18 December 2013

REVIEW: One Night Only TNA World Cup

For this One Night Only pay per view event, TNA took an old concept and changed it up. In previous World Cup type of events the focus has been solely on the X division. This time around we have teams made up of Heavyweights, Tag Teams, Knockouts and X Division wrestlers.  Four teams of five (Team USA, Team UK, Team International and Team Aces & Eights) compete for the illusive "World Cup of Wrestling." Move over FIFA, it's time for TNA World Cup!

Like the last ONO pay per view event, we open with a video package that shows highlights of the show we are about to see and this time they even included a spoiler as the package revealed who the Aces and Eights Knockout would be. Good continuity. The voice over tells us that we are in for "a night of hardcore wrestling action taken to the extreme" so they just used the same line for every one of these shows I guess.

There will be several matches between members of the different teams and each win is worth one point. The top two teams will compete in a Survivor Series style elimination match to determine the winner. Here are the teams:

Team USA: James Storm, Kenny King, Daniels, Kazarian and Mickie James
Team UK: Magnus, Rockstar Spud, Rob Terry, Doug Williams and Hannah Blossom
Team International: Mesias, Sonjay Dutt, Funaki, Petey Williams and Lei'd Tapa
Team Aces and Eights: Anderson, Wes Brisco, DOC, Knux, Ivelisse Velez

They bring everybody out to the ring for no apparent reason for introductions and then we cut to a nice video package on Team UK. This made every member seem like a big deal. Well done.

Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson
Basic kind of match with Anderson working the arm. Crowd was really into Magnus and gave Anderson the "You can't wrestle" chant. I hate that chant. Tazz and Tenay, who were sort of annoying all night, argue about the way Magnus dresses.  Magnus hits the driver to get the win and a point for his team. Nothing bad, but nothing memorable either.

Kenny King vs. Sonjay Dutt
Kenny King's Twitter still has ANX in it. You think he would change that. Sort of a disappointing match considering who was in it. Lots of weardown holds. Kenny was playing the heel which at least made sense to his character; it would have been easy to become a face for the night being that he is on Team USA.  King won with the running double knees in the corner. Match never seemed to get out of first gear.

The rest of Team International are in the back, Petey Williams cuts a generic promo while Funaki still tries to say he is the number one announcer; 2004 called, they want their gimmick back.

Hannah Blossom vs. Lei'd Tapa
Really good match here. Both women proved they could be valuable in the KO division in the future. Hannah hit everything under the sun to try and knock Tapa off her feet to no avail. Tapa played bully with some mean looking chops in the corner. Crowd was pulling for Hannah, as was I, until Tapa hit a nasty looking TKO to finisher her off. This was very good but was hindered by the fact that Tazz and Tenay always undermine the Knockout's matches. Anyone else notice this? Tazz couldn't even get the names right calling Hannah "Lady Blossom." UGH!

DOC is in the back with Team Aces and Eights. He cuts a very good promo putting over the club and why they'll take home the cup. DOC was great; very underrated talent. He introduces Ivelisse Velez as the Aces and Eights Knockout for the night. They played this up on commentary like it was a surprise, but the opening package already revealed it. Strange.

DOC and Knux vs. Petey Williams and Funaki
I have to admit, I was not intrigued by this match going in, but by the end, I was very into it. The big men tag teamed Funaki, who was basically just a human punching bag for this one. He kept trying to make the tag to Petey, when he finally did, Petey came in like a house on fire. What was cool about this was that Petey didn't hit any moves that weren't at least somewhat believable to take down the two giants. One thing that bugs me sometimes in wrestling is when size isn't respected in terms of what one person could actually do to another. Petey was sticking and moving with his offense, which in a REAL match, he would have to do. After two really close near falls for Team International, DOC and Knux get the win via typical Aces and Eights shady tactics.

Nice video package on Rockstar Spud chronicling his journey to be a pro wrestler and through British Bootcamp. He came across like a star, I can see why he is in the position he is in now.

Wes Brisco vs. Rockstar Spud
Wes is supposed to be representing the X division. Really? I don't seem to remember him in the X division at all. I guess he was the only one on the team that met the weight requirement (is that still a thing?). Anyway, like the last X division match, nothing special, but not bad. Wes hit a very nice looking spinning knee to face on Spud that has to be seen to be believed. Brisco got the duke with a Samoa Joe style power slam. Aces and Eights are doing well, even after death.

Then we had the HIGHLIGHT of the show: Bad Influence. Their promo in the back with Christy Hemme needs to be seen, this may have been my favorite from them all year. Kaz compares themselves to American heroes (one of which is Spiderman) and Daniels says he is "like a box of Horny Charms because I'm sexually delicious." I am so using that one sometime!

Bad Influence vs. Doug Williams and Rob Terry
Williams took most of the punishment while Terry was the unstoppable force. They really booked him well here and I think tag wrestling is where Rob Terry best fits. The only thing about this match was that I was hoping for more from Williams as I think he is one of the best technical wrestlers out there. Terry hit a very impressive double back drop suplex on Kaz and Daniels. Bad Influence would get the win with the high-low on Williams. Fun match.

Mickie James vs. Ivellise Velez
I'm not going to go into too much about this match other than to say it is too bad that neither one of these women are on the TNA roster currently. Good back and forth action that reminded of the KO division from 2007. That is until the Aces and Eights interfered allowing Velez to win. I thought it was cool that they allowed an outside talent to pin a contracted wrestler.

We then cut away from the Impact Zone to relive the last World X Cup final from Victory Road 2008. It was an Ultimate X pitting Kaz vs. Naruki Doi vs. Volador Jr. vs. Daivari and it was amazing at the time and still holds up today. I'm sure you can find this match on YouTube somewhere and you have likely seen the key spot with Kaz leg dropping Daivari from off the top of the X. Crazy. Sometimes I really miss this TNA.

We come back to the arena with James Storm who tells us USA is the best and "Sorry about your damn luck" or something like that, I was still in Ultimate X hangover mode.

James Storm vs. Mesias
Mesias comes out to his old Judas Mesias theme. Creepy stuff. They acknowledge that he had a rivalry with Abyss but never mention that he is Abyss' stepbrother. I guess that's a good thing because wouldn't that make him Joseph Parks stepbrother too? Same kind of match that Storm always has; he hits his move set, they spill out to floor, somebody gets beer on them, superkick, done. Storm secures Team USA vs. Team Aces & Eights in the finals with the win.

World Cup Finals: 5 on 5 Elimination Match
Team USA(Kenny King, James Storm, Bad Influence, Mickie James) vs. Team Aces & Eights (DOC, Knux, Wes Brisco, Anderson, Ivelisse Velez)
It feels like between WWE, TNA and ROH I have watched a lot of Tag Team Elimination matches and this one was tons of fun. Really good action with a very quick pace, but it didn't feel rushed at all. Kenny King was pinned by Wes Brisco after being hooked by the leg on the apron from the outside by Anderson (I think). Mickie James pinned Ivelisse after a body press off the ropes to take her out. Immediately Brisco came in and rolled up James for the pin. However, right after that Storm came in and did the same to Brisco. Later, Knux was taken out by a Bad Influence double team. Then Team USA began to fall apart as Daniels and Kaz, who have no love for Storm, got into an argument with him and left him hanging against Anderson and DOC. The Cowboy managed to roll up Anderson to eliminate him and took DOC down with the Last Call. Your winners: Team USA. Of course afterwards, Bad Influence wanted to come out and join in on the celebration but Storm knocked them on their asses. Mickie James (but not Kenny King) would come out for a beer bash as we fade to the TNA logo and then to the generic music that plays after a Bell Express Vu pay per view event.

Favorite Moment: Bad Influence promo with Christy Hemme. This needs to be seen by any fan of the tandem.

Least Favorite Moment: Tazz and Tenay's commentary. Tazz mostly made jokes about how Mesias was texting him and Tenay just didn't seem to care. Too bad, because the people in the ring seemed to care very much about what they were doing.

MVP: Bad Influence. Best promo and great in the ring for the whole show. Plus Kaz kept flirting with the World Cup and at one point told it to "call him".

Grade: B. While when compared to previous TNA "Cup" events (whether it was America's X Cup or the World X Cup) this show may have been a step down. However,  it was a step up from the last One Night Only show I reviewed. I think this may have had to do with the use of outside talent, and some talent that aren't seen on Impact regularly. I guess when you are fighting for a spot you tend to try harder on any show you're booked on. The concept was solid as it was easy to follow the points system. I did like that they included the heavyweights and the knockouts in the competition, it gave the card some variety, as much as I love the X division, it can get repetitive. While I thought the first couple of matches were slow, the action picked up nicely and culminated in a very good main event. I would definitely recommend this show, especially for the cheap price. Just try and tune out the commentary if you can.

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