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Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – March 11, 2007
MATCH #1: Ghetto Brawl Match – Latin American Xchange vs. Team 3D
The LAX are the tag team champions at this point, but the titles are not on the line. TNA is dedicating this Destination X to the late, great Ernie Ladd. I’m sure he’d be thrilled. All four men start brawling in the ring right away amongst bunches of plunder. LAX takes the first control and they beat down both Brothers. Devon gets sent to the floor and Hernandez follows him out with a swan dive. The match all shifts to the floor, where Ray and Devon take control on Homicide and Hernandez, respectively. They fight all throughout the crowd, using various weapons along the way. Back in the ring Devon hits Homicide with a powerslam for two. Hernandez comes in and nails Devon with the Crackerjack for two. Brother Ray hits a superplex on Hernandez but Homicide comes off another rope with a rana on Ray. He follows up with a trash can shot for two. Ray comes back and he and Devon hit the What’s Up. Then they drink beer before getting the table. A cadre of Latino Nation member come out and beat down Team 3D. An old and slow Johnny Rodz comes out and beats up like 10 guys. Homicide and Hernandez recover and now they can all manage to beat down the old man. A bunch of Devon’s brothers from Brooklyn come in now and it’s a big brawl. Doesn’t that make them Ray’s half brothers? Don West says the only thing missing is Pacman Jones. Just wait a few more months Don. The posses get to the back and the match resumes in the ring. Hernandez sets up for the Border Toss but Devon avoids it and Hernandez takes the 3D. Machete pulls the referee to the floor to break up the pin. The gangs make their way back out, and Brother Ray leaps off the top rope and wipes them all out. Alex Shelley is out at ringside now to film the action for Paparazzi Productions. That distraction gives Homicide the chance to hit a low blow on Devon. Shelley comes in and hits Devon with the camera and Frog Splashes Devon through a table. Homicide gets the pin at 14:49. That was slightly better than last month, but I don’t remember if the LAX and Alex Shelley partnership ever went anywhere.
MATCH #2: Double Bull Rope Match – Petey Williams & Gail Kim vs. James Storm & Jackie Moore
Storm and Moore attack before the bell to steal the advantage. Williams and Kim fight right back and wrap the ropes around their opponents’ necks. They continue to cleverly use the ropes and work together to subdue Storm and Moore. They spill to the floor and brawl around out there. Back in the ring Storm uses the referee to take a cheap shot on Williams and take control. Storm hogties Williams in the ropes and stomps away on him. He hits the Eye of the Storm and then signals for the Canadian Destroyer, but Williams backdrops his way out of that. Williams fires up and whips Storm repeatedly with the rope. He hits the Canadian Legsweep and a capture DDT for two. Meanwhile Moore and Kim finally make their way back in the ring. Williams goes for the Canadian Destroyer but Moore hits him with a low blow and Storm lands the Last Call for the pin at 7:55. They did some clever spots with the rope and the action was really solid, but outside of the opening moments and the finish they hardly used the women at all.
MATCH #3: Crossface Chicken Wing Submission Match – Senshi vs. Austin Starr
Starr attacks before the bell and away we go. Senshi fights back with dropkicks and tries an early Chicken Wing but Starr fights out of it. He continues to control Starr, wearing him down in preparation for the one move that can win the match. Starr avoids a charge in the corner and rakes the back. He goes to work on the shoulder now, which is very wise. Starr goes up top and Mr. Backlund makes his way down, distracting Starr long enough for Senshi to hit a Rolling wheel kick. Senshi follows up with chops and the Krush Kombo. He hits the Tidal Wave and goes for the Chicken Wing but Starr avoids it. Senshi lands more kicks and hits Black Magic. Starr comes back with the shinbreaker / belly-to-back suplex combo. He follows with the IED. Senshi responds with the shotgun dropkick. He goes up top and Starr pushes the referee into the ropes to knock him down. Starr then connects with the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Starr hits the slingshot corkscrew splash. Starr goes for the Brainbuster but Senshi reverses it and they trade Chicken Wing attempts. Senshi misses a charge in the corner and his shoulder hits the ring post. Starr senses an opportunity and locks Senshi in the Chicken Wing with a body scissors. Senshi was under the ropes and Backlund has to point that out to the referee. Starr argues with Backlund and Senshi locks on the Chicken Wing for the win at 11:10. I don’t care for the stipulation for the match, and they could have done the finish without it, but that doesn’t take away from the good match that Senshi and Aries put together.
Starr snaps after the match and shoves Senshi into Backlund, and then licks the Crossface Chicken Wing on the man who made the hold famous! Referees have to come and break it up.
MATCH #4: Voodoo Kin Mafia vs. Christy Hemme’s Team
Before Hemme can introduce her team, BG James and Kip James come out. Kip trashes her and BG looks uncomfortable with the whole thing. Then Hemme reveals her mystery team – Antonio Thomas and Romeo Roselli, The Heartbreakers. Terrible surprise. As soon as the bell rings I hate this match. BG and Antonio start the match with some chain wrestling. Tags are made. VKM dominates the opening minutes. Outside the ring Antonio holds BG for Romeo to dive on him but BG moves and Antonio doesn’t catch Romeo so he crashes to the floor. Meanwhile Christy tries to give Kip a low blow but he’s wearing a cup so she hurts her arm. Kip then takes the cup off and rubs it in her face. The crowd cheers. No, really. Lance Hoyt comes out to carry Hemme to the back. The distraction allows the Heartbreakers to double-team Kip and finally take some control. This goes on for several minutes. Finally Kip makes the comeback and the lukewarm tag to BG. The referee loses control and BG hits the Pumphandle Slam on Antonio to get the pin at 9:03. Who gave that match nine minutes? The storyline was beyond insulting and sexist, and the match was just bad.
MATCH #5: Best Two out of Three Falls Match for the TNA X Division Championship – Chris Sabin vs. Jerry Lynn
Sabin has been the Champion since 1.14.07, and this is his second defense. They start slowly, since they’ve been in the ring together before as opponents and partners so they do know each other. After an exchange of holds Lynn strings together a flurry that sends Sabin to the floor. Lynn chases him, and back in the ring Sabin cuts him off. Rookie mistake. OF course Lynn fires right back and takes control. Momentum shifts again and since it’s a Jerry Lynn match I think I might even type that again real soon. Sabin sends Lynn to the floor and follows him out with a knee strike off the apron. The crowd gets distracted by something that is not the match, and thus miss Lynn catching Sabin in a baseball slide and slamming him on the guardrail. Sabin forces Lynn back-first into the ring apron. Back in the ring Sabin hits a slingshot elbow drop for two. Sabin charges into the corner but eats two feet. Lynn follows with a tornado DDT to score the first fall at 5:51.
The second fall starts with Lynn gloating like a weirdo. Sabin sends Lynn to the floor and Lynn hits that stupid legdrop he does. Lynn clotheslines Sabin into the crowd and hits a springboard body press to wipe Sabin out. Back in the ring Sabin sells that huge move for about five seconds and knocks Lynn off the top rope. Momentum continues to shift and Sabin hits a Hurricane DDT for two. Lynn comes back with a sunset flip off the second rope for a near-fall. He tries a rana but Sabin catches him with a powerbomb and puts his feet on the ropes to win the second fall and even up the match at 9:45.
Sabin tries to cover right away to start the third fall but Lynn is able to kick out now. Lynn fights back and unleashes a flurry of offense. He tries multiple pinning combinations but Sabin won’t give up the title just yet. Sabin catches a charging Lynn and drops him face-first on the top turnbuckle. He hits a running Yakuza Kick in the corner and then the Cradle Shock but Lynn kicks out. Sabin goes for the Cradle Piledriver but Lynn counters to an Air Raid Crash. Lynn goes for the Cradle Piledriver but a guy in a Sting mask hops up on the apron to distract the referee. Sabin kicks Lynn in the junk and hits another Cradle Shock to get the win at 13:26. That was typical Jerry Lynn stuff, with a bunch of moves and not much selling. The finish was lame too.
After the match the guy in the mask reveals himself as Christopher Daniels, who is developing a darker persona. Daniels attacks both Sabin and Lynn and lays them out.
MATCH #6: Elevation X Match – Rhino vs. AJ Styles
This is a scaffold match, except that the scaffold is in the shape of an X. They can’t wait to climb up the X to start fighting each other. Styles climbs up first and Rhino is hesitant to join him. They slug at each other and try not to fall off. Styles looks much more comfortable up there than Rhino does. Punching each other and trying not to fall off sums up most of the match pretty well. Styles almost falls but is able to hang on and he climbs inside the steel structure to hide from his opponent. Rhino can’t find him. The crowd has to help him and he does find him, but nothing really happens. They fight some more and Styles grabs a bag of powder and Rhino knocks it back into his face. Rhino hits a Gore! That’s pretty impressive. Styles falls and is hanging on for dear life. Rhino stomps on his hands to knock Styles down and get the win at 12:40. I don’t understand the appeal of scaffold matches, and this one was not that much better than others before it.
MATCH #7: Kurt Angle vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner has a couple of random sluts with him. They start with some chain wrestling. Steiner scores the first knockdown with a shoulderblock. He hits another one and Angle goes to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring Angle hits the headbutt of doom and then unleashes more furious offense. Steiner’s forehead is busted open. Angle dumps Steiner to the floor. He misses a baseball slide and Steiner clotheslines him down. Steiner slams Angle’s head off the ring steps a few times. Back in the ring Steiner continues working Angle over. Steiner runs into a boot in the corner. Angle tries to follow up but Steiner cuts him off. Steiner uses a chinlock and Angle breaks it with a back suplex. Angle follows with rolling German Suplexes, hitting three of them. He goes for the Olympic Slam but Steiner counters with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. On the next try Angle hits the Olympic Slam but only gets a two-count. Angle puts on the Ankle Lock but Steiner rolls his way out of it and gets a schoolboy rollup for two. Steiner avoids a charge in the corner and Angle connects shoulder-first. Now Steiner locks on the worst finisher ever, the Steiner Recliner. Angle counters into a cover for two. He charges at Steiner against the ropes and gets back-dropped to the floor. Steiner whips Angle into the guardrail and then hopes for a countout. He doesn’t get it. Steiner hits an Olympic Slam, dropping Angle right on his neck. He goes back to the Steiner Recliner and Angle counters to an Olympic Slam. Angle locks on the Ankle Lock and Steiner reaches the ropes, so Angle pulls him back out. Steiner kicks his way out of it and levels Angle with a clothesline. He puts Angle on the top rope and goes for a belly-to-belly suplex but Angle counters with an insanely weak sunset flip to get the pin at 11:43. That was the usual finisher reversal fest from Angle, with a really, really weak finish.
MATCH #8: Last Rites Match – Sting vs. Abyss
This was just about the worst feud of all-time, and showed what a terrible actor Sting is. A Last Rites match is basically a casket match, but the casket is hanging above the ring, and they call it a “Death Bed.” The brawl starts on the floor and Sting is throwing Abyss around. Abyss fights back with a steel chair. They make it into the ring and Abyss is in control. Sting fights back and hits the Scorpion Death Drop. He hits a Stinger Splash to the back, and then one to the front. Sting tries another one but Abyss grabs one of the decorative candelabra and blasts Sting in the face with it, busting him open. Abyss asks for the Death Bed to be lowered, and the lights go blue and smoke comes out. This is brutally stupid, and the crowd chants “Fire Russo.” I kind of miss that chant. Abyss can’t quite lock Sting in the casket yet. Sting is a bloody mess but he’s able to fight back and put on the Scorpion Deathlock. Abyss taps out but that does nothing. Sting hits Abyss with a chair. He sets a decorative tombstone on Abyss’ head and then cracks it with a bat. Sting tries to put Abyss in the casket but Abyss fights him off. Abyss hits a Chokeslam right on top of the casket. He sets up two chairs and puts a tombstone in between them. Abyss goes for a superplex but Sting fights it off and hits Abyss with a candelabra, knocking Abyss back through the tombstone. That’s enough for Sting to lock Abyss in the Death Bed for the win at 9:39. That was absolute garbage, par for the course for Mr. Vince Russo.
MATCH #9: NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Christian Cage vs. Samoa Joe
Cage has been the Champion since 1.14.07, and this is his second defense. Despite an undefeated streak that lasted almost a year and a half, this is Joe’s first shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. They start slowly, and Joe lands a couple of hard kicks. Joe absolutely dominates the Champion in the early going. Cage tries to come back with a leap off the second rope but Joe casually avoids him. Joe hits the Big Joe Combo for two. He sends Cage to the floor and follows him out. Cage reverses a whip that sends Joe shoulder-first into the ring post. He charges at Joe but gets caught in an STJoe, right on the floor! That may be a first. Joe whips Cage into the crowd and they brawl throughout the iMPACT Zone. They make it back to the ring and Cage is able to hit Joe with a DDT on the ring apron. That’s a great cutoff. Back in the ring Cage hits a diving European Uppercut off the second rope for two. Joe tries fighting back but the Champion has the edge now. After several minutes Joe catches Cage diving off the second rope with a huge kick to the face. Back on their feet Joe is building momentum. Joe abuses Cage and hits the snap powerslam for two. He hits the powerbomb for another two-count and turns it into the Samoan Crab, which he then turns into the STF, and that becomes a Crossface. Joe tries the Choke but Cage is able to get to the ropes. Cage hits the Unprettier but Joe kicks out! He tries a sleeper but Joe falls back to knock the wind out of the Champion. Cage goes to the apron and Joe knocks him to the floor with a dive through the ropes. Now Cage tries to walk out and take the countout, which Tenay explains would not cause him to lose his title even though a disqualification would. However, a cadre of X Division wrestlers send Cage back to the ring. Joe hits an Island Driver but the referee was out of position so he only gets two. Cage pulls said referee in front of him and Joe kicks his head off. Joe tries a dive to the floor but Cage cracks him in the face with a chair. There is no referee to make the count. Cage brings the chair into the ring but Joe cuts him off and hits the Muscle Buster! The referee wakes up but can only count to two! Joe goes for the Choke but Cage breaks it with a low blow. Cage goes up top but Joe kicks him down and locks on the Choke. The resourceful Champion is able to roll over and put his feet on the ropes for extra leverage to get the pin at 17:45. This was a great main event with both guys playing their roles to perfection and hitting everything dead on. Joe and Cage had great chemistry and their matches are definitely overlooked.
BONUS MATCH #1: Gauntlet for the Gold for a shot at the World Title, iMPACT, 2.15.07
Sting is the first man out. AJ Styles is #2. Intervals will be one minute long. Sting dominates Styles but misses a Stinger Splash and Rhino is out at #3. Rhino goes right after Styles as we take a commercial break. We’re back and James Storm, X Division Champion Chris Sabin, and Kip James all entered the ring during the break. Abyss is #7. He makes an impact by eliminating Sabin as Kurt Angle comes out at #8. Angle backdrops Storm to the floor. Next up is Tomko at #9. Styles and Rhino try to eliminate each other, and Tomko sneaks up and eliminates both of them. Samoa Joe is #10 and he dumps Kip to the floor. Time for another commercial break, and Robert Roode, BG James, and Eric Young all entered the ring while we were gone. Scott Steiner is #14. He tosses BG to the floor. Joe eliminates Abyss with a running boot. Angle tries to eliminate Roode but Steiner sneaks up and dumps Angle out. Sting hits Roode with a Stinger Splash and eliminates him. Steiner then dumps Sting out. Tomko eliminates Young and we’re down to three. Steiner and Tomko double-team Joe and things aren’t looking good for the big Samoan one. Joe is able to weather the storm and he takes Steiner out. Now it’s Joe versus Tomko as a regular singles match. Joe quickly hits the Muscle Buster to get the pin and earn the title shot at at 11:51 (shown). That was a fine way to get Joe a title shot but TNA gauntlet matches are never that thrilling.
BONUS MATCH #2: Five-Way X Ladder Match for a shot at the X Title – Austin Starr vs. Senshi vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt, iMPACT, 2.22.07
Starr and Senshi immediately fight to the floor since they;’re in the middle of a blood feud. Meanwhile in the ring Dutt and Lethal work together on the veteran Lynn. It doesn’t take long for ladders to get involved and become weapons. Dutt and Lethal hit stereo dives to wipe out Starr and Senshi on the floor. Mr. Bob Backlund comes out to watch as we go to break. When we come back everyone is battling in the ring and there are three ladders hanging around. All three ladders get set up and everyone climbs up. Lynn takes Lethal and Dutt down with a simultaneous powerbomb. Senshi and Starr battle each other on top of two ladders, going for the X. Lynn goes up and knocks both Senshi and Aries down. He grabs the X to earn the title shot at 3:41 (shown). Obviously there wasn’t much to see there, but everyone looked energetic in what they showed.
Tags: Abyss, Christian Cage, Destination X, Samoa Joe, Sting