We start out with a recap of the Sacrifice main event, with Kurt Angle winning the world title in possibly scandalous fashion. Even STING doesn’t know what happened, and he’s a paragon of integrity. What hope do the rest of us have, I ask you?
Kurt Angle comes out to start the show. Interestingly enough, the announcers spin the loss of the NWA license as a statement of TNA’s global growth, making it a necessity to create a new TNA title. Uh-huh. Anyway, Angle celebrates, and he’s got a microphone. Goody. Kurt talks about how he’s already won everything, and the last jewel in the crown was the “most coveted title in wrestling.” Well, it WAS, until just this last week. Well, I wouldn’t say it’s COVETED, per se, but it has the most history, fake or otherwise. Now it’s a title with no lineage…although he STARTS the lineage, so that’s kind of cool. For him, I mean; I couldn’t give a crap.
Oh, but Sting comes out, and challenges the tapout/pin situation that they were in. Sting says that he honestly doesn’t know how it went down, but he thinks there’s a major question…which brings out Christian Cage, with Tomko (worth mentioning for the four Tomko fans out there), and the former champ says that in a match with any chicanery, the title doesn’t change hands, according to the TNA rulebook. Hey, anyone know where I can get a copy of that? But then, Jim Cornette is magically out there to explain that Christian is going to get oh so very screwed. Cornette admits there was some indecision, but one thing’s for certain: Cage was definitely on his back, so he’s definitely not the champion. He THEN points out that Sting DEFINITELY tapped out, so it’s not his title either. Then, for extra fun, ANGLE isn’t the champ either. Dang, what was Angle’s fault? He is, after all, the only one who wasn’t losing in some form. Cornette points out how there are a lot of hungry guys out there, and Cornette has a new idea, because there’s no glass ceiling here, “like in other organizations:” a number of qualifying matches over the next five weeks that will lead to a King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary, but until then, there’s no champ.
Jeremy Borash is in the back with Christopher Daniels, whose logic is questioned. See, he was busted open on Sunday by Rhino, and tonight, he has an open-invitation first blood match. Whazzup wit dat? Daniels says that it’s not about logic, then mentions Sting for no apparent reason, which Borash questions as well. Come to think of it, why hasn’t Sting said anything about Christopher Daniels doing some of his schtick? He’s been remarkably silent on the whole thing, and you figure that a guy like Sting would want to, maybe, check in on that…you know, protect his image, like back when there was NWO Sting. You all remember that, right? Kind of? It’s alright, some memories are better left suppressed and buried.
Eric Young is in the audience with a giant kangaroo, who the announcers say is the “new TNA mascot, Stomper.” What, seriously? Apparently, he was at Sacrifice, as well. Man, it better be f*cking Chris Jericho under there, or something…
Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley vs. Jerry Lynn and Tiger Mask
Oh, awesome, Tiger Mask IV! Lynn and Sabin lockup and reverse for a spell, and it ends with a Jerry Lynn corkscrew elbow. Lynn forced into the corner, but Sabin runs into Lynn’s foot. Lynn then jumps on the second turnbuckle, hits a hurricanrana, and goes into an armbar. Sabin dragged to the corner, Tiger Mask tagged in, and Sabin bolts across the room to tag in Shelley. C’mon, Chris, the Japanese are just like us, except that they can take more head bumps. Double team by Lynn and Tiger Mask, and then a standing moonsault (more of a backflip kneepress) by Tiger Mask gets two. Tiger Mask goes for a tiger suplex, but Sabin makes a blind tag to Shelley, and an AWESOME double team by Shelley and Sabin, where Sabin does a springboard dropkick into the back of Tiger Mask, which goes right into a Shelley reverse STO. Hot. Tiger Mask in trouble, as Shelley kicks him around, but Mask gets to Lynn, who starts beating on everyone. However, for some reason, Tiger Mask is still apparently the legal man, and he knocks down Shelley. Tiger Mask up for a headbutt, but misses, and he takes the enziguri/kick combo from Shelley and Sabin, and Shelley gives him a modified STO for the pin!
Wow, Sabin gets the duke over Tiger Mask IV, who…well, he didn’t really seem that great. I’m a bit disappointed, as I’ve heard a ton about the guy, and he didn’t seem as amazing as I’d hoped. Maybe I just let some of the hype get to me.
Post match, the heels beat on Lynn, and although he gets some offense in, he’s eventually beaten down. Bob Backlund comes down for the save, does some silly offense, but he gets taken out, too, which brings out Jay Lethal, and HE clears the heels. Well, you gotta give one thing to Lethal: when you give him a character, he commits to it.
Hey, what book was Sabin carrying? Anyone? I couldn’t see the title. It looked like A Farewell to Arms or something.
Now, it’s time for a James Mitchell promo, where he talks about how, no matter how hard he tried to condition him, Abyss STILL felt human emotions; but now, he’s a non-factor, and so he’ll be replaced by a “cold, reptilian, killing machine.” This is his ORIGINAL plan, and it will be oh so vicious. But we still don’t know who it is, but I believe the inane push of a tall, yet talentless mook is the most plausible possibility, although he won’t be as big as anyone in WWE. Oh, wait! What about a repackaged Matt Morgan? That could be pretty good. He showed a ton of promise back when, even when forced to tag with Nathan Jones!
Does anyone know who I’m talking about? Come on, it wasn’t THAT long ago.
Borash is in the back with Kevin Nash, and Sonjay Dutt comes to apologize for kicking him in the back. Kevin forgives him, but basically says that, if it happens again, Sonjay will be ripped limb from limb, his head being put upon a pike to warn all others of the might of Kevin Von Nash, warlord. Okay, he just generically threatens him, but the rest of it is implied. More or less.
First-Blood Match: Christopher Daniels vs. Raven
Whoa, Raven’s gonna wrestle? When was the last time that happened? Looks like he’s put on a bit of a gut since we last saw him in the ring. Raven beats on him with a kendo stick, then pulls a screwdriver out of his boot and goes for Daniels, but misses and gets it stuck in the turnbuckle. Wow, smart. Raven then gets a chair and beats on Daniels some more, but still can’t get him to bleed. He accidentally hits the ropes with the chair, and as it recoils, Daniels runs in with an STO, and gains control of the chair. He goes to uranage Raven on it, but Raven gets out of it, and ends slamming the back of Daniels’ head on the chair. Alas, no blood, although Raven checks, in a nice touch. Raven, continuing his clever weapon usage so far this match, grabs his kendo stick and breaks it over his knee, splintering it, and he goes for Daniels’ forehead, trying to gouge him with the splinter. However, Daniels gets out of it, knocking Raven down in the process, grabs another fragment, and shoves it into Raven’s forehead, drawing blood and winning the match.
That was probably the best first blood match I’ve ever seen, not because it was particularly brutal or vicious or anything, but because both guys knew what they supposed to do in the match: make the other guy bleed. Thus, that’s both what they went for. Not necessarily the best match I’ve ever seen, but in terms of intelligence in relation to the gimmick, it was absolutely top-notch.
After the match, Daniels takes the bandage off of his forehead and starts headbutting Raven, but he’s eventually chased out by the rest of Seratonin. Remembering that losing (or winning a match, for that matter) brings pain, Kaz brings the singapore cane in, telling Raven to get down on the ground to take his medicine. Surprisingly, Raven does, and as Kaz gets read to nail the kneeled Raven in the back with the cane, the rest of Seratonin gets in his way. Raven gets up, takes the cane back, and tells the Kaz to go back to the lockerroom, and we get the sense that he’s all too happy to leave this behind. This, of course, means that they’ll all be a complete team again next week. Ah, logic…TNA’s kryptonite.
Jeremy Borash in the back with Sting, and Christopher Daniels interrupts his interview to thank him for sending him down the right path. Sting says that he’s TRIED to offer him guidance, but he has NO idea what Daniels is doing. Daniels says that when he needed guidance, Sting gave it to him, but now, he thinks Sting is the one that’s lost. Ooh, deep…although we still have no idea what’s going on. I heard that he said what it was about at the pay-per-view, but that the sound wasn’t working. Me, I’ve no idea.
We’re back, and we get a recap of Jeff Jarrett’s loss to Robert Roode, and the ensuing post-match shenanigans with the duel figure fours.
Eric Young leads a bunch of fans around the ring, as well as…ugh…Stomper, then gets in the ring to thank Jeff Jarrett and the fans for being there for him, and then announces his freedom, which of course brings out Robert Roode and Ms. Brooks, who says that Cornette’s stuff doesn’t matter, and that he STILL owns him, and that he’s going to sue him, blah blah blah. Oh god, I thought we were done with this nonsense. Did Cornette straighten this out or not? Please, lord, let us get past this. But, in an…interesting visual, Eric Young wipes his ass with the legal papers handed to him by Roode. Heh. So, they fight, and Ms. Brooks gets involved. Now, freakin’ Stomper is on the apron, distracting them. Stomper, geez…anyway, a fan hands Eric a chair from under the ring, and he chases the heels out. GOD, have them fight, and end this crap. Have the whole ring surrounded by bears or something, and slather both of them in barbecue sauce, so that we’ll finally have some finality to this feud.
Apparently, we’re going right into the first qualifying match for King of the Mountain, and our first combatant is: Kurt Angle. The other opponent, and the “opening bell,” when we return, say the announcers.
We’re back, and a giant torso approaches the ring…
Kurt Angle vs. Rhino
Oh, well that’s a bummer; only one of these guys can go on, and I don’t see it being Rhino, as much as I enjoy the guy.
They lock up, and Angle is pushed into the corner, and we get a clean break. Headlock by Rhino, and Angle pushes him off. Rhino shoulderblocks him down hard, and Angle retreats to the corner. They square off again, and Angle grabs a hedlock, but Rhino powers out, sends him against the ropes, and shoulderblocks him down again. Okay, so we’ve established that Rhino is the stronger one. Angle kicks him in the gut, then gives him right hands. Irish whip reversed by Rhino, and into a TKO. Rhino tries to follow up, but Angle goes right for the ankle lock. Rhino pushes him out, and Angle runs into a powerslam. Rhino sets up for a Gore, but Angle moves out of the way, and gives him a release German Suplex, and we go right back to a commercial, just as it was getting good.
We come back to Rhino being hiptossed, and being put into a headlock by Angle. Crowd is pretty solidly behind Rhino, and he gets up and runs against the ropes hitting a couple of clotheslines. Rhino then gores Angle into the corner, and gives a sort of northern lights suplex to Angle. Angle starts to fight back with some punches, but Rhino counters with a spinebuster for a two count. Angle up to the top, but he gets caught and pummeled by Rhino, and he superplexes Kurt off the middle rope for another two-count. Rhino goes for a belly-to-belly, but Angle counters with a German suplex. Straps are down, and Angle goes for an Olympic Slam, but Rhino lands on his feet and hits that elusive belly-to-belly. Rhino sets up for the Gore, but gets KICKED IN THE FACE mid-run, and Angle hits the Olympic Slam to put him away.
Note: kicking a spearing wrestler in the face mid-spear is always an effective, and entertaining, counter.
We go to the back with Jim Cornette, who tells us that next week, we’re getting Sting vs. Samoa Joe. Sounds good. However, before we can go to the video recap, the Steiner Brothers come in WITH the door (held by Rick), and Scott demands that they get Team 3D next week. Cornette, thinking the same thing as everyone else (“Steiners vs. Dudley Boyz? Um, f*ck YEAH.”), says no problem, and makes the match. However, I know we’re all going to be disappointed when we realize that the Steiners weren’t the amazing team that they were, say, fifteen years ago, and we all become saddened by the realization that our memories are the only frail, delicate bit of happiness that we have to hold onto.
End show, goodnight.
The Inside Pulse
I liked the first blood match for my own odd reason, and the tag team match was fun, and Angle/Rhino was fine…so I guess I was cool with all of the wrestling this week, but some of the booking still seeks to end my life prematurely by my own hand.
Riddle me this, however: why mention Rhino and how great he is in the beginning if you’re just going to job him out to Kurt Angle? Does Kurt Angle belong in King of the Mountain? Yeah, probably. But it’s a shame that the inclusion of Sting, Cage, and Angle is already sort of a foregone conclusion, as they were the three prongs of the controversy.
There’ll be one “surprising” entrant, I guess, but why do I feel like four of those five spots will be Sting, Angle, Cage, and Jarrett (personal problems at all)? Throw in AJ Styles or Samoa Joe, but the winner will most likely be one of the first three, and I guess that feeling sort of takes the joy out of some of it for me.