By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Bad Influence def. Minoru Tanaka and Koji Kanemoto
I'm no Japanese wrestling historian, but from what I understand, Tanaka and Kanemoto are a top tandem in Japan. With that said, having them square off against one of America's very best in Bad Influence in the opening match was a smart move. The action was exciting and the two teams worked well together. I was surprised to see Bad Influence win cleanly, but it was a nice rare victory for them. Bad Influence aren't even under contract to TNA anymore, and they spoke afterward backstage about being the best in the business. How embarrassing must that be for TNA? Either way, this match helped set the tone for the remainder of the night.
Gail Kim def. Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne (Non-title)
Obviously, this was taped when Kim was still a heel and feuding with Rayne over the title. Kim and Rayne are two of the stronger workers in the division and they had a good match here, but they've had better bouts in the past. Since the match didn't feature any Wrestle-1 talent, the live crowd was less inclined to care. They worked hard during the time they were given, but it was as good of a match as it could have been. Kim winning, I assume, was done to set up a rematch between them for Lockdown later that month.
Abyss vs. Takayama Ended in a No Contest
The commentators tried to put over the fact that both competitors are known for their similar styles in terms of being hardcore, but it was nothing more than a brawl. It wouldn't have been as bad if Abyss and Takayama weren't well past their primes. There were several sloppy spots and the pace was slow and plodding. Are the thumbtack spots really necessary for someone like Takayama at this point in his career?
Masakatsu Funaki def. Bobby Roode
This felt like the first true wrestling match of the show and I really enjoyed it. The action was very good and both guys held their own against the other. They developed nice chemistry down the stretch and put on an absolute clinic. Roode tapping out clean to Funaki was a pleasant surprise, but I guess Wrestle-1 needed a win since most of their roster lost to the TNA guys.
Muto, Taiyo and Rob Terry def. Dupree, Kono and Samoa Joe
I liked the pre-match promo from Joe talking about how big of an honor it was for him to be facing Muto, but then I found it odd that Joe was put on the heel team with two guys from the Wrestle-1 promotion. They built tension nicely throughout the bout, but it should have felt like a bigger deal when Muto and Joe finally clashed. Even still, the crowd enjoyed the action and popped for the brawl toward the end. Muto was well protected in six-man tag action yet it still felt like a treat to see him compete whenever he was tagged in.
The BroMans def. The Wolves and Kondo & Hayashi in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match to Win the TNA World Tag Team Championships
The Wolves and Kondo and Hayashi worked extremely well together and put together a fun matchup. A lot of the nearfalls down the stretch were suspenseful and had the audience applauding for them. It was the expected excellent from The Wolves and the duo of Kondo and Hayashi, but The BroMans also held their own. I may despise their gimmick with a passion, but they're good workers in their own right and had their fair share of moments in this match as well. This was one week removed from The Wolves winning their first tag titles at a house show and I remember being so frustrated that they switched the titles back here.
Sanada def. Austin Aries to Win the X-Division Championship
After their great match on a recent episode of Impact Wrestling, I knew their match here would be equally awesome. It wasn't the rapid fire pace you'd expect from them, but the fact they slowed things down a bit and told a story worked to their benefit. The live crowd got into the action and the various finishers made both guys look strong. Sanada's title win came across as a big deal and it was cool to see him get his moment by being endorsed by Aries following the contest.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus def. Kai
After a series of great matches, the bar had been set for this contest, but Magnus and Kai still managed to exceed expectations. It was no five star classic, but they put together a solid contest with some good back-and-forth action. It could used more time, but they made the most of the time they were allotted. I thought it was comical that Magnus finally scored a clean victory long after he dropped the title. Better late than never, I guess.
Per usual, the commentary from Taz and Mike Tenay was absolutely atrocious. You think they're bad every week on Impact Wrestling? They're ten times worse on the One Night Only shows because they know no one is watching and they can goof off a bit (okay, a lot). They have such terrible chemistry that I'd almost recommend not watching this show because of it. Bad commentary aside, this was a very good show by One Night Only standards. I don't watch much Japanese wrestling, so it was very cool to get a glimpse of the culture and some of the talent. The biggest issue with the event, however, was the fact that it was taped many months ago and a lot of what was featured was outdated. TNA needs to learn to debut these shows as soon as they're taped to avoid preventing viewers from not purchasing the pay-per-views because they think it's old news.
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