The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My No Surrender Recap & Analysis
The Kingfish Arnie Katz repots everything that happened at TNA’s September pay per view and delves into the meaning behind it all!
No Surrender didn’t seem to have much significance when TNA announced the matches. The actual show was better than expected, capped by AJ Styles’ dramatic championship victory, bit it wasn’t an especially memorable card.
TNA’s creative direction is undergoing major changes. No Surrender offered a few hints, but it mostly tied up a few stories and established some likely match-ups for Bound for Glory.
Let’s look at No Surrender, match by match, and see what really happened in Orlando, FL, on 9/20.
The pre-show featured a rotation of clips that referred to all the matches on the card.
The Kingfish comments: If the pre-show is the calling card for the show, then this was like the ones the beggars on the subway hand out. Nothing says “second-rate” like a half-hour of recycled clips that are then run two or three additional times.
It wouldn’t cost much more to do a good show, perhaps pre-taped in a studio. What it does require, though, is thought and effort.
Taylor Wilde & Sarita d. The Beautiful People
Knockout Tag Team Championship
The Story: This is the final match of the tag team tournament to crown the division’s first tag team champions.
My Prediction: My assumption is that Madison Rayne will replace the absent Angelina Love. If that’s the case, a good way to book it would be to have the faces win the title in such a way that hostilities break out between Madison and Velvet. The new champions might then do a program against Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed or even Alissa Flash and Hamada, while Rayne and Sky battle it out in one-on-one competition.
Predicted Grade: B+
The Actual Match: Mike Tenay and Tazz went over the brackets to show how the two teams reached the finals. Madison Rayne entered with Velvet Sky as the announcers described the recent reconciliation.
Senior official Earl Hebner rushed to the ring and banished referee Slick Johnson, because of his tainted relationship with Madison Rayne.
The babyfaces started strong, but soon Madison Rayne had Sarita at her mercy. The Latina Bombshell turned the tide with a Float-over Bulldog.
Sarita nailed Madison with a Dropkick and Taylor Wilde supplied the Bridge Cover to give them the first Knockout Tag Team Championship.
Actual Grade: B-
The Kingfish comments: As expected, TNA plugged Madison Rayne into the spot left by Angelina Love. They didn’t mention lingering hard feelings between the two blondes, but that may be brought out on iMPACT,
Taylor Wilde and Sarita did not duplicate their keeping ass bump during their entrance, substituting a little back-to-back contact. Bring back the Flying Butt Bump!
Lauren joined the new champs for a backstage celebration. Taylor Wilde said she knew Sarita was the perfect partner as soon as they met.
The Kingfish comments: Given the rise to power of Russo and Ferrara and Taylor Wilde’s comment, the clock is now ticking for the break-up of this team. Let’s hope the bookers don’t actually do the split-and-feud plot; Taylor Wilde and Sarita both seem like natural babyfaces who might not be very good in the heel role..
Jeremy Borash interviewed the World Elite. Eric Young, dressed in a suit, reiterated that he would not fight his “brother” Hernandez.
Hernandez d. Eric Young
The Story: The World Elite, led by Eric Young, have tried to get Hernandez to join their group. Now, since reason has failed, Young hopes to beat Hernandez into accepting his version of the truth.
My Prediction: Hernandez is heading for bigger things and, hopefully, bigger matches than this. Eric dropped some pretty big hints that this won’t be an actual wrestling match, which means that the World Elite will be poised to interfere. The only problem is that TNA is now on a referee-is-the-law kick, so it’s going to look pretty suspicious if the official lets Kyoshi, Bashir and the rest hang around the ring. Therefore, assuming TNA goes this direction, the mass attack on Hernandez and the beatdown may come even before the start of the match! The match will either by a Hernandez victory by DQ or, a No Contest or a Double Count out.
Predicted Grade: B-
The Actual Match: Eric Young kept his promise and didn’t raise a hand against his opponent. Hernandez polished off the World Elite leader quickly and efficiently.
Actual Grade: F
The Kingfish comments: Wow, what a colossal nothing this was! Something like this is out of place on a pay per view (and only barely tolerable on free television).
Matt Morgan agreed with Jeremy Borash that the main event would be every man for himself. The Blueprint said it would be “unadulterated violence.”
Samoa Joe d. Daniels
X-Division Title Match
The Story: Samoa Joe, now a member of the Main Event Mafia, showed he had returned to something like his old self when he smashed his way to the X Division Championship. Daniels, one of the pioneers in this division, will try to take the title from him and put a dent in the MEM in the process.
My Prediction: This looks like a set-up for a really big match between these two at next, much more important pay per view. The delay will also give TNA a chance to decide whether Daniels’ recent troubles are an isolated incident or a warning sign. Samoa Joe will lose the match (by DQ), buy retain the strap.
Predicted Grade: B+
The Actual Match: Clips and bullet points preceded the match. Tazz observed that Daniels’ comments to Tazz on iMPACT may have stuck home with the burly Samoan.
The match proved to be a battle between Daniels’ athleticism and Samoa Joe’s brute power. Joe worked on The Fallen Angel’s vulnerable knee. That didn’t keep Daniels from trying his aerial tactics, but the knee problem may well have limited their effectiveness.
That may explain why, at a crucial point, Daniels couldn’t wrap it up with the BME and Joe failed with the Muscle Buster.
After several quick reversals, Samoa Joe clamped on the Katina Clutch for the tap out..>:
Actual Grade: B+
The Kingfish comments: Go figure; Daniels surrenders in a match on a card called No Surrender. I’m not sure how, but I suspect that Daniels and Samoa Joe will have at least one more match and that match will deliver the title to Daniels.
In his office, Mick Foley cried over a photo that someone had destroyed. He told Jeremy Borash that he would find the person responsible.
D’Angelo Dinero d. Suicide
The Actual Match: This was a last-minute addition to the card. Lauren told The Pope about the stipulation that falls count anywhere.
As Pope quaffed an energy drink, Suicide attacked him from behind. The fight quickly moved to the area just outside the arena.
The action never stopped as the two men ripped into each other, At one point, The Pope tried to run down Suicide with a motorized cart, but the Dark Savior pulled him out from behind the wheel.
Pope survived a lot of offense and having his ass exposed as the two men headed back inside the arena. They battled around the Spanish Announce Table and then the Street Preacher clouted him with the ring bell.
Suicide blitzed Pope with an out-of-ring Dive, Unfortunately for him, the Masked Man was so woozy that he apparently forgot he could’ve pinned his foe right then and there.
Suicide put Dinero on a table he had set up on the ramp. Then he climbed up on a ledge. He jumped, but Dinero rolled out of the way! Suicide plunged through the table and The Pope D’Angelo Dinero pinned him for the victory.
Actual Grade: A-
The Kingfish comments: What an addition to the card! The only problem is whether the feud can continue after Suicide has absorbed two straight losses.
One possibility is that Suicide could be lured into putting up his mask to get another crack at the hated Pope. Suicide should win that confrontation and then, perhaps, voluntarily unmask.
ODB d. Cody Deaner
TNA Knockout Championship
The Story: They were sweethearts, but that ended when Deaner captured “The Knocked-Up Championship.” ODB has vowed to restore the title to someone more fitting than a man.
My Prediction: If TNA thinks they have a Santino Morella here, they may be over-estimating Cody Deaner by a bit. I would like to think that TNA is ready to end the boring farce and get on with real women’s title contests. My prediction, therefore, is that ODB whips his butt. At the end of the match, she will throw him over her shoulder and carry him back to her locker room for Nameless Activities.
Predicted Grade: C
The Actual Match: When Deaner came off the top rope with a Double Sledge, ODB stepped out of arm’s way and seized Deaner by the family jewels and Bealed him across the ring!
ODB executed her Dirty Dozen and then leveled her former boyfriend with a Thesz Press. The self-proclaimed “King of the Knockouts” escaped the attempted pin.
Cody Deaner ran afoul of referee Andrew Thomas. After they argued, the official helped ODB a couple of times, but his interference didn’t directly lead to a win.
Deaner missed a Cross-Body Press from the top, but ODB scored with a Drop Down TKO. She made the cover and left as the Knockout Champion.
Actual Grade: C
The Kingfish comments: With this out of the way, maybe the Knockout Division can return to having real matches. This may be the way Awesome Kong recaptures the strap.
Kurt Angle told Jeremy Borash that if he thought he’d bitten off more than he could chew, he would never admit it.
While Kurt acknowledged Matt Morgan’s talent, he indicated that he had the edge in heart and brain power.
Kevin Nash d. Abyss
$50,000 Bounty Match + Legends Championship Match
The Story: Dr. Stevie continues to try to destroy Abyss. Kevin Nash, known as a mercenary, will try to claim the cash. A late announcement indicates that Nash’s Legends Championship will be on the line, too.
My Prediction: Mick Foley could well be the decisive factor in this match. The pointless quarrel with Abyss on the final iMPACT before the pay per view must mean something, even at TNA. The most likely thing would be for Foley to interfere in a way that costs Abyss the match, but which also prevents Nash from claiming the bounty. That would set up Mick Foley vs. Abyss for Bound for Glory. Nash keeps the belt and could defend it against Jarrett or someone else at the next big show.
Predicted Grade: B-
The Actual Match: Mick Foley came to the announce table to observe the match. He indicated he was not angry with Abyss.
After a back-and-forth match in which both men rolled out all their power moves, Abyss called for Foley to bring him the Barb Wire Bat. When Foley tried to comply, the referee got between them and prevented it.
Dr. Stevie set up a chair on the ramp, which distracted Abyss long enough for Big Sexxy to get in some lethal shots. Daffney tried to enter the ring with a Taser, but Abyss subjected her to a Black Hole Slam!
With all eyes on the bat, Kevin Nash revived and used the Taser on Abyss in a most vital spot. The pin was hardly more than a formality.
When Kevin Nash tried to collect the bounty, Dr. Stevie attempted to cheat him out of it. Nash hit a Powerbomb and walked out with the money.
Actual Grade: B-
The Kingfish comments: I guess this was TNA of choking off this storyline. If not, then why would they give Nash the bounty when he clearly did not eliminate Abyss, just beat him in a match.
Not that anyone will miss it much. Isn’t it about time for Abyss to work a program with someone other than Dr. Stevie? What they are doing now just seems so repetitive.
Scott Steiner delivered an enthusiastic tirade against anyone not from the US.
Beer Money & Team 3D d. Scott Steiner & Booker T & British InvasionLethal Lockdown Steel Cage Match
The Story: These teams, in various combinations, have battled for months. Veer Money and Team 3D have an alliance, as do the two heel duos, but all such bonds could be shattered if circumstances dictate.
My Prediction: Unless they suddenly put one or both tag titles on the line, the outcome doesn’t mean very much. In a cluster schmazz like this, any of the four teams could win a dozen different ways without making it seem like a crippling loss for the others. Why not a victory for Veer Money so that they can challenge for the TNA titles at the next pay view as Team 3D goes after the IWGP belts.
Predicted Grade: B+
The Actual Match: Doug Williams sneak-attacked James Storm as he came to the ring to start things off for the Beer Money/Team 3-D faction. The Tennessee Cowboy recovered quickly, split beer in Williams’ face and started to introduce him to various objects in the ringside area.
Although Williams recovered somewhat, his adversary hit Eye of the Storm and was punching Williams silly when Brutus Magnus entered the match. The heel partners worked together very smoothly and shook the whole ring with a Stereo Plant.
Robert Roode evened the sides and, since he was fresh, made live miserable for the Brits. Beer Money tried to incapacitate the British Invasion before Scott Steiner joined the match, but the fresh man again had an enormous advantage, He dished out Steiner Lines and Suplexes for all comers! The Genetic Jackhammer stunned Roode with a FrankenSteine, but pins weren’t allowed until all eight men had entered the ring.
Once both teams were complete, the cage-top lowered – with a semi-conscious Bother Ray still semi-conscious from an illegal attack by Rob Terry. That left all four heels free top do pretty much whatever they wanted against the other three babyfaces.
Just as Ray started to revive, Rob Terry attacked again! This time, though, Ray was more than ready and Terry ended up on the business end of a wicked chairshot. Devon’s Older Brother got into the cafe and wielded the chair to deadly effect.
Fighting spread to the top of the cage. Beer Money dealt a Stereo Suplex that paved the way for the eventual pin. Back inside the steel, Beer Money powered Magnus into the canvas with a combo move. Roode covered for the win.
Actual Grade: A-
The Kingfish comments: As is obvious from my grade, this match delivered plenty of excitement and a fair number of impressive highspots. It really lit up the arena crowd, too.
What it didn’t do, though, was have any meaning. No titles were at stake and a four-on-four match spreads the glory a bit thin for the winners. They didn’t even try to do anything about the two tag titles floating around this group of teams. If TNA wants to reverse the current ratings dip, they need to have matches that have strong story implications as well as hot in-ring action.
Rhino told Lauren that he would make Bobby Lashley feel the pain.
Bobby Lashley d. Rhino
The Story: This is Lashley’s TNA debit as a wrestler. Dixie Carter made this match against Rhino.
My Prediction: This could be one of those matches that adds to TNA’s reputation for bad booking. Lashley pretty much has to win, since anything less would spoil his debut. On the other hand, Rhino will have to take a lopsided loss right in the middle of his Jessie Neal storyline. Bobby Lashley will score the winning pin and it won’t take him too long to do it.
Predicted Grade: B-
The Actual Match: Although the issue was never in serious doubt, Rhino got on a couple of offensive runs that tested The Boss in his TNA debut.
Rhino thought he had Lashley ready for a Gore, but when he charged across the ring, The Boss laid him out with a tremendous haymaker punch! He got the three-count to start his TNA career off on the right foot.
Actual Grade: C+
The Kingfish comments: Bobby Lashley needs more ring work to shake off the rust. He wasn’t terrible and the match was booked to be more competitive than some feared, but he is not yet in WWE form.
A match like this is a waste of Rhino’s talents, but I’ve written about that recently so I won’t rehash it here.
Sting and AJ Styles did a pre-match interview. They stressed their professionalism. Sting expressed the hope that this match would be “the first day of the rest of our lives.
A.J. Styles vs. Sting vs. Matt Morgan vs. Kurt Angle
TNA World title match
The Story: Kurt Angle won’t have any friends inside the ropes when he risks his title against three powerful challengers. Any of them would have a legitimate shot at winning in a singles match; what will happen if they all combine on the former Olympian is anyone’s guess.
My Prediction: If Angle doesn’t keep the title, the most likely winner, in my opinion, is Matt Morgan. I think Kurt will retain against his three challengers – and will fight Morgan at the next pay per view. I must mention here a prediction sent by reader Nic Farey, who feels that Angle will retain only to have Hernandez cash in the briefcase and win the title.
Predicted Grade: A
The Actual Match: Hernandez cashed in his briefcase to make it a five-way.
Morgan and Amble cautiously cooperated at various points in the match. When he thought he had a crack at the strap, though, the Blueprint kicked Angle into next week!
It all came down to a dramatic moment. Sting stood over a beleaguered Kurt Angle. Everyone knew he could probably get a pin and take the title. The Icon looked at AJ Styles – and then did a Suicide Dive that flattened Morgan in the ringside area. Style covered Angle and got the pin, the win and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
The Kingfish comments: If TNA properly exploits the book of this match, they have a couple of dynamite matches for <Bound for Glory. Sting and AJ Styles can fight to erase the idea that The Icon could’ve won and just threw it to Styles and Angle and Morgan can continue their feud, one-on-one.
Predicted Grade for No Surrender: B-
Actual Grade for No Surrender: B-
That’s all for today! I’ll be back on Monday with my recap and analysis of No Surrender on Monday. Hope you’ll join me then – and, please, bring your friends.
— Arnie Katz