Welcome cats and kittens to yet another installment of the universal winner for wrestling blog of the year (from our mothers, and even then it was close). Tonight we have a special treat as we shuffle our sexy asses on down to Orlando to cover TNA’s Final Resolution PPV. This is the last big PPV of the year here in America, and it caps off what has truly been a year or turbulent and trying times for TNA. From the success (and subsequent failure) of the Main Event Mafia, to the rise of AJ Styles and the fall of Samoa Joe. And from the fall of Jeff Jarrett to the rise of Hulk Hogan, this has been perhaps the most important and memorable year in the history of TNA, and with the ground ever shifting under their feet they’ve come to a crossroads.
Last month, their PPV actually beat out WWE’s for the first time this year, and with a lackluster offering from WWE’s TLC, they have the potential tonight to do it again. Are we seeing the beginning of a true wrestling war? Can TNA keep up this momentum and ride it to ultimate success? Will Kevin Nash whisk Ms. Cewsh off in the night to his decadent palace of lovemaking? Only one way to find out.
Cewsh: As you all well know, I have seen more than my fair share of opening videos over the year(s). So it may come as some surprise for you to learn that this may be my favorite opening video of all time. The beginning it set to Christmas music and shows all of the TNA wrestlers celebrating achievements and being happy while the pixie thing from Ghost Writer floats around the screen. But then, when mean ol’ Grinch Mr. Wolfe shows up on screen, everything goes to hell with fire and blood and destruction, coupled with some badass music, some great camera angles, and some surprisingly good video effects make about the coolest thing ever, before Desmond Wolfe pokes his head in one more time, so that the screen can turn into a raging inferno and go black.
This video is RIDICULOUSLY awesome. It’s like if you opened your stocking on Christmas morning only to find that Optimus Prime was wearing it and, oh by the way, he brought some strippers over. The sheer unadulterated joy and manic glee that this video produces is enough to power a 1971 Chevy Astro from here to Houston. Don’t believe me? Watch for yourself. But not at work, lest your maniacal laughter get you the wrong sort of attention.
Vice: The show starts off with one of the most absolutely ridiculous video packages I’ve ever seen. Christmas music and 80’s special effects overtop the wrestlers. So cheesy. There was also a “boi-yoi-yoi-yoi-yoooooiiiiiiing” sound when they showed Velvet Sky bent over the middle rope. Man oh man. What a way to kick off the show. Oh, and then the video gets all serious, blah blah etc.
Still so very, very awesome though. Wrestling doesn’t need to be super serious all the time, and this just shows how you can have a fun time with it. I’m glad TNA took this approach with the opening video. As wacky as it was, it gives me a lot of hope for this show. Why, I’m not sure. But it just does. And that’s enough.
Cewsh: We start off with the Guns (who are mega, mega over) and the Brits start out full speed and never slow down. The Guns are known for going 7,000 miles per hour, and the Brits are one of the few teams in wrestling who can complement that style by selling for it properly and using a wear down style to get the fans involved. Not bad for a team featuring one guy who started this year as the British equivalent of an American Gladiator. Magnus started the year as a joke, and ended it as the good half of one of the best tag teams in wrestling. The world is a crazy place.
I can’t get over enough just how hot of a match this was.
The crowd was absolutely on fire for the Machine Guns here, and the pace stayed so fast when they were in control, and the Brits got such heat when they were on top that this thing basically exploded every time there was a tag of any kind. It’s easy to forget how big of a difference the crowd can make, especially in TNA where crowds are rarely hot enough to notice, but this proved it right here, as an otherwise good match gets elevated to the ranks of one of the best tag matches in TNA’s history (not terribly prestigious) simply by the fans going nuts and the wrestlers feeding off of it. I’ll tell you, the last 5 minutes of this match are not to be missed. If you’ve never seen a Motor City Machine Guns match or a British Invasion match, now’s the time. Here they both are at their absolute finest.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: The first thing I must point out is that the ropes are green and red. Holiday spirit and all. It looks festive and it’s very unique and, well, fresh. I really like it. It’s quite amazing how much a simple change in colors can do for a product. Obviously red and green throughout the year would be ridiculous, but switching it up here and there for PPVs couldn’t hurt. Especially in the Impact Zone when it always looks the same.
Fuck an intro to this match. I’m jumping in at full speed.
…do I really hear a “BLOODY WANKERS!” chant?
One thing that kind of ticked me off was when Doug Williams locked his legs around the head of Alex Shelley, rolled him over and drove his forehead into the mat like 10 times. Taz and Tenay played it off like Doug Williams was super innovative, but neither mentioned the fact that the move is in, or at least was in, Shelley’s playbook. I’m not the only person that would point out such a thing. Who is the other? Well, how about DON motherfucking WEST?
The British Invasion are such great heels though. Magnus is one of the kings of facial expressions at the moment. He just has so many ridiculous faces, all of which are great. He’s fantastic at what he does, which is to be a snooty bastard. I’m sure I mention this every time, but the amount he’s improved since his debut as a gladiator is downright phenomenal.
When I first saw that this match was opening up the show, I got a little worried. Tag matches sometimes just aren’t as effective as quick singles match or a massive clusterfuck match, even if the tag match involves the boys from Murder City. I was quickly proven wrong though, as these two teams put on a fucking fantastic match to kick off the show. It was so fun to watch, and holy dogshitting Judy Bagell on a piñata covered forklift was the crowd going BANANAS during this. Was Velvet Sky fidangling her fidaddle on the main screen or something?
Lovely start to the show.
Vice: Naturally things go downhill a bit here. I enjoyed this more than Cewsh, but it wasn’t that good of a match. However, I absolutely loved the ending and nearly pissed myself laughing at ODB. Tara rolled her up to the point where she was practically pleasuring her own nether regions to get the three count. Even after Tara let off the pin, ODB was struggling to unfold herself for a good 5 seconds or so. Kinda like a turtle on its back.
Though come to think of it, maybe she was pleasuring herself.
Cewsh: My least favorite lady wrestler of the year against the statistical best of the year. Guess who I’m pulling for.
You may recall my progressive views on women’s wrestling the past few shows. I sincerely hope that you do, because I’m not play by playing this match for any amount of money that any of you possess (though offers are welcome, nonetheless). Every single move Tara tried, ODB botched it. Every single time ODB tried a move, ODB botched it. ODB even botched the roll up for the finish for fuck’s sake, so despite Tara’s best efforts, this match is going firmly in the “Shouldn’t have ever fucking happened” category.
On the other hand, Tara winning was, in itself, one of the highlights of the night. Having a talented wrestling hold a title instead of the single worst wrestler and personality on your entire roster seems like a no brainer. Nice to see them catch up.
49 out of 100.
YOUR WINNER AND NEW TNA KNOCKOUTS CHAMPION: Tara!
Cewsh: Okay, this is somewhat complicated, so stay with me here. This is a reverse battle royal on a pole match. I know. I know. Essentially all of the participants enter the ring, and the object is to take down one of the four briefcases at the top of poles at each of the 4 corners, and then to successfully make it out of the ring with the briefcase in hand. Inside of the cases are a TNA World Championship shot, a TNA X Division Championship shot, a TNA World Tag Team titles Shot (for the holder and a partner of his choosing), and the final case contains a Pink Slip, indicating that the holder of it is immediately fired from TNA.
I know it sounds stupid, but it really does kind of work.
Anyway, our participants are Jay Lethal, Consequences Creed, Kevin Nash, Sheik Abdul Bashir, Eric Young, Kiyoshi, Big Rob, Robert Roode, James Storm, Homicide, Cody Deaner, and Samoa Joe.
This is NOT the kind of match you want to find yourself staring down as the play by play man of your illustrious crew. This match is basically 15 minutes of people trying to grab briefcases and being powerbombed instead. If that appeals to you, then man, you’re going to have a raging erection for the pleasures contained here. However if, like most other people, you don’t feel strongly about this concept, I shall summarize. Sheik Abdul Bashir got the first case when he and Cody Deaner took it down at the same time and Bashir waffled Deaner with it to win the scrum.
Then Big Rob obtains the next case, much to the chagrin of his World Elite teammates, so he’s got one. Then some things happen, and Kevin Nash awkwardly propels himself up the pole to claim briefcase number 3. And finally, as Cody Deaner looks to be about to get the final case, Samoa Joe kicks into another plane of existence and claims briefcase number 4. Hurrah for those fine fellows and their glorious victories. Let’s be honest though, what we really want to know is what is in those goddamn cases. So let’s get right to that…
70 out of 100.
Vice: Feast or Fired matches are always interesting. The match itself really sucks (like this one), but it’s really just a formality. No one will ever give a shit about the actually match quality; just who walks away with what briefcase. What’s great about this concept is that one person gets fired, which shakes stuff up and brings about some awesome stuff like CURRY MAN, and every male title has to now look over his shoulder for the person who, well, has money in the bank.
With the people involved in this match, I didn’t think Kevin Nash or Bashir would get briefcases. Joe did not surprise me. Rob Terry kind of surprised me, but I also sensed it coming. So it was an interesting selection of talent that immediately screamed “VICE YOUR DREAM IS COMING TRUE! ROB TERRY IS GETTING FIRED!”
Cewsh: AJ Styles and Kurt Angle are backstage talking about their opponents tonight (Daniels and Wolfe, respectively). Kurt alludes to the fact that he very much wants to fight AJ for the title, and AJ alludes to the fact that he would like that as well. There is much significant staring at each other before they drop everything and start making out hardcore. Then Christy Hemme joins in and they totally have this enormous bi sexual threesome right in the middle of the locker room.
No really they did. Promise.
Cewsh: Borash and So Cal Val are onstage making a production about the opening of the cases. The first case is Kevin Nash’s, and they open it to reveal…a World Tag Team shot!
Then up comes Samoa Joe, who is dramatically revealed to possess…a World Heavyweight title shot!
Then Rob and Bashir have to open their cases together, since one of them is getting the X Division title shot and the other is getting fired. They open them to reveal…that Big Rob Terry has earned an X Division title shot! Sheik Abdul Bashir has been fired!
Holy shit! I don’t think anybody saw that coming, with Bashir getting fired there.
Rob Terry in the X Division is fun and wacky, Kevin Nash (and assumedly Eric Young) getting a tag title shot when their stable mates have the belts is very interesting, and Samoa Joe facing AJ Styles is dreamy. In fact Styles has matches against Joe, Angle, Lashley, and Daniels lined up, which makes me about as happy as a little Cewsh can be. In fact, I have to give Vince Russo (assuming he’s still booking right now) credit, because the World title scene in TNA is the most exciting thing I’ve seen in wrestling in a long, long time, with built in feuds and back stories galore and fresh matches with guaranteed quality written all over them. So kudos, Vince Russo. I’m starting to think that people may have been wrong about you all along.
Vice: Unfortunately that wasn’t the (brief)case, as he walks away with a shot at the X-division title, which intrigues me. I’m thinking he’ll give it to someone else or someone will somehow win it off him. He can’t wrestle period, so I have no idea what the hell they’re thinking by potentially tossing him into the X-division. Hopefully Red beats him, and Don West stands overtop Terry and yells out “DID. YOU. JUST. SEE. THAAAAAT?”, and then proceeds to rampantly teabag him. Then maybe he can pull out his mythical 19 inch co—well, you know where I’m going with this, so I don’t need to say it.
Bashir getting fired did surprise me. It’s not incredibly shocking and I don’t see it really shaking things up, but I’m kind of curious where they’re heading with this.
Kevin Nash winning the tag title shot is kinda whatever. I’d prefer a younger team get it, but I’m interested to see the Brits’ take on this.
Samoa Joe being the one with the world title case was expected, but that doesn’t make it any less FUCKING AWESOME. It just means we’ll be getting AJ vs. Joe. Or Daniels vs. Joe. Or maybe even Angle vs. Joe. Sure, all of those combinations have been done plenty of times before, but those matches were all lovely, so I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t unzip my fly right now.
I’m also really happy that TNA had each man open up their case right after the match was over instead of making us tune into Impact to see one get opened. And then have a match or two to have people exchange cases, and wait until the next Impact, and whateverelsehaveyou.
Cewsh: Okay, the special stipulation of this match, is that this starts out with all 4 members of Rhino’s team in the ring, but Hernandez has to wrestle entirely by himself for 4 minutes before he gets any help from his teammates. This match is also elimination style, meaning that you need to eliminate every member of the other team in order to win. However if Team Rhino pins Hernandez in the first 4 minutes, they win, because he, at that time he comprises the entirety of his team. Make sense? Right, of course not, but let’s roll with it.
All 4 guys on Team Rhino beat the ever loving piss out of Hernandez for several minutes to begin the match, with not much for Hernandez to do other than take it like a man, and hold on as long as he could. He does more than that, of course, not only kicking out of the fucking Gore, but actually rolling up Rhino to eliminate him from the match!
Finally the 4 minutes expire, and Hernandez’s teammates come rushing to his defense, and the huge brawl begins. Jesse Neal, trying to be clever, grabs a chair and hits Suicide with it. He is promptly disqualified.
Of course, Hernandez can’t stand competition, so he grabs the chair and hits Neal so hard with it that it actually bends around his head and neck like a fucking car crash.
Hernandez, too, is disqualified.
“But Cewsh” you might be asking, “I thought Neal had already been eliminated. How can Hernandez be disqualified for hitting him with a chair if he isn’t in the match?” The answer, naturally, iss “be quiet” with a healthy dose of “I dunno.” Anyway, back in the ring, Suicide walks directly into a 3D with about as much fanfare as I just gave it.
Now down to Team 3D vs. Dinero and Morgan, Dinero stays in the ring and has some fun with Team 3D, pimp slapping them all around the ring. Morgan applauds him on the outside, but reveals himself to be the single worst teammate of all time when Dinero walks into a 3D and, instead of breaking up the pin, he REACHES OUT TO GET THE TAG. As if Dinero was leaping towards him with the hot tag instead of actively being pinned not 5 feet away after being hit with one of the most established dangerous finishing moves in wrestling. Obviously this works out poorly for Dinero.
Now down to Team 3D against Matt Morgan all by his lonesome, Team 3D tries their best to wear down the big bull, but ultimately they can’t control him enough, and he manages to plant a Carbon Footprint into the ugly mug of one Brother Devon.
Now it’s down to the big guys and they brawl for awhile, but be honest. You can see where this is going, right?
Last month, these guys had a match that I thought the world of. It was hard hitting, it was fresh, and everyone in it played their roles to perfection. That was last month. THIS month these guys had a sloppy, poorly timed brawl, that was undermined by confusion over the elimination rules, and the fact that the ending came off so flat, that I have to believe it wasn’t the one that they originally planned. Overall, this match was a huge disappointment. Which is a shame, because for once, Rhino wasn’t the problem.
67 out of 100.
Vice: I didn’t have many expectations heading into this match and none of them were met. This was just a bucket of slop. It was pretty confusing. Hernandez obliterating Jesse Neal with a chair was a pretty great and highly satisfying. The dude totally just got DRILLED.
The booking was kind of weird too, like with Dinero’s elimination. Dinero eats a 3D, and as he’s being pinned, Morgan extends his hand to him for a tag. What the crap was that? Even if you don’t like your partner, Mr. Morgan, it’s still wise to keep him around as cannon fodder. But hey, you didn’t really need him did you?
I must say that I absolutely adore the Carbon Footprint. It looks beautiful and very painful, which is always a fantastic combination. Not sure how I feel about Morgan beating both of the Dudleys by himself, but he at least did it in a realistic way.
Cewsh: I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in these things trying to defend Bobby Lashley, and since I know I’m about to do it again, I preemptively apologize.
Steiner and Lashley meet in the middle of the ring to start this match and the first thing that the referee does is eject Krystal Lashley from ringside because he (rightly) suspects that she would get involved and that she would be safer in the back. Then Steiner chases her up the ramp, and Bobby chases him down (after Steiner tries to hilariously hide behind Krystal) and the brawl is on. A brawl is exactly what to call it, too, because this match is 10 minutes of these two guys beating on each other with occasional weapon shots thrown in. Lashley hits Steiner with a chair, and Steiner hits Lashley with a pipe. Then they do some stuff in and around the ring for awhile that isn’t really of any note, until Steiner (who has had his knee worked over by Lashley) puts Lashley on the top rope and delivers one fuck of a Frankensteiner, which after all these years is still one of the coolest and most impressive moves in wrestling, especially when done by a jacked up 40+ year old man.
You may have noticed by this point that I haven’t been talking much about the Last man Standing stipulation, and you would be right to wonder, because I’ve been paying it exactly as much attention as they have. All of a sudden though, both guys remember what the point of the match is, and start dropping bombs on each other. Steiner hits a hanging Flatliner from the top rope to the mat, and Lashley answers back with a huge Running Powerslam (ala British Bulldog). Finally, when he decides he’s had enough of this bullshit Steiner goes to get his pipe, but this backfires when Krystal grabs the pipe and throws it to her husband. Who…drops it. Looks at it on the ground, and decides to Spear Steiner instead. THEN he picks it up, clobbers Steiner with it, and they prance around together as the count goes to 10.
As I said, I feel the ever present need to defend Bobby Lashley because I really do feel like he’s misunderstood as a performer. Lashley’s best appeal is that his MMA credibility and athleticism can be used to create a big match feel, and can make for a great athletic contest. Using him in blood feuds where he has to talk, act and brawl is ENTIRELY THE OPPOSITE, but for some reason bookers look at him and think “Holy shit! He’ll be an instant star! I’ll put him in whatever program I feel like.” and he needs way more protecting than that. He could do well, but as long as he’s presented this way, he’ll never have compelling matches, and Steiner, try as he might, isn’t the guy to carry someone like Bobby in this kind of situation.
This wasn’t a terrible match. But it was a match that stunk of what it COULD be, rather than accomplishing anything of note. Shame.
69 out of 100.
Vice: I don’t like how Lashley doesn’t sync his pyro up to his music. The song has a really nice intro, which gives him plenty of time to make it to the top of the ramp, and then he should have the pyro kick in just as the song goes full throttle. It’d be really badass. Another thing I disliked right off the bat was Kristal being the super generic piece of ass face. It just doesn’t fit this feud at all. Lashley has been getting his ass handed to him, and she’s been violated by SCOTT STEINER: SEXUAL PREDATOR, and yet she’s all smiles, waves and kisses? Come the fuck on, woman. At least look the slightest bit pissed, or concerned, or SOMETHING. It doesn’t make me incredibly angry or anything like that, but it just doesn’t make much sense. Actually, on second that, yeah, it does make me angry. Your wife is dumb, Lashley. And she has stupid hair. And really, why doesn’t she just stay home and thus not be violated by Steiner every week? Women have no logic, so as a man, Lashley, you need to put your foot down. You haven’t been married that long. You still have time to make demands.
Lashley isn’t being used to his strengths at all, and Steiner seems to have killed his leg 20 seconds in, but 2they still put on a good effort I suppose. I was a bit confused about the rules though, as TNA last man standing matches are more like texas deathmatches than the typical last man standing matches. And by that, I mean you usually need to pin the man before a 10 count is even attempted. But this was what everyone is used to, minus the very quick counting. Instead of the typical WWE counting, where the person has to be down for like 45 seconds (1…………………………………. 2………………………………….. 3…………………………), this was more like 15 seconds. It’s good and bad. Good because things don’t get dragged out nearly as much, but also bad because the quick counting means that the people really can’t take any massive bumps, otherwise getting up before 10 just seems superhuman and silly. So, a definite double edged sword.
The only real highlight of this match was towards the end, when Kristal throws a pipe to Lashley, and he has it nice and in his hands and then totally drops it right when it counts. Is he a receiver for the Washington Redskins? Vice make sports joke. Vice silly. Teehee. Fortunately he actually IMPROVISES and does it well, and then finishes off the match, paying Steiner back with a pipe to the face much like the pipe to the face that Lashley got at the end of their previous PPV bout.
Scratch that. There was a second highlight—Steiner hitting a very sexy frankensteiner in the middle of the match.
Not very good overall, but it did its job and hopefully this feud ends. However, I will miss SCOTT STEINER: SEXUAL PREDATOR if it does.
Cewsh: Hoo boy. Welcome to the violent and bloody portion of our evening ladies and gentlemen. Please keep all hands and feet inside the vehicle while we pass through this portion of today’s exhibit.
If you’ll look out the left window, you’ll see two wild lions resting cheerfully in the prairie. You might notice that the older lion isn’t moving around so well anymore and the younger lion appears to have a saddle on his back and is being ridden by a gentleman named “bad gimmick”. Quite natural in these habitats of course. If you’ll look out the right window, you’ll see John Travolta’s character from Battlefield Earth and a young man repairing the brickwork on that wall. A real jobber, that man is. Truly the definition.
Ah, here we are. The four of them locked in conflict over the land in the middle. As they struggle, all 4 try many desperate measure to obtain victory. From putting each other through tables, to hitting each other with chairs to occasionally using a wrestling move on each other, until all 4 men are quite spent indeed. It is then, that the saddled lion leaps into action, tearing John Travolta from Battlefield Earth apart with a nasty Black Hole Slam and winning the territory for his team.
Now as far as territorial battles in the wild go, I must admit that I found this one somewhat uninspired, despite the fact that I great enjoy the big saddled lion in these types of contests. It just goes to show, not every fight can be fun to watch, and I have evidently completely lost my cunt trumping mind.
65 out of 100.
Vice: Well, at least Daffers was on camera briefly. Mmm.. Daffers.
Also I may as well point out that this:
…plays along really well with the match. That is all.
Cewsh: Samoa Joe, minus the face paint, wacky pajamas, and leather coat he had been sporting of late, delivers a promo where he very simply states that he has a title shot against AJ for whenever he wants and that he intends to cash it in at his leisure. And he makes sure to note that he just might cash it in on the TNA super show of January 4th, when they go head to head live with WWE.
I can’t deal with TNA making all of these smart decisions and making my wishes come true. I’d ask you to pinch me, but I think I like the dream better.
Cewsh: Okay, here’s the story behind the Three Degrees of Pain gimmick. This is a best two out of three falls match, where all three falls take place inside of the Six Sides of Steel. The first fall in pinfalls only, the second fall is submissions only and the third fall (if necessary) is having to escape the cage. The match came about after Wolfe and Angle having feuded for two months now, and the two of them being at a standstill. This baby is for all the marbles.
Vice: I never thought I’d be so happy to have Nigel McGuinness in TNA. They risked a lot by putting him in such a big program with a wrestler like Kurt Angle, who is in a whole ‘nother league in terms of stardom. It totally paid off last month when they put on a fantastic match as a co-main event to arguably their best PPV of all time. I kind of forgot about TNA (aside from the Hogan stuff) between then and now, but I was absolutely thrilled to see these guys get another big match together. Plus with a gimmick attached to it in a Three Degrees of Pain match, making things all the more interesting.
Cewsh: As the match begins, these two men immediately go to the ground for some serious mat wrestling and they stay there, taking advantage of the rare opportunity for two trained mat wrestlers to go at it with one another, Angle with his amateur wrestling style, and Nigel with his European style. Wolfe stays ahead of Angle throughout the beginning, using his size and strength to keep Angle off guard, and using repeated pin attempts to tire Angle out. It nearly works until Angle finds it within him to fire up, triggering some offense, including a wicked powerbomb into the turnbuckle, giving him the advantage for the first time in the match. They fight back and forth for awhile with each man, refusing to cede even just the first fall, as Wolfe survives 5 German suplexes and an Angle Slam, and Kurt manages to survive the Tower of London once, but after a nuclear Lariat and another Tower of London, we have the winner of our first fall.
Vice: One of the things I didn’t really like about the opening fall of the match was that it didn’t play off the previous match for the most part. What I love about wrestling and psychology and all that when it comes to rematches, is that some wrestlers are very good at playing off the key events of the first one. For example, Angle missed the moonsault in the first match because Wolfe rolled out of the way, simply because he wasn’t damaged enough and Angle took too much time. In this match, Angle again goes for the moonsault and misses. It was basically the same scenario both times. Angle should have either hit the moonsault in the first match, leading to Wolfe knowing about it the second time around, or have Angle weaken Wolfe more and actually hit it. Though I suppose you could chalk it up to Wolfe still knowing everything there is to know about Angle. And yeah, I’m really just nitpicking here, but there wasn’t a heck of a lot in this match that played off the first one, aside from Nigel getting his first fall—knowing that a single lariat wouldn’t put Angle down, so instead of wasting any sort of time with a pinfall attempt, he puts the fucker up on the top rope and utterly blasts him with the Tower of London.
The first part of this match, which is pinfall only, was really well done for the most part though. These two really have good chemistry and play off each other like peanut butter and jelly. The crowd wasn’t very hot for it though, unfortunately. There were a number of times when it was kind of plodding. There were a number of times where I was thinking “didn’t they do this EXACT same thing last time?”, and there were a number of times when I considered pausing so I could masturbate without missing any of the awesomeness. I very much enjoyed TNA’s rules for this fall, not allowing competitors to use the cage as a weapon. Basically it’s TNA needing to work with the limitation of needing to assemble the steel cage around the ring because of the Impact Zone’s small size, unlike WWE’s fully assembled cage hanging above the ring, being able to be lowered and raised whenever they feel like. It’s also creating a good situation in that it’s not just a 2/3 falls cage match with different stipulations for each fall. I can see people shitting on it, but I was very impressed with how it was handled.
Cewsh: Now we’re on to the next fall, which is submission only, and Wolfe wastes no time going after the arms of Kurt Angle, but Angle, refusing to die, manages to roll through it, locking in the Figure Four leglock, which puts Desmond in serious danger before Desmond manages to barely get two fingers on the bottom rope, forcing the break. Back on their feet, Wolfe goes straight after Angle’s arm again, holding him in a hammerlock, playing keep away with Angle’s arm, keeping himself on top of Kurt and in control. It only takes one second of lapsed attention for Angle to roll out of that into the Anklelock, though, and it takes even less time for Wolfe to roll through into the short arm scissors. Then, naturally, Angle gets the Anklelock again, but Nigel takes THAT into a Kimura lock, which he transitioned back into a hammerlock, really doing tons of damage to the arm of Kurt Angle.
Then, just to prove what badasses they are, they both start using each other’s submission moves, and if you can’t tell by now, this match is an absolute wrestling clinic. I can’t even relate to you all of the reversals and counters and counter-reversals and reversal-counters going on here, as every breath brings a new transition by these men who refuse to quit in the face of tremendous pain. Finally though, Angle works himself into a position where he can lock in the Anklelock with the legs cinched, and it’s over. Nobody gets out of that.
Vice: The second fall was submissions only, and it was fascinating to watch. I love this shit. I generally hate WWE submission matches, because it’s basically two guys with one submission hold each, and they wrestle a fairly standard match with a submission attempt here and there. These two have so many holds, and so many ways of reversing one thing into another. It all flowed so well, and even though it was kind of slow at times, it was fascinating to watch as I said before. The selling from both men was great as well. What I truly loved about the dynamic of needing to escape as the third fall, was that Angle’s submission targets Wolfe’s ankle, making it hard to move around, and especially hard to get solid footing in the tiny holes in the chain link fence to climb out. With only the tips of his toes being able to fit in the hole, it creates a tremendous amount of pressure on his damaged ankle.
Likewise, Wolfe’s focus is Angle’s arm and shoulder. Again, this makes escaping the cage very difficult, because Angle has to pull his 230 pound body up and over the cage, and doing that with a bum arm has got to hurt. With both men trading submission holds, Angle finally gets the grapevine ankle lock locked in to place because Wolfe, while knowing that it’s coming, simply has no gas left in the tank to truly counter it. Wolfe is very quick to tap, which I liked. It goes back to the first match he had with Angle—he gets trapped in a hold he knows he can’t break out of, and while he knows that it may be possibly to drag himself to the ropes for a break, he knows it isn’t worth it in the long run. It’s not a pansy thing to do. It’s smart. With a third fall left, Wolfe wisely decides to keep his ankle attached to his leg, because he’s sure as fuck going to need it, starting… now!
Cewsh: Now we start the 3rd and final fall, where the idea is to escape the cage, and now using the cage as a weapon is not only optional, it’s encouraged. Immediately, these two guys shake off their weariness and go to business, with Angle hitting an Angle Slam, and a top rope belly to belly suplex on Wolfe, which Wolfe answers back with a superplex and a shit ton of punches. Wolfe gets busted open, blood flowing all over the place as he calls for the door to be opened.
Angle runs to intercept, but Wolfe slams his head in the door, buying him the time to get down the stairs, but just before he makes it to the ground, Angle slaps on an Anklelock from behind, and drags him back into the ring, where Wolfe taps to no avail.
Kurt lets him go after Wolfe appears to pass out and tries to climb the cage to escape. He makes it to the top as Wolfe begins to revive and crawl for the door. They are heartbeats apart from one another, who will win? Who’s feet will hit first?
Vice: The cage can be used as a weapon, and with both men having one fall to their name, it is ON. I love the psychology here as both men start going ape shit and putting it all on the line. They know that their limbs are hurting, so they’re going to need to seriously hurt the other person to have enough time to climb the 8 feet of cage that must seem like Mount Kilimanjaro to them. Wolfe gets smashed into the middle bar of the cage and his head starts gushing. Hey, blood! Oh how I’ve missed you.
What I love about blood is that it makes people desperate. No matter how fit you are, no matter how amazing your cardio is, or how much heart you have.. the second you start losing a lot of blood, you have a countdown above your head, ticking down to when you will just not be able to function properly. Combine that with getting blood in your eyes, not only blinding you, but making yourself more susceptible to attack, and people just go into survival mode. To strengthen my point, in an amazing spot, Wolfe sticks his wounded leg up to block Kurt Angle’s frog splash. To me, this was just brilliant. Wolfe is desperate and refuses to let Angle get one up on him, so he kills his own leg to kill Angle’s shoulder, keeping things even. It’s perfect psychology and was done so well. Wolfe, bleeding all over the place, screaming as he clutched his ankle, was fucking great. Amazing visual and done to perfection.
And then a lot of it gets ruined in a jiffy as Wofle crawls to the cage door which is opened by the ref. I’ve always hated cage doors. What’s the fucking point? Why would anyone try to climb up the cage when they can happily waltz out the front door? Doesn’t make any sense to me. This whole thing caught me off guard because TNA is usually very good with making people ACTUALLY escape. I could be wrong though. And the commentators might have mentioned the door, but I’ve tuned them out now that the love of my life, Don West, is no longer the voice of TNA. So, the brilliant psychology in this match doesn’t really mean that much anymore, unfortunately. Though, Wolfe is at a distinct disadvantage now that he more or less has to crawl while Angle can run. I love how Angle gives Wolfe a monstrous FUCK YOU by slapping the grapevine ankle lock on again. Wolfe can’t do a goddamn thing but survive it.
The end goes to show why I hate the cage door. Why would you climb out of the thing when you can simply just walk/crawl out of the door? Sure it shows that Angle isn’t a man to take the easy way out, but it’s all about winning in the end. And yeah, he wins, but there have been so many matches that become incredibly stupid because of the cage door. When the opponent is alive and fighting, you run to the cage door, only to get stopped. Hmm. Ok, so you hit your finishing move twice, which gives you a 30 second period of time to do whatever the hell you want.. so what do you do? I know! I’ll climb the cage because that will only take 45 se—oh crap, he’s back up and now he’s stopping me. Maybe I should have just walked out of the cage, fixed my speedo, had a beverage and hit on a female in the crowd. But that just wouldn’t make sense, would it? So.. fuck cage doors.
Cewsh: Man, what a match. I’m not necessarily the world’s biggest proponent of mat wrestling focused matches, but this one was a clear study in how to do it properly. These guys went all out, doing the kind of wrestling that you never get a chance to see anymore in such an entertaining and intense way that I was riveted to the screen though much of it. My only issues with this match, and they were small ones, are, firstly, the way that the last fall seemed a little rushed and totally different from the rest of the match and, secondly, the way Tazz felt the need to talk about how much WWE sucks all the way through it, as if that added to the match in any way.
Ultimately, those are small criticisms, and this is a fantastic match, worthy of repeat watching and fanboy-esque enthusiasm, as I’m sure it will receive. Speaking of which, I wonder what Vice thought of it?
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: The match was fucking great. After the performance they had last month at Turning Point, I didn’t think they’d be able to come close to touching it with the rematch. Did they topple it? I’m not sure. I’d have to watch this one again and give it some time to sink in. But, this match was everything it needed to be and then some. These two could wrestle each other forever for all I care. Angle wins for a second time, but Wolfe is still put over like a motherfucker. Not only did he cleanly win the first fall with an exclamation point, but he stood toe to toe with Angle in the submission game, and was seconds away from winning the third fall. Angle proves that he’s just a wee bit better, but Wolfe is certainly someone to take seriously.
Download this. Watch this. Enjoy this.
Cewsh: No it’s not cake.
Okay spoiler alert.
Vice: Ok, I absolutely fucking LOVE both AJ Styles and NFN Daniels. They’re so great to watch. To me, this is a dream match. Sure I’ve seen these two wrestle each other six thousand times before, but never for the TNA world title in the main event of a PPV. Daniels deserves this match-up more than probably anybody else on the roster, and AJ brings the best out of him. I’m absolutely stoked about this battle about to take place.
When did Daniels’ music get that abysmal singing attached to it? Christ it’s bad. He had one of the best themes in all of wrestling, in my opinion, and now it just sounds like trash. They did the same thing with Kurt Angle, though I’ve gotten used to that. And they really fiddled with AJ’s. So basically they turn the best themes into ridiculous themes. Hopefully I’ll get used to it.
As much as I love Slick Johnson, and boy do I love the name, I really hate it when he’s refereeing the main events. TNA is really good with making their introductions seem epic, with the matches feeling like they are a much bigger deal. And “your referee for this evening is SLICK… JOHNSON!” just kind of takes me out of things a bit and makes TNA look a bit weak.
Daniels’ staredown as the match begins is great, as I love intense Daniels, so I was kind of disappointed to see him doing the same old stuff in the ring. Same taunting, same trash talking.. basically all the little things he’s done in every single match he’s had with AJ. All of which he’s lost, for the most part. I was really hoping to see a much fiercer and focused Daniels, letting out all of his frustrations on poor little AJ, but what we got was the same old “grumble grumble I IS HEEL grumble grumble” Daniels that I still love and do not fault.
I fucking LOVE AJ’s dropkick and how they build up to it. It’s such a simple move, but it gets a huge reaction because of how well he uses it. From a mile away you can tell when he’s going for it, and sometimes he hits it right off the bat, and other times there’s a massive sequence building it up, but it always ends with someone getting kicked in the face.
AJ hits the kipupcanrana for the first time in forever, which made me wet myself a little. It’s one of the things I love most about AJ. He has three million moves, but he keeps a number of them in the storage shed for when the time is right and really wants to impress. I was half expecting to see a spiral tap later on.
There’s a really sick spot that seemed very unintentional. AJ gets clotheslined and ends up on the apron. It looks like he’s trying to fall to the ground in a typical controlled way, but something goes wrong and his head just goes splat on the padding/concrete. It looked incredibly painful. Later on, Daniels does a springboard to the outside, going for a Petey Williams-style hurricanrana to AJ on the floor, and AJ just says fuck you and splatters him with a powerbomb onto the floor. Just.. ouch. Seriously. Ouch.
These two went all out in this match, really knocking each other stupid. Over and over again. Daniels was not afraid to legitimately slap AJ across the face as hard as possible, and AJ wasn’t afraid to drop Daniels right on his skull when he so desired. It made the title seem so important, and the stiffness really demonstrated just how badly their friendship has ended. See, what’s great about these two is that they are very good friends in real life (yes, even if they are enemies on television!), and trust each other with their lives, so they’re willing to go the extra mile when push comes to shove and really beat the crap out of each other for the good of the company. One of my favorite moves is the Styles Clash from the middle ropes.
It adds so much extra oomph to an exciting, but fairly “painless” move. The results is great.
When I first watched this, I wasn’t really in the right state of mind, and something about it didn’t click. I thought it was pretty good, but only pretty good. Like a missed opportunity. Their two 30 minute iron man matches are some of my favorite matches in TNA, with the Bound for Glory match being one of my favorites period. So naturally the second this match ended, I compared it to previous matches. Who doesn’t do that? Well, it didn’t compare. At all. But after I watched it a second time, it was total magic. I adored almost every second of it– it was just that damn good. Couldn’t be happier for what they did when they needed to put it all on the line. Fuck I love AJ. Fuck I love Daniels.
Daniels needs to win the TNA title one of these days, because he seriously deserves it. Not only has he been one of the best performers since he showed up, giving TNA tons of great matches , but he’s also been incredibly loyal to the company and has given his heart and soul to the promotion. A big problem is that he’s just too damn polite and humble to ask for the chance to be THE man. Though with AJ as champion, this is when Daniels could become champion. They’re great friends in real life, and Daniels is someone that I could see taking the belt off of AJ, whereas I just can’t see him beating a Kurt Angle or a Sting.
I’d like to see AJ defend it against Kurt Angle and win the match clean with an impressive performance that still makes Angle look good, but not have it look like it was luck or anything like that. Maybe have a rematch two weeks later on Impact. Samoa Joe says he wants Styles at the next PPV. AJ beats Joe, but gets trashed along the way. Post-match, you can tell that AJ really got the crap kicked out of him, but he still stands triumphantly with the belt over his shoulder. Lashley gets in the mix and he has a match signed with whoever is champion at the next PPV. I say whoever is champion, because AJ is defending on Impact sometime before the PPV. It doesn’t need to be a massive star or an epic match or anything like that, but someone who is clearly not on AJ’s level. The kicker is that they put up a REALLY good fight against AJ. He still comes out victorious, but you can tell that he’s fatigued and that being such a fighting champion is taking a toll on his body.
He then takes on Bobby Lashley in a very grueling match. Have him barely squeak out a victory, needing to use lots of top rope flips/dives to put Lashley down, because he cannot give him the Styles Clash (he might be able to in real life because AJ is a freak, but let’s just say that he can’t, or that he’s too worn out). Because each impact hurts himself more and more, by the time the match is over he can barely stand up. His victory celebration is sitting on his ass leaning up against the turnbuckle. Maybe even have Daniels rush the ring and get in AJ’s face to yell “Your next PPV match has already been signed. You’re all mine, AJ!” or something to close out the show. Or maybe do that on Impact. Anyway, have Daniels explain that he lobbied for this rematch many months ago and it was given to him without a lot of fuss because it was so far into the future. Daniels wanted this match to take place at this very specific time, because he knows AJ is now too broken down to possibly defeat him. Yadda yadda yadda Daniels wins and becomes a glorious champion. The end.
Seriously, download this match. Especially you folks out there that don’t watch any TNA. It’s a very fun match with enough smarts to it to make it a great match, without being so epic that it’s just not accessible to more casual wrestling fans. As someone who loved TNA back in the day, but was lost after a number of dumb booking decisions, going five steps backward for every one step forward and focusing on all the wrong things and ignoring the good stuff that made them enjoyable in the first place.. this was another show that said “Vice, we’re sorry. Please come back.”, and it was so soothing to hear that I can’t wait to see how all of this stuff unfolds. I’m really looking forward to the next show, and seeing where AJ goes from here.
Where two legendary competitors seeking only one thing;
The Curtain had lifted, the stage was quite set,
For a wrestling match, none would ever forget;
These two former friends, their anger they could not contain,
Would do battle this night until only one would remain.
The war got underway, and there arose such a clatter,
A meal of violence, served up on a platter;
They fought and they clawed, they waged war on the past,
Until hardly anything remained at the last;
That Daniels was smart, he gave nothing away,
But for the Angel of Darkness, today wasn’t the day.
As the battle wound down, these two fighters pushed on,
Both wounded and hurt, and reserves long since gone;
When one of the men grabbed at the chance in his hand,
And a Super Styles Clash, he most truly did land;
When the dust had settled, this move had proved vital,
For AJ Styles had retained his title.
And he merrily said at the end of this night,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a great fight.
P.S. Make no mistake, this was the best of the batch,
So get off your lazy ass and download this match!
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Cewsh: I have long been more than hesitant to refer to TNA and WWE as legitimate rivals. There was simply never a time when TNA had the stars, the product, or the resources to be anything approaching competition to WWE. But judging from the past two shows, and the decisions that they have been making, and the stars they have been bringing in, I don’t feel ashamed to begin openly comparing them now, especially with Impact and Raw going head to head on Monday, January 4th. With that established, TNA has, by my count, now defeated WWE for the second month in a row, topping the 71.76 I gave WWE TLC 2009 by barely a point.
It’s going to take a monstrous effort for them to stay ahead of WWE heading into the Road to Wrestlemania, and they still have some work to do on their midcard, but I’ve gotta be honest, this is a great time to be a wrestling fan.
Vice: Overall, a very enjoyable show.
I love this new TNA. It goes to show how the biggest show of the year in TNA really is the biggest, most important show of the year in a number of ways. The show featured a changing of the guard, and now look what’s happened to the product. It’s become fucking GREAT. TNA’s best PPV was last month and this one was pretty good overall. There was more crap here than last month, but we also got another two incredible main event matches to end the show, ending the night with an amazing taste in my mouth. AJ as the champion is wonderful, and Desmond Wolfe has been one of the best additions to the roster in a very long time.
Things are clicking. There is no better time than now to have Hulk Hogan come in and go head to head with WWE. They won’t defeat WWE. They will probably get their asses kicked. But right now they have a solid product with a lot of interesting shit going on and a brilliant champion that any casual watcher will have their jaw on the floor for. January 4th will be an incredibly interesting night in wrestling.
Alright, boys and girls, that’ll do it for us this week. We hope you enjoyed our sojourn through the once trouble and now prosperous lands of Total Nonstop Action. Next week will be our last show of the year as we do part two of our two part tribute to Mitsuharu Misawa. Ending the year with one of the greatest wrestlers of all time feels about right, and we hope you’ll join us as you brave family, friends, and other annoying things throughout this holiday season. In the meantime, be sure to keep reading and be good to one another. Oh, and Happy Motherfucking Holidays Motherfuckers!