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Rated R Reviews: TNA: No Surrender 2006 – 9/24/06

November 26, 2011 | Posted by Mike Campbell
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Rated R Reviews: TNA: No Surrender 2006 – 9/24/06  

NO SURRENDER
September 24, 2006

Jay Lethal . . . finds a way to work solid storytelling into a stupid angle.
Raven . . . uses his head (both literally and figuratively) to make a hardcore three-way match a lot of fun.
Christopher Daniels . . . uses his head (only figuratively) to steal the show and regain the NWA Tag Titles.

ERIC YOUNG vs. A-1
This was amusing when they were taking turns eliciting crowd reactions. Once they started wrestling, this stopped being fun. Then again, this seems like it’s supposed to be little more than an exercise at how much more over Young is than his former Team Canada teammate anyway. The only notable things here are both men’s attempts at standard Ric Flair spots, Young with the corner flip and A-1 with an ugly attempt at the corner pin with feet on ropes, and the finish with Young countering the tombstone into a wheelbarrow neckbreaker. It’d be easy to lay the blame for this on A-1, lord knows he’d never been interesting at any point during his TNA run, but, for as over as he is, Young wasn’t all that much better.

PETEY WILLIAMS vs. JAY LETHAL
At first, this looked like it was going to be a fun little juniors match, but then Petey started having “stomach cramps” and Sonjay started showing off the laxative, and it was all downhill. Lethal and Petey do deserve a little bit of credit, Petey was really good at showing how much of an effect it was having on him, and Lethal was smart to start purposely going after Petey’s midsection. It’s too bad that the premise was so damned stupid. It’s fine that Lethal goes over here, Petey had already beaten him on television as well as dishing the final blow the month before, so going over shows that Lethal is making progress, but it’d have been nice to have Lethal go over in a way that puts him over.

RAVEN vs. ABYSS vs. BROTHER RUNT
Thanks to Raven, there was always some sort of action going on, but aside from the sudden (in a good way) finish, and the couple of table spots, this wasn’t anything that hadn’t been seen before. There’s lots of brawling and prop shots, and not much else. Raven adds a lot of color to the match whether it’s by selling in a manner that Spike and Abyss don’t, such as when Spike is throwing his headbutts to the ribs. Raven is also comedic, but still smart, like when he puts on the helmet and starts doing headbutts of his own.

The two table spots are clearly the centerpieces of the match, even if the first one gets messed up (Spike was supposed to do his diving stomp through the table, but he barely grazed it on his way down). The second one comes off without any problems, although it was a bit predictable. Raven has Spike on a platform and after a quick tease of Spike doing the Acid Drop Spike takes the plunge. Raven should have had the match won, but despite the relaxed rules, it’s not falls count anywhere, so Raven has to drag Spike into the ring, and then Mitchell interferes to keep Abyss in the game. Raven tries a bulldog but runs into the Black Hole Slam and Abyss wins. If you’re a fan of this style then this is right down your alley, otherwise (aside from Raven’s antics) this isn’t anything that hasn’t been seen before.

TRIPLE CHANCE TAG TEAM BATTLE ROYAL
This starts as a tag team battle royal, and the final two are joined by their partners for a regular tag team match. The battle royal portion itself has a few cool eliminations, but there’s not much else that’s notable. The big one is Chase Stevens getting launched into the crowd, where he seems to hurt his ankle on the landing. There’s another good one when Lance Hoyt kills Elix Skipper with a big boot. BG James and Ron Killings seem like they’re going to briefly relive their days in 3LK, but then quickly start fighting and both get dispatched. They get a bit too cute with the booking, with Kip James eliminating Chris Harris, to leave the match down to the Naturals vs. James Gang, but the ref missed the elimination and Harris runs in and tosses James, to make it AMW vs. Naturals.

The tag match itself is AMW working over Douglas, while the camera cuts to Stevens trying to make it to the ring. AMW prepares to finish off Douglas with the Death Sentence, but the James Gang interferes in protest of their wrongful elimination, in the ensuing chaos Stevens makes it into the ring and rolls up Storm to give them the win. It’s always nice to see the babyfaces overcome the odds to win, but it’d have come off better if it wasn’t so flukey in nature. AMW has the credibility, and benefit of being heels, to pull of a win like that and still look like legit threats to LAX or the Phenomenal Angles. The Naturals have neither.

SENSHI © vs. CHRIS SABIN (X-Division Title)
This was actually sort of watchable. It doesn’t look like a typical X-Division match, but it is at the core. Replace the flying and high impact spots with Sabin and Ki stiffing each other with chops and kicks, and that’s pretty much what this is. Ki also shows a knack for coming up with good counters and escapes, to demonstrate that he’s clearly ahead in the match. The only thing that really gets exposed is Ki’s powerbomb counter, because he waited too long to do it, which left Sabin holding Ki up while he waited for Ki to escape. But Ki makes up for that with an awesome spot where he sees Sabin charging to dive and hits a big roundhouse to stop him. Ki timed it perfectly. It couldn’t have possibly come off any better.

The booking of the finish is beyond stupid, but Ki saves it from being totally worthless. Lethal throws an inflatable doll into the ring that’s ostensibly supposed to look like Sabin and fool Ki, of course the doll doesn’t even the same color tights as Sabin. But Ki doing a John Woo to Sabin while he’s holding the doll is actually pretty funny.

CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. RHINO
Considering that the match was supposed to be based on a ten-year-long friendship going down the commode, this is woefully lacking in the hate department, Rhino and Christian should be trying to rip each other’s head off. The brawl on the floor was fine, in theory, but Raven, Runt, and Abyss pulled it off a lot better. Rhino getting busted open helped, but it was far from a gusher, and all Christian added to the mix was punching at the cut. The home stretch has a few nice counters and escapes from them both, which is good for showing that they’re familiar with each other, but the booking doesn’t add to it. The ref goes down (in a hugely telegraphed manner) and Rhino proves that one of the side effects of being a sympathetic babyface is a loss of IQ, he tries to revive the ref and THEN goes for the chairs. The ref puts the kibosh on that and Christian takes advantage when the ref’s back is turned to hit the Unprettier on another chair to win. Any heel and any babyface could work the exact same finish and it’d have just as much meaning, aside from Rhino wanting revenge by doing a con-chair-to. That really sums up this match in a nutshell. Christian has a few nice dickish things to show off, the implant DDT on the floor being the best, but by and large this doesn’t look like some big grudge match between former friends turned bitter enemies, it mostly looks like any other match involving a jerk heel and sympathetic babyface.

HOMICIDE/HERNANDEZ © vs. AJ STYLES/CHRISTOPHER DANIELS (NWA World Tag Team Titles – Ultimate X Match)
As far as matches of this sort go, this is easily the best one I’ve seen up to this point. What sets it apart from the others is that the wrestlers find ways to be smart and logical, while still giving the fans the big spots that they want to see. One thing that really stands out to me is the way Homicide’s injured shoulder is used to further the match. ‘Cide provides some great selling when Styles and Daniels start targeting it, and it makes all the sense in the world for Hernandez to go up and try to retrieve the title belt, and it’s only when he’s quickly dispatched that ‘Cide needs to give it a try. ‘Cide’s attempt to win also leads to one of the bigger spots that winds up being very well done, even if it was telegraphed a bit, when Styles goes up after him and winds up getting Ace crushed all the way down, but that also winds up hurting Homicide.

Other than the shoulder injury, there are other smart moments to the match. A particularly good one is when it seems to be time for the obligatory dive sequence, first Homicide and then Styles, but before Hernandez follows suit Daniels intercepts him and puts on the Koji clutch to try to wear him down, and get the challengers in a better position to regain the titles. The table spot also winds up being a smart element, Konnan sets it up and Hernandez prepares to launch Daniels, but Styles makes the save (Homicide was on the floor getting his bearings together) and the challengers start putting Hernandez through the ringer (frog splash, BME, Spiral Tap) to keep him down long enough for one of them to win. Homicide tries to help out, but winds up on the apron with AJ and he winds up being the one to eat the table, and it keeps him out for the rest of the match.

Finally there’s the booking involved in the finish, which is another case of using over brawn. Daniels is smart know that a two-on-situation isn’t ideal, even if it means that he might get a few shots on Konnan (who’d attacked him and Styles previously), so Daniels opts to just climb the scaffolding, take a leap of faith, and find himself in the middle of the wires where he can pull down the belt and win the match for his team. No, it probably wasn’t as satisfying as wearing out Konnan with the kendo stick, but it probably bruised Konnan’s ego quite a bit that Daniels outsmarted them. ***1/2

JEFF JARRETT vs. SAMOA JOE (Fans Revenge Match)
TNA and Jarrett in general are obviously very trusting souls. They gave eighteen fans leather straps and the chance to whip the top heel of the fed, and presented a potential opportunity to try something else. Luckily for everyone involved nobody got any bright ideas. For the second month in a row, Joe is stuck working a match that is far below his ability. Most of the first half is bullshit posturing and teases of Jarrett going out to the floor, but avoiding it. Jarrett steals a strap and unloads on Joe a bit, Joe makes the comeback and strips off all of Jarrett’s layers and lets the fans go to town. The ref goes down, and Jarrett gives Joe the Stroke on the guitar for a near fall. Jarrett tries for too much with a Stroke of the top rope, but Joe escapes and gives Jarrett the Muscle Buster for the win. It’s fun to see Joe over Jarrett, cleanly no less, it’s just too bad that Joe has to dumb himself down so much to work main events.

The 411: The big reason to see this out is the tag titles match, and I believe it’s available on one of TNA’s best of DVDs. There’s some fun stuff here, like the three-way and Joe beating Jarrett, but the tag titles match is the only thing that saves this from being a wash.
 
Final Score:  6.0   [ Average ]  legend

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