The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Final Resolution : Resolution Recap & Analysis!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz reports on what happened at Final Resolution – and what it all means!.
Final Resolution will go into the books as not living up to the promise implied by its name. Very little was settled, thanks to an over-abundance of screwjob endings.
It had good action, as do all TNA shows, but it seemed more like an extension of Turning Point.
Let’s look at what happened and examines the factors operating in each situation…
The pre-show videos emphasized the War for Respect and the two main event matches growing out of it. Other vids focused on the feud between ODB and Sharmell, Christy Hemme’s underdog challenge to Awesome Kong and the clash between Beer Money and the team of Matt Morgan and Abyss.
The voice over announcer called it “Hunger versus Greed.”
The Kingfish Comments: The focus was right where it needed to be, on the Respect War. If this angle doesn’t fly, TNA will suffer some lean times, indeed.
Final Resolution began with a video that drew parallels between The War for Respect and World War II. The video interwove ring action with sounds bites of Churchill and Roosevelt.
Announcers Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed viewers to a fam-pacled arena in Orlando, FL. They reviewed the card and then went right to the “Feast or Fired” match.
Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Homicide vs. Hernandez vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Lance Hoyt vs. Shark Boy vs. Curry Man vs. BG James vs. Cute Kip vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Jay Lethal vs. Consequences Creed vs. Petey Williams
Feast or Fired Match
The Story: They did it before, last year, and they intend to do it again. The ultimate in unfathomable gimmick matches returns for a second bewildering year. The idea is to grab suitcases. Three confer title shots and the fourth results in a pink slip. Sadly, the announcers will try to convince us there is some kind of strategy involved in this.
My Prediction: The identity of the fired person is probably as interesting, if not more so, than who gets the title shots. While it could be GB James, who seems to be coming to the end of the line, or Lance the nearly invisible Lance Rock, but I think TNA will fire Christopher Daniels for the second year in a row in his guise as Curry Man. Then, on the next iMPACT, or the one after that, Daniels will show up and ask for reinstatement after being off TNA for a year. Odds are that he’ll have to wrestle someone to get a slot.
The winners of the three championships are harder to pinpoint, because they can always “pay off” with an inconsequential match on iMPACT. A win for Cute Kip might lead to a reunion with BG James, but a more likely scenario is that Consequences Creed or Black Machismo will grab a suitcase that leads to a tag team title showdown against Beer Money.
The World Heavyweight Championship shot will go to Alex Shelley, so he can fight Styles in a match.
Homicide will get the chance to beat Bashir for the X Division strap.
Predicted Grade: B
The Actual Match: After an extended melee, Curry Man got some assistance from Shark Boy and almost got one of the cases.
After Hernandez took out most of the competitors by Border Tossing Jimmy Rave over the top rope at them as they stood in the ringside area. He grabbed the first suitcase (#4).
Mike Tenay reported that a concussion would keep Petey Williams from competing in this event.
Curry Man used a Headbutt to fight off Homicide and get a suitcase (#3).
Homicide successfully repelled Sonjay Dutt and got a suitcase (#1).
Alex Shelley knocked Jimmy Rave off the top. Then Chris Sabin guarded his partner’s back so that Shelley could grab the final case (#2).
They celebrated, which proved to be premature. They neglected to fulfill the victory conditions, because they didn’t carry the suitcase out of the ring. As the Machine Guns stood there, gloating, Black Machismo snatched the case and rolled out of the ring!
The Machine Guns complained loud and long. They belly-ached so much that Jeremy Borash verbally blasted them in the middle of the ring!
Actual Grade: A-
With great pomp and ceremony, they opened Jay Lethal’s case. It entitled him to a tag team title match.
The Kingfish Comments: A nice touch, in the match, was that several wrestlers hesitated when they had the chance to grab a suitcase.
They didn’t say, but I assume that Black Machismo will pick Consequences Creed as his partner for the title shot. They team regularly and are both members of the TNA Frontline.
Sharmell said she would be “ghetto as ghetto can be” when she and the Beautiful People meet ODB, Roxxi and Taylor Wilde in the ring.
Sharmell left the rest of the interview to her partners. Velvet Sky “We’re beauty
“We’re beautiful, we’re spoiled and we’re perfect,” Velvet Sky boasted. She also referred to the group as “The Bad Girls’ Club.”
They got a phone call, allegedly from Sara Palin, who again told them she would be at the next iMPACT. Cute Kip looked like he knew the score, though.
The Kingfish Comments: It was good to see this group doing some new, if somewhat derivative, material. Velvet Sky is showing some ability with the microphone.
ODB, Taylor Wilde & Roxxi d. The Beautiful People (Angelina Love & Velvet Sky) & Sharmell
The Story: ODV and Sharmell have become enemies ever since the Respect War erupted between the Main Event Mafia and TNA Frontline. ODB called out Booker T’s luscious wife and the multi-time champion responded by making a deal with the Beautiful People to be in Sharmell’s corner for her confrontation with the Trailer Park Princess. ODB is brave, not stupid, so she enlisted the support of Roxxi and Taylor Wilde in what is now a three-on-three battle.
My Prediction: This match has a couple of problems. One is that none of the participants is generating much heat at the moment and the other is that Sharmell is emphatically not a wrestler. I smell a tainted victory for Sharmell after interference by The Beautiful People takes out ODB. The heels then attack Taylor Wilde and Sharmell gets to make the actual cover.
Predicted Grade: C-
The Actual Match: The two established tag teams did most of the heavy work during the first portion of the match. Sharmell showed great reluctance to get into it until double-teaming had ODB on the canvas. Then Mrs. Booker did some punching and kicking.
Kip got into the ring to provide a distraction so that the Beautiful People could blindside ODB. The double-teaming continued and James also interfered again, this time from ringside.
When Sharmell saw that ODB’s attention was on a melee in the ringside area, she tried to sneak up on the Trailer Park Princess. ODB whirled around and would’ve destroyed Sharmell if Kip hadn’t intervened.
ODB chased Sharmell out of the ring and ran after her.
Angelina Love blasted Traylor Wilde with a Cross-Body Block from the top turnbuckle. Taylor alertly used leverage to reverse positions and get the winning cover!
Actual Grade: B-
The Kingfish Comments: Clearly, there’s a sequel coming between ODB and Sharmell. If Booker’s Queen could wrestle, it would probably be a cage match. As things stand, it might be some kind of inter=gender match that includes Booker T and AJ Styles.
Eric Young told Jeremy Borash that he was a different man now, one with a purpose.
The Machine Guns barged into the interview. Alex Shelley took the mic and threatened Borash. He twisted the announcer’s shirt as he whispered threats.
Eric Young d. Sheik Abdul Bashir
The Story: This rematch is intended to decide who is the rightful X Division title-holder. It looked like Eric took the strap at Turning Point, but TNA made him return it to Bashir due to irregularities in the match.
My Prediction: The match will take the expected “surprise swerve” when Shane Sewell replaces the original referee and, eventually, disqualifies Bashir. That will lead to a dust-up between the Sheik and the Wrestler-turned-Referee. Cornette or someone will then suspend Sewell as a referee but give him a chance to earn back his job with a victory against the Middle Eastern Nightmare. It’s not a great way to use Eric Young, but that’s pretty much what I expect.
Predicted Grade: B-
The Actual Match: Shane Sewell tried to do his referee job like a professional, but friction with Sheik Abdul Bashir rose steadily during the match.
Late in the match, Showtime tried to use a Sunset Flip to set up a pin, but Bashir held onto the ropes. Sewell got some revenge by knocking the Sheik’s hands away. That allowed Young to complete the move and score the match-winning pin.
After the match, Sewell and Bashir brawled.
Actual Grade: B
The Kingfish Comments: Later in the show, it was announced that Jim Cornette would make a ruling on this match at the next iMPACT. I wouldn’t be surprised if the title got held up again and Sewell got suspended or fired as a referee. Cornette will put Bashir and Sewell in a match in which the latter must beat the former to go back on the active referee roster,
After a recap video and an introduction by Mike Tenay, it was time for the knockout World Championship.
Awesome Kong (with Raisha Saeed and Rhaka Khan) d. Christy Hemme
TNA Knockout Championship Match
The Story<: Some strange alchemy has transformed Christy Hemme from the rock bimbo manager of The Rock n Rave Infection to a babyface challenger for Awesome Kong’s TNA Women’s Championship. The talking is done; now it’s time to test it in the ring.
My Prediction: This is symptomatic of TNA’s lack of depth in the Knockout Division at the present time. They really don’t have anyone to match against Awesome Kong, so the gorgeous, but half-trained, Hemme will subject that fabulous body to the knocks and dings of a match against the Colossus from the Far East.
This one ought to be a clean, middle-of-the-ring pin for Awesome Kong. Christy Hemme will soon be back managing and valeting, if not for the old team than a new one, so she can stand the loss.
Predicted Grade: C+
The Actual Match: Christy Hemme used some high risk moves to battle Awesome Kong, whose raw power made it very tough for the smaller woman to mount a continuous, effective offense.
It didn’t help that there were two hostile women at ringside who could, and did, fight with Hemme whenever the opportunity arose.
Christy stunned Kong with a DDT and then followed up with her FFH finisher, but the cover wasn’t enough for a pin.
When Khan and Saeed got into the ring, the referee could no longer stand the blatant cheating and disqualified the champion. The title stays with Kong.
Feeling somewhat humiliated, Awesome Kong went after Christy Hemme after the match. Hemme started to make a comeback after a vicious attack and it took an army of security guys to keep the two separated.
Actual Grade: B-
The Kingfish Comments: Christy Hemme looked a lot better in the ring than expected. The outcome of the match suggests that she and Kong will meet again. If Lockdown came next instead of Genesis, I’d be expecting a cage match. That could mean that this will be more than a two-PPV program.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Kurt Angle, who described the way he was feeling as “ecstasy.”
When asked about Mick Foley, the Special Guest Referee for his match, Kurt didn’t seem worried and indicated that he had the situation under control.
After a video and “Tag Lines,” it was time for the TNA Tag Team Championship contest.
Beer Money (with Jacqueline d. Abyss & Matt Morgan)
TNA Tag Team Championship
The Story: Matt Morgan and Abyss have forged a very potent team that has become a serious challenger to reigning champions Beer Money. James Storm and Robert Roode have met the duo with violence in the ring and mind games out of it. They got Abyss drunk on the 12/4 Impact and clobbered him with a bottle.
My Prediction: The terrible angle presented on the 12/4 iMPACT has drained some of the excitement from this match by making Abyss look like a feeble-minded mark. Normally, that would mean that Morgan and Abyss will conquer, but that really doesn’t sound like a very likely result. Beer Money will keep the title after Jacqueline mesmerizes Abyss at a crucial moment in the fight. Sadly, TNA may be doing yet another turgid “evils of drink” plot. If so, it could end up with Morgan and Abyss on a collision course as The Blueprint tries to rehab his buddy by thrashing him in the ring. I’ll never understand why the world’s psychiatrists haven’t embraced this method and taken to beating up their patients.
Predicted Grade: B
The Actual Match: They didn’t do anything with the drunk angle as Abyss came to the ring steady and sober.
Beer Money showed little interest in getting into the match. In fact, after some pre-bell fighting, Storm, Rood and Jacqueline w got out of the ring and walked toward the back. They’d almost reached the upper stage WHEN David Penzer announced that referee Rudy Charles was about to ring the bell. If Beer Money didn’t get back in the ring by the 10-count, Charles would disqualify the champions – and give their title to Abyss and Morgan!
That brought Beer Money back to the ring, but it didn’t keep them there long. Throughout the match, James Storm avoided getting into the ring with Abyss, sometimes to the visible annoyance of Robert Roode.
Jacqueline’s outside interference helped Robert Roode get the upper hand over Matt Morgan. The champs worked over the Blueprint with special attention to his knees. They isolated Morgan and the Tennessee Cowboy really punished the left leg with a Half Boston Crab.
Morgan finally evaded his tormenters long enough to tag in Abyss. The Masked Man had built up quite a bit of frustration by that time, watching his partner get creamed, so he roared into the ring and laid waste to Roode with Clotheslines and a ring-shaking Side Slam. He would’ve dealt the Wall Streeter some Shock Treatment, but Storm recovered enough courage to break up the maneuver.
Abyss elevated Storm with a Military Press Slam and then knocked him down a couple of times with Clotheslines. When Roode came off the top rope, Abyss stepped back to avoid the contact. He seized Roode by the throat and Chokeslammed him! Then he gave Storm Shock Treatment. The count for the pin stopped at “two.”
Storm got a bottle, but Abyss blocked his swipe and took it away from him. Jacqueline got between the men to distract Abyss. James Storm donned brass knuckles and destroyed Abyss with one heavy-handed punch!
Actual Grade: B
The Kingfish Comments: The announcers probably should’ve reminded fans that Abyss appears to be a little sweet on Jacqueline. That would have given the final sequence of the match a little more bite.
Abyss and Morgan are still credible challengers for the title, but they may weight a little while until Black Machismo and his partner make their run for the gold.
Mick Foley dismissed Lauren’s fears about the pressure of being the Special Guest Referee. He said that the weight was on the combatants, not him.
The Machine Guns joined the interview. Alex Shelley ridiculed Mick Foley and called him a dinosaur. “Kids like dinosaurs,” Mic suggested.
Shelley talked disrespectfully to Foley and ordered him to give the disputed suitcase to them. Mick didn’t seem awfully impressed.
When the Guns left, Foley told Lauren that the day of reckoning was coming for Alex Shelley.
The Motor City Machine Guns came to center ring. They got a couple of chairs and vowed not to leave the ring until they got that suitcase.
Jim Cornette told them to leave the ring so that the pay per view could continue. Their response was a hail of insults directed at the General Manager.
Cornette lost patience and said that he was going to send the security force to toss them out of the ring and the arena.
Before that could happen, though, the lights went out! Suicide, the masked wrestler from the TNA videogame, rushed the ring and put Shelley and Sabin to flight!
The Kingfish Comments: Finally, Suicide has made his debut. It probably should’ve been last month, but he is here now. It does seem strange, though, that his first target is a tag team. Since he appears to be a loner without a natural tag partner, it would figure that he’d go after a singles wrestler.
Lauren started to interview Rhino and then decided that the War Machine was so psyched up for his match that it would be better to just give him the mic and get out of his way.
Rhino expressed outrage at the way Kurt has menaces Jeff Jarrett’s three girls. He said he was fighting not for Jarrett but for the kids.
The Kingfish Comments: Rhino has done so well in his new role that it almost seems a shame that he is little more than a road bump on the way to Jarrett-Angle. TNA should immediately put him into a program where he can come out on the winning end of a couple of matches.
A long video explained the hostilities between Kurt Angle and Rhino. Mick Foley came to the ring, followed soon thereafter by the two combatants.
Kurt Angle d. Rhino
Special Enforcer: Mick Foley
Special stip: If Rhino wins, Angle is out of TNA. If Angle wins, he gets Jarrett at Genesis.
The Story: The special stipulation tells the story of this latest chapter in Kurt Angle’s campaign to compel Jeff Jarrett to meet him in a TNA ring. Rhino, who recently stepped into a leadership position in Frontline, has the chance to send the former Olympian packing if he can somehow pin or submit the bullet-headed badguy.
My Prediction: Nothing is ever certain until it happens – and, in wrestling, not always then. Still, it doesn’t seem possible that TNA would fire Angle or do anything to derail the Jarrett-Angle showdown. That means an Angle win in a way that, hopefully, doesn’t destroy Rhino as a leader of the opposing faction. Kurt’s mystery corner person might be the means to that end.
There is an alternative possibility that might be worth mentioning. Kurt could lose to Rhino and get fired. Then he could invade Jarrett’s home. Jeff would then want to get Kurt back in the ring. He would provisionally reinstate Angle for a match against the TNA Founder that Kurt would have to win to regain his spot. I don’t think they’ll do that, but it would be cool if they did.
Predicted Grade: B+
The Actual Match: When chain wrestling led to a stalemate, they took turns whipping each other into turnbuckles. Rhino dodged an Angle attack in the corner, but the former Olympian stayed one jump ahead of The War Machine and ejected him from the ring!
Angle punished Rhino in the ringside area. He threw him against the guard rail with great force and then shoved him back inside the ropes. The attempted pin fell one count short.
Kurt uncorked a Back Suplex. After the cover proved unsuccessful, Angle went back to the Side Headlock. Rhino powered to his feet and dealt his rival a Back Suplex, but Angle held onto that Side Headlock like a limpet!
Rhino rushed Angle, who calmly repelled him with an Overhead Release Suplex. He covered, but he couldn’t keep those massive shoulders on the canvas for the one-two-three.
Both men went down from simultaneous Clotheslines. When they got to their feet, they lit into each other with barrages of punches! Angle knocked down Rhino with a Lariat, but Rhino retaliated with a Spinebuster! It still wasn’t enough for a pinfall, though.
Kurt scored with a Suplex, but his effort to add an Olympic Slam failed! Rhino reversed it into a Belly-to-Belly Suplex! Rhino missed a Gore and Kurt turned it into the Anklelock. Rhino rolled and kicked free. Kurt was on him in a flash with a Suplex after Rhino’s attempted Powerbomb failed!
Kurt intercepted a Gore with an Angleslam! It was only worth a two count, though.
Angle sidestepped a Rhino charge and the big man plowed into referee Slick Johnson. Foley replaced him as the actual referee. Foley stopped Angle from using a chair.
Rhino followed Angle to the top and Superplexed him to the canvas. Angle got the shoulder off the mat in time.
Al Snow strolled out to the ring and, from ringside, slapped Mick Foley in the face.
While Snow occupied Foley, Kurt Angle obliterated Rhino with a chairshot . Foley turned around just in time to count the winning pinfall.
Kurt Angle will fight Jeff Jarrett at Genesis!
Actual Grade: B
The Kingfish Comments: And it’s another tainted victory for Kurt Angle. Not withstanding everything I said in support of Rhino, this should’ve been a clean pin in the ring or, even better, submission to the Anklelock.
It could be argued that the whole idea is wrong-headed. It was such a far-gone conclusion that Angle and Jarrett will meet in the ring at Genesis that the only plot with sizzle would’ve had Angle lose, get fired, do a home invasion and get re-instated. At least that would’ve given it a little suspense.
Kurt Angle told Mick Foley that after he destroys Jeff Jarrett,, he’s coming for him.
The Kingfish Comments: I’m skeptical about this. Mick has shown a considerable aversion to resuming his wrestling career. Perhaps he has decided to finally have an official “last match.” Kurt angle would be a classy send-off.
Lauren talked to the Main Event Mafia and Jeremy Borash talked to the TNA Frontline. Borash stirred the pot by asking if Samoa Joe and AJ Styles could trust Team 3D. An enraged AJ Styles said they were like family.
When Samoa Joe and AJ Styles left, Brother Ray echoed Styles’ words, “like brothers, like family” and chuckled. Brother Devon acted like they had a private joke.
The Kingfish: This vignette “crossed the line,” but not in a good way. It’s one thing to tease or concoct a swerve. It’s another to simply give viewers false information, as this scene did when Team 3D acted conspiratorial and laughed at the idea that Frontline was their family. I still think Team 3D will turn on Frontline, but within the context of this show, the scene needed to end sooner.
Jeremy Borash did the ring announcing for the main event. He introduced the combatants with great gusto and did his usual fine job.
Fans booed the entire Main Event Mafia, even Sting.
Sting, Booker T, Kevin Nash & Scott Steiner d. Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles & Team 3D
The Story: This is a huge showdown between the Main Event Mafia and the TNA Frontline with control of the World Heavyweight Championship at stake.
My Prediction: What makes sense is to take the title off Sting in this match, which will be considered as a negligible loss and give the White-Faced Warrior a chance to go for the title against Styles at Genesis.
Another possibility, though maybe not for this match is that Sting will turn and join the Frontline. They spent a lot of time on the last iMPACT showing Sting in a pensive mood that suggests he is re-thinking some of his recent actions. What if Team 3D switched to the MEM during the match – and then Sting switched to the Frontline and pinned Devon in a move that cost him his own title? That could be pretty exciting stuff.
Predicted Grade: B+
The Actual Match: Styles and Booker T started with seesaw action. Neither could get an edge until Booker doubled over AJ with a knee to the midsection. The Phenomenal One acrobatically somersaulted out of two attempted Back Body Drop and then Clotheslined Booker to the canvas!
Brother Ray took over on Booker, but that didn’t last long. Scott Steiner took the tag and leveled Ray with a Sideslam. Big Poppa Pump continued his attack and again smashed Brother Ray to the mat with a Clothesline. Bubba came back with a Flip, Flop * Fly that led to a Chokeslam, but not to a pin. Brother Ray got some help from Samoa Joe as the pair subjected Steiner to a Stereo Clothesline.
Sting got into action against Samoa Joe, but he may have wished he hadn’t. Joe staggered him with chops, kicked him in the head and took him to the mat. Sting raked Joe’s eyes and peppered him with knees and punches before Bodyslamming the big Samoan.
Nash came into the ring when Samoa Joe looked weak. He got a surprise, when Joe took the fight to him and dished out some agony in the corner.
Brother Devon started strong when he got the tag, but Sting’s interference set him up for a Big Boot from Nash! Big Sexxy added a Side Slam, but Devon got that big shoulder off the mat. They isolated Devon and he looked pretty dazed after the four MEM guys got through with him.
Samoa Joe assaulted Nash with Clotheslines. He hit a Suplex, but he couldn’t get the pin.. After that, things turned a little sour for the Samoan Submission Machine, because the MEM took him into their part of the ring and kept him there for a long, long time.
Brother Ray broke up a pin, but Steiner quickly put Samoa Joe into a Rear Naked Choke. Joe elbowed out, but Big Poppa Pump rocked him with a DDT! Sting Suplexed Joe and Booker T added still more punishment. Joe revived a little with a barrage of chops, but Booker T’s Reverse Spin Kick caught him right under the chin. Steiner positioned Joe on the turnbuckle and shook the ring with the force of his Release Suplex. Joe got his foot under the bottom rope to stop the referee’s count.
Quadruple Teaming had Samoa Joe practically out on his feet. He took a horrifying amount of abuse from the Main Event Mafia. Finally, he caught Sting on a reckless corner charge and Bodyslammed him. AJ Styles got the hot tag and cleaned house. The Phenomenal One gave each member of the MEM a Stinger Splash and then mimicked Sting’s hands-cupped-at-the-mouth scream. Styles landed a Back Suplex, but he couldn’t follow through with a pin on Sting.
Team 3D pulled off their signature double team move, but Scott Steiner flattened them both with a Wingspread Clothesline! Nash Chokeslammed Brother Ray, but Styles came off the top turnbuckle and crashed him to the canvas. Sting gave AJ a Scorpion Deathlock, but Samoa Joe blasted Stinger with a Reverse Roundkick!
Sting gave Joe a low blow and a Scorpion Death Drop. He covered for the pin and the win to retain his YNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Actual Grade: B+
The Main Event Mafia celebrated in the ring. But Sting walked up the ramp alone. He looked troubled.
The Kingfish Comments: I will be shocked if Sting doesn’t switch sides, possibly at Genesis. We could very well see my prediction for this match come true, in some fashion, but a month later than forecast.
Predicted Grade for Final Resolution: B
Actual Grade for Final Resolution: B
That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. Hope you’ll come back and join me. And, please, bring your friends..
— Arnie Katz