There’s an old saying that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Judging from the listless reactions from the crowd at tonight’s TNA No Surrender pay-per-view, perhaps this should be changed to “Familiarity breeds indifference.” Despite an overall decent show, it took the crowd in the iMPACT Zone 2 hours and 43 minutes to stop sitting on their hands and finally show some enthusiasm to celebrate AJ Styles winning of the TNA Heavyweight Championship in the night’s main event.
The match was originally to see Kurt Angle defend his TNA Championship in a 4-way match against Sting, AJ Styles and Matt Morgan. After the ring introductions were done, Hernandez’ music started blaring and the big man came to the ring. Hernandez then shocked all of the match participants by cashing in his Feast or Fired briefcase for a title match, making this a 5-way battle for the belt. Using the element of surprise, Hernandez overpowered Angle early while Styles, Morgan and Sting simply stood by and watched him dominate the champ. As Hernandez and Angle brawled outside of the ring, the others started fighting it out in the ring. On the top of the entrance ramp, Hernandez was going to hit Angle with a Border Toss, but Eric Young, who Hernandez had decimated earlier on in the evening, came out, clipped Hernandez’ knee, and, despicably, planted Hernandez with a piledriver on the top of the rampway. As Hernandez got taken to the back, Angle went back to the ring, where he and Morgan decided to put aside their differences, at least temporarily, to take on Angle and Styles. The two worked well together, laying a beating on both of the fan favourites. Styles and Sting tried to fight back, but every time they got any momentum, it was stopped by the power of Morgan and vicious execution of Angle. Eventually, Sting and AJ fought back, with AJ hitting a Pele kick on Morgan, and Sting going up top and blasting Angle with a big missile dropkick. The tide in his favour, Sting delivered a pair of Stinger Splashes, but was quickly felled by an Angle Slam out of nowhere. Styles, meanwhile, got hit by a Hellevator, taking him out of the match momentarily. The temporary alliance between Morgan and Sting seemed to go out the window when Angle had an ankle lock on Sting, but Morgan hit him with the Carbon Footprint. Undaunted, Sting and Styles worked well together to lay out both men, Morgan on the floor and Angle flat on his back in the middle of the ring, prone for a pinfall. As their eyes locked, it looked like Styles and Sting might fight it out. But instead of going after AJ, Sting leaped to the floor to crash down on Morgan. AJ wasted no time to capitalize on this, hitting Angle with a springboard 450 splash, and covering him to win the TNA Heavyweight Championship. After the match, AJ celebrated his victory in the centre of the ring with his best friend Christopher Daniels and several of the TNA fans who, after being pretty much silent for the entire show, jumped into the ring. Overall, it was a good match to end a generally solid pay-per-view.
The first TNA Knockouts tag team champions are Taylor Wilde and Sarita.
Match 1: Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne)
Finals of the TNA Knockout Tag Team Championship Tournament
Right off the top, Angelina Love’s visa situation is addressed through a comment that she has been future endeavoured due to “business issues”. Before the match can start, Earl Hebner, sporting a new Hitler-esque moustache, dismisses referee Andrew ‘Slick’ Johnson who, through his cavorting with the Beautiful People the other week, demonstrated that he wouldn’t be able to be impartial. Good teamwork exhibited early on by Wilde and Sarita, but it isn’t long before TBP’s tag experience comes to light. God, I love Velvet Sky. Sarita takes a beating for a while before getting the big tag to Taylor, who cleans house. Out of nowhere, Taylor and Sarita hit a nifty double-team move that gets them the victory and the titles.
Winners and new TNA Knockout Tag Team Champions:Sarita and Taylor Wilde
Match Rating: 6/10
Backstage, Taylor and Sarita compliment each other.
Match 2: Eric Young vs Hernandez
Before the match, Eric Young and the World Elite tell Hernandez that he’s their brother and that they shouldn’t fight – rather, he should join them. Eric comes out without the rest of the World Elite, dressed in a suit, and saying that he will not do anything to defend himself. Hernandez comes out to the lamest entrance music ever. Hernandez starts off with a huge clothesline and immediately starts punishing Young. Young refuses to fight, and in less than a minute, he receives the Border Toss and gets pinned. The crowd was dead for this one.
Match Rating: 2/10
Backstage, Matt Morgan tells Jeremy Borash that he (Matt, not JB) is the future, and that he will take out Kurt Angle later tonight. Bad audio here, with every breath of Morgan being picked up too loudly. They should have done a re-take – though the promo itself was good.
Match 3: Samoa Joe vs Daniels
For the X-Division Championship
Good quick start, with both men using a flurry of offense, including a running suicide dive from Daniels which connects on the floor. Joe uses his power to catch Daniels off the ropes with a big uranage and then he slows things down with a Vulcan Nerve Pinch. Daniels keeps fighting, though, and it’s not soon thereafter that he hits an Asai Moonsault on the floor. But Joe still has the size advantage and he starts picking apart Daniels, working on his opponent’s legs, kicking them repeatedly and then locking on a half crab. A quick series of reversals and counters ends with Joe locking in the Kokina Klutch which forces Daniels to tap out.
Winner and still X-Division Champion: Samoa Joe
Match Rating: 7.5/10
Backstage, Mick Foley laments the tearing up of the caricature of he and JB by an unknown perpetrator.
Match 4: The Pope D’Angelo Dinero vs Suicide
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Backstage, Suicide attacks the Pope’ during his pre-match promo. The fight spills to the outside of the iMPACT Zone, where the Pope gets an early advantage with a big elbow on top of a bunch of A-V equipment trunks. Suicide back body drops Pope into a garbage bin, but Pope escapes and climbs into a studio trolley with which he tries to run over Suicide. Suicide thwarts that, sending the Pope running to escape. He tries to climb the fence, but Suicide pantses him and we’ve got a full moon in Orlando. The brawl ultimately gets back in the ring where Suicide gets the edge. It’s only temporary, and soon the Pope plans Suicide’s demise. He sets up a table beside the entrance ramp, intending to suplex Suicide off the ramp and through it. But Suicide fights out of it, and soon they’re wrestling at the top of the entrance ramp. Suicide goes for broke – he sets up a table at the top of the entrance ramp, then climbs the big wall and leaps for a super legdrop. The Pope moves, and Suicide crashes hard through the table, landing hard on his tailbone, leaving him prone for the easy cover.
Winner: The Pope D’Angelo Dinero
Match Rating: 7/10
ODB leaps out onto Cody Deaner.
Match 5: Cody Deaner vs ODB
For the TNA Knockout Championship
This one is played for comedy early on, with Deaner keeping missing chops and failing at delivering a low blow. Taz and Mike Tenay seem just awkward together for this one, trying to mix sexual innuendo into their commentary, but instead coming off as pretty lame. Referee Andrew Thomas catches Deaner trying to cheat by pinning ODB with his legs on the ropes, leading to a shoving match between the two of them. A big knockout punch by Deaner doesn’t get the job done, and then he misses a big flying headbutt off the top. ODB picks up the scrambled-brained Deaner, and hits the TKO for the pin.
Winner and new TNA Knockout Champion: ODB
Match Rating: 3.5/10
After the match, ODB tells Lauren how proud she is of all the TNA women and that she is happy to represent them as champion. The sincerity of the moment is unfortunately diminished by her referring to it as the Knocked Up Title. Hopefully, the Deaner chapter of the TNA Knockouts Title is now closed for good.
Backstage, Kurt Angle tells JB that Matt Morgan blew it when he picked sides against the Main Event Mafia.
Match 6: Abyss vs Kevin Nash
For the Legends Championship
Mick Foley comes out to do commentary for this one. The referee holds up both the title and the bag full of cash representing the $50,000 bounty that Dr. Stevie has put up for anyone who takes out Abyss. This is a pure power battle from the get-go. The match spills to the floor early, where Abyss tries to channel Foley, whose blue flannel shirt he’s wearing. Back in the ring, Nash takes the advantage to the delight of Dr. Stevie, who has pulled up a chair onto the entrance ramp. Abyss gets fired up and flattens Nash with a few big moves. Dr. Stevie comes to the ring, distracting the ref. This opens the door for Daffney to come in from behind, but Abyss catches her, and her attempt to attack Abyss with a tazer results instead in her eating the Black Hole Slam. Nash capitalizes on Abyss’ distraction, and waffles him with a chair. He can’t hit the powerbomb, though, and Abyss nearly gets the fall with a chokeslam. Foley comes down to offer Abyss the barbed wire baseball bat, fat end first. Abyss reaches for it, but gets poked and drops it. Nash, meanwhile, picks up the tazer, and, well to quote Jerry Lee Lewis, Abyss has got great balls of fire. A pinfall is purely academic after that. Dr. Stevie tries to renege out of the deal and take back his bag of money, but Nash will have none of it, jack-knifing the good doctor. Very bad, distracting commentary for the last two matches, with too many in-jokes and lame humour attempts.
Winner and still Legends Champion: Kevin Nashzz
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, TNA Tag Team Champions Booker T and Scott Steiner say that their opponents are nobodys. Good stuff from Steiner here.
Match 7: British Invasion and Booker T & Scott Steiner vs Team 3D & Beer Money Inc.
Lethal Lockdown match
WHAT YOU THINK
What did you think of TNA's No Surrender PPV?
It was great - 18%
It was okay - 14%
It sucked - 14%
Didn't see it - 54%
In this match, 2 men start off for 5 minutes, then every 2 minutes, someone else comes in. After all 8 men enter, the roof, with a bunch of weapons hanging from it, is lowered onto the cage, and it becomes one fall to a finish. My buddy Dave was so confused by the explanation, he had to leave the room to clear up his head. James Storm and Doug Williams start off, and nothing much happens for the first round. The teams alternate entrants, with the Mafia/Elite getting the man advantage for two minutes, until a member of 3-D or BMI come in to even the odds. First blood of the night, when the Invasion whip James Storm hard into the cage, and he takes it full in the face. Highlights include Scott Steiner throwing around Beer Money like ragdolls and hitting a top rope Frankensteiner, and he and the Invasion members working to lawn dart BMI into the cage head first. As Brother Ray, the final entrant, heads to the ring, the third British Invasion member Rob Terry blindsides him, knocking him down and out. Terry then forces the guy controlling the cage roof to lower it, giving his team a man advantage and access to the weapons. The World Elite and Main Event Members work well together. Brother Ray finally comes into the ring swinging a chair and knocks down all of his team’s foes. As 3-D goes to town, Brutus Magnus climbs out of the escape hatch to the top of the cage. Unfortunately for him, he’s followed by Beer Money who hit their double suplex move. Back in the ring, a few pinfalls are broken up. Ultimately, Beer Money hit the DWI on one of the Brits for the win.
Winners: Team 3-D and Beer Money Inc.
Match Rating: 7.5/10
Backstage, Rhino cuts a good promo against Bobby Lashley, saying that being a good MMA fighter (or in a case of major hyperbole, the best MMA fighter in the world) won’t help him in a wrestling match.
Match 8: “War Machine” Rhino vs “The Boss” Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley spears referee Andrew Thomas during his bout with Rhino.
”The Boss”, the nickname of Bobby Lashley, is also a nickname for Bruce Springsteen. No Surrender, the name of the PPV in which Lashley is making his TNA debut, is also the name of a song sung by Bruce Springsteen. Another song by Bruce Springsteen: The Wrestler. Coincidence? Well, probably, yes. In any event, they probably gave Rhino more offense here than anyone would have predicted. Doesn’t matter, though, as Lashley overpowers Rhino, even busting him open. Lashley tries to spear Rhino but ends up destroying the referee by mistake. Then Rhino nearly gets the win, hitting the GORE, but Lashley kicks out of the second ref’s count. Rhino goes for another GORE, but a big fist by Lashley puts him down for the three.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, AJ Styles and Sting are on the same page, and they will do what it takes to ensure Kurt Angle doesn’t leave tonight with the TNA World Heavyweight Title.
Match 9: Kurt Angle vs Matt Morgan vs Sting vs AJ Styles
For the TNA Heavyweight Championship
Winner and new TNA Heavyweight Champion: AJ Styles
Match Rating: 8.5/10
Overall Rating: 7/10
Countdown to No Surrender
Bob Kapur has a cold. E-mail him your health tips at firstname.lastname@example.org