Date: April 17, 2011
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz
We’ve finally arrived here at the second biggest show of the year for TNA. The main event is the world title triple threat with Sting vs. Anderson vs. RVD in something eerily similar to what happened on 10-10-10. As you probably know, the catch here is that every match is in a cage. I had a chance to go to this but after the mess that was Victory Road I passed. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about the main three matches: the title match, Lethal Lockdown and Kurt vs. Jeff. I really hope the last of those three ends tonight. There’s a theme of blood in the video which I think we’ll see a lot of tonight.
Chris Sabin vs. Robbie E vs. Jeremy Buck vs. Max Buck vs. Amazing Red vs. Jay Lethal vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Suicide
Winner is #1 contender. Pin/submission until we get down to two and then it’s escape. This is the Xscape match. Get it? The guys have to tag in and out here which is actually a big upgrade in this. I’m not going to try to keep track of who is in there and what is going on, at least not at the beginning. Jeremy vs. Lethal at the moment with Lethal in control. Lethal Combination puts Jeremy down but it’s off to Max and Suicide.
GOOD NIGHT Cookie is loud. Robbie comes in and goes after the arm of Suicide….getting the pin with it. Well that was unexpected. The fans boo loudly at that and it’s Jersey vs. Jersey. Robbie tags out to Sabin and both guys get beaten down. Shelley is back soon apparently. Sabin and Lethal have a nice crisp sequence and Red makes a blind tag. Missile dropkick to Sabin but Red can’t kick Lethal. Handspring elbow is blocked and Red grabs a sunset bomb out of nowhere to get us down to six.
If you’re confused, Lethal and Suicide are out and the Bucks, Sabin, Red, Robbie and Kendrick are left. Red is tossed into the air and lands on the top. The flippies can’t save him though as Cradle Shock (love that move) and a big running clothesline get us down to five. Max comes in and if it sounds like this is in fast forward it’s more or less because it is. Kendrick is sitting down bobbing his head back and forth as usual.
Max rolls up Sabin to put him out and it’s off to Kendrick. He has a robe on and Robbie runs him over. Both guys go out after Kendrick hits a big old cross body and it’s time for Buck vs. Buck. Jeremy GOES OFF on Max, ramming him into the cage multiple times and getting a Trouble in Paradise kick. Multiple right hands follow and Max grabs a CHEAP rollup to put Jeremy out. I’ve never heard a crowd so quiet for a pin in my life.
Final three are Max Buck, Kendrick and Robbie. The two heels lawn dart Kendrick into the cage which wakes him up somehow. He massacres both guys with a ton of kicks and various other offense. A big kick puts Robbie out and we’re down to Max vs. Kendrick, escape to win. Kendrick tries to climb out but gets caught, allowing Max to take over for a bit. Max rams Kendrick in a bunch of times which doesn’t seem to hurt him. They fight on the top rope with Kendrick shoving him off and going up. Max shoves the referee into Kendrick to knock him down and climbs out in record time to end it. Totally wrong winner.
Rating: C. Match went too long here and the crowd is thoroughly killed because of it. Not a bad match but the problem again is that this takes too long to get through seven different eliminations. It could have been worse but at the same time they didn’t have a huge spotfest which is what a match like this is supposed to be. Not bad, but not what it should have been.
The announcers run down the card but gets cut off by Bischoff who is in a t-shirt and jeans which is a rare look for him. His arms are bulging out of the shirt. Tenay and Taz bicker like an old married couple over the first bit of Eric’s talking. He says he’s going to tell us why he’s here in a few minutes. People come up to him and ask him what matters most about this business and he’s going to tell us. Great heat on Bischoff here.
Tonight is special because Immortal is going to take care of Fourtune. The fans chant WE WANT WRESTLING and I agree. Bischoff sucks up to Hogan (big pop for his name) who is going to get the world title back in his grasp. Bischoff gets to play a small role in that and that is all that matters to him. Total waste of about 7 minutes which I’m sure if foreshadowing to something.
Steiner and Crimson are getting ready and Crimson says he’s glad Scott is watching his back. Steiner rambles incoherently of course.
Ink Inc vs. Scott Steiner/Crimson vs. Orlando Jordan/Eric Young vs. British Invasion
Jordan’s outfit of the night is a Tarzan leopard print kind of deal. I think this is one fall to a finish. Young vs. Neal to start us off with Young immediately trying to escape which isn’t an option for winning. Neal with some arm drags followed by Young with an arm drag leading to a standoff. Moore comes in and takes over with basic heel stuff.
Williams and Jordan get tags at the same time and it’s off to Magnus very quickly. Jordan does various dirty things to Magnus while beating both Brits up. Off to Neal again as this is moving too fast, namely due to having too many people in the match again. The Brits beat down Neal for a bit and a double back elbow gets two. Double neckbreaker gets no count as Moore makes the save.
The crowd wants Steiner so we keep going with Neal vs. Magnus because the crowd wasn’t quite dead enough. Neal breaks free and tags Crimson when he was wide open to tag either. After Crimson beats on Williams for a bit we FINALLY get Steiner and a roar. Steiner cleans house with his traditional stuff, including belly to bellies all around. He goes for the pin on Williams but Moore distracts him.
Young tries to jump Steiner and Crimson is fine with his partner fighting off four or five guys. Shannon makes a blind tag to bring himself in. He dances around Scott and then chokes away in the corner. Young takes his pants off to reveal some tiny tiger print tights. And so much for that as a jumping back elbow takes him down.
Everything breaks down as Moore hits a moonsault press to Williams, Young hits the Gender Bender to Young, Crimson hits Red Alert to Jordan, Magnus hits….something like a Michinoku Driver to Jordan, Steiner hits a t-bone on Magnus, Young hits a missile dropkick to Steiner….and then tries to escape again. Rolling Chaos to Moore is blocked and the Mooregasm ends Williams and gives Ink Inc the win. I give up.
Rating: D. Dudes, I beg of you: GIVE THE FANS SOMETHING TO CHEER FOR! Steiner was over beyond belief and was in the match for all of a minute. The opening 45 minutes of this show should be a lesson in how to kill a crowd. Nothing has been interesting and the best match has been ok at best. Well done TNA: you’ve proven me right so far.
Madison tells Tara to stay in the back for the match tonight.
We recap Madison vs. Mickie. Basically Madison has been champion forever and beat Mickie earlier in the year. This is title vs. hair. Madison and Tara ran Mickie down with a motorcycle so Mickie’s shoulder is hurt.
Knockouts Title: Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne
Mickie’s shoulder is taped and Madison can’t get her tiara off. At least the girls both look great. Mickie jumps Madison as the bell rings and sends her into the cage three times within the first twenty seconds. Jumping DDT and we’re done in 30 seconds.
Matt Morgan says he’s going to get back on track tonight and Carbon Footprint Hernandez back to Mexico. Please let this be the ending to this stupid feud.
We recap Joe vs. Pope with the whole Okato stuff which was idiotic beyond belief. In short, Pope was caught doing naughty things with his donations as Joe had a Japanese friend of his named Okada (later Okato) film him. Pope beat up Okato and this is their 3rd or 4th match.
D’Angelo Dinero vs. Samoa Joe
Joe is in red and blue which is an odd look on him. The Joe’s Gonna Kill You chant is always cool to hear. Pope hits a powerslam which is no sold as Joe drills Pope with ease. Tenay says that it’s all about the strikes with the Samoan SUBMISSION Machine. Pope gets what looked like a low blow to finally slow down the rampaging Joe. Joe gets a chop in and Pope tries to run. The key word there is try as they wind up on top of the cage and a headbutt sends Pope’s balls into the top rope.
That hole in the cage they use for the camera is always awesome. As Joe hits some face washes the camera goes wide again for no apparent reason. Joe comes with a running kick but Pope pulls the referee in the way to avoid it. Pope fights up and lands some crossface shots to take over. We hit the chinlock with Joe in some trouble. Joe fights up and tries a sleeper, only to get caught in an STO for two.
ENOUGH WITH THE WIDE SHOT ALREADY! Snap powerslam by Joe and both guys are down so we go wide again. This is getting annoying. They slug it out with Joe winning by slapping harder. Big Boot by the big fat tub of goo sets up a backsplash for two. Leg lariat off the top gets two. Muscle Buster hits but Pope gets his foot on the ropes.
Pope goes up and gets his tights pulled down in the process. He finally pulls them up and knocks Joe to the mat. Top rope elbow gets one and a Codebreaker gets two. DDE is caught because it’s an awful finisher and Joe sends him into the cage. Muscle Buster sets up the Clutch and it’s over. Well that was abrupt.
Rating: C+. Best match of the night so far and it was just ok at best. Now please, LET THIS BE OVER. The feud has been a waste of the last four months for both guys and the matches haven’t been anything special. This wasn’t anything great overall but it wasn’t too bad. The right guy won at least so it has that going for it.
Christy tries to talk to Mexican America and they do the usual thing of talking half in English and half in Spanish. Just get this over with.
We recap the Morgan vs. Hernandez feud. In short, Morgan is awesome and Hernandez is being a jerk and they used to be partners. That’s about all there is to it.
Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan
Battle of the giants here even though one of the giants is 6’2. I’m not sure how well that plays but they both look big so it works out fine. Anarquia reaches through the cage to pull Morgan’s leg and give Hernandez the advantage. Hernandez hammers away and we hit the nerve hold. Dude get your racial stereotypes straight. That’s a Samoan move.
Basically they’re having a regular match in a cage which is part of the problem with this show every year. Running shoulder in the corner by Hernandez and he poses a lot again. Either Morgan is legit hurt or Hernandez is really stupid as he’s walked around for about 30 seconds now. Morgan pops up with a discus lariat to put both guys down for a bit.
Here’s Morgan’s comeback which is just ok. Backdrop suplex gets two. Hernandez ends that with something like a headbutt to the ribs for two. Morgan avoids a charge to send Hernandez into the cage. The girls climb up on the cage as does Anarquia. Down goes the dude and Hernandez tries to come off the top. Morgan catches him with a really bad looking Carbon Footpring to end this.
Rating: D. Boring match here again as nothing worked in it again. Morgan never got anything going for the most part and the ending was weak looking. Again though the right guy won and hopefully that ends the feud. Boring match again as one more time I’m glad I didn’t go to this show.
The girls complain about TNA and America cheating them again. They say they should be Knockout Champion and that they’re better than everyone. After they complain a lot here’s Velvet to beat them both up. She throws them out and that’s about it.
Karen says Jeff Jarrett is awesome and she has nothing to be worried about.
We recap Kurt vs. Jarrett. Basically it’s because of Karen who blames Kurt for all kinds of problems and legitimately married Kurt’s boss. This feud has gone on FOREVER (some of you may be noticing a pattern here) and hopefully it ends here. This is one of those instances where they’re trying to make real life into an angle and while it’s interesting, that doesn’t mean it should be done. There was a wedding ceremony that Kurt busted up with an ax which was awesome.
Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett
First fall is submission only, second is pin only, third is escape the cage. Should be awesome. Karen is ejected before the match starts which is a nice plus. Angle gets a headlock to start us off which is broken up quickly. There are only three matches left and we have almost 90 minutes left so this is going to get a lot of time. Snap suplex puts Jeff down as Kurt hammers away.
Leg sweep takes Kurt down and it’s a Figure Four less than two minutes in. Not a very good one but a figure four nonetheless. The referee, ever the genius, counts Kurt’s shoulders in a submission match. Kurt turns it over and hooks a t-bone suplex into the ankle lock. That doesn’t last long as Jarrett grabs a sleeper. Jeff sends Kurt into the corner shoulder first and adds an enziguri to the shoulder (which doesn’t work as enziguri means head kick but you get the idea). Cross armbreaker goes on and Kurt is able to roll out of it and lock on the ankle lock with the grapevine to get the early submission.
Jeff sends him into the cage and hits the Stroke for two. I thought that would have been a fall actually. Jeff has a top rope cross body rolled through for two. Double clothesline puts both guys down. They slug it out and it’s boo/yay time. Belly to belly by Kurt gets two. Rolling Germans hear my cry! The third is blocked by a low blow though which Jeff distracts the referee for. If it’s pin only, why would he have to distract the referee?
Another Stroke is countered into a shot into the cage and an Angle Slam for of course just two. Jeff goes up and is caught in a belly to belly off the top for a long two. The crowd is FINALLY getting into this. They’ve been dead the entire time here which is a shame as this has been a fairly good match so far. Kurt wakes up and busts out a Diamond Cutter of all things. That has to be a shot at Randy Orton. And Jeff rolls Kurt up with tights to tie it up. No bell or anything and the announcement is delayed, so no one really got that it was a fall.
Third is escape only and Jeff tries to unlock the door. There’s a key in there if you’re wondering. Jeff sends Kurt into the cage multiple times and goes for the key again. Ok the door is unlocked now. Slowest Rolling Germans ever has Jeff reeling though. There were five in that set and thankfully the crowd responds to it a bit. Just like last year, Kurt is ready to go and Jeff couldn’t stop him but he comes back in. He gets to the bottom step twice and come back in.
Kurt locks the door and puts the key down by his Olympic penis. Jeff is panicking so Kurt beats on him a bit more. Jeff is the first person to bleed tonight and it’s flowing down his face. They head to the top rope and Kurt hammers him down. Angle climbs up but Jeff catches him with a powerbomb off the top of the cage which is botched and Kurt lands on the top of his head, probably killing him. And of course he pops up to catch Jarrett leaving and hits an Angle Slam off the top. Kurt tries to leave but lost the key somewhere. Not a good sign when there’s so much room in your tights that you can’t find a big metal object buddy.
Gunner comes out with a chair to keep Kurt from leaving so Kurt pulls a Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga spot and throws out the moonsault to Jeff. I think his head hit Jarrett so it’s better than nothing. Steiner runs out to chase off Gunner as both guys are down. Kurt finds the key and unlocks the door but Karen bounces down and sprays something in Kurt’s eyes.
The blind Angle drills the referee and Karen hides by the door. Jeff tries to escape but gets caught in the ankle lock. Karen slips him a guitar from somewhere and pops Kurt with it. Kurt gets up AGAIN and puts the ankle lock on Jeff one more time but Karen slams the door on Angle’s head to let Jeff fall out to end this finally. You have got to be kidding me. Are they trying to have a mass murder in Cincinnati tonight?
Rating: B. Le sigh. Blast it all as they managed to screw up ANOTHER finish. The match wasn’t great but it was definitely the best of the night. The crowd hurt this a lot and the ending wasn’t all that great. It’s Angle vs. Jarrett. HOW CAN YOU OVERBOOK KURT ANGLE VS. JEFF JARRETT???????? Not a great match as some people will say but good. The problem is the first two falls were weak and it hurt this a lot.
We recap the world title match. Basically Sting came back to win the title and screw over Hogan in the process. RVD was stripped of the title last year due to being injured by Abyss. Anderson is ticked off by not getting a one on one title rematch. There’s a possibility that someone is joining Immortal also but it’s really not clear. Hogan has declared war apparently.
TNA World Title: Sting vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson
Anderson gets in both guys’ faces and is drilled for his efforts. Stinger Splash in the corner sets up the Scorpion a minute in but RVD breaks it up. Van Dam fights Sting for a bit until Anderson pulls the rope down to send Rob into the cage. Sting fights both of them and puts the Scorpion on both guys at the same time. It’s as out there as it seems. They both get the ropes as I’m not entirely sure how effective that move would have had but it was a nice idea at least.
Van Dam and Sting collide and everyone is down. Neckbreaker to Van Dam gets two. Double Mic Check has everyone down. It gets two on both guys twice each. Only in wrestling is 2+2+2+2 not good enough to get to 3. Van Dam kicks Anderson down and the Five Star gets two. So we’ve now established that 8 and 5 aren’t worth three.
Double clothesline puts everyone down……and here’s Hogan. Hogan hands RVD the pipe and RVD takes it. He isn’t sure what to do with it so he throws it at Hogan. Anderson picks it up and pops RVD with it, shouting at Hogan that it was for him and not for Hogan. Sting sneaks up on him and gets the Death Drop on Anderson to retain. Yep that’s really it.
Rating: C. This was SHORT. It wasn’t any good either but that’s beside the point. There were more references to Brooke Hogan than anything else for the most part here. Not a terrible match but dude, I was expecting something epic here and again it was rather short. Not much of a match at all as it was mainly finishers and laying down. Granted I’m not a fan of three ways for the most part but this felt like something that belonged on Impact and not a major PPV.
Hogan says he and Sting will go at it on his time. Why do I have a feeling that’s Bound For Glory?
Immortal vs. Foutune
Lethal Lockdown here. It’s Wargames for you old school fans. Fourtune is Roode, Storm, Kaz and Daniels. Immortal is Bully Ray, Matt Hardy, Abyss and Ric Flair. Yes, Flair is main eventing this show. Both teams send in a man for five minutes. After five minutes Immortal sends in their second man for a two minute advantage (they won a best of three series on Impact to earn that).
After two minutes we add in another member of Fourtune to even the odds. Two minutes after that we add in another member of Immortal to give them a 3-2 advantage. You alternate every two minutes until it’s 4-4 and then a roof covered in weapons comes down. Then it’s first fall wins.
We start off with Kaz and Abyss with the monster taking over early via a chokeslam. Ray keeps shouting mess up his pretty face. Matt says mangle him. All Abyss so far until Kaz reverses a shot into the cage and fires off a right hand. Top rope rana hits as we somehow have done four minutes so far. Kaz (that has to be close enough for a copyright suit from Taz) hammers down Abyss and it’s Matt in next.
Side Effect misses and Kaz hammers on Matt for as long as he can. He’s not paying attention to Abyss though as he hits a springboard rotating legdrop to Matt. Fade to Black is countered as Abyss is back up with 1:20 to go. Matt gets the Ice Pick (double underhook choke) to Kaz and Abyss pounds away a bit more on top of it. Matt, ever the genius, lets go of the hold. Side Effect puts Kaz down as we wait for the next person to come in.
The fourth man in is Daniels who hammers on Abyss. BME crushes the masked dude and Matt is taken down by a knee from the top. Fourtune takes over as the fans chant for Flair. Ask and ye shall receive as Flair is actually going to be in there for awhile. That man is absolutely insane. He has to be. He and Abyss work over Kaz as Matt beats up Daniels.
Storm has some beer before heading in third for his team. Beer to the face and it’s Codebreakers and Backstabbers all around. Flair gets on his knees in front of Storm and begs for mercy before having a beer bottle cracked over his head. Oh yep Flair is busted. Flair is in a suit without the shirt by the way. There go his pants and he gets spanked a bit. Why is it always HIM that this happens to?
Bully Ray is the freaking clean up hitter for Fourtune and Flair is getting more and more naked as this goes on. Roode is waiting in the aisle with 45 seconds to go. Immortal beats them down until Roode comes in to SILENCE. This crowd has been dead all night. Roode shouts FOURTUNE and hits a Blockbuster on Abyss. The roof hasn’t come down yet but as Fourtune takes over here it comes.
Double suplex to Abyss by Beer Money sets up their shout. The roof coming down takes long enough to let Jeff Hardy get pinned three times. Don’t bother showing us what’s going on in the ring right now. We need to see a roof coming down. Fourtune has weapons and the beating is on. We go split screen with one screen having a regular shot of the cage where you can see everything. Brilliant guys. Brilliant.
Abyss is knocked out through the door and Matt goes up top. I really hope he doesn’t break the roof. Daniels goes up with him as Flair screams a lot. Daniels loads up Angel’s Wings but Matt blocks hit. He backdrops Daniels who literally has to grab the roof to hang on with his legs off the cage. Storm throws the door open to give his feet something to grip on. Matt hits the Twist of Hate as Flair is literally covered in blood. MATT FALLS OFF THE CAGE. I mean he flew off and they didn’t show him afterwards. That’s scary stuff man.
A bunch of near falls follow and Roode gets a spinebuster on Flair for two. Daniels dives off the cage onto Abyss and Matt who thankfully were there to catch him. How is Matt still live? Roode puts the Figure Four on Flair but Roode makes the save at the last second. Flair and Ray take their turns with kendo sticks on everyone as Daniels is somehow back in the ring.
Ray says this is for your good friend AJ which brings AJ himself out to the ring for the big beatdown on Ray. Well there’s your match next month at whatever the next PPV is. Everyone beats on Flair and Roode throws on an armbar for the surprisingly quick tap out. Well at least there wasn’t a major turn.
Rating: B. Good match here with some flat out scary shots. The problem here was that they got caught in the same trap that they always did in this match: the opening WarGames stuff means nothing once we get down to the weapons part. The spots were enough to make your jaw drop but it wasn’t the best match in the series. Granted these aren’t usually great. The ending made sense with AJ making his return, but it was kind of expected.
Overall Rating: D+. Well this was disappointing. It’s not the worst show I’ve ever seen and is light years ahead of Victory Road (this had an actual main event) but it was nothing compared to what they had built it up to be. The world title is more or less a throwaway match which is never a god thing. The main event is ok because it was a major gimmick match but it was nothing great. The dead crowd didn’t help things either.
The whole thing felt weak to me and that’s certainly not a good thing given what they’ve been doing the past few months. Disappointing show and a sign of things to come I’m afraid. Also, this points to more Hogan and Bischoff being the focus of the show, which doesn’t do a thing for newcomers, which is what they need right now.
Max Buck b. Jeremy Buck, Amazing Red, Chris Sabin, Brian Kendrick, Robbie E, Jay Lethal and Suicide – Buck escaped the cage
Ink Inc b. Scott Steiner/Crimson, Orlando Jordan/Eric Young and British Invasion – Mooregasm to Williams
Mickie James b. Madison Rayne – Jumping DDT
Samoa Joe b. D’Angelo Dinero – Koquina Clutch
Matt Morgan b. Hernandez – Carbon Footprint
Jeff Jarrett b. Kurt Angle – Jarrett escaped the cage
Sting b. Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam – Scorpion Death Drop to Anderson
Fourtune b. Immortal – Roode made Flair submit to a Fujiwara Armbar