TNA One Night Only: Tag Team Tournament on Challenge Review
by Julian Radbourne
It’s time to step into the Impact Zone as we play the latest round of “wasn’t that guy let go a while back?” with a look at TNA’s latest One Night Only show, Tag Team Tournament, shown on Christmas Day on Challenge here in Britain.
The tournament began with two wildcard matches. Match #1 saw Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams taking on Jeremy and Max Buck of Generation Me.
Fast-paced action was the order of the day here. Mind you, that was only to be expected with four former X Division guys.
Once again Williams and Dutt looked pretty good as a unit, and even though they pulled off a couple of nice moves together the chemistry was clearly with the Bucks. Some of the stuff they did was great, and once again it made me wonder why in the hell did TNA let these guys go in the first place.
The best exchanges here came during the all hell breaking loose segment. We saw Williams taking Max down with the Canadian destroyer, but that left him open to a roundhouse kick from Jeremy, which earned the Bucks the winning pin.
Match #2 saw the Hot Shots, Cassidy Riley and Chase Stevens, taking on the Aces & Eights team of Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff.
This one wasn’t too bad. There were a couple of iffy moments from young Mr. Bischoff, but overall it was a pretty enjoyable contest.
The Hot Shots looked decent early on, but things on really got going when Brisco and Bischoff gave Riley the punching bag treatment. Some of these sequences were quite good, but it wasn’t long before the inevitable happened and Riley got the hot tag to Stevens.
Stevens proceeded to take it to his two opponents, with Riley joining him in the onslaught a couple of moments later. But when Riley tried a dive over the top rope he crashed and burned when Brisco moved out of the way, and when the long-haired one distracted the referee Bischoff clobbered Stevens south of the border, so when the referee turned round the first thing he saw was Bischoff rolling Stevens up for the pin.
Then it was on to the tournament proper. Quarter-final #1 saw the British Invasion team of Doug Williams and Rob Terry going up against Austin Aries and Bobby Roode.
This one was okay I suppose, although I’ve certainly seen better from the likes of Aries and Roode before. There was a ton of stalling at the start as the heels tried to play mind games, and again when Terry tagged in. The big man only did a couple of moves and looked very limited before Williams came back into the ring.
It was then that the match really started as Aries and Roode worked over Williams’ left arm and shoulder. They looked pretty good as a unit, but they couldn’t stop Williams from making it back into his corner to tag the big man.
Terry then came in a proceeded to clean house, but once again he looked extremely limited before he tagged Williams back into the match. The former Anarchist looked much better than his partner, but when he went to take Aries down with his chaos theory Roode stopped him. An Aries dropkick to the shoulder followed before Roode applied a crossface for the submission win.
Quarter-final #2 saw Bad Influence’s Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels facing Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez.
Now this was a lot better, and the best example of what tag team wrestling should be about so far. Both teams put in good stints as they gave us a very enjoyable encounter.
There were some nice comedy moments at the start after Daniels and Kazarian gave each other a pre-match hug. Guerrero tried to do the same with his partner, but ended up doing it with a rather reluctant referee.
When the action finally got underway it was very solid. Hernandez did his thing, and is certainly a lot better at doing that than Rob Terry is, while Daniels and Kazarian showed why they’re the top team in the company at the moment. They’re team work throughout was great, and it was a joy to watch as they tried to take Guerrero apart.
Eventually Chavito made it back to his corner, and after Hernandez put on another impressive display of power Guerrero came back in and took Daniels down with the three amigos suplexes. But just when he was about to come down with the frog splash Kazarian stopped him. This brought Hernandez back into the game, and after he took Daniels out with a sit-down powerbomb we finally saw that frog splash from Guerrero as the Tex-Mex team took the pin.
Quarter-final #3 saw Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff facing Magnus and Samoa Joe. Moving on…..
Quarter-final #4 saw Generation Me going up against Bully Ray and Devon of Team 3D.
This was another of those matches that fits into the not too bad category, although if I’m to be completely honest it didn’t exactly set my pulse racing.
The former Dudleys attacked the Bucks before the bell, going on to control the majority of the action as they used both brothers as their own personal punching bags. The brothers got in a few moments of offence, but it was rather fleeting.
Then Max got the hot tag to Jeremy to signal the start of the mass brawl, and once again the Bucks looked pretty good as Ray and Devon finally began to sell a few moves. This didn’t last for long though, and after Max was back dropped over the top rope Jeremy was taken out with the 3D for the winning pin.
Then it was on to the semi-finals. Semi-final #1 saw Austin Aries and Bobby Roode taking on Magnus and Samoa Joe. Moving on….
Semi-final #2 saw Team 3D facing Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez.
Well, this was a little better than Ray and Devon’s previous match, and thankfully a little more even.
Once again Hernandez and Guerrero looked good doing their thing against Devon before the Duds cut of big Super-Mex from his corner. They looked okay here, but as they went about their business it just seemed as if they lacked the fluidity they had in years gone by.
After splitting his head open and taking both of his opponents down with a slingshot shoulder block Hernandez eventually made it back to his corner to tag Guerrero. Chavito pulled off a few good moves, but when he went to the top rope Devon managed to move out of the way, and although Guerrero managed to roll his way to safety he quickly fell to the 3D, giving Ray and Devon the winning pin.
With all of that done it was on to the final, the all-heel battle pitting Team 3D against Austin Aries and Bobby Roode.
We had quite an interesting beginning with this one when both teams insisted on doing their own ring introductions. When the action finally got under way Ray and Devon once again attacked their opponents before the bell, signalling the start of the mass ringside brawl.
They eventually made it back to the ring as Aries and Roode took control, and considering their previous matches I was surprised when the Bully took on the role of the punching bag. In fact he was in there for quite a few moments as Aries and Roode doubled up to good effect.
It wasn’t long before the inevitable happened and Ray got the hot tag to Devon, who proceeded to clean house. Roode and Aries soon halted his momentum, but when Aries accidentally clobbered his partner with the brass knuckles 3D quickly took their chance and took Aries down with the 3D for the tournament winning pin.
In conclusion – I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about this show.
There are some really good matches on here, with some of the early tournament matches coming across extremely well. But as the tournament went on things started to fall a little flat, and I think it says a lot when there was almost zero crowd reaction during the final, and it said even more that they started to leave as soon as the match finished.
Then, yet again, there’s the commentary from Mike Tenay and Taz. Is it me or are these guys getting worse? Their work on this show was just so dire that I felt like quoting the great Fred Durst on numerous occasions.
As for my match of the night the no-prize goes to the opener between Generation Me and Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams. Now that was good. A shame.
So with all of that out of the way there’s just one more thing to do, and as I only really enjoyed less than half of the matches then this show gets the thumbs down. Let’s just hope the quality of these pay-per-views improves when they film the new ones next year.