TNA's cleverly named World Cup of Wrestling—the latest in the company's One Night Only on-demand pay-per-view series—occurred from Orlando, Fla. and provided plenty of highlights for wrestling aficionados.
A nod to soccer's World Cup, TNA's pretaped version saw four teams go at it in head-to-head competition for points. The teams were the United States, the United Kingdom, Team International and the Aces & Eights.
Each squad contained a heavyweight, tag team, X-Division star and knockout superstar. The two teams with the most points after singles competition advanced to the final act—a 10-man elimination tag team match for the World Cup of Wrestling.
Suffice to say, an exciting format paired with three countries and a dominant heel stable made for quite the night.
|World Cup Teams|
|Team USA||Team UK||Team International||Team Aces & Eights|
|Christopher Daniels||Douglas Williams||Funaki||D.O.C.|
|James Storm||Hannah Blossom||Judas Mesias||Ivelisse|
|King||Rob Terry||Petey Williams||Mr. Anderson|
|Mickie James||Rockstar Spud||Sonjay Dutt||Wes Brisco|
Magnus (UK) Defeats Mr. Anderson (A&8)
Team UK captain Magnus made short work of the veteran Mr. Anderson from Aces & Eights. It was a bit predictable considering Magnus is one of the most talented performers TNA has at the moment.
The heel faction has since been disbanded since this pay-per-view was taped, so it is a bit strange seeing the match here. Alas, Mr. Anderson did solid work and Magnus was able to keep the crowd involved.
As far as opening matches go, this was quality. A clean win was predictable.
Kenny King (USA) Defeats Sonjay Dutt (International)
Team International's Sonjay Dutt is one of the company's best technical wrestlers, and that was on full display here.
However, Kenny King (who has been absent for quite some time) of Team USA was in the midst of a dominant run at the time of this taping. Fans also know he has the technical skills to match Dutt head-to-head.
This was arguably the best match of the night for wrestling enthusiasts. The match was littered with highlight-worthy moments and impressive holds before King slipped by to win.
Lei'D Tapa (International) Defeats Hannah Blossom (UK)
This one had the feel of a cool-down match for the crowd. Not to disrespect either performer here, but it is hard to follow the show King and Dutt put on in the prior match.
A bit of a cool-down bout this early is nothing but a good thing for TNA.
Team International’s Lei'D Tapa looked dominant here in a squash over Team UK's Hannah Blossom.
DOC and Knux (A&8) Defeat Petey Williams and Funaki (International)
Quality action—predictable result.
There was no way DOC and Knux from Aces & Eights were going to lose here to jobbers—especially with the team failing to earn a point in the opening bout of the night.
Petey Williams is an intriguing superstar who has been up and down over the past year, but his pairing with an aging Funaki did not make a ton of sense. Funaki was beat senseless before Williams got in the match.
Knux later scored the pin after hitting Funaki with a hammer. Ouch.
Wes Brisco (A&8) Defeats Rockstar Spud (UK)
Here was another result easy to see coming. With the popularity of Aces & Eights around when this was taped, there was no chance the smaller Rockstar Spud was going to pull off the upset here.
Spud showed glimpses of fight, but Aces & Eights' Wes Brisco was simply too powerful in the end and struck a surprise powerslam to end it.
Hey, Aces & Eights needed to grab the lead and cause drama somehow.
Bad Influence (USA) Defeats Rob Terry and Doug Williams (UK)
This was another contender for match of the night.
Team USA’s Bad Influence consists of Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, two veterans in the ring who can work with most to put on a quality show. The same goes for Team UK's British Invasion—Douglas Williams and Rob Terry.
In other words, this one oozed quality from the opening bell.
Highlight-worthy spots were the name of the game in this one, and all four competitors delivered multiple times.
If fans are to complain about this one, it will sound familiar to the gripes with the rest of the card—the end result was predictable given Team USA's need for points.
But hey, it's the journey, not the destination. Right?
Ivelisse Velez (A&8) Defeats Mickie James (US)
Finally—something not predictable!
That goes twofold for this match. For one, fans did not entirely know which Knockout would represent Aces & Eights. Problem solved—the rising star Ivelisse Velez handled the duties despite having never been a member of the gang (err, "country." What?).
Surprise No. 2—Velez won. Not only did Velez win with help, she pulled off a major upset over former champion Mickie James, who is arguably one of the most popular names in the company.
James Storm (USA) Defeats Judas Mesias (International)
When perusing the card, this was a match that surely stuck out to fans.
Both Team USA's James Storm and Team International's Judas Mesias are known as risk-takers who are not afraid to implement weapons and other violent tactics into their matches.
This one did not fail to entertain. Both men got plenty of explosive offense in, but in the end, it was Storm coming through with a Last Call superkick to win the match for his country.
Team USA defeats Aces & Eights to win the World Cup of Wrestling
This one was exactly as advertised—chaotic.
Aces & Eights used smart work (and cheating) to score the first elimination. Wes Briscoe got rid of Kenny King via help from Ivelisse Velez, who held the ropes without the referee's knowledge.
Mickie James would then get her revenge for her earlier dirty loss with a pin of Velez. James' celebration did not last long as Briscoe took advantage for a pin.
Then the turning point occurred. James Storm accidentally clocked Christopher Daniels, so Bad Influence walked out on their teammate despite the stakes involved.
Alas, Storm was able to overcome the odds against both Mr. Anderson and DOC to win the tournament for his country via the Last Call.
Bad Influence would return in an attempt to celebrate, but Storm attacked them for ditching him in the final event. The rest of Team USA was officially announced winners of the 2013 World Cup.