By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell def. The Beautiful People
For someone who just gave birth, Terrell looks better than ever. How long until we see her tag up with Madison Rayne as Team MILFs? In all seriousness, this was a decent match by Knockouts standards that could have been given a few more minutes. It was formulaic for the most part, but the important thing is that there was a story behind it. I was surprised to see Kim get the pinfall pin instead of Terrell, but perhaps that leads to a title rematch between Angelina Love and Kim sometime in the near future.
Eric Young Crashed Bobby Lashley's TNA World Heavyweight Championship Celebration; MVP Was Fired
MVP's promo was pretty standard and straightforward, but I felt like I've heard it all before. I just despise any and all talking segments TNA does with the authority figures nowadays. Even still, it's good that MVP is doing all the talking for Lashley as champion. Young's interruption was logical as was Bobby Roode making the save. Young looked like a fool for hitting the ring against three guys while injured, but that's nitpicking things. Roode's promo was great and I hope he maintains that fire while babyface. Though I'm happy to see MVP removed from his post as the Director of Operations, it felt like it came out of nowhere, especially since the heel group was just gaining control of the entire company.
TNA X-Division Champion Sanada def. DJ Z, Manik and Crazy Steve in a Fatal 4-Way
I didn't understand what any of these guys did to deserve an X-Division Championship match at Slammiversary, so it's even more mind-boggling to me why a rematch was held on Impact. I understand TNA is trying to create excitement around the title going into Destination X, but it's been a joke for so long that it's hard to care about who holds it at this point. The match was a glorified spot-fest. I realize that's what the X-Division is known for, but usually I'd have a reason to care about the competitors in the match. In this case, we know nothing about any of them and therefore I couldn't have cared less. Sanada is a great wrestler and all, but TNA has been a terrible job of developing his character since his debut.
Bully Ray Interrupted Dixie Carter
As horrendous as Dixie is and as much as I want her character to go away, she was really fun in this segment believing she was the new Director of Operations. A great sigh of relief came over me when it was made clear that it wouldn't be her, and then a sense of joy came over me when I heard Bully's music hit. The live crowd was absolutely electric and really wanted to see Dixie get put through a table. Even I thought it was going to happen. The fact that it didn't put more heat on the Carters and made the fans want to see it happen that much more. I have hope that it will during the TNA's New York tapings this summer.
James Storm def. Mr. Anderson
Would it have killed TNA to hype this match beforehand? I know it's not a main event caliber match, but it was a pay-per-view rematch that would have meant more if it was advertised in advance. I still believe Anderson and Storm can have a really good match if given the time, but this bout was far too short to really mean anything. Storm's win evened the score, so expect the feud to continue past this point.
Ethan Carter III and Tommy Dreamer Brawled
It appears EC3 will be moving forward from his feud with Bully Ray for the time being to a feud with Tommy Dreamer and I like the move. It's a good way of ensuring that Ray can't get his win back over EC3 and end his undefeated streak. Dreamer will apparently be a part of the active roster for the foreseeable future and he and EC3 can have good matches together. The brawl was chaotic, wild and well-done.
Bram and Magnus def. Willow and Abyss in a Monster's Ball Match
I like Bram and Magnus as a team as each week passes. They show great intensity in their promos and in their matches. I usually enjoy Monster's Ball matches and while this one entertained me as well, it'd be better for TNA to save these kind of matches as a special attraction and hold them every once in a while, not every few months. That said, this was a fun, brutal brawl with several hardcore spots. I still cringe whenever anyone gets hit with tacks unnecessarily, but it made for a cool visual with Magnus. The only part of this match that wasn't needed was Abyss breaking the handcuffs and the Janice weapon, both of which being extremely unrealistic. The Janice weapon has been one of the ridiculous aspects of TNA for years and I can't believe they haven't done away with it yet.
Kurt Angle Was Named the New Director of Operations
I was worried earlier in the evening that Dixie Carter would get the position again and once that idea was shot down, I was legitimately intrigued as to who it would end up being. Angle is great for the position and it's a nice way for him to maintain a presence on TV while he recovers from his injury. As long as he doesn't turn heel within the next few months, I'm happy. He had a very good verbal exchange with MVP and a match between the two down the line could be awesome. I guess this means Angle might be sticking around after his contract expires in September after all.
This was a highly enjoyable edition of Impact Wrestling and one of the better ones in recent memory. Granted, not everything was perfect, but this is TNA after all and I didn't expect it to be going in. There were several highlights and a step in the right direction in righting a lot of wrongs TNA has made in the last few months. Everything that's been announced for the New York tapings has me excited for the weeks to come and let's hope they can live up to the hype.
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