This episode of Impact Wrestling was designed to be a prelude to the stacked card set up for the live show in Corpus Christi. Specifically, the "Full Metal Mayhem" match pitting TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray against Jeff Hardy.
Aces and Eights starting the show off again is showing us that TNA really has high hopes for them. To their credit, the group has been established for nearly 10 months, and are still relevant. Not only that, but there still may be more shocking reveals down the line. I'll get to that in a bit.
The Knockouts tag team match of Taryn Terrell/Velvet Sky vs. Tara/Gail Kim was actually not bad. Mostly, because of Joey Ryan's involvement. It is a good way to utilize him, seeing how he won't be of importance anywhere else on the show. The comedic twist added some intrigue to the match, and hopefully we don't see the last of him as a referee of the Knockouts division.
The stipulations added to the TNA Tag Team Title during the contract signing were a good way to increase the excitement for the match. It puts Chavo/Hernandez against the wall, knowing that they will no longer be a team if they lose. Two out of three falls give the bout more suspense and unpredictability.
I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that the falls will be tied 1-1, and Chavo will cost his team the match, turning heel on Hernandez. They have made a good team, but it is time for Hernandez to spread his wings and fly again as a singles wrestler. A Chavo turn probably won't benefit him much, but at least it can freshen his character up a bit for the time being.
The Gut Check Challenge match between Adam Pearce and Magno was embarrassing. Especially for Magno. He made Sin Cara look like Chris Jericho, after all of his botched moves. Adam Pearce did what he could to atone for Magno's mishaps, but the damage was already done.
Hopefully we'll get to see more of Adam Pearce, because that match is absolutely no comparison to what he has done throughout the years that he's wrestled for NWA. I've seen him wrestle for quite some time now, and he's good. He is the consummate heel, and could go far in TNA if properly booked.
AJ Styles continues to hone in his dark, mysterious character. TNA has got something good going with this angle. From the "cut" given to him by Anderson in the back, to the in-ring altercation with Hulk Hogan and James Storm, this could go on for a number of weeks if done right. It seems as if he will be the chosen one to go against Bully Ray come Slammiversary, but it is interesting to see how that will unfold.
Petey Williams... yes. Great to see him win the match. Overall, the match itself did not live to my expectations, but it was not a bad match by any means. The Canadian Destroyer was a treat, and we are seeing a resurgence of the X Division, which was TNA's bread and butter for a number of years.
Aces and Eights getting another cheap victory was fine. TNA should continue doing as much as they can to make this group be a threat, because they are still over. The level of competition during the match made it the best of the night.
The Bully Ray/Brooke Hogan in-ring segment was a bit alarming. I have a funny feeling that we are going to see a valet for the Aces and Eights, and her name is Brooke Hogan. Although it does not seem as if Brooke would play a good heel, it is definitely worth trying out. If it does not work, she could always go the "I was brainwashed" route.
Sound off with your Impact Wrestling thoughts below.