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Bojangles Arena – Charlotte, NC – January 11, 2009
MATCH #1: LAX & Eric Young vs. Jimmy Rave, Kiyoshi & Sonjay Dutt
Homicide and Dutt start it off. Tenay and West ignore them in favor of talking about Sting and Rhino, who will battle for the TNA World Title later on. Hernandez has an awesome moustache right now. He gets in the ring with Kiyoshi and throws him around a bit. He tags in Homicide, and Kiyoshi is able to take an advantage and tag Dutt in. Homicide recovers, while they go to a split screen to show Jim Cornette backstage trying to talk to the Main Event Mafia. Meanwhile Dutt takes Homicide down and tags in Kiyoshi. They work him over for several minutes before Homicide is able to make the hot tag to Young. The battle spills to the floor, and Homicide hits a Tope Con Hilo. Dutt follows out with another dive. Hernandez completes the triumvirate with one of his own, wiping everyone out. Young and Rave wind up back in the ring. Everyone else quickly joins them and the referee has lost control. Dutt winds up getting Young in a pinning predicament, and uses the ropes for leverage to eliminate Young at about 10:37 (no bell). Moments later Rave rolls up Homicide to eliminate him at 11:29. Hernandez is facing three-on-one odds now. It doesn’t seem to bother him too much, as he throws everyone around. He hits Kiyoshi with the Border Toss to eliminate him at 12:49. He then nails Dutt with a sit-out powerbomb for another pin at 13:07. Rave gets a brief bit of offense, even going for a superplex. But Hernandez pushes him down and hits a top-rope splash to finish Rave and win the match at 13:46. That was a fine opener and it certainly made Hernandez look good.
MATCH #2: Tournament Final to Crown a New X-Division Champion – Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley
Sabin beat Sonjay Dutt and Kiyoshi on his way here, while Shelley got by Jay Lethal and Eric Young. They start it off with some back and forth chain wrestling. Sabin in a former four-time X-Division Champion, while Shelley has never held the belt. Shelley starts going after the knee. That doesn’t last too long and they pick up the pace a little bit and Sabin takes the advantage. The crowd hasn’t really been reacting much thus far. The battle spills to the floor, and Sabin hits a suicide dive through the ropes, knocking Shelley back into the announce table. Shelley comes back and hits a somersault legdrop off the top rope while Sabin is draped over the middle rope. A Lionsault gets two for Shelley. Sabin makes a comeback and each man blocks the other’s finisher. Shelley charges at Sabin and eats a kick to the face and both men are down. Back to their feet they trade moves as the pace quickens once again. Sabin hits a nasty tornado DDT for a close near-fall. He tries to follow up with a springboard something but Shelley grabs him out of the air and puts on a Crossface. Shelley rolls it over and tries a chicken wing but Sabin counters. Sabin charges into the corner and Shelley hits him with a Sudden Stop. Shelley tries a springboard DDT but Sabin counters with a neckbreaker and a Tiger Suplex for two! Sabin hits an enziguiri, but Shelley comes back with an Air Raid Crash for two. Shelley goes up top and Sabin knocks him down. Sabin tries a hurricanrana but Shelley blocks it. Shelley comes down and hits a powerbomb, then goes back up for a Frog Splash. Sabin gets the knees up. He gets up first and goes up top, but Shelley swats him out of the air. Shelley goes back up and hits a Frog Splash on Sabin’s back. He goes back up once again and hits a traditional Frog Splash for a two-count! Sabin fires up and hits a devastating clothesline, followed by the Cradle Shock, but it only gets two! He sets Shelley on the top rope and goes for a Super Cradle Shock. Shelley fights it off and hits a Superkick and then Sliced Bread #2, but Sabin kicks out! Sabin hits a Superkick and goes for Cradle Shock. Shelley counters to a Sliced Bread attempt, but Sabin avoids that. Sabin goes to the apron, and Shelley appears to have injured his foot on that last landing. He’s just playing possum though, as he rolls Sabin up to score the pin and win the title for the first time at 16:40. I’m not much of a fan of the finish and the selling was come and go, but aside from that it was a very entertaining match. This is what TNA’s X-Division should be like.
MATCH #3: Grudge Match – Shane Sewell vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir
I don’t care for this angle, particularly because of Sewell. They brawl for a while at the beginning, taking it outside the ring. Then they get back in the ring and basically start the match over. No, really. It’s all Sewell in the early going. Bashir tries to escape up the ramp, but Sewell chases him down and beats on him outside the ring some more. The tide turns when Bashir drops Sewell crotch-first onto the steel guardrail. Referee Hebner makes an exceptionally slow count, and Sewell makes it back to the ring. Bashir goes to work now, hitting a neckbreaker for two. Tenay calls Bashir a former X-Division Champion, but that would be incorrect. Bashir hits some chops in the corner, but Sewell decides to stop selling and goes on offense briefly before Bashir catches him with a spinebuster for two. He works on Sewell’s back for a bit. Sewell comes back with a flying forearm and both men are down. Back to their feet and Sewell is on fire. Sewell hits a blatant low blow and a bulldog for two. He goes up top and hits a cross body block for two. Then he sucks up to the crowd by putting on a Figure-Four Leglock. Bashir reaches the ropes, and then catches Sewell with a hotshot. He takes a swing at Hebner, who ducks and then delivers a slap to Bashir. He then chases Hebner, which allows Sewell to recover and hit a clothesline. One sunset flip later and Sewell gets the pin at 10:19. That was a whole lot of not much.
MATCH #4: TNA World Tag Team Championship Match – Beer Money, Inc. vs. Abyss & Matt Morgan vs. Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed
Lethal Consequences have been the champions since 1.8.09, and this is their first defense. They successfully cashed in a “Feast or Fired” briefcase to win the titles. Storm and Creed start the match. They do some back and forth for a bit and then make tags to their partners. Lethal stays on offense against Roode, thwarting all of his attacks. Jacqueline tries to interfere but she gets beat up too, sandwiched between her two charges. Abyss comes in and works with Lethal Consequences for a brief time. The Beer Money trio falls into a sexually suggestive position, and Roode enjoys it a little too much. Abyss beats them up a little bit more before they gain the advantage on him with some double-teaming. He tries to make the hot tag to Morgan, but Creed reaches out and steals the tag instead. He’s on fire at first but Beer Money double teams him back down. The match breaks down to a pier-six brawl. Abyss chokeslams Lethal over his knee, but then Creed hits a Missile Dropkick on him. Morgan hits the Carbon Footprint on Creed, but then gets double-teamed by Beer Money. Abyss then accidentally hits Morgan with one of the title belts. Roode goes for the cover but Lethal hits the Top Rope Elbow on him, but Jacqueline is distracting the ref. Storm gets in the ring and superkicks Lethal. He then puts Roode back over Morgan to get the pin at 15:20 to regain the titles. That was fun up to a point, but then the finish took way too long to execute. Morgan laid there forever, and while on one hand I can appreciate someone selling a foreign object shot, the way we’ve been conditioned over the years just makes stuff like that look lame now.
MATCH #5: TNA Knockout Tag Team Match – ODB, Roxxi & Taylor Wilde vs. Raisha Saeed, Rhaka Khan & Sojourner Bolt
This match was supposed to be Awesome Kong defending the Knockouts Championship against Christy Hemme, but since Hemme is injured we get this match instead, and the winner of the fall will get a future title shot. This creates an interesting scenario, because the Saeed, Khan & Bolt team are known as the “Kong-tourage” because of their association with the champion. Wilde and Bolt start it off. Of all six women in this match, Wilde is the only one that is a former champion. They do some stuff and then tag Roxxi and Saeed. Roxxi tags ODB, and Saeed soon tags Khan. The babyface team has been controlling the match thus far. The heels use some dirty tactics to take over and isolate Wilde from her partners. Wilde finally makes the hot tag to ODB, who is on fire-ish. Rhaka Khan is pretty embarrassing out there. The referee loses control, and in the chaos ODB traps Saeed in an inside cradle for the pin at 7:50. That was just brutal.
MATCH #6: The Rematch – Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle
I gave the first match back at Bound for Glory ***½. This is a no-disqualification match, and the first of three main events tonight. Jarrett charges the ring and the match is underway. Angle tries a sleeper but Jarrett hits a blatant low blow. Jarrett hits an Electric Chair drop, and then clotheslines Angle to the floor. He follows Angle out and throws him into the guardrails. Then he throws a beer in Angle’s face. He throws Angle back in the ring, but Angle is able to recover and knock Jarrett off the apron before he can get back in the ring himself. Back in the ring now Angle is in control. Looking at the two matches to come after this, I wonder why this isn’t the main event. Jarrett recovers and back drops Angle hard to the floor. Man, Angle takes some ridiculous bumps. Speaking of ridiculous bumps, Jarrett leaps over the top rope and catches his back foot on the top rope and almost bashes his face into the floor. They fight over by the broadcast table now and Angle is back in control. Angle hits a sick shot to Jarrett’s head with the ring bell, and Jarrett is busted open. Jarrett fights back and hits a DDT on the entrance ramp. Both men rise to their feet and continue fighting on the stage. Angle grabs Jarrett and hits a sick Angle Slam through a table. Jarrett appears to have taken a pretty nasty bump there. It looks like Angle is bleeding now too. They eventually make their way back to the ring and start trading punches. Jarrett fires up and takes the advantage, hitting a Pedigree (or a DDT, if you’re Tenay) for two. He tries the Stroke, but Angle counters to the Ankle Lock. Jarrett counters and rolls Angle to the floor. Angle gets fired up and brings a chair into the ring. Jarrett dropkicks the chair into Angle’s face and hits the Stroke, but Angle kicks out at two! He puts Angle on the top rope and tries a superplex but Angle shoves him down to the mat. Angle hits a missile dropkick and then hits the Angle Slam for two. He tries the Ankle Lock again but Jarrett kicks him away. Angle charges and Jarrett moves, and Angle’s shoulder connects with the ring post. Jarrett grabs the guitar but Angle counters with a low blow. Angle grabs a chair and clobbers Jarrett with it, but it only gets two! Jarrett recovers while Angle yells at the referee. He tries an Enziguiri but Angle catches it and locks on the Ankle Lock. Jarrett eventually rolls through to a victory roll but Angle kicks out. Angle tries another Angle Slam but Jarrett counters to a DDT. Jarrett takes his turn clobbering Angle with a chair, but can’t make an immediate cover. He finally crawls over and gets a two-count, but Angle surprises him with a quick rollup of his own to get the pin at 21:59! What a great finish. That was significantly better than their first match, and the best match I’ve seen out of Jarrett in who knows how long.
MATCH #7: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – “The War Machine” Rhino vs. “The Icon” Sting
Sting has been the champion since 10.12.08, and this is his fourth defense. Rhino got beat up earlier tonight, so his head is bandaged up. He’s angry about that, so he attacks Sting right away. Sting tries to take a powder but Rhino is all over him. Sting soon takes advantage of the weakened challenger, and brings the match back in the ring. Rhino makes a brief comeback and goes up to the top rope, and Sting shoves him down hard to the floor. He makes it back to the ring, and Sting goes after the bloody head. Then he goes to the bearhug, and I guess Rhino’s back was injured earlier today as well. Rhino comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count. He even hits a Gore, but it was about half speed, and Sting is able to roll to the floor. He brings Sting right back in the ring and goes up top and misses a diving headbutt. Sting locks on the Scorpion Deathlock. Rhino gets the ropes and blocks a second attempt at the move. He hits another belly-to-belly suplex and sets up for the Gore. Sting moves out of the way and hits the Scorpion Death Drop for the pin at 8:24. That was passable for TV, but pretty lousy for a World Title pay-per-view match.
MATCH #8: Mick Foley, AJ Styles & Brother Devon vs. Booker T, Scott Steiner &
Kevin Nash Kip James
Nash has a staph infection in his elbow, so yes Kip James really is in the main event of a TNA show. Booker is still the useless Legends Champion at this point. Why does he talk the way he does in his promos? Tenay trying to sell Kip as a worthy part of the main event is pretty funny; although, the very concept of this match in the first place is pretty funny to begin with. Even Kip James has to cut a promo trying to sell the crowd on him being worthy of being in this spot. He lists his accomplishments, all of which occurred in WWE. When you have to go out of your way to convince the audience that one of the people in the match is worthy of being there, the guy probably shouldn’t be in the match. The match starts with all six men brawling in the ring, but they quickly make their way to the floor. This is Foley’s first match since the 2008 Royal Rumble, I believe. The referee tries to restore order, which feels suspiciously like stalling to me. They start the match proper with Styles and Kip in the ring. Styles hits a nice dropkick and Kip rolls to the apron and tags Booker. Foley also tags in, and he’s able to help isolate Booker and the babyface team works him over in their corner. Booker recovers and tags Kip back in. Styles gets a rollup on Kip for two, but then eats a boot to the face, and Kip tags Steiner. The Mafia beats on Styles for a while. Styles comes back with a Pele kick on Booker, who then rolls over and tags Kip. He hits another Pele kick on Kip, and this time makes the tag to Foley. The match quickly breaks down to a brawl, and they head to the floor. Referee Rudy Charles apparently throws the match out at 8:20. Jim Cornette doesn’t like that, so he comes out and orders the match be restarted. Booker disagrees with Cornette’s authority and says the match is over. Foley agrees that Cornette does not have that authority, but he does, and he makes it a hardcore rules match. So what exactly does Cornette have authority to do? Plunder gets involved almost right away. The crowd is much more interested in this than what they were doing before, but it’s pretty much a mess all around out there. Styles splashes Kip through a table on the floor. Back in the ring Steiner and Devon are battling on the top rope. Devon knocks Steiner down and hits a diving headbutt. Booker comes in the ring and nails Devon with the Axe Kick. Foley gets in the ring and traps Booker in the Mandible Claw. Steiner breaks that up with a trash can shot, and then he brings a chair into the ring. Foley awkwardly fights them both off, and then hits Steiner with a DDT on the chair to get the pin at 5:41 (total match time 14:01). That was a terrible match in just about every way.
Tags: AJ Styles, Booker T, Brother Devon, genesis, impact wrestling, Kip James, Mick Foley, Scott Steiner, TNA