TNA has been on a roll with quality pay-per-view events in 2012. With Slammiversary and Destination X still in memory, there were high expectations for No Surrender this year.
Despite a rather bland card heading into the event—which was largely dominated with the Bound for Glory Series matches—TNA managed to put on yet another excellent pay-per-view, and they did it using the basics.
That’s great in-ring action and great storylines.
There were no gimmicks and no additional match stipulations at No Surrender. It was the best of pure wrestling and the perfect amount of accompanying plot.
Looking first at the wrestling, Tara and Miss Tessmacher yet again showed the WWE how women’s wrestling should be with a solid matchup.
The X-Division shone as Sonjay Dutt and Zema Ion put on a fast-paced, high-flying matchup encapsulating the excitement of cruiserweight wrestling.
Later in the evening, the tag division provided another of the best tag matches of 2012, as Christopher Daniels and Kazarian defended their titles against AJ Stlyes and Kurt Angle.
The match was a worthy follow-up to their previous pay-per-view encounter at Slammiversary. Having done away with the awkward Claire Lynch storyline, Styles, Daniels and Kazarian were given the chance to just wrestle, and with Angle in the mix that’s exactly what they did.
Magnus and Rob Van Dam put on a solid matchup, and the World Heavyweight champion Austin Aires had a compelling back-and-forth brawl with a member of Aces & 8s, before an all-out melee broke-out.
The Bound for Glory Series also delivered a trio of solid matches as Bully Ray defeated James Storm, and Jeff Hardy defeated Samoa Joe.
In the main event and Bound for Glory Series final, Hardy defeated Bully despite a kayfabe arm injury. The match featured a slew of Bubba cutters, Twist-of-Fates and Swantons which had viewers always guessing when the three count would come.
Then, on top of the in-ring action, there was the booking of TNA’s creative team, which was expertly executed.
Storm’s loss to Bully came at the hands of Bobby Roode, who attacked Storm with a beer bottle. A later backstage brawl was the perfect build-up for what will likely be a very personal clash at Bound for Glory.
The overall plot of the night pertained to the looming Aces & 8s, which gave a sense of foreboding to the event. Following Aires’ encounter with a member of the renegades the locker room emptied to take on the whole gang.
In the confrontation, Jeff Hardy was injured and Bully Ray was notably late to come chase off the attackers. The night showed a Bully Ray who seemed to be just a little bit more understanding and compassionate than usual. His suspicious behavior seemingly hints at a potential involvement with the Aces & 8s.
Authorities would kayfabe lock-down the arena for the main event, to prevent any chance of interference. The event closed with a shock win from a resilient Hardy, leaving Bully Ray lying in the ring on a cliffhanger.
With events like last night’s No Surrender, TNA is outperforming the WWE by far in pay-per-view quality. Not only that, but they’re also setting an example of how wrestling basics can put on a great show, regardless of what your target audience’s age may be.