For an easy to navigate archive of my TNA reviews, please visit Total Nonstop Ziegler!
Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas – Sunday, March 10, 2013
Mike Tenay, Taz, and Todd Keneley are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Three-Way X Division Title Match – Kenny King vs. Christian York vs. Zema Ion
King has been the Champion since 2.28.13, and this is his first defense. The Champion gets in both of his challengers’ faces, and York takes exception. The fight is on and the pace is quick from the get-go. King tries to take a break on the floor, but York follows him out with a dive. Ion tries to do the same, but York kicks him in the face. King almost busts his head by trying an Asai Moonsault off Ion’s back, but he doesn’t get any air and can’t rotate, so his head cracks against the guardrail. People don’t bounce like ropes Kenny, but I do appreciate the effort of trying to do a new spot. York and Ion get back in the ring first, and King soon joins them to help York hit a Doomsday Blockbuster. Amazing how fast King recovered from that bump. All three men continue to put on a show, keeping the crowd into it. They work in the requisite Tower of Doom spot, drawing a “TNA” chant from the Alamodome fans. York looks to be in the best shape as we cross the 10-minute mark. He goes for the Mood Swing on Ion but King breaks that up with shotgun knees. King hits Ion with atomic drop and an enziguiri. He tries the Royal Flush on York but York counters with an inside cradle for two. King is able to hit the Royal Flush on the very next attempt and that’s enough to get the pin at 11:00. That was much more exciting than I thought it would be. Sure, there wasn’t a lot of rhyme or reason to it, but this was more like the early days of the X Division than it has been in quite a while, so this was a nice flashback. King looks good in winning, and he has the most upside of any of the three so he’s the right choice.
MATCH #2: Joseph Park vs. Joey Ryan
Ryan cuts a promo before the match, insulting both Park and the fans of San Antonio. Park has a rebuttal, namely that San Antonio rocks. The second that Park turns his back, Ryan attacks and knocks Park’s glasses off! That’s just mean. To everyone’s shock, particularly Ryan’s, Park is able to fight back with a slew of wrestling holds. Ryan is able to use Park’s lack of experience to his advantage and go back on offense. He hits a missile dropkick for a two-count. Park comes back by ripping out some of Ryan’s chest hair and giving him a wedgie. He follows up with a flurry of basic offense. Park squashes Ryan in the corner with an Avalanche, and then goes for the Closing Argument but Ryan moves out of the way. Ryan goes to the second rope and tries a sunset flip but Park blocks it and sits down with force to get the pin at 5:42. Park is entertaining in this role, and it’s nice to have different types of matches up and down the card.
MATCH #3: Knockouts Title Match – Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim
Sky has been the Champion since 2.21.13, and this is her second defense. Taryn Terrell is the referee. Sky goes for some early pinning combinations but can’t put her challenger away. She hits a swinging neckbreaker for two and Kim goes to the apron for a breather. That’s a mistake, as Sky dropkicks her all the way to the floor and then follows her out with a seated senton. Kim fights back by ramming Sky into the ring post. Back in the ring Kim covers for two. Kim continues to wear Sky down, focusing on the back. She tries a headscissors out of the corner but Sky catches her and drops her on her face. Sky unleashes a series of clotheslines and a Jericho bulldog. She hits an inverted DDT for a near-fall. Sky has one of Kim’s legs and Kim grabs Terrell to regain her balance and hit Eat Defeat for a two-count. Kim and Terrell argue and Kim slaps her in the face. Terrell is about to disqualify Kim, but instead hits her with a Spear! She slams Kim’s head into th emat repeatedly. Kim gets to her feet, not selling the attack at all. Sky is able to hit In Yo’ Face to get the pin at 7:26. That was a pretty solid match by Velvet Sky standards, and I’m not even against the finish, since they had built it up for weeks and the crowd actually cared when Terrell stood up for herself.
MATCH #4: Robbie T vs. Robbie E
E spends the first part of the match trying to avoid the big angry T. He goes for a hug but it is not reciprocated. E tries to wrestle his much larger opponent, but he doesn’t have much luck with that. T simply overpowers him at every turn. Finally E goes low and targets the knee, taking the big Welshman off his feet. E puts on a Sleeper hold and T is fading. T powers out of it, but then runs into E’s boots in the corner. E goes to the second rope for a cross body block but gets caught. He slips out but runs right into a back elbow. T unleashes the fury and finishes off his former partner with a high angle spinebuster to get the pin at 5:42. That was pretty much the match it should have been, but neither guy is all that interesting, so neither was the match. At least it was short.
MATCH #5: Three-Way Tag Title Match – Austin Aries & Bobby Roode vs. Bad Influence vs. Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez
Aries and Roode have been the Champions since 2.7.13, and this is their first defense. Guerrero and Roode start it off, but Daniels tags himself in at Roode’s expense before any contact is made. Daniels and Guerrero chain wrestle back and forth, and it’s Guerrero who takes the early control. Hernandez gets in on the action too, as the former Champions are dominating in Hernandez’s hometown. Bad Influence fights back and goes to work on Hernandez, while the Champions watch on from the apron. Guerrero gets a hot tag and he starts dishing out Amigos. Aries cuts that off but mocks Guerrero and gets hit with Two Amigos before Roode breaks it up. Order is restored and Bad Influence has Guerrero in their part of the ring. Roode tags himself in at Daniels’ expense, and he continues to work on Guerrero. Eventually Guerrero makes a comeback and he and Roode clothesline each other down. Aries gets tagged in and he makes sure to stop the momentum by hrowing Guerrero to the floor. Bad Influence gets in the ring and the referee loses control a bit. Guerrero makes his way back in and takes out both Aries and Kazarian with a high cross body. Hernandez follows his partner in and starts asserting his power advantage. Action starts coming from all over the place, and referee Earl Hebner isn’t even trying anymore. Guerrero and Daniels end up alone together on the top rope, and Guerrero pushes Daniels down. He hits the Frog Splash, but Roode had tagged himself in! Roode comes in and steals the pin at 17:00. That was the typically good tag team match you would expect from these six, with tons of action from bell to bell. The finish was pretty clever, and makes the Champions look crafty but not cheap.
MATCH #6: Steel Cage Match – Wes Brisco vs. Kurt Angle
Angle keeps his t-shirt on and Brisco keeps his stupid little biker vest on at the start of the match. Obviously the much more experienced Angle dominates the early going, but then he misses a charge in the corner and makes contact with the cage. That gives Brisco control, and he wears Angle down for a brief time. Brisco charges into the corner and Angle gets his boots up. Angle then hits a missile dropkick from the second rope. He unleashes some fury on the turncoat Brisco, hurling him repeatedly into the cage and then hitting a succession of German Suplexes. Angle goes up top and misses a Frog Splash. Brisco rolls him up for two. Brisco tries a short-arm clothesline but Angle ducks and hits the Angle Slam. Both men are down. Brisco tries to crawl out of the cage, but Angle pulls him back in with the Ankle Lock! The crafty Brisco is able to use his leg strength to swing Angle into the cage. Brisco tries to escape over the top of the cage but Angle drags him back down. Angle slams Brisco’s face into the cage a few times, and brings him down with a release German Superplex! They get back to their feet and Angle goes for an Angle Slam but Brisco slips out. Angle goes for a clothesline but Brisco ducks so the referee gets hit. That leaves no one to see Brisco tapping out when Angle puts him in the Ankle Lock. Angle hits another Angle Slam and walks out the door, but the referee is still out. D-Lo Brown comes down and throws Angle back in the cage, and then pulls Brisco out. The referee revives in time to see Brisco on the floor and he calls for the bell to give Brisco the win at 11:42. The interesting thing about Wes Brisco is absolutely nothing. He’s dull and green, and Angle just does finishers now and it’s hard to remember a time when he was arguably the best in the world. This just wasn’t very good.
MATCH #7: Lethal Lockdown – Team TNA vs. Aces & Eights
Team TNA is made up of Magnus, Samoa Joe, Eric Young, James Storm, and Sting. Aces & Eights are represented by Mr. Anderson, Knux, D.O.C., Garett Bischoff, and Devon. Anderson is the first representative for the Aces & eights, and Magnus gets the call for Team TNA. (52:03)Magnus controls the early going, looking to set the pace for his team. Unfortunately, he misses a charge and Anderson shoves him into the cage, and then levels him with a Northern Lariat. The next man out is Knux, giving the Aces & Eights a one-man advantage. That of course means a beating for Magnus, but Samoa Joe is the next man out and he evens the sides and swings the momentum back towards team TNA. Bischoff is next up for the bikers, and the crowd goes mild. Not much happens and then Eric Young comes out as the third man for Team TNA. The TNA Television Champion Devon is next up to give A&8 the advantage again. We’re all even again when James Storm joins his team. The final member of the Aces & Eights is out, and by process of elimiantion it’s obviously D.O.C. Finally Sting makes his way out to complete the teams, and he’s got garbage cans full of weapons.
Sting’s team uses the weapons expertly, and Aces & Eights are looking worse for wear. Of course the bikers regroup and fight back. Bischoff tries to climb out of the cage, but that just leads to a huge Tower of Doom spot. Joe then grabs Anderson in an STF and Knux has to break it up. Sting takes care of Knux with a Scorpion Death Drop. Young goes to the top rope but Sting convinces him to go all the way to the top of the cage. Of course Young does it, and comes down with a huge elbow drop on Knux to get the pin at 25:23. That felt really long and it had no point to it, since the feud continued on for months after this, and Young never got a push or anything. So it was fine for a multi-man garbage match, but there was no meaning or substance to any of it.
MATCH #8: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match – Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy
Hardy has been the Champion since 10.14.12, and this is his seventh defense. Both men start cautiously, showing the respect for each other that’s been cultivated through their years of battling each other. Hardy fires up and hits an early Whisper in the Wind. He covers and Ray kicks out at one. Hardy goes to the top rope and flies off with a splash. Once again he covers and Ray forcefully kicks out. They fight to the top of the cage and Ray knocks Hardy down crotch-first onto the top rope. Ray goes to work now, using his brute strength to wear the Champion down. He goes for a big Vader Bomb but Hardy moves out of the way and gets a chance to recover a bit. After a couple of reversals Hardy is able to hit the Twist of Fate and the shirt comes off. Hardy looks to go to the top rope, but from out of nowhere Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco climb into the cage. The Champion and the Challenger work together to fend them off, even hitting a Poetry in Motion. They throw the Aces & Eights out of the cage and then start throwing bombs at each other. Hardy wins that battle and climbs toward the top of the cage. Ray meets him up there and throws him back down to the mat, and then follows him down with a big splash for a near-fall. Hardy comes back with the Twist of Stunner and then goes back to the top of the cage. Ray joins him again and this time brings him down with a sick Super Powerbomb! Amazingly that only gets two. For some reason, Hulk Hogan and Brooke Ray make their way to ringside to cheer on the challenger. Now Aces & Eights swarm the cage and Hardy and Ray stand back to back ready to fight them. Hardy doesn’t see Devon hand Ray a hammer, and Ray cracks Hardy in the back of the head with it! Bully Ray is in the Aces & Eights! He covers Hardy for the academic pin at 17:00. Anyone and everyone was predicting that as the finish for weeks leading up to the show, so while it was technically well executed it was still anti-climactic. Leading up to the finish though the match was pretty good, as these two know each other very well and have pretty good chemistry. The ring fills up with garbage, and Ray gets in the line of the night, in regards to Brooke: “Devon, let that stupid bitch cry!” Ray declares himself the President of the Aces & Eights, and the TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Tags: Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, lockdown, TNA