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   September 15, 2014



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Final Resolution: Never say never
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Let’s be honest: most New Year’s resolutions fall flat within a week or two. Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles meet for what is advertised as the final time, but will that promise last longer than your new exercise regime? Also, Bobby Roode tries to buy a championship while Aces & Eights keeps everyone guessing.

The main event sees a battle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship between challenger Bobby Roode and Champion Jeff Hardy.

Roode comes out throwing bombs and it takes Hardy some time to take flight. When he does, it’s with a dive over the ropes to land on Roode out on the floor, but Roode’s straightforward attack of punches, kicks, and stomps gives him the hammer.

Hardy finally starts slugging back and it creates some breathing room for the champ to land a splash off the second rope and a moonsault off the top. A Twist of Fate is transformed into a spinebuster by Roode, only to have Hardy play possum until he’s ready to hit the Twist anyway.

As both wrestlers end up outside, Hardy tries a leap off the stairs onto Roode, but the challenger slips away and Hardy cascades over the security railing in a nasty way. As Roode drags the champ back in but fails to starts a superplex, Hardy kicks him down and lands a Swanton, but is unable to cover due to his back.

A spear only gets a two-count on Hardy, and now the Aces and Eights saunter towards the ring. As Roode urges them in, they just watch while Hardy sneaks up with another Twist for the win.

Immediately after the bell, the gang attacks Hardy and Roode demands to know why they were slow to get in the ring. They turn on him and give him a similar beating. Money poorly spent.

The next TNA PPV is Genesis, on January 13th.

James Storm gets to open the show despite not being on the card, politely requesting that Bobby Roode come to the ring for a dust-up so he can ruin his former partner’s chance at the World Championship.

Instead, out comes Kazarian, mocking the fans for cheering on Storm’s raging alcoholism, and pleading with the cowboy to ride off into the sunshine (not sunset, because it set up a moonshine joke).

Storm, to nobody’s surprise, would rather fight, so out comes a ref for an impromptu opening match.

Match #1 – Kazarian vs. James Storm

Kazarian grounds Storm almost immediately with a neckbreaker, and a pretty springboard legdrop and a leaping DDT puts him firmly in charge. Biding his time, Storm turns things around in a heartbeat with Closing Time, and although Kazarian pulls the referee in front of himself as he faces the superkick, Storm gets Last Call on him moments later anyway.

Winner via pinfall: James Storm

Match #2 – Kenny King vs. Rob Van Dam (champion) – for the X Division Championship

A handshake starts the match as Mike Tenay cites Van Dam’s championship pedigree in TNA, WWE, and ECW. The dance partners seem a step behind one another with the acrobatics to start, so Van Dam takes a breather on the floor. The match essentially re-starts but the slow-motion combat continues as King dropkicks Van Dam off the top rope to the floor.

King is favouring his left knee as he brings the champion back in the ring and a truly back-and-forth battle ensues with neither holding an advantage for long. Van Dam appears to lose his patience with the match and goes clothesline, high kick, and Rolling Thunder in quick succession. King dodges the Frog Splash, but can’t follow up and Van Dam rolls him up to retain.

Winner via pinfall and STILL X Division Champion: Rob Van Dam

Van Dam pulls King back in the ring for more mutual admiration. Jeremy Borash is backstage with Christopher Daniels, who is looking forward to making history at the expense of AJ Styles later tonight.

Match #3 – Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez (champions) vs. Joey Ryan & Matt Morgan – for the World Tag Team Championship

Guerrero wants Ryan right at the bell, and though the young upstart hides behind the ref for as long as he can, he’s soon caught and being double-teamed by the champs. Morgan gets the tag and he gets to face off with Hernandez. He clotheslines him down hard and tags in Ryan while the iron is hot.

That iron cools pretty quickly and Ryan finds himself once again at the mercy of the champs. Morgan does his part from the apron by lifting Guerrero off the mat and slamming his head into the turnbuckle, allowing Ryan to enjoy dominance for a while. Morgan continues to interfere from outside and inside the ring, eventually earning a disqualification by pulling the ref out during a pin attempt.

Winners via disqualification and STILL World Tag Team Champions: Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez

Morgan continues beating up Guerrero after the bell, tossing him into the ringpost. Hernandez manages to chase him off, but Guerrero needs a little assistance getting to his feet.

Borash has Austin Aries backstage, who claiming to be the straw that stirs TNA’s drink, and apes Hulk Hogan’s “Whatcha gonna do” to wrap it up.

Match #4: Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray

Aries’ strategy is to poke the bear as he slaps Ray in the face and runs circles around him. Aries keeps attacking from a distance with forearms and dropicks. With Ray down, Aries cups his ears to the crowd and then drops a leg for a two-count.

Ray responds with a big splash and a dropkick of his own. With Ray outside the ring, Aries is thinking suicide dive but runs into a big boot instead. Soon after, Ray goes face-first into the steps via a drop toe-hold, disappears under the ring for a few moments, and emerges with a terribly straight cut across his forehead.

As Aries pounces on him with punches to the head, Brooke Hogan rushes down to check on Ray. Aries drags her into the ring, which inevitably brings down Hulk. As Ray watches father escort daughter away, Aries low-blows him from behind and rolls him up for three.

Winner via pinfall: Austin Aries

Borash wants to hear from Tara and Jesse Godderz about Velvet Sky’s return, but Tara just wants to talk about herself and her reign, which she expects will make it past the challenge of Mickie James.

Match #5 – Mickie James vs. Tara (champion) (w/ Jesse Godderz) – for the Knockouts Championship

James goes for several pinning rolls and suplexes early on, while Tara keeps returning to Godderz for hugs like Superman getting power from the sun. An enzuigiri from James precedes throwing Tara out into Godderz’ arms, allowing James to scale the ropes and deliver a Lou Thesz press to the champ on the floor. Godderz delays James from re-entering the ring, though, and Tara awaits her with the Widow’s Peak.

Winner via pinfall and STILL Knockouts Champion: Tara

Next on Borash’s dance card is Bobby Roode, who initially dismisses the question about any partnership with Aces & Eights to talk about getting the title back. He then hints at having made an investment towards achieving that end.

Match #6 – Aces & Eights (Devon, D.O.C., & two masked others ) vs. Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Wes Brisco, & Garrett Bischoff

Garrett and Brisco get an early chance to shine against the two masked opponents, but Joe tags in and gets worked by all four more than once behind the ref’s back. It takes a long time for Joe to fend off an attack long enough to make a tag, but it’s worth the wait as Angle enters with domination on his mind.

All eight wrestlers get in the ring, and when the dust settles, Angle locks up the ankle of one of the masked menaces. D.O.C. re-enters with a hammer, but Brisco spears him out of the picture. An Angle Slam on the legal masked man and that’s that.

Winners via pinfall: Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Wes Brisco, & Garrett Bischoff

Match #7 – Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles

Whether or not this is the last time (and really, how could it be?), you don’t really need a reason to tune in to watch these two in the ring. Daniels gets overly confident early on after overpowering Styles, but a singularly devastating clothesline knocks the spirit out of him. Daniels introduces Styles to the ring steps, and then re-introduces him, to take control again.

A double-cross body opens up a cut by Styles’ left eye, but he can see well enough to deliver a flurry of moves ending with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. A Styles Clash only nets a two-count, so he tries another one from the second rope. Dnaiels counters it, though, flipping Styles over and hitting a Styles Clash of his own for three.

Winner via pinfall: Christopher Daniels

Match #8 – Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy (champion) – for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy

Dave Hillhouse is a teacher and screenwriter, and thinks that there’s something strangely promising about Ryan and Morgan; maybe they’re reminiscent of Michaels and Nash.