Written by: Bob Colling
National Wrestling Alliance/Total Non-Stop Action present Impact
From: Orlando, FL
Backstage, Abyss and Father James Mitchell are walking with the NWA World Championship. Abyss didn’t win the match, but Mitchell is telling him that he is the real World Champion.
This week we have a new theme to go along with the same video package.
Father James Mitchell is in the ring with Abyss to cut a promo on Christian Cage. He says that Abyss survived Lockdown and thus has the championship in his possession. Mitchell knows that Cage believes he is the champion, but possession in nine tenths of the law. Mitchell issues an open challenge and it’s answered by Rhino!
Opening Contest: Rhino vs. Abyss: Rhino runs to the ring but is met with right hands from Abyss. Rhino answers with rights of his own and elbows a charging Abyss. Rhino sends Abyss to the floor with a clothesline as we go to commercial break.
Abyss drops Rhino with a big boot as the Man Beast came off the ropes. The referee bails from the ring as Abyss chased after him. Abyss keeps his offense really simple by choking Rhino and delivering chops until Rhino battles back with strikes. Rhino fights back with right hands and a leaping shoulder block. Abyss manages to hit a choke slam but can’t get a three count. Abyss misses a splash in the corner and Rhino again strikes the Monster.
Rhino takes Abyss down with a belly to belly suplex. Mitchell is on the apron and that allows Bobby Roode to slide into the ring and clothesline Rhino from behind. The referee didn’t see that. Abyss finishes Rhino off with the Black Hole Slam. (*. Again, if Abyss is being presented as the number one contender, why not give him a good clean win over a guy like Rhino? I’m sure this is setting up a Roode/Rhino feud, but it could have been set up differently.) After the match, Christian Cage enters the ring and attacks Abyss. Cage goes for the Un-Prettier but settles for a spear instead. Mitchell runs away and Abyss recovers to hammer away on Cage. Cage avoids Abyss, who falls over the top to the floor. The real champ stands in the ring with a microphone. Christian says Abyss has something that belongs to the peeps. The champ says no one wants Shrek as the champion. Cage issues a challenge to Abyss for Sacrifice and wants a Full Metal Mayhem match! Tables, ladders, chairs and chains! Cage says the real champion is taking his gold back at Sacrifice.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash is with Scott Steiner and Jeff Jarrett. They will be teaming up against Sting and any partner he chooses at Sacrifice. Larry Zbyszko comes over and tells Jarrett that Sting wants Jarrett to meet him in the ring. We will find out Sting’s partner tonight. Larry asks if Jeremy has seen Raven, which he hasn’t. Larry wants to know if he sees Raven, and Borash assures him he will tell him if he does.
We go to a video of Alex Shelley going to interview someone at a hotel. Shelley knocks on the door and it’s Kevin Nash! We will get the interview next week on Impact.
Second Contest: Hirooki Goto & Minoru Tanaka vs. Alex Shelley & Sonjay Dutt in a World X Cup Match: The winning team gets two points in the tournament. Dutt and Tanaka kick off the contest with Tanaka hitting a dropkick early on. Shelley tags in and comes off the top to double stomp Tanaka’s arm. Tanaka gets met with a dropkick from Dutt and a neck breaker from Shelley. Alex lifts Dutt up to splash Minoru for a near fall. Tanaka tried for an ankle lock but Dutt made a quick save. Tanaka delivers a dropkick to Shelley’s left knee. Goto enters and works over Shelley in the corner by stomping on the left knee. Tanaka taunts the fans before crotching Alex on the top rope. Shelley shoves Tanaka off the top and the same to Goto. Shelley hits a missile dropkick on Tanaka and a senton splash on Goto!
Dutt gets the hot tag and hits a springboard leg drop on Goto for a near fall. A double dropkick to Tanaka and Goto walks into a super kick from Shelley. Dutt slams Tanaka onto Goto and hits a moonsault after Shelley hit a Code Breaker. Tanaka broke up the cover, though. Goto nails Dutt with a missile dropkick and a side suplex but Dutt kicks out at two. Goto nearly wins with an Angle Slam but Shelley makes the save. Shelley with the Slice Bread and Dutt hits a standing shooting star press on Goto to get the win. (***. A good fast pace match between these two teams. Dutt continues to be impressive in the ring as of late and worked well with Shelley. Tanaka and Goto were solid in there as well. A good TV match.)
Backstage, Jeremy Borash is with AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. Styles says that Lethal Lockdown opened his eyes about America’s Most Wanted. He believes they have tarnished the NWA World Tag Team Championships. Styles thinks a change needs to happen and he chose Daniels to be his partner! They get a title shot next week on Impact. Daniels puts over AJ and mentions he was the longest X-Division Champion. Everyone knows what they can do against each other but no imagine what they can do as a team.
A video promoting Senshi is shown. He is better known as Low-Ki. Senshi has returned to the X-Division for a new challenge. He will rule the X-Division.
Main Event: NWA X-Division Champion Samoa Joe vs. Jay Lethal: Raven jumps the railing to chase after Zbyszko. Joe is hammering away on Lethal in the corner while Raven laughs at security. Lethal hits a swinging neck breaker for a near fall on the champ. Joe catches Lethal on a leap frog attempt and slams Jay chest first to the canvas. Joe drops a knee to Lethal’s face after a couple of strikes. Joe with a snap power slam but Lethal kicks out at two. Jay manages to reach the bottom rope to get out of a cross arm breaker as we go to commercial.
Joe with a forearm shot and kick in the corner to keep control of the title match. Joe continues with a running face wash in the corner. Lethal nails Joe with a kick and follows up with a dropkick after a hip toss for a two count. Jay goes to the apron and is caught on a springboard and slammed by Joe. Joe with a high knee in the corner and finishes Lethal off with the Muscle Buster for the win. (*. You would never know that five months prior to this, Joe and Lethal were having some really good matches in ROH. Joe is being built up as an unstoppable beast and Lethal is more or less a low midcard wrestler for TNA.)
Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner come down and Joe has a confrontation with both men before heading to the backstage area. After a commercial, Sting comes out as well. Jarrett wants to know who Sting’s partner is going to be for Sacrifice on May 14th. Sting wants Jarrett and Steiner to choose his partner. He is allowing the heels pick either one of the entrances. Sting tells Jeff that he is going to get rid of the cancer that will ruin TNA. The fans want tunnel number two for some reason. Sting is doing this in a game show fashion. Christy Hemme comes out and is standing at the top of the tunnel. Jarrett has thirty seconds to make a decision and he talks to Steiner. Jarrett decides to not accept the game and wants Sting to bring his partner to Sacrifice. It’s a no deal tonight! Wait, Sting describes contestant number one. He is a former member of the New World Order. He is a former five time tag team champion with four different partners and is in probation in Cobb County, GA. It’s revealed as being Buff Bagwell! Bagwell comes out all happy and poses for the crowd. Jarrett is shocked and confused. Jarrett is actually just laughing at the wrestler. Jarrett calls Bagwell a top hat wearing moron. Sting introduces the wrestler from the second tunnel. He is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. He is an international fugitive. The second wrestler is none other than, Lex Luger! Luger looks considerably smaller compared to his WCW days. Jarrett and Steiner are on the floor confused how Sting even found those guys.
I’m not sure what the final segment accomplished. Maybe it shows that heels are over confident and that will cost them, I don’t know. Just seemed like a waste of a segment. The bright spot was the tag match for the World Cup, but it’s not must-see or anything. A rather subpar episode this week.
Thanks for reading.