TNA One Night Only: Live! Reaction
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Known for their filler-esque themed cards and subtle-to-mild hype, it takes a lot for one to look at a “One Night Only” show with excitement.
However, TNA in 2016 actually took time to dedicate reasons to hype a live version of “ONO,” including Kurt Angle being in action, “The Miracle” Mike Bennett’s in-ring debut and the marquee factor – a sudden, but enjoyable Beer Money reunion, thrusting James Storm into a storyline from his big return after a brief swim in NXT waters.
Despite a few highlights, this show reminded us why TNA cannot handle live capabilities, making silly mistakes in production and on commentary.
TNA has tried to make some good news, but like always, it always ends up bad.
– The opening video hyped the night’s matches and occurrences, particularly focusing on the Beer Money-Bram/Eric Young, three-way tag, Lashley-Tyrus and #1 Contender Knockouts Gauntlet matches.
– The X-Division Championship Elimination match between DJ Z, Crazzy Steve, Mandrews and Champion Tigre Uno got the show off on the right foot, even if the elimination stipulation wasn’t announced until the match started. That said, the four men played well off each other, with lightning-quick aerial maneuvers. The crowd was easily into Steve the most. Even though his gimmick is “out there” as a carnival clown who only communicates with an air horn, there’s something that fans stick to about it. Mandrews can fly too, but we wish he didn’t look nine years old with this Bart Simpson-esque gimmick. Fans can’t take him seriously like that, even if the skateboard hurricanrana was creative. Steve being eliminated first drew boos from the crowd and they seemed to be out of it for good once DJ Z was eliminated next. The finish was pretty nice, though it looked like Uno maybe hurt himself again, wearing a shoulder brace. He flew a few times during the match, but saved most of his moves for the ring. We didn’t have any doubts that Uno would retain, but the elimination order should’ve been switched around with Mandrews eliminated first instead of last. The post-match interaction between Gregory Shane Helms and Uno mirrored that of Bound For Glory, except with a clearer picture that Helms wanted a match with Uno for the Title. Wonder when that’ll happen… three months later?
– Why didn’t they make Bram/Young a tag team sooner? They essentially play the same “crazed man” gimmick and do it so well, they can only be enhanced as a unit. Let’s hope this team wasn’t makeshift to give Beer Money opponents. Both Bram/Young could use something to do and could speak for themselves too, as we saw in their backstage promo. Unfortunately, Young bringing up how he didn’t forget Jeff Hardy costing him the Title and promised consequences makes us think this tag team will be left in the dark after this show.
– So now, typical old-school Irish brawler Aiden O’Shea is branded “The Thug.” That’s all well and good, but why not take some time to actually push his character with full devotion? We got a taste of a push on this show and then it all went awry. The moment Rockstar Spud was announced as O’Shea’s opponent, we assumed a squash in Spud’s favor, but were originally surprised to see O’Shea drag things out with a long promo about giving Spud the chance to walk away. O’Shea was actually good on the mic and this was the first chance we heard him talk. Crazy thought: this would’ve been a genius way to push the guy early on. Have him talk jobber opponents out of fighting him and take easy countout victories. That gives him victory credibility and makes fans want to see what he can do in the ring. Finally, at the last moment, make him wrestle. They could’ve dragged this angle out over a whole month or two, but instead, they hotshotted the whole thing. We dig Spud and his underdog comebacks, but this felt unnecessary since O’Shea didn’t have enough time to establish himself for fans to care if he loses or not. Sure, O’Shea had a few minutes of beatdown pleasure before getting upset, but now the guy got beat and lost all that heat he literally had. Josh Mathews didn’t have the brightest commentary moments (“Well, I guess this is a match now…”) and must he say O’Shea’s name so fast? Makes it sound like his name is “Ain’t No Shay.” They could’ve easily had O’Shea beatdown Spud here and then have Spud beat him on Impact or something like that. Mixed feelings on this.
– TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III didn’t appear on the show in person, but we did get a promo taped after the previous Impact, where he basically buttered himself up as the best in the industry and beat “the villain in his story” for the coveted Title he shouldn’t had ever lost. We love EC3.
– There are a lot of positive aspects of “The Miracle” Mike Bennett’s character in a TNA setting. They’re keeping him and Maria together and his character isn’t too far from his ROH “Kingdom” stable character, plus his intentions to “save TNA” seem legitimate from an internet fan’s perspective. His theme song’s immensely catchy, so there’s that too. We even like the little intro thing Maria does, with the stage acting like a gleaming light from heaven. We think they gave Robbie E as Miracle’s opponent for the two’s similar styles, but this may have hurt Bennett by having him in the ring with someone portrayed more evenly. We like Robbie and all since he has shed a good amount of Bro-Man stink off him, but this would’ve been a better place for a pure jobber. Bennett also pulled out like seven signature moves and it wasn’t until after the match that we learned what his Divine Intervention finisher was. It’s not bad per se, but perhaps they should move this guy into a feud quickly to establish him better. Also not sure what his post-match promo was all about. We’re sure why he used the word “Kingdom,” but is he planning to start a TNA Kingdom stable or is that just a pretty way of saying more wins were on the way?
– Knockouts Champion Gail Kim got to shine in a backstage promo as the Champ hyped the upcoming Gauntlet to decide who her next challenger would be. Given that Awesome Kong recently turned on her and joined The Dollhouse, we figured they’d set things up again for those two to do battle. We also liked Kim talking about all her opponents, putting over that unlike Kong she never changed herself and was a proud fighting Champion.
– The #1 Contender’s Knockouts Gauntlet was ultimately basic and predictable despite some debuts from Chelsea and Deonna Purrazzo from NXT fame. The basic stories were the resilience of Madison Rayne, who started the match and ended up in the final two and Dollhouse dominating. With Kong being the predictable winner, we weren’t surprised, but at least Rayne got an opportunity to impress with her performance. Maybe the company will revisit this Rayne-Kong feud in a later time? At least with this new Kim-Kong match, there will be a clear heel vs. face dynamic. Maybe the match will be better than what we’ve seen when they’re both faces.
– The backstage segment with The TNA World Tag Team Champions, The Wolves and Eli Drake/Jessie Godderz hyped the upcoming three-way Tag Title match where Wolves would defend against Drake/Godderz and Angle/Drew Galloway. We liked that potential seeds were also planted for a Wolves-Beer Money match, before Drake/Godderz stormed the set. We liked that Godderz and Drake continued to clash egos, but were on the same page when all four men came to blows.
– Filler match of the night goes to Trevor Lee and Pepper Parks. This lasted too long and not enough about either character was known for the crowd to truly care. Sure, Lee played a minor role in the Global Force Wrestling invasion storyline, but not much was discussed about him and he didn’t have much of a character. There was a better attempt to give him one on this show, with Mathews talking about him as a “wrestler’s wrestler” who didn’t care about his looks or appearance and only wanted to wrestle in the ring. Parks didn’t look bad here in the match either, as he had the chance to shine several times. There was a good amount of pure wrestling with stiff strikes, kicks and chops throughout, but ultimately a mild finish. Lee winning was predictable from the get-go and we wonder if a push is on the horizon for him or where his character will go. Will anybody remember this a month from now? Probably not.
– One of the show’s odd highlights was Kong actually talking with her Dollhouse friends in the backstage segment. Basically, Kong told Kim to clean her Title because she didn’t want any germs and that the “Kong House” weren’t to be messed. We actually kind of like Kong in a new leader role. It’s not like she can’t cut a promo, so it allows for many things to happen.
– The Monster’s Ball match between Abyss and Grado started with a forgettable promo exchange from The Pope, who called out Grado and referred to him as a joke. The thing is, if you want to push Grado as someone who people will like, this current gimmick doesn’t allow for that to happen. So far, he comes out with this annoying smirk and dances around. Who’s ever going to take that seriously? Never have a heel’s logic ring true, otherwise the fans will never buy into the struggling babyface’s act. Okay, we already knew Pope didn’t like Grado, but did we need to see this whole thing set up for him to fight Abyss? We shudder to think this will lead to a Pope-Grado match. Every Monster’s Ball match is the same, so this followed that same beaten path. At the least, maybe Grado was looked at differently for going through tables and thumbtacks, but we knew he was going to lose this. Abyss’ bleeding arms after getting sandwiched between two barbed wire boards was cringe-worthy in the good way, but what did this actually do for Grado?
– The backstage segment with Angle and Galloway hyped their match on the next Impact, while also doing the same for their upcoming match on this show. We got the mutual respect between Angle and Galloway, which was all good, but did these guys forget if they won this tag match, that they’d be Tag Champions? Where was that mentioned in the promo? Why even put the Titles on the line if you’re not going to run through all the storyline possibilities? Lame.
– On that note, the TNA World Tag Team Championships three-way between Wolves, Drake/Godderz and Angle/Galloway was thoroughly entertaining, even if it had some logical flaws. Sure, the most memorable spot was the double ankle lock where Angle had Eddie Edwards in the hold directly next to Davey Richards having Galloway in it. Couldn’t Richards have kicked Angle while keeping his hold on to stop the other guys from potentially winning? He could’ve saved his partner after all. The spot would’ve been cooler had it been both Galloway/Angle holding simultaneous ankle locks. Anyways, that aside, still an entertaining bout that never left the result in doubt. Wolves retain.
– Considering Lashley was about to enter a match where he was fighting the guy who continuously cost him chances to be TNA World Heavyweight Champion, you’d think he’d have more than five words to say in his backstage promo. Disappointing.
– The Lashley-Tyrus match was billed as “battle of the big men,” but came up short as dull and forgettable. The two never clicked in the ring and the quality suffered. At least the finish was plausible, with Tyrus’ own evil deed of ripping the turnbuckle off coming back to bite him to cost him the match.
– The Beer Money backstage promo was straight-forward and covered exactly what the night was all about, a reunion celebration. We liked Roode saying how this was something he never saw coming even as recent as a month ago, while Storm covered that he was back in TNA for his family.
– The Young/Bram-Beer Money main event tag was a pleasant effort from all involved, giving us the proper reunion victory with the crowd excited the whole way. Sure, Young might’ve oversold at moments, but that didn’t take away from things a bit. We liked the DWI finish and while we expected a Beer Money victory going in, it still played out well enough to warrant a watch for nostalgia’s sake. The next ONO Pay-Per-View was teased for Fri, Feb. 5.
- X-Division Championship – Elimination – Tigre Uno (Champion) def. Tigre Uno, Mandrews and Crazzy Steve to retain
- Rockstar Spud def. Aiden O’Shea via pinfall
- “The Miracle” Mike Bennett (w/Maria) def. Robbie E via pinfall
- Knockouts Championship #1 Contender Gauntlet Match – Awesome Kong def. Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky, Marti Bell, Jade, Chelsea, Rebel and Deonna Purrazzo
- Trevor Lee def. Pepper Parks via pinfall
- Monster’s Ball – Abyss def. Grado via pinfall
- TNA World Tag Team Championships – Three-Way – The Wolves (Champions) def. Kurt Angle/Drew Galloway and Eli Drake/Jessie Godderz via submission to retain
- Lashley def. Tyrus via pinfall
- Beer Money def. Eric Young/Bram via pinfall
Posted on January 17, 2016, in TNA/Impact Wrestling and tagged Abyss, Aiden O'Shea, Awesome Kong, Beer Money, Bram, Chelsea, Crazzy Steve, Deonna Purrazzo, DJ Z, Drew Galloway, Eli Drake, Eric Young, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, Grado, Gregory Helms, Jeremy Borash, Jessie Godderz, Josh Mathews, Kurt Angle, Lashley, Madison Rayne, Mandrews, Maria, Marti Bell, Mike Bennett, Pepper Parks, Rebel, Robbie e, Rockstar Spud, The Dollhouse, The Pope, The Wolves, Tigre Uno, TNA One Night Only, Trevor Lee, Tyrus. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.