-A video package recapping the Raven/Jeff Jarretty feud airs. It features footage of Raven introducing Sabu last week as his tag team partner for “Sacrifice.”
-The Impact opening airs and Tenay welcomes us inside Stage 21 at Universal Studios, Florida. A graphic recapping the Super X Cup so far fills the screen. This week’s edition of Impact will feature the first round two/semi-final match in the tournament.
Super X Cup – Semi Finals
Samoa Joe vs. Alex Shelley
Christopher Daniels joins us on commentary for the match. Joe starts things off with a quick kick to the left leg. They lock up and Shelley ends up taking Joe down with an ankle lock. Joe grabs Shelley’s ankle and reverses the move into a half crab. Shelley reaches the ropes to break the hold. They lock up again and Shelley gets on an arm bar. Joe gets out of it with a fireman’s carry and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial, Shelley has Joe on the mat in an arm bar. Shelley modifies the arm bar by locking his legs around Joe’s head. Joe gets out of the hold and slaps Shelley across the chest. Petey Williams comes out on the ramp to watch the match, and AJ Styles is shown backstage watching the match on a monitor. Joe backs Shelley into the corner and works on him. Joe puts Shelley in an arm bar. Shelley fights back and gets Joe on the mat with an arm bar/headlock combination. Joe lifts his leg and puts Shelley’s head in a scissor hold to reverse it. Shelley reverses out into a headlock. Joe then reverses it into a crossbar, but Shelley puts his arms together to block it from being fully locked on. Daniels notes Shelley may be trying to make Joe mad and get him out of his game plan by blocking the submissions. Shelley with some forearm shots. Shelley comes off the ropes but runs into a big right hand. Joe with some hard standing kicks to Shelley in the corner. Joe with a hard kick to the back of the head. Joe with hard right hands and chops to Shelley in the corner. Joe whips Shelley into the corner, but Shelley gets a boot up. Shelley drives Joe face first into the mat and goes for a pinfall. Barely a two count. Shelley with some right hands to the head. Shelley comes off the ropes but runs into a rolling leg sweep kick from Joe. Joe executes a back splash and goes for a cover. Near fall. Joe with another chop. Joe whips Shelley into the corner, then runs in and nails a leg kick to the face. Joe stomps Shelley’s face in the corner, then charges in with a kick to the face. Joe with some hard right hands and slaps to Shelley in the corner. Joe sets up Shelley on the top rope and executes the Muscle Buster. Joe locks on the Kokino Clutch. The ref drops Shelley’s hand three times, as Shelley wouldn’t submit, and Shelley is out. Joe wins the match and will face the winner of AJ Styles vs. Petey Williams. Styles vs. Williams will be next week.
Winner: Samoe Joe
Match View: Pretty good, slow building opening match. Joe continues to look strong with his unique MMA style that is really succeeding as a cross-over style into pro wrestling. The fans are really into it when he hits the stiff kicks and chops. ***
-A video package recapping the Waltman/Lynn feud. Some cool footage of them from the early 90s is shown, mostly from Japan it looks like.
-Backstage, Shane Douglas interviews Cassidy Riley. Riley is wearing a Raven t-shirt again. Douglas asks him about his curiousity about Raven. Riley says a lot of people said the first time Raven saved him, people thought it was a coincidence. He says last week proved it wasn’t when it happened a second time. Riley beams at the fact that he thinks Raven has an interest in him. Riley says he is a little bit disappointed Raven didn’t choose him to be his parter, but who better to be chosen over him than Sabu. Riley beams at the tag team of Raven and Sabu, saying they are going to be the best tag team ever.
NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
(C) The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Team Canada (Eric Young & Bobby Roode) w/ A-1 Ralphz
Both teams make their entrance, and the start of the match is held off until after the commercial break.
Roode and Stevens will start things off. Roode with a quick takedown. Stevens with a hard right hand sending Roode down. Stevens with a shoulder block. Stevens nails a clotheslines coming off the ropes to Roode, also coming off the ropes. Douglas is tagged in. Douglas nails a face buster into Stevens’ knee. Young is tossed over the top rope to the outside. Douglas and Roode fight on the outside briefly. Douglas nails Young. A-1 gets involved, and trips Douglas off the apron as he was entering the ring. Roode works over Douglas in the ring with right hands. Roode tags in Young. They work over Douglas in the corner with kicks to the gut. Young lifts Douglas up into a suplex position, then drops him across the top rope. Near fall. Young with some right hands. Young with some forearm shots to the back. Roode is tagged in and he nails a kick to the midsection on Douglas. Roode puts on a reverse bear hug on Douglas. Douglas fights to his feet and nails some elbows to the head to break the hold. Douglas with a roll up for a near fall. Douglas with a backslide for a near fall. Douglas fights off both members of Team Canada in the corner, then bashes their heads together. Douglas goes to tag in Stevens, but Roode trips him with a toe hold. Young is tagged back in . Young puts on an arm bar on Douglas on the mat. Douglas fights to his feet and gets some punches to the midsection in before Young throws him down to the mat. Roode is tagged in. Roode with a kick to the midsection. Roode chokes at Douglas on the mat. Roode tags in Young again. Young with a kick to the stomach again. Young comes off the ropes but runs into a high knee from Douglas. Both men are down. Hart directs Douglas to Stevens, but Young tags in Roode first. Roode comes across the ring quickly and takes out Stevens before Douglas could make the tag. Roode runs into an elbow. Douglas makes the tag after floating over Roode. Stevens cleans house in the ring. Stevens with a flying forearm on Roode. Stevens is whipped into the turnbuckle. Petey Williams runs out. Team Canada interferes like crazy and it’s a mess in the ring. Stevens runs into a full nelson slam from Roode. Young comes off the top rope with a flying elbow. Roode makes the cover for a near fall. Roode steals the megaphone away from Jimmy Hart and goes to use it, but Douglas steals it and nails Eric Young. Douglas then throws the megaphone to Bobby Roode. Douglas lays down on the mat to act like he was layed out as Jimmy Hart yells at the ref to turn around. The ref catches Roode holdling the megaphone even though he hadn’t yet used it and the ref DQs Team Canada.
Winners: The Naturals via DQ
Match View: A good tag team match. Creative finish with Douglas outsmarting Bobby Roode with the megaphone and getting caught, playing off of what happened at the No Surrender PPV. **3/4
-After the match, Team Canada works over the Naturals. AMW comes out for the save. Team Canada bails. Tenay talks about being shocked that AMW saved the Naturals. West notes, “It’s not about AMW and the Naturals. It’s about USA vs. Canada.” AMW gets ahold of the tag titles, and hand them over to the Naturals. They kind of hesitate to give them to the Naturals at first, tightly holding on.
Abyss w/ James Mitchell vs. Apolo w/ Sonny Siaki
Both men stare each other down nose to nose at the start. They lock up with nobody getting the advantage. Apolo gets on a standing headlock, but Abyss quickly breaks it. Abyss comes off the ropes with a shoulder block that doesn’t phase Apolo. Apolo works over Abyss but it doesn’t phase him at first either. Abyss runs into a boot from Apolo. Apolo clotheslines Abyss over the top rope to the outside. They fight on the outside. Apolo throws Abyss face first into the side of the ring. Abyss throws Apolo into the ringside barrier. Abyss goes and grabs a chair. He goes to use it, but Siaki grabs it from behind and takes it away. Apolo nails Abyss and rolls him into the ring. Apolo mounts Abyss in the corner and nails some punches as we go to the commercials.
Abyss throws Apolo shoulder first through the turnbuckles and into the post. Abyss goes to execute a choke slam, but Apolo fights out with some elbows and a spinning neck breaker. Near fall. Apolo goes to come off the ropes, but Mitchell grabs his foot to distract him and Abyss drops him with a clothesline. Abyss chokes Apolo on the mat. Abyss wrenches Apolo’s neck. Apolo fights to his feet and gets in some elbows. Abyss quickly nails a knee to the gut. Abyss chops Apolo in the corner. Apolo throws Abyss into the corner and nails some hard chops. Abyss rolls up Abyss out of the corner. Apolo with a full nelson slam. Apolo takes Abyss down with a clothesline. Apolo comes off the ropes and nails a jumping clothesline. Apolo with a choke slam. Mitchel and Siaki get into it at ringside, so the ref is distracted so he can’t count the pinf. Abyss picks up a steal chair from ringside. Abyss misses the chair shot, and Apolo kicks it and it hits Abyss’ head (I think, didn’t look very impressive). Apolo covers Abyss for a near fall. Abyss nails a Black Hole Slam out of reversing an Irish whip to get the pinfall.
Match View: This was an interesting match in the fact that Apolo of all people was allowed to get in so much offense on Abyss, and in particular no-sell a lot of Abyss’ moves at the start. As much as they have been building up Abyss in recent weeks as a monster, I couldn’t believe they had Apolo of all people look this strong against him. Apolo came off looking much stronger than Abyss in this match. No offense at all to Apolo, but he is not very over with the fans and hasn’t really been going anywhere. He shouldn’t have been the one who could withstand much of Abyss physical shots and work over Abyss, someone who usually wins in squashes on Impact, like this. *1/4
-After the match, Lance Hoyt runs out and attacks Abyss from behind. He clotheslines Abyss over the top rope to the outside. Mitchell holds Abyss back from getting back in the ring. Hoyt gets on the mic, and says Mitchell made the wrong choice and chose the wrong man. Hoyt says in case Mitchell and Abyss forgot his name, he’s going to let the fans tell them. Hoyt then leads the fans in a “Hoyt! Hoyt! Hoyt!” chant.
-Backstage, Monty Brown is talking with Larry Zbyszko. Larry is telling Brown he is out of options as far as referee’s go. Brown doesn’t want BG James as the ref at Sacrifice. Larry repeats the fact that the referees of TNA are complaining about an unsafe working environment and won’t ref this particular match. Brown says if he puts BG as special ref in the match, the working environment is going to become much more unsafe.
Simon Diamond & David Young vs. Sabu & NWA World Champion Raven
Raven and Diamond start things off. Diamond with a punch and some kicks in the corner on Raven. Raven comes off the ropes and nails a kick, but then runs into a right hand. Young makes a bling tag and comes in. Raven teases an evenflow but Young gets out. Sabu is tagged in. Sabu with a kick to the face and some right hands. Sabu whips Young chest first into the turnbuckle. As Young bounces out, Sabu springboards off the ropes and nails Young with the side of the leg. Near fall. Sabu slingshots from the outside of the ring, and flips nailing a leg drop. Sabu puts Young in a chinlock. Diamond breaks the hold. Diamond is then tagged in. Diamond sets up Sabu upside down in the corner. Diamond charges in with a knee to the midsection. Diamond with a series suplexes. The third suplex, he hangs Sabu across the top rope. Young is tagged in and works over Sabu with a couple right hands. Young with a hard spinebuster on Sabu. Raven breaks up the pinfall attempt. Young sets up Sabu on the top turnbuckle. Sabu fights him off, and comes outta the corner sommersaulting into David Young to take him out. Raven comes in the ring and takes out Young with a clothesline. Raven with a bulldog on Diamond and a facebuster on Young at the same time. Pinfall attempt is broken by Diamond. Sabu is tagged in blindly, and takes out both members of the other team with a springboard double clothesline. Sabu nails a leg drop using a chair under him on Young to get the pinfall. Diamond is on the outside but stays out of breaking up the pin.
Winners: Raven & Sabu
Match View: A very short main event. If this was a warmup match for Sabu, he looked pretty good doing his usual spots. Raven didn’t have as big of a role in this particular match. It was pretty much a short showcase for Sabu for his role in the upcoming PPV tag match. **
-Jarrett and Rhino run out and attack Raven and Sabu after the match. Rhino and Sabu fight, with Rhino on the offensive. Raven and Jarrett right with Raven getting the advantage. Sabu sends Rhino out of the ring. Security comes out. Sabu sets up a chair in the middle of the ring, and uses it to springboard out of the ring on top of Jarrett and Rhino taking both men out.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.