The Cobra Kai Reviews TNA’s Best of the Bloodiest Brawls: Scars & Stitches
by Marion Cobretti I thought I’d break up the string of WWE related DVDs, and pop in a TNA feature. Their first Best of the Bloodiest DVD is fantastic, and something everyone should have. I decided to go with the 2nd one, simply because I don’t have the first one anymore. One thing I can tell you, is watching these matches really shows how piss-poor the iMPACT Zone has become. Back in 2006-2007, the crowd was electric. They were rowdy, passionate, and full of life. They actually improved the matches with their energy. Another thing I’ve noticed, is before each match starts, they show what appears to be a haunted/abandoned hotel hallway. They use this same scene for Sting’s Insane Icon video screen movie, and it’s things like that I think make TNA number 2. I don’t know, just kind of struck me as cheap. Anyways, let’s get into it…. NWA World Title Match: Jeff Jarrett [C] vs. Rhino
Place: Turning Point 2005
Yes. Hell yes, man. I know that Jeff Jarrett gets a lot of bull and all, but to be honest, he’s a pretty decent wrestler. I never thought much of Rhino, really. He can have a decent match here and there, so to be honest, I wasn’t expecting a lot. What I got in return was damn near 20 minutes of one awesome match. They went all over the place, which I usually hate because it’s often boring, but not here. The match started with some old fashion wrestling, criss cross, arm & wrist locks, submissions and all the like. Then they took it to the streets and just delivered. Great match. A bout worthy of being called a main event, where you really felt like Rhino was going to take it before Jeff snuck by with a win, by driving Rhino through two-chairs with a 2nd-rope Stroke.
Rating: * * * * 1/4th Lethal Lockdown: Sting’s Warriors [Sting, Rhino, AJ Styles, Ron Killings] vs. Jarrett’s Army [Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, AMW]
Place: Lockdown 2006
Normally, I don’t like Lethal Lockdown. TNA had a small ring, so when you slap a cage around it, and jam 10 guys into there, it’s way to much of a cluster. However, this one kicked some serious ass. They only had 8 wrestlers, and the missing two was greatly appreciated. We got a good amount of blood, awesome wrestling and spots mixed with all out brawling. Plus, we got AJ Styles putting a member of AMW through a table, while on top of the cage. Something you know they loved because they did it at pretty much every Lethal Lockdown match afterward. Wildcat ends up tapping to the Scorpion Deathlock.
Rating: * * * * Six Sides of Steel for the TNA Tag-Team Championships: AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels [C] vs. LAX
Place: Bound for Glory 2006
Homocide says this is one of his favorite matches, but I don’t really see it. It’s a great match, yeah, but I’ve seen a lot better tag team cage matches in TNA. Hell, I’ve seen a lot better tag team cage matches in TNA that had Christopher Daniels. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a horrible match, and it’s definately work a look. Homocide hits The Cop Killer on Styles to score the win, and the straps. I’ve always wondered why Scott hates Konnan, anyone know?
Rating: * * * 1/4th Barbed Wire Cage Match: Christian vs. Rhino
Place: iMPACT’s First Two Hour Show
A lot of people give this match high, high praise. I’ve even seen some people say it’s the best match ever given away on free TV. Uuh, no. It’s a really good match, but there’s a few things that really bother me. When DVDs have TV matches, why are they cut? The cameras are still rolling, so why not give us the full match? In this case, we go to the commercial break, then all of a sudden Christian is covered in blood, and the barb wire has been cut. That’s a pretty big advancement for us to miss. Then we have a moment when Rhino asks for the key to the cage, and once receives it, he then just throws it out of the cage to the floor. The announcers act like he’s just crazy! Ooh man! The War Machine is nuts! He threw the key a cool 5 feet from the ref who handed it to him. He’ll never be able to bend down and pick it up. I don’t know, I just thought it was really stupid. Anyways, it’s a hard fought battle and easily a PPV worthy match up, with Christian getting the classic heel win when Rhino gores him through the door onto the floor.
Rating: * * * 1/2th Match of the Decade: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
Place: Genesis 2006
Pretty much every wrestling nerd’s wet dream. I’ve seen every Samoa Joe/Kurt Angle bout, and they deliver each and every time. They’ve never gone below a 4 and a half stars, and probably never will. I’m honestly surprised at how quick they pulled the trigger on this one. I would have put it off forever, get people really clamoring for it. Besides that, this is the first of an awesome, awesome series. These two are like copping a feel on some boobage, always a good thing. Where’s something like Kane & Khali is a 20 minute HJ from a chick who lays bricks for a living. Joe taps out to the Ankle Lock, thus ending his undefeated streak. It’s incredible to imagine Joe being this big of a deal in wrestling.
Rating: * * * * 1/2th Last Rites Match: Sting vs Abyss
Place: Destination X 2007
A Last Rites Match is basically a casket match, from the mind of Russo. The casket is elevated above the ring, so when people want to finish their opponents, the coffin is lowered in dark lighting, with smoke and such. Oh, and the ring is decorated with things like tombstones, and candelabras. I’m pretty sure that idiot Russo just went to wikipedia and looked up death, and saw that Halloween was associated, so he went and got some spooky decorations. I’m shocked that there aren’t people running around ringside in white sheets, pretending to be ghosts. Then I’d be shocked if one of the ghosts didn’t reveal himself to be Rick Rude’s actual ghost who was mad at Sting for ending his career. So then at the next PPV, Russo would have Sting vs. Rick Rude’s Ghost in a cage match, so that way RR’s Ghost couldn’t escape. But, just in case, Bill Murry would be there to ghostbust him if things got out of hand. The match itself isn’t bad. It’s a pretty decent hardcore bout and Sting bleeds like I’ve never seen him before. The only problem with the match is all the hokeyness that Russo has instilled. The best part of the match is when the casket is being lowered, the entire place is chanting “FIRE RUSSO! FIRE RUSSO!”. Amen…well, AFTER the Rick Rude Ghost angle. Sting stuffs Abyss into the beat up casket, thankfully ending this in less than 10 minutes.
Rating: * * 3/4th Texas Death Match: ‘Cowboy’ James Storm vs. ‘Wildcat’ Chris Harris
Place: Sacrifice 2007
Had John Cena and Umaga not put on their classic back in ’07, this would have been my pick for match of the year. After their dismal blind fold match [you think Roberts & Martel would have been teachers till the end of time], they went out and stole the show during Sacrifice. Awesome spots, great brawling, and gallons of blood. Harris nails Storm in the face with a beer bottle, leaving him unable to answer the count of 10. A last moment of glory for Chris, as he soon gained about 200lbs, became Braden Walker, sucked, and hasn’t been heard from since. But this match rules.
Rating: * * * * 3/4th No DQ Match: Abyss vs. Tomko
Place: Slammiversary 2007
It’s no surprise that Tomko is the kind of wrestler who sucks. It’s no surprise, well, at least to me, that Abyss is the kind of wrestler who kicks major ass in a hardcore setting. That being said, Abyss was able to carry Tomko to a great hardcore bout here. We get brawling all over the place, great table spot, and portions of shattered glass. Good stuff. Abyss rocks a Black Hole Slam into a pile of shattered glass, pinning Tomko.
Rating: * * * 3/4th Barbed Wire Massacre: Abyss vs. Judas Mesias
Place: Against All Odds 2008
I love a good barb wire match. It can take two people who’d otherwise have a bummer of a match, and churn out something decent. Or, take people who rock an awesome match stand alone, and churn out a classic. This is the former of those two. As Judas Mesias was crap, and Abyss couldn’t do much for him. So, they did a sequel to the awesome Sabu/Abyss barbwire massacre, and we get this. No complaints. There really isn’t that much barbwire action, but I can’t blame the wrestlers, because who really wants to get maimed in all of that? Good stuff. Thankfully, Rellik wasn’t involved, because there’s just something about that name I can’t put my finger on, and it drives me nuts! Judas receives a Black Hole Slam into a barbwire board, and is soon pinned.
Rating: * * * 3/4th Final Rating: * * * * 1/2th. It’s an awesome, awesome disc. It’s so close to the awesomeness of the first, but a few skips prevent that. But even those skips are matches I wouldn’t mind watching again. If you’re a fan of hardcore, this is a must have. I know TNA gets a lot of crap, and a good portion of it they deserve. But there was a time when it was doing alright for itself, these are snapshots from different periods when things were looking just fine. Thankfully, it seems that things are picking up again. You can get this DVD cheap, and I suggest you do. This is Marion Cobretti saying, I don’t want him beat, I want him out of commission!