Source: KB of KB’s Wrestling Reviews
Since the show is leaving Spike, this episode is the first half of a Top 20 Moments in TNA History and is airing at 11pm instead of the usual 9pm timeslot. It gets even better next week with the show starting at midnight on Christmas Eve night. When they bury a show they really bury it. Let’s get to it.
As usual I’ll be posting the full versions of any matches that are clipped.
20. Lockdown 2008.
TNA World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
In a cage with Angle defending and Joe’s career on the line. They haven’t had a PPV match in awhile so we get a recap of their whole history. This is treated more like an MMA fight with Angle in black shorts instead of his usual singlet and MMA fighter Frank Trigg on commentary. Before the match, Angle has Karen thrown out from her front row seat.
They even start by standing in MMA stances before trading leg kicks. Joe gets a leg bar but Angle is almost immediately in the ropes. Down to the mat with Angle hammering away at Joe’s guard as this is getting old fast. Joe gets the better of some mat grappling before it’s back to the stupid MMA stances. Angle finally snaps off a suplex and puts on a side choke until Joe makes the ropes.
Off to a front facelock from the champion before a quick German suplex gets two. A shot to the knee puts Joe down again and we hit the figure four. It’s about time we got to some wrestling. Joe finally turns it over but Angle is right next to the ropes. Angle cranks on the leg again but Joe chops his way out of it. That’s fine with Kurt as he slaps on a quickly broken headlock. Seriously a headlock in a cage match?
Back up and Joe nails a clothesline to put Kurt down but he has to shake his knee a bit. Kurt goes to the middle rope but gets caught by the enziguri. The MuscleBuster is countered and Angle hooks the ankle lock. Joe rolls out and gets two out of the release Rock Bottom out of the corner. The powerbomb into the Walls of Jericho into the STF into the crossface has Angle screaming.
Kurt grabs the ankle to finally escape but Joe pulls Angle back down into the crossface in the middle of the ring. Angle finally rolls over to get the ropes but Joe puts it right back on. Another rope is grabbed and the Angle Slam gets two. The champion puts on the ankle lock but he spins one too many times and gets pulled into the Clutch, only to use the referee’s shirt to make it to the ropes. Another Angle Slam attempt is countered and Joe sends him face first into the cage (first time it’s been used) and the MuscleBuster FINALLY gives Joe the title.
Rating: B. This got much better once they stopped the stupid MMA stuff and had a wrestling match. There was no need to have a cage here as it was only used once towards the end, which could have been replaced by a kick or something like that. It’s a good match and a good moment, but at the end of the day this was too overdone for what it needed to be.
19. Destination X 2012.
TNA World Title: Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode
Feeling out process to start without a lot of offense either way. After about a minute and twenty seconds they lock up and Roode grabs the arm. Aries grabs the arm to counter but gets run over. They’re still in slow mode and that’s fine. A rolling cradle gets two for Aries and he hooks an STF. They hit the mat and Roode slaps him in the back of his head a few times. Now Aries takes him down to the mat and hits a slingshot tope for two.
Roode hooks a headscissors on the mat which is quickly broken up and they head outside. Aries hits a top rope ax handle to the floor but his missile dropkick misses back inside and Roode takes over. Roode hooks a chinlock but a knee drop misses. Aries fires off with kicks and tries the Last Chancery but it doesn’t go on right. Roode goes to the floor but avoids the suicide dive, sending Aries into the barricade.
Roode hooks a bodyscissors back in the ring followed by a hard whip into the corner. He talks a lot of trash to the downed Aries and hits a combination F5/Samoan Drop for two. Off to a body vice on the mat and Aries is cut on the nose. Aries makes a comeback and fires off forearms and chops in the corner. They slug it out and a discus forearm puts Roode down. A clothesline puts Roode on the floor and there’s the suicide dive which connects this time.
This time the missile dropkick hits as well but Aries charges into a powerslam out of the corner. Aries comes back again and tries the Last Chancery again, but Roode is pretty bad at selling it. Roode counters into a Crossface but Aries counters right back into the Chancery. Aries gets in another shot to the head and goes up for the 450, but Roode moves. Aries rolls through it anyway but walks into the spinebuster for two.
The champion sends him shoulder first into the post and goes back to the Crossface. That stays on for a long time but Aries makes the rope. Roode is frustrated now so he grabs the belt, only to have it taken away by the referee. That allows the champ to hit a low blow for two. Roode argues with the referee and gets shoved into the corner, allowing Aries to hit the corner dropkick.
Aries tries the brainbuster but Roode escapes and the ref is bumped. Roode hits a belt shot for a VERY close two. The fisherman’s suplex is countered into a small package for two and Aries punts Roode in the head. He grabs the brainbuster out of nowhere for the pin and the title in a huge shocker.
Rating: B+. Another good match to close the show here, but the point of this was in the surprise. This felt like a big moment and it was the right call to pull the trigger here. This show was designed around the X-Division and having the longest reigning champion win the world title here was the right way to make the X Title look like it can be something comparable to the world title. Good match too.
18. Victory Road 2010.
Tag Titles: Beer Money vs. Motor City Machine Guns
Ok so the Guns more or less have to win here. I like the Guns’ music. Storm and Shelley start us off. They’re doing a slow build to start us off as Taz says the Guns are the best team from their city, including the Tigers. Uh, deep? We get a Mel Torme reference of all things as we’re talking about tap dancing. Beer Money takes over and after a double vertical suplex they do their thing.
Shelley is getting beaten on. This is a good match so far so it’s hard to make jokes. Well other than Taz and Tenay who are always jokes. Ah there’s Sabin. I like him better than Shelley I think. We crank it up a bit and Sabin hits a running punt on Storm while he’s on the apron and Storm is on the floor. The crowd is getting back into it a bit too. Eye of the Storm gets two on Sabin.
I’m sorry for the excessive play by play here but that’s the main thing going on here. That made less than no sense but just go with it. We’ve lost any resemblance of a tag match here as it’s just all insanity. Maybe Heyman is booking the company. Everything just goes insane and this is awesome for once. The Guns dominate as Storm has a beer bottle. The referee gets beer spit in his face as the Guns hit a combination splash/neckbreaker on Roode for two.
There’s another referee here now and I have a bad feeling about this. It’s ALL Guns here as we’re going fast paced here. They hit their kick combination and cover Roode as Storm rolls Sabin up. The referees count a double pin and it’s Dusty Finish time. Earl, not the original referee, says restart it. The Guns win in like a minute with the same thing they did earlier, making the restart TOTALLY POINTLESS. Very good match though so I can’t complain much.
Rating: A-. This was a VERY good match. The main thing holding it back is the restart which was the walking definition of overbooking. What in the world is that supposed to help? Whatever it was I certainly don’t get it. The Guns are the champions, albeit nearly three years later. Still though, if they’re going to win them, at least win them in a classic I guess. Very good match all the way through. Loved it.
We get a collection of comedy moments from over the years, including Shark Boy waking up in a hospital bed, Curry Man rambling and meeting Shark Boy, Eric Young winning a bikini contest, Big Fat Oily Guy, the Aces and 8’s Funeral, Jay Lethal and Flair having a WOO Off, Robbie E. vs. Robbie T. in a Bro Off (E.’s face at the end of T.’s routine still cracks me up), Shark Boy getting fat, Eric Bischoff being dumped in a portable toilet and ODB marrying Eric Young.
17. Impact – July 7, 2010.
This is another moment where they put the wrong date on the show as it was actually July 8. The moment is Jay Lethal’s perfect imitation of Ric Flair which words don’t do justice. He had the voice down and every catchphrase, sending Flair into fits in the ring. Go find this one online because it’s hilarious and all in the way Lethal sounds and just typing it out would ruin the joke.
16. Bound For Glory 2009.
Ultimate X with Red defending. Red is a guy that was around near the beginning of TNA and did some very impressive flips, earning the adulation of Don West. Don is now managing the champ and was known to climb on the announcers’ table and cheer for him. Sabin and Shelley won a match on the preshow to get in this match. Suicide is a video game character who started appearing on TV, portrayed by Daniels or Kazarian (the latter here). Homicide is part of the World Elite stable, which is a group of international wrestlers, led by Eric Young, who feel they haven’t been treated right.
It’s a mad scramble to the corners to start but no one can get anywhere. Everyone goes after everyone with Homicide getting the biggest advantage by taking down Shelley and diving through the ropes to take out Daniels. Suicide rolls the champion over and dives onto Homicide but the Guns work together to set up a suicide dive on…uh Suicide actually. Red kicks Shelley but gets dropped by Daniels, who goes for a climb. Red isn’t done yet and hurricanranas Daniels onto everyone else in the match.
Back in and Sabin busts out a giant swing on Red but Shelley adds a dropkick to the champ’s head to make it even worse. Daniels attacks both Guns and Homicide goes for a climb, only to have Suicide springboard up to the ropes and make a save, only to get pulled down into a Gringo Cutter. Sabin holds Daniels and Homicide for a top rope double stomp from Shelley.
The Guns continue their control by working over Red but the champion escapes a Doomsday Device with a Sliced Bread #2 instead of a clothesline and takes Sabin down with a hurricanrana. Suicide comes back in but Homicide suplexes him down. Homicide drops the champ and goes up but Daniels pulls him down and nails a Death Valley Driver. Red goes for the ropes but slowly comes back down for some reason, only to go back towards the belt until Suicide pulls him back down.
Now it’s Daniels and Sabin going up and kicking at each other while hanging in the air, eventually knocking each other down for a big crash. Sabin nails a tornado DDT on Daniels and Shelley nails a Sliced Bread #2 on Suicide. We get the Parade of Secondary Finishers, followed by Shelley, Red and Suicide hitting a huge Tower of Doom out of the corner with Suicide taking the worst of it (and kicking Daniels in the face on the way down).
Suicide throws Daniels down but Red kicks him in the face and gets caught by a corkscrew dive. Sabin goes nuts until Suicide kicks him off the top rope. Suicide goes right back up and hits the Flux Capacitor on Sabin, setting up Daniels’ Best Moonsault Ever. Daniels and Suicide climb onto the top of the structure above the cables and Red follows after them.
The fans ask them not to die so Daniels and Suicide tease suplexing each other off. They slap each other until Daniels carefully climbs down onto the X but Suicide does the same and they both fall with Daniels landing on his head. Tazz rightfully shouts CHECK HIM as Red slips down through the treeses as well and grabs the title before someone dies.
Rating: C+. That Daniels bump had me terrified when I saw it live and it doesn’t get any easier here. Thankfully he was ok for the most part. I can’t emphasize how much better this was than last year’s opener with just six men involved. It gives the match a chance to breathe and you can keep track of what’s going on. This was a good opener but the Daniels fall made it hard to sit through at the end.
15. Lockdown 2013.
TNA World Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray
In the cage of course with Hardy defending. Tenay says Ray has a 50+ pound weigh advantage about a minute after Ray is announced at 275 to Hardy’s 227. Feeling out process to start with Ray running Hardy over with a hard shoulder. A quick slam gets two for Ray and the champion bails to the corner. Hardy fights back with the Whisper in the Wind for two but can’t escape as Ray rams Hardy’s leg into the cage.
Ray starts a slow and methodical offense by working over the champion’s ribs and back. A big backdrop gets two for Ray but Jeff gets in a shot to earn himself a breather. The Twist and the Bubba Bomb are both countered but the second attempt at the Twist of Fate connects. Cue Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff into the cage but Jeff and Bully run them over. Bully lets himself be a springboard for Poetry in Motion before throwing both bikers out.
They slug it out in the middle of the ring with Jeff actually taking over. A flying forearm takes Bully down and there’s a low dropkick for two. Hardy tries to climb out but Ray makes the save and they slug it out on the top rope. Hardy kicks Ray in the head but falls to the mat, allowing Ray to fall off the top onto Jeff for a VERY close two. The Twist staggers Bully but as Jeff goes up, Ray hits a HUGE sitout powerbomb out of the corner to put both guys down.
Ray covers for two and the fans are split. Cue the Hogans to watch the main event from ringside to cheer on Bully. Ray gets to his feet very slowly but here are Aces and 8’s. Ray stands up and has a chain as the bikers come in. To the shock of not many people, Ray is thrown a hammer by D-Von and clubs down Jeff to win the title, revealing himself as the leader at 17:20.
Rating: B-. That powerbomb alone was worth the whole match. The ending isn’t really all that surprising but at least Aces and 8’s have FINALLY done something of note. Bully Ray as world champion of a major company in 2013 is a huge gamble to say the least, but it appears that we’re heading to Hogan vs. Ray down the line. To call that a gamble is an even shorter stretch but it’s what we appear to be getting.
We hear a quick recap from Bully Ray about how the Aces and 8’s plan came together. This really helped tie things together after it didn’t make a lot of sense for months on end.
In some storyline development, we see Shera being tortured in the woods, likely as his way of joining the Revolution.
14. Bound For Glory 2007.
Knockouts Title: Gauntlet Match
This is to crown the inaugural champion. As usual, it’s over the top with one minute intervals for the ten entrants until we get to the final two when it becomes one fall to a finish. Miss Brooks is in at #1 and Jackie Moore is in at #2. Jackie runs Brooks over and knocks her face first onto the mat until Shelley Martinez is in at #3. Brooks goes after Shelley and gets dropped with a reverse DDT for her efforts. Jackie goes after Shelley, allowing Brooks to hit a top rope seated senton on Martinez.
Awesome Kong is in at #4 but takes 55 seconds to get to the ring and can’t do anything. Jackie throws out Brooks and Kong dumps Martines. ODB is in at #5 and also takes her time getting in, allowing Kong to plant Jackie and dump her out. We’re down to ODB vs. Kong and of course ODB starts swinging. Angel Williams is in at #6 as Kong is hammering away on ODB. The girls wisely double team Kong but are quickly suplexed down.
Christy Hemme (looking GREAT) is in at #7 and immediately gets put in a torture rack. Kong slams her down until Gail Kim comes in at #8 with a missile dropkick. Hemme is taken out by medics as the other three gang up on Kong. They finally dump Kong out (and break her top at the same time) as Talia Madison is in at #9. ODB and Gail Kim double team Williams out Roxxi Leveaux is in at #10 so we have a final grouping of Gail, Roxxi, ODB and Talia. Gail throws out Talia and Roxxi dumps ODB to get us to the one on one match.
Roxxi nails her with a forearm to the chest and plants her with a fall away slam for two. The fans are almost entirely behind Gail, as they’ve been since the beginning. An Octopus Hold has Roxxi in trouble but she falls into the ropes. Gail misses a missile dropkick and they trade rollups for two each. Back up and Kim grabs White Noise for the pin and the first title.
Rating: C-. These matches are hard to get into and it would have helped quite a bit if we hadn’t had a battle royal about an hour ago. Kim is a good choice for the first champion and has a built in challenger in Kong, who had some great matches with Gail in the coming months. I do like that she won the title with a pin instead of dumping someone out though. It feels more proper.
13. Impact – March 3, 2011.
Time for the wedding. Eric Young is the ring bearer and Orlando Jordan is the flower girl. Jeff comes out thankfully not to his theme music. Tazz keeps calling Karen by the name Karen Angle. And of course here’s Kurt and the brawl is on. Jeff almost goes into the definitely not ten foot cake. Kurt hits a clothesline and here’s Karen. She slaps Kurt and goes into the cake. Angle’s music plays it out. This whole thing might have lasted two and a half minutes.
From later in the night.
Time for wedding #2. Young it still wedding bearer and Jordan is still flower girl. Jeff doesn’t have a coat on this time. Kurt walks Karen down the aisle. He’s smiling and Karen seems to still have cake on her face. Kurt is all happy here and it’s rather amusing. No Bart Scott in sight. The fans boo at the or forever hold your piece line. They both say I will and all that jazz. The minister asks the fans if they’ll support the Jarretts. Take a guess how that goes over.
Now we get to hear CUSTOM vows. We’ve had a combined 12 minutes of wrestling and we’re getting custom vows. Wow indeed. Jeff says he’s long winded and would be nervous so he wrote his out. He runs down Kurt the whole time and Kurt just keeps smiling away. He’s looking over Jeff’s shoulder and it’s rather creepy. Karen is the wind beneath his wings.
Karen says Jeff is a real man and the princess is taken care of. Oh and Kurt didn’t screw her enough apparently. Jeff completes her. The minister announces them as husband and wife through the power vested in him by the department of motor vehicles. The unintentional comedy is helping here. They actually get through the kissing of the bride, so Kurt busts out an ax and starts hacking the set to pieces, all with that creepy grin on his face. That was kind of awesome.
Bischoff sends out New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott. Yes send your celebrity out to the CRAZY MAN WITH AN AXE! Surprisingly enough they go at it and Kurt grabs the ankle lock and cranks on it. Didn’t expect that. Segment went WAY too long but the ending helped it a lot.
12. Impact – October 29, 2014.
TNA World Title: Lashley vs. Bobby Roode
They have a ton of time for this, Lashley is defending and Kurt Angle is guest referee. MVP and King are nowhere in sight. Lashley powers Bobby into the corner to start and easily takes him down with an amateur move. A hard shoulder to the ribs has Roode in even more trouble but Bobby comes back with a clothesline and tells Lashley to bring it on. The champ is all fired up but his clothesline is countered into the Crossface, sending Lashley out to the floor.
We take a break and come back with Lashley holding a reverse wasitlock until Bobby fights up with forearms. A quick Blockbuster gets two but Roode charges into a spinning spinebuster. Lashley ducks another shot but clotheslines Angle (first time he’s meant anything in the match) by mistake. The Roode Bomb is countered and Lashley nails the spear with no one to count the pin. Another spear hits Angle to knock him to the floor, allowing Roode to enziguri Lashley to the floor.
Bobby follows and avoids a spear, sending a ring attendant flying. A Roode Bomb on the ramp puts both guys down but there’s still no Angle to count anything. Instead Brian Hebner comes in to count the near fall and Bobby is frustrated. Lashley hits Roode low and gets the belt but Hebner says no.
That earns him a knockout clothesline, allowing Lashley to hit Roode with the belt. Angle comes in to count two and is finally back to his feet. The Roode Bomb is countered and Lashley snaps Bobby’s throat across the top rope. Another attempt is countered into a sunset flip attempt but Roode falls on top for the pin and the title at 17:49.
Rating: B. The match got going near the middle but I really don’t see why Angle needed to be out there. Any regular referee could have played his role to the same degree but maybe they’re setting up Lashley vs. Angle down the line? The important part though is Roode being made into a bigger deal than he was before, but now he needs to have a very solid title reign to make it even better. TNA is really needing a top face and if Roode is that guy then so be it.
11. Bound For Glory 2011.
Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
Bischoff’s son is referee. Sting is insane here and wears a Hulkamania shirt to the ring. Hulk is in street clothes. The bell rings and here comes Flair as we keep looking at Dixie Carter in the front row. Sting grabs a headlock to start but Hogan shoves him away and Hulks Up. That gets Hogan a crotch chop so Hulk punches him down and puts on a chinlock. Sting gets sent outside but is quickly back inside to have his back and eyes raked.
Hogan throws him outside for low blows and chops from Flair before Hulk starts biting at Sting’s forehead. The beating goes on for awhile until they head back inside where Flair slips Hogan a foreign object. The shots bust Sting open but Sting comes back with right hands. He stops the beating and goes after Flair, stealing the foreign object to cut Hogan open as well. A pair of Stinger Splashes set up the Scorpion Deathlock and Hogan gives up, forcing referee Jackson James to call for the bell.
Rating: D+. This one would fall under the category of “what else were you expecting?” At the end of the day, TNA basically exists to make Sting look good so this really shouldn’t be a surprise. Someone young probably should have gotten the rub from Hogan, but Sting clearly needed this spot instead right?
Immortal comes out to destroy Sting with chairs as Abyss is shown watching from behind the curtain. Jackson James takes one of them away, turning face about an hour and fifteen minutes after he turned heel. Bischoff hits him with a chair, starting the most unwanted face push in the history of ever.
Sting crawls over to Hogan and begs for help, because if there’s one thing more important than making Sting look good, it’s making Hogan look good. Hogan makes the big face turn and helps Sting clean house, because two bloody guys in their 50s beating up about seven guys armed with chairs makes perfect sense. Posing ensues and of course the old WWF crowd eats it up. It’s a cool segment for the moment, but this was basically all about Hogan and Sting instead of doing anything for TNA long term.
Overall Rating: B. The show was entertaining due to having some excellent wrestling, but let’s recap that ending real fast: the big moment that you end the show on is two guys in their 50s who currently work for WWE. They couldn’t have swapped this with #12 so that the last thing we see is the reigning World Champion standing tall after vanquishing an unstoppable beast? It was really necessary that we had to show Sting and Hogan at the end of the show?
The show as a whole was good enough, but I would have liked to see some stuff from the old days. There had to be some great stuff in there, but maybe they’re saving those for next week. I really hope this doesn’t turn into the best since the Hogan Era began, because there are some gems from back in the day that have just been forgotten over the years.