PPV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA SACRIFICE PPV REPORT 5/14: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of show
May 15, 2006 - 1:38:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
TNA SACRIFICE PPV REPORT
MAY 14, 2006
ORLANDO, FLA. AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
-Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the show and then a graphic showed the current World X Cup point standings.
1 -- JUSHIN LIGER vs. PETEY WILLIAMS
The crowd was behind Liger at the start. Liger dominated the early minutes. The crowd eventually had a battle of "Let's Go Liger/Let's Go Petey" chants. Petey lifted his knees to block a top rope splash by Liger at 4:00. He then caught Liger with a spin wheel kick and showed good fire, prompting a mix of cheers and boos. Liger fought back at 5:00 with hard chops. Petey spun Liger into a russian leg sweep. He set up the Canadian Destroyer, but Liger escaped and hit Petey with a palm thrust. As he set up a running powerbomb at 6:00, the signal went out for about two minutes. When they came back, the match was over. They showed the finish later in the show. Petey signalled for the Canadian Destroyer. Team Japan distracted Petey and then low-blowed him. Liger then slammed Petey to the mat for the win. This booking is soooo stale. Ugh ugh ugh. Team Canada draped their flag over Petey.
WINNER: Liger in 8:00 (est.)
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Too short to amount to much, but nice action while it lasted.
-Tenay and West previewed the rest of the PPV.
-Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed AMW, Miss Jackie, and Gail Kim. Jackie was crying the entire time. It also looked like she was being given electrical shocks and sucking on a lemon. Storm's interviews have come a long way in the past few years. Storm told Jackie if she ever costs them a match again, "You might as well dig yourself a grave and throw yourself in it." Borash asked her why she was crying. She said, "I'm pregnant." Borash congratulated her. Kim told her, "We all hate you. You're fired. Leave. Now. Before I beat your ass down." Tenay said Kim is "flaunting her power." West asked, "Can you fire someone because they're pregnant?"
-A Daniels- and Styles-narrated video aired on the upcoming tag title match. Very well produced and it did something to give some meaning to the match that otherwise didn't get much of a backstory.
2 -- AMERICA'S MOST WANTED vs. A.J. STYLES & CHRISTOPHER DANIELS
Styles and Daniels jump-started the match and controlled the opening minutes, including rapid tags in and out. AMW eventually took over offense. Daniels teased a comeback at 6:00, but AMW kept him down. At 8:00 Daniels avoided a Harris clothesline and hot-tagged Styles into the match. Styles went after both Harris and Storm with a flurry of offense. They set up a four-person Tower of Doom spot. Daniels followed with a flying bodyblock on Harris for a near fall at 9:00. Styles hit a springboard flying clothesline off the top rope onto Harris in the crowd at 10:00. The crowd popped and chanted, "TNA, TNA." In the ring, Storm yanked Daniels neck-first over the top rope. AMW took over again in the ring, double-teaming Styles. They set up a Death Sentence, but Daniels intervened. Styles grazed Harris with a Pele Kick as Daniels had Harris up for a Death Valley Driver for a believable very near fall. Styles then flew over the top rope toward Storm, but Storm moved and Styles crashed. Daniels went for the BME, but Harris moved, and Daniels landed on his feet. Harris surprised Daniels with a spear for a near fall at 12:00. AMW double-teamed Daniels, but Daniels fought back and tagged in Styles, who clotheslined both Harris and Storm. Harris caught a charging Styles with a boot to the face. Styles went for a superplex. Harris got under Styles and lifted him for an electric chair. Storm then gave Styles a hangman's noose off the top rope for a very near fall. Four-way action broke out. Daniels hit Harris with an enzuigiri, knocking him out of the ring. Daniels then hit Storm with his BME. Styles followed from the opposite corner with a Frog Splash for another believable near fall at 13:00. Storm came back with a jawbreaker. Storm then went for a pin attempt on Styles in the corner with his legs on the middle rope. Styles intervened and went for a Styles Clash. Storm blocked it with a low blow, then hit Styles with a superkick. Daniels broke up the pin attempt at the last second. Daniels then gave Storm the Angel's Wings, but Harris broke up the pin attempt. The crowd chanted "This is awesome!" Daniels and Storm tumbled over the top rope and took the ref down with them. A police baton was dropped into the ring by Gail Kim in the rafters. Kim had been banned from ringside, but she found another way to contribute. Daniels went for a moonsault at ringside, but Harris side-stepped it. Styles hit Storm with the Styles Clash. Harris KO'd Styles with the baton, though, and then the ref returned to the ring and counted the pin.
WINNERS: AMW in 16:00.
STAR RATING: ***3/4 -- Really good tag match. Clever heel finish with Kim outsmarting the stipulation. The near falls were believable in those hot final six minutes and the spots were exciting, well-timed for the most part, and fit within the context of the match in a way that felt like they were trying to win, not just score style points with judges.
-Backstage, A1 flexed while Larry Zbyszko talked about all of his problems resurfacing since Raven returned. Referee Slick Johnson walked in and told Zbyszko that the new "face of authority of TNA" would be Roddy Piper. Then he said he was kidding and said it would be Vince Russo. Then he said it was really Ultimate Warrior. Then he said he couldn't say, but Larry would find out at the next PPV. Zbyszko said he thinks it's going to be Raven.
-They went to a video package of the Zbyszko-Raven storyline with a clip from the most recent Impact of Scott D'Amore promising Zbyszko that Team Canada's A1 would take care of Raven at the PPV.
3 -- RAVEN vs. A1 (w/Scott D'AMORE)
A1 attacked Raven before the match. Zbyszko ran into the ring and stomped away at Raven. Raven now has his hair colored to match Taylor on American Idol and a huge black and white t-shirt with a big skull on the front and back. He also wore a black skirt that looked like it could have been made out of a thick trash bag. He needed a new look. Zbyszko joined Tenay and West at ringside. A1 threw Raven into railings at ringside and the ringpost, dominating the opening minutes. A1 ripped off a top turnbuckle. Raven recovered enough to tease a comeback, but A1 splashed Raven in the corner to put a halt to that. He scored a two count at 4:00. West said it's hard to watch Raven "get demolished" by A1 after his time off. Raven finally made a full-fledged comeback, hit a kneelift and a drop-down back cracker. Zbyszko argued with the ref. A1 low-blowed Raven. Raven moved as A1 charged into the corner. A1 hit the exposed turnbuckle. Raven then hit his Raven Effect DDT for the win.
WINNER: Raven in 6:00.
STAR RATING: *
-After the match, Zbyszko said he can't stand it anymore, so he told him to get into the ring so they can settle their differences "man to man, right here, right now." Raven rolled into the ring. Zbyszko stomped away at him. Security ran into the ring and pulled Zbyszko away. Raven dove into the crowd of security. They pulled Raven away. Zbyszko then dove back at Raven. They were eventually separated and went their separate ways.
-Jeremy Borash interviewed Scott Steiner and Jeff Jarrett. Borash said Jarrett was "one-upped" by Sting since he picked Samoa Joe. Jarrett said for several weeks Sting "played Howie Mandel." Hey, someone updated him on 2006 pop culture! Jarrett gave an intense interview that said TNA has passed by people like Sting, so he went to the inside to find someone who is up to speed. Jarrett said the problem is he picked someone he can't trust and doesn't know all that well. He said he and Joe won't be able to coexist. Steiner then yelled and said Joe made a mistake thinking he can wrestle outside of the X Division. He said he's not man enough to go one-on-one with the man with the largest arms in the business.
4 -- BOBBY ROODE (w/Scott D'Amore) vs. RHINO
D'Amore did his cartoon heelish overreactions at ringside throughout the match. He tried to interfere with the hockey stick early. In the end, D'Amore hit Rhino from behind with a hockey stick. When Rhino turned and attacked D'Amore in retaliation, Roode hit Rhino from behind with the Northern Lights Clothesline and scored the pin.
STAR RATING: * - Decent action, but also forgettable and unremarkable. Neither guy is over enough nor is this booked in a way to make you care.
-Borash interviewed Team 3D backstage. Brother Ray said you never forget where you were during major events in your life. First he brought up 9-11 (No matter how you try to make this tasteful, comparing any event in wrestling other than a real-life death to 9-11 is just impossible without seeming to have lost all perspective.) He then brought up George Bush being reelected, and held his head as if that news gave him a huge headache. Then he mentioned the O.J. verdict, indicating he believes O.J. "did it." Brother Devon got in Ray's face and declared O.J. innocent. Ray said O.J. was guilty. This promotion sometimes is like watching a tape library feature from WWE 24/7 from the mid-'90s. Ray then compared those memories to his first winning the WWF Tag Team Titles in Hartford, Conn. in 2000 over The New Age Outlaws. He mentioned the WWF-versions of their names, but prefaced with "formerly known as."
5 -- B.G. JAMES & KIP JAMES vs. TEAM 3D
James did some prematch mic work, saying he's "not a mark" and doesn't keep track of his win-loss record. Yeah, in sports, you're a mark if you pay attention to your win-loss record. What a foolish thing to say. If wrestlers aren't pretending to care about their wins and losses, what's the point of this whole show? West and Tenay talked about these two teams have such rich histories, but have only faced each other two times. Kip, B.G., and even Ray hit early dropkicks. The crowd popped for Ray's dropkick. The announcers did a good job building up the perceived prestige and historical significance of this match, although watching Ray and B.G., in their gut-covering t-shirts, try to outwrestle each other wasn't exactly going to be mistaken for a fight between two great fighters. They weren't exactly graceful, but they did the best they could with what they have left to try to tell a fun story. Ray and B.G. put up their dukes and each swung at each other at the same time, knocking each other down at once. B.G. took a cheap shot at Ray to take control. Devon yanked B.G. off his feet from behind and pulled his crotch into the ringpost. Devon tagged in and the crowd chanted "We want tables." Ray backdropped Kip over the top rope and then Team 3D hit a Doomsday Clothesline on B.G. for a two count at 9:00. Kip interrupted a three count attempt by Devon. As is often the case, James couldn't be bothered to actually lift a shoulder. Why should Kip hitting Devon on the back with an axe handle blow cause the ref to stop counting if B.G.'s shoulders are still on the mat? The interference by the partner should lead to some sort of way for the man getting pinned to lift his shoulder. Otherwise, it makes no sense for the ref to stop counting. It's so lazy not to lift a shoulder once that interference happens. It's also dumb when the partner waits until the last second to hit the guy getting pinned when it's clear to everyone he could have stopped the count before the very last split second, which often is too late anyway and makes the ref look like more of an idiot. It's just sloppy, old-style wrestling without thinking through why things were originally done the way they were and how to give them a semblance of logic and realism. Kip returned to the ring, but Devon avoided his finisher. B.G. then KO'd Devon with a pipe leading to the pin. Tenay and West noted that Team 3D used a pipe to KO Kip & B.G. six years ago, so now they "issued a receipt."
WINNERS: The James Gang in 11:00.
STAR RATING: DUD -- Really sloppy wrestling. They tried, kind of, in their own special going-through-the-motions manner with poor timing and unrealistic action. Kip was especially bad. This isn't what TNA needs at this point. The star power these guys have just isn't worth the price paid for bad matches like this.
-Borash interviewed James Mitchell with Abyss. Borash said they just relinquished the NWA World Hvt. Title belt. Mitchell then promised violence against Christian. He said the morgue awaits.
-Tenay and West were shown on camera. Tenay said the truck just informed them that the satellite signal went out during the final moments of the Liger vs. Petey match. He said as a result, they'd show fans the conclusion of the match. After about 30 seconds of footage of the finish, Tenay said they'd offer highlights of the match on their website tomorrow because they "wanted to make good."
-Christy Hemme came out to the ring as the presenter of the World Cup Trophy after the next match. She pranced to the ring, slapped hands with fans at ringside, then fondled the World Cup Trophy on the announcers' desk.
6 -- WORLD X CUP GAUNTLET
Team Japan came out to music that sounded like it was right off the soundtrack from an episode of Baywatch. Where do they find the most generic music possible for these teams? Minoru Tanaka and Puma opened against each other. After Minoru threw a series of rapid-fire kicks, West said, "It's like watching a Kung Fu movie or something." You can't put a price on that kind of insight. The third wrestler out was Petey Williams. Chris Sabin came out next. Hiroki Goto was fifth. In Cognito made his TNA debut as the sixth entrant. Tenay pointed out that Cognito once studied to be a priest in a seminary, then brought up Jack Black's "Nacho Libre" career. West said he was freaked out that Tenay knew that. West apparently hasn't heard of learning background on wrestlers who he's paid to analyze by, you know, interviewing them and asking them about themselves. Johnny Devine came out next. Then Sonjay Dutt, who added a ton of energy to the match instantly. Black Tiger was next followed by Magno and then "Showtime" Eric Young. Dutt clutched at his ankle after his elimination and then tried frantically to get his boot off. Help came from the back and he was helped to the locker room quickly. He seemed to be in extreme discomfort. It appeared that when he head scissored Incognito over the top rope, his ankle got twisted as he too flipped over the top rope. Next was Alex Shelley. Jushin Liger was next, completing Team Japan's inclusion in the match. Shocker was next. A few eliminations took place since Shelley's entrance after a long stretch without any other than Dutt and Incognito. Team Canada's Tyson Dukes ran out next. The final entrant was Jay Lethal. Liger was eliminated at 16:00. It came down to Puma, Petey, Lethal, and Shelley. Shelley eliminated himself when he dove at Puma, but Puma ducked. Puma sidekicked Lethal, and Lethal leaped over the top rope to the floor. That left Puma vs. Petey at 19:00. Petey hit the Canadian Destroyer for the win.
WINNER: Team Canada's Petey Williams in 19:00.
STAR RATING: ** -- A collage of largely inconsequential highspots.
-After the match, West and Tenay said Team USA and Team Canada were tied. Kevin Nash walked out and attacked puma, giving him a Jackknife. "Looks like somebody pissed me off to get me here on Mother's Day," said Nash over the house mic. "I've got a few questions. Is one of these guys incognito, or was this the incognito battle royal, because I don't know who the hell any of these guys are?" He said the runner-up in the match, Puma, didn't get any offense against him. He reiterated that a "mediocre, mediocre, mediocre big man" can beat any X Division wrestler. "And I'm not mediocre. I'm pretty good," he added. Nash then leaned over Puma and said, "I don't know what your old lady's been telling you at home, but size does matter."
-West and Tenay discussed the tie score in the World X Cup. Tenay said Nash proved nothing by beating up Puma after Puma had been in the ring for 20 minutes and was tired and defenseless.
-Borash interviewed Samoa Joe backstage. Borash asked if rumors were true that he and Sting weren't getting along. Joe talked in his signature low-key, supremely confident style. He said he doesn't need to be pals with Sting to kick some ass. He said, "Scott, you've made quite a reputation for yourself. It's a shame tonight I'll be making mine killing yours."
-A video recap aired of the "Deal or No Deal" segments.
7 -- SAMOA JOE & STING vs. JEFF JARRETT (w/Gail Kim) & SCOTT STEINER
During Joe's ring entrance, Tenay said Sabin would face Petey in the tie-breaker for the World X Cup tournament on Impact this Thursday. As soon as Sting walked into the ring, the crowd loudly chanted "Joe, Joe, Joe." Given the difference in pay between those two, the fans should have chanting "Sting, Sting, Sting." It's great to see Joe in the ring with TNA's "big boys" from the Monday Night War era. This is how the virtual relics hired for their star power should be utilized - to give whatever rub they have left to guys like Joe who fans are itching to get behind as a top act in a main event position. It began with Jarrett vs. Sting. Sting punched away at Jarrett, then rammed his head into the mat several times. Jarrett bailed out to ringside. Steiner tagged in and kneelifted and chopped Sting. Sting caught a charging Steiner with a boot to the face. Sting used a drop-toe hold to send Jarrett face-first into Steiner's chest. Sting then took both down with a flying clothesline off the top rope. The crowd kept chanting "Joe, Joe, Joe." Sting then tagged in Joe. Joe and Steiner circled each other. Joe and Steiner stood face-to-face. As Steiner flexed, Joe pie-faced him. Steiner kicked Joe in the gut, then chopped him in the corner. Joe came back with a rapid-fire barrage of punches and chops. Steiner came back with an overhead belly-to-belly suplexed. Tenay said it's not often Joe gets tossed that easily and powerfully. West said Joe may have been rattled. Steiner chopped Joe. Joe fired back with a barrage of uppercuts. Steiner reversed Joe into the ropes and took Joe down with a clothesline. He dropped an elbow and arrogantly made the cover for a two count. After Joe kicked out, Steiner decided it was a good time to do some push-ups. Joe stood up and nailed Steiner with an enzuigiri. He followed with two hard side elbows to the face. Jarrett kneed Joe as he bounced into the ropes, giving Steiner the advantage. Steiner threw Joe to ringside. Jarrett kicked Joe at ringside. Sting ran to Joe's aid. Back in the ring, Steiner scored a short two count. Steiner tagged in Jarrett, who hit Joe with a dropkick. Jarrett gloated and strutted. Joe caught Jarrett as he flew towards him and slammed him tot he mat. He hot-tagged Sting, who got little if any pop. He clotheslined Steiner and Jarrett. Steiner broke up Sting's pin attempt. Jarrett didn't bother to lift his shoulder after the interference from Steiner. Sting put the Scorpion Deathlock on Steiner. Jarrett kicked Sting to break the hold as the ref chatted with Joe for no apparent reason at 8:00. Jarrett held Sting on the mat with a front facelock for a minute. Sting stood up and elbowed out of it. Sting then tagged in Joe. The ref didn't see the tag, though, because he was distracted by Steiner. Sting knocked Steiner to the mat, then fell head-first onto his crotch. Sting slowly rolled toward his corner and tagged Joe just after Steiner tagged in Jarrett. Jarrett begged off. Joe fired away with hard chops and a flying knee off the ropes. Then he hit his snap slam off the ropes. Steiner entered the ring. Joe reverse atomic dropped him, then dropkicked and sentoned him. Joe then mocked Steiner's pose and gave him the finger. Jarrett and Steiner tried to double-team Joe, but Joe ducked and clotheslined both. Sting whipped Joe into Steiner and hit him with a high knee. Sting then gave Jarrett the Stinger splash. Sting then slingshot himself over the top rope toward Steiner, but missed pretty badly and barely grazed Steiner. Joe then powerslammed Jarrett to the mat for a near fall. Gail Kim put Jarrett's left leg on the bottom rope to break up the count. Jarrett low-blowed Joe and then gave him The Stroke. Jarrett signalled it was over, but Joe kicked out. Sting whipped Steiner into the ringside railing. In the ring, Jarrett lifted Joe onto the top rope for a top rope Stroke. Joe, though, escaped and hit Jarrett with a high enzuigiri. He then gave Jarrett the Musclebuster off the top rope for the pin. After the match, Sting offered Joe a handshake. Joe at first shook his head and turned his back. He paused, and then shook hands.
WINNER: Joe in 14:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- This was a fun, stiff match, and it was booked really wisely. Joe was the star of the match from the second Sting walked into the ring and the fans were chanting for Joe. The match was booked to play to Joe's strengths. Having him score the decisive pin on Jarrett was absolutely the right move at this time. Jarrett and, more surprisingly, Steiner did business the right way, doing what was needed to let Joe shine. It felt like 2006 for the first time in TNA in a long time.
-Afterward, They showed Steiner hitting Sting from behind with a chair as Joe headed to the back. The announcers wondered if Joe could hear what was going on. Joe at first seemed to be ignoring it. Jarrett grabbed his guitar and bashed Sting over the head with it. Joe then threw his towel off his shoulder and turned around. The crowd sang, "Joe's gonna kill you, Joe's gonna kill you." Joe, though, then turned and walked to the back. Steiner then put Sting in the Steiner Recliner as Jarrett stomped away at him. A crowd of babyfaces ran out to make the save.
-A video aired previewing the Christian-Abyss match.
-Borash interviewed Christian backstage, asking him if he feels like a champion after not having possession of the match for the past several weeks. Christian said to ask his peeps. There was a small crowd pop in the background. He called James Mitchell "Elvira with a sex change." We're back in 1995 again, and it's Christian of all people taking us back there. Regarding Abyss carrying around his belt, Christian said, "Abyss, it doesn't make you a champion because you carry around a championship belt. Ask Jeff Jarrett. He did for four years." The crowd "ohhed!" Christian defensively said, "And they said I didn't have any humor left." He said this match is his match: "Tables, ladders, and chairs, and throw in chains for all I care." He ended with his catch phrase, which has been reduced to "That's..." because the fans always finish it with "...how I roll." That's a very short catch-phrase, but it works.
8 -- CHRISTIAN vs. ABYSS -- NWA World Hvt. Title match
Borash introduced Earl Hebner as the ref (and in the process proved it's possible to pronounce his last name correctly, rather than Hepner). The belt hung over the ring. Christian speared Abyss early. Abyss went for an early Shock Treatment, but Christian escaped. When Abyss grabbed a ladder at ringside, Christian slidekicked it into him. Christian used the middle rope as the fulcrum and snapped the ladder up into Abyss's chin. They brawled into the crowd, which smartly was reserved only for this match, so the crowd wasn't completely numb to it. At 7:00 Christian attempted to back suplex Abyss onto the ladder leaning in the corner. Abyss escaped and then tossed Christian overhead onto the ladder. The match died as Abyss took way too long methodically getting a table from ringside, sliding it into the ring, and setting it up. Yawn. The crowd was dead silent. Abyss set up Christian for a powerbomb through the table, but since Christian had 20 minutes to rest since he was tossed into the ladder, Christian punched out of it. Abyss tried to splash Christian on the ladder, but Christian was playing possum and moved. Christian rolled Abyss onto a ladder on the mat, then dove off the top rope. Abyss moved, so Christian landed with a splash on the ladder. Abyss swung a chain at Christian, but Christian ducked. Christian wrapped the chain around Abyss's neck. He climbed onto the second rope to get in better position to yank on Abyss's neck. Mitchell hit Christian's ankle with his cane. Abyss then yanked Christian who flipped through a table on the floor. Abyss then set up a ladder in mid-ring. Christian returned to the ring and nailed Abyss with a chairshot. The ladder tipped over and Christian almost crotched the top rope, but he ended up tipping over onto the ring apron. Mitchell brought the bag of thumb tacks into the ring. Christian, meanwhile, recovered enough to hit Abyss with an Unprettier on a ladder. Christian then chokeslammed Mitchell onto the tacks. Mitchell sold it like he was being gutted alive. Christian hit Abyss with a chair to keep him down, then set up the ladder mid-ring. He lifted Abyss onto a table, then climbed the ladder. He reached for the belt, but paused and decided instead to splash Abyss through the table first. He climbed the ladder again and took down the belt to win. The show ended with Christian holding the belt in the air in celebration.
WINNER: Christian in 16:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Nothing we haven't seen before, other than Mitchell getting thumb-tacked. Above-average match, but TNA has done so many table spots month after month, it just doesn't have the same impact.
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