TNA's last Pay-Per-View of the year kicks off with a fantastic promo covering Bobby Roode's heel turn and involving TNA management and Roode's family members. I've always been incredibly impressed by the production teams of both TNA and WWE, as these type of promos really sell the event and put over their top talents well. I can definitely accept Bobby Roode as a World Heavyweight champion, and the top heel of the company.
Rob Van Dam def. Rob Van Dam I didn't hate this match, and to be honest it's nice to see a wrestling contest with back and forth action. Too often the face ends up selling the majority of the match to build heel heat to the finish. My biggest issue was that Christopher Daniels suffered another loss at the hands of Rob Van Dam. Upon his return to TNA the "Fallen Angel" cemented himself as a mid-to-top guy, and with his heel turn he became one of the best "bag guys" in the business. Then he lost…several times. It's unbelievable to me that RVD could beat Daniels in a straight-up wrestling match, and I don't think the win is ultimately going to do anything for Van Dam. Rating: C+
Robbie E def. Eric Young (to retain) Yes, the fans care so little about Robbie E, there was indeed a "We Want Ryder" chant during the opening minutes of this title match. I have no personal issues with the Jersey Shore knockoff, and "Big Robbie T" fits the champ nicely. In theory, it's a sound gimmick for both men… Unfortunately the crowd could care less, and it has made the already lackluster TV title even more pointless. At least with Eric Young holding the belt there was some sort of crowd reaction. Like him or not, the guy is wacky and connects with the crowd; he's a solid in-ring worker to boot! Some decent back-and-forth, but as I already said the match suffered from a huge amount of apathy. Rating: C-
Crimson & Matt Morgan def. The Pope & Devon (to retain) On paper, having your new champions retain while continuing dissonance between the unlikely challengers seems like a solid idea. In reality, I still have no interest in the conflict between Pope and Devon's family. It's been used too sparingly this year, and seems to come and go whenever they need a filler fued… The match itself was good, and I'm glad TNA seems to be taking Morgan and Crimson seriously as champions. I had a lot to say against their pairing at first, but I will say they are doing what they can to restore a crumbling division that has fallen due to injury and faction splits. I have to admit I've underestimated Crimson's talent, as he worked well (and surprisingly fast) with the Pope in the ring. It's refreshing to see actual tag team action, even if the workers in the ring aren't (with the exception of Devon) accustomed to the tag team style. Rating: B
Austin Aires def. Kid Kash (to retain) I've already stressed my dislike for Kash's promo work and the lack of true charisma in either competitor, so all that aside…great match for the X-Division championship. Again, great back-and-forth with neither man gaining too much advantage that the match became stale. The top rope powerbomb counter by Aires that everyone has been putting over was cool, but it was the counters and simplicity that I enjoyed. With two heels in a title fight you don't have to focus on hyping the crowd or getting one guy over…you simply let two great wrestlers go out there and do what they're paid to do. Rating: A-
Gail Kim def. Mickie James (to retain) I love when talented women get to actually wrestle a match, rather than tote the line between athlete and model. James has never been my favorite, but she's at the very least solid in every way. Gail Kim is one of the greatest to ever step into a TNA ring, and she carried the match to decency. My only real disappointment was the cheap ending we've seen one hundred times already… Rating: B-