TNA No Surrender
Aired live on pay-per-view
Orlando, Florida at the Impact Zone
The show opened with footage of the remaining Bound For Glory participants arriving at the building earlier in the day... A video focussed on the BFG Series... Pyro was shot off above the ring and on the stage. Mike Tenay and Taz introduced the show...
Powell's POV: I like the shots of the wrestlers arriving. It's similar to what you'd see on a big fight boxing or MMA show. Heck, even the NFL pre-game shows have jumped onboard with similar clips of players arriving at the stadiums.
1. Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe in a Bound For Glory Series semifinal match. They jumped out to a good high energy start. Hardy leapt onto Joe at ringside and fired up the crowd. Back inside the ring, Joe grabbed the offensive advantage and scored a couple of near falls. He showed frustration over not being able to put Hardy away following a good power slam.
Powell's POV: Hardy may be moonlighting on TNA if his makeup is any indication. He needs a couple of painted on whiskers and he can head right from the ring to a nearby theater for a performance of CATS.
Hardy returned the favor with a good near fall, but Joe caught him with the one-armed slam in the corner at 11:00. Hardy fired back with the Twist of Fate and took his shirt off. Hardy went to the ropes. Joe popped up and swept Hardy's legs out from underneath him and crotched him on the top rope.
Hardy applied his new submission hold at 12:15. Joe slid out and right into a pin attempt, but Hardy countered by hooking his arms and into a pinning position of his own for the clean pin. Afterward, Joe looked frustrated, but eventually gave Hardy a thumbs up for the win...
Jeff Hardy defeated Samoa Joe in 12:35 to advance to the Bound For Glory Series finals.
Powell's POV: A good opening match. Tenay and Taz are off to a really good start. They enhanced the match by driving home the importance of the Bound For Glory Series. Joe continues to be the nicest loser in wrestling with his latest thumbs up to an opponent.
The announcers spoke about the match and then turned things over to Jeremy Borash, who interviewed James Storm backstage. Storm cut a brief promo in which he said it's his time. Storm headed to the ring... The announcers showed the four-man tournament graphic and noted that the winner of the upcoming match faces Hardy in the finals...
2. Bully Ray vs. James Storm in a Bound For Glory Series semifinals match. The announcers spoke about Storm choosing Ray as his opponent because he earned the right to do so by winning the initial round of the BFG Series. Ray mouthed off to Storm, who responded by spitting in his face. Ray went to ringside and threw a fit by throwing down a fan side and tossing a chair. The crowd mocked Ray by chanting, "You got spit on."
They locked up in the ring. Bully pushed Storm to the corner and slapped him, but Storm fired back with a punch. Ray sold it and acted frustrated. After four and a half minutes of entertaining stall tactics, they got down to business. At 6:45, Storm missed a Last Call superkick attempt and his leg got caught in the ropes. Ray kicked him from behind and went on the offensive.
Ray applied a bear hug. Storm broke free and ran the ropes only to eat a big boot from Bully. At 9:45, Ray was standing on the second rope and taking shots at Storm, who was below him. Storm head-butted Ray below the belt and then powerbombed him for a two count.
At 11:30, referee Earl Hebner was bumped. Ray hit the Bully Bomb and went for a cover. A second referee ran out and made a two count. Ray went for a back splash off the second rope and missed. Storm ran the ropes and went for a flying forearm. Ray moved and the second referee took the forearm shot.
Storm tried to revive Hebner. Ray tried to take advantage, but Storm saw him coming. Hebner was bumped moments later. Storm hit his finisher and had the pin, but Hebner was down. As Storm was trying to revive Hebner, Bobby Roode ran out and struck Storm with a beer bottle and placed Ray on top of him for the win...
Bully Ray defeated James Storm in 13:50 to advance to the Bound For Glory Series finals.
Powell's POV: Is it Vince Russo appreciation night with all those ref bumps and the beer bottle shot? So we're still getting Storm vs. Roode at Bound For Glory only without the TNA Title as I suspected. I was wrong on that one, but my pick of Hardy vs. Ray in the finals was correct. In case you missed my picks, I took Ray to go over and to win the TNA Title and eventually be revealed as the leader of Aces & 8s.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Miss Tessmacher, who raved about her opponent Tara by saying she's been a mentor who has taught her everything. Tessmacher said she needed to prove to herself that she could beat Tara. She said Tara beat her on Open Fight Night fair and square, and now she wants to prove the student can beat the teacher... Tenay ran through the tale of the tape (bullet points)....
3. Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara for the TNA Knockouts Title. Tazz praised the work of ring announcer Christy Hemme. Taryn Terrell was the referee for the match. The teacher got the better of the student early. Tessmacher ended up rolling out to the floor. Tara held the ropes open for her, but then rolled her up from behind for a two count.
Tessmacher yelled at Tara. "This is a championship match," Tara said. Tessmacher responded by yelling, "You're my best friend." Tara slapped her across the face. Later, Tara got upset when she couldn't get the pin after a superplex. Tara went for the Widow's Peak, but Tessmacher rolled through and got the three count. Tara left the ring abruptly following an awkward handshake...
Miss Tessmacher defeated Tara in 6:45 to retain the TNA Knockouts Title.
Powell's POV: Tara was the more likable of the two. Tessmacher seemed whiny, whereas Tara came across like she was in "it's just business" mode. They seemed to reverse roles afterwards with Tessmacher offering the handshake and Tara just going through the motions. Aside from that confusion, this was one of the better Knockouts Title matches we've seen in recent months. Of course, that's not saying much, but it was a solid match. Don't be surprised if you see a full fledged Tara heel turn and a rematch at Bound For Glory.
Backstage, Hulk Hogan was yelling at Bobby Roode as security was escorting him out. James Storms showed up and attacked Roode from behind. Security kept them apart as Hogan yelled that they needed to get both men out of the building... A video recapped the Aces & 8s attacks...
Austin Aries came to the ring for a promo dressed in Street Fight gear. He said tonight isn't about suits, title belts, "or any of that bullshit." He said there would not be a referee or pinfalls or submissions. He said it would be about pain and payback. He refereed to himself as the God of War. Aries called out Arm Breaker of Aces & 8s...
Austin Aries vs. Armbreaker in a fight. Armbreaker of Aces & 8s walked to ringside through the crowd. He tried to enter the ring, but Aries kicked him away a couple times. Aries backed off to let him enter the ring. Aries rested on the ropes while waiting for him to enter. Once Armbreaker stood on the apron, Aries ran at him and kicked his legs out from under him. Aries followed up with a suicide dive.
Aries threw punches at Armbreaker and then attempted to remove his mask, but Armbreaker low-blowed him. Armbreaker dominated the next couple of minutes and set up Aries for a powerbomb, but Aries pulled out a bag of powder and dumped it all over Armbreaker's mask (and into his eyes).
Armbreaker came back with a blow that knocked Aries to ringside. Aries reached down his pants again. Armbreaker grabbed a chair and entered the ring with it. Aries ducked the chairshot attempt and then struck Armbreaker with a roll of coins. Aries hit the big man with the Brainbuster. Aries went for the mask and had it halfway off when he released it because a group of Aces & 8s wrestlers ran in.
Several TNA wrestlers ran out and fought with the Aces & 8s wrestlers. Tenay said he loved it because the TNA wrestlers were banding together to fight a common enemy. The TNA wrestlers cleared the Aces & 8s wrestlers from the ring. Bully Ray chased them off and remained on the floor.
Hulk Hogan walked to the ring with a baseball bat in his hand and started to talk, but Ray pointed out that Jeff Hardy was hurt. Taz said he couldn't see what happened to Hardy. Trainers checked on Hardy, who was selling an arm injury. Hogan told security to lock down every door. Hardy was helped to the back. Ray walked up to Aries and bumped fists with him.
The announcers set up footage of one of the Aces & 8s members picking up Hardy and running his shoulder into the ring post. Tenay noted that Hardy is scheduled to compete in the finals of the Bound For Glory Series. The announcers expressed concern for Hardy... A video set up the X Division Title match...
Powell's POV: All signs continue to point to Bully Ray as being involved with Aces & 8s. The fight between Aries and Armbreaker lasted about eight minutes. Keep in mind that there was no winner because it wasn't an actual match. Rather, it was just a fight, which Aries clearly explained beforehand. It was odd that Aries took more shortcuts than the Aces & 8s member, but at least he set it up by explaining himself beforehand. Tenay showed good fire when calling the key spots in the brawl. He has to go into cheerleader mode during those segments and he's doing a good job in that role.
4. Zema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt for the X Division Title. Dutt wore tape on his shoulder as the announcers reminded viewers that he injured his shoulder during the Ultimate X match in which Ion won the title. The crowd was slow to get into the match following the previous segment.
During a slow moment in the match, a shot aired of police arriving at the Impact Zone as the announcers sold the Aces & 8s brawl from earlier. Ion got the majority of the early offense. Dutt came back with a moonsault off the second rope and onto Zema on the floor. Cool spot. Sonjay went for a head-scissors (or something) off the ropes, but Ion caught him and powerbombed him.
Ion applied a submission hold on Dutt's arm. Sonjay reached the bottom rope with his foot to break the hold. Sonjay came back and continued to sell the arm consistently even while being on offense. They traded quick two counts. Ion positioned Sonjay on his back and slammed him down face-first and then got the pin...
Zema Ion defeated Sonjay Dutt in 10:40 to retain the X Division Title.
Powell's POV: They had the disadvantage of not getting much television time heading into the pay-per-view and they had to follow up the big brawl. It wasn't a memorable match, but they had enough entertaining high spots to gain the crowd's interest. I was hoping the finish would involve Dutt's shoulder injury so he'd have more of an out for losing.
Backstage, Hogan told the cops or security or something to beat down Aces & 8s and then lock the building down...
Powell's POV: How many cops and security guards does it take to lock down the Impact Zone? That's not the beginning of a joke. It's a real question. It's like they decided to bring back all of the Aces & 8s members from that initial brawl, removed their masks, and asked them to play cops and security guards.
Backstage, Borash stood in front of Hardy as trainers were tending to him. Borash said there wasn't an update yet on Hardy's shoulder. Magnus showed up and said Hardy was suffering from a severe lack of common sense. He said Hardy was in the finals of the BFG Series and he interjected himself the Aces & 8s drama. Magnus said Rob Van Dam let him in his head and would pay the price...
5. Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus. It took Van Dam less than three minutes to have his stupid thumb pointing routine backfire. In this case, he set up Magnus on the guardrail and then pointed at himself. Van Dam finally jumped and Magnus rolled out of the way. Magnus remained in control for the next few minutes and applied a cloverleaf at one point.
Van Dam came back with a wild kick. He worked over Magnus's leg and then performed Rolling Thunder for a two count. Van Dam went for a move off the ropes. Magnus brushed him aside. He learned nothing from RVD, as he tried to play to the crowd, only to have Van Dam recover and stop him.
Van Dam went for his monkey flip spot, but Magnus dropped him with a clothesline. Van Dam caught Magnus with another kick and then performed the Five Star Frogsplash for the win...
Rob Van Dam defeated Magnus in 10:05.
Powell's POV: An entertaining match if you can get past the ongoing stupidity of the Rob Van Dam babyface character. I don't have a problem with Magnus's cockiness coming back to haunt him because he's a heel, whereas RVD continues to look like the world's dumbest babyface. I'm not a fan of the finish. RVD seems teflon in terms of losses affecting him, and Magnus really needs wins right now.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. They complained about a variety of topics, including being forced by Hulk Hogan to defend their titles twice in four days... A video recapped the Claire Lynch bullshit...
Powell's POV: Come on, TNA, we're all ready to move on from Claire Lynch once and for all. Trust me, we don't need a video recap. As much as we are trying to forget, that crap is permanently etched in our brains.
6. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle for the TNA Tag Titles. Angle had his right thigh wrapped. He started the match against Daniels. Taz said Angle has an issue with his hamstring. Tenay questioned whether it's a groin pull. Angle was limited to mostly punching and kicking before tagging out.
There was a long stretch with Styles in the ring selling for the heels. He eventually made a hot tag to Angle, who perfomred a suplex on Daniels. Kazarian DDT'd Angle. The heels isolated Angle in their corner and worked him over at 11:30. Angle came back by catching Kazarian on the ropes and throwing him off in a crowd pleasing moment.
Styles and Daniels tagged in at 13:15. Styles got the better of it and went for a cover, but Kazarian caught him with a great dropkick to the chest. Angle tagged back into the match and climbed to the top rope and splashed Daniels for a two count. Angle performed Angle Slams on both tag champs. He went for a cover on Daniels, who reached out and grabbed the bottom rope.
Angle applied the Ankle Lock on Daniels, but Kazarian ran in and caught Angle with a kick to the back of the neck. Taz pointed out that Kazarian started the damage on Angle's neck with the DDT earlier. Later, Styles had a great flurry and hit his springboard flip only to have Kazarian kick out. Great near fall.
Styles set up for a top rope move on Kazarian, but Daniels interrupted. Kazarian recovered and caught Styles with a kick. Kazarian performed the Flux Capacitor for another good near fall. Angle clotheslined Daniels over the top rope and they both toppled to the floor. Angle came up holding his thigh.
Inside the ring, Styles set up for the Styles Clash, but Daniels threw his appletini drink in Styles' face while the referee was tending to Angle. Kazarian rolled up Styles and got the three count...
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian defeated A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle in 19:20.
Powell's POV: The best match of the night. It wasn't as good as their Slammiversary match, but it was very good, especially considering the fact that Angle was injured. I don't think Angle aggravated the injury at the end, as it seemed like that was the setup for the referee checking on him. I like the finish because it gives Hulk Hogan a reason to book them in a rematch at Bound For Glory. I just wish creative would have done a better job of setting up Styles and Angle as a team a while back. They have great matches, but there was a good story in there that was never told.
Highlights aired of the BFG Series matches from earlier in the show and the Aces & 8s attack... The announcers questioned what was up with Jeff Hardy's shoulder heading into the BFG Series Finals...
Hulk Hogan was shown talking with "the authorities" outside the building. He told them it's the most important match of the night. He said that if Aces & 8s were going to strike, this would be the match. He said that now that they know their positions, they should cuff anyone who tries to get inside the ring and drag them away...
Powell's POV: Hulk Hogan's authority in TNA apparently carries a lot of weight since he can apparently give the police pep talks and even instructions.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Bully Ray, who said the Aces & 8s antics have to stop. He said there's a small part of him that feels bad for Jeff Hardy. He said it doesn't matter, though, because he was going to beat Hardy either way. Ray said that whether fans love or hate him, they have to respect what he's done over the last year and a half and how he's reinvented himself. Ray said he's not just bound for glory, he's destined for greatness...
The cops came out and took their positions around the inside of the studio... Bully Ray made his entrance. Taz put over the way Ray has changed his body and reinvented himself. Jeff Hardy's music played, but he didn't come out. The music played a second time.
Hulk Hogan walked onto the stage and headed to the ring where Jeremy Borash was waiting to handle the in-ring introductions. Hogan said they have a problem. He said it actually comes down to him and Ray having a problem. Hogan said he should forget about what he saw on the chalkboard on the back.
Hogan pointed out that Hardy wasn't out there. Ray said he agrees with Hogan that the Aces & 8s attacks have to stop. He said the best thing he did was call the cops. Ray said the tournament means the world to him, just as he knows it does to Hardy. He said that he has to hit Hardy's music and ring the bell, and if he doesn't come out then they have to do what they have to do.
Hogan said that if Ray really feels the way he says he does, he won't let the referee make the count. He said that if he truly feels as he says, he'd give him four more days so that Hardy could recover and they could have the match. Ray took the mic. Ray said Hogan is Hogan and therefore he can have it back.
Hogan said Ray's legacy will be decided in that he's either a good man or a bad man. Hardy's music hit and he walked out with his shoulder taped heavily. Hardy walked around the ring and let the fans slap his good hand while selling his shoulder injury the entire time. Tenay said fans won't have to wait until Impact to see the match...
7. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray in the Bound For Glory Series finals. Ray put up his fist and Jeff bumped fists with him to start the match. Hardy held his arm at his side and tried to kick Ray. Taz said he's had shoulder injuries and it's hard to explain the pain that shoots throughout your entire body when you have a shoulder injury.
Hardy punched Ray with his good hand. Ray fired back with punches of his own and then wrenched Jeff's good shoulder. Ray kicked the shoulder and Hardy rolled to ringside. Taz said he couldn't blame Ray. Tenay said it's just business. Ray continued to kick Hardy's shoulder.
Ray continued to target the shoulder and scored a few near falls. The crowd was really flat, but a brief "Let's Go Hardy" chant started. Ray fired some really weak looking punches at Hardy's shoulder in the corner and then ripped off the tape at 6:10. Taz continued to defend Ray for targeting Hardy's shoulder. Then he abruptly said Ray should hurry up and beat him already.
Powell's POV: This part of Taz's call felt out of nowhere because it's not like Ray was punishing Hardy. He was going for pins and Hardy kicked out. It felt like Taz just completely changed direction in a matter of seconds.
Hardy avoided a move and then came back with punches, a kick, and a Twist of Fate. Hardy went to the top rope and performed the Swanton. Ray kicked out at two. Ray shoved Hardy into the corner and then dropped him with the Bully Bomb for a two count. At 9:20, Ray hit the Bubba Cutter for a two count.
A stronger "Let's Go Hardy" chant started. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate on Ray and the fans cheered. Hardy went for the Swanton and missed. Ray hit the Bubba Cutter and got another two count at 10:25. Hardy came back out of nowhere with two Twists of Fate. Hardy went to the corner and looked to the crowd and pumped his fists before going for the Swanton. Ray recovered and punched Hardy while he was on the top rope.
Ray went to the second rope and traded punches with Hardy, who was seated on top turnbuckle. Hardy ended up king of the mountain on the ropes and performed the Swanton Bomb, performed the Swanton onto Ray, and scored the clean pin...
Jeff Hardy defeated Bully Ray in 12:25 to win the Bound For Glory Series.
A commercial aired for Bound For Glory...
Powell's POV: Don't count Ray out of the BFG title match just yet. After all, Hardy is an Aces & 8s attack away from being knocked out of the Bound For Glory title match, and then I could see Ray getting the nod as the second place finisher. As it stands, Hardy will challenge Austin Aries for the TNA Title at the pay-per-view. The match never got the crowd fired up until the surprise finish, but they told a good story with Hardy overcoming the injury. Speaking of which, Hardy did a really good job of selling the injury throughout the match.
Hulk Hogan's acting was really cheesy tonight. The cop instructional segments were ridiculous and I don't think Anthony Hopkins could have made those work. However, I didn't know where Hogan was going during his in-ring segment with Bully Ray and I'm convinced that he didn't either. Overall, this was the solid in-ring show that was expected going in. I can't wait for TNA to get the hell out of the Impact Zone next month for Bound For Glory. The Impact Zone looks dark and the overexposed fans just don't bring the same enthusiasm that TNA gets outside Orlando. I'll have more to say in tonight's member exclusive TNA No Surrender audio review, and in Tuesday's TNA No Surrender Hitlist.