By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Beat Down Clan Interrupted Kurt Angle and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Lashley
Angle cut a good promo and Lashley had one of his better showings on the microphone. He's not going to win any awards or anything, but the key to passable promos for him is to keep it short and sweet. MVP was great in his role per usual and I loved his logic that the Lethal Lockdown win didn't count because Lashley wasn't an officially "sanctioned" member of the match when Lashley pinned him. This was a nice way of establishing Lashley as a babyface as well as setting up the main event tag team match with Lashley and Angle against The Beat Down Clan. On a side note, Angle re-entering the world title picture could be interesting and a match between him and Lashley over the belt has potential.
Bobby Roode def. Austin Aries
Whether they're teaming up or facing each other, I always enjoy whenever these two share the same ring; they're both fantastic. They always have excellent matches together and this was no exception. They could have used a few more minutes to make it memorable, but it was still an entertaining outing from Aries and Roode. I also really liked how they made it mean something by mentioning the Top 5 Power Rankings and landing a desired spot in the upcoming Gauntlet match. The commentators protected Aries in defeat by telling the narrative that he tapped out to protect his future world title shot, which was a nice touch. The only thing I liked was Eric Young attacking Roode afterward (though it came off really well). Why bother continuing this feud after they met inside the Steel Cage last week?
Al Snow Called Out Grado
As someone who didn't watch British Bootcamp, I couldn't have cared less about this angle going in. However, with this one segment, they sold me on it. I know that soudns crazy, but it wasn't until I saw this that I remembered Grado was the wrestler with one of the most amazing entrances I've ever seen and he has a huge following over in Scotland. I don't know if he's here to stay in TNA, but this little mini-feud with Snow has seemingly caught fire. Hopefully, it doesn't end the same way for Grado as it did for Joey Ryan, who feuded with Snow in 2012 and was gone from the company a short while later.
Bram def. Crazy Steve
This was nothing more than a glorified squash match and that's exactly what it should have been. The clown character is so stupid and part of me was happy to see him dominated by Bram. Plus, if they want Bram's feud with Magnus to mean anything, they need to continue to build Bram up as a dominant heel. It was also smart of them to keep Magnus off TV this week to sell the attack from Bram from last week.
Ethan Carter III and Tyrus def. Rockstar Spud, Mandrews and Jeremy Borash in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match
I've been pleasantly surprised with how well this feud between EC3 and Spud has developed over the last few months and how it hasn't gotten stale yet. This was a really nice match and despite the obvious handicap against the babyfaces (being much smaller in size, that is), they didn't feel out of place. In fact, all of them played their parts well and even JB had an impressive outing. The heels going over was good booking as it'll mean more when the underdog babyfaces eventually get the big win.
Awesome Kong def. Madison Rayne
Rayne is awesome in her "Queen Bee of the Knockouts Division" role and she's getting really good heat for it. Kong was met with a nice pop and the fans in attendance were excited to see her decimate Rayne. It was a simple squash that furthered Kong's momentum in an effective manner. While it isn't clear what's next for her, one can only assume the Knockouts Championship will soon be in her sights.
The Wolves Saved Matt Hardy From The Revolution
Jeff Hardy's brutal fall from the top the steel cage last week was a fitting way of writing him of storylines for the foreseeable future since I assume he still can't travel to the United Kingdom due to past legal issues. I'm not sure whether that was planned or not, but it worked out well. It's nice to see Matt will continue feuding with The Revolution in his absence and I'm sure it's building to a title win for The Hardys at some point. In the meantime, The Wolves reigniting their rivalry with The Revolution is a good way to kill time before then.
MVP and Samoa Joe def. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley and Kurt Angle
Initially, I questioned the decision to have MVP take part in the match because I thought it was soon for him and Lashley to come in contact (with the exception of last week in Lethal Lockdown) ,but their physicality was limited. Furthermore, MVP pinning him only added to their story and it grants him (supposedly) a future shot at the title. It was a solid matchup on the whole that also teased tension between Angle and Lashley. It felt rushed seeing how they just got on the same page, but if they're going to be facing each other sooner rather than later, it's only logical.
In retrospect, last week's Lockdown show was meaningless since hardly any of the featured feuds culminated inside the Steel Cage and they continued this week, but this episode was more enjoyable on the show. Aries and Roode had an entertaining outing, there was solid storytelling with The Beat Down Clan, and everything else on the show managed to hold my interest as well. There was also quite a bit of hype for next week's edition and I'm excited for what's in store for the coming weeks, not to mention the electric atmosphere the United Kingdom crowds are sure to provide.
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