General Motors Centre – Oshawa, Ontario, Canada – September 14, 2008
The show opens with a long boring promo by Sting where he takes five minutes to announce he’s getting a title shot at the winner of tonight’s main event next month at Bound for Glory. Tenay and West then welcome us to the show and announce that due to extreme weather, Booker T will not be able to make the show tonight.
MATCH #1: Mixed Tag Team Match – The Prince Justice Brotherhood vs. The Rock ‘N Rave Infection
Lance Rock, Jimmy Rave, and Christy Hemme comprise the Rock ‘N Rave Infection. So Lance is the Rock, Jimmy is the Rave, and Christy is the Infection? The Prince Justice Brotherhood is Super Eric, Shark Boy, and Curry Man.
Rave and Eric start the match and just guess who controls the action. Eric throws Rave to the floor, and then back in the ring drills him with a missile dropkick. Rave rakes the eyes and makes the tag. Eric breaks through a double clothesline attempt and hits a clothesline of his own on both Rave and Rock. Boy tags in and Young helps him deliver the Thesz Press on Rock for a two-count. Rave tags back in and Boy back body drops him. Boy then stomps a mudhole and walks it dry. Man tags in and forces Rave to tag Hemme just so he can cop a cheap feel and let her apply a side headlock. She tries a cross body block and Man continues the sexual harassment. Boy and Rave tag back in and Rave backdrops Boy to the floor. Rock throws Boy into the guardrail a couple of times and then throws him back in the ring. Rock, Rave, and Infection work Boy over and make quick tags in and out. While Boy is down, Hemme tags in and goes up to Rock’s shoulders for a big splash. She gloats and doesn’t notice Boy making the tag to Man, so Rock and Rave get in the ring and Man is able to handle both of them. Man hits Rave with the Tokyo Dangerous, and then sexually harasses Hemme once again. This time she seems to like it though. Man tries to pin her with an O’Connor Roll but Rock breaks it up. Rock hits Man with a modified Iconoclasm and Hemme follows with the Flying Fire Crotch Guillotine but Eric breaks up the cover. Eric then grabs Rock and puts him on the top rope, only to get shoved down. Boy goes for the Stunner on Rave but Rave blocks it. Hemme slaps Boy in the face so he gives her the Chummer. Rock drills Boy with a big boot. Eric is able to grab both Rave and Rock in a Death Valley Driver. Man then comes back in the ring to get the pin on Hemme at 7:49. That was decent opening match comedy if you like sexual harassment and Vance Archer in your opening matches.
MATCH #2: Falls Count Anywhere Match – Awesome Kong vs. ODB
Kong is accompanied by Raisha Saeed. ODB is accompanied by her flask. Saeed attacks ODB before the bell and Kong quickly joins the attack. Kong throws ODB back in the ring and chops away at her. She whips ODB off the ropes and clotheslines her down. She tries a splash but ODB moves out of the way. ODB goes out and gets a table and sets it up against the corner. She tries to whip Kong into it but Kong counters with a clothesline. ODB tries to regroup on the floor and Kong joins her, so ODB throws her into the crowd! They fight through the crowd as Kong takes control. She hurls ODB onto the entrance ramp and then bodyslams her for a two-count. They make it back to ringside and Kong whips ODB into the post and then chops her. Kong charges but ODB moves and Kong runs right into the ring post! ODB slams Kong’s head off the ring steps. She then hits a Thesz Press off said steps for a two-count. She wedges a chair between the top and middle turnbuckle and Kong makes her way back in the ring. ODB is able to bait Kong into charging at her and she moves, causing Kong to run head-first into the steel chair. She rolls Kong up for a two-count and then takes the table out of the corner and sets it up. That gives Kong time to recover and she goes for an Awesome Bomb. ODB slips out but Kong levels her with a clothesline. Kong climbs to the second rope to grab a chair from Saeed, which seems like something she would only do in the event that ODBN were to powerbomb her onto the table, which does not break! Precut my ass! After a few moments ODB gets a delayed cover for two. Saeed then pulls ODB to the floor and the two of them brawl.ODB throws Saeed into the guardrail. Back in the ring Kong has had time to recover and she catches ODB by the throat coming off the top rope. ODB fights out and gets an inside cradle for two. Kong reverses a whip and sends ODB to the corner and then squashes her. She follows up with a spinning back fist but does not go for the cover. Saeed produces another table and Kong sets it up in the corner. ODB gets a little liquid courage from her flask and she spits it in Kong’s face. She charges and Kong catches her and drives her through the table for the pin at 10:24. They got some time and told a pretty good story there and the crowd was with them.
MATCH #3: Team 3D vs. Matt Morgan & Abyss
Abyss and Brother Ray start the match. Brother Devon distracts Abyss from the apron and Ray goes on offense. Abyss comes back with a big boot and tries a charge in the corner but Ray elbows him and hits a Rock Bottom for a two-count. Devon tags in and they hit a double shoulderblock on Abyss for a two-count. Abyss fires back with a clothesline and Morgan tags in. Morgan and Abyss work together to double-team both Devon and Ray and send them both scurrying to the floor. Team 3D looks to be leaving but Morgan and Abyss will have none of it. Back in the ring Team 3D attack Abyss’s knee and try to keep the Monster grounded. After a few minutes Morgan gets the hot tag and he’s all over both Ray and Devon. He squashes Devon in the corner and then hits a legdrop for a two-count. Morgan then roes the Undertaker rope walk and the crowd boos, but when he jumps over Ray to give Devon a cross body block they cheer. Never let it be said that the fans in the Impact Zone aren’t sheep. Meanwhile Morgan hits Devon with the Carbon Footprint but Ray pulls the referee out. Morgan signals for the Hellevator and Johnny Devine comes out to stop him with a chair shot to the back. Devon covers but Morgan kicks out at two! Team 3D hits the double neckbreaker that is not the 3D but Don West calls it the 3D anyway for a two-count. Now they set up for the real 3D but Morgan clobbers them both with clotheslines and tags Abyss. Devine tries to hit Abyss with the chair but gets Shock Treatment for his trouble. Abyss squashes Devon in the corner and delivers some weak mounted punches. Ray sneaks up from behind and puts Abyss on his shoulders for a Doomsday Device! Morgan breaks up the cover and throws Ray to the floor to brawl with him. Abyss grabs Devon with a Chokeslam for a two-count. He picks up the chair but hesitates so Ray knocks it out of his hands. Morgan pulls Ray back to the floor and Devon goes for a chair shot. Unfortunately for him Morgan turns him around and punches the chair back into his face. Abyss follows up with the Black Hole Slam for the win at 11:34.
That was actually a well worked match and I like Morgan and Abyss as a team. Of course Team 3D can’t just job cleanly even to monsters, so Ray hits them both with the chair after the match. Morgan didn’t see who hit him and since Abyss is now holding the chair he thinks it was him. Why don’t they just go backstage and watch a replay?
MATCH #4: TNA X-Division Championship Match – Petey Williams vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir vs. Consequences Creed
Williams has been the champion since 4.17.08 and this is his fifth defense. He of course is the hometown hero tonight, and is accompanied by Rhaka Khan. Bashir stays out of the way to let Williams and Creed battle each other in the early going. He tries to sneak in the ring but Creed takes him down and hits an elevated elbow drop on both men. Creed gets a two-count on Williams and when he gets up Bashir reels off a series of right hands. Everyone gets involved with everyone as the action is getting hard to call. Williams and Bashir end up on the floor and Creed follows them out with a somersault dive. Back in the ring they trade pinning combinations. Williams hits Creed with the slingshot Codebreaker and when Creed rolls to the floor Williams follows him out with a rana. He celebrates a bit and Bashir dropkicks him down to the floor. Bashir throws Creed back in the ring for a two-count. Creed comes back with an enziguiri and both men are down. Williams comes back in the ring and takes control on both challengers. He hits a simultaneous Canadian Legsweep and STO on Bashir and Creed, respectively. He tries a double Canadian Destroyer and Bashir blocks that and then throws Creed to the floor. Bashir sets Williams up top and delivers a superplex. Creed comes back in the ring with a dual guillotine legdrop and tries pinning both at the same time but they both kick out. Williams tries the Canadian Destroyer on Creed but can’t hit it, so he locks Bashir in the Sharpshooter instead. Of course Tenay has to reference Montreal (since Earl Heber is refereeing), which DIDN’T EVEN HAPPEN IN YOUR COMPANY DOUCHEBAG! Creed breaks up the Sharpshooter with a bulldog for two. He goes for the Cree-DT but Williams counters with the Canadian Destroyer, which Creed reverses to a Sunset Bomb for a near-fall. Finally Williams hits the Canadian Destroyer, but Bashir pulls him to the floor and throws him into the crowd, and then sneaks into the ring to steal the pin and the title at 8:16. That was decent and had plenty of action for the time given, but it’s just not the X-Division we used to know and love.
MATCH #5: TNA Knockout Championship Match – Taylor Wilde vs. Angelina Love
Love has Velvet Sky and Cute Kip along for backup. Wilde has been the champion since 7.10.08 and this is her third defense. She introduces Rhino as her new best friend and he’s going to watch her back tonight. Rhino even runs to the ring when he’s standing in a woman’s corner.
They go chest to chest while they bicker in each other’s faces, and then they start swinging wildly at each other. Wilde gets a couple of shoulderblocks and a kick. “Knockout Law” Traci Brooks is watching on from the aisle. Meanwhile Wilde stays in control so Love takes a powder. The champion foolishly gives chase to the challenger, and winds up running into a makeup kit to the face from Sky. Back in the ring Love is in control now, wearing Wilde down and scoring several near-falls. Love hits a neckbreaker for a two-count. Wilde fights back with punches, and then both women grab each other by the hair and slam each other down face-first. The referee counts but they both regain their feet around seven. They exchange chops and Wilde gets the better of it, following up with a clothesline and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Wilde whips Love into the corner and puts her on the top rope, and Love counters with a super gourdbuster for a two-count. Love drops an elbow for another two-count. She goes for a Rock Bottom but Wilde counters with a victory roll for two. Wilde hits a kick to the head, and Kip tries to interfere and Rhino takes him out with a Gore. Some miscommunication between Love and Sky leads to Wilde hitting a Northern Lights Suplex for a three-count at 6:23. That was the usual knockouts match with added shenanigans from Rhino and Kip.
MATCH #6: Ladder of Love Match – Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt
Like any good woman, SoCal Val decided that the man she will spend the rest of her life with is the guy who can crawl up a ladder faster. Listening to Tenay and West defending it is the funny part.
Lethal starts off hot, hitting the hiptoss-cartwheel-dropkick combo. Dutt comes back with a chinbreaker but Lethal fires back with the Lethal Injection and Dutt rolls to the floor. Lethal follows him out with a suicide dive. He works Dutt over and then pulls out the match’s first ladder and slams Dutt’s face into it. Between Dutt’s jacked-ness and bacne, I would suggest he’s heavily immersed in Triple H’s book at this point. The Roid Rage allows Dutt to come back and slam Lethal’s face into the ring steps. Back in the ring Dutt hits a slingshot legdrop and gloats about it. Dutt charges and gets backdropped to the floor but lands on a ladder setup between the apron and the guardrail! Lethal sets up the ladder under the engagement ring and climbs up. Dutt springboards onto the ladder and is able to pull Lethal down. He tries to climb the ladder himself but Lethal grabs him and powerbombs him into the ladder. Since the ladder is pretty busted up, referee Andrew Thomas holds the ladder while Lethal climbs. Now that is just stupid, referees should not get involved at all. Get another ladder Jay. Dutt grabs another ladder and sets it between the first ladder and the ropes, and throws Lethal back-first onto it. He then hits a somersault off the second rope right onto the ladder. He tries to climb again but Lethal scares him down with another ladder. Meanwhile the second ladder is still sitting on top of the other ladder. Lethal grabs Dutt for a catapult and tries to get him up to the second ladder but they fail and the crowd boos. Undaunted, Lethal puts the ladder in between the top and middle turnbuckle and catapults the back of Dutt’s head into it three times. Lethal climbs again and Dutt drops him crotch first on that ladder and climbs himself, only to get dropkicked down by Lethal. By the way, the ladder is now between the middle and bottom rope, and Dutt traps Lethal in a Tree of Woe and then hits a running dropkick. Lethal rolls to the floor and Dutt joins him, setting a ladder up between two chairs. Dutt takes so long though that Lethal gets time to recover. It doesn’t last long though, as Dutt reverses a suplex attempt and hits a neckbreaker across the ladder! Both men bring ladders in the ring and climb to the top. Lethal puts himself in position across the two ladders for Dutt to lock on the Camel Clutch. He actually elbows his way out and snap mares Dutt all the way down to the canvas! Now Lethal tries to move to the other ladder but he traps his leg in between the rungs and Val jumps in to free him. Dutt gets in her face and yells at her about it. He climbs up the ladder and Lethal goes up as well, and this time Val makes the predictable heel turn allowing Dutt to win the match at 13:21.
A few of the spots were obvious and contrived, and the heel turn at the end was not the slightest bit shocking, but they actually busted out some spots I had never seen before and seemed intent on stealing the show so to speak.
MATCH #7: TNA World Tag Team Championship Match – Beer Money, Inc. vs. The Latin American Xchange
Beer Money, Inc. has been the champions since 8.10.08, and this is their first defense. LAX has Hector Guerrero in the corner; Beer Money has Jacqueline. Storm and Homicide start the match, and LAX gains early control. The champions cheat to gain an advantage and go to work on the larger member of LAX, Hernandez. That doesn’t last too long and Hernandez tags Homicide in. Homicide is a flurry of offense, so Beer Money ignores the tagging rules, which causes LAX to follow suit. Hernandez tries to take a dive to the floor but Storm spits beer in his eyes and powerbombs him down to the mat. Homicide and Roode continue to fight on the floor, where Homicide tries to hit Roode with a beer bottle but misses and hurts his hand. Beer Money double team Homicide on the floor and Hernandez comes sailing out to wipe out Storm. Homicide and Roode are back in the ring and Roode goes for the Payoff but Homicide reverses it to an Ace Crusher. He sets up for the Gringo Killer but Jacqueline sneaks into the ring and throws powder in the Homicide’s eyes. That allows Roode to hit the Payoff and Beer Money retains at 8:43. Hector Guerrero really did a crappy job monitoring Jacqueline. The match felt a bit stunted and they didn’t get into the groove like last month.
MATCH #8: Mixed Martial Arts Match – AJ Styles vs. Frank Trigg
I doubt I’ll be doing much play-by-play here since I know nothing about MMA and I find the idea of a fake MMA fight on a wrestling show doesn’t really appeal to me. The rounds are five minutes long and there will be a one minute rest period between rounds. They spill to the floor and Trigg takes a couple of cheap shots before the referees break it up and send both men back into the ring. The crowd responds to this thrilling action with “we want wrestling” chants. The chants turn into all-out boos that Tenay and West completely ignore. The crowd switches to Dixie’s favorite chant, “Fire Russo.” Styles almost cinches in an armbar but the first round is over at 5:00.
The rest period actually went one minute and 12 seconds, and the crowd greets round two with a “this is bullshit” chant. Styles goes crazy and accidentally knees Trigg in the groin and the referee declares the match a no-contest at 1:04 in the second round (6:04 total fight time, 7:16 real time) because there was a low blow, but since it was unintentional it’s a no-contest rather than a disqualification. I don’t know how to rate real MMA matches, but this was absolute nonsense and the crowd turned on it in a variety of ways. West notes that the crowd is angry but he tries to pass if off as if they’re angry Styles didn’t get the win. Really they’re angry about this bullshit match.
MATCH #9: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Samoa Joe vs. Christian Cage vs. Kurt Angle
Joe has been the champion since 4.13.08 and this is his seventh defense. Sting comes out before the match to stick his nose into Joe’s business, and Joe rightly slaps him for it. AJ Styles comes back out to hold Joe back. Now Borash is able to make the official introductions.
Joe and Cage both go after Angle right off the bat and double-team him. Cage clotheslines Angle to the floor and then faces off with Joe. The champ knocks Cage down with a shoulderblock. Cage responds with a slap and then they trade punches. Joe fights back with the flying knee to the chest and an inverted atomic drop. Cage fights back with the inverted DDT for two. Angle pulls Cage to the floor and gets in the ring but runs right into Joe’s choke. Cage has to break it up. Angle starts throwing belly-to-belly suplexes, including throwing Cage over the top rope and down to the floor. Joe levels Angle with a clothesline. He hits the Big Joe Combo for a two-count. Angle fights back with a back elbow and then locks in the reverse chinlock. Cage recovers and pulls Angle’s groin into the ring post. He gets back in the ring with a cross body block off the top rope for a two-count on Joe. He then sets Joe’s neck on the second rope and steps on it. He goes up top and Joe joins him, but Cage knocks him down into a release German Suplex by Angle, who then pops up for a super belly-to-belly suplex on Cage for a two-count. Joe pops up and hits a snap powerslam on Angle for two. Angle kicks Joe down in the corner and Cage goes for the Unprettier, but Angle counters with three rolling German Suplexes. The straps come down but Joe ruins that with a release German Suplex of his own on Angle. Joe follows up with the running knee in the corner on Cage. He tries the Muscle Buster but Cage fights it off. Angle knocks Cage off the apron and then hits Joe with the Olympic Slam for two. Cage gets back in the ring and they do a Tower of Doom spot where Joe powerbombs Angle into suplexing Cage. Joe tries to pin both guys but only gets two. Angle comes back and throws Joe to the floor. He tries the Olympic Slam on Cage but it gets blocked and they fight over to the apron. Cage tries the between-the-ropes kick but Angle catches it with an Ankle Lock. Joe comes up behind Angle with a schoolboy rollup for two. Angle slips out and puts on an Ankle Lock, and then grabs Cage and applies the dual Ankle Lock. Joe and Cage roll through and then Joe hits Cage with the Muscle Buster. Angle grabs onto the referee and holds him back for several seconds, allowing Cage to kick out at two when the referee finally counts. Joe throws Cage to the floor on top of Angle, and then hits both of them with a corkscrew dive. He throws Angle back in the ring and sets up for the Muscle Buster but Angle fights it off and hits an Olympic Slam. Cage follows with a Frog Splash on Joe. He tosses Angle to the floor and then hits Joe with the Unprettier. Angle pulls Hebner to the floor and throws him into the guardrail. He brings a chair into the ring but Cage stops him from using it. Angle is tenacious though, and kicks Cage in the nuts, drills him with the chair, and then Olympic Slams him to the floor. Then Angle hits Joe with the chair and locks on the Ankle Lock. Jeff Jarrett comes out, guitar in hand. He waffles Angle with the guitar, and then Joe hits the Muscle Buster. Hebner recovers and counts the pin at 15:28.
That was a reasonably fun main event between three pros, but with Joe obviously feuding with Sting and Angle obviously feuding with Jarrett, that made the finish rather anticlimactic. It also left Christian Cage kind of lost in the shuffle. I think the match was actually better without Booker T.
The Pulse: Four matches are three stars or higher and the ladder match, Team 3D versus Abyss and Morgan and Kong versus ODB matches were pleasant surprises, since I didn’t expect much out of any of them. That means the show over-performed to a degree and it’s fairly easy to sit through but once again nothing overly memorable as this was clearly a stopgap show on the way to Bound for Glory, as usual.
Tags: Christian Cage, impact wrestling, Kurt Angle, No Surrender, Samoa Joe, TNA