I enjoyed the show this week. It was pretty straightforward, not too stupid (except for the very end -- I'll get to that), and had a little bit of good wrestling in it.
It will be interesting to see how ROH's PPV affects TNA in the future. Will TNA say, "gosh, we'd better pick up the pace and start getting some actual wrestling going"? Or will they say, "oh, good, the 'workrate' niche is being taken care of. Let's have more 'comedy'!"?
I miss the days of TNA's "open door policy," when almost every other week we'd see some crazy indie guy doing wacky spots. No storyline needed, just guys showing off what they could do.
Sting is out to say something about how he should be #1 contender -- Kurt Angle comes out to rebut -- security pulls them apart. Christian Cage appears and offers a solution: they'll have a tag match tonight, Sting & Angle vs. Cage and AJ Styles. If Angle or Sting get the pin, then the title shot goes to whoever got it. But if Cage & Styles win, no one gets the title shot!
3D are in the back and mention that they will be defending the titles against BOTH LAX and Steiner & Tomko at Sacrifice! But right now...
Team 3-D vs. Rhino & Samoa Joe: Highlight: Ray gives Joe a German that dumps Joe RIGHT ON his head, and Joe INSTANTLY jumps up, pissed, and T-BONES Ray onto HIS head!
The match ends in a DQ when Christopher Daniels runs in -- but ALL FOUR guys from the match gang up on Daniels, beating the crap out of him, and Rhino gores him through a table. If they're building Daniels up to feud with Sting, this is an awfully funny way of doing it.
Cage and Styles are backstage with Jeremy Borash and it is great. JB turns to Cage -- who is a little distracted, smooching his title -- and Styles grabs the mic: "I knew it -- you were gonna go to him first! Why? Why don't you ever talk to me? I've got somethin' to say!" -- turning to Cage -- "Like, STOP VOLUNTEERING ME FOR THESE MATCHES!" Cage assures him it'll be fine: "They'll take each other out. All we have to do is stand back and pick the bones." And, without Steiner, Tomko, or Abyss around that's a "phenomenal opportunity. Get it?"
Styles takes this the wrong way: "First you steal my hood, now you've got someone else who can be phenomenal!" Cage assures him that he meant that Styles is phenomenal, and, furthermore, "MY hood unzips, it's more like a flap -- it's not even like yours." Ha ha ha ha!
Bobby Roode is in the ring, complaining. Miss Brooks is with him -- in a neck brace. Jim Cornette is out -- he says that Jeff Jarrett has been sent home for attacking a woman (yay!) and is banned from the arena tonight. Cornette points out that Roode breached his own contract by interfering with Eric Young's TNA contract by signing him to another contract. Roode astutely suggests that if there was anything that Cornette could do about it, he would have by now. And he TAKES CORNETTE DOWN!
Eric Young comes out for the save and gets handcuffed to a ringpost and gets a guitar smashed over his head for his trouble. Cornette revives and tells Roode that he will be facing Jeff Jarrett at Sacrifice!
There's a recap of the stomach-turning Abyss beatdown -- Jim Mitchell says, "Abyss is finished, and Abyss has been replaced." (My prediction: WSX's Ricky Banderas. Or Sean Waltman!)
Miss Jackie vs. Gail Kim: Street Fight! About a minute in, Kim put a garbage can on Jackie's head and beats it with a bat. According to the dirt sheets, this is the point where Jackie gets HER TWO FRONT TEETH KNOCKED OUT. But she keeps going, albeit with a funny set to her mouth. If I hadn't heard about it, I wouldn't have noticed anything. SHE'S HARDCORE. Gail Kim wins by dropkicking a chair into Jackie's face. James Storm comes out and threatens to bust a beer bottle over Kim's head, but Harris is out -- and he DOESN'T NEED AN EYEPATCH ANYMORE! Man, I was hoping for a blindfold sequel.
Christie Hemme has another team for Sacrifice. Is it finally the Bashams?
Sting & Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles & Christian Cage: No DQ, whoever gets the pin gets the title shot. This is a fine little match, but -- this is the really stupid part -- BOTH Sting and Angle get simultaneous Anklelocks on Styles, so when he taps out, they BOTH WIN! Cornette is all, "there's no way to tell who won, so you BOTH get title shots!"
ARGH. There's an EASY way to tell who won -- THE GUY WHO WAS LEGALLY IN THE RING. (That would be Sting.) I dunno, maybe they're saying that in a no DQ match, ANYONE can get the pin, but they were tagging in and out earlier -- so it wasn't being run like a Tornado Tag match -- and certainly no one suggested at any time that this was the case. So the thing is, they COULD have made it a Tornado Tag with very little effort -- and then it WOULD have made sense for two guys to get the simultaneous submission. Instead, everyone looks stupid.
Other then that, pretty alright show.
Last 5 movies seen: Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock? ***1/2 - Little Children *** - This Boy's Life - The Dutch Poet ***1/2 - West Bank Story ***
The continued absence of Joe in the title picture is maddening. Even if Angle gets the belt, TNA would more than likely offer rematches of Sting/Angle and Cage/Angle. So that's two more PPVs taken care of, and the possibility of Joe/Angle for the belt seems like it's arriving around fall at the earliest.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
www.puroresufan.com is a good site. It's also helpful to read reviews on Japanese tapes at the Smarks or other sites. As I recommend to everybody else, you ought to start with the J-Cup shows ('94, '95, and 2000)