TNA: No Surrender, September 14, 2008
-They are airing live from Oshawa, Ontario Canada. Our hosts for the evening are Mike Tenay and Don West.
-Say what you will about TNA, but their video packages are top notch. The opening video does a fantastic job of putting over Kurt Angle, Booker T, Christian Cage, and Samoa Joe heading into a big four way match. It’s a shame that Booker T couldn’t make his flight, so we’ll be treated to a triple threat instead.
-The show kicks off with Sting making his way to the ring. Sting puts over Canada and uses some unfortunate hip hop slang. He soaks in a faint "you’re a legend" chant before continuing with his shtick. He announces that he will face the TNA World Champion at Bound for Glory. Sting stumbles for a moment before putting over the TNA talent roster. Hell, even the fans are talented for making it to the arena. Sting lectures about respect, something that a lot of the snot-nosed baby brats in the locker room don’t have. He goes as far to compare himself to Bret Hart, because they both fought for the same things. Sting says he cannot retire until guys like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe know what respect is. This was weak at times, but Sting wrapped things up strongly.
-Earlier today, Christian Cage arrived at the arena in a nice car. Whoopty-freaking-doo.
-Mike Tenay and Don West officially announce that Booker T won’t be making it to the show due to Hurricane Ike. They run down the card, which doesn’t seem necessary since theoretically everyone watching has already spent their money.
The Rock n’ Rave Infection vs. Prince Justice Brotherhood
Whoa, tired gimmicks galore (save for Curry Man, he’s cool shit). The Rock n’ Rave Infection consist of Lance Rock, Jimmy Rave, and Christy Hemme. The Prince Justice Brotherhood are Super Eric (Young), Stone Cold Shark Boy, and Curry Man (Christopher Daniels). Since Hemme is a participant, that means the heels have the disadvantage, that’s not a good idea. Rave kicks the match off against Super Eric. They go through the motions, with Super Eric supposedly having super strength and easily capable of overpowering a guy his own size. Suicide dive by Eric takes out Rave. Eric goes high risk and barely hits a missile drop-kick. Rock tags and Super Eric blocks a double team and hits a botched double clothesline (blame Rock for that one, I think). Shark Boy tags and overtakes Rock after an assist from Eric. Rave tags, but Shark Boy stomps a mud hole in him. Hemme and Curry Man get tags, and Curry Man patronizes her by willingly putting himself in headlocks. Curry Man blatantly checks out her ass, and gets slapped in return. Rave tags and dumps Shark Boy over the ropes, with Rock furthering the abuse at ringside. Looks like Shark Boy is our face in peril, as the Rock n’ Rave Infection keep the tags and double teams coming. Curry Man gets a hot tag and cleans house. Curry Man keeps trying to dance with Christy and lands a kiss on her (which she liked). Rock breaks up the cover and plants Curry Man to the canvas. Christy hits the flying fire crotch guillotine (yes, that’s what it’s actually called) but can’t get the pinfall. Who even knows who the legal men are supposed to be at this point, all hell has broken loose. Super Eric ends up lifting both Rock and Rave on his shoulders and hitting a double DVD! Meanwhile, Curry Man pins Christy for the win at 7:49. There were a lot of problems in this match, but at least it was entertaining, *¾.
Winners: Prince Justice Brotherhood
-A video package highlights just how dominant Awesome Kong has been. ODB is the only woman “man enough” to stand up to Kong, and they collide in a falls count anywhere match.
Falls Count Anywhere:
Awesome Kong (with Raisha Saed) vs. ODB
Saed jumps ODB during her entrance (while she was swigging beer from the fans). The bell rings as Kong joins in the beat down at ringside. The action spills into the ring, ODB dodges a splash and fetches a table. ODB tries to whip Kong into the table propped in the corner, but she eats a clothesline. They brawl at ringside and into the crowd. ODB dumps some garbage on Kong and then uses the can as a weapon. Kong reverses and they brawl to the entrance ramp. Scoop slam by Kong on the bottom of the ramp. Cover by Kong gets 2. Kong chops ODB against the ring post, but misses a clothesline. Lou Thesz press off the ring steps by ODB. ODB props a chair in the turnbuckle, and sidesteps Kong, causing her to fall into the chair. ODB sets up the table, but Kong is back but her power bomb is blocked. ODB power bombs Kong off the turnbuckle onto the table! The table doesn’t break, which only makes this spot more sick. Cover by ODB gets a 2.9. Saed pulls ODB to ringside and they brawl. ODB dispatches Saed and goes high risk, but lands in the grip of Kong. Quick roll-up by ODB bets 2. Kong dominates. Saed sends another table to the ring and Kong props it in the corner. ODB sips something from her flask and spits it out in Kong’s eyes! Kong catches ODB and spine busters ODB into the table, picking up the win at 10:20! Good brawl that played well to both women’s personalities, ***.
Winner: Awesome Kong
-Backstage, Christian Cage is interviewed about how determined he is heading into tonight’s main event. Cage reminds us that he is in the business of professional wrestling (this isn’t The Hills, after all). Cage got into this business only an hour from the arena. Basically, Cage is asking the fans to cheer for him later on. Cage reminisces his first World title win, and how looking at the gold he thought about all the hardships he experienced to get there. He felt that it wouldn’t get better than that… but he was wrong, because tonight will be the best moment in his career. Cage is determined to win the World title again, this time in front of his Canadian peers. Good stuff.
-Video package highlights Team 3D taunting Abyss, who spent six months trapped in a mental asylum.
Team 3D vs. Abyss and Matt Morgan
Morgan is doing a spot-on impression of Brock Lesnar. TNA really wants Morgan to get over in a big way, but it’s just not happening. Brother Ray kicks the match off against Abyss. A shoving contest leads to Ray hiding out in the ropes after pissing off the monster. After some back and forth action, Brother Devon gets a tag and assists in knocking Abyss off his feet with a double shoulder block. Morgan tags and he unleashes some power offense. Ray charges and eats a double suplex from Morgan and Abyss. Team 3D threatens to leave the building, but they are cut off by their opponents. The action returns to the ring, where Team 3D cheap shots Abyss, targeting his leg. Abyss becomes the age old face in peril, as Team 3D continues to work over his leg. Abyss eventually fights them off and hits a side slam on Ray. Morgan gets the hot tag and cleans house on Team 3D. Abyss and Ray brawl at ringside. Morgan gets a big boot on Devon and should have won the match, but Ray disrupted the ref. Johnny Devine runs in and whacks Morgan with the chair. Cover by Devon gets 2.5! Morgan eats the modified 3D but still kicks out. Double clothesline by Morgan and tag is made to Abyss. Abyss destroys the interfering Devine and continues to clean house. Abyss finds himself stuck on Ray’s shoulder’s and is set up for the Doomsday Device. Devon hits the worst Doomsday I’ve ever seen, but Morgan breaks up the cover. Morgan and Ray fight at ringside, while Abyss hits the choke slam on Devon, earning a two count. Abyss grabs the chair but hesitates, allowing Brother Ray to cheap shot. Morgan removes Ray, and punches the chair into Devon’s face. Black hole slam by Abyss is enough for the win at 11:35. This had it’s moments, but was too long and fell apart in the end, *½.
Winners: Abyss and Matt Morgan
-After the match, Abyss and Morgan signal they want a shot at the tag titles. Team 3D isn’t finished and they cheap shot both men. Morgan wakes up and sees Abyss holding the chair and foolishly blames him for the shot. Come on now, do they really expect us to think Morgan is that stupid?
X Division Championship:
Petey Williams © (with Rhaka Khan) vs. Consequences Creed vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir
Bashir’s music kicks off with what sounds like a plane crashing. That is so beyond tasteless. For those of you who don’t know, Bashir is Daivari, basically picking up where Muhammad Hassan left off. Creed plays an all-American hero, so naturally the Canadian crowd finds him obnoxious and boos. Williams is a Canadian hero, so he’s the favorite in this building.
Bell rings and Williams and Creed go at it with lightning speed. To make things more entertaining, Earl Hebner is the referee and the crowd lets him have it with “You screwed Bret” chants. At first I thought they were chanting that at Creed, and I was confused. Bashir gets involved, angrily going after Creed. Bashir tries to power bomb Williams off the apron, but Creed breaks it up, allowing Williams to hit a leg drop. Creed somersaults over the ropes onto both opponents. The action spills back to the ring, where Williams chops the life out of Bashir and gets a roll-up that’s broken by Creed’s sunset flip. Petey drives Creed’s chest into his knees and follows up with a hurricanrana. Williams looks like a true superstar here, even with the Scott Steiner impersonation. Creed bounces around and knocks down Bashir. Williams is too fast and smart to let Bashir or Creed stop him from taking out both of them. Williams is on fire, and the crowd loves him. Williams attempts a double Canadian Destroyer, but Bashir blocks it. Creed is removed by Bashir, who then sets Williams up on top. Superplex by Bashir, but Creed hits a guillotine leg drop on both men! Bashir capitalizes on a Creed press slam on Williams. After a flurry of counters, Williams catches Bashir with the sharpshooter. Bashir tries to cover Creed while still trapped in the sharpshooter, so I award him some points. Williams locks the arm to avoid a rope break, and I must say I’m damn impressed. Creed breaks up the hold and gets a near fall on Petey. Williams reverses Creed but the Canadian Destroyer is reversed into a pinning predicament. Williams connects with the Canadian Destroyer on Creed, but Bashir pulls Williams out of the ring. Bashir steals the pinfall on Creed and wins the title at 8:15. Super fun and innovative spot-fest, I just wish it could have gone longer, ***¼.
Winner and new X Division Champion: Sheik Abdul Bashir
-Backstage, Samoa Joe arrives at the building.
-Taylor Wilde is the youngest Knockouts Champion in history, so says a video package. Well, the belt is less than a year old and has only been held by three people, so I wouldn’t brag about that. Wilde must face off Angelina Love, who wants to give the belt a makeover.
TNA Knockouts Championship:
Taylor Wilde © vs. Angelina Love (with Velvet Sky and Kute Kip)
Some of you are probably wondering who Kute Kip is, and it’s none other than Billy Gunn. I guess someone backstage thought the Beautiful People stable/gimmick was just too awesome and had to do something to ruin it. Despite months of effort, Taylor still isn’t really that over. Wilde notices that Angelina has back-up and uses the tired “I was born at night but not last night” line in a promo, forcing my eyes to roll to the back of my head. Taylor introduces her new best friend, Rhino! Here’s an idea: never let Taylor speak again.
The early going resembles a cat-fight more than a wrestling match. I tend to expect more from Knockouts matches. Things pick up with Taylor hitting a shoulder block and angrily smashing away at Angelina. Meanwhile, Tracy Brooks is at ringside, taking notes. Angelina retreats to ringside and talks strategy with Velvet and Kip. Taylor chases Angelina around the ring, and runs into a shot with the makeup kit from Velvet. Basically, Taylor probably was born last night. Back to the ring, Angelina throws Taylor by the hair and earns a near fall. Angelina heels it up, raking Taylor’s eyes in the ropes. Cover by Angelina gets 2. They trade shots and take each other down by the hair. They trade chops and Taylor unleashes a series of clotheslines and tirt-a-whirl backbreaker. Cover by Taylor gets 2. Angelina is set on the top rope, but blocks. Angelina hits an off the top face suplex. Cover by Angelina gets 2. I’m impressed with the loud “Taylor” chants from the fans. Taylor makes a baby face comeback, and Rhino gores the interfering Kute Kip. Velvet holds Taylor still, but Taylor escapes and drop-kicks the Beautiful people together. Taylor uses a bridging pin to pick up the win at 6:24. This was pretty boring until the hot finish, *¼.
Winner and still TNA Knockouts Champion: Taylor Wilde
-Video package highlights the Jay Lethal/Sonjay Dutt feud. They are fighting for the heart of So Cal Val, and she is willing to marry either one of them. In fact, she’ll marry the winner of the following ladder match. What a whore.
Ladder of Love match:
Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt
So Cal Val is going to watch the match from ringside. Sonjay Dutt gives Val a single rose, but Lethal upstages him by giving her an entire bouquet. Well, the winner in this match will be whoever can climb the ladder (of love) and grab the engagement ring hanging from the ceiling. Wrestling has such a weird little universe. Lethal and Dutt go at it quickly with back and forth action. Lethal unleashes a full nelson suplex, sending Dutt to ringside. The brawl continues outside the ring. The ladder is set up on the ring and guard rail, and Lethal elevates Dutt chest-first onto it. Dutt gets the upper hand and hits a slingshot leg drop in the ring. Lethal back drops Dutt over the ropes onto the ladder! Lethal sets up another ladder in the ring and attempts the climb. Dutt springboards onto the ladder and drives Lethal’s head into the ropes. Dutt attempts the climb, but Lethal power bombs him into the ladder. Lethal climbs, but Dutt pulls the other ladder in and braces it between the steps. Dutt pulls Lethal onto the braced ladder and hits a forward moonsault! That was really cool! Dutt climbs and ducks a ladder shot. With the second ladder balancing on the standing ladder, Lethal tries to catapult Dutt into the top ladder. It misses, and that is kind of an embarrassing botch. Lethal positions a ladder in the turnbuckles and repeatedly drives Dutt into it. The crowd is still deflated after that botch, though Dutt crotching Lethal on a ladder wakes them up a bit. Dutt climbs, but Lethal springboard drop-kicks him off. Sonjay blocks a drop toe hold and reverses it, putting Lethal in a tree of woe on the ladder. Dutt drop-kicks the ladder (with Lethal’s head in the steps) in a rather vicious spot!
Sonjay has evil intentions as he sets up two chairs in the aisle and drapes the ladder on them. Lethal cuts him off, but his power bomb is blocked. Dutt hits an ace crusher on Lethal onto the ladder, but his own back connects as well! That was nasty! Dutt returns to the ring and attempts the climb. Lethal brings another ladder in and sets it up near Dutt’s. They both climb and slug it out at the top. Dutt drapes Lethal out on the top of both. Sonjay climbs up and applies the camel clutch at the top! Lethal snapmares Dutt to the floor! Lethal gets stuck in the ladder, which appears to be a botch at first, except it draws Val in to assist him. Dutt screams at Val over it, and she cries. How sad. Lethal checks on her and goes up the ladder, but Val SWERVES US ALL and low blows Lethal! This allows Dutt to get the engagement ring at 13:20. I probably should have seen that twist coming, but I didn’t, and I’m sure there are thousands out there saying it was obvious, but I think this was well done. It’s obvious now that we were supposed to think Val was stupid. Some botched spots hurt this one, but there was plenty of nasty, satisfying action, and the match was very good even though the stipulation was freaking terrible, ***½.
Winner: Sonjay Dutt
-Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviews Kurt Angle. Angle takes credit for creating the business (whatever). Angle wants to erase Samoa Joe’s name forever and he calls Canada a “toilet bowl.” Angle addresses Jeff Jarrett, blaming him for losing his gold medal. Angle has something special in mind for Jarrett. Another twist?
-Another video package! This time we see highlights of Beer Money Inc and L.A.X. doing everything they can to hurt each other.
TNA Tag Team Championship:
Beer Money Inc. © (with Ms. Jackie Moore) vs. L.A.X. (with Hector Guerrero)
Earlier tonight and off camera, Jackie Moore beat up Salinas in the bathroom, so L.A.X. are down a member. Beer Money consists of James Storm and Robert Roode. L.A.X. consists of Homicide and Hernandez. Homicide starts the match off against Storm, but he would rather fight Roode. Back and forth action in the early going. Hernandez tags and hits a slingshot shoulder block. Jackie distracts Hernandez, allowing Storm to cheap shot. Roode gets a cheap shot as well, giving full control to Beer Money. It’s truly impressive how quickly Beer Money has become a well oiled unit. Hernandez catches Storm in mid-air, but Roode tackles the leg, cutting off his momentum right away. After taking a beating, Hernandez manages to catch Storm with a suplex. Homicide gets a lukewarm tag and cleans house on Roode. Homicide crotches Roode on the ropes but eats a Storm spine buster. All four men get involved, as the match breaks down. Hernandez assists Homicide in diving onto Roode on the floor. Jackie distracts the referee, allowing Storm to spit beer in Hernandez’s eyes. Homicide tries to nail Roode with Storm’s beer bottle, but it misses and he hurts his own hand in the process. That looked painful. After a brawl at ringside, Roode and Homicide find themselves back in the ring, countering finishers. Jackie throws powder in Homicide’s eyes while he’s attempting the Gringo Killer, giving Roode the opening to pick up the victory at 8:44. This was decent, but not really the grudge match I was hoping for, **½.
Winners and still TNA Tag Team Champions: Beer Money Inc.
-Every match seems to have a video package. UFC star Frank Trigg is in the house and looking to teach AJ Styles a lesson. Trigg cuts a promo in the ring and trashes Canada. This guy has zero charisma.
Frank Trigg vs. AJ Styles
This is a really obvious ploy to try and attract Spike TV’s UFC fans to TNA. The match will be contested in three 5 minute rounds, there can only be a winner by knock-out or submission. Now Angle/Joe at Lockdown was played up as an MMA fight, but it was really a pro wrestling match at heart. With this, it would appear they are trying to have a worked MMA bout, and that sounds like a recipe for disaster. If this were a legit fight, I imagine Trigg would wipe the floor with Styles in 10 seconds.
Trigg dominates in the early goings. Styles goes for the leg and they tumble to ringside. Trigg takes advantage of Styles with some clubbing blows. The match restarts and Trigg gets a takedown and knees the ribs. Trigg toys with Styles by slapping the head. A “We want wrestling” chant breaks out. Styles gets to his feet and is eager to try again, but he’s taken off his feet yet again. Trigg locks the head and drives his knees into the shoulders. Now the crowd is chanting “Fire Russo.” Styles gets a flying armbar and might have gotten the victory, but the bell sounds for the first round. They take a breather, and Trigg does a nice job selling the damage Styles did to his arm. The match restarts and it’s more of the same. The crowd is chanting “This is bullshit.” I couldn’t agree more. Styles loses his temper and unloads a series of shots, which the crowd seems to appreciate. Styles accidentally knees Trigg in the groin, so the match is declared a no contest at 7:21. What a mess this was. Wrestling fans are going to hate this because they paid to watch wrestling, and MMA fans are going to hate this because it’s fake. DUD.
-After the match, Styles fetches a kendo stick and unloads his anger on Trigg with repeated shots to the midsection and back.
-Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviews Samoa Joe. He asks if Joe is mentally ready, to which Joe responds that he’s not sure what he’s going to do tonight. He feels like a cornered animal the way everyone is gunning for him. Joe says he has lost all respect for Sting, because while Sting was at home collecting big paychecks for doing the least amount of work. In the mean time, Joe was traveling the world, building TNA. He’s got a point there, I like where this storyline is going.
-Sting makes his entrance before the main event can begin. Joe storms up to him and a brawl erupts. AJ Styles breaks it up, and Sting heads to the back.
TNA World Championship:
Samoa Joe © vs. Christian Cage vs. Kurt Angle
Christian and Joe gang up on Angle in the early going. Angle is dumped from the ring, leaving Christian and Joe to square off. An inverted DDT by Christian gets the first near fall of the match. Angle returns, but is quickly caught in a rear naked choke by Joe. Cage makes the save, but Angle thanks him with a belly to belly suplex. Angle dishes an overhead suplex to Joe and another to Christian, sending him crashing to the floor in sickening fashion. Joe takes his time dismantling Angle with chops and smashes. Sleeper by Angle is quickly broken, but Angle follows up with an elbow and a headlock. Joe fights out, and Christian trips Angle and crotches him in the ring post. Flying cross body on Joe by Christian gets a cover. Cage chokes Joe on the ropes and goes high risk. Joe cuts him off but Christian blocks a superplex by biting. German suplex on Joe by Angle, who then leaps up and tosses Cage to the mat off the top. Joe slams Angle for a near fall. Angle counters the Unprettier with rolling German suplexes. Angle signals the ankle lock, but Joe sneaks up. Overhead release suplex on Angle by Joe. Christian blocks the muscle buster, but get dropped to ringside. Christian goes high risk again and almost gets tossed off by Angle again. As they struggle at the top, Joe sneaks up and slams both men off the turnbuckle! Joe gets near falls on both opponents. Cage counters the Angle slam, but Angle tries to suplex him off the apron. Angle blocks a kick with the ankle lock. Joe rolls up Angle for 2. Angle gets the ankle lock on Joe, and then manages to lock Christian as well. Joe and Christian work together to break free, but Christian eats a muscle buster. Joe has the cover on Christian, but Angle keeps the referee distracted. Joe throws Christian onto Angle on the floor. Joe dives onto both men on the floor. Joe attempts the muscle buster on Angle, but it’s blocked. Christian leaps over Angle and hits a frog splash on Joe. With Angle dispatched, Christian gets the Unprettier on Joe, but Angle returns in time to break the cover! The referee is knocked out, so a chair comes into play. Angle Olympic slams Christian to the floor and cracks the chair over Joe’s skull. Angle seems to have Joe beaten with the ankle lock, when Jeff Jarrett makes his way to the ring with a guitar. Jarrett smashes the guitar over Angle’s head! Joe hits the muscle buster on Angle and the ref returns in time to count the pinfall victory at 15:29! Pretty good main event, Jarrett’s assistance didn’t take away from the match at all either, ***¼.
Winner and still TNA World Champion: Samoa Joe
-Jarrett places the TNA title on Joe’s shoulder and that’s a wrap.
Final Thoughts: Talk about a mixed bag. In general, the wrestling was pretty good. The problem is that some of the best matches on the card were surrounded by pure crap (ladder of love). There was nothing truly spectacular or worth going out of your way to see, and there were some real troublesome parts. That MMA bout was terrible and worth avoiding and there was a lot of filler. I didn’t think anything rose above what we’re accustomed to seeing on Impact main events (the ladder match came close, but was sloppy at times) and while this is partly due to the wrestling quality being generally good, it makes for a forgettable pay-per-view.
Thumbs in the middle, leaning down.
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