The X Review: TNA No Surrender 2012

TNA No Surrender 2012
September 9th, 2012
Impact Wrestling Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: Unknown at this time

it’s that time of the month again—yep, time for more coverage of TNA
PPVs by the X Review. With the promotion on a bit of a creative hot streak the
last few months the company has seemingly become the smark darling again
that it once was years ago, but just how long can the goodwill last?
We’ll see as tonight’s show, while solid enough looking on paper, was
very poorly hyped and is clearly a stopgap or “filler” show before the
big one next month, Bound for Glory. All that said, the company has
delivered big on it’s last few PPVs and I’m hoping tonight continues
that trend. Let’s do this thing.

Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz

Bound For Glory Series Semi-Final Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe

Crazy how good booking has turned Joe from a pushover midcard act to
badass main eventer again, isn’t it? Joe’s arm is bothering him early
dating back to a steel chair attack from Magnus on Impact this past
week. Hardy headscissors Joe out of the ring but Joe drags him out after
him and socks him with a right hand. Jeff teases the poetry in motion
off the steel steps but seeing Joe avoiding the move Hardy re-routes
himself to the apron to hit the move instead. Back inside Joe hits an
atomic drop/big boot combo before finishing with a back senton for our
first near fall. Running spinkick in the corner from Joe. Joe works a
chinlock and then sends Hardy to the floor, where he wipes him out with a
big tope, clutching his sore arm in the process. Back inside Joe gets a
two count. Hardy counters with some offense of his own in an atomic
drop and running clothesline. Joe misses a back senton and Hardy hits a
big dropkick. Whisper in the Wind out of the corner gets Hardy a close
near fall. Hardy makes the silly mistake of charging Joe in the corner
and he’s slammed to the mat like thousands before him. Joe looks to set
up a superplex but Jeff counters into a Twist of Fate! Hardy goes up for
the Swanton but Joe blocks it and tries for the muscle buster. Hardy
blocks that and counters into the same armbar he beat Joe with last
Thursday, but Joe counters into a cradle that Hardy then counters into a
cradle of his own for the win at 12:36. I would have preferred
to see Joe win here to continue my dream of seeing the Aries/Joe feud
renewed in TNA, but the match itself was hot stuff with bot guys working
hard and busting out all the swank counters you expect. Great
kick-start to the show. ***1/2

Backstage Jeremy Borash is with James Storm, who explains that he chose
Bully Ray as his opponent tonight because last year they faced off in
the BFG series and he couldn’t get the job done and tonight he wants to
right that wrong by defeating Ray.

Bound For Glory Series Semi-Finals Match
Bully Ray vs. James Storm

This is in fact a rematch from last year’s No Surrender and BFG series,
which Ray won. Ray gets up in Storm’s face so the cowboy spits in his
face and Ray throws a hissy fit outside the ring, slamming a fan’s sign
into the ring repeatedly in anger. Ray eats a few right hands from Storm
and stalls some more. Ray rakes the eyes back inside and slams Storm
into a few corners. Storm backdrops him though for a two count. Storm
goes for the Last Call superkick but misses and Ray takes the upper hand
with a big bear hug. Ray hits a big suplex then pounds away on Storm in
the corner with right hands.Storm powerbombs Ray right ouf of the
corner and both men wind up trading punches on their knees. Storm hits a
spinkick in the corner and gets a two count off a flying cross body
from the top rope. Ray hits a side-slam for his own near fall. Storm
hits an enziguri but then accidentally wipes out the ref with a flying
forearm. Bully hits a cheap shot and tries for a cover with a new ref
but only gets a two count. He misses the back senton off the top rope
and when Storm gets to his feet he wipes out the second ref with another
forearm. Ray awakens the first ref and Storm hits the Last Call
superkick and seemingly has the win, but Ray takes out the ref in the
process and this all leads to Bobby Roode running out to the ring and
smashing a beer bottle over Storm’s head, allowing Ray to cover him
finally for the pin to advance at 13:56. There was a solid match
here mostly, but the beginning and end dragged it down a bit. Lots of
stalling followed by a cliched ref-crazy finish, but the middle portion
of the match was quite good. **3/4

Brooke Tessmacher is backstage to explain to JB that she needed to face
Tara tonight to prove to herself that she can defeat her longtime mentor
and friend.

TNA Knockouts Title Match
Miss Tessmacher
© vs. Tara
former Tiffany from WWE is our special referee again. Basic lock-up to
start with each women cautiously applying holds and countering out of
them. Tessmacher takes a quick breather and Tara schoolgirls her for a
two count, apparently bringing out Tessmacher’s nasty side as she dishes
out a few arm-drags. Tessmacher hits a clothesline out of te corner and
tries to rally the crowd but it’s piss-break time for most. Tara blocks
a move with an elbow and then hits a tilt-a-whirl slam from te death
valley driver position. She lifts Tessmacher to the top turnbuckle and
superplexes her off for a two count. Tara is stunned that doesn’t put
her away so she goes for the Widow’s Peak but Tessmacher counters into a
roll-up to retain at 6:37. This was actually pretty good by
Knockouts standards, Tara helped carry the load for most of the match
but Tessmacher didn’t look terrible either, and the “teacher vs.
student” trope is a classic story that’s hard to mess up. **1/4

Backstage Hulk Hogan berates a handcuffed Bobby Roode who is under arrest for his actions tonight apparently.

Austin Aries comes out to te ring in street clothes and tells us
that there will be no capes and fancy clothes tonight for him (or as he
bluntly puts it “none of that b-------”). This isn’t a wrestling match,
it’s a FIGHT and Aries is ready to take him on with no rules and no
referee. Aries calls out the Aces & 8’s again. One of the henchmen
in a mask comes out to the ring and Aries nails him with a huge flying
tope. He pummels away at the masked man and then slides him into the
ring to kick and punch the crap out of him in the corner. Aries tries to
rip off the mask but gets low blowed and dumped to the floor. Lots of
heat for the Aces and 8’s here, which is virtually impossible to get
from the Impact Zone. The masked man goes to work on Aries outside
before tossing him into the ring and calmly beating him down. The masked
man goes for a big powerbomb but Aries pulls out a bag of flour or
powder and blinds the big man with it. Aries hits the running dropkick
in the corner and then a high cross-body off the top to the floor wipes
out the villain. Aries goes to the top again but this time the masked
man sends him crashing to the floor. The masked man grabs a steel chair
but he misses his shot at Aries and the champ slugs him in the mouth
with a roll of quarters in his hand and then drops the big man with one
of the biggest brainbusters I’ve ever seen.

Aries goes to unmask the man and the entire Aces and 8’s crew comes out
to make the save and jump Aries. This clears out the entire locker room
now and it’s total f------ chaos as everyone on the roster is arm-in-arm
trying to fight off the common enemy of the Aces and 8’s. A small
“TNA!” chant even starts up for the first time in seemingly years.
Finally Hulk Hogan walks out and the Aces and 8’s take off, clearing out
of the Impact Zone. Hogan demands security lock down every door in the
building and that the police are to be called. Jeff Hardy, who appears
to have been injured during the fracas, limps off with some of the
trainers backstage as Aries and Ray share a mutual fist-bump of respect.

This entire segment was great, creative, original and best of all it
drew me into the angle. This reminded me of something you might see
during the glory days of WCW and WWF in the early Attitude Era days, it
felt real and unscripted and totally fresh. I was skeptical of this
segment when it became clear it wasn’t going to be an official “match”,
but TNA turned it into the best segment of the show so far. Kudos.

TNA X-Division Title Match
Zema Ion
© vs. Sonjay Dutt
There has been absolutely zero hype or build to this match, but
whatever, these two are talented enough to improvise something good I’m
sure. Ion and Dutt start off by trading holds but Dutt quickly
clotheslines the champ to the floor. Springboard wristlock by Sonjay
followed by a hurricanrana to the floor as Taz recants a tale of
watching Dutt for the first time years ago on a hotel TV. Another
hurricanrana on the floor by Sonjay and back inside he springboards
right into Zema’s knee, which demolishes Dutt’s lower abdomen. Ion lays
in some chops and snaps off a suplex for two. Outside we see the police
have arrived to the arena just as Ion hits the backflip into a
kneebreaker spot of his on Dutt. Dutt manages another nifty hurricanrana
counter that sends Zema to the floor, but Ion cuts off his tope
attempt. Dutt hands out some clotheslines and a big Yakuza kick before
hitting a Frankensteiner off the top rope on the champ and following it
with a moonsault for a two count. Dutt and Ion meet at the top rope
where Dutt front-suplexes Ion right out to the floor before hitting a
beautiful running moonsault off the second turnbuckle to the floor.
Springboard splash from Sonjay back in the ring gets a hot two count.
Dutt tries for the Electric Chair but gets powerbombed and then Ion puts
in a nasty submission with Dutt’s arms both grapevined around Ion’s
body. Sonjay lures Ion in for the Sliced Bread #2 then he rolls through a
moonsault attempt and trades crazy counter cradles with the champ. Both
men try for a cradle and bridge out and Ion winds up flapjacking Dutt
in a nasty slam that finishes it and gives Ion the win at 11:34.
This one started off slow as the crowd was drained from the last segment
but both guys worked hard enough to get the match over with sheer
willpower and by the last five minutes the crowd was hot for every near
fall and chanting for more. Spectacularly solid title defense by Ion and
Dutt looks just as great as he ever did. ***1/2

Outside Hogan tells the cops that he wants anyone who tries to get in or
out to be beaten and arrested. Kinky. Elsewhere Magnus interrupts JB’s
update on Jeff Hardy’s injury to tell us he’s got RVD’s number.

Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus
This match came out of Magnus reacting very poorly to losing to RVD in
an earlier BFG series match and attacked RVD incessantly since. Magnus
starts us off with a nice wristlock and a drop toehold but RVD feeds him
a big kick and he slumps out to the floor. Rob sets Magnus up for the
legdrop on the guardrail spot but nobody’s home when RVD attempts it and
he crashes nastily into the steel. Magnus slides him back inside and
goes to work on Rob’s lower body and legs in a logical move. Decent heat
for Magnus as he applies the Texas cloverleaf submission on Van Dam.
Van Dam escapes to the floor but back inside Magnus hits him with a big
elbow drop from the top rope. Finally RVD fires off a spinning heel kick
to try and cut off the momentum of Magnus. RVD hits the Rolling Thunder
moments later for a two count. RVD misses a springboard kick but he
launches Magnus off the top rope. Rob unleashes a pair of spinkicks and
then finishes Magus with the Five Star Frog Splash at 10:07.
Solid enough match as Magnus has really improved by leaps and bounds
since he first arrived with the British Invasion, but I don’t see why
they wouldn’t try and give Magnus a rub here with a win, even a tainted
one, instead of just giving RVD another meaningless win. Good, but
nothing you can’t see on TV every week for free. **3/4

Backstage Christopher Daniels and Kazarian are upset that they aren’t
getting the proper respect they deserve what with having to defend the
titles twice in two days, Claire Lynch defiling their good names, and
Kaz not even being included in the BFG series. Daniels then just goes
off on a wild rant about Romans and throws in biblical references by
referring to himself and Kaz as the “Rocks of Gibraltar” of TNA. Daniels
continues to be one of the most underrated guys on the mic in the
business, this was a great old school heel promo.

TNA Tag Team Title Match
Christopher Daniels/Kazarian
© vs. AJ Styles/Kurt Angle
Note the emphasis on these being the world tag team titles of the world
as Daniels puts it. This could be seen as a re-match from their great
Slammiversary title match, and though a bit lazy it’s solid booking
because you know these four will deliver every time together. Angle
(sporting some bandaging on his upper leg and probably wrestling injured
for the ten thousandth time) works over Daniels in the corner before
tagging in AJ for a double clothesline. Daniels tags out to Kaz who eats
a spinning neckbreaker and a powerful brainbuster from Styles. Angle
tags back in and he and AJ send Kaz back to the mat with a huge back
body drop. Kaz manages to break up the challenger’s momentum with a
monkey flip and tags out to Daniels. The champs hit some nifty double
team leap-frog/leg drop combos to put over their unity and Styles is our
babyface in peril tonight of course. AJ teases a tag but Kaz cuts him
off and Daniels and Kaz go really old school by doing the old “tag out
behind the ref’s back while the babyface complains” bit as Daniels slaps
on a sleeper on Styles. Finally Styles gets te ot tag and Angle
explodes with SUPLEXES EVERYWHERE. First Daniels gets a suplex then Kaz
gets two thirds of the Rolling German suplexes, but while Angle
belly-to-belly suplexes Daniels Kaz comes in with a codebreaker on the
Olympian. The champs hit a tandem leg and elbow drop combo on Angle but
that won’t put the gold medalist away silly. Kaz goes to the top for a
moonsault but instead Angle runs up behind him and gives him an Angle
Slam off the top rope. AJ tags in now and hits a suplex/backbreaker
combo on Daniels. AJ hits the moonsault into reverse DDT spot but then
he gets absolutely BLASTED by a nasty drop-sault from Kaz. Never fear
because Angle gets the tag and frog-splashes Daniels off the top before
handing out Angle Slams to both of the tag team champions. Angle puts on
the ankle lock on Daniels but Kaz breaks it up with an enziguri. Styles
gets monkey flipped to Daniels but turns it into a hurricanrana in
mid-air in a neat spot before nailing Kaz with the pele. Angle applies
the ankle lock to Daniels on the apron wile Styles hits the springboard
450 splash on Kaz, who somehow kicks out on the hottest near fall of the
evening. Daniels gets dumped to the floor and now it’s AJ and Kaz on
the top rope as Kaz delivers the Spanish freaking Fly of all things!
Angle gets in to break up any pin attempt though and wipes out Daniels
again. AJ looks for the Styles Clash but Daniels throws his martini that
was placed at ringside into Style’s face and Kaz rolls up AJ for the
cheap pin at 19:31. This was actually even better than their
first encounter as we had the added backstory and more time to develop
things here and god damn did they deliver in spades as all four men were
busting out new and innovative double-team moves everywhere. This was
absolutely fantastic, the best American tag team match I’ve seen this
year certainly. ****

Outside the arena Hulk tells the cops not to let anyone interfere or get
into the arena or ring during our most important main event. It’s been
awhile since a wrestling company actually gave me a sense of atmosphere
and foreboding, but kudos to TNA again tonight with these segments.
Elsewere backstage Ray promises to win the BFG series and go on to win
the World title from Ray at Bound For Glory. He’s not just bound for
glory, he’s destined for greatness. Considering his newly signed
contract, I’m not quite sure I can disagree with him.

The BFG Series Finals match is ready to be our main event, but Jeff
Hardy is injured and instead of Jeff out comes Hulk Hogan. He’s a bit
suspicious of Ray’s intentions but Ray sticks to his story of hating the
Aces and 8’s but that he should still win because Jeff can’t compete.
Hogan says if he wants to do this the right way then he should wait
until next Thursday to face Jeff Hardy in the finals. Ray doesn’t seem
too opposed to the idea but suddenly out comes Jeff Hardy, clearly
wounded, but still willing to fight. The subtle storytelling touches
here of teasing a babyface turn for Ray these last few weeks in the
midst of the Aces and 8’s angle is delicious, because you really could
see Ray going either way in this angle and in his face or heel status
after this. What’s this, complexity to our wrestler’s motivations? Whoda
thunk it?

Bound For Glory Series Finals Match
Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy

Ray extends his fist for a fist-bump of respect as the bell rings. Jeff
tries for a sleeper but can’t even hold onto it so Ray sends him to the
corner and works over his arm a bit. The commentators put over Ray as
just doing what he has to do to advance in this business. Jeff goes
outside for a count and back inside Ray stomps him mercilessly before
Jeff bails again for a breather. Back inside Ray goes back to work on
Hardy’s arm, but Jeff kicks out on sheer adrenaline. Bully continues the
beatdown, stomping on Hardy in the corner and unwrapping his bandages.
Suddenly Jeff fights through the pain and hits the Twist of Fate out of
nowhere, followed by the Swanton bomb, but Ray kicks out at two! Ray
sends Jeff shoulder-first into the corner and hits the Bubba Bomb for a
close two count. Jeff hits the Whisper in the Wind suddenly out of
nowhere for his own two count. Jeff misses a second Whisper in the Wind
and eats the Bubba Cutter but Hardy manages to still kick out. He hits
another Twist of Fate but misses the follow-up Swanton and eats the
Bubba Cutter again, and again Jeff kicks out. Jeff is pissed now and
hits not one but TWO Twist of Fates and he goes to the top but it takes
him too long so Bully meets him up there. Jeff kicks him off though and
finally nails the Swanton for a final time to win the match and the
Bound for Glory series at 12:23. This one took a bit to get going
and it started off giving you the implication that Bully would win
quickly but begrudgingly and earn the fans respect in a way, but instead
they did a total 360 mid-match and had Jeff make the whole babyface
comeback and win the BFG series clean to justify his redemption story.
Solid story told in the match and though it was a bit finisher-heavy, it
served it’s purpose well and ended the show on a high note. ***

We go off the air with Jeff Hardy celebrating his victory.

Bottom Line: I
came into this show with very little expectations, seeing this as a
stopgap or filler show before BFG, complete with a last-minute announced
card and all. I came out of it pumped up and excited to watch Impact
this week and looking very much forward to Bound for Glory next month
and feeling like I got my money’s worth on the show itself with solid
action through-out. Throw in a possible MOTYC tag team match, a crazy
segment that reeled me into the Aces and Eight’s angle, and the general
strength and unpredictability (in a good, non-Russo way) of this entire
show and I can say this was a pleasant and rewarding surprise tonight.
Another winner from TNA, who continues their hot streak with another
very good show. Easy Thumbs Up.

Score: 8.5/10

For more of my work, check out my blog: X’s Wrestling Review