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I had two worries going into this match: 1) TNA would over-utilize King Mo, taking away from the actual story between these two great rivals, and 2) Roode and Storm wouldn't be given enough time, or long enough leash to make the match as brutal as necessary, given their history. I am happy, and extremely proud of TNA that neither of those worries became reality. Storm and Roode fought nearly twenty minutes and left it all in the ring. After finally getting used to the absence of blood from my wrestling product, the amount of blood pouring off James Storm was almost unsettling. To the industry's credit, it definitely added to the importance of the match that this kind of violence is no longer a weekly occurrence.
The finish was poetic, and easily my favorite spot of the match. The beer bottle brought it full circle, leading to the final Superkick through a bed of thumbtacks. It was cold, obviously calculated and a perfect way to wrap up a bitter rivalry between two former friends and tag team Champions. With so many great spots and an electric crowd throughout, I have so little to complain about. King Mo barely got involved; what little influence he did have in the match was both negligible and tolerable. The one thing I will bring up, looking to the future, is that this match needs to be the end of the Storm/Roode rivalry. Not that I wouldn't enjoy another encounter, or that at some point in the future they can't fight for a title or to be contenders. But this street fight had a "final encounter" vibe to it, and nothing they do in the near future is going to produce better results than this fantastic match.
If Ryan Wins, He Gets a TNA Contract
The brief "we want head" chant was the only time the Phoenix crowd remotely card about this match. It's a gimmick that hasn't been relative in a decade, and wasn't even clever back then either. I liked the psychology of what Snow and Ryan were going for. I liked that Snow, as a trainer, took the young buck "to the woodshed" to learn a few basic rules of wrestling. I particularly enjoyed that Snow started the match in a traditional amateur pose. Their booking wasn't lost on me, I just thought their execution was poor.
And of course...Matt Morgan. I'll admit, I didn't see that interference coming, and it's good to see the big man back in TNA, but I really hope his cooperation with Joey Ryan was a one-time thing to bring him back into the fold. Any return "pop" he'll get on Impact this week will be instantly extinguished if it's revealed that those two are still a thing.
Ryan vs. Snow wasn't bad, it just didn't do anything for my already rock bottom expectations for this angle.