Credit – WrestlingObserver.com
By Jeff Hamlin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Big News: Kurt Angle and Sting will meet next week for the TNA World Heavyweight title. Kaz and Christian Cage advanced to the semifinals of the Fight for the Right tournament, while Joe did another unnecessary job.
Kurt Angle was pissed about his loss to Sting. Karen Angle looks more like Stephanie McMahon at 38 every day. Kurt started running down Kevin Nash. Karen thought Kurt was crazy for asking Sting for a rematch because she didn’t think he could beat Sting without Nash interfering. Kurt ordered Karen out of his dressing room. Karen sounded like Talia Shire from Rocky IV telling her husband he couldn’t beat Ivan Drago.
Kurt and Karen came out to the ring where Kurt delivered one of the worst interviews of his career. He said he was an 11-time World Olympic champion. Huh? Kurt brought up the N.W.O. and said it stood for Never Won Zero. Huhhhhhh? Nash came out, and the segment had nowhere to go but up. Nash said he helped Angle because he felt sorry for him. Nash said Angle had one chance to apologize. Kurt refused and said Nash was just riding his coattails. Nash challenged Angle to a fight. Angle threw several punches that Nash no sold, then Nash gave Angle the jackknife to end the segment.
Backstage, Angle was selling his back like he just got shot. Angle wanted to give Nash a peace offering. Jeremy Borash said Nash liked porn, and Kurt ordered Karen to go to the store and get some porn magazines and movies. Karen responded by walking out, with Kurt reminding her to get the magazines.
Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley never got going in the first-round of a Fight for the Right tournament match. Way too early to book this match to begin with. They should save it in about two years when the Guns break up. Well, since Russo’s booking, I guess it’ll be three months. Dueling chants before they even locked up. They opened with lots of chain moves and reversals. Then Brother Ray came out and Dvon jumped the guns from behind. Team 3-D laid them out, complete with Ray whipping both men for costing them their match with The Steiner Brothers. Ray said 3-D was going to destroy about the X-Division. He’s about a year late. Ray said he was going to destroy the X-Division because they can. Guess they felt like stealing Shawn Michaels catchphrase while they could. They power bombed Shelley and Sabin through dual tables. So the hottest act in the company got buried again by 1998 headliners. This created an opening for the Fight for the Right tournament quarterfinal.
Jim Cornette was pissed about his Fight for the Right tournament being disrupted when Christian Cage came in with a ladder offering to fill in a spot in the Fight for the Right tournament. Does Cage just carry the ladder around for fun? Then Samoa Joe came in to claim a spot in the tournament. It ended with a pull-apart.
Disco Inferno, introduced as Glen Gilbretti, reemerged for the first time in years. He talked of making a comeback tonight. Gilbretti said he would make his return tonight against an unknown opponent, which Tenay looked uncertain about. Whole segment seemed designed to promote the movie “The Comebacks.” Boy is a parody of sports films long overdue. And boy does this movie look lame.
2. Awesome Kong defeated Talia Madison. Standard monter heel match. Madison did good facials selling she was overmatched. Kong has good agility and a personality that will get her over. She delivered the old Aja Kong huracan (spinning back fist) and pinned Madison with a Liger Bomb. *
Kevin Nash did an interview. He said the rest of the guys were playing politics and back stabbing while he was content with playing comic relief for the past year. When Karen walked in on Nash, he said he didn’t have any singles on him. Karen tried to smooth things over, but Nash blew her off.
They previewed a Christian Cage Best Of tape where Cage brought up Adam Copeland (using that name).
Chris Harris teased a heel turn by getting upset with Rhino for showing up late to an interview. Guess Rhino’s run out of people to feud with.
3. James Storm and Robert Roode defeated Chris Harris and Rhino. Storm played chickenshit heel tagging out before locking up with Rhino. Harris vs. Storm still gets good heat from the crowd. Harris got the hanging vertical suplex on Roode. They built the heat on Rhino after Roode whipped him hard against the corner. Rhino got a belly to belly suplex and went for the gore, but Storm hit a superkick after Roode distracted him. Storm and Roode worked well as a team, as Roode got the rolling neck snap with Storm hit a kneedrop. Rhino made the comeback with a flap jack and made the hot tag to Harris. Harris hit a spinebuster on Storm and a clothesline on Roode for a two count. Harris threw Storm out of the ring, but Roode went for the payoff, and Harris slipped out the backdoor and went for the catatonic, but Roode escaped. Harris hit a rolling reverse cradle and had Roode pinned, but Storm distracted the referee. Rhino tried to get at Storm, which only distracted Earl Hebner further. Then Storm kicked Harris, allowing Roode to get the pin with a payoff. Harris got mad at Rhino afterward. **1/4
Kaz did a bland babyface interview about being in the Fight for the Right tournament.
Jim Cornette and Mike Tenay came out to present the championship belts to the winners from Sunday. Black Machismo came out, even though he was already the X-Division champion. Cornette congratulated him, then Machismo left. Weird. Gail Kim came out to accept the Knockout’s title, and seemed choked up legit. Cornette put her over like hell. Crowd was really hot for her. A.J. Styles and Tomko came out to accept the tag team belts. Christian Cage came out with them. Tomko did an interview like a total face. Styles had a long list of people to thank, including Ivan Drago and Pokemon Diamonds. I guess Russo saw the Rocky marathon on Spike TV three weeks ago. Then Cage butted in and demanded a spot in the Fight for the Right tournament. Cornette said Cage would face Joe for the final spot in the tournament. Then Sting came out to accept the World Heavyweight Title. Crowd chanted “You still got it” at Sting. Sting granted Kurt Angle’s challenge for tonight. Cornette’s mic work was excellent in the segment, and this helped in making the belts feel like something important again. Granted, it couldn’t sew up the damage done with Joe and Angle fighting for all the belts this past summer, or the hotshot title switch straight ahead, but it helped. Unfortunately, they couldn’t leave well enough alone as Kurt Angle came out in a wheelchair. He had a doctor’s note saying he couldn’t compete tonight because of Nash’s jackknife. Sting wanted to know if Angle’s mother signed the doctor’s note, which seemed like a dig at Buff Bagwell. The match was moved to next week.
Backstage, Angle was out of his wheelchair worried about what Sting would do to him next week. He vowed to attempt to make things right with Nash. By this point, I was sick of the Angles.
4. Kaz defeated Lance Hoyt. As if we don’t have enough women teasing dissension with their boy toys, Christy Hemme was still arguing with Lance Hoyt. Throughout the show, Mike Tenay did the Gene Okerland text promo teasing that TNA was negotiating with several free agent superstars. Kaz tried a rolling reverse cradle, slipped through Hoyt’s legs, backflipped over from outside the ring and hit a nice spin kick. He got a drop kick for a two count. Kaz got the spinning neckbreaker for a two count before Jimmy Rave pulled him off. Then Rave and Hemme started arguing, heaven knows over what. Hoyt and Hemme argued in the ring, Kaz charged at Hoyt, only to have Hemme fall in his arms. He teased kissing her, but dodged Hoyt’s big boot, and Hoyt stepped on Hemme instead. Kaz pinned him with a drop kick. Hoyt and Hemme argued some more afterwards. *
Crazy Legs Connie from Major League Eating did an interview promoting the show coming up next. He looked like Gallagher with dreadlocks. Okay, dated reference there. Junior Fatu walked in for a promo saying he was a member of the new bread of TNA. Well, compared to Bob Backland and Kip James he is.
Karen was wheeling Kurt around in a wheelchair arguing who should ask Black Reign where Nash was. When Karen asked him, Reign just licked his rat while everyone ran away, leaving Kurt alone in the wheelchair.
5. Abyss defeated Disco Inferno. They played it up like Inferno didn’t know he was facing Abyss. Just a squash, as Abyss didn’t sell a thing, not that he should have. Shock treatment and black hole slam for the quick pin. Then Black Reign did a run in and attacked Abyss, who made his own comeback with a choke slam. James Mitchell ran in and leveled Abyss, who naturally no sold it. Then Reign hit him with the spiked hammer and pulled out handcuffs. Mitchell handcuffed Abyss arms around the corner, while Reign pulled out Misty the Rat and held it up to Abyss face. Abyss looked scared. Then they put the rat in the bag and put the hood over Abyss head. No heat, and it sounded like there was a chant going on that was edited out. 17 years ago, Terry Funk damn near caused a riot by wrapping a plastic bag around Ric Flair’s head. It drew big time. Somehow I don’t think this will have the same impact. Worst segment of the show by far, which is a running pattern for Reign. DUD
Angle found Nash’s car backstage, who just drove away. Kurt offered him porn to come back to no avail.
6. Samoa Joe defeated Cage. Both men appeared beat up from the PPV match. Joe brought back the ole, ole kick in the ring. He went for the senton, but Cage got the knees up. Cage went for the unprettier, but Joe elbowed out. Cage still hit the reverse DDT for a two count. Joe looked winded minutes into the match, but still hit the enzuigiri. Cage went to the floor, and Joe went for the tope, but Cage went back in the ring. Cage went for a tope of his own, but Joe met him with a kick. Joe tried to suplex Cage out of the ring, but Cage caught himself and gave him the reverse DDT on the apron. Cage jumped off the second rope outside the ring for a clothesline. This was the only match on the show interrupted by a commercial, and really it was impossible to avoid it. Cage got a hangman’s neckbreaker. Joe caught a rear naked choke, but Cage reversed it into a jawbreaker. Really, Joe had him in a standard sleeperhold, but It’s a UFC world now. Cage hit an elbow off the second rope for a two count. Joe turned the tables with a power bomb. Cage went for a shoulder block, but Joe countered it with an ace crusher. Joe got the discus forearm and mowed him down with a hard clothesline for a two count. Cage went for the unprettier, but Joe reversed it with hard kicks chops and a kneedrop for another near fall. Crowd was hot. Joe went for the sunset flip, then turned it into a Toyota roll for another two count. Joe went for the musclebuster, but Cage kicked him away. Both men ended up on the top rope, where Cage threw him off and hit a frog splash for a great near fall. Cage decked the referee then Joe hit the musclebuster for the pin but no ref. Styles ran ion to get thrown out, but Tomko jumped Joe from behind. Joe kicked Tomko low and clotheslined him out of the ring. Then Matt Morgan ran out and brawled with Tomko. Cage brought a chair into the ring, but Joe kicked it in his face. Joe put the Kokina Clutch on Cage, but Roode ran in to hit Joe in the back with a chair, allowing Cage to get the pin. Good match, but no way Joe should be doing jobs when he was just starting to gain back momentum. ***