THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It’s the final pay-per-view of the year, with the great and good of Total Non-Stop Action presenting Final Resolution, shown on a three day delay here in Britain on Bravo 2, with Mike Tenay and Taz handling commentary duties.
Sadly, I’m unable to review the opening match, with the Motor City Machine Guns challenging the British Invasion for the TNA World Tag Team titles. The Christmas spirit of goodwill has once again passed over Nick Aldis, aka Brutus Magnus, as he still hasn’t withdrawn his threat of legal action if I say anything negative against him on the internet.
So it’s straight on to the second match, with Tara challenging ODB for the TNA Knockouts title. Despite the calibre of those involved I just couldn’t get into this one, making this the first Knockouts singles match for ages that I didn’t really enjoy. It was okay in parts, but something just didn’t seem right. The ending came when Tara countered ODB’s TKO attempt with a sunset flip for the title winning pin. I don’t know, something was missing here.
Feast or Fired was next, with Jay Lethal, Consequences Creed, Cody Deaner, James Storm, Robert Roode, Eric Young, Abdul Bashir, Kiyoshi, Homicide, Rob Terry, Kevin Nash and Samoa Joe. It’s the usual multi-man madness with people beating the hell out of each other all over the place, with four of the entrants grabbing the various cases hanging above the ring. The winners were Bash, who got a tag title shot, Joe, who got a World title shot, Terry, who got an X Division title shot, and Bashir, who got fired. Well, the action was okay, but the case opening segment reminded me of Deal or No Deal. I was half expecting Noel Edmonds to come out onto the stage, walking about like a creepy uncle!
The tag team elimination action followed with Team 3D, Rhino and Jesse Neal facing Matt Morgan, D’Angelo Dinero, Suicide and Hernandez. This was one of those matches with some added stipulations – because of a previous match, Hernandez had to face all of the bad guys on his own for the first five minutes. However, it became three-on-one during that period when Hernandez pinned Rhino after a missed gore. Super-Mex then got disqualified for clobbering Neal with a chair, with the same fate befalling Neal when he did the same to Suicide. Devon then pinned the masked man and Dinero after a couple of 3D’s, leaving Morgan alone against the former Dudleys. The Blueprint was able to hold his own against the two men, pinning Devon after the carbon footprint, and later pinning Ray when he kicked the chair Ray had brought back into the ring into his face. This was the first match on the show that I really enjoyed, although can someone tell me why Morgan wasn’t disqualified for using the chair?
Bobby Lashley and Scott Steiner then continued their apparently personal rivalry in a last man standing match. Just like their previous pay-per-view match, this one featured some good action, but lacked that balls out intensity that a feud of this kind called for. It’s the same sort of thing I’ve seen in many of Randy Orton’s matches this year. Also, the distinct lack of out of the ring fighting hurt this one as well. Lashley came out on top here, with a little help from his wife Kristal. As Steiner was about to get into the ring with his lead pipe, Kristal came down, grabbed the pipe, and tossed it to her old man. Lashley then clobbered Steiner with the pipe, and Big Poppa Pump failed to beat the ten count. Not bad, but could have been a whole lot better.
The grudge match action continued with Raven and Doctor Stevie going up against Mick Foley and Abyss. This was originally meant to be a regular match, but after Raven and Stevie brought weapons to the ring Foley change the rules – it was now an anything goes Foley’s Fun House match. It was basically one big brawl, with Foley taking his usual rest period as he “brawled” down the aisle before they disappeared backstage. He later returned with a shopping trolley full of weapons, just as the dastardly heels were considering setting Abyss on fire again. Some of the stuff here was really quite enjoyable, especially Foley’s elbow drop off the ramp, putting Stevie, who was wrapped in barb wire, through a table. Back in the ring Abyss got the win, taking Raven down with the black hole slam. Okay, it wasn’t a technical classic, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Kurt Angle and Desmond Wolfe’s rivalry continued next in a best of three falls cage match. This one had a few extras rules – the first fall could only be won by pin, the second could only be won by submission, and the third was fought under normal cage match rules. Also, neither man could use the cage as a weapon during the first two falls, otherwise they’d get disqualified. Yep, it’s TNA multi-stipulation madness again. Now that’s out of the way, this one had technical classic written all over it. This is what professional wrestling should be about. You had two of the best wrestlers in the world today going all out for victory in a tremendous back and forth encounter, one of those matches you just couldn’t take your eyes off. It was an absolute joy to behold, it really was. The exchange of submission holds during the second fall was unbelievable, and while all of this great action was happening we got three falls as well, with Wolfe getting the pin after a second Tower of London, Angle getting the second after an ankle lock, with Angle climbing the cage and hitting the floor to win what was a totally awesome encounter, another match of the year candidate.
The main event saw Christopher Daniels challenging his old friend and rival A.J. Styles for the TNA World title. You know, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen these two against each other, but I never tire of it. This was another match that had technical classic written all over it. This was definitely worthy of it’s main event status, as Styles and Daniels put on a great match. Okay, it may not have been as good as the previous match, but it was still pretty damn hot, with plenty of tremendous back and forth stuff, and if it hadn’t been for Angle and Wolfe this would have been match of the night. The champion emerged victorious here, countering Daniels’ top rope hurricanrana attempt with a Styles clash off the second rope, which earned him the title retaining pin.
In conclusion – TNA’s last major show of the year is something of a mixed bag. It started pretty slowly, but as the evening progressed the match quality got better and better, reaching it’s pinnacle with the final two matches. So in the end it’s the old good with the bad thing, which is something TNA seems to be making a habit of.