For Your Consideration…A Judicial Review for a Hollow Victory Road

For Your Consideration…A Judicial Review for a Hollow Victory Road

Yeah, this is a bonus “For Your Consideration”. I’ll be back tonight, but for now, I’m going to cover TNA’s latest PPV. Remember, follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/awheeler316, e-mail me at awheeler316@yahoo.com or just post on the comments below.

X-Division Title: Brian Kendrick v. Doug Williams

The storyline here is that Williams is scared of heights and the winner is determined by either submission or climbing the ladder in an Ultimate X configuration. This actually isn’t a terrible idea because it plays along well with the whole “Doug Williams is the anti-X-Division guy”. It gives his character a reason to not like those crazy X-Division matches.

The problem with something like that is that you’re now basing a match on submission holds for the most part in a division that succeeds because of high-flying moves. They have essentially forced WWE Main Event style onto the one division in all of wrestling that benefits from NOT having that style.

I also can’t understand why anyone would want Brian Kendrick as a face. Sure, when he started out in the WWE as a plucky face he had some legs, but the real moneymaker for him was his The Brian Kendrick shtick. TNA has several guys that have slipped through the WWE’s fingers, so why not use them to their fullest?

As for the match, the beginning was dedicated to Kendrick and Williams both trying to get submissions. Kendrick went for the Cobra Clutch about thirty times in the first few moments. Here’s where my disconnect comes in; why have two stipulations that benefits the challenger? It’s hard to root for the guy who can climb a ladder AND use a submission hold when the match is designed perfectly for him. In a way, it’s like the problem we have with rooting for Big Show when he’s always going to have a massive height and weight advantage.

One of the things that kinda hurts this match is that Doug Williams supposedly has a crippling fear of ladders and heights, yet there was a moment where he scaled the scaffolding pretty quickly to knock Kendrick off and yet forgot that he was “frightened”. He then remembered after a long time up there and climbed down.

During the match, Taz was obsessed with establishing that both of these guys are crazy. Why? How does that help either guy? Kendrick doesn’t do anything that makes him too crazy, and Williams’s phobia hardly makes him certifiable.

At one point, Williams had Kendrick laid out on the outside of the ring. Instead of going for a submission, he decided to climb up the scaffolding (along with climbing gloves) despite being terrified of heights. He made it pretty far across the ropes before Kendrick stopped him. Williams knocked Kendrick off and THEN went for his submission hold.

I know it sounds like I’m going down that path of ripping TNA, but I’m really trying not to. In fact, for this match, I decided to play along with their story. They, on the other hand, decided to simply ignore the ground rules that they themselves established, which makes zero sense.

Christy Hemme is in the back with Brother Ray, who looks like a hillbilly Brian Knobs. Brother Ray then says that Jesse Neil is a failure, like Christy’s Playboy. Well that’s classy. Bubba then gets rough with Hemme as he says that he made D-Von. You know, I don’t want to complain about revisionist history, but I’m pretty sure D-Von made Bubba back when he stu…stu…stuttered. Ray then makes a comment about enjoying watching girls like Christy cry, which is the kind of mid-90’s misogyny that just doesn’t exist in the sport anymore.

We then get a video recap of how the Dudleys are voluntarily taking credit for training Jesse Neil before everything went all coocoobananas. Bubba thinks that Jesse is disrespectful and D-Von is a disrespectful partner, and if it were legal he would divorce him.

Bubba Ray Dudley v. D-Von Dudley v. Jesse Neil

Bubba comes out first and decides to hide through a relatively see-through part of the stage. It’s kind of like when a fat guy hides behind a lamp post. Jesse comes out next and he’s jumped by Hide and Seek Champion Bubba. D-Von gets introduced but apparently he’s pulling a Scott Hall and no-showing. Oh wait, we go to the back and D-Von has been locked in the back, where a cameraman is filming. So is this like a nature video in which the videographer isn’t allowed to interfere for fear of screwing up the balance of life?

Bubba then pounds of Jesse “Create-A-Wrestler” Neil as the cast members chant “Let’s Go Jesse!” I was more of a Kelly guy, but to each his own. All I know is that I’m pretty sure this makes Taz Mr. Belding and D-Von the scratch voiced black nerd. As for Bubba, he’s Moose, the jock who isn’t that smart. Then again, that’s implying that he’s still athletic, when in reality he’s starting to look like One Man Gang.

Bubba wails on Jesse for a while in a student-teacher war but then the ECW guys show up. It’s Stevie Richards, Tommy Dreamer, Rhino and Raven and the distraction leads to Bubba getting speared for two. To quote Bischoff’s buddy, “What’s a rerun?” Taz calls Bubba Stan Hansen, which seems kinda insulting.

Speaking of insulting, Shannon Moore runs out to “help” Jesse but as the ref looks at Moore, Bubba hits Jesse with the chair. That’s just about the worst run-in ever. D-Von now comes out and he trots down to the ring. That’s the best description. It was a trot. Bubba and D-Von are face to face and they stare longingly at each other but D-Von and Bubba wail on each other before Jesse accidentally spears D-Von and Bubba hits the Bubba Bomb on Neil to win. Fantastic.

I like the intrigue that they were trying to go with, but it really is a case of apathy. After the match, the fans chant ECW.

Angelina Love and Madison Rayne get a video package. Madison says that this isn’t about wrestling, so at least they’re calling a spade a spade.

TNA Knockout Championship v. Career: Angelina Love v. Madison Rayne

They start this out by doing the Tale of the Tape, a gimmick that I’m shocked the WWE hasn’t stolen.

Out first is Angelina Love, who is TNA’s answer to Wade Barrett and Drew McIntyre. Love climbs into the ring after fornicating with the second rope…and she’s the face. Madison Rayne does the same rope trick, so I guess that’s like their version of wiping your feet on the mat.

Madison and Angelina roll around for a while as Taz challenges Lawler for the title of worst announcer for a women’s match. So this is supposed to be a serious match to settle a feud, yet Madison just stuck Angelina’s head between her legs and, for lack of a better term, skull-fucked her. This has about all of the gravitas of a midget match. Love then kicks Rayne in the head with a chair but then a woman in a leather biker outfit and helmet rides in on a motorcycle and attacks Angelina Love. Yes, you read that correctly. On a side note, the woman in the helmet kinda look like the Guyver. So apparently the ref thinks that the masked woman is a member of the Beautiful People, so Angelina Love wins the title. You build up this match for MONTHS and don’t give a satisfying conclusion for the belt but instead do an overbooked ending? What is this, Sting/Hogan?

Christy is in the back with Mr. Anderson…Anderson. Anderson calls himself the Enigmatic Asshole before having Christy turn around to show her ass. So is her role in the company to just keep getting sexually harassed? Anderson calls himself Doctor Frankenstein and control the Abyss monster. He then says that RVDs hopes and dreams are going to go up in smoke (you know, because he smokes weed). At 4:21 Ken had an epiphany that tonight he could do something special and come in as an ordinary asshole, but after it’s all over, he could be a world champion asshole. The weird thing is that he’s sporting a TNA hat that looks like the TNT logo.

Tag Match: Kazarian and AJ Styles v. ???

So Kaz and Styles will be facing punctuation. Wow, AJ’s robe is incredible. He looks more like Gorgeous George. I just kinda feel bad for him.

Their mystery opponents are Rob Terry (The GWF Champion) and Samoa Joe. Poor Joe. Poor, poor Joe. He is now reduced to being unannounced random tag partner to the uncoordinated Rob Terry. Its shit like this that makes people hate TNA. And what’s the point of Flair booking a match like this to destroy his own team? Wouldn’t he have booked Rob Terry’s partner to be one of the midgets?

“For AJ and Kazarian, it has all been about trying to please Flair.” Glad to see it’s not just Cole that sounds vaguely gay. So our storyline sledgehammer is in full effect as Kaz and AJ don’t really get along. Styles blind-tags Kaz, so Rob “Wellness Policy” Terry launches Kaz out of the ring. Kaz then gets jumped by Joe on the outside. Samoa Joe gets tagged in and he punches Kaz. Taz calls Joe the most dangerous man in wrestling. Kaz springboards off the second rope, but Joe just walks away. That was a cute spot. Terry gets tagged in, so Kaz tags in Styles.

AJ gets launched over the top rope and Kaz follows. If they just use Rob Terry for that alone, he might get over. He’d be like a modern day 911, only instead of a chokeslam, he just throws people out of the ring. Terry tags in Joe who gets flung to the outside. Well, on the one hand, it’s Joe and Style on PPV. On the other hand, it’s a borderline comedy match.

Kaz and Styles double-team Joe and now Kaz is in to take apart Joe. Tenay suggests that just now Styles and Kaz realized that they should work together. Gee, ya think? AJ is back in, and I just wanna say that I completely agree with Glazer about AJ. He should, without a doubt, be TNA’s John Cena. No, he doesn’t have the size, but he is without a doubt the poster child for the company, can cut impassioned promos, and as a face there is no one more legitimately believable.

AJ and Kaz double-team again and AJ goes for the Styles Clash. Joe blocks it but gets nailed with the Pele Kick but Joe comes back with (Not the) Rock Bottom. Joe tags in Rob Terry who throws one elbow before AGAIN whipping his opponents around the ring. It’s like he’s mastered that one move. AJ and Kaz bounce off of him for a while before Kaz literally leaps into his arms to get caught with a fallaway slam. Rob grabs AJ Styles and slams him for two.

Joe and Kaz square off and Joe goes for the Muscle Buster but Kaz breaks free. Desmond Wolfe pulls Joe out of the ring but gets dismantled by Joe. How the fuck is that not a disqualification? And why the hell is Wolfe dressed like an energy drink?

In the ring, AJ springboards with a forearm, Kaz hits him with a dropkick and Styles hits the 450 onto Terry for the pin. Well, I guess they couldn’t find a cannon. AJ and Kaz hug briefly and Nigel celebrates but then turns around and gets turned into a bitch by Samoa Joe. Well, if anyone’s going to do it, at least let it be Joe and not Rob Terry. See, it’s all about finding a ray of sunshine.

In the back, Christy interviews Abyss and his plank of wood with a nail in it. Apparently he couldn’t find a sack full of oranges. Abyss talks about “them”, who as we all know follow The Leader, who is some kind of Leader. Abyss says he’s going to win the TNA Title, but there’s one thing I don’t get. Did the cops know that internal affairs was onto them the whole time?

Taz and Tenay talk about Abyss’s weapon and this now segues into them talking about Hernandez versus Morgan in a cage. Bravo.

Cage Match: Hernandez v. Matt Morgan

During the pre-match promo, the guys in the truck fuck up and cut to the audio of Jeremy Borasch. That’s pretty inexcusable from a production standpoint. As for this story, it’s tag partners that don’t like each other anymore. Matt Morgan talks a lot about sweating as we hammer home the fact that Morgan is a coward who is pretending to be excited about the match. I’m not knocking it. In fact, it’s great linear storytelling.

Matt “Linus” Morgan and blankie come out first doing his shtick. Hernandez is out next with that fairly unimposing pyro. It’s like a violent sneeze with shiny lights.

Morgan immediately tries to escape but Hernandez bounces him off of the cage a few times. If TNA really wants to distinguish itself from the WWE, this should have buckets of blood, since this is after all a bloodfeud.

Hernandez takes apart Morgan for a while, including a few splashes into the cage. Hernandez clearly doesn’t know about the wrestling rules of three as he tries a third time but crashes into the fence. Morgan then throws Hernandez into the cage a few times. Matt then poses to get some heel heat, which is odd since I thought his shtick was that he was scared of Hernandez and would have used that time to escape.

So Matt bounces Hernandez off of the cage a couple more times but Hernandez comes back only to eat a clothesline con leche. Morgan then stomps on his face before once again playing to the fans. His stalling is so early 80’s heel that it’s almost as if he was studying tape and instead of learning from it, he’s just aping it. I’m all for a heel being a heel, but in a steel cage match that’s supposed to be a war, you can’t do wacky shtick.

Morgan then hits a boot on Hernandez in the corner, which looked pretty impressive. He follows this again with MORE stalling. It takes away any authenticity in this match. Taz covers this by saying that he wants the fans to be impressed with him, and after a minute and a half, he steps out of the cage with one foot, but he pauses to go BACK into the cage. Way to make Hernandez look like a completely ineffective challenger.

Hernandez has a trickle of blood in a match that is now continuing for some reason. This is kinda like when Skip had Barry Horowitz dead-to-rights, but he kept lifting his shoulder off of the mat until Barry rolled him up for the pin. This is NOT how to get a guy over.

Morgan covers his hand in Hernandez’s blood and shows it to the fans before wiping it on himself. Little known fact, Hernandez’s blood is 1/5th fire sauce from Taco Bell.

Hernandez now comes back and fires back with clotheslines and hits a shoulderblock. I don’t get it, the cage door is literally right next to them. It would take nothing for either guy to escape. When your wrestlers don’t care about getting the win, it just hurts the match. I get that they want to punish one another, but why should we care about the eventual winner?

Hernandez gets Morgan up but he can’t hold Matt. Neither guy knows what to do, so Hernandez acts like he couldn’t lift Morgan but Morgan decides to sell the move anyway. Hernandez then climbs to the top of the cage and rather than escape, he decides to go for the splash. This, unlike Morgan’s thing, makes some sense, because it was a “dramatic” moment. Hernandez leaps off the top of the cage but Morgan moves out of the way. Well, he’s dead.

Morgan is up and now he’s pulling out handcuffs. I find it hard to believe that no one noticed those. Matt handcuffs Hernandez, but since he didn’t read Miranda, anything that happens at this point is inadmissible. Morgan now decides to climb the top of the cage despite standing next to the door. Matt points to his brain. Hernandez then really easily rips the handcuffs off and he springs head-first through the cage door.

This was not so much with the good. It’s like they knew what they wanted to do, but the execution was awful. This was the difference between seeing a Broadway show and a high school show; same script, different execution.

Christy Hemme is in the back with Ric Flair. Flair says that Lethal has made a career decision that will send him so far back…to the future (his reference, not mine). Flair says that he’s wrestled for 39 years and here in TNA Ric looks only like how he can look. You know, he kinda resembles this guy that retired forever at Wrestlemania a few years ago. While it’s true that Flair has been solid gold throughout this feud, and his promo with Jay this past week was one of his best in years, I still can’t get over the fact that he’s still wrestling after getting one of the truly great retirements. Yes, wrestling retirements are like comic book deaths, but the few that actually last are the ones that matter.

Jay Lethal v. Ric Flair

Taz tries to sell this as a rare in-ring performance, which is a nice touch. We get a video recap, including both men spinning in front of a lot of lights. Thankfully, we also get to see some of Lethal’s impersonation. For the record, Jay delivers one hell of an elbow to his jacket.

Jay Lethal is out first and his ring jacket says that he’s Living the Dream. So now he’s Dusty Rhodes? Jay says that he’s wearing the red and yellow to honor Hulk Hogan. Also to honor Hogan, he’s going to phone in most of the match.

Ric Flair is out next and he looks good for 70. Flair demands that the ref hold open the ropes for him, which is such an old touch but it is so damn effective. The show is theirs to steal, which is an odd thought when you consider the competitors.

Flair and Lethal lock up and Jay grabs a headlock. He then shoulderblocks Ric down, and it just looks like he’s picking on a kindly old man (which Taz subsequently points out). Ric then shoulderblocks down Lethal but Jay comes back with a dropkick and a bodydrop. Ric finally decides to slide out of the ring and take a powder.

Flair then tries to suplex Lethal out of the ring, but Jay reverses it and suplexes him into the ring for two. He then connects with a top rope dropkick but Ric gets the thumb to the eye. Ric then busts out the banned move (unless you’re Yoshi Tatsu) and chops away on Lethal. Flair tries to lighten up Jay’s chest, but something tells me even after those chops that he wouldn’t be allowed to marry some women in Kentucky.

Ric busts out the Flair Flop before kicking Lethal in the balls. Flair goes to the top rope but he gets caught and eats a top rope Superplex. Jesus, try not to kill the guy. Jay goes to the top rope and tries for a moonsault but Ric moves out of the way. Flair now stomps on Lethal’s leg and we’re now watching every Flair match ever (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

Ric connects with the chopblock and even on autopilot, Ric is infinitely watchable. Flair stomps away on the leg again before he teases the Figure Four. He actually locks it in and Jay is stuck in the middle of the ring. Ric uses the ropes once, twice, three times a cheater and we looooove him. On the fourth attempt, Earl “Anybody Want a T-Shirt” Hebner catches him. Ric and Hebner shove one another and Jay gets a roll-up for two.

Ric drags Lethal around the ring by the lip, which I have a feeling is racially insensitive to some people. Ric chops Lethal again but Jay fires back. Flair goes for a clothesline but eats a Flying Burrito. Jay comes out with a handspring elbow as Taz compares Lethal to Muta. Jay gets whipped into the corner but does the turnbuckle Flair Flop. Jay goes for the trunks and we once again see Flair’s ass. Ric then locks in a sleeperhold but Jay breaks free and connects with a second rope cross-body. Jay then comes off the second rope and hits a modified Vader Bomb onto Flair’s leg. Jay then hits a chopblock. Lethal then locks in the Figure Four. What? That’s unprecedented for someone to use the Figure Four ON FLAIR. Ric then taps to his own hold and Jay Lethal cries.

This match was what it was: a standard Flair match with all of his greatest hits and some flash from Jay Lethal. It wasn’t especially memorable and it kinda reminds me of when Hurricane beat Ric Flair.

Jay then channels Sylvester Stallone and yells “Hey Mom, I did it!” The announcers try to lay it on thick saying that this was a great moment.

In the back, Christy Hemme interviews a giant Smurf. Jeff Hardy says that all of the enigmas are going to fly high [lawyer’s note: he meant naturally high, not high via anything he may or may not have sold].

Tag Title Match: Motor City Machine Guns v. Beer Money

Out first is Beer Money. I agree that their concept is a good way to make them faces, but I like them as enforcers in the Fake Four Horsemen. The Guns come out next and they get a decent reaction. So chances are they might win the gold and then face Styles and Kaz at the next show.

Storm and Shelley start out and Storm muscles him into the corner. James then points out that Alex is shorter than him for those of us who didn’t see this in HD. Storm muscles him again but Alex sneaks out and hammers away. He gets shoulderblocked down and they trade holds before he takes Storm down with Bourne-esque Token Offense.

Roode comes in now and he works over Alex’s arm. Shelley fires back with a discus punch and Shelley tags in Sabin. Chris kicks Roode and then tags Shelley back in and they take out James Storm with a leapfrog dropkick. They do the same thing to Robert Roode, but it wasn’t as impressive as Rob Terry’s ability to launch people out of the ring.

MCMG are using a lot of quick tags and double-team moves and I believe this is what the ancient scholars used to call tag team wrestling. Taz makes a reference to Mel Torme, and somewhere Judge Harry T. Stone is smiling. If he starts calling them the Velvet Fog, I might relent on TNA.

Storm takes over now on Shelley and when the ref isn’t looking, Robert Roode squashes his nuts like so. Roode is back in and he then tags Storm in legally. Robert grabs a sleeper before he and Storm hit a double-suplex on one half of the Second Amendment. They then do their Beer Money chant, which doesn’t make a lot of sense since they’re supposed to be heels and yet the fans chant along with them.

Roode connects with a gutbuster for two before latching in a rear gutwrench. Robert whips Shelley into the corner before once again tagging in Storm. Storm follows up with another deadly resthold. Alex breaks free with a jawbreaker but gets caught in Beer Money’s corner. Alex breaks free before doing the super-duper-slow-crawl to Chris. He finally makes it in and Sabin fires back with forearms to Beer Money. This is a pretty fun little match.

Roode gets dropped with a spinning DDT and Sabin punts Storm’s head before hitting a springboard clothesline for two. The fans are living and dying by their every move. Who would have thought that the Guns would be over?

Shelley and Sabin use more double-teaming to take out Roode but Storm takes out Sabin. Beer Money double-team Shelley but Sabin comes in and uses the banned chop of destruction. He goes for a hurricarana but gets caught in the Eye of the Storm. Roode takes down Shelley and he gets spring into the double-knees for two.

The Guns take over now and they double-kick Roode. Storm clotheslines them down and celebrates. He then charges Chris in the corner but he gets taken out by Shelley. Sabin planchas to the outside to take out James Storm.

Lil Hebner gets beer spit in his face so Earl comes out as the bastion of integrity. The fans are now going apeshit for MCMG as Roode and Shelley are trading slaps (I’m slappin you, slappin you, slap slap slappin you). Double superkick and Sabin pins Roode as Storm pins Shelley and now each ref is claiming that their pin counts. Oh come on! Seriously?! You’re going to ruin a really good tag match with this crap? Earl rules that the match must be restarted and they are really overbooking a simple, straightforward contest.

Beer Money run out and they jump the Guns. Storm charges Shelley but Alex moves. He superkicks Roode and Sabin and Shelley hit a neckbreaker/elbow for the actual pin. Well, stupid booking aside, that was a great match.

We transition to a Kurt Angle package.

Kurt Angle v. “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero

The Pope is out first, having just finished shitting in the woods. Dinero summons down fake money, but sadly it doesn’t have JBL’s face on it. His opponent is a bald version of that dude on Smackdown, Kurt Angle. I have been a fan of angle for years, but I’m legitimately worried that he isn’t going to be satisfied until he’s an early wrestling death. It’s sad.

Kurt is rocking a flaming singlet, which is pretty cool. And now, two of the most prominent members of the New ECW lock up. Angle gets a front facelock but Pope reverses him, which seems fairly improbably. Kudos to Taz for pointing that out. Kurt locks in a headlock and the crowd’s excitement gets instantly sucked out of the “arena”.

Angle is up but gets caught with two hip tosses. In the end, Pope takes him down with a shouldertackle. Pope holds the rope open for Kurt and Kurt takes it. Well that was surprising. Angle fires back with a powerbomb into the turnbuckle. Kurt connects with a snap suplex for two. He then grabs a chinlock.

I like the concept of a Top 10 ranking as it really hammers home who the fans care about. My issue is that Kurt claims that he will go to the top of the rank or he will retire as soon as he loses, so all of the drama in his matches is gone. His becoming #1 is inevitable. On the plus side, it means we’ll see Angle/Joe and Angle/Styles, which is always pretty entertaining.

Dinero goes for the DDE but Kurt moves and locks in Ze Germans. Kurt measures him for the Angle Slam but Dinero breaks free. Pope goes to the top rope but Kurt sprints up to the top rope for the belly-to-belly for two. Man, I remember when that move used to be something special. Kurt goes for the Angle Lock, but he can’t because he didn’t take down his straps. Kurt charges Dinero but he hits the steel post. Pope then hits a Codebreaker for two.

Dinero gets caught out of nowhere with the Angle Slam, but apparently The Pope has the power to kick out of that. He then takes down the straps and NOW he locks in the Angle Lock. D’Angelo claws towards the bottom rope but Kurt pulls him back to the center of the ring. Pope somehow rolls him up for two. Sunset flip attempt but he gets rolled up for two and Angle turns it into the Angle Lock with the grapevine. Pope says a Hail Mary and submits. Man, that’s one crazy pope.

Angle and Dinero shake hands and hug. Not a bad match at all.

Christy is in the back with Rob Van Dam. RVD says that he doesn’t trust Mr. Anderson and he doesn’t need Jeff as a fried tonight. Oh, and he is going to get the 2×4 and anally violate Abyss. Ho!

TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Rob Van Dam v. Mr. Anderson…Anderson v. Jeff Hardy v. Abyss

Out first is Mister Kenn….Anderson…Anderson. He summons down the microphone from on high and has the crowd say his name twice. Twice. See, unlike Kendrick, he had the decency to steal his WWE gimmick.

Out next is Abyss, who is one of the few guys that has identifiable music. He is wearing a hooded sweatshirt (dip-dip-dip-dip) and a red flannel vest. He’s also holding a ridiculous weapon. Someone should do something about that.

Prisoner #35968 Jeff “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” Hardy is out next as Tenay calls his fans Creatures of the Night. Man, they aren’t even trying to hide their thievery, are they?

Rob Van Dam is out last and a long time ago in a bingo hall far, far away, he was the whole f’n show.

So Kennedy, Hardy and Rob Van Dam start it out as Abyss wanders around on the outside. Abyss climbs into the apron and everyone goes after him. You know, Florida doesn’t allow the mentally challenged to be put to death.

Everyone does splashes on Abyss before RVD tries to Monkeyflip him and almost breaks his neck. Kennedy throws Hardy towards RVD who leaps off of his back to take out Abyss. Ken rolls RVD up for two. RVD says his initials and then kicks Kennedy in the face. He goes for Rolling Thunder but Abyss launches him into the railing.

Abyss attacks Kennedy but Jeff makes the save and now they’re double-teaming him. Abyss goes for the double chokeslam but they take down Kane…I mean Abyss. Jeff and Kennedy use old Hardy Boys double-teaming until Ken goes for the pin. What a swerve! That wasn’t on my programming sheet. This is almost like a qualifying double-cross.

Hardy and RVD go at it like they’re wrestling at InVasion. Rob fires back but then runs to the outside to tackle Abyss. Jeff leaps out of the ring and HE takes out Abyss. Kennedy climbs to the top rope and he comes off with an ax handle. Ken and RVR roll back into the ring and Rob connects with a split-legged moonsault for two.

Rob kicks Hardy in the jaw before going back after Kennedy as Taz reminds us that he used to wrestle RVD. Rob goes to the top rope but gets dropped on the top turnbuckle. Ken goes for a suplex but Jeff comes to do a double-suplex and Abyss turns this into a suplex/powerbomb/shenanigans thing. All of the bodies have now hit the floor, like old that ECW theme song “Uptown Girl”.

Abyss signals for a chokeslam and grabs RVD. Rob kicks him in the head to break free and hits a springboard kick. He kicks everyone in the ring before going for the Frog Splash but Kennedy shoves him to the outside.

Hardy and Abyss trade some blows before Jeff whispers in the wind for two. Kennedy now beats on Abyss and drops him with a sloppy Mic Drop for two. If you listen closely, you can hear Orton yelling “See! See!” Abyss hits the Black Hole Slam on Hardy but Kennedy pulls the ref out of the ring.

Kennedy and Hardy are in the ring and they start punching one another in what I’m guessing was supposed to be the emotional payoff to their whole friends-or-foes thing. Ken and Jeff go for their finishers before Hardy hits Twist of Fate. Instead of going for the pin, he goes to the top rope for Swanton and Abyss comes in and chokeslams him into Kennedy. RVD comes off the top rope and hits a 5-Star onto everyone. Rob rolls onto Kennedy and pins him to retain his title.

This match was a bit of a mess. There were small segments where everyone got one-on-one moments, but nothing satisfying. After the match, Abyss jumps Rob and stomps on him. Kennedy and Hardy vanish as Abyss pulls in his “girl”. Rob rolls away as Abyss rips up the canvas. Who does he think he is, The Nexus?

We end with Abyss holding his plank of wood.

Well, the show was by-the-books. There wasn’t a whole lot of nonsense on the one hand, but on the other hand there wasn’t a whole lot of memorable. The tag title match was very enjoyable, the Flair/Lethal match was some nostalgia, the Angle/Pope match was solid if unspectacular and the main event was anti-climactic. I’m not going to say it was an awful PPV (which is a lot coming from me) but I’m not going to say that it was particularly memorable.

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