Pruett's Pause: TNA Final Resolution - Aces and Eights attempt to take center stage, Jeff Hardy retains, solid wrestling produces little storyline progression, the worst outfit of 2012, and more
By Will Pruett
- This show kicked off like an episode of Impact on Spike and it felt that way for the first half hour. It really lacked a special feel, despite the deluge of pyrotechnics.
- Was the opening video for the show another Jeff Hardy inner-monologue? When will it get to the point where we can hear him during matches? Will Hardy start narrating entire shows in his mind? Is there an online radio station where I can hear Hardy's thoughts all day, every day?
- I didn't think it was possible, but somehow the Impact Zone crowd broke their own record by causing me to be embarrassed to be watching this show within the first five minutes. The "up his butt" chant made me want to turn this off and pretend Final Resolution never happened.
- James Storm and Kazarian have been involved in a few matches on television for the last couple weeks. Why not announce this match as the opener on the pay-per-view? I suppose the theory is that matches added with upper-card stars give the show an "anything can happen" feel, but it also breeches wrestling logic. What's more important?
- Storm and Kazarian had a fine match together. If left the crowd feeling all sorts of happy feelings with Storm winning in a quick one. I enjoyed the match, but it caused me to question Storm's status in TNA. He was on the road to a major star push in June, but he's now stuck in the same holding pattern he's been in on and off since 2007.
- It blows my mind that the best commentator in TNA ended up on the outs with the recent announcing shake up. Jeremy Borash has proven himself again and again, but is stuck backstage doing interviews. Todd Keneley isn't the worst commentator ever, but he doesn't hold a candle to Borash. I really don't understand this decision.
- Kenny King is still lacking a character. He was a heel two weeks ago, a nondescript competitor on Thursday, and a random challenger on Sunday. Who is he supposed to be?
- King and Rob Van Dam did have a pretty good match together for the X Division Championship. I have enjoyed Van Dam's work in the last few weeks more than I have in years. Are the match-ups with talent that have always dreamed of wrestling him actually motivating Van Dam?
- The X Division could use a real feud at this moment. Perhaps Van Dam and King could fill that role.
- Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan was the match that I guessed it would be. There was a small amount of athleticism and a dominant performance from Morgan, but it also had the stereotypical spots from Hernandez. These are two teams that wrestle the same formula and that did not produce an entertaining match.
- What will cause this tag team feud to continue in TNA? They didn't have a conclusive ending, but it all feels too manufactured.
- Austin Aries is now impersonating Hulk Hogan. I'm not in love with this angle to begin with, but Aries is doing his best to keep it entertaining.
- Bully Ray vs. Aries tried to bring the intensity via blood. It required a little more acting than all parties were up to and it took away from the match. Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan, and Bully Ray tried hard, but it felt inorganic. The goal was to create a dramatic moment and it came off as mild comedy.
- I know TNA is excited to have Velvet Sky back, but why was the entire video package for the Knockout's Championship match centered around her?
- Mickie James has officially won the award for worst wrestling outfit of the year. Congratulations to Mickie. Your trophy is in the mail.
- Tara and Mickie James had a comedy match with occasionally good technical wrestling. These women are more than capable, and I appreciate that. Tara seems to be having fun with Jesse, but the only women's angle in TNA is a comedy angle and that depresses me (given what that division has been).
- Every few months, TNA tries to make "It pays to be Roode" work for Bobby Roode. I look forward to them giving up on their latest attempt. Is he still a millionaire? Didn't he spend all of his money getting James Storm drunk?
- One of these days, we'll figure out the purpose of Aces and Eights.
- How uncomfortable must it be to wrestle in a leather vest and a flannel shirt? It has to be warm in the ring already under the lights, but a long sleeve flannel shirt must be out of control hot. I feel for you, random Aces and Eight guy.
- If Mike Knox is the large, masked, Aces and Eights member, he has really let himself go. That's sad for a formerly promising athlete.
- Todd Keneley described DOC as an "absolute enforcer" for Aces and Eights. What exactly makes his enforceability absolute? Wrestling commentators should stop using words like absolute and literally. They never mean what they think they do.
- Even in his short involvement in the eight man tag, Garett Bischoff demonstrated that he is bad at wrestling. That takes talent.
- The match ended without Bischoff and Wes Brisco turning. Was this a case of TNA changing plans to avoid predictability? Was this the original idea? Is there any reason for TNA to fear the Aces and Eights? They continuously lose in high profile matches. This angle seems to have stalled in a big way.
- I wish TNA's theme music was a little less nondescript. Some wrestlers have a unique sound that works (A.J. Styles), but others have generic rock and guitar rifts that tend to make their entrances less than awesome.
- TNA production did a really nice job with the Styles vs. Daniels video package. It lent a big match feel to the "final match" between the two.
- Speaking of production, one thing that has bothered me about TNA for years is the way the camera cuts come hard and fast. Try counting to five before there is a camera cut in TNA. Nine times out of ten, you won't get there. It feels like watching a show made exclusively by and for sufferers of attention deficit disorder.
- Styles and Daniels outdid themselves with physicality in their "last match" and it really added to the battle. This was the antithesis of their thirty minute effort at Destination X 2011 that bored fans for the first twenty minutes. They told a great story and put forth an effort worthy of their history.
- Christopher Daniels finishing A.J. Styles off with the Styles Clash was a very nice touch and a great way to end this chapter of Daniels and Styles history. While the followup with Styles will be interesting, I'm more interested in the followup with Daniels. Do Daniels and Kazarian return to dominating the tag division? I hope so.
- Sometimes Bobby Roode's seems like a collection of spare catchphrases that have never quite caught on. The following are examples: "Off the chain," "It factor," "Selfish Generation," and "It pays to be Roode."
- Jeff Hardy is bringing back the odd helmet that makes him look like a Power Rangers villain. It's weird, but I like it in a kitschy way. It's right up their with Kane's welding helmet for best wrestling entrance helmet of 2012 (a surprisingly competitive category).
- Jeff Hardy was super into Christmas on this show. Way to show some spirit, Jeff. Speaking of Christmas, didn't this show include a match with hardcore Christmas trees and a green middle rope in years past? Getting rid of those features was a good choice, TNA. We don't need barbed wire Christmas trees.
- The announcers were telling the story of Jeff Hardy's injury, but I felt like Hardy wasn't actually telling that story in the ring.
- Jeff Hardy's leap over the stairs and into the guard rail and crowd was a little frightening. Hardy takes a ton of punishment in the ring in big matches. While I admire it, I do worry about Hardy's physical state after these major matches.
- Bobby Roode was double crossed by Aces and Eights. Didn't something like this happen in August?
- Roode and Hardy had a nice main event match with enough major moments to keep things entertaining. Hardy keeps having good matches in TNA, but the time between matches hurts him. How much longer can TNA sustain him as a main event focus without Hardy talking much?
- So, Aces and Eights closed out the show. I know TNA would like them to be more relevant, but this seemed like a repeat, not a new chapter. Even with this, the Aces and Eights story seems stuck in one spot. Perhaps a clear goal would help them.
This show was exactly what it looked like on paper: solid wrestling, but no storyline development. For a show called Final Resolution, it offered little finality and no resolution. The show was worth watching for three hours of mostly solid wrestling. The top two matches delivered action-wise and should be seen. The rest is probably skippable. I'd give the show a C. It was average.
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this show! Feel free to email me at email@example.com or to follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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