Monday, 13 September 2010

TNA No Surrender on Extreme Sports - TV Review

It’s TNA time again as we enter the Impact Zone for the semi-finals of the World title tournament at No Surrender, shown this past Friday night on the Extreme Sports channel here in Britain.

The show began with the first title match of the evening as Max and Jeremy Buck, Generation Me, challenged the Motor City Machine Guns, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, for the World Tag-Team titles.

This was a great way to open the show. These two teams are so similar in their move sets they’re almost mirror images of each other.

The story here saw the Bucks doing damage to Shelley’s next. They did a good job of immobilising him, but it wasn’t enough as the Guns took the win after their neck breaker/body block combination.

The Bucks weren’t too happy with the outcome though, and ended up doing more damage to Shelley as they DDTed him from the ring apron to the floor.

The title action continued as Sabu challenged Doug Williams for the X Division title.

On paper this looked like a complete mismatch, but it actually turned out to be quite good. Sabu, as is his custom, messed up a couple of high spots, but that didn’t detract from what was an entertaining encounter.

Once again Williams came out on top after he clobbered Sabu with the title belt while the referee was getting rid of the chair Sabu had used, although they kind of telegraphed that the ending would involve the title belt in some way when the referee left it in the corner during the match.

The Knockouts were up next as Madison Rayne, accompanied by the leather clad Tara, took on Velvet Sky, accompanied by Knockout Champion Angelina Love.

Well, this wasn’t the best Knockouts match I’ve seen, but it wasn’t too bad, although Madison looked a bit iffy at times.

Velvet came out on top, with Angelina stopping Tara as she took Madison out with a DDT.

Falls count anywhere action followed as Rhino faced Abyss. Yes, you read that right. Rhino was on pay-per-view two months in a row.

Nothing like an entertaining brawl to get the juices flowing. Abyss is much more suited to an opponent like Rhino than someone like Desmond Wolfe.

These two knocked seven bells out of each other as they went in and around the arena, including a nice segment which saw them going under the stage.

The monster emerged victorious, taking Rhino out with a second black hole slam after the war machine missed a gore and went crashing in a piece of guard rail. Nice stuff.

It was back to tag-team action for the next match as Kevin Nash and Sting went up against Jeff Jarrett and Samoa Joe.

These three veterans and modern day great put on a good match. Sting and Nash did okay, even though they didn’t really excel, with Jarrett as the punching bag until Joe came in and cleaned house.

The Samoan eventually got the pin with a little help from Jarrett and Sting’s baseball bat, with Joe getting the submission on the icon with a rear naked choke.

Then it was on to Nature Boy-lite A.J. Styles as he took on Tommy Dreamer in an I Quit match.

Now while it was great to see Dreamer back on the big stage and against someone the calibre of Styles I couldn’t help but feel that, as good as this match was, it kind of dragged on a bit.

Don’t get me wrong, it featured some good action, as well as some nice use of a fork, but it was just a bit too long.

And speaking of the fork, Styles used the implement to get the win, poking it in Dreamer’s eye as he said the magic words.

The main events, if you could call them that, featured the semi-finals of the World title tournament, beginning with Jeff Hardy against Kurt Angle, with Angle promising to retire if he lost.

I’ve heard this match described as TNA’s best match of the year. This was the proverbial knock down drag out affair, with both men pulling off all of their big moves, and then some.

We had countless back suplexes, swantons, an Olympic slam from the top rope, and an ankle lock that seemed to go on for an age, and still they couldn’t put each other away.

Not even two periods of extra time could settle this, with the second period ending with blood streaming down Angle’s face as Hardy tried to escape from another ankle lock.

Then, after a lengthy consultation period, and because of Angle’s cut, Eric Bischoff ruled the bout a no contest, with neither man going into the final.

And that was it, thirty minutes of extremely enjoyable action. But I have to admit that it did seem to drag on a bit towards the end.

The second semi-final saw Mr. Anderson facing D’Angelo Dinero.

Straight away you could tell what was wrong with this match. It was in the wrong place. Although both men are more than capable wrestlers it just didn’t feel like a main event match, and the crowd seemed a little deflated after what happened in the previous match.

But despite this it was a good enough encounter, with plenty of action throughout before Anderson finally took Dinero down with a second microphone check.

In conclusion - after an extremely good pay-per-view last month No Surrender had a lot to live up to. For the most part it delivered, with a major flaw that I just touched on.

The semi-final matches in the World title tournament were in the wrong place. Anderson/Dinero seemed like an upper mid-card match to me, and given the dramatic ending to the Angle/Hardy match it would have been better to end the show in that way. Imagine how you would have felt if the last things you saw on this show were shots of a bitterly disappointed Angle, blood streaming down his face, having just been told by Bischoff that all of his efforts were for nothing.

But that criticism aside, I really enjoyed this show, although I’m not even going to try and predict what’s going to happen at Bound for Glory.

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