Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Awesome Kong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Awesome Kong. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 December 2017

PPV REVIEW: TNA Turning Point 2009

TNA Turning Point 2009 - Event Poster
Sunday, November 15th, 2009, 
Orlando, Florida 

With news of Hulk Hogan's impending arrival in Total Non-stop Action Wrestling, talk of change has been rather prominent in professional wrestling's number-two promotion. So it seemed fitting that the group returned to the Impact Zone for the aptly named Turning Point pay per view; a loaded card full of the group's biggest stars. 

(NOTE: This review was originally written when TNA Turning Point 2009 aired in November 2009. I discovered a bunch of my old TNA reviews recently and have been uploading them to RPW, hence the different format from usual reviews here on the site.)

After turning up the heat in Orlando, the only question the group must be asking themselves now is whether the inevitable change which looms just on the horizon will be for better or worse.

With two Match of the Year candidates featured on an all-round enjoyable show, changing for the better may prove a difficult task for Dixie Carter & Co.

Here's what went down.

TNA Turning Point 2009 - Homicide vs. Amazing Red - X Division Title
The card opened with the usual X-Division bout, as Amazing Red successfully defended his X-Division Championship against Homicide.

Far from the familiar multi-man spotfest that kicks off most PPVs, this was instead a straight-up wrestling match with some exciting spots interspersed with mat-based offence.

Whilst the two grapplers seemed to struggle in places to link the two styles together in a fluid fashion, this was nonetheless a good opening contest which came to a halt when the champion hit the Code Red to retain.

The Knockouts came next as Knockouts Tag Team Champions Sarita & Taylor Wilde and Knockouts Champion ODB successfully defended their titles in a six-woman tag match against The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne & Lacey Von Erich).

TNA Turning Point 2009 - Knockouts Six woman Match
The stipulation here saw all the champions on the same team, if one of the tag champs were pinned, The Beautiful People would be crowned champions. Similar, should one of The Beautiful People pin ODB, they'd pick up the Knockouts Champion.

None of that happened, as following a short, passable contest as ODB pinned Madison Rayne to end the contest, which makes you wonder why they bothered with such a cluttered stipulation.

Heading backstage, Desmond Wolfe cut a promo on Kurt Angle. The Brit was confident of a victory, given that he knew Angle much better than Angle.

Back in the ring, The British Invasion (Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams) defeated Beer Money, Inc (Robert Roode & James Storm) and the Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) to retain the TNA Tag Team titles.

Lots of quick tags and innovative action made this a very enjoyable contest right up until the horrible finish which saw Eric Young interfere on behalf of World Elite team-mates, Magnus & Williams.
Kevin Nash then arrived on the scene, stole the Global title and drilled James Storm with it. This distracted Storm's partner, Robert Roode and caused him to fall victim to the British Invasion.

Looking for answers, Jeremy Borash interviewed Kevin Nash backstage. Nash insisted that his actions had something to do with 'Hulk'.

Back to the women, Tara bested Awesome Kong in a Six Sides of Steel match.

The two ladies worked hard to deliver a hard-fought, dramatic contest which came to an end when Tara killed Kong with an impressive Thesz Press from atop the cage. Afterwards, the former WWE Diva looked on the verge of tears, and could barely hold it together when interviewed by Lauren.

TNA Turning Point 2009 - Six Man Match
Slowing things down a little, Team 3D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon) and Rhino beat Matt Morgan, Hernandez and D'Angelo Dinero in a street fight. The match was largely forgettable and seemed to be nothing more than filler. Rhino hit the gore on Hernandez to end things.

Backstage, Scott Steiner cut a promo on Bobby Lashley. The two then battled their way through an average Falls Count Anywhere contest which differed little from the previous bout. Steiner hit Lashley with a lead pipe to win the match.

After cutting a promo on his opponent, Kurt Angle defeated Desmond Wolfe in a Match of the Year candidate. To loud chants of 'This is wrestling!' from the Orlando faithful, newcomer Wolfe held his own against TNA veteran Kurt Angle in a very good match indeed.

TNA Turning Point 2009 - AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Chris Daniels - TNA World title
Finally, the main event arrived as TNA World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles successfully retained his title in a three-way against Samoa Joe and Daniels.
Just when fans thought nothing could quite top the Angle/Wolfe encounter, the three TNA Originals delivered a terrific main event, that was solid, well-paced, flowed-well and did what all wrestling matches are supposed to do; entertained the audience. The champion hit a springboard 450 splash on Joe to retain the gold.

It's shows like this that really make your reporter think about tuning into Impact again on Saturday nights. Longtime readers may recall that I gave up watching TNA's flagship show after it all got a bit too confusing and frustrating, but still keep up with the ppvs since, whilst they might do a horrible job on television, the company usually shines on a PPV platform. But after witnessing some incredible action, especially in the last two bouts, and hearing some good things about Impact from the always-critical IWC, it might be time to give the company another shot. 

I'm probably not the only person who feels this way, and Dixie Carter and her company would do well to ensure that, even when Hogan arrives on the scene, they concentrate on taking two steps forward, not three steps back. 

TNA Wrestling's Turning Point 2009 was a solid show, and if the group are adamant on changing, let's hope it's a change to making stuff like this a regular occurrence. 

I'm slowly working my way through re-publishing all of my old TNA reviews from 2008 - 2009. For now, you can also read:

TNA Impact: 
For more TNA, WCW, and WWE/WWF reviews follow Retro Pro Wrestling on Twitter or hit 'like' on the brand new Facebook page.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

PPV REVIEW: TNA Bound For Glory 2009

Sunday, October 18th, 2009
Irvine, California

On Sunday, October 18th, 2009, TNA wrestling presented their biggest pay per view event of the year, Bound for Glory.

As the company's equivalent of Wrestlemania, Bound for Glory 2009 saw the culmination of a number of the biggest rivalries in TNA.

(NOTE: This review was written at the time of TNA Bound for Glory's broadcast in October 2009. I found this along with other TNA reviews in my archive recently and decide to report them to RPW) 

Here's what went down.

Zack Wylde played the American National Anthem.

It's true; the Black Label Society founder opened the show with a heavy metal rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Those fans who weren't desperately trying to look sincere in their displays of patriotism simply looked around, confused.

X-Division Championship Ultimate X Match: Amazing Red defended the X-Division Championship against Chris Sabin, Alex Shelly, Suicide, Homicide and Daniels.

Nobody wasted a second in tearing into each other in the X-Division's trademark fast and furious style.

The Motor City Machine Guns, Shelly and Sabin, were the stars in the early going, even if one or two of their spots did make that all important suspension of disbelief somewhat difficult.

The grand finale of this exciting spot-fest came when Daniels and Suicide climbed high above the ring atop the steel structure for a dramatic exchange of blows. Fans watched with bated breath as the two hung on nervously before making a sickening drop that left Christopher Daniels legitimately hurt.

In the ensuing bedlam, Amazing Red was able to capture his belt and retain the title.
Your Winner and still X-Division Champion: Amazing Red

As the ring crew worked to disassemble the Ultimate X structure, the show went to the back for a couple of interviews.

Lauren interviewed The Beautiful People

Flanked by Madison Rayne and Lacey Von Eric, Velvet Sky vowed to capture the Knockout Tag Team Titles whilst Madison insisted that the only reason The Beautiful People failed to do so last time was that they weren't ready.

JB interviewed Taylor Wilde and Sarita

Responding to The Beautiful People's comments, TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions, Taylor Wilde and Sarita promised to win their upcoming match.

TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Taylor Wilde and Sarita defended against Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne (with Lacey Von Eric)

Before this one could begin, Lacey Von Eric did her best to seduce the referee, hoping to get him on the side of The Beautiful People. Having none of it, Earl Hebner raced to the ring, snogged Lacey and sent her packing.

When the match finally did begin, it was a short, explosive affair in which the two teams traded the advantage until Wilde hit a German suplex on Madison to pick up the win for her team.
Your Winners and still TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions: Taylor Wilde & Sarita

Backstage, Eric Young and Kevin Nash  cut a decent promo discussing their upcoming Triple Threat match against Hernandez.

TNA Legends Championship: Kevin Nash defended against Eric Young and Hernandez

This basically evolved into a passable handicap match, with Nash and Young working together and Hernandez struggling to overcome the odds.

The twist came at the end, when Young double-crossed 'Big Sexy' by using Hernandez as a battering ram to take out the legend's champion and take his title.
Your winner and NEW TNA Legends Champion: Eric Young

Backstage, tensions were rife between The British Invasion, Beer Money and the team of Scott Steiner and Booker T. All three teams argued, until; the Brits proved to be an unlikely voice of reason and urged everyone to concentrate on taking out Team 3D.

TNA Tag Team Championship and IWGP Tag Team Championship Full Metal Mayhem match: TNA Tag Team Champions Scott Steiner and Booker T vs. IWGP tag team champions The British Invasion vs. Beer Money vs. Team 3D

Both TNA's tag team title and their New Japan Pro Wrestling equivalent where on the line in Full Metal Mayhem; TNA's answer to your usual Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.

Surprisingly, it was Scott Steiner who impressed early in this contest; destroying everyone except for Team 3D (who were taken out at the start) with a number of suplexes and even hitting a very cool top rope frankensteiner).

There was worse luck for his partner, Booker T, who injured his back and was carried out on a stretcher (don't expect to see Booker in TNA again).

The rest of the match was fairly entertaining, featuring cameos from Rhyno (who took out Team 3D), guitarist Zack Wylde (who was watching with the rest of the crowd and took out Brutus Magnus with a chair) and Rob Terry, who eventually helped Doug Williams to win a good match that could have been even better were it not for some timing issues and a lot of stalling.
Your Winners and new TNA Tag Team Champions: The British Invasion

TNA Knockouts Championship: ODB defends her title against Awesome Kong and Tara.

All three women went at it from the opening bell and before long this Knockouts championship bout had grown into a decent match.

Following several minutes of well put together action, Tara found herself in an altercation with a woman at ringside (it was Kim Couture, apparently setting up some MMA angle between the two), and then stormed off.

After leaving Awesome Kong as the sole challenger to tackle champion ODB, Tara returned after several minutes only get destroyed by Kong. Raisha Saeed arrived and insisted that Kong used a chair to pin the champion. Kong refused and it cost her, as ODB retained the gold.
Your Winner and still TNA Knockouts Champion: ODB 

In the back, The Blueprint Matt Morgan discussed his history with Kurt Angle, leading to their match later in the show.

Submission match: Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley

Lashley came to the ring with his ribs heavily bandaged to take on Samoa Joe in a match billed as MMA vs. TNA.

Despite playing the babyface role, Bobby Lashley's every move was met with a loud chorus of boos as the California crowd got firmly behind Samoa Joe in a reasonably entertaining bout. It would have been all the more entertaining were the crowd not so vehemently against Bobby; effectively killing off his super hero come back and rendering the whole point of the match rather useless.
Your winner: Bobby Lashley

Backstage, Mick Foley reminded JB of all the sacrifices he'd made to make a name for himself, and insisted that if Abyss wanted to overshadow the Hardcore Legend's achievements, he would have to do it himself.

A terrific video package followed, detailing the story between Foley and Abyss.

Monster's Ball match: Mick Foley vs. Abyss (with Dr. Stevie as the special guest referee)

The Monster's Ball moniker may just be a way for TNA to dress up your average hardcore match, but there was certainly nothing average about the sadistic bumps the two combatants took in this match.

Foley attacked as Abyss made his entrance and the two went for an early high spot when Foley climbed to the top of the entrance set and knocked Abyss off, sending the big man crashing through the stage.

What followed was a bloody, barbed wire fuelled brawl with plenty of high impact offence. Everything was going well, with both men taking some sickening bumps into the barbed wire, until Abyss slammed Stevie onto the tacks, knocking him out.

Daffney ran to ringside and handed Foley a tazer, which he used to take out Abyss. Mick then made the cover and a second referee ran out to make the count, however Abyss forgot to kick out, and the referee was forced to count to three, then pretend like it never happened. Needless to say, the crowd, this writer, and no doubt many watching at home, were none too happy about that little mishap.

A few minutes later, Abyss sent Daffney through the barbed wire (rumours are that Daffney broke her arm in that spot), covered Foley and used the hand of an unconscious Dr. Stevie to count the three.
Your Winner: Abyss

JB interviewed Kurt Angle backstage. The Olympic Gold Medallist promised to give Matt Morgan a lesson in respect when they met in the ring.

Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan

The two arch-rivals fought for respect in a largely disappointing effort by Angle's usually phenomenal standards. That's not to say this wasn't a fun match, but we've seen Angle deliver some true classics.

Sadly, this wasn't one of them.

The Olympic Gold Medallist dominated the bout before winning with a roll-up.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

And now, time for the main event.

TNA World Championship: AJ Styles defended against Sting

Home-state hero and all-round wrestling legend Sting looked to dethrone his friend and protege AJ Styles in a good main event.

Early on, Tazz summed up this writer's thoughts that this symbolic passing of the torch encounter was reminiscent of watching Sting in his early days battling Ric Flair in the NWA/WCW.

It didn't quite go long enough to be the spectacular main event it could have been, but it was nonetheless a very good way to end a very good show.
Your Winner and still TNA World Champion: AJ Styles

Afterwards, AJ handed the spotlight to Sting. The Icon thanked the fans for their support and declared that he didn't know whether he'd be back in a TNA ring.

Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling promote Bound for Glory as their biggest show of the year, their equivalent to Wrestlemania and the event that really showcases what TNA is really all about. In that respect, BFG 2009 was an enormous success. With not one bad match on the card, and most ranging from good to great, the in-ring action was mostly a joy to watch.

Match of the night honours go to the Full Metal Mayhem bout, which had a similar vibe as the opening Ultimate X contest but managed to deliver a multi-man spot-fest encounter in a much more believable fashion.

If TNA could just continue to deliver amazing cards like this, I'm sure they'd attract many more new fans.

I'm slowly working my way through re-publishing all of my old TNA reviews from 2008 - 2009. For now, you can also read:

TNA Impact: 
For more TNA, WCW, and WWE/WWF reviews follow Retro Pro Wrestling on Twitter or hit 'like' on the brand new Facebook page.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

PPV REVIEW: TNA Destination-X 2009

TNA Destination X 2009
Sunday March 15th, 2009
Orlando, Florida.

This TNA review is from my archives. I'd found a bunch of old posts recently and decided to share them here on Retro Pro wrestling. 

By 2009, I had largely abandoned writing about TNA because their weekly Impact shows were becoming so infuriatingly awful.

Yet where the company did usually come into their own was on PPV. As such, I decided to give them one more shot with Destination-X.

Man, was that ever a mistake.

Here’s what happened.

Six Woman Tag Match: Madison Rayne, Angelina Love & Velvet Sky vs. Roxxi, Taylor Wilde and The Governor.

The girls go at it in your straightforward women’s match which doesn’t take too long to get started, nor to finish.

Before your writer has time to stop wondering if there could possibly be a worse name for a female wrestler than The Governor, Taylor Wilde has a bridging German suplex on Madison Rayne and ultimately gets the win.
Your Winners: Roxxi, Taylor Wilde & The Governor.

There may be a lot wrong with TNA’s Knockouts division right now but, thankfully, that match isn’t one of them.

There is, however, a lot wrong with this next unsanctioned match.

Brutus Magnus vs. Eric Young

Young answers and does his best to save a pretty sloppy match against that bloke off Gladiators.

Unfortunately for all of us, EY ain’t no miracle worker, and despite his best efforts, he still can’t help Magnus looking as though he’s completely lost out there.

In the end, Bruti hits Tormentum (which is still the worst-looking finisher in all of pro wrestling in this writer’s opinion!) for the three count.
Your Winner: Brutus Magnus

As we set up for the upcoming Match of 10,000 tags, Sheik Abdul Bashir comes out to provide a bit of a distraction.

To wrap up a segment which achieves absolute zilch, Jim Cornette appears, tells Bashir that nobody likes him and we’re done.

Match of 10,000 Tacks: ‘The Monster’ Abyss vs. ‘The Blueprint’ Matt Morgan

Despite the terrible moniker, this could have been a very good, brutal and bloody brawl. Instead, it was a standard big-man bout with the added ‘on a pole’ stipulation and some drawing pins.

Not surprisingly, Abyss absorbs the inevitable tack-bump and thus loses the bout.
Your Winner: ‘The Blueprint’ Matt Morgan

As a fan, no matter how much you defend pro wrestling, you’ll always have moments when pro wrestling will repay you by providing something so bad that you’re embarrassed to sit and watch it. And if you haven’t had one yet, you sure will if you watch this next segment.

One night With ODB Finals

It’s hard to explain this one properly without an abundance of cursing, but let’s try. Basically, ODB has been holding a contest in which one lucky-fan gets to spend the night with her.

The three finalists are TNA wrestler, Shark Boy (and yes, watching somebody called Shark Boy is usually embarrassing enough!), some old bloke and Cody Deaner, who’s actually signed a contract with TNA, so you know who’s won this one.

Jeremy Borash hams it up as a host of a ‘Blind Date’ like segment. In the end, the whole thing is decided by the most cringe-worthy dance contest ever. Deaner wins. End of.

And yeah, that was bad, but things don’t get any better just yet.

TNA Knockouts Championship Match: Awesome Kong (champion) vs. Sojourner Bolt.

This is a disaster. OK, there have been worse matches, but it’s still pretty bad. Sojo comes across like she hasn’t a clue what she’s supposed to be doing when going on the offence, and even Kong isn’t all that on form.

Kong kills Sojo. Kong wins.
Your Winner and Still TNA Knockouts Champion: Awesome Kong. 

Hopefully, the in-ring return of Samoa Joe can pick things up a bit next.

Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner

TNA Destination X 2009: Samoa Joe faced Scott Steiner
Nope, it can’t.

Good Lord, Joe looks like some fat extra from a cruddy straight-to-DVD film about cannibals.

 It’s a far cry from the days when Joe was going to Kill you. Though, to be fair, in his new ‘look at me, I’m crazy violent’ gimmick, he is actually more likely to, you know, literally kill you.

For all intents and purposes, Scott Steiner is pretty much an after-thought in this match. He gets busted open in the early going then cracked with a lead pipe to win via disqualification.
Your Winner by disqualification: Scott Steiner.

In the post-match, Samoa Joe beats on Scott Steiner some more as they go into the crowd to finish a pretty naff match.

Then, after a quick promo from ‘The Phenomenal’ AJ Styles, it’s on with his match.

TNA Legends Championship: Booker T (champion) vs. AJ Styles

TNA Destination X 2009: AJ Styles faced Booker T for the Legends Title
Hurrah! Finally, we get a quality match! Booker T stops being a lazy so-and-so and actually puts some effort in here, though it’s still AJ Styles who really makes this one stand out.

After all the pap on this card, Styles and Booker deliver the goods, and this one wraps up with a great finish culminating in AJ hitting the Styles Clash for the pin.
Your Winner and new TNA Legends Champion: AJ Styles

Before we get to the next match, we get the most ridiculous thing ever.

Backstage, Samoa Joe has gone banana. He’s got his big knife, and it’s got Scott Steiner’s blood on it. Next, he says, he’s going to go slice and dice the rest of the Main Event Mafia.

There’s so many things wrong with this that it would take an age to talk about, so let’s just shake our heads in disapproval and move on, shall we?

TNA Tag Team Title Off The Wagon Challenge Match: Beer Money Inc. (champions) vs. Team 3D

This could be a very good match were it not for the silly ‘Off the Wagon’ stipulation (which essentially means that should the challengers lose cleanly, they’re out of a job) and pointless, over-complicated booking.

All four men do what they do and do it well. The cowardly James Storm gets his team disqualified but Jim Cornette re-starts it, only for Beer Money Inc. to then get counted out.

Why bother?
Your Winners by Count-Out: Team 3D (Beer Money retain the titles)

If you were thinking of tuning out and this point and doing something productive instead, nobody could blame you.

That said, you would be missing out on one cracking match that comes next.

TNA X-Division Ultimate X Match: Alex Shelley (champion) vs. Chris Sabin vs. Suicide vs. Jay Lethal vs. Consequences Creed

Now, this is what it’s all about! This is by far the best match of the night; a supreme spot-fest of the finest calibre.

It matches like these for which the chant That was Awesome! was coined.

If you want to see a match steeped in storytelling and that all-important ring psychology, there are better matches out there for you, but if you want to see a bunch of talented chaps doing some pretty cool stuff, check this one out.

This isn’t the best X-Division match ever, and there’s certainly room for improvement, but after such a shoddy show so far, it’s a much welcome relief.

In the end, Suicide performs a mad leap off the scaffold, grabs the X belt and is your new champ’.
Your Winner and New X-Division Champion: Suicide

That match was a lot of fun. Shame it resulted in a guy who looks like a wanker bagging the X strap.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting (champion) vs. Kurt Angle

TNA Destination X 2009: Kurt Angle faced Sting for the TNA Title
This being TNA, we, of course, can’t have a straightforward singles match. Instead, we’ve got Jeff Jarrett as your Special Guest Referee and Mick Foley assuming his usual Special Guest Enforcer role (which means he’ll basically hang around until the ref’ gets taken out then make the final three count).

All the same, this transpires into a decent, if not superb, match with the usual shenanigans in the finish leading to Sting retaining.
Your Winner and Still TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

No! No! No! Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling’s 2009 Destination X pay per view was bad. It was wrong, it was rubbish and, if I dare say it, it was crap.

The bulk of the undercard was littered with subpar performances made all the more unwatchable thanks to illogical booking and nonsensical gimmicks. When you’ve got a guy running around with a knife and expect people to cheer for him, you know you’ve got problems.

And trust me, TNA have got a lot of problems.

I'm slowly working my way through re-publishing all of my old TNA reviews from 2008 - 2009. For now, you can also read:
For more TNA, WCW, and WWE/WWF reviews follow Retro Pro Wrestling on Twitter or hit 'like' on the brand new Facebook page.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

TV REVIEW: TNA Impact - January 29th, 2009

Orlando, Florida

Making good on the promise they made on the last show, the Main Event Mafia are taking over Impact this week.

(NOTE: This review was originally written at the time that The January, 29th 2009 episode of Impact actually aired. I found a bunch of my old TNA reviews in my archives recently and wanted to share them on RPW, so here we are.) 

Despite protests from Jim 'I Have No Authority' Cornette, Kurt Angle takes his station in Jeff Jarrett's office, Booker T and Kevin Nash assume announcing duties, Sharmell is the new backstage announcer and Scott Steiner takes on the role of ring announcer.

It's part funny, part confusing, part incentive to turn the channel. But hey, let's see how it goes.

Knockouts Handicap Match: ODB vs. Sojo Bolt, Rhaka Khan, Raisha Saeed and TNA Women's Knockout Champion, Awesome Kong.

Sadly for the girls, their decent effort in the ring is overshadowed by the broadcasting efforts of Booker T and Kevin Nash, who assume alter-egos (Booker becomes the rambling ‘Black Snow’ whilst Nash adopts the name ‘Chet Lemon’...or something) as they take over the announce table.

Meanwhile, Scott Steiner is, intentionally or not, hilarious in his role as ring announcer. Though it isn’t clear whether we’re supposed to think Steiner can’t read, or whether he actually, legitimately can’t read the notes properly, the number of gaffs he makes whilst trying to introduce The Kongtourage (or ‘Kong-Fucious’ as Steiner puts it), are pure comedy.

Worryingly though, if this wasn’t intentional, shouldn’t Steiner really know the names of the stars on a programme in which he is a central character?

As for the action, which largely plays second-fiddle to everything else, ODB gets beaten up and planted with an Implant Buster for a loss.
Your Winners: The Kongtourage

Backstage, Kurt Angle is loving his moment of power and sends Jeremy Borash off to sell some Main Event Mafia T-shirts as we head back to the ring for one of the oddest matches we've heard of in ages.

Handicap Match: Booker T vs. The Referees (Rudy Charles & Andrew Thomas)

Before we get to the action, Sharmell goads the two zebras out from backstage. Trying to draw some humour out of the occasion, we get Thomas practically wetting himself whilst Charles elicits a sense of ill-fated self-confidence from his amateur wrestling background.

Not that it helps him much.
As you might expect, the TNA Legends Champion mauls the striped-shirts in one of the most pointless matches there’s ever been. Yeah, Booker, everyone’s really scared of a wrestler who can beat up two scrawny, largely defenceless referees.
Your Winner: Booker T

In the post-match, Shane ‘Silly Beard’ Sewell legs it ring-wards and rocks Booker with some heavy fists before he’s finally nailed with a scissor kick.

Sting Stung by Angle

Back in the boss’s office, Sting confronts his Main Event Mafia brother and Against All Odds opponent, Kurt Angle. As he makes it known that he’s less than thrilled about taking on Team 3D in a handicap match tonight, Sting teases a turn back to the good-guy squad; not that his ‘heel turn’ has ever really come off. The fans still love The Stinger, and likely always will.

Sharmell with Matt Morgan.

Matt Morgan cuts a decent promo here, and is certainly better on the stick than this writer would’ve imagined. It’s just a shame, then, that he’s out to hype a match against a one-armed man.

Matt Morgan vs. Petey Williams

Yes, I know ‘Maple Leaf Muscle’ has both his upper limbs, but since the Main Event Mafia are running the show tonight, he’s only allowed to use one of them.

Despite the daft setup, this is actually pretty entertaining as Morgan spends the early part of the match swatting Petey Williams away like a well-jacked fly, before finally finding a way to dominate.

The twist comes when the referee sneakily frees Petey’s redundant arm, allowing the little whippersnapper to fly about the place with aplomb before finally tasting the sole of one of Morgan’s giant boots and ultimately losing the match.
Your Winner: Matt Morgan

Afterwards, Morgan and Petey-hater-cum-ring-announcer, Scott Steiner, do a number on the Canadian. Frontline jobbers Eric Young, Consequences Creed and Black Machismo Jay Lethal do their best to rescue their comrade but are eventually overthrown by the ‘Mafia clan in another long and tedious beatdown.

Team 3D Speak

With the IWJP tag titles in tow, Brother Ray & Brother Devon come out to address Sting, Kurt Angle and the Main Event Mafia, admitting that they actually feel sorry for The Stinger and thus don’t want to fight him tonight. They’re still going to though, and that match comes right after another entertaining speech from the former Dudleys.

Handicap Match: Sting vs. Team 3D

Midway through what turns out to be an above-average encounter, Scott Steiner turns the tables in his stable-mate’s favour by getting involved in the match. As does Kurt Angle, who plays his part with a nasty low blow and eventually costs Sting the match by disqualification.

Yet whilst the action in the ring is pretty enjoyable, the maniacal play-by-play efforts of Booker ‘Black Snow’ T stop being funny and are just pretty damn annoying in this match.
Your Winners by Disqualification: Team 3D.

The post-match sees another prolonged Main Event Mafia attack, this one finally is  brought to a halt by the arrival of Abyss, LAX and TNA Shareholder, Mick Foley.

After helping clear the ring of the Mafia boys, Foley goes on to put an end to their ‘experiment in booking’ (which, truth be told, is it exactly what Impact seems to be half the time!).

Further more, the Hardcore Legend gives Hernandez another shot at Sting’s World Title (to be used at some point down the line), puts Scott Steiner in a weapons match against The Monster Abyss and throws Angle in a handicap match against LAX later on tonight.

By now, order has been restored, with TNA’s usual clan of announcers, interviewers and whatever Lauren is supposed to be, assuming their usual positions.

This is when TNA Management’s Jim Cornette joins West and Tenay to drop the bombshell of the century. Only joking, he announces that Booker T will fight Shane Sewell at Against All Odds. Wow, can’t wait for that one.

Weapons Match: The Monster Abyss vs. Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner

With Foley stacking the odds against the Main Event Mafia, this is a weapons match with a twist; weapons are legal for Abyss, but not Steiner.

As matches featuring Scott Steiner go, this isn’t a bad one and ends in another DQ finish when, predictably, Steiner can’t resist the urge to plant Abyss with a leadpipe.
Your Winner by Disqualification: Abyss

Afterwards, Steiner continues the beatdown on his opponent before Suicide returns to the fold, swooping down on a zip-line and rescuing the Monster.

Handicap Match: Kurt Angle vs. LAX

With Angle outnumbered, he nonetheless enters into another solid match against Homicide and Hernandez, finally planting Super Mex with an Angle Slam for the win.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

You’ve got to admit, this episode of TNA Impact was very much like every other. Some decent action (both in the ring and on the microphone) totally destroyed by a complete lack of logic and an overabundance of really stupid ideas.

The whole ‘Main Event Mafia Takes over Impact’ angle was a direct rip-off of World Championship Wrestling’s ill-fated idea to have the New World Order do the same to Nitro, and it bombed just as badly. So much so, in fact, that you have to wonder whether Foley’s intervention was actually planned or if someone in the back suddenly thought ‘God, this is horrible, get it stopped!’

If you ask me (which, I’ll admit, nobody ever does), TNA needs to find a pay-off to this whole Main Event Mafia programme, and soon. The company’s babyfaces are getting their backsides handed to them week in, week out (heck, even the poor refs aren’t immune from the Mafia) and I’m sure I can’t be the only one growing ever-more bored with this total dominance of the Main Event Mafia. Hopefully, the return of Samoa Joe will help not only put an end to this nonsense, but also make Joe an even bigger star. Here’s praying!

I'm slowly working my way through re-publishing all of my old TNA reviews from 2008 - 2009. For now, you can also read:

TNA Impact: 
For more TNA, WCW, and WWE/WWF reviews follow Retro Pro Wrestling on Twitter or hit 'like' on the brand new Facebook page.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

PPV REVIEW: TNA Final Resolution 2008

TNA Final Resolution 2008 - Event Poster -
The Impact Zone, Florida,
December 7th, 2008

Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling’s final pay-per-view of the year was a let down of epic proportions. Whilst wrestling logic dictates that you use your TV shows to hype your big events, the ever-complicated TNA decided to flip things around and used Final Resolution as a huge plug for TNA Impact.

(NOTE: I originally wrote this review live at the time that TNA Final Resolution happened in 2008. I found a bunch of old reviews in my archives recently and decided to add them to RPW. This is one of them, hence the slightly different format from normal reviews on this site). 

Here’s what went down.

Feast of Fired Match: LAX vs. Rock n Rave Infection vs. Motor City Machine Guns vs. Sonjay Dutt (with So Cal Val) vs. Jay Lethal vs. Curry Man vs. Consequences Creed vs. Shark Boy vs. BG James vs. Cute Kip. 

This is one of TNA’s over-complicated matches.

They call it ‘innovative’, I call it a mess.

The basic premise of this one is that four briefcases are hung from poles in the corners of the six-sided ring. Three of the four cases contain championship shots, whilst the fourth contains a nasty note telling the owner that they’re fired. The guys involved brawl around the ring, grab a case and can only lay claim to it if they land, case in hand, with both feet on the floor.

With a number of talented people involved, you’d imagine that this could potentially turn into a good match, or at least a decent spot-fest.

Instead, it’s a messy, uncoordinated affair that fails excite, or even entertain.
Your winners: Homicide, Hernandez, Curry Man, Jay Lethal

In the post match, there’s a bit of a kerfuffle as Jeremy Borash tries to congratulate the four case winners.

He’s pestered by the Motor City Machine Guns, who are annoyed that Jay Lethal got the floor with the case they pulled down. Seemingly, they thought that landing in the ring with the case was sufficient.

TNA Final Resolution 2008 - Feast or Fired match -

What’s more, Jay’s case is opened on the spot and contains a TNA World Tag Team Title shot.

As for the other three, well, we have to wait until Impact for that one! So after fans have paid their hard earned money for this event, they have to wait until a free television show to get the pay off from this match.


Backstage, Lauren is with Sharmell, The Beautiful People & Kip James.

Angelina Love and Velvet Sky cut another of their uber-annoying promos, this time made worse by the addition of Sharmell in their fold.

They go on their usual spiel about being better than everyone else, before ‘Sarah Palin’ calls Angelina and says she’ll be coming to the Impass [sic] Zone.

Knockouts Six-Woman Tag Match: Sharmell and The Beautiful People vs. ODB, Roxi and Taylor Wylde. 

As tag matches go, this one is pretty decent.

It’s hardly spectacular and certainly isn't the best match on the card, but it’s entertaining enough. Sharmell avoids any action for the most part until ODB finally gets her in the ring. The look on Booker T’s wife is priceless as she stands like a deer caught in the headlights in the middle of the ring before ODB chases her backstage.

With the action still going on in the ring, Angelina Love somehow defeats herself by nailing Taylor with a flying crossbody, only for Taylor to roll on top of her and get the win.
Your winners: ODB, Roxi and Taylor Wylde.

TNA X-Division Championship: Sheik Abdul Bashir © vs. Eric Young

Things start to get better here as Bashir and Young enter into a solid performance.

The only downside to this match is that it’s officiated by Shane Sewell, the wannabe-wrestler who has a problem with the X-Division champion.

Sadly, the announcers spent more time talking about how great the referee was for being unbiased than how good the two athletes were, and when Sewell got involved to help Eric Young win the match, not only was it not surprising, it was a bit naff as well.
Your Winner and new X-Division Champion: Eric Young

In the post-match, Bashir batters Young and Sewell with the title, then runs off with it before Jim Cornette comes out and takes it off him.

I guess Young won’t be the champ for long this time, either.

TNA Knockout Women’s Championship Match: Awesome Kong © vs. Christy Hemme.

This could’ve been a good match had it been allowed time to develop. Instead, it was cut short with a really confusing end.

For the most part,  Awesome Kong dominated her smaller foe until Christy Hemme finally made a comeback with simple DDT. For some reason, this caused enough concern for Kong’s manager, Raisha Saeed, to rush in and interfere, thus costing Kong the match by DQ but allowing her to retain her title.

What? Kong spent the best part of the match in control but as soon as she gets hit with one single move she needs help?
Your winner by Disqualification: Christy Hemme (Awesome Kong retains the title) 

We get a brief respite from the action as we go backstage where Jeremy Borash interviews Kurt Angle.

Kurt gives a great speech about his obsession with facing Jeff Jarrett and his upcoming match against Rhino.

TNA World Tag Team Championship: Beer Money Inc  © (with Jacquelyn) vs. Abyss & Matt Morgan

TNA Final Resolution 2008 - Matt Mogan & Abyss faced Beer Money Inc

This one took forever to get going, with Robert Roode and James Storm trying to get out of the match only to get chased back by Abyss and finally ordered to wrestle by the referee.

However, when it did get going, it turned into a great little match. Storm and Roode have developed themselves as a fantastic tag team, and it was largely thanks to their efforts that this match turned out so good, despite a rubbish finish in which Storm used some brass knuckles for the win.

It’s watching this match where this writer starts to think he’d pay anything to see Beer Money Inc take on his other favourite tag team, The Miz & John Morrison.
Your Winners and still TNA World Tag Team Champions: Beer Money Inc. 

After the match, the Motor City Machine Guns head to the ring.

They say they’re not going to move until Mick Foley comes out and gives them back the TNA World Tag Team Title shot that Jay Lethal ‘stole’ from them.

Instead, Jim Cornette comes out and says that Foley has more important things to worry about (which pretty much means ol’ Jim has been demoted to Foley and Jarrett’s lackey).

He then says he’s going to fetch security, which is the cue for Suicide to make his debut, swooping down from the rafters and cleaning house in a segment that would be pretty cool if it wasn’t for the fact that Suicide’s attire looks dreadful!

Backstage, Rhino is interviewed by Lauren, and talks about how he’s going to beat up Kurt Angle. That match is next.

Rhino vs. Kurt Angle (with Mick Foley as special guest enforcer)

TNA Final Resolution 2008 - Matt Mogan & Abyss faced Beer Money Inc
Though hardly his best effort, Kurt Angle nonetheless delivers the goods here as he and Rhino work a good, entertaining match that builds up slowly and really gets the crowd involved.

Towards the end, the ref gets squashed in the corner, which in wrestling is always, without fail, a clear sign that something untoward is going to happen.

In this instance, Mick Foley gets in the ring to take over referee duties when he is confronted by none other than old friend, Al Snow.

Mick leans out of the ropes to tell Al that they’ll talk later as he’s in the middle of a match.

 Al then gives the Hardcore Legend the weakest looking slap of all time, distracting him just long enough to allow Angle to do something or other and make the cover whilst the announcers try to convince us that Snow travelled all the way to Florida just to slap Mick Foley after the wrestler-turned-author made a joke about Snow in one of his books several years ago.

Yeah, right!

Foley then delivers the final three count to conclude a stupid finish to an otherwise top match.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle (Kurt gets to face Jeff Jarrett at Genesis). 

Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviews the TNA Front Line.

JB asks AJ Styles if he and Samoa Joe can trust Team 3D. Styles shouts at the man with the mic and says he trusts them like brothers, and that they’ll they be bringing home the TNA World Heavyweight Championship tonight.

Let’s find out, shall we?

TNA World Heavyweight Championship 8-Man Tag Match: TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Sting, TNA Legends Champion, Booker T, Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner vs. AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Team 3D.

TNA Final Resolution 2008 - TNA Front Line vs. Main Event Mafia

Only in TNA could you have something as daft as an eight man tag team match for a singles championship. Yet surprisingly, this heated battle between the Main Event Mafia and the TNA Front Line evolves into a pretty good contest.

Strangely, that isn’t the most surprising thing about this match.

No, that honour goes to the fact that the heel turn by Brother Rey and Brother Devon that this critic deemed so inevitable, never happened.

Instead, we get lots of good back and forth action, with the Main Event Mafia getting the upper-hand and Sting saving his own title with a Scorpion Death Drop on Samoa Joe for the win.
Your Winners: The Main Event Mafia (Sting retains the title)

Though Final Resolution did get much better towards the end, with the main event, Angle v. Rhino, and a thrilling tag team title match saving the day, there was too much on this card that really bogged it down. 

With some stupid ideas, over-complicated stipulations and an abundance of stuff that served no other purpose than to promote TNA Impact, Final Resolution failed to give fans their money’s worth. 

And as the group’s final pay per view of the year, it’s a shame that this will be the lasting impression of TNA in 2008 when everybody knows they can do much better.

Let’s hope they do just that in 2009!

I'm slowly working my way through publishing the rest of my TNA reviews from 2008. Until I get round to publishing more, you can also check out: 
For more TNA, WCW, and WWE/WWF reviews, follow Retro Pro Wrestling on Twitter or hit 'like' on the brand new Facebook page.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

PPV REVIEW: TNA Turning Point 2008

TNA Turning Point 2008 event poster -
November 9th, 2008,
The Impact Zone, Florida. 

The main story heading into Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s Turning Point pay per view event was the coming together of the Main Event Mafia, the heel stable consisting of World Heavyweight Champion, Sting, TNA Legends Champion, Booker T, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle and Scott Steiner. 

(NOTE: This is a review that I originally wrote live back in in November 2008. I recently found this in my archives and decided to add it to RPW, hence the different formatting from my normal reviews. Youtube videos and links have been added in as an edit in 2017)

Forming an alliance against the TNA Originals (Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Jay Lethal and others), the Main Event Mafia continued their dominance of TNA throughout a stellar card packed with gripping wrestling matches.

It was up to the high-flyers of the company’s X-Division to kick things off, as Eric Young, Petey Williams, ‘Black Machismo’ Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Doug Williams, Volador, Tanahashi, Consequences Creed, Homicide and Jimmy Rave competed in a thrilling ‘X-Division Rankings’ match.

Fought under Lucha Libre tag rules (whereby, as soon as one wrestler leaves the ring, another can take his place without a tag being made), the match was set up to determine contendership for the X-Division title.

Full of exciting flips, spots, counters and jaw-dropping action, the highlight of the match saw Jay Lethal and CMLL’s Volador trading holds and rolls in an intense back-and-forth battle, whilst Homicide’s devastating tope into the crowd was impressive, but sadly put him out of action.

Ultimately, after everyone else had been eliminated, it was down to long-time fan-favourites, Lethal, and ‘Showtime Eric Young’ as the final two, with Young finally picking up the win.

With the match wrapped up, Eric called Lethal, Williams and Creed back to the ring as he delivered an impassioned speech about their future in TNA.

Yet after an early highlight to Turning Point, Turning Point 2008 did begin to sag somewhat.

The Knockout’s tag-match pitting Knockout Champion Awesome Kong and her manager/valet, Raisha Saeed against ‘Hardcore Queen’ Roxxi and former Knockout champ, Taylor Wilde, simply couldn’t match the previous bout’s energy and excitement.

Despite a strong build-up on TV, what we saw here was little more than your standard tag-team match with a predictable ending. Thank god then that it was kept quite short.
Things continued to be somewhat lukewarm with the next match though, to be fair, this wasn’t the fault of either competitor.

‘The War Machine’, Rhino, defending his pride and his country against ‘evil-foreigner’ and reigning X-Division Champion, Shiek Abdul Bashir in a non-title bout had been built up on the Impact television show as an epic grudge match as Rhino looked set to seek revenge for Bashir’s spiteful comments towards the U.S.A.

For the most part, the bout started off as just that but before long everyone; the live audience, the television audience and even, seemingly, the wrestlers themselves, were heavily distracted by the arrival on the front row of what announcer Mike Tenay referred to as ‘some familiar faces’.

Even before they were visible on camera, the crowds in the impact zone soon turned their backs on the match in hand when music duo, the Insane Clown Posse arrived on the scene in full makeup, along with former TNA, WCW and WWE star, Scott Hall.

The arrival of the trio apparently wasn’t supposed to be part of the show, yet despite everyone’s best efforts, their presence at ringside became much more interesting than the battle in the ring.

That Bashir even went so far as to acknowledge the threesome suggested just how furious the wrestlers were with this distraction, and was, on the whole, a bad idea; lending credence to an otherwise unprompted appearance and sapping every inch of interest out of the match he was supposed to be having.

In the end, it was Rhino who picked up the win before storming off backstage without so much as a raised arm or acknowledgement of victory. Whether this was planned, or whether it was out of sheer annoyance at Hall and the ICP, we’ll probably never know.

But if things had taken a turn for the worse with the previous two matches, things looked to get a lot better with the TNA World Tag Team Title match.

Despite a rather confusing backstage skit in which challengers the Motor City Machine Guns apparently turned on TNA authority figure, Mick Foley, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin were greeted as firm favourites as they headed to the ring to face reigning champions, Robert Roode and James Storm, better known as Beer Money, Inc.

Where the previous tag team match failed, this one delivered on all accounts and was a testament to the talent of both teams, in particular, Beer Money, Inc.

With the right look, great chemistry and an abundance of skill both on the mic and in the ring, Roode and Storm should surely be looking at some kind of ‘Tag Team of the Year’ awards, and their efforts against the dynamic duo of Shelley and Sabin showed why.

An altogether enthralling match which saw the champs retain in a fast and furious contest.

With the undercard out of the way, it was onto a four-pronged main event featuring the top talent in TNA.

TNA Turning Point 2008 event poster - Christian Cage vs. Booker T - Legends Title match -

First, Booker T successfully defended his TNA Legends Title (a belt he apparently created and simply awarded to himself) in a good, if hardly spectacular, contest against Christian Cage.

In an added stipulation, if Christian lost the match, he’d be forced to become a member of the Main Event Mafia. Somewhat predictably, he did indeed lose the match, and looks set to join the squad on TV unless, of course, rumours about his apparent move back to WWE, come true.

If that match was only ‘good’, then the next match was absolutely fantastic. In an exhilarating ‘Falls Count Anywhere’ bout, ‘The Monster’ Abyss took on Olympic Gold Medalist, Kurt Angle.

Without so much as a single dull moment, Angle and Abyss brawled all over the Impact Zone, leading to some great spots around the entrance way including Kurt’s smooth, breathtaking somersault off the stage onto his opponent.

The end came when Angle eventually managed to push Abyss off a raised platform and through the Spanish announce table (those poor Spanish announcers, when will they ever catch a break in pro wrestling!?!) for the win.

Despite the limitations of the old and grey Kevin Nash, his grudge match against ‘The Samoan Submission Machine’ Samoa Joe, was still nonetheless enjoyable, thanks in no small part to former world champ’, Joe.

Though hardly the best match on the Turning Point card, this bout did have its moments, culminating in a win for Nash following a low-blow and a ropes-assisted pin.

TNA Turning Point 2008 event poster - AJ Styles vs. Sting - TNA Title match -

Finally, it was time for the main event. On a card where the matches ranged from mediocre to very good, Sting vs AJ Styles for the World Heavyweight Championship, had a lot to live up to.

Thankfully, it did.

A great battle between the veteran, Sting, and the young lion, Styles, both men gave it their all in an exciting contest which swept the crowd along before interference from the ‘Mafia enabled the Stinger to retain the gold.

All in all then, a great show which saw the Main Event Mafia hold onto their dominance of Total Non-stop Action Wrestling. Match of the night undoubtedly went to Kurt Angle vs Abyss, but many of the wrestlers on the card deserve kudos for putting on one fine performance. 

Over the coming weeks, I'll have a few more TNA wrestling reviews from the past few years. Be the first to check them out by following Retro Pro Wrestling on Twitter, or hitting like on the brand new Facebook page.

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.