“Final Resolution” Review and ThoughtsBy Drowgoddess · · Leave a Comment
Better late than never! Your Empress of “Impact” is here, largely because no one else will do it, to review TNA’s December pay-per-view offering, “Final Resolution.” Yes, I even paid for it. What do you want from me, I have my reasons. Or more precisely, my reason. 🙂 On paper, this show doesn’t look good. The “Feast or Fired” match concept is terrible, and the execution of the idea last year was even more so. Too many people in at least three of the scheduled matches. Was there an edict to include the entire roster in tonight’s show? In any case, we shall now take a deep breath, clear our collective minds, and find the nearest available line. Let’s cross it, peoples!
Possibly because today is Pearl Harbor Day, we open with a video montage of FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for those not in the know.) speech footage from World War II. The irony may or may not be intentional, but the bulk of the footage focuses on America’s hope to avoid war. FDR himself actually says, “I hate war.” This is spliced together with battle footage of World War II, like bombing planes and tanks. Did they actually listen to this footage before deciding to use it?
The opening pyro explodes, and Mike Tenay and Don West recap the Main Event Mafia/Front Line matches. They run down the evening’s card and all the stipulations, which are legion. The Front Line graphic is pretty cool.
Match #1: “FEAST OR FIRED” MATCH: (The Motor City Machineguns, The Latin American Xchange, Rock N’ Rave Infection, “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal, “The Guru” Sonjay Dutt, “Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams, BG James, Consequences Creed, Curry Man, Cute Kip, Shark Boy)
Opening with this match makes an odd sense because the final main event is the eight-man tag match. Beginning and ending with the matches featuring the largest numbers of people is not a bad idea, if you insist on having matches with ridiculously large numbers of people. The wrestlers enter one at a time to the same music. No separate entrance music. No Petey Williams, either. He does not have medical clearance to wrestle, following the beatdown at the hands of the Main Event Mafia. That means 13 participants. The contents of one case (number drawn at random) will be revealed tonight. The other three will be revealed on Thursday’s “Impact.” Sweet mother of Christ, we can only hope. A repeat of last year would not be good. However, it must be said that anyone spending $29.95 on a TNA pay-per-view is a fairly hardcore fan of something or someone about TNA. Those are the fans you should really want to keep. Slapping them in the face by giving away so much on free tv won’t keep them. It also won’t make more people buy the shows, as you are teaching your audience that they can get all the important stuff on the free show anyway. In any case, the participants, in order of entrance, are Not-at-all-Cute Kip, “The Guru” Sonjay Dutt with SoCal Val, Jimmy Rave, Lance Rock, Alex Shelley, BG James, “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal, Chris Sabin, Consequences Creed, Curry Man, Hernandez, Homicide, and Shark Boy.
Sonjay gets pantsed for an unnecessarily long period of time. If I could choose someone’s bare ass to see on a TNA ppv, it would not be his. Ah well, one can’t have everything. The Motor City Machine Guns get in some solid double team work. There are LOUD chants of “Fallen Angel!” every time Curry Man climbs the ring post. Hernandez Border Tosses Jimmy Rave over the top rope and down to the floor, which looks really nasty. Hernandez climbs up to grab Briefcase #4 and manages to leave the ring with it. Kip and BG go at it. Lance Rock takes out Shelley and Sabin. Jimmy Rave wipes out Lethal on the ring apron. Curry Man and Homicide tease some top rope madness, but Curry Man knocks Homicide off and grabs Briefcase #3. The announcers point out that he has to get out of the ring and touch the floor with the briefcase. Curry Man looks at the wrestlers closing in around him as he stands on the top turnbuckle, and does what any sensible person would do. He somersaults straight to the floor, eliciting “Holy shit! Holy shit!” chants. Curry Man leaves the area. Homicide hits the Gringo Cutter on Lethal from the top rope. Is it still the Gringo Cutter if he does it to a black man? Homicide climbs to the top rope and grabs Briefcase #1, sliding down the pole like a fireman or a gangster thug stripper, whichever visual you prefer. He shouts, “Mexico, bitches!” (or something similar) as he hits the floor. Sabin and Shelley hit a Super Sliced Bread #2 on Rave, then a double-team missile drop kick. Shelley gets Briefcase #2 down, and he and Sabin hold the briefcase up together in the ring. Lethal rushes them from behind, grabbing the case and sliding to the floor with it. The Guns are furious and won’t leave the ring, arguing with Lethal and JB.
JB announces that the four winners have one chance to walk away from the briefcases and the possible firing. All refuse. The Guns keep interrupting him and insisting that Briefcase #2 is Shelley’s. JB gets annoyed at them. The randomly-drawn number for the briefcase being opened right now is — #2! Shelley and Sabin go completely berserk in the ring. JB stops talking long enough to say, “It isn’t your case, Alex!” The crowd responds with chants of “Yes it is! Yes it is!” Jay Lethal’s case is opened, and sure enough, it has a Tag Team title shot in it. Sabin and Shelley are in a frenzy now. JB explodes on them, shouting that he’s sick of Alex’s whining, moaning, and bitching. Out of the 250 people employed by TNA, Alex is the biggest pain in the ass of all. Several more insults are thrown at Alex Shelley by JB as he leaves the ring. Sabin and Shelley react with surprise, but more of “Oh, you didn’t!”
To recap, the results of the “Feast or Fired” match were:
Briefcase #1: Homicide (???, announced on Thursday’s “Impact) – I’m thinking X-Division title shot
Briefcase #2: Jay Lethal (Tag Team title shot) – I’m guessing Consequences Creed will be his partner
Briefcase #3: Curry Man (???, announced on Thursday’s “Impact”) – I’m thinking Fired, and Daniels returns
Briefcase #4: Hernandez (???, announced on Thursday’s “Impact”) – I’m thinking World title shot
To the back! Lauren is with the Beautiful People and Sharmell. Sharmell informs ODB that though she dresses, behaves, and smells like a lady, underneath all that she’s as ghetto as they come, and she’s going to Beyonce ODB’s butt all over the ring. Velvet Sky complains about the overabundance of cellulite in the women’s locker room, and that they’re so tired of beating the ugly out of their three opponents. Angelina Love gets a cell phone call. “Governor Palin” will show up at “Impasse” on Thursday to take them on a moose hunt. Oh, crap, not again! Much squealing and bouncing ensues. Kip does not seem pleased.
Match #2: KNOCKOUTS MATCH: (The Beautiful People & Sharmell vs. ODB, Taylor Wilde, & Roxxi) Having to watch Not-at-all-Cute Kip do a variation of Velvet Sky’s ring entrance makes me want to gouge out both eyes and swallow them. Sharmell was the star of this match, jumping off the ring apron into Kip’s arms to avoid getting in the ring against ODB, and generally being the consummate chicken heel diva. I mean the word “diva” in the original sense, not in the way that the WWE has bastardized it to mean any female performer. Sharmell tags herself in only when ODB has been weakened by someone else. Angelina, as always, carries the match. ODB ends up chasing Sharmell up the ramp and to the back, with Kip in hot pursuit of ODB. While this was going on, Angelina hit a top rope cross body on Taylor Wilde, who kept rolling over and scored the pin. Roxxi was busy fighting with Velvet Sky outside the ring. The Beautiful People do not get Booker’s locker room. WINNERS BY PINFALL: ODB, Taylor Wilde, and Roxxi
To the back! JB interviews Eric Young in the Front Line’s locker room. Eric is confident, and back to his old self again. He loves America. Yay! The slow, sarcastic clapping can only mean one thing. The Motor City Machine Guns are in the house! Shelley tells Eric that he loves America as much as anybody, but they just need to borrow JB for a moment. Eric cuts him off and asks him why Shelley always has to “be like that?” Doing his own thing, making his own decisions, standing out from the crowd? Are these all bad things to do now? Shelley calms Eric, and says that he’s on the same team, he just doesn’t trust all the players. The only one he knows for certain that he can trust is Chris Sabin, and the rest have to earn it. Speaking of, doesn’t EY have a title match right now? Good luck, buddy! As soon as Eric leaves, Shelley grabs JB by the jacket lapels and slams him up against the lockers. In a perfectly soft and calm voice, he asks JB just what he was thinking, mouthing off out there. You weren’t thinking, were you? I’ll let it go this time of you tell us where Mick Foley is. A very chastened-looking JB whispers and points, “He’s in Jeff Jarrett’s office.” Shelley releases JB and straightens the jacket, thanking him before he and Sabin take off.
Match #3: X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH (Eric Young vs. champion Sheik Abdul Bashir): The announcers talk up Eric Young’s confidence, what a great idea forcing Shane Sewell to continue to referee matches involving Bashir, and what annoying, self-centered, hard to deal with, pains in the butt Bashir and Shelley are. Sweet EY counter to getting his arms pinned behind his back! Not sure what it’s called, but cool. Solid Eric Young offense, no comedy spots here. The WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) is a stupid name for a DDT, or any move, for that matter. Sewell does his job and tries to avoid contact with Bashir at all costs. He does have two strikes against him at this point. Bashir shoves Sewell, and does everything he can to provoke Sewell into hitting him, and thereby getting fired as a referee. Sewell wants to give in, and the crowd is totally behind him, but he holds off. Young attempts a sunset flip, but Bashir holds on to the rope. Sewell allows Bashir the five-count, then kicks his hands, allowing Young to roll Bashir up and get the pin. Eric Young wins the match, and is the new X-Division champion! Oh, wait! Bashir slaps Sewell again, and the two get to scrapping. Bashir hits Sewell in the head with the title belt, busting him open badly. Sewell gushes blood, Bashir chokes him with his turban. Bashir bites at Sewell’s forehead, and gets Sewell’s blood all over his own face. Pretty creepy visual. Bashir takes the title belt and walks up the ramp, only to be confronted by Jim Cornette and a plethora of security guards. Cornette and Bashir argue, but we can’t hear most of what they say. Cornette takes the title belt from Bashir. As was announced earlier today, the X-Division title is being held up, and an eight-man tournament will determine the new champ. Whoever gets the X-Division title shot from the “Feast or Fired” briefcase will likely face the new champ, then. WINNER BY PINFALL: Eric Young, but X-Division title held up by Jim Cornette due to interference
Match #4: KNOCKOUT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (Christy Hemme vs. champion Awesome Kong w/ Raisha Saeed): Kong enters first? What’s up with that? Champions should always enter last. Staff Sgt. Leslie Manseur (Retired) from Orlando, Florida, comes down the ramp to introduce Christy Hemme. Why do we only have veterans announcing American wrestlers who are fighting against Sheik Abdul Bashir or someone associated with Raisha Saeed? Ok. A MUCH better showing from Hemme than expected, particularly the strategy of kicks to Kong’s head while Hemme stood on the corner turnbuckle. Really nice spot where Hemme goes for the “Flying Fire Crotch Leg Drop” (Seriously, do the announcers not know that the word “firecrotch” has nothing to do with having red hair?) while standing on the floor, but Kong grabs her leg and hurls her to the ground with a sick thud. Rhaka Khan and Raisha Saeed attack Christy Hemme in the ring, when it looks like she just might get the win after all. Kong and Hemme go after each other repeatedly, with the crowd chanting, “Let them fight! Let them fight!” How many Divas matches have gotten that response lately? WINNER: No contest due to interference, Awesome Kong retains Knockouts title
To the back! JB is with Kurt Angle. Angle cuts the most disturbingly homoerotic promo I have heard in a long time. “Ecstasy. Pure ecstasy.” He makes a hunting analogy, and mentions ripping the flesh with his teeth. He has lost it, JB, completely lost it. Again, Angle has so totally lost control that he is able to tell JB how out of control he is. Huh? Angle is obsessed with Jeff Jarrett, he says. He thinks about Jeff Jarrett morning, noon, and night. Well, that would explain the Angle divorce…. I’m just sayin’.
Match #5: TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH (Abyss & Matt Morgan vs. champions Beer Money, Inc): Why does a supposed tag team, who is challenging for the title belts, have separate entrances? No. When Beer Money, Inc. enters, James Storm rides his cooler/scooter to the ring. That thing rules! Great stalling tactics by Beer Money, even if they are acting terrified of Matt Morgan. Abyss has tunnel vision on Storm for the beer bottle to the head episode from last Thursday. Understandably. The announcers sing the praises of Matt Morgan and Abyss as a tag team, also claiming that both Team 3D and the Motor City Machine Guns have complemented Beer Money. Uh, no. Team 3D did, but that was it. Abyss chases Beer Money around, allowing Morgan to hit a top rope cross body on Storm and Roode. Beer Money take the title belts and walk up the ramp with them. The ring announcer says that the bell will ring to officially start the match (it hasn’t yet), and Beer Money will have a ten-count to get in the ring, or they will forfeit their titles. Beer Money objects, but barely complies in time, continuing the chicken tactics. The crowd is split between chants of “Abyss!” and chants of “Chug! Chug! Chug!” for Storm. Jacqueline grabs Morgan’s foot and helps take out his knee. With Morgan down, Storn goes to hit Abyss with a beer bottle, but Abyss grabs his wrist. Jacqueline begs off, allowing Storm to produce brass knuckles from his tights and punch Abyss in the face with them. Storm gets the pin on Abyss, and Beer Money, Inc. clears out.
To the back! Lauren is with Mick Foley, discussing Angle’s match. Foley says that his job is simply to make sure that the Main Event Mafia don’t interfere, nothing more. The slow, sarcastic clapping can only mean one thing. The Motor City Machine Guns are in the house! Shelley tells Foley that they may have had some problems, but he has realized that they are simply different people. He and Sabin are young, good-looking, relevant, girls love them, and Foley is, well, no disrespect, but a bit of a dinosaur. Foley says that kids love dinosaurs, and starts to sing the “Barney” song, but Shelley cuts him off and points out that kids also eat dirt, and that therefore Foley should not use kids as a barometer for intelligence. Shelley tells Foley that going out to the ring and reversing the decision of the “Feast or Fired” tag team title shot briefcase will send everyone home happy. Foley says, “Are you asking me or telling me?” Shelley says, “A little bit from Column A, and a little bit from Column B.” I SAY THAT ALL THE TIME!!! ALEX SHELLEY SAID MY LINE ON A PPV! Shelley then backtracks and decides that he is telling Foley. Foley will take their words under advisement. After the Guns leave, Foley gets angry again and tells Lauren that “that kid” will get what he has coming to him, but it will be on Foley’s time, not when Shelley says. Probably on Thursday.
Tenay and West run down the rest of the card. Hark! Do mine eyes deceive me? It’s Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley, walking down the ramp to the ring! Tenay and West are not nearly as pleased about this turn of events as I am. Few people are. Shelley tells the audience to shut up and let the man in the ring talk. He points out that this is the second time tonight that the Motor City Machine Guns have come out to the ring, and that we’ll all be lucky if our pay-per-view providers don’t charge us double. He goes on to say that Foley will be coming out to reverse the decision of the “Feast or Fired” tag team title shot, and that the audience is looking at the new Number One Contenders to the Tag Team Championships. Boos. “I don’t know why you’re booing, we’re completely qualified to be champions.” Sabin gets two chairs and brings them into the ring. Shelley comments that “chivalry is not dead” and that the chairs have “excellent lower lumbar support.” The Guns take their seats and refuse to leave the ring until Foley comes down and overturns that match decision. Nothing. Jim Cornette does come out, and informs the Guns that Foley has more important things to deal with than “couple of crybabies like you.” Cornette tells Shelley that he couldn’t beat half of Mick Foley if the other half was helping him. Shelley asks if they look like a low-rent Midnight Express. What is Cornette going to do if they refuse to leave? Hit them with a tennis racquet, or some other piece of sporting equipment? Cornette announces that he is going to get the biggest, meanest security guards they have to remove the Guns from the ring, the building, and the property. Sabin and Shelley are not impressed. As Cornette leaves, the lights go out, and it is Suicide! Suicide enters from a zip line, just like the HBK entrance from days of old. One-handed, I might add. Very cool. Suicide drops into the ring and makes short work of both Shelley and Sabin before exiting up the ramp. If this is supposed to mark full-on heeldom for the Guns, that’s cool. One would think, though, that considering how incredibly popular the Guns are as cocky babyfaces (due entirely to their own doing and not to any sustained push from TNA), and that fans never really had a solid program in which to cheer them on, the company would want to take advantage of that before trying to get us to boo them. It’s like free money, TNA. Or don’t you need any?
To the back! Lauren is with Rhino. She’s afraid. “I shouldn’t be here, should I?” Rhino tells her that no, she shouldn’t, and takes the mic from her as she leaves. Rhino speaks softly about how sick and twisted Angle’s recent words have been. He thinks of his own daughter when he hears Angle talk about threatening Jeff Jarrett’s daughters. Tonight he isn’t fighting for Jeff Jarrett or for TNA, he’s fighting for Jeff Jarrett’s three little girls. Ok, this thing with people’s kids really needs to stop.
Match #6: DOUBLE MAIN EVENT, #1: (Rhino vs. Kurt Angle, Special Enforcer Mick Foley): Foley enters first. Angle enters to his own music and not to the Main Event Mafia music. Interesting. Angle uses lots of power moves. Go figure, Angle is better than Rhino at Rhino’s specialty. Rhino accidently gores the ref when Angle dodges out of the way. Angle gets a chair, but Foley won’t allow it. While Angle argues with Foley, Rhino rolls him up for a two-count. Al Snow comes down to the ring. Mick looks surprised, but pleased, until Snow slaps him in the face. The announcers make a big deal over how much abuse Al Snow took from Mick Foley in his books and on the road. Angle takes advantage of Mick’s distraction to hit Rhino with the afore-mentioned chair and gets the pin. Angle gets Jeff Jarrett at the “Genesis” pay-per-view. Angle gets a mic, and tells Foley that after he cripples Jeff Jarrett, he’s coming after Mick. His exact words are, “You old son of a bitch, I’m gonna kick the shit out of you!” Ok.
To the back! Lauren is with Sting and the Main Event Mafia. Sting’s purple jacket with red trim is hideous. Sting talks about all the experience that each member of the MEM brings to the table. He mentions Sharmell several times. What experience does she bring, precisely? Nash walks off in a different direction from the rest of the MEM.
To the back! JB is in the Front Line locker room with Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Team 3D. JB questions the ability of Joe and AJ to trust Team 3D. AJ angrily takes up for them, saying that they are “like brothers! Like family!” Perhaps after the revelation about his father, that comparison is not so good. After Joe and AJ walk away, the camera closes in on Team 3D. “You got this?” “I got this.”
Match #7: DOUBLE MAIN EVENT, #2:
World Champion Sting, Legends Champion Booker T, Kevin Nash, and Scott Steiner (The Main Event Mafia) vs. Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Team 3D (TNA Front Line): The MEM enter first. Steiner is late to the group pose. The Front Line looks really good coming to the ring, and their music isn’t bad at all. JB makes official ring introductions. Earl Hebner is the referee? But we had the obligatory ref bump in the previous match! Oh, well. Team 3D gets cheers. Some chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe!” A “Joe’s Gonna Kill You!” sign. Some “AJ! AJ!” chants. AJ and Booker start. AJ eventually tags in Brother Ray. Booker tags in Steiner. Brother Ray Rock Bottoms Steiner (!) for a two-count, and tags in Joe. Joe and Steiner go. Joe wants Nash, but Sting tags himself in. Note to Don West (and Mike Tenay): Stop praising the MEM for everything they do! You shouldn’t be verbally fellating the heels like that! Sting tags in Nash after Joe has been worked over. Joe drives Nash to the Front Line corner and tags in Devon. The MEM gangs up on Devon, and keeps him in the ring for a long time. Nash hits Devon with a side slam for a two-count. Nash tags in Steiner, who does some bear hugs and an overhead release suplex. Steiner tags in Booker. Booker gets only a two-count on Devon and tags in Sting. Steiner tags in. Devon hits Steiner with a diving head butt, then tags in Brother Ray. Steiner tags in Nash. Joe tags in. Steiner crotches Joe on the ring post while Booker distracts the ref. Nash gets two two-coutns on Joe in rapid succession. Sting tags in. Steinrer tags in. Brother Ray makes the save on Joe. Sting tags in. Booker tags in. Chopfest between Joe and Booker. Steiner tags in. Steiner hits a belly-to-belly overhead release suplex on Joe for a two-count. Joe gets a foot on the ropes. Nash tags in. The MEM attack Joe. Sting tags in. Booker tags in and puts Joe in the abdominal stretch. Steiner tags in. Joe catches him and slams him down. Joe tags in AJ, who takes out the entire MEM. AJ gets a two-count on Sting. Joe gets tagged, and all eight men are brawling. Booker falls to the 3D. A fast series of finishers. Joe gets Sting up for the Muscle Buster, but Nash low-blows Joe, and Sting pins Joe for the three-count. Once again, the announcers do not condemn any actions of the Main Event Mafia. Sting takes the World title belt and exits up the ramp alone, leaving the rest of the MEM celebrating in the ring.
This was a better show than most people are giving it credit for. Even me, I admit it. Lots of possibilities have been set up, and it will be interesting to see which ones get explored. Nash can only win by serious cheating. This has been established. The lack of turns by either Team 3D or Joe was refreshing. Homicide and Hernandez can challenge for singles titles without breaking up the tag team, and they can be on tv without being in the tag title picture. Speaking of, I can totally see Lethal and Creed taking the tag titles from Beer Money, and having a built-in feud with the Motor City Machine Guns over the tag belts. This removes them all from the main Front Line/Main Event Mafia story while still keeping them in the overall picture of the “war.” Curry Man has to be the one getting “fired,” setting up the return of Christopher Daniels to side with Joe and AJ. Foley is still too angry with Alex Shelley for no real reason, but Shelley mic time is gold! Some people will hate everything, but some good was done tonight. I’m at least willing to wait and see. Til next Thursday, then!
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