Friday, 14 December 2012

TNA Final Resolution on Challenge - TV Review

It’s time to head off into the Impact Zone for the last time in 2012 as we take a look at TNA’s Final Resolution, shown this past Wednesday night on Challenge here in Britain.

The show began with James Storm taking on Frankie Kazarian.

This scenario began with Storm coming to the ring to call out his old buddy Bobby Roode. Kazarian actually answered the challenge, and after a lot of back and forth jaw jacking a referee appeared on the ramp and the impromptu match began.

It began with a short brawl around ringside before they took the action to the ring. Kazarian then went to work on his man’s head and neck for a few moments, adding a few high spots into the mix as well.

Storm soon made his comeback, countering Kazarian’s Fade to Black finisher and taking him out with the Last Call super kick for the three count. A somewhat brief affair but a good way to kick off the show.

The first title match of the evening saw Kenny King challenging Rob Van Dam for the X Division title.

I’m really starting to warm to RVD in the X Division, mainly because we get to see matches like this, where the likes of King bring out the best in him.

King’s performance was spot on throughout, and he played the part of the champion’s foil perfectly. Everything he did just looked so polished.

You could say the same for RVD. Once again he seems completely invigorated in this division. It’s as if the younger guys like King, the new generation of X Division stars, are helping him turn back the clock a little.

Sadly one of my favourite wrestlers of the past few years didn’t get the job done, even though he managed to avoid the Five Star Frog Splash. RVD still got the pin, rolling King up with a body scissors for the three count.

The title action continued with Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan challenging Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez for the Tag Team titles. Yep, it’s another chapter in the long running rivalry between the two big men.

This wasn’t too bad. Team TexMex did a good job of controlling the action early on when we had the inevitable game of big man one-upmanship between Hernandez and Morgan before the challengers used Guerrero for target practice.

The challengers looked okay, and when Guerrero managed to get the hot tag to his partner big SuperMex did his usual tricks of throwing his opponents around the ring as well as powering Morgan over the top rope.

It looked as if the champions were going to get the pinfall win when Hernandez tagged Guerrero back into the match and he took Ryan out with a top rope frog splash. But as the referee was making his count Morgan pulled him out of the ring, giving the champions the disqualification win.

The action didn’t end there though. Guerrero found himself rammed back first into the ring post by Morgan until Hernandez took to the air and took the big man down with a suicide dive.

Then it was back to non-title action as Austin Aries took on Bully Ray.

These two had a bit of a barnstormer a few months back, and this proved to be just as entertaining as they proved once again that they’re made for each other.

This was an altogether different kind of match because of the storyline. Aries played the part of the cowardly heel early on before the Bully eventually caught up with him. From there it went along quite nicely as Aries proved that he’s better as a heel than he is as a babyface.

We later got an appearance form young Brooke Hogan after Aries busted the Bully open, which led to her being dragged into the ring by Aries. A-Double looked like he was going to cause some trouble there until the Bull recovered and Brooke’s old man came down to take her away.

This distraction opened up an opportunity for Aries, and after connecting with a low blow behind the referee’s back he rolled the Bully up for the three count.

The ladies were up next as Mickie James challenged Tara, accompanied by Jesse, for the Knockouts title.

So on to Chapter 439 of their long standing rivalry. Once again the action here can’t be faulted, and even though we had a reality television star thrown into the mix I still couldn’t help but feel that we’d seen it all before.

Both of our protagonists looked good, and Jesse appeared at periodic intervals to put his nose into the proceedings, eventually getting kicked off the apron by Ms. James.

But in the end there was no title change as Tara, in between groping her boyfriend, put James away with her Widow’s Peak finisher.

Eight man action followed as Devon, Doc and two of the masked Aces & Eights guys faced Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff.

This one was pretty enjoyable. It began with our beloved babyfaces dominating the action early on before Devon and his boys took control, and I was a little surprised when Joe took the role of the punching bag instead of the younger guys on the team.

So Joe took his punishment like a man for a few minutes until he got the hot tag, which lead to the match ending brawl in which all eight men got to pull off a few trademark moves before Angle took the win when he took out one of the masked guys with the Angle Slam.

The penultimate match was Chapter 742 in the long standing rivalry between Christopher Daniels and A.J. Styles. Billed as their “one last time” match (yeah, right), this was a match that could only be won by pin or submission.

Even though these two have go up against each other so many times you can’t argue with the fact that their encounters are top notch. They simply haven’t had a bad match against each other.

It was all here, the moves, the storytelling, the psychology, and a few things we haven’t seen before.

They pulled out all the stops to get the win, especially with the brutal looking moves, Styles’ suplexing Daniels on the ring apron, Daniels coming back with a urinage on the opposite ring apron before suplexing his perennial foe onto the ring steps.

Both guys came close to getting the win on numerous occasions, but after Daniels kicked out of the pin following a Styles Clash out A.J. put Daniels on the top rope. But just when it looked as if he was going to take him out with a Super Styles Clash Daniels countered as Styles crashed to the mat.

He then added insult to injury and took Styles out with his own finishing move for the three count. Needless to say that the Fallen Angel was pleased with his win.

The main event saw Bobby Roode challenging Jeff Hardy for the World title.

I think it’s finally safe to say that Hardy’s rehabilitation is now over. He may not be the athlete he was a decade ago but his performance showed that he’s as good as ever.

As the match began our esteemed announcers wondered if Hardy was fully fit following the attack from the Aces & Eights guys a few days ago, and it was because of this attack that Roode targeted the champion’s ribs to good effect.

Roode, as always, put in a great performance, once again showing that he’s made to be a villain, and as the match went on there was a part of me that wanted him to come out on top.

Hardy made it difficult for him though. He also made it difficult for himself at times, especially when he crashed and burned outside the ring when Roode avoided his flying leg lariat. Hardy hit the top of the guard rail before crashing to the concrete floor right in front of his fans.

As Roode looked to put Hardy away his hired thugs came out from their hidey-hole, and as he called Devon and his boys into action while he tried to distract the referee.

They weren’t biting though, and while they failed to follow orders Hardy came back, taking Roode out with a Swanton Bomb for the title retaining three count.

It was then that the thugs attacked, laying Hardy out in the middle of the ring with a powerbomb. After Roode recovered he verbally lambasted the thugs, telling them that he’d paid them to attack Hardy, to help him become the World Champion.

This didn’t sit too well with the bad guys, and to the surprise of everyone they attacked Roode, with Doc taking him down with a choke slam as the show came to an end.

In conclusion - the penultimate wrestling pay per view of the year had it’s good and it’s bad points.

Good points: well, the action throughout can’t be faulted. All of the matches were entertaining in their own way, some more so than others. The performances of the likes of Kenny King, Austin Aries, Bully Ray and more made this a good way for TNA to close their pay per view year.

Bad points: although I enjoyed the action I found it a little annoying that matches we’d already seen quite a few times before were presented on the big stage. We’ve seen Tara vs. Mickie James before, as well as encounters in various formats between Matt Morgan and Hernandez. And let’s not forget A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels. It made me wonder why they weren’t building up fresher matches.

But despite that this was a pretty good show, and as for my match of the night this time the no-prize goes to Jeff Hardy and Bobby Roode. I did consider giving it to Styles and Daniels, but I’m sure I’ve given them that accolade sometime before.

So with all of that out of the way it’s time to wrap this thing up and give Final Resolution the thumbs up.

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