PPV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA FINAL RESOLUTION PPV REPORT 12/20: Complete coverage of A.J. Styles vs. Daniels, Angle vs. Wolfe
Dec 20, 2009 - 10:00:29 PM
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TNA FINAL RESOLUTION PPV REPORT
December 20, 2009
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
The TNA PPV started with a Christmas-themed video package featuring clips from recent TNA storylines to hype tonight's PPV, including the Styles vs. Daniels and Angle vs. Wolfe main events.
Impact Zone: They're not wasting any time going right to the opening match featuring the TNA tag titles. Out first were Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley to challenge for the belts. The ring ropes in the six-sided ring even have a Christmas theme with red and green stripes. British Invasion then came to the ring to defend the titles and we're off.
1 -- TNA tag champions BRITISH INVASION (DOUG WILLIAMS & BRUTUS MAGNUS) vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINEGUNS (ALEX SHELLEY & CHRIS SABIN) -- TNA tag title match
Guns were in control early on with double-team maneuvers sending the Brits to the outside. Brits then pretended to be confused on the floor to give the Guns time to hit dual cross-body blocks on the outside. Back in the ring, the Brits took control working over Shelley. Williams took Shelley up top for a move, but Shelley shoved him to the mat and hit a cross-body splash for a two count. They proceeded to hit their over-complicated and not very effective neck-tie drop on Shelley, but Sabin quickly broke up a two count. Brits then went back on the attack before Sabin tagged in and quickly scored a close nearfall on Williams. Shelley then re-entered and kicked Williams in the face before hitting Sliced Bread #2 for a close two count. Fans on the front row sold the nearfall, wanting a three for the Guns.
Shelley then went up top, but he missed with a double knee smash. The action proceeded to break down into a series of moves that left everyone down and out. Order was restored, then the Guns hit a double-team missile dropkick on Williams followed by a double-team superkick that resulted in a two count only. Sabin proceeded to drop Williams with a running RKO before the Guns hit a double-team top-rope splash for another close two count. The action broke down again and the ref was caught out of position. In the confusion, the Brits hit a double-team move on Sabin and Magnus made the cover for the win. Afterward, the announcers saved face for the Guns by saying they "everything but winning the titles."
WINNERS: British Invasion at 11:50. Very good opening tag match. The highspots were in the context of the wrestlers trying to find any way to win a title match and the close nearfalls weren't over-done, but sold the Brits as being a tough tag team to defeat. (***1/2)
Announcers: Mike Tenay and Taz were shown on-camera and they appeared to be in a different location. They said tonight's PPV sets the stage for 2010 and Taz name-dropped Hulk Hogan. Tenay and Taz briefly mentioned Styles vs. Daniels in the main event later on.
Impact Zone: Tara came to the ring first for the KO Title match. She handed over her spider to So Cal Val, who sold fright at the sight of the pet. ODB then came to the ring and played the heel trying to force Tara back in the ring. ODB then threw down the belt to distract Tara and get a jump on the match.
2 -- Knockouts champion ODB vs. TARA -- Knockouts Title match
Tara quickly gained control despite the early heel tactics and locked in the Tarantula hold in the ropes. ODB broke free, then she took a shortcut to take control and begin working over Tara with a methodical attack. Tara then made a comeback while selling ODB's work on her left shoulder. Tara set up her signature standing moonsault, but only scored a two count. They went to the finish where ODB countered the Widow's Peak and wanted a TKO, but Tara countered into a roll-up for the pin and the win. Post-match: Tara took the title and thanked the fans during a post-match interview with Christy Hemme. Tara said this is what she came to TNA for. ODB just paced around the ring frustrated with the loss before stomping out of the ring.
WINNER: Tara at 5:40 to capture the Knockouts Title. Good, but brief title match. We'll see how Tara fares as champ. Another match with Awesome Kong seems inevitable. (*1/2)
Hogan Video: They aired a video package hyping Hulk Hogan's official debut on January 4 on the Monday night debut. Announcers: Tenay and Taz then talked it up from the announce table. Tenay said they need to focus on tonight, though. This led to a chat about Feast or Fired.
Impact Zone: Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed came out first and second for the FoF match where three title shots and one pink slip are on the line. Cody Deaner was out third. Beer Money's Robert Roode and James Storm were out fourth and fifth. Eric Young then led out himself, Sheik Bashir, Kiyoshi, Homicide, Rob Terry, and Kevin Nash with the winner of his valet contest as the next participants. Out last was Samoa Joe, who was sporting a noticeable knee brace over his left knee.
3 -- FEAST OR FIRED match
The action started with Eric Young's World Elite trying to go after the rest of the participants. Nash smartly rolled to the outside to take a breather. While action was going on in the ring, they stayed with a shot of Joe mugging for the camera on the outside. Joe stayed on the outside to watch Creed and Lethal double-team Homicide. Creed then climbed up a corner structure looking for a briefcase, but Bashir met him and knocked him down. Deaner and Bashir then fought over a case and it fell to the floor. They scrambled down to the ground and each man held possession with Bashir's bacne in full view. Bashir then ripped it away from Deaner and smashed him over the head to win case #2. Meanwhile, Big Rob retrieved case #4. Young was upset with his plan falling apart. The gray wolf Kevin Nash confronted Big Rob as the action came to a standstill.
Beer Money finally came in to get some action going. Storm hit a codebreaker on Nash, then Roode came off the top with a swinging neckbreaker. They drilled Kiyoshi into the mat with a double-team uranage, then Roode surveyed the case situation. Nash cut him off, though, and climbed the corner to grab case #1. Joe became involved, but he was taken down with double-team moves from World Elite. Men started flying and falling all over the ring at this point. Lethal wanted the last case, but Homicide cut him off and hit a top-rope Ace Crusher. Suddenly, Deaner was back in the mix. He teased grabbing the last case, but Joe gave him an enziguiri kick off the top. Joe then climbed up top and grabbed the final case to end the match. Borash assembled the winners ringside before they cut backstage.
WINNERS: Nash #1, Bashir #2, Samoa Joe #3, Rob Terry #4. Match time: 9:18. A bunch of spots, but some good "thrills" with the teases of who would grab the cases. Just fine. (*1/2)
Backstage: Christy Hemme was with A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle to talk about their singles matches coming up in the main events. First, Angle. Angle opened: "Desmond Wolfe has his head up his ass." That was comically great. Angle added that he's a more devious, cunning bastard than Wolfe is. He said he has some unfinished business and turned to Styles. "Wow! Whoa, Kurt," he said. Styles said he has some other business to tend to tonight with Daniels, then Angle will get his title shot.
Impact Zone: They went back to ringside for the big revelations of the cases. First, Kevin Nash with #1. Borash did the big build-up Bob Barker style before his valet opened the case and he has a... tag title shot. Up next was Samoa Joe. Borash did the big build again setting up the situation. And Joe receives a ... World Hvt. Title shot. They went to Rob Terry and Sheik Bashir. Terry shook his head while Bashir was all-smiles. Terry has an... X Division Title shot. And Bashir is fired. Bashir then left the Impact Zone selling he wasn't happy with the situation. Ringside, Tenay and Taz sold this as a serious issue; that he was future endeavored.
Impact Zone: Team 3D with Neal and Rhino came to the ring first for the next match. Hernandez then came out first for his team faced with five minutes alone with Team 3D's team.
4 -- TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON) & JESSE NEAL & RHINO vs. HERNANDEZ & MATT MORGAN & SUICIDE & POPE D'ANGELO DINERO -- Elimination match
Hernandez started off trying to stand tall in the ring to tell 3D's team to bring it on. Hernandez tried to fight off one after the other, but Devon cut him off from behind and the heels began working him over. Rhino then wanted a Gore on Hernandez, but Hernandez ducked and rolled him up for a pin to eliminate Rhino at 4:00.
Neal then brought in a chair and wanted to hit Hernandez, but Morgan's music hit at 5:00 to bring in the back-ups. Not a smooth transition with Neal pretending to tease a chair shot. Morgan, Suicide, and Pope took control of the match, then Suicide officially tagged in to give Hernandez a breather. Neal then picked up the chair again and he cracked it over Suicide's head. Yes, another chair shot to the head in a Team 3D match. Hernandez then picked up the chair and cracked it over Neal's head. And the crowd popped, unfortunately. Neal with the "leave it in 1999, please" badge of honor taking a chair shot to the head. Just sad defiance that TNA continues to feature this in 2009. Hernandez and Neal were DQ'ed in the process. Meanwhile, 3D dropped Suicide with a 3D to pin him for an elimination.
We're down to Dinero & Morgan vs. Team 3D at 10:00. Dinero landed successive elbow smashes on Team 3D, then he went up top for a high-risk move, but 3D cut him off and dropped him with a 3D for a pin. So now it's Morgan by himself against 3D. Morgan told them to bring it on, but they cut him down in the corner to begin a double-team attack. Morgan then clotheslined 3D off the ropes and started talking trash. He set up Devon for the multiple elbow strikes in the corner, then teased a chokeslam on Ray, but Ray blocked and 3D began working over Morgan again. At this point, the fans forgot 3D's supposed to be heels according to TNA's "intricately-booked" storylines and called for a table. When the storylines change from month to month, the fans pick their favorites to cheer. 3D took too much time, allowing Morgan to pin Devon to make it Ray vs. Morgan one-on-one. Ray landed a running clothesline to briefly take control, but Morgan came back with a running boot sending a chair into Ray's head for a pin for the win.
WINNER: Matt Morgan at 16:35. Fine match. This was above my personal expectations with a nicely laid-out multiple-man match. Morgan being re-established as a top star in TNA was a good move after TNA pushed him down the card. As for the three separate instances of chair shots to the head, I just don't get it. It's just sad, uneducated defiance. Not surprising from TNA and in a match featuring Team 3D. (**1/2)
Impact Zone: Scott Steiner came to the ring first for the Last Man Standing match against Bobby Lashley. Lashley then came out with Krystal Marshall as the announcers talked up Krystal's toughness as not your ordinary housewife. Tenay talked about Lashley inking the new "MMA deal." No reference to Strikeforce. Before the match, the ref booted Krystal from ringside to leave Lashley and Steiner alone in the ring. Suddenly, Steiner pursued Krystal while Lashley wasn't watching. A faux exchange occurred, then Steiner blasted Lashley on the entranceramp and the bell sounded.
5 -- SCOTT STEINER vs. BOBBY LASHLEY -- Last Man Standing match
Steiner rammed Lashley into the guardrail and Steiner grabbed a cable TV chord to attempt choking Lashley. Looked pretty weak. One of those spots where if you can't make it look real without breaking the suspension of disbelief for the viewer, then don't do it. The action moved into the ring where Lashley took it to Steiner. Lashley slapped on a Dragon Sleeper and he dropped Steiner on the mat. The ref then began a slow ten count and Steiner made it up at six. Lashley then clotheslined Steiner over the top rope to the floor as Steiner was selling a groin or leg injury. The action returned to ringside, then back into the ring where Steiner hit a corner suplex. Taz said some would say that's "vintage" Scott Steiner. Steiner continued to sell the leg injury, but he went to the second rope and Lashley countered a sledgehammer with a suplex. Lashley then scooped up Steiner and landed a running powerslam. Taz called it shades of Dr. Death Steve Williams.
Steiner continued to sell the injury as he reached his feet at nine. Steiner then blocked Lashley in the corner and he wanted a Frankensteiner. He connected and the crowd popped. Steiner then went looking for a pipe, but Krystal ran down to ringside and stole the pipe. She tossed it over Steiner's head to Lashley, who blasted Steiner with it. Lashley followed with a big spear and Steiner was KO'ed to give Lashley the win. Krystal and Lashley then celebrated in the ring with the win.
WINNER: Lashley at 9:12. Another above-expectations match. They used the stipulation well, Steiner looked good in the ring despite an apparent leg injury, and Lashley actually looked half-way decent in the ring. Read: not as awkward. (**1/2)
Impact Zone: Raven and Dr. Stevie came to the ring first for the standard garbage match on the show. Mick Foley and Abyss then came out, then Foley took a mic and said it's going to be a Foley Funhouse match.
6 -- RAVEN & DR. STEVIE vs. ABYSS & MICK FOLEY -- Foley's Funhouse Rules match
The brawl started with all four men in the ring, then it moved to the floor where Foley and Raven took their fight off-camera backstage. Abyss then took Dr. Stevie to the stage area near a table. Abyss wanted a powerbomb off the stage, but Raven cracked Abyss over the back with a Kendo stick. Raven then drove the edge of the stick into Abyss's throat to try to sell the move. Raven followed by biting into Abyss's "burned leg" like on Impact. Stevie and Raven then double-teamed Abyss before pulling out a gasoline can. Foley ran down the entranceramp with a shopping cart full of weapons to save Abyss. He pulled out a barbed wire bat and popped Stevie across the back. In the ring, Foley dropped Raven with a piledriver before dropping Stevie with a double underhook DDT. Abyss entered the ring and bounced off the ropes before sitting on Stevie and Raven. Foley then pulled out the "trademark sock," as Tenay called it. Suddenly, some powder was thrown into Foley's eyes. Raven and Stevie double-teamed Foley, but Abyss grabbed Stevie and gave him the Shock Treatment while leg-dropping Raven on the way down. Well, that was innovative. It only scored a two count, though. Abyss and Foley then pulled out socks and each locked in a mandible claw.
At 8:00, Foley and Stevie took their fight to the stage area. Foley but a fake-looking barbed wire hula hoop around Richards before placing him on a table. Foley then went off the stage with a dive through the table taking Richards to the floor. Back in the ring, Daffney tried to get involved with a chair, but Abyss cut her off and dropped Stevie with a Black Hole Slam for the pin and the win. Post-match: Foley played to the kids doing Abyss's "Eugene clap" to celebrate the win.
WINNERS: Abyss & Foley at 9:27. Not my flavor of match. At some point, you wonder why one of them doesn't just try to kill the other one instead of just inflicting mild injury. Every month, it seems like this feud will conclude, but every month, TNA books a new storyline for Richards to continue this feud with Abyss. (n/a)
Backstage: Borash was with Samoa Joe, who was holding his World Title briefcase. Joe said he vowed to walk onto the PPV and win a title shot, which is what he just did. Joe said the big question is "When?" When will he cash in the briefcase? He said he could grab Styles right now or he could wait for the dust to settle between Styles and Daniels. Or, maybe he'll just wait and make Styles or Daniels think about him. Joe said the power is in his hands. Effective promo.
Impact Zone: Tenay and Taz talked up Desmond Wolfe as the ring crew set up a cage for the semi-main event. Angle vs. Wolfe two-out-of-three falls will be first fall pin, second fall submission, and third fall (if necessary) escape the cage. Desmond Wolfe came out first and stood inside the six-sided cage. Kurt Angle then came out sporting his Main Event Mafia collector's item t-shirt.
7 -- KURT ANGLE vs. DESMOND WOLFE -- Three Degrees of Pain match
The bell sounded and Tenay informed viewers that the cage cannot be used as a weapon during the first two falls. Angle and Wolfe had a wrestling clinic exchanging control several times in the first ten minutes with close nearfalls each way. Angle then executed multiple German suplexes, finishing with a release German on the fifth suplex. Angle sold a neck or shoulder injury, then he climbed up top. Wolfe cut him off, though, and dropped Angle with the Tower of London in the corner for a close two count. Wolfe tried to follow with a lariat, but Angle ducked and rolled up Wolfe for a two count. Wolfe then elevated Angle for another Tower of London, but Angle hit the Angle Slam for a two count only. Angle tried to find a way to score a pin, but Wolfe executed another Tower of London out of the corner and he scored a pin to win the first fall at 12:40.
*** Wolfe 1, Angle 0 at 12:40 ***
After a brief break, Wolfe went back on the attack attempting a submission hold, but Angle slapped on a figure four leglock. Wolfe broke free, then he went on the attack with an arm bar trying to hyper-extend Angle's shoulder. Wolfe maintained the hold as Angle tried to fight the hold, then he re-applied it, only to have Angle counter into an anklelock. Wolfe teased a tap out, but he countered into another submission hold targeting the shoulder. Angle tried to fight again, but Wolfe applied a Kimura submission. Angle rolled out into an anklelock, but Wolfe countered with one of his own. Wolfe left himself open and Angle applied a triangle choke. This is where Taz is earning his keep with some great commentary calling submission-style wrestling. Wolfe then went back to a shoulder armbar as the fans chanted, "This is wrestling." Angle sold that he was fading out locked in another submission, then he floated over Wolfe into another anklelock. This time, Wolfe tapped out to even the match.
*** Wolfe 1, Angle 1 at 19:55 ***
In-between falls, they cut to a shot of "White Chocolate" Jason Williams from the Orlando Magic sitting ringside. Now, the cage is legal and the object is to escape the cage. Angle teased an escape first, but Wolfe cut off Angle. Wolfe tried to escape, but Angle rammed his knee into the cage. Angle suddenly ran up the corner turnbuckle and overhead suplexed Wolfe off the top to the mat below. Classic "burst of energy" spot from Angle. Wolfe and Angle came to their feet after the spot and Angle sent Wolfe head-first into the cage wall. Angle then ran over Wolfe with a clothesline and Wolfe was bleeding from the forehead at this point. The camera zoomed in tight as Taz talked about how graphic it looked. Angle then went up top for a frog splash, but Wolfe got a leg up to block. Wolfe sold a left ankle injury and he screamed in pain. Wolfe asked for the cage door to open, then he crawled toward the open door, but Angle grabbed his leg.
Wolfe kicked Angle away, then tried to leave again, but Angle dragged him back into the ring and slapped on an anklelock with a grapevine. Wolfe tapped and tapped and tapped to sell the ankle injury, but Angle kept the hold locked on for an extended length of time. Angle eventually released, then started climbing out while selling the numbness in his arm. For some reason, he didn't try to escape through the door. Anyways, Wolfe tried to drag himself through the cage, but Angle dropped to the ground to win just before Wolfe reached the floor trying to crawl out. Post-match: They replayed the highspots of the match as Angle left the ring while selling the numbness in his left arm. Meanwhile, Wolfe was shown dragging himself down the ringside area toward the back while selling the ankle injury.
WINNER: Angle at 26:17, winning the second and third falls. Another excellent wrestling showcase, especially the second fall with the submission hold exchanges. Of course, it's always tough to watch Angle in the ring because his body is pretty much in shambles, but TNA continues to roll him out there and he continues to deliver very good wrestling matches. Wolfe didn't lose too much since he only "lost" because he couldn't get out of a cage faster than Angle. Since it appears Angle will be moving into the TNA title picture, let's hope Wolfe isn't lost in the shuffle in the follow-up. (****1/4)
Announcers: Tenay and Taz talked about the main event coming up, then talked January 4. ... Backstage: Borash brought in Mick Foley to talk about the victory earlier on. Foley said Abyss got the one, two, three, but he got some airtime with the big Cactus Jack elbow through the table. Foley said he really wants to talk Hulk Hogan. He said Hogan is supposed to turn his life upside down. Foley raised his voice and said he has questions and Hogan will start answering them on January 4.
Video package: They rolled footage on the Styles-Daniels feud, including the mystery assailant storyline from what seems like months ago. Up next, it's the TNA World Tile match. Tenay said there's no three-way or four-way situation, just the best man in the ring. They also focused on several title contenders lined up, including Hernandez via the TCS on Thanksgiving, Kurt Angle, and Samoa Joe via Feast or Fired.
Backstage: They showed Daniels warming up before walking down the hallway to enter the Impact Zone for the main event. After Daniels hit the ring, they cut to a shot of Styles backstage warming himself up. Styles put the hood on to cover his eyes before emerging on stage for his latest PPV title defense. Tenay talked about the friendship being put to the side for this one. With everyone assembled in the ring, Borash handled the formal ring intros with the crowd favoring Styles. It's been over four years since I saw them go to a 60-minute draw at a PWG show in California with the PWG Title and TNA X Division Title on the line. Seems like forever ago. Read about it.
8 -- TNA World Hvt. champion A.J. STYLES vs. DANIELS -- TNA World Title match
The bell sounded and each man took a long look at the other before pacing around the ring. They had an initial lock-up and rolled around the ring without a clear advantage. Styles made a clean break, but Daniels slapped him across the face. Styles teased a slap, but Daniels begged off and waited for the ref to hold back Styles to set a trap for taking advantage. Daniels put Styles on the mat with a submission hold, then he brought Styles to his feet and shot him off the ropes, but Styles answered with his trademark dropkick. Styles then flung his legs at Daniels from a seated position to corkscrew him into the mat. He followed with a snap suplex and Daniels went to the floor to recover, but Styles nailed a flip dive clear over the top rope to pop the crowd. Meanwhile, Samoa Joe is cutting promos on both men in-character on Twitter.
At 8:00, Daniels regained control back in the ring. They battled up top and each man teased a spot, but Daniels won the exchange with a nasty-looking fallaway backbreaker where Styles ate the top turnbuckle with his shoulder. Looked worse live than on a replay. Daniels only scored a two count, then he landed a springboard split-legged moonsault to the back. He slapped on a Crossface while wrenching back on Styles's back, but Styles grabbed the bottom rope for a break. Daniels then teased the Best Moonsault Ever, but Styles moved and executed a hammerlock-grip back suplex drop. Nice move. Both men were down looking to regroup. The action then moved to the floor where Styles regained control.
Daniels then ran back into the ring and Styles followed. Back in the corner, Daniels begged off, but Styles pounded his chest and told him to fight like a man. Styles followed with a backbreaker when Daniels charged him out of the corner. Styles then charged Daniels near the ropes, but Daniels slingshot him across the middle of the top rope. Daniels followed with a superplex from the middle ropes. "You think you've seen everything, then you watch a TNA PPV," Tenay said.
At 16:00, the match moved up top and Daniels delivered an open-hand palm thrust that made a nice sound. Daniels followed with a leaping huracanrana, followed by a Shining Wizard for a two count only. Daniels had a noticeable knot on his forehead that the camera focused on nicely to reinforce the punishment in the match. Daniels tried to execute a suplex, but Styles blocked and countered with a brainbuster putting Daniels knot-first into the mat. Styles then went to the ring apron and flew with a springboard fist smash for a pin, but Daniels put his foot on the bottom rope for a break. Styles then teased the Clash, but Daniels blocked, only to walk into the Pele kick. Styles then wanted the Clash again, but Daniels held the ropes to block. Daniels then smacked Styles with a palm strike. Daniels tried to grab the ref for a distraction, allowing him to rake Styles's eyes. Daniels followed right up with the Best Moonsault Ever almost smashing Styles in the face. He followed up with a quick pin, but Styles kicked out. Daniels sold not knowing what to do next after that didn't get the win.
At 20:00, Styles came back with the Styles Clash in center ring. He made the cover, but Daniels kicked out at two. Tenay sold it that Daniels is in a select group of people who have kicked out of the Styles Clash. Styles then went up top, but Daniels cut him off. Daniels wanted a Frankensteiner, but Styles blocked him in mid-air. The crowd popped as they saw what was next with Styles transitioning in mid-air to a top rope Styles Clash. He rolled over Daniels and made the cover for the win. Post-match: Styles grabbed his TNA Title belt and held it up for Daniels to get a look at. Daniels held his head in frustration and rolled out of the ring as the PPV closed with Styles celebrating. Daniels was briefly shown limping around ringside.
WINNER: Styles at 21:05. An excellent showcase singles match featuring two of TNA's top wrestlers. Daniels stepped up his game on the big stage and Styles continues to deliver in big-time matches. Styles is simply one of the best showmen in the ring with the combination of charisma, high-impact moves, lightning-fast counters, and good in-ring psychology. The match told a good, complete story focusing on the "personal feud" aspect of the match's storyline. TNA presented a very good one-two punch to end the show, just like last month. No run-ins, no over-booking, no silliness to distract from four of their best workers doing their thing in the ring. A very satisfying conclusion to a very satisfying PPV. (****1/2)
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