TNA PPVs CALDWELL'S TNA NO SURRENDER PPV RESULTS 9/5: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Angle vs. Hardy, Pope vs. Anderson
Sep 5, 2010 - 9:52:58 PM
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TNA No Surrender PPV Results
September 5, 2010
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
-- Tonight's TNA PPV will have the TNA World Title tournament semi-finals with Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy and The Pope vs. Mr. Anderson setting up Bound for Glory next match. Also, two titles on the line (TNA Tag Titles and X Division Title) as part of the eight-match line-up.
The No Surrender PPV started with a shot from 2:48 p.m. when Mr. Anderson arrived in the parking lot outside of the Impact Zone. They shot this with the Reaction-style voyeuristic shot. The Pope showed up at 3:03 talking on the phone. Jeff Hardy showed up at 3:16 sans facepaint contemplating the title opportunity tonight. Kurt Angle was shown appearing at 3:33 with his children. He signed an autograph and walked into the building looking focused. Very nice intro.
After the opening arrival shots, they went to a video package recapping the journeys for the four respective participants in the tournament matches tonight. They included various first-person soundbytes that aired on Reaction this past Thursday talking up the PPV matches. It's too bad TNA wasted so much TV time on Impact leading to the PPV when they could have sold a PPV with this quality of focused hype on these four men.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay and Taz introduced the show and hyped the tournament matches tonight. Tenay recapped a "personal issue" causing Desmond Wolfe and Magnus to be pulled from the PPV. Instead, Generation Me gets the tag title shot against the Motor City Machineguns. GenMe came out first in matching green outfits looking more serious than usual. The Guns came out second also looking serious with the tag titles on the line to open the PPV. One of the best starts to a Sunday night TNA PPV ever, with additional thanks to keeping that monthly over-the-top video package out of the open.
1 -- TNA tag team champions MOTOR CITY MACHINEGUNS (CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY) vs. GENERATION ME (MAX BUCK & JEREMY BUCK) -- TNA Tag Title match
Nice, clean start to the match with some back-and-forth tag wrestling. After an exchange, Max and Sabin went chest-to-chest to sell intensity of the match. Sabin smirked as Max backed off to his corner to tag in Jeremy. Taz had some talking points to get over about the current generation feeling entitled and the Bucks "moaning" for weeks about wanting their shot. The Guns then sped up the match with a rapid-fire combination to take control of the match. Sabin then slapped on an inverted Boston Crab on Jeremy to try to force a submission, but Max broke it up. Max then tagged in and traded big moves with Sabin. Some were off, but some were good. Shelley eventually tagged in and took control on Max. Sabin tried a springboard move, but Jeremy cut him off and landed a neckbreaker on the ring apron. Jeremy then rolled Sabin back into the ring and Max made a cover for a nearfall.
At 8:00, Jeremy and Max began exchanging tags to work on Shelley's neck. The Bucks hit a double-team dropkick and Max made a cover for a nearfall. Max then cut off Shelley's comeback with a standing dropkick and Jeremy tagged in to score a nearfall. Shelley eventually broke free and tagged in Sabin, who came in hot with quick, flying offense. Sabin then snapped off a springboard Tornado DDT on Max, but Jeremy broke up a pin attempt. The action broke down into a series of highspots leading to bodies sprawled out in and out of the ring. Back in the ring, Sabin and Max started trading right hand blows. Sabin landed a knee to the gut, then tried another Tornado DDT, but Max blocked. Jeremy then hit a combination Slice Bread #2. They had a pin, but Shelley kicked Jeremy into Max to break up a pin.
At 12:00, the Bucks and Guns traded a bunch of superkick attempts with some landing and some not landing. Guns eventually got the best of the situation to pop the crowd. They followed by setting up Jeremy for the Skull & Bones combination top-rope cross-body splash and neckbreaker. Sabin with the cover for the win.
Post-match: Guns accepted their tag title belts as the Bucks recovered to their feet. Instead of a post-match handshake, they attacked the Guns and beat them down in the ring. They knocked Sabin to the floor, then focused an attack on Shelley's neck, leading to a double spike DDT on the floor. The ref did the "X" signal to make it seem like it's a shoot injury. The camera focused on GenMe staring into a zone of no remorse. Refs and EMTs then came down to check on Shelley, while clearing GenMe away from ringside. They stayed with the post-match for a while as Sabin sold concern with Shelley, who sold his neck on the way to the back.
WINNER: Guns at 12:49 to retain the TNA Tag Titles. Good PPV opener. Some of the spots were a bit over-complicated at times to where it didn't look like they were having a contest, but the main story from the match was a nice dose of athleticism on PPV that helps make TNA different from WWE's product. As for the post-match, you would think it's a write-off for Shelley (and another title removal situation) or they'll completely forget about it on Impact. Interesting to see what the follow-up will be. (**3/4)
In-ring: Sabu came out for the only singles title match on the PPV, with Sabu challenging Doug Williams for the X Division Title. Williams then came out to defend the title. He sold disdain for having to be in the ring with this man, Sabu. After a wrist roll and head bob for the hard camera, Williams handed over the title belt and stared down Sabu.
2 -- X Division champion DOUG WILLIAMS vs. SABU -- X Division Title match
Nice feeling-out process to begin the match with an exchange of mat holds. As the wrestlers cut a methodical pace, the announcers talked about Ric Flair assembling additional pieces of Fortune, with Matt Morgan for his intimidation and Williams for his brain. Sabu then landed a knock-down clothesline and slapped on a Camel Clutch center-ring. Williams crawled over to the bottom rope, though, to force a break. The match moved to the floor and, for some reason, Sabu brought out a table and set it up ringside. Ref Hebner admonished Sabu, then Williams sent Sabu back into the ring. Back in the ring, Williams climbed to the second rope and nailed a flying European Uppercut for a two count.
Williams went on the attack and went back up top, only to be crotched by Sabu. Sabu attempted a huracanrana (perhaps), but the spot was blown and Williams kinda fell on his back. Sabu then went back under the ring and retrieved a chair. Hebner admonished Sabu again, so Sabu threw down the chair. Sabu then unfolded the chair and used it as a prop for a springboard moonsault of sorts for a two count. Sabu tried again, but Williams tripped him and Sabu ate the seat of the chair. Williams then went back on the attack and did his wrist-roll with the head bob before making a cover for a two count.
At 7:10, Williams sat down on a submission hold before landing a flying knee drop for another nearfall. Sabu then blocked a corner attack and apparently landed a DDT, but it seemed to take the most out of Sabu. Anyways, Sabu made a cover for a two count. He followed with a back elbow smash for another nearfall before flying off the chair with a corner leg whip. Sabu tried to follow with another move off the chair, but Williams dropkicked the chair into the crotchal region. Williams followed with a gutwrench suplex for a two count. Sabu then nailed a clothesline and Williams went to the outside to take a breather. Hebner stepped in front of the chair to tell Sabu no on a flying move. Hebner eventually moved, Williams eventually walked back to ringside, and Sabu eventually hit a sort of flip dive.
Sabu tried another flip dive onto the table, but Williams moved and Sabu crashed through the table. Suddenly, a whistle was heard. Where's Fonzie? Sabu eventually got up, brushed himself off, and casually rolled back into the ring like nothing happened. Selling never really has been his strong suit. The chair eventually came into play again and the ref took his eye off the ball, setting up Williams to hit Sabu with a belt shot. Williams made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Williams at 11:14 to retain the X Division Title. Well, that was unique. The match was going just fine until the introduction of the table and chair props. Then, Sabu seemed to lose his focus, spots were blown, no-selling occurred, and the match seemed to derail. I thought this match easily could have exceeded expectations without the need for props, which ended up taking away from the flow. Unnecessarily over-booked, which also helped remind viewers that Sabu isn't the Sabu of yesteryear. (**1/4)
Backstage: Christy Hemme was with Mr. Anderson for another classic Hemme-Anderson interview. Anderson mocked Pope for not liking or trusting him. "What am I going to do? Not thaaaat," he said. Anderson said he came here to win matches and win championships. Wait, no backstage politics or back-office dealings or looking for a spot or raising the bar? Wow, so refreshing. Anderson then gave a shout-out to his "congregation" of a-holes in the Impact Zone.
3 -- MADISON RAYNE (w/Tara) vs. VELVET SKY of the Beautiful People (w/KO champion Angelina Love)
I'm still curious why they put the lesser-of-the-two in-ring wrestlers from the Beautiful People in this match. It's not like the KO Title means that much after the inordinate number of random title switches this year. The match moved to the floor early on where Velvet took control of the action. After some confusion with the outside players involved, including Tara taking a bump to eliminate her as a threat, Velvet picked up the win back in the ring with a snap DDT. They went to a crowd shot of the audience stunned into indifference. Too much confusion with this feud for the audience to invest in the involved characters.
WINNER: Sky at 4:43. (*)
Backstage: Hemme brought in Jeff Hardy, complete with bright blue and white facepaint. He looked like an ice cream flavor at Baskin & Robbins. Hardy had a quick word on Kurt Angle, then gave a shout-out to RVD watching at home.
Impact Zone: They quickly went from the Knockouts match to the Hardy interview to Rhino entering the ring for the Falls Count Anywhere match against Abyss. No sign of Abyss at first, then he slowly emerged with Janice in hand. Rhino then charged Abyss on the ramp and the fight was on.
4 -- ABYSS vs. RHINO -- Falls Count Anywhere match
After a minute of ringside brawling, they moved to the backstage area and to the exterior of the soundstage where the VIPers have their catered pre-PPV meal. They walked past the security gate to enter the Universal Studios area. For some reason, the rollercoaster wasn't lit up, which would have been a nice visual. They returned to the exterior of the soundstage and Rhino ate the catering table. The brawl continued back into the Impact Zone and they eventually entered the ring at 4:00. That was short-lived, as they predictably returned to the outside. Abyss whipped Rhino into a guardrail next to the entrance ramp and made a cover on the floor for a two count. Rhino then sent Abyss flying through a gimmicked portion of the stage and Abyss caused a hole. They did that exact same spot a few years ago on Impact. It was so memorable since Rhino completely no-sold it the next week.
The men disappeared underneath the stage, leading to a shot of Tenay and Taz to try to make sense of what just happened. Rhino then came flying through the other side of the gimmicked stage. Abyss emerged after Rhino and made a cover for a two count. The brawl continued to ringside and returned to the ring. Abyss tried to block out the chants for Rhino as he approached the guardrail. Abyss took apart the guardrail and grabbed one section of it, which he brought into the ring to prop up in the corner. Rhino then came back with a clothesline and cookie sheet shot to the head. Three times. Rhino followed with a belly-to-belly suplex, then set up for the Gore. He wanted to finish it, but Abyss grabbed him around the throat and chokeslammed Rhino into a trashcan for a two count.
At 10:00, Abyss returned to the outside and went looking for Janice. Abyss retrieved his weapon of choice and returned to the ring. Abyss became preoccupied with ref Slick Johnson, allowing Rhino to stun Abyss with the Gore center ring. Rhino made a cover, but Abyss kicked out in time. Abyss then came right back with the Black Hole Slam and made a cover for a two count. The idea of long-term selling has officially gone out the window in pro wrestling on the last two wrestling PPVs. Abyss then reset and wanted a powerbomb into the railing, but Rhino countered into a clothesline. Rhino wanted the Gore part two, but Abyss side-stepped and Rhino ate the rail. Abyss then hit the Black Hole Slam part two for the pin and the win. Post-match: Abyss yelled into the camera to Dixie Carter that "they" are coming 10.10.10 at Bound for Glory. "Get ready, Dixie, 'cause they're coming for you," he said in conclusion.
WINNER: Abyss at 12:37. Some real silly points during the match and the expected no-selling, but this was an above-average TNA PPV brawl with a decent story to the match. The outcomes to the Fortune vs. EV2.0 matches have sided with Fortune thus far, which hasn't been brought up by the announcers yet. Still to come in the series: A.J. vs. Dreamer. (**)
Video package: They re-visited the Kevin Nash and Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett issue, with Samoa Joe now involved in the proceedings. TNA re-aired the Reaction video with Joe talking about being ready for war, Kevin Nash saying he gets Joe siding with the men with the money, and Jarrett talking about the various politics Nash and Sting are playing. In other words, this has nothing to do with anything. And now they'll have a wrestling match to settle, well, nothing.
Impact Zone: The Wolfpack music hit to bring out Kevin Nash and Sting. Tenay said he has more questions than answers on this. Tenay also gave a "shout out" to Hulk Hogan recovering from more back issues. Jeff Jarrett came out alone as the first-half of the opposition. Samoa Joe followed out with an extra spring in his step as the two sides jockeyed for position. Sting stretched the pre-match teasing the use of a baseball bat as the announcers referenced this being a match-up of former Main Event Mafia members.
5 -- KEVIN NASH & STING vs. JEFF JARRETT & SAMOA JOE
The bell sounded with Joe and Sting squaring off. Sting then popped Jarrett on the apron, setting off a brief four-man brawl to begin things. Things settled down and Taz posed the question of what kind of politics Jarrett is referring to. Tenay said they keep talking in circles and there's no evidence of anything anyone is claiming. Tenay also gave a programming reminder that there won't be an Impact broadcast on Sept. 9, but they will back on Sept. 16. Taz said he, along with a lot of the fans, have been trying to figure out what everyone is talking about. He said pro wrestlers are paranoid and are afraid of being back-stabbed. Tenay vaguely referred to "advancements in the organization" since Hogan and Bischoff took over and Nash and Sting not wanting to relinquish a top spot. In other words, nothing has anything to do with a wrestling match or a quest for championships or match victories.
The audience, not buying the story (which Taz noted), popped for Sting (the supposed heel) delivering a Stinger Splash on Jarrett in the corner. Joe then tried to tag in, but the tag was disallowed due to the ref not seeing it. Joe eventually tagged in and delivered offense to Jarrett and Sting. Joe then went flying through the ropes with a suicide dive on Nash. Back in the ring, Sting and Jarrett had a rough exchange in the corner. Jarrett retrieved the baseball bat in the corner and smashed Sting with it twice. Taz sold confusion over what's going on. Joe then re-entered as the legal man, apparently unaware of Jeff's actions, and slapped on a rear naked choke. Sting passed out, giving Joe the team victory.
Post-match: Taz continued to sell confusion over Jarrett using the bat. Joe and Jeff celebrated the victory, then Jeff took off clapping for Joe on the way out. Joe retrieved the bat and hoisted it over his shoulder to take off with Jeff following the victory.
WINNERS: Joe & Jarrett at 6:13. The match action pretty much meant nothing. The only thing that has potential for mattering was the finish, with Jarrett using the bat to set up the victory. I have no confidence in TNA making sense of this storyline from a logic standpoint, but the sooner they get to the destination, the better. Taz was solid here as the "voice of the man" pointing out issues with the storyline, but in a way that could help set up the follow-through, whenever it happens. That still doesn't mean TNA will be in a position to make money with this feud, as evidenced by this sample of the audience not buying the story and just cheering their favorites or favorite spots. (n/a)
Impact Zone: After a video package on A.J. Styles vs. Tommy Dreamer, Styles came out first for the match. Styles stopped on the stage and pulled the Team 3D hiding behind an entrance stage pillar to hide. Dreamer came out and Styles attempted the ambush, but Dreamer ducked and landed a right hand blow. The fight moved down the ramp and into the ring to officially begin the match.
6 -- TV champion A.J. STYLES vs. TOMMY DREAMER -- non-title I Quit match
The match moved back to the floor early on and Dreamer tried to force Styles to quit by wrapping him around the ringpost. Instead, Styles shouted into the mic, "You suck, Tommy Dreamer." Styles and Dreamer then traded chops to the chest before returning to the ring. Dreamer tried to force Styles to quit again, but Styles shouted again, "Screw you, Tommy Dreamer." Styles retreated to the outside again and Dreamer came running off the apron with a flying clothesline. Dreamer wanted a suplex on the floor, but Styles countered with a suplex onto the entrance ramp. Styles tried to follow with the figure-four leglock, but Dreamer grabbed an entrance ramp stagelight and popped Styles with it. Dreamer followed with an attempted choke using the spotlight cable, but Styles elbowed out.
The fight continued to ringside and Dreamer landed a shoulder breaker. Dreamer then chucked a chair into the ring and slapped on an armbar. Styles refused to quit before shouting, "You suck, Dreamer. You suck." Dreamer then placed Styles's shoulder inside the chair and dropped an elbow onto the chair. Dreamer followed with an armbar before attempting a headlock that Styles escaped from by rolling to the outside. Dreamer followed Styles to the floor and yanked Styles's arm into the ring steps. Next was the guardrail. Styles refused to quit, shouting, "Screw you." Styles then came back with an atomic drop crotching Dreamer across the guardrail.
Back in the ring, Styles tried to follow up on the attack, with Dreamer showing resilience. Styles then wrapped Dreamer's legs around the ringpost and followed with a figure-four. Dreamer didn't quit and Styles released the hold. Back in the ring, Styles dropped Dreamer knee-first across a chair. He followed with a figure-four while still selling Dreamer's earlier arm work. Dreamer then did the classic Dreamer babyface facial reaction as he turned over the figure-four to reverse the pressure. The hold was broken, then Dreamer came to his feet, only to eat the seat of the chair.
At 13:00, Styles tried to dropkick Dreamer's face into the chair, but Dreamer moved and Styles's leg was caught in the air. Dreamer then tried to force a submission with the leg trap as Taz yelled at the ref to put the mic to Styles's mouth. Styles broke free, then Dreamer looked down at the fork Styles introduced earlier in the match. Styles ducked a fork shot, then hit a Pele kick out of nowhere. Dreamer rolled to the outside and Styles, apparently fresh, attempted a flying attack, but Dreamer caught him with a Kendo Stick blow. Dreamer landed another Kendo stick shot back in the ring. Dreamer, fired up, ripped off his t-shirt. He was apparently going for comedy with a bright gold and black outfit.
Dreamer slapped on a Crossface using the Kendo Stick, but it snapped in two over Styles's forehead. Styles then grabbed a second fork and stabbed Dreamer in the face with it. Styles followed with a dropkick out of the corner, then raked the fork over Dreamer's eye, trying to force him to quit. Dreamer, with blood trickling down his face from his forehead, shouted in agony before finally uttering, "I quit." Styles then dropped the fork and leaned on the top rope selling exhaustion. It turned into satisfaction with the victory. Meanwhile, Dreamer continued to sell on the mat.
WINNER: Styles at 16:27 when Dreamer quit. Lots of bag of tricks, but a pretty darn good gimmick match playing to the strengths of both men, hiding Dreamer's in-ring weaknesses, and exploiting the back-story to get over the intensity of the feud between Dreamer and Styles. Fortune walks away 3-0 vs. EV2 on the night. (***)
Backstage: Christy Hemme brought in Kurt Angle to talk about his TNA Title tournament match, plus, oh yeah, the career on the line. Angle soaked in Hemme's commentary before saying, "Losing is not an option." He said Jeff Hardy is a great wrestler, but he's not Kurt Angle. Angle vowed to win tonight, then win the TNA World Title at Bound for Glory. He said it's damn real.
Impact Zone: Time for the first TNA Title tournament semi-final match. They're interestingly going with Angle vs. Hardy first. After a Tale of the Tape review, they cut to a shot of Hardy walking backstage before coming to the ring first. Very quick transition from Dreamer-Styles to the tournament semi-finals. Not enough time to let things breathe. Kurt Angle then came out for the semi-main event match.
7 -- KURT ANGLE vs. JEFF HARDY -- TNA World Title tournament semi-final match
The bell sounded and they cut to a shot of Dixie Carter ringside watching the proceedings intently. After a shot of the in-ring action, they showed security standing behind Carter, who Tenay and Taz noted was advised to stay away from ringside. Early in the match, Angle delivered an emphatic snap powerbomb that caused Hardy's neck to bounce off the mat. Angle stared down at Hardy, rather than attempting a pin, and the announcers noted Angle's desire to hurt and not just beat Hardy here. Angle then settled into a mat-based attack working over Hardy. After a brief wear down, Hardy came back with an attempted double-foot kick, but Hardy kinda tripped over himself in the corner and executed it on the second try. Hardy went up top moments later, but Angle sprinted up top and nailed a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count.
Angle tried to follow with an Angle Slam, but Hardy countered into the Twist of Fate for a two count. Hardy went back up top and tried the Swanton, but Angle moved and Hardy ate the mat. Angle tried to follow with the Angle Slam and connected this time. He made a cover, but Hardy kicked out. Tit for tat on kicking out of finishers. Angle then dropped the straps and applied the Anklelock, but Hardy kicked Angle away. Angle came right back with three successive German Suplexes and made the cover for another nearfall.
The match reset with Angle going up top for an attempted moonsault, but Hardy moved and Angle ate the mat stomach-first. Hardy then followed with the Whisper in the Wind kicking Angle in the face for a very close nearfall, with Angle just rolling his shoulder up in time. The match moved to the floor where Hardy hit the Twist of Fate on the padded floor. Hardy then climbed up top and quickly executed a Swanton Bomb on the floor that stunned the crowd. A replay captured Hardy making a huge thud on Angle's chest. They cut to a shot of Dixie Carter staring across the ringside area with a blank look. The ref checked on both men, then began a ten count as Hardy and Angle slowly pulled themselves back into the ring.
At 12:00, they reset with Hardy and Angle trading right hands from their knees, leading to them coming to their feet. Another Twist of Fate tease, then Angle hit a German Suplex. He went up top and suddenly busted out a Frog Splash for another close two count when Hardy emphatically kicked out. Both men paused to gather themselves, with Angle coming to life first. Angle wanted a powerbomb, but Hardy back-dropped out. Hardy then hit the Twist of Fate. He made a cover, but Angle kicked out again. Hardy immediately followed with a leg drop, then went up top and hit the Swanton Bomb again. Angle kicked out again. Hardy then went up top and hit the Swanton again. Hardy covered again, but Angle kicked out again. Hardy went up top one more time and Angle got his knees up this time. Crazy good sequence.
At 15:00, they reset again with Angle approaching Hardy from behind. Angle, looking nuts, wanted the Angle Slam and connected. Angle made the cover, but Hardy kicked out again. Angle bent over gasping for air as Hardy slowly tried to recover as well. Angle then applied the Anklelock, but Hardy flung Angle through the ropes to the outside. Hardy followed with a running clothesline off the ring apron, taking out Angle on the floor. Back in the ring, Hardy tried to grab Angle by the neck, but Angle countered into the Anklelock again. Hardy tried to fight off the hold before finally reaching the bottom rope for a break. Angle pulled Hardy back to the middle of the ring, though, and Hardy continued to fight the hold. Hardy finally broke free, but Angle decked him with a clothesline. Angle with another cover, but Hardy kicked out.
At 18:00, Angle went back to the Anklelock. Taz implored Hardy to tap out and live to fight another day. Hardy continued to fight the hold, though, as Angle re-synched the Anklelock. Hardy tried to grab the bottom rope, then Angle pulled Hardy back to center ring. This time, Angle grapevined the hold. Hardy leaned back and sold agony being locked in the hold. Still no tap out. Angle shouted as he kept the hold locked in. One of them is going to pass out here. The announcers put over Hardy's resiliency. Suddenly, the bell sounded. And there's a 20-minute time limit. Where did that come from? Taz: "What the hell? We can't have that." They cut to a shot of Dixie Carter looking around.
The crowd chanted for five more minutes. Eric Bischoff then walked down the ramp and whispered in Carter's ear. She apparently liked what she heard and nodded affirmatively. Bischoff said given the critical importance of this, they're adding five minutes on the clock. "This match will continue," he said.
The bell sounded for the restart and Angle quickly stomped on Hardy's ankle. Angle twisted Hardy's ankle as Hardy teased grabbing the referee looking for any form or relief. Angle tried a front Anklelock, but Hardy kicked Angle by the butt through the ropes to the outside. Angle paced around the outside, then Hardy suddenly kicked Angle through the ropes. Hardy wasn't selling the Anklelock work that much. Back in the ring, Hardy started to sell before climbing up top. He slowly made his way up top, giving Angle time to recover and crotch Hardy. At 22:15, Angle landed right hand blows and they cut to a shot of Dixie and Eric conversing ringside. Angle then teased a super Angle Slam and connected without anyone appearing to break a neck. Angle paused, recovered, and made a cover for another nearfall.
They reset at 23:30 with Angle charging Hardy, who flipped Angle over the top rope to the floor below. Angle was shown clutching his stomach and doing the convulsions. They had a countdown clock this time as they went under 45 seconds. Angle beat a ten-count back into the ring, then they had a double knock-down with clotheslines. Bischoff was shown rubbing his head as the countdown clock came down to five. Angle then draped a hand over Hardy for a final pin attempt, but Hardy kicked out as the clock expired.
They cut to Eric and Dixie ringside again. Carter checked her phone, then Eric declared they have to have a winner. "Five more minutes," he said. And now double overtime. Angle quickly charged Hardy and clubbed him with right hand blows. Angle slowly walked around the ring before landing more big right hands in the corner. Angle stared down at Hardy, then he slowly picked him up and landed shoulder thrusts to the mid-section. Angle went for a running shoulder tackle, but Hardy moved and Angle ate the ringpost. On the floor, Hardy rammed Angle face-first into the ring steps. They cut to a shot of Eric and Dixie watching intently ringside. Back in the ring, Hardy tried to catch his breath as Angle recovered on the outside.
Angle was bleeding from the forehead at this point. Angle was also doing the convulsions as he slowly climbed back into the ring. Hardy finally came to his feet and surveyed the crowd on what to do next. Hardy then dragged Angle to center ring and slapped on a Boston Crab. Unique for Hardy. Angle teased tapping out as blood continued to flow. They reached one minute left in the match as Angle was face-down in a pool of his own blood. Angle avoided a tap out, though, as the 60-second countdown clock started. Angle then countered into an Anklelock, dragged Hardy to center ring, and grapevined. Angle was gritting his teeth with blood pouring from his face. Hardy fought the hold, tried to kick away at Angle, and the clock expired again at 30:00.
The buzzer sounded, Angle released the hold, and Eric wiped his mouth with his hand. The crowd sat quietly, unsure what to make of it. Bischoff pointed to Angle's head and said he can't continue with the blood. Bischoff asked for a trainer. Angle wanted a piece of Hardy. The floor manager came over and pounded on the ring mat to get Bischoff's attention. The trainers eventually got hold of Angle and tried to wipe the blood down. Bischoff then got word through the headsets as Angle paced around the ring. They cut to Dixie shaking her head. Taz wanted to know what's going on here. Bischoff paced around the ring, then took the mic. He said they have been advised by trainers that Angle's cut is too deep and the decision will have to be a No Contest. Angle shouted at Bischoff, selling he was furious. Angle then left the ring as Shannon Moore ran down to check on Jeff Hardy. The announcers regrouped and recapped highlights of this amazing match.
WINNER: No Contest at 30:00. Amazing, amazing match with such a great sporting-event feel to it. Of course, TNA failed to inform the audience of a 20-minute time limit ahead of time (which apparently revealed they've never watched a basketball game before), but the final ten minutes of epic wrestling in overtime following the epic end to regulation made for another great, four-star match on both men's resumes. Hardy was the perfect babyface foil for Angle, holding up his end of the match with the gritty "refusal to submit" at the end of regulation. It will be interesting to see what the follow-up is to determine who advances to Bound for Glory. Again, amazing performance and in-ring story told by both men. I don't have a problem with the non-finish, but the follow-up is obviously key, as long as it doesn't turn into a three or four-way match at BFG. (****1/2)
Backstage: Christy Hemme brought in The Pope, bringing up a "big question mark" hovering over Angle or Hardy. She then suggested there will be question with Pope and Anderson tonight. That made no sense because they would be in the same spot with the same finish. Anyways, Pope cut a promo on Anderson.
Impact Zone: Mr. Anderson, then Pope did their ring introductions for the main event match that will serve as the other semi-final in the tournament.
8 -- MR. ANDERSON vs. THE POPE D'ANGELO DINERO -- TNA World Title tournament semi-final match
The crowd was pretty quiet early on, exhausted from the previous match and down from the non-finish. Pope and Anderson took their time cutting a methodical pace. Anderson then came flying out of the corner with right hand blows to the forehead. Pope waited out the flurry, then began working on Anderson's shoulder to wear him down. They went back and forth without anyone really trying to win the match, just wearing each other down. At 10:00, they had a double knock-down and both men sold exhaustion on the mat. Pope came to life first and set up Anderson for the sliding splash to the back of Anderson's neck as he was draped across the middle rope. The match moved up top and Anderson teased a superplex, but Pope headbutted Anderson, who crotched himself on the top rope. Anderson slumped down to the floor, then Pope repositioned himself and came flying down on Anderson with a splash on the floor.
Back in the ring, Anderson recovered and landed a rolling sentaun drop for a two count. The crowd rallied behind a determined Anderson, who accepted a right hand blow and the Codebreaker. Anderson kicked out, though. They're in the 15-minute window and still no mention of a time limit from the announcers. Pope appeared to attempt the Mic Check, but Anderson blocked and hit a Mic Check of his own. Anderson made the cover for a nearfall, which no one bought as the finish. Back in the corner, Pope recovered and landed rapid-fire kicks and punches. Pope tried to hit the DDE in the corner, but Anderson blocked and hit a second Mic Check. This time, it was good for the win. Anderson advances to Bound for Glory.
On the way out, Anderson slapped Pope across the face, then picked up a Dinero bill and spit on Dinero's face. Anderson began to leave, but returned to the money pile on the stage and grabbed a bill. He returned to the ring with the folded up paper airplane bill and sent it flying into Pope, who was recovering on the floor. Pope walked away as Anderson pointed to the hard camera that he has one more match. They showed Pope walking away, then he shot Anderson a double middle finger salute. Anderson sold he was so shocked and rolled around on the mat. Pope eventually left and Anderson stared into the crowd. They stayed with Anderson, ho took his house mic and said he's one match away from becoming World Hvt. champion. Anderson wrapped up his post-match promo as Tenay plugged the next Impact in two Thursdays with the follow-up on who's facing Anderson at the PPV.
WINNER: Anderson at 16:58. Eh match. It never had a chance following Angle vs. Hardy and the nearfalls weren't working to get the crowd involved after 20,000 previous nearfalls during the PPV. The best part of the match was the post-match, with Anderson and Pope trying to convince the audience there was some heat between them. The end result of the final two matches is TNA using the PPV to set up a cliffhanger for TV to find out who faces Anderson at Bound for Glory. Based on the picture below, it certainly looks like another dumb three-way match. (*1/2)
OVERALL THOUGHTS: Very much an above-average PPV with some good-to-very good matches throughout the PPV. It's unfortunate TNA failed to effectively promote this PPV ahead of time, especially not understanding how to promote Angle vs. Hardy, as this really could have been a signature event to sell the TNA brand on to newer viewers with a great display of athleticism, in-ring competition, and recognizable wrestlers putting on great matches. There were still some of the usual "TNA issues," such as no time limit announced ahead of time for Angle vs. Hardy and arbitrarily introducing it, but the in-ring work overcame the typical problems this month.
We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "TNA PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.
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