July 23, 2009
TNA tag teams DVD decent, lacking at same time
The tag team division may have been placed on the back burner in WWE, but it is running wild in TNA. The company's recent DVD release, Second 2 None: World’s Toughest Tag Teams, displays some of the greatest duos in TNA’s history and does not disappoint from an excitement standpoint.
SLAM! Wrestling staffers Andy McNamara and Matt Mackinder, appropriately enough, have tag teamed this DVD review. Andy's comments are in regular type, while Matt's are italicized.
This two-disc set is broken up into alternating sections of shoot style interviews from several tag teams and matches involving those teams. The tag pairings specifically profiled are Team 3D, the Motor City Machine Guns, Beer Money Inc., and the Latin American Xchange, while others, such as Lethal Consequences, are shown in matches, but not interviewed.
It is the interview segments where the DVD set truly shines. The honesty and at times surprising candidness, especially from Team 3D, is refreshing as the viewer gains valuable insight into the lives of TNA’s current top tag teams. Brother Devon and Brother Ray are the only combo on-screen together at the same time and really hold nothing back. The former Dudleys go into great detail on their ECW and WWE days, and although there is nothing profoundly new revealed, it is a passionate synopsis of one of the most successful tag teams in professional wrestling history.
I loved the Team 3D section. Ray is very candid and when talking about the business, thanks the fans time and time again and makes the point of saying that to be in pro wrestling, you need to either make money or have fun. They're doing both. Devon adds that he has no regrets from their time in the biz. Seeing these guys be candid is a refreshing change and I hope what Devon says is true, that at age 65, you'll still be watching them "get the tables."
While long-time sports entertainment fans may know plenty about Team 3D and their previous incarnations, hearing a condensed bio on the younger pairings is quite interesting.
My favorite section, obviously, is the segment on the Guns. Being a Detroit-area native, it's always a plus to see guys from the area in the spotlight. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin are not only a great team, but seem to be great friends out of the ring, noting there is no animosity between the two. Both talk about their childhood, playing sports and video games (Sabin reveals his brothers and mom all played) and how they grew up wrestling fans, like most wrestlers.
Matches featuring the Guns against Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt, Elix Skipper and Senshi and Tomko and AJ Styles are also included. Sabin also adds a cool note that at one point when he was the X Division champ, he was working at Subway and going to community college, but no one recognized him. Shelley also wants to be known as a new version of the Midnight Express and wants to win the TNA tag belts with Sabin. I'd absolutely love that.
Beer Money, a newer team, gets a lot of time on the second disc and I think these guys are a great team together and James Storm draws the line between the differences with Chris Harris and Robert Roode. No team, in my opinion, will rival America's Most Wanted, but Beer Money is close. Roode thinks it's because they're a team the fans like to hate. That's the truth. The majority of this segment, aside from the matches, is Roode and Storm staying in kayfabe and hyping themselves.
Last on the second DVD is a segment on LAX. The owners of the second-best theme music in TNA (Sabin and Shelley are tops), Homicide and Hernandez talk about getting involved in wrestling, including Homicide, an altar boy as a child, noting the first match he saw was Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah The Butcher. I know a while back, TNA teased breaking these guys up, but please, don't do that. Being that these guys don't get on the mic a whole lot, hearing both talk in-depth about their careers, TNA and the future, it's a real treat. And yes, Homicide was an altar boy and gang banger back in the day in New York City. The altar boy needs reiterating, I know.
The Ultimate X match from Bound For Glory 2007, LAX vs. Triple X, is showcased here and, wow, what a match! Two teams that put it all out there. Not sure you've been able to say that about a WWE team in many, many years.
The knock on this compilation, as with many other TNA DVD collections, is not so much the quality of the matches chosen, but the events and time periods they were taken from. The organization has been around for seven years now, and the earliest bout provided was from 2007. The majority of the contests come from 2008 episodes of Impact or pay-per-views, and although the matches may be good, they certainly cannot be the only solid tag battles in TNA history. Including some footage from the company’s early days or even a never televised house show event would make this set seem more special and not like an ’08 year in review.
Yeah, but I don't think it totally ruins the DVD set. It would have been nice to have some older matches, but I believe showing some of the more current stuff shows that the tag team division is alive and well in TNA.
If wrestling enthusiasts are expecting a varied and complete set of TNA tag team matches, then keep looking. The uncensored opinions and openness that management allows its talent to express in the discussion portions of Second 2 None: World’s Toughest Tag Teams are certainly refreshing, however, does not quite do enough to make it a must have.
I disagree, Andy. This is a must-have, even if the bonus features are just two episodes of iMPACT highlighting Lethal Consequences beating Beer Money earlier this year for the titles.
Most DVD sets from TNA might not be on the level of WWE, but if you loathe WWE (like me), loading up your collection with TNA DVDs like this is the way to go.
Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer and is continuing his third season as the play-by-play broadcaster for Toronto Maple Leafs inter-county league baseball on Rogers TV this Sunday live at 2pm. Along with baseball, Andy does play-by-play for hockey, basketball and volleyball on Rogers Television in Toronto. He is also the host of Oakville Blades hockey on TV Cogeco. Contact Andy at email@example.com.
Matt Mackinder was at the first-ever TNA house show and first TNA pay-per-view outside Orlando. Email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.