A couple of years ago I found a TNA DVD that I'd never seen before and haven't seen since. It is TNA Best of 2009. I actually got my copy factory sealed too but without a price tag. So its odd that someone never opened this OR maybe this copy just sat around a warehouse for 10 years until I bought it.
What makes this such a great find for me is that its right about when I really was paying attention to TNA but also becoming less interested in the program. So it features some of the last good TNA stuff on Spike. In the bonus features it has the announcement of Hulk Hogan joining the promotion which was the beginning of the end.
So this DVD features the Top matches of the year and I can't really complain since I can only recall a better Knockout match than the one featured here and that was Cheerleader Melissa vs Ayako Hamada in a no DQ match. That could have been 2010 though. Anyhow, this post is going to focus on the Kurt Angle matches since he's in half of those featured. Personally, his stuff here isn't as top shelf as some of the bouts from 2006-2008 as shown on his TNA solo DVD (Joe matches, vs Nagata). That said those featured here are still very worthy of being some of his best work in TNA wrestling.
vs Jeff Jarrett (Genesis 2009 January, #5 Best bout) : This was a No DQ match that was very much an Attitude Era throw back. Boxes were getting checked off: Big bumps, blood, chair shots, etc. But it felt good given the age of the two. I mean Jeff almost lawn darted on a suicide dive and damn near missed the table on a big spot. It worked because they sold the hate. This was a very, very good match.
vs AJ Styles (Table match, January, Best Impact TV bout) : The intro video does a great job recapping the AJ & Kurt saga...One I'm very fond of. In a nutshell, Tomko (remember him?) and AJ are tag partners and part of Team Angle. Kurt's babe of an (ex)wife is introduced here as well. Kurt is a egocentric tool and AJ is protecting her. Kurt thinks there's romance brewing but AJ & Karen say they're just friends. Haaft They say this is after all of that but I sorta remember that running into this period of the Main Event Mafia (goan) vs the non former WWF /WCW wrestlers. Anyways, this was a good TV match but it should be clear that TNA was becoming WCW part deux.
vs Sting (Empty Arena Match Best Grudge match, Impact TV February): They call it the best grudge match but you'll see the match below is the #2 match of 2009 and that's a grudge match as well. Maybe its the best TV grudge match??? Regardless, this is a battle I remember loving. It felt like something very special to see on TV. I still feel that way (even after all we've seen in the past year). Other than the fantastic and hilarious finish where Kevin Nash yells at them like an angry father (see below), this was a great battle. You could argue that this was more WCW flash backs but, if its done right, there's no problem to me. This was an instance where they did it right. I would give that credit to Sting and Kurt wanting to still put on a good show. It'd be wrong for me to call this a classic match BUT with the match combined with the ending, this was a Classic bit of TNA Impact TV!
vs Desmond Wolfe (Turning Point, November, #2 Best Bout) : Its not great when you don't have anything worthwhile for 9 months from your top star to put on the DVD. But here we are! Desmond Wolfe has been gunning for Kurt and has decimated him on TV. Now they have a match to settle things. OK...I'm going to get my rant from 11 years ago out of the way. Why the hell did they change the name and character of Nigel McGuinness? He had so much hype coming from ROH and they just KILLED it by doing this. Doing this seemed like such WCW/WWF level bullshit. Its not worth going into but even Nigel (I know its not his real name but he's used it everywhere else in wrestling) says in a promo/vignette something like, ' I'm going by the name of Desmond Wolfe at the moment ' when introducing himself. He or whoever wrote the segment knew there was still cross over between ROH and TNA and they should acknowledge that this guy was someone else somewhere else. That is convoluted to write but its because it is a convoluted idea! All I can hope is Nigel didn't want to tarnish the character and his legacy by jobbing in TNA. And I can support that with hindsight on my side because he was a mid card jobber to the stars in the promotion. They tried to do the British team thing again but I had fucking tuned out of TNA a little after seeing what they did to my boy! Spoiler alert!!! The writing above should give you an idea on the outcome of this match. It is a great match. Its Kurt big-match-by-numbers but Nigel...I mean Desmond is masterful. To use a line from The Dark Night Returns, this isn't a wrestling ring. Its an operating table and Desmond Wolfe is the surgeon.
I wrote more than that but I'm going to leave it there. The match is posted on YouTube so I recommend checking it out.
More of the Best of TNA 2009 coming soon!
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