Well, CSI’s over. Time for Impact!
The opening video package is a recap of Jarrett’s tearful return, Angle getting all pissy and Sting slapping him, Roode being rude, Abyss getting 3Ded, and subsequently spat on and beaten to a fine paste. So, I guess you didn’t miss THAT much if you spaced out last week and watched something relevant.
We’re in the Impact Zone, and tonight we have Eric Young breaking his silence on the friend, Team 3D vs. Scott Steiner and Tomko (the horror…), and the first ever meeting between Sting and Kurt Angle…which is next?! Oh man, no WAY does this end fairly. Main Event first = shenanigans.
#1 Contender’s Match: Sting vs. Kurt Angle
Weird lighting in the Impact Zone to start, and the camera angles suggest that this is NOT what’s supposed to happen as we get a headlock from Sting. Okay, now we’re back to normal. Lockup and hammerlock from Angle, then Sting irish whips him chestfirst into two turnbuckles, following the second one up with a Stinger Splash. Sting goes for the deathlock, Angle goes for the anklelock, and Sting rolls out. After a quick breather, Sting’s back in and they do some quick kicky punchy, and it ends with Sting going against the ropes and eating a belly to belly. Man, they’re keeping this paced pretty quickly, really going a mile a minute…yet another sign that this isn’t going to last long, even though both these guys can definitely go, and they’re showing it here. Sting goes to the outside, and Angle follows, but Sting suckers him out and throws him over the guardrail and into the crowd. Sting tells the audience to clear the way, and he goes for an irish whip into the wall, but Angle reverses, and Sting goes headfirst into it.
And then, of course, comes the run-in, as Team Cage comes down and beats on Sting and Angle, drawing, naturally, the DQ bell. Sting gets a Steiner Recliner on the outside, while Angle is pulled by his arms against a turnbuckle, and Christian Cage smashes his back with chairshots. He’s released, and Cage gives him an Impaler DDT on the chair. Ooh, take THAT, Gangrel. Oh yeah, post-match, right. Somehow, Sting recovers and chases the heels out of the ring with a chair, and then goes to see how Angle’s doing (hint: he’s busted open), calling for medical attention.
I have to say, the two beatdowns that Team Cage has been involved in have been pretty brutal, and give sort of a Neo-horseman type of vibe. The only thing here is that all of the members of Team Cage want title shots, so it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing caves in, unless Cage can continually play them against each other, which, if possible, would be awesome, as I never get tired of watching Cage manipulate people dumber than he is.
We’re back, and Tenay is being all serious, saying Don West has been pulled away on a phone call with Jim Cornette, and we go to an interview with Christian Cage and Team Cage.
Cage continues to bring the awesome with some fantastic interview stuff, saying that Sting and Angle are standing in the way of great competitors who deserve world title shots, such as Sonjay Dutt and Shark Boy. In a moment of moronic redneck bliss, Styles interrupts with, “And AJ Styles, right?” and Cage just says, “Oh, well yeah, I was getting to that,” and Styles smiles giddily, sated for another week. AJ has officially won with me over with his “dumb but talented” character. You got me, Styles.
Anyway, Don West barges in with news from Jim Cornette who, in a giant “Fuck you, buddy” to Christian Cage, has moved the title match to tonight, and any Team Cage interference will result in a title change to Sting. Well, that’s what they get for being douchebags.
X Division Team Match: Petey Williams & Jerry Lynn vs. Kaz and Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt vs. Senshi and Shark Boy
Just too much action to follow here, but there’s a lot of great stuff, such as Shark Boy biting giving the Shark Bite to Kaz, Alex Shelley being a dick as he goes through assorted mischief, Jerry Lynn giving SHARK BOY the SHARK BITE, and Senshi giving a leaping springboard plancha to the outside to just about everyone. However, while everyone’s taken down from the train wreck spot, Jay Lethal drops the top-rope elbow on Kaz, and gets the pin as Sonjay Dutt watches on. They both get the title shot, but it would appear that Sonjay is none too happy about not getting the pin. Kevin Nash comes out to congratulate and raise both their hands, but Dutt is having none of it. Dutt heel turn coming round the corner, eh? Now, does he have the asshole chops of Shelley? That remains to be seen, of course.
Backstage, Borash says Angle’s neck has been reinjured (hell of a time to get busted for steroids and painkillers, eh, Kurt?), and interviews Sting, who says that while he and Angle weren’t on the best of terms, this isn’t how he wanted the match to end. Cage is in trouble, and tonight, it’s SHOWTIME.
Video recap of the history between Robert Roode and Eric Young. In case you happened to miss all of this, I’ll sum it up real brief-like: Roode owns Young’s contract, treats Young like crap for being popular. Young has a friend, won’t tell Roode, Roode gives ultimatum. There, I saved you approximately 170 months of zero progression, other than Petey Williams jobbing to Roode.
Robert Roode’s in the ring, and repeats the ultimatum. Eric Young comes down, and says that while Roode has everything, all he has is wrestling, and Roode is trying to take that away from him. Neat “You’ve got us” chant from the audience. Eric Young says that his friend has been there for him the past few months, but Eric’s word is worth more to him than anything, so he refuses to give up the name. The speech, impassioned though it may be, has no impact on Roode, who starts slapping Eric across the face, screaming “Who’s the friend,” and slapping him over and over again. He riles up Eric, asking the audience “Do you want him to hit me?!”
And, finally, Eric does.
The crowd goes happy slappy, and Eric starts beating on Roode, then tossing Ms. Brooks across the ring to prevent any potential sass. Eric goes back to a-pounding, but Ms. Brooks sneaks up on him and gives him a low blow. Roode takes this opportunity to take the upper hand and start beating on Eric, then hitting him in the head with a chair and busting him open. Roode helps up Ms. Brooks, then pulls out some handcuffs. They cuff Eric’s hands behind his back, and Roode threatens to scramble his brains with a chair if he doesn’t give the name by the count of three. The three count comes, and Eric doesn’t say a word, and as Roode raises the chair…
Jeff Jarrett’s music hits, and he runs down, guitar in hand, and kicks Roode in the happy place, then tosses him out of the ring. Ms. Brooks is left alone, and let me tell you, it’s really kind of disturbing to have Tenay screaming for Jarrett to hit Ms. Brooks with a guitar, but, alas, he does. Can Tenay really be a face announcer when he’s calling for the open abuse of a woman with a musical instrument?
LAX is standing behind Tenay and West, with Konnan, sitting in a commentary position. I guess they’re going to be following Team 3D around for awhile.
Interview with Steiner and Tomko, where Steiner rambles like a f*cking crazy person, and Tomko makes fun of him. Good god, do I hate Scott Steiner. Occasionally, he does something useful, but most of the time he’s just a giant ‘roided out mess. Tomko…well, he’s just boring. Send them out there, have them job, move along.
Tag Team Title Match: Scott Steiner and Tomko vs. Team 3D
Tomko and Devon start, exchanging right hands and elbows, but Tomo gets the better end of it. Blind tag by Ray, who comes in as Devon irish whips Tomko, and they give him a double flapjack. Ray tosses Tomko around for awhile, but Tomko kicks him out of the corner, and tags in Scott Steiner, who doesn’t fare that much better. Watching Ray and Steiner is kind of like watching two men wrestle in molasses, as Steiner is too slow and big to move around too quickly, and doesn’t know how to sell anything with any flair, so he just sort of takes things and then holds the area that’s hurt. Tomko tags in, and he and Ray clothesline each other down, but Ray ends up tagging in Devon, who takes down both members of Team Cage. Devon neckbreaker on Tomko gets two, but Steiner breaks it up. Devon gets out, and Ray tosses out Steiner. Then, LAX goes to interfere, messing with Tomko, as Hernandez pulls the top rope out from under him, and then Homicide tries to hurricanrana him off the top, but just gets powerbombed for his trouble. However, Ray takes this opportunity to set him up for the neckbreaker/backdrop combo with Devon, and, oddly enough, THAT gets the pin.
Tomko and Steiner clear the ring of LAX, making them look like punks compared to the two steroid-rippled muscleheads, and we go to commercial. Way to make the young guys look good, dickweeds.
Paparazzi Productions, with Alex Shelley following the “March of the Backlunds,” which is basically following Bob Backlund around on a morning stroll or something. There’s this weird thing with Shelley teasing Backlund, and Backlund picking up pennies, and Chris Sabin jumping out of a tree…whatever. Next week, apparently, we get to see Backlund chase Sabin around in a game of grabass. Oh boy.
Christian Cage interviews with Borash again tonight, as he kind of freaks out a bit, but recovers, saying that he doesn’t need Team Cage, and that he’s the real deal. Don’t worry, I believe in you, Christian. Every time you hear a bell, a Canadian gets his wings.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting vs. Christian Cage
Ten minutes left in the show? Yeah…I don’t see this going anywhere with any kind of definitive ending, AGAIN.
Anyway, Sting attacks Cage before he even gets down the ramp, ripping off his nice little entry pants and choking him with them, using them to lead him around ringside and toss him into guardrails. Sting throws him into the ring, and the match officially starts, as Sting tosses Christian into the turnbuckle, and he bounces off and to the mat. Sting follows up with a pump splash for one. Cage ascends the turnbuckle, and Sting tosses him off to the floor, and we’re off to a…
We come back to Christian Cage with the upper hand. Cage goes for a top rope headutt, but there’s nobody home. Cage chops Sting, but it does nothing, and after eating a couple of chops and punches, Sting attacks and back body drops him, then follows up with a press slam and a Stinger Splash. He goes for a second Stinger Splash, but misses, and Christian goes for the Unprettier, but Sting reverses it into the Scorpion Death Drop, but it only gets two. Sting follows up with a superplex, and then down the ramp comes Kurt Angle, who rips off the neckbrace, enters the ring, and just starts attacking Cage. This, of course, leads to the DQ, but it’s as if he doesn’t even realize Sting is there, or would have a problem with it. Cage eats an Angle Slam, then escapes to the outside, where Team Cage helps him away as Angle chases him out with Sting’s bat. Angle is looking angrily at Cage, but Sting then, appropriately, calls bullshit, takes the bat from Angle, and slams the butt into Angle’s stomach, then throws it down in disgust.
And we’re out. Whoa, timing issues.
The Inside Pulse
No Abyss this week, which was the right thing to do, but some of the production issues bothered me more than anything else. What was with the odd lighting at the beginning of the show, and why did it go so close to the wire at the 10 o’clock hour? It seems bush league to have Sting whack Angle in the stomach, and then all of a sudden, BOOM, gone.
Still, I like how Angle isn’t the hero he makes himself out to be, but where were Rhino and Samoa Joe this week?
Hey, at least we all found out who Eric’s friend was, even if we basically already knew after Jarrett came back two weeks ago.