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Throwback Thursday: Destination X 2011

December 25th 2014 17:30
Merry Christmas! I’m glad you snuck a few minutes away from gift giving and family time to visit. Today I conclude my Throwback Thursday series looking back at past TNA Wrestling PPVs by spotlighting Destination X 2011. In case you missed them, I previously highlighted in this series Lockdown 2008 and Bound for Glory 2009.

TNA, Destination X 2011
TNA Destination X 2011 Logo Photo: PrtSc Image

A lively crowd gathers at the Impact Zone to watch TNA’s signature X-Division take the limelight with an all X-Division PPV. Destination X features names from X-Division past, present, and future doing battle inside the returning six-sided ring.

Normal ring announcer/backstage interviewer Jeremy Borash joins Mike Tenay at the booth with Taz “on assignment.” Kaz and “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe kick off the action, the vocal crowd heavily supporting Joe. The two do not disappoint.

Next up at Destination X Douglas Williams accompanied by his British Invasion mates Magnus and Rob Terry comes out to find out who will answer Williams’ open challenge. Tenay mentions fellow UK countryman Mark Haskins accepted.

Borash and Tenay do well to put over Haskins talking about his matches with TNA over on the UK Maximum Impact Tour earlier in the year. The live audience however remains unfamiliar with Haskins, chanting “Who are you?”

Following Haskins and Williams’ battle, Eric Young and Impact Zone favorite Shark Boy deliver comic relief tagging up to wrestle Max and Jeremy, the Young Bucks. Then Ultimate X resumes the more serious in-ring action. Alex Shelley, Shannon Moore, Robbie E, and Amazing Red compete to determine the #1 contender for the X-Division Championship. Disclaimer, Robbie E’s manager Cookie’s screaming grows annoying. Still watch though.

From there two veterans rekindle a famed rivalry. Rob Van Dam’s claim “I was X-Division before there was an X-Division” caught X-Division pioneer Jerry Lynn’s attention. Lynn correcting, “Don’t you mean we were X-Division before there was an X-Division?” 10 plus years past since their last extreme encounter but the two successfully defy aging delivering a solid match.

Zema Ion, Low Ki, Austin Aries, and Jack Evans then face off with a TNA Wrestling contract on the line. Each grappler qualified for this opportunity by winning matches on Impact. Throughout the night all four gave interviews in the back, hyping up the bout’s importance to their career. Ion, Low Ki, Aries, and Evans put on a match worthwhile the phrase “must see.”

X-Division Champion Abyss comes out next aiming to keep Immortal’s hijack over the “No limits” division intact. Challenger Brian Kendrick shows no intimidation. Immortal ends up interfering causing the X-Division locker room to empty, neutralizing the threat.

In the main event best friends AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels face off to determine X-Division’s best ever. Again throughout the night between matches TNA built up the bout’s importance, highlighting the two’s history from bitter rivals to tag team partners to now friendly rivalry.

AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels
Styles and Daniels lock up in the Destination X main event. Photo: PrtSc Image

Overall any TNA fan will find Destination X 2011 a must see event. Excellent show from beginning to end! Destination X 2011 truly showcases TNA at the company’s best.

Throwback Thursday: Bound for Glory 2009

December 18th 2014 20:29
My Throwback Thursday series revisiting past TNA Wrestling PPVs continues this week with a look at Bound for Glory 2009. If you missed last week’s Throwback Thursday, take a moment to revisit Lockdown 2008. Next week the Throwback Thursday posts conclude by highlighting Destination X 2011.

Bound for Glory 2009
TNA Bound for Glory 2009 Logo Photo: PrtSc Image

TNA Wrestling fans gather at Bren Events Center in Irvine, CA to attend TNA’s biggest event for the 2009 calendar year, Bound for Glory. The PPV kicks off with TNA’s signature bout, Ultimate X. X-Division Champion Amazing Red defends against Christopher Daniels, Homicide, Suicide, Chris Sabin, and Alex Shelley. Amazing Red’s manager/promoter Don West put the match together so Red could prove his supremacy over the X-Division.

Fan reaction will tell you everything you should know about this match. “TNA,” “This is awesome,” and “He’s amazing” amongst other chants ring out during the contest. Truly Ultimate X from Bound for Glory 2009 embodies everything which makes the X-Division special.

The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne with Lacey Von Erich), Taylor Wilde, and Sarita receive the unenvious task to follow the opener. TNA Knockout Tag Team Champions Wilde and Sarita defend the titles against Sky and Rayne. I especially enjoy watching Sarita wrestle. She can really go inside the six sides.

A triple threat match for the Legends Title between Champion Kevin Nash, World Elite leader Eric Young, and “Super-Mex” Hernandez comes up next. Due to an arrangement between Nash and Young, the bout plays out more like a handicap match.

Bound for Glory 2009 continues with a fourth consecutive championship contest. Awesome Kong, Tara, and ODB battle to decide the Knockouts Champion. Fun tidbit, TNA crowned their first Knockouts Champion two years earlier at Bound for Glory 2007.

Title defenses remain the night’s decree moving forward as both the TNA Tag Team Titles and New Japan’s IWGP Tag Team Titles hung up for grabs in Full Metal Mayhem (TNA’s answer to TLC)! Team 3D, Beer Money, The British Invasion, and Main Event Mafia (Scott Steiner and Booker T) entertain with a battle worth watching again and again.

Finally after Full Metal Mayhem, title match fever slows down. “The Boss” Bobby Lashley wrestles Samoa Joe in a match billed as MMA vs. TNA. Then a true dream match for hardcore wrestling fans, “The Monster” Abyss versus Mick Foley. Admittedly I doubt many include Stevie Richards as special guest referee in said dream. While a small deter, hardcore wrestling fans will still like Foley/Abyss.

Then Matt Morgan and Kurt Angle take the spotlight. Like with Ultimate X, fan reaction tells the match’s story. By the end Morgan and Angle earn “This is awesome” chants from the Irvine, CA crowd.

Two individuals highly significant to TNA Wrestling’s history face off in the Bound for Glory 2009 main event. “The Icon” Sting challenges TNA World Heavyweight Champion “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles. At the previous three Bound for Glories Sting entered the challenger and walked out the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. TNA placed much emphasis on Sting’s Bound for Glory track record.

Aj Styles vs. Sting
Main event time at Bound for Glory 2009! Photo: PrtSc Image

Overall, I give Bound for Glory 2009 eight stars on a 10-star scale with 10 representing the best score possible. Despite a little overbooking Bound for Glory 2009 still offers wrestling fans more than satisfying in-ring action.

Throwback Thursday: Lockdown 2008

December 11th 2014 22:24
Over the next few weeks I plan to use Throwback Thursday to revisit past TNA Wrestling PPVs. Specifically Lockdown 2008, Bound for Glory 2009, and Destination X 2011, all PPVs I purchased from during the company’s Black November sale. I never watched these events previously so all remains new to me.

TNA Lockdown 2008
TNA Lockdown 2008 Logo Photo: PrtSc Image

TNA Wrestling’s all-cage PPV Lockdown 2008 emanates from Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA and kicks off with an X-Division Championship match. Champion Jay Lethal defends against Curry Man, Sonjay Dutt, Shark Boy, Johnny Devine, and Consequences Creed in the annual Xscape match.

The Xscape Match features two phases. First phase elimination via pin fall or submission. Once down to two competitors the second phase begins, win by escaping the cage. X-Division Champion Lethal and his challengers orchestrate what you can expect from a multi-man X-Division bout, a fun, high flying contest.

Unfortunately Lockdown 2008 hits a slump following the opener. Between awkward gimmicks and an irrelevant feud, the next three matches drag. Queen of the Cage starring the TNA Knockouts and the Cuff to the Cage match represent the aforementioned awkwardness. The irrelevant feud saw BG James vs. Kip James. Circa 2008 did anyone really care about the formerly known New Age Outlaws feuding with each other? If you did, please let me know by commenting.

While the in-ring action proved less than desirable, TNA excelled at creating a big match feel for the main event Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle. Each backstage segment saw an interview building up the bout where Kurt Angle defends the TNA World Heavyweight Title against Samoa Joe. A Joe loss stipulates “The Samoan Submission Machine” retire from pro wrestling.

Worthwhile in-ring action resumes with Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed teaming up to wrestle Gail Kim and ODB. Booker T & Sharmell vs. Robert Roode and Payton Banks continue the worthwhile trend. Then Lethal Lockdown, a cornerstone to the Lockdown event. Team Cage (Captain Christian Cage, Sting, Kevin Nash, Rhino, and Matt Morgan) and Team Tomko (Captain Tomko, AJ Styles, James Storm, Brother Ray, and Brother D-von) enter battle.

One challenge I imagine Lethal Lockdown causes for wrestlers revolves around overcoming the match’s formulaic style to create fresh moments. Yet participants here exceed to meet said challenge and establish those fresh moments. For instance, Tomko comes down acting like he will start for his team. With Tomko preoccupying Christian, AJ Styles climbs to the cage’s top and takes flight onto “The Instant Classic.”

Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe Lockdown 2008
Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle face off at Lockdown 2008 Photo: PrtSc Image

Arriving after Lethal Lockdown the match everyone wants to see, Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Title. If all the night’s build didn’t get you interested in this bout, nothing could. Joe and Angle wrestle a style similar to MMA, something you will either enjoy or find stupid. Personally, I liked the match and I’m not even a MMA fan.

Overall, on a ten-star scale with 10 meaning best PPV ever and one meaning that sucked I give TNA Lockdown 2008 seven stars. If you like TNA Wrestling, you will enjoy Lockdown 2008.

Earlier this month TNA Wrestling announced come January 2015 their flagship show Impact Wrestling will call Destination America their new television home. The announcement comes after much speculation the past few months. Speculation started once Spike TV decided not to renew Impact Wrestling.

New York City’s Manhattan Center will host the first Impact Wrestling television tapings for the Destination America era, as announced by TNA Wrestling the past week. Tapings will occur Wednesday, January 7th, Thursday, January 8th, and Friday, January 9th. These tapings will precede the television tapings scheduled during TNA Wrestling’s Maximum Impact Tour

[ Click here to read more ]

Earlier this year World Wrestling Entertainment released Ladies and Gentlemen My Name is Paul Heyman, a three-disc DVD set covering Heyman’s incredible professional wrestling career. Disc one contains a two-hour documentary analyzing said career. Stories which didn’t make the documentary and promos from the AWA, WCW, and ECW fill up the second disc. The last DVD holds Heyman promos from WWE and three matches.

Paul Heyman DVD
Main menu for Ladies and Gentlemen My Name is Paul Heyman Photo: PrtSc Image

[ Click here to read more ]

With help from the head Hulkamaniac himself, cerebral palsy awareness began running wild on social media this week. Over the past weekend I transitioned my goatee into a Fu Manchu and traded my normal wardrobe in for some red and yellow. Then I set my web cam to record and unleashed my best Hulk Hogan impression, BROTHER!

Hulk Hogan costume

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Bound for Glory 2005 Revisited Part II

October 19th 2014 22:05
To those waiting on “Bound for Glory 2005 Revisited Part I”’s continuation, the wait ends now. Once again welcome back to 2005. To your left you’ll see the New England Patriots piecing together a Super Bowl caliber season. On your right you’ll notice Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince dominating book charts. Meanwhile straight ahead TNA Wrestling’s biggest PPV Bound for Glory continues.

Tag Team Titles: America’s Most Wanted (c) vs. The Naturals
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Bound for Glory 2005 Revisited Part I

October 7th 2014 21:59
With TNA’s most important annual PPV Bound for Glory (BFG) set to emanate from Tokyo, Japan this Sunday, I decided to trek back in time to the very first BFG. Welcome back to 2005. Brad Pitt leaves Jennifer Aniston, Facebook just opens up to high school students, the Chicago White Sox rule baseball, and TNA Wrestling celebrates a year producing three-hour Sunday PPVs presenting Bound for Glory.

TNA Bound for Glory
TNA Bound for Glory 2005 logo from the PPV's DVD menu. Photo: PrtSc Image

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This past week at the #TNANYC Impact Wrestling tapings real American war hero Chris Melendez made his TNA Wrestling debut. Melendez lost his leg serving our country in Afghanistan and earned a Purple Heart for said service, according to the TNA Wrestling website. Also noted on the website, working for TNA fulfills Melendez’s dream to become a professional wrestler.

TNA Signs American War Hero Chris Melendez
TNA official John Gaburick tweets his welcome to new wrestler Chris Melendez. Photo: PrtSc Image

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Despite TNA Wrestling’s ambiguous future past October, I still plan on blogging about the company’s current product. TNA showed much improvement over the summer and deserves the recognition.

TNA Wrestling recently announced, via their website, “the Japanese Buzzsaw” Tajiri will appear at the #TNANYC tapings Tuesday, August 5th, Wednesday, August 6th, and Thursday, August 7th. Another Extreme Championship Wrestling alum sure to receive a welcoming ovation from the New York City crowd, Tajiri currently works for Japan’s Wrestle-1 promotion

[ Click here to read more ]

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