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Found 66 results

  1. OK we're on to Part #2 of the Best of TNA 2009 as determined by the DVD put out by TNA in 2009 Sarita vs Alissa Flash (Best Women's match, Impact TV 07/16) : You know I remembered this match and it was alright. TNA's Knockout division was getting pretty good around this time. You could expect quality beyond Awesome Kong, ODB and I think Gail Kim left already to try WWE again. Fun moves Sabin vs Shelley vs Homicide vs Daniels vs Amazing Red vs Suicide (Bound for Glory, October, Ultimate X match, #4 Best Bout) : Red was the champ and this was a free for all, the MCMG fought as a team and came out as a team. Yeah in hindsight they were in here just to spice shit up.And really that's all this was - top notch high risk spot match. It is neat that you have all of this talent but also bummer that they're not fighting for the World Title. They were just so afraid of pushing them beyond the X division. This should have been the main event as it was thrilling and the fans were crazy about it. AJ Styles vs Sting (Bound for Glory, October, #3 Best Bout): A simple but effective World title fight. It reminded me of Sting facing a young version of himself in AJ Styles. You could say it was a little disappointing if you bought the PPV and thought they would top Ultimate X but on tape and a decade removed, its a great match. Samoa Joe vs Daniels vs AJ Styles (Turning Point, November, 3 way, #1 Best Bout): Best Bout? You better believe it! This was a classic work rate match showing their 2005 classic was no fluke. This is in the Top 10 Best TNA matches that I've seen. I remember the build up to this and it was great to see Christopher Daniels as "himself" instead of Curry Man. I missed his early years in TNA and had only heard of these three's 5 star match. I was really jazzed up about this but I never bought TNA shows since I was worried about cheap finishes. So its fantastic to finally see this and know that it lived up to the hype. That said, I don't know how it would stack up against a ROH three way match in 2009 but would still put it at the ****1/2 level. ...and that's it folks! A fun albeit brief look at the Best of TNA in 2009. Thanks for reading and stay safe!
  2. This is part of the aborted Jarrett vs. Hulk Hogan feud that TNA began with the aim of it headlining their first attempt at a 3 hour Sunday PPV (what was meant to be the first Bound for Glory). That match never happens, although the company do get full value form endlessly replaying the clip of Jarrett hitting Hogan with a guitar at the Tokyo Dome. This is essentially the payoff with Sting parachuted in. At this stage Sting had done one tag match for TNA and little in wrestling other than handful of matches for touring company the WWA since the end of WCW, so that at least brings some interest. Early on there is lots of stooging and stalling from Jarrett as was his way at this point. Sting has good fire and still looks good physically, but the match just has no substance to it whatsoever. It feels very late era WCW, with weak crowd brawling and run ins to compensate for a lack of action. Jarrett gets a sleeper as his only real offence – it’s like why his Chosen One character could never get over as main eventer in WCW, he just gets beat up for most of his matches and has such weak offence. There are tons of run ins here, including from Don Callis as a TNA Management Consultant, Jimmy Hart – who had basically been Hogan’s proxy in the storyline when they thought the match would happen – red shirt security, AJ Styles, Raven, Abyss and the match completely falls apart under all that strain to end in a rubbish DQ, given they clearly didn’t want Sting to lose, nor did they want to change the title. There is a big pop for the brawl after the bell and Sting stopping a guitar shot with his baseball bat, but other than that this is pretty useless. (* ½)
  3. This is the first time the Knockouts main evented an episode of Impact, and it’s well deserved given this is a great rivalry, that really put the division and title on the map shortly after inception. Kong at this point had a mystique to her and came across as a real special attraction - someone that could’ve been a big star for the company. She definitely seemed ahead of her time in terms of North American women’s wrestling. It’s being Captain Obvious, but these two have fantastic chemistry, and give off a real Vader vs Sting vibe in their exchanges. Gail is great at selling the beating she is getting, but is constantly fighting and scrapping whenever she can, which keeps the crowd invested and makes her seem like a credible champion without taking anything away from Kong’s aura. They both lay everything in, and all the sequences have intensity to them. This is a sprint compared to their longer PPV matches, but its all action with lots packed in to a short time and some great bumps. (***)
  4. This is meant to be Team 3D vs. The Steiners, but due to an injury, Animal steps in as a surprise replacement. The challengers are way past their prime here, but it’s cool them being teamed up in a ‘veteran super team’ sort of way. The match is kept very basic due to the limitations of the challengers, basically playing the hits, but the crowd are buying into the ‘legends’ and the ‘dream tag team’ storyline for the match. Rick looks a bit all over the place at times, but the Dudley’s do a great job of bumping all over the place to help put the challengers over as threats. Unfortunately it’s a pretty flat ending, but the crowd were invested throughout and they got as much out of Steiner and Animal as you could possibly expect in 2007. (** ½)
  5. 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! Thanks for reading If you have pets give them a hug today!
  6. A highly praised match, that I don't think I have ever seen. However, after the last great AJ match (vs Joe) that I watched I need more 2005 AJ in my life. This match starts off hot with AJ diving out of the cage onto Abyss during his entrance. They then brawl through out the arena. Strange choice for a cage match, however it is the main event of a show where every match is in a cage, so they probably needed to change things up. Finally it looks like AJ is going to get into the ring and he gets the cage door slammed into his back and then viciously into his face. Way more vicious than I have ever seen. It might had been the great bump AJ took, but it looked brutal. AJ is busted open and then Abyss goes to work on the cut. This match feels more like a grudge match than any match the WWE has had in years. I miss this TNA. Before they lock themselves in the cage Abyss brings a chair, chain and a bag of thumbtacks. Abyss' destruction segment is fun with AJ being rammed into the turnbuckle which has the chain on it and just being tossed into the cage like a sack of potatoes. AJ's comeback starts by countering a gorilla press into a DDT, which looked great. His comeback is destroyed after a minute or so with an INSANE Black Hole Slam! That gets two and now the thumb tacks are brought out by Abyss. He goes for another Black Hole Slam, but AJ counters. He tries to power bomb him into the tacks, but ti's countered into a Styles Clash right onto the tacks. Surprisingly that is not the finish. AJ goes to the top of the cage, but Abyss chucks the referee into the cage knocking AJ down to hang outside. Abyss goes to the top with the chain and hangs AJ. He chokes him, but AJ counters and sunset flip power bombs Abyss into the tacks for three. This was really good, but not on the level of Joe-AJ. It felt like it went a few minutes too long at the end and the crowd brawling at the beginning could had been short. None the less, great stuff. ****1/2
  7. Remember when the Monster’s Ball concept first debuted in TNA, and the participants supposedly were locked away for 24 hours prior to the match without light, food, and water? By now it's just another hardcore match with weapons and this is actually the 45th(!) Monster's Ball match. Poor Abyss can barely move by this point in his career but he takes the two biggest bumps. Creative visual at the end with Rosemary pouring a bag full of tacks on the head of Eddie Edwards, who is trapped in a chair. Nobody phones it in (again, Abyss does what he can) and a couple of unique moments made this worth a watch for me. Here's my link to the full write-up on this match, Day 47 in my 365 Wrestling project.
  8. There was a ton of lead up and hype surrounding this match as Angle had come into TNA just the month before. Joe was undefeated for 18 months. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_madQBbghRk They fought this match like the really wanted to prove something. No run ins, cheapshots, or anything like that- just two athletes trying to establish their dominance. Joe trying to keep Kurt down and Kurt trying to show it didn't matter where he was, he was the best. This was really wrestled well for their first encounter. It gave room for the feud to grow but, certainly paid off the build up. Angle was bleeding throughout and it just added to that competitive intensity. Very exciting stuff and a impressive start for Angle in TNA. I thought it was a great match especially for being under 14 minutes.
  9. About as perfect a 7 minute opener as you can ask for. This was Reds TNA debut and they work a slightly more traditional style (if you can talk traditional when you have crazy moves dished out by the minute) with some arm drags and Ki beating him down good with his awesome neck headbutts etc. They pull out some of their spectacular kung fu sequences later for great effect. Amazing how these two always managed to mix up their stuff.
  10. Did Matt Hardy read the post-wrestling thread? For all my talk about how Lucha Underground is flirting with post-wrestling this looks way more revolutionary than anything they've ever done. The sheer absurdity of it is brilliant, but my favourite moments were probably Jeff not dropping selling even when he's shooting fireworks and the finish where Matt took advantage of Jeff's stupidity and predictability. Rating it feels impossible but it was definitely one of the most entertaining experiences watching wrestling I've had.
  11. This ruled! The four way setting fits this type of match much better as you can have wrestlers continue to fight while others set up spots. Sabu's presence helped this a lot, he was the best worker in here, here was a spot where Jeff used him to jump onto Abyss and then offered Sabu to use him to jump onto Abyss as well and Sabu just stomped him and it was the best, the amount of disgusting bumps and insane dives delivered as you'd expect but I also liked how they used weapons to transition and as cut-offs. Jeff Hardy continues to jump off high things and it gets REALLY preposterous here. Finish ruled as well, Rhino hits a Piledriver off the top rope and gets the win but Sabu throws himself at him to break it up only to do so a split second too late. ***1/2
  12. This was the main event for TNA's first 3 hour Sunday PPV, so of course it has Jarrett in it, and while it made sense to have Hardy in terms of his profile, this was during his initial post WWE run where he was pretty dreadful in the ring, probably not helped of course by what he might be doing outside of it. Hardy as a singles guy can be really hit and miss, but when he came back to WWE in 2006 through to the end of the Punk run I thought he was really good. Again, back in TNA you get the infamous Sting match where he's in no position to perform, but overall there was a lot of good stuff, particularly his matches with Austin Aries. Anyway, that's a lot of digressing - bottom line, is that Hardy is all over the place in this match. The storyline going in is that the ladder match stipulation favours Hardy, and that's shown by him dominating the early stages, which makes good sense. Hardy shows good fire. and you can't fault the effort of both guys, it's just they are on different pages. Hardy is trying to run through a greatest hits package of some of the moves he would do in the big tag ladder matches in the WWE while you get all the Jarrett NWA Title match tropes of refs being knocked out and outside interference. Hardy's had some great singles ladder matches, but just like someone like Sabu, that relies on him being on his game and hitting his spots. Here, there are not massive botches, although they mess up a sunset flip powerbomb twice in quick succession, but everything looks a bit odd. Jarrett for the most part's role in the match is just to stagger around and try to be vaguely in the right place while Hardy is throwing himself around. Most of the damage Hardy sustains is by missing big moves rather than anything Jarrett does, although that does play into a narrative of Hardy being a risk taker and Jarrett being a smart veteran. The other storyline going into the match was The Outsiders were in different corners; Hall with Jarrett and Nash with Hardy, although the pre-match video package makes it absolutely certain that Nash is going to turn on Hardy. Hall is fairly heavily involved throughout the match, at various times preventing Hardy from climbing and he actually takes some of the worst punishment in this. The match sort of meanders to the point where Nash comes out with two guitars, telegraphing what the finish from a million miles away. Hardy gets taken out by all three hitting him with guitars and Jarrett retains in the standard TNA way at this point. Post match we see what would soon to be named as the nWo Kings of Wrestling taking out a load of babyfaces, incl. AJ Styles until you get the bizarre and probably forgotten arrival of Randy Savage into TNA, for what would ultimately be one match where he would barely take part. Overall then, this is pretty poor - for a ladder match there are no memorable moments, and it suffers from one having one guy (Jarrett) who isn't natural in this type of match, one guy (Hardy) who is all over the place, and a heavily telegraphed and cliched turn that everyone would've seen coming. Not good (** 1/4)
  13. Given the participants, and the chemistry that these two teams had - witness both the cage matches between them - this is a massive disappointment, and a complete mess. And a lot of it is down to the structure of the match inhibiting the wrestlers from being able to produce anything watchable. First of all, it's a gimmick better suited to one on one matches, second, while it's No DQ by definition as being a last man standing match, the wrestlers adhere to making tags after the first couple of mins where everyone is in the ring at the same time brawling. Then you have the rules whereby someone needs to be pinned before the 10 count is administered so you get - as can happen in Iron Man matches where people get pinned after a couple of mins by moves they would normally be kicking out of. While some of the work is decent because of the guys involved, because of the fundamental inhibitions of the match, it's so choppy with no flow. What AMW excelled in was classic southern tag formula but this doesn't allow that, as it's also elimination rules. The story coming in is that James Storm's knee was injured, but he doesn't really sell that much, although he is pinned and can't stand off a chair shot to the knee, which at least is logical. There is then a small heat section with Chris Harris having to fight of Daniels and Skipper but Daniels is eliminated very quickly, so we don't get much time for any heat to build from being two on one. I'm not sure where it happens, but Elix Skipper I think gets a concussion at some point - he definitely hits the back of his head hard on a chair for the final pin - and while it looks like he kicks out, the ref counts three anyway. In fact, both Daniels and Skipper's eliminations look botched. How bad this match is, can be summed up by the fact that Harris looks actively disgusted on being announced the winner, so happily they would get the chance to redeem themselves the next month with a terrific cage match at Turning Point. This match though is not good at all. (*)
  14. This is for the X Division Title, and came at the time when AJ would routinely bounce between being a contender for the X Title and then the World Title. This is from TNA's first 3 hour PPV, with the hook being that AJ is the X Division ace that Petey would have to overcome if he wanted to cement his own credibility as champion. Because of this there's a real buzz at the the beginning of the match from the crowd and the opening exchanges are really good with lots of intensity, and I liked, whether through reality or design that Petey looked to be having to work extra hard to keep up with AJ, who just felt like he was just getting started. I think this is the story they were trying to tell in the match, but ultimately it goes too far and this is way to one sided. Again, not sure if this is by design or just simply that in non kayfabe AJ is on that next level, but he just looks several notches above Petey here. He rolls out some fantastic sequences including a back flip off the apron and then scoring with a kick from behind, as well as dodging Scott D'Amore interference on the outside to score with a springboard forearm and is so smooth but also explosive in everything he does. Petey by contrast rarely gets to land a blow unless it's a opening caused by D'Amore distraction. I remember that being a criticism at the time that Team Canada matches wouldn't often devolve into too many D'Amore spots and that would overshadow matches, and that's the case here. When done right, manager involvement can be a fantastic storytelling tool but here the interference overwhelms the match, and while they were probably hoping for a bit of show stealer coming in, Petey comes across as nowhere in AJ's league and someone that flukes his way to retaining rather than being sneaky or resourceful. (** 3/4)
  15. I'm not entirely sure why I'm continuing to watch Jeff Hardy's TNA matches. I've already reached a conclusion on how he was as a worker at the time and it's probably not going to change. Maybe I should stop. This was fine. Jeff Hardy was my favourite wrestler when I was 12 and Raven was in that spot when I was 13. MVP was before any of them and inbetween were The Rock and Jericho. Then I discovered puro through my new favourite KENTA and eventually I stopped having a favourite wrestler. As far as this match goes. Some good, some bad. I liked Raven avoiding Hardy's chairshots but literally the next spot had him stand there while Jeff set up his chair jumping. Then Raven avoided Hardy's chair jump spot which I liked but-urgh-why not just avoid it on the first try. You don't have to get all your shit in. This had enough violence in it to keep me interested throughout the whole thing but also some eye-rolling stuff like them doing a top rope-nothing (trust me it looks like exactly it sounds), the ref helping Raven set up tables, a blade job that went on forever etc. I liked the dramatic shots of the women in the crowd turning away, now that I think about it they could've been plants but I don't think TNA would be capable of using plants in such an efficent manner, more likely they had them chant for Kevin Nash or whomever old they signed at the time. **1/2
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