Title:TNA Best of 09
Synopsis: A collection of 8 matches from both TNA Impact and Pay Per Views held between January and November 2009. Very small for a year in review. My immediate reaction was, as the Miz might say: “Really? … Really?“
Reasons to buy this DVD:
Sarita vs Alissa Flash (Impact)
This match is a wonderful reminder of what the TNA Knockouts were capable of and why they were once one of TNA’s most exciting acts. Though there have been much better Knockout matches in TNA (Gail Kim and Awesome Kong spring to mind) this match between the debuting Sarita and the former Raisha Saeed is better than anything currently seen in both the Knockouts and Divas divisions. A fine match to kick off the DVD.
Kurt Angle vs Jeff Jarrett No DQ Match (Genesis)
This is one of the best matches of Jarrett’s career as he and Kurt Angle tore the house down at one of the TNA’s better events of the year. This violent and bloody war manages to feature both brilliant brawling and excellent story-telling without having to resort to garbage style stunts and bumps. The hatred shown by both men feels genuine and the crowds reactions create an epic atmosphere. Matches like this is what TNA needs to use to settle it’s more personal feuds.
Amazing Red vs Homicide vs Suicide vs Daniels vs Chris Sabin vs Alex Shelley Ultimate X Match (Bound for Glory)
As far as I’m concerned, any Ultimate X match is a reason to buy a TNA DVD and this match fits the bill perfectly. Thrilling fast paced action, jaw dropping innovative stunts and dives, a great opener for TNA’s biggest event of the year. Admittedly the climax of the match featuring Daniels and Suicide does hinder the ending. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but I will say that it was irresponsible of both men to even attempt such a dangerous stunt.
My second problem with the finish is that when the match is won, the winner feels like an afterthought, since so many people (myself included) were more concerned with Daniels and Suicide. Rest assured they were okay though. This was an exciting match nonetheless.
Sting vs AJ Styles for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship (Bound for Glory)
I admit that I don’t approve of featuring two matches from the same Pay Per View on a compilation DVD (seems like an insult to anyone who bought the actual PPV DVD) but this match was good enough to get into my Reasons to Buy list. It told a good story of how it may have been Sting’s final curtain call, and how Sting had never lost at Bound For Glory. AJ Styles was convincing in showing that he respected Sting, yet wanted nothing more than to defeat him and retain the title. Granted this match is not the best match of Styles’ career, but I truly believe this may have been the best match Sting has ever had in TNA.
Desmond Wolfe vs Kurt Angle (Turning Point)
Remember when Desmond Wolfe was headlining Pay Per Views with Kurt Angle?
When he made his debut on the October 22 Impact attacking Kurt Angle, most wrestling fans immediately knew that he was former ROH Champion Nigel McGuinness. By the end of the night, fans who didn’t recognise him sure as hell knew who Desmond Wolfe was!
After one of the best debuts in Impact history, Wolfe went on to battle the Olympic Gold Medalist in a stunning bout full of scientific technical wrestling and crippling submission holds. And I’m not talking about Chinlocks!
Unfortunately less than a week later TNA announced that Hulk Hogan had signed with the company and Wolfe was quickly swept under the rug. This DVD is a chance to enjoy him at his best in TNA.
AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe vs Daniels (Turning Point)
Again why even bother buying the Turning Point DVD when the two best matches of the night are right here on this feature? Although to be fair the rest of the card was pretty good too. Anyway this match is a perfect choice to close out the DVD as it contains fast paced, hard hitting action as all three men were determined to outshine Angle and Wolfe (who left a hell of a big pair of shoes to fill). The jury is still out on which of the two matches is better, but they’re both here in their entirety and both come heavily recommended.
Reasons to Avoid this DVD:
AJ Styles vs Kurt Angle Tables Match (Impact)
Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with this match at all but I am at a loss to explain why TNA included this match when these two have had much better matches before and after this tables match which is forgettable by comparison. For example their Super Impact match from October 15th was far superior and would have been a more appropriate addition to this DVD. Choosing a good-but-not-great Tables match over a Pay Per View quality 20 minute draw seems like an act of desperation, like WWE choosing to centre their Pay Per Views around gimmick themed matches.
Kurt Angle vs Sting Empty Arena Match (Impact)
This match isn’t actually that bad, but it certainly does not deserve to be on here alongside the matches listed above. On a DVD promising the best matches of the year, with only eight matches available, this match feels like a waste of one of those eight vacancies.
As a small complaint I would also like to point out that six of the eight matches feature either Kurt Angle or AJ Styles. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since they are arguably the best in-ring workers in TNA, but with only eight matches the cast feels limited.
A forgettable music video, footage of Hulk Hogan signing with TNA and a sit down interview with Dixie Carter hardly make for engaging bonus features. Hogan joining TNA? What self respecting TNA fan would want to relive that moment? The interview with Dixie Carter may have been more interesting had it been filmed exclusively for the DVD, however this particular interview was broadcast on Impact some months prior, and it’s placement on the DVD serves no obvious purpose other than to boost Dixie’s ego.
It does not say much for TNA that their year-in review only covers a single disc (including Impact and Pay Per View) when in WWE the seperate year-in reviews for Raw, Smackdown and their Pay Per Views each get their own extensive three disc set.
Nonetheless there isn’t a bad match to be found on here as the eight bouts range from pretty good to outstanding. As with everything else in TNA, the mind-blowing talent of their wrestlers manages to outshine all other poor decisions made by the company.
You’re as well just ignoring the bonus features here but there’s more than enough fine action for me to recommend this set. Also as there’s only one disc I can promise you it will be cheaper than any WWE DVD and you’ll be getting some great wrestling for a low price!
This DVD could also be considered as a farewell to TNA’s six sided ring era, one that many fans such as myself dearly miss.