The in-ring promo by Austin Aries to start out the show was a good way to keep the buzz of the title going. Over the past few months since the new implementation, the division has been rather dull. However, this angle did create more interest that was much-needed. Assigning an X Division main event for the show was also a good way to show the confidence in re-establishing the division.
As far as TJ Perkins switching from Suicide to Manik, I guess it made sense. Having a character named Suicide is not good for a privately-owned international wrestling company to gain any good graces by anyone, and it was a good PR move if anything. Manik as a replacement name has to grow on me, but I always wondered why his attire had an M as a logo in the first place. It is still puzzling why they decided to put Perkins back in the suit, though. Or at least, expose him as the real Suicide.
Good match between AJ Styles and Kazarian. The "No One" gimmick, along with the very apropos music, is working for AJ. Hopefully we get to see this for the foreseeable future, and the Calf Killer is an interesting choice of a finishing move. 10 points for AJ Styles, as he substantially moved up the leader board.
Both segments of the Gut Check challenge were a complete waste of time. I understand that they needed to follow protocol and have the segments on TV, but when you are releasing valuable talent like Crimson, making another Gut Check winner (Taeler Hendrix) disinterested in working there anymore, as well as releasing a suitable Gut Check challenge winner (Christian York), it is hard for me to even take those segments seriously anymore.
Speaking of Gut Check challenge, Hernandez vs Jay Bradley was predictable, and it still baffles me how Jay Bradley, out of all the TNA roster members and Gut Check challenge winners who were sent down to OVW, remains on the main roster. This guy is dull, and has been ever since his first stint in OVW when it was still a WWE developmental territory. Even wrestling with the likes of Cody Rhodes and CM Punk wasn't good enough to significantly improve his in-ring work, as you can see in the video below.
Storm/Gunner vs. The Bro Mans was actually a good match, and continued to build the chemistry between the tag team champions, as well as continue to develop the tag team division. Throwing the two together did not make much sense at first, but Gunner is surprisingly fleshing out to be a decent babyface.
Magnus joining the Main Event Mafia was predictable, but not a bad idea whatsoever. Like I've said many times, he is the future of TNA, and aligning himself with former world champions is a step in the right direction. He is over with the crowd, so that needs to be capitalized on as much as possible. It will be interesting to see how they book Samoa Joe and Magnus in the BFG series, seeing how they are in the same faction now.
Jeff Hardy vs. Joseph Park was a bit puzzling. I truly hope that Park does not have a grossly negative point total at the end of the series as a result of snapping into Abyss and getting disqualified on more occasions than this one. If so, that is a complete waste of a participant, which could have been replaced by someone else—say... Crimson?
The X Division title match was very good, and absolutely passed the test of holding its own as a main event match. Definitely a good sign leading into Destination X. Sabin going for the title is not the right decision though, as Aries would have been a much better option. I don't understand why he would win the title and revive the division, just to lose it the very next episode.
Sabin is just not over enough to be the TNA World Champion, and it definitely is not going to take less than two weeks reach that status. I'm not saying that he'll never get there, but he has been a bonafide X Division star for his entire tenure, and TNA needs to take their time in transitioning him to a main-eventer if that is truly the focus.
Do you think Chris Sabin is ready to be TNA World Champion? Sound off below.
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