Sunday, 16 September 2007

TNA No Surrender 2006 on TWC - TV Review

So just what was this special announcement, and how would it affect the world of professional wrestling? That was the question going into TNA’s latest pay-per-view offering, No Surrender, shown on a one week delay on The Wrestling Channel in Britain, with our hosts for the evening, Mike Tenay and Don West.

The show begins with a battle of former Team Canada members, Eric Young and A-1. Young once again arrives with his lunatic fringe, who proceed to run around the ring before the match begins. It’s an okay match to open the show, hardly awe inspiring, with Young getting the win after a wheelbarrow suplex/neck breaker combination. Young’s act, although funny at first, is now starting to wear a little thin.

Backstage, Jeremy Borash fins Jim Cornette and asks him about the big surprise, but James E. isn’t giving much away. We then move on to the second bout of the evening, as Petey Williams faces Jay Lethal. It seems that in the four weeks since I last watched a TNA show, Lethal, Chris Sabin and Sonjay Dutt have taken on new personas after watching the new Jackass movie. Either that or it’s just another cross-promotional deal here. It’s an entertaining X-Division match, but with an added twist - the twist being that Lethal and Dutt spiked Williams’ water with laxatives, which started to have an effect halfway through the match. It effects him so much that instead of going for the Canadian Destroyer, Petey decided to head to the toilet. But he doesn’t get very far as Lethal gets the pin with a roll-up. Williams jumps from the ring straight afterwards, having to answer the call of nature. You know what would have made this match a whole lot better? If Tenay and West hadn’t constantly hyped the new Jackass movie every five seconds.

Backstage, Borash interviews a rather angry Rhino, who promises revenge against his former friend Christian Cage, before we move on to the three way, no disqualification match, featuring Brother Runt, Raven and Abyss. These three literally beat the hell out of each other with anything they could get their hands on, and all over the arena as well. Abyss almost goes through a table, Runt gets hanged by Raven before crashing through a table, before Abyss eventually comes back into the match and gets the pin on Raven after a black hole slam. A very entertaining brawl.

Backstage, Borash interviews NWA champ Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett is worried about who is going to make the announcement, thinking that it’s Sting, before he orders Eric Young to search the building and look for the face-painted one.

Time for tag-team action, with the eight team triple chance match, although I’m not sure if I’ve listed all of the stipulations here. Basically, it’s eight teams in a battle royal before two teams are left for a normal match - I think. The battle royal part ended in controversy. As the referees tried to stop a brawl on the ramp, they failed to see Kip James eliminate Chris Harris. Harris got back into the ring, and the next thing the refs saw was Harris eliminating Kip. SO the final part saw America’s Most Wanted face the Naturals. Douglas was virtually left on his own because of an injury Stevens had sustained when he was thrown into the crowd during the battle royal. AMW proceeded to take Douglas apart, until the James Gang returned to the ring to distract them. Douglas eventually made the tag to Stevens, who counters the eye of the storm attempt to get the winning fall and title shot with a roll-up.

We then move on to our first title match of the evening, as Chris Sabin challenges Senshi for the X Division title. This one was quite unlike other X Division matches, with very few high risk moves and some very solid and stiff wrestling, with impressive performances from both men. With yet more constant references to the new Jackass movie, it was obvious that Dutt and Lethal would try to pull some prank. But not even the intervention of a rubber doll could halt Senshi’s progress, who soon got the win with a stiff dropkick to end a good match.

It’s the battle of the former best friends next as Christian Cage tackles Rhino. It’s a match of great intensity, and Tenay and West constantly remind us that because of a concussion, Rhino is competing against doctor’s orders. It’s part brawl and part wrestling match, and a very good one at that. The referee takes a hit, and as Cage tried for a conchairto, Rhino escapes, and is stopped by the now revived ref from doing a conchairto of his own. Then, when the ref’s back is turned, Cage takes Rhino down with an un-prettier on a chair to get the victory. Hopefully there’ll be a rematch somewhere down the line, another match for us to enjoy.

Outside, a car arrives, and thinking that it could be Sting, Borash and Eric Young investigate. But it turns out to be the LAX arriving for their upcoming match.

It’s then time for the second title match of the evening, as the LAX team of Homicide and Hernandez defend the NWA tag titles against A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels in an Ultimate X match, the first time the titles have been defended in such a match. And it was an awesome match at that, with both teams excelling, putting in a tremendous showing. The powerhouse Hernandez really impressed me, and given the right handling he could become a monster in TNA. The ending was unique, and great. After Styles took out Homicide with a Styles Clash through a table at ringside, Daniels climbed up to the top of one of the supporting posts, and leapt to the centre of the cables to grab the belt for the title winning victory. I don’t think I need to say much more about how great this match was.

Main event time, as NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett faces Samoa Joe in a fans revenge match. Sadly, this is a non-title affair, although Joe more than deserves a shot at the title. Although this is an enjoyable match, it may have suffered a little because it immediately followed the Ultimate X match, and immediately pre-ceded TNA’s big announcement. Joe showed he could hang with Jarrett as he came out the winner after a muscle buster. After the match, Joe left the ring and took possession of the NWA title belt. Jim Cornette then came down to the ring, and made his two big announcements - that TNA was going prime-time, and that Kurt Angle had signed for the company.

In conclusion - as seems usual with TNA shows, No Surrender had it’s good and bad points. Eric Young’s act is starting to wear a little thin now, and leaves me scratching my head a little - he’s a na�ve baby face, but he’s the lead heel’s lackey.

The Ultimate X match clearly stole the show, and although Joe’s win was enjoyable, it was predictable, mainly because it lacked the real intensity a title match with Jarrett would bring.

So here’s looking forward to Bound for Glory. Hopefully TNA’s first major pay-per-view outside of Orlando will prove to be a big success.