Universal Studios â€“ Orlando, Florida â€“ 7.16.06
The opening video focuses mostly on the four-way main event tonight between Scott Steiner, Samoa Joe, Sting, and Christian Cage, and the winner will get the next shot at Jeff Jarrettâ€™s NWA World Title.
MATCH #1: The Diamonds in the Rough vs. The Naturals
The Diamonds in the Rough are David Young & â€œPrimetimeâ€ Elix Skipper, accompanied by Simon Diamond. The Naturals are being managed by Shane Douglas. He comes out first to ramble about some nonsense before introducing his team.
Young and Chase Stevens start the match. Stevens scores a couple of quick knockdowns and then makes the tag to Andy Douglas. Young makes the tag to Primetime and Douglas hits him with a bulldog. Stevens tags back in and the Naturals are using teamwork and quick tags to keep their opponents off balance. Skipper and Stevens battle on the floor and Young hits Stevens with a â€œbackwards moonsaultâ€ (thanks Don). Back in the ring Skipper ducks a cross body block attempt and the Diamonds take control on Stevens. Tenay and West talk about how the Naturals were lost after Chris Candido passed away, but as I remember it they held the tag team titles for about six months. Stevens decides he would rather not make a hot tag and just forces his way into the corner to make the tag. Young sneaks in the ring and tires to hit Douglas but he ducks and Young hits his own partner instead. Douglas hits the Honor Roll for a two-count. He goes after Young, allowing Skipper to take control and set him up on the top rope. Stevens comes in illegally and Skipper forearms him. He recovers though and picks Skipper up in a powerbomb position, and Douglas climbs the top rope and hits a missile dropkick. Thatâ€™s enough to get the pin at 5:28. That was a decent opener to get the crowd into it but it was more of a TV match.
Even though they won the match, Shane Douglas comes back out and criticizes the duo for reasons not exactly made clear. We cut over to Tenay and West, and they run down the four big matches tonight â€“ the James Gang & Abyss vs. Team 3D; the hair versus hair match; the NWA Tag Team Title match; and the four-way main even match.
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with Christian Cage, who feels like he was cheated out of the NWA Title last month at Slammiversary. He promises to win the main event tonight and get his title back.
MATCH #2: Monty Brown vs. Rhino
They meet each other in the aisle and the fight is on. They brawl around ringside and Brown drops Rhinoâ€™s throat across the guardrail. Back in the ring Brown slugs away as the crowd chants â€œRhino.â€ Brown goes for the POUNCE but Rhino ducks and the referee gets hit! Rhino knocks Brown to the floor and follows him out with a slingshot dive. Back in the ring they keep slugging at each other and Brown tries to wake up the referee but to no avail. Rhino hits Brown with a belly-to-belly suplex and sets up for the Gore but Brown moves and the referee takes the Gore too! They go back to the floor and trade punches in the aisle. They tumble into the crowd and keep fighting. Someone calls for the bell at 4:55 and this one is a no-contest as they continue fighting out of the building. That was actually a fun brawl that made me want to see them have a real match. Of course thatâ€™s the kind of match you put on TV to encourage people to buy the pay-per-view, but itâ€™s TNA, Iâ€™ll take what I can get.
Jeremy Borash is backstage with Konnan, Homicide, and Hernandez, collectively known as the Latin American Xchange, or the LAX. Konnan cuts his usual awesome promo from this time period, reminding me how unbelievably hot this group was back in 2006-2007.
MATCH #3: LAX vs. Ron Killings & Sonjay Dutt
LAX is represented in the ring by Homicide & Hernandez. They attack right way and the battle spills to the floor. Homicide hits Dutt with the Tope Con Hilo. Killings follows with a Fosbury Flop of all things. Back in the ring Homicide and Killings slug it out. Killings gets a sunset flip for two, and they do the fish out of water sequence (sort of). He hits Homicide with a back body drop and then tags Dutt. They knock Hernandez off the apron and double dropkick Homicide for a two-count. Homicide comes back with a stun gun and makes the tag. Hernandez hits Dutt with the Crackerjack and tags Homicide right back in. They work Dutt over, keeping him away from his partner. Even Konnan takes a couple of cheap shots from the floor. After several minutes Dutt is able to make the hot tag and Truth is on fire. Homicide fights back with the Gringo Cutter for two. He goes for a superplex but Killings reverses it to a super gourdbuster instead. Dutt and Hernandez tag back in, and Dutt hits him with an Asai DDT. Homicide throws a chair in the ring and then Truth wipes him out with a corkscrew body block. Man, Truth is pulling out all the stops tonight. Dutt goes up top and Konnan hits him with the Slapjack. Hernandez grabs Dutt and hits him with a Border Toss, and itâ€™s academic at 10:07. Well I didnâ€™t expect much out of that match but these guys went all out for 10 minutes and I can appreciate that.
Jeremy Borash is backstage with Scott Steiner, who says a bunch of stuff that makes varying degrees of sense. He yells a lot and then leaves.
Team Canada Dissolves
Scott Dâ€™Amore, Petey Williams, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, and A1 come out for one last hurrah together. Recently they lost an eight-man tag team match on iMPACT! to Jay Lethal, Rhino, and Team 3D with the stipulation that they would have to break up if they lost. Dâ€™Amore thanks Roode, and says heâ€™s the hottest free agent in the business now. Roode more or less snubs Young on his way out. He moves on to Petey Williams, and tells him to get back to being dominant in the X-Division. Williams snubs Young altogether on his way out. The crowd supports Young however. A1 is next, and the crowd chants â€œyou canâ€™t wrestle.â€ He also refuses to shake Youngâ€™s hand. Dâ€™Amore then moves on to Eric Young, and he chastises him, blaming him for the downfall of Team Canada. He makes him return the Team Canada gear, even the pants. He tells Young that heâ€™ll soon be fired. As soon as Dâ€™Amore leaves Young picks up the microphone. He sucks up to the crowd and starts a â€œDonâ€™t Fire Ericâ€ chant. Yeah this all actually happened on a show they asked people to pay for. I donâ€™t get Eric Young.
West and Tenay announce that Bound for Glory will take place in Detroit, Michigan. They cut backstage where Jeremy Borash is with X-Division Champion Senshi. He says he will come out on top no matter who the former X-Division Champion Mystery Opponent is.
MATCH #4: TNA X-Division Championship Match â€“ Senshi vs. Mystery Opponent
Senshi has been the champion since 6.22.06 and this is his first defense. The mystery opponent turns out to be Kazarian. Senshi immediately ties Kazarianâ€™s arm up in a submission hold in the ropes but of course has to break. They take it down to the mat and exchange holds. That doesnâ€™t last too long before they start throwing kicks and chops at each other. Kazarian hits a swinging neckbreaker for a one-count. Senshi blocks a suplex with knees to the head and then drops Kazarian gut-first across the top rope for a one-count. The champion is firmly in control now, wearing the challenger down with a variety of martial arts, wrestling, and submission holds. After several minutes Kazarian ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own, and then unloads a series of strikes and a springboard back elbow. He hits a step up kick to the chest, sending Senshi crumpling into the corner. He hits a dropkick to the chest for a two-count. Kazarian tries a sunset flip but Senshi counters with a huge double stomp, knocking the wind out of him. Senshi hits a series of knee strikes and drops Kazarian down to the mat. He unloads with Kawada kicks. He misses a charge in the corner and Kazarian hits a slingshot DDT for a near-fall. Kazarian puts Senshi on his shoulders, but Senshi slips out and hits an enziguiri and then the shotgun dropkick. Senshi goes up top and hits the Warriorâ€™s Way and thatâ€™ll do it at 11:19. That was all around solid but not particularly exciting or anything.
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with Larry Zbyszko, proving that Larry is definitely there. He says not much and then that referee who wears shorts comes in and says more not much.
MATCH #5: Hair versus Hair Match â€“ Raven vs. Larry Zbyszko
This feud went on for at least 16 years. Referee Slick Johnson trips Zbyszko for some reason but it goes nowhere. They lock up and take it to the corner so the ref breaks it up. Zbyszko kicks Raven in the gut, chokes him, and then gets a one-count. He works Raven over, using Dory Funk Jr.â€™s spinning toehold. Ironically, Dory Funk Jr. is in attendance tonight. Raven kicks his way out and the referee goes down as well. Zbyszko goes for the piledriver but Raven reverses to the Raven Effect but the referee canâ€™t make a count. Raven tries to wake up the referee and Zbyszko hits a low blow. The referee recovers and counts two. Zbyszko argues and Raven gets a schoolboy rollup for two. The frustrated Zbyszko comes right back with a small package for two. Back on their feet Raven hits another Raven Effect and this time gets the pin at 3:51. That was pretty pointless.
Zbyszko tries to run away from the barber chair but security brings him back kicking and screaming. They duct tape him to the chair and Raven takes great joy in shaving Zbyszko bald. Even Slick Johnson gets a piece of the action. I honestly donâ€™t remember anything between Zbyszko and Johnson or why that would be a big deal.
We head to the back, where Jeremy Borash is with Kevin Nash, Alex Shelley, and Johnny Devine. They cut their usually sarcastic and awesomely hilarious promo. Nash and Shelley were such a great duo, itâ€™s a shame there wasnâ€™t really a blowoff to end that.
MATCH #6: Kevin Nash & Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin & Jay Lethal
By all rights this feud should have made Sabin a main event level star, but as usual with TNA they blew it. Michigan natives Shelley and Sabin start the match. They go back and forth but Sabin seems to be one step ahead so Shelley seeks comfort from his tag team partner. Nash and Lethal enter the fray and Nash surprises with an armdrag. Lethal comes back with a couple of dropkicks and tries a springboard cross body block but they kind of badly blow it. He picks Lethal up for a slam and Sabin comes in to dropkick Lethalâ€™s back to knock Nash down. Shelley tries to defend his partner but Lethal and Sabin take him down and dropkick him in the face. Paparazzi Productions regroups on the floor, and we resume action with Lethal and Shelley in the ring. Shelley spits in Lethalâ€™s face and takes control. Thatâ€™s awesome. Lethal comes back with the hiptoss-cartwheel-dropkick and goes up top. Devine knocks him down, and then Shelley knocks Sabin off the apron as well. Nash and Shelley work Lethal over in their half of the ring, much to Sabinâ€™s chagrin. Some heel miscommunication allows Lethal to make the hot tag, and Sabin is a house afire. All four men are in the ring, and Sabin hits the hesitation dropkick off Nashâ€™s back right into Shelleyâ€™s face. Lethal hits Nash with the Diving Dynamite and Sabin follows up with a guillotine legdrop. They turn their attention to Shelley and double-team him. Devine tries to come to the rescue but he hits Shelley and then gets thrown to the floor and Lethal hits him with a dive. That leaves Sabin and Shelley in the ring. Sabin tries the Cradle Shock but settles for a jackknife pin (sort of) to get the victory at 9:03. I loved this feud and the dynamics of this match were solid. Nash, Shelley, and Devine beat up Sabin and Lethal after the match until agent Jerry Lynn comes out to make the save.
Borash is backstage with all three members of Team 3D. Brother Ray screams â€œviolenceâ€ a bunch of times and then yells some more. Then Devon says Oh My Brother Testify. Iâ€™m as shocked as you are.
MATCH #7: No Disqualification Grudge Match â€“ Team 3D vs. The James Gang & Abyss
Iâ€™d say that the James Gang got the better third man than Team 3D did. Brother Devon and BG James start the match, and itâ€™s a rather subdued start for a no-DQ match. Abyss tags in and Brother Runt begs for the tag. TNA obviously exaggerates Abyssâ€™s height because on his toes Runt can almost look him in the eye. Runt avoids abuse briefly, but then Abyss simply picks him up and slams him to the mat. Ray tags in and puts on his serious face for to battle Abyss. He hits Abyss with a Rock Bottom for a two-count. He follows up with jabs and mocks BG, allowing Abyss to take control and start throwing people around. Abyss grabs Runt and hurls him into the crowd for some crowd surfing. Now the weapons come into play and the James Gang is in control. The idiots pause for a mid-match beer, allowing Ray and Devon to take over, and also take their beer. The fight migrates up the aisle briefly, and then they make it back to ringside. Back in the ring Ray uses a staple gun on Abyssâ€™s head. Weapons are all over the place now and everyone is using them on someone. Team 3D executes the Whatâ€™s Up on Abyss and then signal for the tables but BG and Kip take them out. The greedy crowd chants for fire. Team 3D set up for the 3D on Abyss, but Kip breaks it up with a kendo stick. Runt tries the Acid drop on Abyss, but Abyss blocks it and hits the Black Hole Slam on the table (which doesnâ€™t break) for the pin at 10:26. That was a decent garbage match but nothing more.
Backstage Borash is with Americaâ€™s Most Wanted, who will challenge for their seventh NWA Tag Team Titles tonight. Harris tells Storm to leave the beer in the back tonight because of what happened at Slammiversary when they lost the titles because of a beer bottle.
MATCH #8: NWA World Tag Team Title Match â€“ Americaâ€™s Most Wanted & Gail Kim vs. AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels & Sirelda
AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels have been the champions since 6.18.06 and this is their second defense. Iâ€™m sorry, sheâ€™s a nice girl and all but Sirelda just looks so out of place standing with Styles and Daniels. Storm and Styles start the match and it looks like Styles is going to hit his usual dropkick sequence but Storm avoids it and tags Harris. Moments later Storm sneaks back in the ring to try a double team and this time gets hit with the dropkick. Daniels tags in and they hit Harris with a double hiptoss. He then lets Harris get back to his feet and tag Gail Kim, who walks over and slaps Sirelda in the face. Daniels then tags Sirelda into the match, but Kim runs and tags Storm. Nothing happens there so Storm tags Harris. Kim comes in to take a cheap shot and then Harris pulls Sirelda down by the hair. Styles and Daniels come in as well as all six wrestlers are in the ring. They knock AMW and Gail Kim into the threesome position, much to Kimâ€™s horror. The champions are firmly in control, working Storm over now. Storm seeks comfort from Kim, so Styles brings her in the ring for a spanking. Harris breaks it up and Kim hits Styles with a low blow. Styles comes back and hits Harris with a running clothesline in the corner. He tries another one but Harris catches him coming in and hits him with a spinebuster. Kim tags in and kicks away at Styles, then locks him in a headscissors like submission move. Styles reaches the ropes and then Storm tags in. Harris interferes from the floor, dropping Styles across the top rope on a springboard attempt and Storm gets a two-count. AMW takes control now, working Styles over. Styles comes back with a slingshot springboard flipping inverted DDT (really). Daniels tags in and heâ€™s on fire. He hits Storm with a Death Valley Driver for two. Kim and Sirelda come in and the match breaks down. Kim hits Daniels with a hurricanrana, and then Sirelda clotheslines Kim out of her boots. Harris clotheslines Sirelda. Styles hits Harris with the springboard lariat. Storm hits Styles with a spinning Flatliner. Daniels comes back and locks Storm in the Koji Clutch. AMW comes back and sets up the Death Sentence but Styles breaks up Harrisâ€™s end up of it, but Kim completes the move with Storm for a two-count. They go for a Hart Attack and Styles breaks it up, only to eat a clothesline himself. Harris tries to hit Daniels with handcuffs but Daniels ducks and hits the Angels Wings for two. Sirelda hits Kim with a Chokeslam, and Storm hits her with a superkick. Styles flies in with a cross body block on Storm for two. Storm comes back with the Eye of the Storm for a two-count. He goes outside the ring for a beer bottle and tries to hit Styles but he ducks and almost hits a pissed off Harris. Heel miscommunication leads to Styles getting a schoolboy rollup for two. More heel miscommunication sees Harris throwing a chair in Stormâ€™s face and Styles jackknife pins him to retain the titles at 12:01. That lacked the emotion of the great Slammiversary match and I have to say that the women dragged it down a bit. But still, AMW versus Styles and Daniels is pretty much always good.
Borash gets a word with Samoa Joe backstage, who tells his opponents to heed the warnings of the crowd: â€œJoeâ€™s Gonna Kill You.â€
MATCH #9: Four Way Match â€“ Sting vs. Christian Cage vs. Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner
The winner gets a shot at Jeff Jarrettâ€™s NWA World Title at Hard Justice on August 13. Sting paid off with Joe in the ring while Cage and Steiner take it to the floor. It doesnâ€™t take long for Sting to try the Scorpion Deathlock on Joe, but Steiner comes in to break it up. Steiner suplexes Sting and kicks him to the floor. Cage comes in and clotheslines Steiner to the floor. Joe and Cage battle in the ring now while Sting and Steiner fight up in the aisle. After a few minutes they trade places and Joe and Cage head into the crowd. A cameraman comes in the ring and squirts gasoline into Stingâ€™s eyes, and it turns out that the cameraman is NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett! Security and officials come out and take Sting to the back. Gee I wonder whoâ€™s going to win now. Jarrett leaves the arena running. Back to the ring, Joe hits Steiner with the Big Joe Combo. Cage comes back in and hits Joe with a Spear for two. Joe comes back and they trade finisher attempts but neither man can connect. Cage beats Joe down in the corner, and then Steiner pulls Cage to the floor. Joe takes the opportunity to wipe them both out with a suicide dive. He sets up a table and brings Steiner to the apron, but Steiner counters with a DDT on the apron. Steiner sets Joe on the table and hits an elbow off the apron to break the table! Cage recovers and throws Steiner in the ring for a two-count. So this match is for a title shot, but why doesnâ€™t Christian Cage have an automatic rematch? Steiner comes back with a powerslam on Cage for a two-count. He brings Cage up to the top rope for a super Samoan Drop and Cage takes a hard landing on his shoulder. Joe comes back in the ring and tries to cover both men and gets two-counts. Heâ€™s got a little blood coming from his forehead. Cage comes back with a drop toehold and goes up top but misses a Frog Splash. Steiner hits Cage with a lariat and Joe hits Steiner with one. Cage comes back and uses Steiner to send Joe to the floor, and then gets a two-count on Steiner. He tries the Unprettier but Steiner reverses it to a belly-to-belly suplex. Steiner locks on the Steiner Recliner (terrible), and Joe breaks it up by pulling Steiner into the Choke! Cage goes up top and Joe spots him and goes up as well. Steiner starts throwing punches at them as Sting makes his way back with his head all taped up. Sting knocks Joe to the floor and then Cage hits Steiner with a Frog Splash but Sting breaks up the pin. Steiner dumps Joe and Cage to the floor but then falls victim to the Scorpion Death Drop and Sting gets the win at 14:08. That was mostly non-stop action and I donâ€™t mind that Sting wasnâ€™t out there very much on account of I hate Sting. Cage gets back in the ring and shakes Stingâ€™s hand.
The Pulse: While it wasnâ€™t an actively bad pay-per-view, pretty much everything was middle of the road TV-type stuff. No matches were rated higher than three stars and only one went below two, so it was at least consistently watchable but also entirely forgettable.
Tags: Christian Cage, Samoa Joe, Scott Steiner, Sting, TNA, Victory Road