By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Drew Galloway def. Eddie Edwards in an Impact Grand Championship Semifinal Match
Maybe it was because the first round matches mostly featured undercard competitors and therefore I couldn't have cared less about them, but this was the best Impact Grand Championship qualifying match up to this point. I haven't been too high on the MMA-esque rules, but maybe I'm starting to grow accustomed to them. Of course, it certainly helps when you have two great wrestlers facing each other and it was a fresh matchup as well. I also really liked how they went the full three rounds and waited until after the commercial break to announce who won, so that was a cool cliffhanger (although there was zero doubt who would win).
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley and Mike Bennett Attacked Ethan Carter III and Moose
Having EC3 confront Galloway following his win only to transition into him getting assaulted by his Bound for Glory opponent was wonderful. You don't see that type of thing too often, but it was done very effectively here. The face-to-face with EC3 and Galloway was well done given their history, and the subsequent attack from the heels on the babyfaces set up the already announced main event nicely.
Aron Rex def. Eli Drake in an Impact Grand Championship Semifinal Match
The strong suit of both these guys is their mic work, so I was happy they were able to engage in a war of words beforehand and deliver a hilarious back-and-forth. However, due to that, their promo battle slightly overshadowed the match, which paled in comparison to Galloway vs. Edwards from earlier. It was still decent, nevertheless. Similar to the opener, it was obvious Rex would advance to set up his Bound for Glory match with Galloway.
"Broken" Matt Hardy and Brother Nero Interrupted World Tag Team Champions Decay
It really shouldn't surprise anyone that Triple H has reportedly shown interest in bringing Matt back into the WWE fold as he has been the best thing going in the business for a while with this "broken" character. Jeff and Reby Sky have also been playing their roles well and the entire act is a blast. This wasn't too different from the segment from last week, but I remain excited to see what they will bring to the table during "The Great War."
X-Division Champion DJ Z def. Trevor Lee
I still don't know what DJ Z's character is all about, but his pre-match promo helped a bit and established him as a fighting champion. Speaking of wrestlers with next to no character development, Lee was a fun first opponent for DJ as champion and they contested a very good match, but it was just that: a match and nothing more. I enjoy the idea of an Edwards vs. DJ title match, but why not save it for Bound for Glory and instead of giving it away on the go-home show?
Knockouts Champion Maria def. Local Athlete (Non-title); Knockouts Champion Maria vs. Gail Kim Went to a No Contest (Non-title)
Needless to say, there isn't much to say about Maria vs. her initial opponent merely because the match was a mere minute long. As soon as the "ninja" came out, you had to know it was Kim, but it was a fine enough angle. While I appreciate how they've been able to keep the Kim and Maria feud going since the start of the year, I think fans are more anxious to now see Allie beat her mentor for the belt. I expect her to break away from Maria and Sienna at long last at Bound for Glory either way.
Ethan Carter and Moose def. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley and Mike Bennett
These two rivalries have been built up very well in recent weeks, or in recent months in EC3 and Lashley's case. While the match didn't feature anything extraordinary, it was well-wrestled and managed to further both feuds. The post-match brawl between EC3 and Lashley was more noteworthy and it was awesome that they advertised a Lethal Lockdown match with high stakes for next week's main event.
Most editions of Impact Wrestling leading into Bound for Glory have been relatively solid and I find myself invested in several of the storylines set to culminate at the event. This was another above-average episode with pretty much everything serving a purpose. Furthermore, two thumbs up to TNA for making next week's go-home show must-see with the Lethal Lockdown and the X-Division Championship matches. That should be fun. I also very much look forward to Cody (Rhodes)'s debut at Bound for Glory next Sunday. He can be a very valuable asset to the roster if utilized correctly.
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