This Week in TNA: Special Edition - Final Resolution 2011
By Mike Johns
Dec 11, 2011 - 11:47 PM
Final Resolution, the final show of the TNA PPV year, and, fittingly enough, the final show in my tenure as your regular TNA Reviewer. So, will this show make me regret my decision to relinquish my post? Probably not, but here's hoping for the best...
We start off with yet another incredible video package recapping Bobby's Roode's rise to infamy. I honestly can't say enough good things about the quality of Impact's video packages, as of late. I have no idea what happened with this production team in the last couple months, but something's kicked them in the butt since No Surrender, and they've been putting out these incredible video packages. Strangely enough, all of the truly great packages lately have also centered around Bobby Roode. Maybe it's just him. Who knows? Whatever it is, though, the video packages have certainly stepped up in the last couple months, and the people responsible certainly deserve to be praised for it.
Our opening match of the night sees RVD take on Christopher Daniels. I guess it's good they're just getting this one over with, as this match seems to have just been tacked on at the last minute, anyway. Is it just me, here, or does RVD just look really tired throughout the whole match? Bad jet lag, perhaps? I don't know. The match is all right for what it is. It feels like a TV match. Daniels dominates most of the match, working RVD's ribs, but RVD pulls off the win with the 5 Star frog splash to start off the show.
Jeremy Borash talks with Mickie James about her match later tonight with Gail Kim. Tonight, Mickie defends the honor of the KO Division as she and Gail, and I quote, "take it to the wall."
The TV Title is at stake next as Eric Young tries to regain his title from Robbie E, accompanied by Rob Terry. Sadly, the match is just bad right from the start, as EY throws these wild punches that just look stupid, like he's trying to slap Robbie E's hair with the side of his fist. Robbie E nails a codebreaker and steals yet another win to retain his title.
Pope and Devon talk with JB in the back, as JB brings up their trust issues. Apparently, their issues can wait for another day, as Devon only cares about getting the titles. Pope just cares about the bling.
The Tag Team Titles are on the line as Pope and Devon take on Crimson and Matt Morgan. One would expect this to be a one-sided match, where Morgan and Crimson quickly dispatch the smaller team of Devon and Pope. Instead, the match just plods along at a snail's pace, something that doesn't benefit the team of Morgan and Crimson at all. Eventually, about 12,000 years later, Morgan and Crimson nail a double chokeslam on Devon to pick up the win. Meanwhile, Pope shakes his head disapprovingly at ringside with Devon's sons.
JB talks with AJ Styles about his match later tonight with Bobby Roode. AJ is getting his knee taped up, letting us know he's going in hurt, but that isn't going to stop AJ from beating the piss out of Bobby Roode tonight.
Up next, Austin Aries defends his X-Title against Kid Kash. Easily the best match of the night, so far. So much so, it makes one wish TNA was doing more with Austin Aries on TV. The crowd only seems about half into this, though, as they seem confused as to who, if anyone, they should cheer for. Heel vs. Heel matches are usually a hard sell, and of the two, Aries actually gets the most fan support, even though he's supposedly the bigger heel of the two in the match. It's weird. Aries tried the old Eddie Guerrero belt spot, where he'd toss a belt to his opponent and fall down, acting hurt to get him DQed, but it doesn't work. Kash tries to use the belt later, but Aries is too fast for him and nails the brainbuster to get the pin and retain the title
Up next, Gail Kim defends her KO title against Mickie James. If nothing else, it's one of the better KO title matches in recent memory, as well as the better matches either woman has had this year. Madison Rayne distracts Mickie, and Gail Kim makes Mick Eat D-Feet and retains her title.
JB talks with James Storm about his fight with Kurt Angle coming up. Storm tries to start a "Beer! Drinker!" chant that goes NOWHERE, then talks up how badly he's going to kick Kurt Angle's ass tonight.
The Angle/Storm match isn't half bad. It's the fight you expected. They brawl around a bit, they wrestle in the ring a bit, each man does a decent enough job of making it seem like this is a fight that matters to them. There's nothing technically wrong with the match itself. It's just hard for me to muster the emotion or the passion to honestly care about this story, and with a match and an angle like this, unless you're into the drama and care about Storm's quest for revenge on Angle, it's just a couple of guys brawling around. The match is fine, and for the folks who are honestly enjoying this angle, they'd get into this. I'm not these people.
Unfortunately, I don't seem to be the only one not too terribly into this, as even the Impact Zone seems muted, tonight. A lot of people like to complain about the Impact Zone fans, claiming they're "easily led" when they cheer for guys like Eric Young, then whining about how they're "burnt out" when they sit on their hands for a match like Aries/Kash. The problem, people, is NOT the Impact Zone crowd. Go watch this past summer's Destination X show, or last year's Hardcore Justice, or 2009's Turning Point. It’s the same crowd, mostly the same people, and they're hot as all hell for these shows. Why? Because these shows didn't suck! When TNA doesn't book a bullsh*t show, the Impact Zone is a great crowd. No one, and I mean NO ONE complained about the Manhattan Center audience being stale for RAW, or the folks in the ECW Arena being "burnt out" by ECW running virtually every other TV and PPV there. Why? Because WWE and ECW didn't barrage these fans with bullsh*t every goddamned week! It's not the Impact Zone that's the problem, it's Impact that's the problem. The show sucks, therefore, the crowd that wants to like the show sucks. They'll cheer for any little thing that's remotely fun, like Eric Young, and sit there bored to tears when you give them a heel vs. heel match on freaking PPV! Meanwhile, they look at all the insanity surrounding James Storm and Bobby Roode and don't know how to react, because any second now, someone else will turn, or something else will pop up and change everything. That's the problem with these constant turns and swerves - it conditions your audience to disconnect from guys they'd otherwise want to support because, the very moment they do, you swerve them and turn them into a bad guy, like you did with Bobby Roode last month! Then people have the gall to blame the fans for not reacting more to the shows, even though the show itself is responsible for creating the very lack of fan reaction these shows receive! It's bullsh*t, and the Impact Zone doesn't deserve nearly the sh*t they get from everyone, including me on occasion, for how they react to the show, because the show's f*cked with them so much, so often, it's impossible for them to react otherwise!
By the way, James Storm beats Kurt Angle with the Last Call superkick, which I guess is going to be his main finish going forward. Smart move. The Eye of the Storm is a lame move with a weak impact, and... does James even do the Last Ride anymore? That thing always looked weird, like an Air Raid Crash being swung into a bulldog, and no one ever looked like they were landing right with it. Meanwhile, the superkick is short, sweet, and strong enough to look like a knockout shot.
Up next is Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett. If Hardy wins, he gets a World Title Match at Genesis, and either Jeff or Karen Jarrett gets fired. If Jarrett wins, Hardy is out of TNA for good.
We go to the back where JB talks with the Jarretts. Jeff decides to use this time to tell us the rules to this cage match, because its seemed over the last few weeks that TNA wasn't sure what the rules to this match would even be. Basically, it's pinfall, submission, or escape, whereas, the build to this has been claiming only escape. Oh well. Sting then pops in and teases us with the handcuffs, as he's going to be handcuffed to Karen during this match. One has to imagine Sting is smart enough to wear earplugs, being that close to the shrieking monster that Karen's become.
The cage match is... okay, TV quality, at best. Once again, this is not a terrible match by any means, but also nothing to write home about. Jeff Hardy wins it with a Twist of Fate, and Sting tells us that we just paid $45 dollars to find out that we have to wait until Impact to learn who gets fired - Jeff or Karen. Thanks TNA.
JB is in the back with Bobby Roode as we prepare for the Main Event. Roode claims that, on paper, the Iron Man stipulation favors AJ, but Roode expects AJ's knee to slow him down just enough for Bobby to come out on top. Roode will continue to spit in the face of authority and lead the Selfish Generation as champion.
Main Event Time as Roode faces off with AJ Styles in a 30-minute Iron Man Match. It starts slow, as you'd expect given the stipulation. Roode picks up the first fall by chop blocking AJ's bad knee and pinning him. Roode picks up a second fall by locking AJ in a figure 4. AJ picks up a fall by locking Roode in a crossface. Styles ties it 2-2 by pinning Roode with a cradle. Styles takes the lead 3-2 after nailing the Superman 450 on Roode. Roode ties it up at three by using the ropes to reverse a sunset flip attempt by Styles into a pin. When time runs out, it's a 3-3 tie, and, amazingly, TNA shows some serious restraint, here, and doesn't go for overtime. They actually let Roode leave with the title and the tie, allowing the guy to walk way with some serious heat in the process.
The show was... okay, I guess. I honestly couldn't get into it. In theory, many of these matches were good, but no one could seem to get even the Impact Zone to care tonight, let alone me. The one thing TNA did well here, in my opinion, was the finish to the Iron Man Match. They had it end with a draw, and actually let it end. Now, yes, I usually have issue with matches on PPV ending in draws, but unlike most, this didn't come off as a robbery or a waste of time. They went the time limit, you had multiple falls. AJ and Bobby Roode gave a strong performance, and it ended with the champion squeaking by with a victory. He gets to keep his title because AJ didn't defeat him. There's still an actual, definitive finish to the match without any sort of ambiguity or lingering question that forces you to wait until Impact to find out who actually is the TNA Champion. Yet, Bobby Roode only squeaked by, and because you had the draw, AJ still looks like a strong contender deserving of a rematch. TNA actually managed to do the time limit draw right, for once, which is NOT something they did with Angle/Hardy at No Surrender last year, or with RVD and Anderson earlier this year.
Unfortunately, while Roode and Styles had a draw that didn't lead to a cliffhanger that forces you to wait until Impact for an answer, the Hardy/Jarrett cage match does. Instead of simply firing either Jeff or Karen from TNA on the spot, we have to wait until Impact to find out. In other words, you just asked your fans to pay for a stipulation you won't pay off until the free TV show on Thursday anyway. It's things like this where fans decide, "you know what? I can just wait for the next TV show. I don't have to get the PPV," and therefore, don't.
Beyond that, most of this show could have been on TV, and been exactly the same. The matches were nothing to write home about. The only really good angle was the finish to the Iron Man Match. Everything else was just there. It's not a bad show, but you also missed absolutely nothing of note by skipping it, which is my biggest beef with these kinds of shows. I just spent three hours watching a show that served no real purpose, expanded on virtually nothing, and will see most everything resolved on the very next episode of Impact. It makes you wonder why anyone bothers with these monthly shows.
With that said, I now ride off into the sunset, and officially hand the TNA reigns over to Corey Letson. Thanks for supporting my work here on the Insanity, and hopefully, you'll be just as cool to Corey Letson as you all have been to me these past 16 months as your weekly TNA recapper.
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