TNA One Night Only: Joker’s Wild II

Joker’s
Wild II
Date:
May 9, 2014
Location:
National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, England
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

I don’t usually put these up but this one was actually entertaining.  These
things are back again with another random tag partners competition.
It’s the same format as the first in the series: take four random
wrestlers and put them in a tag match, then have the winners go into
a gauntlet battle royal. The winner gets a check for $100,000. I
wouldn’t mind if they used money as a motivating factor in wrestling
more often. Let’s get to it.

As
usual, we open with a package of clips from the show we’re about to
see.
Jeremy
Borash and Christy Hemme explain the concept for the night. They
also do the drawing for the first match, which they’ll be doing
before every tag match tonight.
Gunner/Chris
Sabin vs. British Invasion
It’s
Magnus/Doug Williams, which should tell you a thing or two about how
this show is going to go. This is one of Sabin’s final appearances
as he’s gone from the company by the time this show airs. Doug and
Sabin get things going with the Englishman taking him down by the
arm. The announcers are already in their own little world as
Williams hangs onto the arm even though a monkey flip. Sabin is sent
to the floor for a chase and eats a European uppercut back inside.
Off
to Gunner for some nice applause and one off a shoulder block. The
tag brings in Magnus to a mixed reaction and the showdown with
Gunner. Well it would be a showdown if this were on regular TNA TV
and Magnus were still World Champion but there’s only so much for me
to work with on this show. A headlock takes Gunner down to the mat
but he fights back with a fall away slam for two.
Back
to Sabin who gets caught in a double neckbreaker for two. The
announcers are talking about tag team wrestling for a change.
Granted it’s about Taz’s career but at least they’re getting closer
than they were earlier when they talked about wrestling polar bears.
A sunset flip from Douglas gets two on Gunner but it’s quickly back
to Sabin. Chris chokes Douglas with a rope from his wrist to get
some cheating in there but the fans cheer Douglas back to his feet.
Gunner
comes in again but charges into a boot in the corner, allowing
Williams to come off the middle rope with a European uppercut. Taz’s
line during that sequence: “Calculus 202. That was my thing.”
He’s talking about math, not the uppercut in case you’re looking for
a double meaning or a metaphor there. Everything breaks down and
Gunner puts Magnus in the Gun Rack but Sabin tags himself in and gets
two on Magnus. Sabin accidentally hits his partner, setting up the
snapmare into the top rope elbow from Magnus for the pin to advance.
Rating:
C. This was your typical One
Night Only match: the wrestling wasn’t bad but the lack of a strong
story hurts it. It’s not bad or anything and there was a basic story
of having an experienced team against a makeshift team but this was
much more for the live crowd than the PPV audience.
The
British Invasion both say they’ll win the gauntlet for the money
later tonight. Magnus
emphasizes that the reunion was indeed for one night only but there
are no hard feelings.
Bad
Influence says they’ll both carry their partners and then win the
gauntlet. The Bro Mans come in and promise they’ll win but Bad
Influence says the Bro Mans might not be together tonight. Robbie
seems a little more aware of what’s going on tonight. This
turns into a discussion of hair gel.
Robbie
E./Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe/Bad Bones
By
the powers, what a coincidence. And right after they were talking
too! Bad Bones is the German wrestler that Joe beat up in like 90
seconds a few weeks back. He looks like a lot like A-Train if he was
about six inches shorter and not covered with hair. Joe starts with
Daniels as the announcers debate leader boards vs. a list of winners.
Daniels doesn’t break clean in the corner but his forearms to the
back have almost no effect at all. Joe runs him over and hammers
away in the corner to set up the Facewash.
Daniels
bails to the floor for a meeting with Robbie as the fans quiet down.
Back in and E is tagged in before Joe tags him in the jaw with right
hands. Off to Bones for a nice high collar suplex and two. Some
running forearms and a running knee to the chest ala Daniel Bryan
drop Daniels with ease. E tries to help his partner but Bones double
clotheslines them down as well. Robbie trips Bones up from the floor
and comes in legally to hammer away in the corner.
We
hit the chinlock and the fans are already cheering for Bones. E
misses a charge in the corner though and the hot tag brings in Joe to
face Daniels. The big boot and backsplash get two on Christopher and
it’s off to a cross armbreaker. Robbie makes the save but gets
speared down by Bones. Joe Muscle Busts Daniels for the pin to
advance.
Rating:
C. I have a feeling we’ll be
seeing that rating a lot tonight. There’s only so much to do in a
quick match like this with a basic story of power vs. speed with four
guys that have a limited history together. Not a bad match or
anything but it was just ten minutes of four guys doing moves to each
other with Joe and Bones not really breaking a sweat.
Gunner
says the loss wasn’t his fault.
British
Invasion says the same thing they said after their match.
Samuel
Shaw says he only trusts himself.
We
do another draw and there are about twenty fewer pieces of paper in
the tumbler.
Rockstar
Spud/Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson/Austin Aries
This
has potential. Spud says
he’ll be team captain no matter who his partner is and then Bully is
announced for a funny moment. Ray
and Spud stare each other down. That goes badly for Spud so he gets
a chair to stand on. He talks about being chief of staff…..before
quickly agreeing that Ray is captain tonight. The fans chant for
Aries but switch to WE WANT SPUD. They get what they ask for but the
tag hurts Spud’s hand.
Aries
easily takes him down so Bully gives him a huge pep talk and starts a
SPUD chant. The Rockstar gets in Aries’ face and slaps him, only to
be dropped by a left hand. Ray offers another tag but Spud is scared
of the pain so it’s another pep talk. This time Aries takes him down
with a clothesline and it’s off to Anderson to take over in the
corner. All four get in and
Spud starts to dance. Ray walks to the corner and facepalms,
allowing Aries and Anderson to double team Spud.
Bully
realizes he’s doing this on his own and Spud gets knocked down again.
Ray yells at him and gets elbowed in the back of the head by Aries,
knocking him face first into….uh….a certain place on Spud. This
just makes Ray even angrier so he breaks out of a Mic Check and kicks
Anderson in the face. Spud does Ray’s pose so Ray pulls him to the
corner by the ear and hits a big elbow drop for two on Anderson. Ray
to Hebner: “You know what? You count too slow!”
He
yells at Hebner in the corner but Earl gets right in Ray’s face to
take him into the other corner. Now it’s back to Spud. Taz:
“WHY???” Spud drops the same elbow for two and gets in Hebner’s
face so Earl slams him down to give Aries a two count. Anderson hits
the neckbreaker on the now legal Bully and it’s off to Aries who
dropkicks Ray to the floor. A
dropkick from the top to the floor and a regular missile dropkick get
two for Aries but Ray slams him down and tells Spud to go up top.
Ray:
“WHAT’S UP???” Spud: “I’M UP!” The headbutt connects but
Ray knocks Spud down when he slaps him in the chest before GET THE
TABLES. Spud falls down trying to pull the table out and Ray is
disgusted. “GET THE TABLE IN ALREADY!” Anderson comes over and
puts his arm around Ray as Spud is still dealing with the table.
Aries
is about to go up for What’s Up but Hebner won’t let him. Spud tries
a sneak attack on Anderson but is thrown into Ray’s crotch for his
efforts. Ray: “YOU SOB!”
The fans rightfully think this is awesome and there’s the running
corner dropkick from Aries. He loads up the brainbuster but Spud
rolls Aries up and pulls the trunks halfway off for the pin. The
look of shock on Ray’s face is priceless.
Rating:
A+. This was the funniest match
I’ve seen in years and maybe even ever. They kept the joke going the
entire time and had a WAY more entertaining match than they would
have had if they played it straight. This is something WWE needs to
learn from. Rather than just having a guy be designated as a comedy
guy and having him do strange things while the commentators tell you
it’s funny, this was four guys who can be funny BEING FUNNY.
Instead
of just doing the same bits over and over again (like Young stripping
or the Cobra), they did different stuff that we hadn’t seen before
and had a very funny match as a result. Comedy can be done, but let
these funny people come up with it themselves rather than having them
perform something a writer came up with. If they were good enough
actors/performers to do what a writer came up with, they would be in
Hollywood making way more money.
This
was a blast and a good lesson in how to do comedy wrestling. The
tagline One Night Only applies here too: if they did this every week
on TV it would stop being anywhere
near as funny in like the
third week. Do it every now and then instead of the same bits every
week and it’ll work far better.
The
following two matches are listed in different orders on various
sites. This is the order they aired in on the version I have and I
don’t think it makes any real difference.
Wolves
vs. Beer Money
Eh
sometimes it’s better to screw believability and
just let two awesome teams have a match. Roode
vs. Richards to get things going with a nice technical wrestling
sequence. Bobby gets the better of it and cranks on a headlock but
Edwards gets a blind tag and dropkicks Roode in the side of the head
for two. Off to Storm who gets dropkicked down, allowing the Wolves
to take over on the arm. Storm
hadn’t turned heel when this
was taped so the fans are
way into him.
Back
to Roode who gets headbutted into the corner and then forearmed in
the face by Richards. Storm
gets caught in the same corner and kicked down, giving us the gay sex
position spot. Back up and Storm kicks the heck out of Richards from
the apron and Beer Money takes over. A
double back elbow gets two on Davey and we hit a chinlock with
Storm’s knee in his back. In one of the few amusing bits of
commentary all night, Tenay asks Taz about his time teaming with
Raven. Taz: “What about Raven?” They
also get into a discussion of how Taz is always commentating with
guys named Mike.
Roode
comes back in for a chinlock of his own but Davey easily fights up.
We get one of the stupidest spots I’ve ever seen as Richards throws
Roode to Storm, who catches Bobby in a front facelock for no apparent
reason. Then Davey kicks Storm in the face, causing Storm to DDT
Roode. Spots like that where they might as well draw you a picture
that says “YEAH, WE PLANNED THIS BEFOREHAND” drive me crazy.
Davey
finally makes the hot tag to Edwards who cleans house with chops in
the corner. The reverse tornado DDT from Storm is countered into the
over the shoulder Stunner for two. An enziguri into a German from
Davey gets two on Storm with Roode making the save. Everything
breaks down and Davey takes the Backstabber from James and a
spinebuster from Bobby. Beer
Money hits the double suplex and SHOUT THEIR NAMES. Edwards fights
out of DWI though and Richards comes back in with a missile dropkick.
Beer Money is sent to the floor for a double dive, followed by the
top rope double stomp to Storm for the pin.
Rating:
B. That’s probably a stretch.
The match was good but it certainly wasn’t as great as you would
expect from these teams. It
made me think of the Hart Foundation vs. the Brainbusters back in
1989. It sounds amazing on paper but when you see it live it’s just
a good but not really memorable match. Also
it would have been a better choice to put Roode and Storm in the
battle royal as they’re far more likely to win than either of the
Wolves.
They
shake hands post match.
Spud
celebrates his win in the back and says he was the team captain. Ray
comes in and Spud immediately shakes his hand and asks how the
captain is doing. Ray: “YOUR HEAD WAS IN MY NUTS FOR HALF OF THE
MATCH! IF YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN…..I’LL GIVE YOU A BIG OLD KISS
BECAUSE WE WON!” Ray kisses Spud on the cheek and gives him a huge
hug.
Aries
says he’s speechless.
Kazarian/Curry
Man vs. Eric Young/Ethan Carter III
For
those of you that don’t remember, Curry Man is a masked man in red
and yellow with a plate of curry on his head, based on an ad for
curry in India. He’s usually played by Christopher Daniels and I
believe he is here as well, even though you can see some hair
sticking out of the back of the mask. It’s
a brawl to start with Young and Curry Man being left alone in the
ring. Curry and Young hug each other before slugging it out. They
hug again then trade about six standing switches before hugging a
third time.
Kaz
gets sick of it and suggests a mid match change: Young and Curry Man
team against Kaz and Carter. Apparently it’s going to be allowed but
Eric and Curry Man stay on the apron. Carter rolls up Kaz for two
but Eric makes the save, despite that not even being his original
partner. The referee makes them go back to the original partners and
more confusion ensues.
Carter
finally chokes Curry Man to take over and a slam gets two. Young
comes in to save Curry Man and gets yelled at by Ethan. “YOU’RE MY
PARTNER!” Eric: “I KNOW IT SUCKS!” A clothesline puts Curry
Man down for two and we hit the chinlock. Back up and it’s a double
clothesline to put both guys down. Tags bring in Eric and Kaz and we
get a crisscross. Young takes over with a flying forearm and a belly
to belly as everything breaks down. Carter
and Curry Man fight to the floor as Young rolls up Kaz for the pin.
Rating:
C-. Not really even a match but
it was one of the more bearable Eric Young comedy affairs that I can
remember seeing. At least this time the story made sense and it
wasn’t the same annoying Young stuff over and over again. It’s also
a nice take on the random pairings idea which makes this easier to
sit through.
Carter
lays out Eric postmatch.
The
Wolves are more excited about beating Beer Money than going to the
gauntlet.
Abyss/Samuel
Shaw vs. Zema Ion/Jesse Godderz
Godderz
poses for Shaw to start but Abyss tags himself in to scare Jesse to
death. Ion comes in and shouts BOOM a lot, much to Abyss’
annoyances. A cross body has no effect whatsoever and Abyss slams
him down with one arm. About
twenty chops from Ion have
about the same effect and
Abyss runs him over with a clothesline.
Off
to Shaw who the fans call creepy. Back to Jesse who elbows Shaw in
the face but gets slammed down with ease. Abyss tags himself back in
to a nice reaction and cleans house on Godderz. Samuel turns his
back on Abyss but gets dragged back into the ring. Godderz and Ion
take over with some double teaming and a jawbreaker staggers Shaw.
He takes time to go stare at Christy though, allowing Ion to hit a
flip dive for two.
Zema
misses a middle rope moonsault and it’s back to Abyss for some house
cleaning. Jesse actually
stops him with a clothesline but Shaw is busy going after Christy.
He gets her in the corner and the referee just lets this happen, only
to have Abyss make the save. Christy bails so Shaw hammers on his
partner. That goes as well as you would expect but the Bro Mans
actually knock Abyss to the floor. Shaw grabs the standing choke on
Godderz for the submission a few seconds later.
Rating:
D+. Nothing much to see here
but at least they didn’t go for a third comedy match out of six.
Shaw and Christy have a limited shelf life and hopefully it’s done
after the latest gimmick match between Shaw and Anderson. Jesse and
Ion were just there to bounce off Abyss and there’s nothing wrong
with that.
Ethan
Carter III takes credit for the win. Spud and Magnus (on the phone)
come up and say that Dixie is proud. Magnus implies that they should
let him win the gauntlet but
after he leaves, Carter suggests that he should win. Spud thinks he
might be the winner.
Lei’D
Tapa/Gail Kim/Alpha Female vs. Velvet Sky/Madison Rayne/ODB
Just
a filler here in an elimination match. Tapa
imitates Velvet’s entrance to a ton of booing but Velvet calms the
people down by doing it again. Sky charges at Tapa but is lifted in
the air for a choke. Off to Gail for a clothesline but she gets
caught by Madison’s mat humper. Gail spanks Tapa for some reason and
yells at her for not having her back. The announcers talk about
having spotted dick at lunch today and the match just keeps going.
Alpha
comes in for a slam and some forearms to Madison’s chest. She misses
a bad looking splash though and it’s back to Velvet who finally
knocks Alpha down. Madison and Gail fight to the floor as Velvet
bulldogs Alpha down. Chris Sabin comes out to distract the referee
though and gets in an argument with Velvet. Sky
low bridges him to the floor, kicks Alpha in the head and hits In Yo
Face for the elimination.
Gail
rolls Velvet up for a fast pin but the referee is with Sabin and
misses Madison spearing Gail down. Tapa
runs Madison over for an easy pin and we’re down to Gail/Tapa vs.
ODB. The numbers game quickly catch up to her but Gail wants to get
the glory. Tapa gets tired
of it and shoves Gail into a rollup to get us down to one on one.
Gail nails Tapa and ODB hits the Bam for the final pin.
Rating:
D. There was no reason at all
for this to be elimination rules. There were a few too many things
going on here but they still could have wrapped the whole thing up in
a single fall. It also doesn’t help that all of these stories have
already been wrapped up two months before this show aired.
Gauntlet
Battle Royal
Basically
it’s a Royal Rumble with two minute intervals and the winner getting
$100,000. We start with Davey vs. Eddie because that’s how random
draws work. Feeling out
process to start until the start slugging it out with strikes. Davey
gets the better of it with his kicks until Samuel Shaw is in at #3.
The Wolves actually keep
fighting until Shawn breaks it up and chokes Edwards in the corner.
Edwards
comes back with some chops and the Wolves start double teaming.
Davey sends Shaw into a running knee to the face but
here’s Rockstar Spud at #4. His strategy: kick Shaw low and wrap
himself around the ropes for dear life. The
Wolves lock eyes onto Spud before splitting up and stomping on both
Spud and Shaw. Spud tries to eliminate Shaw by himself as the Wolves
just chuckle from the corner. Shaw comes back with a crotch claw and
here’s Douglas Williams at #5.
Spud
keeps switching ropes to hold onto as we get into the standard battle
royal formula of people pairing off and brawling against the ropes
without trying to eliminate each other. The
Wolves drop Douglas with a double back elbow as Spud is running out
of places to hide. Abyss is
in at #6 as these times are very suspect. He
clotheslines everyone in sight, which doesn’t include Spud who has
disappeared. Abyss easily tosses out Edwards and Davey suffers the
same fate about fifteen seconds later. There goes Williams and we’re
down to Abyss and Shaw on their feet. There’s a Black Hole Slam to
set up the elimination as Spud tries to sneak up on Abyss. The
monster chokes him up against the ropes as Bully Ray is in at #7.
Spud
tries to interfere again but gets thrown over. He hangs on and skins
the cat though, only to fall down when trying a double clothesline.
Ray and Abyss have the real fight with Abyss nailing the chokeslam.
Ray is right back up though as Spud shakes the ropes like the
Warrior. A cross body has no effect either but here’s Eric Young at
#8 to distract from Spud’s ineptness.
Eric
hammers away on everyone in sight but Ray fights back. The Bully
scares Spud to the floor but under the bottom rope so everyone is
still in. Ray yells at Spud for not helping him get rid of Eric and
here’s Ethan Carter III at #9. Eric goes right for him but Spud gets
in a few shots from behind to give Ethan control. Spud tries to jump
Bully again and gets shouted down into the corner. The
five guys in the ring don’t do much else until Bad Bones comes in at
#10.
Bones
slugs away at everyone in sight which fits his brawling style. Again
this goes nowhere until Samoa Joe is in at #11. Much like everyone
else, Joe hammers away on everyone in sight upon entering the ring.
A nice suplex puts Carter down before Joe settles in on Bad Bones.
That doesn’t last long as Joe easily backdrops Bones out and it’s off
to Joe vs. Bully. Spud
actually eliminates Bully on his own but Joe wacks Spud in the head
to put him on the mat.
Magnus
comes out to give us a final grouping of Magnus, Joe, Spud, Abyss,
Carter and Young. Joe and
Magnus immediately go at it with Joe getting the early advantage but
getting low bridged out to the floor to get us down to five. Abyss
gets gang eliminated but Spud charges at Young and flies over the
ropes to the floor. Eric dropkicks both Carter and Magnus down as
things speed up. He gets both of them up for something resembling a
double Death Valley Driver but gets crotched on the top and punched
out by Magnus. Carter uses the distraction to eliminate Magnus for
the win.
Rating:
D+. This was almost every
battle royal that they’ve ever had on this series. At the end of the
day there’s only so much you can do with a show like this as battle
royals only have so many stories available. Spud was funny and him
eliminating Ray put a good cap on their events, but this show exists
in a vacuum so it’s not like this is going to mean anything long
term.
Carter
gets the money to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
B-. This was one of the
more entertaining One Night Onlys but it wasn’t great throughout.
The Ray/Spud tag match was one of the most entertaining matches I’ve
seen in years and the Beer Money vs. Wolves match was a very solid
match in its own right. The one thing that sticks out to me more
than anything though is how different this was from Impact.
Matches
had time to play out, there were no swerves or heel authority figures
dominating things, and no randomly thrown in gimmicks. It was VERY
nice for a change and a good example of what TNA is capable of when
they stop taking themselves so freaking seriously. Compare this to
Sacrifice where a total of nothing happened and the show was horribly
boring.
Also,
the fact that this was $15 for the HD version is a big factor. For
$15, this was a very solid way to spend two and a half hours watching
wrestling, especially if you need a break from the WWE Network. The
whole series of shows is far better than anything else you get from
TNA and are actually worth checking out if you have nothing better to
do.
ResultsBritish
Invasion b. Gunner/Chris Sabin – Top rope elbow to Sabin
Samoa
Joe/Bad Bones b. Robbie E./Christopher Daniels – Muscle Buster to
Daniels
Rockstar
Spud/Bully Ray b. Mr. Anderson/Austin Aries – Rollup to Aries
Wolves
b. Beer Money – Top rope double stomp to Storm
Eric
Young/Ethan Carter III b. Curry Man/Kazarian – Rollup to Kazarian
Abyss/Samuel
Shaw b. Jesse Godderz/Zema Ion – Standing choke to Godderz
ODB/Velvet
Sky/Madison Rayne b. Alpha Female/Gail Kim/Lei’D Tapa – Bam to Tapa
Ethan
Carter III won a battle royal last eliminating Magnus
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