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CALDWELL'S TNA AGAINST ALL ODDS PPV REPORT 2/8: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Sting & Angle vs. Team 3D

Feb 8, 2009 - 9:50:01 PM

By James Caldwell, assistant editor

TNA Genesis PPV Report
February 8, 2009
Orlando, Fla.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Earlier today: They showed a Hummer stretch limo pulling up backstage. Out walked the Main Event Mafia. No sign of TNA World champ Sting, though. Also earlier today, Team 3D sped up to the parking garage in a sports car. Also later, Steve Borden (Sting) pulled up in a slick sports car. He gingerly got out of the car and grabbed his bag to enter the building.

1 -- X Division champion ALEX SHELLEY vs. ERIC YOUNG -- X Division Title match

Sabin was not with Shelley ringside to establish the point about Shelley trying to fight for himself as X Division champion. Very fast start to this one, so it seemed like they were going short tonight. Action moved to the floor early on, where Shelley took control and went on the offensive back in the ring. Don West continued to harp on the "gosh, he's so annoying, but he's so good" line about Shelley, who played a cocky heel against Young. Shelley had a great combo of two running elbow smashes in the corner, then a running basement dropkick at 7:00.

At 10:00, Shelley took the elbow pad off and landed a running clothesline, but Young blocked a second clothesline and hit a kick to the back of the head. Young teased the Death Valley Driver a few times, but Shelley slipped out. Young wanted a top rope moonsault, but Shelley moved and Young ate the mat stomach-first. Shelley tried to capitalize with a roll-up, but Young kicked out. Shelley teased the Sliced Bread, but Young slipped out, only to have Shelley hit a standing Sliced Bread for a close two count. Shelley with a sweet top rope bulldog, then a nice frog splash, but Young kicked out once again.

Shelley went to the top rope well again, but Young blocked and slingshot Shelley head-first across the top turnbuckle. That looked pretty nasty. Shelley sold it like he was dead weight and Young became concerned, just like Sabin in their X Title match last month when Shelley pretended to be hurt. Shelley then snuck up behind Young and rolled him up for a surprise three count and the win to retain the title.

WINNER: Shelley in 14:00 to retain the X Division Title. Great opening match. This is a great heel persona for Shelley, who won because he out-smarted the opponent in a "dang you, Shelley" kind of a way without the stream of TNA interference. Very good opener. (***1/2)

Ringside: Detroit Tigers players ringside, including Joel Zumaya, for spring training. Is he still injured?

Backstage: Jeremy Borash brought in Kurt Angle for an interview. Angle took off his sunglasses to get serious and said he lives to win, just like Sting. With every loss, part of them dies. He knows he doesn't want to lose, and Sting doesn't want to lose either. Question tonight: will either of them get along tonight? He said no doubt they will. And they will push each other and grow because of it. Regardless of who wins, the Mafia will be stronger tonight. Great promo to put over the importance of winning.


Steiner in the headdress. Petey still in the headdress. Match started with Steiner totally dominating little Petey Pump, then Petey came back with a dropkick to the knee and a top rope missile dropkick for a one count. Steiner slipped to the outside to recover, then he returned to the ring and went back on the offensive. Steiner blocked a Tornado DDT, then pulled up on a pin attempt. And another one. At 5:00, Steiner pointed to Petey and asked the crowd what they think of him. Crowd had been heckling Steiner the entire match to this point since Steiner is a heel magnet. Steiner nailed a nice elevated DDT off the top rope before pulling up on another pin. Crowd rallied behind the underdog Petey, who made his comeback with a Tornado DDT. Video feed suddenly cut out at 7:00. "In Demand: TNA: Technical Difficulties."

They returned a few moments later with Petey wanting the Destroyer, but Steiner fought him off. Petey suddenly scored a nearfall on a roll-up, then he dropkicked Steiner through the ropes to the floor. Petey wanted a slingshot splash, but Steiner caught him in mid-air and powerbombed Petey with Petey scraping the ring apron on the way down to the floor. Back in the ring, Steiner put Petey in the Steiner Recliner and he cranked on the neck. Petey dragged them over to the ropes and he reached a rope break. Steiner then scooped up Petey and hit an old school Steiner Piledriver via an elevated suplex into a piledriver.

WINNER: Steiner in 11:00. Well, that didn't help out Petey much. He was virtually dominated for ten minutes, had only a few moments of offense, and Steiner out-sized him and exploited the size difference rather easily. Match was okay. (**)

Post-match: Steiner took the mic and cut a promo on the fans. He said this is TNA: Frontline and he is Mafia. Steiner said this is how Big Poppa Pump gets the job done. This is how he finishes the job. Steiner then scooped up Petey and put him up top. He put him way up on his shoulders and hit a fallaway slam for insult to injury. Steiner wanted to put Petey in the Recliner again, but Samoa Joe's music hit. No sign of Joe. Steiner looked around the building for Joe, but he didn't show. Suddenly, they showed the back of Joe's head. He said Steiner is one of the five responsible for the sins that have been committed against him. Joe said he will introduce Steiner to his brand of violence. Steiner told him to show up already. No sign of Joe.

Backstage: Borash was with Mick Foley and Sting. Foley is the special guest commentator for the main event of Sting vs. Angle vs. Team 3D. Foley cut a promo on Angle, which Sting objected to. He said he's not offering a professional critique because he fully expects a tear-down match tonight. Foley shook Sting's hand, then Sting pulled him back to complement Foley on the kind words he shared with Sting. Borash posed a question to Sting, then Sting said tonight has to have a winner and loser, but they wake up tomorrow and fight together as one unit. Borash wasn't convinced of all this love.

Impact Zone: Brutus Magnus came out on stage wearing a ridiculous gladiator outfit. Paging Shockmaster. Paging Shockmaster. Just a brutal outfit. A page out of the FSN days with the Trytan character. Brutus has an open challenge tonight. Brutus removed his helmet, raised his arm in the air, then took the mic. Magnus said unlike the arrogant U.S. stereotype of Englishmen, he is not a stuck-up aristocrat or brawling footballer, but the modern-day gladiator. Open challenge was answered by Chris Sabin, who came out stroking his beard in contemplation of this gladiator.


Magnus grounded Sabin early on as there was a random "Fire Russo" chant in the crowd. Apparently they believe Russo is in charge of costuming as well as the TV writing. Sabin made a comeback at 7:00 and knocked Brutus to the floor for a cross-body block. Sabin went up top back in the ring, but Brutus grabbed the ref by the leg to run interference and crotch Sabin. Brutus then hit the Tormenta swinging slam for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Brutus in 8:00. Not a memorable match. Brutus has to find his TNA character because TNA isn't helping him with that silly get-up. Not a good use of Sabin here. (*)

Backstage: Lauren brought in Team 3D to discuss who's going after the TNA Title tonight against Kurt and Sting. Devon said inside every man is a desire to win that World Title - to separate the winner from the loser. And Ray is my brother, yes, but they got in this business to be the best. Ray slowly pulled back his shades and said that was an awesome promo. He went through a very slow, but effective promo about Dudley blood being thicker than water.

4 -- TNA Knockouts champion AWESOME KONG (w/Kongtourage) vs. ODB -- Knockouts Title match

Jim Cornette came to ringside to boot Kongtourage from ringside. Kong pitched a fit, but Cornette stood by his decision and off we go with Kong vs. ODB brawling ringside. In the ring, ODB wanted a scoop slam, but Kong collapsed on top of her. Kong then went up top for a splash, but ODB moved and started her comeback. Kong didn't budge off her feet, though. ODB fired up the crowd, then landed a big slam after dramatic build-up for a nearfall. Kong quickly came back with the implant buster, though, and scored the pin for the win. Kong then favored her back post-match and accepted the Knockouts Title while grimacing in pain.

WINNER: Kong in 6:00 to retain the Knockouts Title. Just fine. ODB put in a good effort as the underdog champion while Kong looked strong winning on her own for once. (*1/2)

Backstage (Lauren holding mic): Team 3D was in the hallway with Sting, who was holding the TNA Title belt. Ray said he's been going through this scenario in his head ever since Mafia put him in the hospital two months ago. He said he wants to look into Sting's soul tonight. (Sting was wearing sunglasses to show he was hiding something.) Ray said he got one glimpse into Sting's eyes a few weeks ago and said he saw truth because Sting didn't get involved in that beat down from the Mafia. Ray said Sting had the opportunity to do the right thing two months ago, but he can redeem himself tonight. Ray said Mafia stands for ego, but Sting stands for respect. He encouraged Sting to do the right thing. In case the old Sting shows up, Ray said he has his back. 3D walked off. Sting watched them walk away, then Lauren said Angle wanted to chat with Sting. Sting was too contemplative to offer a thought.

5 -- Legends champion BOOKER T (w/Sharmell) vs. SHANE SEWELL -- Legends Title match

Shane was pumped up for an apparent street fight, as he was in the referee jersey and some blue jeans. Booker and Sharmell took their sweet time coming to the ring and Booker did a long pose-down entrance with his unofficial Legends Title. Booker even raised his title belt for the crowd to mock ref Slick Johnson and all refs for that matter. Pre-match story of Shane being focused while Booker was cocky and uninterested in Shane. Bell sounded and Booker went into a pre-match stretch in the corner. Finally got a lock-up at 1:00 with Shane pushing Booker into the corner. Booker told him to back it up, then Booker addressed his hair. Booker went on the offensive and dominated until Shane started his trademark comeback. Shane decked him with a clothesline before ripping off the jersey for his shirt-off crowd reaction. Shane was suddenly tripped from behind by Sharmell and Booker nailed the axe kick for the win.

WINNER: Booker in 6:00 to retain the Legends Title. Subtle interference from Sharmell, which was fine. Booker's character development is very entertaining, which benefited Booker more than Shane in the overall match presentation. Not sure where they're going with Shane from here, as Shane didn't prove much of a point here. (*1/2)

Post-match: Booker took the mic and said he ain't scared of a ref. Right now, though, Shane Stool - kill the music! That was just a little taste. He vowed to cancel his contract. Suddenly, A.J. Styles's music hit and Styles stormed the ring. First Sunday night TNA PPV without Styles on the card. Styles fired up with right hands on Booker before nailing a step-up enziguiri. Styles walked into a boot to the gut, but Styles clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor. Booker and Sharmell retreated, then Styles picked up the Legends Title belt and a mic.

Crowd firmly behind Styles as he began his promo about growing up dirt poor. What got him from there to here is a dream to be the best pro wrestler in the world. Styles said he wanted to become a legend. He said a legend doesn't have the biggest house, most cars, or all the cash in the world. A legend is when people spend their hard-earned money and see A.J. Styles wrestle. "You know I went out there and gave everything I had every night!" he said. Styles said there are pieces of him scattered in every ring around the world and he was happy to do it for the fans. It's time for Styles to step up and be that legend, he said. There can be only one - the phenomenal one, A.J. Styles. Very passionate promo. Well done.

Backstage: Lauren went to bat for Abyss and tried to talk to Matt Morgan about calling off their brawl. Morgan said about six days ago, he had a staph infection removed from his arm, but he is going to take out Abyss tonight. And if Lauren gets in the way, he'll lay her out next to Abyss. Morgan threatened Lauren, then walked off.


Former best friends, now bitter enemies. Morgan was working with a t-shirt and elbow pads to cover the staph infection on his arm. West said Morgan was working against doctor's orders because he wanted a piece of Abyss. Morgan missed with a bicycle kick near the ropes and crotched himself. Abyss then went under the ring and grabbed a barbed wire baseball bat, but ref Rudy Thomas disallowed the weaponry. Abyss then dumped Morgan to the outside and a brawl broke out on the floor. They went to the breakaway wall area, then up to the very top row of the arena. Fans weren't really scared of the big men, which didn't help sell the realism of the brawl. They walked it back down to ringside where Abyss tried to toss more weapons into the ring, but they were removed again. Morgan went up top at 9:00 and hit a big cross-body block for a two count. Impressive. He then followed with a not-as-impressive dropkick that grazed Abyss on the right shoulder.

At 10:00, Abyss turned things around with clubbing right hands, but Morgan slingshot him throat-first across the top turnbuckle. Morgan went up top again, but Abyss blocked with a chokeslam attempt. Morgan blocked a chokeslam and they had a double-clothesline in center ring. Abyss grabbed the tack bag, but ref Rudy removed the bag and got bumped in the corner for his effort to uphold the law. Morgan then grabbed a chair and cracked it over Abyss's head. Ya know, because Abyss is desperate to be hardcore even against any common sense in 2009. Morgan wanted another chair shot, but Abyss blocked it. Morgan then crotched Abyss with the chair before chokeslamming him right on the chair for a two count. Apparently ref Rudy was willing to allow a chokeslam onto a chair but not anything else.

Abyss grabbed the chair and wanted to smash Morgan, but ref Rudy got in the way and took a chairshot to the head. Abyss then hit a Black Hole slam on Morgan and a new ref, Slick Johnson, slipped into the ring to make a two count. Abyss then hit another Black Hole Slam and scored the pinfall on the second attempt. Post-match: Abyss grabbed the bag of tacks and poured them out on the mat. Abyss ripped off Morgan's t-shirt to put Morgan through the tacks, but Morgan slipped out of the ring to avoid further punishment.

WINNER: Abyss in 16:00. Good, decisive win for Abyss. The big-man match-up was just okay, but Morgan gets a break for working hurt tonight. TNA did their best to uphold rules in this one, so a better effort compared to TNA's history of over-booking PPV matches. Beat the dead horse - more chairshots to the head? Really? (**1/2)

Backstage: Booker was talking up a storm in the Mafia locker room, then Nash got all up in his face and told him to chill because he's tearing up the family. After Nash cut a promo on Booker, Steiner calmed him down and Sting entered the scene to sit down with Angle. Angle said he doesn't know what's going on in Sting's head before saying Ray doesn't give a s--- about Sting. No bleeping on PPV. He asked Sting to remember Vegas when the Mafia made a pact to get the respect they deserve. In the ring, they have to do what they have to do, but they're Mafia at the end of the day. Angle and Sting stood up, then hugged it out. Sting walked off, then Angle pulled Nash aside to tell him to keep an eye on Sting. Nash nodded in agreement.

Start the top of the third hour with two matches left, so plenty of time left for the TNA Tag Title and TNA World Title matches.

7 -- TNA tag team champions BEER MONEY, INC. (ROBERT ROODE & JAMES STORM w/Jacqueline) vs. CONSEQUENCES CREED & JAY LETHAL -- TNA Tag Title match

Beer Money played comedy heels early on when they accidentally had a "man-to-man moment" together in the corner. They tried to wash out the dis-taste with beer ringside, but Roode accidentally spit his beer out in Storm's face. Lethal Consequences then landed a double baseball slide dropkick on the floor. But, BMI was quickly back on the offensive back in the ring. Lethal was isolated by the tag champs on their side of the ring, then Creed made a comeback. (Creed was sporting tape over his left shoulder to sell the beat down by BMI on Impact.)

Action broke down at 10:00 with all four men in the ring. Creed went up top and argued with Jackie, allowing Storm to shove Creed off the top rope to the floor. Storm then worked on the previously injured left shoulder and kicked his arm while it was in-between the guardrail bars. Back in the ring, BMI cornered Creed to take him apart. Lethal eventually took a hot tag at 13:00 and the action broke down. Jackie then handed a weapon to Storm, who caught Lethal in the face with a gimmick shot allowing Roode to cover Lethal for the win.

WINNERS: Beer Money in 15:00 to retain the TNA Tag Titles. Just what you would expect from this tag match. Standard, predictable TNA tag title match with Jackie's interference after a few hot tags from the challengers. (**)

Impact Zone: Mick Foley came to the ring to join commentary. ... Backstage: Kurt Angle pumped himself up, then came to the ring first for the four-way World Title match. Team 3D was shown backstage with the IWGP Tag Titles over their shoulders. Ray did the talking about doing what they have to do tonight. Fist smash. Off to the ring. Sting then came out to defend the title.

8 -- TNA World Hvt. champion STING vs. KURT ANGLE vs. BROTHER RAY vs. BROTHER DEVON -- TNA World Hvt. Title match

Bell sounded and all four men grabbed a corner to stare at each other. Foley with a lot of "pops" on his headset talking up the big-match feel. Angle nodded to Sting to go after 3D, so Sting motioned him to step up with him. No contact thus far. Suddenly, 3D jumped across the ring to go after the Mafia leaders. Brawl broke out and Ray paired off with Sting and Devon paired off with Angle. Ray and Devon found themselves along in the ring, then Angle knocked Devon into Ray. They again found themselves alone in the ring a few moments later and Ray laid down for Devon, but Angle broke up the pin. Angle was not pleased with the cheap pin attempt from 3D. "E-C-W" chant as Ray and Devon locked up with a very basic exchange like they were in the gym. They agreed it was lame, then went to a mid-ring exchange to see who was the better fighter. Looked like the big ol' Nasty Boys brawling. Devon with a scoop slam, then Ray chopped him. They had a slow-motion double takedown that allowed the Mafia to sneak back into the ring and pick apart 3D.

Fight moved to the floor with Sting vs. Ray and Angle vs. Devon this time around. Dixie Carter got some TV time as Sting dumped Ray over the guardrail and Ray ended up in Dixie's lap. Dixie smiled through the whole deal, then Sting dumped Ray back over the guardrail to the ringside area. West asked Foley what it's like to have a headset on without someone screaming in his ear, an obvious reference to Vince McMahon causing Foley to leave WWE. Back in the ring, Sting and Angle applied their submission holds, then Angle broke up Sting's. They had a mid-ring chat, but Ray rammed Sting hard into Angle. Like really hard. Too hard. Careless almost. Angle came up busted wide open around his eye/nose area. It sure looked like Sting's head went right into Angle's eye region on contact. They had a four-way pin/submission sequence, then 3D was cleared from the ring.

At 10:00, Angle and Sting had a mid-ring staredown. Sting was selling a knee injury, so Angle exploited it with kicks to the back of the knee. Action broke down and Angle dropped the straps, but Ray clotheslined Angle to the floor. Sting then snuck up behind Ray and hit the Scorpion death drop for the pin and the win. Anti-climatic finish. That's it? Angle was shown ringside shouting in disgust at Sting winning. Angle's eye was really messed up.

WINNER: Sting in 14:00 to retain the TNA World Title. Clunky, with some bright spots, but not really a main-event-worthy title match. TNA's swerve was not to swerve anything, which was fine. They just didn't deliver a main event match that ever moved past first gear. It did advance Angle's jealousy of Sting, which we'll continue to follow on TV. (**)

Post-match: Foley walked into the ring with TNA belt in hand to present it to Sting while Tenay tried a "ra-ra" sales pitch about TNA's fan loyalty. Foley then handed the belt to Sting and they had a handshake. Angle was still upset ringside. Sting then yelled down to Angle, who calmed down ringside. "We're family, right?" Sting asked as they closed the show.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "TNA 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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