By BOB KAPUR AND MATT MACKINDER
TNA’s Best of 2009 DVD is a compilation of some of the company’s best matches from last year. For the most part, the match selection is bang-on. Ranging from good to very good, the eight matches featured are a great, if limited, sample of what the company’s main strength is: in-ring action.
As has become tradition here, “Bloodthirsty” Bob Kapur and Matt Mackinder will team-up on this DVD review. Bob’s comments are in normal font, while Matt’s are italicized.
I agree, Bob. TNA needs to stop trying to be like WWE and just produce straight wrestling. No skits. No interviews. Just get in the ring and go. I think, in general, we get that with this DVD.
One of my favourite matches on the set is the first, a Knockouts match between Sarita and Alissa Flash. This was promoted as the debut of Sarita, but it also (I believe) marked the first time Alissa appeared as this persona (she had already been with the company for some time as Raisha Saeed). It was a stellar showcase of what the Knockouts can do, and offered a lot of hope for the division, which had been hurt earlier by the departure of Gail Kim. The two put on a fun, exciting battle, and their performance made both of them into stars that night.
I’ve never been a fan of women’s wrestling, er Divas, er Knockouts, but this match had, well, flash (pun intended). It’s always a plus to see the females used as more than just eye candy and actually wrestling.
It’s perhaps no surprise that, of the eight matches on the DVD, Kurt Angle was in four of them, in matches against AJ Styles, Sting, Jeff Jarrett and Desmond Wolfe. The match against Sting was the infamous “empty arena” match that saw the Main Event Mafia (man, that seems such a long time ago) come out to interfere. Not sure that one necessarily qualifies as being one of the best, but it was representative of the central focus of the shows in the early part of last year. Still, it and the other matches are a reminder of just how good Angle can be, and one hopes that his recently-announced sabbatical from the ring is only temporary.
The other matches featured are an Ultimate X match, Sting vs AJ Styles, and the three-way match between Styles, Samoa Joe and Daniels from Turning Point. Again, no complaints with the selection – all of them were very good and worthy of being on the set.
See, here’s where I have a beef. All these were good, solid matches. But no match stands out as a memorable bout. With all the negativity seemingly on TNA these days with it being called WCW Volume 2 and stuff like that, you’d think TNA’s marketing department would do all they could to spruce up their video library and cater more to fans. All these matches, we’ve seen before and I think Bob notes that below.
If there is one complaint about the DVD, it’s that it only includes matches that have already been seen on iMPACT! or on pay-per-view. And the PPV offerings are rather limited – of the eight matches total, two are taken from Bound For Glory and two from Turning Point).
I hate to sound like a broken record, but with the number of domestic and international house shows (including the Global Impact special) and the matches taped for Explosion, which many people don’t get a chance to watch regularly, surely there could have been some matches taken from those sources to add to the DVD. Including some of those would add to the value of the collection and give faithful viewers who have already seen these matches a reason to buy it.
Basically, TNA dropped the ball on this DVD. Shame, shame, shame.
Instead, the meagre features on this set are a sit-down interview segment with Dixie Carter and the press conference from October where the partnership with Hulk Hogan was announced. Both of these were shown on TV already (I can’t remember exactly if the interview was, but it seemed to be very familiar, so I assume it was – but even if it wasn’t, it’s very short, so not seeing it isn’t really a big deal), so they alone don’t make this a must-have collection.
I agree – this DVD seems like it was thrown together at the last minute by an intern. Definitely not one of TNA’s finest DVDs, which is rare, because TNA generally produces some top-notch stuff. Not here, however.
Bottom line – TNA’s Best of 2009 DVD is a good collection, and if you want to relive some of the highlights in a year where the company was frequently more miss than hit, it’s a worthwhile purchase. But if you’re a regular viewer, you’re not getting anything new, so you may want to save your money.
Yes, save your cash. Please.