The show begins with a recap of the team situation from last week, as well as the Abyss/Sting situation. Long story short, Team Cage is Christian, AJ Styles, and a returning Scott Steiner, while Team Angle is still Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, and Rhino. Moving onto Abyss…well, James Mitchell brought in some old lady, and Abyss was distracted by her. I’m guessing that we can assume it’s Mommy Abyss.
Paparazzi Productions brings us to a cafe, where Sting and James Mitchell are having lunch, or so it would seem, and they’re having a moral argument over Abyss. Apparently, Abyss’ mom was the one that shot the father three times in the back because she was abused, and Abyss/Chris wiped her prints off, got his all over the weapon, and took the rap for it. The story? Okay, that’s ine. However, what is completely brainless about this is what Mitchell is holding over Abyss’ head to keep him from playing Sting anymore: if Abyss doesn’t do his bidding, he will call the authorities and have Mombyss put in jail.
Let me run that by you again. James Mitchell just said, ON NATIONAL GODDAMN TELEVISION, that he would report Abyss’ mother to the authorities if he dare defy him. Unless the cops show up next week, this will officially be the dumbest thing in wrestling that I have ever seen, including Katie Vick, the Gobbledygooker, and Bob Holly being considered a main eventer. Seriously, you can’t pretend that wrestling exists in the real world by addressing the viewer, and then pretending that it exists in its own pocket dimension where normal people, some of whom might be the authorities, may see such miscarriages of justice on television. It is insulting to the viewer, and to only blame Russo for this would be unfair, as EVERYONE should have caught this and nixed it, or, if nothing else, kept this a secret until Mitchell DOES call the authorities. Ridiculous…
Six-Man Elimation Cage Match: Sonjay Dutt vs. Petey Williams vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Alex Shelley vs. Austin Starr vs. Shark Boy
As the match begins, Bob Backlund comes to the ring to exercise, doing the Harvard Step Test. He will do this the whole show…so…that’s something.
Lots of action, inclding a springboard (off the TOP rope) moonsault by Sonjay Dutt, an ocean cyclone suplex by Shelley, Jerry Lynn hiptossing everyone (except Austin Starr, who reverses, but gets clotheslined down), and Shelley dropkicks Lynn down, then taking on Shark Boy. Boy, is that a long sentence. Shark Boy and Shelley go back and forth for a spell, and Shark Boy pins Shelley(!) with the Dead Sea Drop. Holy crap, did that just happen? Dutt then trips him up, then gives a running somersault senton to the back, and a standing moonsault. Lynn tosses Dutt into the turnbuckle, and Dutt tries to hit a hurricanrana off the top, but Lynn catches him, powerbombs him into the cage wall, then hits the cradle piledriver to eliminate Dutt. Starr sets Lynn up in the turnbuckle for backrakes, but Shark Boy interferes. He tries to hit the Dead Sea Drop, but Starr throws him off, then brainbusters him for the pin. Starr then gets double-teamed by Lynn and Williams, and while Starr gets a bit of momentum, it’s quickly squashed, as Lynn eventually LETS Petey give him the Canadian Destroyer for the elimination. Now, it’s all about escaping, as Lynn scales the cage, followed closely by Petey. They’re both on top, and then they both end up on the outside, and it’s a race. Lynn grabs onto Petey’s hair to keep him from dropping, slams his head into the cage, then drops himself for the win! Woohoo!
Boy, am I biased. Still, fun match.
Yet then, The Man Called Christopher Daniels comes and hits Lynn with a bat. Jerk.
We get thrown to Letitia, who meets Tomko getting out of his car in the parking lot. Before he can answer Letitia’s question about TNA rumors or whatever, Christian Cage runs on camera, makes some quick small talk, and quickly tries to cut to the chase by asking him to join Team Cage. Tomko, committed team player that he is, walks away without saying anything. Okay then. I like how they’ve given Tomko a bit of a personality, and made him seem like a major player. If only they could give him some more complex wrestling skills and in-ring charisma.
Christian Cage, Scott Steiner and AJ Styles enter the ring. Tenay says last week we made the “assumption,” that Steiner joined Team Cage. Seemed pretty confirmed to me, but alright. Christian takes this opportunity to officially announce Steiner, who, expectedly, says, “Don’t forget the title shot that I deserve!” The announcers point out that he’s giving title shots out like candy, which makes me want gummi bears. Anyway, Christian introduces the fourth member of Team Cage, led to the ring by “Jim” Mitchell, Abyss. Cage then says that the team is complete, but AJ, despite playing the dumb hick role, points out that there are FOUR people in the ring, and the team is supposed to be five. Cage, showing a bit of panic, tells AJ that it was going to be a surprise, but he ruined it, so he might as well announce the fifth member, and he calls out…Tomko. Tomko’s music hits…but he doesn’t come. Cage announces him again, and still gets nothing. Eventually, Tomko comes out, but with a microphone. Hey, can he speak for more than a few sentences? Well, there’s only one way to find out.
He’s none too pleased with being Cage’s sidekick, and STILL hasn’t gotten that title shot that was promised him so long ago, and says that he should get that tonight before he joins ANY team. Christian calls him selfish (which he uses a lot, but I love), but as he yells, Angle’s music hits, and Kurt Angle, Rhino, and Samoa Joe come down to the ring. Angle tells him that Christian was NEVER going to give him the title shot, and if he would like to kick his former boss’ ass, the best way to do that is to join Team Angle. This brings Jim Cornette out, who sets up a match between a member of Team Angle and Team Cage, and the winner gets Tomko’s services. By agreeing to go to whichever team wins, Tomko will get his title shot. Loving shiny things, Tomko accepts.
See, this would be really interesting, except for one thing: Tomko is not nearly enough of an equalizer or a star to make this particularly dramatic or interesting. If they were fighting over someone like, say, Sting, Christopher Daniels, Raven…hell, anyone somewhat interesting, this could be really cool; instead, the TNA brass shows us that Tomko is a major player, and while that will go a ways to making him one in their eyes, I doubt the fans will buy it until he shows something really impressive. Right now, his finisher is a clothesline, and his offense consists of punching and kicking. Other than that, he’s friggin’ fabulous.
Video package about the upcoming Electrified Cage Match between Team 3D and LAX, which, of course, will have more special effects in it than 300.
Borash interviews Kurt Angle who says that he’s going into the match for Tomko, because he doesn’t want to let his team down. What’s really interesting here is that, as he talks, Samoa Joe is making faces as if to say, “Oh, come on, you pompous windbag,” and I pray to GOD that they’re staged and scripted, because that would be awesome.
Anyway, Angle says that Sting and Abyss were going to be his last two members, but that went all to hell, so Tomko will be his fifth member tonight. When Borash points out that that would only be four, Angle simply says that some things are best left unsaid. Good, because otherwise, the champion and his top contender would be really, really bad at math. And, ridiculously, we go to
Eric Young vs. James Storm
Eric tries to trick his pyro, but it waits for him to be unprepared. Heh. Eric hiptosses Storm, does the “Boo/Yay” thing, but then tries to escape, because he doesn’t want to fight Storm. So, he’ll only wrestle people who he doesn’t like? Sometimes a match is just a match, dude.
Storm, of course, has no such qualms, and Ms. Jackie holds Young’s legs when he gets too close to the outside, and this gives Storm a chance to knock him down. He sets Young up on the bottom rope, runs to the outside, and gives Young a running kick to the face from the floor. Ouch. Pin attempt gets two. Young, however, recovers and Flair Flips out of the ring. He shoulders Storm in the gut, then gets back in and gives him a backdrop suplex. He climbs to the top, but Jackie pushes him off into a Storm superkick, and that gets the pin.
Post-match, Chris Harris and Gail Kim unexpectedly (Ha!) rush the ring, and Harris, after getting beer spat in his face by Storm while the refs hold him back, FINALLY gets his hands on his former partner, and everyone runs into the crowd.
Robert Roode and Ms. Brooks come out, yell at Young, and Eric gets all mad and pushes Roode into the ropes, threatening to hit him. When Roode reminds him that this will get him fired, Eric, of course, draws back, but when Roode yells about Eric’s “friend,” Petey Williams comes out, beats on Roode, and Roode and Ms. Brooks run to the back, leaving Eric and Petey alone in the ring. Again, Petey says nothing, so again I ask, where is this going? Right now, I’m still figuring that Petey is NOT the friend, as it would just be too easy.
Backstage, Christian Cage is refusing to wrestle, because if he gets injured, who’s going to sell tickets? Scott Steiner says his arms will, and AJ says his ultra-sweet hood will. “I go out there, I bounce around with the hood…” Okay, AJ is officially endearing himself to me. Cage tells him he looks like a moron. James Mitchell chimes in, saying that Abyss, again a beast of burden, can do it, because if he doesn’t, he’ll call the authorities and tell on dear old mom. AGAIN, mentioning contacting the authorities on television is COMPLETELY RETARDED, as it has to assume that no cop anywhere watches this show. I swear, if that keeps getting mentioned, it’s going to turn my brains into taco meat.
We come back to a set up argument between VKM (with Lance Hoyt) and Christy Hemme. Hemme says the first team didn’t work out, Kip James tells her to “just stop, while [she] still has some dignity left.” Basically, she tells him to blow it out his ass, and that now she has a NEW team (20 bucks on the Bashams, who will make the crowd go apathetic), and they’ll see them at Lockdown. Kip storms off, followed closely behind by BG and Lance. When was it decided that Kip was the one with the mic skills? God, just let BG talk again.
Promo for the weapons match. Whatever.
Abyss vs. Kurt Angle
Tomko comes out first, both contracts in hand. Starting out, the two size each other up, and go into a lockup. They go into the corner, and break. Angle goes for a leg sweep, hits it, and starts working on Abyss’s left leg. Abyss tries to fishhook him, but no go. Angle gets up and starts kicking the leg, and then, once Abyss gets up, chopblocks him. He goes for a second, but Abyss clotheslines him down. Abyss shakes out his knee, and as he approaches, Angle trips him up right into the ankle lock, but Abyss makes the ropes, and escapes to the outside, while Christian Cage comes down to see what the hell’s going on.
We return to Abyss hitting Angle with a vertical suplex, and then locking Angle in a neck wrench. Angle powers out and hits Abyss with some rights, but Abyss slugs him back, and they get into a sort of richochet slugest, bouncing against the ropes and hitting the other dude. Angle comes back with a german suplex, and drops the straps. Angle goes for the Olympic slam, but Abyss floats over and out, pushes him into the ropes, and goes for the Shock Treatment, but Angle sunset flips over him, and turns it into the ankle lock. Abyss reaches for the ropes, but Angle pulls him back. He tries to kick Angle loose, but Angle still holds on. Abyss flips out of it, but Angle gets tossed into the ref, who is, as they say in France, le bumped. Angle goes for a clothesline, but runs into a Black Hole Slam. Rudy Charles runs down to count, but Angle kicks out at two. Abyss goes for a chokeslam, but Angle reverses it into a roll-up and gets the pin.
Tomko comes into the ring, and holds Angle’s arm up…and then, of course, clotheslines the snot out of him. Tomko signs the Team Cage contract, and he simply reeks of evil. Also, stupidity, as his title shot chances are probably out the window. Then again, maybe that was never really important to him anyway. Who knows? Anyway, Team Cage starts beating on Angle, and Rhino runs down for the save, but gets taken out by the numbers game. Samoa Joe runs down and fares a bit better, but Tomko holds onto him while Steiner hits him from behind, then gives him an overhead belly-to-belly. Team Cage stands triumpant, arms in the air, as Team Angle lays in the ring like a heap.
Aaaand we’re out.
The Inside Pulse
Okay, so here’s the deal: the actual wrestling was either good or acceptable. The cage match to open was a lot of fun, and Abyss vs. Angle was fine, I guess, while Young vs. Storm was negligible, but alright enough.
But then, when we go to the storylines, it seems like a bit of a wasteland. As usual, a lot of feuds are spinning the wheels, but I am incredibly bothered by the major snafu in the Abyss storyline. Holding the well-being of someone Abyss cares about over his head? Fine, good, marvelous. Saying what the thing is to a national audience that would, in the real world, be able to impact such a thing? Amateurish, shortsighted, and stupid.
As usual, there’s potential all around. However, the Abyss storyline is broken, and that’s a real shame.