14 November 2013

REVIEW: One Night Only - Tournament of Champions

One Night Only: Tournament of Champions opens with a video package previewing what will be going down tonight with highlights of the show we're about to see. SPOILERS! HELLO! We find out that only wrestlers who are former TNA World Champions are invited to participate in this tournament. Mike Tenay and Tazz (who were never shown on camera and were obviously voiced in later during editing) go over the brackets.

Mr. Anderson will be facing Cowboy James Storm in a "Wildcard" match to determine who will face Bully Ray in the quarter-finals. Anderson cuts a really bad promo about how TNA has treated him like crap from the beginning (not what I remember) and that's why he joined the Aces and Eights (he was still with them at the time). I can't believe this is the same guy we see on Impact right now.

The first of MANY old video packages airs as we see the build up for the World Title match at Slammiversary 2011 between Anderson and Sting. I guess to highlight that Anderson has been World Champion; in case we forgot. After that, it's a package on Storm, highlighting his career as a tag wrestler... during the singles tournament.

Wild Card Match: Mr. Anderson vs. Cowboy James Storm

Basic "wrasslin" match; the Cowboy starts out hot and the heel Anderson slows him down with some rest holds and underhandedness. They spill out to the floor for a bit and come back in where Anderson nearly gets pinned via roll up. Finish came with a nice counter of the Mic Check by Storm who hits the Last Call out of nowhere for the pin. Nice looking finish. Match was basic, but a nice way to start the show.

Winner: James Storm

Jeff Hardy is in the back, he talks up his opponent for tonight: Samoa Joe. Jeff tells us that when Joe says he's gonna kill you, he means it and that he has killed people (?). I know Joe stabbed Scott Steiner at Destination X 2009, but he didn't kill him! That's slander!

Video package airs on Hardy's title win at BFG 2012, it included all the build up for the match and the last bit of the match itself. A little excessive if you ask me. A shorter package airs on Joe's big win at Lockdown 2008, coupled with his "Wrestling Matters" vignette (remember those! wow that feels so long ago now).

Quarter-Final Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe

OK match with the story being Joe had trouble with Hardy's unique offense, classic bruiser vs. high flyer. Joe got the win out of nowhere with a roll up, which would become a theme for the evening.

Winner: Samoa Joe

After highlights of Austin Aries' title win at Destination X 2012, we cut to his opponent Kurt Angle saying that Aries better be ready to face the greatest wrestler that ever lived. Then we go to highlights of my favorite TNA match of all time: King of the Mountain at Slammiversary 2007. We basically see the last quarter of the match, which is Angle's first TNA World Title win. Hey, at least it's GOOD filler.

Quarter-Final Match: Kurt Angle vs. Austin Aries

This was the reason I really wanted to see this show, and it was a bit of a let down considering who was in it. There was some stalling at first with Aries challenging Angle to wrestle him Olympic style and trying to use basic wrestling holds, which Angle didn't sell. The action picked up a bit with some nice counters and both guys hitting most of their stuff. Finish came out of nowhere though with Aries pinning Angle with a roll up. I hope their match on Impact this week is much better.

Winner: Austin Aries

Surprise! Surprise! We get another highlight package. This one shows Bully Ray's ascension to the World Title and the whole Aces and Eights plan. I like this one.

Quarter-Final Match: Bully Ray vs. James Storm

Ray cuts a promo on the crowd to gather some heel heat before the match, saying he should just be crowned the winner of the tournament. He and Storm basically brawl, as one would expect, with Storm selling that he had wrestled earlier in the evening. D-Von (of all people!) jumps in the ring and attacks Storm for the DQ finish. Team 3D then smashes Storm with a hammer on his arm, injuring him. Nothing to write home about here.

Winner: James Storm

More highlight packages! One on Bobby Roode going into BFG 2011 and one on Sting's Hall of Fame induction. Thank god for PVR.

Quarter-Final Match: Bobby Roode vs. Sting

Pretty dull match, nothing like their previous encounters which I have enjoyed for the most part. Mostly playing to the crowd. They seemed to rush to the finish, which saw Roode counter the Scorpion Deathlock into the crossface for the submission.

Winner: Bobby Roode

Austin Aries talks cuts a promo in the back making reference to the fact that no one thought he would make it into the next round and that he and Joe have history "outside of TNA" (Ring of Honor). No one does smarky style promos like Aries, he's like a modern day Shane Douglas.

That promo should've been enough to build the next match, but we get more highlight packages!  Sorry folks, I fast forwarded through them.

Semi Final Match: Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries 

This was my favorite match of the night. Even when these two are crammed for time they always bring the heat. Great action from start to finish and they told a good story to boot: big man vs. little man. Really liked the finish with Aries trying to get the same roll up on Joe that he did on Angle and Joe getting the clutch for the pass out win. Good match.

Winner: Samoa Joe

I fast forwarded through the next video package, which I think showed the entire Bobby Roode vs. James Storm match from Impact in 2011 where Roode turned heel.

Semi-Final Match: James Storm vs. Bobby Roode

There was a lot of stalling at the beginning. Storm sold the arm well and Roode played the heel working it over. This wasn't up to snuff with the matches that these two have had over the past couple of years, but was decent nonetheless.  I liked that Roode hit a low blow on Storm to win even though he didn't really need to. Classic heel.

Winner: Bobby Roode

Tournament Finals: Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Roode

Another match that needed more time. Good effort from Joe and Roode, but these two could tear the house down if given the chance (as could most of the match ups on this show).  They did the Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart Survivor Series 1996 finish, with Joe having the clutch on Roode and Roode pushing himself off the turnbuckle on top of Joe for the pin. Roode celebrates on the ramp as we fade to black.

Winner: Bobby Roode

Favorite Moment: Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries

Least Favorite Moment: Too many video packages!!!

MVP of the PPV: Samoa Joe. Three matches that rank 1,2,3 of the best on the show and with different styles of opponents. Joe is still one of the best out there and he proved it here.

Grade: C-. Not a great show by any means, way too much filler with all the old highlight packages, some of which had little to do with the theme of the show. Most of the in ring action was short and  very "house show style" as the guys were clearly playing it safe; unlike what you would see on Impact and live pay per view. But what could one expect when they taped so many shows in a short span of time? I also found the finishes came out of nowhere, like no real thought was put into them. The crowd was dead, they never really came alive for anything except for Bully's promo. Tazz and Tenay were particularly bad on this show too. Tazz kept making weird references to old wrestlers, seemingly just running off any name he could remember. At one point, he sang "Some Guys" by Rod Stewart. I like that song, but only when Rod sings it.

So was this show worth $14.99? I wouldn't recommend it unless you are a DIE HARD TNA fan and need to see everything that TNA puts out (like I do). Otherwise, skip it. I hope with the One Night Only events going on the road that we do not see anymore shows like this one. Judging by what has been announced so far, I don't think we will.

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