Sacrifice 2006: Samoa Joe’s First Step Towards The Main Event

Sacrifice 2006
Date: May 14, 2006
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 900
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Don West

Another show here in Orlando with Christian as the world champion. Tonight he defends against Abyss in a Full Metal Mayhem match, which is the TNA version of a TLC match. Abyss took the belt itself at Lockdown even though Christian is still champion. Other than that it’s another chapter in the Sting vs. Jarrett saga, in this case Sting/Joe vs. Jarrett/Steiner. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about how everyone has troubles in their lives and how everyone has to make sacrifices.

We open up with a scoreboard update for the World X Cup. This is one of those things that I never quite got into but a lot of people loved. The idea is that you have four teams of four X guys competing in a round robin style tournament for national supremacy. America has five points, Mexico has two points and Japan and Canada have zero each. This is the last match of the second round and I guess it’s for one point.

World X Cup Second Round: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Petey Williams

Actually this is worth three points. Petey takes him to the mat and the fans are all over him. To be fair he’s fighting a legend so it’s understandable. I think they botch an elbow drop spot as Liger dropped the elbow but Williams took over anyway. A headscissors puts Liger to the apron but he low bridges Williams to the floor. Liger adds a huge dive to take over again.

Team Japan acts all evil and pounds on Petey on the floor. Back into the ring and Liger hooks the surfboard which is one of his signature holds. He drops Petey down into a dragon sleeper and now the annoying fans have to do the dueling chants. A frog splash by Liger hits knees and Petey hits a spinwheel kick to put Liger down again.

Liger tries a palm thrust but walks into an enziguri and tornado DDT for two. Petey loads up the Destroyer but Jushin comes back with a palm thrust and the Liger Bomb for two. A member of Team Japan interferes with a low blow. Liger follows with the Crash Thunder Buster (wheelbarrow facejam) for the pin.

Rating: C+. This was pretty good and a solid choice for an opener. Liger is one of the few guys from Japan that people actually know a bit here in America so his appearances are actually worth something. Having people go out there and just saying they’re from Japan or Mexico or wherever doesn’t really mean anything. Liger could still go in his late 30s or early 40s so this worked pretty well.

The PPV froze at the end of the match. Such is life in TNA.

Updated World X Cup Standings:

America – 5

Japan – 3

Mexico – 2

Canada – 0

We’ll be back to this later on.

We run down the card for the rest of the show.

AMW with Jackie (Gayda) and Gail say they’re not worried about tonight. Jackie is here against her will. Storm threatens Jackie to not cost them anything tonight. The girls are barred from ringside. Jackie says she’s pregnant and Gail fires her.

We recap AMW vs. Styles/Daniels. The idea is that AMW is the undefeatable team so a dream team has been put together to fight them. They already had one match but Gail cheated to keep the belts on AMW.

Tag Titles: America’s Most Wanted vs. Christopher Daniels/AJ Styles

Styles and Daniels jump the champions to start and Daniels/Harris go to the floor so AJ can hit the dropdown dropkick on the Cowboy. Daniels comes in and we’re ready to go. He takes Storm down and cranks on the arm but it’s off to Harris who runs Daniels over. The challengers double team Storm and Harris’ full nelson slam is countered into a bridging Indian Deathlock with a chinlock but the Cowboy makes the save.

Styles comes in legally now and the challengers tag in and out quickly to work on the arm. AMW finally starts cheating and get Daniels into the corner to take over. The champs cheat like true heel champions would do with choking and face pulling before Harris hooks a chinlock. A back elbow gets two on the Fallen Angel. Daniels counters an Irish whip to send Storm’s shoulder into the post and it’s hot tag to AJ.

AJ speeds things way up with his headscissors but Storm makes the save. Daniels gets tagged back in for some reason and we get a Tower of Doom with Daniels on top. Oh scratch that as he shoves the Tower down and hits a top rope cross body for two on Harris. I wish AMW would have their names on their trunks because when their backs are to the camera it’s very hard to tell them apart.

Daniels throws Harris into the crowd and AJ dives from the top rope over the barrier and onto Harris. The match kind of breaks down a bit and everyone is on the floor. A fan has a box of cereal for some reason. Back in and Daniels breaks up the Death Sentence before putting Harris into a fireman’s carry. AJ hits the Pele before the DVD hits to kill Harris dead. BME misses but the Last Call does as well. Harris hits his spear to take Daniels down for two.

It’s Storm vs. Daniels legally now but Daniels hits a double clothesline to bring in Styles. AJ goes up high with a double clothesline of his own but he charges into a boot from Storm. AJ loads up a superplex but Harris makes the save, resulting in a Doomsday Device into a reverse tornado DDT by Storm for two. That looked awesome.

Daniels comes back in for the save and the challengers hit a BME/Frog Splash combo for two on Storm. Styles tries the Clash but the Cowboy escapes with a low blow and the superkick for two. Angel’s Wings hits Storm for two as Harris makes the save. This is getting awesome. Daniels, Harris and the referee get knocked to the floor and something falls from the rafters into the ring. It’s a nightstick and Gail Kim is seen in the rafters. AJ hits the Clash on Storm but Harris blasts him in the back of the head with the nightstick for the pin to retain.

Rating: B+. This was getting awesome at the end but we had to have Gail Kim interfere to end the thing. This would set up another match at Slammiversary which wasn’t as good but it gave us the title change which we needed. Still though, this was the old school idea of putting four guys out there and giving them fifteen minutes to have a great match. As usual, it worked.

Larry Z is with A-1 and says that all of his problems are because of Raven. A-1 is going to take out Raven for him tonight. A-1 has no idea what’s going on and thinks Larry’s name is Barry. He leaves and Slick Johnson comes in and says we’re going to find out who the face of TNA management is next month. Larry has no idea who it’s going to be but Johnson says he knows. He suggests it’ll be Piper but that’s just a joke. It might be Vince Russo but that’s also a joke. The third joke is Ultimate Warrior. I think we get it by this point. Johnson still won’t tell.

We recap the Larry Z vs. Raven feud which has gone on forever. Larry was told that someone was going to be the new face of TNA management on the same day that his biggest rival, Raven, was reinstated. Team Canada offered A-1 to take Raven out for some reason.

Raven vs. A-1

Larry sits in a chair in the ring before the match starts. Larry gets in his face so A-1 hits Raven with said chair to get an early advantage. A-1 rams him into the corner a bunch of times as Larry sits in on commentary. They head to the floor and A-1 rams him into the post a few times to stay on the back. Raven’s back goes into the barricade as the beating on that thing continues.

Back into the ring and A-1 fires off shoulders in the corner. A corner splash/forearm puts Raven down again as we’re still waiting on Bird Boy’s first offense. A-1 kicks him down but Raven FINALLY gets in some right hands in the corner. A clothesline out of the corner buts A-1 down and he fires off some kicks. An Edge-O-Matic puts Raven down but Larry’s distraction lets A-1 get in a cheap shot. A charge misses and the Raven Effect gets the pin.

Rating: D. This was a really dull match, but that could be said about almost any match in this Raven vs. Larry feud. It just kept going on and on with nothing ever really being accomplished. We got matches like Raven vs. Kanyon out of it which didn’t make anyone interested in the match or anything like that, but who cares about stuff like that?

Larry calls Raven back to the ring and they have a weak brawl.

Jarrett and Steiner say Sting hasn’t one-uped them but rather the opposite. Jarrett says that Sting is desperate for picking Joe as his partner when Joe isn’t trustworthy. Steiner says that Sting’s mistake will result in pain.

We recap Rhyno vs. Roode. Team Canada cost Rhyno a match with Abyss for some reason that isn’t quite explained here. Rhyno has vowed to go through all of the Canadians to get to Coach D’Amore.

Bobby Roode vs. Rhyno

The is power vs. power and they fight over a lockup to start. A shoulder block puts Roode on the floor but Rhyno doesn’t follow up. Roode comes back in and slaps Rhyno in the face, which gets him punched and backdropped for his troubles. They go to the floor for a slugout which goes to Roode. Back in and Rhyno goes to the middle rope but a disitraction by the Coach lets Roode knock Rhyno to the floor.

Back in and Bobby pounds away at the Man Beast’s head before choking away a bit. Neckbreaker gets two. There’s the Hennig neck snap for the same result and it’s off to a neck crank. The jingoistic fans chant USA so Roode hits a belly to back suplex and a middle rope kneedrop for two. Off to a chinlock which stays on the neck. Like any good stupid heel, Roode slaps Rhyno in the face a few times which fires Rhyno up.

Roode takes him right back down by sending him into the corner and it’s back to the chinlock. Rhyno fights out of it and speeds things up, running over Roode with clotheslines and elbows to the face. A spinebuster gets two for Rhyno and Roode goes to the apron. He goes up top but gets superplexed back down for a close two.

Roode comes back with a spinebuster of his own and it’s hockey stick time. Since that gets taken away, Roode has to settle for getting two boots into the face of a charging Rhyno. The Northern Lariat is countered into a belly to belly but D’Amore gets in a hockey stick shot so that the Lariat can hit for the pin.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t bad but it was pretty boring. I never quite got the point of the feud between Rhyno and the Canadians but it didn’t last long. It was more like a way to bridge the gap from Rhyno being world champion to his next big feud, which would wind up being Christian Cage. Still though, nothing great here but Roode would get much better over time.

Team 3D talks about how you always remember where you were when big things happen (this leads to an argument about OJ Simpson but we’ll skip that). Ray remembers being in Hartford, Connecticut in 2000 and winning their first WWE Tag Titles after beating the New Age Outlaws. Tonight it happens again.

We recap Team 3D vs. the James Gang. The argument is that the match six years ago ended with a pipe shot and also about the Dudleys getting big in a bingo hall while the Outlaws were headlining MSG.

Team 3D vs. James Gang

Roadie says that he isn’t a mark so he doesn’t remember his wins and losses. Ok then. Kip and D-Von start us off with D-Von hitting a jumping clothesline for two. With nothing of note in the first minute and a half, it’s off to Ray vs. BG. They trade armdrags and no one can really get a distinct advantage. BG fires off an armdrag and dropkick to send Ray into the corner. He yells at Ray about being fat so Ray hits a dropkick of his own to shock BG.

They trade the dancing punches and both hit their big punches at the same time. If this is supposed to be some big and epic clash of legends it really isn’t working. D-Von pulls BG out to the floor and crotches him on the post before coming in legally. D-Von beats on BG for a bit before it’s back to Bubba for a neckbreaker, getting two. Off to a chinlock as BG is in some serious trouble. Ray misses a charge in the corner and BG clotheslines D-Von down.

Hot (I guess?) tag brings in Kip who cleans house. He hits a Stinger Splash on Bubba and everything breaks down. The James Gang is in control but Bubba throws Kip over the top and out to the floor. Doomsday Device gets two on BG and the double neckbreaker gets the same on Kip. Fameasser to D-Von misses but BG brings in a pipe like the one mentioned in the match in 2000. A shot to the back of D-Von is enough to end this.

Rating: D+. Was this supposed to be some big battle? It was ok I guess but it felt like they were going on pure reputation rather than actually having a good match. It wasn’t a bad match or anything but I don’t get if this was supposed to be a big and great match or a revenge match or what. Either way, it was just ok at best.

Mitchell says Christian has nothing to live for other than the world title, and tonight Abyss is taking that from him too. Abyss is going to take the title in the match that Christian is best known for. Mitchell will make sure to come visit Christian in the morgue.

We see the ending of the Liger vs. Petey match because the feed went out earlier. That’s nice of them.

The newest Knockout, Christy Hemme, comes out to present the World X Cup to the winning team.

World X Cup Final Round: Gauntlet Match

All sixteen participants in the match are in this. It’s a two minute starting period followed by one minute intervals after that. It’s over the top rope eliminations until we get down to one on one when it becomes a singles match. The teams that make it to the final match receive two points apiece and the winner of the match gets an extra three. If the two finalists are from the same team, their team receives seven points and automatically wins the tournament. In the event of a tie, the captains will face each other in a singles match….on Impact.

We start with Minoru Tanaka (Japan) and Puma (Mexico). Tanaka offers a handshake to start but as Puma shakes it, Tanaka Mists him to take over. A springboard missile dropkick puts Tanaka down and an enziguri staggers him. Tanaka gets in a suplex but covers out of instinct. #3 is Petey Williams (Canada) and he joins forces with Minoru to double team Puma. That lasts a good 20 seconds before Petey turns on Puma.

#4 is Chris Sabin (USA) and things speed up again. Sabin whips all three guys into the corner but only hits Tanaka with a forearm. A double clothesline takes the other two down and Hiroki Goto (Japan) is #5. He hits a spin kick to take down Sabin and teams up with his teammate to clean house. #6 is Incognito (Mexico) who seems to wrestle in slow motion. He knocks Petey to the floor and hits a suicide dive but neither guy went over the top so everyone is still in. Before I forget, Incognito is currently known as Hunico in WWE.

#7 is Johnny Devine (Canada) and he puts Incognito down in the corner for some running knees. #8 is Sonjay Dutt (USA) to continue the pattern the entries have taken. All eight are still in at the moment. The Americans double team Williams but Devine makes the save. And never mind as Dutt snaps off an inverted rana to send him flying. In at #9 is Black Tiger (Japan) and he runs over Dutt very quickly.

Tiger hooks an ankle lock on Williams but Devine makes the save. Magno is #10 (Mexico) and he comes in with some springboard flips. It’s impossible to tell what’s going on as there are too many people in the ring at the moment. Eric Young (Canada) is #11 as two people go through the ropes, as in not being eliminated. We get a LOUD Eric chant as we’re told that Incognito and Dutt are both out with Dutt having an injured ankle.

#12 is Alex Shelley (USA) and house is cleaned. He hits a complicated double team move on the Canadians and a spin kick Devine. Sabin and Devine go out in a big rush of offense as Liger (Japan) is #13 and the final member of Team Japan. Magno charges into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Liger and they go to the top rope. Liger gets superplexed down and Shocker (Mexico) is #14. Magno charges at someone and is backdropped out.

Black Tiger goes up top but gets powerbombed down and eliminated as we see Tyson Dux (Canada) in at #15. Dux sends Puma to the apron but he gets back in. Shelley throws out Goto and Jay Lethal (USA) is #16 and the final entrant. By my count we have eight people left: Young, Minoru, Shelley, Lethal, Puma, Dux, Liger, Shocker and Williams. Lethal dropkicks Minoru out. That leaves Japan with just Liger.

Shocker charges at Dux and gets monkey flipped to the floor. Dux and Young go at Liger and get palm strikes to the chest for their efforts. They combine to eliminate Liger, eliminating Japan entirely from the gauntlet and the competition. Lethal immediately puts Young out and we’re down to five: Dux, Lethal, Shelley, Williams and Puma. There goes Dux and we’re down to four. The Americans double team Williams but Shelley misses a charging knee to eliminate himself. Lethal goes to the apron but jumps back in, right into a spin kick from Puma to get us down to two.

Puma hits a fast brainbuster and remember that it’s now a regular one on one match. The Canadian Destroyer hits out of NOWHERE and the Canadians in the form of Williams wins, meaning it’s Williams vs. Sabin for the Cup on Impact (Sabin would win the match and the Cup).

Rating: B-. That’s as high as I can possibly go with this. The match wasn’t bad at all but it’s the walking definition of throw A LOT of stuff out there and have them do flips and dives with the hope that the crowd likes it. I don’t really know what else there is to say about this. I don’t see the need in having it go over to Impact and not ending it here, but I guess it gave them something else to do on Thursday. Not a bad match, but it was only going to be able to be so good if that makes sense.

Post match Kevin Nash comes out and Jackknifes Puma to show what he’s going to do to the X-Division. He brags about how Puma got in no offense on him and says a medium big man can beat an X-Division guy any day. Size does matter you see.

Samoa Joe says he doesn’t need to be Sting’s friend to beat up Steiner and Jarrett.

We recap the tag match. Basically Steiner is Jarrett’s top flunkie and they offered Sting a tag match. There was this stupid game show thing with guys like Rick Steiner, Lex Luger and I think Buff Bagwell being partners that Jarrett/Steiner turned down. It wound up being Samoa Joe. See, THIS is how you push someone: put them in the main event or tip feuds and have them seem like they belong there.

Scott Steiner/Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting/Samoa Joe

Jarrett and Sting get us going after some stalling. Sting takes him to the mat and rams his head into the mat in a simple yet effective move. Steiner comes in and charges into a big boot and a Vader Bomb of all things. Sting moves to send a cheating Jarrett into Steiner before taking them both down with a double clothesline off the top. Off to Joe for the showdown with Steiner.

They stare each other down and Joe pie faces him. Joe pounds him into the corner but gets suplexed down which seems to shock him. They slug it out in the corner but Steiner takes his head off with a clothesline. The elbow sets up the pushups which ticks Joe off enough that he fires off forearms and an enziguri to slow Steiner down. Jarrett hits a knee to the Samoan’s back and Joe is in trouble.

Jeff comes in legally and struts a lot but he charges into the release Rock Bottom. Off to Sting who cleans house and powerbombs Jarrett down for two. He loads up the Death Drop but has to put Jarrett in an STO of all things. The Scorpion on Steiner is broken up as is one on Steiner. Jarrett DDTs him down and Steiner hits a belly to belly for two. Jarrett comes back in and uses a Garvin Stomp followed by a front facelock. Riveting stuff from Double J there.

Sting fights up and gets the tag but Steiner has the referee. The classics always work. Speaking of the classics, the guys collide and Sting’s head falls onto Steiner’s balls. Double tag brings in Joe and Jarrett and the snap powerslam gets two on Jeff very quickly. Joe cleans house on Scott and hits the backsplash for two. He runs over both guys at once with a double clothesline and everything breaks down.

Joe throws both guys into the same corner followed by Joe hitting a leg lariat to take them both out. The Stinger Splash hits but the second sends Sting over the top to the floor. The Stroke hits Joe but he takes too long to cover, only getting two. Sting beats up Steiner on the floor as Jarrett tries the middle rope Stroke. Joe punches out of it and the MuscleBuster gets the pin.

Rating: C+. This was your usual main event tag match and it wasn’t half bad. Joe getting the win was fine but at the same time he never got near the world title picture this year, which made little sense after he beat Jarrett again on PPV when Jarrett was world champion. This would be the main event feud that ran all summer and it was pretty decent, although I still didn’t like the way it ended.

Joe finally shakes Sting’s hand post match.

Joe leaves and Steiner blasts Sting with a chair. Joe doesn’t see it but he should have been able to hear it, although he doesn’t turn around. Instead he keeps walking and lets Sting get beaten down. Sting takes a guitar shot which Joe hears. He turns around and looks at Steiner and Jarrett standing tall, then walks away. A bunch of guys run out for the save, including the James Gang and Daniels plus others.

We recap the world title match, which is Full Metal Mayhem. Nothing is said here so I guess there’s no point in recapping it.

Christian says simply stealing a title belt doesn’t make you a champion.

NWA World Title: Abyss vs. Christian

This is basically a TLC match and Christian is defending. Christian immediately takes him down but can’t overcome the power soon afterwords. Abyss goes for a ladder but Christian dropkicks it back into his face. Back into the ring and Abyss throws him to the apron, only to have the ladder see-sawed into his face. They head to the floor with Christian pounding away on Abyss’ head.

Out into the crowd and they go to that wall that the people in every big TNA brawl fight to. They head back into the ring and the ladder is set up in the corner. Abyss misses a splash onto said ladder so Christian puts it up in front of the challenger. He tries a charge at the ladder but Abyss throws it back at him, knocking Christian down. Abyss wedges a chair between the ropes, and due to the law of wrestling #1, goes crashing into it for his trouble.

Christian goes up and gets his hand on the belt but Abyss makes a pretty easy save. They fight over a German onto the ladder but after neither can get it to go, it’s Christian that is sent crashing into the ladder. Abyss goes outside and sets up a pair of tables next to the ring. Now there’s a table set up in the ring as well but Christian gets in a boot to the ribs to break things up.

Abyss puts him on the ladder but misses a cross body kind of move onto the climbing instrument. A frog splash onto the ladder misses but so does a chain shot against the post. Christian chokes him with the chain but gets flipped through one of the tables at ringside. Abyss goes up but Christian makes the save with a chair. They both fall off the ladder with Christian hitting the top rope. Abyss lays out the tacks but walks into an Unprettier onto the ladder. Mitchell takes a Rock Bottom into the tacks and Abyss is put on the table. He has a chance to go for the belt but drops a frog splash through Abyss, then grabs the title.

Rating: B-. This was ok but it never hit the level that a lot of these matches hit. This felt like something you would see on a TV show, meaning that while it was good there was nothing above the usual level of violence or carnage. For a B level main event it was fine, but it’s absolutely nothing you’d ever want to see a second time unless you were completely obsessed with Christian or something.

Overall Rating: C-. This show was really nothing that great. If I was watching it live I likely would have said it wasn’t bad but I would have been a bit disappointed. By no means is it a bad show but there’s nothing on it worth going out of your way to see. This was before TNA really hit its stride so for the time, this was a pretty good show. It hasn’t really aged that well, but in just over six years it can only age so much anyway. Overall not bad, but it’s just ok at best.

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