December 3, 2014
Mike Tenay, Tazz
Christy Hemme, Jeremy Borash
is a special Best Of 2014 show as TNA is out of new material to use
and still has a month’s worth of shows to air to wrap things up on
Spike. The solution is a highlight show covering their best moments
from the year. That could actually work well as TNA can have good
material when they cut out the nonsense. Let’s get to it.
be posting the full reviews of the matches, even if only clipped
versions were showns.
and Christy welcome us to the show and start things off with the safe
bet of Kurt Angle from Genesis on January 16.
Angle vs. Bobby Roode
has a new sleeveless full body vest. It’s pin/submission/escape
here. There’s no bell after the break so we’ll say this is joined in
progress. Roode goes after Kurt to start but walks into a belly to
belly suplex to give Angle control. He stomps Bobby down in the
corner but his right hands are countered with a powerbomb into the
cage. A suplex gets two for Roode and more choking ensues.
grabs the legs and catapults Roode into the cage, setting up the
Rolling Germans. The Angle Slam is countered and Angle is sent into
the cage. A spinebuster gets a fast two for Roode but a Roode Bomb
attempt is countered by Angle ramming Bobby into the cage. Now the
Slam connects for two and there go the straps. Ankle lock goes on
but Roode fights to his feet and takes Angle down with an enziguri.
go old school with Roode’s Northern Lariat (clothesline to the back
of the head) for two. Roode goe sup but Angle makes a save and rams
Roode into the cage over and over again until he falls down. Kurt is
still on the ropes and goes to escape before looking back at Roode.
Oh no. Angle busts out the moonsault but only hits mat in a HUGE
crash. Roode crawls out the door but Angle grabs the ankle to pull
him back in. Kurt is kicked away so they do the same thing again but
this time Kurt puts on the ankle lock, only to have Roode whip him
into the cage.
Roode Bomb gets two and Bobby climbs the cage, so Angle runs the
corner and hits the Angle Slam to put both guys down again. Kurt
crawls over for a slow two before making a very slow climb to the
corner. He gets a leg over but Roode pulls him back in onto the top
rope. They slug it out until Roode is crotched on the top, allowing
Angle to climb out for the win at 14:17, seconds before Roode makes
it out the door.
B. Angle is going to die in a wrestling ring at some point and
there’s no way around it. This was a good but not classic cage match
and there’s nothing wrong with that. Above all else, this match was
given time to develop and it worked much better as a result. I’d buy
this as the ending of the feud but there’s a chance they could get
one more match out of them.
jump back in time a week for this match on January 9, 2014.
World Title: AJ Styles vs. Magnus
DQ and both guys are champion coming in. Magnus immediately goes to
the floor and does it again for a second time in less than ninety
seconds. No contact yet. Magnus gets back in but here are Ethan
Carter and Spud to jump AJ before any contact is made. AJ fights
them off and superkicks Magnus in the ribs but Carter breaks up a
Styles Clash attempt. Sting finally comes out for the save but
doesn’t do anything as AJ saves himself. Magnus bails to the floor
and we take a break.
with the two champions still not making contact as the Bro Mans and
Zema Ion come out to jump Sting and AJ and giving us six run-ins in
less than eight minutes. Zema DDTs AJ and the Bro Down gets a
delayed two on Styles. Sting comes back in as Magnus just chills at
ringside. The Brit finally comes back in and AJ quickly loads up the
Clash, only to have Bad Influence make the save and lay him out with
a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo.
Hebner refuses to count so Dixie and Brian Hebner get us to ELEVEN
people coming out for this match. Bad Influence goes High/Low on AJ
for two and Brian gets yelled at. Sting lays out the Bro Mans with a
double Death Drop on the floor before putting Ion in the Deathlock.
AJ fights back against Bad Influence as Sting comes in to help even
more. We’re down to Magnus vs. AJ with Styles getting the Calf
Killer, only to have Kazarian take out the referee.
monkey flips AJ into Daniels but AJ clotheslines him down and Peles
Kaz. Now the Styles Clash takes out Magnus but there’s no referee.
Earl Hebner hobbles back out (we’ll call that #12) to count two
before AJ dives over the top to take out Bad Influence yet again. AJ
goes up top but Bobby Roode makes it #13 by shoving Styles into the
ropes. Three AA/DVDs lay AJ out for about the fifth time, giving
Magnus the pin (thanks to referee #3 and the fourteenth person added
to the match) and the undisputed title at 15:47. Sting was being
held back by most of the heels in case you were wondering.
So they spent all night hyping up the match before going full Russo
on it. That’s what we spent months and months building to? The
match was definitely energetic but we really had to spend all this
time setting up Dixie with her corporate champion? Assuming AJ
leaving isn’t a HUGE swerve, this was one of the biggest wastes of
time I can remember in years.
on Ethan Carter III.
May 8, 2014.
Angle vs. Ethan Carter III
arm to start but Ethan backs off. A snap suplex sets up the Rolling
Germans to Ethan but Angle falls down holding his bad knee. Angle
tries to fight back with a German suplex but the knee is just gone.
Ethan gets in a quick chop block and pins Angle at 3:27.
D+. This didn’t have time
to go anywhere and the injury took up a good chunk of the match.
I’ll give them points for keeping Ethan so strong and I kind of like
not having Angle beat him with ease. It’s making Ethan look like a
much bigger deal which is something TNA really needs to do.
recap Gunner vs. Storm with James turning heel and attacking Gunner’s
father, setting up this match from March 27, 2014.
vs. James Storm
is an Unlocked match, which is another name for a street fight. The
fight is on in the aisle again and Gunner quickly sets up a table.
Storm gets in a right hand before the table is completely set so he
finishes Gunner’s job. Gunner is whipped knees first into the steps
as Tenay tells us we’ll see Ethan and Willow’s confrontation before
the show ends. A running knee to Gunner’s head knocks him from the
apron to the floor. They haven’t been in the ring yet.
onto the ramp but gets sent into the steps for his efforts. Gunner
nails him in the ribs with a chair and they finally get inside. The
Cowboy comes back with a middle rope DDT of all things for no cover
as we take a break. Back with Storm loading up a chair in the corner
but getting reversed by Gunner. They slug it out with trashcan lids
before Storm gets speared down for two.
flip into a catapult, sending Gunner face first into the chair. A
Backstabber sets up a VERY long top rope elbow to give Storm a near
fall. Storm pulls out a beer bottle but the distraction lets Gunner
spear him through the ropes and through the table on the floor ala
Edge and Mick Foley. That only gets two so Gunner sets up two chairs
(one of which is broken) in the middle of the ring.
chairs (Storm barely hit them) is enough for two in a nice throwback
to the ending at Lockdown. Storm comes back with a Closing Time and
a pair of Last Calls for two. James gets the beer bottle but Gunner
finds his own to lay out Storm. An F5 is enough to pin the Cowboy at
B+. This was one heck of a fight with both guys beating the tar
out of each other. There’s something awesome about two men just
hammering each other until one of them can’t get up. I don’t like
the story here though as the match was tacked on to the feud after
the previous match should have ended things. Still though, awesome
on MVP debuting and promising to make it about the fans.
see the very end of Lethal Lockdown at Lockdown 2014 where Bully Ray
turned on Dixie Carter to give Team MVP the win.
Ray vs. Ethan Carter III
Death Match, meaning last man standing. Ray brings out a bullrope
ala Stan Hansen for a nice tribute. Carter is thrown to the floor by
the rope to start and Ray brings out a pair of tables. They’re
stacked next to each other on the floor but Carter recovers from the
coma he was in to get in a few shots and take over. Ray fights right
back and sets up another table in the corner but the fans want
avoids the table but gets his chest ripped off by more chops. Time
for the cheese grater to rip up Ethan’s chest (barely), which isn’t
something you often see. Carter gets in a few shots to take over and
sends Ray face first into a chair on the mat. He goes up top but
gets crotched and superplexed onto the chair to put both guys down.
Ray grabs a Dallas Cowboys trashcan from under the ring before
starting to cut up the mats to expose the wood under the canvas.
Spud comes out with a kendo stick shot to Ray’s back for no effect.
Ray kicks him low and knocks Spud silly with the stick but Carter
hits a quick One Percenter onto the exposed boards for our first
count over twelve minutes into the match. Ray is up at eight so
Carter pours out the glass in the trashcan. Carter goes up but dives
into a Bubba Cutter, sending the injured chest into the glass for a
cool spot. He’s up at eight though so Ray takes the stick outside to
knock Ethan silly again.
puts him on the tables and goes up but here’s Dixie for a
distraction. Bully goes after her and sends Ethan into Dixie to
knock her out cold. Ethan gets punched down and Ray puts Dixie on
the table. He takes too long though, allowing Spud to pull her off
and Ethan knocks Ray through the tables with a kendo stick shot for
the win at 17:05.
C. It was a nice brawl with some nice spots but NO ONE CARES
ABOUT DIXIE. After all this, if she doesn’t go through a table in
New York, this whole story has been a huge waste of time. Also,
never accept an induction to the Hall of Fame unless you want to lose
on a last second fluke the same night. At least D-Von didn’t join
forces with Dixie.
breeze past Eric Young winning the title back in April and jump to
the main event of Slammiversary.
World Title: Austin Aries vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Eric Young
a cage with Young defending with wins by pin or submissino, not
escape. Lashley takes over to start but gets double teamed down.
The smaller guys do a fast paced sequence until Lashley throws Aries
into the cage. Young gets the same as well, allowing Lashley to
stand tall. Bobby throws both guys around again but misses a charge
into the post. Young and Aries go at it again until Eric hammers on
Bobby in the corner.
powerbombs the champion down but stops to go after Lashley again,
only to be suplexed into the cage for two. We get a bad looking
botch as Aries hits a running cross body in the corner but Young just
lets him bounce off of him for some reason. Young gets to show off
his freakish strength with a double Death Valley Driver but Lashley
is up at two. He puts Young on top of the cage as the fans chant
please don’t die. Aries goes up top as well to take Lashley down
with a hurricanrana, but Eric stands up on top of the cage for the
huge elbow to Bobby.
punts Eric in the head though and hits the brainbuster for a very
close two. Lashley spears Austin down for two and spinebusters the
champion, only to miss the spear and fall out of the cage. Remember
that doesn’t end the match though as escape doesn’t count. Young
hits the top rope elbow on Aries for another close near fall. The
piledriver is countered with a low dropkick to Young’s face and
everyone is down. Young and Aries slug it out but both guys miss
forearms. Aries hits some discus forearms and the corner dropkick
but walks into the piledriver to retain Eric’s title at 12:10.
B-. This got better near the end but Eric keeping the title made
me roll my eyes. The reign has been far better than I expected it to
be but he needs to be the focal point of the company instead of the
other guy in the major feuds. To be fair though, I’d assume MVP was
supposed to take the title tonight before the injuries.
some actual storyline development, James Storm watches Veera train
and looks impressed. He promises to take care of Veera and then
recap the Beautiful People reuniting and then going to war with
Title: Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne
is defending and quickly knocks Angelina out to the floor with a
shoulder. Angelina has a meeting with Velvet Sky and comes back in
for a headlock and shoulder of her own. Madison takes her down with
a nice trip but can’t use the headscissors face slam into the mat.
Instead it’s a baseball slide to send Love back to the floor but she
sends a following Rayne face first into the apron.
Beautiful People take turns choking on the ropes and in the corner to
little avail. Madison gets a quick sunset flip for two but gets sent
to the floor where she beats on Velvet a bit. Back in and the
challenger puts on a figure four with her legs in a nice touch. An
enziguri puts Love down again though and now the face slam works.
her friend but the champ dives on both of them in an awesome visual.
They head inside again and it’s the Rayne Drop for two. Angelina’s
Botox Injection (Brogue Kick) gets the same and the fit is thrown.
Madison comes back with a spear but Velvet sprays her in the eyes
with hairspray, allowing Love to roll Rayne up with a handful of
tights for the pin and the title at 8:15.
C-. It’s a Knockouts match so you’ve seen the whole thing before
at least a few times. Angelina winning the title again makes sense
in storyline terms but it’s still nothing new. I don’t really care
about the Beautiful People reunion as it feels like we’ve traveled
back in time instead of doing something that might get people to
care. That almost never works in wrestling, at least when the past
act is the focus.
Title: Sanada vs. Tigre Uno vs. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards vs.
Crazy Steve vs. Manik
is defending and this is a ladder match. Also keep in mind that
Destination X and Option C are coming up soon. Manik dives through
the ropes to take out Sanada before the bell. The Wolves follow suit
with stereo suicide dives and Steve has apparently knocked Tigre Uno
down. Steve gets a ladder from under the ring and uses it to climb
back to the apron. Tigre dropkicks him down and mostly misses a
corkscrew dive to take everyone out.
and Manik fight over a ladder in the ring with the champion taking
over via a springboard chop to the head. Tigre replaces Manik and
kicks Sanada in the back of the head but the Wolves double team him
into a German suplex onto the ladder in the corner. Edwards throws
in a fresh ladder but Manik dropkicks both of them down. Steve (very
popular tonight) comes in for the Terry Funk spinning ladder spot,
taking down everyone that comes into the ring.
makes a save but Steve shoves the ladder over, only to have Manik
land on the top rope and dive out to knock out the Wolves. Steve
goes up again and touches the belt but of course loses his hand eye
coordination since this is a ladder match, allowing Sanada to make
the save. The ladder is busted so Sanada slams Steve onto it to set
up the moonsault. The fans think this is awesome as Tigre enziguris
Sanada off a better ladder.
wedges the broken ladder into the standing one to form a bridge, but
the Wolves catch him in a powerbomb/top rope Backstabber combo. The
Wolves both go after the belt but Sanada makes the save. Edwards
Sanada clothesline each other to the floor and Eddie crashes into the
barricade, leaving Davey on top. Manik makes the save and powerbombs
Davey onto the bridged ladder in a SCARY landing. Sanada climbs up
to retain at 9:40 before someone dies.
B-. The match was fun but some of those spots looked too
dangerous for my taste. Richards getting powerbombed was way too
scary looking and I didn’t like how he landed. Hopefully everyone is
fine, but I question having people go through a match like this
without even giving the match hype on TV.
tells Mania to throw Veera into something with just enough water to
survive. He gives Manik what looks like a paper to give Veera when
he wakes up. Storm leaves and Manik tells Veera that it’s going to
be ok before closing a door.
see the ending of the Von Erich’s match at Slammiversary.
June 19, 2014.
Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Eric Young
is on his own while King and MVP are in Lashley’s corner. A
clothesline puts Lashley to the floor and a big cross body off the
top puts Lashley down again. Back in and Eric’s cross body is caught
in mid air but he rolls Lashley up for two. A HUGE backdrop puts the
champion down again and Eric is sent to the floor. Back from a break
with Eric in trouble and getting suplexed down with one arm.
champion makes his comeback and gets two off his third cross body of
the match. Lashley stomps him in the corner but misses a charge,
only to come back with a kick to the ribs. Eric nails the piledriver
out of nowhere but King pulls the referee out at two. Lashley nails
Kenny by mistake and Eric hits a quick DDT. The top rope elbow
misses though and Lashley spears him down for the pin and the title
This was just a step above a squash for Lashley and WHY DID THIS NOT
HAPPEN ON SUNDAY? I’m sure there’s some reason for it but given that
it’s TNA I doubt they can explain it to you. Thankfully Young
doesn’t come off as a worthless champion, but he’s only a step above
MVP being stripped of power and attacked by Roode. Kurt Angle
replaced him as boss and asked Willow to bring Jeff Hardy back.
Willow agreed and performed as Jeff Hardy later in the night.
see the end of the battle royal from the same night with Hardy
winning a World Title shot.
July 17, 2014.
World Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Jeff Hardy
is defending. Hardy tries to hammer away to start but realizes he
has to speed things up. He sends Lashley out to the floor and hits a
big dive, only to have Lashley trip him up on the steps and send Jeff
face first into the steel as we take a break. Back with Lashley in
control and choking Jeff on the middle rope. He puts Hardy in a
torture rack but some right hands get Jeff free.
running forearm drops Lashley and a dropkick does the same as the
fans chant for CM Punk. Hardy’s headscissors out of the corner is
caught in the powerslam but Jeff comes back with a Twisting Stunner
and Twist of Fate. The Swanton get two and Jeff takes it back to the
floor and rams Lashley’s head into the steps. Hardy goes up for a
Swanton to the floor but lands on the steps. Jeff is done and the
spear retains Lashley’s title at 12:45.
C+. This was a win that Lashley needed to get as Jeff Hardy is
the guy that is always hanging around the main event and could take
the title at any time. They’re actually building Lashley up as a
major force and he’s coming off like a monster instead of a guy just
keeping the title warm for MVP. That Swanton the steps was insane
off the air at 10:58.
Rating: C-. This special showed
me one major thing: TNA really wasn’t all that memorable in 2014.
There’s a part 2 next week though and I’m sure it’s going to focus on
the tag team series which really was excellent stuff. One thing here
stood out to me more than anything else though. On and off
throughout the show, the dates on the graphics were wrong.
know it’s rather minor, but think about this for a second: this is a
best of show, meaning they had all of five minutes of new material to
shoot and they get something as simple as a date wrong? They had to
find the footage for the matches, so you would think the dates would
be RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, but somehow they got them wrong anyway.
The worst part though: it wouldn’t have felt right if TNA didn’t have
a mistake like that somewhere. It’s the perfect way to sum them up:
the wrestling isn’t bad, the action is entertaining for the most
part, but the people working behind the scenes are incompetent.
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