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Bren Events Center – Irvine, California – October 18, 2009
MATCH #1: Ultimate X Match for TNA X Division Championship – Amazing Red w/ Don West vs. Daniels vs. Homicide vs. Suicide vs. Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley
Red has been the champion since 10.8.09 and this is already his second defense. D’Angelo Dinero was originally scheduled for this match, but had a family emergency and had to bail at the last minute. So on the preshow the Motor City Machineguns battled Lethal Consequences, and the Guns got the win, and they’re in the match. This should be pretty fast and pretty furious, action-wise. Everyone is going 100 mph right away, with guys flying all over in and out of the ring. Everyone except Daniels and Red are on the floor, and Red remedies that by delivering a rana on Daniels from the top rope, crashing into everybody. Back in the ring the Guns double-team Red and then turn their attention to Daniels. Sabin has been in 10 Ultimate X matches, which I’m assuming is the most ever. No one’s paying attention to Homicide, so he climbs up and goes for the belt, but Suicide stops him at the last minute. The Guns continue to work together, and one has to wonder what would happen if it came down to the two of them going after the belt. Red thwarts their attacks, but that doesn’t slow down the pace of the match at all. Daniels, Homicide, and Suicide are wearing pink armbands somewhere on their person; not sure what that’s about. Kicks and suplexes are being thrown around by everyone. Daniels, Suicide, and Red climb all the way to the top of the X steel structure. Red rests while Daniels and Suicide slug it out. Daniels is the first one to climb down and try to grab the belt, and Suicide stops him. They continue battling while Sabin and Shelley climb up. Suicide and Daniels take a nasty looking fall, while Red calmly drops down and grabs the belt for the win at 15:16. That was the right choice to open the show, with tons of sick high spots. The big fall at the end made Red’s win anticlimactic, but overall this was fun.
MATCH #2: TNA Knockout Tag Team Championship Match – Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. The Beautiful People
Wilde and Sarita have been the champions since 9.20.09, and this is their second defense. Lacey tries to whore her way into staying at ringside, but senior referee Earl Hebner will have none of it. Wilde gets a quick rollup on Sky to start the match for a two-count. The champions are in total control early on. Sky comes back with a clothesline on Sarita and makes the tag to Rayne. The challengers take control now and scream a lot. Sarita comes back with some kind of unidentifiable maneuver and both women make tags. Wilde is on fire, hitting a series of clotheslines and a dropkick for two. Sky tries to interfere but Sarita dispatches of her, and then the champions hit the springboard dropkick / German suplex with a bridge combo to get the pin and retain their titles at 2:59. They didn’t really have time to get anything going, which begs the question of why even invent these titles in the first place?
MATCH #3: TNA Legends Championship Match – Kevin Nash vs. Hernandez vs. Eric Young
Nash has been the champion since 8.16.09, and this is his fourth defense. He and Young have agreed to work together, as Young promised Nash $60,000 to help him take out Hernandez, and Nash gets to keep his Legends Title as well. This was after Angle put out a $30,000 bounty on Young, so you could say Young struck a pretty good deal. Knowing that he’s in a two-on-one situation, Hernandez goes right on the attack, and knocks Young to the floor with a vicious shoulderblock. He follows him out, but Nash intervenes and goes on offense along with his cohort Young. Hernandez is wearing the pink armbands as well, which Tenay explains as being part of breast cancer awareness. Back in the ring Hernandez once again goes on offense, but it can’t last long since he’s trying to fight off two men. Young and Nash continue to work Hernandez over, and Young mistakenly goes for a cover, irritating the Legends Champion. Hernandez once again fights back, and is able to throw both men around a bit before Nash levels him again. Young and Nash try a double-clothesline, but Hernandez ducks and hits both men with a clothesline of his own. Hernandez hits a sit-out powerbomb on Young, but Nash breaks up the cover. Young tries to take a breather on the floor, but Hernandez follows him out with a swan dive over the top rope. Nash drills Hernandez with a big boot, and Young follows with an elbow drop off the top rope. Young instructs Nash to finish Hernandez with the Jackknife Powerbomb, but then Young throws Hernandez’s head into Nash’s groin and steals the pin at 8:53! That was an effective storyline-driven match; I like how they’re booking Eric Young, I just don’t much like Eric Young. Then to really put over how important this match was, they immediately cut to the back, where guys are yelling at each other.
MATCH #4: Full Metal Mayhem for IWGP & TNA World Tag Team Championships – The British Invasion vs. Beer Money, Inc. vs. Booker T & Scott Steiner vs. Team 3D
Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams have been the IWGP Tag Team Champions since 7.30.09. Booker T and Scott Steiner have been the TNA Tag Team Champions since 7.19.09, and this is their fourth defense. Both sets of titles are on the line here, in separate falls. The belts are hanging in the same fashion that the X-Division title was hanging in the Ultimate X match, so it seems like more or less the same thing. Everyone attacks Team 3D in the early going, much like they talked about earlier. The Brits make the first attempt at retrieving the titles, but Beer Money stops them. Meanwhile, Team 3D and the Main Event Mafia battle each other outside the ring. Moments later Booker rejoins the ring and performs the Spin-a-Roony like any good heel would, and winds up eating a superkick and the DWI for his troubles. Steiner comes to his partner’s aid and throws everyone around with suplexes. He follows up with a Super Frankensteiner on Williams. Booker has apparently been “injured,” so his well-endowed wife comes out to see how he’s doing. The British Invasion takes over on Steiner and works him over, stealing Team 3D’s signature moves just to be jerks. Booker is carted out on a stretcher, never to be seen in TNA again. Team 3D gets back in the ring with chairs and they start beating up everyone. Brother Ray even lets Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society (seated at ringside after performing the National Anthem at the beginning of the show) hit Magnus with a chair. The match continues on as a brawl, and Steiner valiantly fights on his own. Unfortunately for Steiner, he winds up getting powerbombed off a ladder and through a table. Devon climbs to the top of the ladder and pulls down the IWGP Tag Title belt at around 13:06, despite getting bashed with a chair by the interfering Rhyno. Williams and Magnus take advantage of the situation, working Team 3D over. Magnus climbs up the ladder and Beer Money tries to double suplex him and it sort of works. Their little “Beer Money” thing is really played and at this point irritating. Magnus quickly recovers and tries climbing the ladder again; this time Storm hits him with a sunset bomb off the ladder. Williams clobbers Storm with a steel chair and climbs up the ladder; Roode joins him up there. Roode knocks Williams down, but Big Rob comes out and pitches Roode over the top rope and through a table on the floor. Williams is then able to grab the TNA title belt and the British Invasion is the NEW TNA World Tag Team Champions at 17:14. That was the usual hardcore mess with a couple of cute spots but mostly just chaos. And to reinforce how important these titles actually are, they immediately cut to the back to show Bobby Lashley and Samoa Joe warming up. Thanks a lot, TNA.
MATCH #5: TNA Knockouts Championship Match – ODB vs. Awesome Kong w/ Raisha Saeed vs. Tara
ODB has been the champion since 9.20.09, and this is her third defense, having previously defended the title in singles matches against both of her opponents tonight. Kong doesn’t want to wait, so she attacks both opponents before the bell and we’re off and running. Tara and ODB try to double-team her but it doesn’t go all that well. Kong is so awesome it’s just sick. ODB and Tara avoid a simultaneous splash attempt and once again try to double-team Kong. Of course when it comes to pin attempts, ODB and Tara disagree, since the first fall wins the title. The match becomes more of a three-way and less of a handicap match, as Kong throws Tara to the floor. Tara gets in a shoving match with a “fan,” who I believe is Kim Couture, in an angle that as of this writing has gone nowhere. We’re left with just ODB and Kong in the ring. ODB hits an impressive Samoan Drop for two. Kong resumes control as Tara makes her way back to the ring. She knocks Tara down once again and hits a splash off the second rope on ODB for two as Tara breaks up the fall. An angry Kong responds with a Chokeslam, and once again kicks Tara to the floor. Kong hits ODB with the Implant Buster for a two-count, which is stupid. Raisha Saeed makes her way to ringside now and introduces a steel chair, but Kong doesn’t want to use it. Kong goes for a powerbomb and Saeed once again slides the chair into the ring, and ODB reverses the powerbomb to a facebuster, and Kong’s face connects with the steel. That’s enough for ODB to get the pin and retain the title at 7:36. To reinforce how important the Knockouts Title is, they immediately cut to the back for a Matt Morgan promo. The match was overbooked and terrible, as I continue to wonder why the Knockouts Division gets so much praise.
MATCH #6: MMA vs. TNA Submission Match – “The Boss” Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe
Only TNA would book a “MMA vs. TNA” match and book themselves as the heels. Lashley comes out with taped ribs, so I would expect Joe to go right after them. They start with some basics, and Tenay gets wood when Lashley performs a leap frog. They trade holds and Joe takes a powder. Back in the ring Joe kicks the referee in the leg, and then knocks Lashley to the floor. Joe follows him out with an elbow suicida. Okay, I know referee Earl Hebner has been around forever, but getting kicked in the leg by Joe should take him out for the rest of the show. Despite begin booked as the heel, the crowd is much more supportive of Joe than they are of Lashley. In fact they’re outright booing Lashley during his comebacks. Joe hits a snap powerslam and goes for an armbar, but Lashley escapes and hits a full nelson slam. Lashley hits a t-bone suplex, and Joe comes back with a uranage. Joe hits another uranage, but on the third attempt Lashley blocks it and locks in a choke, and Joe submits at 8:07. The crowd is not impressed with The Boss, to say the least. So in the battle of MMA vs. TNA, it can be assumed that MMA fighters are tougher, so TNA just booked their own company to look weak. Good job guys. The match was painfully dull and stupid, and the crowd is just not into Lashley at all.
MATCH #7: Monster’s Ball Hardcore Extreme – “The Monster” Abyss vs. “The Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley with Special Referee Dr. Stevie
Foley used his power as Executive Shareholder to name Dr. Stevie as the special referee, and he also apparently banned thumbtacks. He attacks Abyss from behind during his entrance, hitting him with a barbed wire baseball bat. They fight on the entrance ramp and Foley starts climbing for some reason. Abyss follows him and of course gets knocked down through some tables. Foley grabs the bat again and hits a running elbow off the ramp to Abyss’s head. He and Stevie make their way back to the ring; meanwhile Abyss recovers and hits Foley with a clothesline. Abyss sets up a barbed wire board between the apron and the guardrail. In the ring finally Abyss levels Foley with a couple of trash can shots. Abyss brings another barbed wire board into the ring and goes for a Chokeslam, but Foley avoids it and hits a Double-Arm DDT instead. Foley continues to abuse Abyss with the barbed wire bat, and the referee even takes a few shots. He and Stevie trap Abyss between two barbed wire boards, and Foley hits an elbow drop for two. Foley then goes back on his word by introducing thumbtacks, which the commentators clear up by saying Foley can use tacks but Abyss cannot. Abyss grows tired of Stevie’s machinations, so he hits him with the Shock Treatment. Daffney comes out and hands Foley a taser, which he uses on Abyss. Tenay and Taz are so confused by what Foley is doing and what the object is. A new referee comes down and has to remind Abyss to kick out – the fans catch it and they boo. Foley goes for Mr. Socko but Abyss gets a drop toehold into the barbed wire, but when the referee tries to make the count, Stevie pulls him to the floor. Daffney climbs to the top rope, but Abyss catches her and Chokeslams her through one of the barbed wire boards. Abyss hits Stevie with the Black Hole Slam into the tacks, and then Chokeslams Foley onto a barbed wire board. He then drags Stevie over and uses his hand to make the three-count for the win at 11:05. Foley has really lost his knack for hardcore matches that mean something. This was all spots, and had an awful storyline leading in to boot. This was just silly.
MATCH #8: Wrestling’s Best VS Wrestling’s Future – Kurt Angle vs. “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan
This is easily the biggest match of Morgan’s career to date. Angle avoids the younger, more aggressive Morgan in the early going. Eventually Morgan gets a hold of Angle and tosses him over the top rope. Back in the ring Morgan traps Angle in the corner and delivers the elbow pad-less elbows to the face. Morgan is dominating in the opening minutes here. Angle makes a brief comeback and knocks Morgan to the floor, but when he tries to jump off the apron, Morgan catches him and drives Angle into the ring post. Back in the ring Morgan lands a high cross body off the top rope for two. That looked pretty. Morgan tries a bicycle kick in the corner but Angle avoids it and immediately goes to work on the leg. Angle locks on the Figure-Four Leglock, while Taz correctly explains how a shorter man applying this move on a taller man is actually easier. It would be really nice if this Taz was always on commentary, instead of the Taz that makes a joke out of everything. Morgan turns the hold over, and Angle reaches the ropes. Angle slugs away but Morgan pops up with a clothesline. Morgan mounts some kind of a destructive plan, according to Taz, which includes hitting a side slam for two. Angle retakes control and tries a body press, but Morgan catches him with a fallaway slam. Morgan goes for a Chokeslam, but Angle reverses to a victory roll for two. On the second attempt Morgan hits the Chokeslam, and gets a two-count. Angle comes back with three rolling German Suplexes. He goes for the Angle Slam, but Morgan avoids it and hits the Carbon Footprint for two. Morgan tries a charge in the corner, but Angle moves out of the way and hits the Angle Slam, but Morgan kicks out at two! Angle takes the straps down and locks on the Ankle Lock. Morgan kicks his way out of it and goes for a powerbomb, which Angle rolls through and once again applies the Ankle Lock. Angle holds on tenaciously but Morgan finally kicks him off. Morgan hits the Hellevator but Angle kicks out at two! He goes for a Tombstone Piledriver but Angle slips out and once again locks on the Ankle Lock. Morgan once again kicks out of it and hits a clothesline for two. The crowd chants “Morgan sucks,” which shows how poorly TNA books their talent. Morgan goes up top and Angle hits a pop-up super belly-to-belly suplex, and then follows up with an Angle Slam and a Frog Splash, but it only gets two! Angle goes back up top but Morgan recovers and puts Angle on his shoulders, but Angle counters with a victory roll for the win at 14:45. What they were going for in this match was quite obvious, and for the most part it worked. It felt a little forced, but Morgan worked hard and looked pretty good out there with Angle.
MATCH #9: “Sting’s Final Curtain Call?” TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs. “The Icon” Sting
Styles has been the champion since 9.20.09, and this is his first defense. I really hate the entire buildup to this match, wherein Styles looks like an ineffectual chump who can’t even win a match on his own without Sting’s help. I just hate the Sting character’s holier-than-thou attitude. The champion is the aggressor early on, grinding away with a headlock. Sting comes back with a hiptoss. They go back and forth with Styles using his agility to wow the veteran challenger. Sting then locks on a headlock, and then knocks Styles down with a shoulderblock. He misses an elbow drop, and then Sting misses a knee drop, as the crowd chants “TNA.” The challenger takes control and clotheslines the champion over the top rope to the floor. Then Sting holds the ropes open for Styles, which is so lame. Styles makes him pay for it with an enziguiri. Sting comes back with a couple of face plants and a big back body drop. Styles hits the big dropkick, which sends Sting to the floor. He tries jumping off the apron but Sting moves and he crashes into the guardrail. Moments later Sting tries to charge into Styles, and he meets the same fate. Back in the ring both are acting like nothing happened, so they start slugging it out. Styles tries a charge in the corner and misses, and then tries another charge and takes a boot to the face. He tries a tombstone piledriver, but Sting reverses to one of his own for a near-fall. Styles is so hurt that he rolls to the apron, but then decides he’s okay enough to hit a springboard forearm for two. A backbreaker gets another two-count. They trade Scorpion Death Drop attempts, and Sting is able to land one as the morons in the crowd chant “This Is Wrestling.” Sting hits a Stinger Splash and lands another Scorpion Death Drop but Styles once again kicks out. He locks on the Scorpion Deathlock, and Styles simply powers out of it. Back on their feet they trade blows until Sting Hulks Up and hits a clothesline for two. Sting lifts Styles up to the top rope, and Styles knocks Sting down with a headbutt. Styles falls to the apron and hits a Pele. He follows up with a springboard splash to get the pin and retain the title at 13:52. That was a severely anticlimactic finish to a dull, boring main event. Also, they built this up as Sting’s last match, which we know as of this writing is not the case, so what was the point really? Styles gets on the microphone, which doesn’t even work (so bush league TNA), and tells Sting to show some love for the fans. He thus concedes the spotlight to the veteran, showing who TNA thinks the real star is.