After a belter of an episode last week, how would TNA look to capitalise? With a big three-way title match in the main event, this was gonna be another strong episode...or was it?
The aforementioned three way main event would see Lashley hold onto his TNA World Heavyweight Championship, taking advantage of Drew Galloway nailing Ethan Carter III with a Claymore Kick to hit a spear on both opponents, before pinning EC3. As TV main events go this was a bloody good showing from all three men as they told a nice story and kept a solid pace. Having two babyfaces and a single heel could have been the matches undoing, but the ground work had been put in last week with Galloway and EC3 clearly not seeing eye to eye, and built on here, with the fan favourites working together to try to keep Lashley out of the match, so they had more of an opportunity to tear each other a part. My main complaint here is that everything needed more time to fully develop, with the ending feeling a little rushed, an extra five minutes and few more convincing near falls and we'd have had a brilliant match here.
Whilst the main event was to the point, the same can not be said about the opening segment. X Division Champion Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis-Bennett, Lashley, EC3, Billy Corgan and Galloway were all involved in what essentially boiled down to Corgan booking a Number One Contender's Battle Royal for Bennett's title, before a brawl would eventually lead to Galloway accidentally nailing EC3 with a Claymore Kick. At times it felt a little directionless, and despite strong performances, from Bennett in particular, almost everything needed to be tightened up and streamlined. A lot of the stuff like Galloway and EC3's accident was unnecessary because the building blocks were already in place from last week and without a date set for Destination X, Bennett's involvement with Lashley lacked urgency.
You thought the Hardy Boyz were done with their feud? You were wrong. This feud will never end. Ever. As has been the case for months, this was complete and utter lunacy. Matt Hardy being driven around ringside by Reby Hardy in what he referred to as his "chair with wheels", as he ranted about his previous matches with Jeff and all other manner of things in his ridiculous voice was so bizarre, but completely entertaining at the same time. Despite the madness, the angle actually played out quite simply with Matt baiting Jeff, before using Reby to attack his brother from behind after doing a Linda McMahon and rising from his chair with wheels. The two will face off "one last time" next week, apparently, at their own home in North Carolina. It's being billed as "Brother Nero: The Final Deletion" because why the fuck wouldn't it be?
King of the Mountain Champion Eli Drake's Fact of Life talk show segment was back this week with James Storm turning up as the eventual guest. I say "eventual" because before Storm would interrupt we'd get a promo from Drake about mashed potatoes. Yeah, mashed potatoes. It was actually very entertaining and completely different from pretty much anything anyone else is doing. The segment for took a dive when Storm came out, because similar to the opening segment, it felt flabby and could have done with a bit of a trim. A feud with Storm could do good things for Drake's career, and with Storm eventually hitting a Last Call Superkick on Drake to close the segment, it looks like we're heading that way over the next few weeks, at least.
Braxton Sutter would become the number one contender to Mike Bennett's X Division Champion by outlasting Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, Eddie Edwards, DJ Z, Mandrews and Rockstar Spud in an over-the-top Battle Royal, only to be attack by the Helms Dynasty and therefore losing in his immediate title match, and Bennett retaining the title. The battle royal was a fun bout, with a lot of talented performers in there. It was great to see Mandrews get some screen-time and he made a real case for deserving more focus with a series of action with Lee and Everrett that was among the best in the match. The angle with The Helms Dynasty was done well and actually protected Sutter from a loss to Bennett, allowing him to keep the momentum of winning the battle royal.
Sienna retained the Knockout's Championship over Gail Kim in a match that aired on the show. Not a whole lot of interesting wrestling content here, with the sole highlight of the match being a nice reversal of a crucifix into a powerful Samoan drop from Sienna. The bout was fairly short and never really looked to get out of first gear as Jade came out to neutralise the distraction from Sienna's valet Allie, only for Marti Bell to attack Jade, which lead to eventual distraction that'd allow Sienna to hold onto her title. I absolutely hated Monty Brown's Pounce finisher so the fact that Sienna is now using it as The Silencer made me put my head in my hands and cry a little.
It was the dream match we've all been waiting for as Grado, Mahabali Shera and a newly packaged Tyrus would go over Al Snow and The Tribunal in six man tag action. Yay. The crowd tried to chant "USA" at one point, which considering there was a Scotsman, an Indian and an American on one team and two Frenchmen and an American on the other team made literally zero sense. The match wasn't terrible, with some nice ref distraction and heely goings on from the Tribunal and Snow and a decent hot tag from Tyrus. The end of the bout was a bit messy though, before Tyrus would win with a weak looking World's Strongest Slam.
ATPW Scale Rating - 4.79/10
Not a great show this week, with a few clunky segments and matches that could have done with a bit more thought and tidying up. I think the best way to describe this show was that it felt very "first draft". Some good ideas, but a lot of flab. The main event and the mental Hardyz segment keep it from turning into an utter mess. It's ironic that the one thing that felt like it was overly cut short was the one part of the show that really excelled at what was done. With a bit more main event this show would have been much improved.