TNA Impact 5/17/2007

Total Non-Stop Action presents Impact
From: Orlando, FL

1.) TNA X-Division Champion Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley defeated Tiger Mask IV & Jerry Lynn
2.) Christopher Daniels defeated Raven in a first blood match
3.) Kurt Angle defeated Rhino in a King of the Mountain qualifying match

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) Kurt Angle won the TNA World Championship at Sacrifice on Sunday. Angle forced Sting to submit while Sting was pinning Christian Cage with a rollup. A second referee saw Sting submit and thus the title goes to Angle.

2.) TNA World Champion Kurt Angle makes his way down to the ring to kickoff the show. Angle talks about winning every title except for the TNA World Championship, but he accomplished that. The fans want Christian, so naturally Sting makes his way out to confront Angle. Sting admits that Angle had him in the ankle lock and he submitted. Sting had Cage in a pin and doesn’t know how long he had Cage pinned, but it feels like it was a long time. Sting questions if Angle is truly the champion considering that. Christian Cage joins the segment from the stage. Cage says they find themselves in a situation and says that if there isn’t a clear cut winner then the title goes back to the champion, which would be him. Cage thinks he should get the title back around his waist. Cage makes his way down to the ring, but Jim Cornette cuts Cage off. Cornette tells Cage to pay attention to what he’s going to say. Cornette says there was a lot of controversy and Cage was on his back. Cornette reminds Cage he’s not the champion.

Cornette has a lot of respect for Sting, but reminds Sting that he tapped out. Cornette tells Sting he’s not the champion. Cornette grabs the championship from Angle and tells all three men that the belt isn’t any of theirs. Angle is livid about that, too. Cornette wants a franchise ballplayer and wants someone to be the top player. Cornette wants to bring some new blood into this mix. Cornette sees guys on the roster that are hungry and want to go to the top. Cornette mentions guys like Rhino and Samoa Joe. Cornette says there isn’t going to be a glass ceiling like other companies. Cornette tells Cage he shouldn’t have a problem beating the guys again. Cornette says that he’s adding those two other guys and five more guys. There are going to be five qualifying matches with the winners meeting in a King of the Mountain match. There will be a winner and that man will become the TNA World Champion. Cornette finishes off with may the best man win. (Okay. I’m not entirely sure why Angle can’t be the champion since he did win the match by submission. There wasn’t even anything hokey about it, really. Also, if you have these five top contenders, and you want the very best in the KOTM match, then why not avoid these qualifying matches and just do Angle, Joe, Sting, Cage and Rhino?)

3.) Backstage, Jeremy Borash is with Christopher Daniels. Borash reminds us that Daniels was busted open by Rhino at the PPV and now Daniels has issued an open challenge for a first blood match. Daniels says there is no logic. There is action and there are consequences. Daniels brings up Sting, but Borash wonders what Sting has to do with this as Daniels walks off.

4.) Lynn and Sabin kickoff the tag match trading headlocks. Lynn shoulder blocks Sabin and monkey flips Sabin. Lynn delivers a spinning back elbow for a two count. Sabin knee lifts Lynn and keeps control in the corner. Sabin runs into a boot in the corner. Lynn hits a hurricanrana and arm drags Sabin to the mat. Mask tags into the match, but Sabin goes to his corner and tags in Shelley. Mask sends Shelley into the corner and tags in Lynn. Lynn dropkicks Shelley in the corner and Mask dropkicks Shelley. Lynn side slams Shelley followed by a standing moonsault by Mask for a two count. Mask delivers a tilt a whirl backbreaker to Shelley for a one count. Shelley taunts Lynn and is punched by Mask. Sabin tags into the match while the referee isn’t paying attention. They hit a flatliner/dropkick combo. Sabin dropkicks Lynn off the apron to the floor. Shelley wants to rip the mask off, but the referee stops him. Mask spin kicks Shelley, but Sabin delivers a cutter. Lynn nails Sabin with a neckbreaker. Shelley overhead suplexs Lynn, but Mask kicks Shelley and misses a diving headbutt. Sabin and Shelley stereo kick Mask. Shelley drives Mask down to the mat for the win. (*1/2. Okay, so that finishing move was a bit underwhelming by Shelley. The match was okay for what it was. I think this could be an example of Shelley and Sabin teaming for full-time.) After the match, Lynn avoids a beatdown, but Sabin kicks Lynn to save Shelley from a cradle piledriver. Bob Backlund runs down to the ring and attacks. Shelley saves Sabin from an atomic drop. Jay Lethal runs down to the ring and cleans house to save Backlund.

5.) Father James Mitchell shares a pre-tape promo. Mitchell says that despite his genius he wasn’t able to change Abyss. Mitchell considers Abyss to be a non-factor. Mitchell has a new creature to replace Abyss. Mitchell is going to unleash a force onto TNA.

6.) Backstage, Jermey Borash is with Kevin Nash. Borash mentions Sonjay Dutt kicked him at the PPV. Dutt enters the scene and wants to talk with Nash. Dutt apologizes for what he did to Nash at Sacrifice. Dutt apologizes for his actions. Dutt says Nash has done a lot for him and considers Nash to be like a father. Nash accepts Dutt’s hand and tells Dutt that next time he won’t be so forgiving.

7.) Raven whacks Daniels with a kendo stick a few tomes. Raven tries to use a screwdriver, but misses in the corner. Raven hits Daniels with a couple of chair shots. Daniels nails Raven with an STO. Daniels hammers away on Raven. Daniels rams Raven face first onto a chair a few times. Daniels tries for a slam onto the chair, but Raven elbows free. Raven clotheslines Daniels onto the chair back first. Raven breaks the kendo stick and tries to use the edge to cut Daniels. Daniels blocks being jabbed with the edge and low blows Raven. Daniels digs the edge into the forehead of Raven and cuts Raven open to win the match. (1/2*. Well, that was just a boring match. Daniels winning the match without needing any interference is a good thing. I’m not surprised that Raven was used to give Daniels this kind of win.) After the match, Daniels headbutts Raven to get busted open, too. Kazarian, Maverick and Havok enter the ring. Kaz is stopped from hitting Raven. Raven taunts Kazarian and slaps him. Kazarian gets in Raven’s face, but is shoved away. Kazarian mocks Raven before walking off.

8.) Backstage, Jeremy Borash is with Sting. Sting says he’s not going anywhere. Sting will qualify if that’s what he has to do. Daniels enters the scene and tells Sting that he’s following the path that Sting told him. Sting says that Daniels isn’t following any path he’s set for him. Daniels believes that Sting is lost now.

8.) Eric Young comes down to ringside with several fans and he gets in the ring. Young forgot how good it felt to be free. Young says that Jarrett taught him to be himself. Young thanks the fans. Young stands in the ring a free man. Robert Roode and Traci cutoff Young’s celebration. Roode enters the ring and tells Young that he broke the contract they had. Roode teases Young that he could fire him, but the rules have changed. Roode claims he still owns Young. Roode is going to give Young advice to get a good attorney. Roode is going to sue Young for everything he has. Young wipes his ass with the contract. Roode decks Young with a right hand and mounts Young. Roode taunts the crowd and Young pummels Roode. Traci distracts Young allowing Roode to deliver a clothesline from behind. Young gets a chair from a fan and scares Roode to the floor.

9.) Angle and Rhino lockup against the ropes, but neither man gets the advantage. Rhino shoulder blocks Angle into the corner and they have a standoff. Rhino shoulder blocks Angle again and Angle gets frustrated. Angle uppercuts Rhino a few times against the ropes. Rhino plants Angle with a TKO for a two count. Angle goes for the ankle lock, but Rhino avoids it and hits a powerslam. Angle avoids the GORE and hits a release German suplex as the show goes to commercial.

Angle keeps a sleeper on Rhino, but doesn’t get a submission. Rhino clotheslines Angle and delivers a shoulder ram in the corner. Rhino tosses Angle overhead for a two count. Angle kicks Rhino, but runs into a spinebuster leading to a near fall. Angle is stopped on the top rope and Rhino delivers a few right hands. Rhino hits a superplex and both men are down. Rhino tries for a cover managing a two count. Angle delivers a German suplex. Angle misses the Olympic Slam and Rhino hit a belly to belly suplex. Angle manages to hit the Olympic Slam after avoiding the GORE with a kick and cleanly pins Rhino to advance to the King of the Mountain match. (*1/2. Rhino isn’t a buyable main event guy as it was never a doubt who was going to win here. Angle winning clean kind of proves that from a booking sense.)

10.) Backstage, Jim Cornette announces that Sting will wrestle Samoa Joe in a qualifying match. Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner storm into the office and demand Team 3D next week. Rick had removed the door and said sorry before leaving with Scott.

Final Thoughts:
Vacating the TNA World Championship already is a bit bizarre and makes the PPV main event pointless from Sacrifice. KOTM at Slammiversary is going to be intriguing, but Angle should just be the champion going into it. I’d be most interested in a meaningful Angle/Sting singles PPV match at some point. Storyline wise the top of the card is doing well, but the in-ring stuff hasn’t been as strong lately.

Thanks for reading.

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