Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the most accurate and unbiased review blog on all of the internets, and also the best, Cewsh Reviews! Tonight we have a special treat for you as we summon forth our reserves and bring you our second review this week. Normally we can hardly be convinced to put up one review a week, but this week we’re operating on previously untapped reserves (black tar heroin) andwith Cewsh, Ms. Cewsh and Vice all together to tackle the show for the first time in ages, we have all the energy we need to tackle TNA’s Against All Odds pay per view.
Now this show is rather interesting, as it is essentially comprised of one tag match, a World title match, and the rest is the conclusion of the Eight Card Stud tournament, to determine the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Lockdown in April. What will we think of this King of the Ring like tournament and the unusual format for TNA? Will TNA be able to pull off a successful show built around mostly midcarders? Will The Nasty Boys be so bad in the ring that we will research ways to travel back in time to stop it from annihilating the human race? Naturally, there’s only one way to find out.
Cewsh: We open the show greeted with the lovely calm visage of one Richard Flair, who isn’t exactly happy about the fact that Eric Bischoff has named himself the special referee of the title match tonight. He daintily explains this to one Christina Hemme, and assures us all that though he and Eric have had difficulties in the past, they will put aside their issues like gentlemen so th…
Wait, did I say calm visage? What I meant to say is that Ric Flair bursts through a random door like a crazy person, turning so red that you could use him to direct ships at sea, and screaming at the top of his lungs about how he’s going to murderize Eric Bischoff and about how he and AJ have been screwed. Then he totters off somewhere to upset small children and get an ice cream cone.
I’m really not sure why this had to occur BEFORE the opening video, but hey, an angry old man deserves attention, just to see if he’ll start elbowing his jacket.
Ms.Cewsh: Ric is going to give himself a heart attack. This absolutely does not belong before the video. No. Just no. This is not how you do a PPV.
Vice: I was horrendously disappointed that Ric Flair kicked the door open and not Shark Boy. Where the hell is that ocean-dwelling shell yeah-ing fuck? I miss him.
Cewsh: Well this was kind of anticlimactic after Flair’s insane ranting, but it gets the job done well enough. Since the television has been hyping the Eight Card Stud tournament to the moon, this video focuses more on hyping our title match of the evening, as Samoa Joe has face on AJ Styles, due to AJ being such a douchebag to everyone lately. They show Joe’s impassioned promo from Impact about how he has to reteach AJ how to be a man, and they really make it seem like a top notch title match, even though it literally had about 10 minutes worth of hype before now.
But hell, who cares? JOE VS. AJ. I’m doing a goddamn jig right now.
Vice: This opening video’s song reminded me a LOT of the epic song from 28 Days/Weeks Later.
Ms.Cewsh: I’m trying a new thing where I say nice things about TNA. I can’t guarantee it will work. Fortunately, this is a match I’m OK with. Dinero is a great character, if a little muddled, and good in the ring. Wolfe seems to have significantly more personality than he did last month when I did Impact. I’m kind of feeling this.
Unfortunately, I don’t feel one night tournaments. I’m going to see two someones, (*cough*Wolfe*cough*,) three times tonight. Tournaments can lend a real sport feel to a story, which is good, but I like them to be spread out more. Do the quarter finals on Impact one week, the semis the next, and the finals on the PPV. Now there’s room for an X-Division and a Women’s match on this show! Yay!
The match isn’t as much fun as I was hoping for. Wolfe keeps control for the majority, keeping Dinero grounded. This is a shame because this is the closest to an X-Division match as we’re getting tonight. It’s not bad, it’s just Wolfe doesn’t wrestle a style I particularly enjoy. Add to that the fact that my pick to win it all went out in the first round and, eh.
I do kind of love the graphic for the tournament brackets, though. It’s really cute.
69 out of 100.
Cewsh: We kick off the show in interesting fashion, as we get two tournament underdogs facing each other here in the quarterfinals. Ms. Cewsh professes that she believes that Desmond Wolfe is going to win here, but I have to admit, I find it hard to believe that either of these guys has a real shot with Kurt Angle in the tournament on the other side of the bracket. There does seem to a be a real shot of getting Wolfe/Angle 4 though, and I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at that.
As the match gets started, it becomes immediately clear that Desmond Wolfe is going to be your pilot for this evening’s flight, as he grounds Pope with some really interesting and effective moves like snapping the ring rope into Pope’s face to catch him off guard, and tripping Pope face first into the ropes. Of course, after awhile, Dinero Hulks the fuck up and starts leveling Wolfe with his whole moveset before finally nailing the D’Angelo Dinero Express seemingly out of nowhere for the surprise pinfall!
This was a pretty good opening match, all things told. It wasn’t as exciting as it might have been, but given the options on the show, it certainly seems like the right choice, and it certainly did a great job of putting Dinero over big time without making Wolfe look very week at all. All in a all, a great day at the office for both men, and Dinero still has at least one more match to go.
74 out of 100.
Vice: Wolfe wears black, purple and silver. Seriously, my three favorite colors. Clearly he is a god amongst men, and has been doing great in TNA. I love him.
Dinero is brilliant, and he’s been on fire lately. He is going to be huge if they don’t fuck him up.
The last time these two wrestled on PPV (I think), it was a fantastic match that I absolutely loved. Long, full of great storytelling and psychology and had a wicked ending. These two have a lot of chemistry, so this match kicking off the show is making my mouth water.
This was much shorter and a bit disappointing based off their last encounter, but that’s not to say it was bad. Because it wasn’t at all. It was just a basic match with very few bells and whistles, but it did exactly what it needed to do. A bittersweet moment.
Cewsh: Flair bursts into Bichoff’s office, and he’s STILL REALLY REALLY MAD.
This is important to know, because when he has a heart attack later on in the night and people wonder why it was that it happened, you can confidently tell them that it’s because Ric Flair spends this whole show yelling, and turning red like a cartoon character after eating some kind of insanely hot pepper.
Anyway, he yells at Bischoff for making himself guest referee behind Flair’s back, and Bischoff totally makes him look like a bitch and orders him to go away. Flair then forgets which direction the door is in, before leaving in a huff.
Man, 4 segments in, and Flair’s jacket remains unmolested. What’s up with that?
Cewsh: Hernandez and Morgan are backstage talking about how they’re the tag team champs, so they’re going to stay friends and just have this be a friendly competitive match up.
Yeah. And I’m the Virgin Mary. Have these guys even seen a wrestling show? Attention Hernandez! Morgan JUST BETRAYED A TEAMMATE LIKE A YEAR AGO.
C’mon guys, you should really pay attention to this stuff. I’m just saying that you’ll regret not listening to me.
Cewsh: I hate to say I told you so, but…well actually I love to say I told you so.
Hernandez, I told you so.
These two have themselves a decent, if very, very slow paced back and forth match, going with the whole “friendly rivals” things, and refusing to to really try to hurt each other at first. Eventually they start to get down to business, though, and they start pounding on each other going for the win.
From the start Morgan starts showing subtle heel signs, doing his cocky mannerisms, and being much more willing to hurt Hernandez than the other way around, but in the end, he turned the douche nozzle up full throttle and roll him up with a hand on the ropes, cheating his buddy out of a win, and laughing it up all the while.
He hands Hernie his belt back and acts like nothing is up, but Hernie doesn’t seem convinced. And he shouldn’t be. Because he’s AN IDIOT.
74 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: Hey, there’s a story behind this match! It’s pretty compelling. Hernandez and Morgan have the tag belts, but bad luck! They drew each other in the tourney! Luckily they’re faces so they decide to have a real exhibition to see who the better man is.
Match starts out with a lot of shoulders, then some knees, then some elbows. It doesn’t feel like there are any moves between, like the transitions are missing. And despite the announcers praising his speed, Morgan seems to in slow motion. It starts to pick up speed every time Hernandez is the one in control, only to be halted again. Cewsh suggested that maybe the wrestlers aren’t used to the four sided ring. It’s hard to tell if that’s the issue or if there’s a deliberate, “they don’t want to hurt each other,” angle working.
55 out of 100.
Vice: This match bored me shitless. I like the idea of tag champs going against each other, but the styles of the champs obviously makes or breaks it. The Machine Guns going against each other works very well because it’s just a fast, ridiculous match. This is a match where both big guys reaaaaally only excel when they are beating up much smaller guys that can bump their asses off. So, this was a bit of a clunker minus a few parts. One of them being an insane spot where SuperMex goes for a delayed vertical suplex, and has Morgan vertical for like 3 and a half minutes. Such an impressive display of strength. And then a dive onto Morgan onto the entrance platform. It was sweet. I love those platforms.
Cewsh: The more you know, the more you grow.
Cewsh: I am convinced at this point that Kurt Angle could carry 3 rats, a dust pan, 6 cacti and the cast of Repo! The Genetic Opera to a gold medal match.
What we get here is either the coming out party for a side of Ken Anderson that I wasn’t aware existed, or the single most compelling evidence ever assembled that points to Kurt Angle being an unstoppable juggernaut of not shittiness. Here, he carries Anderson to not just a good match, but what borders on being a great one, as Anderson uses every heel tactic in the book, including stabbing Angle with his own necklace, spitting in his face, and using every combination of cheating roll up that he can think of.
And it all comes off fantastically. Let me say that again. Kurt Angle makes Ken Anderson look MASTERFUL. No matter who he wrestles, no matter where or how or what the stupid gimmick is, it doesn’t matter. Angle = Good Match.
I’d say that they should put that on his tombstone, but you know how whiny little kids get when they don’t get mentioned. Pssh, in my day, our dads walked 10 miles through the snow to carve his own tombstone with his bare hands, and when he was done we were lucky if it was even legible, since he couldn’t read. Or write. OR FEEL.
Crawling in my skin. These woooounds they will not heeeeal.
82 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: Anderson is a gay. This was by far his best match in TNA from what I’ve seen, but that isn’t exactly saying a lot. I was surprised that Kurt Angle got knocked out so early, though I am not surprised that Anderson didn’t lose. If he wins this tournament, I riot.
But to give credit where credit is due, Anderson really did do a lot of good things in this match. And to give Kurt Angle credit, he did his best to put Anderson over like a motherfucker, and did a fairly good job.
Ms.Cewsh: I wasn’t a big Kennedy fan in WWE, and I think I’ve been pretty vocal about TNA hiring WWE guys to use them in exactly the same gimmick. It’s cheap, exploitative, and hurts their homegrown stars. THAT said, Anderson recovers beautifully when his mic has “a mind of its own.” (I didn’t notice, but since Tazz commented on it, it was smart to play it off.) He certainly doesn’t lack for charisma or mic skills.
I also haven’t been the biggest Angle mark, so it’s safe to assume I’m going to tear this match apart. Except it’s an excellent match. A really excellent match. Kurt looks like a million bucks. He starts off strongly in control as the face veteran, quickly succumbing to the naughty heel’s tricks. He sells his ass off, never giving up or staying down. Anderson is either finally fresh, (no Cewsh, I didn’t mistype,) or has improved in-ring since his tenure with WWE.
Just a teeny, tiny criticism. This is a competitive, fast-paced match. Whoever told the camera guy to pan to the bloody dog tags, and focus on them for a good two count, should not get to direct the camera guy anymore. That’s a great visual AFTER the match.
Again, teeny criticism because Anderson plays the greatest heel I’ve seen in ages. And you know, it was nice to see blood in a match. I thought I preferred wrestling without, but it does add to the tension. Good job TNA, you changed my mind on something.
86 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: And then you have to go and do this to me. Why ya gotta make me hate you, baby?
I’m exaggerating. This isn’t a good match, but it’s certainly not the worst these two men could have had. Bisch told them to use Barbie, so the entire match is a struggle between hitting a friend with a bat wrapped in barbed wire and keeping their jobs. In more adept hands, this could be a compelling story. In Mick and Abyss’, it involves tacks. *shudder*
44 out of 100.
Vice: Yeah, I’ll be honest here.. I used my Get Out of Crap Free card on this match.
Cewsh: Everybody gets one.
The story of this match was interesting because it was much more of an angle than an actual wrestling match, something that is usually taboo for a tournament like this, but which didn’t matter much here since the first round had been so otherwise filled with surprises and good matches.
Foley and Abyss spend this whole match trying to not harm one another while still pretending to harm each other. It creates a strange dance where they’re sort of faking wrestling, which is fake. In the hands of more capable performers, this could have been more compelling, but ultimately with these two it falls flat. It just sort of becomes the kind of listless brawl you’d hope a match with a story this built in could avoid being.
45 out of 100.
Cewsh: More like one too many, AM I RIGHT?!
The Nasty Boys promo about how they’re going to show Team 3D that there are other legendary tag teams out there, and they close by saying that if they don’t win tonight, then there’s no reason for them to even stay here.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m thinking of hopping the rail and helping Team 3D.
Vice: There is nothing worse than cashing in your Get Out of Crap Free card only to find yourself face to face with The Nasty Boys (yes, those Nasty Boys) and Team 3D. Fuck my life.
Cewsh: Hey wait a minute! Complaining about his Get Out Of Crap Free Card earned him another Get Out of Crap Free Card!
I’m on to you, bub.
Anyway, this match was ugly with as many u’s as you can fit on the word. Knobss is not in anything a rational human being would call ring shape, D’Von is far behind him on the conditioning meter from the looks of things, Saggs is in phenomenal shape for how long he’s been out, but he was never exactly spry, and so that leaves poor Brother Ray all alone to carry this match on his ample back.,
Make no mistake about it, we aren’t huge Brother Ray fans here at Cewsh Reviews or anything, but his effort here, to try to transform this match into something watchable was admirable and appreciate, but ultimately nobody around him bothered to sell a goddamn thing, so every just sort of wandered around until Jimmy Hart shows up out of nowhere and tosses Knobs a motorcycle helmet, which he uses to bash Brother Ray in the head, allowing them to scoop up the victory.
Believe me when I tell you. This is not a good match. I refuse to even watch it again just to take screenshots. That’s how bad it is. Hats off to Brother Ray for trying. Hats back on to everyone else.
38 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: My only experience with the Nasty Boys has been CCW. Maybe TNA should bring back Danny Bonaduce to feud with them! They could get Dustin Diamond as his tag partner. A million buys, right there. I guarantee.
Knobbs might be the worst wrestler in the history of wrestling. In a suck off with Suicide and Kofi Kingston, he would lap them at least thrice. It’s really, really sad. Like a dog that needs to be put down.
34 out of 100.
Cewsh: So the big storyline now is, as I said before, Samoa Joe is a face all of a sudden, and now he’s backstage talking to Eric Bischoff, who desperately wants Joe to win so that Bisch can fire Ric Flair, what with Flair no longer being the manager of the champion.
Then he tells Joe to watch his temper. Which is sort of like telling him to watch his weight. It’s not going to happen, and you’re probably risking getting your ass kicked just for bringing it up. Totally not worth it.
Cewsh: So, on the topic of random turns, it appears that Matt Morgan is a heel now, at least for the duration of this show, and what a great heel he is. Some guys are just born to be assholes, and Matt Morgan is such a natural at being an absolute jerk, that it must come naturally to him. From looking into the camera and talking trash whenever it gets close to him to picking Dinero up and dropping with like garbage after checking his imaginary watch, Morgan has the heel thing totally under control, and watching him, I decided that he was probably the odds on favorite to win this thing after how the first round shook out.
….so of course Dinero comes back from the dead, and nails the DDE out of absolutely nowhere, following Morgan missing with the Carbon Footprint and getting caught up in the ropes. The rapid and delightful ascension of Dinero continues, and my streak of being wrong CONSTANTLY follows suit.
Pope may be pimpin. But Cewsh sure isn’t.
79 out of 100.
Vice: When the match started, I saw Matt Morgan’s title belt in one of the corners, so I was thinking that it was going to end up getting used at some point because belts usually go up by the commentary booth. So, Burke was my pick to win via shenanigans. Until some random person walked up and dragged the belt off. Then I was thinking Morgan, ‘cause Morgan is really really big and Pope is not really really big. Thinking about it though, both guys could have a great match with AJ. Pope and AJ would be gold, and Morgan and AJ could be a fucking fabulous David vs. Goliath. AJ is one of the absolute best when it comes to getting the snot kicked out of him.
After a somewhat decently good match, Pope comes out of nowhere and wins the fucking thing. I marked out quite a bit. The only real problem I have here is with the production team. You know, the guys that completely fucked up the camera angles so that you almost have no idea that Pope actually hit his finisher on the big man.
Ms.Cewsh: Despite running just a touch long, this match is much higher quality than either man’s first match.
Morgan plays an excellent cocky heel. Whether this is the beginning of a turn, or just for tonight, it’s clearly what he excels at. Does his little watch check move have a name? He conveys more with that move than he ever has in a promo.
For his part, Dinero bumps very effectively, while still looking dominant when his turn comes. His talents and athleticism are shown much more effectively. He hits a DDT out of nowhere about two minutes before the end of the match that I found particularly gorgeous. The end was quick and surprising, but certainly not disappointing.
77 out of 100.
Cewsh: Mr. Anderson is understandably cocky, following his sound defeat of Kurt Angle earlier in the evening, and he’s equally condiment about his upcoming match with Abyss. Which, I mean, I would be too. Abyss has been beaten more this month than Ron Jeremy.
Hell, Ron Jeremy would be more threatening at this point too.
Cewsh: This match. This match is not so good.
It’s not that it’s awful, as such, like the Nasty Boys or the first Abyss match. It’s simply that there’s nothing of any worth here. Anderson’s brilliant heel work from the previous match is dimmed significantly by Abyss’ inability to sell any of his offense, and his double inability to get any sympathy from the fans, what with him being a monster who never stops crying and all.
Ultimately, the best thing I can say here, is that this match was short. Short and dull. Not exactly the most ringing endorsement. But my endorsement is positively ringing next to these two…
64 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: 45 out of 100.
Cewsh: …sheesh. Do yourselves a favor a skip this one.
Cewsh: Styles and Flair are backstage talking to Christy Hemme about how ready AJ is for this match. The new and improved heel AJ is sporting diamond earrings, frosted blonde hair, and a Flair-esque ring robe, with a floppy hood, ala AJ.
All in all I’m torn between thinking that his embracing of this heel character is beyond awesome, and being desperate for him to say ZIP IT.
Ms.Cewsh: We have elephants?
Cewsh: Jesus, are there even words for how much I want to see this match?
I mean aside from “fuck” and “lot”.
First of all, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles are perfect together. They complement each other perfectly, with Joe being able to throw AJ around, and AJ having just enough serious offense to get Joe in trouble, they’re a match made in heaven. And as many times as we’ve seen them wrestle, this is the first time it’s ever been like this, with Joe as the angry face, and Styles as the calm, collected, cocky heel with manager backup. What’s not to like here? It’s like if you started eating an ice cream cone, and SURPRISE, now it tastes like chocolate cake. Either way, what you have is fucking delicious, and this way you don’t get a headache.
85 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: Seriously, every time AJ and Joe are in the ring at the same time, whether it’s one on one, triple threat, tag match, six man, king of the mountain, whatever, they are fucking magical. They are peanut butter and jelly. Chips and dip. Cake and ice cream. Steak and a blowjob. They just go so well together.
I will say that this was one of their weaker matches, but that isn’t exactly an insult considering the greatness they’ve shown over the years. They could have had AJ play a chickenshit heel that changes his style up 110% or dumbs himself down or whatever. But they gave him a new character and he’s still wrestling the same sort of way as he has been recently. Why? Because that’s what got him the title and made him the best fucking wrestler in the company. So it makes sense that he can take it to Joe like he always has, but FINALLY is able to defeat him with a little outside help. Unless I am forgetting a match of theirs, Joe won via choke in their first two matches, then via sleeper suplex thingy in round three. So, good for AJ.
AJ bumped his ass off here, letting Joe absolutely murder him when the time was right. That said, AJ was in control most of the match which I did kind of like. AJ’s character is changing and evolving, but it’s a slow transition and not some ridiculous 180 like so many others in the past have done. AJ also had some hilarious moments. The first one comes really early when he bails out of the ring in a goofily slick way. Then later on he yells out “I’ll kill you, you stupid Samoan!” as he dives at a weak Joe, only to eat an STJoe for his troubles. AJ is just so great in everything he does. And his Flair robe has a fucking HOOD on it. Amazing.
Ms.Cewsh: I’m not sure how I feel about this match.
On one hand, I can find nothing to complain about technically. AJ looks great, Joe looks good. On paper, this is an excellent match.
On the other, the ref and manager’s stories overshadow the wrestlers. This match would’ve been better without them.
On a third hand, AJ’s current character really needs Ric, so you can’t get rid of him.
On a fourth, I hate that AJ’s turned heel and they’ve turned a homegrown talent into a mini Flair.
79 out of 100.
Cewsh: Anderson is backstage, and he cuts a promo about how he had a few goals coming into tonight’s show. First was to beat Kurt Angle, which he naturally did. The second was to beat Abyss, which, I mean, is a reasonable guess, but assumes more than a little. The third was apparently to beat D’Angelo Dinero, and c’mon, there’s no way he could have known that that’s who would be winning. I question the validity of this alleged list. I have my doubts, sir!
At any rate, it’s a great promo, focused and intense, while still being Anderson’s distinctive style. Be careful, Ken. You’re dangerously close to making me think highly of you.
Cewsh: Um, well when D’Angelo Dinero cuts a promo, the word “focused” is not generally involved. He cuts a promo about…I have no idea about what, but it was damn entertaining. At least right up until the Band jumps Dinero out of nowhere, beating the fuck out of him, and Scott Hall, wearing a Juggalo shirt that makes me cringe at the sight of it like a vampire and hoply water, randomly tells Hulk Hogan to watch out for the Wolfpac.
The Wolfpac, of course, was the name of part of the NWO from the WCW days. Which Vince owns. Sooooo…not so smart on Hall’s part. You’re a member of the Band, Mr. Hall. It’s on your ticket. Try not to get anyone sued.
Ms.Cewsh: On a fifth hand, should this really come after the title match?
The Pope is injured backstage, so he misses his entrance. Mr. Anderson comes out and gets the ref to ring the bell and start the count out. It seems like a weird set-up to me. I’ve never seen someone not show up for a match, so I don’t know usual procedure, but if someone just no-shows; wouldn’t it make more sense to just call a forfeit?
Anderson continues to be fantastic, beating Dinero to a pulp all over the ramp. (I hate the ramp.) He just manages to keep from being counted out himself a few times. Dinero fights up and slaps Anderson, and the match proper continues.
In the first few minutes, I can’t figure out how neither is counted out. I know Anderson was sliding in to break the count, his posing was kind of adorable, actually, but it seemed like more than 10 at points. We pan to AJ and Flair in the back, watching the match on tv. GODDAMN IT, stop that! I’m watching this match. Vignettes go before or after.
Dinero is finally allowed back in the ring, for all the good it does him. TNA clearly sees a future in Anderson; he has looked amazing all night. The Pope does get some offense, but Anderson stays dominantly in control. Anderson has crazy good teeth.
Pope does the typical face thing of selling right up until it’s time for his comeback. I have trouble faulting a guy for following industry standard, but for fuck’s sake, you couldn’t even stand a second ago. A series of rapid fire flips doesn’t look believable!
Pope fights back and hits Anderson with a DDE. Anderson isn’t as worn down, though, and kicks out of the pin attempt. More moves, with Anderson regaining control again and Anderson calls for a goddamn mic. I love it. Like Punk in the Rumble, there is just something so slick about promoing in the middle of a match. Anderson drops the mic and gets Pope in position for the Mic Check. He hits it, but his promo gave Dinero a chance to recover. He too kicks out.
Some more moves, another DDE, and your new number one contender. I can say no more. Great, great, fucking match.
88 out of 100.
Fuck fuckity fuck fuck fucking fuck.
Ken Anderson is awesome. I am officially wrong.
This match was the coming out party for both Anderson and Dinero, and at the end, these two men were stars. Not stars in the making, not guys with potential, they were fucking stars. Every single second of this show and this match in particular was carefully and artfully designed to bring out the absolute best in both men, and goddamit, that’s exactly what happened.
There are certain kinds of matches that I generally don’t expect to see anymore. I don’t expect to see wild hardcore brawls with fire and blood. I don’t expect to see insane high spot matches where people are doing flips off of cages and ladders and the rafters. And I DAMN sure don’t expect to see two up and comers having an old school traditional style match in the main event of a TNA PPV, but that’s exactly what I got. This match starts with Dinero getting sympathy, and then Anderson just builds a tower of heel heat to the sky. Not for one second does this match falter as Anderson stays in control and shows a mastery of being a heel that I didn’t have any idea that he possessed. He was the perfect heel and Dinero was the perfect face, and on this night in front of these fans, the two of them crafted a match that even made marks out of the Impact Zone fans.
I can’t say enough about this match. This is the most unexpected great match I can remember ever seeing. Two guys who I thought were miles from having matches like this came together tonight and proved me as wrong as I can possibly be proven.
I was wrong. D’Angelo Dinero and Ken Anderson are stars and tonight I saw them do something truly special in the ring. I only wish I had watched this before Wrestle Kingdom so they could have the honor of having the first gold medal match of the year. As it is, though, they’ll have to settle for being second.
Son of a bitch.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: The weirdest thing happened during this match. I thought to myself “wow, I don’t hate Anderson. In fact, I’m fucking impressed with him”. Over the past few days, there’s been a lot of backwards shit going on in this world that has me convinced that I died and woke up in bizarro land, and Anderson being an amazing, entertaining heel here does not help that. I think this is hands down his best performance ever. In any company. He even summoned a microphone in the middle of the match and cut a quick promo. He just did everything right, even if he was slightly plodding here and there.
Pope was on fire too. Just a goddamn good match, and I’m really glad it was the main event. I was kind of dreading Anderson being in the finals, especially when it was the main event, but it turned out better than I ever could have possibly imagined. Pope was over HUGE by the end of the match. Great pop when he hit the knees to the back and got the win.
What a delightful main event.
Cewsh: Jesus Christ, what a difference a day makes.
The day before we saw this show, I was tearing it apart, yelling about how they didn’t bother to hype the main event, and how the matches on the card all looked shitty, and about how TNA had lost their momentum. Now I sit here entirely stunned by the show I’ve been presented. I’m almost numb with the shock of just how wrong I was. It wasn’t a perfect show, and the score isn’t nearly would it could have been with the removal of the tag match and anything involving Abyss, but ultimately, this show was an incredible triumph for TNA.
I won’t quickly forget this night, and the lesson it showed me. The days when TNA was easily written off are over. I think it’s officially time that we recognize them as a serious player here, before we all look like bigger fools than we already do.
Vice: Overall this show was pretty goddamn good. I had to skip a match out of fear that I would commit suicide and there was a fairly large (lol) clunker in the tag match, but overall the matches each offered something different and there were some exceptional bouts. I love tournaments, and this was a good one. Though, one of the drawbacks to having a big tournament on PPV like this is that the X-division did not have anything to do. The knockouts had nothing to do. A lot of people did not have anything to do. Only like 14 people were on this show. But hey, it was entertaining. Plus there was a lot of progression, Burke becoming a star, and other goodness.
Ms. Cewsh: I have a lot of problems with TNA, the company. I see a lot of the violence, misogyny, laziness, and ineptitude that catering to 18 – 30 year old males tends to breed. I see a lot of the same problems that have caused other promotions to fail. As such, I tend to avoid their product.
Tonight, I didn’t see those issues. I saw a show that exceeded my expectations and changed my mind on two matters. Single night tournaments can work if booked well. This was. Blood can add something to a match, when appropriately, not gratuitously, used. Anderson/Angle did.
Abyss will always leave me cold. The Nasty Boys should retire, not be added to the roster. I cannot wrap my head around the thought process of, “show the match, but on the TV in the back!” But I’m not telling you about a woman being sexually assaulted or a man having his throat slit. Tonight, we’re calling that a victory.
Well that’ll do it for us this week, boys and girls (for real this time). We hope you enjoyed watching a star born right in front of our eyes as much as we did, and we hope you’ll take the time to check out this show if you get the chance. Skip what we suggested to skip, and you may just find a new favorite wrestler (or promotion). On the horizon for next week, of course, is WWE Elimination Chamber 2010, which will give serious competition to TNA for Show of the Month if last year Show of the Year offering was any indication. We’re excited as can be to find the answers to all of our questions on the Road to Wrestlemania. Next week is when we finally start to get a few. In the meantime, be sure to keep reading, and be good to one another!