Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – December 20, 2009
The opening video package worked in most of tonight’s competitors, but focused mainly on the Three Degrees of Pain and the World Championship match. Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.
MATCH #1: TNA World Tag Team Championship Match – The British Invasion vs. Motor City Machine Guns
Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus have been the champions since 10.18.09, and this is their third defense. Chris Sabin starts with Williams, and then quickly tags in Alex Shelley. Magnus quickly follows as both teams battle for the first advantage. The champs get knocked to the floor and the Guns take them out with simultaneous dives. The crowd is in love with the Guns. Back in the ring the momentum continues to shift back and forth. The champs isolate Shelley, working him over in their half of the ring. A resilient Shelley makes the hot tag and Sabin is all over both champions. Sabin hits Williams with a “Tornado-Style-DDT” as I remember how much I hate the way Tenay calls moves. Shelley comes back win with a missile thrust kick on Magnus, and a Flatliner into the turnbuckles. Williams gets knocked to the floor and Sabin follows him out with a dive. Shelley hits Magnus with Sliced Bread #2 for a very close near-fall. All four men get in the ring now as the referee loses control. Everyone goes down for the turning point in the match spot. Shelley and Magnus are up first and they square off. Magnus accidentally kicks Williams off the apron. Sabin tags in and the Guns double-team Magnus, hitting a double Superkick for a two-count. The Guns hit Skull & Bones on Magnus but he kicks out at two! They set up for a Super Sliced Bread #2 but Williams breaks it up. The champs then hit the British Hart Attack to get the win at 11:47. Great tag team action and the right match to open the show.
MATCH #2: TNA Knockouts Championship Match – ODB vs. Tara
ODB has been the champion since 9.20.09, and this is her fifth defense. Tara’s only title reign to this point was for 10 days in July, trading the belt with Angelina Love. ODB tries to sneak attack Tara but it doesn’t work. Tara is all over the champion from the onset, but ODB fights back with a shoulderbreaker. Now the champion is in control. Little of consequence happens and then Tara fights back. Tara hits a snap suplex and the standing moonsault for two. A series of reversals ends with Tara getting a sunset flip and cradling the legs to win the title at 5:40. These two had several more matches together, despite how brutal this was.
MATCH #3: Feast or Fired Match – James Storm, Robert Roode, Eric Young, Kevin Nash, Sheik Abdul Bashir, Kiyoshi, Cody Deaner, Jay Lethal, Consequences Creed, Rob Terry, Samoa Joe, and Homicide
Four briefcases are hanging from the corners, and there’s a World Title shot, and X Division Title shot, a Tag Team Title shot, and a pink slip in them. You have to grab the case and make it all the way to the floor to take possession of it. It’s kind of an Ultimate Risk / Ultimate Reward sort of thing. Having four objects on four different poles sounds like a Vince Russo Booking Wet Dream. Lethal, Creed, and Homicide all competed in the match last year, and Lethal took one of the cases that led to a Tag Team Championship victory with Consequences Creed. Then they lost the belts three days later. World Elite is well represented, with the current TNA Global Champion Eric Young, Rob Terry, Kiyoshi, Sheik Abdul Bashir, and Homicide, along with Kevin Nash, are all in the match. Their objective is to keep Beer Money from taking one of the cases. The structure is kind of like a battle royal, with all kinds of brawling going on all over the place. Bashir seems to be going against the grain of his World Elite brethren by trying to capture one of the cases. Lethal Consequences work together very well. Bashir and Deaner fight over a case and it falls to the floor. They play tug-of-war with it and Bashir gains possession of it. Meanwhile Big Rob Terry retrieves another case, much to the chagrin of Eric Young. Beer Money also works together but can’t retrieve a case, but Kevin Nash can, leaving one case left. Deaner goes up for the last case but Joe kicks him down and grabs it to be the final winner at 9:20. Couldn’t someone grab two cases? Why has no one tried that? These matches are boring.
Jeremy Borash is on hand to open the cases, but before that Christy Hemme conducts a dual interview with Kurt Angle and the TNA World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles. Nash goes first and he has received a World Tag Team Title shot. Joe is next and he has a World Title shot in the bank. Terry gets the X Division Title shot and Bashir gets fired. Taz tries to say “this is not part of the show,” which makes me want to punch him in his fat orange face. You are the worst color commentator in the history of the sport. I would rather listen to Mike Adamle all day than ever hear your stupid voice again.
MATCH #4: Eight-Man Tag Team Elimination Match – Team 3D, Rhino & Jesse Neal vs. Matt Morgan, Hernandez, Suicide & D’Angelo Dinero
Hernandez has to wrestle the first five minutes on his own, which is a pretty daunting task. If he gets beaten in that first five minutes, the match is over. Rhino starts for his team as Hernandez looks cautious and tries to play defense. Team 3D and Neal get their shots in too, but Rhino strikes big with the Gore and Hernandez kicks out! Rhino goes for another Gore but Hernandez avoids it and rolls Rhino up to eliminate him at 4:02. Neal and the brothers Dudley waste time and the rest of Hernandez’s team comes out to join him. The babyface team takes over and isolates Neal. Suicide goes to work but can’t put Neal away. The frustrated former Marine uses the chair on Suicide, but for some reason doesn’t get disqualified. Hernandez then comes in and cracks the chair on Neal’s head, and the referee disqualifies both of them at 8:19. Team 3D takes advantage of a weakened Suicide, hitting the 3D and Devon gets the pin at 8:59. Tenay doesn’t grasp that Neal was also disqualified and that’s why he’s not on there. I mean the referee clearly pointed to both guys. Team 3D goes after Dinero, who fights back valiantly. Even so, the ECW veterans hit Dinero with the 3D to give themselves a 2-1 advantage at 11:14. The crowd gets behind Morgan but he gets overwhelmed by the multiple time World Tag Team Champions. Morgan fights back with his power and even shows a little speed. He goes for a chokeslam on Ray but Devon breaks it up. Eventually he fires up again and hits Devon with the Carbon Footprint to even the odds at 14:46. Ray takes control of his much larger opponent, keeping him on the mat until he misses a big splash. Morgan goes for the Hellevator but Ray reverses to a DDT for two. Ray grabs a chair but turns around right into a Carbon Footprint and Morgan gets the win for his team at 16:31. Starting it off four-on-one was a unique touch to the match and they kept it fairly interesting throughout.
MATCH #5: Last Man Standing Match – Bobby Lashley vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner goes after The Boss’s wife Kristal before the bell, and then hides behind her in order to deliver a cheap shot to start the match. Back in the ring Steiner takes control but it doesn’t last long. I mean you just can’t contain the awesome power of Bobby Lashley. They take the fight to the floor and go up by the entrance. Steiner uses a pipe to take Lashley down but not for long enough to win. Back in the ring Steiner hits an enhanced Flatliner and Lashley gets up at nine. Steiner tries a sledge off the second rope but Lashley catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex and a Stampede Slam. They go up top and Steiner executes a Super Frankensteiner. That’s impressive given his condition. Steiner tries to use the pipe again but Kristal comes back out and takes it from him and gives it to her husband! Lashley hits a Spear and then cracks Steiner with the pipe to get the win at 9:14. Well the finish called back to their earlier match and that’s cool, but the match was not much to look at.
MATCH #6: No Disqualification Tag Team Grudge Match – Raven & Dr. Stevie w/ Daffney vs. Mick Foley & Abyss
Foley dubs this a “Foley’s Funhouse Rules” match. It’s a big brawl to start and the babyfaces are in total control. Abyss and Stevie fight in the ring while Foley and Raven take it backstage. Eventually Abyss and Stevie fight up the aisle and up on the entrance. Raven reappears and uses a kendo stick. He and Stevie double-team Abyss while the crowd chants for Foley. Luckily for them Foley makes his return with a barbed wire baseball bat and cleans house. Back in the ring Foley hits Raven with a Piledriver and Stevie with a Double-Arm DDT. Foley busts out Mr. Socko and Raven counters with powder to the eyes. Raven goes for his own Mandible Claw but Foley blocks it. Abyss hits Stevie with the Shock Treatment while hitting a legdrop on Raven. Foley goes back to the Sock and Abyss has one two. They lock on simultaneous Mandible Claws. Raven escapes and hits Abyss with the Raven Effect for two. Meanwhile Foley wraps Richards in barbed wire and sets him on a table, and then flies off the entrance ramp with an elbow to break said table. Daffney gets in the ring to distract Abyss but it doesn’t work, as the Monster hits Raven with the Black Hole Slam to get the win at 9:33. Matches like this used to mean something. Now – not so much.
MATCH #7: Three Degrees of Pain Match – Kurt Angle vs. Desmond Wolfe
The entire match takes place in the Six Sides of Steel; the first fall is won by pinfalls only, the second fall by submission only, and the third fall can only be won via escape. Also, the steel cage is not allowed to be used as a weapon for some reason. They start with some chain wrestling and trade holds on the mat. Angle hits the first big move, a Buckle Bomb, but Wolfe comes right back with an arm whip. Wolfe focuses on the arm now, which sets up nicely for the London Dungeon. Angle fights back with suplexes, including several rolling Germans. He goes up top but Wolfe knocks him down and hits the Tower of London but Angle kicks out at two! Taz declares that Angle’s eyes were “gazed over.” Wolfe goes for a Lariat but Angle ducks and gets a rollup for two. Angle hits an Angle Slam but Wolfe kicks out. He goes up and misses a moonsault. Wolfe follows up with a Lariat and another Tower of London to capture the first fall at 12:40.
After a short rest period Wolfe goes right back to work. Angle responds with a Figure-Four Leglock from out of nowhere and Wolfe gets to the ropes. Wolfe works the arm, Angle responds by working the leg. Angle puts on the Ankle Lock but Wolfe reverses it to a Figure-Four Armbar, and then Angle reverses it back to the Ankle Lock. They continue trading holds back and forth, as Wolfe utilizes the London Dungeon. After more reversals Angle cinches in the Ankle Lock and Wolfe finally taps out at 6:49 (19:29 total match time). That was pretty much nothing but submission reversals.
Now the name of the game is to escape. There’s no bell to start the third fall, so my timing will be approximate. Angle goes right to work and hits an Angle Slam less than a minute in. They fight up on the ropes and can use the cage as a weapon now. Angle hits a top-rope belly-to-belly suplex. He rams Wolfe’s head into the cage and Wolfe gets busted open. Wolfe tries to crawl out the cage door but Angle pulls him back to the ring with the Ankle Lock. Angle climbs over the cage, and despite a last-ditch effort by Wolfe, Angle drops to the floor first to get the win at 5:46 (25:15 total match time). I really thought that was going to be better, but it never got into a groove for me. The second fall was particularly lame, with submission reversal after submission reversal. Still, these two not having their best match is still better than a lot of what TNA puts out.
MATCH #8: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – AJ Styles vs. Daniels
Styles has been the champion since 9.20.09, and this is his fourth defense. It gets intense right away with the lockup. They take it down to the mat and Daniels grabs the first advantage. Styles fights back as these two show how well they know each other from a decade of friendship. In fact they are former two-time NWA World Tag Team Champions. Daniels takes a powder but Styles won’t have any of that, hitting him with a dive over the ropes. Back in the ring the champ stays in control until Daniels hits him with a monkey flip right into the turnbuckles. They go back to the floor and Daniels hits a uranage slam on a steel chair behind the referee’s back. Back in the ring Daniels obviously attacks the back, which is smart strategy. Daniels hits the Arabian Press (I hate how Tenay consistently and incorrectly refers to it as a split-legged moonsault) and then locks on a Crossface but Styles reaches the ropes. Moments later Styles fights back and takes Daniels to the floor to work on his shoulder. The momentum continues to shift back and forth between champion and challenger. Daniels hits a palm strike and then a Frankensteiner off the top rope. He follows up with a Shining Wizard of all things for a two-count. Styles counters with a Brainbuster. He hits a springboard flying forearm and Daniels gets his leg on the bottom rope. Daniels hits a uranage slam and the Best Moonsault Ever but Styles kicks out at two! Styles comes back with a catapult and rolls through to the Styles Clash but Daniels kicks out at two! They go up and Styles hits a Super Styles Clash to get the pin and retain the title at 21:02. That was technically proficient but Daniels never seemed like a credible threat to the World Title, and that’s the fault of the bookers and not necessarily Daniels himself. Still, a solid main event and a much better effort than some of the garbage that was sure to come in the Hogan era.
Tags: AJ Styles, Daniels, final resolution, impact wrestling, TNA