TNA Wrestling presented its sixth annual edition of No Surrender last Sunday. The show opened up to Motor City Machine Guns’ Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin defending the titles against Max and Jeremy Buck of Generation Me. Initially Sabin and Shelley were scheduled to defend against Desmond Wolfe and Brutus Magnus, but they were pulled from the show. Story has not been confirmed other than TNA explanation of “due to personal issues.” Some were saying that it was because of an injury, others that the Britons didn’t go over well with fans. Then again, when has TNA ever listened to its fans? Personally, the London Brawling appeared to be a fresh new tag team that would have delivered an excellent match-up against TNA’s World Tag champs.
EV2, the ECW Originals, lost in a clean sweep against the members of Fortune and Abyss. Douglas Williams defended the X-Division title against Sabu in what can be described as faulty. Sabu botched up several of the moves, allowing Williams to capitalize with ease. Rhino took Abyss to the limit in a Falls Count Anywhere match, but the adventure underneath the stage was both creative and cheesy as the impact of the wood panels bursting open were obviously pre-cut. Then the leaders of both factions met in a “I Quit” match. “The Phenomenal One” AJ Styles forced “The Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer to utter the dreaded words. Styles has evolved into an outstanding performer by having the right heel attitude to force a man, who once competed in a Scaffold match, to his limits.
As for the two TNA World Title Tournament semi-final matches, Mr. Anderson advanced by defeating D’Angelo Dinero. As for Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy, no decisive victor was presented because both men refused to lose to the other. During the first match segment, Hardy delivered three Swanton Bombs and a Whisper in the Wind, while Angle executed several Angle Slams and Ankle Locks. The match time expired at the twenty-minute mark, and would extend two more times with five-minute extensions. After thirty-minutes of wrestling, Eric Bischoff refused to add another five in wake of Angle’s serious gash to the forehead. Without a doubt a Match of the Year candidate.
With one more week to go before WWE presents Night of Champions, the WWE Heavyweight match has vacated a spot in the 6-Pack Challenge. Raw’s General Manager forced Edge and Chris Jericho into matches where if unsuccessful, would forfeit their spots in the main-event. Edge defeated The Great Khali, but Jericho fell to John Morrison. Chris Jericho, who vowed if he was not victorious at Night of Champions would walk away from professional wrestling, is at a cross-roads in his career as he is unable to compete at the pay-per-view. As for the threat against Nexus, John Cena had an unpredictably good match with Justin Gabriel, while Randy Orton not only won his match against Wade Barrett with an RKO, but struck Darren Young, Sheamus, and Edge with RKOs.
Raw’s other champions were busy with other threats. Daniel Bryan finally broke his silence and challenged The Miz for the U.S. title at Night of Champions, which he accepted. And Melina Perez successfully defended the Divas’ title for the second week in a row–this time against Alicia Fox.
WWE presented the new season of NXT this past Tuesday, this time an all-Divas edition. Kelly-Kelly‘s rookie Naomi Knight made the biggest impact by winning all the Rookie challenges and impressively showing her athleticism in her tag match against Maxine and Alicia Fox. The finish of the match was unbelievably botched as Alicia broke the cover that Naomi had on Maxine, but the referee still gave the three-count to declare Naomi the winner. And because Tony Chimel failed to announce the winners, Naomi–unaware of the referee already calling the match–continued to slam Maxine with a suplex. The final bout between Goldust and Aksana against Primo Colon and AJ, was also poor quality. Goldust and Primo traded blows, until Aksana and AJ wrestled for about three moves–botching a running bull dog–before AJ went for the cover. Vickie Guerrero revealed a beautiful fitness model by the name of Kaitlyn as her replacement rookie. The girl next door/class clown will prove to be a comedic relief for fans simply not interested in WWE’s version of women’s wrestling. Plus she’s very easy on the eyes, which is what we are all focused on, right?
As for SmackDown, C.M. Punk and Big Show will meet at Night of Champions. Since neither men are champions, this could turn into a contender’s match for WWE’s World title. Also, Dolph Ziggler will defend the Intercontinental title against Kofi Kingston. And the WWE World title match between Undertaker and Kane has been made into a No Holds Barred match, which means Taker can use Hell’s Gate.
Yesterday at the Manhattan Center in NYC, Ring of Honor Wrestling presented a phenomenal internet pay-per-view, Glory by Honor IX. The first half of the show presented quality match ups against Kenny King and Jay Briscoe, and Rhett Titus and Mark Briscoe. Kenny and Mark won their respective matches, earning a victory over the other. The Embassy’s Eric Stevens and Necro Butcher took care of business in tag team action against Grizzly Redwood and Ballz Mahoney. The New York crowd chanted “ECW” to Mahoney, who stopped the crowd and started chanting “ROH.” A similar reaction occured during the Double Chain match between El Generico and Colt Cabana against Kevin Steen and Steve Corino. Corino looked at the crowd in disgust and threw a chair to Cabana. This could mean several things: these ECW Originals may feel that TNA’s reunion is deplorable, or that ECW no longer defines them. The chain match was graphic for the blood squeamish, but the match was great and did not necessarily need the sight of blood. At one point, Colt Cabana was double chained to the ring posts as Corino maliciously taunting him with a steel chair. The match ended in favor of Generico and Cabana, but Steen got the last laugh as he swiped Generico’s mask.
The second half of the show was chalk full of incredible pro wrestling matches. Eddie Edwards defended the Television title against Shawn Daivari by submission. Christopher Daniels defeated Austin Aries with Angle’s Wings from the top turnbuckle in a meeting between the best wrestlers in the world. The dream match between Kings of Wrestling’s Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli against The World’s Greatest Tag Team’s Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas was not oversold because it was indeed a Dream match. Witnessing these men in the ring was an unbelievable sight. These were not just men, these were wrestling gods tearing down the house. The match was too close to call. But with a loaded elbow pad from Chris Hero, Kings of Wrestling stole a victory from World’s Greatest Tag Team. Shelton, no longer sporting the Sisqo Gold Standard look, tweeted “That was the most fun I’ve had in about 3 years,” and declared that they would be back.
The final match was poured with hatred from New York fans with chants of “You Sold Out,” “Future Jobber,” “NXT,” “FCW,” and a sea of middle fingers towards the defending ROH champion Tyler Black. Roderick Strong, though a heel since joining Truth Martini, received all the adulation from the fans, and cheered him on to his long awaited crowning as the new ROH World Champion. Fans then rightfully chanted “Thank you, Tyler,” but the damage had already been done. Tyler flipped off the champion and the fans and left the arena for good.
ROH will return to Manhattan Center for Final Battle on December 18. ROH Executive Commissioner Jim Cornette announced that Davey Richards, who was set to leave ROH at the end of 2010, has decided to resign and would have a World title match at Final Battle. However, a returning Homicide has already called out Roderick Strong for a title match at Final Battle – possible triple-threat?