By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Kurt Angle Called out TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley
Lashley doesn't always impress when it comes to talking on his own without MVP or Kenny King by his side, but he did fine for himself here and Angle helped him through it. The tease for a future match between the two was nicely done and it actually meant something because Lashley has been built up in a big way as champion over the last four months. The segment was also successful in setting up the night's No. 1 Contender's main event.
Knockouts Champion Havok def. Madison Rayne
It's become clear in her brief run in TNA that Havok isn't nearly as good in the ring as I initially thought she was (silly me), but this was easily Havok's best TNA match yet. There were some sloppy spots, but Rayne carried him to a passable match. The important thing is that Havok has been booked like an absolute monster since arriving on the scene and the clean win only boasts his credibility.
Matt Hardy def. Magnus
Hardy and Magnus had yet to cross paths prior to this bout, so it felt fresh. They developed fun chemistry together and put together an enjoyable matchup with an innovative finish. It didn't have much importance in the long scheme of things, but I wouldn't be surprised if it leads to a tag team feud also involving Jeff Hardy and Bram. I hope this means Matt will be sticking around in TNA for a little while longer.
The Menagerie def. The BroMans and Angelina Love
I've never been a fan of either group, so I therefore couldn't have cared less about this match. It was decent for what it was, but it's two comedy groups fighting each other, so what's there to like about it? It wasn't as offensively bad as some of the things we've seen from WWE recently, but it could still be considered a waste of time.
Ethan Carter III vs. Devon Went to a No Contest
The debut of the Tyrus came out of nowhere, and not in a good way. It wasn't the best introduction for the former Brodus Clay, but I'm still glad to see him in TNA. He was so underutilized in WWE and he worked best as Alberto Del Rio's bodyguard, so he will serve nicely in that role for EC3. Devon answering EC3's challenge was random, but what was even more random was Bram attacking him beforehand. Where is all this supposed to be headed?
Tyrus def. Shark Boy
Is that really the same Shark Boy from years ago? Did he let himself go or is someone else in the costume now? Either way, this was a glorified squash match designed to showcase the dominance of Tyrus. As previously noted, it was a decent first night for him, but I wish he would have made more of an impact than destroying a jobber no one cares about. I'm sure that will occur over time, though.
Bobby Roode def. Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy and Eric Young in a No. 1 Contender's Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Multi-man matches such as these can usually be a mess, but you can't go wrong with a match involving these four great workers. I really liked how much time it ended up getting and they made the most of it by not allowing there to be a dull moment. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary early on, but they settled into a solid rhythm down the stretch, particularly after Hardy and Young were eliminated. Roode and Aries have a history together that it was awesome for it to come down to just them. It felt like a big deal when Roode ultimately scored the victory and even afterwards during the post-match celebration. Roode's rematch with Lashley should be excellent and I hope the crowd is as hot for that match as they were for this one.
This show definitely didn't have the post-Bound for Glory feel it usually does every year, but then again, I didn't expect it to after TNA failed to take their biggest show of the year seriously. I've already made my thoughts on that known, so I won't reiterate them here. That said, this was another solid show made memorable by the excellent main event and debut of Tyrus. As enjoyable as the episodes of Impact have been on a weekly basis, the company simply doesn't have any momentum right now and it's a shame considering where they were only a few short months ago.
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