Powell's TNA Final Resolution Hitlist: Christopher Daniels wins the final match of his feud with A.J. Styles, The Hogan family drama continues, Aces & 8's lose yet still close the show standing tall
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to my 61-minute audio review of TNA Final Resolution. They will also be listening to my audio review of WWE Raw later tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for a one-month, six-month, or annual membership via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
TNA Final Resolution Hitlist
Christopher Daniels vs. A.J. Styles: It's a shame that nothing feel truly monumental in TNA because this should have felt bigger than it did. The wrestlers did their part by delivering a story match and I really liked the finish in that Styles didn't immediately find redemption as John Cena would have. They're going forward with Styles being in a funk. He can't challenge for the TNA Title, and he can't avenge the loss to his biggest rival. The issue wasn't with anything they did or even that the current creative team did so much as the history between them consists of too many matches where it felt like they were thrown together simply because past creative regimes ran out of storyline ideas for Styles. That led to several matches that were well wrestled, yet felt trivial and repetitive. This was still the best thing on the show and I'm curious to see where they go with Styles and I'm looking forward to hearing Daniels gloat on Impact.
Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode: A solid main event with Hardy selling his Impact injuries early on and then making the big comeback late. It was slow going early and thus the match felt longer than it needed to be. The live crowd liked Hardy, but I couldn't help but feel this same match would have felt so much bigger outside the Impact Zone where there's a good chance a crowd would have been more passionate in their support of Hardy. The Aces & 8's attack afterward left me mildly curious to see where they go now since they attacked both men and there was nothing about the way the finish played out that would require a rematch between Hardy and Roode. That said, it's hard to care about Aces & 8's after watching them lose again earlier in the show. They feel directionless. It feels like TNA creative is dragging it out by waiting to unmask more wrestlers because they don't know where to go beyond that point. I hope I'm wrong because they've invested a lot of time into this faction.
Rob Van Dam vs. Kenny King: I liked the story that the announcers did a good job of telling with a young King being a fan of RVD and being inspired by his offense. Almost on cue, King caught RVD with a kick right out of Van Dam's playbook. More than anything, I'm hopeful that the match will lead to some type of character development for King. He's been positioned as a random X Division wrestler thus far. There could be a story to tell here with King turning heel on Van Dam. Lord knows the X Division needs an actual program rather than the random No. 1 contenders match to determine RVD's next opponent. By the way, what good is RVD doing for the division when he beats all of the X Division regulars who will be in the division after he goes back to the heavyweight division? He's just plowing through these guys and none of them are getting any rub in the process.
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan: The finish sucked. We've seen referees pulled from the ring by tag partners to save their team from losing in the past and it rarely leads to a disqualification. Worse yet, I rarely hear the poorly mic'd ring bell, so I didn't even realize the match was over. The Hit goes for the story told with Morgan looking like a bad ass and not leaving his feet until the very end. It made Morgan look strong and it also made Hernandez look good to finally take him down with his big over the top rope shoulder block. I really don't have any interest in seeing a rematch since I still can't comprehend why Morgan and Ryan are together, but it appears as though we're getting one based on one of the wrestlers saying it's not over.
Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray: A solid match that just didn't work as well with the new dynamic as it did when Bully Ray was all out heel and Aries was cast as the smallish underdog at Sacrifice. The finish sucked in this match too. I just don't buy Brooke Hogan and Bully Ray as an item. It may not be so bad if it leads to a Brooke heel turn, though I'm not even sure whether she has the chops to play a heel character. This was presumably a setup for a rematch at Genesis, though it seemed like the bigger focus was on the Hogan family nonsense.
Overall show: I'm actually in the middle on this one. It was a no frills show that gave viewers what was advertised and not much more. There were no title changes, no major storyline developments, no twists, no turns. It was a missable show, yet at the same time if you ordered it then you got what you paid for. The announcing was improved. Todd Keneley is still a work in progress, but I liked the way Mike Tenay and Taz seemed to have specific stories they were helping the wrestlers tell during the matches. It didn't feel like they just went out there and winged it, but rather took the time to understand what stories were going to be told.
TNA Final Resolution Misses
Aces & 8's vs. Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Garett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco: The over the top gratitude that Bischoff and Brisco are showing to Angle is worth paying attention to. Brisco "spearing" DOC looked more like he was protecting him from taking a hammer shot from Kurt Angle. It seems to be leading to a surprise when the masks come off, yet why should we care about Aces & 8's when they keep losing matches? They beat up guys with hammers, yet they can't hold their own as a group in the ring. They shouldn't be losing random eight-man tag matches at this point in their run, especially when two of their opponents are portrayed as rookies.
James Storm vs. Kazarian: A minor Miss for a throwaway impromptu match. The pre-match verbal exchange was weak. As much Kazarian has improved on the mic this year, he sounded like a guy who was trying to remember the one-liners he wrote earlier in the day. If Storm wasn't healthy enough to have a good match, then what was the point of putting him in the ring for five minutes?
Tara vs. Mickie James: What athlete wakes up on the day of their championship match, goes to their closet, and picks out bedazzled bibs for ring gear? Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I have to say that I don't like what Tara and Jesse are doing to the division. They play their parts well and I've been pleasantly surprised by Jesse's in-ring ability and his execution of the spots they include him in. I would prefer a more athletic division without all of the campiness of the Tara and Jesse act. They are playing their roles well (though I still feel this would have been a better fit for Madison Rayne) and it's fine for what it is, but it's just not for me.
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