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Found 28 results

  1. 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!
  2. Nigel McGuinness defends the ROH World Title from the Manhattan Center in New York City. Talk about it here.
  3. Joe is coming off a huge loss to Austin Aries at Final Battle, so he's out to prove he's still at the top of the food chain. This is another opportunity for McGuinness to step-up and climb up the ladder (see: vs. Homicide @ Midnight Express Reunion). McGuinness tries to approach Joe methodically, but Joe is familiar with McGuinness' habits and he ratchets up the aggression & pace - forcing McGuinness off his game plan & on the defensive. The few moments where Joe slips-up McGuinness is able to get some hit-and-run armwork in, but he's panicky & desperate so it's not as effective and doesn't lead anywhere. McGuinness gets a little bit of a rub by kicking out of some of Joe's lower-tier finishers, but the Coquina Clutch puts him away for good. Joe was not playin' around at the end. Very good match that both raises McGuinness' profile & reestablishes Joe as a force to be reckoned with even after losing the World title. Rating: ***½
  4. This is a Four-Corner Survival match with Double Stakes ... meaning the winner of the first fall gets a Pure title match (and both the winner & loser are subsequently eliminated from the match) then it becomes a singles match between the last two competitors for a shot at the World title. Kind of a silly stipulation, and it makes the psychology of the match wonky. Why would anyone want a shot at a secondary title over the World title? Anyways. There's a lot of cool mat & limbwork here; Joe being Joe is great, as usual; continuation in the Cabana/McGuinness storyline; an interesting first time match-up between Shelley/McGuinness. Good, well-worked match with decent storytelling, but not without its flaws. Rating: ***
  5. Great Bryan FIP segment, Nigel was on fire, very good hot tag by Aries, really great finishing stretch. Great match. ****
  6. Terrific storytelling with Bryan looking to tire Nigel out (while annoying the wXw fans at the same time) w/ submission holds, specifically the CHINLOCK. Bryan's facial expressions while working Nigel over w/ a wristlock while the crowd is booing the shit out of him = GOLD. The whole dynamic was actually really fun, because at the same time over in ROH, Bryan & Nigel were having a World Championship feud where Nigel was an absolute bastard of a heel while Bryan was the babyface ace. Pretty cool how the dynamic flipped when their rivalry made it's way to Germany. Great match. ****1/4
  7. Five good-to-great wrestlers, at worst, in the ring together and Vordell Walker. There's a lot of first time match-ups here, besides Joe/McGuinness, and Spanky/Danielson hasn't been done in so long that it's basically on that same hype-tier (if that's a word). This match had good action & psychology, but I have a couple issues: the segments where the match breaks down and everyone is in the ring together felt oddly timed ... there wasn't much of a build to those specific moments - they just go unpredictably wild, which was jarring to me; the escalation was steady, but the momentum stalled right before the finishing run & took me out of it a little; and they could've easily chopped a good five minutes off this match to tighten it up. Anyways, too much Vordell Walker, but the other five do a good enough job carrying him nonetheless. The first time interactions between Danielson/Gibson, Joe/Gibson & Danielson/McGuinness (!) ruled. McGuinness debuts the Rebound Lariat, too! Good, but flawed, match. Rating: ***
  8. This match seamlessly weaves comedy and British style chain wrestling together into something unique & entertaining. It's something that can get old real quick, but they don't overstay their welcome and the match is a breezy twelve-ish minutes or so. Rating: ***
  9. It's the much-awaited Pure champion vs. World champion and ... their partners, too? They establish hierarchy early into the match. McGuinness & Lethal are equals, Walters is a step-above them due to his Pure champion status, and Joe trumps all. The general structure of the match is similar to your 90's All Japan/2000's NOAH tag matches. Joe has no respect for the Pure championship as he believes it only exists because no one can take the World title off of him. He bitchslaps Walters around and then kicks a handstanding McGuinness' head off in two sequences that sum up Joe's goal in this match - assert dominance. And it's just an absolute joy to watch. Every time he enters the ring he swings the momentum to his favor. His preoccupation on dominating the Pure champ ends up being the team's downfall, though. McGuinness traps Lethal in That Arm Submission as Walters distracts and prevents Joe from saving Lethal. Rating: ***¼
  10. This match is a big deal for McGuinness as he's near the bottom of the pecking order in Ring of Honor, and a win over one of the top guys like Homicide would be huge in terms of establishing himself going forward. They feel each other out as these two have never wrestled each other before, and McGuinness forces Homicide into an exhibition-y, technical match-up. The announcers try to sell Homicide as an above-average matworker, and while he's better than he's given credit for, he certainly does not feel like one in the presence of someone like McGuinness - who twists him up like a pretzel as Homicide sloppily rolls around trying to escape his holds. Homicide begins to push the pace & fight dirty once he realizes he won't get anywhere trying to beat McGuinness at his game, and he gains momentum & control doing so, but McGuinness dodges Homicide on the outside and he Lariats the ringpost, injuring his right arm. McGuinness goes right after the arm, and Homicide's selling is terrific. He's a natural righty, so his left-handed strikes are weak & his right-handed strikes don't have as much juice behind him/or he struggles to capitalize on opportunites to put McGuinness away due to the pain. McGuinness counters the Cop Killa into That Arm Submission, and Homicide tries to roll-out ... but McGuinness traps him in a roll-up for the huge upset! The lack of crowd support hurt and made the match/pacing feel dull at times, but a very good match otherwise with good, logical storytelling. Rating: ***½
  11. This has always got comparisons to Danielson vs. KENTA (GBH) because the story of the match being pretty much the same - the champ coming into it with injured arm(s) against one of the most lethal offensive wrestlers around. So let's say it right away; this is definitely not as good as that match. This is certainly great, though. KENTA's targeting of Nigel's freshly injured arm was tremendous & Nigel's selling really was fantastic. I actually thought that there wasn't enough of KENTA kicking Nigel's arm stuff - all of that ruled, clearly the highlight of the match, but after a while, KENTA didn't target that arm as much as he did in the beginning stages of the match, and that brought it down a notch. Still great, but definitely had potential to be even greater. ****
  12. This happened 10 years ago. It's pretty wild to think that KENTA is the only one who hasn't retired from in-ring competition out of the 4. This just had super fun, hot interactions between 4 of the best wrestlers in the world - Bryan & Nigel, Bryan & KENTA, Morishima & Nigel, Morishima & KENTA. Great atmosphere, great sequences, FIP segments, hot tags, an all-time great balls-to-the-walls finishing stretch - this truly had it all. Terrific match; one of the best tags ROH has ever put on & a helluva way for ROH to debut in the PPV biz. ****1/2
  13. This was AWESOME. Featured a really good FIP segment on Bryan, and then it just built & built to the finishing stretch which was one helluva climax. ****
  14. This was great as expected. Great work on top by Nigel (as usual), his arm work on Roddy was really good, Roddy's selling of it was fine & his early shine + last comeback run before the end was fantastic - that Gibson Driver nearfall was legitimately fantastic. ****
  15. This was fantastic - another absolutely perfect performance by Nigel McGuinness during his all-time great ROH World Title reign - he absolutely MADE this match. His heel shtick in front of Steen's home crowd was tremendous, and his work over Steen's back & work on top in general was really great. The match quality actually dropped a bit when Steen made his big comeback, it wasn't bad, but I thought he didn't bring enough fire & energy to match Nigel's amazing work over him - if he had been on Nigel's level, or anywhere near it, this could've been one of the best matches in ROH history. BUT even with that being said, this still was a classic, cannot say enough good things about Nigel's performance. ****1/2
  16. After a really good shine by Jerry, this transitioned into him working from underneath while Nigel did some awesome work on top. Every time Jerry got some offense in, it was him doing damage to Nigel's injured arm, which was a great strategy. When it comes to legendary ROH World Title reign endings, this is not on the level of Danielson's match vs. Homicide or Joe's match vs. Aries, but it's still a great match & worthy of ending the all-time great reign of Nigel McGuinness. ****
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