What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at TNA Impact Wrestling on 12/15/11. With Final Resolution out of the way, how will TNA move forward? Well, let's find out and start the review.
Match #1: Robert Roode vs AJ Styles; Five minute Overtime match from Final Resolution
I can't believe this. Before I start this review, I think we need to make a little trip down memory lane. If you caught my Final Resolution review, I said the only real reason to end things in a tie would be for the world title match at Genesis to be a Triple Threat. Either that or a series of events that could make things more interesting. I also said if TNA did some type of rematch between Roode and Styles on free TV that TNA was screwing up because they should've ended things at the PPV. Well, leave it to TNA to f*** it up. I didn't want to think TNA is this stupid, but they once again find a way to dive into mediocrity and produce something really stupid. Now, I know people will argue that the entire thing was done to build up Roode's heelish character, but his stock is really high at the moment and would've been better off with Roode cheating at the PPV as opposed to what they did tonight. By putting the remainder of the match on free TV, all you did was rip off everyone who bought the PPV since you keep doing the pay-offs on free TV. How do you expect to get PPV buyrates up if you're just going to give it away on free TV? That's terrible marketing. Now, I know TNA has made some pretty bad decisions and I keep thinking they won't make these type of mistakes, but they still manage to make something idiotic. I have never been more tempted than at this very second to actually go back to a PPV review I wrote and change the score. I gave FR a 4 out of 10, but now I feel like taking a point off since we had to wait four days to watch the rest of the match. I am fine with the idea of sudden death or overtime, but it should've happened at the PPV. Imagine if the Super Bowl ended in a tie and instead of doing overtime right then and there, you have to wait four days. Sounds stupid right? Well, that's because it is. Okay, I've talked enough of this, so let's just get to the damn match. I will be fair and say the five minute overtime featured some decent wrestling. The finish comes when the time limit ends and we at another tie. So….were back to where we started? That's progress for you. Sting shows up and says they will have a winner and he makes it sudden death. I know I keep coming back to this, but this is EXACTLY what should've happened at the PPV. The Impact Zone never seizes to amaze me with their chants. They chant "five more minutes" while they should be chanting "this is bulls***". Within seconds of the sudden death overtime, Roode takes advantage of AJ's injury and locks in a single-leg Boston Crab. AJ taps out and Roode wins the match. This segment shouldn't have happened on free TV. Again, I need to stop saying that, but it really pisses me off when you basically say "F*** you" to PPV buyers. With the victory, Roode will go on and face Jeff Hardy at the next PPV while AJ does something else. I just want to move on because I honestly feel like we can analyze this segment for another hour and talk about all of the things wrong with this creative decision.
Winner and still TNA World Champion: Robert Roode
Match #2: Hernandez and Robbie T vs Abyss and Scott Steiner; Wild Card Tag Team Tournament
Perhaps I need to explain what's going on here. TNA has come up with a wild card tag team tournament, in which the winner of this tournament would get a tag team title shot at Genesis. The teams are going to be put together randomly, which is the gimmick of this concept. Now, I'm gonna be fair and give this a chance, but I'm also aware that WCW did this a few times back in the day. At least they are trying to find new tag teams. The match is basic, so pretty skippable. Since Abyss and Steiner were a team, the focus was entirely on them. Both guys were on opposite ends for most of the match. Steiner is in trouble, but Abyss gets involved and clears house. The finish comes when Abyss hits Black Hole Slam on Robbie T and decides to let Steiner pick up the pinfall victory. So, it appears the monster is now playing mind games with Immortal….or so it seems. While I want to give this Wild Card tourney a chance, we are off to a pretty silly start. Immortal is scared of Abyss? This guy is less of a monster than the Cookie Monster. COOKIE!!!
Winner via pinfall and moving on in the Wild Card tournament: Abyss and Scott Steiner
Back in the ring where Kurt Angle calls out Sting. He talks about how Sting keeps screwing him over and wants another match with James Storm. Sting says Storm is done with Kurt and wants to focus on getting the world title back. Kurt says if Sting won't give him another shot at Storm, he will pay a little visit to the Cowboy's home and meet up with his family. This was a pretty short scene. I had a hunch that Storm/Angle wasn't over yet since Storm could use some more stock increase. Plus, Roode is busy dealing with Drug Hardy at Genesis, so he's a little busy at the moment.
Match #3: Anthony Nese vs Zema Ion; Best of three series
TNA is throwing out all sorts of gimmicks tonight. It was announced that Austin Aries would defend the X Title in a Fatal 4way match at Genesis. Aries, Kid Kash, and Jesse Sorensen are already in the match. Whoever takes the first two victories between Anthony and Zema will be the fourth guy in the match. Tazz and Tenay talk about how these two will meet up for the next several weeks, so I guess that means they are only doing one match per week. It sounds like an interesting idea, but it could get very old if we have to watch the same match for three straight weeks. The match was pretty good. We don't know anything about these guys competing. One looked like he was you generic wrestler while the other one looked like he just got shot by a rainbow. Other than that, not a lot to go on here. The finish comes when Zema hits a finisher and has the match, but intentionally stops the count in order to be a dick. He hits another finish, but does the same thing once more. He finally hits a third finisher and finally gets the pinfall victory. There was also a short backstage scene with Zema after the match and he talks about being the prettiest thing in professional wrestling and how it's all about me, myself, and ion. Nice to see TNA build up their other X Division guys, but they are only working on the heels. You have Aries, Kash, and now this guy. For the good guys, you have two guys who look average and have the combined personality of a dump truck. They need to start building up these faces, but at least they are giving this guy a chance. It was nothing special, but not a bad start for Zema. Still, I don't know if a man should go around talking about how he's pretty. Almost wonder if there's a door closed that needs to be opened.
Winner via pinfall: Zema Ion
Backstage where the Jarretts arrive and both talk about how the other one needs to remain in TNA and will take the bullet for the other. This would be ongoing for the rest of the night. Surprisingly, the best thing the Jarretts have done all year.
Match #4: Jesse Neal vs Gunner
Well, I guess those reports of Jesse being done with the company aren't completely accurate….at least for the time being. That's why I try to stay away from dirt sheet reporting. Then again, I was kinda hoping they were done with this guy since there is too many people on TNA's roster. Believe me, there's a good chunk of people that should be sent to OVW, and Jesse is one of them. The match didn't last very long. Within seconds, Gunner disobeyed the referee and was issued a DQ. Mr. Lack of Personality decides to hit a DDT on the concrete. Well, maybe they are writing Jesse off of TV forever? Then again, who cares? The medics arrive to take Jesse out of the building. What's funny is how the stretcher arrived within seconds of the DDT. There's a big steaming pile of wrestling logic for you. This is all done for the sake of the Garett Bischoff storyline. At least that's the best guess.
Winner via DQ: Jesse Neal
Backstage where Karen Jarrett is talking to Sting. She is actually trying to convince the Stinger to fire Jeff instead of her since she claims to be the best this world has to offer. Really? So, if you are, why are you working for this company? Joking aside, it seems Karen is trying to pull out all the stops to keep her job, even at the expense of her husband. For better or worse, my ass.
Back in the ring where Jeff Hardy talks about becoming the #1 Contender at FR. Bully Ray interrupts and talks about how Hardy has to go up against Bully tonight. Bully ends the promo by saying he's glad Hardy screwed up all of those months ago because it gave him the opportunity to rise up in Immortal. To be honest, he's right. Bully was stuck in a pointless feud with Devon prior to Hardy leading Immortal. Once that happened, Bully jumped in the main event and has done very well to earn his spot. Opportunities can open up in a blink of an eye in the wrestling business. In fact, go talk to R-Truth about that. Damn, little Jimmys.
Match #5: Samoa Joe and Magnus vs Robbie E and Douglas Williams; Wild Card Tournament Match
There was a backstage scene in which Joe and Magnus talked to each other. Joe tells him to not get in his way and he's here to win (What, a pie eating contest?) while Magnus talks about being denied for a long time and wants to make the most out of this opportunity. I talked about this a few months back, but I think TNA is missing an opportunity with Magnus. The guy has an interesting look, can actually talk, and has charisma. Yeah, he looks like Hugh Jackman, but I still think he can be positive for this company if they just use him. This guy gets shoved to the sidelines, but Robbie E gets the screen time? Whatever. The match wasn't too bad, but was there one babyface in this matchup? We already know Joe and Robbie are heels, but Magnus and Douglas have been off of TV for so long that they can be anything. The finish comes when Magnus trips up his former partner, which allows Joe to hit Muscle Buster on Douglas for the victory. For some reason, I would like to see how this Joe/Magnus team will fair out. There's potential here.
Winner via pinfall and moving on in Wild Card Tourney: Samoa Joe and Magnus
Backstage where Sting is now talking to Jeff Jarrett. Like Karen, Jeff is trying to keep his job and make his spouse look bad in the process. What a successful marriage. We get another backstage scene where Eric Young is saying some random crap. He finds out that his tag team partner for this tournament will be ODB. That's right, Eric Young and ODB as a tag team….
Well, not exactly science, but I think I made my point. This reminds me so much of when WWE had Santino and Beth Phoenix as a pairing. Probably a little soon to think that, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's where things are headed. Their match is set for next week.
We are back in the ring for Devon to call out the Pope. The Pope arrives with Devon's kids. Devon says these are his boys and he wants to raise them the right way, as Devon feels Pope is a bad influence. Pope says these boys want someone who is cool and is with this current generation, not some old fashion father figure. I guess the Pope never caught an episode of The Cosby Show (The original, not that crappy remake). Once Pope crosses the line in saying he will hook up with Devon's ex, Devon attacks. The kids pull their father away and it appears this is a family moment. What a nice feeling. It gives a sense of remorse, feelings and…..the kids are playing their father, aren't they? Well, sure enough, that's exactly what happened. Pope hits a low blow on Devon while the kids distracted their father. As Pope continues to attack Devon, the kids put on their John Morrison shades and seem to be loving this. Well, it's about freaking' time they did something with this storyline. I don't think I've seen a storyline that lasted this long and barely showed any direction for months. What took them so long to get to this point? Then again, I probably should just commend the company for finally doing something with this storyline. Oh, and there was a backstage scene in which the Jarretts are telling the other how they will allow themselves to be fired in order for the other one to stay with the company. Some random guy, who looks like a bum, tells the Jarretts that Sting wants to speak to them both immediately. I wouldn't be surprised if he was a bum TNA found outback and they fed him a sandwich to film this spot. Then again, I've seen worst acting on this show. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Dixie Carter.
Match #6: Traci Brooks vs Madison Rayne
The match starts up with Traci attacking Madison on the ramp. I like how Madison was doing her hand waive as Traci is charging at her. You think with a pissed off woman running towards you that you would be more alert. Tazz and Tenay continue to come up with stupid things to talk about while on commentary. Traci was wearing a shirt that said "Brooks" and DD. It supposed to look like a sports jersey, but instead of numbers, she had letters on it. Now, you can see where this is headed (giggity), but Tazz and Tenay managed to screw up the delivery. There's no chemistry with this announcer team, which is why it can be hard to listen to at times. The finish was screwed up. Madison hit a finisher, but Traci kicked up. Madison would follow up with a simple kick to the head and would get the pinfall. There had to be some sort of miscommunication here since it looked like the finish was set for the Madison finisher. Regardless, Madison gets the victory while Tazz and Tenay can talk about the DD some more. I kinda feel bad for Traci. Wasn't getting passed up by a cartoon character on Playboy bad enough? Oh well.
Winner via pinfall: Madison Rayne
Backstage with the Jarretts and Sting. Once again, both Jarretts are lying, but Stupid Heel Syndrome would come into play. Sting brings up what the other one was talking about and even shows video evidence of what the other was really saying. They both start to argue. By the way, I like how both are arguing over what the other said, but you can barely hear the audio on the video Sting played. Sting finally makes up his mind and fires both of them…
You damn right it is. I was kinda hoping it would be Karen, but I wanted both of them to be gone. Jeff is just generic and should work behind the scenes while Karen's shrieking voice needs to go away. Well, at least the payoff for this bit actually fell through.
Match #7: Bully Ray vs Jeff Hardy
Man, when was the last time Impact had seven matches? Well, at least they're trying. Roode was on commentary for this match. Roode even pokes fun of Tenay's blandness on commentary. Professor Farnsworth is a more worthy professor than Tenay. The matchup wasn't too bad, but it only last for 3-5 minutes. That's a bit disappointing, but they were also pressed for time. Then again, they would've had a lot more time if they just put the stupid overtime at FR. I know, I should just let it go. The finish comes when Hardy hits Twist of Fate for the clean victory. After the match, Roode gets to the ring and does a 2 on 1 attack on Hardy. Bully props up a table and sends Hardy through the table via a powerbomb. Sting arrives and tries to lay down the law….
Sting would get taken down by Roode and Bully, which ends the show. Well, they immediately start the Roode/Hardy build up once the FR mess was settled. At least they are starting the build up of Roode/hardy rather soon, but I almost think they could've gotten a lot more build up if they didn't do overtime deal and……again, I need to stop talking about that. I need to get therapy in order to get over that overtime mess. I almost get the feeling that TNA is ready to once again let Hardy be the main star of this company, thus they might do the crowning at Genesis. I personally hope that doesn't happen since Roode is doing great as champion and it would make more sense for James Storm to be the guy to end the selfish generation. TNA will make Hardy champion again, but I also think his time isn't now.
Winner via pinfall: Jeff Hardy
I immediately hated how this show started. The overtime was ridiculous and should've happened at the PPV. Still, once you get passed that case of TNA creative staff having its head up its own anus, this wasn't too bad of a show. Some of the action was okay. There was a few okay wrestling matches, but most of them were rather short. Then again seven matches in two hours is a lot to cram in, so time is definitely a factor. I wouldn't call it five star wrestling, but the matches were fair, tolerable, and might be worth taking a look at. The promos/segment where spaced out decently tonight and weren't too bad. If WWE aired this, I would consider it average WWE television, but this might be one of TNA's better shows. Sad thing is most wrestling fans won't see it like that because of TNA's track record. There was some rather silly moments like the Steiner/Abyss team and Eric Young/ODB, but most of the scenes were fair to watch. Hell, even the Jarretts managed to put together a scene that didn't make me cry. This might have been one of the better episodes of TNA I have seen in a while. Was it perfect? Of course not, but I was entertained and it had its moments. I do admit the show did show signs of boredom, but this was still an okay showing. At the same time, I'm disappointed since I get the feeling TNA will resort to their old bag of tricks on next week's show and produce more crap-o-rama. I would like to remain optimistic that TNA can take the positive they produced tonight and build upon it, but I also can't expect too much with TNA's track record. Still, I've seen TNA do much worse and this is what I would consider to be a good night for them. I think one of the bigger flaws out of tonight is how they opened the show. By showing the overtime, I think it turned a lot of people out of the program because it showed TNA going back to their own tricks. You know, where stuff makes no sense and the creative staff can't pick a direction for this company and takes about 5 million detours along the way. I still think this company can grow into something, but only if they make the necessary changes to help this company and getting rid of people who are driving the company to the ground. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. I won't be covering Smackdown this week, but I might have another article later on this week. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.