There was a brief promo to open the show with Kurt Angle and Eric Young. Angle says he saw a glimpse of the old Eric Young last week, and Young responds with a passionate speech about how winning the World Championship made him crazy. EY says Angle will be facing “the best” Eric Young tonight, they shake and wish each other luck.

Out comes Austin Aries, who brings up the beef he has with EY for injuring Roode a few weeks back. EY is told to wait in line, because Aries is cashing in his briefcase tonight and will become the new World Champion.

#1 Contenders Match for the TNA Knockouts Championship: Gail Kim versus Madison Rayne versus Brooke versus. Angelina Love

The Knockouts are such a talented bunch of women. They may not be as impressive as some of the talent on NXT, but they are vastly under-appreciated. It was nice to see them have (almost) an entire night dedicated to them. This was a fun match with plenty of action: Rayne and Love isolate Kim early, but the faces come storming back with a flurry of offense. Love hits Brooke with a reverse STO and Kim hits Rayne with an Eat Defeat (I still laugh at that name after finally understanding the pun), but Rayne hits a Rayne Drop on Gail, before Brooke recovers and hits a Wheelbarrow Facebuster on Rayne for a pin and the win.

Winner: Brooke

Mica versus Kenny King

I can’t help but think of “Mika” from the movie Eurotrip whenever I see Mica’s name pop up on the screen, so I’m currently playing “Scotty Doesn’t Know” while writing this. I really appreciated Mica’s work ethic as Camacho on NXT (after his schtick with Hunico), and he’s got a nice look, so it’s nice to see him get some ring time on Impact Wrestling. This is a quick match that furthers the feud between The Rising and Beat Down Clan, and Mica pins King after a crisp counter of a Springboard Splash into a Samoan Drop. After the match, Homicide assaults The Rising with a nightstick, singling out Drew Galloway. Galloway later challenges BDC to a Steel Pipe On A Pole Match at Hardcore Justice next week, which I can’t wait to see.

Winner: Mica

Laura Dennis versus Jade (with Marti Belle)

The Dollhouse come out and skip around, cackling too much like Awesome Kong in her brief stint with the WWE (oh my, what could have been…). They yell at Christy Hemme to get their entrance right. Jade and Belle go wild on Dennis a minute or two into the match, then attack Hemme after she announces Laura wins by disqualification. That was awful, and made me upset I waited one week for their debut.

Winner: Laura Dennis

Eric Young is pissed off backstage, and is sure to let Angle know it even though Angle vows to beat Aries tonight and give EY a match next week. Looks like EY is struggling between his heel and face personality.

Magnus and Mickie James are in the ring to discuss James’s future. James announces her intention to retire from in-ring competition and be a full-time mom. Here to crash the party is James Storm, who convinces James to wrestle one more time (YES!), which angers Magnus. It’ll be really interesting to see who comes out as the bad guy in their inevitable feud.

Davey Richards versus Manik

Richards pins Manik after the Creeping Death in a short match. Afterwards he is assaulted by The Revolution until The Hardys make the save, hitting Manik with the Twist of Fate and the Check Fate (I’m not a fan of that name whatsoever). I enjoy the prospect of The Hardys and The Wolves working together, but The Revolution act has gone completely stale.

Winner: Davey Richards

EC3 and Tyrus are out to make EC3’s case to contend for the World Championship. EC3 lists his accomplishments, including being undefeated for almost two years (my, how time flies), and beating every Hall Of Famer in TNA history. Ken Anderson comes out to rain on EC3’s parade, mentioning his eleven year chase to his first World Championship. The two get into a scuffle and EC3 escapes a Mic’ Check before retreating with Tyrus.

TNA Knockouts Championship: Awesome Kong versus Taryn Terrell

Terrell says the fans deserve a great match, so she makes it a No DQ match. Kong dominates, wailing on Taryn with kendo sticks and countering everything Terrell throws at her. After finally building some momentum, Terrell sets a table and attempts to put Kong through it with a cutter. Kong counters this and bangs Terrell’s head on the table, then goes to the top rope. The Dollhouse comes out and assault Kong before they aid Terrell in powerbombing Kong through the table for the pin and the win. After the match, Terrell announces the arrival of The Dollhouse. This redeemed the awful debut of the duo earlier in the night, and Terrell is the perfect leader for the troupe.

Winner (and still champion): Taryn

TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle versus Austin Aries

Before Aries can cash in he’s assaulted by EY, who hits him with the briefcase and gives him a piledriver on the floor, then ring steps. After Angle checks on Aries, EY attacks him from behind. EY stomps Kurt’s head into the steel steps, then hits him in the leg with a chair. EY busts Angle open, then locks in the Figure Four to end the show.

Winner: No Match

An excellent night of wrestling, the Impact Wrestling roster should be proud. The Dollhouse’s debut was erased and overshadowed by their involvement in a great title match, and the progression of every feud has been tweaked in one way or another. Impact Wrestling continues to deliver, and I can’t wait to watch Hardcore Justice next week to see where the show goes from there.

Grade: B+

(Impact Wrestling airs in the US on Destination America on Fridays at 9pm ET, and in the UK on Challenge on Sundays at 9pm)

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