Opening highlight package features comments from AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Randy Savage, and the Kings Of Wrestling. The Kings are absolutely hysterical with their Savage impersonations, while the Macho Man lies through his teeth about his real motivations for returning.
You can tell it’s an important show, because TNA brings the PYRO! We are LIVE from Orlando, Florida. Our hosts are the usual MIKE TENAY and DON WEST. I wonder when Ed Ferrara’s coming back.
Backstage, a limousine is here! The door opens and...oh god, get this, “VINCE MCMAHON” and “TRIPLE H” emerge. Hunter spits some water, and when they turn, MANKIND is there with balloons to welcome them.
3 LIVE KRU (without Konnan) vs. BOBBY ROODE and ERIC YOUNG (with Scott D’Amore) (for the NWA world tag-team titles)
- Rematch from Victory Road - Can Canada handle the Truth? - Will young be served of will experience rule?
BG James goes through Konnan’s spiel since he can’t be here to annoy us all himself, before turning it over to his own. Ron Killings, as usual, stays silent and remains the most over of the bunch. Experience is completely one sided here, with 3LK combining for 19 years to Team Canada’s 11. Jizzle and Young start. Eric gets slammed face first from buckle to buckle around the ring - but he comes back by mocking James’ idiot sparring. James slams him, and Killings drops a leg off the top onto a Very Sensitive Place. Note: It’s not his nose. Killings and Roode square off, and Roode’s power wins with a shoulderblock. A hiptoss puts Killings back in the game, and he follows with a spinning heel kick for 2! James tags in, and decks Roode. Shake, rattle, and kneedrop gets 2. Killings re-enters with a scoop slam, and heads upstairs. Eric Young provides enough distraction for Roode to crotch Killings. The heels kick away at the midsection, and Young hits a backbreaker for 2. Roode comes in, and they hit a double backbreaker this time, scoring another 2. Roode hits a series of running knees, and plants Killings with a backdrop suplex for 2! Back to Young, who stomps away, and stops to sing the Canadian national anthem. That delay is all Killings needs to mount the buckle, and nails a missile dropkick!!! Stupid Canadians. When will we learn that it’s just not appropriate to sing the anthem whenever we feel like it? Roode tries to cut off the ring, but only succeeds for about 30 seconds before Killings tags in James. James backdrops Young, and knocks Roode to the floor. James does his spar session with Young, decks Roode, and gets 2! Killings crotches Young on the top rope, and then hits an axekick from the mat to the top!!!!! Roode meanwhile hits a spinebuster on James for 2! Killings comes back, and pounds on Roode. A super leg lariat appears to finish, but D’Amore causes a ruckus. Killings stares him down, causing D’Amore to run. James and Roode are left alone - and James wants a Pumphandle Slam! Before he can hit, JOHNNY DEVINE makes his return, hockey stick in hand! He cracks James in the back of the head, and Roode scores the pinfall and wins the belts at 8:31. **1/4 Team Canada celebrates together on the ramp.
MY LEAST FAVORITE INTERVIEWER has found DUSTY RHODES, and wants a word. Dusty calls this the most electrifying night in the history of pay-per-view, and promises the Kings Of Wrestling will get what’s coming to them. And, because the fans have spoken, Dusty is going to be airing the CookieGate tape later.
KID KASH, FRANKIE KAZARIAN, and MICHAEL SHANE (with Traci Brooks) vs. THE SON, HECTOR GARZA, and SONJAY DUTT
Dutt gets in Kash’s face - since this is the blowoff from the coconut angle. Quick chain wrestling to start, and Sonjay hits an enzuigiri, followed by a dropkick and rana!!! Kash tries to rollup Dutt, but gets dropkicked in the face - and Garza tags in. They offer Kash a double suplex, but he counters with a thumb to Garza’s eye and tags out. Michael Shane takes a rough kick to the back of the leg, but recovers and kicks Hector in the face. Garza tries a monkey flip, but blows it, drawing a “YOU FUCKED UP!” chant. Siaki tags in, and goes to work with Kazarian. Frankie is placed on the top rope, and Siaki elevates Dutt up for a super rana! Shane in, and he hits Dutt with a series of shoulderblocks. He works an armbar, and does a blind switch with Kash who applies a cross armbreaker. Dutt tries to fight back, but just gets beaten down, and put back in a cross armbreaker. Shane does another blind switch, and keeps the cross armbreaker going. He nails a jumping armbar, and tags in Kazarian. A combination backbreaker followed by a guillotine legdrop gets 2! Kazarian dropkicks the arm, and tags in Kash! Kash hits a sweet fisherman’s shoulderbreaker, follows with a hammerlock, and runs Dutt back into the buckle! Shane throws elbows at Dutt, but Sonjay starts to fight. An armwringer ends that, and Kazarian comes in. He pulls at Sonjay’s arm, but he somehow snaps off a rana - and has a chance to tag! He manages to get it, and here comes Garza. Hector hits his perfect moonsault on Kazarian for 2. Siaki dumps Shane and Kash to the floor - and then elevates Dutt into a sweet corkscrew plancha on both guys! Traci now is in, and goes for Pie In The Sky, but accidently hits Kazarian instead of Siaki! The Son does not like pie. Garza follows that with the Tornado onto Kazarian, and we’ve got ourselves a trio of winners at 10:01. **1/2
SCOTT HUDSON is a pimp, telling us all about the main event tonight, and introduces RANDY SAVAGE. Savage says something about something - and wanders off, back to his room of rubber.
Luckily, we’ve found someone far more sane, because Hudson now sneaks in a word with PETEY WILLIAMS and SCOTT D’AMORE. Williams tells us he’s not a one move wonder, and will prove it to Sabin later tonight. D’Amore said he only backs winners, which is the one trait Williams has that Sabin does not.
MANKIND vs. MONTY BROWN (in a Serengeti survival match)
Brown, in a Very Hilarious Way, calls Abyss *snicker* “Obese”. *snort* Abyss takes exception, and the two brawl on the ramp. The fight starts slow, until Abyss whips Brown to the ringpost. Abyss unwraps Brown’s ribs, and gets a table. He stacks it against the corner in the ring, and grabs a bag of thumbtacks. Meanwhile, Brown has recovered, and is in the ring - attacking Abyss, forcing him to drop the back of tacks. Brown hits a running clothesline, but a second attempt runs him right into a big boot from Abyss, which gets 2. Abyss finds a chair under the ring, and starts waffling Brown with shots. He places the chair on Brown’s chest, and hits The Earthquake for 2! If this was 1990, Brown would have been out for 6 months. Abyss chokes out Brown in the ropes, and fishhooks him. He goes for the Earthquake on the chair again, but this time Brown turns that somebitch sideways, and sticks it straight up his candy ass! It’s quickly removed, and slammed over Abyss’ head! Brown picks up Abyss like nothing, and powerslams him on the chair! Brown goes for the Pounce...but it’s blocked with a Black Hole Slam!!!! Abyss covers...but only gets 2! Abyss quickly wedges the chair between the second and third ropes, but Brown sees it and whips Abyss face first into it! That’s followed with a POUNCE - and Abyss crashes to the floor! Brown rolls him back in, and gets 2! He goes for a second Pounce, but Abyss sidesteps, and Brown goes through the table!!! Abyss gets a 2! Both guys go and grab a bag of tacks - but only Brown empties his. Abyss sees the pile, and attacks Brown from behind. He goozles Brown...but Brown blocks with a lowblow, and rips off Abyss’ shirt!!!! Brown chops at Abyss, but can’t put him in the tacks. Brown hits a big boot, but Abyss comes back with a boot to the midsection and goes for a powerbomb! Brown stands, and quickly snaps off a spinebuster - and with Abyss rolling around bare back in the tacks, Brown is our winner at 12:17! ** That felt like it was building to about 20 minutes, but rushed into about 12.
More wackiness with “VINCE MCMAHON” and “TRIPLE H” - who has found a member of the ring crew violating dress code. “YOU’RE FIIIIIIIRRRRED!” They see someone with a tape, and Triple H smashes it with his sledgehammer...only it’s the Best Of D-Ray 3000.
THE RING CREW sweep up the tacks.
THE NYC vs. PAT KENNEY and JOHNNY B BADD
JACQUELINE was invited back as the guest referee here - because lord knows it just ain’t pay-per-view without Jugs! Badd brings his Frisbees for the fans, before shooting them with his Badd Blaster. Badd snaps off a rana immediately, but is hit with a jawbreaker from Swinger. Gilberti tags in, and takes a pair of hiptosses from Badd. Johnny hits a dropkick, and works an armbar, while the announcers gush over the idea of Randy Savage wrestling later. Kenney comes in, hits Gilberti with a Northern lights suplex, and gets 2! A running kneelift knocks Kenney to the floor where Swinger runs him back first to the ringpost. Kenney is rolled back in, and Gilberti stomps away. Gifted Glen hits an inverted atomic drop, and Swinger hammers at the back. The heels quickly tag in and out, with a clothesline from Swinger getting 2. Glen continues the assault, but misses a punch, and hits Swinger by mistake! Kenney quickly rolls him up for 2. Gilberti delivers a double sledge to the back of Kenney to keep him down, and tags in Swinger who drops an elbow for 2. Mid-ring slugfest is won by Swinger, but Kenney hits a short powerbomb out of nowhere and tags in Johnny! Badd gives Gilberti a running kneelift, and Swinger eats the same. Double noggin’ knocker, big boot for Glen, and a double axehandle takes him down. Badd sets up the TKO, but is nailed with a superkick from Swinger! Kenney takes a Stunner from Gilberti, bumps Jacqueline, then piefaces her when she gets in his face! Jackie slams Glen, Badd hits the TKO, and we’ve got winners at 6:40. **
Backstage, THE KINGS OF WRESTLING lock RANDY SAVAGE inside a car - and it takes off. Oh.
MIKE TENAY responds to this by making his angry face.
RAVEN vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE
I’m sure Raven’s just THRILLED to be working against DDP, considering their history. Page attacks before the bell, and ERIK WATTS joins the announcers on commentary. DDP hits the discus lariat, and stomps away. Tenay: “Who better to have in the broadcast booth than Erik Watts?” Ummm...I dunno, anyone? DDP hits a baseball slide, sending Raven to the floor, while Watts reminisces about the days he was runner up in the rookie of the year contest. Outside, Page nails Raven with a pair of Russian legsweeps into the guardrail, and dumps him into the crowd. Page grabs some nearby trashcans and crutches to attack Raven with, and the two head back to ringside. Bang. Back in, DDP crotches Raven across the ringpost, goes for the Diamond Cutter, but Raven blocks with the ropes and gets 2! Raven grabs his helmet, cracks Page in the head a pair of times, and gets 2. In the ropes, Raven chokes out Page, and grabs a chair. Raven hits a running knee to the face, grabs the chair, and hits the drop toe hold on it for 2. DDP hits a clothesline, goes for a backslide, but Raven blocks with a lowblow and packages Page for 2. A running bulldog out of the corner gets 2. Page nails a belly to belly out of nowhere for 2, and Raven immediately retaliates with a superkick for 2 of his own. Page hits a Diamond Cutter, and Raven kicks out at 2, certainly not helping the move in Page’s first match. A PAIR OF MASKED MEN head down to ringside, and the distraction allows Raven to hit a lowblow and the Evenflow for 2! ERIK WATTS gets in the ring, between the two hooded men, and if you don’t smell the swerve, you’re nuts. Both guys take clotheslines and chokeslams from Watts. Watts helps up Raven, hugs him, and clotheslines him to absolutely no reaction. Watts goes for the chokeslam, but Page blocks and hits the Diamond Cutter. Raven gets the same treatment seconds later, and DDP wins the match at 12:04. * Well, that sucked.
“VINCE MCMAHON” and “TRIPLE H” are alone in a locker room, and TRACI BROOKS arrives with some cookies for them. Vince screams about this being how it started, and chases her out of the room, while Triple H crushes the cookies.
CHRIS SABIN vs. PETEY WILLIAMS (with Scott D’Amore) (for the NWA X division title)
- Ex-champ challenges for “X” championship - Now we go to school - Can Sabin’s counter destroy the Canadian?
We get a fairly weak “HAIL SABIN” chant from the fans, though I haven’t enjoyed the Sabin character myself since the face turn about a year ago. That turns into a “LET’S GO SABIN” vs. “LET’S GO PETEY” chant. Sabin goes for an early Cradle Shock, but Williams bails...no doubt because he’s getting just a little sick and tired of being hit with that move all the time. Back in, Sabin crotches Williams with a headbutt, and kicks him in the face. Williams tries to come back, but gets nailed with a springboard missile dropkick, and rolls to the safety of the outside. As he heads back in, Sabin AGAIN goes for the Cradle Shock, so Williams armdrags Sabin to the outside. Williams follows with a rana off the apron, and D’Amore tells him to stay on him. Sabin starts throwing chops at Williams...and then POWERBOMBS him off the apron, into the safety rail!!! Williams staggers around ringside, since he’s a wreck...and Sabin comes through the crowd, off a table - and gives Williams a plancha! Back in, Williams gives Sabin a jawbreaker, sending him sprawling to the floor, and D’Amore chokes him out. Williams gets 2. Sabin gets himself tied to the tree of woe, where Williams stands on his crotch and sings the Canadian National anthem. I love that spot. It gets 2. The fans start in with the dueling chants again - and Williams hits a jumping DDT for 2. Tenay wishes that D’Amore would “keep his big butt out of the match!” Edgy! Williams works a chinlock, releases, and connects with a dropkick for 2. Williams starts his rolling suplexes, and gets 2 off a vertical followed by a backdrop. The pair moves to the ropes, where Williams chokes out Sabin, and when the ref gives him shit, D’Amore adds a bitchslap. Sabin throws a chop at Williams, so Williams beats him down and goes up. Sabin follows, springs up the ropes, and suplexes the champion back in! D’Amore screams for Williams to get up, but Sabin hits an enzuigiri, follows with a Liger bomb...and gets 2! Sabin goes up, Williams leaves the ring...so Sabin springs onto him with a plancha! He quickly rolls Petey in, and gets 2. Fans: “THIS IS AWESOME!” Tenay: “YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT THIS IS AWESOME!” Williams nails a side Russian legsweep, goes for his move...but Sabin catches him in the Cradle Shock position! Williams rolls off the back, and goes to the Sharpshooter! Sabin tries to make the ropes, but Williams holds him in the middle of the ring! A second burst of energy gets Sabin to the ropes, and Williams has to break. They fight up to the top rope, where Williams goes for the super Canadian Destroyer, but Sabin rolls through with a pancake, follows with a piledriver...and gets 2!!! D’Amore looks like he’s going to throw up. The two stand, Williams again goes for the Canadian Destroyer, but Sabin blocks AGAIN, and only D’Amore stops the Cradle Shock. Williams grabs a pair of brass knucks in the distraction, nails Sabin, and gets the pin at 18:08. ***1/4 This wasn’t as good on my third viewing for some reason.
A MIDGET knocks on the door of “VINCE MCMAHON”, and when Vince laughs at him, the midget beats him down.
THE KINGS OF WRESTLING vs. AJ STYLES and JEFF HARDY
Scott Hall makes a number of faces at Team Dream Teen Idol, wondering where on earth Randy Savage has wandered off to. No matter. Styles and Jarrett start. I’m tired of these two feuding. Jarrett takes down Styles with a headlock, but AJ reverses into a figure four sleeper. Jarrett fights out, but takes a rana! Styles nails a beautiful dropkick, and Jarrett’s not sure his mouth isn’t bleeding. We turn things over to Scott Hall, who rips at AJ’s arm, and paintbrushes him for kicks. Thumb to the eye, and Hall chops away. Styles comes back with a sitdown dropkick, and calls out big Kev. Nash makes Hilarious Smarmy Faces, and enters the ring slowly. He certainly is tall, but that sexy thing is kind of gray. Big knee to the midsection, and an elbow drops Styles down. Styles comes back with a dropkick on Nash, then nails both Jarrett and Hall with one - before tagging in Hardy. Hardy nails both Jarrett and Hall simultaneously with a dropkick, then drops a leg on Nash’s groin. That especially hurts Kev, because he’s never let us forget he has the largest penis in the world. Nash throws a big boot at Hardy and tags in Jarrett. Jeff hits the Bossman straddle, and does the Fargo strut. Back to Hall. Scotty nails a chokeslam for 2. Nash enters, hits a side slam, and gets 2. Hall slaps on an abdominal stretch, and when the referee isn’t looking, he might be using a little leverage from Nash. Hardy escapes, tags in Styles who dropkicks Nash off the apron, and AJ then follows with a Scorpion Deathdrop on Jarrett for 2! Styles goes for the Styles Clash, but Jarrett blocks. Next, he goes for a springboard move, but Nash shakes the ropes, and Styles crashes hard. Jarrett whips AJ into the buckle, and tags in Hall. A fallaway slam with his feet on the ropes gets 2 for Hall. Back to Nash. He starts throwing his corner elbows, takes a picture, and gets 2. Jarrett comes in, but Styles starts rolling him up a bunch of times, drawing a series of 2’s. Styles tries to tag out - but Hall cuts off the ring quickly. Nash puts on a bearhug, releases, and goes back to Jarrett. Styles finally makes a comeback, and hot tags Hardy - who immediately hits a Whisper In The Wind. Hall eats a Flatliner, and Nash a jawbreaker. Jarrett starts driving his knee into Hardy’s midsection, goes for the Stroke, but Hardy reverses into the Twist Of Fate! Hall comes in, but Styles hits him with a crossbody off the top! Nash yanks the referee to the floor and knocks him out. Styles follows to fight with Nash. In the ring, Hardy goes for the Swanton, but Hall slams him in the back with a guitar. Hardy hits the move anyway, and then dies. Funny stuff. Styles hits a slingshot plancha onto Hall, and all 5 men lie around the ringside area. The announcers sell it as everyone having given all they can...but there’s still one man left, because here comes RANDY SAVAGE! He begs for a tag from Hardy, and gets it! Savage single handedly takes over the match with the dreaded PUNCH...but Jarrett catches him in a sleeper. Savage escapes, puts Jarrett in one - and the other two guys get the same idea, and put sleepers on the Kings. Savage then throws a punch at Jarrett and scores the pin at 15:21?!? *1/2 What a bizarre ending. The announcers celebrate this wonderful moment, because the world champion was just pinned by a bald, psychotic lumberjack.
“VINCE MCMAHON” is escorted out on a stretch, from his midget attack earlier. “TRIPLE H” apologizes for not having his back. Hunter: “Daddy! What do you want me to do-uh?”
DUSTY RHODES demands CookieGate be aired.
SHANE DOUGLAS, TRACI BROOKS, and MANKIND are carrying balloons, headed in the direction of the WWE. Apparently the boys are in town filming a Royal Rumble commercial, and TNA wants them to feel right at home in their backyard. Traci carries a plate of cookies, Abyss a handful of balloons. Douglas: “Word has it they’re here to check out what a professional wrestling program looks like.”
The camera shifts, and the 3 LIVE KRU heads over to say hi. BG James desperately wants some of the free buffet food - and they bump into someone they know. From the blur, I can’t make out who it is, but I’d guess Chris Jericho. The Kru wants to see Vince. James: “He may not remember me, but I made him a bunch of money... Tell Benoit to come out here!” Killings steals a plate of mahi-mahi, and they laugh it up that he actually had the balls to raid the catering. Douglas wants to see McMahon, but he no-shows.
Back to the live arena... Tenay: “It’s not like we drove a tank up to WWE headquarters in Stamford, Conneticut, now is it?”
TRIPLE X vs. AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (in a six sides of steel match, winner must break up forever)
Daniels and Storm slug it out before the bell, and are at eachother’s throats. After they scrap, Harris and Skipper get into it, with Skipper hitting a series of knees. A big kick rocks Harris, but he comes back with a full nelson slam. AMW hits a double team backdrop on Skipper, and go to work on Daniels. He’s run leg first into the mesh, and Primetime takes a clothesline from Storm. Daniels starts being fed mesh, and is busted open. Harris chokes him out in the ropes, goes for a standing vertical suplex...but Daniels runs him back to the corner, and calls for Skipper’s help. Skipper slams Daniels over Harris’ body, and then starts throwing some stiff rights. Daniels headbutts Harris, bloody forehead and all. A great camera shot sees the blood just pouring out of Daniels’ skull. Storm blindsides Daniels - and the referee has a bitch of a time getting him to lay off. Skipper starts kicking away at Harris, picking him apart bit by bit. Harris trips Skipper up, and catapults Primetime in the cage! Daniels comes in, but so does Storm, and Daniels takes a powerslam! Skipper takes a superkick! They go for the Death Sentence on Skipper, but Daniels breaks it up - so Harris opts instead to go for a top rope crossbody, flattening the Fallen Angel. Primetime elevates Harris on a blind charge, sending him face first to the cage. Skipper whips out a pair of handcuffs from underneath a towel, and cuffs Harris to the buckle! To make matters worse, he starts going cheesegrater style on Harris’ head, and he’s busted open now. That leaves Triple X alone with Storm, whom they beat down. Daniels dangles the handcuff key in front of Harris’ face, then grinds it into Storm’s forehead! He’s busted open, and Skipper grinds his elbow to the forehead, making it worse. Harris screams for the key. Triple X plant Storm with a double team powerbomb/elbowdrop, which gets 2! Skipper holds Storm hostage, and Daniels goes for a clothesline...only Storm moves, and Daniels hits his own partner! Daniels is in shock, and doesn’t even see the SPEAR coming! The key is loose...and Storm grabs it! It’s passed to Harris, and Harris unlocks himself! He immediately starts throwing clotheslines at both guys, and plants Daniels with a spinebuster! Storm starts beating down Skipper, while Harris rams Daniels to the cage over and over! Harris goes for the high vertical, rams Daniels off the cage, and gets 2! Primetime nails Harris with a Rock Bottom, and follows with a super crossbody with help from Daniels for 2! Storm stands, nails Skipper with a neckbreaker, then throws both guys face first into the side of the cage! AMW nails a double team spinebuster/clothesline on Elix, and gets 2! Daniels gets back into the mix, and helps Primetime throw Harris face first to the cage! They go to finish with the Death Sentence, hit the move...but only get 2!!! Frustrated, Triple X goes for it on Storm instead...but Storm escapes, and chases Skipper up the cage! He powerbombs Skipper OFF THE TOP of the cage...and gets 2!!!! Daniels sneaks in an Angels Wings on Storm, and gets 2! Daniels goes up, but Harris follows - and they’re on top of the cage! Skipper goes to the other corner, and Harris kicks Daniels away! Fans: “PLEASE DON’T DIE!” Skipper stands on the cage like a tight rope...walks the cage...and SNAPS OFF A RANA ONTO HARRIS OFF THE CAGE!!!! Jesus fucking Christ!!! Daniels is on top of the cage, drops an elbow onto Harris, and gets 2!!!! Fans: “THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!” Daniels heads back up again, but Storm catches him - and holds him in a DDT position! Skipper gets underneath the mess, then Harris under him...and that results in a superplex on Daniels, electric chair on Storm, and powerbomb on Skipper!!!!! You can see the souls of these guys floating around the ring, headed in an upwards direction. Skipper goes for Play of the Day, but Harris blocks, goes for the Catatonic, but THAT’S blocked, and they send eachother in the cage! Daniels starts headbutting Storm like nuts, while the fans now break into “BEST MATCH EVER!” Daniels and Storm fight near the door, on the ropes, and Daniels elbows him off! Harris dives at Daniels, running his head right into the Fallen Angel’s crotch! As he falls, Harris latches Daniels in the handcuffs on the turnbuckle! It all comes full circle... Skipper takes a superkick in the mush from Storm, give Skipper the Powerplex, which is of course Triple X’s finisher, and win one HELL of a match at 21:08! ****3/4 I would have gone the full monty if it wasn’t a match that’s going to be forgotten in a couple of months, which is VERY unfortunate. Daniels bursts into tears, while AMW, bloody and tired head to the back...still together.
And THAT is how you end a wrestling show!
Tomorrow: Final Resolution... And then it’s the big one, with Wrestlemania 21!
Inside The Ropes DID YOU KNOW? Welcome, everyone, to another EXCLUSIVE, JAM-PACKED edition of Inside The Ropes, the column where we rarely distinguish between Fact, Fiction and Outright Bullshit. I'm Canadian Bulldog.