By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Matt Hardy and The Wolves def. The Revolution
With Jeff Hardy off the United Kingdom tour, this was a great way to make use of Matt by having him team with The Wolves. It was a bit of a train wreck earlier on with so much going on and no real substance, but as the match progressed, they produced a fast-paced, fun matchup to kick off the show on a high note. The babyfaces were able to exact revenge, but the heels maintained their heat by attacking afterward. Abyss layout out Manik was interesting; I don't think he's out of The Revolution, but as the commentators mentioned, it might just be James Storm's way of showing "tough love."
Mr. Anderson Shaved Tyrus' Head
As much as I enjoy Anderson and his work, his involvement in this feud feels unnecessary. I was fine with the incorporation of Tyrus and even Mandrews coming in not too long ago, but Anderson joining the fray feels like it's random and too much. Everyone played their role well in this segment, but it didn't pack a punch because the Rockstar Spud/Ethan Carter III is starting to feel watered down, especially now that it's about hair and not personal hatred/revenge.
Grado def. Al Snow
I have since realized since last week that although I am familiar with Grado's work on the independent scene, many casual viewers probably aren't, so I can understand why some fans were indifferent toward that segment and this match. Even if you didn't have any reason to care about it, at least the crowd absolutely adored Grado, and hopefully that in turn gave you incentive to cheer for him as well. The match was fine for what it was, and while Snow is still in great shape, I have zero desire to see him in the ring at this point. It's awesome to see Drew Galloway in TNA, but they should have allowed his debut to sink in a bit more before cutting to commercial.
TNA Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell def. Angelina Love
Did I miss the match where Love became the No. 1 Contender to the title? I was disappointed this match didn't go longer as I'm certain they're capable of having a good match if they're given time. The title might as well not have not even been on the line since it was essentially a squash anyway. Awesome Kong attacking Terrell afterward so far was odd since she's been portrayed as a babyface thus far, but it's logical to think that she's now setting her sights on the gold. Plus, her face-off with Gail Kim was exciting as it means we could be in for a renewal of their classic rivalry in the near future.
Eric Young def. Tommy Dreamer in a Hardcore Match
Young attacked Dreamer last month, so it was strange they waited this long to deliver the match. The crowd sat on their hands for most of the match, and since the ending outcome was never in doubt, it's hard to blame them. As I've said time and time again, hardcore matches in TNA would mean more if they weren't done every single week, and that's exactly why this match suffered. Nothing they did felt special, and I don't know how much good it did for Young since a win over Dreamer at this stage in his career doesn't mean much.
Bram Interrupted Mickie James
I don't recall the relationship between Magnus and James being mentioned onscreen, so there might have been a portion of the audience that was left confused by her comments. That said, she addressed the situation nicely, filling in those who may not have been aware. She and Bram had great exchange on the mic that furthered the feud between him and Bram and made it feel more personal than it was before.
MVP Won a No. 1 Contender's Gauntlet Battle Royal for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
As with every Gauntlet Battle Royal TNA does, this came off like a Royal Rumble rip-off with most of the eliminations being completely forgettable. Very few feuds were furthered and the only Superstars who came out of it looking somewhat credible were Tyrus and Mr. Anderson (barely). It was obvious the match was coming down to the Beat Down Clan, so the whole first half of the match didn't even matter. I was glad Angle didn't overcome the odds and eliminate every member of the group as that would have been unrealistic. Besides, they're obviously building to Angle vs. Lashley down the line, so it's best to save that and do Lashley vs. MVP (the same man who pinned the champ last week) for the title next week instead.
Although there were some strange booking decisions on the show, I enjoyed it on the whole. The return of Mickie James and debut of Drew Galloway made the episode semi-newsworthy, though neither moment felt as big as they should have. While there was very little actual wrestling, they did a solid job of building up next week's show by hyping the TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Lashley and MVP a week out.
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