I was saddened to hear of the passing of Jill Jarrett. All condolences to the family.
3D are out in the ring and they call out the Steiner Brothers -- and lo, the Steiner Brothers appear. Ray tells them, at some length, how much he respects them and how honored he is to be in the same ring as them, and he asks the audience to stand up for them. Scott says he doesn't need the respect of anyone and calls Ray a fatass. He says he has some problems with 3D's "legacy," to wit: A) they won the WCW titles, but the Steiners spent a lot of time in WCW and Scott doesn't remember ever seeing 3D's names on the roster or ever seeing them set foot in a WCW ring; and B) the won the ECW World tag titles, but they aren't actually "World" titles, since ECW never left the bingo hall. He suggests "City" titles might be more appropriate -- ha!
Rick Steiner pulls out a list of all the tag teams that the Steiners beat -- I think he printed it put on a dot matrix printer, it's like six feet long -- and starts reading them off (Road Warriors, Four Horsemen, Samoan Swat Team, Freebirds, Doom!). Scott says that all those teams will be in the hall of fame, and the Steiners beat 'em all.
Ray can't understand Scott's hostility. Scott says he'll kick their asses -- at Slammiversary! This was a really good promo from these guys.
Leticia is in back with Tomko and Christian Cage. They're taking on LAX tonight! Tomko is in full-on smirk mode and Cage is filled with righteous indignation. Jim Cornette won't tell him who he's facing in his King of the Mountain qualifying match! Tomko implies that he knows who it is, and that if Cage wants to know -- well, maybe he should've given Tomko that title match he promised.
Backstage (again!) and Jeremy Borash is talking to Kip James and Lance Hoyt. Kip says that BG James is still in the hospital, and it's time for Hoyt to step up. Hoyt says he's ready, and unlike the chivalrous Kip, he has no problem hitting a girl. Lovely!
Basham and Damaja (with Christy Hemme) vs. Lance Hoyt and Kip James: This is basically another 2-on-1 match, as Hoyt never tags in. He watches Kip get manhandled for a while -- then, after Hemme interferes, he goes over, grabs her, and carries her up the ramp. While he's gone, Damaja hits an inverted Atomic Drop and Basham hits the leg lariat for the pin. Hoyt -- having assumably beaten Hemme into submission -- runs back down, but it is too late.
JB in back with Samoa Joe -- Joe lets Sting know that while he respects "what you were, I will break what you are."
In back again with Robert Roode -- he wants in on the KotM qualifying matches. Also, Eric Young has one week to respond to his attorney's letter. Zzzzzz
Christian Cage and Tomko vs. LAX: Crowd is solidly behind LAX as Homicide plays -- I guess -- the face in peril. Hector Guerrero is watching from ringside and Konnan goes over to berate him. Cage & Tomko aren't really getting along at first but that seems to clear up as the match progresses.
LAX gets a couple of nice double-team moves -- Hernandez throws Homicide, cannonball-like, into Cage & Tomko. Then, after clotheslining Tomko out, Hernandez catapults Cage into a Homicide clothesline, which sends Cage back down across Hernandez's knees; Homicide then sentons onto Cage. Nice!
By now, Konnan's started getting physical with Guerrero, and Homicide goes out to back Konnan up. Hernandez goes for the Border Toss, but Tomko comes back in, boots Hernandez, and kills him with a clothesline. Cage follows up with a frog splash for the pin.
LAX starts taking their frustrations out on Guerrero but Chris Harris (?) and Rhino (??) run out to Hector's defense. Tenay has no idea why those two are out, either. (But I'll take it to mean that Harris isn't going to be in the KotM match.)
JB in back with Kurt Angle -- Angle doesn't like Sting or Samoa Joe. He says that all of them are willing to hit someone with a chair or a bat to get the job done, but only he will admit it.
Samoa Joe vs. Sting: I am pleased that Joe is presented in this match as an equal to Sting, and has Sting badly on the ropes a couple of times. This is a matchup that could've headlined a PPV -- I guess it still could, someday. Crowd is pretty evenly divided between the two.
Chris Daniels comes out and tries to help Sting by tossing him a baseball bat. Sting throws the bat out and shoves Daniels off the apron. Daniels, miffed by this rejection, hit Sting in the small of the back with the bat. This allows Joe to hit a Samoan Drop for the pin. The announcers claim that Joe had no idea that Sting had been attacked by Daniels, and indeed, after the match, Joe has this look of deep thought on his face -- possibly he's thinking, "did I just pin Sting with a Samoan Drop?"
Just before we leave, Tenay announces that next week, the KotM qualifier will be Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles.
Yet another pretty good show! Wonders never cease, apparently.
So, KotM so far is Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe, with Rhino and Sting out. (Sting will probably face Daniels, while Rhino may team up with Harris to take on LAX.) Next week, unless plans change, will be Jarrett vs. Styles.
I assume one of the remaining matches will be Cage vs. Tomko, and the other one will be Roode vs. ... Sabin? Raven? Storm? Tenay mentioned the possibility of Cornette going outside the current roster, but I'm guessing that's a red herring. I was assuming that Roode would lose and do something with Eric Young at Slammiversary, but I'm having a hard time thinking who else I'd want in the KotM match. When is Killings expected back? Hmmmmmm
Last 5 movies seen: Fay Grim *** - Henry Fool n/a - Hot Fuzz **** - Zouzou **1/2 - Linda Linda Linda ***1/2 - The Painted Veil ***
I like this show a lot. The Dudleys and Steiners match might get trashed by the TNA fans when it actually happens but this interview between the two was excellent. Even the weaker links (as far as mic skills) Rick and D-Von did their part.
The tag match between Christian/Tomko and LAX match was very nice despite it being heel vs. heel. Christian and Tomko work well together and I could definitely see them going the tag route eventually, although I'd prefer Christian was always a World Title contender.
Rhino and Harris teaming up is interesting. I'm not usually for putting two random guys together but they really need a face team other than VKM and the Dudleys.
Interesting match next week. I figured Joe would win Joe vs. Sting because Sting had something else going with Daniels that could lead to a match and Joe didn't. If I use that theory again then that would put Styles in the KoM match since Jarrett has something going on with Roode, but I don't know.
I would've guessed that maybe they would put James Mitchell's new project, whoever it may be, in the qualifying matches but now that it seems Roode is the only open opponent I think it's more likely they use a face like Chris Harris.
Really enjoyable show last night (although I, unfortunately, missed the LAX vs. Tomko/Cage match).
The opening angle with the Steiners and 3-D was great, the first time I've been interested in a Dudleys angle since the days of Evil General Spike on Smackdown. Surprisingly good and coherent promo from Scott, and one of the few angles that has that 'shoot' element that actually works. I have no doubt that Scott and Rick probably think they are the best tag team ever, and the argument can certainly be made. That said, I'm not sure how good the final match will be, but TNA's done a good job of making the feud seem important and like the final confrontation will actually be a big deal. Heck, they deserve credit for treating a tag team title feud like a big deal.
They're also doing a good job of building up King of the Mountain, building suspense on who will be in it. For once, stripping the title seems to have elevated it somewhat, as you see a lot of hunger for the championship in all these guys trying to get into the match. After the sad news about Jill Jarrett, I doubt that Jeff will wrestle any match next week (or was it pre-taped? I'm out of date on how the taping schedules work for TNA now). It shouldn't be that hard to find another opponent for A.J. (Maybe Daniels, so Sting can return the favor from this week?).
I'll go ahead and predict Joe finally getting the title at Slammiversary, barring the bending of space, time and contracts to get RVD into the KotM.
"Never piss off a hawk with a blowgun" - Conan O'Brien