1) Amazing Red vs. Brian Kendrick - 5
Kendrick came out to some “Inglorious Basterds”-esque classical music. Red took a couple crazy risks including a wild somersault off the top turnbuckle to the outside which resulted in him twisting his knee. Why are all the high risk moves taking place directly in front of Brooke Hogan and Hulk’s butterface girlfriend? Kendrick looked good despite not having wrestled much since he was shown the door in WWE. The match started to fall apart at the end (ex: them losing a simple Irish whip from the start) but nothing that really hasn’t happened in any X-Division bout before. Red’s flipping Code Red finisher was cool. As I’ve said before, these X-Division guys are going nowhere fast. It’ll be especially interesting to see how this all goes down during Hogan’s reign.
2) Sean Morley vs. Daniels - 4
Odd dynamic here with Morley working face and getting booed by the TNA faithful and Daniels working heel and getting cheered. Both guys did some promo work beforehand, with Daniels trying to get heat on Brooke Hogan (again, why is she at ringside?). Morley is doing a new version of his old Val Venis routine. Daniels was his usual self here, hitting all his standard moves and doing his best to make his opponent look good. He worked the triangle choke and a Koji clutch submission on Morley for a nice touch. I like Morley’s selling of the effects of Daniels’ constant choking. Morley hasn’t been seen on TV in ages and probably the last time he was on screen was jobbing to some poor schmuck on Raw. Money shot got the win for Morley and the crowd in the pit turned their back. Well, I guess we know who Hulk’s gonna push? Nothing to really note here, just a standard undercard match that would’ve been a good fit on TV.
3) Best of Three Falls Match: Tara vs. O.D.B. - 3
First fall was over fast with a roll-up. Only notable thing was a hard knee to ODB’s face. I did notice Tara jumping right into an ODB fall-away slam. Second fall featured an extended body lock sequence from ODB and not much else. Finish was flat with Tara stopping in mid-run to hit the Widow’s Peak finisher. Not sure why three falls were necessary when one would’ve done just fine.
4) Matt Morgan & Hernandez vs. The British Invasion - 4
Since the Brits weren’t on TV for the past two weeks, it was inevitable that there would be a title change here. Again, like most of the undercard stuff on this show, it was kept basic. Williams was working really light. Come on dog, you’ve worked in NOAH, lay that shit in. Magnus was awful, blatantly jumping into a chokeslam attempt during the first part and falling too early on the finish, like he was blown over in a windstorm. Morgan and Hernandez work well as a team. Them working together makes up for any shortcomings they may have individually. At least Brooke Hogan wasn’t directly involved in this.
5) Desmond Wolfe vs. Pope D’Angelo Dinero - 5
Wolfe has a new yet-to-be-named valet and new silver ring gear with generic purple wolf heads and generic writing on the back that simply says “WOLFE”. Dinero did a spot to the outside early on and sold the landing as if he tweaked his knee, which Wolfe worked over for the majority of the match. I really dug his innovative submissions, especially the one where he hooked Dinero’s foot under the bottom rope and wrapped him around the ringpost. Dinero’s selling was great, especially when Wolfe had him in the STF and he was fighting to get to the ropes and acting like he was getting choked out. A fisherman’s DDT from Dinero hit flush. Dinero wasn’t selling the knee during his comeback that culminated with an Alabama Slam, which bugged me a bit. Good finishing sequence with Dinero limping going for the knees in the corner and getting killed with a lariat.
6) Kevin Nash & Syxx-Pac vs. Robert Roode & James Storm - 4
This was supposed to be Hall and Nash teaming up, but word around the campfire is that when Hall went to get dressed for the match, he realized that he was “not in ring shape” so Syxx-Pac replaced him. Pac took a hard shot while standing on the apron and did a wild sell for it. Nash seemed to have trouble keeping up with Beer Money and the pace of the match. Pac used his usual moveset and is still reliant on stuff that made him popular in ‘98. Beer Money, despite their opponents, worked well as usual and Roode took a hard bump on the new rampway. Hall stumbled out to ringside for no reason, beat up a plant, and caused Nash to take the fall on which the crack TNA production staff missed the finisher! I guess some things never change.
7) Abyss vs. Mr. Anderson – 2
Anderson is the former Mr. Kennedy doing the same schtick but under a new name. You may be noticing a trend with the old WWE guys. I was having flashbacks to Hugo Weaving in The Matrix saying “Mr. Anderson, suprised to see me?” Anderson worked over Abyss’ arm to begin with then just totally forgot about it, just like Abyss sold it once on offense and forgot about it. Abyss hit a nasty version of the Shock Treatment manuever and got a close near-fall. The bums in the Impact Zone turned on Anderson mid-way through this and lost all interest. Bad finish with Anderson grabbing brass knux from his tights and KO’ing Abyss with them. After all the stuff Abyss had been through (barbed wire, fire, thumbtacks, etc.) we’re supposed to think a dainty shot with brass knux will knock him out for good? Not buying it.
8) Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles - 6
Starting off, this was kept in low gear with mat work and very little else. The pace picked up a bit at the half-way point with A.J. busting out a flip dive over the top in the very little outside room they have to work with now. Second half was more high-risk and up tempo. Notable spots being both guys using each other’s finishers to try to get the win, A.J. taking suplex into a turnbuckle, a top-rope Angle slam, A.J. missing the springboard 450, and Angle missing a moonsault. By this point I was thinking that these two work really, really well with each other. Great tease with A.J. almost tapping out in the ankle lock until Flair pulled the ref out. Angle chased Flair, got hit with a hard clothesline from A.J., and Flair tossed the belt into A.J who effectively turned heel by using it to get the win. Another good match from these two but I liked the 1/4 Impact match better since it had a clean fin. Not bad though for a 29:00 match.