Kurt Angle goes face-to-face with Rampage Jackson.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Effective opening segment featuring TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray, Hulk Hogan and JEff Hardy. I liked the fact that Ray made references to the debut of Aces and Eights, which occurred almost exactly a year ago. This segment set up the main event between Hardy and Ray later in the night, which was felt like a marquee match upon its announcement. This was a nice way of reintroducing Hardy to the Impact audience.
Mediocre match with Hernandez defeating Chavo Guerrero to qualify for the Bound For Glory Series. Hernandez is lousy in the ring while Chavo is a boring character, so this was a lose-lose situation here. However, Hernandez is a better choice of the two since he is younger and has more potential to succeed in TNA than Chavo. Here's hoping that this was the official end of the Hernandez and Chavo pairing, which has been uninspiring since the start.
Nice segment featuring Devon and Joseph Park. Devon used logic in saying that he lost the Television Championship in an unsanctioned match at Slammiversary. Park attacking Devon was unexpected and the crowd popped big for it. Needless to say, Devon looks like the biggest imbecile in the world for not realizing that Park and Abyss are the same person.
Basic squash match with Samoa Joe defeating Robbie E to qualify for the Bound For Glory Series. IT was a mere minute long and showcased Joe's dominance nicely. Joe was absolutely awesome in last year's tournament, so I hope that is the case this year as well. On a side note, I like the concept of having wrestlers qualify for the series, which is different from past years. It shows that they earned the right to compete in the tournament instead of being given the opportunity.
Good segment between Rampage Jackson and Kurt Angle. It's a smart move by TNA to acquire Jackson, as it gives them more mainstream exposure. His mic work wasn't all that great, but it was to be expect given the fact it was his first promo and it wasn't horrendous by any means. His confrontation with Angle was incredibly intense and foreshadowed a future match between the two. It would definitely be a good first match for Jackson in TNA, as there's no better opponent for him to work with right now than Angle.
Entertaining six-man tag team match with X-Division Champion Chris Sabin and World Tag Team Champions James Storm and Gunner defeating Kenny King, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. Everyone was able to get their signature spots in and the ending sequence was fun to watch. It could have gone longer than it did, but they made the most out of the time they were allotted. This was a good first win for Sabin, Gunner and Storm as champions.
Fine match with Knockouts Champion Mickie James defeating Taeler Hendrix. Hendrix has improved since the last time we saw her, but she still has some work to do. Nonetheless, James carried her to a short and sweet match that succeeded in furthering James' heel turn. Her feud with Velvet Sky is an intriguing angle is making the Knockouts division relevant for the first time in recent memory.
Solid Ladder match between TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy. This was no where near as good as their Full Metal Mayhem match from a few months ago, but it was exceptional for what it was. The hanging hammer made for a stupid stipulation, but Brooke Hogan teasing a potential heel turn was very well done.
Overall, an enjoyable edition that provided plenty of fallout from Sunday's Slammiversary event and set the tone for the remainder of the summer season. There were a handful of top stars missing from the broadcast (AJ Styles, Sting, Magnus, etc.), but I assume we'll hear more from them on next week's show. Speaking of such, TNA hyped a number of matches and segments for the next edition of TNA Impact Wrestling, which is smart strategy if they hope to gain viewers.
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