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CALDWELL'S DESTINATION X REPORT 3/11: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV

Mar 11, 2007 - 9:58:00 PM

By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist

March 11, 2007
Orlando, Florida
By: James Caldwell, Torch columnist


We start with the black and blue carpet outside of the building with Jeremy Borash and Leticia. A limo pulled up and Eric "Lloyd Christmas" Young popped out as the chauffer. He then welcomed Bobby Roode and Ms. Brooks before taking the limo to the parking out.

Back in the arena, Don West, wearing headsets that an airplane flight lander would wear on the tarmac, broke down the card with Mike Tenay.

Borash plugged Joe-Christian and the text messaging service. He then talked about a package personally delivered to Christian. Let's hope Eric Bischoff's name isn't on the return address. Christian stepped out of his vehicle, then Leticia handed the package to him. Christian pulled out the letter from Tomko, who's in Japan on business for two weeks. He said he would return to his side when Christian gives him his title shot. Christian then screamed at everyone.

A casket was brought to the arena and security guards hauled it into the building. We then saw a video package on Sting vs. Abyss.

Live in the arena, Robert Roode Inc. came to the ring. Roode made Young get on hands and knees so he could walk on his back into the ring, ala The Embassy and Jade Chung. Roode then cut a promo about needing some answers from Young about his dissension in the corporate structure. Roode demanded to know who Young's friend is, but he wouldn't tell. Roode then threatened to fire Young, but Young left the ring.

Scott Steiner pulled up outside the building with a couple of hoochies sipping adult beverages. Great Muta then pulled up with Japanese photographers, sporting a traditional mask and long jacket outfit. Boy, I could go for some Starrcade Battlebowl 1990 right about now.

We cut backstage where Johnny Rodz cut a promo on behalf of Team 3D against LAX for their ghetto brawl.

Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe pulled up in the arena. Joe, the #1 Contender to the NWA Title, was dressed for a night of movies and popcorn.

Live in the arena, Jeremy Borash was strapped to the Elevation X structure and he walked across the structure to demonstrate how high up it is.

Don West did the final plugs.

Live Show

We start with a video package recapping the top feuds going into the PPV.

1 -- LAX (HOMICIDE & HERNANDEZ w/Konnan) vs. TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON) -- non-title match

LAX came to the ring first and walked by the Spanish announce table to have a brief stare down with Hector Guerrero. The crowd popped for LAX when they hit the ring. As Team 3D came out, Tenay gave a shout-out to Ernie Ladd. Various weapons were thrown into the ring to start the match, then Ray piefaced Homicide in the corner. LAX took control at 2:00 and Hernandez flew over the top rope with a splash onto Devon. The action spilled to the outside and Ray no-sold several cookie sheet shots to the head from Homicide. Team 3D took control as they fought up and down the grandstands, with Brother Ray landing a chair shot to the head on Homicide. They returned to ringside where LAX smashed Team 3D with several weapon shots. Back in the ring, Hernandez scored a nearfall on Devon following an overhead slam. Ray then caught Hernandez up top with a suplex. Homicide waited for his opportunity, then he hit a top rope snap huracanrana. Ray came back, though, with a trashcan shot and Devon split the uprights with a top rope diving headbutt. Suddenly, the Latino Nation hit the ring when Team 3D called for the tables. After Johnny Rodz came down to miraculously fend off the henchmen, Homicide dropped Rodz with a weapon shot. Latino Nation beat down Rodz, but several black men ran to the ring, creating an ethnic brawl. Don West, trying to keep the show relevant, said all they're missing is Pacman Jones. After the fight moved on, Team 3D hit the 3D on Hernandez, but Machete pulled the ref out of the ring. The random men continued to fight ringside, so Ray wiped out the entire crowd. Back in the ring, Alex Shelley distracted Devon with his camera. He then smashed him in the face and placed Devon on a table. He hit a top rope frog splash, then Homicide made the cover for the win.

WINNERS: LAX in 16:00. Well, if nothing else, it was an entertaining trainwreck with ethnic stereotypes, no wrestling, and a new Mohawk haircut for Shelley. (*3/4)

Jeremy Borash found a very serious Rhino backstage for an interview. He said for the first time ever, he's fearful. He said he's going back to his locker room to focus on winning the Elevation X match. Has TNA actually explained how someone wins this match?

2 -- JAMES STORM & JACKIE MOORE vs. PETEY WILLIAMS & GAIL KIM -- double bullrope match

After everyone was hooked up, Jackie jumped Gail from behind to start the match. They fought to the outside with Gail & Petey taking control. Gail then wrapped Jackie around the ringpost, or what Tenay called the "whipping post", and laid into her with hard chops to the chest. Storm, making a late entry in the Houston Rodeo, roped up Petey by the ankles like a calf and laid into him with hard right hands. Storm then hit a spinning Eye of the Storm and made a cover for a nearfall. He then tried to hit the Canadian Destroyer, but Petey back dropped out of the hold and began whipping Storm. He then hit a Russian Legsweep for a nearfall. The ladies returned to the ring and Gail dropped Jackie with a suplex. Petey then went for a Destroyer, but Jackie gave him a low blow. Storm followed with a superkick for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Storm & Gail in 9:00. Anti-climatic match that the crowd didn't care for. Not good. (3/4*)

Leticia tried to get a word with Scott Steiner, who wanted to get some time with her. She asked whether he should be worried about Kurt Angle tonight. Steiner said he's been thinking about Angle every night for the last five months, and now he gets to prove that he's real, damn real. Christian Cage interrupted and rambled about Tomko being selfish. He said Tomko's always been the weak link while they're like family. Steiner explained something to him that there never was a Steiner & Christian, so he's on his own tonight. Christian then grabbed Leticia and ran off with her.

3 -- AUSTIN STARR vs. SENSHI -- Winner must use chicken wing

Starr jumped Senshi to start the match, but Senshi quickly came back with a flurry of kicks to take control. Backlund came to ringside half-way through the match to get a closer look at the action. With Starr in control, he unsuccessfully applied the Crossface, then began jawing with Backlund. That allowed Starr to roll him up and apply the Crossface for the tap out win. After the match, Backlund approached Starr for a handshake, but Starr shoved Starr into Backlund. He then put Backlund in the Crossface until referees hit the ring to break up the hold.

WINNER: Senshi in 11:00. Basic singles match that no one will remember in two minutes. Too many gimmicks on this PPV and this one had no chance of standing out as being important. (*1/2)

Borash interviewed A.J. Styles backstage to discuss Elevation X. Styles, now with hair on his chest, said Rhino stuck his nose in his business, which has put him in this position tonight. He said Rhino's ego has caused him to get out of his element.

Christy Hemme came to ringside amidst boos to introduce her mystery team. Before she could introduce her team, VKM's music interrupted. B.G. and Kip walked out, then Kip did the talking. He asked how the strip club thing was working out. He said Christy is like the pimple on his ass that just won't go away. Kip, seemingly oblivious to his following statement, said he doesn't know what kind of a man would work for a woman. Well, considering Dixie Carter is president of the company, Kip just contradicted himself. Kip said he wants to introduce Christy to his pet, B-I-N-G-O. He delivered a crotch chop, then Christy told him that he's a little boy and not a real man. Christy then introduced the Heart breakers as her tag team to virtually no reaction.


As the HB's stripped to their trunks, they cut to a crowd shot of a very disgusted woman. Tenay and West discussed oily men and sharing some bling-bling after the show before the fans chanted, "You suck d---" at Thomas. Christy tripped Kip from outside the ring, giving the HB's control. Thomas then went for a splash onto Kip on the outside, but Kip moved, Romeo was late catching his partner, and Thomas crashed to the floor. Terrible spot. Back in the ring, Christy gave Kip a low blow, but she came up holding her arm. Kip then pulled out a giant cup that looked like an optical mouse and shoved it in Christy's face to a reaction. Lance Hoyt then came to ringside and hauled Christy away. The HB's took control on Kip again before Kip avoided a top rope splash from Thomas. He hit an ugly Ace Crusher on Romeo, then crawled over to B.G. to make the tag to no reaction. B.G. then hit the pumphandle slam on Thomas for the win. Afterward, Lance celebrated with the James Gang. Christy then ran into the ring with a whip-like utensil and screamed at the HB's for losing. Kip had a good laugh at Christy's expense.

WINNERS: James Gang in 9:00. No heat on the newcomers and the James Gang was just going through the motions. TNA has successfully trained its audience to only pop for "big spots" like a cup in the face while the "wrestling stuff" is greeted with silence. (1/2*)

Christian and Leticia found Abyss rocking back-and-forth in his personal cage cell. Christian talked about family, then pulled out a picture of himself in replacement of James Mitchell. He dropped it in Abyss's cell, and said that if he does something for Abyss, then Abyss needs to do something for him. Christian said that when Abyss takes care of Sting tonight, he could help him with Samoa Joe. Abyss walked out of his cell and threatened to hit Christian, before turning a punch into a fist smack of recognition. Rehssspect.

5 -- CHRIS SABIN vs. JERRY LYNN -- X Division Title match -- two out of three falls

After a brief mid-ring exchange to start the match, Sabin dipped to the outside and led a chase back into the ring where Sabin took control. Something more interesting was going in the crowd, though, as all the fans turned to watch some action opposite of the hard camera. Even Earl Hebner turned to the audience to watch what was happening. Lynn, using the Ric Flair philosophy, grabbed a headlock until the crowd turned their attention back to the ring. The crowd then popped again when more action broke out in the stands. The fans chanted, "T-N-A" for whatever was happening in the crowd. Tenay said the crowd has been on fire tonight. (Well, more for what's been happening in the crowd.) Lynn then caught Sabin with a spike Tornado DDT out of the corner for pinfall #1.

Lynn 1, Sabin 0 in 6:00.

The action spilled to the outside. Lynn then hit a springboard dive from the apron over the guardrail and crashed into Sabin. Back in the ring, Lynn countered a top rope huracanrana into a sunset flip pin attempt for a nearfall. Sabin then caught Lynn in the corner with a powerbomb and put his feet on the ropes for the pin.

Lynn 1, Sabin 1 in 10:00.

Sabin went for multiple pinfall attempts immediately after the second fall. This is where having a rushed program and no sense of telling a story hurts the quality of a match, as they really could use a 30-60 second break in between falls to hammer home the points from the previous falls. Sabin hit a corner Yakuza kick, then went for the Cradle Shock and connected for a close nearfall. Sabin followed with an attempted cradle piledriver, but Lynn slipped out and hit the Celtic Cross. A man in a Sting mask then jumped on the apron and distracted Lynn. Sabin then hit Cradle Shock for the win.

WINNER: Sabin in 14:00 to retain the X Division Title. Some good spots throughout, but the first fall was meaningless since the crowd was more interested in whatever was happening in the crowd. The last two falls were rushed, and of course, someone had to be distracted at the end of the match because it's a TNA PPV. (*3/4)

After the match, the Sting man entered the ring and hit Angel's Wings on Sabin. We then saw Christopher Daniels take off his mask and reveal a beard and symbolic ink marking over his right eye. He smashed Lynn with the X Title belt, then left the ring. Tenay and West said Daniels was emotionless.

Borash interviewed Jim Cornette in his office. Cornette hyped Lockdown and some more gimmick match announcements. Christy interrupted and said she still has a few surprises up her sleeves. She brushed Cornette with her whip-like device, then left. Cornette said he needs a secretary, then asked if she takes dic...tation. Is a third grader writing this?

6 -- RHINO vs. A.J. STYLES -- Elevation X match

Rhino came out staring up at the structure. Styles then put some baseball gloves on to help him with his grip. Styles talked smack before the match, then he slapped him across the face. Rhino answered by throwing him into the guardrail. Styles found an opening and quickly scaled the structure to reach the top. Rhino had no desire to make a move up the structure, but he eventually climbed up top after almost falling twice. Rhino crouched low as Styles told him to join him in the middle. Eventually, Styles walked over to him and spit in his face. Rhino then mustered enough guts to walk over to him and begin exchanging right hand blows. They each teetered on the structure before Styles slipped inside the steel structure to take a nap and hide. Rhino couldn't find him, but eventually used the crowd to locate Styles. The announcers discussed vertigo, then Tenay said we've all been in this position before. Yes, I climb a 20-foot structure on a daily basis. Styles then went for the Clash, but Rhino back dropped him to the structure. Styles then went for a bag of powder, but Rhino blew it in his face. Styles stumbled around, then took a Gore in the center of the structure. Styles slipped off the structure and grabbed the bottom of the trusses to prevent falling down. Rhino then stomped on his hands until Styles took a flat back bump to lose the match. Medics then hit the ring to put Styles in a neck brace.

WINNER: Rhino in 13:00. Well, it was a unique match, although it wasn't a wrestling match at all. Really good dramatics, but amateurish at times. (**1/4)

We saw a video package on Steiner-Angle, then we returned to see Styles taken out on a gurney. Borash then found Angle backstage for an interview. He said that it would look like a crime scene when he's done with Steiner tonight. Angle reiterated his points about Angle representing honor and Steiner representing greed.

Steiner's music hit and the announcers continued to reinforce the finish of the Elevation X match. Solid piece of announcing right here. They did crowd shots until Steiner came out.

7 -- SCOTT STEINER (w/ring rats) vs. KURT ANGLE

Steiner took the advantage early on, then flexed for Angle and asked him what he thought of that. Angle answered with a headbutt to draw some blood from Steiner's forehead. Angle then landed right hand blows to the face before clotheslining him over the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring, Steiner grabbed a headlock and Angle reached his feet for a back drop suplex. He went for the German suplex combination, then Steiner walked into an Olympic Slam and Angle scored a nearfall. He applied the Anklelock, but Steiner slipped out and rolled up Angle for a nearfall. Steiner then caught Angle near the ropes and dumped him over the top to the floor. Steiner waited for Angle to return to the ring, then he hit an Olympic Slam of his own. Steiner put Angle in the Steiner Recliner and Angle gritted his teeth to escape the hold and hit the Olympic Slam. He dropped the straps and applied the Anklelock, but Steiner kicked free. They fought up top and Steiner went for a belly-to-belly, but Angle blocked with a delayed sunset flip for the pin. After the match, they showed replays of the high points in the match. As Angle left, the fans chanted, "That was weak."

WINNER: Angle in 12:00. Both men ran out of gas half-way through the match. The match started with tremendous promise, but it slowed down at the end. Weak finish. (*3/4)

Borash stood backstage with Samoa Joe to discuss his quest for the NWA Title. He said that if Abyss interferes with his destiny, he would fall like the others. Joe said tonight marks the beginning of the Samoa Joe NWA World Hvt. title reign.

We saw a video package on Sting vs. Abyss.

8 -- STING vs. ABYSS -- Last Rites match

Basically, we're looking at a casket match here. We start with another walking brawl-style match on the outside. There were various "graveyard" items ringside to set the mood. They entered the ring at 2:00 and Abyss hit a Scorpion Death drop and two Stinger splashes. Abyss then grabbed a candle and opened up Sting with a hard shot to the forehead. The casket was then lowered to the ring and the lights went down. This feels like a bad mid-1990s WCW gimmick match. Where's Kevin Sullivan and the Dungeon of Doom when you need it? All of a sudden, we get a "Fire Russo" chant from the crowd. Abyss then put Sting in the casket and closed half of the lid, but Sting fought out of casket. The camera zoomed in tight on blood pouring out of Sting's head like a faucet. Sting then countered a corner whip into a Scorpion Deathlock. Abyss tapped out, but that wasn't the finish. The fans continued to crap on the match as Sting smashed a gimmicked RIP tombstone into Abyss's face with his baseball bat. Sting tried to shove Abyss into the casket, but Abyss fought out and chokeslammed Sting onto the lid of the casket. Abyss took forever to set up another tombstone across two chairs, then Sting countered a superplex and shoved him into the Tombstone. Sting then put Abyss in the casket and closed the lid to win. Afterward, the casket was raised a few feet before they cut to a Joe-Christian video package.

WINNER: Sting in 10:00. I don't even know what to say about that. The big news was the crowd chanting "Fire Russo" half-way through the match. (DUD)

After the video package on Joe-Christian, Christian Cage screamed at Leticia that nothing was going right tonight. Great Muta then walked into Christian's locker room and said Muta could be famous again if he hangs around with him. Muta didn't appreciate Christian's tone, then he took off his mask and spewed green mist into the locker door.

The results of the text messaging deal are in. Joe received 48 percent and Christian received 52 percent. Samoa Joe's ring entrance consisted of a Samoan fire dance before Joe came out and was greeted by streamers from the crowd.

9 -- CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. SAMOA JOE -- NWA Title match

Borash handled the formal introductions. The fans chanted, "Joe's gonna kill you" during Christian's introduction. Christian went for an early top rope move, but Joe did the casual walk-away before landing a big knee drop to the throat for a nearfall. He then landed a charging kick to the head sending Christian to the floor. They fought on the floor, then into the stands and up the steps near the top of the arena. Well, there must not be any count-outs in this match. Joe then drove a boot to the face as Christian was leaning against the base of the grandstands. They fought back to ringside and Christian DDT'ed Joe onto the ring apron. Back in the ring, Christian escaped a standing Muscle buster and hit a reverse DDT for a close nearfall. At 10:00, Christian choked Joe across the bottom rope. He went for a top rope move, but Joe caught him in mid-air with an enziguri kick to the face. Nice spot. Joe then caught Christian off the ropes with a snap powerslam for a close nearfall. Joe hit a powerbomb, Christian kicked out, then Joe stepped through into a Boston Crab, followed by an STF. Joe then rolled over into a Crippler Crossface in center ring, but Christian pulled the referee into the move and broke the hold. Christian quickly came back with the Unprettier for a close nearfall. Joe then came back with a spear against the ropes and both men spilled to the outside. Now, we have a ten count applied by the referee. Christian tried to walk out, but the X Division wrestlers came to ringside and threw Christian into the ring. Joe then hit a shoulder breaker, but the referee was way out of position for some reason and Joe scored a nearfall only. Christian then pulled the ref in the way of a big boot and we have a ref bump. Christian then caught Joe with a chair shot to the face and had a pin, but the ref was out. Christian missed with a second chair shot, then Joe hit a Muscle buster, but Christian kicked out. Joe went for the rear naked choke, but Christian low blowed him. Christian went up top and Joe caught him with the rear naked choke again, but Christian rolled him over into a bridge pin and put his feet on the ropes to score a pin for the win. Afterward, Joe went to both knees with a look of shock on his face. West said it was a bunch of bull as they signed off.

WINNER: Christian in 19:00 to retain the NWA Title. Probably Christian's best match in TNA, thanks to Joe carrying him for nearly 20 minutes. Nearfalls were terrific and well-timed, although on a show with way too many instances of referee incompetence and outside interference and bags-of-tricks, the non-clean finish prevents it from being four stars. It's amazing what happens when you stick two guys in the ring to have a wrestling match that doesn't involve coffins, gimmicks, weapons, etc. Great storytelling and Christian picks up a signature win that he desperately needed, despite the flaws. (***3/4)

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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