We open with Team Cage arguing. That’s about it. I turned the television on at 11; did I miss anything? No? Okay, moving on then.
Intro video, and there’s a whole slew of stuff of tonight, including:
Eight Mile Street Fight: Rhino vs. Tomko
Rhino comes out to the ring, which is filled with traffic barriers and whatnot, and Rhino goes right backstage and attacks Tomko before he can even have his music hit. They brawl around the back, and then end up right back into the Impact Zone. Tomko irish whips Rhino’s head into the stands, and then pushes his head further into the wooden barrier that his head just went through. Punchy kicky in the crowd, and Tomko throws Rhino down the stairs. Someone offers Tomko his chair and, after ignoring it for awhile, FINALLY takes it and hits Rhino in the back with it as we go to commercial. You know, I was just watching Mick Foley’s Greatest Hits and Misses, and in one of the matches, Tommy Dreamer hits Raven over the head with a VCR that he gets from the crowd. You just don’t get stuff like that anymore. See, grabbing the chair is cool, but being that the only thing Tomko can do is punch or kick people, you know not to expect more from him. How’s THAT for depressing?
Now, they’re back in the ring, but during the commercial break, Tomko beat the crap out of Rhino with a trashcan, but as we return to the present, Rhino irish whips Tomko into the SAME trash can that’s now set up in a corner. Oh, irony. Rhino sets up a table in the corner, and he and Tomko exchange (wait for it…) punches, until Rhino kicks him in the gut, then picks him up, and tackles him through the table. Abyss comes out with a chair, aims for Rhino, but instead hits Tomko by mistake. Rhino knocks Abyss out of the ring, and Tomko goes for the chair, but it’s useless, as Rhino gores him for the pin. The announcers make a big deal out of him winning his signature match, but there’s only been TWO. Hardly makes it signature, or so it seems to me.
Post-match, Abyss chokeslams Rhino, which brings out Kurt Angle to punch him, and Samoa Joe to give him the Kokina Klutch. However, Team Cage comes out and beats down the faces. Okay then.
We’re thrown to Cornette’s office, and we have Robert Roode, Ms. Brooks, Jackie Moore, “Cowboy” James Storm, and Chris Sabin complaining to him as he watches the show. Cornette tells them to stop bitching, and that all questions will be answered at the company meeting later tonight. He says that he doesn’t want anyone else in his office tonight unless they have a written invitation…so, of course, Gail Kim comes flying in out of nowhere to attack Jackie, and they brawl over Cornette’s desk before security can pull Gail away. What makes this halfway decent is seeing Chris Sabin smiling like a madman in the background, as if to say, “Yeah, catfight bitches! Woot!”
Promo for the new AJ Styles DVD.
Team Cage parties in the back, and Christian drops more golden lines in response to everyone. AJ Styles isn’t sure if he should drink, but Cage says to relax, as he’s not going to card him or anything. Scott Steiner, frighteningly, gets ahold of the microphone, and says…something. Wha? Cage’s reply? “And he’s not even drunk yet!” Anyway, they all go out to party, but Abyss can’t leave because he “almost got Tomko killed.” Yeah, like Tomko’s sloppiness won’t take care of that on its own. But regardless of my feelings on the situation, he can’t go, so he has to stay and clean up. When he gets all uppity about it, James Mitchell threatens to call the cops on Mommy Abyss, and AGAIN we are hammered over the head with stupidity. Thanks a ton. Abyss, feeling my frustration, throws over the snack table and murders the cameraman. Well, good.
VKM vs. LAX
Christy Hemme interrupts VKM before they get down the ramp, but Lance Hoyt just carries her off. The announcers say that they hear Hemme’s putting together a new team, and I don’t believe that it will be anyone worth caring about. Bashams? Nope. Shane Twins? Uh-uh. And, being that everyone else is under contract elsewhere, I’m not about to get all excited about yet another “surprise” team.
BG James starts with Hernandez, and BG goes for something off the ropes, but Homicide hits him, and Hernandez gives him the Crackerjack. Already? Top rope elbow by Homicide on James, and there’s yet more beating. Rope choke/reverse powerbomb combo by LAX, but BG kicks out. BG is tossed into the corner, and LAX charges, but he kicks Hernandez down. Tag to Kip, who takes out both members of LAX. Attempted double team by VKM, but Machete and the Latino Nation charge the ring, and it’s DQalicious. Whatever.
Team 3D storms the ring and tosses the Latino Nation out. Homicide teases getting in the ring with both members of Team 3D, prancing about the apron angrily, and gets in, but then right back out again. Heh. Team 3D accepts LAX’s challenge of an electrified cage match, and they unleash the unbearably lame catchphrase, “To Live and Die, in TEAM…THREE…DEE!” Umm…that’s not a place. Silly Bubba…
Backstage, Borash is with Team Angle, and they are PISSED. Really neat stuff here, with Samoa Joe telling Angle that the only reason he joined, as much as he hates him, is because Angle promised a team that could take Christian and his cronies out. Angle is frustrated himself, saying that Sting won’t even return his phone calls. When Rhino asks about the fourth member that he had in mind, Angle says that when he’s ready, he’ll tell him, and then he storms off. Rhino and Joe are NOT okay with that, and they follow Angle out. Actually, I kind of like the way that the team is in turmoil, and how they’re united in hatred of a common enemy as opposed to any real belief in each other. If nothing else, I like Joe not taking kindly to being Angle’s soldier and/or backup.
Paparazzi Productions bit with Jay Lethal trying to look more like Randy Savage, as he’s taken his braids out, so his hair is all wild. “Madness,” he says. Just looks like an oddly colored ‘fro of near Buckwheat proportions. Umm, alright. Meanwhile, Sonjay Dutt is wearing Kevin Nash’s old “Oz” cloak. Wow. Kevin says, “You can fly on it.” Huh? This is just odd.
Submission Match: Austin Starr vs. Senshi
Some slams and reversals to start, with Senshi getting the upper hand. Senshi gives him a hell of an atomic drop, and then goes for a sort of crossface chickenwing, but Starr tosses him out to he floor, then quickly follows up with a suicide dive. And it’s break time! Woof, that was too much action, I know that *I* needed a breather.
Lockdown Promo, touting Lethal Lockdown and the electrified cage match.
Back, and Starr gives Senshi a gourdbuster, then flips over into a bridging chinlock, but he hooks the arm, so it’s almost like a dragon sleeper. Neat. Senshi powers himself up, and pushes Starr into a corner, but Starr kicks him, then tosses Senshi into the corner, but he gets his foot up and kicks Starr. Senshi then goes into kicky mode, giving that snapping shin kick to the back of Starr’s, and then a springboard spin kick, rebounding off the ropes and kicking Starr in the mush. He tries to lock in the dragon sleeper, but Starr tosses him into the corner and dropkicks him. He puts Senshi on the top rope, and goes for a super brainbuster, but Senshi knocks him off. Senshi goes for the Warrior’s Way but misses, and Starr chop blocks the knee right out from under him, then gives him a kneebreaker/backdrop combo. He hooks on a halfcrab, and Senshi can’t escape. Then, Bob Backlund (who’s been next to the stage doing the Harvard Step Test for the whole show…didn’t I mention that? I didn’t? Oh well…) goes up to the ring, and throws his towel into the ring, and the ref calls it for Starr. Umm…Senshi’s not officially his “client,” so why is that accepted? Shouldn’t the ref be like, “Hey, Grampie McOlderton, get away from the ring!” Starr tries to mess with Backlund, and almost gets chickenwinged before he escapes. Senshi, meanwhile, is none too pleased with Backlund quitting for him. Why are these two feuding, anyway?
Recap of Sting/Abyss nonsense
Tenay interviews Sting, and Sting apologizes to Abyss for messing things up. Sting talks about how, in six months, he’s gone from world champ to…whatever he is now. He feels like a failure, and he’s going home. What a whiny baby. Suck it up, Stevey!
Lethal Lockdown Promo
Jim Cornette is in the ring for a Company Meeting, and Cornette reads the matches:
Xscape Match for the X Division Title: Chris Sabin vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Jay Lethal vs. Alex Shelley vs. Shark Boy.
Robert Roode vs. Petey Williams
Jerry Lynn vs. Christopher Daniels (Senshi goes “Why isn’t he here?” Cornette then tells Lynn to smack him once for him, and Lynn replies, “No problem”)
Senshi vs. Austin Starr featuring Bob Backlund as Special Guest Referee
Chris Harris vs. James Storm in (oh God help us) a Blindfold Match
Gail Kim vs. Jackie Moore
Electrified Cage Match: Team 3D vs. LAX
Lethal Lockdown: Team Angle vs. Team Cage
Cornette points out that he’s doubting Team Angle, but says that he better get his act together, because next week, each captain will pick a member to wrestle, and the winning team will get the numbers advantage at Lethal Lockdown. However, Christian doesn’t like the idea of being told to be at a mandatory meeting when he and his team were about to go out on the town and celebrate. Cornette points out that, if he hadn’t promised title shots to the entire company’s cadre of top-level heels, he wouldn’t have anyone on his team. But, Cage isn’t the one who picks the shots; he is. So, Cornette decides that whoever gets the pinfall at Lethal Lockdown will get a title shot at Sacrifice in May.
Christian: “You can’t do that to the champ!”
Cornette: “I just did, Gilligan!”
Anywho, Cage says that the stip won’t hold up if Team Angle doesn’t make it to Lockdown, and as he and his team approach the faces, the lights go out…
And, apparently, Sting didn’t go home for very long, as he’s in there with a bat, beating on Team Cage. Angle and Co. enter the ring and clean house, as all four of the faces raise their arms in celebration and unity, and we’re out.
The Inside Pulse
Christian Cage is awesome. This is a statement that I feel comfortable standing by based solely on his ability to save segments and be incredible. I think the best evidence is when Steiner tries to deliver one of his insipid quasi-promos, and Cage makes the joke that we all wanted to.
Still, I’m dumbfounded at the whole “calling the authorities” threat on a national tv show, but I KNOW that TNA tapes all of this in advance, so they can’t deal with any kind of response to what they show on a week-to-week basis.
In my heart of hearts, I know that the wrestling on PPV will probaby be fun, but with storylines continually spinning, although balanced by some entertaining stuff from Christian and Samoa Joe, I remain in conflict.