TNA Final Resolution 2011 12/11/2011
TNA Final Resolution PPV Results
December 11, 2011
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
The final TNA PPV of 2011 opened with a video package documenting Robert Roode’s recent heelish actions and the build-up to Roode vs. A.J. Styles in the 30-minute Iron Man match for the TNA World Title.
Impact Zone: After Mike Tenay gave a brief introduction, Rob Van Dam’s music hit to bring out the first competitor of the night. Tenay stressed that RVD is in the opening match tonight before Taz interjected some thoughts on RVD. Christopher Daniels came out to face Van Dam and Tenay focused on Daniels being delusional as of late. Tenay also stressed the “Wrestling Matters” catchphrase.
1 — ROB VAN DAM vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS
Feeling-out process to begin the match before Daniels scored with consecutive offense. Van Dam came back with consecutive armdrags into a leg sweep for a two count. Van Dam took his time posing for the crowd before returning to the corner to wear down Daniels. The match moved to the ring apron, where Daniels shoved RVD off the apron into the ringpost to take control of the match. Daniels then played to the camera by mocking Van Dam’s thumbs-to-shoulders pose.
Van Dam came back with a roundhouse kick and Rolling Thunder for a two count before landing another roundhouse kick out of the corner. Van Dam went for a Five-Star Frogsplash, but Daniels moved and scored with a spear for a two count. A palm thrust from Daniels also resulted in a nearfall. The fight moved to the top turnbuckle, where Van Dam blocked offense before shoving Daniels to the mat. RVD then hit the Five-Star Frogsplash and made the cover for the win. (Although, Daniels was rolling around clutching his ribs, so he actually lifted his shoulders in-between the two and three.) Van Dam celebrated the win nevertheless as Daniels rolled out of the ring. Daniels complained on the outside about kicking out.
WINNER: RVD at 10:01. Fine opening match. Enough to get the crowd involved, but not memorable beyond its place on the card. (*3/4)
Backstage: Tenay and Taz sent it to Jeremy Borash for comments from Mickie James on her Knockouts Title challenge later tonight. Mickie said she was excited about Gail Kim coming back to TNA, but not so much after Gail started hiding behind politics and skirts.
2 — TV champion ROBBIE E. (w/Rob Terry) vs. ERIC YOUNG — TNA TV Title match
Before the bell sounded, EY did some comedy on the outside locking up with each fan on the front row. Terry had enough and tried to get Young into the ring to start the match. Meanwhile, Robbie’s music rolled all the way through. EY then pulled down his shorts to reveal his wrestling trunks before charging the ring to officially start the match. The match quickly moved to the floor, where the numbers caught up to Young. Back in the ring, Robbie wore down Young while mixing in some poses for the hard camera. Meanwhile, Taz noted he was still thinking about Thanksgiving. Next was a reference to EY’s head being the size of a small prop plane engine.
Robbie took too much time on a corner attack, allowing Young to rally and Hulk Up. Young then went up top and delivered a big elbow drop for a two count. Robbie regained control moments later, then Rob Terry hopped up on the ring apron for a conversation with the ref. Things came to a screeching halt as a result, then Terry suddenly entered the ring for a spot that forever choking Young in the corner. Robbie then tried to charge Young, but landed in Terry’s crotch for some laughs. Young tried a Superman Double DVD Driver, but Terry and Robbie fell off his shoulders. Young then dropkicked Terry to the outside, but took Robbie’s finisher for the pinfall. Robbie retains the TV Title.
WINNER: Robbie E. at 7:32 to retain the TV Title. Comedy match that belonged on TV and way over-booked for the second match on the card. Tenay and Taz matched the tone by cracking jokes throughout. (1/2*)
Backstage: JB brought in Devon and The Pope to discuss their Tag Title challenge tonight. Devon said tonight is not the night to deal with Pope’s meddling with his sons. Tonight, it’s about taking the Tag Titles and celebrating a victory. Devon closed his promo before Pope laughed him off and said it’s all about getting the gold tonight.
Impact Zone: Devon and Pope came to the ring first for the TNA Tag Title challenge. Devon hugged his sons ringside before Pope hung back and hugged Devon’s sons, too. Crimson’s music then brought out the Twin Towers tag champs.
3 — TNA tag champions MATT MORGAN & CRIMSON vs. DEVON & THE POPE — TNA Tag Title match
Crimson dominated Pope early on, then Morgan asked for a tag and received one. The crowd cheered as Morgan entered the ring before Devon tagged in. Morgan and Devon circled each other before Morgan used his size to block Devon’s offense. Morgan and Crimson then double-teamed Pope when Pope tagged in. The face tag champs continued to wear down Pope as Devon tried to encourage Pope to keep fighting. Pope then blocked a sideslam and landed an awkward DDT to create space. Devon and Crimson then tagged in for their respective teams.
Devon scored with successive offense before landing a top-rope diving headbutt. He then cleared a double-team before slamming Crimson for a close two count. Suddenly, Pope came off the top rope with an elbow, but Morgan broke up a pin. Morgan and Devon kind of collided mid-ring, then Crimson and Morgan hit a double chokeslam on Devon for the pin and the win. Post-match, the tag champs celebrated while Pope just shook his head hanging out with Devon’s sons ringside. Devon then confronted Pope, who walked off, leaving Devon to question his sons.
WINNERS: Morgan & Crimson at 9:40. Okay match. A bit awkward at times, mainly due to some ill-timed spots and an odd mix of heels and faces. At one time, the only heel in the match, Pope, was getting sympathy being isolated by the face team TNA is trying to establish right now. The match was fine for advancing the Pope-Devon feud, which will apparently spill over to 2012. (*1/4)
Backstage: JB was with A.J. Styles in his locker room. A trainer was tending to Styles’s left knee, prompting JB to ask Styles about his condition tonight. Styles said he’s not 100 percent, but 200 percent. He said he’s willing and able to take care of Roode tonight.
4 — X Division champion AUSTIN ARIES vs. KID KASH — X Division Title match
The bell sounded and Aries did some acrobatics to show off a la Dolph Ziggler. Aries then taunted Kash with a slap to the face before snapping off a textbook dropkick for a two count. They followed with a rapid-fire sequence of nearfalls before taking the match to the outside. On the floor, Kash missed with a chop and his hand smashed the ringpost. Aries then ripped the title belt away from So Cal Val and tried to use it on Kash, but Kash ducked. They attempted some comedy by exchanging pinfalls using the ropes for leverage that the ref easily saw. Eventually, Aries regained control and landed a flying dive on the outside that sent Kash into the guardrail.
Back in the ring at 6:00, Aries scored with a neckbreaker to continue the offensive assault. Aries appeared to be knocked loopy for a second when the two men collided and Aries fell to the mat like a tree in the woods. Aries recovered and went for a top-rope move, but Kash crotched him. Kash then went up top, but Aries crotched him to return the favor. They set up a frightening top-rope move that saw Aries counter a powerbomb with a mid-air huracanrana. Tenay noted the crowd doesn’t like either wrestler, but they appreciated the effort on the top turnbuckle.
Aries and Kash reset with a chop exchange before Aries landed a suplex. Aries then ate a boot to the mouth before Kash called for the end. Kash wanted a double underhook, but Aries blocked. Aries then pulled out a foreign object from his trunks, which the ref saw. Kash then pulled out a foreign object, which the ref saw. Next, Aries handed the X Division Title belt to Kash, which the ref also saw. This drew laughs from the crowd as the ref reprimanded Kash. In the confusion, Aries caught Kash with the brainbuster suplex for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Aries at 12:46 to retain the X Division Title. From an excitement and action standpoint, this was easily the best match of the show thus far. The booking was questionable with comedy spots in a heel vs. heel match and Kash playing a default face, but they did use the past and “no honor among thieves” theme to enhance the story. (**1/2)
After a false-start on a Knockouts Title match preview video, they rolled footage before Mickie James came out for the title match. KO champion/KO tag champion Gail Kim came out next to display her gold to Mickie.
5 — Knockouts champion GAIL KIM vs. MICKIE JAMES — Knockouts Title match
Gail dominated early on before the two former WWE Women’s champions exchanged submission holds. Gail nearly forced Mickie to tap to the stretch muffler submission, then Mickie started to mount a comeback, so Gail bailed from the ring. Gail feigned leaving the match with her title, but Mickie chased her down and threw her back into the ring. Madison Rayne then ran down to ringside to nip at Mickie’s heels while the ref was preoccupied, which was enough of a distraction for Gail to score her Eat Defeat finisher for the win.
WINNER: Gail at 7:48 to retain the Knockouts Title. Better-than-usual PPV Knockouts match, but underwhelming considering the names in the ring. The crowd was taken out of this PPV a while ago and they didn’t come back for this one.
Backstage: JB brought in James Storm for an interview before facing Kurt Angle. JB and Storm went back and forth on a new “Beer…Drinker” catchphrase. Storm vowed to knock down Angle before shouting out to the crowd to raise hell tonight. He then noted – not from the bottom of his heart, but from the bottom of his balls – that he’s sorry about Angle’s damn luck. The one and only James Storm.
6 — KURT ANGLE vs. JAMES STORM
Angle and Storm started with basic exchanges to feel each other out. The action moved to the floor, where Storm high-fived a birthday boy on the front row he referenced in his pre-match promo. Storm then walked into a drop toehold that sent Storm face-first into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Storm sold the concussion and Angle went to work on Storm’s upper body. Angle continued to focus on Storm’s head, drawing concerned comments from Tenay and Taz about Storm’s condition. Angle applied a reverse chinlock and Taz asked for the ref to end the match, but Storm held on. Storm and Angle then traded bombs before Storm delivered a desperation jawbreaker into backstabber for a two count.
At 11:00, Angle stopped Storm’s momentum with a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Angle then stalked Storm for a series of German Suplexes, but Storm elbowed out. Angle flowed into the anklelock, though, before Storm kicked Angle away to escape. Storm then missed with a clothesline and Angle delivered three Germans. Angle made a cover, but Storm kicked out. Suddenly, Storm had enough energy to hoist up Angle for the Eye of Storm that resulted in a two count. Storm inexplicably tried a top-rope move, and Angle grabbed him to deliver a belly-to-belly suplex for another two count.
Angle dropped the straps and called for the Olympic Slam, but Storm countered with an armdrag. Angle blocked the Last Call superkick, then tried the anklelock. Storm escaped again, though, before Angle ate the ringpost. Storm then dropped Angle face-first into the ring apron with a modified DDT. Back in the ring, Storm measured Angle for a superkick, but Angle easily countered into the Olympic Slam. Angle covered, but Storm kicked out before three. Angle tried to follow with a moonsault, but missed and his head bounced hard off the mat. Storm then fired up the crowd for a superkick and connected. Storm made the cover and it was good for the win. Afterward, Storm signaled to Angle that he’s 2-0 against him.
WINNER: Storm at 17:48. Good PPV match. Storm needed a strong victory so TNA could continue establishing him as the most marketable face in the promotion. Angle was conservative during the match, which was understandable considering his physical condition and since the focus was on Storm’s “concussion” and whether Storm could pull out a victory with the deck stacked against him. Angle didn’t need to go overboard to help get that across. (**1/2)
Backstage: JB was with Jeff and Karen Jarrett to discuss the high-stakes steel cage match with Jeff Hardy. Borash reminded Jeff that if he loses, then either Jeff or Karen has to leave TNA. Jarrett screamed that he was on the TNA Cruise being a company man when he found out about Sting adding the stipulation to the cage. Jarrett repeated himself before declaring that he’s not losing. He said his strategy is to ground Hardy, take him out of his element, and then make him pin or submit. Suddenly, Sting interjected himself into the promo to remind them that one of them could be fired tonight. Sting dangled handcuffs in Karen’s face before TNA went to a video package on the Jarrett-Hardy feud.
Impact Zone: Jeff and Karen Jarrett came to the ring as Tenay noted he’s rarely seen Jarrett that concerned going into a match. Jeff opted not to enter the cage before Jeff Hardy’s music hit to bring out Hardy and his elaborate facemask. Hardy entered the cage while the Jarretts remained ringside before Sting’s music hit to bring out the TNA GM. After some posturing by the Jarretts, Sting finally threw Jeff into the cage before handcuffing himself to a crying Karen.
7 — JEFF HARDY vs. JEFF JARRETT (w/Karen Jarrett) — steel cage match — Karen handcuffed to Sting ringside — loser (Hardy or Jeff/Karen) leaves TNA — Hardy receives TNA Title shot at Jan. PPV if he wins
“Hardy, Hardy” chants once the bell sounded to begin the cage match just before the top of the third hour. Early in the match, Jarrett applied a figure-four leglock, which Hardy fought before grabbing the ropes for a break. Jarrett then went against what he said pre-match by trying to escape the cage, but Hardy blocked to keep the match going. Jarrett tried to escape again, but Hardy crotched Jarrett. The two men traded bombs before Hardy hit Twist of Fate center-ring. Hardy didn’t make a cover, though, and decided not to escape the cage. He then considered a top-rope move, but opted for a second Twist of Fate. No pin attempt again. Instead, Hardy went all the way to the top of the cage and could have escaped, but opted for a huge Swanton Bomb, which he missed when Jarrett moved.
The cage door was opened for Jarrett to escape through, but Hardy pulled him back inside the cage. Hardy blocked Jarrett’s escape a second time before landing a slingshot dropkick using the cage door like monkey bars. Next, there was a spot where Hardy accidentally bumped into Sting and Karen ringside. Karen then grabbed the key out of Sting’s pocket and uncuffed herself to help Jarrett, but Hardy kicked out of a pin attempt. Karen tried to give Jarrett a guitar next, but Sting woke up and yanked it away from Karen. In the confusion, Hardy spun Jarrett around to hit the Twist of Fate. A three count gave Hardy the win.
Post-match: Sting gloated about Hardy’s victory before entering the cage to address Jeff and Karen. Sting told them that someone is getting fired in four days on Impact Wrestling. Karen freaked out and Jarrett did bug-eyes to sell the moment. Meanwhile, Hardy gets a TNA Title shot next month at Genesis.
WINNER: Hardy at 10:20 to become #1 contender. Basic cage match that came across more like an angle than a match. As expected, pay customers have to wait for the free show to find out the result of one of the top matches. (*1/2)
Backstage: JB brought in TNA World Hvt. champion Robert Roode to discuss the main event Iron Man match up next. Live in the arena, the crowd went from chanting “na na na goodbye” at the Jarretts to booing Roode. Roode said he’s been called a lot of names recently, and he’ll add King of the Iron Man to his list tonight. Roode said he’ll be surprised if Styles even makes it to the ring tonight. He also told Sting to pay attention because he spits in the face of authority…just ask Dixie Carter.
Impact Zone: A.J. Styles, limping a bit to sell his fictional knee injury, came out first for the main event. World champ Robert Roode was out next. No sign of Dixie Carter yet. JB handled formal ring introductions before the bell sounded at 10:20 p.m. EST, leaving plenty of time for the 30-minute match.
8 — TNA World Hvt. champion ROBERT ROODE vs. A.J. STYLES — TNA World Title match — 30-minute Iron Man match
Champ and Challenger started with basic holds to set a methodical pace stretching out 30 minutes. Styles upped the pace with a quick sequence of moves. Roode then slipped to the outside for a breather and there was a nice camera shot of a big scoreboard graphic hanging over the fans on the hard camera side. There were no close falls after eight minutes, then the two men traded rapid-fire pin attempts. Styles grabbed a headlock to slow down the pace and Taz predicted a 1-0 final score. Styles began selling the leg injury, then Roode clipped Styles from behind for a pinfall.
*** ROODE 1, STYLES 0 at 10:02 ***
Taz and Tenay continued to focus on a stacked deck against Styles by suggesting Styles’s injury could prevent him from scoring an equalizing fall. Styles tried to fight back, but Roode continued to focus on the leg. Styles found himself in a half-Boston Crab, but clawed his way toward the bottom rope for a break. Roode followed with a figure-four and Styles tried to fight the hold, but eventually tapped out.
*** ROODE 2, STYLES 0 via submission at 15:24 ***
Roode took his time strutting around the ring in complete control of the match. Roode then approached Styles, but Styles kicked him in the shoulder. Styles followed with a dropkick to the shoulder. Styles, trying to play the role of Tim Tebow facing a deficit in the fourth quarter, applied a Crossface submission. Roode fought the hold momentarily before tapping out.
*** ROODE 2, STYLES 1 via submission at 17:37 ***
Styles went back to work on Roode’s shoulder with a submission, but Roode escaped to reset the action. Styles followed with right hand strikes, but walked into an elbow strike, followed by a left-arm clothesline from Roode. They reached the 20-minute mark with Roode approaching Styles for a follow-up move, but Styles quickly executed a cradle pin for a fall.
*** ROODE 2, STYLES 2 at 20:09 ***
The match reset with Styles selling an injured leg and Roode selling an injured shoulder. Roode started the final ten minutes in control of the action before Styles pulled out a signature back flip into reverse DDT. Styles tried to follow with a springboard 450 splash and he connected. Styles made a cover and it was good for a fall to take the lead.
*** STYLES 3, ROODE 2 at 23:00 ***
After the fall, Styles sold intense pain in his leg. He remained in control of the match, though, and tried another armbar submission, but Roode blocked. Styles yanked Roode’s arm across the top rope, then tried a sunset flip, but Roode blocked, trapped Styles’s shoulders to the mat, grabbed the ropes for leverage, and scored a pin with the ref not looking at Roode’s hands.
*** STYLES 3, ROODE 3 at 25:00 ***
After the fall, Styles blasted Roode with right hands to sell frustration after Roode cheated to even the score. The action then moved up top, where Styles scored with an armdrag taking Roode clear across the ring. At 27:00, Styles followed with a backdrop suplex before Roode kicked Styles at the knee. Roode tried to follow with a Fisherman Suplex, but Styles countered with a cradle for a nearfall. Styles then hit the Pele Kick and fired up the crowd. He wanted the Clash, but Styles’s knee buckled and he fell backward on the mat. Roode, with a bloody nose, rolled out of the ring at 28:30. The ref began counting Roode, then Styles came flying over the top rope with a flip dive that put both men on the floor.
With one minute to go in regulation, both men were selling the effects on the outside. Styles checked the clock, then rolled Roode back into the ring. Roode stood up, saw the clock, and bailed out of the ring. Styles then chased Roode around the ring and Roode continued to bail from the ring before the clock expired. Jeremy Borash announced the match is a 3-3 draw, so Roode keeps the World Title. Taz said it can’t end like this. Tenay said this was all about survival for Roode. Roode held up his title belt and told Styles the belt is his. The crowd chanted for five more minutes as Styles called out for Sting, who apparently called it a night after the cage match. Roode declared himself the champ as he hugged the title belt. The credits came on the screen, ending the PPV with Styles selling frustration in the ring and Roode declaring that no one can take the title from him.
WINNER: Draw at 30:00. Good action and drama throughout, but not exactly a satisfying finish for people paying money to see a winner and a loser in a PPV main event. (Isn’t the title of the PPV “Final” Resolution?) But, the finish was expected considering Roode’s heel title reign is about keeping the title by any means necessary. Right now, Roode vs. Hardy is the main event of next month’s PPV, but it looks like Styles could be added to the mix based on this result. (***)
January PPV plug: James Storm will be part of Genesis on January 8.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Underwhelming PPV with hardly anything resolved. It felt like a typical “off-brand” TNA PPV where the event just happened to pop up the calendar, which meant another day in Orlando prior to the TV tapings. TNA either needs to make drastic cuts to their PPV schedule or get the PPVs out of Orlando to avoid lifeless crowds.