Sunday, 12 December 2010

TNA Final Resolution on Extreme Sports - TV Review

It was the penultimate wrestling pay-per-view of the year, but was Jeff Hardy really out of his skull That was what I was hoping to find out by watching TNA’s Final Resolution, shown this past Friday night on the Extreme Sports channel here in Britain.


The show began with tag team action as Ink Inc took on Beer Money, with a shot at the tag titles on the line.

This was a great way to start the show. Jesse Neal and Shannon More are really starting to come together as a team. This was by far their best encounter together.

But then again Robert Roode and James Storm are just that much better, and it was the veteran team that too the win after taking Neal down with the double power bomb-type thing.

The Knockouts were up next as Tara faced Mickie James in a falls count anywhere match.

You know, I haven’t seen women fighting this intensely since I last went to Norwich’s nightclub district a few years ago. Mind you, those fights were probably over Bacardi Breezers.

Normally it’s only the men who brawl like this. These two literally tried to tear each other apart as they brawled all over the Impact Zone, outside, along the corridors and into the gents, where, after an assist from Madison Rayne and a fire extinguisher, Tara took the pin. One question though - did those guys run out of the gents know that Tara and Mickie were heading their way?

The first title match of the show followed as Jay Lethal challenged Robbie E for the X Division title in a shark cage match, with the interfering Cookie suspended above the ring in the aforementioned cage.

Well, that was the plan. Cookie refused to get into the cage, but none other than Shark Boy appeared he put Cookie over his shoulder and into the cage.

So with the annoying woman locked away in the cage Lethal and E put on a pretty good back and forth encounter, with tons of fast paced action, and even though she was in the cage Cookie still had an influence on the match.

After throwing an item into the ring the referee quickly went to dispose of it, whatever it was. It was then that she threw her hairspray down, only for Lethal to catch it and spray it into E’s eyes.

And that was it. The referee had seen what had happened and disqualified Lethal, giving E the win.

But that wasn’t the end of things. As Cookie celebrated in the ring Shark Boy returned, and after a couple of slaps the masked one took her out with a stone cold stunner. So, match good, aftermath not bad. Nice to see old Shark Boy back on the scene as well.

The battle of former ECW champions was next as Rhino took on Rob Van Dam in a first blood match.

It seems to be the case with RVD’s TNA career that he’s only really able to have great matches against other ECW alumni. This was definitely the case here.

RVD’s speed and aerial ability were the perfect foil for Rhino’s brute power, which is why this was a quality match.

Van Dam took the win in this one, busting Rhino open after a Van Terminator into a rubbish bin, the War Machine wearing the crimson mask seconds later.

The match I was really looking forward to followed as Doug Williams challenged A.J. Styles for the TV title.

To say that this was a great match would be an understatement. Styles and Williams were made for each other, putting on what could be the best match these two have had all year.

It was packed with tremendous back and forth action, and if I go on much longer I’ll just continue saying how great it was.

Williams took the title here, and did it in a great way, taking Styles down with the chaos theory suplex on the floor, and sealing the deal with a Styles clash of his own. Hopefully they’ll give these two a re-match next month.

The title action continued as Generation Me challenged the Motor City Machine Guns for the Tag Team titles in a full metal mayhem match, a TLC match by any other name.

Having had so many matches against each other recently I guess that this was the last thing they could do together.

Tons of big bumps in this one as both teams pulled out all of their big moves while putting themselves on the receiving end of various tables, ladders and chairs. It really was a joy to watch.

The end came with a duel on a table perched on top of three ladders in the middle of the ring, a duel which eventually saw Chris Sabin claiming the belts and the win. Not the best TLC match I’ve seen, but still pretty good.

The rivalry between Abyss and D’Angelo Dinero then continued, this time in a casket match.

This was the match I was looking forward to the least. Abyss is just getting a little boring for me now, a one trick pony if you will.

As I often say I can’t really fault the action, but this just didn’t do anything for me, even though we saw the unique move where Abyss punched a hole through the casket so he could deliver a low blow.

The monster came out on top here, choke slamming the Pope into the casket before closing it for the win.

Then it was on to the submission match between Samoa Joe and Jeff Jarrett.

The chosen one came into this looking like he was auditioning for The Ultimate Fighter. There was also some concern about whether Joe would actually make it to the ring after Jarrett’s security guys attacked him backstage.

When I saw the way Jarrett was dressed I had flashbacks to the A.J. Styles/Frank Trigg worked MMA match a while back, which earned quite a bit of criticism, and a few Fire Russo chants as well.

This one mixed MMA and traditional pro wrestling submissions quite well, and while it wasn’t the best submission match I’ve seen (Ronnie Garvin against Greg Valentine at the 1990 Royal Rumble gets that vote) it wasn’t that bad, with Jarrett taking the win with an ankle lock after another appearance from Jarrett’s security guys.

The main event saw Matt Morgan challenging Jeff Hardy again for the World title, with Mr. Anderson as the special referee.

Anderson made his presence known early on. As Jeremy Borash was making his introductions Anderson whispered into his ear, with Borash quickly announcing that the match had become a no disqualification affair.

Now while Hardy may not have been out of his skull his mind certainly wasn’t in this match as once again he looked as if he was calling in his performance.

Which was the complete opposite of Morgan, who came into this match with his usual self-assured performance.

Needless to say that Anderson got involved physically. He ended up getting taken out of the proceedings after a collision with Hardy, and after Eric Bischoff came down with another referee and pushed him into the ring post.

Hardy came out on top in the end, taking Morgan out with a fourth twist of hate onto a chair.

In conclusion - TNA’s final pay-per-view offering of 2010 was like most of the big shows they’ve put on this year, a mixed bag.

While it began strongly and really hit it’s peak with the TV and Tag Team title matches things just seemed to go downhill from there.

Abyss’ matches are now incredibly predictable, while Jeff Hardy’s performances just continue to trundle through his matches, the passion and intensity he showed during his last WWE run still missing in action, and it’s a situation I can’t see changing anytime soon.

So I’m afraid Final Resolution doesn’t get the full thumbs up treatment, and that’s what you get when the undercard is let down by the main event.