TNA Impact Wrestling in Nottingham - The Review

This past Saturday, TNA ended their UK Maximum Impact tour on a huge high, filming back to back episodes of Impact Wrestling at London's Wembley Arena. But this review isn't about that. Let me take you back to the beginning of the tour, which kicked off in a little town called Nottingham, where the Canned Heat crew just happened to be on hand!

Deciding to make a day of it, we arrived rather early to the arena...four hours early! After some initial wandering around trying to get our bearings, we stumbled across the Capital FM Arena, snugly tucked away in a little corner, a rather unassuming entrance for a sizeable venue. Walking past the back door, we noticed a small crowd of fans had already begun to mass, awaiting their favourite stars arrival for the show. One of the them went so far as to be dressed in complete Jeff Hardy garb. Clearly he hadn't realised Mr Hardy was unable to attend due to a minor legal snafu in the US, preventing him from leaving the country.

Making our way back after a solid mooch around town (highlighted by a rather nice dinner at the Pit and Pendulum), night was falling and a healthy sized crowd was sauntering in, eager for the evening's upcoming entertainment. The first thing we immediately came across were the merchandise stands. Having been browsing the TNA online store the night before in anticipation of buying a quality t-shirt and maybe even some DVD's, my naivety was stopped dead in it's tracks, as I found everything priced to double it's online equivalent! Eventually, I decided to give merchandise a miss for the sake of my wallet, but our own Robbie G stumped up for a rather nifty James Storm t-shirt with "Cowboy" on the front and "I've got 99 problems, but the beer ain't one" on the back. A nice choice, if not for the impromptu striptease to check it was the right size!

Finally entering the arena itself, we were immediately struck by what a nice set TNA had erected at the far end. Being a house show, I'd accepted we were likely to only have a black curtain through which wrestlers would appear. However, we got a sizeable video screen, a proper ramp and a light show to rival the best of them. Finding our way to our seats in the stands, I was initially worried by their steep nature, but soon came to accept the height and it just went to prove there was no bad seat in the house! Even the fans at the very back of the arena felt as though the stars were achingly close and they were getting an intimate show of their own.

Kicking off proceedings was the ever excited Christy Hemme, who had an extra special spring in her step (I assume because this was the start of the UK tour, I'd be worried if she was that hyperactive all the time!). After getting the crowd riled up (probably from her impossibly shiny short shorts you couldn't take your eyes off), she began the ring introductions. In a rather unfortunate technical glitch, the first people out were in a rather jumbled fashion, with the wrong music playing at the wrong time and the referee Earl Hebner coming out in between competitors. It was an oddly flawed start to the night, but I don't think anyone would hold technical glitches against them. Better during the curtain-twitchers than in the main event!

(1) Douglas Williams defeated Gunner via pinfall

As you can imagine, TNA were smart and got their British wrestler out there right off the bat. It's rather cheap  to rely on a fellow countryman to get the crowd warmed up, but it's a proven method and did a nice enough job here. Gunner relied heavily on his current TV gimmick and threatened to give Williams another DDT on the exposed concrete floor, but this time he was unsuccessful. The match itself was nothing spectacular and ended with Williams picking up the hometown win after a worrying Chaos Theory that almost didn't have enough momentum to go over. Still, the patriotism did the trick and the crowd were ready for more!

(2) Samoa Joe and Crimson fought to a double disqualification

This match turned out to be the true wildcard of the event. Absolutely no one in TNA could have guessed that  Samoa Joe would've received as big a reaction as he did. If not for Hogan and Sting at the end of the night, Joe could've been considered the star of the show! Similarly, apart from us, who'd have thought Crimson would be downright despised by a live audience. During the match, it was fairly evident that the wrestlers had to rethink their approach on the fly. There were undeniable chants of "Joe's gonna kill you" that was impossible to ignore. Joe wisely relented and took the role of face, while Crimson didn't really understand the notion of adapting to being a heel and instead became Joe's punching bag. Towards the end, Joe took a beaten down Crimson and sat him in a chair at the corner of ringside, proceeding to give him a brutal kick to the face, followed by a hilarious lap of honour around the ring, set to crowd chants of "ole ole ole ole". Eventually, the ringside brawling became so fierce, the referee called for the bell and had the match thrown out on the basis of a double disqualification. The fans were decidedly upset that their hero Samoa Joe was unable to beat the so-called undefeated Crimson, starting a rash of "let them fight" chants. The pair fought up the ramp and disappeared behind the curtain, making a damp squib of a potential star-making performance by Joe.

(3) Austin Aries defeated Mark Haskins and Alex Shelley to retain the X Division Championship

Having followed such TNA house shows in the past, Canned Heat was fully expecting a fast paced X division triple threat and were anticipating it to be the highlight of the night. While not quite the best match, it was highly entertaining and did the division proud. In a similar move to the the first match, Mark Haskins played the role of the "local boy" (although his true origins seem to be somewhat in doubt). To open the match, Austin Aries wisely decided to sit out proceedings on a well placed chair at ringside, preferring his opponents to duke it out first. The majority of the match was made up with a series of innovative highflying cruiserweight moves, usually coming at the expense of the X Division Champion Austin Aries, who can easily switch between cunning strategist and mugging buffoon. As you would imagine from a title match at a house show, the champion eventually hit a well timed finisher (in this case Aries' rather brutal brainbuster) on Mark Haskins and made the pinfall to retain his championship. Despite the crushing loss, Haskins stayed out in the ring for several minutes to receive support from the fans.

(4) Gail Kim defeated Tara, Mickie James and Madison Rayne to retain the Knockouts Championship

In the second championship bout of the night, the Knockouts title was put on the line in a fatal fourway. Unsurprisingly, Mickie James was the clear crowd favourite, receiving an astounding pop from the crowd upon entering. The other contenders couldn't muster much of a reaction in comparison, even the champion herself. The running theme of the match turned out to be sowing the seeds of discontent between Gail Kim and Madison Rayne. The match began with a sequence where Gail comforted a scared Madison, only to push her into the waiting fists of the faces. Also, on several occasions, Madison attempted to make the pinfall, only to be thrown to one side by Gail. It would have the makings of a quality feud, if only I could imagine Madison Rayne as a face! The finish came after Gail nailed Tara with the title belt behind the referee's back. After a quick pinfall, it was all said and done. Mickie James and Tara stayed out in the ring to pose for the crowd as we entered the intermission.

(5) AJ Styles defeated Bully Ray via pinfall

Returning from the intermission, we were greeted not with a wrestling match, more a show of theatrics. AJ Styles was hugely over with the crowd, whereas Bully Ray was downright despised from the word go. Of course that may have something to do with the ten minute pre-match promo by Ray, where-in he heeled on every subject imaginable. The highlight of which was him picking on a fan, going so far as to invite him into the ring, only to chicken out and order security to remove said fan. This was the first in a series of cowardly acts that earned Ray the affectionate nickname of "Pussy Ray", something that was chanted from this point till the end of the show. After much procrastinating, Ray finally entering the ring and attempted wrestling a clearly amused Styles. In a strong display, Ray genuinely dominated the majority of the match, only giving AJ breaks for his signature spots. The match ended abruptly after Styles turned a Bubba Bomb into a surprise rollup and subsequent pinfall. However, that was not the end of the segment, as Bully Ray proceeded to attack a celebrating Styles with the chain he's taken to carrying recently on air. It wasn't entirely successful though, as Styles was soon back on his feet, acknowledging the cheering crowd.

(6) James Storm defeated Bobby Roode via disqualification (Roode retains the World Heavyweight Championship)

In what we saw as a surprising move, Storm and Roode were up next, giving a potential glimpse into the culmination of their sure-fire feud. As TNA have done everything in their power to keep the two of them apart during recent episodes of Impact Wrestling, the last thing we expected was their big match given away at a house show. We shouldn't have taken it quite so seriously though, as it was blatant setup for the eventual real main event of the evening. For what it's worth, the former tag team partners put on a nice little performance before the supposed "real" stars took over. Storm was particularly over with the crowd, his beer drinking cowboy gimmick really taking off. Roode received a muted reaction (except for the Canned Heat crew hollering), but as the heel, we shouldn't look too much into that. The finish of the match came rather quickly as Bobby Roode proceeded to low blow James Storm right in front of the referee, calling for an immediate disqualification i.e. retaining his World Title with minimal fuss!

In no time at all, the General Manager aka The Icon Sting came rushing down to ringside (his music hitting a little too late in our opinion). He's sick and tired of Bobby Roode's attempts at cheating to retain the World Heavyweight Title and he's going to restart the match right now. However, before he can do so, he's interrupted by Kurt Angle, with issues of his own, wanting to make this a tag team match - Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle vs James Storm and Sting. But before even that can begin, we're treated to our second appearance of Bully Ray for the evening, making it a three on two handicap match. Finally, Sting reveals he's got a tag team partner on standby to make this an even fight. The tag team partner's name? Hulk Hogan!

(7) Hulk Hogan, Sting and James Storm vs Kurt Angle, Bully Ray and Bobby Roode

After the Hogan cheers finally die down, the match begins with Hulk Hogan squaring off against Bully Ray. At least momentarily, as he rather sharpishly tags out to a shocked Bobby Roode (bringing about another round of "Pussy Ray" chants). The pair stalk each other around the ring before finally locking up, a mistake by Roode, which sees him being thrown clear across the ring by the sixty year old legend. At this point, the rest of the heels hit the ring and are summarily hit by blows from the Hulkster, leaving them all lying. This was pretty much the main sequence featuring Hogan, the rest being a typical tag team match between the usual suspects. Still, it was nice to see him make the effort, for a house show no less. The heels spent almost the entire of the match acting as punching bags for the faces, as they all hit their big moves. A special note goes to Sting hitting splashes on all three in their respective corners. The finish came as Hogan tagged back in, hit the trademark three blows and big boot, only to hand off to the Cowboy James Storm for the match winning legdrop! All three faces posed in the ring for the crowd, Storm even getting on the microphone to praise his elders, saying the industry wouldn't be around today if it weren't for Hogan and Sting. After a celebratory victory lap, they disappeared behind the curtain and that was the end of the show.

Overall, it was a fantastic show. It featured wonderful wrestling, magnificent mic work and allowed us to see stars both old and new. In the weeks leading up to the show, we'd been convinced that Nottingham was the weak leg of the tour and that no matter what we saw, we'd always come up short against what TNA were serving up for Manchester and Wembley. I'm pleased to say this was not the case, as they provided a fantastic show that could've been on PPV if only they'd have taped it. Not recording episodes of Impact Wrestling may've even benefited us in the long run, as there wouldn't have been such an emphasis on the wrestling and we never would've seen Hulk Hogan and Sting wrestle what's sure to be one of their final matches together. I can't recommend TNA house shows highly enough and we're already thinking of booking our tickets for next year's show!



TNA Maximum Impact Tour IV: Nottingham Results 26/01/2012

Capital FM Arena, Nottingham

Match One:  Douglas Williams def. Gunner via pinfall.
Match Two: Samoa Joe & Crimson fought to a double DQ.
Match Three: Austin Aries def. Mark Haskins & Alex Shelley via pinfall to retain the X Division Championship.
Match Four: Gail Kim def. Tara, Mickie James & Madison Rayne via pinfall after attacking Tara with the title belt to retain the Knockouts Championship.
Match Five: A.J. Styles def. Bully Ray via pinfall.
Match Six: James Storm def. Bobby Roode via DQ. Roode retains the World Heavyweight Championship.
Match Seven: James Storm, Hulk Hogan & Sting def. Bobby Roode, Bully Ray & Kurt Angle via pinfall.

These are just the results of the show, for more in depth check back in the next few days for our exclusive tag team take.



TNA 2012 Maximum Impact Pre Tour

Hulkamania is Running Wild in the UK

The TNA Maximum Impact tour is only days away and the promotion has kicked into full hype mode, the key face of this push is one man, not the World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode, not the Icon Sting whose last tour it will be to these shores but the poster boy for this tour is the Immortal Hulk Hogan.

Where as using Hogan to sell tickets and gain interest in the product isn't totally a bad thing as TNA are using their asset of having the biggest name in pro wrestling within their arsenal but it does take away from others such as Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode who could have done other appearances with the benefit that they are in and around the current main angles and will be in the matches people will be paying to see.
Whilst promoting the tour to sell the remaining tickets and plug Impact Wrestling with Hogan has been generating interest the choice of avenues has been a little odd, first an appearance on London Tonight which being regional can only be a last push at the Wembley tickets although it means anybody outside of the capital missed this selective choice, the second being ITV's Loose Women which was obviously targeting the wider audience although there the demographic of Loose Women to Impact Wrestling is very different with very little cross over appeal and finally Talk Sport radio which is where you would actually expect to hear about wrestling and is appealing to the right audience, especially as Mickie James has previously appeared in the radio station.  
Despite being on in random places promotion is promotion and putting the word out there that Impact Wrestling is the highest rating wrestling show in the UK will garner interest from fans who maybe have fallen out of wrestling or even bring in new fans as they are making a big point of making the UK part of their future plans. 

Brussels Live Event

The European tour kicked of in Brussels on the 24/01 and served up a card which is likely to be similar to those seen across the UK, if this is the case we are more excited than we were before!

Austin Aries defeated Alex Shelley and Mark Haskins to retain the X Division Championship
Gunner defeated Douglas Williams
Crimson defeated Samoa Joe 
Mickie James & Tara defeated Madison Rayne & Gail Kim
A.J Styles defeated Bully Ray
Bobby Roode defeated James Storm and Kurt Angle to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.

TNA have a history of putting on PPV quality cards on the UK house shows so we all have something to look forward to although we have been hyped for this tour since tickets went on sale! 



TNA 2012 Maximum Impact Tour IV

On January 26th the stars of Impact Wrestling will be arriving on British shores for their annual tour of the UK and this year for the first time ever will be filming Impact Wrestling outside of the US and we here at Canned Heat can't wait!

From Sting's last ever UK appearance to Hulk Hogan's first in 18 years, World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode, The Phenomenal A.J Styles and X Division Champion Austin Aries there is something for everybody and a hell of a lot of talent on show!
Despite the list of talent above I have heard a number of complaints from fans that Jeff Hardy and RVD will not be on the shows, I'm not to sure why RVD has been excluded but I imagine it's allowing his storyline injury to pay off along with the rumour he is keen to head back to WWE and Hardy to my knowledge isn't allowed to leave the US due to the result of his drugs conviction. As big a draw as both athletes are that shouldn't deter fans from going to see the show; you don't buy a PPV for just one match so enjoy what other talents are on the card.

Impact Wrestling

The final date of the tour is now the date gathering the most attention, not only is it in the capital at Wembley but now it has been announced that Impact Wrestling will be filmed outside of the US for the first time in TNA's history!
The filming will include 2 episodes of Impact Wrestling which is usual for tapings but will be something new for the UK fans who will be experiencing this for the first time. Not only is this a privilege for the UK to host Impact but for those two TV shows the feeling will be totally different to that of the Impact Zone, hopefully the excitement and scale will come across more like a PPV event and encourage TNA to take Impact back on the road around America and back to the UK in the future.

Wrestling Matters

For those unable to attend the Impact taping and Wembley like ourselves, I wouldn't be too disheartened, the talent listed on show will be provide an excellent evening out and house shows generally provide a better quality of match as things do not need to be crammed in or happen to move along a storyline.
Looking at the announced names we have an idea of the match ups that we will likely see, chances are the Nottingham and Manchester shows will vary, but this is our guess on what will be on the cards:

Hulk Hogan / Sting / Storm vs Roode / Angle / Bully Ray
Crimson / Morgan vs Samoa Joe / Magnus
Kazarian vs A.J Styles
Gail Kim / Madison Rayne vs Mickie James / Tara
Austin Aries vs Alex Shelley 
Doug Williams vs Gunner 

There are a number of possible match ups that could occur over the events and I'm sure most fans would be happy with any of them, Samoa Joe has a title shot which he earned on Xplosion which will also be cashed in on the tour and don't be surprised if more wrestlers than advertised turn up to the show!

All in all this tour is bringing most of TNA's biggest names, Hulk Hogan is only there for selling power but it seems to have worked and gained media interest in the tour, Sting will be in his last ever matches on these shores and a roster full of talent will be making for three entertaining evenings, see you all in the stands!



TNA Genesis PPV Predictions

With another month comes another PPV! This Sunday, TNA kick off 2012 with their annual Genesis event. Assembled below are the official Canned Heat picks...

Tag Team Championships - Crimson & Matt Morgan (c) vs Magnus & Samoa Joe OR AJ Styles & Kazarian

After the most bizarre tournament in the history of professional wrestling, we will soon have our Wild Card winners and new number one contenders. While I'm thankful that TNA are addressing the obvious problems with their tag team division, I'm not entirely sure this is the right way to go about it. You can't just throw random singles wrestlers together and pretend everything is fixed. Even the champions fall prey to this problem, as Sting just threw them together randomly a month ago on Impact. As for which of the Wild Card teams I want to go through and challenge for the titles, I could see it going either way. AJ and Kaz being together makes perfect sense, what with their history in Fortune, and with enough time put into them, could even be considered a proper tag team. However, I could definitely see TNA throwing Magnus and Joe a bone too. Either way, the challengers won't be successful on this attempt. Crimson and Morgan are still continuing their own feud, using the tag team division as a stepping stone. I don't think they're quite done with those titles just yet.

Prediction - Crimson & Matt Morgan retain the Tag Team Championships after a miscommunication between Magnus and Joe.

Monster's Ball Match - Bully Ray vs Abyss

This match has been building since Bound for Glory and Monster's Ball is definitely the right way to pay it off, especially with two hardcore brawlers. The remnants of Immortal have been running scared from Abyss and consistantly had their asses kicked in the process. While Abyss going over would certainly do wonders for his monster routine, I have a feeling Bully Ray and his cohorts need this win more if they are ever going to be taken seriously as a threat again. Never mind the fact I don't know why the majority of Immortal are still together despite having lost all backstage power months ago.

Prediction - Bully Ray gets a tainted victory as his stablemates run in and beat down Abyss until he can't answer the pinfall.

D'Angelo Dinero vs Devon

They say the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and that's the only way to describe this feud. This angle has already run for the majority of 2011 and now it's making 2012 it's bitch to boot. Starting out on the Internationally syndicated show Xplosion, Pope has been worming his way into Devon's family for as long as I can remember. I think there were some initial allusions to making moves on Devon's wife, but for the most part it's come down to brainwashing his twin boys. I can only assume Devon's sons are looking at professional wrestling as a career because there have been genuine wrestlers on TNA's roster that have been seen less than these two. After an entire year of boring me senseless, I can't imagine this match will change my mind.

Prediction - Devon wins, only to have his sons side with Pope and beat him down anyway.

Knockouts Championship - Gail Kim (c) vs Mickie James

Right up front I admit these two are the pinnacle of women's wrestling today. They've got a wonderful mix of talent and personality, putting other competitors to shame. However, we've seen this match several times over in short order and I can't imagine their programme will run for much longer without turning into a best of seven series. I find it rather a shame that all of their matches have relied upon interference from Madison Rayne and would much rather see a clean match than the usual heel tactics. Considering Gail has already had a number of victories over Mickie, this feels like the moment for payback.

Prediction - Mickie James wins the Knockouts Championship after a failed attempt at inteference by Madison Rayne.

X Division Championship - Austin Aries (c) vs Kid Kash vs Jesse Sorensen vs Zema Ion

The booking of the past month's X Division bouts downright puzzles me. The Champion and two of his contenders have basically been absent the entire time apart from some guest commentary on Aries part. Instead, the past three weeks have focussed exclusively on a best of three series between Zema Ion and Tony Nese, two men who've barely been seen, let alone used, in the six months they've been under contract. Booking logic would dictate that the winner of such a series must go on to win the Title, otherwise it was all for naught. However, since when were TNA bound by logic! Despite my reservations at the curious booking, I'm actually rather excited for the match and it stands a good chance at stealing the whole show. All I ask is that after this final bout, Austin Aries is allowed to move on to a new contender for his Title and the variation of matches between these four men is brought to a close.

Prediction - Austin Aries retains his X Division Championship with a surprise rollup after his fellow competitors are distracted brawling on the outside.

Kurt Angle vs "The Cowboy" James Storm

At first, I was rather perplexed as to why you would take Storm away from his sure-fire feud against his former Beer Money partner, Bobby Roode, but this diversion against Kurt Angle has been pleasantly surprising and worked wonders for Storm's credibility. Holding a win over a man some would say is the greatest professional wrestler of all time is a hell of an honour and takes him even further up the totem pole than winning the World Heavyweight Championship. This rematch will prove particularly interesting, as it could raise Storm higher than ever before or send him packing. I have a feeling they may want to drag this feud out for at least one more month, so I wouldn't put it past them to have Angle cheat and bring about a decider at the Against All Odds PPV.

Prediction - Kurt Angle wins after spraying James Storm's own beer into his eyes.

World Heavyweight Championship - Bobby Roode (c) vs Jeff Hardy

In the past, TNA have had a HUGE soft spot for Jeff Hardy. No matter his faults, they'd put the Title on him, no questions asked. He's undoubtedly the most popular wrestler on the roster, however questionable his behaviour may be. The real test will be whether he shows up sober. I'm really hoping they resist the urge to hotshot the Title onto him and brand it the ultimate redemption story (as it clearly isn't). Bobby Roode on the other hand, is a tried and tested workhorse the company SHOULD be investing in for the long term. He's turning in excellent matches, solid promos and given a few major wins, could be a superstar in the making (and not in the WWE sense of the word). I'm trusting TNA to stick to their guns and continue building up Bobby Roode, as losing the World Title now would be disasterous to his push. Assuming Roode does pick up the win and retain his Title, it would function in much the same way as James Storm's recent win over Kurt Angle, using victories over established talent to give credibility to the next generation. It's not rocket science, but you'd think so sometimes.

Prediction (aka praying) - Bobby Roode retains the World Heavyweight Title by submission after an attempted Twist of Fate is reversed into a Crossface.


New Years Honors: 2011 Awards

This has been a little while in the coming so apologies to all but it is now the New Year and we here at Canned Heat are presenting the best (in our humble opinion) of 2011 in TNA. 2011 has seen a number of changes within TNA and although we may not agree with it all we are celebrating the best and analyzing the worst of another year of material from the 'biggest wresting promotion in the US'.

Best Newcomer  - Austin Aries

Well not quite a newcomer, in the build up to Destination X, A Double made his return to TNA after a number of years in ROH and has been the centerpiece of the X Division ever since, beating Brian Kendrick for the title at No Surrender. 

Putting on entertaining matches, cutting entertaining promos and the only man who can pull off sparkly pants and a pink jacket Aries has added stock to the X Division although he has quickly outgrown the competition put against him and hopefully 2012 will see him move through the company, maybe even using his draw to reignite the TV title which would open up a number of exciting possible matches with the likes of Samoa Joe and Christoper Daniels. 

Notable Mentions: 

Jesse Sorensen - despite losing in the first round of the contract match leading up to Destination X Sorensen was given a contract and despite a generic character has shown enough in the ring to add some depth to the X Division. 

Best PPV - Destination X 

In a PPV calender lacking in any stand out gimmicks, TNA retrofitted their annual Destination X PPV with a novel concept, devoting the show entirely to the reborn X Division. In the weeks leading up to the show, we'd seen returning legends and a healthy injection of new blood showcased in an impressive series of qualifying matches. The victors moved on to an epic fatal fourway with a guaranteed contract on the line. As you may have guessed from our earlier entry, Austin Aries triumphed and began an impressive stint in the X Division, which runs to this day.

However, that's not to say the show only had a single notable match. The entire card was filled with gems not typically found on your average TNA show. Including an impressive Ultimate X match, a reignited feud between long standing ECW rivals Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn, a challenge match between TNA mainstays AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, not to mention Brian Kendrick taking back the X Division Championship from the Monster, Abyss.  

Best Match - Kurt Angle Vs. Jeff Jarrett  (Slammiversary IX)

While the feud between Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett spanned several years and countless matches, it all came to a head in this summer's Slammiversary main event. In their previous encounters, Jeff Jarrett had consistently stolen victories through a variety of underhanded methods, but his luck was about to run out. The pair battled back and forth, resulting in a well earned Angle victory and a great ending to one of TNA's hallmark feuds.

Notable Mentions:

Hulk Hogan Vs. Sting (Bound for Glory) - While not a technically sound match, it proved to be one of TNA's most memorable moments of the year, with Hogan returning to his red and yellow roots and casting aside his Immortal stable-mates.

Motor City Machine Guns Vs. Beer Money Inc. (Genesis) - In a year bereft of quality tag team wrestling, I thought I'd include a nod to the last hurrah of this classic match-up. MCMG were soon hampered by injury and both members of Beer Money went on to challenge for the World Title.We won't see the likes of this feud again soon.

Best Tag Team - Beer Money Inc.

One of the greatest tag teams in recent years, an important cornerstone to Fortune and two great singles wrestlers, despite going their separate ways they were the best team of the year. 

Winning the titles at Genesis and holding them for a record setting 212 days; although a little help from Alex Shelley for stepping in at Slammiversary for the injured Roode; Beer Money Inc. had the fans firmly behind them and hanging on every word, beating off all competition and proving their worth in the BFG series. 

What tops Beer Money as the best tag team is that since losing the tag titles both have become World Heavyweight Champion, whats a better credential than that?

Notable Mentions:

Mexican American - the team that beat Beer Money, they drew heat although they were a cheap version of LAX, as of the past few months the lack of teams that have been around all can be said of at least they were a real team. 

Ink Inc. - again a team that weren't just put together and had a connection although now Jesse Neal has left the company leaving no actual tag teams in the division. 

Best Knockout - Gail Kim

Having begun the year as a jobber in the WWE's ailing Divas division, no one could have suspected this would become the era of Gail Kim. Feeling rejected by management, Gail went so far as to intentionally eliminate herself from a battle royal on live television, just to see if anyone was paying attention! After only a handful of Twitter followers noticed, Gail handed in her notice. However, where any other competitor would've happily been granted their release, relations had grown so sour between the two parties, WWE management forced Gail to sit out the remainder of her contract, unable to go elsewhere for employment.

While being paid to sit at home and do nothing is most people's dream, Gail was itching to get back on the road and after only a brief hiatus returned to her spiritual home in TNA and made an instant impact. In her first appearance back, on the show following Bound for Glory, Gail laid out the new Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky and aligned herself with resident bitch and VP of the Knockouts, Karen Jarrett.

In the weeks that followed, Gail ploughed through opponents left, right and centre. One particular match against Tara was so decisive, it was a wonder Tara hadn't just laid down for Gail. Merely a few weeks after her debut, she was a Knockouts Tag Team Champion, and at the next PPV, the Knockouts Singles Champion as well. Never has there been a more decisive push for a Knockout. The fact she can eclipse all  other achievements of the Knockouts combined in less than three months is astounding.

Notable Mentions:

Velvet Sky - She had a fantastic 2011 and would've been my pick for the top slot had Gail Kim not stolen the show at the last minute. Her feud with ODB made for wonderful television, particularly their brawl which spanned the entire Impact Zone. Speaking of which...

ODB - At the beginning of the year, she wasn't even employed, but after a memorable feud with Velvet Sky and an epic quest to earn a new contract, ODB deserves some recognition. I'm even enjoying her current wild card tag team with Eric Young, which says alot in itself.

Most Undeserved Push - Crimson

He led the BFG series and would have won if Samoa Joe hadn't have put him 'on the shelf', he has gone through the year being 'undefeated', took part in a 'dream match' with Matt Morgan at Bound For Glory who are now tag team champions. Without paying much due's management seem to see something in him that currently I'm not getting, he doesn't get over with the crowds and the best I have seen him this year was when he was learning the ropes as Scott Steiner's partner at the beginning of the year.

Notable Mentions:

Garrett Bischoff - Just because he is Eric's son we should invest in him being able to wrestle, despite being a referee for year? Being thrown into big matches and down fans throats isn't the best way to win people over!

Jeff Hardy - Yes, he is one of the biggest names in the industry, but after his disgraceful turnout at Victory Road there is no way Hardy should be entering 2012 as the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, when he came back he should have been put at the bottom of the card and allowed to build his way back up and if he had earned it let him have a shot at the BFG series next year. 

Best Wrestler - Bobby Roode

Nobody can come close to Roode over the last 12 months, he has been apart of the longest reigning tag team champions, he won the BFG series despite starting with an injury and has ended the year as World Heavyweight Champion. 

The only thing that would have made Roode's year better is if he had gained the title clean from Angle at Bound For Glory, TNA dropped the ball a little as he had huge momentum going into this match and despite giving a good showing and only losing via Angle cheating the momentum was killed although kudos to him working with it and going on to become an entertaining fresh face in the main event picture. 

Notable Mentions:

James Storm - Roode's partner in crime for most of the year also had a decent run in the BFG series and then went over Angle in 3 minutes to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Storm is strong on the mic and has a lot to offer in the ring so should continue this momentum into 2012. 

Bully Ray - I wasn't keen when Team 3D split up as I remember when WWE tried to do this and ended up just pairing them back together but this time Bully Ray has done well on his own. Not only taking up a lead role in Immortal due to his strong mic work and heel promos he has had some hard hitting matches and did well in putting over Roode in the final of the BFG series, he's never going to be a main event draw but he does his job well. 

Kurt Angle - I can't mention best wrestler without mentioning the best wrestler EVER! His best work of the year came with Jarrett in the first half of the year as the two put on a strong series of matches, despite all his injuries still has it. 

Well that is our 2011 awards down, hope you agree, if not let us know your opinions and hoping the 2012 proves to be another entertaining year!