Final Resolution 2008 (January)
Date: January 6, 2008
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Don West
This is the last 2008 show I have before I plow into 2007 in a few weeks. The main event is Angle defending against Christian and that’s about it. There’s also what was supposed to be the midcard title in TNA as the World Beer Drinking Championship is defended by Eric Young against Eric Young. This is the January edition of Final Resolution 2008 as somehow TNA managed to have the same PPV twice in a year with one being called Final on the 6th day of the year. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about how the show called FINAL is about how everything is new. This is set to Ride of the Valkyries. The video talks about the major matches such as Christian vs. Angle and Gail vs. Kong.
LAX vs. Rock and Rave Infection
There’s some masked chick beating up Christy (Infection’s manager) recently and she’s part of LAX. I guess that’s the main reason this is happening? Rave vs. Homicide starts us off. They fly around the ring a bit and Rave gets two off La Majistral. Homicide gets caught in the corner and Rock (Lance Rock and Jimmy Rave) throws him around with a fallaway slam. Hernandez comes in for the power match and in short, SuperMex wins.
Rave stops Homicide on the apron and hits an STO but almost as fast as he hits the floor, SuperMex dives over the top to take out both members of the Infection. This is going REALLY fast. Rave gets beaten down with double teaming but Rock gets in to break up a Doomsday Device style move. SuperMex is sent to the floor so now the Infection gets to double team. Dig that mirroring of each other.
Hernandez comes back in and hits the Crackerjack (their name not mine) which is a belly to belly over head choke throw. Hoyt, who is like 6’7, goes up for a moonsault press on Hernandez. Homicide gets back up and hits the tope con hilo to Rock. Hernandez sets for the Border Toss to Rave but Christy makes the save. Rave tries something off the top but gets crotched and Hernandez hits a middle rope Border Toss to kill Rave dead for the pin.
Rating: C-. It was fast paced and kind of exciting but it was so totally incoherent that it was hard to keep up with and it had no flow at all. I’ve seen worse to be sure but this was nothing interesting and nothing we haven’t see a million times. The Infection was worthless other than Christy looking great as the slutty rock chick.
The masked chick appears again and it’s Salinas, more famous as Shelly Martinez.
Here’s part one of the Drinking Championship Series. They’re playing Never Have I Ever. Storm lies about everything with Storm claiming to having killed a lion with his bare hands, caused the Detroit riots of 1967 (he was born in June of 77) and to have been to the moon.
AJ says he’s going to pick the Angle Alliance or the Christian Coalition tonight. AJ was portrayed as a total moron at this point where both guys were trying to lure him to their teams. He and Tomko are tag champions and Tomko says AJ is out of time.
We recap Kaz vs. Black Reign. Basically Reign is the alter ego of Dustin Rhodes and Dustin says he has no idea he’s going it. The fact that the guy looked just like Goldust made this even stupider.
Kaz vs. Black Reign
Kaz hits a jumping back elbow off the middle rope and then a clothesline off the apron to the floor. Reign misses a charge and Kaz kicks him to the entrance ramp. Reign looks exactly like Goldust but with black and gray instead of black and gold. Oh and he’s a lot fatter now. He kicks Kaz off the ramp and takes over with his usual slow and boring offense.
Basically Reign has taken the look of Goldust and taken out the interest and workrate and added in the offense of Dustin Rhodes. Off to the chinlock to keep things riveting. A diamond stunner gets two for Reign. This is one of those matches that started out interesting and has shifted into one where I could show it to Alex DeLarge while his eyes were held open.
They both try cross bodies but collide to put them both down. Kaz fires off some rapid kicks which help a bit. Gee what a shock: a young non-Texas cowboy gets on offense and the match instantly gets better. He does that in the corner but dives out to the apron for a slingshot DDT for two. Spinning legdrop misses but whatever the Curtain Call is known as is reversed into a spinning downward spiral for the pin.
Rating: D. With Kaz on offense it’s watchable but Dustin is just so boring when he’s in control and it cripples the rest of the match whenever it’s happening. This was boring almost the whole way through and it didn’t work at all. Reign would become a monster along with Rellik soon, resulting in one of the stupidest angles I’ve ever seen.
Kaz steals Reign’s rat post match.
JB is with Angle and Karen and he (JB) is freaking out about AJ. Angle says chill and reminds JB he’s an interviewer. Karen says chill because it’s all cool. JB answers to Karen saying honey. She has a plan to take care of AJ and leaves. Kurt sends JB after him.
We recap Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong. She beat Kong for the first championship and Kong has been hunting for her since. Tonight it’s No DQ for the title.
Knockout Title: Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong
We’re on the floor almost immediately and Kong is all crazy and strong. She tries to Awesome Bomb Gail through the table but Gail fights out of it. Back inside and Kong chokes away with the boot. Off to a sleeper and Kong spins her around while still having the hold on. Gail gets up on the top but is caught by a spinning backfist and she’s almost out cold. Total massacre so far.
Gail is holding her knee after falling. I’m sorry for the play by play but there’s nothing to say here as it’s more or less a squash so far. They go into the crowd and Gail fires off some right hands but that gets her tossed around. Kim fires off more shots but can’t hurt Kong. She manages to find a weapon though. Gail gets her hands on the most lethal thing she can: an empty plastic Coke bottle. She whacks Kong a few times with it and Kong sells for some reason.
Gail makes Kong miss and the big chick crashes into a wall. Kong’s arm is sent into the post and a chair is kicked into her face. This is almost like Vader vs. Flair at Starrcade 93 as Gail absorbed the beating to open the match and had to keep hammering away until she got in a shot somehow to break the momentum. Back inside the spinning backfist takes Kim down and all that work Gail did seems to be forgotten.
Awesome Bomb is countered into a sunset flip which is countered into a missed drop. Kim goes up and does one of those moves where the whole point is to jump into a move and it looks really stupid as she lands in a chokeslam. Not happy with a count, Kong hits an Awesome Bomb on the referee and it’s the fat one. Gail gets a chair and cracks Kong three times with it to put her down. A top rope splash hits but there’s no referee. Oh wait yes there is and it gets two. Gail walks into another chokeslam for two and Kong is mad. She goes to Awesome Bomb the other referee but Kim rolls her up for the pin to retain.
Rating: B. See, this is the big difference between the Divas and the Knockouts. The Divas have matches that are supposed to be impressive because they involve girls. The Knockouts have matches that are like regular matches but happen to have participants who look good in tight shorts. This could have been good with men or women in it, which is a great sign.
Karen’s boobs go to look for AJ in the men’s room. She finds him and says she wants to relieve him of his tension. ODB walks out of a stall and kills the move. See she’s cool because she’s gross and acts like a man. It’s good right? She leaves and Karen kisses AJ on the cheek and sex is implied.
We recap Abyss vs. Judas Mesias which is part of the WAY too long story of Abyss vs. James Mitchell. At this point I’m not sure what we know but we would find out that Mitchell is Abyss’ father and he shot Mitchell in the head, sending him to prison. Mitchell got him out of prison and brought in his other son, Abyss’ step brother, for a war.
Mitchell says there’s a secret only he and Abyss know which must be that Abyss is the son.
Judas Mesias vs. Abyss
Abyss seems happy to just hit running forearms that are supposed to be clotheslines. Mesias isn’t a very big guy. We head to the floor quickly and Abyss’ leg is wrapped around the post. Psychology in an Abyss match? Now I’ve seen everything. Mesias puts on a knee bar but his finisher, Straight to Hell, misses. Abyss looks for tacks and Mitchell tiptoes away. I was wrong: I hadn’t seen a man in a purple suit tiptoe away with a bag of tacks.
Mesias gets up on the steps and poses before…stepping down off the steps. He jumps into a chokeslam position back in the ring. The knee is ok enough for a running splash by Abyss. Sidewalk slam gets two. A chair gets wedged between the top and middle rope. It takes a bit but Mesias’ cabeza finally goes into it and a chokeslam gets two. Mitchell is back now with a different bag than he left with.
Abyss finds a barbed wire chair. Remember when Punk was on commentary on Raw and said security around here sucks? Well refereeing around TNA sucks harder. The distraction from that chair lets Mesias get a regular chair shot in to Abyss’ head and a top rope splash for two. Abyss hits the Black Hole Slam but Mitchell has the referee. Mesias spryas blood into Abyss’ face and the Straight to Hell (jumping downward spiral) puts Abyss onto the barbed wire chair for the academic pin.
Rating: C-. Eh it’s a big brawl with weapons featuring Abyss. This happens on almost every show they have so it’s not exactly something that you can get excited about. Mesias wouldn’t be around for very long and he was only there as a piece in this feud which went on for like two years. Either way, not horrible but just another Abyss hardcore match minus the hardcore rules.
Post match Mitchell wants to know if Abyss wants to tell the truth and Abyss says no. Mesias pulls a gas can out of the bag and it’s barbecue time. Security breaks it up.
Nash says that even though he and Joe aren’t the best of friends but he’ll try to make money. He also hits on the interviewer who seems interested. Dinner is implied.
We recap Booker/Sharmell vs. Miss Brooks (Traci)/Robert Roode. Roode was a VERY boring DiBiase knockoff and I never got the appeal of him as a singles guy around this time. His current singles run is better but this is still the stigma he has to him. It’s a mixed tag tonight.
Booker and Sharmell say she’s not a wrestler but she can fight.
Sharmell/Booker T vs. Miss Brooks/Robert Roode
Peyton Banks, a currently unnamed but hot big chested blonde, is stalking Roode as his biggest fan. Roode stalls a lot after the bell and I think the genders have to match. After the frist few minutes we don’t have much going on. Everyone is waiting on the catfight and it doesn’t help that Roode wasn’t nearly as good as he would become in a few years after he and Storm tore up the tag division. Booker controls to start before Roode takes over with some basic stuff like a DDT.
Booker fires off a hook kick and Roode looks a little loopy. They kind of botch a leapfrog and Roode hits a bad dropkick to put Booker down. Traci won’t help Roode cheat because Roode is forcing her to do all this stuff. She finally trips Booker to get one of the girls involved after about 5 minutes. Sharmell still hasn’t done anything yet. Off to a chinlock and the fans aren’t impressed.
The side kick misses and Booker gets hung up on the ropes. Roode hits the Blockbuster to finally get the crowd going a bit. By a bit I mean they stop chanting boring for a few seconds. Roode wants Traci to slap Booker but almost cries when she has to do it. SHARMELL IS IN!!! Oh wait it’s just one foot. The girls have been worthless here. Roode goes over to yell at her and slaps her hand away which is deemed a tag. We get into a catfight and Roode is on the apron. Sharmell shoves her into Roode and rolls her up for the pin. The girls were in for about 45 seconds.
Rating: D-. Hey TNA, if the girls aren’t very good in the ring, DON’T HAVE THEM BE IN THE MATCH!!! I know Sharmell isn’t a wrestler but that’s why she’s not in the ring often. The match was boring on top of that as Roode just wasn’t an interesting guy at this point. He’s only a bit more interesting now which is why I’m skeptical about his singles push. Either way, bad match but more boring than bad.
Post match Roode goes off on Traci and slaps him. He gets in her face in the corner and Sharmell goes in for the save. Roode accidentally punches her and Booker FREAKS. Make that everyone freaks. This feud would go on for like 4 more months.
The interviewer is freaking about the punch and Christian is a great jerk, saying yeah it’s tragic now ask me some questions already. He says he doesn’t need any help tonight and says that AJ has potential. Yeah AJ at this point was treated like a bumbling idiot and a midcard guy despite being a three time world champion. Christian says Karen’s seductions aren’t going to work.
Time for more of the Drinking Championships which is who can hold more beer in their bladders. You figure out the rest of it. Young wins and this was a waste of about 90 seconds.
We recap the X Division vs. Team 3D/Johnny Devine. Lethal is the X Champion and tonight it’s an Ultimate X match for honor. Not for the title which Devine stole the possession of, but for honor.
Motor City Machineguns/Jay Lethal vs. Team 3D/Johnny Devine
I can’t get this company at times. Devine stole the belt from the champion Lethal and the title is hanging above the ring. However, this isn’t for the title. Seriously, how stupid can this company get? There’s another stupid reason that I’ll get to after the match. Just to further the idiocy, Tenay and West are all somber about Sharmell and her injury and then during 3D’s entrance video you can hear them laughing.
Ray talks about how they’ve been training for this and they’re in great shape. This goes on for awhile because Devine has to climb up and hang the belt. FINALLY Lethal’s music cuts him off. The guns hit the ring and we’re ready to go. Both of the Guns have hand injuries due to Team 3D thinking about something than peach cobbler for once. The heels take over quickly and it’s already table time.
Make that two tables for a double powerbomb but Lethal makes the save. Shelley goes for the belt but hit hands give out. Sabin takes Bubba out with a springboard clothesline but he can’t climb either. Lethal is fine and gets about halfway but Devine makes the save. Devine has some very unattractive thighs. He also gets dropped on the back of his head but the Guns as they spin him off the cables. That looked painful.
Team 3D tries to jump to reach the title but they have a combined six inch vertical leap. The fans chant ECW but no, ECW wasn’t this dumb. Ray goes up to a corner but Lethal gets out in front of him. Instead of TURNING AROUND AND TAKING THE FREAKING BELT, he makes fun of Ray and falls down. Good. He deserves to fall on his stupid head.
Ray tries a Macho Elbow (called a legdrop by West which is more accurate as the leg would have hit instead of the elbow) but he’s too fat and it takes too long. Devine gets something like a Codebreaker to Lethal and goes up but is caught in an atomic drop from the top by Shelley. A slingshot DDT by Sabin leaves the Guns in control for maybe 3 seconds. Shelley gets his hands cracked again by Ray and a kendo stick as does Sabin.
We get an old Superfly/Andre moment as D-Von gets on Ray’s shoulders but the real Cruiserweights make the save. D-Von, Lethal and Devine try a triple person tower spot and it looks AWFUL as Lethal lands on his head after being on top. There goes the referee because gimmick matches need ref bumps.
Ray uses the chance to get a ladder which is said to be against an unwritten rule by Mike. Ok so ladders are officially legal. Got it. The Guns make the save but here’s Devine with the kendo stick again. He goes up the ladder but Sabin shoves him off, onto the tables. THE TABLES DON’T BREAK and Devine bounces off of them. FREAKING OW MAN!!!
Sabin walks into a 3D from 3D and Lethal shows how stupid he is by springboarding into two guys holding a ladder. Guess what happens there. D-Von goes up and gets the belt but there’s no ref. The referee asks the fans if he cheated and the fans say he did but it’s good enough I guess.
Rating: C-. Ultimate X gets points because it’s Ultimate X but this had so many stupid moments to it that it took me out of the match. From stuff like Lethal taunting Ray when he could have won the match to the match not being for the title to the ladder deal and the match being pretty boring by comparison to other matches.
That other stupid reason I mentioned? Devine won the title on Impact about 11 days after this. SO WHY WOULDN’T THEY HAVE HIM WIN IT HERE??? Sweet merciful cheese this company is stupid.
We recap the tag title match which is Joe/Nash vs. Tomko/AJ. The idea was that at Turning Point, Hall no showed the event and Joe cut a mostly shoot promo about how the “superstars” were taking the pay and the limelight while the wrestlers weren’t out there at all because the old guys won’t let them. Nash said Joe wasn’t ready yet and this is borderline shoot in its own right. Cornette decided to make a tag title match for some reason, which was what Joe was complaining about so I’m not sure how the fat boy wins here but whatever.
Joe says he and Nash care cool and maybe he was wrong about Hall and Nash. He also wants it to be about wrestling and not about drama.
Tag Titles: Samoa Joe/Kevin Nash vs. Tomko/AJ Styles
AJ and Joe go to the mat quickly and it’s a stalemate. Joe grabs a leg lock but AJ makes a rope. Tag off to Nash who had some good matches with AJ so this should be interesting. AJ starts making him miss and goes for the knee. Tomko tags himself in and the knee still doesn’t work well for Nash. Off to a leg lock as I guess we’re hoping for a hot tag to Joe later. I’m not sure if Nash is the right guy to work the majority of a match but whatever.
Nash manages to grab a side slam on Tomko so hopefully we’ll get a tag soon. Ah good there’s fat boy against Styles so this is almost automatically good. The Samoan hits a Samoan on Tomko and Nash’s knee is suddenly fine as he can hit a big boot. AJ takes Joe down with a springboard dropkick and Tomko chokes away. AJ does his leapfrog/hit the mat/dropkick sequence.
Tomko back in and it’s chinlock time. I think Joe thinks it’s hot fudge sundae time. AJ comes in for a bridging Indian Deathlock but Joe breaks that quickly as AJ isn’t Samoan nor a submission machine. Tomko gets a DDT for two. It’s probably a good thing Joe is doing most of the work here as there’s not a ton you can do with a guy Nash’s size, namely because he’s just too tall.
AJ rakes the eyes but Joe clocks him. Styles is knocked to the apron and tries a springboard rana but Joe kills him with a powerbomb. Tomko takes Nash down and and Joe takes Tomko down with a scoop powerslam. Joe goes to tag Nash and Nash walks out. It’s one of those matches. Joe escapes the champs’ double team finisher (Tornadoplex) and has to fight for his life (say it’s his supper and he’ll REALLY fight).
He gets a MuscleBuster on AJ but Tomko saves, drawing a Thank You Tomko chant. Even the fans are tired of the wacky tag partners and I can’t say I’m particularly disagreeing with them. I’m not sure why Joe would want to be Nash’s partner but I guess pride or something. The numbers catch up to Joe and the Tornadoplex (side slam/neckbreaker combo) ends this.
Rating: D+. Boring match all around as the whole point was Joe and Nash don’t get along but they got along for about five minutes. This is a TNA/WCW standard: get to the PPV and then TUNE INTO NITRO to find out why all this happened. This is another feud that went on for months and this was just another small stop in that feud. Not much to see here but it was watchable.
We now get the final part of the Drinking Championship, all of which is happening yesterday/last night. They’re playing high low with cards and the loser has to take a shot, first to pass out loses. Jackie flashes Eric and Storm spikes his drink to win. This was so stupid. This means Storm gets a match of his choice at Against All Odds against Young. He picked a…..wait for it……wait for it…..A NORMAL MATCH!!!
JB tells Kurt about what Karen did earlier and Kurt isn’t happy. Angle says he’ll win.
We recap Angle vs. Christian. Ok so basically both guys are fighting over who gets Tomko and AJ and both of them are being recruited I guess. Tomko picked Angle and AJ hasn’t picked anyone yet which is the running story on this show. It’s heel vs. heel for the most part here…I think.
TNA World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Christian Cage
Angle’s eyes are weird looking here and it looks like he has eyeliner on. The fans are all over Angle here so I guess Christian is face by default. Christian tries to wrestle Kurt and that goes badly. He tries a headlock instead and manages to escape a belly to belly. Angle gets him on the mat and hooks an arm trap headlock. They have a lot of time so this slow start is fine.
Christian hits a flapjack for his first big move and slaps the back of Kurt’s head to tick him off. Unprettier is countered and we hit the mat again. Christian gets up and we go to the floor with Christian hitting that big dive that he’s known to do. Back in the Canadian jumps into a belly to belly which sends him over the top again in a cool visual.
Kurt works on the neck and gets a knee to the ribs for two. Christian is on the floor again and Karen adds in some shots of his own. Back in and Kurt hooks a rear naked choke. This slow build is very slow in this case and it’s getting a bit dull. They go up to the ropes and Kurt backdrops him off the middle rope. That was a new one. The moonsault hits for two in another rare one.
Christian grabs a DDT to break up the champ’s momentum. The reverse version looks to set up the frog splash and yeah I guess Christian is the face. The interview earlier would imply otherwise but since when has TNA made sense? The splash misses and the American hits some Germans on the Canadian. Angle looks at the ankle like he wants to make sweet love to it down by the pond but the Slam is countered as is the Unprettier and a pair of ankle locks, resulting in a small package for two for the Canadian.
He goes up but Kurt grabs the ankle while Christian is on the top. He kicks Kurt off but Kurt gets the running suplex for two and it’s back to the ankle. We’re still waiting on AJ’s interference. Christian hooks a Texas cloverleaf which Kurt escapes again. The Slam is countered again into an Edge-O-Matic for two. Christian goes up again but Karen distracts him. Ok to be fair with a rack like that it’s hard not to be distracted. Kurt tries another running suplex but Christian bites his head and shoves him down for the frog splash for two.
Kurt hits him low and hits the Slam for two. Is anyone really surprised that it only got two? I mean seriously? Kurt gets his 19th ankle lock but it’s rolled through and Kurt almost hits Karen. That distraction lets Christian hit a not perfect Unprettier for two. Now Christian puts on the ankle lock and Kurt taps because he’s a heel. Karen has the referee and does again as AJ comes out. He hugs Christian but then hits him in the back, letting Kurt get the Slam to retain.
Rating: B-. Think Russo is booking? The whole match is about who does the run-in run-in for and then there’s a swerve with that too. It’s a good match and they were starting to get pretty good at the end but it was nothing classic. For a PPV main event though it’s perfectly fine. AJ would finally turn face a few months later but who cares about something like that?
A highlight package of the main event takes us out.
Overall Rating: C-. If I had to sum this up in one word, I’d go with forgettable. The best match of the night is either the main event or Kong vs. Gail and both of those are just pretty good. It would lead to Kurt vs. AJ and an awesome series of matches between them and Joe’s time on top which was a good period for TNA. As for this show though, there wasn’t anything great about it which is kind of the situation for the company as a whole at this point: not bad, but nothing great at all.
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