Friday, 12 December 2008

TNA Final Resolution on Bravo 2 - TV Review

It’s multi-man match madness again, as Total Non-Stop Action return to the Impact Zone for….hang on a minute! Hasn’t there been a Final Resolution pay-per-view this year? Anyway, it’s the final TNA pay-per-view of the year, Final Resolution, with the war between the Main Event Mafia and TNA’s Frontline continuing with an eight-man tag, shown on a three day delay on Bravo 2 here in Britain. As usual, Mike Tenay and Don West are handling the commentary duties, and thankfully, West has got a pretty decent shirt on this time!

The show begins with the Feast or Fired match, featuring Cute Kip, Sonjay Dutt, Jimmy Rave, Lance Rock, Alex Shelley, B.G. James, Jay Lethal, Chris Sabin, Consequences Creed, Curry Man, Hernandez, Homicide and Shark Boy. The rules for this one were simple - four briefcases on poles above the ring, three contain title shots, one contains a pink slip, or P45 as we’d call it here in merry old England. It’s you basic TNA multi-man match here, with everyone trying to beat the crap out of everyone else, and showing off some of their most dramatic moves as they attempt to get the cases. In the end the cases went to Hernandez, Curry Man, Homicide, and Lethal, who snatched the case from Shelley and Sabin while they celebrated their case snatching, even though, according the rules, they hadn’t reached the arena floor with their prize. Needless to say that this didn’t sit too well with the Motor City Machine Guns, and as Jeremy Borash tried to interview Lethal so he could open his case, Shelley and Sabin bitched like hell, especially when it was revealed that Black Machismo had won a tag-team title shot. In the end Borash blew his top and chewed out Shelley before leaving the ring.

As far as the match goes, I’ll be honest. Have you heard of a thing called compassion fatigue? Well, I think I’m starting to suffer from TNA multi-man match fatigue.

Then it’s time for the Knockouts, with Sharmell and the Beautiful People facing ODB, Roxxi and Taylor Wilde, with the stipulation that is Sharmell and her girls one, then Booker T would have to give them his luxurious dressing room. Now, before I go any further, can someone tell me why Booker has suddenly developed a West Indian accent? And what happened to his English one? Multiple personality disorder perhaps? Anyway, back to the matter at hand. It’s the usual solid stuff from TNA’s women here, with five of the six involved putting on an impressive match, and Sharmell doing her little bit to move things along as well, although I must say that Taylor Wilde is really starting to grow on me. She’s really improved over the past few months. The good girls came out on top in this one. After ODB chased Sharmell backstage, Taylor countered Angelina Love’s top rope body block to get the winning pin. Good stuff here.

Title action follows, with Eric Young challenging Sheik Abdul Bashir for the X Division title. Apparently Mohammad Hassan’s old buddy has some sort of gripe with referee Shane Sewell. Hey, you can still tell that I don’t watch Impact, can’t you! Despite my dislike of both of Eric Young’s characters, when it comes down to wrestling he’s not that bad, and this match proved that. It was very enjoyable, well planned out with a good storyline involving Bashir’s ongoing troubles with the referee, even if it’s not the sort of X Division match that put TNA on the map all those years ago. In the end, after Bashir argued with Sewell, Young caught Bashir with a sunset flip over the top rope, and while the Sheik was holding on to the top rope to prevent the pin, Sewell kicked his arms off, allowing Young to get the title winning pin. But the fun didn’t end there, as Bashir attacked Young, then attacked Sewell, who fought bravely for a few seconds, before Bashir clobbered him and opened him up with the X Division title belt. The assault continued before Bashir walked off with the title belt, until Jim Cornette, flanked by security, took the belt back. Could we be seeing Sewell doing a Danny Davis soon? (Only wrestling fans from the 1980’s will get this reference.)

The second title match of the evening follows, with Christy Hemme challenging Awesome Kong for the Knockouts title. Kong has Raisha Saeed and Rhaka Khan along for company, while we get an Army sergeant introducing Christy. So I guess Christy isn’t trying to be a rock star now then, which is a good thing. As for the match, it’s your typical David v Goliath kind of battle here. Kong simply overpowers Christy, who comes back with a few good moves, and even manages to take the champion down with a DDT. This set Kong up for Christy’s top rope leg drop, but when she went for the pin, Raisha and Rhaka pulled her out of the ring and began to beat the snot out of here. The challenger managed to fight them both off, before getting back into the ring. Unfortunately, Raisha and Rhaka followed her into the ring, and their attack on Christy earned her a disqualification victory, but not the title. Things didn’t end there, as security had to pull Kong and Christy apart as the fight continued after the bell. While Christy is no Gail Kim, she still put on a great match with Kong, and we’ll, no doubt, see these two go at it again.

The third title match of the evening follows immediately, with Matt Morgan and Abyss challenging Beer Money, Inc. for the Tag-Team titles. This one began with wild brawling, and Robert Roode and James Storm trying to walk out on the match, before it had even begun. When the bell finally sounded, the champs were told that they’d forfeit the title if they didn’t beat the ten count, which they did. The match that followed was another good example of what tag-team wrestling should be, especially with the cat and mouse games between Abyss and Storm. It followed the basic storyline - the big guys do their power moves, while the smaller guys tried to take the big guy’s legs away from them. It’s the sort of match psychology that’s worked for years, and continues to work to this day. It was a good match to watch, and the ending was also well executed, with Storm trying to hit Abyss with a bottle, the monster getting the bottle from him, and Storm soon getting a pair of brass knuckles and using them to knock the big guy into the middle of next week while the referee’s back was turned, getting the title retaining pin seconds later. This won’t be the last time you’ll see these two teams against each other.

After Suicide debuts and ends the in-ring protest by the Motor City Machine Guns, it’s on to Rhino against Kurt Angle, with Mick Foley as the special enforcer. The stipulations - if Rhino wins, Angle has to quit TNA. If Angle wins, he gets another match with Jeff Jarrett. Angle also promised to have a surprise for Foley. It’s nice to see Rhino in a high profile match, something which he doesn’t seem to have had in a while, and he showed here just how good he is. But then again, Angle more than played his part here, but that’s Kurt Angle for you. The guy is so good that he could have a good match with a broom handle. So we had a good match, with the War Machine pulling off all his great power moves, and Angle doing everything he could to put the big man away, and the referee taking an accidental hit from Rhino, with Foley taking over as referee. This brought out Angle’s surprise, none other than Al Snow, who distracted Foley enough so Angle could hit Rhino with a chair, which he followed up with the Angle slam. As Foley got back into the ring, the first thing he saw was Angle covering Rhino, giving Foley no choice but to administer the three count. A very good match, with Angle earning his re-match with Jarrett, and then threatening to take on Foley. Good stuff.

Main event time, with the Main Event Mafia team of Sting, Booker T, Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash taking on the TNA Front Line, Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles and Team 3-D, with the following stipulations - if any member of the Mafia were pinned, Styles would win Sting’s World title. To me this had the feeling of that infamous match at WCW’s Bash at the Beach over a decade ago. But then again, that seems to be the whole point of the Main Event Mafia, doesn’t it? As far as main events go, this one was pretty damn good. Each man did their bit to make this match what it was, although if I had to criticise this match on one aspect it was that it lacked a certain intensity at times, although all of that changed when we got the obligatory eight man brawl towards the end of the match. Sting came out on top of this one. While Joe was about to take the champion down with the muscle buster, Nash connected with a low blow, which gave Sting the chance to take Joe down with the scorpion death drop. A three count later and he’d retained the title to end what was a very good match.

In conclusion - despite TNA’s continued reliance on multi-man matches, their final pay-per-view of the year proved to be a good one. While the situation regarding the Main Event Mafia intrigues me, all of the other matches ranged from enjoyable to very good. Hell, I even managed to enjoy an Eric Young match. But the one thing I’m looking forward to is seeing how they handle Al Snow. Will he wrestle? Or was it just a one time shot. Well I guess I’ll just have to wait until the new year to find that one out!