Universal Studios Orlando
January 14, 2007
thanks to: pwtorch.com
1 -- A.J. STYLES vs. RHINO
Tenay made a big deal out of this being a great way to open the PPV, maybe to be sure not to make either of these two seem like "prelim" wrestlers given their early appearance this time. Rhino chased Styles around ringside and into the ring. Then he dove over the top rope onto Styles on the floor. Back in the ring Styles hit Rhino with a dropkick to take control. They went at each other in the opening minutes with the intensity appropriate for the grudge they have with each other. Tenay talked about hundreds of fans being turned away. Styles used tape from his wrist to choke Rhino. Styles then springboard splashed Rhino and scored a three count at 3:00. I'm not a fan at all of early pinfalls in these style matches where pins don't end matches. There is zero chance that move would have resulted in a pin in a typical match, so there's no reason to void the credibility of the match by doing it early in this type of match where pinfalls don't end the match. Rhino did get up before ten. Styles flip dove onto Rhino at ringside at 6:00. Back in the ring he went on sustained momentum. Rhino reversed Styles into the ropes. Styles caught him with an elbow. Rhino caught Styles in mid-air and gave him a spinebuster for a pin at 8:00. Styles got up before the ref reached ten. Over the next few minutes, the pace of the match slowed, but not the intensity. Rhino pulled a table out from under the ring, but Styles recovered in the ring and dropped Rhino over the table crotch-first. Styles hit a springboard forearm to Rhino for a two count at 11:00. Rhino caught Styles in the air and gave him a spinebuster. Rhino ducked a discus punch and then nailed Styles with a Gore. Styles got up just before ten, so Rhino gave him another Gore and scored another three count. Styles could have gotten up, but actually sat back down to let the ref reach ten because he didn't want to take any further beating. Rhino said on the mic, as Styles walked to the back, that he's not satisfied because Styles is "still alive." He vowed to finish him off tonight. He chased Styles to the back.
WINNER: Rhino in 14:00.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Good match. Not crazy about multiple pinfalls so early, though.
-West and Tenay previewed other key PPV matches. Then Rhino dragged Styles back onto the stage and powerbombed him. He leaned a table over the entrance tunnel. Rhino charged, but Styles moved. Rhino flew through the table.
-A video preview aired for the X Division three-way narrated by Christopher Daniels.
-The blond woman in a revealing top and bandana and leather tassels offended Jerry Lynn with her questioning, as he interpreted it as her implying he's old. He admitted he's 43, but he said he knows he can still go out there and dance with the best of them. He said Chris Sabin is a snot-nosed kid and advice goes through one ear and out the other, so he didn't teach him everything he knows. He said by the end of the match, both will be referring to him as "teacher" by the time the match is over.
2 -- CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. CHRIS SABIN vs. JERRY LYNN -- X Division Title match
Sabin bailed out in the opening minute, leaving Lynn and Daniels against each other. Sabin returned quickly and they did a three-way criss-cross in the six-sided ring. At 6:00, Lynn hit a dropkick onto both opponents off the top rope. Tenay said Lynn didn't look his age there, as if 43 is suddenly "old" for pro wrestlers. From Verne Gagne to Ric Flair, among others, there have been numerous World Champs well into their 40s. After a three-way spot off the top rope, Daniels hit his BME finisher for a near fall on Sabin. At 10:00, Lynn had Daniels covered, and Sabin "broke it up" just at three, but it was that annoying situation where all Sabin did is hit Lynn from behind on the back, and Daniels never lifted his shoulder, so there was no reason for the ref to actually stop the count. Lynn followed up with a cradle piledriver and for a cover, but Sabin surprised Lynn with a roll-up from behind to win the match.
WINNER: Sabin in 11:00 to capture the X Title.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Good short match. Nothing more, though.
-Jeremy Borash interviewed Kevin Nash backstage. Nash introduced his special judge for the PCS Finals, Bob Backlund. Dave Penzer's ring introduction interrupted the exchanges between Backlund and Nash. Backlund didn't remember going up and down the road with Nash. Nash tried to recall a time to prove their bond, but he couldn't. Backlund seemed unphased as he was acting as crazy as always, including obsessing about whether the guys were working out hard daily. After the interviewed ended, Borash and Backlund just stood there looking at each other. It was awkward, but then Eric Young ran in (late) and told Borash he wanted to take him up on his taking him shopping. Borash said tonight wasn't good. Young said he voted for him in '85. Backlund said the election was in 2000. Once again, the camera stayed on Borash and Backlund awkwardly long, as Backlund leaned in and told Borash, "Young men..."
-Highlights aired of the PCS Tournament skits. Kevin Nash joined Tenay and West at ringside as the PCS judges were announced. Somalian Joe was the first, a mystery masked man. Second was Big Fat Oily Guy (that's how he was introduced). They showed fans gagging as the nearly naked fat guy wiggled to the ring. I still am amazed that TNA doesn't see the irony of having VKM mock DX for Big Dick Johnson, but then trot out BFOG time after time.
3 -- ALEX SHELLEY vs. AUSTIN STARR -- 10 Minute Time Limit PCS Final
Tenay talked about the background of Nash and Backlund, including Nash beating Backlund for the WWE Title. Nash claimed MSG sold out with 36,000 as did a closed-circuit simulcast. Nash claimed the match went an hour. Tenay said it was only eight seconds. Nash replied: "Eight seconds. I've been telling my wife forever that's an hour." Nash said he takes sides with Shelley over Starr because he's like his first born. They cut to the judges several times. They built a special PCS judges desk for this occasion. Backlund was taking things seriously. BFOG was eating and rubbing water all over his body. Shelley hit Starr with a dive through the ropes at 4:00. Starr took a swig of water in the corner and spit it at Shelley. Shelley, sporting a bloody nose, dropkicked Starr's butt as he was bent over in the corner. That led to a near fall. The time limit expired with Starr in control with a camel clutch on Shelley. Borash went to the judges. The crowd chanted "Alex Shelley." Somalian Joe voted for Starr. BFOG voted for Shelley. Backlund was the swing vote. He entered the ring with a declaration of his criteria. He read from a sheet of paper. He listed, with "big words," criteria such as time spent in control on the mat, quality of pin attempts, and "did they build the match in the proper way to entertain the plebians here tonight?" He gave the nod on the last category 25-25, leading to his official decision - a draw. Nash then informed Borash that because the judges ruled it a draw, they'd have a five minute overtime. Shelley surprised Starr with a schoolboy for a two count. Shelley followed up with a backslide for a two count. Starr fired back with a suplex attempt, but Shelley leveraged him to the mat and got a three count to win.
WINNER: Shelley in 0:30 of overtime.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Too many distractions, but good execution by the wrestlers.
-Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Senshi walked out to congratulate the winner. Senshi just stood there blankly as Dutt and Lethal lifted Shelley into the air. Starr just glared at the celebration. Then he got in Nash's face and shoved him. Nash shoved Starr to the mat. Senshi stepped in to keep them apart. Starr cut a promo afterward. He said he didn't come to TNA to play second fiddle to those stiffs or jump on pogo sticks. He said the only person in the ring he respects is Senshi. Starr began to walk out of the ring. Senshi didn't follow. Starr imitated Senshi's speaking style and asked him to follow him. Senshi didn't move. Starr slapped him. Senshi jumped Starr. They had a brief roll around on the mat. Starr then went after the judges at ringside. He shoved Somalian Joe, then he palm-faced Backlund. Backlund put Starr in his Crossface Chickenwing finisher.
4 -- PETEY WILLIAMS vs. JAMES STORM (w/Gail Kim)
In the end, Storm blocked the Canadian Destroyer and scored a pin while grabbing the bottom rope. Petey complained after the match.
WINNER: Storm in 6:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Basic short match. Nothing wrong with it. Good energy.
-After the match, the ref asked the fans, then Kim. Kim apparently said Storm cheated. Storm attacked Petey and then handcuffed him to the corner (Kim was wearing them as an accessory). Kim slapped Storm. Storm grabbed her by the throat. Kim low-blowed him and then pounded away at his back as he bent over in pain. Kim pulled out a beer bottle. Miss Jacqueline attacked Kim from behind. She took her down with a clothesline. Storm held Kim out for a Death Sentence legdrop by Jackie.
-A video recap aired of the VKM skits.
-B.G. James and Kip James walked to the ring. Tenay and West talked about the dangers of giving B.G. a live mic. B.G. said it's tough to declare a victor in war sometimes, but that's exactly what they came there to do tonight - declare victory over Vincent K. McMahon and WWE. He listed the things they did, such as spending the night on the porch of Titan Tower. He said they ambushed Paul Levesque at a WWE house show in Knoxville, Tenn. and he didn't do anything. He added as a side note that nobody likes to see one of their own go down and wished him a speedy recovery. He then said they went to San Antonio and Michael Hickenbotton was a no-show. He then noted that they issued the million dollar charity challenge. He said their non-response proves they're both stupid and cowards. He said Vince McMahon could have gotten ratings. He said instead he let Mr. Spears beat his champion on national TV. "No matter how many bones you fed him at the end of the show, he still did a job for that piece of crap," he said. B.G. then brought up the celebrity lookalike debacle as he sat ringside and heard the arena boo the segment. The fans chanted "TNA, TNA." B.G. continued: "As if it were magic, those boos morphed into the cheer of 'TNA, TNA.' Well, Vince McMahon, all these chants got me to thinking, and they got me to realize that me and Kipper, maybe our battle in this war is over with and we have declared victory." He said there is still a war Vince is waging against all the great wrestling fans around the world. He said he is insulting the intelligence of fans week after week, "bogging us down in this quagmire that is WWE Raw." B.G. said it's time for the fans to stand up and let their voice be heard. "I say the fans stick their heads out the window and scream We're Not Going To Take It!" The fans began singing the song. B.G. said the new sheriff in town is TNA.
Christy Hemme ran to the ring and screamed, "Wait! Wait!" She said she doesn't mean to interrupt, but she has something she needs to say. She was choked up as she said she might get fired for saying this. She said someone besides B.G., Kip, Shawn, and Hunter ought to be mentioned as part of the foundation of DX, such as Joanie Laurer. "Is it just because she is a woman in a man's world?" asked Christy. She said it's about more than Joanie. It includes Lita, "who reportedly ran from this business." She asked if they're treated that way because they're treated as disposable. "I will continue to fight every single day to get into this ring; I want to wrestle, too. I want to be a part of this business so bad. And why? Because I love it. I love it that much." Christy chanted, "We want wrestling." It's again ironic that VKM go from a segment mocking Vince McMahon for booking a segment the crowd revolted against to booking their own segment their crowd revolted against. The fans chanted, "Boring." B.G. tried to save it by saying the fans were chanting they want wrestling, so they may not have heard her. He said she said she wants wrestling, too. Kip yanked the mic away from B.G. He said, "Let me tell you something, you little slut, maybe you should just go back to that little strip club you got fired at. But don't you ever, and I mean ever, interrupt me again because, you know what, girls are good for two things." He began a crotch chop of sorts. Christy said, "You're right. We are only good for two things. Our bodies and putting man back in line when they step out!" She slapped Kip. B.G. held her back and she stormed to the back.
-Borash interviewed Team 3D backstage. He pointed out that Homicide & Hernandez have never been through a match without Konnan at ringside. He said even though they've won "900 tag titles" and been around the world, they are jealous of them because they can wake up calling themselves the tag team champions. As they walked away, Sting walked up and asked Borash if he's seen Abyss anywhere. They gave Sting one line, and he got it right, but he mumbled so it was hard to even hear Abyss's name.
5 -- LAX (Hernandez & Homicide w/Moody Jack) vs. TEAM 3D -- NWA Tag Title match
Moody Jack stood up from the Spanish announce table and introduced Homicide and Hernandez with a spiel similar to Konnan. Tenay said Konnan underwent hip surgery in Mexico. Homicide spit his gum at Brother Ray. Ray picked i up, chewed on it, and spit it back at Homicide. Ewwww. Tenay missed the call and ignored it because he was running down Team 3D's history and setting the stage for the match. When he finished, West recounted what happened with the gum. Ray and Homicide brawled at ringside at 6:00. Ray just man-handled Homicide, shoving him hard several times against the railing. He made Homicide look like a child. Ray tagged out to Devon, and Homicide tagged in Homicide. They doubled on Devon with a clothesline/splash combo in the corner. LAX got in sustained offense against Devon. At 10:00 Team 3D came back and nailed Homicide with a 3D. They tossed Hernandez out of the ring, then Brother Runt walked to the ring in a Santa suit. West said he's still drunk. Runt too out a swig and then missed a top rope splash. The ref DQ'd Team 3D. Runt tried to jump into Ray's arms, but he shoved him to the mat, then out of the ring. Tenay said Runt cost them the tag titles.
WINNERS: LAX via DQ in 10:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4
-The final tally in their mobile text voting had fans thinking Samoa Joe would beat Kurt Angle by a 57 to 43 percent margin. Tenay reminded viewers that the winner of the match gets a title shot, something announced during the pregame show.
-Borash interviewed Joe backstage. Joe said when his feud with Angle began, it was about pride, about finding out who was the best in the world. He said since then, Kurt's made it personal. He didn't just say it. He screamed it. He vowed to pound and beat Angle into the ground for 30 minutes. He said Angle also now stands in the way of the NWA World Championship, and he promised Kurt, "You will be broken." A video preview aired for the Joe-Angle match.
6 -- SAMOA JOE vs. KURT ANGLE - 30 Minute Iron Man match
West and Tenay talked about "not judging a book by its cover" when it comes to Joe, as if he doesn't have a good look for a badass fighter. After some back and forth intense action early, Angle took Joe down into a chinlock and appeared to almost have Joe passed out. Joe broke the hold, but Angle reapplied it a minute later with his leg wrapped around Joe's body for extra leverage. There were early "Let's go Joe" and "Let's go Angle" chants. That turned into a "Joe sucks" chant as he was stuck in the chinlock. A counterchant of "Joe, Joe, Joe" broke out. Joe reached the ropes to force a break. At 10:00 they got into a mid-ring slugfest. Joe sidestepped Angle and threw him to the floor. Joe dove through the ropes at Angle with a flying forearm, but he also landed hard, ramming his face into the railing upon impact. Back in the ring Joe hit a powerslam for a near fall. Angle blocked a Musclebuster and sunset flipped Joe to the mat. Joe countered with the rear naked choke right away. Angle tapped out, giving Joe a 1-0 win.
Tenay and West did a good job explaining that Angle might not have tapped out in a regular match, but it was to his disadvantage to remain in that hold, because that could cost him later in the match more than just a one-fall disadvantage. West said it's risky, but tapping then gets you out of the hold a chance to regain your bearings. It's hard to believe that at this point they went nearly as long as they did in the first match, which was really good within that timeframe, but in this match at 13:00 they seem like they're just getting started. As they got going again, Angle went for an Olympic slam, but Joe avoided it and flipped Angle to the mat. Joe then bounced off the ropes and took Angle down with a flying knee. Angle returned with an anklelock. Joe tapped out quickly for the same reason Angle did, at 16:00. That made the score 1-1.
An "Angle sucks" chant began from a handful of fans. Angle beat on Joe in the corner as the match restarted. Tenay said that knee brace Joe is wearing is a bit of a target for Angle. Angle went for another chinlock with a leg wrap at 13:30. Angle slipped into another anklelock and really jerked on it, prompting Joe to tapout quickly again at 19:00. The crowd chanted, "You tapped out." That made it 2-1 for Angle.
A "Let's Go Joe" started as the match restarted. It was quickly alternated with "Let's Go Angle" from other fans. Angle focused on Joe's knee. Joe fired back with a barrage of strikes in the corner followed by a running knee to Angle's chin. He set up again for a Musclebuster. Angle again slipped out into a sunset flip for a two count. Angle then gave Joe an Olympic Slam for a dramatic near fall. Angle pulled his straps down and applied another anklelock. Joe flipped out of it and sent Angle head-first into the middle turnbuckle. Joe lifted Angle for and this time successfully executed a Musclebuster to tie the match. That made it 2-2 at 22:00.
Both were slow to get up and took the opportunity to catch their breath a little. Joe went on offense with some strikes. The crowd chanted, "Joe's gonna kill you." Angle slid into Joe's knee with a shoulder lock and then applied an anklelock mid-ring. Joe powered out of it with a kick-off with his free leg. Angle dove off the top rope, but Joe caught him. Angle spun around and rolled up Joe for a quick pin to take the lead, 3-2 at 24:30.
They fought at ringside briefly as the action revved up again. Angle had control of Joe, battering him with punches and forearms. Joe caught a charging Angle and slammed him with one arm to the mat hard. As Joe lifted Angle, Angle could be seen, but not heard, calling the next spot. Angle slid out of the ring and yanked Joe's angle and then knee around the ringpost. The clock counted below 2:30. Joe slapped Angle on the chest at ringside. Back in the ring Angle raked Joe's eyes. Joe fired back with a slap to the chest and then the face, followed by his signature rising roundhouse kick. Joe followed with a Musclebuster for a near fall, but Angle draped his leg over the bottom rope. With 1:15 left, Joe got up quickly and went for a rear naked choke. Angle slipped into an anklelock attempt. Joe kicked off and again went for a rear naked choke. Angle avoided it again. Joe went for it again with 40 seconds left. Angle tried to block it, so Joe slipped into an anklelock of his own with 25 seconds left. Angle teased a tapout, then crawled toward the bottom rope. Angle held on just long enough for the time to expire. Then he tapped. Joe held on several seconds before letting go. Then the ref explained that he lost. Tenay and West noted that Angle would get a title shot next month against the winner of the main event.
WINNER: Angle in 30:00 by a 3-2 score.
STAR RATING: ****1/4 -- Very good match.
-Borash interviewed Sting backstage. He said his patience is running short with Abyss, but he understands it's tough when then devil is pulling your strings. He said the puppeteer will be separated from the puppet tonight in a very violent way, and Chris will be a new man. Mitchell walked in and said, "Well, speak of the devil and the devil appears." He said Sting is no different than he or Abyss, he just claims his actions are devine. He said his crusade for the salvation of Abyss comes to a crashing end tonight. Sting grabbed Mitchell by the throat. Abyss moved toward Sting. Sting told him to back off. Abyss did. Then he told Mitchell he had a revelation for him, that he is going to be dancing in hell because there isn't any room for him here anymore. Mitchell turned to Abyss and told him he better end it tonight.
-A video feature aired on the three participants in the NWA Title match. In the Tale of the Tape, Sting was listed as a 21 year pro, while the other two were 11 year pros. Sting and Christian were listed at 6-3 and Abyss at 6-8.
7 -- ABYSS (w/James Mitchell) vs. STING vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE -- NWA World Title match
When Tomko accompanied Christian to the ring, Jim Cornette came out and insisted he get into the small cage at ringside. They went through ring intros pretty quickly as they may have been pressed for time as it was 10:41 ET when the match began. Sting clotheslined Abyss over the top rope to the floor early. Christian chopped and punched Sting in the corner. Sting no-sold it and threw a series of punches at Christian while standing over him as the crowd counted to ten. From ringside, Abyss yanked Christian crotch-first into the ringpost. Then he dropped him over the ringside guard railing. Christian avoided an Abyss clothesline, so Abyss's arm hit the ringpost. Christian then bulldogged Abyss onto the ramp. Christian slammed Sting into the cage Tomko was in at ringside, then bodyslammed him onto the concrete floor. In the ring, Christian dropkicked Abyss's knee then went for a frog splash. Abyss caught him by the throat as he landed and chokeslammed him to the mat and scored a two count. At ringside, Tomko reached out of the cage and choked Sting. Back in the ring, Abyss gave Christian a Black Hole Slam, but the ref was distracted by Tomko. Abyss continued to beat on Christian and the ref returned to the ring. Christian kicked Abyss between the legs. Sting returned to the ring and shoved Abyss into Christian, then executed a Scorpion Death Drop to eliminate Abyss at 6:00. Tenay and West declared that they'd have a new NWA World Champion tonight. Abyss got up and choked Sting. Mitchell ordered him to slam him. Abyss paused and dropped Sting to the mat. Then he walked out of the ring and headed toward the back as Mitchell yelled at him. Christian hit a top rope dropkick for a two count. Christian remained on offense until Sting began no-selling and made a superman comeback at 8:00. Sting pounded his chest and beat on Christian to almost no crowd response. Then he pressed Christian and tossed him to the mat. After a Stinger Splash, Sting gave Christian a superplex. Mitchell then walked back to ringside. Sting put Christian in the Scorpion Deathlock. Mitchell knocked out the man with the key, then he let Tomko out of the cage. Mitchell distracted the ref as Tomko entered the ring and attacked Sting. Christian draped his arm over Sting and scored a dramatic near fall. Sting clotheslined Tomko out of the ring as the ref talked to Christian. Abyss came back to ringside and attacked Tomko. He threw him back into the cage. Christian swung the NWA belt at Sting, but Sting ducked and the gave Christian an Unprettier for a dramatic near fall. Christian mistakenly clotheslined the ref. Sting choked Christian in the corner. Mitchell entered the ring and hit Sting in the back with his cane. Sting no-sold it and turned and flexed and yelled. Abyss entered the ring with his chain. Mitchell didn't know if Abyss was on his side or not, so he backed off from Abyss rather than hide behind him. He slipped and fell. Sting then put him in a Scorpion Deathlock. Abyss then KO'd Sting with the chain. Christian looked on at the fallen bodies of Sting and the ref. He frog splashed Sting off the top rope, then woke up the ref, who counted to three to win the match and the title.
WINNER: Christian in 13:00.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Heavily booked to be sure, but well done and dramatic. It all fit within the storyline progression and leads to Sting vs. Abyss and Christian vs. Angle (so that Angle can beat Christian, Sting is occupied in a long feud with Abyss, and then Jeff Jarrett can return as a heroic babyface to feud with Angle for several months, as Joe sits at best third from the top or back in the X Division).
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