In Story mode, you play as Suicide, a successful wrestler who fights his way up the wrestling circuit ranks for a chance at the TNA title in a major televised match. After being approached by rival wrestlers who threaten him to throw the match, he decides to curb-stomp his opponents anyway. Ticked off by the victory, Suicide's rivals brutally attack him after the match, beating him within an inch of death and leaving him bleeding in a Tijuana alley.
The story itself is pretty straightforward wrestling drama fare that plays out through a mix of static sequences and nicely animated cutscenes. Not everyone will enjoy being railroaded into playing a canned story as a single preset character rather than starting a custom wrestler from scratch--a fairly standard option that's noticeably absent here. However, the visuals both in and out of the ring are crisp, and the hard rock soundtrack does a good job of keeping the adrenaline flowing.
When plowing through the main Story mode, you'll bludgeon through match after match using the same core movesets against a rotating medley of opponents in different arenas. Cutscenes break up the pacing a bit, but there's otherwise very little to be concerned with beyond pummeling your next batch of opponents into submission and moving on. Match types do change up every so often, offering a good mix of one-on-one, tag team, and free-for-all encounters, among other configurations.
When things heat up during a match, it's not always easy to quickly recall which combination is necessary to execute a specific move. Moves you're attempting to pull off also change depending on whether you're near the edge of the ring, on the ground, or walking or running. The most egregious example of the game's contextual move issues arises when you're using the circle button.
Exhibition mode lets you pick from a wide range of available wrestlers, both real and fictional, and jump into the ring in a number of different match types. In addition to the standard one-on-one, tag team, and free-for-all matches, and numerous other match variations, you'll find a few other cool options. Full Metal Mayhem throws metal chairs and wooden planks into the mix, and the Super X Cup puts you in a series of individual matches against 16 players to determine who the biggest badass of the bunch is.