Since this is my first review I thought I’d explain how this works. Rather than breaking down every match on the set, I will be focusing primarily on the best matches (Reasons to buy) and worst matches (Reasons to avoid). My reasons are determined not just by the quality of the matches, but also by their relevance to the theme of the DVD in question.
Title: TNA Fandimonium: Beer Money Inc. & The Motor City Machine Guns
Synopsis: Disc 1 features the best matches from Beer Money (Robert Roode and James Storm). Disc 2 features the best matches from The MCMG (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley). I use the word “best” because that’s what TNA promises on the cover. Whether or not they fulfill that promise is what I will be examining. The matches, all of which are held between 2008 and 2009, are punctuated by fragments of a sit-down interview with the respective team. The Fandimonium title refers to the concept that the match listing was determined by fan voting on TNA’s website – something I’ll also be addressing.
Reasons to Buy this DVD:
Beer Money vs Lethal Consequences vs Abyss and Matt Morgan (Genesis 2009)
Remember when Jay Lethal and Consequences “Xavier Woods” Creed held the TNA Tag Team Titles? If you don’t it’s probably because you blinked. Their first title defence just three days after winning the belts was unsuccessful as Beer Money regained the gold but at least the match was enjoyable. Mostly carried by the efforts of BM and LC this match went back and forth showcasing the three distinct styles of each team: The high flying of Lethal Consequences, the brawling of Beer Money and the power of Abyss and Morgan. They told a good story of Matt Morgan wanting to get in the match and clean house, but always missing the tag and having to watch the other five guys have all the fun, only to get more and more frustrated. This was an exciting match and a fine choice for the DVD. Incidentally there is also a pretty good tag match on here between Beer Money and Lethal Consequences.
Beer Money vs The British Invasion (Sacrifice 2009)
This was the first meeting between these two teams and though they would go on to have better matches in the near future, this one was still pretty decent. Doug Williams and a still green Brutus Magnus had only just started teaming and they were yet to hit their stride, but they showed good chemistry here and worked well with Beer Money who by this point had developed into the perfect combination we all know and love today. A precursor to what we would go on to expect from both teams.
Beer Money vs Team 3D Six Sides of Steel Street Fight (Lockdown 2009)
I’m at a loss to explain why TNA booked a street fight in a Steel Cage match, but I guess sometimes in wrestling (especially in TNA!) you just have to let some stuff slide. This was exactly what you would expect. A hardcore anything goes brawl in which both teams tore the house down. Particularly memorable was Brother Devon taking the Beer Money Suplex (you know the one) off the steel steps through a table. The fans in Philly got the match they wanted and went home happy that night as Team 3D won both the TNA and IWGP tag team championships.
Beer Money vs Team 3D vs The British Invasion vs The Main Event Mafia Full Metal Mayhem (Bound for Glory 2009)
I will admit that this match was slightly hindered by the early departure of Booker T and infuriatingly poor camera work at times, but in the end it still merits a look as these four teams (or three teams and Scott Steiner ) put on a wild and hardcore match with the usual bag of tricks. Steiner especially deserves credit in this match because he put on a hell of a display trying to make this match special. Suplexing everyone in sight, two off the ropes, and even breaking out a rare Frankensteiner, he got the crowd off their seats and got nice a ovation in return, finally taking a scary bump off a ladder through a table. Beer Money didn’t win the match but they sure added to it. One to be proud of.
Alex Shelley vs Eric Young for the X Division Title (Against All Odds 2009)
The MCMG disc gets off to a good start with a serviceable X Division Title match between Frontline (Remember that?) members Alex Shelley and Eric Young. It may seem a little odd to feature a singles match on a tag team DVD but I approve. It helps to show that two tag team partners can handle themselves in singles competion without having to rely on each other. This match achieved this purpose. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Chris Sabin’s singles match as you will read later.
Steel Asylum Matches (Sacrifice 2008 and Bound For Glory 2008)
These two matches are pretty much the same but they’re still pretty good. If you like fast paced X Divison spotfests then these are the matches for you. I will admit that these kind of matches are not everybody’s cup of tea and their placement on the DVD is unnecessary (more on that later) but I found that they were too enjoyable not to include as a reason to buy.
Motor City Machine Guns vs LAX vs No Limit Six Sides of Steel (Lockdown 2009)
This was one of the best matches the Guns had during 2009 as they battled formidable opponents LAX and No Limit. If you’re not familiar with Yujiri or Naito then you will be after this match. They showed no signs of awkwardness competing for the first time in the Six Sides of Steel and worked well with both teams (They also show up in a very good match against the Guns in the Bonus Features). LAX were more than comfortable in the cage having competed in several SSoS matches of their own and Hernandez really came out of this match looking good. Perhaps one of the best matches on the set.
World X Cup match (Victory Road 2008)
The list of participants in this match could fill up this entire page so I’ll just keep it brief and say that it was Team TNA vs Team Mexico vs Team Japan vs Team International. This 12 man elimination match was fast paced, innovative, and at times simply insane. To be fair it does leave the viewer feeling physically exhausted afterwards (well what would you expect from twenty four minutes of nonstop high risk spots?) but you can’t take away from the outstanding efforts of all four teams.
Amazing Red vs Homicide vs Suicide vs Daniels vs Chris Sabin vs Alex Shelley Ultimate X Match (Bound for Glory 2009)
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.
Alex Shelley vs Chris Sabin (Genesis 2009)
Hands down one of the best matches of the year! For one night only the Guns had to put their friendship aside and face each other for the vacant X Division Championship. This back and forth lightning paced match left jaws all over the arena floor that night as these two showed that not only can they handle themselves individually but they can work just as well head to head as they can side by side. A perfect match to close out the DVD.
Reasons to Avoid this DVD:
Beer Money vs Team 3D (Destination X 2009)
This match was pretty average at best until the DQ finish. The match was then restarted only to end on a count out finish. Or was it a count out then DQ finish? Ah well as the old saying goes: “If it makes sense to Russo…”
Lethal Lockdown Match (No Surrender 2009)
While this match isn’t bad in the context of the DVD, it remains possibly the second worst Lethal Lockdown match ever (second behind the one at BFG10). It was pointless because the match took place at No Surrender instead of Lockdown which watered down the value of the Lethal Lockdown match. Nothing against the eight wrestlers involved but the match should be reserved for main eventers in the final match of the card, not tag teams consisting of mid carders in the third to last match of the night. Finally a match as heavily hyped as the Lethal Lockdown match should be the climax of any feud. The four teams met again a month later in the Full Metal Mayhem match mentioned above. And frankly this match just seemed to go on forever.
Chris Sabin vs Brutus Magnus (Against All Odds 2009)
This match should NOT have been included on this DVD or any other DVD for that matter. For one thing Sabin was pointlessly squashed to the then debuting Brutus Magnus, who was playing a Gladiator character who could have quantum leaped from the 1980’s WWF. For another thing Magnus, at the time, was as green as the Simpsons are yellow and didn’t deserve to be wrestling on PPV (although to his credit Magnus has improved by leaps and bounds since February 2009). For yet another it’s one of the last matches any fan of the Motor City Machine Guns would want to sit through. So if we are to believe (and we shouldn’t but more later!) that the matches on this DVD were “chosen by the fans”, as TNA promised, then we must ask ourselves: What manner of idiot voted for this match?
Jay Lethal and the Motor City Machine Guns vs Johnny Devine and Team 3D Hardcore Streetfight (Against All Odds 2008)
This match is actually quite good but it doesn’t deserve to be on here when the Guns are taken out half way through the match and lie seemingly unconscious outside the ring during what becomes a one on three handicap match. Again it’s entertaining and it would make a good addition on a Jay Lethal or (more likely) an X Division DVD. But it has no place here.
Cuffed in the Cage (Lockdown 2008)
For starters the concept of this match is beyond ridiculous. Six teams in a cage. Eleven pairs of handcuffs. You must handcuff your opponents to the cage (where they stand around just watching the rest of the match like idiots). When the eleventh and final man has been cuffed the man who remains wins the match for his team. You know the match is actually better than I just made it sound thanks to the efforts of Scott Steiner, LAX, Kaz and Super Eric, but the Guns are eliminated in less than five minutes, during which time they did virtually nothing of interest. This is supposed to be their DVD? EPIC FAIL!
As I mentioned earlier the matches are separated by interviews with both teams, but the interviews reveal very little of interest. What’s more is that the wrestlers stick to Kayfabe and discuss their matches as if they were real. That’s just insulting.
Where are the tag team matches?
As I’ve said repeatedly while most of the matches are good, they simply should not be on this DVD which is supposed to focus on tag team wrestling. As exciting as the Steel Asylum matches were, I’m afraid the only wrestlers who stood out were the winners Kaz and Jay Lethal. The Guns were exciting in the Ultimate X match but they were only really there to make up the numbers. Had the DVD been released a few months later they could have included all the classic matches between the Guns and Beer Money from 2010 (although I imagine their Best of 5 Series probably boosted sales of this DVD enormously). They could also have included some of The Motor City Machine Gun’s awesome matches with Generation Me. It’s really not that difficult!
Only two years covered
This is a small complaint but all the matches are from either 2008 or 2009. The Guns have been teaming together in TNA since 2007. Robert Roode has been in TNA since 2004. James Storm and Chris Sabin have been in TNA since it began in 2002! Was this really all they could find?
Lying to the fans!
I saved my biggest complaint for the end. TNA billed this DVD as being voted for by the fans. I remember a year ago TNA posted the possible matches for the DVD on their website. The fans voted for one Beer Money match and one MCMG match each. The top vote getter’s would make the final cut. Seems fair…
Except a year later I can say with a straight face that every match on the list is now on the DVD. In other words TNA didn’t bother counting votes, but rather just decided it would be easier to include every match on the final cut. So in reality the fans really didn’t have much choice in the match listing and therefore the theme and title are both pretty pointless. Unless of course I’m wrong and every match on the list just happened to get the same number of votes. Yeah that’s gotta be it!
It’s a slap in the face of the fans that a DVD titled Fandimonium (which by the way is spelt incorrectly on the cover) actually had nothing to do with the fans choices. But then again the matches themselves are good enough. Their suitability for the DVD is questionable but there’s more good than bad and as always the talent of the TNA roster makes up for the ineptitude of those in charge. Maybe not a great DVD for the casual TNA fan but certainly a must have for fans of Beer Money, or The Motor City Machine Guns, or both.