TV REPORTS 5/8 Impact Review by Wilkenfeld: Competant buildup towards all 10 matches at Sacrifice + 34 entrances!
May 8, 2008 - 11:32:23 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: I thoroughly enjoyed last week's show, both on its own terms and as build-up to the PPV. Based on the ratings dips as the hour progressed and other online opinions I seem to be in the minority, but such is life. One of the main challenges of the last few weeks has been building up Scott Steiner from a curtain jerker to a plausible main-eventer. His insistence on fighting both Angle and Joe at their best, combined with his solid if unconventional promos have been a great help, but tonight should focus on proving he can still wrestle. Of course I'm not entirely positive he actually can still wrestle, and if not that's all the more reason for Angle and Joe to spend tonight trying to make him look like a million bucks. It doesn't matter who comes out on top at the end of the night, as long as they keep Steiner from looking out of place. I mean aside from the chain mail.
West announces tonight's main event will feature Steiner & Angle vs. Joe & Nash.
Cornette is in the ring, and he announces that to simplify matters he's going to bring out the Egoistical Eight, presumably to pair off. My picks: Storm & Sting, Roode & Booker, Kip & Morgan, and BG & Kong—she could use a less caricature-ish mouthpiece. The rest represent a bit of a pill to swallow—that everyone should get paired with someone they don't like—but I bet it's where TNA's going. Anyhow, all eight get individual entrances, which seems like overkill. Cornette says everyone but Sting has been nagging him to reveal the teams—Awesome Kong too? As a favor he'll be revealing two teams tonight. He pulls Sting's name out of a fish jar. Sting pulls out his partner's name, and it's Cowboy James Storm. Storm says tells Sting that he's not his friend and doesn't want to be his tag team partner. He was never a little Stinger as a kid, cause his mother didn't let him play with makeup. He's sorry 'bout Sting's damn…but he doesn't get to finish, cause Sting cuts him off with a punch. Sting knocks him out of the ring, and Cornette says that it's convenient they want to fight, cause they're having a match later tonight. Just for kicks, he's also making it no DQ.
JB is in the back waiting for Steiner. A limo pulls up, and for once a wrestling interviewer found the limo they were waiting for. Steiner says that he and Angle will coexist tonight to get rid of Joe. He trails off, cause Angle is walking his way. Kurt agrees that they'll coexist for the night for the sake of injuring Joe so badly that their match at Sacrifice will be a singles contest. Steiner agrees, which seems a step back from him wanting to face both men at their strongest.
They go over the unfortunately named TerrorDome once again. Seriously, was the person who invented the names "Ultimate X", "Elevation X" and "King of the Mountain" in the bathroom when it came to this match?
(1) JIMMY RAVE defeats CONSEQUENCES CREED, CURRY MAN, SHARK BOY, JOHNNY DEVINE, and PETEY WILLIAMS (w/ RHAKA KHAN)
For the record's sake, we've had fourteen individual entrances before the start of the first match. I guess I should be grateful Cornette didn't get one. Creed starts things off with Devine, taking him to the mat with an Arm Bar. They do some flipping around each other, till Creed gets whipped into the corner and comes back with a Super Cross Body Block. Curry Man comes in and works some submissions till Devine gets a Spingboard DDT. Shark Man and Rave tag in, and Shark Boy starts some Modhole Stomping. Petey decides it goes on long enough and tags himself in, hitting a Code Breaker and a Spinning Wheel Kick. Petey brings in Devine, who for some reason is tagging in-and-out with Rave. Devine whiffs on a 450 Splash attempt. Curry Man and Rave come in, and CM is immediately on fire. He takes Rave down with a clothesline and sets him up in the corner. Petey tries to intervene, but Curry Man stacks him in the corner and gets them both with a hip bump. Things break down when CM goes for the cover. Petey takes Curry Man to the outside. Creed cleans everyone else out then attacks with a Sucide Plancha. Everyone funnels back into the ring, hitting finishers one by one. Devine eats a Chummer, Shark Boy gets a CreeDDT, and Creed takes a Canadian Destroyer. Petey slips out of an attempted Spice Rack, goes for the Canadian Destroyer on Curry Man, gets Back Body Dropped over Jimmy Rave, whom he takes down with a Sunset Flip, but Rave rolls through and kicks Petey in the head. The crowd goes nuts. Curry Man hits a Slingshot Suplex on Rave, but Christy Hemme distracts the ref. CM goes over to dance a bit with her, but when Rave tries to capitalize CM lifts him up for a Spice Rack. Lance Hoyt grabs a leg, and this time Rave can capitalize with a Spinning Neck Breaker—apparently "The Move that Rocked the World".
JB is in the back with Sting, who says that wrestling is a three-ringed circus, just the way he likes it. He's glad that tonight he and Storm are going to do things the old fashioned way, solving their problems by beating the hell out of each other. That way come Sunday, Storm will be ready to fall in line as a good little soldier.
LAX gets a video package hyping how awesome they are. I guess Salinas is now their leader? We see new footage of Hector Guerrero getting them psyched up.
Jim Cornette is in the women's locker room, and I think I actually hear one of them yell "rabble rabble rabble!" He says he wants them to think of him as a father figure, and then dons an extremely disconcerting leer. He says that to be nice, they're having a match tonight where the winner gets immunity from having her head shaved. He says they're going to set up in ten-foot pole in the ring, cause it looks like a lot of them have experience hanging from poles. They all seem to think he's talking about someone else. He assures them that someone will still have her head shaved, cause if the winner of immunity does lose on Sunday the runner-up will get shaved. The women are not happy with that detail.
JB is in the back with Christian Cage and Rhino, and he says that some people are picking them as the odds-on favorite Sunday night. Christian points out that they've known each other for years, so they are a lot better off than some teams that are just working together for the first time, so JB can do the math. Brother Ray takes issue with that. Christian says he really can do the math, for example 326 and 420, Team 3D's total girth. Brother Ray says that he knows some math too. 19 + 1 =20. 15 + 5 =20. 6 + 15 = 20. Rhino points out that six and fifteen make 21, but Ray says that's not the point. He and Devon have won 20 tag team championships, so if anyone has an advantage it's them. He also says 20 is the number of times Devon poked Christian's wife, which is enough to set off a brawl. LAX show up and beat the living daylights out of everyone for no discernible reason. Every segment should end that way. Homicide declares that they're the real favorites.
(2) GAIL KIM defeats ANGELINA LOVE, VELVET SKY, CHRISTY HEMME, ODB, TRACI BROOKS, SALINAS, JACKIE MOORE, and ROXXI LEVEAUX
Since "The Beautiful People" came out together, we're up to only 22 distinct entrances before the start of the second match. I'm also not sure where Rhaka Khan is. The match starts in chaos. Gail hits a Hurricanrana off the top rope on Roxxi Leveaux. Traci Brooks tries to climb the pole, which, contra Cornette, is in the corner. Kim cuts her off, so Brooks takes her to the mat with a Face Buster. Salinas tries to climb, but Roxxi Leveaux cuts her off and eats a Tornado DDT for her trouble. The Beautiful People have a Meeting of the Minds courtesy of Gail Kim and Christy Hemme. Christy tries to climb, but for some weird reason comes back into the ring with a FCG. Traci tries to climb but ODB catches her with a Super Fall-Away Slam. Salinas eats a Voodoo Drop as Christy goes back to the pole. Gail Kim and ODB go to cut her off, and next thing you know we have a Tower of Doom by the Beautiful People. Roxxi goes to climb the pole, but Angelina Love dumps her off, only to be shoved off by Ms. Brooks. Jacqueline goes to climb, but ODB comes from underneath with an Electric Chair Drop. While ODB celebrates Gail Kim rushes through the back door and gets the clippers.
We go to the back, and I think that's Crystal again! I missed her. She's with Nash & Joe, and Joe points out that their plan to isolate him overlooks big Kev. He says they also don't understand what he'll do to keep that title: they better bring pipes and baseball bats, cause he'll die before he relinquishes that belt.
(3) STING defeats "COWBOY" JAMES STORM.
Entrance Counter: 24
Storm tries to ambush Sting on the ramp, but gets taken over the barricade into the crowd. Storm hits a Double Axe Handle off some ledge, but Sting whips him through the wall, then drives him back into it. He takes Storm backs to the ring, but gives him enough room to grab his beer. He spits some in Sting's face—I would have used the bottle over the beer, but I guess that's why he's the pro. He rolls Sting into the ring and brings in a table, which he sets up in the corner. Sting retakes control and tries for a Knee Drop off the top rope, but Storm gets out of the way. Storm comes back with a Superkick, but only gets the ref. Sting locks in the Scorpion Death Lock, but there's no ref to call for the bell. Jackie Moore runs out and gives Storm a chair as Sting tries to resuscitate the ref. Sting dodges the first chair shot but takes the second in the head for a long two count. Sting regains control with a Stinger Splash and hits a Splash off the top rope for two. Jackie Moore tries to get Storm the bat, but Sting intercepts and uses it. He gets a Scorpion Death Drop, but rather than go for the cover he sets Storm up in the corner and Stinger Splashes him through the table. He puts Storm away with another Scorpion Death Drop.
JB is in the back with Kip James, who says that no one else is on the same planet with the "megastar" Kip James. I know I'm not on any planet where Kip James is a megastar. He points out that he's won tag team gold with three different partners, and claims that he made DX (taking shots at all his old DX-mates save Waltman, whom he admits he likes).
Cornette is in the ring with the official fish bowl of the Deuces Wild Tournament. Dear lord, we're going to get another six entrances?
Entrance Counter: 30
Cornette cracks another political joke, then picks Matt Morgan's name out of the bowl. Not shockingly, Morgan picks out Kip James, who says that at sacrifice he'll be Morgan's daddy. What's with the weird paternal references this show? Kip says Matt will do what he says, and Matt just stands there nodding. Cornette asks if he has anything to say, and he has just two words—suck it! Kip is incensed, and they brawl some till security breaks it up. Cornette says they might as well just ring the bell and start things off now.
(4) MATT MORGAN defeats KIP JAMES
Morgan is in control as we come back from the break, but accidentally crotches himself on the top rope. Kips kicks him to the outside, where he bangs Morgan's head against the rail. He rolls Morgan into the ring and works him over very slowly. Morgan fights back. I wonder if the Cavs are playing right now. Morgan hits a Side Slam for two. He charges in the corner, but right into a boot. Unfazed, he hits a jumping kick of his own for the three count.
Crystal is in the back with BG James. He intuits that Crystal wants to know whom he would pick to be his partner. He says that he and Booker are similar, and have just never crossed paths. He used to have dreads too, but realized they didn't work on a fat white guy. Roode's a rich handsome guy, whereas BG's broke and ugly, so that doesn't seem like it's going to work. The most interesting though is Awesome Kong, cause the world's ready for a cultural change. Also, standing next to Awesome Kong is the only way BG will ever look good.
JB is in the back with Angle and Steiner, and he wants to know if they can work together long enough to see tonight's plan through. Steiner explains that they need to take out Joe not just for themselves, but for TNA. TNA needs two well-bred stallions going one-on-one at the PPV, not some fat slob like Joe. Angle says he can work together if "muscle-head" can, but before things can get ugly Petey interjects that they're only at each other's throats because they're so much alike. After all, he and Scott have gold-medal worthy bodies. They just have to work together for ten minutes, or maybe even 66 and 2/3 percent of that.
They run down the Steiner-Joe-Angle rivalry, but for some reason just start last month. I would think this would be a good time to bring up Steiner's history with both men, but I guess not.
(5) SCOTT STEINER (w/RHAKA KHAN) & KURT ANGLE defeat SAMOA JOE & KEVIN NASH
Entrance Counter: 34
Actually the entrances are all we get before the break.
Angle starts things off with Nash. Angle tries some punches, but Nash isn't having it. He takes Angle down with a Knee Lift, then hits a Snake Eyes and a clothesline for two. He tags in Joe, who starts working the body shots. Joe takes Angle down, kicks him, and hits a Knee Drop. He tags back in Nash, and Angle rakes the eyes and makes his escape. Steiner goes right after Nash, but just gets a Big Boot for his troubles. Angle comes in to distract the ref, which gives Steiner the chance to take control with a low blow. Angle comes back in and gets in another eye rake. He and Steiner start trading quick tags, working over Nash. Angle hits a Back Suplex for two. He follows up with a Sleeper, which lets Nash power out. He gets to his feet and takes Angle down with a Side Slam. He tries to crawl over to Joe, but Steiner distracts the ref as Nash makes the tag. Joe doesn't much seem to care, as he comes in anyway and starts killing everyone. He hits move after move, until finally Angle catches him from behind with an Olympic Slam. Angle tries to come off the ropes with a Double Axe Handle on Nash, but Big Sexy catches him by the throat. The ref, however, is checking on Joe, which allows Steiner to nail Nash with a lead pipe. Angle hits the Olympic Slam, but while he goes to lower his straps for the Angle Lock Steiner just makes the cover for the win.
Angle is not happy with Steiner for stealing his thunder, and when Steiner celebrates on the ring-post Angle gets him from behind with an Olympic Slam and an Angle Lock.
They run down the card for Sacrifice one more time. Fear is temporary—heroes are forever.
Where We're Going: The PPV has the potential to move us in many different directions. There are ten matches, of which seven are unannounced tournament matches and two have ten people. This makes predicting outcomes and trajectories a perilous business at best. Still, the card looks stellar, and they've done a lot to make sure most of the tag matches will be at least semi-motivated. I can't decide how I feel about the "random" drawing that so far has been putting everyone with their worst enemy—as I said, it's a bit hard to swallow, but could actually be plausibly chalked up to crazy Cornette just rigging the thing within the plot as well. Hopefully they'll give the women a bit more to do than they did last month, and make whomever wins look strong enough that it seems at least vaguely plausible that they might one day beat Awesome Kong.
Star of the Night: Samoa Joe. His promo was effective, and in the main event he looked like the monster he used to be.
Overall: This was a moderately effective show, but nothing outside of a couple spots in the X Division match seemed great. B
Happy birthday wifey, and happy VE Day to everyone else.
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