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Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – November 11, 2012
Mike Tenay, Todd Keneley, and Taz are on commentary.
MATCH #1: TNA World Television Championship – “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe vs Magnus
This is a No Disqualification Match. Joe has been the Champion since 9.27.12, and this is his sixth defense. These two former Tag Team Championship partners waste no time taking it to each other. They immediately spill to the floor and Joe is in control. Tenay mentions that Joe was the ROH World Champion for almost two years, which I always like being reminded of. Back in the ring Magnus fihts back on Joe with a hard clothesline. Momentum continues to shift back and forth as these two are cutting an impressive pace in the opening contest here. Magnus seeks refuge on the floor and quietly finds a steel chair. Joe goes for a dive but Magnus throws the chair in his face. Even the chair is not enough to give Magnus a sustained advantage. Joe hits the snap powerslam for two. He follows with a powerbomb for two and rolls that right into the STF. Magnus reaches the ropes but I love that the referee doesn’t break the hold, because it’s No Disqualifications. This fact is lost on the idiot commentators. Magnus traps Joe in a Fujiwara Armbar and then turns it into a Cross Armbreaker. Joe is able to escape and drills Magnus with an enziguiri. He sets up for the Muscle Buster but Magnus blocks it and drills Joe with a hard knee strike. Magnus then sails off the top rope with the Diving elbow drop but it only gets two! Joe tries to fire up but Magnus catches him with a Michinoku Driver. Magnus goes back up top and hits another Diving elbow drop but Joe kicks out again. Joe catches Magnus running into the corner with an STJoe. Magnus goes back to the floor and grabs the chair again, but Joe takes him out with a corkscrew body press. Back in the ring Joe hits the Muscle Buster but Magnus kicks out! Joe is furious now and locks on The Choke. Magnus fights it but he passes out to give Joe the win at 12:29. That was a red hot opener between two guys that worked well as both a team and as opponents. They kept up a rapid pace throughout and the crowd was rockin’.
MATCH #2: Mixed Tag Team Match – Tara & Jessie vs Eric Young & ODB
Young and ODB are the current Knockouts Tag Team Champions, but haven’t defended the titles since Lockdown in April. Tara is the current Knockouts Champion, in her fifth reign. Taryn Terrell is the referee. The women start the match and Tara seems reluctant to lock up with ODB. Jessie tags in and ODB isn’t afraid to take it right to him. The Knockouts Tag Team Champions are dominant in the ealry going here. Tara and Jessie use some shady tactics to take control on Young. After a few minutes of abuse Young fires back, and he and Jessie clothesline each other at the same time. Tara tries to help Jessie but ODB runs her off. Taryn yells at Tara, allowing ODB to spit alcohol in Jessie’s eyes and kick him in the balls. ODB gets the hot tag and she is a house afire, beating up both Tara and Jessie. She takes Tara out and slams Jessie down. Young follows with a Hail to the King to get the pin at 8:33. That was perfectly acceptable mixed tag action, but I’m not really into Young and ODB as a duo. The crowd seems to like them though, so what do I know.
MATCH #3: TNA X Division Championship – Rob Van Dam vs Joey Ryan
RVD has been the Champion since 10.14.12, and this is his second defense. The Champ dominates in the early going, as Ryan has trouble getting out of the blocks. Ryan tries to regroup on the floor but RVD follows him out and herds him right back into the ring. RVD goes up top and Ryan is able to shove him to the floor. Ryan follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Ryan continues to keep RVD on defense, hitting a nice tornado DDT for two. Of course RVD continues to fight up, but Ryan perseveres and hits the Mustache Ride for a two-count. RVD fights right back with a flurry of offense. He hits Rolling Thunder and a standing moonsault for two. He catches Ryan with a hard kick to the face and then lands the Five-Star Frog Splash to get the pin at 7:44. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this is the same X Division Title that Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, and AJ Styles fought over in the main event of a pay-per-view. This match was incredibly dull, and pretty much just like every other RVD match in TNA.
RVD celebrates on the entrance ramp and Matt Morgan comes from out of nowhere and rills him with the Carbon Footprint. I don’t think this even led to anything.
MATCH #4: Joseph Park vs D.O.C.
Park looks apprehensive in the early going but still does his best to fight like a man. They go to the floor and D.O.C. tries to use a chair but thankfully misses. D.O.C. also misses a big right hand and makes contact with the steel ring post. Park keeps trying to avoid D.O.C., but back in the ring D.O.C. reclaims control. D.O.C. tries to use a hammer, but that angers Park and he fights back. Park picks up the hammer but hesitates to use it and D.O.C. takes him back down. D.O.C. works Park over but the tenacious attorney won’t stay down. The referee gets out of position for one second and D.O.C. hits Park in the face with a studded belt. That busts Park’s head open. Park sees the blood and starts to go crazy. He hits the Black Hole Slam but doesn’t cover right away. Park hits a splash but only gets two. The referee’s back gets turned and Park levels D.O.C. with a chair but again only gets two. D.O.C. grabs Park with a Chokeslam to get the win at 11:04. That went on much too long for what they were going for. If they had kept it a little shorter they might have had something here. Park deserves tons of credit for wrestling a completely different style than his “brother,” and I enjoy the character.
After the bell D.O.C. continues the assault and look to use the hammer on Park, just like he did to Sting. Bully Ray runs out to make the save.
MATCH #5: TNA World Tag Team Championship – Chavo Guerrero, Jr. & Hernandez vs Kazarian & Christopher Daniels
Guerrero and Hernandez have been the Champions since 10.14.12, and this is their first defense. Daniels and Chavo start the match with some standard back and forth stuff. Chavo appears to be on a roll but the challengers cut him off. Hernandez puts a stop to that with his power advantage. Momentum shifts back to Daniels and Kazarian and they focus on Chavo. After several minutes Chavo is able to drill Kazarian with a tornado DDT. Tags are made and Hernandez is a house afire. The challengers have to double-team Hernandez to subdue him, but even with the disadvantage Hernandez fights them off. The match breaks down and the referee loses control. The champs are able to connect with a Doomsday Cross Body Block to get the pin on Daniels at 13:18. This was solid tag team formula stuff that really picked up down the stretch. Chavo and Hernandez are boring as characters, but they have the power/speed dynamic that has been successful in a lot of tag teams so they are more than capable of having good matches with teams like Daniels and Kazarian.
MATCH #6: #1 Contender’s Match for the World Title – Bobby Roode vs “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs “Cowboy” James Storm
The winner gets a shot at the TNA World Title, and the loser of the fall won’t be eligible to received a title shot until Bound for Glory 2013. AJ takes Roode out with an immediate enziguiri so he and Storm can battle each other. Roode fights his way back into the match and slugs it out with Storm on the floor. AJ takes them both out with a dive. Back in the ring AJ focuses on Roode. Storm rejoins the fray but it’s AJ that has controlled a majority of the opening minutes. That all changes when he misses a charge and AJ crashes hard to the floor. That leaves mortal enemies Roode and Storm to fight it out. The action in this one has not slowed down a bit since the opening bell. Roode is next after Styles to take control, working both of his opponents over. AJ eventually fights back and takes Storm out with a clothesline to the floor. He tries to springboard back in but Roode avoids it and AJ further tweaks his knee. Roode delivers a Spear for a two-count. He locks on a Crossface, which AJ counters to a rolup for two. Roode hits a uranage slam for another near-fall. He hits the Double R Spinebuster and picks him up for a follow up. Storm gets back in the ring and hits Roode with a backstabber. He then drills AJ with the Last Call to get the pin at 16:34. That was a unique stipulation and it was very effective. The match was non-stop action from three of TNA’s best and had a very cool finish. AJ is frozen out of the title scene for a year now, and Storm is the number one contender.
MATCH #7: Devon vs Kurt Angle
Devon stalls before the bell but once it rings the fight is on. Angle lands the first couple of blows but Devon weathers that storm and begins to wear Angle down. Momentum shifts back and forth in the opening minutes, and Angle of course uses suplexes to his advantage. Angle misses a charge in the corner and his shoulder hits the steel ring post. He then crashes hard to the floor. That gives Devon full control and the veteran relishes it. Angle pops up to the second rope and hits a missile dropkick. Both men are down. Back on their feet Angle is a house afire. Angle tries the Angle Slam but Devon avoids it and hits a clothesline. Devon goes up top and Angle brings him down with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Angle puts on the Ankle Lock but Devon escapes and hits a Rock Bottom for a near-fall. An extremely awkward sequence leads to Angle hitting three German Suplexes for two. Angle looks to be going for a moonsault but Devon pulls him down with a powerbomb for a two-count. Devon follows up with a spinebuster for another near-fall. He goes up top and misses a diving headbutt. Angle pops up and the straps come down. He hits the Angle Slam but it only gets two. Members of the Aces & Eights make their way to ringside and that distraction allows Devon to hit a spear for a two-count. Angle quicikly grabs Devon in an Ankle Lock and grapevines the leg to get the quick tapout at 11:48. Aces & Eights storm the ring and Angle wisely gets out of dodge. This was okay back and forth stuff but the problem with Devon is that he’s not very good. The match was just a collection of moves and then a finish.
MATCH #8: Ladder Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship – “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy vs Austin Aries
Hardy has been the Champion since 10.14.12, and this is his second defense. Aries stalls a bit to start and them immediately tries to bring the ladder in. They brawl in and out of the ring and Hardy continually prevents Aries from using the ladder. Hardy gets the advantage and brings the ladder in for the first climb. Aries climbs up his back and brings him down with a Russian Legsweep. That gives Aries control for a bit, but Hardy is far from done. The ladder gets set up upside down, and when Hardy tries a dive off the second rope Aries sidesteps him and Hardy crashes hard into the ladder and gets trapped. Aries follows with a slingshot splash to further injure Hardy. That was cool looking. Aries removes the broken ladder and finds a new one. He takes Hardy out with the Heat Seeking Missile. Aries then traps Hardy in the broken ladder and sets the steel steps on top of him. That’s pretty ingenious. Hardy is able to escape and scurries up the ladder but Aries shoves the ladder over and Hardy lands hard on the mat. Aries tries to climb up but this ladder appears to be damaged too. He sets it in the corner and hits an IED. Aries tries the Brainbuster but Hardy slips out and armdrags Aries into the ladder. Hardy hits an Alley-Oop Powerbomb. He climbs to the ladder and uses it to deliver a huge splash. Hardy produces a third ladder and climbs, but Aries leaps off the top rope with a dropkick to knock him down. Aries traps Hardy in the corner with a ladder and hits an IED into the ladder. He hits the Brainbuster this time and pushes Hardy to the floor. Aries climbs the ladder and Hardy joins him. Hardy hits a Twist of Fate off the ladder! He goes up top and hits the Swanton Bomb. Aries rolls to the floor. Hardy climbs up but Aries got control of the belts and he raises them out of Hardy’s reach. That angers Hardy so he takes Aries out on the floor. Hardy brins in a tall ladder and both men climb. They knock each other over and land on a ladder Aries had previously set up in the corner. Hardy hits a Twist of Fate! Aries and the ladder crash to the floor. That gives Hardy enough time to climb the big ladder and retrieve the belts at 20:58. This was in every way a worthy successor to their match at Bound for Glory 2012. They both worked hard and did some innovative moves. Hardy in particular took some sick bumps. Aries did a great job using the ladder to brutalize Hardy, and he looked like he was desperately trying to regain the title. I always think the ladder match is dead and then I see one like this and it restores my faith. Aries and Hardy have amazing chemistry together.
Tags: Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, turning point