No Way Out used to feel like the most useless PPV on the WWE calendar. This monthâ€™s TNA No Surrender feels even more useless, because it only features the semi finals of the TNA title tournament, building to next monthâ€™s Bound for Glory. Still, some of the matches here should be good, so sit back and read the Pulse team picks.
Steven Gepp: Could be match of the night, if both guys bring their A-Game. Now, hereâ€™s the issue. If Angle loses he retires. Right? So whereâ€™s the interest here? Heâ€™s going to win and heâ€™s going to keep on winning until he needs more surgery or whatever, then heâ€™ll do a Ric Flair retirement and turn up three months later in Australia on some crappy show that draws barely enough to cover costs, filled with over-rated wrestlers high on themselves, and of whom at least one will shortly thereafter die because of (allegedly) taking too many not good substances. Mind you, if it means he then turns up in ROH after that, I wonâ€™t be complaining. And thatâ€™s because we donâ€™t get ROH in Australia and I wonâ€™t have to fear for him dying every time I watch him wrestle and see him take another insane neck bump. What? Right, the match. A no doubt about it match.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Matthew Michaels: I think you have to let Kurt win here, as he’s better to put over who I’d LIKE to see win the world title, rather than Hardy.
Kyle Sparks: One has to think that TNA would absolutely love to put the title on Jeff Hardy, but given his penchant for flaking–like a certain former champion–and his legal woes, it wouldn’t be a smart move. Therefore, do you eliminate him in the semi-finals or the finals? Personally, I have to think that you can make a bigger star out of someone by putting them over Kurt Angle in the finals, so I’ve got to pick MY Olympic Hero to go over here.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Raffi Shamir: Once again TNA screwed their title situation in a grand way. I b*tched enough about how they stripped RVD off the title, but now I think they made a huge mistake by putting Kurt Angle in the tournament. He overshadows the other three contestants and his promise to retire unless he wins the title kinda paints TNA into a corner. After they let RVD be their number 1 guy and he flaked on them, I doubt TNA will repeat this move with the equally unreliable Hardy.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Steven Gepp: This one could be interesting, And by â€˜could beâ€™, I mean could be if I cared about either man. They should have pulled the trigger on Pope as serious title contender last year and Anderson I think is over-rated. Even his mic skills are over-rated. Heâ€™s certainly no Rock. Hell, heâ€™s not even a Miz (as over-rated as that guy is as well). My God, heâ€™s not even an Ed Leslie. I expect little from this match. As to picking a winner, unless I misunderstood, all 4 guys in the tournament are essentially faces. So I look at the match which pitted the four of them against Fortune, and there they teased dissention between Pope and Angle, and Pope is growing out his chest hair (very heelish thing to do), soâ€¦
Winner: Mr Anderson
Matthew Michaels: I say The Pope should be the new champ, so let him win here. He vs. Angle will be fun. And I’m not sure if they ever fought in ECW, so it would also be FRESH.
Kyle Sparks: So, now the question becomes who goes over Angle in the finals? I think the winner of this one becomes your next TNA World Champion, because (1) TNA likes swerves, and (2) They have an opportunity to make a big star in the process. Will they do this? Probably not, but I can hope. The Pope, I’ve got to think isn’t quite ready yet. He’s close, but he needs some more time at the top. That leaves…
Winner: Mr. Anderson
Raffi Shamir: I still donâ€™t like Mr. Anderson. At all. I still like The Pope. A lot. I still think TNA like Anderson more, and would want Angle to carry him once more.
Steven Gepp: If there is one thing TNA are doing better than WWE itâ€™s their tag team. Used to be their womenâ€™s division as well, but, well, they kept Lacey Von Erich and got rid of Awesome Kong. Thatâ€™s all I need to say. Anyway, back to tag teams. The matches between MCMG and Beer Money were brilliant. I mean that. Itâ€™s one of the reasons Iâ€™ve been suckered back into watching TNA. And with Generation Me there as well, it looks good. And now Wolfe and Magnus, the Pommy Posse. This should be really good, but I think too many external shenanigans will ruin it. Stillâ€¦
Winners: (and new champs) Wolfe & Magnus
Matthew Michaels: I’m still thinking that the MCMG need a LONG title reign, and as much as I like these Brits, I’m not rooting against Detroit.
Winner: Shelley & Sabin
Kyle Sparks: This is a placeholder feud, nothing more. Holding a place for what? Who knows, this is TNA. Even still, no way the Guns drop the titles here.
Winner: Motor City Machine Guns
Raffi Shamir: I love the name London Brawling. This match is gonna kick so much ass and prove once again that when tag team wrestling is done right (Like TNA is doing for the past two months), it can be excellent. Iâ€™m sure Steven isnâ€™t the only one who came back to TNA thanks to the amazing Beer Money/MCMG series and both TNA and WWE should take this seriously. Anyway, MCMG need to win and go on to rule the tag division.
Steven Gepp: I marked out when Dreamer won the ECW title in the WWE. I thought he did well in those matches where he was protected and made to look reasonable. Now heâ€™s against a guy who is running at twice his speed, twice his talent and with actual wrestling skill, in a stable being managed by Ric Flair. So, of course, I know the way TNA works â€“ Dreamer should win. Then Flair will turn on AJ, AJ will go back to being a face, challenge for the title, lose, and be mired in midcard hell until 2012 when he jumps to WWE where heâ€™ll form a tag team with Evan Bourne called Rejected which will be let go after they lose a match to the team of Laycool, only to make an appearance at an ROH show where heâ€™ll be bitter and twisted, drinking cheap Tequila with Shane Douglas and they talk about the ways Ric Flair screwed their careers overâ€¦ But, look, being an I Quit match, they should have enough audio of Dreamer quitting, so they’ll pull a Foley here and pipe in a Dreamer I Quit to prolong this EV2.0/Fortune feud.
Winner: AJ Styles
Matthew Michaels: I just can’t see Dreamer winning this if it’s a fair fight.
Kyle Sparks: Tommy won’t say “I Quit,” but AJ picks up the win after he beats Tommy into unconsciousness and the match is stopped. Can the officials do that? Is it legal? Who cares, this is TNA! Logic is for losers!
Winner: AJ Styles
Raffi Shamir: Remember those who justified Hardcore Justice by saying itâ€™s a one off event and the old ECW guys will be gone after that? Iâ€™d like to read their view now. And if I hear anyone saying that Styles will get a rub from Dreamer when he beats him, Iâ€™ll scream. Dreamer canâ€™t give any rub to anyone at this stage. If anything, heâ€™s getting the rub from Styles by wrestling him. I hope Styles completely decimates Dreamer here and takes him out.
Steven Gepp: This is what the X-Division is all about! A technical wrestler and an over-the-hill bump machine. Sabu will come out with all guns blazing, but unfortunately this is a wrestling match and so heâ€™ll be arrested for being in possession of an unregistered firearmâ€¦ Look, Iâ€™m trying to get excited about this match. But I canâ€™t. I was over Sabu in 1997. I saw a match on ECW PPV where he botched so many spots I was genuinely afraid for his life and the life of whoever it was he was wrestling. And now heâ€™s fighting a guy whoâ€™s not used to his insanity as well as Sabu being older and half a step slower. This is going to be bowling shoe ugly (to quote JR).
Winner: Douglas Williams
Matthew Michaels: Should be exciting, and why not? Let Sabu win and REALLY make the wrestling purist go insane.
Kyle Sparks: Sabu is unreliable, a poor worker, only marginally over, etc. etc. Williams needs to drop the X-Title, but not to Sabu.
Winner: Douglas Williams
Raffi Shamir: Take what I wrote about Dreamer and itâ€™s the same for Sabu. Why oh whay is he fighting Williams here?
Steven Gepp: I donâ€™t like Abyss and have always thought Rhyno was overrated (how many times can I use that word in one PPV review and not be over-using it?). At least this is a hardcore match and not a submissions match, I suppose. Playing to their strengths (i.e., not wrestling). This should be awful.
Matthew Michaels: GORE! GORE! GORE! GORE!
Kyle Sparks: Well, EV2 needs to win at least one of them. And the booking has been as abusive of Abyss as anybody else.
Raffi Shamir: How many times have we seen this match already? Iâ€™m not a big fan of hardcore matches and when Abyss pulls out the bag of thumbtacks or broken glass, I usually fast forward. He lost on Impact and if TNA wants to continue portraying him as a monster, he shouldnâ€™t lose again.
Steven Gepp: The best thing about this match is the fact that Nash, Hall and Jarrett are in it together and therefore not dragging some poor kid with his future ahead of him down with them. The bad news is that Samoa Joeâ€™s in there. I guess TNA could not drag him much further down than they already have, but this man is a killer. He is a legit star and could be having 4+-star matches with large numbers of the roster. But no, he has to slow down everything he does to ‘keep up (down) with’ these 3. And look at them. Iâ€™ll give Jarrett something â€“ he still looks like he gives a shit in the ring. Nash looks bored and Sting looksâ€¦ contracted. Like heâ€™s doing it for the money because he knows he canâ€™t do anything else. (See also Flair, Ric and Hogan, Hulk) So hereâ€™s what I hope will happen â€“ Joe turns on Jarrett and just goes to town on all 3 of the antiques, destroying them all until they are no more than quivering masses of jelly in three of the corners. And then Hogan and Flair come out and he does the same to them and then the members of EV2.0 come out and he does the same to them, leaving the wrestlers to have TNA. And Bischoff will come out and say again that only old people draw and the whole roster will hand him his arse on a Ted Turner Commemorative Plate (only $19.99 plus shipping). Russo, meanwhile, will be found three weeks later working the night shift in the DVD return section of his local Blockbuster, still crying and begging everyone to just leave him alone. And the ratings will stay exactly the same but at least the show will be fun again.
Winner: Sting/Nash with lots of shenanigans and/or a turn by Joe or Jarrett or both
Kyle Sparks: Ugh. I have no idea where this is going, so I’ll just go with my hope. Joe walks out on Jarrett, who does the job, Joe returns and murders all three.
Winners: Sting & Kevin Nash
Matthew Michaels: Joe will pick up the win.
Winners: Joe & Jarrett
Raffi Shamir: What are the odds of Sting, Nash and Jarrett all attacking Joe, making him look once again like a complete tool and continuing the biggest mishandling of any wrestler in TNA history?
Winners: Sting and Nash
Steven Gepp: I used to like the Knockouts Division. I really did. When they had women who looked like they could wrestle. Now while these two arenâ€™t as bad as the women on WWE programming, they just donâ€™t do it for me. I donâ€™t even find them particularly attractive, so itâ€™s not even an eye candy match for me.
Winner: (heads) Velvet Sky
Kyle Sparks: Ugh. I don’t know, let’s say Velvet, due to Elementary Booking 101. What little attention I admittedly pay to TNA goes out the window when the women show up.
Winner: Velvet Sky
Raffi Shamir: TNA bill this a grudge match, not a title match, but this doesnâ€™t mean that the title will not be on the line. Not that it matters, I think Velvet should win here and move on to feud with Tara, who will eventually take the title.
Winner: Velvet Sky
Tags: A.J. Styles, Abyss, AJ Styles, Brutus Magnus, desmond wolfe, douglas williams, ev2, Fortune, Jeff Hardy, jeff jarrett, ken anderson, kevin nash, Kurt Angle, madison rayne, motor city machine guns, mr anderson, No Surrender, Rhino, Ric Flair, roundtable, Sabu, Samoa Joe, Sting, Tara, The Beautiful People, The Pope, TNA, TNA Knockouts, TNA Tag Team Championship, TNA X Division Championship, tommy dreamer, Velvet Sky