Welcome to week 2 of the celebration of the tenth anniversary of TNA’s existence. My apologies for the lateness, but here it is. Last week we discussed the Top 5 Biggest Failures and Biggest Successes. This week we will be discussing the favorite moments/matches as well as the biggest cringe-worthy moments/matches of the first ten years of TNA. Therefore without further ado…
This was actually quite hard to whittle down to 5.
1) A.J. Styles v Samoa Joe v Christopher Daniels (Unbreakable 2005)
Triple threat match for the X Division title. I still love to watch this match. It is flawless. It is hard to find another match that is as smooth in its execution and timing as this one from all the wrestling I have seen. I didn’t even mind the foreign object (the title belt) getting involved, and normally that gives me the irrits. AJ Styles eked out the victory with a pin on Daniels, who had him locked in Angel’s Wings at the time. Just great.
2) Motor City Machine Guns v Beer Money Inc. (Genesis 2011)
My favourite match of 2011. 2011 was not a good year for TNA from an in-ring standpoint, but even when stacked up against the WWE this match stood out as just wonderful for me. These two teams had a wonderful chemistry together, and their series together was just fantastic. Beer Money eventually picked up a hard fought win.
3) A.J. Styles v Daniels v Samoa Joe (Turning Point 2009)
A rematch from 2005 Unbreakable, and one of the few rematches that lived up to the hype. The stakes were higher, the dynamics of the trio were different, they were older and more experienced, and put on a wrestling clinic in my favourite match of 2009. Yes, I liked it better than HBK/Undertaker at Wrestlemania. These three were just put out there to sink or swim at a time when the company seemed to be struggling, and they swum. Strongly. It ended with AJ Styles retaining the title, and to think, TNA could be having these three fighting for the world title still.
4) AMW v Triple X (Turning Point 2004)
A tag team match in the ‘six sides of steel’, famous for Elix Skipper’s cage walk into hurricanrana, a move that still makes me wince, waiting for the crash that never comes. Just a superb match, even though I don’t like things like handcuffs in wrestling matches. Skipper, Daniels, Storm and Harris busted their arses for us, and then end came with an AMW victory.
5) Samoa Joe v Kurt Angle (Turning Point 2006)
Samoa Joe’s rematch after Angle had defeated Joe at Genesis. The match was two wrestlers going at it. It looked stiff and the technical skills on display were awesome. Smooth transitions, holds and counterholds, nice to watch. The ending was not what I would have wanted, with Angle trying to use a chair. But then Joe dodged it and locked in the Kohina Clutch for the submission win.
Honorable Mention: Motor City Machine Guns v Beer Money (Victory Road 2010)
These two teams seemed like they could not have a bad match together if they tried. This one saw MCMG finally defeat Beer Money to win the TNA Tag Team Titles.
1) Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, Unbreakable
2) AJ Styles vs. Abyss, Lockdown 2005
3) Team USA vs. Team International vs. Team Japan vs. Team Mexico, Victory Road 2008
4) Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe, Lockdown 2008
5) America’s Most Wanted vs. Triple X, Turning Point 2004
1) Ultimate X Match from Bound For Glory 2007: Triple X (Low-Ki and Elix Skipper) vs. LAX (Homicide and Hernandez).
2) Samoa Joe \ AJ Styles \ Christopher Daniels series from 2005 and 2006.
3) TNA World Title Match from My Bloody Valentine in 2002 or 2003: Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven.
4) Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe trilogy, and Kurt Angle’s debut \ initial confrontation with Joe.
5) Cage Match: America’s Most Wanted vs. Triple X (Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper)
Biggest Cringe-Worthy Moments \ Matches
This was actually quite hard to whittle down to 5.
1) Sting v Jeff Hardy (Victory Road 2011)
The worst match of 2011. Worse than any Cole/Lawler debacle. Worse than any so-called women’s wrestling match on TNA/WWE. Less than 2 minutes in which a clearly not quite with it Jeff Hardy is actually forcibly held down by Sting for Sting to win. You could see Hardy wasn’t happy afterwatrds, but he should not have been there. Pull the ol’ “beaten up backstage” line and send out AJ Styles to wrestle Sting in what could have been at the very least a watchable match. Instead, no, we got a 2 minute main event of a TNA PPV.
2) Jenna Morasca v Sharmell (Victory Road 2009)
Dear God, I was hoping I’d never have to think about this match ever again. A Survivor cast-off and a former dancer in the ring. I won’t call what they did “wrestling”. It was so awful it was almost funny. Almost. However, it did have one positive. Awesome Kong got to deck both of them.
3) Masturbating midgets
A midget. Named Puppet. In a trashcan. Masturbating. Again, do I need to say anything else? For those who missed it, it happened in the early years, at the time TNA also had go-go dancers in cages.
4) Karen & Jeff Jarrett – happy families
Every time these two appeared on screen with Kurt’s kids, playing happily families, watching Karen’s porn-level acting and hearing her Stephanie McMahon-esque screech, I wanted to call children’s services. Painful on every level and did nothing for anyone involved.
5) The Johnsons
Two grown men dressed as wrestling penises. Do I need to say anything else?
Honorable Mention: Reverse battle royal
Just a retarded idea for a match and completely counter-intuitive for wrestling. Interesting concept poorly executed.
1) Jenna Morasca vs. Sharmell, Victory Road 2009
2) Sting vs. Jeff Hardy, Victory Road 2011
3) Samoa Joe vs. Booker T, Victory Road 2008
4) Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe, Bound for Glory IV
5) Garett Bischoff vs. Anyone, Ever
1) Every match involving Matt Morgan, Garrett Bischoff, Ken Anderson, Gunner and Crimson.
2) Every match involving TNA Knockouts.
3) Sting and Jeff Hardy, from the PPV in 2011 where Jeff Hardy couldn’t be bothered to come down or sober up.
4) Booker T’s wife against the girl from Survivor.
5) Team 3D and LAX, in an “electrified” six sides of steel match. Every time someone touched the cage, they flashed the lights on and off for a bit and the wrestler would act like he was having a seizure.
Thank you for reading and be sure to check out the next Rasslin’ Roundtables over other topics throughout the month of June. Feel free to comment in the section below to add to the conversation on your opinions on these subjects.
Tags: Abyss, AJ Styles, America's Most Wanted, Beer Money Inc., Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Christopher Daniels, crimson, Elix Skipper, Garett Bischoff, gunner, hernandez, Homicide, impact wrestling, Jeff Hardy, jeff jarrett, Jenna Morasca, karen jarrett, ken anderson, Kurt Angle, lax, Low Ki, Matt Morgan, motor city machine guns, Puppet, raven, Reverse Battle Royal, Samoa Joe, Sharmell, Team 3D, Team International, Team Japan, Team Mexico, Team USA, The Johnsons, TNA, tna impact wrestling, TNA Knockouts, Triple X, ultimate x, Ultimate X Match