For an easy to navigate archive of my TNA reviews, visit Total Nonstop Ziegler!
Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – September 11, 2011
MATCH #1: Jesse Sorensen vs. Kid Kash
This is announced as a #1 Contender’s match. They start with some back and forth chain wrestling and both get some near-falls. The crowd cheers for the standoff like it’s ROH circa 2002. Tenay and Tazz talk about how much they love the 225-pound weight limit in the X Division, since it prevents someone like Abyss from coming in and dominating. Way to just bury the entire division, goofs. Kash takes the advantage and tries keeping Sorensen on the mat. Sorensen fights back with plucky babyface offense. Kash tries to cut him off but Sorensen perseveres and hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Sorensen hits a high cross body block off the top rope for another two-count. He tries to follow up but Kash cuts him off and goes back to work. Kash hits a moonsault for two. Sorensen comes back and hits a, well, I don’t know exactly. It was kind of a reverse suplex but he just sort of dropped him. It didn’t look good, but it still gets the win at 7:54. Sorensen is boring and Kash is Kash. It was okay for an iMPACT! match.
MATCH #2: Bound for Glory Series Match – James Storm (40) vs. Bully Ray (49)
Storm must win by submission in order to have a hope of winning the Series. Ray stalls and jaws with the fans in the early going. In fact Ray stalls for almost four minutes before making the first contact with a cheap shot. Ray gets a little bit of offense in before Storm executes a couple of armdrags and the Cross Armbreaker. That’s good strategy. Ray takes a powder to stall some more. Back in the ring Storm continues the arm work. Storm again puts on the Cross Armbreaker and really wrenches it in. Ray once again goes to the floor and this time Storm follows him out to continue the abuse. Storm goes to get back in the ring and Ray clips him, causing Storm to hit the apron face-first. Ray takes a swig of beer and brings a chair in the ring, and when the referee disposes of the chair Ray spits beer in Storm’s eyes. That was a good move. Storm comes back from out of nowhere and locks on the Cross Armbreaker again. Ray reaches the ropes. Storm switches it up and puts on the Sharpshooter and Ray reaches the ropes again. Ray is in rough shape as Storm viciously attacks the arm, locking on a Fujiwara armbar. Storm gets thrown to the apron so he takes a swig of beer. He tries to spray it in the Ray’s eyes but he ducks and the referee gets it instead. Storm locks on the Cross Armbreaker again and Ray taps out. However the referee disqualified Storm for spitting the beer, so Ray is the winner at 11:45. That took forever to get going, but by design, and they definitely had a story going in the match so it worked well enough. The finish was lame but as a piece of the bigger puzzle that we know now I’m good with it.
That match leaves Bully Ray in first place with 52 points, Bobby Roode and Gunner tied for second with 42, and James Storm all the way down to fifth with 30 points. Rob Van Dam is in fourth with 35, FYI.
MATCH #3: TNA Women’s Knockout Championship match – Mickie James vs. Winter
Winter is accompanied by Angelina Love. James has been the Champion since 9.1.11, and this is her first defense. Winter tries to grab James off the ropes before the bell rings but James kicks her off and then hits a missile dropkick. Wonder Mickie gets knocked to the floor and she beats up Love too. Winter tries to come to Love’s rescue but she fails. Back in the ring Winter takes a cheap shot as the crowd gets behind the Champion. Of course James fights back immediately and beats up Love some more. Mickie James is the kind of wrestler that constantly fights back and it makes her comebacks mean much less. Anyway, Winter hits a suplex for two. Winter continues the abuse and Love interferes when she can. Winter hits a nice swinging backbreaker, as the back has been her focus. James gets a jackknife cradle from out of nowhere for two. She follows with a neckbreaker and both women take some time to recover. They get up and trade strikes. James wins that battle and then hits a sloppy flapjack. Love distracts James but it doesn’t work and James hits the Mick Kick for two. James locks on a single leg crab for some reason. Winter gets the ropes. Love hands Winter the belt and she misses a shot with it. Referee Earl Hebner gets rid of the belt and James rolls Winter up for a two-count. James goes for the Tornado DDT but Love pulls Winter to the floor, so James follows her out with a Thesz Press. Love continues to get involved so James chases her up the ramp to the back. James gets back to the ring and Love interferes basically right in front of Hebner so he helpfully turns around for no reason. Winter accidentally sprays red mist into Love’s eyes. Luckily Winter had some extra red mist and spits it in James’s eyes to get the pin and regain the title at 8:37. That was the usual Mickie James match. You’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.
MATCH #4: TNA World Tag Team Championship Match – Mexican America vs. D’Angelo Dinero & Devon
Hernandez & Anarquia have been the Champions since 8.18.11, and this is their first defense. Anarquia and Devon start the match. The challengers take the first control and work over Anarquia, because he sucks. Hernandez gets a tag but the challengers go to work on him too. Anarquia gets more of the same treatment, and Dinero even accosts Rosita for no reason. That’s sexual harassment and she doesn’t have to take it. Hernandez distracts the referee and Sarita interferes to give the champions the advantage. The champs work on Devon for a bit until he catches Hernandez with a Spear, aka the move almost everyone does now. Tags are made and Dinero is a house afire. Dinero hits Anarquia with a high cross body block off the top rope for two when Hernandez breaks it up. Hernandez knocks Devon off the apron. Anarquia hits Dinero with a back suplex and Hernandez follows with a Superfly Splash. The referee has no idea who the legal men are. Rosita and Sarita try to interfere but both get spanked. I love how wrestling crowds cheer for that kind of abuse. Dinero hits Anarquia with the Zack Attack and Devon clobbers Hernandez. The girls continue to interfere, and when Dinero tries to suplex Anarquia back in the ring Sarita grabs Devon’s leg and Anarquia gets the pin at 9:46. The match was painfully average in every way, and that finish needs to be retired by this point.
MATCH #5: Samoa Joe vs. Matt Morgan
Morgan goes right after Joe and takes first control but Joe is ready to fight back. Even with that being the case, Morgan dominates the opening minutes. They take it to the floor and Joe fights back, subduing Morgan long enough to wipe him out with the elbow suicida. Back in the ring Morgan is able to hit a cross body off the top rope, which is pretty impressive. Morgan looks for the Carbon Footprint so Joe goes to the floor. Joe pokes Morgan in the eyes and drops his arm across the top rope. Back in the ring Joe hits a running knee strike. Joe dominates now, keeping the sizable Morgan on the mat. You’re not seven feet tall when you’re laying down. Well, you are, but you know what I mean. Morgan slugs back and hits a discus clothesline. He goes for a Chokeslam so Joe thumbs him in the eye. Joe hits an impressive belly-to-belly suplex for two. He goes for the Coquina Clutch but Morgan fights his way out of it. Joe perseveres and takes Morgan down to the mat in the Clutch and Morgan gets his long leg to the bottom rope. An angry Joe argues with the referee and turns around into the Carbon Footprint and Morgan gets the pin at 11:35. That was a decent power match but the finish makes Joe look like a goof.
MATCH #6: Bound for Glory Series Match – Bobby Roode vs. Gunner
No offense to Gunner personally, but it’s ridiculous that he’s even in this position right now. Much like earlier, either guy has to win by submission just to tie Bully Ray for the series lead. They start with some basic chain wrestling. Roode goes for a submission so Gunner takes a powder. That doesn’t keep him safe though, as Roode goes to the floor and goes to work on the left arm. Back in the ring Roode continues to work the arm until Gunner caches him with a DDT. Gunner takes control now with his generic heel offense. Roode goes back to the arm but Gunner cuts him off with a clothesline. Gunner locks on a Full Nelson but Roode won’t submit. They slug it out and Roode wins the battle. Roode goes for a Fujiwara Armbar but he can’t complete the hold so he hits a spinebuster instead. The tenacious Roode goes back to the Fujiwara Armbar and Gunner reaches the ropes. Gunner lands a running knee strike and tries the Full Nelson again. Roode counters and puts on the Fujiwara Armbar. He turns it into a Crossface and this time Gunner taps out at 11:58. I like that they had a good plan for the match and Roode stuck to it really well, but Gunner never had any shot at this and thus there was no drama.
Eric Bischoff comes out to announce that the Bound for Glory Series winner will be decided tonight, so Roode will face Bully Ray later tonight.
MATCH #7: TNA X Division Championship Match – Brian Kendrick vs. Austin Aries
Kendrick has been the Champion since 7.10.11, and this is his fourth defense. The crowd can’t decide who they like more. Kendrick starts going to work on the arm, just like Roode did in the very last match. They go back and forth with some chain wrestling. Kendrick executes a headscissors, which is very foolish when wrestling Austin Aries. The champ perseveres though and they take the battle to the floor. Kendrick whips Aries into the guardrail a couple of times. Aries comes back by slamming Kendrick’s head into the ring post. Back in the ring Aries covers for two. Aries is in control now, decimating the Champion with strikes. He hits a high elbow drop for two. Aries focuses on the head and neck area, which is smart given that he often uses a Brainbuster to finish. He goes for the “Swinging Pendulum Style Elbow” but misses. Why does everything have to have the word STYLE in it Mike Tenay? I hate you. Kendrick hits a jawbreaker but misses an enziguiri. Aries hurls him neck first into the turnbuckles. He goes for the IED but Kendrick blocks it with a kick. Kendrick kicks Aries to the floor and wipes him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Kendrick hits a missile dropkick for two. Kendrick hits a swinging DDT for a two-count. He goes for Sliced Bread #2 and Aries dumps him to the floor. Aries goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but Kendrick moves out of the way and Aries crashes into the guardrail! That looked nasty. Back in the ring they slug it out. What’s the point of doing the previous spot if it’s not going to lead to anything? Aries dumps Kendrick to the floor and goes for a slingshot corkscrew body press and misses it entirely but they sell it like he made contact. Back in the ring Aries hits a back elbow and the IED for a two-count. Kendrick grabs an inside cradle from out of nowhere for two, and then gets a backslide and a schoolboy rollup for near-falls. He goes for an O’Connor Roll but Aries blocks it and drills him with a forearm. Aries hits a draping DDT for two. He goes up top but misses the 450. Kendrick hits an armdrag into the turnbuckles and then a Tiger Suplex for a two-count. He goes for Sliced Bread #2 off the referee. Aries is able to hit a low blow and then the Brainbuster to get the pin and win the X Division Title at 13:23. That win would end up catapulting Austin Aries to amazing heights in TNA. It was a fun match but nothing they did really meant anything, and big moves were forgotten within seconds. I like both of these guys but they were trying to mix the high flying X Division Style with a main event style and it didn’t quite work out as well as I think they wanted.
MATCH #8: Bound for Glory Series Final – Bully Ray (52) vs. Bobby Roode (52)
The crowd is behind Bobby Roode from the get-go. Once again Ray stalls like mad to start the match. Roode is fired up and when Ray throws chops at him Roode shrugs them off and tells Ray what he thinks of him. Ray gets frustrated and goes out to the floor again to regroup. Back in the ring Ray uses his power but Roode weathers the storm and locks on the Crossface! Ray turns it into a pin to escape. He’s able to hit Roode with a hotshot and then a neckbreaker. A big splash gets a two-count and Ray goes right back to cover two more times for two-counts. Ray continues on offense and Roode continues fighting up, not to be intimidated. Roode goes up and hits a blockbuster for two. Ray comes back with a Rock Bottom for a two-count. He follows up with the Bubba Bomb but Roode kicks out! Ray goes up to the second rope and misses a senton. Roode hits a spinebuster and gets the win at 12:30. Once again, Roode winning was a foregone conclusion, and they couldn’t even find a more compelling finish than a spinebuster from out of nowhere? Weak.
MATCH #9: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Kurt Angle vs. Sting vs. Mr. Anderson
Angle has been the Champion since 8.7.11, and this is his third defense. Anderson and Sting are somewhat on the same page in taking the title from Immortal, so they team up on Angle in the opening minutes. They knock Angle to the floor and then they square off with each other. Angle pulls Anderson to the floor and clotheslines him. Back in the ring Angle and Sting do battle now. Sting goes to work on the legs, which is good strategy. Angle throws Sting to the floor and then turns around into a clothesline from Anderson. So it’s going to be that kind of triple threat match, got it. Anderson hits a spinning neckbreaker for two when Sting breaks up the cover. Sting and Anderson go at it until Sting grabs both of them in a simultaneous German Suplex. Anderson gets dumped to the floor and Angle locks Sting in a chinlock. Sting fights out with clotheslines. I should’ve been counting how many clotheslines are thrown in this match. Sting hits the Stinger Splash and a DDT. Anderson breaks up the cover and drills Sting with an enziguiri, which Taz concludes is “channeling Chuck Norris.” I would rather watch TNA with no commentary. Angle hits Anderson with three rolling German Suplexes, and then does the same to Sting. He covers both of them but only gets two-counts. Angle hits Anderson with a super belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count. He goes for the Angle Slam on Sting but Sting slips out and throws Angle to the floor. Sting locks Anderson in the Scorpion Deathlock. Angle comes back in to break it up. He hits Sting with the Angle Slam but only gets two. Angle hits the Angle Slam on Anderson but again only gets a two-count. He puts Sting in the Ankle Lock and Sting rolls Angle out right into the Mic Check by Anderson for a near-fall. Angle rolls to the floor and Sting hits Anderson with the Scorpion Death Drop for two. Then Angle grabs Sting from the floor and throws him into the barricade, where Hulk Hogan is waiting to spray something into Sting’s eyes. Back in the ring Sting grabs the referee because he’s blinded you see, and that gives Angle the chance to hit a low blow and the Angle Slam to get the win at 15:28. Add that to the list of finishes I hate – no matter how “blind” you are, a tiny guy in a shirt does not feel like a big wrestler without a shirt. The match was boring and the finish was dumb. You don’t always have great matches with everyone Kurt.