TNA expanded it's "One Night Only" pay-per-view series with a jam-packed card from Tokyo, Japan on Friday night. The event featured some of TNA's biggest names going against some of the top talent from Japan's Wrestle-1 promotion.
Combatants involved in the international supershow included Austin Aries, Magnus and Abyss. Although the action was prerecorded, the organization put on an excellent show. Dixie Carter took to Twitter to hype the event before it hit airwaves for the first time:
Here's a look at how the card went down, including full results.
|Magnus (c) vs. Kai||TNA World Heavyweight Championship||Magnus|
|The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) (c) vs. Team 246 (Kaz Hayashi and Shuji Kondo) vs. The BroMans (Jessie Godderz and Robbie E)||TNA World Tag Team Championships||The BroMans|
|Austin Aries (c) vs. Sanada||X Division Championship||Sanada|
|Abyss vs. Yoshihiro Takayama||N/A||No Contest|
|Junior Stars (Koji Kanemoto and Minoru Tanaka) vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian)||N/A||Bad Influence|
|Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne||N/A||Kim|
|Bobby Roode vs. Masakatsu Funaki||N/A||Funaki|
|Keiji Mutoh, Rob Terry and Taiyo Kea vs. Masayuki Kono, Rene Dupree and Samoa Joe||N/A||Mutoh, Terry and Kea|
Abyss Puts on a Show, Looks Forward to Returning to Japan
There's a reason Dixie Carter specifically promoted Abyss' match with Takayama. The hardcore match was a barnburner, one that had the Japanese crowd engrossed throughout.
The match had a little bit of everything, as Abyss and his cross-promotional rival performed big spots both inside and outside the ring. Ultimately, no winner was crowned. The Hardcore match came to an end when Abyss chokeslammed Takayama onto a bed of thumb tacks.
Neither competitor was able to answer the 10-count.
With time to reflect on the match, the TNA veteran talked about what it was like to perform in Japan, via Scott Fishman of the Miami Herald:
The Japanese fan base is incredible. Wrestling in Japan is a big deal. It’s a big thing. To be there with legends like the Great Muta and to be able to show the TNA banner there and show off our style of Impact Wrestling and share it with Wrestle-1 and the great fans of Japan is pretty exciting.
Judging by the reaction of the crowd for the back-and-forth bout between Abyss and Takayama, the Japanese fanbase is sure to welcome him back when TNA comes to town again.
Masakatsu Funaki defeats Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle Next?
One highlight of the evening was a technical affair between Masakatsu Funaki and Bobby Roode. Yottsume tweeted the final result of the match, as the Wrestle-1 star claimed victory:
8th Match : Masakatsu Funaki vs Bobby Roode. Funaki beats Roode with an Ankle Hold. Funaki says he wants Kurt Angle pic.twitter.com/RWgOfQkLdH— yottsume (@puro_yottsume) March 2, 2014
Overall, this was a very well-performed match. The TNA matchmakers really nailed this segment, as Roode's work as an in-ring technician gelled well with Funaki's capabilities. With an extensive MMA background, Funaki is one of the top performers in the Japanese wrestling promotion.
Considering the promotion is planning on coming back in October 2014, Funaki's post-match words are worth paying attention to. His request to take on Kurt Angle next might just factor into the booking of Bound for Glory, which is set to take place in Japan.
With this match playing out so well, it wouldn't be shocking to see Funaki take an even bigger role.
Magnus "Retains" World Heavyweight Title to End Card
One of the disappointing aspects to a tape-delayed pay-per-view card is an outdated main event. In this case, it was Magnus retaining his TNA World Heavyweight title belt against Kai.
Of course, viewers now know that Lashley is the new champion, with the entire title reign of Eric Young having taken place between the recording of this event and now. The result was fairly predictable. It's highly improbable that TNA would allow its belt to go to someone who isn't technically on its roster.
However, the booking still made sense for the live audience. As the "One Night Only" moniker would indicate, both Kai and Magnus were interested in giving the fans an electrifying title fight, and they certainly delivered.
Although it was Magnus who eventually prevailed and "continued" his title reign, the match did allow the card to end with a bang rather than a whimper. With the Japanese fans having received a taste of TNA talent in Tokyo, they now have Bound for Glory to look for in October:
With the top talent on the roster looking to put on one of the biggest shows of the year, this card served as a high-quality appetizer for what's ahead.