Written by: Jake Ziegler
Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – January 9, 2011
Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.
MATCH #1: TNA X Division Title Match – Jay Lethal vs. Kazarian
Lethal has been the champion since 12.16.10, and this is his first defense. He’s a six-time champion, and Kazarian has three reigns himself, so these are two X Division all-stars. The action gets fast right away and the champ takes control. Kazarian tries to fight up but Lethal keeps him down on the mat. Then Kazarian takes control, you know the drill. Kazarian goes for the Flux Capacitor but Lethal reverses to a Sunset Bomb for two. Lethal follows with an enziguiri and the Lethal Combination for two. Kazarian fights back with the slingshot DDT and puts his feet on the ropes for a near-fall. Lethal fires up and goes for the Top-Rope Elbow but Kazarian knocks him down. Kazarian then takes Lethal off the top rope with the Fade to Black to get the win and the title for a fourth time at 11:37. That’s solid action from two pros and a good opener.
MATCH #2: TNA Knockouts Title Match – Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James
Rayne has been the champion since 10.14.10, and this is her first defense. This is Mickie’s first shot at the title since debuting in TNA on October 7, 2010. Mickie takes control early on, sending the champion to the apron. Madison’s shrieking voice is just awful to listen to. Mickie controls the opening minute or so until Madison uses heel tactics to take advantage. Taz also calls things “Vintage,” just like Michael Cole. Why would he do that? Madison goes for the Skull Fucker but Mickie reverses it to a front slam and a variety of offense. Why does Mike Tenay have to say “Hangman’s Style Neckbreaker” instead of just “Hangman’s Neckbreaker?” I hate him so hard. Tara’s music hits (hate that too) and she runs out from the back. Mickie and the referee get distracted, allowing Madison to hit a punch with the loaded glove to get the win at 10:29. I’m not sure how Mickie James ever got the reputation of being a good wrestler, I can think of very few good matches she’s involved in that don’t also involve Trish Stratus. This was pretty bad and the finish was super lame.
MATCH #3: TNA Tag Team Title Match – The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Beer Money
This should be much better than the previous match. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin have been the champions since 7.11.10, and this is their eighth defense. Beer Money is already former three-time champions. Robert Roode has held the titles two additional times (with Eric Young), and James Storm has held the titles seven additional times (six times with Chris Harris, and once with Christopher Daniels). Shelley starts the match with Roode. They go back and forth a bit until tags are made. The champs control the early going. Roode is able to catch Shelley unawares with a Northern Lariat and the challengers take control. After several minutes of a Beer Money beating, Shelley makes the hot tag. Sabin is a house afire and the referee quickly loses control. Roode cuts Sabin off with a spinebuster but only gets a two-count. The Gunns come back and hit the Skull & Bones but Storm pulls the referee to the floor. Sabin tries the springboard DDT but Roode catches him with a Northern Light Suplex but again only gets two. Storm takes Shelley out with the Last Call, and then Beer Money hits Sabin with the DWI but Sabin kicks out! Sabin comes back and tries the running Yakuza Kick in the corner but accidentally hits Shelley! Roode then rolls Sabin up for the pin at 17:57. These two teams are incapable of having a bad match together, but this one had a bit of a “been there, done that” feel. Still, these are two of the best teams TNA has ever seen, so there’s something to be said for that.
MATCH #4: Bully Ray vs. Brother Devon
The brawl starts on the floor, with Ray trying to avoid his half-brother. They make it into the ring and Ray is trying to beg off. It’s been all Devon in the early minutes. Ray tries to run through the crowd but Devon gives chase. Back in the ring Ray is able to take control. Ray hits a superplex but only gets two. He gets frustrated and tries to use a steel chain but Devon is able to avoid getting hit with it and go on offense. Devon gets a hold of the chain and he whips Ray with it and gets disqualified at 8:47. Tenay guesses that Devon gets disqualified because he made contact and Ray didn’t. Boy that’s sure insightful commentary you twit. The match was boring and I don’t care to see them fight again.
MATCH #5: TNA TV Title Match – Douglas Williams vs. Abyss
Williams has been the champion since 12.5.10, and this is his third defense. AJ Styles was originally scheduled to challenge here, but he got injured so Abyss is taking his place. Williams is coming into the match with a taped up hand and he’s protective of it in the early going. Abyss wisely targets it and controls the early part of the match, both in and out of the ring. Williams finally comes back with a collection of strikes and a belly-to-back suplex. He goes up top and hits the Bombs Away (I prefer the Bomb Scare, but the idiot announcers of course don’t call it by either name) for a two-count. Williams tries a charge in the corner but Abyss catches him and hits a Chokeslam. Abyss goes outside the ring and grabs Janice from under the ring, allowing Styles to sneak into the ring and hit Williams with the TV Title belt. Back in the ring Abyss hits the Black Hole Slam to get the pin and win the title at 9:46. Immortal now holds all the male titles in TNA. The match was a bit of an awkward styles clash, and I’m always bummed to see Williams treated like a jobber.
MATCH #6: Rob Van Dam vs. Immortal’s Mystery Opponent
Bischoff promised RVD “Hardy” in the ring, and RVD of course thinks he’s about to face Jeff. How stupid is this guy? And why hasn’t he learned how to cut wrestling promos. Some fat guy with dreadlocks comes out, and it’s Matt Hardy, making his TNA debut. Taz wonders if Matt Hardy is part of Immortal, and Mike Tenay isn’t sure. Seriously, how dumb is everyone in this promotion? I know, kayfabe and all, but you still don’t have to be a bunch of idiots. I’m so not interested in either of the competitors in this match. They do their usual spots, and to their credit the crowd is into it so I accept being the minority here. Eventually RVD goes up and hits the Five-Star Frog Splash but Hardy’s hand is underneath the bottom rope so it only gets two. RVD stupidly argues with the referee, allowing Hardy to recover and hit the Twist of Hate, and even though RVD puts his entire leg under the bottom rope the referee doesn’t see it and Hardy gets the win at 11:50. Tenay and Taz are confused about what happened at the end. #AreYouSeriousBro? Are you watching the matches with your eyes closed? This was like a Sunday Night Heat main event match.
MATCH #7: Double J Double M A “Exhibition” – Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle
Angle was supposed to be retired after not winning the main event of Bound for Glory, but he was able to sneak back in because this is an “exhibition.” That’s pretty clever. I actually think Jarrett was great in this role thinking that he is an MMA fighter. Taz says that Angle is looking at Jarrett like he’s meat, and then he spells the word for us before burying Amazing Red, who recently challenged Jarrett in an MMA Exhibition. There are two minute rounds here, with only grappling and submission holds allowed. The first round ends with Jarrett locked in a Rear Naked Choke but luckily for him he was able to not tap out. The second round passes with little actually happening. Jarrett’s corner men Gunner and Murphy give Jarrett some kind of foreign substance to rub on his forearm, and Jarrett rubs it into Angle’s eyes. Jarrett then starts throwing punches and gets disqualified at 6:06. This was fine for angle advancement (no pun intended) but as a match unto itself it was painful to watch.
MATCH #8: Number One Contender’s Match – Mr. Anderson vs. Matt Morgan
It’s Smackdown in 2005! They stall a bit in the early going, trying to give the illusion of this match being a big deal. They trade control a bit before spilling to the floor. The referee is showing a lot of leeway here, as they’ve been outside for well over 30 seconds. Back in the ring Anderson targets the leg, which is smart with a larger opponent. Morgan fights back with a Chokeslam for two. He hits a short-arm clothesline, and then tries the discuss clothesline but Anderson catches him in the Mic Check for a two-count. They rise to their feet and trade punches. Morgan hits the Carbon Footprint for a two-count. He goes for another one but Anderson ducks and hits another Mic Check for two again. Anderson tries yet another Mic Check but can’t hit it, so he gets an inside cradle from out of nowhere for the pin at 15:24. That’s their idea of a main event? Yawn.
Eric Bischoff comes out and announces that Anderson is going to get his title shot immediately. The crowd likes the idea.
MATCH #9: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
Hardy has been the champion since 10.10.10 and this is his third defense. He is dressed in street clothes, though I’m not sure which street they wear those kinds of clothes on. Hardy attacks from behind and hits a quick Twist of Hate but it only gets two. He picks Anderson up for another Twist of Hate but once again it only gets two. The champ continues kicking away at the challenger, who has shown incredible resolve so far. Finally Anderson shows some life and yanks Hardy forwards and out to the floor. Apparently Morgan was still there and he levels Hardy with a discuss clothesline! Back in the ring Anderson gets a two-count. Both men rise and trade punches. Hardy hits a boot but Anderson trumps him with a clothesline, a back elbow, and a swinging neckbreaker for two. The Charismatic Enigma comes back with the Whisper in the Wind and Anderson slips to the floor. Hardy goes out and grabs a steel chair, only to be stopped by Mick Foley for some reason. Ric Flair comes out to confront Foley. Back in the ring Hardy goes up top but Anderson knocks him down. Hardy in turn knocks Anderson down and then hits the Swanton but it only gets two! From out of nowhere Anderson grabs a Finlay Roll but he can’t cover. Hardy recovers first and hits a clothesline. He goes to the floor and calls for “Matt,” and the commentators somehow aren’t sure who he’s asking for. Some fat dreadlocked guy runs down to the ring but Rob Van Dam comes out to stop him. With the referee distracted, Bischoff sneaks in the ring and tries to hit Anderson with the chair, but Anderson hits him with the Mic Check. Hardy comes in and tries the Twist of Hate but Anderson counters with the Mic Check to get the pin and win the title at 9:07. That was an unadvertised, overbooked TNA World Title match that was quickly forgotten when Hardy won the title back.