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When I wrote my preview for tonight's pay-per-view, I made one thing very clear: TNA has all the potential to be the best thing in wrestling going into 2013, but their lack of progression in the past few months made me question if they could capitalize at Final Resolution. And now that the show is in the record books, Jeff Hardy is still the World Champion and Team Wes Bischoff - it's a working title - still sits safely on the side of the good guys...did they deliver?
Well, yes and no.
(1) James Storm def. Kazarian
Final Resolution kicked off with The Cowboy in the middle of the ring, talking about drinking beer and whippin' ass. What else? Kazarian interrupts, several shots at the Kaz/Daniels relationship are made, the Impact Zone gets to chant "where's your boyfriend", and everyone is happy. Kaz won't have a match because there's no referee, and a referee is supplied. After a decent scuffle and showing from both competitors, James Storm dodges the Fade to Black and ends the match with his patented Last Call superkick.
I enjoyed this match, and the Impact Zone absolutely enjoys their Cowboy. I always appreciate when a wrestling company fills a solid match card, but still finds time to slip in a bonus contest; it worked for WWE at Survivor Series, and it worked for TNA tonight as well. Kazarian has improved ten-fold on the mic, and his ring skills have gone from middle-of-the-road, to some of the best in TNA. I have to imagine it's because he's had the chance to work closely with Christopher Daniels all year long.
A good match, and an unexpected treat that I enjoyed, and the live crowd enjoyed.
(2) Rob Van Dam def. Kenny King to retain the TNA X-Division Championship
Is it weird that whenever a former ROH guy shakes hands with his opponent before the match, all I can think is "Code of Honor"? After a match full of counters, Van Dam wins it with a body scissors to retain the championship.
I really liked the story Van Dam told with Kenny King. They're both good athletes, but it came off like the challenger was way more of a threat than RVD expected him to be. There was a moment early on when they exchanged offensive flurries, and the champ had to retreat from the ring to collect himself. Small moments like this put over young guys way more than wins or losses.
Unfortunately, I don't think they've had the chance to really work with each other yet, and the match came off pretty slow compared to either guy's usual display. It's a good thing for Van Dam that his "going through the motions" looks a whole lot better than 90% of pro wrestlers in today's industry. Some good spots from Kenny and a great series of chain wrestling early on made me dig the match, but I can tell it wasn't everyone's favorite cup of tea. I hope King doesn't disappear for another three months, and I'd like to see this match again later on down the road.