Written by: Jason Powell of http://www.prowrestling.net
TNA Final Resolution
Live on pay-per-view
Orlando, Fla. at the Impact Zone
The show opened with a video that focussed on the Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode main event and included the Hardy inner dialogue commentary… Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz introduced the show as pyro went off in the building…
James Storm came to the ring in his gear. The announcers said they weren’t sure what Storm was up to since he was not advertised. Storm said he was there to ruin Roode’s celebration party before he even had a chance. He called for Roode to join him so that he could punch him in the face. Storm tried to deliver his catchphrase, but he was interrupted.
Kazarian walked onto the stage and recalled Willie Nelson singing “Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.” He said everyone has had to listen to Storm whine and complain and noted that “he’s a drunk.” The fans cheered. Kazarian called Storm a “goat roper” and said it was time that Storm cut his “dime store Toby Keith routine” and ride off into the “sunshine.” Oops.
“So you had all day long to sit back there and think of a promo and that’s the only crap you could come up with?” Storm responded. Storm said they don’t like moonshine where he comes from, they like moonshine. Kazarian mocked the crowd for cheering by mockingly cheering “we drink too!” Funny. Storm challenged Kazarian to take the ass kicking he had planned for Roode.
Kazarian said there was no referee and the match wasn’t sanctioned. Storm said he doesn’t need a referee to whoop Kazarian’s ass. A referee came out and pointed Kazarian to the ring. Storm met Kazarian at ringside and attacked him. The match started once they entered the ring and the referee called for the bell…
Powell’s POV: The crowd was most responsive to the drinking lines, which is funny considering what Kazarian had to say. I could have done without Storm mentioning promo when there was such an easy way around using the insider terminology. Kazarian had some funny lines, but he sounded like a wrestler trying to remember his lines than he did a confident performer on the mic. That said, he’s shown real improvement on the stick this year.
1. James Storm vs. Kazarian. Storm worked the match in his t-shirt. He hit the Codebreaker at 5:30 and then worked up the responsive call for the Last Call superkick. Kazarian pulled the referee in front of him. Kazarian came right back and went for his finisher, but Storm slipped out and hit the Last Call superkick for the win…
James Storm pinned Kazarian in 5:35.
Powell’s POV: A quick unadvertised opener. It is odd that Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco were advertised for the show, yet Storm was not.
The announcers spoke at ringside and narrated footage from Impact of Aces & 8’s helping Bobby Roode on Impact. There was some confusion after the footage aired. Keneley looked a bit lost, and Taz had to ad-lib for him. Separate shots aired of Jeff Hardy and Bobby Roode walking backstage…
Powell’s POV: Keneley seems a bit lost at time and so much of what he says is cliche. He directs traffic and thus should feel like the leader of the trio, yet Tenay and Taz seem more authoritative. Of course, it’s still early in Keneley’s run so that could change.
2. Rob Van Dam vs. Kenny King for the TNA Title. RVD and King shook hands to start the match. Tenay said King told him this is a dream match because he watched RVD in ECW and modeled his offense after him. RVD caught King with a kick. King came right back with an RVD-like kick of his own, which was well timed considered the story Tenay was helping the wrestlers tell. Van Dam sold it well by going to ringside to regroup for a moment.
At 3:45, Van Dam went to the top rope, but King caught him with a kick that knocked him to the floor. King looked into the camera and asked, “Did you see that?” King rolled RVD back inside the ring and got a two count. They slowed the pace with King grabbing a hold for a couple minutes.
King crotched RVD on the top rope and then caught him with an errant kick to the back (insert your own joke here about King using RVD’s style). Van Dam mounted a comeback and hit some of his signature spots, including a monkey flip out of the corner and Rolling Thunder. He went to the top rope and King cut him off again.
Van Dam shoved Kick off the top rope, but King backflipped and landed on his feet. Van Dam caught King with a kick off the top rope, but then missed a Five Star Frogsplash. King set up for a move that Keneley recognized and said won him a previous match, but Van Dam avoided it and caught him with a leg sciossors roll up for the win…
Rob Van Dam pinned Kenny King in 9:20 to retain the X Division Title.
Powell’s POV: I liked the way Tenay helped tell the story of the match. Either they got lucky or it’s more likely that there was better communication between the talent and the broadcast team. The live crowd didn’t have a reason to like or dislike King, so the match lacked that spark. They need to establish King’s character. I wasn’t blown away by the match, but they could have a good rivalry here if they continue to play up the way King modeled his offense after RVD’s. I’m ready for a real program rather than the monthly No. 1 contenders match to set up an X Division Title match for the pay-per-view.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Christopher Daniels, who said history will read that he was a better man than A.J. Styles…
3 Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan for the TNA Tag Titles. Ryan and Chavo started out. They set up the big men being in the ring together a couple minutes later. Morgan took a couple of shoulder blocks, but bounced off the ropes and didn’t go down. Hernandez went for a third only to eat a discuss clothesline. Morgan glared into the hard camera and then tagged in Ryan.
Ryan sold for a bit and then tagged Morgan into the match. Morgan roughed up Chavo, stared into the camera, and then tagged in Ryan. Once again, Ryan ended up taking the offense from the champions. Morgan checked in illegally and suplexed Hernandez, which drew a gasp from the crowd. Morgan picked up Ryan and dropped him on Hernandez for a two count.
Hernandez came right back with a backbreaker. Hernandez backed into the corner and took a headbutt from Morgan. Hernandez hit Morgan with multiple clotheslines and eventually knocked Morgan to the floor, though Morgan landed on his feet. Chavo hit the frogsplash on Ryan and had the pin, but Morgan pulled the referee to the floor.
Chavo dove onto Morgan, who caught him and rammed him into the post. Hernandez performed his big dive over the top onto Morgan and finally knocked him down. Taz noted that one of the wrestler said this isn’t over…
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez defeated Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan by DQ in 10:45.
Powell’s POV: The good news is that Morgan looked dominant and there could be money in him playing this role if he works with the right top babyface. The bad news is that one of the wrestlers said this isn’t over, meaning Morgan and Ryan will continue to team for no apparent reason. I’m still not sure what the point of pairing them is. There’s definitely a place for Ryan in TNA, but it’s not as Morgan’s tag partner. Manager? Sure, but not tag partner or even little buddy wrestler. By the way, the finish was odd considering we’ve seen tag wrestlers do that spot before without being disqualified. I didn’t even know the match was over for because I still can’t hear the ring bell on TNA television after all these years.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Austin Aries, who said he’s going to keep pushing buttons because the squeaky wheel gets the grease. “Whatcha gonna do when AustinMania runs wild on you, brother,” Aries concluded… A video recapped the Aries, Bully Ray, Brooke Hogan, and Hulk Hogan drama…
4. Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray. Aries is the smartest man in TNA after all. He pointed out the chain that Ray keeps in his corner of the ring to the referee. However, Earl Hebner is apparently the dumbest man in TNA because he didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
Powell’s POV: I’d keep a machete in my corner. I’d have the most beheadings in TNA history. I’d be undefeated until someone topped me by keeping a gun in their corner. Maybe I’m being too harsh on Earl. After all, it’s also okay for Ray to wrestle with a chain around his neck. Maybe two wrongs really do make a right.
Ray sold for Aries early. Aries generated good heat by playing to the crowd. Ray came back and performed a missile dropkick around 7:00 that drew “holy shit” chants from the crowd. Ray charged at Aries, who lowered the top rope, causing Ray to tumble to the floor at ringside. Aries went for a suicide dive only to run into Ray’s foot.
Later, the crowd chanted for tables as Aries was at ringside. Ray went after him and was tripped into the ring steps. Ray bladed and was sporting a heck of a crimson mask. Brooke Hogan ran out and checked on Ray. Aries pulled her inside the ring. Ray recovered and threw Aries to ringside.
Hulk Hogan walked to ringside and glared at Brooke and Ray. Ray told Hogan they needed to get Brooke out there. Hulk grabbed his daughter by the hand and pulled her toward the back. Aries low-blowed Ray and then rolled him up for the win. Aries rolled to ringside and put Ray’s hat on his head and did the Stan Hansen sign and call. Funny. Aries pointed at his head and walked toward the back…
Austin Aries pinned Bully Ray in 12:30.
Powell’s POV: The finish took away any chance they had of equalling their match at Sacrifice. Actually, they weren’t on their way to reaching that point. As good as Aries is as a heel, his dynamic with Ray is better when Aries is the underdog babyface and Ray is the bully heel. Still, it was entertaining until the Hogan family involvement. Raise your hand if six months ago you thought Ray and Brooke would be teased as a couple. Okay, now if you have your hand up, put it down because you’re a goddamn liar.
Backstage, Jesse ran through texts from celebrities he claimed were sent to him wishing Tara good luck…
5. Tara (w/Jesse) vs. Mickie James for the TNA Knockouts Title. Taryn Terrell was the referee for the match. Mickie wrestled the match in bib cutoffs and a tied off shirt. She looked like a pre-nudity picture for a Playboy spread (um, not that I have a lot of experience looking at photos like those).
Mickie controlled the early offense and knocked Tara and Jesse to ringside when they embraced. Tara used a Jesse distraction to regain control. Tara went for the Widow’s Peak, but Mickie avoided it and rolled her up, but Taryn was distracted by Jesse. Later, Mickie hit a Thesz Press off the top rope onto Tara at ringside. She kicked Jesse off the apron, but Tara recovered and hit the Widow’s Peak inside the ring for the win…
Tara defeated Mickie James in 7:55 to retain the TNA Knockouts Title.
Powell’s POV: They made good use of Jesse even though the act isn’t over. They hug and kiss and are lucky if they get one boo out of it. The act still looks like something that would have been better for Madison Rayne. It’s decent for light comedy moments at times, but I’d give up the light comedy for better Knockout matches, which we would be getting with Tara as champion if they weren’t coming up with all the Jesse interference spots.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Bobby Roode, who said he promised himself he would do whatever it took to get his title back. He said he would prove to the world that it pays to be Roode/rude/whatever. He said his investment pays off. “Money talks, bullshit walks,” Roode said…
Powell’s POV: Not Roode’s finest moment on the mic. I guess he’s trying to establish that either his investment in Aces & 8’s roughing up Hardy will pay off or the possibility that they’ll get involved tonight.
A video package set up the eight-man tag match…
6. Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Garett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco vs. DOC, Devon, and two masked members of Aces & 8’s in an eight-man tag. The announcers laid it on thick while talking about how Bischoff and Brisco have respect and handle their business the right away.
The heels had the first prolonged period of offense as they took turns working over Samoa Joe. The crowd taunted Devon with “you sold out” chants at one point. Joe came back by slamming a masked wrestler onto the other masked wrestler. Angle took the hot tag and performed Angle Slams while Brisco and Bischoff cheered from the corner.
Angle and DOC brawled in the ring while the others fought at ringside. Brischo caught DOC with a high cross body block, but he ate a big boot. The wrestlers took turns hitting big moves. The highlight was Joe’s suicide dive into a flying elbow on Devon on the floor. Angle applied the ankle lock.
DOC brought a hammer into the ring. Angle ended up with the hammer and went to use it, but Brisco speared DOC before Angle could hit him with it. Angle performed the Angle Slam on the skinnier of the two masked men and scored the pin for his team…
Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Garett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco defeated Aces & 8’s in 11:30.
Powell’s POV: Brisco’s spear appeared to be a case of him saving DOC from the hammer than it was a spear. Remember that one. Aces & 8’s continue to look bad by losing so often.
Backstage, Borash interviewed A.J. Styles, who said history will say he once again beat Daniels… A video recapped the Daniels and Styles feud…
7. A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels. Daniels did a lot of dancing on his way to the ring and generated a good heel reaction. Tenay said Styles estimated that he and Daniels have had 115 matches in TNA. He said someone in record keeping gave that number to Styles.
Tenay noted that it seemed like Styles’s confidence was rising with each minute that went by as he controlled the majority of the first seven minutes. Styles suplexed Daniels on the ring apron and Taz was quick to point out how hard that area of the ring is. Daniels came back with a urinage on the ring apron.
Daniels remained on the offensive and slammed Styles onto the ring steps. “Did you see that?” he asked while looking into the camera. He held up his hand and it had tape on every finger but his middle finger, which wasn’t lost on some members of the live crowd based on their reaction.
Later, Styles delivered a couple of headbutts on Daniels and appeared to open a cut near his eye. They followed up with a big collision in the middle of the ring. The announcers sold it as if Styles suffered the cut from the collision. Daniels targeted the eye for the next couple minutes. Styles came back with a Pele Kick.
Daniels went for the angel’s wings suplex, but Styles avoided it and hit the Styles Clash. Styles went for a cover around 20:00, but Daniels kicked out. Styles took Daniels to the ropes and went for the Styles Clash, but Daniels held the ropes and flipped Styles over in a cool and unexpected spot. Daniels performed a Styles Clash and pinned Styles in the middle of the ring…
Christopher Daniels pinned A.J. Styles in 21:30.
Powell’s POV: I enjoyed the match and really liked the finish. It was a logical move to have Daniels go over as it plays into A.J.’s current frustrations. Styles can’t challenge for the TNA Title until Bound For Glory, and now he can’t avenge the loss to his biggest rival. Taz sold it as if Styles had the match won, but he took took big of a risk going for the Styles Clash off the ropes. Keneley called it life changing and heartbreaking. If WWE was telling this same story with John Cena, it would have played out over one pay-per-view and two episodes of Raw before Cena redeemed himself.
A video set up the main event match… Tenay read through the tale of the tape graphic… Bobby Roode made his entrance and then Jeff Hardy made his entrance. Jeremy Borash replaced ring announcer Christy Hemme for the main event in-ring introductions. Hardy had both belts with him…
8. Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode for the TNA Title. Hardy had some early offense. Taz noted that he wasn’t going all out while hooking the leg and questioned whether it was a sign of Hardy being wounded coming into the match after taking a beating from Aces & 8’s on Impact.
Roode controlled several minutes. It wasn’t flashy, yet the Hardy fans continued to cheer for him as the offense continued past the 10:00 mark. Roode went to the second rope and jumped right into the boots that Hardy lifted. Hardy performed a side Russian leg sweep and got a two count. Hardy ran the ropes aggressively only to have Roode throw him through the ropes at 11:45.
Roode whipped Hardy into the ring steps and then tossed him back inside the ring where he covered him for a two count. Taz commended Roode for hooking Hardy’s leg that was closest to the ropes and forcing him to kick out. Taz has been much better about creating a sports-like vibe during this show. He sounds more like a former wrestler than a buddy cracking jokes in your living room.
At 14:30, Hardy went on another offensive flurry. The announcers said the key for Hardy was gaining separation from Roode because it allowed him to perform his offensive moves. Hardy performed a splash for a two count at 15:00. Roode catapulted Hardy toward the corner, but Hardy climbed the ropes and nailed a Whisper in the Wind for a two count.
At 16:45, Hardy performed a front suplex and followed up with a splash for a two count. Hardy motioned for the crowd to cheer and got a minimal response. Roode came back with a spinebuster for a two count at 17:35. Hardy came back with a Twist of Fate, which sent Roode tumbling to the floor. Hardy ran off the apron and clotheslined Roode.
Hardy motioned the fans along the rail to move back and they obliged. He positioned the ring steps, took a running start at Roode, who moved. Hardy bounced off the guardrail and crashed onto the floor. Ouch! Roode brought Hardy back inside the ring and covered him for a two count. Roode showed frustration and the Hardy chants increased in the crowd.
Roode placed Hardy on the top rope and set up for superplex. Hardy fought Roode off with punches to the side and threw him down to the mat. Hardy took his shirt off performed the Swanton. Hardy sold the effects of the move and his prior injuries and didn’t go for a cover. Hardy eventually stood up and was speared by Roode for another two count.
At 22:30, Aces & 8’s walked to ringside and Roode smirked. Roode motioned for them to do something. “What are you waiting for?” Roode asked. Hardy performed the Twist of Fate on Roode and pinned him.
Jeff Hardy defeated Bobby Roode in 23:00 to retain the TNA Title.
After the match, eight Aces & 8’s hit the ring and attacked Hardy. They powerbombed Hardy. Roode went to the leader and complained that he paid him to finish the deal. The Aces & 8’s members turned on Roode and put the boots to him. D.O.C. chokeslammed Roode. Aces & 8’s stood over Roode and held up eight fingers to close the show…
A video aired for TNA Genesis that featured Bully Ray. The Genesis event takes place on January 13…
Powell’s POV: A good main event. The crowd was flat after the long run of offense by Roode early on, but they rallied behind Hardy late and were happy with this finish. The Aces & 8’s attack didn’t do much for me. They beat up a babyface and a heel. I get that they screwed Roode, but it didn’t feel like their story was forwarded. In fact, it’s getting hard to care about them when they failed to beat a four-man team that included Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco, who are portrayed by TNA as green rookies.
Overall, a no frills pay-per-view. You got what you paid for and not much else. It wasn’t a newsworthy show with title changes, big turns, or major storyline developments. There was nothing particularly memorable about this show unless TNA actually makes good on the Daniels vs. Styles stipulation and by then it will way too late to make this show feel important. It was a B-show with some good wrestling.