TNA PPVs CALDWELL'S TNA SACRIFICE RESULTS 5/16: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of PPV - RVD vs. Styles, Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
May 16, 2010 - 9:58:48 PM
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TNA Sacrifice PPV Results
May 16, 2010
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
The entire 30-minute pre-show focused on this month's TNA World Title match of Rob Van Dam vs. A.J. Styles. It's amazing how the same company that produced the horrendous, messy, convoluted, non-sensical lead-in show on Impact three days ago produced this amazing 30-minute video documentary on Styles vs. RVD. The issue between RVD and Styles is so simple. Who's the real TNA champion? Who's the face of TNA? Spend money to find out between RVD vs. Styles. It's such a simple story, yet TNA saves the great PPV hype videos for the pre-show that most people have to spend money to actually see before the PPV starts.
PPV live report
The PPV opened with a video package focusing on the noun and verb definitions of the word "sacrifice" interspersed with still shots of TNA wrestlers in action. Wrestlers then voiced-over what they're willing to sacrifice.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay introduced the show and hyped RVD vs. A.J. Styles for the PPV main event tonight looking to find out who the face of TNA is tonight. ... Jeremy Borash is handling ring introductions. Apparently Dave Penzer is gone. The Motor City Machineguns came out first for the opening match. Beer Money then came out as Taz tried to put them over as one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history. Streeetch. Team 3D then came out as the third team in the #1 contender match to begin the PPV tonight.
1 -- MOTOR CITY MACHINEGUNS (ALEX SHELLEY & CHRIS SABIN vs. BEER MONEY (ROBERT ROODE & JAMES STORM) vs. TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON) -- #1 contender match to TNA tag titles
Shelley and Roode started things off and Shelley held the early advantage before Roode nailed a backbreaker. Storm then tagged in and ducked out of the ring when Shelley teased superkick. On the floor, Sabin nailed a dropkick on Storm to catch him anyways. Guns executed some double-team offense on Storm, then took control until Storm landed a thumb to the eye on Sabin. Storm followed with a high knee to the face and Ray tagged himself into the match. Ray stalked Sabin, who pointed to his palm for Detroit, and Ray smashed him in the face to begin working over Sabin. Ray then booted Sabin in the face after an exchange before tagging in Devon, who helped Ray land a combo clothesline and sidewalk slam.
Team 3D continued to work on Sabin throughout the first part of the match, but Ray missed with a cannonball splash off the second rope. Sabin got the tag to Shelley, who tried to clean house on Team 3D. They didn't give him much, so Shelley went up top for a splash, but they caught him in mid-air until Sabin hit a springboard missile dropkick. 3D accidentally splashed each other, then the Guns nailed a collection of high-flying offense to ground 3D. Sabin then flew threw Shelley's legs onto Beer Money ringside that popped the crowd. Shelley then dropped Ray in the corner and went up top, but missed with a top rope move. Roode then blind-tagged in for Ray and stomped on Shelley before going to work on him targeting the neck and back.
Beer Money continued to work on Shelley as they approached the 10:00 mark of the match. Meanwhile, ref Slick Johnson annoyingly kept walking around the ring adjusting his earpiece and whispering cues to the other wrestlers while trying to cover his mouth with his wrist. Not very subtle. Sabin eventually got a hot tag at 10:35 and snapped off a huracanrana on Roode before splashing Storm on the floor. Sabin then hit a springboard Tornado DDT on Roode and the Devon broke up a pin attempt. The match totally broke down as the crowd became quiet watching the proceedings. Team 3D set up the Doomsday Device on Roode and connected to little heat. Sabin then flew into the ring with a springboard splash on Ray for a two count. After a pause, Storm snuck in the back door and sprayed beer in Ray's face. The Guns then double superkicked Roode in the corner. With Roode gone, Ray was stunned and caught in the corner to take a double hangmen's neckbreaker from the Guns. The Guns then made the cover for the win and they're the new #1 contenders.
WINNERS: Guns at 13:13. Good, fundamentally-sound start to the match, then things fell apart for a minute at the end when the action was over-booked and the crowd lost interest. Ray took the fall to show he can "do a job," but it needed to be tainted via the beer to the face so it didn't have to be a clean loss. (**)
Announcers: Tenay and Taz broke down the "false accusations" against Abyss levied by Desmond Wolfe and Chelsea. Taz said Abyss is here tonight after being released by the police on Thursday. Tenay then brought up some "rumors" of Wolfe and Chelsea filing false police reports on Thursday and they'll continue to monitor that.
Impact Zone: Orlando Jordan came to the ring from the ceiling for the first title match of the night. Rob Terry then stomped to the ring to defend the Global Title. Terry jumped Orlando as soon he hit the ring to start the action.
2 -- Global champion ROB TERRY vs. ORLANDO JORDAN -- Global Title match
Newer TNA viewers are probably drawing the conclusion that titles don't mean much in TNA if a guy with the terrible wrestling skills like Rob Terry can hold a title in TNA. Terry over-powered Jordan here, then he clotheslined Jordan to the entranceramp and started to crawl away. Terry caught up to him and chucked Jordan back into the ring. They were getting sympathy on Jordan here despite him being the heel. Terry then hit a powerslam and tried to make a cover, but he couldn't even execute a pin attempt. Jordan then begged off and caught Terry in the ropes to kick him in the hamstring. He then kinda dropped Terry on the mat and Terry kinda fell down. It was bad. Terry sold a left knee injury and Jordan went to work on the knee. Jordan wrapped Terry's leg around the ringpost before continuing to work him over with multiple submission holds.
The crowd was dead as Jordan did some sort of "O-J" taunt before dropping an awkward elbow. He then made an odd-looking pin attempt for a nearfall. Taz: "It was kind of like a full mount...but different." Some members of the crowd chanted, "End this match," before Jordan went up top and airballed a knee drop as Terry rolled out of the way. Terry then slowly pulled himself to his feet and hit a chokeslam center ring. He made the pin for the win in classic "babyface Batista comeback" form. Post-match: Terry hobbled out of the ring and Jordan jumped him behind with a chopblock. Jordan left Terry KO'ed on the entranceramp to close the bit.
WINNER: Terry at 7:46 to retain the Global Title. I feel bad for Rob Terry. I really do. He's a terrible wrestler and is nowhere close to being ready for the spot TNA has given him, but it seems like he's trying. It's TNA management pushing the wrong people for whatever political or incompetent reasons are used to justify the push. (DUD)
Backstage: Team 3D was on a bench complaining about the beer to the face. Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore then walked in to take up space. Ray said there will be more #1 contender matches to come. Devon wished them good luck in their tag title match tonight. Ray said they have bad blood with The Band, so they'll probably try to take it out on them tonight. They walked off and Ray complained to Devon about Jesse Neal saying he's going to take care of things for them. Devon tried to get him to relax.
Impact Zone: Doug Williams came out with the X Title despite being the challenger after he was stripped of the title last month. Kazarian then came out as Taz repeated his belief that Williams was screwed out of the title because he was "stuck in a volcano." Tenay laughed, then gave the line about TNA wanting to have an X Division Title match as advertised.
3 -- X Division champion KAZARIAN vs. DOUG WILLIAMS -- X Division Title match
Nice, slow start to the next title match with a basic feeling-out process between Williams and Kaz. Williams settled into a side headlock before Kaz came back with an arm-drag into an armbar. Tenay started telling Kazarian stories, which prompted Tenay and Taz to start arguing back and forth with each other and referencing a top star in another promotion (Rey Mysterio). After four minutes of solid, fundamentally-sound chain wrestling, Kazarian knocked Williams to the outside. Williams tried to sneak back in, but Kaz caught him with a springboard bulldog into a roll-up for a two count. Kaz then settled into another arm bar before trapping Williams's arms to the mat. Williams bridged out and pushed Kaz back to the mat before trapping Kaz in a neck-tie. He applied a modified surfboard stretch, but Kaz countered into a neck-tie submission of his own. Kazarian was countering hold for hold here. He then lost control when Williams knocked Kaz to the outside and rammed him head-first into the side of the stage.
Kaz regrouped on the floor and tried to re-enter the ring, but Williams kicked him back to the floor. Williams went to work on Kazarian before bringing him back into the ring to settle into a front headlock. Kaz escaped, then knocked Williams to the outside and hit a plancha on the floor. Back in the ring, Kaz hit a springboard dropkick and came to his feet for a flurry of offense. Kazarian nailed clotheslines and a spin kick before hitting a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Williams suddenly came out of nowhere with a German Suplex attempt for his finisher, but Kaz blocked with a roll up for a two count. Kazarian then hit a springboard slingshot DDT for a two count as the camera picked up a great shot of the X Title belt in the corner to show what's on the line as Kaz tried to score a pin.
At 11:00, Williams charged Kaz in the corner with a knee smash. He teased going up top, but he's channeling Bill Watts, so he walked back into the ring and went for offense. Kaz countered, though, and hit a flying elbow smash. Williams then came back with a powerbomb into the turnbuckle, which looked very dangerous with Kaz's head hitting awkwardly. Williams then picked up Kazarian and hit a brainbuster across his knee - focusing on the neck - to score a nearfall. Kaz suddenly had that adrenaline rush and hit the Wave of the Future out of the corner for a two count. The crowd was quiet as the wrestlers reset. Williams blocked an electric chair out of the corner, then countered into the Chaos Theory rolling German Suplex with a bridge for the pin and the win. Williams is X Division champion again.
WINNER: Williams at 13:51 to capture the X Division Title. Good, solid wrestling match. The focus on Kazarian's neck at the end was uncomfortable considering the research on head trauma, but it fit the story of the match with Williams trying to set up his rolling German Suplex that targets the neck. The crowd was taken out of this PPV early on, so they weren't very responsive to the action here, but it was a nice change-of-pace match. (***)
Backstage: The camera "snuck up" on Chelsea complaining to Desmond Wolfe that she didn't want to go along with the plan on Impact. They argued about her services being on the line vs. Abyss tonight and Wolfe tried to calm her down by saying she's going to get that ring she wanted. Chelsea said she doesn't want the ring anymore; so call it off. Wolfe said it's not all about her and a win vs. Abyss tonight will help him become a top guy in the Championship Rankings. She over-acted about the situation, then Wolfe tried to put a bow on this that "it's about us; you are mine."
4 -- Knockouts champion MADISON RAYNE (w/Beautiful People) vs. TARA -- Knockouts Title match -- Tara's career on the line
Tara came out first, then the Beautiful People completed their T&A PPV ring entrance before the title match started. Tara worked heel, highlighted by her complaining to the ref about a slow two count. Madison tried to come back with a roll-up, but Tara kicked out and went back on the offensive. There has been an undercurrent of a babyface turn for the Beautiful People, including getting babyface pops on the house shows this weekend, and Tara working heel vs. Madison reinforced that. Tara couldn't score a pin despite hitting multiple power offense moves and a top-rope moonsault. Tara, frustrated, then ate a neckbreaker from Madison, who scored a pinfall for the win. Madison then took the Knockouts Title and left the ring as the crowd popped. Post-match: Tara gathered herself and sold tears as the crowd saluted her. Tara then grabbed her tarantula and showed it off to the crowd with her TNA career done per the storyline. Security even escorted away ala a corporate office firing. She mouthed, "Thank you," to the crowd before they cut away backstage.
WINNER: Madison Rayne at 6:20. Good, basic Knockouts Title match with Tara playing the frustrated, veteran heel against Rayne, who needed a solid win after all the non-sense with the multiple KO Title changes last month. (*1/2)
Backstage: Eric Young was with The Band to talk up the TNA Tag Title situation. Young said Sean Waltman went down, so he took his spot to back up The Band. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were in The Outsiders red and black outfits, then Hall put over Young. Nash said they're doing it Freebirds style with any three of them capable of defending the titles. Young handed them the belts and said he's going to get the beers on ice.
5 -- TNA tag champions THE BAND (KEVIN NASH & SCOTT HALL) vs. INK, INC. (JESSE NEAL & SHANNON MOORE) -- TNA Tag Title match
Moore and Hall started things off and Moore slapped Hall across the face. Hall sold a bad taste in his mouth, then tried to lock up with Moore, who took control again. Hall then whipped Moore into the corner before clumsily running into the corner to take a knee to the gut. Hall kinda fell down after taking a spin kick, then he shoved Moore in the chest. Moore smiled and told him to bring it. Hall brought in Nash, who called for Jesse Neal. Nash blasted Neal with a knee to the gut before putting him in the corner to deliver a series of knee smashes. Nash then put a boot in Neal's throat before Hall cheap-shotted Neal with a clothesline from the ring apron. Neal tried to fight back, but Nash cut him off and tagged in Hall. Hall slapped on an old-school abdominal stretch and went reaching for Nash. For some reason, the director cut to a wideshot of the arena and missed the additional leverage Hall and Nash were looking for. Someone must have acknowledged this mistake, as they focused back on the leverage attempt when the ref caught Hall and Nash on attempt #3.
Moore then took a hot tag and cleaned house on The Band. Moore hit a plancha on the floor on Hall. Back in the ring, ref Slick was squashed in the corner by Nash whipping Neal into the corner. After the ref bump, Neal and Nash had an exchange with Nash giving Neal a lot of offense by taking a right hand and falling to the mat. Suddenly, Eric Young walked out and threw Nash a Kendo Stick. Neal ducked multiple stick shots, then dropped Nash with a spear. Suddenly, Brother Ray showed up and ripped the Kendo Stick away from Young and cracked him over the head. Yes, another head shot courtesy of Ray. Ray then entered the ring and trash-talked Nash before turning around and cracking the Kendo Stick over Neal's head, leaving a giant dent. Young recovered in record time, then dragged the ref over to the action where Nash made a pin attempt on Neal for the win to retain the belts. Afterward, they focused on Ray staring straight ahead with a crazy-eyes look on his face.
WINNERS: The Band at 7:59 to retain the TNA tag titles. As expected, the "bag of tricks" Band PPV match, the "Swerve," and Ray involved in direct blows to the head. TNA is really, really trying to get over one of Ray's students, Jesse Neal, with Nash giving Neal noteworthy offense with the knock-down punch and spear. Moore was the star of this match, as he stood out the best among the players involved. (1/2*)
Video package: They recapped the Abyss vs. Desmond Wolfe issues including Chelsea's accusations against Abyss on Impact. ... Impact Zone: Desmond Wolfe and Chelsea came to the ring first. Tenay said this Thursday on Impact, Abyss will either be presented with Chelsea's services for 30 days or Wolfe will be presented with Abyss's Hulk Hogan Hall of Fame ring. Abyss then jumped Wolfe from behind to jump-start the match. Chelsea tried to leave, but the ref put her in a chair on the entranceramp.
6 -- DESMOND WOLFE vs. ABYSS
After Abyss's initial attack to start the action, Wolfe cut off Abyss on the floor and started working him over. Back in the ring, Wolfe applied a keylock looking to wear down Abyss's left arm. Wolfe then tried multiple knock-down shoulder tackles, but Abyss stayed on his feet and knocked down Wolfe with a shoulder tackle of his own. Wolfe recovered, though, and applied a standing keylock. The crowd actually had a dueling chant of "Let's go Desmond" and "Let's go Abyss," with the pro-Desmond chants the loudest. Let's see, Wolfe just tried to get the top babyface project of Hulk Hogan arrested and sent to jail, yet some of the audience is still cheering for Wolfe. It's a pretty strong indictment of the TNA booking when the top project isn't over and the audience isn't buying the booking. Back to the match, Wolfe couldn't get Abyss off his feet, so he hit a running strike in the corner, which drew a pop. Wolfe then tried a running lariat, but Abyss elbowed him to the ropes and then hit a chokeslam.
Suddenly, Chelsea stormed the ring and threw Wolfe a gimmick. Abyss grabbed her around the neck, but the ref pulled Abyss away before he could strike. Wolfe then dropped Abyss with brass knucks, but Abyss kicked out at two and did the Hulk Up. Abyss did the whole routine before hitting the Black Hole Slam on Wolfe for the pin and the win. Afterward, Abyss did the ear-cup as Chelsea shook her head in disgust having to be with Abyss. Abyss left the ring and got in Chelsea's personal space before spraying, "I'll see you Thursday." Taz, sympathetic to the woman who "falsely accused" Abyss of assault but was head-scratchingly booked to be a sympathetic figure, said it's a bad situation for Chelsea.
WINNER: Abyss at 9:00. A complete mess. The audience sure isn't buying the booking, which has managed to apparently inadvertently turn Chelsea into a babyface before Abyss - the top Hulk Hogan babyface project - gets to use her services for 30 days. Wha? It will be interesting to see how TNA pulls off the "Chelsea with Abyss" gimmick over the next four weeks leading to Slammiversary. (*)
Backstage: Christy Hemme brought in Mr. Anderson, who took a house mic and mocked the Jeff Hardy fans. He said Hardy's fans, with their "gimmicks on their arms" and "panties and on their heads," are not who he wants to associate with. Anderson said it's a good thing he's not a "Create of the Night" because he's an "a-----." The males in the Impact Zone popped. (Kurt Angle was right they can't keep Anderson heel much longer since he's so over.) Anderson called his people the "Anderson Assholes," which drew a pop from the males again. Anderson finished off his promo, then walked off. Christy tried to wrap it up, but Anderson comically jumped back into the shot and did an annoying voice right in Hemme's ear. He then walked off and Hemme hurriedly ended the bit. They kept Christy's mic on too long and she was heard laughing in the background as they went back to the Impact Zone.
7 -- MR. ANDERSON vs. JEFF HARDY
Jeff Hardy came out first, then Anderson came out sporting taped ribs. Hardy jumped Anderson before the match and the fight was on. The defiant male fans chanted, "I'm an a------" as the match started. Hardy tackled Anderson out of the corner and landed clubbing strikes, which drew a pop from the kids and women in the crowd. Anderson then made a comeback and the males chanted, "Let's go a------" as Anderson worked over Hardy. Anderson focused his attack on Hardy's back before settling into a seated abdominal stretch. Hardy broke free, then Anderson dropped an elbow for a two count. At this point, a dueling chant of "Let's go Hardy" and "Let's go A------" broke out. Hardy tried to make a comeback, but Anderson crotched Hardy and split the uprights across the top rope. Taz proceeded to describe Hardy's traits, including that he's "nutty." Em, yes.
Anderson mocked Hardy's crotchal plight, then Hardy back-dropped Anderson onto the entranceramp. Hardy followed by placing a chair on the ramp and he ran off the chair into a slingshot leg drop sending Anderson back into the ring. Hardy made a cover, but Anderson kicked out. Anderson and Hardy then had a standing exchange of right hand blows before Hardy took control and nailed a neckbreaker for a two count. Anderson then came back with a rolling Samoan Drop for a two count. He wanted the Mic Check, but Hardy blocked. Anderson then blocked a move off the ropes and hit the Mic Check. Hardy was close to the ropes and kinda jumped to the ropes to kick out of a pin attempt.
Hardy came back with a front suplex before going up top. He teased the Swanton Bomb, but opted to jump down to the mat and kick Anderson in the gut. Hardy then hit the Twist of Fate center ring and took off his t-shirt. He went to the other corner, but Anderson crotched him. That was a quick recovery from one of Hardy's finishing moves. Anderson then tried a top rope rolling Samoan Drop, but Hardy elbowed out and they both fell to the mat. Anderson fell to the mat stomach-first, so Hardy went up top and hit the Swanton Bomb to Anderson's back. Hardy rolled Anderson over and made the pin for the win.
Post-match: Hardy celebrated the win, then Anderson spun him around and stood his ground with his fist clenched. Anderson grimaced, then slowly uncoiled his hand into an offer for a handshake. Hardy just backed away and declined the handshake. Anderson never moved and kept his hand extended as Hardy slowly backed away to the entranceramp and started walking away. Interesting development.
WINNER: Hardy at 13:58. The chemistry wasn't great, but the match was good. They were a little off at the end, but recovered for a decent finish. This wasn't close to Anderson's match vs. Kurt Angle last month, but that match was on a completely different level. As evidenced by the "buts" in this review, it was one of those matches where it was good and fit the spot, but not particularly memorable. (**3/4)
Backstage: Christy Hemme was in the challenger's locker room. Ric Flair deferred the mic time to A.J. Styles, who said it's dark times here in TNA. He said it's because RVD is the champ and he needs to get the TNA Title back. He vowed to make the previous run a blip on the radar compared to his next run.
Video package: They recapped the Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett program leading to the semi-main event. Back in the Impact Zone, Jarrett's music hit, but there was no sign of Jarrett. They cut backstage where Sting was taking it to Jarrett and Jarrett was bleeding from the forehead. It is that time of the month. Sting then put Jarrett on the ground and tried to rip Jarrett's shoulder from the socket using the baseball bat. Jarrett sold pain from the move as the brawl moved down a dark hallway toward the Impact Zone. They brawled to the announcer's table where Sting put Jarrett's bloody forehead into Tenay's format sheet. Sting dragged Jarrett down to ringside and sent him shoulder-first into the guardrail. Sting then removed the ring steps and placed Jarrett's shoulder inside the ring steps before stomping his baseball bat into Jarrett's shoulder. Sting then flung Jarrett back into the ring and the bell sounded to officially start this.
8 -- STING vs. JEFF JARRETT
Sting picked up Jarrett and hit the Scorpion Death drop center ring. Sting then made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Sting at 0:12. Amazingly, Sting didn't have to take off his jacket or his t-shirt to get a semi-main event victory. (n/a)
Post-match: Sting picked up his bat and paced around Jarrett, who was KO'ed. Sting grabbed a mic, then leaned down next to Jarrett and asked him if he really wants to play the deception game. He said Jarrett is "no different than those guys." Sting said they're going to pay like Jeff did. He dropped the mic as medics stormed the ring to check on Jarrett. Sting kept pacing as Tenay referenced Jeff's three young daughters watching at home. A medic tried to "pop the shoulder back into place" as Jarrett screamed and shouted out in pain. He was placed on a backbrace as Sting slowly left the ring after watching this unfold. Sting turned around on the ramp and watched as Jarrett was put on a stretcher. Sting then walked over to the stretcher and dumped Jarrett to the ground, which drew a pop from some of the defiant fans ringside.
Hulk Hogan showed up ten minutes late and backed Sting into the ring. Sting twirled his bat as security held back Hogan, who checked on Jarrett. Hogan then escorted Jarrett away on the stretcher as Sting left the ring and took off. They cut back to the announcers for an on-camera to sell the angle. Tenay did his unintentionally comedic "this is so serious and I'm going to contemplate the matters of the world" facial expression. Tenay and Taz then broke down a replay of the match angle as they tried to "find the words" to describe what happened. Taz said Sting needs to be held accountable. Tenay said, "none of it makes sense" in reference to Sting's unexplained heel turn.
Backstage: Hemme, giggling, brought in Rob Van Dam for a TNA World Title match promo. RVD said he expected Styles to complain about him winning the title, but more people are going to tune in to watch TNA now that he's the champ. He said Styles will get his kick-back, but it will be people tuning in to watch RVD beat Styles. ... After the promo, TNA rolled a brief version of the pre-show hype video focused on RVD vs. Styles.
Backstage: They showed A.J. Styles walking down a back hallway with Ric Flair behind him. Styles then came out to the Impact Zone with Flair applauding him. Styles demanded the ropes be opened for him and ref Earl Hebner obliged. Styles stared straight ahead into the hard camera before playing to the crowd. They cut backstage to show RVD walking down the hall with the TNA Title belt over his shoulder. RVD accidentally smashed a light fixture hanging overhead, then he chuckled and kept on walking. Back in the Impact Zone, RVD came out to a big pop as he surveyed the audience. Jeremy Borash then handled the formal ring intros. The crowd "woohed" during A.J.'s intro as Flair stood behind him. Styles was mainly booed, then RVD was cheered. The fans chanted, "R-V-D" before he handed over the title belt to Hebner to officially begin the main event 26 minutes into the final hour of the PPV.
9 -- TNA World Hvt. champion ROB VAN DAM vs. A.J. STYLES -- TNA World Hvt. Title match
RVD and Styles teased locking up in the first minute before RVD got crowd cheers with Styles doing some complaining. They teased another lock-up before RVD stood upright and got in Styles's face. They talked trash before a brief grapple exchange that led to a stand-off. The crowd popped, then Flair strutted ringside and RVD mocked him. They locked up and went to the corner where Styles grabbed RVD's hair. Hebner reprimanded Styles, then RVD and Styles went nose-to-nose talking more trash. Styles talked a big game, then RVD did the thumbs-to-shoulder for "R-V-D." Styles tried to interrupt, but RVD knocked him to the floor. Styles then yanked RVD to the floor and the battled around ringside. Styles attempted a back-flip splash off the entrance ramp, but RVD ducked and hit a back-flip splash on Styles to show him up.
RVD re-entered the ring and posed before Flair started nipping at his heels from the outside. Ref Hebner then gave Flair the boot and Flair started flipping out. Flair flopped on the outside after Hebner touched him, then Hebner got the babyface heat getting in Flair's face screaming at him to get lost. Flair eventually ran off from ringside and joined Taz and Tenay at the announce table to commentate on the match. That would be awesome if a baseball manager was tossed from the game, then joined the announcers to commentate on the rest of the match. In the confusion ringside with Hebner, Flair, and Styles, RVD was caught looking elsewhere and Styles dropped him with a clothesline on the floor.
Back in the ring, Styles held control until RVD made a comeback with Flair talking him up on commentary. Meanwhile, Dixie Carter Tweeted: "Ric Flair just sent backstage." Um. Moments later, Flair said on commentary, "I'm going to have to take Dixie Carter back to that hotel suite." Taz and Tenay paused. "Mike," Taz said dryly to avoid comment and send it back to Tenay. Back in the ring, Styles worked over RVD's neck and back region. Styles then hit a Tornado DDT out of the corner for a two count and argued with Hebner on a perceived slow count. RVD teased a comeback, but Styles landed a flying dropkick that sent RVD into a pretzel position. Back and forth they went until RVD monkey-flipped Styles out of the corner. "Jesus," Flair said on commentary.
RVD went for the Five-Star Frogsplash, but Styles moved and RVD ate the mat. Styles followed with a springboard flying fist smash for a two count. Flair jumped out of his seat and yelled at Hebner. "C'mon, Hebner! I'm tired of this crap!" Taz, with great timing, quietly agreed with Flair. Back in the ring, Styles hit the Pele kick for a two count. Taz called it a "reverse gimmick kick." Both men recovered on the mat and tried to catch their breath as Styles suddenly tried a roll-up for a two count. Flair talked up everyone backstage watching this match to sell the importance of the bout. RVD then put Styles on the top rope and sprung up top for a leaping kick that sent Styles to the mat. RVD followed with Rolling Thunder, but Styles got his knees up to block. Styles sold a right knee injury as both men slowly came to their feet. Styles put RVD in Torture Rack position and turned it into a spinning seated slam for a two count. The fans chanted "Rob Van Dam" as both men recovered again.
At 20:00, Styles teased the Clash, but RVD blocked. Styles then flipped over RVD into a roll-up for a two count. They had a rolling pin exchange before coming to their feet and landing double knock-down clotheslines. They came to their feet moments later and RVD trapped Styles's legs and dropped him to the mat for a two count. They had another pin exchange as the crowd sat quietly watching the exchanges. Styles then tried a springboard move and RVD had to "get in the way" to catch Styles and allow Styles to hit the back flip reverse DDT. Styles tried to follow with a springboard 450 splash, but RVD moved.
Flair then threw down the headsets and charged down to ringside. Suddenly, some random music played and out came Jay Lethal in a suit. Lethal charged ringside and started brawling with Flair ringside. "There's a championship match going on here!" Taz said. Indeed. Lethal then low-blowed Flair and chopped him. Lethal then slapped on the figure-four on the entrance ramp and the director stayed with this for at least ten seconds AS A TITLE MATCH WAS GOING ON IN THE RING. Unbelievable. The director cut back to the ring where Styles was attempting a top-rope superplex. They kinda had an odd deal where Styles fell down in the ring and RVD landed on the apron. RVD then hopped up top and landed the Five-Star Frogsplash. He "sold the effects" of his finisher, then flew over to Styles to make a cover. This time, he hooked the leg as he scored the three count on Styles for the win. Immediately after the pin, they cut to Lethal on the ramp, who suddenly released the hold on Flair. Apparently he had the figure-four on the whole time the finish was going on.
Post-match: Flair grabbed his hair in anger with Styles losing. They replayed the high points of the match with a healthy one-minute video recapping the main event. Back live, they showed RVD being handed his title belt. Someone held up a "This = Ratings" sign. It's a pay event, bro. They closed with Flair trying to help Styles recover, Tenay plugging the Top 10 Contender's deal on Impact, and RVD getting his hand raised to close the PPV.
WINNER: RVD at 24:46 to retain the TNA World Title. This was booked for viewers with a severe case of ADD. After the initial feeling-out process and lock-ups early in the match, there were tons of "moving parts," including Ric Flair and a ref getting into it, then Flair joining commentary, then a good 10-15 minutes of great back-and-forth, then Flair running to ringside, then Lethal appearing, then Lethal slapping on a figure-four on Flair, then the match finish. It was a TV finish on a pay event. The match unfolded where there never seemed to be a chance of Styles actually winning the match, so there wasn't as much drama behind the action. It was a good PPV main event, but TNA over-booked it. Flair was awesome on commentary at times trying to put over the importance of the match and the title, but he was also a distraction throughout. It was just classic TNA where there was too much happening and viewers really couldn't sink their teeth into the match for a prolonged period of time. (***3/4)
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