By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards Confronted Cody
This was exactly what their match needed considering it was announced a mere week ago without any real build-up. While I could do without Cody alluding to (by that I mean outright burying) his time in WWE, he always been an underrated talker and this was a good promo from him. Edwards cut one of his better promos in recent memory as well and they successfully got me more excited for their championship clash than I was before. Lashley coming down to announce his intentions to take back the title was a nice segue into his match with Moose.
Lashley def. Moose in a No. 1 Contender's Match For the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Big men matches can usually be hit or miss, but given that Lashley and Moose were involved, I wasn't surprised that this ended up being a very solid match. They worked well together and made the most of the time they were allotted. Perhaps the best part about the bout was the clean finish. TNA could have very easily inserted a bunch of interference to protect the previously undefeated Moose in defeat, but Lashley went over clean as he should have, so I applaud TNA for resisting the vintage referee bump in this instance.
Eli Drake Hosted Fact of Life with Impact Grand Champion Aron Rex
I thought Fact of Life was fine just the way it was before. Adding in the "studio audience" (i.e. the piped in cheers and boos) was extremely obnoxious and took away from my enjoyment of the segment. Nevertheless, Drake was hilarious as always while Rex came off bland and scripted, especially during his opening spiel about winning the title. He's boring with a real gimmick. Anyway, I'm glad they're moving forward with Drake's feud with Ethan Carter III because that has a ton of potential. It was interesting how Rex starting brawling with EC3 and I'd imagine that was meant to tease a heel turn for him sooner rather than later, which might be the best role for him at this point.
TNA World Tag Team Champions "Broken" Matt Hardy and Brother Nero def. The Tribunal
I couldn't care less about The Tribunal, but at least The Hardyz carried them to a decent match with own entertaining antics holding my interest. I figured they would build to this bout and not give it away one week after the feud started, but apparently not. It made sense afterward when the group of masked men debuted and attacked The Tribunal before setting their sights on The Hardyz, so that appears to be the next tag title program. I can't say I'm anticipating another heel faction in TNA, though.
Maria and Laurel Vanness Attacked Allie
Now that Maria's feud with Gail Kim is over and she is no longer the Knockouts Champion, she can finally focus on Allie and the tension that has been teased between them for months. Allie has gotten over big time as a beloved babyface, so I hope she can come out of this as a nice addition to the Knockouts division. That said, they did an effective job of building to Allie's match with Vanness next week, and I predict she'll keep finding ways to win until facing off against Maria.
Mike Bennett def. Mahabali Shera
I've never been a Shera fan because he seemingly hasn't improved at all in the two years he's been with TNA. However, I might not mind the idea of pairing him with Tyrus, who is just as directionless at the moment. Their backstage segment was funnier than anything Shera ever did with Grado, even though this match was mediocre at best.
Rockstar Spud Interrupted X-Division DJ Z
I've been rather disappointed with how Spud has been utilized this year. He fell off the radar following his hot heel turn early on in 2017 and hasn't done anything of note since other than his on-and-off feud with Braxton Sutter, but I liked this promo a lot with him teasing he will have his own team of guys in Team X Gold. I'm still not sure what Team X Gold is all about, but I'm officially intrigued to see who is a part of Spud's team.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards def. Cody
It was really refreshing to have a match between two babyfaces that didn't end in fluky fashion or with a heel turn. We saw the same thing last week with Moose and EC3 and this was no different. The match itself was every bit as excellent as you'd expect it to be and it put over Edwards stronger than the win over Lashley did. The finish was clever and something I've never seen before, so that was a cool touch. Cody and Brandi Rhodes will resume their rivalry with the Bennetts after Maria attacked Brandi afterward, and as I said last week, I imagine it will culminate in an intergender tag team match eventually.
TNA may be in deep trouble financially, but the on-air product continues to kill it every week. I didn't know where we'd be after Bound for Glory, but several storylines are developing that I'm starting to enjoy. Almost every division has a new champion, so things feel fresh for the most part. There was a ton of quality wrestling on this show from start to finish (to the point where I didn't even notice there was more talking than in-ring action) in addition to a newsworthy debut for the mysterious masked men, so it was an above-average episode on this night.
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