Universal Studios – Orlando, FL – Friday, May 20, 2016
Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash are on commentary.
Andrew Everett (w/ Shane Helms & Trevor Lee) defeats DJ Z (w/ Eddie Edwards) at 9:31. DJ Z is the aggressor early on, as Everett tries to stall and avoid the former X-Division Champion. Despite his incredible agility, Everett slows Z down and tries to keep him on the mat. The various cornermen end up getting involved, as the referee has trouble containing all of them. Finally, Edwards takes Lee out with a suicide dive, but it doesn’t matter when Everett traps Z in an inside cradle to get the pin. This was going along good enough for an opener, but they felt the need to overbook it for some reason. Just let ‘em go, man.
Velvet Sky defeats Marti Bell at 7:02. Bell is dominant to start, abusing the less talented Sky both in and out of the ring. Watching Sky work, I’m amazed she’s been working for as long as she has and still is at the level she’s at (which is not so good). Bell gets into an argument with senior referee Earl Hebner so he Trumps her by forcing a kiss. Sky hits a (sort of) Stunner to get the pin. Eek, this was bad.
Chris Melendez defeats Beauregard at 5:05. I have no idea who Beauregard is, but apparently he’s some kind of southern gentleman that looks like Bruiser Brody. Beauregard badmouths Melendez to make sure the crowd knows he’s a heel, and the battle is on. This follows the TV match formula. Beauregard tries to use Melendez’s prosthetic leg as a weapon, and the referee takes it away from him. The distracting allows Melendez to hit a missile dropkick and get the pin. Not terrible, but not a whole lot going on either.
~MATCH #4: Victory Road, 7.19.09~
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle defeats Mick Foley at 14:05 to retain the title. Angle has been the Champion since 6.21.09, and this is his second defense. They start slowly with some mat and chain wrestling, and Foley actually keeps up with the Olympic Gold Medalist, who takes an early powder. Back in the ring Foley stays in control, hitting a series of punches. They take the fight to the floor and Foley continues his surprising dominance. Back around the ring Foley continues working over Angle’s previously broken neck. Angle comes back by raking the eyes, and now Angle is in control. Foley comes back with a catapult, sending Angle to the floor. The challenger follows the champion out to the floor and goes for a piledriver, but he gets back dropped right onto the ring steps instead. Angle then slams Foley’s head into the ring steps multiple times. He rolls Foley back in the ring and goes to work on the leg. Angle controls the action for a while, and a series of reversals leads to Angle putting on the Ankle Lock in the center of the ring. Foley rolls out of the Ankle Lock, but Angle knocks him right back down with a clothesline for two. Angle goes up and misses a moonsault. Foley takes advantage with a Double-Arm DDT for a two-count, and then he puts on Mr. Socko. Angle avoids it and shoves Foley into the referee. The champion hits a low blow and the Angle Slam, but it only gets two. That barely got a pop from the crowd, and it’s Angle’s finish. A frustrated Angle drops an elbow on the referee, and then brings a chair in the ring. Foley avoids getting hit by locking Angle in the Mandible Claw, and he throws Angle to the floor. He hits the elbow off the apron. Back in the ring Foley gets a cover and Angle kicks out. Foley locks on the Mandible Claw with a body scissors. Angle punches his way out of the hold and locks on the Ankle Lock. Foley reaches the ropes but Angle pulls Foley back out and locks on the Ankle Lock once again. This time Foley can’t escape and he has to tap out. Foley just has no business being in main event matches at this point, and that makes me sad. The match was solid enough in some spots, but the crowd hardly seemed invested at all, and after all the other Main Event Mafia members won their matches it was severely anti-climactic.
James Storm defeats Bram at 12:20. These two have fought many times in the past, so there shouldn’t be too much of a feeling-out process here. The fight starts on the floor and Storm dominates, even driving the Boozer Cruiser right into Bram’s face. Storm controls in the ring as well, but when they go back to the floor Bram takes over. The crowd is vocal for this one, heavily in favor of Storm and giving Bram a hard time. Momentum swings back and forth, and it appears like they’re actually trying here. Don’t they know this is a One Night Only show?! Late in the match Bram grabs the beer bottle and takes a big swig. He foolishly turns his back, and when he turns around Storm blasts him with the Last Call to get the pin. I liked this enough but the finish was super lazy.
The BroMans (Jessi Godderz & Robbie E) defeat The Tribunal (Baron Dax & Basile Baraka) at 8:36. Both teams cut promos before the match, just to establish which country they came from. Tribunal are from France, the BroMans from the USA. Guess who the crowd prefers? Jessie and Robbie are former two-time TNA Tag Team Champions, so they must be considered the favorites here. This match stays pretty simple, following the formula right up until the BroMans hit the BroDown on Dax to get the win. Perfectly acceptable match.
Bobby Roode defeats Braxton Sutter (w/ Allie) at 10:57. Sutter issued an open challenge and the former two-time TNA World Champion had nothing else to do so here we are. Sutter still has his Indy name, Pepper Parks, on his tights here. Roode dominates to start so Allie has to interfere to give her man the edge. Sutter keeps Roode grounded for quite some time, and when Roode starts to make the comeback Allie interferes again to cut him off. Eventually Allie’s interference backfires, and Roode catches Sutter in the Roode Bomb to get the pin. Okay match bogged down by too much interference. It just got repetitive.
~MATCH #8: Victory Road, 7.19.09~
Abyss defeats Dr. Stevie at 9:53 in a No Disqualification match. They’re saying that Stevie has been Abyss’s doctor for 10 years. Good thing WWE let him have a side job. Stevie has what looks like a police baton, and he starts choking Abyss out with it. That’s not really the start to this match I would have picked. Abyss quickly comes back and takes the fight to the floor. Back in the ring Stevie tries some chops but Abyss won’t budge. They take it right back to the floor as Stevie does what he calls selling. Stevie tries to escape through the crowd but Abyss catches up to him and continues the beating. Eventually they make their way back to ringside, and Stevie is busted open. It looks like he just spread blood across his forehead; it’s not really flowing, which is weird. Abyss throws Stevie back in the ring and continues destroying his doctor. After a few minutes he hits the Shock Treatment but pulls Stevie up before the three-count. Daffney comes out with a taser, which brings out Lauren, who has no business participating in any storylines whatsoever. She pulls Daffney off the apron and shoves her into the steps. Stevie hits a low blow and gets a hold of the taser. It makes no difference, as Stevie charges right into a Black Hole Slam. At the behest of the crowd, Abyss uses the taser and Stevie’s skin actually smokes. That’s enough for Abyss to get the win. Amazingly this didn’t end the feud, no matter how definitive that seemed. The match was pretty dull and the storyline does nothing for me.
Trevor Lee (w/ Shane Helms) defeats Eddie Edwards at 10:45. They stall for a bit before beginning the aggressive back and forth chain wrestling. Once they get going neither man lets up, both unleashing flurries of offense. The end is somewhat sudden, as Helms interferes by shoving Edwards off the top rope. Lee blasts Edwards with a knee to the face, and then hits a Small Package Driver to get the pin. This was really fun stuff, with both guys keeping up a torrid pace and making this look like a real contest between them.
Ethan Carter III defeats Eli Drake at 9:20. Both men cut promos before the bell, since that’s what they’re both best at. We learn that it’s EC3’s birthday, thanks to the crowd. Drake quickly takes control of the birthday boy and wears him down. Every time EC3 tries to make a comeback Drake is ready for him, looking poised in his mission to take out the former two-time TNA World Champion. When EC3 makes the big comeback, he traps Drake in a Cobra Clutch and falls to the mat with a leg scissors. Drake is forced to tap out. Decent main event for the time they got. I think these two are good together.
This is a huge step up from most One Night Only shows I’ve reviewed, because the wrestlers at least appeared to be trying here. One match went over three stars and several got near it. Sure, the show had to be padded with random matches from the 2009 version of the event, but that’s no crime. This is a decent glimpse of what the One Night Only shows could be, and just a little more effort in booking better matches and better finishes would almost make them worth doing.