Welcome to the last ever TNA PPV.
Well, ok, that’s not technically confirmed. As of this writing, TNA is still looking for a television deal. They’re talking to networks. The idea of them getting television is still feasible. But look at the schedule they have for the rest of 2014. Oh, wait, this is it. Yes, unless TNA schedules TV tapings for November or December, they don’t have anything until the UK tour in January. And after that, it’s the end.
I could sit here and rant on about why it’s come to this, but we’ve been down that path. We all know why Bound for Glory this year is the show that it is. We know why we are again down the beaten path of remarking “lol did you know there’s a TNA show tonight”. The funny thing is, TNA doesn’t know why. It’s very much like what Dave Meltzer said in the Observer a few weeks ago- TNA refuses to accept reality, much in the vein of WCW, and they are soon to meet the same path they took unless they get the one thing WCW needed to sustain itself- television. The parallels are amazing, when you think about it. But I think it’s just another example of people failing to learn from other people’s mistakes.
But hey, the biggest TNA show of the year is tonight. The hotly anticipated tag team match main event consisting of The Great Muta and Tajiri (who Tajiri turned on earlier this week, but whatever) taking on James Storm and The Great Sanada, who is at least the second guy TNA wanted to push so they just had him made to look exactly like The Great Muta. Exciting! Let’s go.
JB welcomes us to the show live (via tape) from Kouraken Hall.
Manik vs. Minoru Tanaka. Some good back and forth to start. Manik misses a tope that causes him to land on the outside. Tanaka goes to leap out of the ring, but Manik escapes under and jumps him from behind. Manik gains advantage for a while, but Minoru lures Manik in after pretending to miss a dropkick. I think that’s how it went, anyway. Taz mentioned something about the “late, great” Dynamite Kid during commentary. Oops. Huge moonsault from the middle turnbuckle from Tanaka on Manik. Manik fights back and goes for a frog splash, but Tanaka gets the knees and hits a superplex for the nearfall. More back and forth. Double underhook codebreaker from Manik doesn’t get it. Tanaka finally rolls into a cross armbreaker and Manik taps for the submission. Pretty damn good opener. ***1/2
They are showing a long clip of Team 3D vs. Rick Steiner and Animal from Slammiversary 2007, I guess to fill time.
EC3 talked about Spud and how ever since Dixie Carter went through the table he was on borrowed time. He’s found a replacement and will show him off on Wednesday. Talks about tonight against Ryota Hama. “You know what they say” he says. “The bigger they are…the more impressive the victory”. I don’t think that’s the saying, but ok.
EC3 came out for a promo in the ring. Speaks slowly for the Japanese saying that he’s undefeated. and how he’s good. I should note this crowd was pretty into EC3 and most of the TNA guys, so I guess there is a TNA fanbase in Japan. Who knew.
EC3 vs. Ryota Hama. EC3 did a lot of stalling to start, but eventually Hama started to gain control of the match. EC3 cuts him off and shoves his head repeatedly on the mat. He tries to bodyslam him, but Hama responds with a lariat. EC3 falls to the corner and Hama hikes his Rikishi pants up and hits an ass splash on the corner. EC3 tries for another bodyslam but Hama blocks it again. EC3 eventually prevails with the forward DDT. It was what it was. **
Footage between Beer Money and Team 3D from a Lockdown were shown.
MVP interview. Put over Japan.
MVP vs. Kazma Sakamoto. For a show that’s designed to be Wrestle-1 vs. TNA, there’s a lot of New Japan name dropping. On commentary, Tenay mentioned how MVP was the first IWGP Intercontinental champion. This was mostly a MVP showcase with Sakamoto doing comedy stalling and bumps. He rolled out of the way when MVP was going for the ballin’ elbow but MVP responds by striking Sakamoto from the apron on the floor. Drive by kick through the barricade to the outside by MVP. Sakamoto gains control for a bit with a sleeper, then hits a bulldog after MVP misses another drive by kick. Sakamoto went for the ballin elbow himself, but MVP gets the knees up and eventually manages to hit the ballin elbow himself and hits a perfectplex for a nearfall. Sakamoto fights back with a kneeling superkick and a missile dropkick to the face and get a nearfall. MVP dropkicks him in the foot and I believe hits a shining wizard for the fall. It was alright. **3/4
Samoa Joe promo talking about defending the title he already lost.
X Divison Title: Samoa Joe (c) (?) vs. Low Ki vs. Kaz Hayashi. Crowd was really into Samoa Joe and Low Ki. They’re acting very much like an American crowd, which I guess to fun to do when an American promotion comes to Japan. Some fun spots early, including Joe squishing his two opponents in the corner. Huge dropkick from Low Ki sends Joe to the barricade. The crowd chants “this is awesome” as the guys continue to chop each other to death. This is fun, I dunno about awesome. Joe lays them both out with a lariat on the outside. Joe locks in a boston crab, but then Joe counters with a crossface. Hayashi comes him and cits a crossface of his own, then follows with a double crossface. Hayashi goes to monkey flip Low Ki, but Ki lands on the middle rope and launches off with the Warrior’s Way for a nearfall. Ki goes on the ouside while Hayashi prepares for a dive through the ropes. Joe enters the ring, hits the ropes and follows with his own dive that takes out the two smaller guys. Low Ki puts Joe on the top ropes and tries to hit something on his shoulders, but Joe lands behind him and hits the kokina clutch. Low Ki passes out, giving the win to Joe, who retains the title. That he already lost. Pretty fun match though. ***1/2
Tommy Dreamer promo. To come back here for a final hurrah against Team 3D, it’s gonna be great.
El Hijo de Pantera and Andy Wu vs. Yusuke Kodama and Jiru Kuroshio. Kuroshio is wrestling with a coat on and it’s annoying .He and Wu trade offense for a bit until their partners are tagged in. Kodama’s tights just say “hi” on them. Well, hello. Pantera with a huge suicide dive on the middle rope onto Kodama. Kuroshio is tagged back and tries for a goofy pin twice with no luck. Sloppy standing corkscrew moonsault for a nearfall. You can tell this is a crowd who is here to see TNA because they aren’t as interested in these guys as guys like Low Ki, Samoa Joe or MVP. Wu is hot tagged in and together they lay out both Kodama and Kuroshio. Wu with a huge springboard crossbody on the outside to Kuroshio. He responds a few minutes with a huge moonsault off the top rope to Wu on the outside. Kodama follows with the sky twister press for the pinfall. It was an alright match to show off the young guys, though it was a bit sloppy at times. **1/2
TNA hall of fame package for Team 3D. Both Bully Ray and D-Von gave speeches. It was nice.
Tommy Dreamer and Abyss vs. Team 3D. Dreamer is decked out with a headband and towel, channeling Terry Funk. Team 3D wanted to shake hands. Dreamer obliged, but Abyss refused. Abyss hits Bully Ray with a chokeslam but Bully Ray hulks up and ends up laying both of them out. Bully tells D-Von to get the tables and he does so as the crowd goes wild. They indeed bring out a Japanese table. Dreamer and Abyss fight back and Bully Ray and Abyss brawl around the ring as Dreamer and D-Von fight in the crowd. Abyss uses the bell as a weapons but Bully Ray counters, grabs the bell, and rings it on Abyss’s, um, privates. The fans chanted ECW. Did they even have TV in Japan? Abyss hits the black hole slam for a nearfall. Bully Ray ends up powerbombing Dreamer through the tiny table. “holy shit” chant from the crowd. This crowd is kind of amazing. Abyss takes out the thumbtacks. He goes to chokeslam but they counter with a flapjack that sends Abyss face first into the thumbtacks. Fun. They follow that up with a 3D to Tommy Dreamer as they pick up the win. It was a fun brawl. ***
Bully Ray grabs a mic after and says thank you to all the fans worldwide. They’re favorite place to fight is Tokyo, Japan. D-Von said his catchphrase and that’s it. They edited out where Bully Ray cut a promo on the Bullet Club. I guess they’re trying to get a New Japan gig. They could use another team to freshen things up over there, to be honest. New Japan 2009 is different than New Japan 2014 though, so who knows if they’d fit in. They probably would, but we’ll see.
Velvet Sky promo promoting her match against Havok. A video package followed showing Havok laying out everyone.
TNA Knockouts Title: Havok (c) (?) vs. Velvet Sky. Havok has already lost this championship as well, because you know, TNA. So again, we have a situation here where a champion is defending a title they already lost. Velvet started with a number of sledges on fall four corners of the ring. It didn’t phase Havok much. “I see Havok in the ring and think of some of the famous women wrestlers in Japan” said Mike Tenay, instantly starting to lose credibility. In a great commentary moment, Taz asked Tenay why he hasn’t brought up the size difference between Havok and Velvet Sky, only for Tenay to mention he’s done it plenty of times already. Oops. Velvet sees an opening after Havok misses a top rope legdrop. Velvet with a crossbody for a nearfall. He goes for a top rope crossbody but Havok catches her and bearhugs her for the submission. Sloppy and not very good, the out of nowhere finish didn’t help much either. Neither of these women seem very fluid in the ring, even though they tried. 1/2*
James Storm promo. Sanada was lost under the guidance of Muta. He is the path that Sanada has been looking for. They will be cut down tonight. They are the Revolution, and they are one…and there is always room for one more.
James Storm cut a promo in the ring. He took one of their own who was lost and turned him against the Great Muta. He introduces the Great Sanada.
The Great Sanada and James Storm vs. Tajiri and The Great Muta. Muta and Tajiri did their cool double mist spot that the cameras completely missed. TNA, everyone. Muta and Sanada started grappling on the floor. Sanada sprayed blue mist that I think the cameras also completely missed. The fans chanted “let’s go Cowboy”. Yes, they’re cheering on the one TNA guy in the match while also booing him. Sanada gets kicked out of the ring by Tajiri and falls to the floor and crawls under as Tajiri follows. I guess during these shenanigans Tajiri got misted by Sanada. Why do that under the ring? Sanada and Storm work over Tajiri. Sanada and Tajiri were doing punches when Storm came in and laid out Tajiri. That would be a DQ in a 2014 WWE main event. Tajiri comes back to life after the springboard elbow and tags in Muta. He’s on offense for a bit, but the heels take him out with a top rope elbow and moonsault. Storm gets laid out on the outside by Tajiri. Double mist spot on Sanada followed by the shining wizard by Muta secures the victory. It was a match. **1/4
James Storm jumps Tajiri and Muta after the match with Manik coming out to help. Suddenly, Team 3D comes running out and evens things up. Muta gives Storm the mist and Team 3D gives the 3D to Storm to close out the show.
The X title match and the opener was good stuff. Everything else was just there, though save for the women’s match it wasn’t bad stuff. I’ve said my bit on TNA so won’t drone on further, but this may have been the final show TNA ever tapes for broadcast. If this is the end, well…it was a show.