Written by: Jake Ziegler from InsidePulse
Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida
BONUS MATCH: Petey Williams & Sonjay Dutt vs. Eric Young & Shark Boy, Road to No Surrender, 9.8.07
Both of these teams will be in the 10-team gauntlet match on the pay-per-view. The winner of the fall here gets to enter the gauntlet last. Dutt and Young start the match with some hugging. No, really. Williams tags in and he doesn’t appreciate all the hugging so Young tags in Boy. They start some actual wrestling and Boy signals for the Shark Bite and Williams avoids it and tags out to Dutt as we go to commercial. Back from the break Williams and Dutt are working Boy over in the middle of the ring. They hit a double vertical suplex for two. Dutt goes up top for a twisting senton but misses and both men make tags. Young quickly rolls Williams up for a two-count. The match breaks down to a brawl with all four men in the ring. Dutt backdrops Boy to the floor and hits Young with the standing shooting star press but Boy pulls him to the floor. Back in the ring Williams hits the Canadian Legsweep accentuated by a dropkick from Dutt. Williams goes for the Canadian Destroyer but Young blocks it and gets Williams in position for a Death Valley Driver. Boy gets back in the ring and sets Dutt on top of that DVD as well, and Young delivers the move to both opponents and then pins Williams at 4:40 (shown). That was fine for a match that was essentially background to pay-per-view hype.
MATCH #1: TNA World Tag Team Title Match – Team Pacman vs. Kurt Angle & Sting
Angle has been a tag team champion since 8.12.07 and Sting joined him on 8.30.07. This is their first title defense. As far as stupid decisions go, signing Pacman Jones would rank right up there for TNA. His partner in this match is former NWA World and Tag Team Champion Ron “The Truth” Killings. It must be an honor for Sting to be the only man in TNA besides Kurt Angle to get to hold a title at this time.
Sting and Truth (obviously) start the match for their teams. Truth take control with some right hands but Sting fires back with a Japanese armdrag, a regular armdrag, and a dropkick. When Truth tries to nip up Sting just punches him back down. Truth goes over for a tag but Pacman literally waves him off. Sting tags Angle and Truth stays in the ring. Angle hits a belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count and this time Pacman drops off the apron to avoid tagging in. How on Earth did Truth and Pacman earn a title shot? While Truth and Pacman argue outside the ring, Angle gives chase, which allows Truth to cut Angle off with a flying forearm for a two-count. Truth hits a running powerslam for another two-count. Karen Angle makes her way down to ringside to cheer on her husband, much to Sting’s chagrin. He tries to make her leave so she slaps him and Sting gets right in her face, accidentally slapping her! Angle didn’t see it happen though. He makes the tag to Sting and goes to check on her. Meanwhile Sting hits Truth with the Scorpion Death Drop but it only gets two. Sting follows up with the Stinger Splash, and finally Pacman tags in to the match. A furious Angle gets back in the ring and hits Sting with the Olympic Slam. The camera is focused on Karen, but Pacman makes the pin to win the tag titles at 5:33. That was too short to be offensive but having Pacman out there at all is kind of insulting and the match was much more focused on Karen Angle than anything else.
MATCH #2: Rhino vs. James Storm
Storm is accompanied my Miss Jackie Moore. Rhino runs down the aisle and chases Storm around ringside. He then puts his hands on Moore, and while the referee breaks that up Storm tries to hide in the crowd. The fans help Rhino find Storm and the brawl is going throughout the crowd. Tenay mentions how the referee got special instructions to be lenient, as if this is any different than any other TNA match ever. Storm tries to jump off a wall but Rhino catches him and drives him back into said wall. They make it back to ringside and Rhino is throwing Storm around. Storm comes back with a vertical suplex on the entrance ramp. Rhino reclaims control y reversing a whip and sending Storm crashing into the guardrail.
Finally they get into the ring for the opening bell, with Rhino fully in control. He hits a belly-to-belly suplex and looks for the Gore, but Jackie grabs his hair from the apron. That distraction allows Storm to hit an enziguiri and a lungblower. Storm hits a running knee to the face and then gloats with his cowboy hat. Rhino comes back with a running shoulder block and a powerslam for two. Storm comes back with the Honor Roll for a two-count. Rhino comes back with another belly-to-belly suplex and then this time hits the Gore but Storm kicks out! The War Machine gets desperate and grabs a couple of chairs from ringside and sets up for the Rhino Driver. Storm fights out of it and instead delivers a Super Ace Crusher on Rhino but it only gets two. He brings a table into the ring but that gave Rhino time to recover and hit a sort of TKO/Fallaway Slam mix for two. Rhino leans the table against the turnbuckles and goes up top. Storm stops him and hits a superplex for two. He goes for a Superkick and Rhino ducks it and hits the Gore into the table to get the pin at 9:25. After the match Rhino tries to violate Storm with a mini beer keg and Jackie tries to stop him so he throws her into the ring and delivers a Gore. Anyone who reads me should know I don’t care much for Rhino, and this was his usual. Storm was pretty over at this time and the Impact Zone has always loved Rhino so at least the crowd heat was there.
MATCH #3: Robert Roode vs. Kaz
Roode is accompanied by Ms. Brooks. Kaz recently broke free of Raven and the Serotonin group that never made any sense. He takes the first advantage with a series of armdrags and Brooks likes what she sees. They go back and forth a bit and when Roode goes for the Payoff Kaz blocks it and they tumble over the top rope and to the floor. They battle around ringside and Roode whips Kaz right into Brooks and even though Kaz is able to stop, Roode pushes him into her anyway. Roode slams Kaz’s head into the steel steps before heading back in the ring. He hits a back suplex for a two-count. He puts Kaz in position for Brooks to take a cheap shot but she won’t do it. Kaz makes a brief comeback but Roode cuts him right off. Roode spends too much time gloating and Kaz gets a victory roll out of nowhere for two. Kaz blocks the Payoff with a small package for two and then hits an enziguiri. He then runs into a spinebuster and Roode gets two. Roode reaches into his knee pad and pulls out a chain but Kaz kicks them away and Ms. Brooks goes to pick it up while Kaz gets a series of pinning combinations for two-counts. Kaz goes up top and hits a missile dropkick and can’t make the cover right away so he only gets two. He goes for another springboard move but Roode blocks it and he lands on the top rope. Roode goes outside the ring to ask Brooks for the chain but she hid it under the ring. That gives Kaz more than enough time to recover and he goes for a springboard dive but stops when Roode pulls Brooks in front. Kaz perseveres and kicks Roode in the face, then hits the flip dive over the top rope. Brooks is very happy about that. Back in the ring Kaz hits a springboard back elbow and a clothesline. Kaz hits the slingshot DDT for a two-count. He goes for the Wave of the Future but Roode blocks it so Kaz turns it into a Sunset Driver instead and Roode kicks out at two! He goes up top for the Flux Capacitor but Roode fights him off and they trade chops. Kaz instead hits a Super X-Factor but Roode once again kicks out at two! He goes for a guillotine legdrop but Roode moves out of the way and hits the Payoff to get the pin at 13:50. That was a really good midcard match for two guys on the rise, but it’s just frustrating to note that three years later neither guy is really a top guy. In fact they’re more or less in the same position now that they were then.
MATCH #4: TNA X-Division Title Match – Kurt Angle vs. Jay Lethal
Angle has been the champion since 8.12.07 and this is his first defense. Not surprisingly Angle takes it down to the mat but Lethal reverses the armbar to one of his own and Angle goes to the ropes. Lethal gets a shoulderblock but Angle comes back with a high hiptoss. Angle takes Lethal down to the mat with a headlock. Lethal comes back with a hiptoss of his own and then a dropkick to the face. He goes up top and hits the double sledge for a two-count. Angle comes back with a Buckle Bomb and kicks away. He hits a backbreaker for a two-count. He takes it back down to the mat and locks on a body scissors. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets another two-count. Angle continues wearing the challenger down until Lethal punches his way out of a rear chinlock. Lethal goes for a clothesline and so does Angle and both men are down. Back on their feet Lethal hits a couple of clotheslines and a headscissors. Lethal hits an enziguiri for a near-fall. Angle comes back with an overhead release German Suplex for a two-count. He goes for the Olympic Slam but Lethal counters it to a DDT for two. Lethal goes up top and Angle hits the pop-up belly-to-belly suplex for two. Angle goes for the Ankle Lock but Lethal kicks out of it and grabs an inside cradle. The champion kicks out at two and then hits three rolling German Suplexes for another two-count! Angle goes for another Olympic Slam but Lethal armdrags his way out of it and hits the Lethal Combination. He goes up top and hits the Elbow but Angle kicks out at two. Angle pops up and goes for a piledriver. Lethal rolls through for a two-count and Angle grabs him for another release German Suplex. The straps come down for another Olympic Slam but Lethal slides out, only to get trapped in the Ankle Lock. Lethal rolls it into a small package to regain the X-Division Title in a huge upset at 12:19! That was a terrific veteran versus youngster match. Lethal went over clean as a sheet and while that should have made him and reinvigorated the X-Division, three years later neither the man nor the division are really any better off.
MATCH #5: No Disqualification Match – Chris Harris vs. Black Reign
I didn’t really understand the Black Reign character. Before the opening bell Harris dives from the top rope to knock Reign down. Back in the ring Harris throws Reign around a bit and backdrops him to the floor. Harris throws him into the guardrail and grabs a chair. He slams it into Reign’s throat and then throws him back in the ring. Reign kicks Harris between the ropes and then hits a neckbreaker. He hits a modified Pedigree for a two-count, and then a running Stunner for another two-count. He goes go up top and Harris slams him down. Harris hits a running clothesline and a bulldog for two. Reign comes back with a spinning vertical suplex. He brings in his sharp weapon and for some reason referee Earl Hebner stops him from using it and Harris gets a small package for three at 5:16. What a dull listless match and a stupid finish. Why would the referee stop a wrestler from using a foreign object in a No Disqualification match?
MATCH #6: 10-Team Gauntlet Match – AJ Styles & Tomko, Triple X, The Latin American Xchange, The Motor City Machineguns, Serotonin, Petey Williams & Sonjay Dutt, Team 3D, Jimmy Rave & Lance Hoyt, Shark Boy & Eric Young, and Voodoo Kin Mafia
AJ Styles is entrant #1, and Christopher Daniels drew #2. Wrestlers will come out in 60-second intervals, and eliminations are over the top rope. When two men are left standing, their tag team partners will rejoin them for a regular tag match.
Styles and Daniels are former two-time NWA Tag Team Champions themselves. They trade right hands to start, and then Styles hits the big dropkick. Daniels comes back with a Blue Thunder Bomb. The #3 entrant is Homicide, who has two reigns as tag team champion on his resume. The three former ROH stars do battle for a minute until Chris Sabin comes out at #4. Sabin pokes everyone in the eyes and hits Homicide with a bulldog. Havok is out at #5 representing Serotonin. Daniels eliminates Homicide right as Petey Williams comes out at #6. He immediately hits Havok with the Canadian Destroyer and then Sabin with the springboard Codebreaker. Styles eliminates Sabin and then Brother Devon comes out #7. Not much happens until Jimmy Rave makes his return to TNA at #8. Tenay and West make a pretty big deal out of Rave and put over Dragon Gate, and then #9 comes out and it’s Brother Ray. Team 3D has a huge advantage now. They immediately eliminate Devine. Next out at #10 is Raven, who will be without his tag team partner. Raven wipes snot on Daniels’s face and Team 3D eliminate him to completely wipe Serotonin out of the match. The next wrestler is #11, Shark Boy. He’s the next man eliminated by Ray as Dutt makes his way out at #12. Devon eliminates Rave and Ray eliminates Williams. Lucky #13 is BG James. Not much happens until Hernandez makes his way out at #14. Styles gets some help with Tomko at #15. Tomko makes an immediate impact by getting rid of both Ray and Devon. He then faces off with Hernandez but Styles and Daniels break them up. Next is Elix Skipper at #16. Next is #17 Alex Shelley and he eliminates BG. Lance Hoyt is #18. He dumps Skipper to the floor in a very nasty looking bump. Next is Kip James at #19, and we know from the Road to No Surrender match that I believe I am the only one to ever review that Eric Young is #20. Kip eliminates Dutt and then Young makes his way out. Tomko eliminates a charging Hernandez and LAX is done. Sadly Tomko doesn’t pay attention and Young dumps him to the floor. Kip dropkicks Hoyt to the floor. Daniels and Kip then eliminate each other. We’re down to Styles, Shelley, and Young. Both Styles and Shelley try to get Young on their side and then they both turn on him. Styles and Young fight on the apron but neither man gets eliminated. With everyone back in the ring Shelley and Styles grab Young and pitch him to the floor to co-win the battle royal.
Sabin rejoins Shelley and Tomko rejoins Styles for a regular tag team match. The Guns double-team Tomko quite a bit to start without much objection from the referee or Styles. They both try covers but Tomko keeps throwing them off. Styles tags in and hits Shelley with the flipping inverted DDT. He hits Sabin with some clotheslines and a spin kick. Sabin comes back with an enziguiri and the match gets out of control. Shelley and Tomko are on the floor while Styles and Sabin battle inside the ring. Sabin gets an O’Connor Roll but Styles rolls through to one of his own for the win at 25:38. Styles and Tomko will challenge Team Pacman for the TNA World Tag Team Titles at Bound for Glory. That was a good gauntlet and the last three minutes or so that was just Styles and Tomko versus the Guns was awesome. I just wish they would have cut out the gauntlet part and just let Styles & Tomko versus the Guns go for 20 minutes. I don’t need to see Eric Young, Shark Boy, Sonjay Dutt, and those guys on every PPV.
MATCH #7: Christian Cage vs. Samoa Joe
Joe charges the ring and the fight is on. He hits a running kick to the chest and a further onslaught of kicks. He hits a running elbow in the corner and an enziguiri. Then Joe uses the face wash and Cage tries to seek comfort on the ring apron, but Joe grabs him in a powerbomb position and swings him into the guardrail. Cage walks up the aisle but Joe won’t leave him alone, taking him back to ringside and whipping him into the guardrail a couple of times. Back in the ring Cage cuts Joe off with a boot to the midsection. Cage tries a dropkick but Joe casually avoids it and connects with the Big Joe Combo for two. Joe hits an enziguiri to send Cage to the floor and then follows him out with a suicide dive. When Joe goes to get back in the ring Cage kicks the middle rope into Joe’s groin. Cage then snaps Joe’s neck off the top rope and catches a breather. This time Cage hits the dropkick but barely gets a one-count. Joe breaks a camel clutch by picking Cage up and falling backwards to the mat with velocity. He tries a senton but Cage gets his knees up for a two-count. Cage works Joe over for a bit and tries a charge in the corner but Joe catches him with the STJoe. Cage tries to fight back but Joe hits a Death Valley Driver for a two-count. Joe hits the running knee in the corner and charges again but Cage drop toeholds him into the second rope and then stands on his throat. Cage charges into the Big Joe Combo #2 for a two-count. Joe tries to grab the Choke but Cage slips out and goes for the Unprettier which Joe avoids. Cage slams the back of Joe’s head to the canvas and goes up for a Frog Splash but misses. Joe hits a powerbomb and then rolls it into an STF and then a Crossface. Cage rolls back to put Joe’s shoulders down for a two-count. Joe goes for a Muscle Buster but Cage slips out, only to run into a snap powerslam for two. Cage rolls to the apron and pokes Joe in the eyes. He goes up top but Joe slaps him and goes up as well. Cage is able to maneuver Joe into a Super Edge-O-Matic for a close near-fall. He goes for the Unprettier but Joe slips out and locks on the Choke. Cage rolls back so far that Joe’s shoulders are down and his legs are in the ropes. Instead of breaking the hold, the referee throws Cage’s legs off the ropes. HE SHOULD BREAK THE HOLD! Now Cage really gets the ropes and the referee breaks it. Joe locks Cage in another type of choke hold and Cage is in the ropes but Joe won’t break on the referee’s count of five. Just for getting in his face, Joe gives Rudy Charles a Samoan Drop. Security comes out to try and restrain Joe, and another referee comes down to disqualify Joe at 14:59. That was an awesome mach between two guys that had great chemistry together. With a real finish I would have rated it even higher.
MATCH #8: TNA World Championship Match – Kurt Angle vs. Abyss
Angle has been the champion since 6.17.07 and this is his fourth defense. Abyss uses his size to throw Angle down. Angle comes back with a headlock but Abyss shoves him off and hits a shoulderblock so Angle bails. Back in the ring Abyss continues to use his power for an advantage. He sets Angle on the top turnbuckle and pats his bald head for luck. That just fires Angle up and he tries getting eye-to-eye with Abyss. Angle throws a few punches to no effect. He tries to run away but Abyss hangs on to his singlet. Abyss hurls Angle into the air and drops him on his chest, and then clotheslines him to the floor. He joins the champion outside and throws him into the guardrails. Back in the ring he goes for a running powerslam but Angle slips out and nails a chop block. Angle wisely targets the knee at this point. Abyss tries fighting back with chops but Angle cuts him off at the knee again. Moments later Abyss charges out of the corner with a clothesline and tries to get the feeling back in his knee. He crushes Angle in the corner but misses a second attempt. Angle tries a German Suplex but Abyss blocks it and hits a spinebuster for two. Abyss hits Shock Treatment but Angle kicks out at two. He goes for a Chokeslam but Angle counters it to a victory roll for two. Angle tries another release German Suplex and this time he hits it. The straps come down and Angle hits the Olympic Slam but Abyss kicks out at two! Angle locks on the Ankle Lock and Abyss kicks his way out of it. Abyss hits a Chokeslam for two. He goes for a vertical suplex but Angle slips out and takes out the knee again. Angle goes up top and hits a long moonsault but Abyss kicks out again. He locks on a modified ankle lock and goes to work on taking off Abyss’s boot. The boot is off and Angle is relentlessly attacking it. Angle pulls his knee pad down and goes up to the second rope, but Abyss catches him by the throat, and then is able to hit a Black Hole Slam but Angle kicks out at two! Abyss goes for a Tombstone Piledriver but Angle rolls through it into the Ankle Lock again. After several minutes in the hold Abyss taps out and Angle retains at 19:25. That was solid and well-worked, but no one really buys Abyss as a threat to the TNA World Title so there wasn’t a ton of drama to the near-falls.
James Mitchell comes on the video screen and says something stupid about Abyss being dragged to hell, and someone cuts up from under the ring and drags Abyss down as Tenay and West lose it.
BONUS MATCH: Six Sides of Steel Submission Match – Kurt Angle vs. Abyss, iMPACT!, 9.13.07
Angle’s title is not on the line here. The champ wisely goes after the knee he spent so much time working on at the pay-per-view. Abyss punches back and picks up Angle and throws him face-first into the cage. Angle is busted open now, so Abyss continues throwing him into the cage. Abyss hits a spinebuster and then locks on a Boston Crab! I believe that’s a new one for Abyss. Angle reaches the ropes. Abyss accidentally whips Angle into referee Rudy Charles, and Angle takes advantage with a blatant low blow. Angle climbs up the cage and Abyss joins him up on the top rope and hits a superplex as we head to a commercial. We’re back and Angle climbs up the cage and hits a moonsault. Angle goes for the Ankle Lock but Abyss kicks off. He tries to use a chair but Abyss punches it back into his face. Abyss throws Angle up into the air and he crashes down on his chest. He goes for the Shock Treatment but Angle counters to the Ankle Lock. Abyss counters and locks on an Ankle Lock of his own. Then Judas Mesias comes up from under the ring just like he did at the pay-per-view. Mesias wraps a barbed wire rope around Abyss’s neck and chokes him. I never heard a closing bell so apparently it’s a no-contest somewhere around 7:08 (shown). That was a decent match even if it was just setup for the Judas Mesias attack that carried on with the blood and the broken glass and all that.