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You can't blame TNA Wrestling for how awkward the first match was, nor can you blame them for a tedious, boring announce team throughout the show. Things happen that are outside of our control, and you just have to keep the ball rolling the best you possibly can with what you have available. That being said, I'd like to extend my thoughts and prayers out to Tazz and his family, as he lost his brother-in-law recently. I'd also like to wish Jesse Sorenson a speedy recovery, as he is currently in the hospital from an incident during his match with Zema Ion – at last update it was said that he could move his arms again, but had little-to-no feeling in his legs. It's always hard to get past unexpected misfortune like this during a live event, cameras rolling and hungry ticket-buyers all fixated on your next move… Props to TNA for recovering and continuing to build momentum throughout the night.
Jeff Hardy opened the show with his arrival to the Impact Zone for tonight's Against All Odds PPV. He ignored the interviewer and camera crew, and continued walking to the locker room area.
What a very odd way to open the show… Jeff Hardy isn't a heel, nor has he been seen for two weeks on television. As one of the company's top faces and a part of the main event title match, you would think he'd be happy to be back at work, or at least cut some emotional promo on getting his revenge and becoming World champion. No such luck… I'm really not sure what TNA was trying to say here.
(1) Zema Ion def. Jesse Sorenson (via count-out and/or knockout) to become the NEW #1 contender to the TNA X-Division championship. The match was cut short after Sorenson took a blow to the head, and remained down on the outside of the ring.
Again, I wish Sorenson a healthy and speedy recovery. With an injury like this there's always that chance that a guy could never wrestle again – sometimes it's far worse. I don't put blame on Zema Ion either, as the move looked fairly standard. Things happen, they moved on. What did frustrate me is how the match started OUTSIDE of the ring. It's pretty common knowledge that a referee can't ring the opening bell until both men are in the ring, on their feet… It's small details like that which drive me crazy. Other than that, not much to report on this tragically short match. I did like the basic heel/face exchange with Sorenson's football, Ion's hairspray, and the young fan sitting ringside. When you're trying to get over in any direction as a young star, little things like that will go a long way! Rating: N/A
(2) Robbie E def. Shanon Moore to retain the TV Title in a "Robbie E Open Invitation" match. Big Robbie T got involved and punched out Moore while the referee was distracted, allowing the champion to hit his finisher and pick up the win.
It's pretty ironic that TNA's TV Champion hasn't actually been seen on television. In fact, it's gotten so bad that I realized, upon hearing his music, that I had forgotten to include the championship in my new rankings system for the Depth Chart… All cheap plugs aside, you can't have a TELEVISION CHAMPION and not allow him to appear for long periods of time. After the awkward way the first match came across, the crowd was completely dead. Shanon Moore got a great pop for his return, but it turns out an irrelevant champion that's never around couldn't hold the fans interest throughout the match – I include myself in that assessment. Rating: C
(3) Gail Kim def. Tara to retain the Knockouts Championship via pinfall. During the match, Madison Rayne left ringside after a screaming match took place between her and the champion. Gail won cleanly with her finisher, after Tara sold the effects of her leg injury.
My first thought going into this was simple: why would you throw the fans a Knockout's match NOW, given the way things have gone down so far in the night..? It turns out I was wrong, because these two put on a pretty decent match that the crowd seemed to legitimately enjoy! I loved that they teased dissension between the champion and her lackey, Madison Rayne. I loved that they teased a title change by having her leave, forcing Gail Kim to finally fight her own battles. And I loved how they played off Tara's "injury" and gave the champion a clean, decisive win to truly establish herself. Up to this point she's rested on the intereferance of Rayne and Karen Jarrett – it's basic heel tactic, so I don't blame them…but it's nice to see a champion, heel or face, get a real victory to put them over as a credible title holder. I'm not sure if I enjoyed just how decicive this victory was though; what little offense Tara did get in throughout the match was quickly stomped away every single time. Gail Kim truly dominated this championship match! Rating: B+
Note: My favorite piece of dialogue from the commentary team occurred during the match, and it came when Madison Rayne walked out on Gail Kim. It really highlights just how spectacularly dull Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash are as a team…
-Borash: "She appears to be leaving…"
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