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Scope Arena – Norfolk, Virginia – Sunday, March 9, 2008
Mike Tenay and Don West are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Latin American Xchange vs. The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Rock ‘n Rave Infection
The winners become the Number One Contenders. Homicide and Hernandez are accompanied by Salinas. Lance Hoyt and Jimmy Rave have Christy Hemme in their corner. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin only have the power of their own awesomeness. Homicide and Sabin start the match with some fast-paced back and forth. The Machine Guns take first control and wear Homicide down. Hoyt and Hernandez get tagged in, and they represent the power in the match. LAX and the Guns work together on the RnR, much to the crowd’s delight. The referee loses control and bodies are flying all over the place. We settle back in the ring with the Guns working on Rave. Hoyt interferes to help Rave out, but Homicide tags himself in so Rave can’t follow up. LAX focuses on Shelley and keeps him away from Sabin. Hoyt decides it’s their turn and he pitches Homicide to the floor. He works on Shelley for a bit and then goes up for the moonsault but he misses. Rave tags in but Shelley is able to hit him with a Codebreaker and he makes the hot tag to Hernandez actually. Super Mex is a house afire, throwing the RnR around the ring. The referee loses control again and movez are coming from every direction. Homicide wipes out the Guns and Hoyt with the Tope Con Hilo. Hernandez hits Rave with the Border Toss to get the win at 10:27. That was a great choice for an opener, with a lot of fun action from all three teams. Everything looked good and the crowd was hot for them.
MATCH #2: TNA X Division Championship Match – Jay Lethal vs. Petey Williams
Lethal has been the Champion since 2.10.08, and this is his first defense. Williams has Rhaka Khan in his corner. They start with some chain wrestling and take it to the mat. Lethal takes the first control and uses his agility to keep Williams off guard. He sends the challenger to the floor and follows him out with a double ax handle off the top rope. Khan distracts Lethal on his way back into the ring, allowing Williams to take control. Williams knocks Lethal to the floor and hits the slingshot hurricanrana. Back in the ring Lethal fights back with a flurry of offense, including the hiptoss/dropkick combo. Lethal hits a pancake slam for two. Williams fights back and hits the Canadian Legsweep. He signals for the Canadian Destroyer but Lethal successfully avoids it. Lethal tries a rana but Williams powerbombs him. Williams tries the Destroyer again but Lethal counters to the release Dragon Suplex for two. Lethal misses a springboard dropkick. A series of reversals ends with Williams locking on the Sharpshooter. Williams tries to roll that into the Canadian Destroyer but Lethal slips out and hits the Lethal Combination. Lethal goes up top and Khan distracts the referee, allowing Scott Steiner to run out and shove Lethal down. Williams hits the Canadian Destroyer this time but SoCal Val pulls the referee’s leg to stop the count! Khan goes after Val and Sonjay Dutt has to come out and save her. Williams turns his attention back to Lethal, but by then the Champ has recovered and he traps Williams in a small package for the pin at 11:39. That was a solid bout from two good X Division guys. The interference and over-booking actually made sense here, and five years later I still remember why everyone acted the way they did.
MATCH #3: Eric Young & Kaz vs. Rellik & Black Reign
Kaz and Rellik start the match. Rellik uses his power and Kaz counters with his speed. Reign tags in and Kaz neutralizes the arm. Kaz convinces Young to tag in. Despite his fear, Young is able to get some offense in before tagging out. Kaz continues the advantage but Young is still scared, so Reign and Rellik are able to double-team Kaz to take control. This goes on for a little bit and when Kaz is able to make a tag, Young is still to afraid of Rellik so he takes off up the ramp. Finally the hot tag is made and Young gets in the ring with Rellik. Young fires up and Rellik sits up so Young takes off and runs to the back, tagging Kaz on his way out. Rellik brings Kaz back in the ring the hard way. He and Reign double-team Kaz, who continues to fight. Then from out of nowhere some superhero music plays and Eric Young comes back out wearing a cape and a mask. Super Eric starts flying around the ring and showing no fear. Eric hits a double Death Valley Driver and pins Reign at 10:03. You know what would make more sense than what they did here? If Eric Young simply overcame his fear and became a real man, rather than putting on a stupid mask and cape like a child. This match was stupid, Super Eric was stupider.
MATCH #4: TNA Women’s Knockout Championship Match – Awesome Kong vs. Gail Kim vs. ODB
Kong has been the Champion since 1.10.08, and this is her second defense. She has Raisha Saeed in her corner. The challengers double-team the dominant Champion right away and they are able to send her to the floor. ODB and Kim go at it now. Kim gets the advantage and goes to the top rope, but she spots Kong on the floor so she leaps onto her instead! Kong catches Kim, and ODB jumps off the apron to wipe both of them out! Back in the ring ODB covers for one. ODB continues to work Kim over using her unorthodox offense. She gloats too much and Kim recovers long enough to hit a Spear. Kim sends ODB to the floor and by now Kong is back in the ring. Kong uses her power and Kim counters with speed. Kim hits a Codebreaker but then runs right into a clothesline. Then Kong throws Kim shoulder-first into the ring post. ODB gets back in the ring and targets the Champ’s legs. Kong fights her off but Kim gets back in the fray and the challengers double-team Kong again. ODB drinks from the flask and Kim takes some liquid courage too. They hit simultaneous missile dropkicks off the second rope. Both go for covers and they get broken up of course. Now it’s every woman for herself. They work in some pretty creative three-way spots in the process. Kong slams Kim down on her face and then lands a splash off the second rope! ODB makes the save or it would have been over for sure. A furious Kong grabs ODB and hits the Implant Buster. Kong then goes back to the second rope for another splash but ODB moves out of the way! ODB unleashes a flurry of offense, including a Thesz Press off the second rope for a near-fall. She bounces off the ropes and Saeed trips her. Kong hits the Awesome Bomb to get the pin at 11:33. I don’t see why Kong needed help on the finish, but outside of that this was one of the best Knockout matches I’ve seen in TNA. They did awesome spots and kept up a breakneck pace for over 10 minutes. Kim and ODB working together made perfect sense and they fought each other at the right times too. This was a major surprise.
MATCH #5: Fish Market Street Fight – Shark Boy & Curry Man vs. Team 3D
Team 3D is accompanied by Johnny Devine. This was part of a ridiculous storyline in which Ray and Devon had to “make weight” or be fired from TNA. They make the weight and then celebrate with food, so Boy and Man take advantage of them and send them reeling to the floor. Team 3D tries to walk to the back but Man and Boy stop them. The masked guys actually use dead frozen fish as a weapon. Only in TNA folks. Man dangles a Ding Dong on the end of a fishing line, and Ray goes after it and gets caught on the hook. Seriously. Finally after several minutes of abuse Team 3D is able to go on offense. Ray and Devon take Boy out and go to work on Man. After a while Boy makes it back in the ring and is fired up, but he gets cut right off. Devon hits Man with the Saving Grace. Team 3D goes for the What’s Up, but Boy breaks it up and then he and Man hit their own version of the move (with a fish) on Ray. Man hits Devon with a cross body block off the top rope for two. Boy hits Ray with a neckbreaker for a two-count. Man and Boy hit simultaneous X-Factors but neither can get a pin. They hit simultaneous tornado DDTs but still can’t score a three-count. Team 3D fights back and sends Man to the floor. They hit Boy with a Doomsday Device for two. Ray brings a trash can in the ring and Man takes it away from him. Man cracks the can on Ray’s head repeatedly. Devine tries to get in the ring and throw powder, but he hits Ray instead. Boy and Man send Devine to the floor through a table. A blinded Ray gets tricked into hitting the 3D on his own partner and Boy gets the pin at 13:16. This was just a mess, with a stupid storyline to begin with and an awful brawl with lame spots and a dumb finish. I didn’t like anything about this.
MATCH #6: Stand By Your Man Strap Match – Booker T w/ Traci Brooks vs. Robert Roode w/ Payton Banks
Winner will be by pinfall or submission, and the winning man’s lady gets to whip the other lady. Roode stalls for a bit to start and then Booker takes it to him. Booker dominates in the opening minutes until Roode rakes the eyes. Roode wears Booker down now, and cuts him off at his first comeback attempt. Booker fights back again after hardly being in any danger. He hits a suplex for two. Roode tries to fight back but runs right into a spinebuster. Booker goes for the Axe Kick but Roode avoids it and hits a DDT for two. The referee gets bumped and both men clothesline each other. The women get into a cat fight on the floor and Traci takes a pair of handcuffs from Banks. Traci tries to give them to Booker but Roode intercepts them. Roode then hits Booker with the handcuffs to get the pin at 7:57. Well that’s what you get Traci, Booker didn’t need your help. That match never got out of the blocks and Booker was never in any sort of danger until the finish.
After the match security escorts Booker to the back and Banks delivers the contractually obligated lashings. Roode talks trash while Traci gets whipped. Banks tries to take more shots than she’s allowed and Traci fights back. Roode comes in and shoves Traci down, and then takes a shot with the strap himself! From out of nowhere, Booker T’s wife Sharmell runs out and whips both Roode and Banks with a strap, sending them running. Security and referees try to contain her but they all get whipped too. Jim Cornette tries to reason with her, so he gets whipped too.
MATCH #7: Elevation X Match – Rhino vs. James Storm
Storm has gloves and a rope with him, as well as Jacqueline. As soon as Rhino gets to the top, Storm climbs down and stalls. Rhino throws beer at him. He climbs down and they brawl around ringside now. Rhino brings a bunch of weapons into the ring and the fight continues in there. A table gets set up and ominously looms in the middle of the ring. Rhino sets up for a Gore but Jacqueline interferes to beak it up. Jacqueline climbs up to the top to avoid Rhino, distracting him all the way. That gives Storm the chance to climb up as well. They brawl back and forth, carefully, so as not to fall off. Storm does the same thing AJ Styles did last year, hiding in the structure. Eventually Rhino finds him and exposes his hiding place. Rhino kicks Storm down and he crashes through the table, giving Rhino the win at 13:17. At least they paid off the table being set up, and upped the ante on last year without being too dangerous. But scaffold matches by their nature are extremely boring and generally feature just one bump that’s not really worth sitting through the whole match for. I give the guys points for doing it, but it’s just not particularly compelling.
MATCH #8: Samoa Joe, Christian Cage & Kevin Nash vs. The Angle Alliance (Kurt Angle, AJ Styles & Tomko)
The Angle Alliance is at a three-on-two disadvantage for the first five minutes because Cage beat Angle in a Six Sides of Steel match on iMPACT. Styles and Tomko are the current TNA World Tag Team Champions, and Angle is the current TNA World Champion. The Champs try to stall but Joe and Nash don’t allow it. Styles gets thrown into the ring to battle Cage, and they go back and forth. Tomko tags in and uses his power while Cage uses his speed. Cage forces Tomko back into his corner and levels an interfering Styles with a huge Spear. Joe tags in and shows Tomko why he’s the Number One Contender. Nash comes in and takes his shots as well. Styles is able to tag in and he hits Cage with Spiral Tap. Nash, Tomko, and Joe come in and brawl as the clock winds down to Angle coming out. Joe goes to the ramp and awaits the Champ’s arrival. Angle charges down and he and Joe take it right to each other. Joe decides to take Tomko out with a dive. Cage hits a Frog Splash on Angle for two, but then gets suplexed to the floor. That gives the Angle Alliance a chance to control Cage and keep him in their half of the ring. Eventually Cage makes the tag to Nash, and he’s as much a house afire as he can be. Nash hits Angle with the Jackknife Powerbomb, and then Styles takes Nash out with a dropkick to the knee. Joe and Tomko get tags and Joe is all over everyone. The referee loses control and Joe gets assaulted in a three-on-one attack. Cage and Nash come to the rescue and leave Joe and Tomko alone in the ring. Joe locks Tomko in the clutch to get the tap out win at 12:29. That seemed a bit on the short side for a main event, but they packed a ton of action in there, and I so miss seeing Samoa Joe when he cared. They used the first five minutes of the match effectively and made for a good but not amazing main event.
Tags: AJ Styles, Christian Cage, Destination X, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe