TNA 2011 No Surrender PPV Flashback - Kurt Angle vs. Sting vs. Mr. Anderson for the TNA Title, James Storm vs. Bully Ray, and Bobby Roode vs. Gunner in BFG Series semifinals matches, Samoa Joe vs. Matt Morgan
The following is a flashback to Jason Powell's live coverage review of the September 11, 2011 TNA No Surrender pay-per-view. Stop back tonight for live coverage of the 2012 TNA No Surrender event. Plus, Dot Net Members can look forward to Jason Powell's exclusive audio review after the show. Join us on the ad-free version of the website now via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
Live from Orlando, Fla.
At Universal Studios
The show opened with a silent studio. The TNA crew stood on the stage, and Rosita held up an American flag. Jesse Neal wore his Navy uniform. An instrumental version of "America The Beautiful" played. Once it concluded, the fans clapped and a "USA" chant broke out...
Powell's POV: A very nice tribute, and knowing the stories of Rosita and Jesse Neal made it that much more emotional.
The opening video aired. The video focussed on the Bound For Glory Series and the four remaining wrestlers... James Earl Jones wannabe guy said the pay-per-view was presented by TNA and the insurance company that sponsors them... Mike Tenay and Taz checked in on commentary...
1. Jesse Sorensen defeated Kid Kash to become No. 1 contender to the X Division Title in 7:55. Sorensen brought out a football, signed it, and gave it to a kid at ringside. Late in the match, Sorensen hit an awkward front suplex of some kind and scored the pin.
Powell's POV: For those who haven't been keeping up on Sorensen, he was a high school quarterback in Texas. For some reason, TNA sees this as something they can market. Though I am high on his ability, the whole football thing makes me feel like I'm watching the world's youngest Al Bundy in that he's consumed with his high school football exploits. I wonder if Kevin Greene signed wrestling boots and handed them out to fans during his NFL pre-game introductions? Anyway, Sorensen is getting cheered by the men and women in the crowd. If he can keep that going, he could become a real star.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan. Angle threw a phony looking fit about not being prepared to face both Sting and Mr. Anderson. Hogan tried to calm him down and then asked Angle what the hell he wanted him to do about it. Angle stormed off and Hogan told him he should get ready...
2. Bully Ray beat James Storm by DQ in a Bound For Glory Series match in 11:40. Tenay said Storm must win by submission in order to advance and move on in the series. After eight minutes of ho-hum action, Bully Ray took a swig of Storm's beer and spat it into the eyes of Storm while referee Jackson James was distracted. Storm came back a short time later with an arm bar, but Ray barely reached the ropes.
Storm followed up with the Sharpshooter, but Ray reached the ropes. Storm came back with a Fujiwara arm bar. Ray countered it into a roll up for a two count. Later, Storm tried to spit beer at Ray, but Ray ducked and the beer went into the eyes of the ref. Storm applied another arm bar and Ray tapped, but referee Jackson James called for the DQ.
After the match, SoCal Val tried to interview Ray, who said, "Get out of my face, bitch." Ray asked the fans if they believe him now. "I'm Bully Ray," he said three times. He declared himself to be the next "World Heavyweight Mother Fricking Champion"...
Powell's POV: Great, TNA wants to introduce another title. Wait, I get it, never mind. Bad jokes aside, it was cool to see Storm break out some different moves than we normally see from him. I hate seeing cheap finishes this deep in the BFG Series, but it's par for the course in TNA.
A video set up the TNA Knockouts Title match. Tenay read through the "tale of the tape" which included talk of spitting blood and voodoo magic. There must be some new tape out there that tells some odd tales...
3. Winter (w/Angelina Love) defeated Mickie James to win the TNA Knockouts Title in 8:40. Mickie James came out wearing Wonder Woman inspired gear. So much for Rey Mysterio's WrestleMania 28 outfit. Winter jumped her from behind to start the match. At 6:20, Winter went for a big kick, missed, and fell flat on her face. Mickie applied a half-crab.
Winter got to the ropes and Angelina handed her a title belt. The referee took the title belt away before she could use it. Later, Winter tried to spray mist, er, blood at Mickie, who moved and the substance went into Angelina's face. Winter had a little left over, though, and sprayed it into Mickie's face while the ref was tending to Angelina. Winter covered Mickie and got the pin.
They showed a close up of Angelina and she had a drop or two of the substance on her face and the rest on her chest, yet somehow her eyes were apparently burning. Winter checked on her, but seemed more concerned with her title win...
Powell's POV: I really hate these finishes because the referees look like such morons by counting a pin when the person being pinned has a red substance all over their faces. I'm sure Mickie's Wonder Woman costume was a turn on for some, but I really wish her dress up wardrobe included more traditional gear so that I could take her and her matches seriously like I did before she started going with these campy themes.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Gunner. Borash said Roode has to win by submission in order to tie Bully Ray in the standings. Gunner said he was going to win and go on to Bound For Glory. Bully Ray showed up and ordered the "young boy" to not give up under any circumstances...
Powell's POV: And here I thought the final four were just slotted to have singles semifinal matches and the two winners would meet in the finals. Um, it was my understanding there would be no math.
4. Mexican America (w/Sarita and Rosita) beat Devon and D'Angelo Dinero to retain the TNA Tag Titles in 9:40. There was an awkward spot about two minutes in when Hernandez and Pope were not on the same page regarding what spot was up next. The veteran Devon stepped in and got everyone back on track quickly.
At 3:00, Pope took exception to Rosita standing on the ring apron and forced a kiss on her. She slapped him, so he responded by grabbing her by the hair and holding her by it as her feet dangled off the ring apron. He might be a babyface, but don't try any of that at home unless you feel like being arrested for various assault charges.
The heels worked over Devon for a bit and then Pope took the hot tag and roughed up his opponents. Pope's infatuation with Rosita continued as he taunted her at ringside once, and then caught her coming off the ropes and spanked her in the ring as Devon did the same to Sarita. In the end, Pope was going for a suplex when Sarita tripped him and held his leg as Anarquia pinned him for the win...
Powell's POV: Another forgettable TNA Tag Title match. They're going to stay that way until Mexican America miraculously improves or drops the straps. I was actually hoping that Rosita would cost Pope the match since he harassed her so much. Somehow, I don't think that's what anyone involved was going for.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Mr. Anderson, who talked about teaming up with Sting to take out Kurt Angle and then going against one another. He said the alternative was the asshole doing whatever he wants to whomever gets in the ring...
Powell's POV: They succeeded in teasing that it will be every man for himself in the main event, but Anderson's routine did nothing to make me more excited about the main event.
A video set up the next match...
5. Matt Morgan defeated Samoa Joe in 11:30. Morgan had the crowd behind him early and even hit a cross body block. It's an impressive move for a guy his size, but it should be saved for when it counts rather than just coming off like a routine move early in a pay-per-view match. Joe came back by pulling Morgan's bad arm down on the top rope.
Joe had his share of fans, as there were dueling chants for both wrestlers while Joe was on the offensive. Joe worked over Morgan's arm with a submission hold, but Morgan reached the ropes to break it. They traded punches and it appeared Joe got the better of it, but Morgan came back with a discuss clothesline. Joe came back with a belly-to-belly.
Joe went for the rear naked choke at 9:30, but Morgan backed him into the corner to break it temporarily. Joe locked it in again and this time got Morgan down. Morgan eventually put his foot on the ropes (which are red, white, and blue) to break the hold. Morgan came back with the Carbon Footprint and scored the clean pin...
Powell's POV: An odd choice of match styles. Given Joe's recent violent attacks and because he went after Morgan's injured arm, I expected more of a brawl rather than a wrestling match. It was also strange to have Morgan go over given that he had the arm injury as his out if he lost. Joe was just getting back to looking like a ruthless attack dog via those beatings he's been dishing out on Impact, but now he looks like a guy who can only take advantage of weakened opponents and can't get it done in an actual match.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Bobby Roode and James Storm. After Roode bombed with his "It pays to be Roode" catchphrase, Storm stepped in and gave him a pep talk about beating Gunner and then going on to beat "that fat piece of shit" Bully Ray. Storm got the live crowd to chant "Bobby"...
6. Bobby Roode beat Gunner in a Bound For Glory Series match by submission in 11:55. Gunner was on the offensive early and the live crowd was very quiet. The fans seemed to like Roode, as there were some scattered chants of his name and/or Beer Money. Roode went after Gunner's arm to soften him up for the Fujiwara armbar.
Tenay explained that both men need submission wins in order to tie Bully Ray in the standings, so Gunner was also going after Roode's arm. At 10:10, Roode applied the Fujiwara armbar, but Gunner reached the ropes to break the hold. The fans were not on the edge of their seats in anticipation of that being the finish. Roode came back and applied the hold again.
Taz sold it effectively by saying Gunner should just tap. Gunner nearly reached the ropes to break it again, but this time Roode pulled him back into the middle of the ring and got the submission win. Taz put over the heart that Gunner showed by not tapping out right away.
Eric Bischoff's music played and he walked onto the stage. Bischoff praised Roode's performance and then said his dumb ass wrote a check that his ass can't cash. He said they will have a BFG Series final match tonight, as Roode will face Bully Ray tonight...
Powell's POV: So why not just ditch the unnecessarily complicated points system once it was down to the final four and take it one step further by announcing that the winners of the semifinals would meet on this show? The fans seem to like Roode to some extent, but Gunner is not an ideal heel for him to work with simply because they never bothered to put heat on him. Ray should be just the guy to get the live crowd worked into a frenzy in the finals.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Austin Aries about his X Division Title match... A video set up the X Division Title match... Tenay ran through the "X Factors" list, which did not include voodoo or blood talk this time around....
Powell's POV: It is a refreshing change to see the X Division Title match on this late in the show. It sends the message that the title is not just opening match or early show fodder. Here's hoping this becomes the norm going forward.
7. Austin Aries defeated Brian Kendrick to win the X Division Title in 13:25. They played up "The Wizard of Odd" nickname for Kendrick. Aries worked over Kendrick with a series of holds. Aries drew good heat when he played to the crowd. Kendrick caught him with a good kick in the corner, which Aries sold extremely well.
Kendrick performed a suicide dive onto Aries at ringside at 8:05 and then rolled him right back inside the ring. Kendrick went up top and hit a missile dropkick for a near fall that no one believed in. Kendrick followed up with a good tornado DDT and went for a cover, but Aries put his foot on the ropes.
Kendrick went for Sliced Bread, but Aries pushed him over the top rope and Kendrick landed hard on the floor. Aries tried to follow up with a suicide dive of his own, but Kendrick moved and Aries crashed into the guardrail. The fans chanted "holy shit" and rightfully so.
At 10:45, Aries went for a corkscrew dive over the top rope and missed Kendrick on the floor. The announcers acknowledged that he "may not have gotten all of that one." Back inside the ring, Aries hit a good running dropkick on Kendrick in the corner.
Later, there was a hot series of moves that started with Aries missing a top rope flip, yet landing on his feet, and ultimately taking a wild suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Kendrick went for Sliced Bread in the corner, but referee Jackson James was in the way. Aries kicked Kendrick low and then hit the brainbuster for the 1-2-3 to become the new X Division champion. Aries had the referee pick him up as part of his post-match celebration...
Powell's POV: A very entertaining match and easily the best of the night thus far. Here's hoping that Kendrick losing somehow leads to him abandoning his gimmick that the fans obviously aren't connecting with. If they refuse to change the gimmick, then it's time to scrap the feud and let the strong heel Aries feud with a babyface that does connect with the fans.
The announcers spoke about the final of the BFG Series going to "overtime." Borash interviewed Bully Ray backstage. He said he didn't show up thinking he would have to wrestle twice. He said he couldn't count on Gunner, just like he couldn't count on Devon all those years. He said tonight is about winning one more match to earn the right to challenge for the TNA Title.
Ray boasted that Bound For Glory is in Philadelphia, and said his odds of beating Roode are pretty damn good. Ray said he heard Roode whining about his neck injury backstage and now he plans to go after it. Ray said he's going to be the next TNA Champion...
Bully Ray made his entrance. Roode came out and was met by Ray on on the entrance ramp, where Ray jawed at him The referee stepped in, and Ray headed back to the ring. Jeremy Borash then handled the in-ring introductions.
8. Bobby Roode defeated Bully Ray in the Bound For Glory Series overtime match in 12:30. The fans chanted "Bobby" right after the introductions. What a difference working with a strong heel makes. The fans continued to cheer for Roode consistently and popped when he applied the Fujiwara armbar at 6:55 only to have Ray escape.
Ray came back with a hot shot clothesline on the top rope at 8:05. Ray went after Roode's neck, just as he said he would, with a neckbreaker. Ray remained on the offensive and slapped Roode across the face and then taunted him in the corner by asking if he was going to fight. Ray spat into the air and caught it in his mouth.
Roode fired up hit Ray with a series of punches. Ray came back and they traded blows. Ray hit a Bubba Bomb at 12:00 for a near fall. He went to the second rope and missed a back splash. Roode hit him with a spinebuster and got the pin to win the BFG Series and will now challenge the TNA Champion at Bound For Glory...
Powell's POV: Ray made this match. His heel antics were great and the live crowd stayed behind Roode all match. Unfortunately, the finish was flat in the sense that no one in the studio seemed to think Roode was going to get the pin. There was a momentary paused before the fans reacted because they were so surprised to see it end that way, which happens too frequently in TNA. Otherwise, it was a good match and Bully Ray has to be considered an MVP candidate in TNA this year.
At ringside, the announcers spoke about Roode retaining and questioned whether he will face Kurt Angle, Sting, or Mr. Anderson. They said we'll find out the answer to that question in the main event...
Backstage, Jeremy Borash said they wanted to take a moment out of the pay-per-view to acknowledge anyone who lost a loved one on 9/11. Borash introduced Rosita by her real name of Thea Trinidad, and noted that she lost her father in the World Trade Center on 9/11. She broke character while talking about how he was her inspiration to become a pro wrestler. "I did this for me and I did this for him," she said. She added that she prays to him every time she goes to the ring...
Powell's POV: It's such a sad, touching, and ultimately an inspirational story. I'm not saying they should exploit this story in any way, but it will be tough for her to be seen as a heel to anyone who saw her story here or on NBC.
A video set up the main event... Tenay ran through the tale of the tape, which once again had nothing to do with the size of the wrestlers... Anderson made his entrance first and did his mic work on the stage. Sting was out next with The Joker look. Kurt Angle came out last, and then Borash handled the in-ring introductions for the championship match...
9. Kurt Angle defeated Sting and Mr. Anderson in a three-way to retain the TNA Title in 15:25. Angle immediately took a powder and let Sting and Anderson go at it in the ring. Anderson didn't go for it and held the ropes open, and the referee called for Angle to return. Sting and Anderson worked over Angle. One Angle went back to ringside, then Anderson and Sting went at it.
Angle returned to the ring and Anderson caught him with a neckbreaker. Anderson went for a cover, but Sting pulled Anderson off and then fought with him. It was definitely every man for himself. Taz spoke about Angle appearing to be upset with Hulk Hogan in the promo that aired early in the show.
Angle came back with a suplex on Sting and got a two count. He was about .06 of a second away from retaining. Or was it .091? I guess it depends who you ask. Sting came back with a Stinger Splash in the corner and followed up with a kick and a DDT. Sting went for a cover, but Anderson returned to the match and broke up the pin.
Anderson missed Sting with a kick, spun around and caught him on the second attempt. Angle went after Anderson and hit him with three German suplexes. He grabbed Sting and him him with three German Suplexes. Angle tried unsuccessfully to pin both men.
Later, Sting backdropped Angle over the top rope and onto the floor. Sting applied the Scorpion Leg Lock on Anderson, who tried to reach the ropes. Sting pulled him into the middle of the ring. Angle recovered and hit Sting from behind and then performed the Angle Slam for a near fall.
At 13:55, Angle applied the Ankle Lock on Sting, who eventually flipped him over and into Anderson's Mic Check for a good near fall. Anderson hoisted up Sting on his shoulders, but Sting fought out and hit the Scorpion Death Drop. Angle pulled Sting to ringside and threw him into the guardrail.
Hulk Hogan grabbed Sting and sprayed a substance into his eyes. A blinded Sting reentered the ring and grabbed the referee in position for the Scorpion Death Drop, but Angle hit him with the Angle Slam and pinned him to retain the TNA Title.
Hulk Hogan entered the ring and celebrated with Angle. They hugged. My God, their bickering earlier in the show as all just a swerve. Can you believe it?...
An ad aired for Bound For Glory, which takes place on October 16 in Philadelphia...
Powell's POV: A spray can? Another lame ass TNA pay-per-view main event finish. There's only so much frustration I can muster, though, as it feels like most people stopped caring about the TNA Title due to these dipshit finishes and/or rapid fire title changes. Overall, this was a forgettable show. There were a few good matches, but it just wasn't enough. The atmosphere of the Impact Zone was terrible, and the pay-per-view didn't feel like a big event in any way.
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