The opening segment finally did not involve Hulk Hogan or Bully Ray. Automatically, a step in the right direction, away from the weekly redundancy. I was excited to see who the newest member of the Main Event Mafia was going to be, but I had a really good guess (which turned out to be right). Sting and Angle did a great job on the mic, causing the viewers to realize that the MEM is here to take care of business.
The X-Division championship match had an interesting twist to it. Although Chris Sabin is a great competitor, he just does not have what it takes to be a top draw. As a result, I can see how taking the title off of him leading into Destination X made sense. As far as Hulk Hogan coming out with TJ Perkins after the match, that was a bit puzzling. The fact that Perkins was attacked and someone else stole his suit was fine, but bringing him out with Hogan totally destroyed the mystique of the Suicide character. Now, what's the point of having him come out as Suicide anymore? Additionally, when Hogan said that Perkins was always Suicide, I guess that we are all supposed to forget about Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Kiyoshi.
The Gut Check challenge match between Mason Ryan vs. Heath Slater... er... Adam Ohriner vs. Ryan Howe was incredibly stiff and had an embarrassment of miscues. If TNA really wants to represent themselves as a force to be reckoned with, they really need to save these kind of matches for the developmental league, Ohio Valley Wrestling. I get itónot everyone is a Kurt Angle or AJ Styles from the very beginning. However, I don't think that it is fair for the competitors to expose how green they are on national TV. Howe showed a bit more versatility than "The Big O", but Ohriner has the look to be groomed into a legitimate star. Well, come to think of it... so does Rob Terry.
The Knockouts title match of Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky was decent. Both looked a bit sluggish, though. Conversely, TNA is making a good decision to keep the belt on Mickie James. She has what it takes to put the division back on the map, and her present character is very good. Hopefully we will see more Knockouts soon. Lei'D Tapa, Taeler Hendrix, even bringing back Ivelisse Velez in some way, would be good for the depth of the division.
Magnus vs. Bobby Roode was a good match, and a great way to continue the momentum of Magnus. The guy is over, so TNA might as well take advantage of it. Guys like Sting, Kurt Angle, Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy are not going to be around for much longer, so now is the time to start building new stars.
The segment with James Storm/Gunner and Robbie E/Jesse Godderz was confusing and promising all at the same time. Since Robbie E and Jessie Godderz are still on the roster, might as well have them form an official tag team. Honestly, I am in favor of it. It adds depth to the tag team division, and presents another heel tag team that has a credible manager/valet in Tara. In typical heel fashion, they could easily capture the title via any method of cheating. Hopefully, we get to see more tag teams in the very near future. What was confusing about it was the weird ending when Gunner punched Godderz. It looked unplanned, and was very anti-climactic.
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Photo: Former WWE NXT Star Returns To The Indies