Written by: Jake Ziegler from InsidePulse
Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida
PRE SHOW MATCH: Bobby Roode vs. Von Doring
They’re doing the “free agent” angle with Bobby Roode at this point. Doring is not intimidated but Roode takes the advantage anyway. Roode puts on a chinlock about a minute and a half in. Doring escapes but Roode knocks him down with a shoulderblock. For some reason Doring gets to come back with a shoulderblock of his own and then hits a hiptoss and a bodyslam. Roode rolls to the apron and is able to block a suplex and snap Doring’s neck back across the top rope. Back in the ring Roode goes to work, hitting a vertical suplex. Roode hits a knee drop and gloats about it, giving Doring a chance to briefly fight back, but Roode cuts him off with a clothesline. Doring comes back with a flurry of offense including a back body drop. He tries a charge in the corner but Roode avoids it and hits the Northern Lariat. Roode follows up with his new finisher, the Payoff (the Roll of the Dice … seriously?) to get the win at 4:30. If you’re trying to buildup Roode as a new big heel threat, having a guy who to the best of my knowledge never wrestled another match in TNA being on even keel with him was rather stupid.
MATCH #1: Eric Young vs. A1
This was when Eric Young was most annoying, with his hair dyed black and doing the “Don’t Fire Eric” garbage. He starts the match by stalling on the floor and interacting with the crowd. A1 pulls him back in the ring and knocks him down with a shoulderblock. Young comes back with a hiptoss and then rolls back to the floor to play with the morons some more. A1 tries to take the fight to Young on the floor but he gets thwarted. Back in the ring Young hits the jobber finisher (cross body block) for two. A1 comes back with a running powerslam for two. He squashes Young in the corner but misses a second attempt. He catches a punch from Young and throws him to the floor. Back in the ring A1 locks on a surfboard type maneuver and Young has to kick his way out. Young comes back with a Thesz Press and a running clothesline in the corner. A1 reverses a whip but Young lands on the apron and snaps A1’s neck off the top rope. It takes forever for A1 to fall, and then Young goes up top for a flying elbow drop that only gets two. A1 comes back and tries to scoop the legs for a pinfall, but the referee catches A1 putting his feet on the ropes for leverage. He tries a Tombstone but Young reverses it to the Wheelbarrow Neckbreaker for the pin at 6:16. That was a fine opener, if this was an episode of iMPACT! Actually if they wrestled on iMPACT! the match would be half as long.
MATCH #2: Petey Williams vs. Jay Lethal
This was during the “Chris Sabin, Jay Lethal, and Sonjay Dutt are imitating ‘Jackass Number Two’ because we’re too stupid to come up with anything good” phase. As such, they are backstage playing video games when Lethal’s music hits, so Jerry Lynn has to come in and yell at them. Dutt reveals that they put laxatives in Williams’ water bottle. I’m not making this stuff up.
They do the usual back and forth stuff to start, with Lethal taking first control. Lethal hits a springboard missile dropkick for a two-count. The match spills to the floor and Williams hurls Lethal off the apron and back first into the guardrail. Back in the ring Williams looks to press the advantage. He hits an elbow drop and then a neckbreaker for two. He hits a bodyslam and a legdrop for two. He’s only missing the big boot there. He lands an enziguiri and then the 61-dropkick. Finally the “joke” rears its ugly head, as Williams looks to be having stomach trouble. Lethal goes for a sunset flip and I believe Williams farts his way out of it. Williams then gets an O’Connor Roll and again farts in Lethal’s face. He blocks a vertical suplex and hits a spinning neckbreaker for two. He hangs Lethal In the corner and goes up for Oh Canada but his bowels prevent him from pulling it off. Lethal comes back with punches to the gut and then an atomic drop. Williams comes back with the springboard Codebreaker and then a capture DDT for two. He tries the Canadian Destroyer but can’t hit it and he tries to run to the back. Lethal catches him with a schoolboy rollup to get the pin at 7:26. Now I just feel bad for both Lethal and Williams for having to participate in that garbage. They really booked a match with a guy trying not to poop his pants.
MATCH #3: Three-Way No DQ Match – Raven vs. Abyss vs. Brother Runt
Click Doomsday is one of the dumbest catchphrases ever. In a seemingly odd turn of events, Abyss and Raven work together on Runt. They toss Runt to the floor and then go after each other. Abyss takes Raven down and hits the Earthquake Splash. Runt gets back in the ring and wears Abyss out with a kendo stick. He and Raven work together to throw Abyss head-first into a trash can, and then Raven immediately turns on Runt. Raven gets tossed to the floor and then Abyss grabs Runt and hurls him out on top of Raven. Abyss seems off in his own little world while Raven battles Runt. Raven hits Runt with a trash can, and when Abyss holds him for another shot Runt ducks and Abyss takes it. Runt grabs a trash can lid and goes nuts on both guys. Speaking of nuts, Runt sets the ring bell on Abyss’s groin and hits it with a lead pipe. Runt headbutts Raven in the gut to knock him to the floor, and then dumps Abyss out as well. Raven finds a gladiator helmet somewhere outside the ring, and uses it as a battering ram on Runt, and then headbutts him in the groin. They go outside the ring to join Abyss. Raven grabs a trash can and brings Runt up the entrance ramp with him for a drop toehold right down the entrance ramp. Abyss brings a table up and punches Raven’s bloody head. He goes down the ramp to retrieve a ladder and sets Raven on the table. Raven fights off the table and blasts Abyss with the trash can. He climbs the ladder and then from out of nowhere Runt jumps off the top of the entrance and delivers a double stomp that does not break the table. Runt and Raven go back up to ringside and Raven wraps a dog collar around Runt’s neck and drags him into the crowd where he had earlier set up two tables. Raven climbs up some scaffolding and drags Runt up by the neck. That looked painful. Raven then simply punches Runt off the scaffolding and through the tables. Back in the ring Raven goes for a cover and Mitchell breaks it up. Raven then goes for the bulldog but Runt pushes him off right into a Black Hole Slam by the returning Abyss. That’s enough to get the pin at 11:31. That was decent for a garbage brawl; I particularly liked how they had hid weapons throughout the arena before the match.
MATCH #4: Eight Team Triple Chance Battle Royal – America’s Most Wanted, The Naturals, Alex Shelley & Johnny Devine, Shark Boy & Norman Smiley, Kazarian & Maverick Matt, Ron Killings & Lance Hoyt, Elix Skipper & David Young, and The James Gang
Basically, the last two men that are left in this battle royal will get to be rejoined by their partners for a tag team match. The winners become the #1 Contenders to the NWA World Tag Team Titles. AMW is accompanied by Gail Kim, the Naturals are accompanied by Shane Douglas, and the Diamonds in the Rough are accompanied by Simon Diamond. It’s lots of punching and kicking in the early going, as per usual in a battle royal. Skipper tosses Smiley out for the first elimination and then Hoyt eliminates Skipper. Kazarian and Matt eliminate Hoyt. Killings eliminates Devine. Shelley eliminates Shark Boy, so he and Smiley are gone. The brawling continues, and I think Chase Stevens’ Death Valley Driver on Harris is the first real move of the match. Stevens tries a springboard something and Storm pushes him way into the crowd and it definitely looks like a fan got injured. At any rate Stevens is eliminated. Killings eliminates Maverick Matt and then David Young, so the Diamonds in the Rough are gone. BG James and Killings battle each other and Shelley sneaks up behind them and eliminates them both. Kazarian goes to run off the ropes and Devine pulls down the top rope to eliminate him. Moments later Kip James eliminates Shelley, so Kazarian & Matt and the Paparazzi are out. We’re down to the final four – Chris Harris, James Storm, Kip James, and Andy Douglas. Kip eliminates Storm with a kick to the face while he was trying to skin the cat. Meanwhile up on the entrance ramp the teams of Shelley & Devine and Kazarian & Maverick are brawling. Kip actually eliminates Harris but since the referees were concerned with that brawl, they didn’t see it. Harris then sneaks back in the ring to eliminate Kip, and we’re down to two at 9:07.
Chase Stevens and James Storm can now rejoin Andy Douglas and Chris Harris for a straight up tag team match. AMW dominates the worn-down Douglas while Stevens can’t even get up on the apron due to an injured ankle suffered when he got thrown into the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, it sounds like they don’t give a crap what’s going on right now. Just as I say that they get behind Douglas. Storm hits the Eye of the Storm and then AMW sets up for the Death Sentence. The James Gang comes back out to break it up, still upset about what happened earlier. Storm brings Stevens into the ring and goes for the Eye of the Storm but Stevens slips out and gets a schoolboy rollup for the win at 14:25. That’s actually not a terrible idea for a match, but the Naturals are boring as sin and I hate Shane Douglas. In practice though, the match was horribly dull and seemed much longer than it was.
MATCH #5: TNA X-Division Title Match – Chris Sabin vs. Senshi
Senshi has been the champion since 6.22.06 and this is his third defense. They start down on the mat and the champion gets the first advantage. They continue the chain wrestling and Sabin misses a low dropkick and then luckily for him Senshi misses a field goal kick to the head. Sabin lands a headscissors takeover and gets a couple of quick rollups for two. He takes control of Senshi’s arm and tries wearing him down. Senshi escapes as he best knows how – a kick. He then hits a couple of chops. Sabin gets dumped to the apron but he grabs Senshi and knocks him down, then follows him in with a slingshot senton. He tries a vertical suplex but Senshi knees his way out of it, and then hits a rolling kick for two. Senshi hits the twisting corkscrew elbow drop for two. The champion stays in control, wearing Sabin down with a variety of kicks and strikes. Sabin fires back with a series of chops and a dropkick to send Senshi to the floor. He goes for a suicide dive but Senshi kicks him in the head! Back in the ring Senshi is right back in control. Senshi traps Sabin between the top and middle ropes and hits a Warrior’s Way to the back but it only gets a two-count. Sabin fights back with a series of forearms. He tries a charge in the corner but Senshi gets his boots up. Senshi tries a kick to the head but Sabin catches it and hits a Dragon Screw Leg Whip. Sabin drops Senshi face-first on the second turnbuckle and then hits a running boot to the face. Naturally Senshi kicks his way out of it, but then runs right into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Sabin follows up with a springboard missile dropkick for two. Senshi comes back by dropping Sabin on his chest and then hitting a trio of kicks for a two-count. He misses a springboard spin kick and Sabin lands an enziguiri. Sabin goes up top and Senshi responds with the Tidal Krush. Senshi tries a superplex but Sabin blocks it and puts Senshi right in position for the hesitation dropkick, but Senshi gets his foot on the bottom rope. Sabin goes for a powerbomb but Senshi elbows his way out of it and hits a double stomp. Senshi goes up top and Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt run down to ringside with an inflatable doll. The crowd is NOT happy. Senshi somehow gets confused and tries to double stomp the doll. The doll continues to be involved in the match as the crowd chants “this is stupid.” Senshi hits a shotgun dropkick to get the win and retain the title at 16:57. This was going along really well until Lethal and Dutt made their way to ringside. If this was TNA’s idea of saying the Jackass shenanigans were stupid, it only really proved how stupid they are for doing it in the first place.
MATCH #6: Rhino vs. Christian Cage
This is one of those “we used to be friends in REAL LIFE and now we hate each other on this FAKE WRESTLING SHOW” feuds. They start off cautiously until Rhino just explodes, going to work on Cage in the corner. I can feel the aggression coming out of the War Machine, according to DW. Rhino hits a back body drop and sets up for the Gore but Cage wisely bails to the floor and asks for a timeout. Of course Rhino does not oblige and he chases Cage back in the ring. Cage comes back and throws Rhino to the floor, but the War Machine perseveres and backdrops Cage to the floor from the apron. Now Rhino throws Cage into the crowd. They climb up to the top of the Impact Zone and Cage hauls off with a back elbow. The go back down the stairs and Rhino charges but Cage moves and Rhino crashes into the wall. Cage delivers a DDT on the entrance ramp. Back in the ring Cage stays in control. He hits a missile dropkick for two. He takes Rhino down and hits a Frog Splash but Rhino kicks out again! Cage tries a charge in the corner but Rhino moves out of the way. That’s all Rhino needed to be fully recovered and he unloads with his usual boring offense. He hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Cage avoids a charge in the corner and tries the Unprettier, but Rhino avoids it and hits a spinebuster. Rhino hits a powerslam for another two-count. This time Cage hits the Unprettier and Rhino kicks out. Rhino comes back with a TKO for two. He accidentally clotheslines the referee and Christian hits the Edge-o-Matic but there’s no one to count. Cage takes the opportunity to bring two chairs into the ring and tries the one-man Con-Chair-Toe but Rhino avoids it and hits the Gore but there’s still no referee. Rhino goes for a Con-Chair-Toe of his own but the referee has woken up and he takes the chair. While the ref is dispatching of the one chair, Cage hits Rhino with a low blow and then hits the Unprettier onto the remaining chair to get the win at 16:26. That was solid because of Cage but I find nothing in Rhino the character or Rhino the wrestler to get invested in.
MATCH #7: Ultimate X Match for the NWA World Tag Team Titles – The Latin American Xchange vs. AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels
This is the eleventh ever Ultimate X match, and the first ever Tag Team Ultimate X match. LAX have been the champions since 8.24.06 and this is their first defense. As soon as the introductions are over the fight is on. Homicide and Styles are left in the ring, and Hernandez joins them for some double teaming. Hernandez hurls Styles over his head and down to the mat. Homicide goes up top as Hernandez worries about Daniels. Unfortunately, Daniels throws Hernandez to the floor and pulls Homicide down. Styles rejoins the ring and they double-team Hernandez. He goes to climb up but Homicide pulls him down onto the top rope. Homicide tries to introduce a steel chair but Daniels avoids it. Instead Homicide knocks Daniels to the floor and hits the Tope Con Hilo. Styles immediately follows with the Fosbury Flop. Hernandez signals for a dive but Daniels cuts him off and locks on the Koji Clutch in the ring. Homicide breaks that up and hits Daniels with a suplex. LAX takes control of both opponents and Hernandez introduces a ladder. Homicide tries to climb it but Styles is all “no way, dude” and smashes it into Homicide’s face. Then the challengers drop Hernandez crotch first on the ladder before throwing it back to ringside. Styles and Daniels both go up top – Homicide pulls Styles down and Hernandez hits Daniels with a super Crackerjack. Konnan takes cheap shots on Daniels on the floor. Hernandez takes a shot at climbing to the belts but Styles knocks him down. Homicide has a chair and he hits Styles across the back with it. He goes up for the belts and Styles follows him out and kicks him down. Daniels goes up and Hernandez takes him down onto his shoulders so Homicide can hit a bulldog off the top rope. Hernandez climbs up again and Styles pulls him down right on top of his partner! Styles is all fired up now, hitting Homicide with the flipping inverted DDT. He and Daniels try a double vertical suplex on Hernandez but he blocks it on the way down and hits a simultaneous neckbreaker. Homicide goes up top for a Frog Splash but misses and the challengers hit him with Total Elimination. Hernandez breaks through a double clothesline attempt and knocks both challengers down. Konnan introduces a table as Hernandez hits Daniels with a backbreaker. Hernandez goes for the Border Toss but Daniels breaks it up and hits a Uranage. Styles hits a Frog Splash and Daniels follows with a Best Moonsault Ever, and then Styles follows with a Spiral Tap! That’s badass. Homicide pulls Styles to the apron and pays for it, as Styles hits the Styles Clash through the table! Konnan then knocks Styles out with his slapjack. Daniels climbs up the steel support beam to avoid Konnan with a kendo stick. From the corner Daniels jumps all the way out to the center and pulls down the belt to regain the titles at 15:29. The action was certainly break-neck and these two teams had tremendous chemistry together. The finish was definitely memorable, and so was this feud to be honest.
MATCH #8: Fans Revenge Match – Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett’s NWA World Championship is not on the line here. He’s worried about Sting though, so he sends Eric Young to find him. He’s also worried about the fans whipping him with belts, so he has multiple layers of clothing on. Jarrett tries to go on offense early but Joe is having none of it. Joe tries to throw Jarrett to the floor, but he hangs on and rolls back into the ring before he can get whipped. Jarrett starts losing layers, and Joe hits the STJoe. He rolls to the floor and the fans take advantage, so he gets right back in. Jarrett knocks Joe to the floor but the fans of course don’t go after Joe. He goes outside to bring Joe back in and the fans whip him again. He did get a hold of one of the leather straps and he whips Joe with it. Jarrett continues to use the belt as a weapon on Joe. He goes to the top rope and hits a cross body block for two. Since that didn’t work he tries a cross body block from the mat and gets another two. He tries a turn-around cross body from the second rope, but Joe casually avoids it. Joe comes back with the inverted atomic drop, kick to the face, and a senton. He takes off Jarrett’s shirts and unleashes some chops. He backdrops Jarrett to the floor and the fans whip him some more. Back in the ring a fan tosses Joe a belt and he whips Jarrett with it. Jarrett comes back with a dropkick to the face. Joe comes back with the snap powerslam for two. Jarrett gets a rollup for two. He uses his discarded t-shirts to choke Joe. He tries tying Joe to the ropes but Joe won’t let him. Instead Joe ties up Jarrett and invites the fans to come in the ring and take free shots at Jarrett’s back. Referees stop the fans, but Jarrett is able to grab the guitar. Joe puts on the Choke before he can use it though, and Jarrett reaches the ropes. The ref gets distracted and Jarrett hits the Stroke right onto the guitar but Joe kicks out! The funny thing about Jarrett’s finishing move is that it doesn’t sound good as a verb. Like whenever Mike Tenay says “Stroked him” into something it just sounds … not good. Joe comes back and wins a slap exchange but misses a knee in the corner. Jarrett sets him up top and tries the Super Stroke (Tenay wonders “is he gonna try and Stroke him from up there?). Joe avoids it and hits a big kick to the face. He comes out with the Muscle Buster to pin the NWA World Champion at 11:04. The fans’ revenge gimmick worked to a point, but the one negative about it was that it seemed to make Joe somewhat of an afterthought.
Joe walks away with the NWA Title, and Jim Cornette comes out to announce that TNA will start airing on Thursday nights in Prime Time. He also introduces a video package that displays the newest addition to the TNA roster: Kurt Angle. See, Joe’s totally an afterthought.
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.