The theme for last Thursday's iMPACT! could have been "Who do you trust?" as the company lead-in to No Surrender last night. I send out an apology for posting this iMPACT! report late. An unavoidable personal issue was to blame. But I take it as a blessing in disguise and an opportunity to look back on a lead-in show and see how well it built the actual pay-per-view.
Recapping last Thursday's in-ring highlights begins with Tara revealing herself as Madison Rayne's bodyguard after they beat the original Beautiful People. Her return adds to the Knockouts Division and set the stage for Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky at No Surrender.
Stevie Richards pulled off an upset against Abyss that seemed to give EV2.0 a boost. Abyss' postmatch beatdown and Fourtune's attack on Mick Foley stymied that. Brian Kendrick's save of Richards raised my eyebrows.
Sting beat Jeff Jarrett in an "old school screwjob" match that saw outside interference from Kevin Nash, a ref on the take, an appearance by Hulk Hogan and a run in by Samoa Joe. The match raised trust and loyalty questions and was a classic build for the Jeff Jarrett/Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Nash/Sting match last night.
Next was an eight-man elimination match between Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, and Brian Kendrick, subbing for Mick Foley, against Beer Money Inc., Frankie Kazarian, and A.J. Styles. Fourtune dominated early, leaving Tommy Dreamer in a three-on-one, against-all-odds, gauntlet-type battle with Beer Money and Styles. He survived two of the three, but A.J. got the victory and set up their "I Quit" match at No Surrender.
The main event featured Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy against Pope D'Angelo Dinero and Mr. Anderson in a battle of the TNA world title tournament semifinalists to see who could "raise the bar." A miscue by Hardy cost him and Angle the match and for the second week in a row Pope D'Angelo Dinero "stole" the pin from Mr. Anderson. This match raised trust issues and selfish questions as it led in to ReAction and ultimately, No Surrender.
The show was a solid, not unspectacular, lead-in to No Surrender. More promo than action. We did find out that "They" will arrive on 10-10-10 at Bound For Glory.
No Surrender opened with an announcement that London Brawling would not appear and Generation Me would replace them in the tag team title match against the Motor City Machine Guns. The crowd was hot as this match proved to be a perfect opener filled with nonstop action. The Motor City Machine Guns prevailed but were attacked afterward by Generation Me as they heeled out.
This match builds an already strong tag team division with Generation Me, the Guns, Beer Money Inc, Inc., London Brawling, and 3D.
Sabu challenged Douglas Williams for the X Division title in a solid match that ended with Sabu putting Williams over as he crashed through a table. Williams got a well-deserved rub from a legend as he continues his reign over the X Division.
Velvet Sky's victory over Madison Rayne may be the beginning of a well-deserved singles push for Velvet. This match also furthers the tag team feud between the Original Beautiful People and Tara and Madison Rayne. Either way, it's a plus for the Knockouts Division.
The brawl between Abyss and Rhino featured a tour of Universal Studios as the Impact Zone was not big enough to contain this fight. Once back in the arena, they fought beneath the staging area before Abyss' monster heel push continued as he scored the win.
Sting's baseball bat was used against him as Samoa Joe and Jeff Jarrett beat "The Icon" and Kevin Nash in a match that was billed to be about respect. My question is, what does Joe's future hold? Will he become dominate again or will he basically become Jeff Jarrett's personal security guard? He is too good for that.
The "I Quit" match between A.J. Styles and Tommy Dreamer was vicious. Styles ended it by channeling New Jack and gouging Dreamer's eye with a fork! This win proves A.J. Styles can be as extreme as he is talented. This hardcore rub from Dreamer solidifies A.J. Styles as the best in the world! A return to the world title picture should be in his immediate future.
"Epic!" would be an appropriate description of the semifinal tournament match between Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy. The match had two five-minute overtime periods added and featured a stiff powerbomb from Angle and a swanton bomb from Hardy onto Angle as he was on the floor that resulted in a dislocated rib for Angle. Both men gave it their all in a 10-star match ultimately ruled a no contest.
Some may not like the way this one ended. I see it it as building for more at Bound for Glory with higher stakes! That's a good thing! This should have been the main event.
Mr. Anderson and Pope D'Angelo Dinero had the unfortunate job of following Angle vs. Hardy. The match was solid and saw Mr. Anderson's push continue as he advanced to the finals at Bound For Glory in what I suspect will be a three-way dance with Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy.
Overall, No Surrender exceeded the hype and build of Thursday's lead-in. Strong pushes continued and EV2.0 put over and gave rubs to TNA's Fourtune stars. This only strengthens the company as a whole as they hit the road to Bound For Glory.