September 9, 2007
Countdown to TNA No Surrender
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
There's a certain irony as we approach today's pay-per-view, No Surrender.
Irony you ask? Why's that?
Well, at least in this previewer's mind, there is to be no motivation to surrender hard-earned cash to take in this pay-per-view.
Again, "why?" is the question that emanates from the masses.
The answer is simple, really. When I went to explore the PPV lineup on Wednesday to begin analyzing the matches, I only found four bouts announced (three of which involved Kurt Angle). In TNAland (or Russoville, if you prefer), that's not even half of the lineup. In other words, I'd be going in, only knowing what I'd see for about an hour. Not cool.
What worked for Paul Heyman in the ECW days doesn't cut it now, especially when you have increased PPV events that viewers must choose between (WWE, UFC etc.). You no longer have the cult following who will accept whatever you dish out blindly.
If the buyrate comes out being incredibly high, they hey, TNA has proven me wrong and their format has worked; but if they flounder again, then it's time for a wakeup call.
Let's look at the card, which was finally announced late Thursday.
NWA World Heavyweight Title - Kurt Angle vs. Abyss
When Abyss won the #1 contendership, I was, well, less than elated. Sure, Abyss has his popularity, but I was really hoping to see someone new in the title picture, or at least someone who hasn't been there in a while (read: AJ Styles). The arrival of Ricky Banderas as Judas likely means that we'll see Angle escape with the title, likely the only one he keeps at night's end.
NWA World Tag Team Title- Team PacMan vs. Kurt Angle/Sting
Count this as the first title dropped tonight. As much as the "dream team" of Sting and Angle would be fun to watch, I expect Angle to walk out on this bout, conserving his energy for individual glory. The big question is whether or not PacMan Jones will actually wrestle. My bet is that he won't, and instead we'll get a new member of Team PacMan, which suits me just fine. Of the available non-TNA roster wrestlers, I'm guessing that we'll get a "call-up" from the indies. Personally, I'd like to see Human Tornado get his shot, but I'm betting it's an ROH member.
X-Division Title Kurt Angle vs. Jay Lethal
Samoa Joe vs. Christian Cage
Rhino vs. James Storm
Kazarian vs. Robert Roode
Chris Harris vs. Black Reign
10-Team Gauntlet match (Participants: VKM, LAX, Team 3D, Motor City Machineguns,
XXX, AJ Styles/Tomko, Sonjay Dutt/Petey Williams, Raven/Havok, Eric Young/Shark
Boy, Lance Hoyt/Jimmy Rave)
Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!
It's back to school time. Do you go old-school with classic NWA footage, or do you go new school with TNA? Either way, it's time to use that student loan money. Visit the SLAM! Store now!
-- compiled by Jon Waldman