Written by: Jake Ziegler Ziegler from InsidePulse
Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – May 11, 2008
MATCH #1: Deuces Wild Quarterfinal Match – Team 3D vs. James Storm & Sting
Storm is accompanied by Jacqueline. The idea of this tournament was that four established teams would battle four thrown-together teams, though no one knows who will face who. In terms of stupid ideas by TNA, this one actually doesn’t really rank. Storm insists on starting the match with Brother Devon. Team 3D takes the early advantage and starts working Storm over. Jacqueline gets in the ring to yell at Brother Ray and he tricks her into turning around so he can slap her ass. Sting tags in and Ray puts on a headlock and then hits a shoulderblock. His control doesn’t last long before Sting goes on offense and Ray takes a powder. Devon tags back in and traps Sting in a headlock. Sting escapes and hits a shoulderblock. Storm yells at Sting, which distracts him and Team 3D double-teams him. Devon continues working Sting over. Storm shows concern by drinking beer. Devon hits a diving headbutt, but then misses a second attempt. Sting comes back with a Stinger Splash, but then he misses a second attempt. Team 3D hits the What’s Up, and then they get a table. Sting avoids going through the table, and then decides he no longer cares about the match, as Team 3D steps aside and lets him throw Storm through the table to get the pin at 8:45. That was pretty much a nothing match, and I don’t remember Sting and James Storm having any kind of feud. The finish was mildly creative.
MATCH #2: Deuces Wild Quarterfinal Match – Robert Roode & Booker T vs. Rhino & Christian Cage
Roode didn’t know who his partner was going to be until the music hits. He starts the match with Rhino – it’s a rematch from 2006! Cage quickly tags in and takes control of Roode. He hits a diving European Uppercut off the second rope, which Don West calls a Corkscrew Elbow. Roode comes back and stomps Cage down in the corner. He gloats too much and Cage almost makes a comeback but Roode cuts him off with a spinebuster. Cage comes back with a tornado DDT, and Roode crawls over to the corner where T makes a blind tag. I always thought T’s movements were so awkward looking. Cage grabs T with the inverted DDT. Rhino gets the tag and he goes to work. T comes back with a leg lariat and goes for the Axe Kick, but Roode rudely tags himself in. Roode goes for the Payoff but Rhino avoids it and hits the Gore to advance to the semifinals at 7:03. That was a little bit better than the previous match but the structure was almost identical. Cage and Rhino shake T’s hand, and they all appear to be friends. However, T goes outside the ring and grabs a chair, and wallops both men in the head with it.
MATCH #3: Deuces Wild Quarterfinal Match – Kip James & Matt Morgan vs. The Latin American Xchange
LAX is accompanied by Hector Guerrero. James and Homicide start the match. The height difference is quite noticeable, especially when James points it out. James sets Homicide on the top rope and then pays for it by taking a missile dropkick. Hernandez flies in with a slingshot shoulderblock. Morgan goes after Hernandez. Meanwhile Homicide hits James with the Tope Con Hilo. Morgan grabs Homicide and hurls him through the ropes, allowing his team to take control. He hits his own version of Old School and makes the tag to James. Homicide is quickly able to make the tag to Hernandez, who goes to work on the “Mega Star” (his tights say so). Hernandez throws James around and then takes an unnecessary shot at Morgan. The dumb thing is that when Morgan gets in the ring and starts battling Homicide, the referee doesn’t try to stop him. Morgan accidentally hits James with the Carbon Footprint. Hernandez dropkicks Morgan to the floor and scores the pin on James at 4:17. Seriously, this first round should have been on iMPACT! That’s also the third real team in a row to get the win.
MATCH #4: Deuces Wild Quarterfinal Match – Super Eric & AJ Styles vs. BG James & Awesome Kong
I have no clue why AJ Styles is teaming with Super Eric, and how they’re not considered a thrown-together team. I also can’t figure out why they wouldn’t let Kong play in the men’s division a little more. She’s just as intimidating and twice as talented as Rob Terry. Kong is the TNA Women’s Knockout Champion, and is accompanied by Raisha Saeed. Eric and James start the match, and Eric hits a quick dropkick for a two-count. Styles tags in and hits a dropkick too. Tenay helpfully explains that Styles needed a new partner because Tomko got injured in the Orient. Finally, he says something that helps me, but he also still calls Japan “the Orient.” James makes the tag to Kong, and the crowd is digging it. Kong goes for a clothesline but Styles gets a schoolboy for two and then a sunset flip for two. Styles is hesitant to hit a woman, so Kong blasts him with a spinning back fist. Styles comes back with a kick to the gut, so Kong grabs his balls. James gets tagged back in and hits an inverted atomic drop. He tags Kong back in and she goes for the Awesome Bomb but Styles reverses to a sunset flip, so Kong sits on his chest for two. Kong tags James back in, and he hits a series of jabs but misses the one after dancing. Styles hits the Pele and makes the tag to Eric. The superhero hits a Swanton Bomb but Kong breaks up the count. Kong tries to bodyslam him, but Eric reverses and slams Kong on Styles. Now Kong rolls to the floor and Eric follows her out with a suicide dive. Styles goes for a springboard something but trips on the top rope and falls flat on his face. Second later Styles gets the pin with an inside cradle on James at 5:32. I think that may have been cut off early, as Styles looked legitimately hurt. It Why put Kong in the match if you’re not going to let her do anything?
MATCH #5: Terror Dome – Curry Man vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Consequences Creed vs. Shark Boy vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Kaz vs. Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Johnny Devine vs. Jay Lethal
This red cage makes it very difficult to see anything. Boy was doing his Stone Cold impression at this time. Jim Cornette comes out and announces that the winner of this match will receive not only a shot at the X-Division Title in the future, but will get to take Kurt Angle’s place in the main event tonight! Calling the action in a match like this could get difficult, and may be pointless. They work some cool spots in, all part of the effort to get a spot in tonight’s main event. The Motor City Machineguns work together, and so do Dutt and Lethal. Of course they work a giant Tower of Doom spot in there. Rave tries to climb out but Man catches him and hits a Super Spice Rack! Tenay’s constant directing of the production team is annoying. They have a director you douche! They do some more spots and Kaz climbs out of the Terror Dome and wins the match at 10:36. That was the usual spot fest but it was entertaining at times. I think this was the only time this match was called “Terror Dome,” as it would later be changed to “Steel Asylum.”
MATCH #6: Deuces Wild Semifinal Match – Team 3D vs. Rhino & Christian Cage
Brother Ray and Cage start the match. Cage is not one hundred percent due to the attack by Booker T earlier tonight, so Ray easily takes control. After a few minutes Cage makes a comeback on Devon and tags Rhino. The War Machine hits a flying shoulderblock and looks to be going for the Gore but Ray pulls him down to the mat by his hair from the apron. Devon stomps on him for a bit, and then Rhino comes back with a spinebuster. Cage tags in and hits back body drop on Devon and then knocks Ray off the apron. He goes up top and takes both men out with a cross body block off the top rope. Back in the ring Devon distracts the referee, allowing Ray to abuse Cage with the steel steps on the floor. Team 3D works Cage over in their half of the ring for several minutes until Ray goes to the second rope and Cage punches him in the cocks. Cage hits a hurricanrana and gets a two-count. I hate that referee who wears shorts. Both men make tags and Rhino is all over Devon. Ray comes in and knocks Cage off the apron, and Team 3D goes for the What’s Up. Cage throws Devon off the top rope, and Rhino hits Ray with a spinebuster. Rhino hits Devon with a clothesline off the second rope for two. Johnny Devine has snuck down to ringside with a kendo stick. The match has broken down to a brawl, and the idiot referee who wears shorts doesn’t even try to regain control. Rhino hits Devon with a powerslam for two. He hits the Gore but Devine distracts the referee, allowing Ray to hit Rhino with the kendo stick and get the pin at 9:55, sending Team 3D to the finals. That was competent but the finish was pretty uninspired.
MATCH #7: Deuces Wild Semifinal Match – AJ Styles & Super Eric vs. The Latin American Xchange
LAX of course are accompanied by Hector Guerrero and this time Salinas. How did I miss her first time around? Styles and Homicide start the match with some mat wrestling. They collide in mid-air and both men make tags. Hernandez overpowers Eric at first, and then gets sent to the floor. Eric wipes Hernandez out with a cross body block. Styles gets tagged in and hits the springboard flying forearm. He and Eric continue to make quick tags and wear Hernandez down. Eventually Hernandez makes the tag and Homicide is all over Eric with his sloppy offense. LAX double-teams Eric as once again the referee doesn’t try to regain control of the match at all. Hernandez hits Eric with a long stalling suplex but they can’t put him away yet. Styles tags back in and levels Homicide with a spin kick. He calls for the Styles Clash but Homicide reverses it and hits an Ace Crusher. Homicide goes for the Gringo Killer but Eric breaks it up. Hernandez clotheslines Eric to the floor. Salinas distracts the referee while Styles has Homicide trapped in a small package. Hector Guerrero sneaks in the ring and pulls Homicide on top of Styles, and despite the fact that Styles’ shoulders were not even down a little bit the pin is counter at 7:31. That was a dull match with a horrible and botched finish. What a horrible tournament so far.
MATCH #8: Knockout Makeover Battle Royal and Ladder Match – Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky vs. Rhaka Khan vs. Salinas vs. Christy Hemme vs. ODB vs. Roxxi Laveaux vs. Jacqueline vs. Traci Brooks vs. Gail Kim
The way this match works is that it starts as a battle royal, and when they get down to the last two, it turns into a ladder match. The winner of the ladder match gets a shot at Awesome Kong’s title, while the loser gets her head shaved. That seems overly complicated. However, Gail Kim earned immunity in some match on iMPACT! last week. The action is hot and heavy from the get-go. Salinas quickly gets pushed to the floor and eliminated. Moments later Brooks knocks Sky to the floor and then Love sort of kicks Brooks to the floor so she’s eliminated too. Hemme leaps into Khan’s arms and gets dumped to the floor. Jacqueline, Love, and ODB eliminate Khan. Kim eliminates Jacqueline and Roxxi eliminates ODB. Roxxi dumps Love to the floor so no we move on to the ladder match. So since Kim has immunity, if she is the runner-up then Love will be the one to get her head shaved. They ring another bell to start the ladder match but I never heard a bell to end the battle royal. Roxxi quickly goes after the ladder and Love tries to stop her but to no avail. Kim kicks the ladder back into Roxxi and then tries to climb. Roxxi pulls her down with a powerbomb attempt but Kim reverses it to a hurricanrana. Kim then shoves the ladder into Roxxi’s face. She sets the ladder up in the corner and Roxxi comes back, propping Kim up and then charging into her. Kim comes back with a monkey flip right onto the ladder. Love slides another ladder in the ring and Kim sets it up. Both climb the ladder, and it looks like Roxxi is busted open. Kim hits a nasty sunset bomb. Love grabs onto Roxxi’s leg to try and keep her down, but Roxxi fights back. Roxxi hits a spinebuster right onto the ladder. Now Sky comes back and gets kicked in the face by Roxxi. The Voodoo Queen climbs the ladder but Love pushes the ladder over. Love encourages Kim to climb the ladder, which she does. Kim grabs the contract to win the match at 9:38. The battle royal portion was pretty dumb, but if they had just gone with Gail Kim versus Roxxi Laveaux it would have been good. Those two did some sick spots. Roxxi gets her head shaved, and takes it like a man, so to speak. The crowd loudly chants “Fire Russo.” The rest of the Knockouts come out in a show of solidarity with Roxxi. Despite hating the booking, the fans chant “Roxxi,” which is actually pretty nice of them.
MATCH #9: Deuces Wild Final for the Vacant NWA World Tag Team Championship – Team 3D vs. The Latin American Xchange
The titles have been vacant since April 17, 2008, since when Super Eric (along with Kaz) won them he wouldn’t admit that he actually was Eric Young. I can’t make this stuff up. Homicide explodes through the ropes with a Tope Con Hilo and Hernandez soon joins him in beating on Team 3D. The veteran Team 3D is able to fight back and take over the match. All the action so far as been on the floor; I haven’t even heard an opening bell. Homicide and Devon enter the ring and now we get a bell. With the match officially underway, Homicide gets the first near-fall with a cross body block off the second rope. Homicide goes up top and Ray tosses him down. Now Team 3D is in control again. After several minutes of abuse Homicide makes the tag to Super-Mex and he is a casa en fuego. Hernandez flies over the top rope to wipe out both Brother Ray and Brother Devon. Johnny Devine makes his way down to ringside again and sets up a table. Hector Guerrero takes the stick away from Devine and blasts him with it. He moves the table around and sets Devine on it. He goes up top and double stomps Devine through the table! Meanwhile back in the ring Ray has Hernandez down in the corner and he chops away. Ray hits a superplex, and then Devon follows with a diving headbutt for two. Tenay and West make the same mistake that Jim Ross always did, calling their double-neckbreaker the 3D. Devon takes Homicide up top but Hernandez stops him and delivers the Border Toss. Homicide follows with a Frog Splash to get the pin and LAX become three-time TNA World Tag Team Champions at 8:50. The match was surprisingly solid and I love LAX’s reaction upon winning. I also love Salinas … a lot.
MATCH #10: TNA World Championship Match – Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner vs. Kaz
Frank Trigg joins Tenay and West for commentary. Steiner is accompanied by Rhaka Khan and TNA X-Division Champion Petey Williams. Joe has been the champion since 4.13.08 and this is his second defense. Kaz goes for a couple of quick pins on Steiner while Joe watches. Joe cuts them both off with simultaneous clotheslines, and more assorted strikes. I admit that I love the spot where someone goes for a cross body block on Joe and he casually walks away. Joe locks Kaz in a half crab, and then traps Steiner in a Fujiwara armbar. He then switches gears again and locks Kaz in a Texas Cloverleaf. Steiner breaks that up. Soon after, Joe clotheslines Steiner to the floor. Kaz tries some offense on Joe but he gets quickly and harshly powerbombed. Joe is just dominating here. Steiner pulls Joe to the floor and whips him into the guardrail. Kaz tries to take Steiner out, but Steiner moves out of the way and clotheslines him. Now Steiner is in control. Steiner throws Kaz back in the ring and hits a super belly-to-belly suplex. He keeps Joe on the floor and works Kaz over in the ring. He drops Kaz with a super Samoan Drop (called fallaway slam) by Tenay. Joe is back in but Steiner stays in control, throwing belly-to-belly suplexes everywhere. Steiner puts Kaz on the top rope and then locks Joe in the Steiner Recliner. Joe lifts Steiner onto his shoulders and Kaz blasts him with a dropkick. Kaz hits Steiner with a series of kicks and a springboard legdrop for two. Joe hits Kaz with a half-nelson suplex, and then hits Steiner with the STJoe. Steiner rolls to the floor and finds the pipe, and when Joe goes for the Elbow Suicida Steiner hits him with the pipe. Kaz flies out and wipes Steiner out. He throws Steiner back in the ring and gets a rollup for two. He hits a springboard DDT for another two-count. He hits a running boot to the face for two. Steiner distracts the referee while Williams knocks Kaz off the top rope. He then hits Kaz with the Super Frankensteiner but Joe barely breaks it up. Joe comes back now with a flurry of offense, hitting the snap powerslam on Steiner for two. He locks Steiner in the Choke, and then blasts Kaz with a superkick. Steiner tries to come back by fondling Joe’s ass (creepy), so Joe sets him up on the top rope. Kaz knocks Joe down to the floor and tries the Flux Capacitor but Steiner just falls on top of him for a two-count. Then they repeat the spot and have trouble doing it. Way to go guys. Steiner pitches Kaz to the floor. Joe kicks Steiner in the head and hits the Muscle Buster to get the pin at 14:27. That was decent in spots but Steiner looked like he was having trouble and Kaz is such a blip.
The Pulse: This is a real turkey of a show. Nothing reaches three stars and everything was so profoundly forgettable. The tournament was a waste of time, as all of the “Wild Card” teams lost in the first round, and the matches had to be kept short and, well, kind of bad. The main event was okay-ish, but did anyone buy for one second that Kaz or Steiner could take the belt? What a terrible show.