On the whole I have been very impressed with the quality of TNA's product over the last few months. While WWE programming has reached new levels of convolution, and at times boredom, TNA has continued to deliver clear storylines that have managed to sell me on several straight pay-per-view buys. Final Resolution is no exception, and it may very well have the best built card in recent wrestling memory. Let's take a look at the matches…
TNA Knockouts Championship –Gail Kim vs. Mickie James
These are likely the two most respected women's wrestlers in TNA. I know they are capable of wrestling a good match, but what I'd like to see is a solid win from Gail Kim, rather than another screwjob ending at the hands of Karen Jarrett or her flunkies. Will it happen? Not likely…
Prediction: Gail Kim retains
X-Divison Championship — Austin Aires vs. Kid Kash
Two men with incredible in-ring ability, that I can't stand anywhere near a microphone. People rave about Aires' skills, some calling him the "future of the industry" akin to AJ Styles. While I'd never imagine Styles could have come so far and developed his promo work to the extent that he has, I'm still not sold on the current X-Divison Champion. Time will tell, and perhaps he just needs a rub with greatness in the same vein as Fortune with Ric Flair, but all I'm really looking forward to in this match is the action. And honestly…it's the X-Division. That's how it's generally been since the beginning.
Prediction: Austin Aires retains
Rob Van Dam vs. Christopher Daniels
Still not incredibly sure on what sparked this feud, but sometimes it's nice to have a good ole' wrestling match on the card that you can simply sit back and enjoy. I come down on RVD a lot, mostly because of his god-awful promo work, but the man can definitely put on a wrestling match. Nothing needs to be said for the talent of Christopher Daniels, as it very much speaks for itself. I've enjoyed their work thus far, and there's no reason I shouldn't be excited about their match tonight.
Prediction: Christopher Daniels wins
TV Championship — Robbie E vs. Eric Young
I don't get Robbie E at all. I think the gimmick is lame, no self-respecting wrestling fan enjoys the Jersey Shore enough to care, and he's not popular enough to ever do what Zack Ryder does for WWE. That being said, I do like Rob Terry and their work together in recent months. And I really like Eric Young's wacky style of pro wrestling, as he's likely the most under-rated talent on the TNA roster. The two have proved they can put on a good match, and as it'll likely be a filler bout to get the crowd back into things, I have no issue with this "one more time".
Prediction: Robbie E retains
TNA Tag Team Championship — Matt Morgan & Crimson vs. The Pope & Devon
I was extremely reluctant when they put Matt Morgan and Crimson together as a tag team. I can't emphasize enough how much I hate when companies throw the belts on singles stars in attempt to bring more drama to their feud. But in this case, it's actually working… Their last match was played off more as a contest between two big men, rather than mortal enemies. The match wasn't great, but the angle was somewhat refreshing! And TNA is being very transparent in admitting their tag division is currently less than ideal, hence the impromptu partnership. They're believable champions, and it will eventually spill into a feud later on down the road. On the other hand, there's Crimson and Devon… They are so infrequently a part of the program I honestly had forgotten what the drama and deal is with Devon's sons. Frankly, I don't care.
Prediction: Matt Morgan & Crimson retain
James Storm vs. Kurt Angle
I'm not sure on the current status of James Storm's injury, but if he is indeed cleared to wrestle this match it could very well steal the show. While Storm only held the title for a brief time, the whole angle has launched him into the main event as a credible fighter, and working with Kurt Angle is only going to build him up for the eventual showdown with Bobby Roode. Again, IF this match happens tonight, it'd be worth buying Final Resolution just to see.
Prediction: James Storm wins
Escape the Cage — Jeff Jarrett vs. Jeff Hardy
Recent reports suggest that Jeff Hardy is "exhausted" backstage, and we all know what that means… In his defense (I have no idea why…) there is still several hours from the time of my writing this in which Hardy could sober up. There's no reason why, if by the time this main event level match goes on Hardy is cleared to compete, it should not take place. Hardy gets a terrible rep and it's well-deserved, but worse drug-related things have happened in pro wrestling, and I don't think fans understand how common a thing this really is… I'm not so much condoning Hardy's actions or TNA's decision to let him perform, as I am really excited to see this match. Then again, if he can barely go in the ring…what's the point? It's sad, because this has been my favorite work in TNA, and I was really looking forward to this cage match between the two. I don't agree with the stipulation, just because we the fans aren't stupid enough to believe Hardy will really be "fired", but after today…who knows?
Prediction: Jeff Hardy wins? The fans lose?
30-Minute Ironman Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship — Bobby Roode vs. AJ Styles
I agree fully with Wrestlezone's Chris Cash, as he stated his frustrations with the Styles' injury angle going into this match. You already have an injured Storm, and at this point it's common knowledge. What motivation are you giving your fans to spend their money, just to watch two main event matches with two injured guys? It's terrible booking, and it's so far under both Roode and Styles by this point in their careers. There's enough bad blood to further the feud, and they're great wrestlers…let them do their thing for 30 minutes, minus an angle to de-legitimize Roode's inevitable win.
Prediction: Bobby Roode retains
Final Thoughts: TNA has a solid undercard with several well-booked feuds. That is something the WWE hasn't been able to say for a very long time… TNA also has an extremely well booked upper-card, with Hardy/Jarrett, Styles/Roode, and Storm/Angle all having the ability to sell this PPV. From head to toe, it's a solid card and I'm really excited to see how it plays out. Worst case scenarios is Hardy fails to perform and Storm is too injured to pull off a good match, but in the event that happens we still have a good main event title match to look forward to. Well done, TNA. Credit where credit is due…
What are your thoughts and predictions for TNA Final Resolution? Let the world know in the comments section below, and follow me on Twitter @MikeKillam.