For those of you who regularly follow this column you’ll recognize the fact that it usually doesn’t discuss TNA. Well that’s because TNA has been horrible lately. This is nothing against the wrestlers, but the writers who have not given the fans any compelling storylines. However, this is an all steel cage PPV. So lets cross our fingers and see what happens.
TNA is in Cincinnati for this show, and once again they look like a more respectable group simply for not being in the Impact Zone.
X Division Elimination match:
Chris Sabin vs Robbie E (with Cookie) vs Jeremy Buck vs Max Buck vs Amazing Red vs Jay Lethal vs Brian Kendrick vs Suicide
Pinfall or submission to eliminate. Final two must escape the cage to win. Match is for the number one contender spot.
Few thoughts already. One, Kendrick appears to be channeling his inner Raven. Two, who is playing Suicide tonight? Match starts off with Suicide and Robbie E. Not quite tag team rules but more Lucha rules. Officially you have to tag in but unofficially when a man is down someone else can come in to keep the action going. Lot of quick tags and exchanges. Robbie hits an arm DDT that doesn’t look like it should be enough but somehow Rob gets the pin on Suicide. Suicide is eliminated. That’s a weird sentence to write. Jay Lethal and Chris Sabin don’t just tell us that there’s an X division. They scream out a reminder. Lethal goes for a hand spring elbow but Amazing Red clips out the knee. Red hits the Code Red on Lethal for the pin. Cant believe Lethal is out of the match so quickly. Red and Sabin exchange attempted suplexes using the cage and the ropes as supports. Crazy athleticism on display. Sabin gets a running start and hits Red with an inside out clothesline (as in he turned Amazing inside out) for the pin. Red is out.
Kendrick has yet to move from his lotus position in the corner. Max Buck uses the cage to full advantage and hits a top rope neckbreaker on Sabin for the pin. Kendrick tries to take advantage but Max sneaks out of the pin attempts. Brian and Robbie sacrifice themselves seeking the victory. Both men are down and the Buck boys beat on each other. Max and Jeremy just don’t click against each other. They need their version of Lita with the team. Max plays the asshole and catches his brother in a small package for the pin. We’re down to three. Max and Robbie play lawn darts with Kendrick’s face. Kendrick’s flexibility, conditioning and accuracy is insane. All this guy needs is one booker in any company to get behind him and he could be money. One of Brian’s kicks is enough to knock down Robbie for the pin.
Its down to Brian Kendrick and Max Buck and the winner will be decided by who escapes the cage first. Max shows surprising strength and bounces Brian’s body over every side of chain link. Max knocks the referee into the cage, which is enough to cause Brian to fall. While Kendrick and the referee lay in a heap on the mat, Max Buck escapes the cage and wins the match.
Seems like its the push of a new generation in the X division. Lethal and Sabin out early with a huge amount of focus on Generation Me. Max and Jeremy don’t click against each other. Maybe a fear of hurting family. However, they work very well with everyone else.
Eric Bischoff comes out in a t shirt and jeans. Because why would a millionaire who runs this company want to look better dressed than the fans? Three whores in the front row cheer for Eric. “That’s Brooke Hogan and friends.” Like I said. Bischoff, in all his years in the wrestling industry, somehow never learned that no one pays PPV money to hear anyone talk. Oh, he’s done talking. I zoned out for that completely.
Christy Hemme interviews Scott Steiner and Crimson. The usual we’ll win the match thing.
Ink, Inc. vs British Invasion vs Erik Young and Orlando Jordan vs Scott Steiner and Crimson
I think TNA already has more guys on the card than WWE had at WrestleMania. Scott Steiner couldn’t look more out of place here. No doubt the oldest and most immobile man in the match. All the young guys are busting their asses in the match and the fans chant “we want Steiner”. Why? If you want to see a huge chested blonde who cant move in the ring, WWE has plenty of Divas matches. Steiner hits a top rope suplex from Ikea (because it took so long to set up). Young removes his shorts to now wrestle in tiger print briefs. He’s either crazy or channeling his inner Brian Pillman. The carousel of finishing moves begins. Somehow Eric Young is the last man standing. Young climbs out of the cage, which doesn’t matter because its a win by pinfall match. Shannon hits the Moore-gasm on Magnus for the pin.
Christy Hemme interviews Madison Rayne and Tara. Tara and Madison have words. It ends with Rayne telling Tara to not come to the ring tonight. I forgot this is hair vs title. Well, it isn’t really as no one thinks for a second that Mickie will have her head shaved. Mickie is going to show how hardcore country she can be. What a ridiculous phrase. Also, an easy one to spin and make vulgar. Also, with all the belts TNA has there should be more than two title matches on the card.
Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne (Hair vs Title match) Knockouts Title match
Mickie comes out in a sling, she almost literally has one arm tied behind her back. Madison comes out alone with a hairdresser bag. Hulk Hogan is one of your bookers and Brutus Beekcake is one of his best friends. How do you not have a cameo by the Barber? Mickie hits a kick, runs Madison into 3 sides of the cage, hits a DDT and gets the pin. We have a new and injured Knockouts champion. I’m also fairly sure that there were a few NSFW camera shots there at the end.
Christy Hemme interviews Matt Morgan. Have these two feuded with anyone else?
The Pope D’Angelo Dinero vs Samoa Joe
Here are two guys that deserve so much better. Not a bad match but the crowd isn’t feeling it at all. Which might explain why I see SoCal Val on the outside trying to get the crowd to cheer for Joe. Oh that’s sad. Why is there no one in the crowd to start the slow clap? Pope shows impressive strength and Joe comes off the top with some height. Joe hits a muscle buster and the match should be over but Pope gets the rope break. Pope gets his trunks pulled down. Because matches with two guys who are great wrestlers needs a comedy spot. Samoa Joe catches Pope’s DDE attempt and implants Dinero into the cage. Joe hits a muscle buster and tops it off with a rear naked choke. No rope breaks here and Joe gets the win.
Christy Hemme interviews Hernandez and his crew, “Mexica America”. Oh wow, I totally forgot there were Knockouts tag team titles until just now. “Here’s my pocket Matt, you know what to do with it.” What the fuck does that mean? Yes, wrestling should do more to appeal to the Hispanic audience. But with the exception of Rey Mysterio, must they all be heels? Its backwoods booking. Oh, they speak another language so they must be bad guys.
Hernandez (with Rosita, Sarita and some one else who doesn’t get introduced) vs Matt Morgan
Match starts, neither man gets an advantage. Unnamed guy grabs Morgan’s ankle through the camera hole and Hernandez starts to take control of the match. Why are their protective mats around the ring when the entirety of every match takes place in a cage? They may as well have mats at the concession stand. Morgan is so big he makes Hernandez look small, and Hernandez is a big fucker. This isn’t a bad match, none of the matches have been bad but I think I’ll blame the crowd. The crowd is totally not into this match and its effecting the show. Super Mex comes off the top rope and with precision timing Morgan hits a big Carbon Footprint on Hernandez’s way down. Matt gets the pin.
Sarita and Rosita cut a promo about how amazing they are. They are better than other Knockouts and they’re not going anywhere. Velvet Sky has something to say about it and she says it with an ass kicking.
Christy Hemme interviews Karen Jarrett. How do I make it in wrestling with no talent and a vagina? Oh, well, you could look up to these women. Or down on them. Or them down on you.
Jeff Jarrett (with Karen Jarrett) vs Kurt Angle
This match will be under “Ultra Male” rules. What the hell this means is yet to be seen. The referee bans Karen from ringside. She should be banned from TNA. This will be a best 2/3 falls match. Angle is all intensity, as usual, and Jarrett shows that while fans may doubt his charisma, there is no debating his wrestling ability. First fall is submission only. Jarrett taps out to an ankle lock. Slow build match. This is definitely going all three falls and the last one will be the focus of the match.
We’re at fall number two and this is pinfall only. Its an average match until Angle hits a top rope over the shoulder throw/suplex and JJ still kicks out. Its only the second fall but something is picking up here. Angle hits an RKO?! And Jeff kicks out?! Well that was weird. Mike Tenay explains it as both men are going for moves that aren’t in their usual set and thus are unexpected. I can go with that. Jarrett gets the pin but everyone is confused about it. It was a rather shitty pin, even with Jeff holding the trunks. Jarrett is trying to open up the cage, because the key is still in the lock. How does that make an ounce of fucking sense? Angle’s been arrested a few times, ask him if any of the jail cells have the keys in the door. Oh, because fall three is to escape the cage. Well I guess so then. Angle is about to leave the cage, but decides he wants to punish Jarrett more. Kurt locks the cage door and stuffs the key in his trunks. Jeff should just have his wife dig the keys out. She’s been in Kurt’s pants before. It wont be anything new.
Angle rakes Jeff’s face across the cage and finally we get some blood in an all steel cage match. Angle tries to climb out of the cage but Jeff stops him. I don’t know if Kurt attempted a huracanrana or if Jarrett was going for a powerbomb but either way Angle lands from the top of the cage onto his neck. Scary scene. We all assume Kurt is alright, because the match continues. Kurt is out and Jeff tries to leave the cage. Angle springs up and catches Jeff, suplexing him out of consciousness. Angle tries to climb out but Gunnar runs down with a steel chair and holds Angle at bay. Angle is stuck and does what any other reasonable man would. He hits a moonsault off the top of the cage and barely hits Jarrett. Scott Steiner runs down to scare Gunnar away.
Kurt finds the key to the cage. Somehow it fell out of his trunks during the insane moves. Karen runs down and sprays something into Kurt’s eyes, thus preventing him from leaving the cage. Brooke Hogan has been on camera at least a dozen times during this match. World’s most famous ring rat. Kurt gets confused and hits the referee. Karen finds a guitar under the ring (that’s where I keep mine) and passes it to Jeff. Jarrett clobbers Kurt with the guitar. Jeff starts to celebrate before leaving the cage, which gives Angle enough time to recover. Jeff gets caught with an ankle lock but Karen comes to the rescue and slams the cage door in Angle’s face. Jeff finally escapes the cage and wins the match.
The fact that Kurt can still breathe, walk, and of all the crazy things wrestle the rest of the match after that crazy bump is insane. The man will die in the ring.
Rob Van Dam vs Mr Anderson vs Sting (TNA World champion)
Match starts. Average moves, action starts to build. Sting locks on a double Scorpion deathlock. Nice spot. Both Anderson and RVD make it to the ropes. More set up. Anderson hits a double mic check. Hey, does anyone think RVD will hit a double move next? Lot of nice spots in the match but it all feels like the match is all about setting up these spots and there’s no natural logic to the match. Hulk Hogan comes down and brings a lead pipe for a weapon. He hands it to RVD and Rob takes it. But then he refuses! And throws it! Into the cage that is 3 feet away from him. Well that probably didn’t work out as planned. Mr Anderson steals it away and hits Van Dam with the pipe. While Anderson is busy yelling at Hogan, Sting picks his spot and levels Anderson with the Scorpion Death Drop. Sting gets the pin and TNA has yet another worthless world title match in the new age of Sting.
Bully Ray, Abyss, Matt Hardy and Ric Flair vs Beer Money, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels
Two men will start out the match for 5 minutes and then a new competitor will enter the ring.
Kazarian and Abyss start things off. Matt Hardy is next. The heels have the advantage for the next 2 minutes. Daniels comes into the match next and shows why he is one of the best wrestlers today. Ric Flair is in next and its just fucking sad. The match is really nothing yet. A lot of killing time until all the men are in the match. Only about 6 minutes until we get there. James Storm is in next and hits some nice moves to get his shining moment. I bet in two minutes Bully Ray will get a lot of offense in too. Storm breaks a beer bottle over Flair’s head and we got a bleeder! Flair loses his pants and looks even sadder than he has in the last year of his TNA tenure. Bully Ray enters the match. The crowd really couldn’t give a shit about anything happening. Robert Roode enters and all the guys are now in this match. Isn’t there supposed to be a cage top lowered down? Does it get a two minute wait as well? Oh there it finally is. Cage top, filled with weapons, is lowered. There is no space between the roof and the cage, thus in theory no one is climbing out to do some crazy spot on top of the cage. Abyss goes through the door, Daniels comes out to hit him with things. Matt Hardy comes out to save Abyss but instead runs away from Daniels. And to my surprise, both Hardy and Daniels climb to the top of the cage. Daniels nearly gets back body dropped off the top of the cage, which could have been deadly. The Fallen Angel struggles to get back on top of the cage where he eats a Twist of Hate. Ric Flair looks like he got caught in one of Jigsaw’s traps. Matt climbs/falls down from the cage. Everyone in the ring attempts pins for their teams. Daniels hits a high high cross body from the top of the cage and takes out both Matt Hardy and Abyss. Roode locks a Figure Four onto Flair and looks to get the win but Bully Ray comes to and starts swinging metal. Ray looks to have destroyed Fortune when AJ Styles makes his return and smacks Bully Ray around like… Well probably like how Ray smacks around rookies. Robert Roode grabs Ric Flair and gets him to tap out to… an armbar.
That was a let down. PPV is worth $10 for the DVD. That’s about it. Lot of guys working their asses off for a company that cant write anything more complicated and interesting than their own names.