, so I appreciated how it was something new. It was a standard matchup for the most part, but my only gripe with it was that they should have been given more time. It seemed like they were just finding chemistry before they jumped to going for their finishing maneuvers. I wish Roode would have gone farther in the tourney, but Hardy needed to advance since he was the one who vacated the title to begin with.
Jessie Godderz def. Awesome Kong to Advance to the Round of 8 in the World Title Series
Given who was involved, this was exactly the kind of match I figured they would deliver. They played for comedy for a majority of the match with Godderz running away from Kong before taking a few bumps for her. Kong is limited with what she can do at this point in her career, but I wish she would have given him more of a beating than she did. She's a monster of a woman (in a nice way) and could easily go toe-to-toe with the men, and she has in the past in TNA. Thus, it would have been cool to see her go over here. Godderz is an undercard character and the loss wouldn't have hurt him any.
Eric Young def. Kenny King to Advance to the Round of 8 in the World Title Series
As I've said many times before, King has been a non-factor throughout the entire series since he jumped ship to Ring of Honor months ago. Yes, he's an excellent athlete and is a ton of fun to watch in the ring, but viewers couldn't buy into the possibility of him winning because he's no longer contracted to the company. That said, I enjoyed the match he and Young had because of their interesting clash of styles and King's awesome abilities between the ropes.
Lashley def. Drew Galloway to Advance to the Round of 8 in the World Title Series
Similar to Roode vs. Hardy, this was another case where I wanted both guys to be in the Round of 8 because they deserve to be there. Lashley is nearly unstoppable while Galloway was contending for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of Bound for Glory less than two months ago. It was odd seeing Galloway lose here, but Lashley isn't a bad choice and their match was relatively average.
This was one of the better wrestled shows in recent weeks featuring several solid matches. We're finally getting to the more important matches with the Round of 8 looming, but does TNA have any more matches in the can? I assume they do because I don't read spoiler reports and I haven't heard otherwise, so perhaps these tapings will carry them until their next live show in January after all. Nevertheless, this was an enjoyable episode and I'm interested to see how the rest of the series will go.
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