Mt. Killamanjaro: TNA Final Resolution Review

Mike Killam

James Storm def. Kurt Angle
There's not a whole lot better in the pro wrestling industry than a straight-up wrestling match. No gimmicks, no championships on the line, no stipulations…just one bad heel, and one great face fighting for superiority. The one criticism I can give this match is that some of the more important segments felt rushed, while they should have been played out and sold to build anticipation for the end. The final Angle Slam was barely sold, and the kick-out was anything but inspired. You know Angle is going to miss the Moonsault, because he always does…a few tweaks could have taken this match from great to perfect. Other than that, a job well done by both competitors. Rating: A-

Jeff Hardy def. Jeff Jarrett
The original stipulation of Hardy getting fired if he somehow lost the match was annoying at best. The fans aren't stupid, and in reality have become somewhat jaded by the several"firings" in recent memory. Adding the stipulation that one of the Jarrett's would be "fired" if they managed to lose evened out the odds, and in my opinion managed to build more anticipation for the conclusion. 

I have loved how TNA has handled the return of Jeff Hardy. He's had his issues, paid for them, and whether or not you agree with his criminal sentencing…he's back. They didn't rush him into the title picture as many assumed they would, yet they managed to keep him relevant by putting him into an extremely believable feud with one of the best heels in the business. And now with a win he is the contender to the World Heavyweight Championship! Slow, purposeful booking that re-build a main event talent into a credible challenger to a very credible champion in Bobby Roode. 

Oh, and the cage match was good by the way. The Jarrett's make a fantastic heel couple, the presence of Sting at ringside made things seem more important, and the crowd was fully behind the "Charismatic Enigma". Not only that, but the end managed to sell this week's episode of Impact Wrestling, and that's something you don't see enough in today's product. Same issues here as in the last match, with certain spots that could have finished the match not being given enough time to sell. Rating: B+

Robert Roode and AJ Style Tied
Lots of complaining over both the Styles injury and the Tie finish, but the match itself managed to make me change my tune. Styles is a former champion and one of the all-time greats; Roode is a brand new champion, a dirty heel, and someone who is still trying to cement himself on top the company. The Vegas odds are obviously on Styles to win the match (if wrestling were real, of course), so it actually makes sense for Roode to give himself an equalizer. 

The finish was a little frustrating, with Roode running out of the ring to avoid being pinned in the final half-minute. But ask yourself this question: if you were a World Champion, and your options were to roll out of the ring and retain the belt (and your place as the best in the company), or roll back in and risk being defeated…what would you do? It was annoying, but believable… And the fact that they tied showed that Roode needed his equalizer, was able to retain the title, but that Styles was never actually beaten. In a lot of ways the booking was actually quite intelligent.

The last few years of WWE programming have turned me sour against the Ironman match, as it usually turns into the face (Cena) selling to the heel (Orton) for almost an hour, but powering through to a few falls in record speed. It's not fun or entertaining to watch…it's just stupid. Roode and Styles managed to put on a half hour of fantastic wrestling that not only showcased their in-ring ability, but their invididual characters at the same time. No outside interference or silly gimmicks were needed to sell the match, and Roode worked Styles' leg injury incredibly well during the match. Whenever PPV's end like this you're always going to have the haters and a generally split reaction. But I looked past it and realized at the end of the night…we got 30 minutes of real wrestling action. Rating: A-

FINAL THOUGHTS: TNA managed to deliver a great wrestling event. No real huge promo work was done, and some fueds felt like they were just killing time or transitioning into the new year…but the wrestling product was incredibly solid. An above average lower-to-mid card coupled with a main event card is the recipe for an entertaining and sellable PPV, and I think TNA nailed it right on the head with Final Resolution. 

The first half of the night wasn't incredible or anything to write home about, but it also wasn't terrible or anything to make you regret the buy. I enjoyed Crimson and Morgan's continued work as the Tag Champions, and the Knockout's match was solid. The main events shined and showcased some of the best talent to emerge in TNA in quite some time. Jeff Jarrett and Hardy work incredibly well together, and their match alone was enough to make me check out this event. If Hardy was somehow impaired by a drug or substance, I couldn't tell… Storm and Angle was a great contest, and I'll be interested to see if they continue it out or let them go their separate ways with Storm getting the clean victory. And once again Bobby Roode proved that he can carry the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, with Styles being an excellent contender. 

Good match card, even better wrestling product. Exactly what you want to aim for as a company… I will say a few things were missing – most obvious the absence of Samoa Joe, Bully Ray, Ken Anderson, Abyss, or really anyone involved in the Immortal/Bischoff storylines. It seems they've done so much work on that during the Impact Wrestling shows that it's almost empty to not include them on the PPV. But it ended up coming off as fresh, and I especially enjoyed Mexican America's absence from the event. Job well done by TNA and all the workers involved. For the third straight month they've managed to keep me interested in their product, produce great wrestling, and stick to clear, non-convoluted storylines. 

FINAL RATING: B+

What were your thoughts on TNA Final Resolution? Talk about it in the comments section below, or let me know directly on Twitter @MikeKillam.

 

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