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Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – May 13, 2007
MATCH #1: TNA X-Division Championship Match – Chris Sabin vs. Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt
Sabin has been the champion since 1.14.07, and this is his fourth defense. The champ immediately lies down to see which one will go for the pin first, to create a rift between his opponents. They don’t fall for it and instead decide to double-team the champion. Of course when pinfalls come into play tension arises. Sabin charges and both men move and dump Sabin to the floor. Lethal and Dutt go back and forth, reversing each other’s moves. Dutt locks on a Camel Cutch and Sabin breaks it up. Sabin tries to form a partnership with Dutt, but Dutt double-crosses him and dropkicks him in the face. The champ comes back with a simultaneous enziguiri (on Dutt) and tornado DDT (on Lethal) for a two-count. Dutt gets dumped to the floor and Sabin goes to work on Lethal. Before too long Lethal comes back and Dutt rejoins the fray. Lethal hits Sabin with a double axe handle off the top rope to the floor. Dutt wipes them both out with an Asai Moonsault. Mike Tenay makes the vague connection that Tiger Mask is debuting with TNA tonight, and the Asai Moonsault is a patented move of the Ultimo Dragon, another masked Japanese wrestler. I mean that’s true, but shut up Tenay. Back in the ring Sabin tries a hurricanrana off the top rope on Dutt, but Dutt avoids it and goes for a missile dropkick. Sabin moves out of the way and Dutt blasts Lethal with the movie instead. Don West says he has “conflicting feelings” about Sabin, which I definitely just took out of context but it’s much funnier that way. For some reason the camera cuts to some hot chick and a person in a rat suit called “Stomper,” which is TNA’s new mascot. I have no recollection of this “Stomper” thing. Sabin works over Dutt for a bit until Dutt comes back, and Lethal rejoins the ring around the same time. The action is getting pretty fast and hard to call here. Everyone is going for big moves on both opponents, trying to put one of them away. Lethal hits Sabin with an enziguiri, which Sabin sells in a stranger way than I’ve ever seen anyone sell anything. Then Lethal hits Dutt with the Lethal Injection. He goes up top and hits the Savage Elbow but Dutt breaks up the cover. He hits Sabin with the Lethal Combination but Dutt breaks it up with a perfect 450 splash. Dutt covers Lethal for two, and then covers Sabin for another two. Lethal and Dutt get in an argument, and Sabin capitalizes but shoving Dutt into Lethal, and then trapping Dutt in a schoolboy rollup for the pin at 13:01. That was a good X-Division match and the finish keeps the champion strong and furthers the storyline between Lethal and Dutt. Kevin Nash comes out and tries to make peace, and Dutt takes a cheap shot, kicking Nash in the leg. Good opener.
MATCH #2: Jeff Jarrett vs. Robert Roode
The Chief Executive Offender, Ms. Brooks, accompanies Roode to the ring. Roode attacks Jarrett during his pyro display and starts throwing him around ringside. He drops Jarrett throat first across the safety rail. He goes for a piledriver but Jarrett reverses it and backdrops him. Jarrett smashes Roode’s head into the announce table. Finally they make it into the ring and Jarrett is firmly in control. Brooks interferes, giving Roode the advantage. Jarrett fights back with a backslide for two, and Roode comes right up with a big lariat. Roode goes to the second rope for an alleged knee drop but Jarrett gets the boot up in his face. Jarrett hits a powerslam for two. They trade sleeper holds, and Roode slips out of it and locks on a Figure-Four Leglock. But that’s Jarrett’s move! Jarrett makes it to the ropes to break the hold. Roode continues working over the knee. He goes for another Figure-Four but Jarrett counters with a small package for two. They punch each other at the same time, and then clothesline each other down at the same time. Back on their feet Jarrett lands a couple of right hands and a back body drop. Jarrett hits a blatant low blow but the referee doesn’t disqualify him. Roode goes to the eyes and then goes up top, but Jarrett grabs him and slams him down. Jarrett then locks on the Figure-Four Leglock. Brooks distracts the referee, so Jarrett breaks the hold to go after her. Roode gets up and snaps Jarrett’s neck off the top rope. He pulls Jarrett’s groin into the ring post and throws a chair in the ring. Of course it backfires and Jarrett hits the Stroke. Brooks pulls the referee out before the three-count can be made. Referee Andrew Thomas then escorts her backstage so she can’t interfere anymore. Roode loads his hand with handcuffs and blasts Jarrett in the head, but it only gets two! He grabs the guitar but the ref takes it away. Roode pushes the ref and Thomas pushes back. Jarrett tries the Figure-Four but Roode pushes him off into the exposed turnbuckle and hits the Payoff to get the win at 11:22. That was a little too back-and-forth; I understand what they were going for, to have people see Roode on Jarrett’s level, but it would have been more effective if Roode had a sustained period of offense to get his stuff over.
MATCH #3: Rhino vs. Christopher Daniels
Daniels comes out with a bat and a Sting mask. I’m pretty sure that feud ended a month later at Slammiversary when Sting beat Daniels in about five minutes and it was never mentioned again. They trade headlocks early on, and Rhino scores the first big move with a clothesline. Rhino pretty much controls the match for the first few minutes, countering all of Daniels’s attacks. He tries an early Gore, but Daniels slips to the floor to avoid it. No matter, Rhino joins him out there and clotheslines him down. Rhino tries a slingshot dive but misses, though he’s still able to hip toss Daniels. He goes for a Gore, but Daniels sidesteps him and pushes him into the ring post. Finally Daniels gains a bit of control but Rhino kicks out at one. Daniels goes after the arm and keeps him down on the mat. Rhino fights back but Daniels is tenacious in his attacks. After a few minutes Rhino comes back with a spinebuster. Daniels comes right back with the Flatliner into a Koji Clutch, and then turns that into a Cross Armbreaker. Rhino makes the ropes. Daniels hits a leg lariat but misses the Best Moonsault Ever. Rhino catches Daniels on his shoulders and hits a TKO for two. Daniels fights up with an enziguiri. He bounces off the ropes and Rhino hits a mini Gore for two. Daniels rolls to the floor and grabs the bat. Rhino inadvertently throws the referee out of the way, and Daniels wallops Rhino with the obviously fake bat to get the pin at 9:57. That was competently worked but Rhino is well, Rhino. After the match Rhino chases Daniels to the back and then brings him back out all bloody. I don’t think this went anywhere either.
MATCH #4: Voodoo Kin Mafia vs. Basham & The Damaja
This was one of the weirdest feuds TNA has ever run, and that covers a lot of ground. Kip James was absolutely hilarious through this, and Christy Hemme sounded like a complete moron. To this day I’m not sure who was supposed to get over in this feud. BG James was injured earlier tonight so Kip is forced to go it alone. Damaja is helpfully wearing a t-shirt with his name on it so I can tell them apart. Kip starts with Basham and almost gets a Fame-Ass-Er but Basham avoids it. Damaja gets a tag and clotheslines Kip, who goes to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring Kip clotheslines Damaja down, but Damaja makes the tag to Basham and they double-team Kip. Damaja throws some of the fakest looking punches I’ve ever seen. Hemme takes a cheap shot when she can get it. Kip fights valiantly against the duo, knocking Basham to the floor. Damaja hits the Brain Damage and Basham follows with a diving headbutt to get the pin at 4:28. They continue beating on Kip until Lance Hoyt makes the save. I’d like to hear one good reason why this wasn’t on iMPACT!
MATCH #5: Texas Death Match – Chris Harris vs. James Storm
Storm is accompanied by Jackie Moore. This is one of those matches where you have to pin your opponent before the 10-count can begin. Storm meets Harris in the aisle and the brawl is on. They fight through the crowd with Harris being the aggressor. Back up at ringside Harris climbs to the top rope and wipes Storm out with a high cross body block over the guardrail and in the crowd. Harris gets the pin and the 10-count begins. Storm gets back up at eight. He finds a steel chair and brings it into the ring. Harris goes up top but Storm throws the chair at him and Harris gets tied up in the tree of woe. Storm blasts him in the face with the chair, and Harris blades on camera. Now Storm has control, working Harris over. Harris comes back and goes for the Sharpshooter, but instead kicks Storm in the nuts and catapults him into the bottom of the table. Now Storm is busted open as well, and he also bladed on camera. Cool spot though. Harris goes for a suplex but Storm blocks it and kicks him in the groin. Storm hits the Eye of the Storm through the table. He gets a pin and Harris barely makes it back to his feet. Then he sets up a table on the floor and tries to throw Harris through it from the ring, but can’t hit it so he settles for an Orton DDT. Storm goes to get a kendo stick, which allows Harris to recover and Spear Storm through the ropes and they crash through the table. Back in the ring Storm hits a chair-assisted Superkick but only gets a two-count. Harris comes back with the Catatonic on a garbage can, but Storm kicks out at two! Moore interferes and tries to use handcuffs, so Gail Kim runs out and drags her to the back. Meanwhile Storm has procured a bottle, and so has Harris! Harris hits Storm first and gets the requisite three-count. Storm is unable to answer the 10-count at 17:15, and Mike Tenay emphatically exclaims “ring the bell, dammit!” which is just so annoying. Hey Tenay – shut up. Sure, both Harris and Storm bladed on camera, but really they worked like crazy to get themselves over and they did some cool spots. Sadly Harris would never again have a match this good.
MATCH #6: Four Way X Match – Alex Shelley vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Senshi vs. Tiger Mask
This is the fourth Black Tiger, following in the footsteps of Satoru Sayama, Mitsuharu Misawa, and Koji Kanemoto. The two former X-Division Champions, Lynn, and Senshi, start the match. They chain wrestle a bit and reverse each other’s holds for a few minutes. Senshi gets the advantage, so Shelley tags himself in and goes to work on Lynn. The veteran Lynn comes back with a headscissors and then goes after the arm. Lynn tags Mask into the match. Mask is making his TNA debut and American pay-per-view debut. Shelley mocks Mask and then tags out to Senshi to avoid his wrath. Senshi and Mask trade holds for a bit, and then Lynn tags in and knocks Mask down with a shoulderblock. Lynn then literally walks into a monkey flip. He comes back with an inside cradle for two. Mask back s Lynn into the corner and Shelley tags himself in. Lynn quickly tags Mask back in and he hits Shelley with a Pele and a standing moonsault for a two-count. Mask goes up top and Shelley follows him with a super jawbreaker. That doesn’t seem to do much damage, as Mask comes back with a super tiger suplex, and Senshi breaks up the count. The match breaks down to a brawl, with all four guys in the ring. Senshi hits Black Magic on Shelley but can’t get a pin. Lynn hits Mask with the TKO and Shelley breaks it up. Senshi gets back in and blasts Lynn with the Tidal Crush. He goes for the Ki Krusher but Lynn blocks it. Mask comes over and dumps Senshi to the floor. Shelley then tosses Mask down to the floor. He goes for a hurricanrana off the top rope but Lynn rolls through to a sunset flip to get the pin on Shelley at 10:44. That was fun but not much different than what would be on TV. An angry Shelley attacks Lynn after the match and Chris Sabin joins him until they get run off by Mr. Backlund. I know what I just said.
MATCH #7: Triple Threat Match for the World Tag Team Titles – Team 3D vs. The Latin American Xchange vs. Scott Steiner & Tomko
Team 3D have been the champions since 4.15.07, and this is their third defense. After a little bit of discussion we end up with Steiner and Homicide starting the match. Just guess how that goes. Brother Ray tags himself in and hits Steiner with a release German Suplex. Steiner comes back with an exploder. They clothesline each other and then Homicide dropkicks them both. Ray pops right up while Steiner sells the move. It’s not often I feel bad for Homicide, but this is about as close as I get for him. Homicide and Steiner work together to double-team Ray. Ray sends Homicide to the floor and takes control of Steiner, and then tags in Brother Devon. Tomko gets tagged as well, and Devon hits him with a powerslam, but Tomko pops up and hits a clothesline. Hernandez gets tagged in and Devon takes him down with a back elbow for two. LAX makes the comeback and takes Devon down, and then Steiner tags in. You know, on the ratio of “how funny a person thinks they are versus how funny they really are,” Brother Ray would have an insanely high ratio. Anyway, Devon is still getting worked over by just about everyone. As I type that Devon comes back with a tornado DDT on Tomko. Ray gets tagged in and he’s a fat house afire. The match breaks down and everyone is busting out finishers. Team 3D goes for the table (staaaaaale, bro), and Hernandez wipes them both out with a suicide dive. Steiner and Tomko argue, allowing Ray to roll Tomko up for a two-count. Steiner holds Ray for a big boot but Ray moves and Tomko blasts Steiner instead. Ray and Devon hit Tomko with the 3D for the pin at 12:39. I’m as shocked as you are. There wasn’t much good about this mess of a match. Then it gets worse, as Tomko and Steiner come to blows, and Rick Steiner comes to his brother’s aid.
MATCH #8: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles
Styles is cocky early on and Joe makes him pay for it. I love these two in TNA. Joe hits a quick kick to the head. Styles comes back with a leg sweep but then quickly gets knocked to the floor. Joe follows him out with the elbow suicida, sending Styles over the guardrail and into the crowd. They fight on the apron and Joe knocks Styles back down to the floor. Styles says he hurt his elbow but Joe doesn’t care. Back in the ring Styles shows he was playing possum and pokes Joe in the eyes. Oddly enough Styles then bails to the floor. Joe follows him out and throws him into the guardrail. He goes for the Ole Kick, but Styles counters with a big clothesline. Back in the ring Styles hits the dropkick right in the chest and Joe crumples to the mat. Styles maintains control and hits a spin kick to the head for two. He tries a springboard clothesline but Joe catches him with a release German Suplex. Styles goes to the eyes again but misses a clothesline. Joe winds up with a belly-to-belly suplex and a senton for two. He hits a snap powerslam for two. He goes for a powerbomb but Styles slips out and hits a Pele. Styles drills Joe with a springboard forearm to the back of the head for two. He tries the flip over inverted DDT but Joe blocks it, but Styles is able to hit it on the second attempt for two. Joe escapes a Styles Clash attempt and hits a Death Valley Driver for two. Styles comes back and dumps Joe to the floor. Joe seemingly injures his knee. He barely makes it back in the ring and Styles is like a shark that smells blood. Joe begs off, which is out of character. He kicks Styles in the face and then tries the running knee but he crumples on his injured knee. Styles goes up top for Spiral Tap but Joe misses and reveals that now he was playing possum. Joe locks on the Choke and suplexes Styles right on his head to get the pin at 12:45. I’m pretty sure they did that exact same finish in Ring of Honor but it works for me. That was great fast-paced action from two of TNA’s best.
MATCH #9: World Title Match – Christian Cage vs. Kurt Angle vs. Sting
Cage has been the champion since 1.14.07, and this is his fourth defense. Angle and Sting jaw at each other while Cage gloats. Of course they both turn and knock Cage down. They throw Cage to the floor and now want to fight each other. Cage charges at them and once again gets dumped to the floor. Sting is on fire, hitting a series of kicks and a bulldog. He foolishly follows Cage up the entrance ramp and goes to work on him on the floor. Cage reverses a whip and sends Sting into the barricade. He loves taking that bump. Back in the ring Angle starts throwing Cage around. Angle charges into the corner but cage moves and Angle’s shoulder cracks hard on the ring post. Sting gets back it the ring and Cage tries to make a deal with him. Unfortunately for Cage, Sting isn’t buying and he goes to work on the champion. Sting hits a Stinger Splash, but when he goes for another one Angle pulls him to the floor and hits an Angle Slam. Back in the ring Cage hits Angle with a European Uppercut off the second rope for two. Cage maintains control, hitting Angle with a powerslam for two. Sting is getting up on the floor, so Cage goes out and clotheslines him back down. Back in the ring Cage slaps Angle across the face. That just riles Angle up and he hits a series of eight rolling German Suplexes. Angle gets a cover and Sting almost misses his cue to break up the pin and Cage has to also kick out, thus killing the German Suplex in TNA. If eight isn’t enough I don’t know what is. Sting throws Angle to the floor and then goes for a cover himself, but Cage kicks out at two. He goes for a superplex but Angle breaks it up with a powerbomb for the Tower of Doom spot. Angle is all over both opponents. He takes the straps down and goes for the Olympic Slam but Cage reverses to an Unprettier attempt, which Angle avoids. Cage gets crotched on the top rope, and then Sting whips Angle’s head into his nuts, and then whips him in again. Sting then hits a Stinger Splash on both them, and then hits Angle with the Scorpion Death Drop. Cage pulls the referee out of the ring and holds him down. Meanwhile Angle locks Sting in the Ankle Lock. Cage comes in the ring and Angle puts them both in the Ankle Lock at the same time! They break the hold and Sting hits Cage with a uranage slam. Cage comes back with a low blow and goes for the Unprettier, but Sting reverses to a schoolboy rollup. At the same time Angle puts the Ankle Lock on Sting, and wouldn’t you know it, there are two referees and one of them counts the pin at the same time the other one sees the submission. Angle is declared the winner (although that would later be vacated) at 10:44. They immediately go off the air at this point. You could see multiple spots where Cage was telling everyone what was going on and that they were super rushed. The match certainly suffered for it.
The Pulse: The Texas Death Match and the AJ Styles versus Samoa Joe matches are excellent, and the opening three-way match is pretty good. The rest is mostly forgettable but with some crap (like the main event) mixed in. The Harris versus Storm match is on the Best of 2007 DVD, and Styles versus Joe was good but has been done a million times, so this DVD is hardly essential material.
Tags: Christian Cage, impact wrestling, Kurt Angle, Sting, TNA