Last week, TNA Wrestling taped their last six shows from the Impact Zone: TNA Knockout Knockdown, 10 Reunion, TNA Tag Team Tournament, TNA World Cup of Wrestling, TNA Hardcore Justice 2 and TNA Heavyweight Title Tournament, which will air on pay-per-view between July 2013 and February 2014. The spoilers for these events are available at the bottom of the post, but first of all we'll discuss the news that came out of these tapings.
For those that were sceptical about our past coverage that TNA treated their female performers hideously in the past and Dixie Carter was directly to blame, further confirmation was received when a group of their former Knockouts bandied together to decline offers en masse to work the company's all women taped PPV special.
According to Dave Meltzer in his latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the names that turned down their overtures included Awesome Kong (WWE's Kharma), Angelina Love, Winter, Rosita, Sarita, Taylor Wilde, Roxxi, Traci Brooks and Payton Banks.
Clearly, TNA management must have been hoping that they'd be willing to return for the same poor pay that they had to put up with while working for the company full time, but the group was having none of it. Good for them!
In a recent interview where Roxxi explained why the feisty women had decided to snub TNA, she likened her stint with the promotion to being in a long term abusive relationship:
"You can only get kicked so many times. I think that I had finally had enough. They had trouble treating me very well to begin with and I felt like I was being a glutton for punishment every time I went back. I felt like it was the right time to tell them no. It was like one of those bad relationships where you keep trying to get away from it. You can’t treat people badly and then hope that they’ll come back and hang out. A lot of the girls I’ve spoken to turned them down."
Hopefully this public put down will make TNA think twice before ever exploiting their talent again, but unfortunately I wouldn't hold my breath about that.
However, two ex-Knockouts who were in attendance were Shannon "Daffney" Spruill, who recently won an out of court settlement against TNA for refusing to pay for her medical bills from injuries suffered in their rings, and April O'Neal. They weren't there to pick up a measly pay cheque though, but were protesting in the stands about the company classifying their wrestlers as independent contractors by holding up a large placard that said "I’m here independently". Given the context, this was believed to be a shoot and not just some silly "work the Internet marks" angle. So that was quite the afternoon for TNA!
The World Cup PPV was another logistical farce, as the company left it too late to get working visas for the international stars that were scheduled to be involved in the event, so they had to scramble to put together a new line up at the last minute. The solution was to have three teams made up of TNA contracted wrestlers (USA, UK and Aces & 8s) and an international team made up of performers who already had the requisite papers to work in the country.
The rest of the shows went off without a hitch, but don't seem like anything you need to go out of your way to see, outside of a Tag Team Ladder Match between Bad Influence and Generation Me that was taped for TNA Hardcore Justice 2.
- Gail Kim pinned Alissa Flash.
- Lei'd Tapa pinned Ivelisse Velez.
- Tara pinned ROH's Mia Yim.
- Miss Tessmacher pinned Santana Garrett (a Florida independent wrestler who briefly worked for TNA in the spring of 2010 as Orlando Jordan's female companion).
- ODB pinned Trinity.
- Jacqueline Moore pinned Taryn Terrell.
- Hannah Blossom won a three-way over Sojo Bolt and OVW's Taelor Hendrix.
- Velvet Sky pinned Jillian Hall.
- Mickie James pinned Serena Deeb.
- Gail Kim won a winners Gauntlet style Battle Royal to be crowned "Queen of TNA", last eliminating Mickie James with a rollup after she had faked a knee injury. After the match, the pregnant Madison Rayne was on hand to present Kim with her crown, which led to an argument between the two.
- Kenny King won a three-way over Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams when King pinned Dutt with the Royal Flush.
- Velvet Sky pinned Gail Kim with the In Yo Face.
- Matt Morgan won a Gauntlet Battle Royal in a match featuring Joseph Park, Mr. Anderson, Robbie E, Jessie Godderz, Johnny Devine, Shark Boy, Chase Stevens, Cassidy Riley and Johnny Swinger when he last eliminated Park by pinfall.
- Team 3D won a three-way over Homicide & Hernandez and Christopher Daniels & Kazarian after they hit the 3D on Homicide for the pin.
- Jeff Hardy pinned Austin Aries with a small package.
- Robert Roode pinned James Storm with his feet on the ropes.
- Kurt Angle pinned Samoa Joe with the Olympic Slam.
- In a qualifying match Wes Brisco & Garrett Bischoff defeated The Hotshots, Cassidy Riley & Chase Stevens.
- Generation Me (aka The Young Bucks) defeated Sonjay Dutt & Petey Williams.
- Robert Roode & Austin Aries defeated The British Invasion, Rob Terry & Doug Williams.
- Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez defeated Christopher Daniels & Kazarian.
- Samoa Joe & Magnus defeated Wes Brisco & Garrett Bischoff.
- Team 3D, who got a first round bye, defeated Generation Me.
- Robert Roode & Austin Aries defeated Samoa Joe & Magnus.
- Team 3D defeated Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez.
- Team 3D defeated Robert Roode & Austin Aries in the tournament final to be crowned the greatest tag team in TNA history.
- The teams were Team USA of James Storm, Kenny King, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian & Mickie James, Team UK of Magnus, Rockstar Spud, Douglas Williams, Rob Terry & Hannah Blossom, Team International of Judas Mesias, Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams, Funaki & Lei'd Tapa, and Team Aces & 8s of Mr. Anderson, Wes Brisco, Doc, Knox & Ivelisse Vélez.
- Kenny King pinned Sonjay Dutt in the best match of the show.
- Magnus pinned Mr. Anderson.
- Doc & Knox defeated Funaki & Petey Williams.
- Lei'd Tapa defeated Hannah Blossom.
- Wes Brisco defeated Rockstar Spud.
- Christopher Daniels & Kazarian defeated Douglas Williams & Rob Terry.
- Ivelisse Vélez defeated Mickie James.
- James Storm defeated Judas Mesias.
- Team USA defeated Team Ace & Eights in an elimination match. Daniels & Kazarian walked out on the match leaving Storm on his own against Anderson and Knox, but he beat them both to win the World Cup for the USA.
- ODB pinned Jacqueline Moore in a Hardcore Knockouts Match.
- LAX of Homicide & Hernandez defeated The New Church (Slash, aka Wolfie D, and Sinn, aka Kizarny, with Jim Mitchell).
- Christopher Daniels & Kazarian defeated Generation Me in a Tag Team Ladder Match that stole the show.
- Shark Boy won a Hardcore Gauntlet Match where every man entered with a weapon, which also featured Devon Storm (Crowbar), Little Guido (Nunzio), Crimson, Sam Shaw, Funaki, Johnny Swinger, Gunner and Too Cold Scorpio.
- James Storm, Magnus and Bob "Hardcore" Holly defeated Aces & 8s (Doc, Knox & Wes Brisco) in a six-man elimination match. Storm was the sole survivor when he pinned Doc.
- Joseph Park pinned Judas Mesias (with Jim Mitchell) in a Monster's Ball match. The finish saw Park bleeding, seeing his own blood, turning into Abyss and then winning the match with a Black Hole Slam.
- Jeff Hardy and Brother Runt (aka Spike Dudley) defeated Team 3D in a Tag Team Tables Match.
TNA Heavyweight Title Tournament (taped Mar. 19th evening, airing Feb. 7th, 2014)
- In a qualifying match, James Storm pinned Mr. Anderson with a superkick.
- Samoa Joe upset Jeff Hardy with a rollup.
- Austin Aries pinned Kurt Angle with a rollup whilst holding the tights. Aries likely got the win here as Angle's hamstring was all taped up and he was clearly working hurt.
- James Storm defeated Bully Ray by disqualification when Devon hit Storm with a hammer.
- Robert Roode submittted Sting with a crossface. I guess they must have wanted all the best workers in the semifinals for this shocking result to have occurred.
- Samoa Joe choked out Austin Aries.
- Robert Roode submitted the injured James Storm with the crossface after a low blow.
- Robert Roode pinned Samoa Joe by kicking off the ropes whilst in a chokehold and landing on top of Joe's shoulders for the three count to win the tournament and be crowned the greatest world champion in TNA history.