May 15th, 2011
TNA Impact! Zone, Orlando, Florida
We open the show with a nice little video package focusing mainly on Rob Van Dam and Sting's title match tonight. Pretty decent song to go with it as well, though I'm not sure who it's by.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
Mexican America vs. Ink Inc
Jesse Neal comes out waving an American flag as Ink Inc gets a nice reaction from the fans. Big "USA!" chants to start as this seems to have been a good choice for the opener based on crowd reaction. Shannon and Anarchia start us off with a basic wristlock exchange sequence. Shannon keeps him down with a few deep arm-drags. Shannon hits a big cross-body off the top and seems to be in control, but Rosita hops up on the apron to distract the ref and the heels take a cheap shot on Shannon. Hernandez tags in but Shannon is able to get the quick tag to Jesse anyways, who he hip-tosses onto Hernandez for a near fall. Sarita takes her turn distracting the ref next as the heels get another cheap shot on Jesse. Shannon tags back in with a springboard cross body for another two count. Big springboard moonsault from Shannon onto Hernandez on the floor! The Mexican American women continue to take turns distracting the ref though, and Sarita even gets involved physically with Shannon to give the heels the advantage once again. Shannon hits another moonsault off the top on Anarchia and then nails Hernandez with an enziguri, allowing him to get the hot tag to Jesse. Jesse cleans house on both of the heels and hits a springboard cross-body onto Hernandez for a close two count as Shannon and Anarchia fight to the floor. Jesse evades the Border Toss from Super Mex and Ink Inc go for a double team move, but Rosita hits the ring again to distract the ref. Hernandez delivers Ron Simmons old Dominator powerbomb variation on Jesse and that's enough for the 3 count to give Mexican America the win at 9:37.
Winner: Mexican America @ 9:37
Rating: **3/4 - Fun opener for the most part, Ink Inc did a good job of flying around and bumping for the heels and this fired the crowd up just like any good opener should. My only complaint is the constant interference by Rosita and Sarita, but that's a minor one. Solid opener.
Jeff Jarrett's music plays after the match suddenly, and Jeff and Karen Jarrett begin making their way down to the ring, Karen limping with crutches and a comically large walking boot on her ankle. He grabs a mic and explains that Karen slipped and fell on a Jeff Jarrett action figure and had to be rushed to the hospital. The crowd chants "Bullshit!". Jeff says that the doctor has ordered that Karen cannot wrestle tonight and tries to call off the tag team match later tonight, but before he can leave Mick Foley, the Network representative, comes down to the ring with a mic. Foley says he saw the X-Ray of Karen's angle and while the injury is real, he says that you can tell a lot from an X-Ray, like the race and gender of the person being X-Rayed. Foley busts Karen's case and says she's a lot of things, but she's not a 6 foot 6 African American man. He manages to slip in the new "Wrestling Matters" slogan and says that even though Karen's not prepared, he's had wrestling gear made up for her anyways. Big "Chyna" chant as he mentions her. So the match IS on tonight. Foley makes his exit and Karen rips off the boot in anger and tosses it out of the ring.
Jeremy Borash is backstage with Brian Kendrick to get a few words with him about his match against Robbie E tonight. Kendrick in typical fashion cuts an absolutely baffling promo discussing the definition of language and how the X-Division is being held down. Just bizarre stuff from Kendrick.
Brian Kendrick vs. Robbie E
Kendrick does his usual pre-match meditation which doesn't go over great with Robbie and Cookie, so Kendrick hits him with a big dropkick that sends Robbie to the floor and then follows him out with a tope suicida. He hits a cross-body onto Robbie back in the ring and he still hasn't taken off his robe yet. Robbie bails to catch his breath with Cookie but Kendrick follows him out and tells Cookie that "God has a plan for you". Ohhhhkay. Back inside Robbie takes control of the match with a neck cravat on his opponent. An elbow drop from the second rope gets Robbie a two count. The action spills to the floor and Robbie delivers a suplex to Kendrick on the floor. Cookie gets some cheap shots in while Robbie distracts the ref. Kendrick blocks a second suplex attempt and then hits Robbie with a missile dropkick back inside. Kendrick blocks a neckbreaker attempt and hits another big dropkick to Robbie and that's enough to give Kendrick the win at 6:44.
Winner: Brian Kendrick @ 6:44
Rating: **1/4 - Decent little X Division match here that wound up being not much more than a squash for Kendrick. Too short to amount to anything memorable, but solid while it lasted.
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with Tara. He wants to know who she's rooting for tonight in the Knockout's Title match, but before she can answer Madison Rayne interrupts her wearing the most obscenely large tiara I have ever seen in my entire life. Seriously, you have to see this thing to believe it.
TNA Knockouts Title Match
Mickie James © vs. Madison Rayne
If Mickie wins here, than Tara is free from Madison's control forever. Madison comes out alone, but I expect we'll be seeing Tara before this match is through. Speak of the devil, she comes down to the ring as soon as the bell rings, much to Madison's chagrin. Tara looks great tonight. All three women do really. Mickie nails Rayne with a baseball slide as she's arguing with Tara on the floor, but she tosses Mickie into the steel steps. Back inside she tries to pin Mickie with her feet on the ropes but the ref sees it and breaks the count. She begins choking Mickie on the bottom rope right in front of Tara and then gets into her face again. Back inside Mickie hits a few forearms and a neckbreaker. Mickie tries a few different rollup attempts but to no avail. Madison knocks Mickie righ tinto the ref and then goes underneath the ring to grab her "loaded glove". Tara yanks it off her hand though before she can use it. Mickie flapjacks Madison and then nips back up. She tries for a Thesz Press off the top rope, but winds up nailing the ref instead. Madison tries to egg Tara on to nail Mickie with the loaded glove, but she turns her sights onto Madison instead and nails her with the glove. She wakes the ref up and Mickie gets the pin to retain at 6:50.
Winner: Mickie James @ 6:50
Rating: *1/2 - Certainly an improvement over last month's match, but this was still pretty sloppy stuff. Lots of ref bumps and some strange logic from Madison, but otherwise, probably one of the best matches Madison has had. Still not saying much though.
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with Fortune. He gets a few words with all four members about their respective matches tonight.
TNA X-Division Title Match
Kazarian © vs. Max Buck
Max Buck won this title shot last month at Lockdown in the opening contest, and he comes out to the ring tonight without his brother and tag team partner. Nice feeling out process between both men to start, exchanging quick holds and counter-holds. Kaz flips out of a side headlock and applies a front facelock. Kaz gets sent to the floor and Buck hits him a with a dropkick through the ring ropes onto the floor. Back inside the ring Buck begins to talk trash to Kaz while he hits him with a jawbreaker. Buck is in total control here surprisingly, beating down Kaz and talking smack while he does it for several minutes. Kaz comes back with a gut wrench suplex to Max off the second rope though and both men are down for the ref's count. Kaz decks Max with a pair of clotheslines and follows it with a spinning heel kick. Max tries for a monkey flip in the corner but Kaz just tosses him off and hits the springboard legdrop for a two count. Max counters out of the Fade to Black attempt from Kaz and hits a snap neckbreaker for another near fall. Max blocks the Fade to Black again and counters into a powerbomb into the turnbuckle. Ace crusher out of the corner from Buck, but again Kaz gets the shoulder up at two. He nails him with an elevated DDT from the top rope and then hits a 450 splash, but again Kaz gets the shoulder up! Max continues the trash talk but Kaz blocks the suplex attempt from him and then hangs him up on the top rope stomach-first. Buck is on the apron now and Kaz leaps over the top rope with a sunset flip powerbomb off the apron onto the floor! Great spot and Buck's head hit the floor pretty nastily. Back inside Max is able to get the shoulder up though. Yet again the Fade to Black is blocked by Buck, but Kaz drills him with the Shining Wizard and that's enough to give him the win and retain his title at 11:22.
Winner: Kazarian @ 11:22
Rating: ***1/4 - Great X-Division match here that still managed to make Max Buck look damn impressive even in the loss. I'm actually shocked he got as much offense in this as he did, and blocking the Fade to Black three different times was a nice touch. The sunset flip spot was sick as well. All in all, good old fashioned X Division fun.
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with Abyss, who quickly flies off the handle and cuts a surprisingly good and intense promo, showing off all of his scars and the giant gap where his front teeth used to be until recently. He promises to take out his frustrations on Crimson next.
Abyss vs. Crimson
They're still pushing Crimson's undefeated streak, though honestly I can't actually recall too many matches he's even had so far in the promotion. Abyss overpowers Crimson early with big forearms to the back. The action spills to the floor quickly as Abyss just lays in right hands on his younger opponent. Crimson sends Abyss head-first into the guardrail and tries for a clothesline, but Abyss moves and Crimson wraps his arm around the steel post in painful fashion. Abyss sends him head-first into the steel steps and the ref finally begins to start his count, getting up to seven before both men return to the ring. Abyss maintains control, slamming Crimson into the corner and then applying a loose variation of a chinlock. Crimson starts his comeback now, hitting a big lariat on Abyss and then delivering the knee-strike/neckbreaker combo he's been using recently for a two count. Crimson misses a splash in the corner and Abyss choke slams him, but Crimson kicks out at two to Abyss's total shock. Abyss looks under the ring and pulls out his old trusty gal Janice (a board full of nails for those unaware). He scares off the ref and tries to hit Crimson with Janice, but he ducks and hits a spear on Abyss for another close two count. Boot to the midsection from Abyss and he tries for the Shock Treatment, but Crimson counters and delivers a nice double-arm DDT for another very close two count. Abyss hits a big Vader Bomb on Crimson in the corner, but he still can't keep the rookie down for three. Abyss runs right into the Red Sky High powerbomb from Crimson though, and that's enough to give him the win and keep the streak alive at 10:40.
Winner: Crimson @ 10:40
Rating: **1/4 - I am downright shocked by how good this was. Going in I expected this to be the weakest match on the card, but both men had a good power vs. power match up that keeps the streak alive and puts Crimson over very well. Not a great match or anything, but considering who was in the ring, this was way better than you'd expect.
TNA Tag Team Title Match
Beer Money © vs. Matt Hardy/Chris Harris
This would be the Wildcat's first match in TNA since late 2007, and everybody knows how big of a disaster his WWE run was, so we'll have to see what kind of shape he's in tonight. Speak of the devil, he looks pretty bloated as he takes his shirt off. We're not ten seconds in before the "Braden Walker!" chants start at Harris. He looks to start it off with his former partner Storm, but in a classic heel move he tags Hardy in quickly before any contact is made and Matt hits a few forearms on Storm. Roode tags in quickly and both he and Storm hit a series of kneedrops for a near fall. Harris tags himself into the match now but eats a flying forearm from Roode for his troubles. Harris is wearing AMW trunks by the way, just noticed that. Matt tags back in and Beer Money continues the double-teaming. Harris tags in when Matt has Storm in a wristlock and then spits a mouth full of beer right into his face. Well hey, Harris might not be in great shape here but he's doing a great job of playing the cowardly heel here so far. Nice teamwork from Hardy and Harris and a double team bulldog, an old trick from the AMW playbook, gets a two count. Storm fights off Matt with a Codebreaker and tags Roode back in as Harris hops in as well. The fisherman's suplex gets another two count on Harris and Roode looks to tag Storm in for some payback on the Wildcat, but Matt breaks the tag up and Harris hits a full-nelson slam for another near fall. The heels begin isolating Roode in their corner at this point as Hardy slaps on a bear hug (never thought I'd say that) and the crowd begins to rally behind the tag champs. Harris tags in and Roode gets the hot tag to Storm, so it's payback time for James Storm. Storm delivers the Lou Thesz press to his former partner and just starts laying in closed fists on the Wildcat. Harris tries tossing Storm, but he skins the cat and hits a sloppy elevated DDT from the second rope that Matt Hardy breaks up the pin on. Matt and Roode begin fighting on the floor as Storm hits a tornado inverted DDT out of the corner on Harris for a two count. Creative move from Storm there. Beer Money tries for the DWI, but Hardy breaks it up and delivers the Side Effect to Roode. Harris tries for the Catatonic side slam on Storm but eats a spinebuster from Roode instead as tag rules are totally out the window at this point. Harris eats a superkick from Storm and the champs look to hit the DWI again, but Harris would rather they deliver the old AMW double team finisher the Death Sentence! They deliver the move to Harris and Storm gets the 3 count on his former partner to retain their tag titles at 13:51.
Winner: Beer Money @ 13:51
Rating: *** - Solid title defense for the champs here, and though Harris still doesn't look to be in very good shape, he played the role of the cowardly heel perfectly here, avoiding James Storm at all costs, getting in his cheap shots, and then paying for it in the finish. Picked up nicely towards the end as well. Solid stuff.
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with Bully Ray, who cuts a great promo on AJ Styles, although I'm pretty sure at one point he basically threatened to toss AJ up against the wall and rape him. He promises to take out AJ, his friends, and then even threatens to basically rape AJ's wife to finish it off. Good promo from Ray, but a bit overboard with the rape implications. Kind of creepy.
No DQ Match
AJ Styles vs. Tommy Dreamer
Not exactly how I'd be using one of the most talented men in the company, but what are you going to do? These two faced off in an I Quit match last September, and Styles was able to get the best match out of Dreamer that I've seen from Tommy in years, so there's some hope this could wind up being pretty good. The announcers and ref mention that this is a No DQ match, which is the first I'm hearing about this. So expect a Bully Ray run-in at some point. AJ is all over Tommy's case to start but the veteran turns the tables quickly and drops AJ face-first on the turnbuckle. AJ sends Tommy to the floor and then follows him out with a pescado. He grabs a fan's drink at ringside and dumps it over Tommy's head, but gets sent into the steel steps. AJ crotches Tommy on the steel guardrail and AJ leaps off the guardrail with a flying forearm in a great display of athleticism. Things deteriorate into a brawl from here as both men begin fighting into the crowd and up the steps. AJ gets sent into the Impact wall in the crowd (you know the one, it's used in every single TNA brawl ever) and Dreamer slams AJ through the wooden railing as well. Dreamer's shirt is ripped to shreds at this point and we get a peek at one of the ugliest shirts I've ever seen. Tommy goes under the ring and grabs a steel trash can, but AJ kicks it right back into his face before he can use it. AJ goes under the ring and pulls out a table next, bringing it into the ring and suplexing it onto Tommy for a two count. AJ sets the table up like a ramp and runs up it, leaping off and nailing Tommy with a forearm in the corner. Don't think I've ever seen that before. "This is Awesome!" chant breaks out as Tommy blocks a suplex attempt from AJ and hits the DDT on him, but his foot is underneath the rope so the ref won't count. Tommy pulls out a damn FORK now, harkening back to their I Quit match, but AJ prevents him from using it. Trash can shot from AJ and he tries to set the table back up again. AJ hits the pele kick and looks to deliver the Styles Clash onto the table, but here comes Bully Ray into the ring, knocking AJ out with a steel chain. Christopher Daniels runs out to chase Ray off but Tommy gives AJ a piledriver through the table and that's enough to give Tommy the win at 13:05.
Winner: Tommy Dreamer @ 13:05
Rating: **3/4 - Pretty fun hardcore match here between these two, which was really the best route to go considering how limited Dreamer is in the ring at this point. The stipulation was pretty much just an excuse to let Bully Ray interfere, but it did it's job and continues the feud between AJ and Ray. Entertaining brawl.
Kurt Angle/Chyna vs. Jeff Jarrett/Karen Jarrett
And now we arrive at this match, the one alot of people have been waiting for, mainly to see how Chyna will fare in the ring considering she hasn't wrestled in roughly 9 years. Christy Hemme notes that the rules are "girl on girl and guy on guy" in this match, which sounds alot dirtier than it should. Chyna gets probably the biggest pop of the night so far and actually looks to be in pretty decent shape. Mike Tenay notes the history between Jarrett and Chyna, as they did actually manage to have a great feud back in the fall of 1999. That was twelve years ago though. Kurt and Jeff start us off and the crowd is already hotter for this match than probably any on the card yet. Big hip-toss and a snap suplex from Kurt gets a quick two count and Kurt tags Chyna in as a "Chyna's gonna kill you!" chant starts up. Karen takes forever to get into the ring but before she can interact with Chyna, Jeff hops into the ring and brings Angle in with him, telling Chyna to get out. The ref obliges...umm, what? There was definitely no tag there at all ref. Kurt picks up his ex-wife and looks to tag Chyna in, but Jeff takes him out with a chop block. Jeff continues the beat down on Kurt as the crowd keeps chanting for Chyna. Kurt starts to mount a comeback, delivering a release overhead belly-to-belly on Jeff for a two count. Jeff avoids the Angle Slam but Kurt gives him the trio of rolling German suplexes instead. Jeff avoids the ankle lock, but Kurt hits him with the Angle Slam. Jeff kicks out at two though. Finally Chyna gets the tag and she just wipes out Karen with a big clothesline. She gives Karen the pedigree (which Tenay calls a "DDT style move", I assume because the Pedigree is copyrighted?) and then both she and Kurt slap on a pair of ankle locks on the Jarretts and both husband and wife tap out to give Kurt and Chyna the win at 10:27.
Winner: Kurt Angle/Chyna @ 10:27
Rating: **1/4 - This wasn't very good to be honest. Lots of stalling and they made Kurt and Jeff here seem totally secondary to Chyna. Chyna was only in the ring for a few seconds so you can't really gather much from this match about her in-ring work, but the pedigree was fun to see again. This did it's job of popping the crowd for Chyna, but as a wrestling match this was really average stuff.
Taz and Mike hype the main event for tonight, and Taz says that RVD wrestles the Japanese strong style. No, he really doesn't at all Taz.
TNA World Title Match
Sting © vs. Rob Van Dam
These two had a flat-out bad match last year at Slammiversary, so hopefully this will be better. Before the match begins Mr. Anderson's music hits and he joins Taz and Mike at the booth for commentary. Crowd seems split in support here, not surprisingly. Sting blocks the monkey flip attempt from RVD early and Van Dam bails to take a breather. Back inside RVD gets a few cradle attempts and then nails Sting with a spin kick. Sting ducks RVD as he runs into the corner and Van Dam tumbles to the floor. Sting tries for a Stinger Splash outside the ring but RVD moves and he slams into the guardrail. RVD looks to hit his signature leg-drop off the guardrail, but Sting moves as well and his leg slams on the rail nastily. They brawl into the crowd for a bit and take turns slamming each other into the Impact Wall. RVD hits a dropkick but slips on the floor and slams his head in the process. RVD hits a cross-body off the steps on Sting and the crowd starts a "This is Awesome!" chant. Not quite guys. Finally they make their way back to the ring and RVD hits a springboard sidekick. Sting blocks the Rolling Thunder with his knees. Sting tries for another Stinger Splash attempt but Rob hits him with a spinning heel kick to block it. He misses the Five Star Frog splash and Sting rolls him up for a two count then hits him with the single sloppiest Scorpion Death Drop I've ever seen. So sloppy in fact that Sting gives Rob another one for good measure, and that's enough for Sting to retain the title at 12:43.
Winner: Sting @ 12:43
Rating: **1/2 - Much better than their match last year at Slammiversary, but still leaving a lot to be desired for a main event. Points to Sting and Rob as they tried hard, but Sting is just too far gone at this point to have anything more than an average match. Some really sloppy bits dragged this down as well, but this was definitely better than I was expecting.
After the match Mr. Anderson says he has a surprise for Sting on Thursday. He makes his way down to the ring and we close out the show with Sting and Anderson staring eachother down.