One month earlier, Christopher Daniels found himself in the ring with two of his peers in hopes that he would not only be a part of the greatest rematch in TNA history, but also would finally win the one title that had eluded him since arriving in TNA at the same time as the defending champion. Sadly for Daniels (and the other third of the match in Samoa Joe), his chance of a lifetime went up in smoke. But a second chance Daniels believed was all he needed – earning that opportunity by questioning the morality and ethics of the company he worked for and the champion who represented TNA better than anyone on the roster in AJ Styles. Will “The Fallen Angel” finally prove his superiority over “The Phenomenal One”, or will AJ Styles’ reign continue heading into a potential historic year for the company? Most importantly, will TNA’s” Final Resolution 2009” be a classic?
Final Resolution 2009
December 20, 2009
1. The British Invasion defeated The Motor City Machine Guns to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship
2. Tara defeated ODB to win the TNA Knockouts Championship
3. Samoa Joe, Sheik Abdul Bashir, Kevin Nash, and Rob Terry co-won the Feast or Fired match
4. Hernandez, Matt Morgan, Suicide, & D’Angelo Dinero defeated Rhino, Jesse Neal, & Team 3D
5. Bobby Lashley defeated Scott Steiner in a Last Man Standing match
6. Mick Foley & Abyss defeated Raven & Stevie Richards in a Foley’s Funhouse Rules match
7. Kurt Angle defeated Desmond Wolfe in a Three Stages of Pain match
8. AJ Styles defeat Daniels to retain the TNA World Championship
The Queen’s Revenge: Though they were one of the most popular teams in TNA, the Motor City Machine Guns of Detroit’s own Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin had the chance to finally rectify a “wrong” by defeating the British Invasion of Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Magnus spent the majority of the match’s opening minutes being outwrestled, double-teamed and made to fight from behind for his team against the ultra popular challengers. One of the highlights of the MCMG’s opening barrage included stereo planchas from adjacent corners that commentators Taz and Mike Tenay couldn’t fathom.
Just when it seemed things were going swimmingly for the challengers when Shelley’s speed got the better of him; running into a Magnus drop toe hold into Williams’ illegal knee strike from the apron. Williams and Magnus looked to pick Alex apart with a mixture of submission maneuvers (such as the Gory Special) and high impact double teams. Thankfully for Shelley, Sabin was on top of things and able to save Alex whenever he needed help until Shelley was able to tag out thanks to a pair of knees to Magnus’ descending body. The action picked up again and turned chaotic. Move after move was utilized by everyone who could get a hold on an opponent, yet resulted in numerous near falls (one being incredibly close following Shelley’s Sliced Bread #2 on Magnus). The crowd was getting hotter and hotter with each MCMG near fall. But like Shelley’s speed halting the team’s momentum so was their obsession with double team maneuvers. The referee, growing tired of the wrestlers staying beyond the five count, tried to force Shelley out of the ring. The adamant Alex distracted the frustrated referee long enough for The British Invasion to utilize a Doomsday Power Bomb to pin Sabin when the referee finally turned around.
An exciting opener as you’d expect from a MCMG match. The British Invasion needed a win like this one where they appeared more cunning than cowardly. Good stuff all around, though the crowd didn’t take too kindly to the Guns losing.
The Spider’s Bite: After defeating Awesome Kong a month earlier – the former “Victoria” in WWE – Tara had a chance to take on the charismatic and at times outlandish Knockouts champion ODB. Usually ready for a fight, ODB actually tried to “ice” her competition by leaving the ring before Tara could get a hand on her. Smartly, Tara waited for ODB to come after her, getting an early advantage with simple right hands to the jaw. Tara’s reliance on whipping ODB around allowed the knowledgeable champion to reverse things and send the challenger face first in the middle turnbuckle. The reversal gave ODB a chance to utilize a debilitating shoulder breaker that eventually helped keep the champion grounded for a majority of the match. Fighting with one arm, Tara became reliant on pinning combinations. After creating some space between herself and the champ, Tara was able to fire off right hands and kicks until ODB went for her TKO finisher in desperation. Tara slipped off her opponent’s shoulders, yanking ODB to the mat with a backslide to surprise ODB and pin her for the golden victory.
A little short winded, but not bad. The fans really didn’t care too much during ODB’s dominance, but fired up when Tara made her comeback and won. Nice little second match on the card, but nothing special.
Someone’s Getting Fired: While WWE had the Money in the Bank Ladder match where a single person could earn a shot at either the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship, TNA upped the ante with a Battle Royal where three individuals could get rewarded with a specific title shot (either for the World, X-Division, or Tag Team championships) by attaining a single briefcase. A fourth, unlucky individual would be fired depending on the briefcase picked.
Coming into the match, the World Elite members (Eric Young, Homicide, Kevin Nash, Rob Terry, Kiyoshi, and Sheik Abdul Bashir) decided not to go for the cases, but beat down and isolate the competition. Sadly for the six, the other half of the match had a different idea. Led by Samoa Joe’s assault on Eric Young, World Elite found itself scrambling to the floor. After his partner Homicide got double-teamed by Lethal Consequences, Bashir took his chance and unhooked the #2 Briefcase. Cody Deaner tried to stop Sheik, but got bashed in the head and left for dead as Bashir exited the match with his case. Rob Terry used the distraction of Young’s anger and Bashir’s leaving to grab the fourth case.
Eric Young couldn’t believe his plan was disintegrating, allowing Beer Money to pick apart the disturbed World Elite members. James Storm and Robert Roode seemed to be on the verge of ending this match with respective cases when the lumbering Kevin Nash based both men in the backs before taking the #1 Briefcase. With three men gone along with three briefcases, all four men went for broke. Piledrivers, flying kicks, elbow drops were being used until, shockingly, Cody Deaner was left standing. Deaner was in reaching distance of the final case when Samoa Joe kicked him off the top rope before taking the final briefcase for himself.
A few minutes later, everyone would find out that Joe, Nash, and Terry would get a World, Tag Team and X-Division title opportunity in the near future while Bashir ended up in the unemployment line.
It’s a Battle Royal featuring climbing instead of over the top rope eliminations. You pretty much know what to expect. Thankfully for this iteration of the annual match, the bout was full of capable men with the ability to make things interesting. Plus, TNA learned from past mistakes and actually had the results be announced on the pay-per-view instead of on free TV.
Who’s Yo’ Daddy: “The Big Bad Booty Daddy” Scott Steiner, being a lover of many women, believed he could attain the love of any female he wanted. Catching his eye one evening happened to be former WWE Diva Kristal. But since those days employed by Vince McMahon, Kristal had become Mrs. Bobby Lashley. “The Boss” Lashley didn’t think twice about defending his lady’s honor, facing Steiner in a match the previous month that ended with Lashley getting bashed in the head with a steel pipe. Since Steiner had taken things to a new level, “The Boss” challenged the former WCW World Heavyweight champion to a Last Man Standing match.
As you’d expect from a match where the winner has to beat up his opponent enough for said opposition to find himself unable to answer a referee’s ten count, the big bruisers started the bout brawling around ringside. Taking a page out of Steiner’s book, Lashley was suplexing, dragon sleeping and forearm clobbering “The Genetic Freak” all around the ring until Steiner was clutching at his right knee and could barely move anytime he gained a vertical base.
Mirroring last month’s action, the fight moved from ringside to the entrance area where Steiner was able to grab his infamous lead pipe to bash Lashley in the back over and over again. Steiner took the chance to showcase his uncanny agility when the action returned inside the ring, actually using that Frankensteiner. Bobby seemed to be on the verge of defeat. Before Steiner could land the finishing blow with his lead pipe, Kristal yanked the item from her admirer to toss it to her man. After a sick spear, Lashley knocked Steiner out cold with his own lead pipe; giving “The Boss” a big victory over “The Big Bad Booty Daddy”.
This match was better than it had any right of being. Steiner pulled out some big match stuff, making this bout feel as important as it was promoted. Lashley, who looks invincible most of the time, actually appeared vulnerable before overcoming the odds thanks to Steiner’s previous actions coming back to haunt him.
Quote the Monster, Nevermore: Mick Foley, during his search for Hulk Hogan, found himself confronted by a very angry Abyss after Abyss (who spent the last few months learning to control his anger thanks to Dr. Stevie Richards, only to have himself attacked and set on fire by Richards and the doctor’s mentor, Raven). Foley, being dragged into this war by his idolizer and former enemies/friends alike, gladly teamed with Abyss to face Raven and Richards in a “Foley’s Funhouse Rules” match.
Foley and Abyss proved to be a formidable force in the early going with Mick taking Raven to the back. In the ring, Abyss, wearing those same pants Richards burned him in, assaulted the good doctor until Richards was looking for higher ground near the entrance. Before Abyss could finish off Dr. Stevie, Raven came through the entrance to break a broomstick over Abyss’ back. It was a two on one assault thanks to Foley seemingly going missing. Just as the fans chanted for the missing competitor, the former WWF/E Heavyweight champion hobbled to the ring with a shopping cart full of weapons. The action went from hardcore to barbaric thanks to Foley’s barbed wire baseball bat ripping the skin of his opponents. Okay, maybe stereo Mr. Sockos wasn’t barbaric, but Foley putting Richards through a table with the flying elbow drop from the ramp after wrapping Stevie in barbed wire was. With Richards downed, Abyss was able to finish off Raven with the Black Hole Slam to gain another measure of revenge in this long-running feud.
A nice little garbage match full of plunder. Things didn’t get bloody or overly violent, but quenched a thirst for violence. Nothing more, nothing less.
Pain at Three Degrees: One month prior, Desmond Wolfe made his TNA debut, immediately going after Kurt Angle. Their first match ended with Angle’s hand raised in victory, but didn’t help the Olympic gold medallist rid himself of the technically proficient Brit. Wolfe, attacking Angle whenever he felt like it leading to this event, challenged Kurt Angle to a “Three Degrees of Pain” match where the two competitors would compete in a Two Out of Three Falls match that would occur inside the Six Sides of Steel Cage. The first fall would only end thanks to a pin fall, while fall two could conclude with a submission. If a third fall was needed, the potential winner would have to escape the cage.
Though the two experienced grapplers were familiar with each other after the past few weeks of encounters, there was a feeling out process to give both men a chance to gain an early advantage. The mat/hold exchange was crisp and saw both men focus on the upper body of their opponent. Commentators Taz and Mike Tenay were greatly impressed with Wolfe’s ability to hang with Angle on the mat. The Olympic gold medallist seemingly felt he was actually losing trying to outwrestle Wolfe, suplexing and turnbuckle power bombing Desmond until he was in a dominant position. Suddenly, Wolfe swept Angle, sending him left shoulder first against the mat.
Desmond Wolfe kept the pressure, working over the arm of his tenacious opposition until Angle’s counterattacks lacked the power they had before and Wolfe could take advantage of a missed moonsault with the Lariat-Tower of London combo to pin Angle for the first fall. Desmond Wolfe immediately attacked the weary Angle, looking to continue the arm work from the first fall. But putting himself on his back to set up submission maneuvers actually cost Wolfe thanks to Kurt’s innate knowledge of sweeps into the Ankle Lock. Counter after counter resulted in the fans chanting, “This is wrestling!” while Angle survived the inverted triangle choke to finally cinch in the Ankle Lock fully for a successful submission.
Angle kicked off the third fall by simply pitching Wolfe face first against the steel cage before going for a climb. Wolfe would eventually catch him to not only slam Angle’s dangling left arm against the rigid steel, but also superplex the Olympic gold medallist. But like Angle, Wolfe had a debilitated limb preventing him from scaling the cage quick enough to avoid his opponent’s grip. Ripping Wolfe’s forehead open by whipping him into the cage, Kurt hooked Desmond in the Ankle Lock. Desmond Wolfe was tapping for dear life, but the bell would not be rung until someone physically left the cage. Angle held onto the submission maneuver until Wolfe passed out from the pain.
Catching himself from collapsing, Angle was able to start his climb up the cage as Desmond started regaining consciousness. With fear in his eyes, Wolfe began dragging his way to the door as Kurt slung his hurting body over the cage’s top. Unlike Wolfe, Angle didn’t have to think about using his legs to exit, jumping to the floor just as a scrambling, horizontal Wolfe fell onto the ring steps; giving Kurt Angle another win over the tenacious Brit.
Another fantastic match featuring two of the best wrestlers in the world. Each fall, though built off the last, felt like a totally different match. An argument can be made whether or not the second pay-per-view encounter between these two was better than the first, but one can’t deny the high quality of sequel proved to be one of the best matches of the year for TNA in 2009.
Phenomenally Fallen: At “Turning Point” the month before, (Christopher) Daniels failed to defeat AJ Styles and Samoa Joe to unseat Styles as the TNA World champion. Daniels, still upset over the turn of events, started lashing out against his friend in the champ. Believing the company was treating Styles with better favor, Daniels challenged Styles to prove his superiority for the first time in a one on one match for the TNA World title.
Following the in-ring introductions, Daniels smartly used AJ’s temper against him by slapping him during the initial collar & elbow tie up, giving the challenger a chance to sweep and work over the left arm of the champ while loudly stating, “Next World champion!” The fans were split down the middle, but the AJ supports were vocally more intense, giving the champion a chance to fight back with their supportive energy. Taking Styles to the floor and using a chair swing to distract the referee, Daniels started working over the back of Styles by slamming him through a steel chair. The pace slowed down, giving the challenger a chance to contort, wrench, and counter a fighting champion’s strikes with some knees and forearms of his own.
Eventually, AJ had to ignore the pain and go for broke. Barely able to stand was the champion when he ducked a palm strike to pump handle suplex Daniels. AJ took to the sky, downing Daniels on the floor before punching and slamming Daniels in the ring. Using his knowledge of Styles’ positioning, Daniels (showing the battle wounds on his head) avoided attacks, setting up even more powerful maneuvers like a superplex from the middle of the ropes instead of in the corner, and the frankensteiner. The crowd, starting to support AJ more and more, saw their champion survive everything Danielson threw until he could hit the Styles Clash. Somehow, Daniels kicked out of the champ’s follow up pin, catching a rope scaling Styles in an attempt to execute another frankensteiner. This time, AJ was ready, countering the frankensteiner attempt with a super Styles Clash to successfully pin Daniels; retaining his championship.
As you’d expect from two men who not only know each other, but also have a ton of chemistry, the main event was simply phenomenal. Daniels’ strategy was to ground and break down Styles, yet AJ’s resiliency wouldn’t allow him to stay down long enough for Daniels’ strategy to full take hold. Just a great match.
It’s Gonna Be a Breakdown: In the war featuring former TNA Tag Team champion Hernandez taking on men like Team 3D, it was decided the big Mexican Texan would go it alone for the first five minutes of an intended eight-man tag team match in hopes to prove just how tough Hernandez was. Rather than take advantage of the referee’s early incompetence of allowing all four men in the ring at the same time, Team Navy War took their chances at picking apart Hernandez one at a time. Hernandez proved to be a one-man army thanks to his opponents methodically attacked “Super Mex” though they had the clock ticking against them. Hernandez’s mounting opposition seemingly refused to go for a pin even though Hernandez was on his back for several seconds. Eventually, with one minute remaining in the five minutes, Hernandez actually pinned Rhino after avoiding the Gore. And then things went further downhill.
Grabbing a chair, Jesse Neal blatantly waited for the clock to expire while branding the potential weapon (an object that proved to be of no use thanks to Team 3D not believing a chair shot could knock down Hernandez for at least three seconds). The villains were fighting from behind until Neal bashed Suicide in the head with a chair … for a delayed disqualification. And that DQ was only announced by commentator Taz after Neal himself was hit with the chair by Hernandez for a “Super Mex” elimination (though Neal should’ve already been eliminated, making Hernandez’s elimination null & void). Suicide and Dinero soon followed in the eliminating steps of Hernandez before Matt Morgan decimated Team 3D all by his lonesome.
No idea why this just wasn’t just a regular Elimination Tag match where the wrestlers didn’t have to look pathetic killing time. Hernandez and Neal’s eliminations played out terribly thanks to referee incompetence (and made even worse by the fact both men blatantly got themselves disqualified; potentially hurting their respective teams’ advantage). The men involved tried hard, but the match’s structure proved to be an uphill battle they couldn’t climb.
Is It A Classic: TNA seemed to have had a new lease on life heading into the first event of 2010, and it translated in a harder working bunch of men and women doing their best to impress. While there were more Rights than Wrongs, most of the undercard (minus the opening match) was entertaining for the time being, but ultimately forgettable. What makes this event something special is the final two matches. An argument could be made that either the semi main event or the actual main event was the Match of the Year in TNA (and a big contender for overall Match of the Year when considering other companies). The show isn’t a full-blown classic, but has two matches that need to be seen.