By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Magnus (Team UK) def. Mr. Anderson (Team Aces and Eights)
For those wondering why Aces and Eights were competing in this tournament, this show was taped back in March. You know, when the group was still relevant. That being said, it was odd to see Anderson represent the faction he ended a month ago, but putting that aside this was a good match. The fans were into all of the action, but Magnus was over here and received a nice reaction upon winning. A solid start to the event.
Kenny King (Team USA) def. Sonjay Dutt (Team International)
These two worked a very fun, fast paced X-Division matchup, despite the fact there were several botches throughout the bout. It was good to see King in action since he has been off TNA television for so long (then again this was taped back in March when he was still X-Division Champion). As the commentators stated, Dutt is the best X-Division competitor to have never held that title, but I would that he wins it at some point in his career.
Lei'D Tapa (Team International) def. Hannah Blossom (Team UK)
Both women are still somewhat green in the ring, but this match was slightly better than expected given their inexperience. It wasn't a great Knockouts match by any means, but it wasn't too short nor too long. Blossom scored a significant amount of offense in over Tapa, thus not making the match a complete squash. Team International needed points to catch up, so having her go over here was only logical.
Knux and D.O.C. (Team Aces and Eights) def. Petey Williams and Funaki (Team International)
This was a very formulaic tag team match with Knux and D.O.C. dominating most of it only for Williams and Funaki to come back briefly. With that in mind, I was bored by the bout and it couldn't have been more predictable since Aces and Eights was the only team yet to score any points in the cup. The fact Aces and Eights had to resort to using the godforsaken hammer to win the match was pretty pathetic considering the immense size different between the two teams.
Wes Brisco (Team Aces and Eights) def. Rockstar Spudd (Team UK)
Dear lord, Wes Brisco is terrible. If you didn't know that prior to watching this match, well, you know now. He relied mostly on rest holds before going straight to his finisher to pick up the victory. A flat match that the live crowd (or I) couldn't have cared less for. Spudd was never on television at the time this event was taped, which is why he wasn't over at all, and Brisco has zero heat. The fans came alive for Spudd building a head of stream in the final minute of the match, but it was too little too late by that point.
Bad Influence (Team USA) def. Douglas Williams and Rob Terry (Team UK)
I was a massive fan of The British Invasion back in the day, so it is a shame that the history between Williams and Terry was never brought up by the commentators (they were too busy making horrendous jokes). The crowd was behind Bad Influence early on, but Williams and Terry won them over down the stretch. It was a good tag team match for what it was, but it never really seemed to get out of first gear.
Ivelisse (Team Aces and Eights) def. Mickie James (Team USA)
It was nice to see Ivelisse back despite her Gut Check loss earlier this year. She is fun to watch in the ring and has real potential being as young as she is, so it was mind boggling to me why TNA never signed her. Obviously, had this show been taped later in the year, Brooke would have been competing for Team Aces and Eights instead, but Ivelisse was a suitable replacement. The match was well wrestled and Mickie carried Ivelisse to an exceptional Knockouts match. I was surprised to see Ivelisse go over, but it was a huge win for her and I hope it means we will see more of her in TNA at some point.
James Storm (Team USA) def. Judas Mesias (Team International)
Storm unfortunately didn't receive much of a reaction upon his entrance, but he won over the fans over the course of the contest. He had a solid match with Mesias with a mix of entertaining brawling that the crowd was into for the most part. The finish was abrupt and seemed to come out of nowhere, but I have always loved the unpredictability of Storm's superkick, so I didn't mind it.
Team USA def. Team Aces and Eights in 5-on-5 Elimination Tag Team Match
As annoying as Taz's commentary was throughout the night, one thing I did chuckle at was how he mentioned that Team USA's entrance music was sappy as all hell. I couldn't agree more. It was fun to see Bad Influence act as babyfaces for the night, even if they ended up "turning heel" by the end of the match by walking out on Storm. They might make for a good babyface duo down the line if the crowd continues to heavily cheer them. The match itself was better than expected and I enjoyed the finish with Storm taking out both D.O.C. and Mr. Anderson. Sure, it made the Aces and Eights look weak, but they have since disbanded, so what does it matter by this point?
While I liked the concept of the event, I could see why some longtime fans would have a problem with it. I mean, since when is Aces and Eights a country? Why couldn't some of the "international" wrestlers be separated into their own teams? It was coordinated poorly, but most of the matches were well wrestled and provided enjoyable action. I wouldn't suggest going out of your way to watch this show, but it was fun for what it was worth given the fact the event was short on star power while making the most out of the talent they had available.
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