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Posted in: The Crow's Nest
The Crow's Nest - My Response to No Surrender
By TheCrow
Sep 9, 2012 - 9:19:33 PM



1) No Surrender Predictionsp (07/09/12)

2) My Response to No Surrender (09/09/12)



Before I begin this column, I feel the need to post a disclaimer for you fine folks. This column is going to be very much full of rage, and more than likely a solid amount of profanity. If you feel that you'll be in any way offended, feel free to close this window right now.

In the interest of fairness, I'll begin with the things I did enjoy about tonight's No Surrender PPV.

I thought it was weird that they decided to start the show with Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe. It left me with a feeling of dread that they were going to give Hardy the win, since having one of your top faces win at the top of the card is a good way to get the crowd going, and as it turned out those fears became reality. The match itself was actually pretty fun, and it's nice to see Hardy evolving his in-ring style a bit and incorporating some submission moves. Joe was on top of his game as well, and despite the loss he still gave it his all. The one good thing that came out of Hardy winning was the fact that it almost guaranteed Bully Ray would win his match, and I didn't have to wait long for that to happen as it was match #2 on the card.

I had heard the idea of Bobby Roode interfering in the match floating around, and the more I thought about it the more it made sense. A feud between Bobby Roode and James Storm has been predicted for a while now, and now we get to see it without the title being involved. I'm very happy TNA decided to not put the title back on Roode as it would have cut Aries' reign way too short. Roode will be champion again, likely before 2013 is over, but it's just not his time right now. Thankfully he did come out and smash a bottle over Storm's head, allowing Bully Ray to get the win and advance to the finals.

Tara vs. Miss Tessmacher was another fun match, and it certainly planted the seeds for a Tara heel turn in the near future. Tara is great no matter what, but her best work has always been as a heel. It allows more of her edgy personality to show, and right now the Knockouts Division need a top heel not named Madison Rayne or Gail Kim to freshen things up. Once again, these ladies prove that women's wrestling CAN get a crowd to react strongly in a positive way. The WWE Divas need to learn a thing or two from the Knockouts.

And of course the tag title match was as good as I expected it to be. Daniels and Kaz are phenomenal as a tag team. I was sure that they'd lost the belts tonight, but thanks to Daniels throwing his appletini in the face of AJ Styles, they managed to retain. If you remember from my predictions column, that's exactly what I wanted to see happen, so I'm perfectly fine with getting that prediction wrong. All four men involved in the match put on a great show, including Kurt Angle who was noticeably in pain from his leg injury. I'm sure this isn't the last time these teams will face off though, and I wouldn't be surprised to see another tag title match take place next month at Bound For Glory. Easily the match of the night here.

That's about where my positivity towards tonight's show ends.

Magnus vs. RVD was alright, right up until RVD won. TNA needs to stop dicking around with Magnus' push already, or they risk having him get fed up and leaving the company for somewhere better. Every single time they start to move in the right direction with this kid, they end up taking two MASSIVE steps back. This match had no build-up aside from Impact a few nights ago, but Magnus did a great enough job to make me care about his match and a potential feud with RVD. That is a testament to how good he is, and somehow TNA keeps failing to recognize that. They're back at square one now, and that is so unfortunate.

Aries vs. Aces & 8s should have been the main event, or at least the second last match on the card. By the end of it all, there was no progression made in that storyline. One of the guys ALMOST got unmasked, revealing enough of a beard to confirm my suspicions that the "arm breaker" is Mike Knox, but other than that? Nothing. Jeff Hardy got tossed into the ring post, injuring his shoulder and causing speculation for the rest of the show that he may not be able to compete in the main event. I thought for sure that meant either a replacement would be named, or Bully Ray would win the tournament due to forfeit. But nothing, NOTHING, could have prepared me for the absolute ****ery that would occur a little over an hour later.

Allow me to set the scene for all of you.

It's a tale we've seen play out countless times before. The challenger gets taken out backstage before the big match. When match time rolls around, their opponent comes down first and waits in the ring. The injured superstar's music hits, plays for a bit, but they don't appear on the stage, and the music stops. After a brief pause, and a close-up on the face of the guy in the ring looking confused, the music hits again. At this point, either the injured superstar will hobble out, or someone will come out to announce they won't be able to compete, only to have the injured superstar hobble out anyways.

Sure enough, Hogan came to the ring as Hardy's music played the second time, and he announced that Hardy would not be competing. He told Bully Ray that he was suspicious that Ray had been behind the attack on Jeff, and that if he was a real man he would wait until Impact a few days later to have this match. He said that if Bully Ray let this match happen on the PPV and won because Hardy couldn't make it to the ring, that it would speak volumes about Bully Ray's character. As this goes on, the crowd went SILENT. Not in a "oh my god there's so much drama, let's listen intently" kind of way. More in a "what the **** is going on in the ring right now, this is absolute bull shit" kind of way. Even when Hardy's music hit again and he did come out to the ring, the crowd was dead.

So despite the fact that Hardy was "injured" severely enough to warrant Hogan wanting to delay the BFG Series Finals, the match was on. All of a sudden, that same sinking feeling of dread I had during Hardy's first match of the night was back. I kept telling myself there's no way TNA would give Hardy the win. No way they would **** up the great booking of Bully Ray by having him lose. But you know what they did?

They gave the win to Jeff Hardy.

Jeff ****ing Hardy won the Bound For Glory Series.

I don't even know where to begin with what is wrong with this situation. To try and keep this somewhat organized and legible, I'll list each problem individually.

TNA spent a large amount of time building Bully Ray to the point that he was the only logical choice to win. Like they did with Bobby Roode last year, TNA made it pretty clear that Bully Ray was the guy who was going to win this year. James Storm being so far ahead was just a red herring, he was never going to win. TNA invested so much time into Bully Ray's development into a main event guy, and before tonight the dude was on FIRE. I thought for sure when they re-signed him for 2 years that he would be winning. Instead, he loses to a severely injured JEFF HARDY, and with that has had a large amount of his momentum absolutely stopped dead.

Jeff Hardy BARELY made it to the finals. I like an underdog story as much as the next guy, but Jeff Hardy is no underdog. He's a multiple time World Champion, and he could be put back in the title hunt TOMORROW with NO tournament win, and it wouldn't seem out of place. By barely making it to the finals, it creates a massive inconsistency with his booking. The whole rest of the tournament he was getting beaten. All of a sudden he beats Samoa Joe WITH A SUBMISSION and advances to the final four. Then he beats Samoa Joe AGAIN on PPV, and proceeds to beat Bully Ray in the finals. I'm sorry, but no, that is not okay. When they pulled that stunt with Roode last year, they were smart enough to book him as injured (because he actually was really injured) and use that as an explanation for why he wasn't winning matches initially. Hardy was perfectly healthy heading into his tournament matches, so it makes no sense to me that all of a sudden he busts out a big winning streak.

Swerving for the sake of swerving is never a good idea. When used properly, swerves can be great. In this day and age of "smart" wrestling fans, it's increasingly difficult for wrestling companies to surprise us anymore, so when a proper swerve is pulled off it is especially effective. Tonight was not one of those cases. As soon as Hardy beat Joe again, I had that sinking feeling that some bull shit was about to go down. That only got worse when he was "injured" by Aces & 8s. That was some shoddy writing.

You know what? I'm not going to bother continuing to list things so organized like that any further.

The decision to have Jeff Hardy win that match was absolute bull shit. Why on earth did they bother running an injury angle with Hardy if they were just going to have him win anyways? That just wasted a large chunk of time that could have gone towards ANY of the matches on the card. It made absolutely no sense. Jeff Hardy is already crazy over with the fans, he doesn't need a cheap angle to get more pops. On top of that, Hogan KILLED the crowd when he hinted that the final BFG Series match wouldn't even take place that night. The crowd was SILENT for most of the time following that promo, even when Hardy came out to the ring.

In my predictions column, I laid out what I thought would be a perfect scenario. Bully Ray would win the BFG Series and be revealed as the leader of Aces & 8s in the process. The way TNA had been booking things, that looked to be the way things would turn out. Instead, the Aces & 8s storyline is no further along than it was before the show, and Bully Ray's momentum has been stopped dead.

Hardy may be a top draw for TNA, but Bully Ray is easily their top heel. The fans are ready to see him make it to the next level, and that's exactly how TNA was developing things. Hardy and Aries are probably going to have a great match at Bound For Glory next month, but I find myself struggling to give any amount of ****s. Bully Ray and Aries could easily deliver a match as good as Hardy/Aries, and it would have the ever important heel/face component. Aries and Hardy are arguably the two top faces in the company right now, and unless TNA plans on turning one of them heel in the next few weeks (which would be a MASSIVE ****ing mistake in my opinion) their title match is missing that element of drama. It made way too much sense for Bully Ray to win, and TNA screwed up big. I was left speechless when Hardy won, and that quickly gave way to rage.

I have always been the guy that defends TNA, no matter what shitty decisions they make with their booking. I've stuck through a lot over the years, and I've worked my ass off to try and convert people into fans of the product. Lately, things have been great and it seems like more people are finally giving TNA a real chance. Tonight though, that was the final straw. I can't justify what TNA did.

I'm officially taking a break from watching TNA for a while. I know that seems overly dramatic, but you have to understand that I've remained loyal to TNA through EVERY bad decision they've made over the years. When everyone else was writing them off as a shit hole that would be out of business in two years, I kept watching as loyally as ever. This is now two years in a row that TNA has ****ed up the Bound For Glory Series, and considering it's only the second time they've held the tournament, that's really not good. First they screw Bobby Roode out of his title win at the PPV last year, only to give him the title anyways a couple weeks later, now they ruin MONTHS of great build-up with Bully Ray by having him lose to a guy that barely made it to the finals and was booked in a severe injury angle just an hour before the match took place. I can't support that. I need a break. I'm sure I'll get over it, but that's not going to happen overnight.

******

That was certainly cathartic. I hate to turn my back on the company I've always remained so fiercely loyal to, but a guy can only take so much abuse. We'll see what happens in a couple weeks, maybe I'll start watching again, but I'm making no decision about that just yet. I'll be back later tonight with the next instalment of my "30 Day Challenge", so until then, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

******************



Don't worry folks, I haven't given up on my "30 Day Challenge". Day 8 will be posted tomorrow as normally scheduled.

This Sunday, TNA will air their annual No Surrender PPV, and of course the main discussion all revolves around the impending crowning of this year's winner of the Bound For Glory Series. Four wrestlers are left, but only one can walk out of Orlando with a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. First up will be the two semi-final matches, and the winners of those will go on to fight for the ultimate prize.

As if that wasn't enough, three championship matches are scheduled to take place, and a young up-and-comer has the opportunity to take on a veteran of this industry to prove that he can hang with the big dogs. Strangely absent from this card is a World Heavyweight Championship match, though the champ will be on the card as he challenges any member of the group of thugs that has been running wild on the TNA roster. No Surrender looks to be as action packed as any PPV in recent memory, so with that being said let's get these predictions under way shall we? As usual, I'll both predict what I think will happen and what I wish would happen.

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I recently named Tara as my current favourite female wrestler, so naturally seeing her in a championship match on PPV is awesome for me. Her opponent, current Knockouts Champion Miss Tessmacher, has been gaining solid momentum lately as she continues to build a fan base and improve in the ring, and despite losing the title only to gain it back right away, she has done a solid job as champion. Being in the ring with a talent such as Tara will only mean good things for Tessmacher going forward, and we've already seen the benefits of Tara's teachings showing through as these two used to be tag partners.

If there's one thing I hate, it's quick and seemingly pointless title changes. The Knockouts Championship rarely sees lengthy reigns anymore, and despite the amount of female talent on the roster, it seems like an afterthought in feuds. With everything going on in the Knockouts Division right now, I fully expect this match to include some kind of shenanigans from one of the heels, perhaps the ever present Madison Rayne or former champion Gail Kim, who certainly has beef with Tessy.

As much as I'd like to see that gold around Tara's waist for a record-tying 5th time, I just don't see it happening. Tessmacher only won the belt back 22 days ago, so even by the time Sunday rolls around she'll have held it for less than a month. The crowd still digs her, and it just doesn't seem smart to pull another switch this soon. So I fully expect interference, leading to a feud that will go right to Bound For Glory in October, but I don't expect to see the champ dethroned just yet.

What I Predict Will Happen: Miss Tessmacher retains
What I Wish Would Happen: Miss Tessmacher retains



Both of these guys made it to the semi-finals last year, and not surprisingly they've returned this year to fight it out for another shot at glory. In one corner you've got James Storm, the guy that most people (myself not included) pegged as the obvious winner of this tournament right from the get go. He's a former World Champion, and with the wave of momentum he's been on it wouldn't seem too outlandish to predict his victory here. In the other corner, you have one of the hottest heels on the market today, Bully Ray. Ray beat Storm at No Surrender last year to advance to the finals, but failed to defeat Bobby Roode, thereby finishing in 2nd place.

As I mentioned above, and as has been obvious to anyone watching TNA over the past few months, James Storm is currently in the midst of the push of his career. After being screwed out of his title run last year, and failing to recapture the title in a number of rematches, Storm took a couple of months off. He returned at Slammiversary earlier this year and ended Crimson's undefeated streak, and proceeded to enter this year's Bound For Glory Series tournament the following episode of Impact. He finished the tournament in 1st place, giving him the power to choose his semi-finals opponent, and he used that power to choose Bully Ray as revenge for Ray's accusations about Storm being involved with Aces & Eights.

Bully Ray is also in the midst of the biggest push of his career. After totally re-inventing his character, Calfzilla has been a staple of the main event scene in TNA, despite never winning the World Championship. I wasn't sure if he would even make it to the semi-finals because of the controversy surrounding his expiring contract with the company, but now that the news has surface that he re-signed for another 2 years, I think things are going to start looking brighter again. He's still the top heel in the company right now, even with Aces & Eights around, and I don't doubt that he'll have a bigger role in that feud, but more on that in a bit.

So who takes this match? Once again, my prediction and my wish are one and the same. I've been saying forever now that James Storm isn't going to win this tournament, and after this match I think I'll be proven right. James Storm doesn't need this win to get back in the World Title hunt, and while I'm sure Ray could be put into that scene without much fuss, he still needs some big wins to solidify that standing with the fans. Knocking out the guy who finished the tournament in 1st place would be a great start to that.

What I Predict Will Happen: Bully Ray wins and advances to the finals
What I Wish Would Happen: Bully Ray wins and advances to the finals



Magnus is, without a doubt, going to be a big part of TNA's future. He's young, talented, and most importantly TNA is building him up the right way: slowly and solidly. I would have loved to see him make it to the semi-finals of the Bound For Glory Series, but there's little chance he would have actually won, so taking him out beforehand and allowing him to resume his build-up was definitely the safe route. His opponent, RVD, is a veteran of this industry. I may not personally like the guy, but it's pretty obvious that TNA has no plans of pushing him out the door any time soon. His name still has enough value that a big PPV win over him can give a solid rub to his opponent.

The weird thing about this feud is that despite how quickly it was put together (only last night at Impact), it has so much potential to grow into something that could really put Magnus on the map. In case you missed last night's show, Magnus interrupted RVD's backstage interview and said many of the same things that I recently said in a column about RVD. Magnus said that the old RVD would never have failed to make it to the tournament finals. He went on to say that he grew up watching RVD, and that maybe RVD set the bar too high and just can't reach that bar anymore.

If TNA is smart, they'll give Magnus the win on Sunday and continue this feud. If Magnus manages to beat RVD, he can come out on Impact that week and start saying how he was right about what he said the previous week, and that maybe RVD just doesn't have "it" anymore. RVD can go on to lose a couple more matches, leading up to an emotional promo where he hints that he's going to hang up his boots for good. Magnus then interrupts and berates RVD, telling him to leave TNA, and RVD snaps. A match is made between the two for Bound For Glory which could provide a pay-off for the feud, and also give Magnus a match at the biggest event of TNA's year. That may seem like wishful fantasy booking, but it just seems too logical to ignore.

I know it's never smart to bet against RVD at a TNA PPV, but I really hope I'm right with this one. As good as Magnus' booking has been, he can only remain in "slow build" mode for so long before it starts to become too late. I'm not saying he should immediately start getting shots at the World Heavyweight Championship, but a feud with a veteran name like RVD would be a great start. It's time for Magnus to really gain some momentum.

What I Predict Will Happen: Magnus wins
What I Wish Would Happen: Magnus wins



Speaking of matches that seem to have come out of nowhere, we have this match between Sonjay Dutt and X-Division Champion Zema Ion. I'm going to keep this short and sweet, because truth be told I don't have a lot to say here.

I'm glad Dutt is back in TNA, and I look forward to him fighting for the X-Division Championship in the future, but he's not going to take it this Sunday. Maybe next month at Bound For Glory, but not this weekend. Zema Ion has slowed down in terms of momentum lately, but when he does finally lose the belt it isn't going to be like this. This is a feud that could develop nicely over the next month, and it could very well start Sunday with Ion cheating to win, giving TNA an easy way to write a rematch storyline.

What I Predict Will Happen: Zema Ion retains
What I Wish Would Happen: Zema Ion retains



I think this is the hardest match of the night for me to predict.

Compared to last year around this time, Joe is in a significantly better position on the card. He dominated the majority of the tournament, and for a while I actually had him as my pick to win it all. Things have since changed, but I'm still very happy to see him make it this far. Then, of course, you have Jeff Hardy, the man that can apparently do no wrong in TNA's eyes. Since returning from his infamous downward spiral, Hardy looks to have gotten his life back together. He may not be on top of the company anymore, but if he continues the way he's been going lately I don't doubt we'll see that happen sooner than later. I didn't think he was even going to make it to No Surrender since he was behind in points, but he managed to just squeak his way in.

Picking Hardy to win this match would make sense, because he's still one of the most over guys on the entire roster, and as I said above it wouldn't take much to put him back in the title hunt. Picking Joe to win makes just as much sense though because he's been riding a great wave of momentum lately, and if he were to make it to the finals I don't think many people would doubt that he had a chance to win it all. So who am I going to go with here?

I think Joe is taking the win here. He just lost to Hardy on Impact this week, by submission no less, and he needs his revenge. I'm a little hesitant to make this pick, considering Magnus ambushed Joe and targeted his bad arm on Impact, but I just don't see Joe losing two big matches in a row. He's going to get his revenge and win by submission on Sunday, moving on to the finals with Bully Ray.

What I Predict Will Happen: Samoa Joe wins
What I Wish Would Happen: Samoa Joe wins



Another match that was just added to the PPV a couple days ago, but this one makes a bit more sense as the two teams certainly have history. This is also going to be the first prediction I make tonight that differs from what I wish would happen.

AJ Styles is still fairly fresh out of that train wreck known as the Claire Lynch Experiment, and Kurt Angle is fresh out of failing to make it to the semi-finals of the Bound For Glory Series. Their opponents, Daniels and Kazarian, just managed to retain the belts on Impact this week before Hulk Hogan announced that they would have another title match on Sunday. They've held the belts for a little over 2 months now, and while a large amount of that time involved messing with Styles, they've managed to establish themselves as the best tag team on the roster right now.

Re-uniting Angle and Styles seemingly out of the blue likely spells trouble for the current champions. Not only have the challengers teamed together before, but they've done so as champions, beating Kaz and Daniels for the belts earlier this year. The champs did win them back from Angle and Styles a short while later, but the point here is these teams have history. And again, with all this Claire Lynch nonsense, Styles has even more reason to want to dethrone the current champions.

I mentioned earlier that I hate when championships are passed back and forth quickly and without real reason and build-up, and for that reason alone I want the champions to retain on Sunday. The tag division is still somewhat fragile, and right now the best thing for it is to have strong champions. As good as Angle and Styles are, they don't have the staying power of a team like Kaz and Daniels. With recent reports of Angle getting injured again, it seems apparent that he's going to be taking on a much lighter schedule. I have no doubt in my mind that this title match is only happening to give Angle a way to remain on TV without putting too much stress on his body.

Angle isn't going to take time off for a minor injury, plain and simple. But he's also not going to take unnecessary risks by jumping right into a big singles feud before he heals up. Temporarily reuniting with AJ Styles makes sense, but unfortunately I also think that means they're going to be holding those belts after this weekend. I really hope I'm wrong, because like I said Kaz and Daniels are the best thing for TNA's tag division right now, but I see the one title switch of the night happening in this match.

What I Predict Will Happen: AJ Styles and Kurt Angle win to become the NEW Tag Team Champions
What I Wish Would Happen: Daniels and Kazarian retain



If my predictions earlier are accurate, this match will see Bully Ray and Samoa Joe meeting in the final match of this year's tournament. If one or both of those predictions turn out to be wrong, this whole segment will also be wrong, so anything I say here is hypothetical.

If things turn out the way I've predicted they will, this match is going to be very hard-hitting. Both men will have overcome a series of odds to make it this far, and both men will deserve to take the big win. But of course, only one of them can walk away victorious.

Once again, I'm going to keep this pick as short as possible. I truly believe that Bully Ray is going to walk away as the winner of this tournament. He deserves it, he's renewed his commitment to the company, and it's time to start his real push towards the World Heavyweight Championship. But there's more to my pick than just that.

This Aces & Eights storyline is still in desperate need of evolving, and the easiest way to do that is to reveal the leader of the group. We've heard from the "VP" of the group, but no "P" has been named as of yet. Bully Ray has been deeply involved in this storyline so far, and as a fellow "bully" it makes sense for him to lead a group of thugs like this. Some of you may point to him being attacked by Aces & Eights as evidence against my prediction, but if you recall he ended up WINNING the match that was interrupted. He's also been throwing blame around as to who's involved, and just this week he confronted Joseph Park to see what he knew. If he wins this match against Samoa Joe, thereby winning the tournament, he will go on to face Austin Aries at Bound For Glory, and if you recall, Aries has been the target of A&E for the past couple of weeks.

But that's all off the topic of this match. Bully Ray is taking the win, and I'll be ecstatic to see it happen. I don't think he'll be revealed as the leader until later in the night, so he'll take this win all by himself.

What I Predict Will Happen: Bully Ray wins
What I Wish Would Happen: Bully Ray wins



And of course, we have what is sure to be the main event of the night. Austin Aries is beaten and bruised, but he's going to call out any member of Aces & Eights. The "arm breaker" is the likely pick here, but I wouldn't be surprised to see one of the other renegades get ordered to answer the challenge. Either way, I think this match ends with the revealing of the group's leader, who I predicted earlier would be Bully Ray.

Aries called it a "fight", so chances are it's not going to end up being an official match. Aries is going to dominate a large portion of this match, but the numbers game is going to end up getting the best of him. I would have the group come down to stop Aries from winning, leading to Bully Ray appearing on stage with a mic in his hand. He'll reveal that he was behind the attacks all along, and that he'll see Aries at Bound For Glory.

It would be so easy to have it booked this way, but more importantly it would give this feud some much needed freshness. It's starting to seem a bit stale at this point, and I really hope TNA does something to change that.

I don't see this "match" having an official winner, because it's really not about who wins or loses. This "match" is going to be all about progressing the storyline, and the best way for that to happen is by having this match end in a beatdown. It may not go as I've predicted it, but I do think the end result will be the same regardless.

What I Predict Will Happen: No Contest
What I Wish Would Happen: No Contest

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So there we have it, my predictions for Sunday's No Surrender PPV. What do you guys think? Am I crazy for making the predictions that I did? Do they look alright? Let me know your own thoughts and predictions. I'll see you all again soon for the continuation of my "30 Day Challenge". So until then, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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