Date: February 7, 2014
Location: Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, New York
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tazz
At least they advertised this one. This is the newest One Night Only show with a slightly more obvious theme. Looking at the card though, there isn’t much to see here that’s old school. Speaking of old school, as in something we’ve seen before, this show contains the fifth time that James Storm and Bobby Roode have been in direct competition against each other and their third singles match in just ten shows in this series. Come up with something new already. Let’s get to it.
By the way, I’m aware that this show if officially titled #oldschool. I’m going to assume you know why that’s stupid and why I’m calling it a name normal humans might use.
The opening video discusses the theme of reigniting old feuds. That’s better than the usual tournament, but I’m not sure Old School is the best name for that idea. It’s kind of misleading.
We’re already proving my point about the name: they’re using the word hashtag every time they say the name. It sounds so stupid and I can’t emphasize it enough.
The set is different again, but this time there’s a small lighted entrance for the guys to come to. It looks like the WWF set from the early 90s which isn’t a bad thing.
Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin vs. Sonjay Dutt
These guys have actually feuded for years, dating back to the Austin Starr days, so they’re keeping up the gimmick through the first match. Tenay and Tazz get on my nerves about four minutes into the show, talking about what it means to be the best man that ever lived and implying three way escapades of a different sort. Sabin chills on the floor while Aries and Dutt run the ropes without much contact being made.
Sabin tells Sonjay he sucks and gets inside, only to walk into a Japanese armdrag from Aries who rides him on the mat for some humiliation. Austin lays on the top rope because that’s the kind of guy he is and all three guys are finally in the ring together. Dutt and Sabin double team Aries in the corner and take their turns charging at him, only to have Chris try a quick rollup to tick Sonjay off. Dutt does the same and there’s another argument to make sure we have every three way trope checked off the list.
Sonjay snaps off a hurricanrana on Aries as Tazz name drops Mike Adamle because commentary in TNA is a joke. Now it’s a Michael Cole reference as Tazz makes the only insightful comment he’ll give all night: he’s always paired with guys named Mike. Aries is placed on the top rope but Dutt and Sabin get in an argument over who gets to do the superplex. Austin fights them both off and we go WAY old school with a double noggin knocker. Both other guys are sent to the floor for a double double ax handle from A Double.
Back in and Aries hits a missile dropkick on Dutt but misses the running version in the corner as Sabin steps aside. Sonjay and Sabin get in another argument with Chris hitting a quick enziguri for two before Dutt sends him to the apron and kicks Aries in the face. Sabin is knocked to the floor and Aries hits a quick brainbuster for the pin on Sonjay.
Rating: C-. Pick a three way match that you’ve seen before, give it about eight minutes and you’ll have this match. It wasn’t anything special but that’s the kind of show you should expect with this series: something you’ve seen done better before but it’s what you’re in for with the reduced price.
Tommy Dreamer gives a serious promo on Bully Ray, talking about their history together and mentioning Ray invading Dreamer’s House of Hardcore show. He holds up a kendo stick and says he may not be Luke Skywalker and this may not be a lightsaber, but he’s cutting the evil fat out of Ray tonight. That may take a lot of carving.
Video on Ethan Carter III as the gimmick takes a nosedive.
Ethan comes out to call out an opponent as even the announcers realize that calling Ethan old school is absurd. The fans tell Ethan that he can’t wrestle and he chants back by alternating with “Yes I can” and “I’m very good.” He gets some cheap heat by making fun of the Yankees and says Dixie has allowed him to pick his opponent tonight.
Ethan Carter III vs. Dewey Barnes
So to clarify, we’re getting storyline development for a storyline that isn’t going on anymore on a theme show that almost no one is going to buy because TNA can’t put together a full card without this filler. Dewey comes from his other job at the merchandise table (he really does that at live events) but doesn’t want to fight. Carter pokes him in the chest and insults Dewey’s social status, which if finally enough for the redneck to fight. Barnes takes Ethan down by the legs but Carter rams him into the buckle and talks trash. The bulldog driver ends Barnes in just over a minute. I’m so glad this got PPV time.
With his back to the camera, Ray talks about meeting Tommy Dreamer back in 1992 and becoming close with him over the years. The word friend is unique in wrestling because Ray doesn’t have that many of them. Twenty five years later, Dreamer started his House of Hardcore promotion and invites Terry Funk instead of him and that’s just not how you treat a friend. We even get clips from House of Hardcore 2 with Ray invading and lighting a table on fire. Tonight Ray is going to beat Dreamer like you beat a friend of 25 years.
Bully Ray vs. Tommy Dreamer
This is falls count anywhere. Ray talks about ending Terry Funk’s career in this building and how he’ll do the same to Dreamer tonight. They stare at each other to start until Ray yells about Funk even more, earning him right hands to the face. Dreamer clotheslines him down but Ray takes him into the corner for some right hands. We get the Flip Flop and Fly from Tommy to send Ray outside as the fans are into this so far.
Tommy is sent ribs first into the barricade but Ray stops to yell at Hebner, allowing Dreamer to suplex Bully down on the floor for two. Back in and Ray counters a bulldog with a belly to back suplex before heading outside to get a table. Dreamer baseball slides it back into Ray’s face but Bully easily blocks a DDT attempt. A splash onto Dreamer on the table is good for two and it’s time for the chain.
Ray gets in another argument with Hebner, allowing Dreamer to get in some kendo stick shots for two. Tommy whips at the knee with the chain but Ray pokes him in the eye to get a break. Another table is sent inside but Ray finds a much more entertaining toy: a cheese grater. Ray tries his own Flip Flop and Fly but Dreamer takes away the grater and attack’s Ray’s crotch to be extra evil.
Tommy pulls out a piece of the barricade but Ray kicks it into his face to prevent further damage. Ray takes too much time going up top for some reason and gets caught in a Death Valley Driver off the ropes through the table for a close two. Dreamer goes up but gets hit in the ribs with a piece of barricade before being superplexed down onto the steel With nothing else to do, Ray pulls out another table and lighter fluid. Again it takes too long and Dreamer blasts him with a kendo stick before spraying the lighter fluid on the table. The distraction lets Ray hit him low and the Bully Cutter is good for the pin.
Rating: C+. This was the kind of match that they needed to have with a lot of time letting Dreamer seem like he had a chance. I’m still not wild on them using freaking House of Hardcore to set up a match at a TNA PPV but it’s not like TNA has anywhere else to build a story from.
Joe talks about his history in TNA and how he’s always answered the call when he had to. Tonight he gets a world title shot at Magnus, who he at least has a history with.
Here’s Eric Young with something to say. He says he’s very old school, which is actually true in his case. Young declares himself the president and gives us a gift of Velvet Sky. Eric calls her his favorite Knockout ever but begs us not to tweet it to ODB. Eric has a toast for the fans but Bad Influence interrupts. Mike: “You can’t interrupt the president!” Taz: “This is wrestling. Everyone interrupts everyone.”
Kaz says no one is more old school than they are and no one is hotter than Velvet Sky. They’re the best tag team in the Biz-A-Ness so you have permission to worship them. This brings out the Bro Mans to say that they’re new school and school is in session right now. Velvet isn’t a real woman, but the Bro Mans know what one is, so here’s Lei’D Tapa. Eric makes a six person tag and appoints himself referee.
Velvet Sky/Bad Influence vs. Lei’D Tapa/Bro Mans
Jesse and Daniels get us going with Christopher grabbing a quick headscissors. Daniels cartwheels over Godderz and pops him with a right hand before it’s off to Robbie who charges into an armbar. Kaz comes in with a kick to the back and an elbow drop for two before slamming Robbie face first into the mat for another near fall. Kaz misses a charge and falls out to the floor, only to have Robbie miss the same move and crash even harder.
Back in and Tapa wants Kaz but it’s off to Velvet to fire up the crowd a bit. Sky kicks away at the large leg but Tapa just shoves her away. Velvet blocks a charge coming into the corner but walks into a spinebuster to change control on a dime. The female looking one is sent across the ring for a tag off to Daniels who armdrags Robbie down with ease. Everything breaks down with Bad Influence cleaning house and sending the Bros out to the floor.
Things settle down again with the Bro Mans double teaming Daniels down and stomping away until Robbie drops a middle rope elbow for no cover. Tapa comes in and drops a leg on Daniels before dragging him over to the corner for a tag to Robbie. We hit the chinlock until Daniels fights up and scores with an STO, allowing for the hot tag to Kaz.
Kazarian speeds things up and cradles Jesse but adds a northern lights suplex on Robbie at the same time for a double near fall. Tapa runs over Bad Influence but Velvet takes her down with a cross body. Velvet is thrown over the top to crush Tapa again but Daniels has to escape a Bro Down. The High/Low out of nowhere is enough to get the pin on Jesse.
Rating: D+. Not bad, even though Eric meant nothing at all. Velvet did her thing here by looking hot on the apron and doing a few moves at the end to make sure people knew she was more than just eye candy. Bad Influence worked perfectly well as faces which says a lot about them given how awesome they are as heels.
Video on Monster’s Ball and how insane it can get.
Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy
Obviously Monster’s Ball, basically meaning hardcore. They actually shake hands to start before Abyss shoves Hardy down. Abyss runs him over again and stops a comeback attempt with a running clothesline. The first weapon brought in is a chair but Hardy knocks it out of Abyss’ hands and hits a quick mule kick. Poetry in Motion sends Abyss outside and a running clothesline off the apron drops both guys. Abyss is up first and bridges a table between the ring and the barricade as he’s done before.
Hardy fights out of the chokeslam attempt but is sent HARD into the post to put him down again. Back in and Abyss wedges a chair into the corner but Jeff blasts him with another chair to get a breather. That’s fine with Abyss who sends him face first into the wedged chair for two. Jeff’s forehead is cut open.
It’s thumbtacks time but Hardy fights out of another chokeslam attempt and snaps off some forearms. The legdrop between the legs has Abyss in some trouble and the Twisting Stunner puts him down again. Jeff goes up but Abyss pelts the chair at his head, knocking Hardy through the bridges table in a nice looking bump. It’s only good for two and the kickout doesn’t get the reaction they were hoping for.
Abyss heads outside again and brings in the spiked 2×4 called Janice. Hardy moves to avoid a bad case of death and Janice is stuck in the turnbuckle. The Whisper in the Wind COMPLETELY misses Abyss and the replay makes it look even worse. Jeff picks up Janice but walks into the chokeslam onto the tacks which is always a good looking spot. Jeff’s head landed in the tacks and he has to pull the tacks out. Awesome visual.
That’s only good for two as well though so it’s barbed wire board time. Hardy counters another chokeslam and dropkicks Abyss into the barbed wire. Jeff finds another barbed wire board and sandwiches Abyss between the two of them, setting up the Swanton for the pin despite the tacks still being in his back.
Rating: B-. This took time to get going but the ending was far better than I was expecting. The problem here was the lack of a reason for the violence. The guys didn’t really hate each other (they shook hands remember) so it was just violence for the sake of violence. Still though, good match and a nice surprise given what I was expecting. The tacks in the head was a sick thing to see too.
Kurt Angle talks about going old school (minus the hashtag because Angle doesn’t like sounding like a dolt) with Mr. Anderson tonight.
Video on Angle vs. Anderson which actually was one heck of a feud back in the day.
Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle
Anderson does a nice heel move by teasing throwing his shirt to the crowd but dropping it on the apron instead. Technical stuff to start with Angle taking it to the mat but getting kicked away into a standoff. Angle knocks Anderson into the corner and pops him with an uppercut, only to be send shoulder first into the post. Anderson goes after the shoulder with an armbar but has to escape an Angle Slam attempt and chop block Kurt down to the mat.
Mr. starts going after the knee now by cannonballing down off the ropes before wrapping it up in the corner. Off to a leg bar but Kurt punches him in the side of the head to escape. Anderson goes up but dives into a boot to the jaw to put both guys down. Some clotheslines by Kurt set up a German suplex but the Angle Slam is countered into the rolling fireman’s carry for two.
The Mic Check is countered into the ankle lock but Anderson rolls Angle out to the floor. Back in and Angle runs the corner for the belly to belly superplex and it’s back to the ankle lock. The same counter saves Anderson again and the Mic Check gets two. The Angle Slam connects a few seconds later for the abrupt pin.
Rating: C-. This was the abbreivated version of their match and the lack of time took away a lot of what makes these matches good. It also doesn’t help that there’s no personal reason for these two to fight other than they used to fight in the past, which is the general problem of this entire show.
Bobby Roode talks about his history with James Storm and how they were good friends but make better enemies.
Video on Roode vs. Storm. You all must know this story by now.
James Storm vs. Bobby Roode
Last man standing. A quick shoulder block gets three for Roode and it’s time for a slugout. Storm takes over with an atomic drop and a clothesline but Roode avoids two Last Call attempts. Bobby heads outside but gets suplexed in the aisle for a seven count. Storm sends him into the steps but and barricade before taking him back inside for an enziguri off the apron. Roode counters a suplex to the floor and dropkicks James into the barricade.
Storm is up at about seven and heads back inside, only to get caught in a Blockbuster for another close count. James fights up with kicks and punches followed by a Russian legsweep to put both guys down. Roode comes right back with a spinebuster but Storm is up at six. The Roode Bomb is countered into a Backstabber from Storm followed by the Eye of the Storm for about five. They head outside again for another kick from Storm but Roode gets up in time again.
The weapons are brought in with Storm putting a trashcan between Roode’s legs and blasting it with a crutch. Roode comes back with a hard clothesline but takes too long getting a trashcan ready and walks into the Last Call. Bobby makes it up at about 9.75 but the fans weren’t buying it because that was just one finisher. James sets up two chairs next to each other but Roode escapes the Eye of the Storm and Roode Bombs James onto the chairs for an eight count. With nothing else to do, Roode handcuffs Storm behind his back and cookie sheets/trashcans/beer bottles him down for the ten count.
Rating: C+. It’s a good match but much like Orton vs. Cena, the match has been done so many times that it’s almost impossible to care. This feud has used the same tropes over and over again and the interest just isn’t there for me anymore. It also doesn’t help that Storm almost never wins any of these matches, making him look even more like a choker and/or a loser.
Magnus says there’s an irony in the name of this show because he’s not old school at all. What is old school though is what it says on his title: wrestling. He’s a wrestler, meaning that he’ll beat Samoa Joe in a wrestling match where all of the rules are followed to the letter.
Video on the history of Magnus and Joe from being Tag Team Champions to the Mafia to Magnus’ heel turn.
TNA World Title: Magnus vs. Samoa Joe
Big Match Intros kill even more time before we get going. Joe takes him into the corner to start but the champion slaps him in the face like the evildoer he is. A right hand sends Magnus to the floor and he grabs the mic, saying that under British wrestling rules, closed fists are illegal. Magnus demands that Joe receive his first warning and apparently it’s two warnings for a DQ.
Back in and they fight over the arms as the announcers talk about ESPN reporters. Joe no sells an elbow to the jaw and runs Magnus over with one of his own before ripping his skin off with chops in the corner. A knee to the chest gets two for the Samoan and there’s the corner enziguri to set up the Face Wash. Magnus comes back with a running clothesline and throws punches in the corner for no warning. Outside now with the champion dropping an ax handle off the apron for two as the frustration is starting early tonight.
We hit the chinlock on Joe followed by another back elbow to the jaw and the second chinlock in a short span. Not exactly the most thrilling match in the world here. A HHH knee to the face drops Joe again but Magnus takes his time covering. Joe catches Magnus coming off the middle rope in an atomic drop followed by the snap powerslam for two. Magnus’ leapfrog is countered into a powerbomb into the Boston crab into the STF in the middle of the ring. Joe turns that into the Rings of Saturn but Magnus gets his foot on the rope.
Magnus comes back with a Michinoku Driver for two and the top rope elbow gets the same. With nothing else to do he goes and gets the title belt but Joe easily takes it away. That goes nowhere but Joe ducks a right hand a German suplexes the champion down. Magnus fights out of the MuscleBuster and counters the Clutch with a jawbreaker, bumping the referee in the process. Now the MuscleBuster connects and another Hebner slides in for two. Ethan Carter tries to interfere but gets rammed into the barricade, allowing Magnus to hit Joe with the belt to retain.
Rating: C. Not a bad match but the British rules thing went nowhere. It was fine for what it was and at least it gives a reason for the Ethan match earlier (he had a reason to be in the building for the main event). It’s nice that they actually gave the main event some importance but there’s still not enough here to hold much interest.
The traditional highlight package takes us out.
Overall Rating: C-. It’s not as good as Hardcore Justice 3 but this was fine for a One Night Only show. I can’t emphasize enough how much easier this company is to get through when Dixie Carter and the stupid power struggle isn’t taking up time. It’s still not great, but it goes from horrible to ok just like that, which is as good as you can get from TNA at the moment. The gimmick wasn’t terrible and thankfully they got it back on track after the second match. Nice show tonight but nothing worth going out of your way to see.
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