TNA PPVs CALDWELL'S TNA "ONE NIGHT ONLY" PPV REPORT 4/5: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of X Division-themed PPV - Joe vs. Aries, RVD vs. Lynn, is this PPV recommended?
Apr 5, 2013 - 4:45:39 PM
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TNA "One Night Only" X-travaganza PPV
Premiered April 5, 2013
Taped in Orlando, Fla.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
OVERALL RECOMMENDATION: At $15, it's a good value for two hours-and-45-minutes of wrestling action. This could have been a very tight two-hour PPV if they trimmed match lengths or non-match segments, but the pre-match interviews were effective in setting up the important matches. The main event of Joe vs. Aries is very good, but the PPV is only worth ordering if you're into the X Division, in general, where you won't wear out on high-flying and big moves. And, if you can handle Taz and Tenay bickering throughout before the main event.
The X Division-themed PPV opened with a video package highlighting top moments from the X Division over the past 10 years. Tonight, the past, present, and future collide on one night.
Back in the Impact Zone, Mike Tenay introduced the first-ever One Night Only PPV, "tributing" the X Division. Tenay and Taz were shown at the commentary position to set the stage for the show. Taz hyped Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries tonight, then Tenay fed to a video package highlighting Top 10 X Division moments. The first video was from June 2002 when A.J. Styles became the first X Division champion.
1 -- ULTIMATE XSCAPE MATCH
The first participant was Matt Bentley, which led to a video package on Bentley from the early days of TNA. Next out was Gut Check winner Alex Silva. Third was Lince Dorado. Fourth was Gut Check winner Sam Shaw. Next were Puma (T.J. Perkins), Jimmy Rave, and Christian York to round out the field. The first fall came seven minutes in when York eliminated Dorado. This led to two quick eliminations when Shaw eliminated Puma and Bentley eliminated Silva.
The Final Four was Shaw, Bentley, Rave, and York, prompting Taz to quip that they all look alike wearing black trunks. Rave then pinned Shaw, taking out Taz's prediction. Rave and Bentley double-teamed York, but York made a comeback and pinned Bentley.
The Final Two were York and Rave, now with the rules being "escape the cage to win." Rave, who Taz kept calling announcer Todd Keneley, started climbing the cage, but York yanked him down. York and Rave battled on the top turnbuckle before York dropped Rave with a bulldog. York then recovered, pulled himself together, scaled the cage, climbed over the top, and dropped to the floor for the victory, which popped the crowd.
WINNER: York at 16:01. Awkward match - until a solid one-on-one final battle - that encapsulated the state of the X Division right now, which is undefined puzzle pieces thrown together and not forming a clear picture.
The opening, opening match intros, and opening match took care of 30 minutes of the three-hour PPV.
The next video package went back to Tenay and Don West on commentary calling X Division action in the Asylum. "You've got to be freakin' kidding me" from Don West.
Backstage: Jeremy Borash hyped Old-School vs. New-School coming up next. JB then brought in Rashad Cameron and Anthony Nese for a promo on their opponents, Doug Williams and Kid Kash.
2 -- DOUG WILLIAMS & KID KASH vs. ANTHONE NESE & RASHAD CAMERON
Taz opened the match critiquing Christy Hemme's ring announcing, then said he gives her dictation lessons all the time. Taz continued by pointing out that Cameron wore a "Philadelphia Liberty Bell thing on his rear-end" for the match. Next was a discussion of investment banking. In the ring, the two teams traded control before the pace picked up when Kash and Nese exchanged rapid-fire offense and counters. After feeling pressure from Taz throughout the match, Tenay backed down from principles by dropping his objectivity and deciding to root for the Old-School team.
Old-School took control of the match working on Nese while Taz talked about working with Kid Kash in the old ECW days. Cameron hot-tagged into the match, but Kash and Williams regained control. Taz discussed snot-rocket contests in the A&E Clubhouse before Cameron broke free and tagged in Nese. Nese delivered a double-springboard moonsault to Kash, then Kash made a desperation tag to Williams. Nese dropkicked him, then the action broke down. Nese settled things down, then things broke down again.
All four men in the ring, then Cameron took Kash to the outside and hit a plancha. Back in the ring, Nese trapped Williams for a pin, but ref Earl Hebner had a momentary lapse in concentration and didn't make the count. Williams then nailed the rolling Chaos Theory Suplex on Nese for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Williams & Kash at 13:17. Solid tag match and less-than-stellar commentary. Apparently Taz is "getting warmed up" for the important matches.
TNA flashed back to Samoa Joe capturing the X Division Title for the first time when he took the belt from A.J. Styles. It was funny seeing planted TNA staffers on the front row leading the cheers in the Impact Zone.
Backstage: JB brought in Samoa Joe for an interview about facing Austin Aries tonight. Joe said tonight they celebrate an idea and there is nothing out-of-bounds when it comes to winning. Joe said when he first came to TNA, there was only one place for him to be: the X Division because he would do anything to win. Joe said Aries took a similar path, and they find themselves once again face-to-face in the ring under the X. Joe vowed to beat down Aries and choke him out tonight.
In-ring: Robbie E. was introduced to the ring for the next segment. In the ring, Robbie said he invented the X Division, claiming to be the greatest X Division wrestler of all-time. Robbie said he's traveled to Asia, Antarctica, China, and New Jersey to promote his claim. Robbie asked for everyone to stand up and acknowledge him, but Chavo Guerrero's music interrupted.
On the way to the ring, Chavo grabbed and mic and said Robbie should know that the X Division's lineage is the Cruiserweight division. Chavo said he was a pretty good Cruiserweight wrestler and the CW division originated from Lucha Libre in Mexico. Chavo said one of the pioneers was his grandfather, Gory Guerrero. So, in a sense, the X Division was invented by his family. Chavo then challenged Robbie to a match. Robbie said they can't since they don't have a referee. Chavo said he solved that by booking Joseph Park as referee.
3 -- CHAVO GUERRERO vs. ROBBIE E. -- Joseph Park special referee
On commentary, Taz accused Chavo and Park of collusion, then Park called for the bell. Park examined Chavo for illegal objects, but Robbie didn't want to be touched by Park. As the match started, Tenay played name-association with Taz on members of the Guerrero Family to find out of Taz likes or dislikes each one. Taz decided to calm down and talk up the Guerreros before turning his anger back to Park. In the ring, Robbie used Park's inexperience to cause a distraction to cheat to take control on Chavo.
Chavo came back with a spin kick to Robbie's head before they did a bit where Robbie flew into Park's arms. Park tried putting him down, but accidentally dropped him. Chavo then hit the Three Amigos suplexes before calling for the end. Chavo climbed to the top for the Frogsplash and connected. Chavo counted and it was good for the win.
WINNER: Chavo at 5:10. Basic comedy match giving Taz something else to complain about on commentary.
Next was a video package on Cool Moves from the X Division's history. This was presented rapid-fire and probably took someone in the video department a long time to edit.
Backstage: JB brought in X Division champion Kenny King to discuss the "party backstage" celebrating the X Division's history. King said he's no stranger to Ultimate X, so he's not afraid of the match tonight. King said he's not here to prove he's the future, but the present of the X Division. JB then fed to a video package documenting the history of Ultimate X.
4 -- ULTIMATE X MATCH
Zema Ion was out first for the match, followed by Rubix (a/k/a Jigsaw). X Division champion Kenny King was out third as Taz kept trying to figure out a connection between Rubix and Israel. Mason Andrews (a/k/a Scorpio Sky a/k/a "Harold" in WWE) was out fourth. Cue the bell. The action started in and out of the ring with the four wrestlers pairing off against each other.
King was the first one to venture climbing across the cables to grab the big red X, but Andrews and Rubix crotched him. Ion then re-entered the scene by delivering a twisting splash to both Andrews and King on the outside. Back in the ring, Rubix prevented Andrews from climbing the X by dropping him with a German Suplex. Ion was the next to try to climb the cables, but King and Rubix dragged him down.
Mason Andrews tried to grab the X next, but Ion met him in the middle and they both fell to the ring. Rubix was next. He scaled the cables, grabbed the X, and held it up in the air, but King grabbed Rubix, stole the X, and slammed Rubix to the mat to be declared the winner. After the match, King air-guitared the X in Ion's face.
WINNER: King at 15:27. The usual Ultimate X spots and high-flying action before they accentuated King's character via victory.
TNA flashed back to the Destination X PPV in July 2011 when Abyss was Abyss and Brian Kendrick became new X Division champion to thwart Immortal's plan.
Backstage: So Cal Val brought in Daniels and Kazarian for a Southern California wrestling moment. Kazarian cut a promo on "Master Pete" and "Sonjay Dutch" before Daniels told "Lo Cal Val" that they're both national treasures and inspirations to children across the country in addition to being the best tag team in the business.
Backstage: JB brought in Petey Williams and Dutt to discuss their tag match against Bad Influence. Petey over-excitedly talked about training for this moment his entire life, even before he was born before he slid out of his mom doing push-ups. Dutt said he's going to prove why he's "G'ed up from the feet up." This completed the first-half of the three-hour PPV.
5 -- BAD INFLUENCE (DANIELS & KAZARIAN) vs. PETEY WILLIAMS & SONJAY DUTT
As Dutt was introduced, Tenay noted Dutt has never held the X Division Title. Taz blamed company politics that Dutt has never held the title, and Tenay snapped at him that it's about winning and losing. Taz snapped out of "analyzing the booking" mode and grumbled about Tenay's point. Moments later, Taz said he thinks it's pathetic that Dutt's never had the opportunity to win the title, to which Tenay snapped back at him that he's had plenty of chances, just never been able to win a match when it counts. Taz grumbled again about politics, then said Dutt's never had enough title opportunities. So, Taz grumbled about Tenay being the "office guy" to cover for Tenay shooting down his argument. This became the theme of the match on commentary with Taz trying to knock Tenay for having facts and information, whereas he provides "descriptors" of the action.
In the ring, Bad Influence isolated Petey and taunted him while Dutt paced the apron trying to get a tag. Dutt eventually got the hot-tag and delivered rapid-fire offense to Daniels, followed by a huracanrana to Kazarian. Dutt nailed a running moonsault on Daniels, but Kaz broke up a pin attempt. Ref Earl Hebner was slow on his next count, prompting Taz to ask why they have a "freakin' relic who can barely walk" refereeing matches. Earl then stumbled over limbs trying to make his next count, prompting Taz to knock him again.
Petey re-entered the ring and wanted the Canadian Destroyer on Daniels, but Kaz broke it up. Petey then knocked Daniels to the floor, hopped onto the ring apron, and head-scissored Daniels across the floor. Back in the ring, Earl had enough of Kaz, so he shoved him, which Dutt used to roll-up Kaz, but Kaz escaped a pin. Kaz came back with Fade to Black on Dutt, then Daniels nailed the Best Moonsault Ever. Kaz covered Dutt and it was good for the win.
WINNERS: Daniels & Kaz at 12:50. Another match filled with mind-numbing, rapid-fire spots overshadowed by the announcing, but this one eventually led to a spotlight victory for one of TNA's top tag team.
Post-match, Bad Influence wanted more on Petey and Dutt, but Petey answered Kaz with the Canadian Destroyer to give the Impact Zone audience what they wanted to see. Dutt and Petey then stood tall in the ring to close the segment.
Next was a video package documenting Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn. At the announce position, Tenay called this the final match between RVD and Lynn as part of Lynn's retirement tour. As Lynn came to the ring, Tenay noted Lynn started his career in 1988 and TNA wanted to be part of Lynn's retirement tour. RVD was then introduced to the ring.
6 -- ROB VAN DAM vs. JERRY LYNN
As the bell sounded, Taz talked about their history in ECW. RVD landed an early roundhouse kick that sent Lynn spilling to the outside for a breather. On the floor, Lynn rocked RVD into the guardrail before rolling back into the ring. Lynn tried a flying splash, but RVD intercepted with a kick to the face. Taz then called Lynn an egomaniac for wrestling longer than he did as RVD found a chair underneath the ring. Apparently this is No DQ since RVD jabbed Lynn in the gut with the chair. RVD then tried a rolling chair smash, but Lynn intercepted with a clothesline from the top rope.
The match moved to the floor, where RVD tried to use a table, but Lynn blocked again. The fight then re-entered the ring as Taz continued to dog Lynn, then asked why no one is celebrating his career. Lynn and RVD battled to the top rope, then Lynn delivered a sunset flip powerbomb onto a chair for a nearfall. RVD tried to come back moments later with a Five-Star Frogsplash onto the chair, but Lynn moved and RVD ate the chair.
The story continued with Lynn using RVD's over-aggressiveness against him and Lynn using his own veteran craftiness. Lynn clutched his shoulder, selling pain as both men recovered on the mat, then Lynn picked up the chair and climbed to the apron. Lynn wanted a top-rope chair move, but RVD popped to his feet and dropkicked the chair into Lynn's face, sending Lynn falling through a table on the floor below. Unfortunately, the announcers and audience reacted like it was just another mid-match move.
Back in the ring, RVD dropped Lynn for a nearfall, then climbed to the top-rope to deliver a long-distance Five-Star Frogsplash. It was good for the pin and the win to give RVD the victory. After the match, RVD celebrated before showing respect to Lynn. "Thank you, Jerry" chant as the two wrestlers took a curtain call. Wrestlers from the locker room then spilled out on-stage to tribute Lynn as Taz grumbled. Taz finally came around and gave thanks to one of his contemporaries. Lynn then left the ring and took a victory lap.
WINNER: RVD at 15:53. The sterile, manufactured environment of the Impact Zone just wasn't the best place for the final RVD-Lynn match. Both men worked hard to tell a good story, though.
Next was a video package on how Austin Aries "won" a TNA contract at the Destination X PPV in July 2011.
Backstage: JB quietly reflected on Jerry Lynn's final TNA match moments ago. Borash then brought in Austin Aries to discuss his main event match against Samoa Joe. Aries, sporting his cape, said that if you need a main event and a money-making match to seal the deal for this PPV, you call on Austin Aries and you call on Samoa Joe. Aries said these are two men who used the X Division as a springboard to become World Hvt. champion. Tonight, Aries said, they get to show everyone what makes TNA Wrestling the best pro wrestling company in the universe. Aries advertised a Match of the Year next.
Next was a video package on Jerry Lynn reflecting on his TNA career and the end of his career. Lynn said it's not going to be a retire, come back, and repeat kind of deal. RVD and Lynn were shown talking to each other and reflecting on their matches together during their careers. Lynn said he's known RVD for two decades and he's going to miss the fans. Van Dam then noted so many wrestlers have stepped up to try to be the next Jerry Lynn, but zero have accomplished that. RVD said he'll see Lynn down the road, then left. Lynn returned to face the camera and thanked the audience for helping give him a job he looked forward to every day.
Back in the Impact Zone, Austin Aries was introduced first for the main event. Tenay then fed to a video package on Aries deciding to cash in his X Division Title in order to get a TNA Title shot against Bobby Roode last year, then successfully capturing the X Title from Roode.
After the video aired, Samoa Joe was introduced to the ring. Tenay then fed to a video package on "one of the greatest matches ever in TNA history" when it was Joe vs. Styles vs. Daniels at the Unbreakable PPV in September 2005. The video included Daniels talking on-camera about their careers converging on one night. Styles talked on-camera about it being spectacular and he doesn't think he'll be able to top that match. Joe said it was the culmination of all the battles they fought during their careers, even before they came to TNA. Joe said they pushed each other to reach new heights in the ring that night.
In-ring: After the video aired, JB was standing by to provide the formal ring introduction for Joe vs. Aries. JB introduced Joe as a former four-time X Division and World Hvt. champion to cheers. Ref Brian Hebner then checked each man for illegal objects before calling for the bell.
7 -- AUSTIN ARIES vs. SAMOA JOE -- PPV Main Event
As the match started, Tenay talked up the history of X Division wrestlers springboarding to the World Title before Taz talked about Joe being a non-sense fighter. In the ring, after a brief lock-up, Joe shoulderblocked Aries to the mat, so Aries left the ring to catch his breath. Back in the ring, Aries toyed with Joe by kicking him in the thigh, which angered Joe a bit. So, Aries backed up to let Joe cool down. Tenay then brought up Joe's 21-month ROH World Title run that was ended in 2005 by...Austin Aries. Taz seemed surprised by this news, said it brings Joe and Aries full circle, and then insulted Tenay for knowing too much.
Joe delivered corner strikes, then washed Aries's face with his boot. He wanted the corner boot, but Aries rolled out of the ring to recover again. Aries insulted the fans, then took a kick to the chest from Joe. Joe followed with chops to the chest and the third one flipped Aries over the guardrail into the front row. Great sell by Aries. Aries eventually made it back over the guardrail to the floor, then rolled to the other side of the ringside area. On the other side, Aries tried chops, but Joe absorbed before chucking Aries into the ring steps.
Back in the ring, Aries took control of the action to begin wearing down Joe. Aries targeted Joe's left leg to try to take the big man off his feet. Aries then slapped on a figure-four leglock to keep wearing down Joe, who leaned back on the mat selling pain. Joe eventually reversed the pressure, and Aries reached the bottom rope to break the hold. Aries then tried to charge Joe, but Joe ducked and Aries ate the ring apron. Joe tried to follow with a suicide dive, but Aries moved, Joe clutched his leg, and Aries flew through the ropes with a dive on Joe.
Back in the ring, Joe and Aries stood their ground and battled center-ring. Joe then nailed an atomic drop into a snap powerslam for a two count. Joe regrouped, then nailed a powerbomb into an STF submission. Aries escaped by biting Joe's hand before the two men started trading bombs from their feet. Joe then slapped on a rear-naked choke, but Aries was close to the ropes and he reached out for a break.
At 16:00, Aries ducked a corner attack and elbowed Joe in the face. Aries followed with a running dropkick, then wanted the Brainbuster, but Joe blocked with a front-face suplex. But, Aries came back with a crucifix pin for a two count. Aries kicked Joe in the head, then wanted the Brainbuster again, but decided to fall on top of Joe for a two count. Aries, seeing Joe lifeless, then climbed to the top rope for a 450 Splash, but Joe moved and Aries landed on his feet.
Joe nailed a corner frontslam when Aries charged, then Joe put Aries on the top turnbuckle. Joe wanted the Musclebuster, but Aries escaped. Aries then quickly stacked up Joe and trapped his shoulders to the mat for the pin and the win. After a replay of the high points from the match, Tenay and Taz signed off. The PPV ended 15 minutes before the top of the hour.
WINNER: Aries at 18:18. Very good TNA singles match. It felt PPV-worthy for this one-night-only format without a back-story to the match, and it was nice that the announcers tried to enhance the match by taking it seriously rather than overshadowing the match by bickering. (***1/2)
[ FYI: TNA's first "One Night Only" PPV is running this weekend through InDemand PPV. PPV air-times are here at InDemand.com ]
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