Brian: If this show is the "detonation" then call me Captain Colter Stevens or Tripwire or Tunnel Rat as I'm defusing this bomb right fucking now.
1) Luke Hawx vs. Azrieal G: 4 B: 2
G: So I was totally ROFLing when Hawx came out. He looked ridiculous. Part wigger and part Aryan Brotherhood. Then the announcers when about telling how he is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and I felt bad. The match wasn't bad, but wasn't good. Azrieal had just been in "Dragons Gate" (as the announcer botched), and you could definitely tell from his weak strikes. It was like faux puro. We never really went anywhere, but I can't knock the guys because they looked good. Azrieal was trained by Homicide, which becomes apparent throughout. I dig his technical work, but wish he would've laid his strikes in.
Brian: They played up Hawx being from Louisiana but opening a card with match was as inappropriate as Katrina and the Waves playing New Orleans. Remember their hit '85 hit "Walking On Sunshine"? This match is the antithesis of it. Every time the announcers said Azrieal's name I couldn't help but think of The Smurfs; I guess that makes the ringside fans Wartmongers (bonus point if you got that reference). It was like Luke had a list of moves written in ink on the palm of his hand and was just trying to get everything checked off. Azrieal looked competent but this doesn't come close to touching the top-shelf stuff from his stint in FIP.
2) Eddie Kingston vs. Grim Reefer (CZW Heavyweight Title Match) B: 4 G: 4
Brian: This wasn't bad and booked fairly competently. Kingston had just won CZW gold but the way they structured the match Reefer got to look like a legitimate threat. Grim is pale and looks here like a mix between Michael Rapaport and Death from Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey in a skull cap. The bump onto some chairs Geo will refer to would have been something if not for Reefer ushering the fans at ringside out of harm's way before the spot making obvious his eventual bump over the rail. Grim landed one real nice spinkick but needed to tighten up some of his stuff to look more credible. Eddie's match-ending combination of a spinning backfist and backdrop suplex was a good finish cutting off Reefer's hopes.
G: I thought the brawling aspect of this match was actually quite good. Along with a good brawl, Reefer busted out some nice dives and took a rather sick bump on the chairs. Kingston was at his prime at the time here, and was selling really well. Reefer's bumping was none too shabby either. In the end, I was quite surprised by Reefer. It had been a couple of years since I've seen a match of his, and he seemed to be quite well-rounded. Decent match.
3) AJ Styles vs. Jay Lethal (TNA X-Division Championship Match) G: 5 B: 7
G: I loved being able to watch a TNA title match without both guys seeming like they did a line of cocaine pre-match. This was great. It had build and both guys took it slow, working over each others arms and legs. In my opinion, Jay Lethal is just as good as AJ Styles, so the element of having an evenly-matched match-up really added to the match. Some of the stuff on the floor was really cool. AJ took an irish whip into the guardrail, but slid underneath it and hit Lethal with a flying forearm. I enjoyed this match chiefly due to the fact that both guys took the time to lay in their strikes and built up the match.
Brian: I liked this as well, and in fact, more than Geo. What I loved about it was the pacing. TNA is known for fast-paced soulless exhibitions but this went 20 min. and felt organic and measured and flowed like a Terrence Malick film. It was fairly one-sided as Styles mostly dominated but it was a real joy watching Lethal sell all his stuff, a lot of it was subtle and understated, sort of like the match itself, but done expertly. I wouldn't go as far as Geo as to say Lethal is Styles' equal, but Jay is patently underrated, especially for his work outside of TNA, and this is a nice representation of his game. The finishing sequence saw counters and a slick roll-up and a fitting end to this physical chess game. If this was their typical stock touring match I'd have docked it a point but since methodical stuff like this is a rarity from these guys I awarded it accordingly.
4) Delirious vs. "Sweet and Sour" Larry Sweeney B: 2 G: 3
Brian: This was all stalling and shtick. The only thing tighter than Larry's pink leopard print trunks was his noose. The only highlight was Sweeney selling Delirious spitting a mouth full of hamburguesa in his face by taking a wild pratfall. 15 min. wasted I could have spent reading William Blake.
G: Your comedy match of the night. There was a decent element of wrestling, but it took a damn long time to get here. I chuckled a couple of times during the match, like Delirious taking a bite of someone's hamburger and spitting it in the face of Sweeney, then proceeding to call him "Cheeseburgerface." Overall, though, a rather uneventful match that didn't go anywhere.
5) Daizee Haize vs. Mercedes Martinez G: 3 B: 2
G: I dug the technical aspect of the match. Both girls were hitting some nice maneuvers and counters, but the match seriously went about 5 minutes. I was digging it and suddenly it was over. I kind of felt like Eric Bishoff's wife in the sack.
Brian: I heard that Bischoff and his wife were swingers: wonder if they ever had over Chris and Nancy? Anyway, this was as unflattering as a date ordering a sandwich with extra mayo. It was weird seeing Martinez hugging everyone around ringside when she's currently booked as such a monster in Evolve. Haize getting the rather out of the blue victory wasn't a bad touch but the body of the match was non-descript and uninteresting.
6) Mana vs. Ian Rotten (Hardcore Match) B: 2 G: 2
Brian: Ian cuts a promo beforehand that's just as retched as his cottage cheese bloated carcass telling the dozens in attendance about the lipstick smears their mothers have left on his fetid little wiener. The brawling isn't half-bad and Mana takes several unprotected chair shots to the skull that'll likely make him forget the last season of The Big Bang Theory. I docked it a point though as the ending was just plain awful. Mana does something sort of resembling Kazarian's piledriver onto some tacks but is fumbling through it, somehow ends up landing on top of Rotten like Rikishi, Ian holds his neck stiffly off of the mat to assure no errants tacks end up piercing that eyesore rucksack full of vanilla pudding and roadkill dick that makes up his head, then Ian talks to Mana while starring blankly at the ref during the pinfall in just a downright shining example of in-ring unprofessionalism. This was about as subtle as dropping an anvil on your scrotum while your grandma jumps out from behind a recliner and shoots a confetti gun.
G: This was sloppier than a Stephanie McMahon blowbang. Mana was rocking the '10 Samoa Joe facepaint and looked ridiculous. Ian hit Mana with what looked like a StarBucks Iced Coffee, making more of a mess than he's made of his own life. Seedy, sleazy, and incomprehensible. Another day in the life.
7) The SAT and Javi-Air vs. The Outcast Killaz & Nicky Benz (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match) G: 3 B: 3
G: This was pretty sloppy as well. The Killaz looked pretty bad to be honest. Nothing they did really went anywhere. Javi was bumping around for the Killaz and Benz, who by the way looked like an idiot. Javi went for a dive on the top rope and pretty much fell like a bird that just went through a 747's propeller. The hardcore spots were kind of sloppily executed as was Javi's offense. Mmm, yeah this was pretty bad, but some of the spots looked decent.
Brian: Javi-Air is billed as a student of the S.A.T. -- that's like going up to a homeless man while he's sleeping under a turnpike and asking him to help you with your calculus homework. Those guys used to have the best move names; anyone remember the "Taffy Machine"? I imagine the S.A.T. never took the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Benz is working a lounge act gimmick complete with powder blue suit. Any reason why this was a TLC match? As Geo mentioned the garbage bumps are plentiful but largely carelessly executed leading to lots of laughs on my part.
8) Steve Corino vs. Necro Butcher B: 5 G: 4
Brian: Necro smashes a chair into his own head so much and so brutally during his entrance Christopher Nowinski started writing a new chapter to his next book. Announcers say Corino looks like an "American Great Muta" (what?) but appears more similar to present day Ernie Osiris to me. The selling is top-notch here. Necro makes Corino's plodding turn on offense look like a merciless mugging. Filmmaker Gregg Araki once penned the line of dialogue "You are a life support system for a cock" which while not ubiquitous seems strangely appropriate here. The match-ending kick by Corino would have worked better if he threw it like he was going for a KO and not casually knocking some debris off his lawn.
G: This was pretty damn crazy. I mean, Corino looked like Shane Hagedorn plus 20 years and no sunlight, but the match actually turned to not be too bad. Watching this made me realize how much I miss the old Necro. Necro took all of his usual bumps, like the side suplex on the opened chair. Loved his sell on that maneuver, clutching the back of his head and kicking his legs. Corino ended the match with a kick to the back of the head with a chair that came out of nowhere to end the match. Sure as hell caught me off guard.
9) Teddy Hart & Ruckus vs. TJ Wilson & Derek Frazier G: 5 B: 4
G: As in true Teddy Hart fashion, the kid had something to say pre-match, so that means my thumb met the fast-forward button. Ruckus and Fraiser had this great standoff toward the beginning of the match that had me marking, honestly. It was just so fucking tasty. What the hell happened to Derek Fraiser, anyway? Hart looked decent, but the announcers kept blowing him saying he was a submission master. Wish Benoit would've been able to stretch his neck. TJ Wilson (now Tyson Kidd) looked pretty damn good. His selling was acceptable and his in-ring was crisp, but I don't know about him being top 3 in the world like Erick Jones was saying. Fuck Teddy Hart, though.
Brian: The last dozen or more Teddy Hart matches I've seen started with him rambling on incoherently on the microphone. Ruckus and Frazier bust out an overly complicated sequence early but despite itself it worked. In Waking Life, a favorite film of both Geo and I, Speed Levitch says, "Life is a matter of a miracle that is collected over time by moments flabbergasted to be in each others presence." The grandeur, awe, wonderment, and reverence of that statement sadly doesn't apply to this match which instead is one messy congealed piece of gum on the bottom of the tennis shoe of life. Frazier is a good hand between the ropes but looks more like a teenaged MC Lyte fan than a fighter. Wilson shows signs of promise but hadn't at this point nor to this day topped his performance from early-'10 versus Rey Mysterio on WWE Superstars. In a match with so many dubious highspots the finish was far from the coolest thing thus keeping it from scoring higher.