TNA iMPACT!: Best of 2008
Thursday, 01 January 2009 21:48
Orlando, Florida (iMPACT! Zone @ Universal Studios)
January 1, 2009
Commentators: Mike Tenay & Don West
Report by: Josh Boutwell of WrestleView.com
Tonight??'s show will be a special Best of 2008 show and usually ???Best of?????? shows are pretty boring (as we have seen most of what they will show) but TNA will be holding the first Championship match of 2009 as Beer Money Inc. will defend the TNA World Tag Team Championships against L.A.X. in a very special match. Plus, this show, no matter how boring, could in no way be as boring as that Rose Bowl today. Wow, any Penn State fan that thought they would beat USC needs to jump off a building immediately. Maybe they???ll let SEC schools in there one day and it won???t be so boring. Okay, I???m done, well, one more thing: Roll Tide Roll! Now I???m done. Now onto the show because it??'s time to Cross The Line!
Don West and Mike Tenay open up the show on the stage and tell us about the matches we???ll see tonight featuring some of the best matches from TNA this year featuring such stars as Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, & more. We???ll start the show off with what Don West calls the ???Comeback Match of the Year.??????Olympic Hero??? Kurt Angle vs. ???King of the Mountain??? Jeff Jarrett
Special Guest Enforcer: ???Hardcore Legend??? Mick Foley
TNA Bound for Glory (October 12, 2008)
This match was Jeff Jarrett??'s first match in almost 2 years and the very first meeting between Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle. They show some nice interview clips from Jeff Jarrett during his entrance talking about what he felt during the match and then Mick Foley spoke on his thoughts going into the match. That was a nice touch to it. Kurt Angle talks about the problems he and Jeff had going into the match as they begin to lock up. I love that addition to the match. Very nice touch. I won???t do play by play for these ???Best of??? matches but I will give my opinions on some of the bigger spots and moments in the matches. Jeff and Kurt started the match off with some nice reversal s and chain wrestling that got the crowd involved early. Jeff, Kurt, and Mick continue to give their insights into the match throughout. Kurt says during his insight into the feud during the match that Jeff needs to get over losing his wife. That guy never lets up. Mike Tenay and Don West are doing dubbed commentary rather than the original commentary from the PPV. Jeff Jarrett finally gained control of the match by clotheslining Kurt to the outside and then hitting a slingshot cross body over the top onto Kurt on the floor. Kurt took the advantage of the match but Jeff came back with an Atomic Drop and an Enziguri. Jarrett did the strut but paid for after Kurt turned him inside out with a clothesline.
Back from commercials Jeff gets a nearfall of a schoolboy then gets killed with another stiff clothesline. Kurt talks about his strategy in the match which was too tire Jeff out quickly because of his ring rust. Jeff talks about his gameplan for the match as well. Jeff and Kurt continue to go back and forth with neither getting the complete advantage. Jarrett was able to throw Kurt into the ring post and then hit a DDT but he was unable to capitalize as both men were down. Angle hits a big Belly-to-Belly overhead release suplex for a nearfall and then goes for the Angle Slam, but Jeff counters into a DDT for a nearfall of his own. Jeff puts Kurt on the top rope and goes for a Superplex but Kurt stops him and attempts to Belly-to-Belly Jeff off the top rope to the floor, but Jeff blocks it and Superplexes Kurt back into the ring for a two count. While this was happening Jeff and Kurt talked about that highspot. Jeff puts Kurt in the Figure Four as Kurt screams in pain while he talks about being in that submission move and wanting to quit, but wouldn???t. Kurt struggled for several minutes to get out of the hold and finally gets to the ropes to break it up.
Back from commercials again Kurt hits the three amigo German Suplexes for another nearfall. Kurt goes for the Angle Slam but Jeff counters nicely with an arm drag. Jeff goes for a Piledriver but Kurt backdrops Jeff and Jeff goes for a sunset flip, but Kurt rolls through and locks in the Ankle Lock! Jeff talks about being in that hold as Kurt continues to wrench on that ankle. Jeff rolls through and breaks up the submission and Angle hits the Angle Slam, but only gets a 2 count as Jeff got his shoulder up. Angle climbs to the top and attempts his beautiful Moonsault but Jeff moves out of the way and Jeff eats the canvas. I know I said this wouldn???t be play-by-play but its come pretty close hasn???t it. Angle accidentally clotheslines the referee and Jeff hits Kurt with the Stroke and Mick Foley slides into the ring! Mick counts, 1???2???and Kurt got his shoulder up. Mick talks about why he got involved in the match at that point. Kurt has grabbed a steel chair but Mick Foley tells him to get rid of it but Kurt Angle absolutely destroys Mick Foley with a nasty chair shot. Kurt then blasts Jeff with the chair and pulls him to the center of the ring. Kurt talks about why he hit Jeff and Mick with the chair. Kurt covers Jeff and wakes up the referee but Mick pulls him out of the ring. Mick knocks Kurt down with a righthand and pulls out Mr. Socko! Mandible Claw on Kurt as the fans go nuts and then Jeff goes El Kabong on Kurt and blasts him with the guitar. Referee back in and Jeff gets the pin and the win in his return match.Winner: Jeff Jarrett via pinfall(This was a really great match that told a great story. Good spots and it had some really good counter wrestling and reversals and was very physical. ****)
Back from commercials TNA shows a great vide package highlighting the great Awesome Kong/Gail Kim feud from the past year. The next match is TNA??'s 2008 Knockouts Match of the Year.TNA Knockouts Championship
Gail Kim (c) vs. Awesome Kong
TNA iMPACT! (January 10, 2008)
This was easily the best Women??'s feud in 2008 and these 2 had several great matches and I???m loving that TNA isn???t just ignoring the fact that Gail was in the company since she has since left TNA unlike certain other companies. In my opinion the Final Resolution Street Fight between these two was the best Women??'s Match in all of a wrestling, but this was a great match and was also the first time the knockouts main evented a TNA show so I can understand the decision to choose it. Gail starts the match off some nasty chops and goes for a roundhouse from the ring apron but gets nailed with a spinning back first for her trouble. Kong slammed Gail on the entrance ramp and then laid her leg over Gail??'s throat choking her until Gail hit a nice kick to the head. I???m really trying not to do play-by-play. Gail dives off the ramp onto Kong but Kong catches her in midair and slams her into a wall and then throws her into another one. Kong is throwing Gail around like a ragdoll. Gail is leaning against a wall and Kong charges at her, but Gail moves and Kong goes crashing through the wall!
Back from commercials Kong is slamming Gail??'s head into the apron and rolls Gail back into the ring while TNA shows more replays of Kong going through the wall. Kong continues to destroy Gail with power moves. Kong puts Gail on the top rope but then Gail bites Kong. Kong goes for spinning back fist on Gail but she blocks it and hits a jumping Tornado DDT off the top for a near fall. Now we get some insight into this feud and match from Angelina Love of the Beautiful People as Gail continues to work over Kong. Gail hits a nice Back Splash Senton off the top for a nearfall. Raisha distracts Gail as she climbs to the top rope and when Gail comes off Kong catches her in midair with a Chokeslam, but Gail kicks out at two. We get insight from Traci, ODB, & Roxxi as Kong hits the Implant Buster on Gail for another nearfall. Kong goes for the Awesome Bomb but Gail escapes and hits several forearm shivers followed by a beautiful front dropkick. Gail climbs back to the top and goes for the leaping Hurricanrana, but Kong blocks it and just absolutely destroys Gail with the Awesome Bomb, but instead of pinning Gail she picks her up and hits 2 more Awesome Bombs in succession for the pin. Gail is dead and Kong is the new champion.Winner & NEW Knockouts Champ: Awesome Kong via pinfall (Awesome Bomb)(These two never had a bad match and this was no exception and it was a great way for TNA to give the ladies some shine in the main event which is what they need to do more of with the Knockouts and the X-Division. I still think the Final Resolution match between these two was better but this was a great match nonetheless. ***1/2)
-----COMMERICALS-----TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Six Sides of Steel Match
???Olympic Hero??? Kurt Angle (c) vs. ???Samoan Submission Machine??? Samoa Joe
TNA Lockdown (April 13, 2008)
TNA says that this is their 2008 Match of the Year and I concur as this match was incredible. I really wish they would???ve shown the entrances and the introductions because this entire match juts had a big match feel to it. There are some people that didn???t like this match because of its heavy-mma influence but I thought it made it seem that more legit. Kurt and Joe feel each other out in the beginning with both missing kicks and strike attempts. Kurt blocks a kick from Joe and then he charges Joe as they clench on the ropes. The referee breaks them up and Kurt hits a nice leg kick to Joe??'s big tree trunk-like leg. They begin to lock up again and Kurt again leg kicks Joe. Kurt goes for another leg kick but Joe blocks it and hits several nasty leg kicks of his own as Kurt gives us his thoughts on this match. Kurt catches Joe??'s leg and Joe goes for an Enziguri, but Kurt blocks it and goes for the Ankle Lock but Joe reverses it into an Ankle Lock of his own. Kurt quickly gets to the ropes to break the hold as Joe gives us his thoughts on the match. Angle takes Joe down and hits some nice strikes until Joe gets to the ropes. Kurt shoots on Joe again and gets another takedown and pounds him somemore as Mick Foley gives his thoughts on the Six Sides of Steel. Joe takes Kurt down and hits some nice strikes as Kurt and Joe give their thoughts on Six Sides of Steel. Kurt with some knee strikes as they clinch but Joe hits a Judo throw on Kurt and kicks him. Joe goes for a leg sweep but Kurt blocks it and hits a beautiful overhead suplex on Joe as Joe talks about his feud with Kurt Angle. Kurt puts Joe in a Keylock Submission as Kurt talks about the feud and his training for the match. Joe gets to the ropes and then Kurt hits some nasty strikes on Joe in the corner. Kurt puts Joe in a side headlock as the fans are chanting for Joe to get to his feet. He does so and hits some jabs and comes off the ropes, but Angle nails him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Kurt hits a nasty European Uppercut on Joe and then mounts him somemore ground and pound. Kurt attempts to put Joe in a Fujiwara Armbar, but Joe fights it and actually pins Kurt for a two count. Kurt continues to beat on Joe but he gets some more jabs and punches and comes off the ropes again but Kurt takes his knee out with a chopblock as we go to a damn commercial.
Back from commercials Angle has Joe in a Figure Four but Joe rolls over and Angle gets to the ropes to break it up. Angle continues to work on Joe??'s knee with kicks and then puts Joe in a wicked knee lock, but Joe hits Angle with some nasty chops. Angle puts Joe in a side headlock but Joe gets to his feet and hits back elbows and then comes off the ropes but Angle quickly goes for the belly-to-belly, but Joe hits a double chop and then absolutely kills Angle with a Lariat straight from hell (eat your heart out JBL). Joe sells the knee as both men are down and Angle looks dead. Both men get to their feet but Joe hits Angle with repeated forearms and then a clothesline followed by a nasty running knee in the corner. Joe whips Angle in the corner and charges but Angle gets his foot up. Joe then comes out of nowhere with an Enzigiri! Joe sets Angle up in the corner and goes for the Muscle Buster, but Angle rolls through into an Ankle Lock! What a counter. Angle talks about coming up with new variations to the Ankle Lock as Joe attempts to fight out and he does kick Angle off. Angle charges Joe in the corner and Joe catches him with the STJoe for a two count. Angle pokes Joe in the eyes and charges but Joe hits nasty kick followed by an even nastier Powerbomb for a two count, but Joe rolls Angle over as he kicks out into a Boston Crab that would make Chris Jericho jealous all in one fluid motion! Angle almost taps and then almost gets to the ropes but Joe puts him in the STF as he reaches for the ropes! Angle talks about Joe putting him in the Boston Crab and the STF as Angle continues to crawl to the ropes. Angle almost taps but he is able to get one of Joe??'s ankles and puts him in the Ankle Lock out of absolutely nowhere! Joe fights out of it and rolls through and puts Angle in a Crossface all in one motion! Angle pulls Joe??'s fingers away but Joe puts Angle back in the move and Angle quickly grabs the ropes. Angle charges Joe with a clothesline attempt but Joe catches him and puts him back in the Crossface. Angle backrolls through the hold and hits the Angle Slam on Joe out of nowhere for a CLOSE two count! Angle puts Joe back in the Ankle Lock and Joe talks about being put in that move. Joe tries to fight out but Angle keeps it locked in. Joe is able to roll over and then kicks Angle with his other foot and slaps the Coquina Clutch on Angle! Angle grabs the referee and uses him to pull himself to the ropes! Angle comes back with a kick to the gut and goes for the Angle Slam, but Joe blocks it and slams Angle into the cage! Joe hits a sick Superkick followed by the Muscle Buster for the pinfall as the fans go nuts! After the match Joe speaks on winning the TNA Title and what it meant to him.Winner & NEW TNA Champ: Samoa Joe via pinfall (Muscle Buster)(This is as good as wrestling gets. This match brought something new to wrestling which is something we don???t see a ton of now adays. TNA took a risk in letting Joe and Angle have a near-shoot MMA type match and it worked. This match had it all, the great emotion, great technical wrestling, great reversals and counters, great nearfalls, and great submission wrestling. They only used the cage one time as it was simply there to keep it one-on-one. Classic match and it was, in my opinion, the perfect ending to one of TNA??'s greatest feuds to date. *****)
After that match Tenay and West are in the ring and talk about how great the Joe vs. Angle match was and tells us what else we can expect for the rest of the show.TNA World Heavyweight Championship
???The Icon??? Sting (c) vs. ???The Phenomenal??? AJ Styles
TNA Turning Point (November 9, 2008)
I do believe this was the first one-on-one meeting between AJ Styles and Sting and this match was taken place right slam in the middle of the MEM vs. Front Line war. Sting begins the match giving us his thoughts on respect and the lack of it that AJ and company have. AJ talks about respect himself as they do some counter wrestling in the ring. They go back and forth as AJ talks about the TNA Title. AJ leapfrogs Sting and then misses the dropkick and Sting hits a bulldog. AJ hits the dropkick out of nowhere this time and Sting rolls to the floor as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial Sting Gorilla Press Slams AJ from inside the ring to the floor on the outside! Sting follows AJ to the outside and throws AJ into the guardrail and then slams AJ onto it as AJ talks about being thrown out of the ring during the match. Sting talks about what his goal was in the match and wanting to teach AJ in this match. AJ comes back from the dead with rights and lefts and then a nice backbreaker. AJ whips Sting into the ropes and goes for a hiptoss but Sting blocks it and puts AJ in an Abdominal Stretch. AJ hits the hiptoss but Sting comes back with a Hotshot onto the top rope. AJ continues to beat down AJ in the corner. Sting whips AJ from corner to corner and then puts AJ in an elevated Bear Hug. AJ hits repeated headbutts on Sting that break up the hold but then Sting puts AJ back in the Abdominal Stretch. AJ with right hands and Sting comes back as they are trading in the center of the ring and then AJ comes out of nowhere with an Enziguri! AJ speaks on the plan the Front Line has for 2009 as Sting and AJ attempt to get to their feet. AJ hits a big clothesline and then back suplex. AJ hits the Springboard Flying Forearm off the top for a two count. AJ with a snap suplex for another nearfall. Sting goes for the Scorpion Death Drop but AJ kicks him off. AJ goes for a Flying Forearm in the corner but Sting moves and hits the Scorpion Death Drop out of nowhere, but only gets a two count! Sting climbs to the top and goes for a Flying Cross Body, but AJ moves and goes for the Styles Clash but Sting fights out with a kick to the head. Sting hits the Stinger Splash and then hits another one as AJ crumples to the mat. Sting hits a third Stinger Splash and sets AJ up on the top rope. Sting goes for a Superplex but AJ blocks it and hits a Sunset Flip into a Powerbomb off the top! AJ climbs to the top and hits the Spiral Tap! Instead of pinning Sting, though, AJ climbs to the top for another Spiral Tap but Kurt Angle and Booker T. run down to the ring. AJ takes both out on the ring apron, AJ turns around, Sting goes for a clothesline, AJ ducks and goes for the Pele, but Sting moves out of the way and Sting Oklahoma Rolls AJ into a cradle for the pin! After the match Sting justifies MEM cheating and AJ talks about it as well.Winner & STILL TNA Champ: Sting via pinfall(This was a very good match but it could???ve been better. The finish was very good though. ***1/2)
Before the Main Event they show a video package highlighting TNA??'s tag team, primarily LAX and Beer Money.Main Event
TNA World Tag Team Championships
Beer Money Inc. (c) w/Jacqueline vs. L.A.X.
This will be the very first Title Match of the year in Professional Wrestling and I think doing stuff like this for a Year End show is a great idea (they did it last year too right?). With 20 minutes left in the show as the match starts it should get good time as well. The two best tag teams in America in my opinion (Motor City Machine Guns right behind them) going at it one more time and James Storm rides his ???Cooler Mobile??? as Don West dubs it to the ring as usual. Storm and Homicide will start the match off and James gets in a side headlock right off the bat, but Homicide pushes him off into the ropes and James hits a shoulderblock. Homicide leapfrogs Storm and then goes for a chop but Storm blocks it and whips Homicide into the ropes where ???Cide hits a head scissors takeover! Homicide hits a Monkey Flip on Storm and then a dropkick as Homicide is on fire. Storm quickly retreats to his corner and Homicide comes over and slams Storm??'s head into Roode??'s crotch. Homicide whips Roode into the corner and then drops down and hits a belly-to-belly underhook release suplex for a two count and tags Hernandez in. Homicide whips Storm into the ropes and Hernandez comes flying in with a Slingshot Shoulder Block! Hernandez catapults Storm into a clothesline from Homicide followed by a backsplash senton on Storm as he laid over Hernandez??'s knees for a two count. Storm is able to come back by pushing Hernandez into the corner and tagging in Roode. Roode with chops on Hernandez and then attempts to whip him into the ropes, but Hernandez reverses it and goes for a backdrop but Storm kicks him in the face. Roode comes off the ropes but Hernandez catches him with a vicious Shoulder Block that sends Roode flying across the ring! Hernandez hits shoulderblocks to Roode in the corner and tags in Homicide who hits a Corkscrew Back Elbow to Roode. Roode comes back with a knee strike but then Homicide comes back with the Three Amigs Vertical Suplexes and then elevates Roode up and onto Hernandez??'s shoulder where he drops Roode with the Gutwrench Backbreaker for a two count. Good, quick tags by LAX as Homicide tags back in and he chops Roode. Homicide attempts to whip Roode into the ropes but he reverses it and Homicide slides on the mat and stops and then backdrops a charging Roode over the top to the floor! Homicide follows up with the Tope Con Hilo through the ropes onto Roode on the floor! Homicide grabs one of Storm??'s beers and drinks it up as we go to commercials.
Back from commercials Homicide goes for a clothesline on Storm but he blocks it and hits a Double Underhook into a powerbomb type move for a two count. Homicide comes back with right hands and then dives for the tag but Storm catches him in midair! Homicide is able to reach out and tag Hernandez but Roode had the referee distracted so he didn???t see it! Aw, classic heel tag team wrestling at its finest. Storm slams Homicide into the corner and Roode beats on him as they show a replay of an Enziguri from the apron by Storm on Homicide, a Swinging Neckbreaker from Roode, and the Beer Money Double Suplex. Roode hits Homicide with a back suplex for a two count and then tags in Storm. Storm puts Homicide up on the top rope and hits a nasty right hand. Storm goes for a Superplex but Homicide blocks it and hits a crazy Jumping DDT off the top rope! Storm is able to tag Roode back in and Roode goes for a Suplex on Homicide but he reverses it and goes for a T-Bone Suplex, but Roode blocks it and goes for a Back Suplex and Homicide lands on his feet! Homicide pushes Roode into the corner and tags in Hernadnez who hits nasty chops to both members of Beer Money followed by scoop slams for them both. Homicide with a dual dropkick to both Storm and Roode. Hernandez then hits big corner splashes on both men followed by the Biel Toss on Roode and then a clothesline for Storm. Hernandez charges Roode in the corner but Roode gets his boot up. Roode climbs to the top and comes off but Hernandez catches him in midair and turns it into a Powerbomb for a two count before Storm broke it up. Hernandez hits a nasty Shortarm Clothesline on Storm and then Hernandez tags in Homicide and hiptosses Homicide over the top rope onto Beer Money! Homicide with right hands to both Storm and Roode but Roode throws Homicide through the ropes to the floor as Hernandez sets Storm up on the top rope. Hernandez hits the Superplex off the top and then Roode hits the Spinebuster on Hernandez, but when Roode turns around Homicide hits the Gringo Cutter! Homicide goes for the Frog Splash on Roode off the top but he moves and Storm puts Homicide on his shoulder. Roode comes off the top with a neckbreaker attempt but he missed it and Storm just slammed Homicide to the mat for a two count. Beer Money sets Homicide up for the D.W.I. but Hernandez clotheslines Storm so Roode puts Homicide up on Hernandez??'s shoulders and he throws Homicide up off his shoulders right into a Tornado DDT on Roode! Hernandez hits the Super Mex Plancha over the top onto Storm on the outside as Homicide hits the Frog Splash on Roode in the ring for a close nearfall! Roode has a title belt and goes to hit Homicide with it but he ducks and kicks Roode in the gut. Homicide grabs the title belt as Jacky is distracting the referee and hits Roode with it! Homicide covers Roode and gets another very close nearfall. Jacqueline grabs a chair as Storm hits the Last Call on Hernandez on the outside. Homicide rolls Roode up as the referee is outside attending to Hernandez and Storm. Roode pushes Homicide right into a chair shot from Jacky! Roode rolls Homicide up and gets the cheap win!Winners & STILL TNA World Tag Champs: Beer Money via pinfall(Since I???m not going to rate the show or do a Match of the Night I???ll just rate this match. Very good tag match between two of the better tag teams in the world. Didn???t like the finish but Beer Money needed to go over and L.A.X. has gotten Singles Title shots in their futures. Really good match though ***1/2)
After the Main Event they show a video package highlighting the year of 2008 in TNA.
Tonight was one of the better ???Best of??? shows that I???ve seen and the new match really helps it out. Tonight was all about the wrestling which is what I wish TNA would let Impact be more often. Anyway I???m not going to harp on any of that, instead I???m going to give my own year end Awards out for TNA and I???m going to say what I would???ve made as tonight??'s best matches (all the matches were good choices but not exactly what I would???ve chosen).My Best of 2008 (going with the top 5)
- TNA Knockouts Title Street Fight: Gail Kim (c) vs. Awesome Kong (Final Resolution, January)
- IWGP 3rd Belt Title: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Yuji Nagata (Global Impact)
- Last Man Standing: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles (Hard Justice)
- Elimination X: Motor City Machine Guns & Curry Man vs. Puma, Milano Collection AT, & Masato Yoshino vs. Alex Koslov, Doug Williams, & Tyson Dux vs. Ultimo Guerrero, Rey Bucanero, & Averno (Victory Road)
- TNA World Title Six Sides of Steel: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Samoa Joe (Lockdown)Josh??'s 2008 TNA Year End Awards
- Mr. TNA (Wrestler of the Year): Kurt Angle
- Tag Team of the Year: Beer Money Inc.
- Breakout Star of the Year: Consequences Creed
- Match of the Year: Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle (Lockdown)
- PPV of the Year: Victory Road
- Best Moment: The formation of the Main Event Mafia/Samoa Joe finally winning TNA Title
- Best Gimmick: The Steel Asylum Match
- Finisher of the Year: Petey Williams??? Canadian Destroyer
- X-Division Wrestler of the Year: Petey Williams
- Knockout Wrestler of the Year: Awesome Kong
Well that it??'s and hopefully 2009 will be a great year in TNA!