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411 PPV Roundtable Preview – TNA No Surrender 2012

September 8, 2012 | Posted by Greg De Marco

Welcome to 411Mania’s TNA Pay-Per-View Roundtable! This month TNA presents No Surrender as TNA crowns a 2012 Bound For Glory Series winner! World Champion Austin Aries has issued an open challenge to The Big Guy from Aces & Eights! Plus X-Division Champion Zema Ion and Knockouts Champion Brooke Tessmacher and Tag Team Champions Christopher Daniels and Kazarian all defend their titles.

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Tha Crew!

We kick things off with the author of Shining a Spotlight, Michael Weyer!
Then you have the genius behind The Contentious Ten and Handicapping The News, Gavin Napier!
Don’t forget the man behind The Heel Report, James Wright!
And finally…your’s truly, Greg DeMarco!

The official “Please Buy The PPV” Video!

Quick…Look At The Card!

World Champion Austin Aries vs. “The Big Guy” from Aces & Eights
Bound For Glory Series Semifinal Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe
Bound For Glory Series Semifinal Match: James Storm vs. Bully Ray
Bound For Glory Series Final Match: Hardy-Joe winner vs. Storm-Ray winner
World Tag Team Championship: Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (champions) vs. AJ Styles & Kurt Angle
Knockouts Championship: Miss Tessmacher (champion) vs. Tara
X-Division Championship: Zema Ion (champion) vs. Sonjay Dutt
Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus

Staff Picks and Analysis!

Bound For Glory Series Semifinal
James Storm vs. Bully Ray

Greg DeMarco:For finishing first in the “regular season” of the Bound For Glory Series, James Storm earned the right to select his opponent. He picked Bully Ray, a big of a surprise to me. I’d have picked Jeff Hardy if I were him. Let Bully and Samoa Joe tear each other apart, then pick up the scraps in the finals.

Bully Ray has evolved into an experienced ring general, and I expect that he will carry this match through the final moment. Unfortunately for him, that moment will see Ray falling to a Last Call Superkick.

Winner: James Storm

Gavin Napier
The booking here is superb. Bully Ray and James Storm’s history goes all the way back to last year’s BFG series. Bully Ray has accused James Storm of being involved with Aces and Eights. Bully Ray has had issues with Austin Aries in the recent past, and now James Storm is one of the last obstacles between Bully Ray and his ultimate goal of becoming World Heavyweight Champion. Storm can always fall back to Roode and then challenge Bully Ray if he manages to win the World Heavyweight Championship. As I mentioned in my Handicapping the News column, I feel like Bully Ray has earned it. Personal thoughts aside, though, this match ultimately comes down to whether or not Bully Ray has renewed his contract with TNA or given a strong indication that he plans to do so. I didn’t have a good feeling about that part. However, word has broken that Bully Ray has re-upped with TNA for two years. I’m voting with my heart now, not my head.

Winner: Bully Ray

Michael Weyer: The setup has been great from last year’s BFG to the Aces & Eights stuff and both men know how to work a great brawl. We’ll get another one going all around and sure to be pretty brutal until the Cowboy manages a win to advance as we all knew was coming.

Winner: James Storm

James Wright: This is a tough one considering Storm’s previous build going into the series. Now however with Aries as champion, unless we see a major heel turn, which I don’t think would be good for business right now, I don’t see Storm facing Aries for the title. Then you have the contract disputes with TNA that the Bully is having, now if he has signed then it is likely that TNA wanted to appease him and might give him the shot at BFG, and if he hasn’t then he will no doubt lose this match and then disappear from TV completely, just like Devon has. All I know is that last week I started to get this feeling that Bully Ray is associated with Aces & 8s, others have said Samoa Joe, and Roode has been conspicuous in his absence. Still for some reason Bully vs. Aries has always stuck out in my mind, and Bully as the leader of Aces & 8s could make this a potential main event, and it would justify his sticking with the company. While the Bully vs. Aries might not look like a main event going in, in a month’s build you could have Bully saving Aries from Aces & 8s, claiming that he wants the champ healthy for their match, even having the two opponents team together on occasion, teasing a potential Bully face turn, and then in the match itself Bully and Aces & 8s take out Aries and the Bully becomes your new TNA champion, as the leader of the outsider heel faction, justifying their continued presence. So going with my gut here I am going to say Bully Ray.

Winner: The Bully

411Mania Staff Pick: Tie, 2 votes Storm, 2 votes Ray

Bound For Glory Series Semifinal
Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy

Greg DeMarco: With Hardy forcing Joe to submit on Impact Wrestling, this match will have extra push behind it. The Series (and the preceding world tag team title run with Magnus) has seemingly reenergized Joe, and TNA appears to be willing to push him again. Jeff Hardy is always in contention for a big push, as he still accounts for a large percentage of the company’s merchandise sales.

I have already selected James Storm as one finalist in the BFG Series, but given TNA’s booking, that doesn’t exactly make a win by either guy a necessity. But TNA has been very consistent in the Series this year, and Joe and Storm have lived at or near the top of the list. They were the final two in the opening gauntlet, and Storm called Joe out on Open Fight Night. This Series comes full circle at No Surrender.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Gavin Napier: Again, excellent booking by TNA. I was a little taken aback by the fact that Samoa Joe tapped out to Jeff Hardy on Impact. Joe just doesn’t do that. However, with the matchup of Storm and Bully Ray, it allows for a rematch between Joe and Hardy at the pay per view. There’s no real reason for Hardy to win this one other than name value. For Joe, there’s been some match history with James Storm through this series, and a Samoa Joe vs. Bully Ray matchup could be a lot of fun. Should Joe go on to win the whole BFG series and the championship, they used Impact to set up a potential feud with Magnus. Sensible, open ended booking that creates multiple viable options is something that we should all be able to enjoy.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Michael Weyer: After far too long ignored, Joe is finally given a good push in TNA again. He’s been booked great as the monster once more and the loss against Hardy on Impact just fuels him. Sure, Hardy has name value but TNA must know Joe can deliver the goods far better so seeing him win is just the icing on the cake to a great series and nice to see him back to his brutal roots.

Winner: Samoa Joe

James Wright: Another man who has been getting a lot of attention recently is Samoa Joe. Considering his neutrality and history with Aries I can easily see why many people think that Joe will be revealed as the leader of Aces & 8s and face Aries at Bound For Glory. Hell the program I just laid out for the Bully would work just as well with Joe as he has always been on the borderline between heel and face anyway, it just wouldn’t be as shocking a turn (a heel turning worse heel after a face tease is always more shocking because you can sneak it in under the radar). As for Hardy, despite his mass fan support (for some reason!) I can’t see him being let near the main event of TNA’s biggest PPV of the year; fool me once…

Winner: Samoa Joe

411Mania Staff Pick: Samoa Joe (4-0)

Bound For Glory Series Finals
Semifinal Winner vs. Semifinal Winner

Samoa Joe vs. James Storm

Greg DeMarco: Joe and Storm have both led the Series. In fact, this series has been about two major issues: James Storm’s elevation to the top of the company’s face pecking order and Samoa Joe’s return to relevance. Mission accomplished on both fronts.

Barring an injury to either man during their semifinal match, I expect this match to rock the Impact Zone. Joe and Storm have had great matches together in the past, and this one will be memorable. And even though Bobby Roode isn’t the TNA World Champion, I still see his former partner ending the match with his hand raised. Unless Roode decides to reappear during this match, that is.

Winner: James Storm

Michael Weyer: So here we go. If Roode was still champ, Storm would be the obvious choice but now, it’s changed. Yes, Storm has momentum, he has fan appeal and having him regain the belt a year later makes perfect sense. But Joe has also been pushed hard in the BFG and TNA has been surprising us all with their main event choices from Aries getting the title onward. Storm may be the more viable candidate with fans but TNA must know that if the whole “we’re really about wrestling” line is to stick, than Aries vs Joe at BFG is the logical choice. I’m hoping TNA does see the sense there and gives us a main event to make us all happy.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Samoa Joe vs. Bully Ray

Gavin Napier: It’s been a long road back, but Samoa Joe looks like a viable contender once again after months of irrelevancy. James Storm is back in the title picture after a heartbreaking loss to Robert Roode in his hometown of Nashville a few months back. The IWC was irate over Storm’s loss there, insistent that it was typical of TNA and the problems with their booking. It turned out that Storm had some nagging injuries and needed the time off. The result was an outstanding title reign for Roode and a huge title win for Austin Aries that helped create two stars for TNA. Now Storm should have the opportunity to get back to a title match. Should it come down to these two men, Joe and Storm, then the question becomes, “What makes for a better match at Bound For Glory?”

Well, what seems to be the most logical matchup? What’s the easier sell between James Storm vs. Austin Aries or Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries? It’s not even close. At the risk of turning him into TNA’s version of Lex Luger, the time still isn’t right for James Storm to win the big one just yet. His brief title reign last year makes him feel like a threat, but I’ll be stunned if we don’t see Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries headline Bound For Glory.

And just like that…none of that matters. Is Joe vs. Aries still the marquee matchup? Sure. Is it still the matchup that most people will want to see? Very likely. But if Bully Ray has legitimately renewed his contract and is with them for another two years, I fully expect to see him rewarded both for that and for being the best heel in the business over the last year. Plus, Joe has the Magnus thing.

Winner: Bully Ray

James Wright: This is a match I would definitely like to see and it is a match we have never really seen before. Two big, hard-hitting guys going head to head to see who headlines Bound For Glory, the winner more likely than not also being revealed as the leader of Aces & 8s, unless it’s all a bait and switch and Roode ends up being the leader (or god forbid; Jarrett). I’m still going to go with the Bully here as I think he would have announced it if he hadn’t signed a new contract and surely they would want to appease the guy who is arguably one of the top, if not the top heel in the company. Honestly either man winning is fine by me and could work, but once again, right or wrong, and without any substantial build to this situation, I’m going to have to go with my guy.

Winner: Bully Ray

411Mania Staff Pick Match: Tie, 2 votes Storm vs. Joe, 2 votes Ray vs. Joe
411Mania Staff Pick Winner: Bully Ray (2-1-1)

TNA World Champion Austin Aries vs. “The Big Guy” from Aces & Eights
Note: This match is now being reported as an open challenge by TNA.

Greg DeMarco: This reminds me of Hulk Hogan facing a man with no name at Starrcade. Except both of these men are in their prime. I would pencil in Luke Gallows as the man wrestling Austin Aries at No Surrender, making this the highest profile match of his career, by far. And I think he delivers on the big stage.

Austin Aries has been gold in TNA this year, but this entire Aces & Eights storyline tells me why Aries beat Bobby Roode at Destination X. Because Aces & Eights needs to steal the World Championship from a face champion, and not James Storm. And that’s exactly what happens after No Surrender. Aries (and/or Hulk Hogan) will eventually be goaded into putting the World Championship on the line, and it will be lost—either to a legit Aces & Eights member or to Bobby Roode impersonating an Aces & Eights member. That process starts here. (Leading to Storm vs. the champion at Bound For Glory).

Winner: The Big Guy from Aces & Eights

Gavin Napier: I understood this to be a fight, not a match. If it is a match, I can only assume that it won’t be for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. If it IS, it would be one hell of a twist to have them win it and then see someone like Bully Ray be TNA’s savior. Wishful thinking on my part, I know. Match or fight, I can see Austin Aries coming out on top, only to get jumped by the rest of the crew. At some point they’re going to have to reveal something about the group instead of letting them remain anonymous. I’m not sure that this Sunday is the place to do that, but the episode of Impact following the pay per view may be.

Winner:Austin Aries

Michael Weyer: Now, I was under the impression it was Aries challenging anyone from Aces & Eights. In which case, I have a terrifying vision of Roode coming out in disguise to regain the belt which would be the worst way to end Aries’ reign (should Storm beat Joe, odds of this increase). We know the result is Aces & Eights probably doing another beat-down of Aries in the end so this will be less a main event, more of a quick set-up for a brawl with the locker room. I’m hoping my Roode prediction is wrong as surely TNA can’t treat Aries like that after all the build and again, Aries vs Joe is the perfect way to cap off BFG.

Winner and STILL TNA World Champion: Austin Aries by DQ

James Wright: You know I’ve seen a lot of criticism of this match from those fans who seem to think that blind loyalty to a brand is a better way to enjoy wrestling than impartial critique (but I suppose the same could be said for those blindly supporting it as well), but personally I think it makes a lot of sense. You need your champion in the main event of the PPV (yes you do!), but you’ve had all your viable challengers compete in a series for the title, so having one get a shot (especially someone who didn’t even qualify for the final four!) before Bound For Glory makes no sense. Add to that the only other guy with the status to face Aries for the title being banned from getting another shot while Aries is champion and you are in a bit of a pickle. So while kind of booking themselves into a corner, instead of just going back on something like they usually would, TNA has actually pulled something out of the bag and set up a storyline that actually makes sense. (I haven’t actually seen this week’s Impact yet so I am guessing that ‘the Big Guy’ refers to the fat leader looking one and not the guy who stepped into the ring with Aries last week) Why would Aries wait until after Bound For Glory to settle things with Aces & 8s? Why not use this opportunity to take out the (apparent) leader of the group, make it look like the group has weakened and almost disbanded what with their leader taken out, leaving room for some non-Aces & 8s related build for BFG, with a few half-hearted attacks thrown in for good measure, and then have Bully/Joe win the title and be revealed as the true leader of Aces & 8s, kicking off the angle proper. It could work damn it!

Winner: Austin Aries (After clobbering the fat man)

411Mania Staff Pick: Austin Aries (3-1)

World Tag Team Championship
Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (champions) vs. AJ Styles & Kurt Angle

Greg DeMarco: The real issue in this match is AJ Styles and his issue with Daniels and Kazarian using Claire Lynch to blackmail him. Their plan was foiled, but it continues the issue with Daniels and Styles. While I was hoping for Styles vs. Kazarian on this event, the tag team match is definitely PPV worthy. It worked the first time, right?

Many called their Slammiversary match TNA’s strongest Match of the Year candidate. The Impact Wrestling broadcast rematch was great, but didn’t quite make it to the Slammiversary level. I suspect this match will exceed what we saw on free TV, but won’t make it to the level we say in June. I think we’ll see Daniels and Kazarian at their heel best, cheating to win, leading to a Bound For Glory match with some kind of stipulation. I vote Ultimate X.

Winners: Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (still World Tag Team Champions)

Gavin Napier: I was stunned to see Daniels and Kazarian retain their titles against Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez on Impact. A sidenote to that match: Chavo Guerrero is the fifth regular partner that Hernandez has had in TNA. The previous four – Machete, Homicide, Matt Morgan, and Anarquia – as well as Hernandez’s manager Konnan, are all out of the company. This may not bode well for Chavo. As for Daniels and Kazarian, they’ve been tag team champions for most of the last five months. They’ve gotten over as heels, they’ve made good use of appletinis, they survived the Claire Lynch debacle. There’s no good reason to take the titles off of them, because AJ and Kurt are perfectly viable singles competitors.

Winners:AJ Styles and Kurt Angle

Michael Weyer: After a rough start, I really am behind Daniels and Kaz as the champs. The guys are good in the ring and the mic and the lack of serious contenders just makes them have to try more to stand out, which works. While tempting to say AJ and Kurt regain the belts, especially after the last few months of storylines, I think TNA wants the titles kept on the heels for a bit longer and AJ is still ready for another big singles run. I believe we’ll see miscommunication costing the challengers, allowing the champs to retain a while longer.

Winners and STILL TNA World Tag Team Champions: Daniels and Kazarian

James Wright: Another thrown together championship match, but has to be what we’ve come to expect from TNA. Even before Hogan and Bischoff TNA always struck me as a company who did little real booking for their PPVs but yet still managed to put on great matches at the show itself. After a long slump the company is finally back to this structure and I fully have faith that even with no real build (unless you count the Claire Lynch story and the less said about that the better) this match will be great, but I just don’t see AJ and Angle being champions again.

Winners: Daniels & Kazarian

411Mania Staff Pick: Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (3-1)

X-Division Championship
Zema Ion (champion) vs. Sonjay Dutt

Greg DeMarco: Ion and Dutt have been having good matches on the house show circuit, but there is literally zero build to this match. The history is there, as Ion used a can of hairspray to snatch the X-Division Championship away from Dutt’s grasp at Destination X. but since then Ion vs. Kenny King has been the bigger issue.

I expect the match itself to be enjoyable and exciting. The Impact Zone crowds are typically good to the X-Division, but Dutt and Ion will need to work hard to engage the viewer’s interest.

Winner: Zema Ion (still X-Division Champion)

Gavin Napier: I wish this match had been given more attention in the weeks leading into the pay per view, but after all of the propping up that Austin Aries gave the X Division, they seem to be slacking on making it matter again. It could be a temporary lull while they focus on Aces and Eights, Joey Ryan, and the Bound For Glory Series, but this match deserves more attention. Zema Ion is growing on me as a heel champion, and it’s a bit odd to see Sonjay Dutt as an “elder statesman” of the X Division. I don’t expect to see a ton of psychology at work here, but that’s not what I want to see. I want to see these guys do fast paced flippy stuff, and I would imagine that’s what we’ll get. Should be a fun match, but ultimately this is just a bump in the road until Jesse Sorenson returns.

Winner: Zema Ion

Michael Weyer: The rise of Ion has been one of TNA’s best success stories as the man is taking off as a heel champ who can deliever fantastic matches. I see this as him continuing to prove dominance against another X Division veteran, Sonjay doing a good job coming close to finally winning the belt but in the end, Ion manages to sneak a pin and give the division some much needed life.

Winner and STILL X Division Champion: Zema Ion

James Wright: While seemingly coming out of nowhere I am looking forward to this match. While I will say that I miss the old TNA tradition of an X Division free-for-all being thrown together to start their PPVs I’ve always been a big fan of Sonjay Dutt and his in-ring work, and Ion isn’t actually that bad when he gets going either. I know TNA are just trying to tide over Ion until Sorenson’s return but I really do wish they would do more with the division, still this should be a fun match.

Winner: Zema Ion

411Mania Staff Pick: Zema Ion (4-0)

Knockouts Championship
Miss Tessmacher (champion) vs. Tara

Greg DeMarco: Student vs. Teacher: An Age Old Classic! Two weeks ago, Miss Tessmacher called Tara out as part of Impact Wrestling’s most recent Open Fight Night, and the resulting match was anything but classic. Tessmacher and Tara were a great team, and I was really expecting to see Tessmacher team with Brooke Hogan to face Madison Rayne & Gail Kim at Bound For Glory. Now I’m not so sure, thanks to Tessmacher’s struggles in the ring. I think those issues will lead to a new champion here. Hey, she held the title longer than Velvet Sky!

Winner: Tara (new Knockouts Champion)

Gavin Napier: I’m not sure if the Tessmacher experiment is over or not. Like most of the TNA audience, I’ll be expecting Awesome Kong to resurface as soon as the 90 day no-compete clause expires. If that’s going to be the case, then I’d personally leave the title on Brooke, and let her keep getting some seasoning in the ring. The Knockouts are down and in an rebuilding phase right now anyway, so they may as well keep building the one new face they have. Then Kong can crush her if and when she returns.

Winner: Brooke Tessmacher

Michael Weyer: I like Brooke, improving in the ring besides being a great looker. With the Knockouts in a rut lately (especially with Winter leaving), they need someone a bit dependable going on top. Tempting to say they do a Storm/Roode bit of Tara turning heel to get the belt but they just did a switch, way too soon for another so Brooke manages to retain here to set up a rematch down the road for a turn.

Winner and STILL Knockouts Champion: Brooke Tessmacher

James Wright: This is an interesting match-up as you have two faces going up against each other and Tessmacher being nowhere near established enough to have the support of the crowd over Tara. Still while Tessmacher is pretty much the equivalent of a WWE model/diva I was shocked when they had her lose clean on Impact to her mentor, better to let her get the win here and save face than have her lose again and undercut everything that they have done to this point.

Winner: Miss Tessmacher

411Mania Staff Pick: Miss Tessmacher (3-1)

Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus

Greg DeMarco: For a match that was set-up during Thursday’s Impact Wrestling, this match actually has me excited. Rob Van Dam isn’t the same performer that he was 15 years ago (a point made by Magnus himself), but he can still deliver a good match. And the best word to describe Magnus right now is motivated. He’s young and he’s proving he’s ready for a big push from the company.

I expect this match to exceed expectations and become a showcase for Magnus and his new character. “Now, this is just me talking…” but I expect a Magnus win.

Winner: Magnus

Gavin Napier: As shocking as it may seem to those that haven’t watched the product in a long time, TNA’s booking team has done an excellent job of balancing homegrown talent with “big name” stars. This is another example of that. Magnus has shown steady progression since being brought into the company, and feels ready to take the next step towards stardom. If only they had a secondary title he could compete for…oh well. Van Dam just took a couple of tough losses in a row on television. I think they’re high on Magnus, and I think his time will come, but there’s no way RVD drops three straight television/ppv matches…is there?

Winner: Rob Van Dam

Michael Weyer: Magnus has been booked pretty well so far and TNA seems intent on pushing him more. RVD is a good opponent for him and I think TNA really does want to give Magnus more crediblity so a win here is the way to do it.

Winner: Magnus

James Wright: I have to pull for the Brit on this one. I know that RVD is an established name but TNA is pretty high on Magnus, enough to make him champion of their Ring Ka King promotion over in India, if only for a short time. Going forward Magnus could be a major force on Impact and this could be the start, he just needs to win in a hard fought out contest, possibly where he catches RVD on the top rope and then picks up the three count.

Winner: Magnus

411Mania Staff Pick: Magnus (3-1)

Overall Impression

TNA has put together what looks to be a good card on paper. The main event has tons of potential—for both good and bad. Tara vs. Tessmacher looks to be the only match on the card that could disappoint, and here’s hoping that it won’t. Since so many people love to compare TNA to the WWE, how does this card compare to Night of Champions? I think this is the card, and it’s cheaper too!

Buy or No Buy: Buy

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