Date: June 8, 2008
Location: DeSoto Civic Center, Southaven, Mississippi
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Don West
We’re actually in Mississippi but it’s called Memphis since it’s so close. Either way, this is the anniversary show and the main event is Joe defending the title in King of the Mountain, which no champion has ever retained in before. There’s also another 20 minute AJ vs. Angle match so I can’t complain much about that. These TNA shows are pretty easy to sit through actually. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about how awesome Memphis is and has a guy that is supposed to sound like he’s a blues rocker. Lots of Elvis lyrics are used and we have a wedding tonight.
X-Division Title: Petey Williams vs. Kaz
Williams is champion and has Scott Steiner/Rhaka Khan with him. Petey also has a broken orbital bone so he’s in a mask. In a nice move, Kaz has on a wristlock and Petey tries to roll through it. Kaz grabs him into a rollup as he tries to for two. That looked good. They hit the mat into some pinfall reversals and Kan escapes the Destroyer attempt. Kaz gets a slingshot dropkick in the corner for no cover as Petey hits the floor.
Kaz fires off some kicks and the fans are split. They go to the floor and Khan distracts Kaz enough to let Petey get a tornado DDT off the apron to take over. Petey takes over but Kaz gets a sunset flip out of the corner for two. O’Connor Roll gets two and the kickout puts Kaz on the floor. Petey hits that SWEET slingshot rana to take over again. The fans are split again and it fires Kaz up a bit.
Petey works the arm as that comeback was pretty short lived. Kaz gets in a big kick and both guys are down. He fires off a bunch of strikes and hits a release spinebuster for two. Slingshot DDT gets the same. The fans say this is awesome and I’m not entirely sure I’d go that far. It’s good but not awesome. Williams speeds things up and the Canadian hits a Russian on the American.
He loads up the Destroyer but Kaz escapes. Petey hits a cool move that looks like a fisherman’s suplex but he slings backwards into a DDT instead. Kaz fights back and tries the Flux Capacitor (C4) off the top but Petey escapes that also. There’s very little selling in these matches at all. Another Destroyer attempt is countered into the Fade to Black for two.
Khan comes in so there’s an enziguri for you. The distraction lets Scott slide in the pipe (that’s what she said?) and Petey kills him with it. Kaz is busted but he kicks out. Destroyer attempt #8 is countered into a rollup which is countered into the Sharpshooter but Kaz counters into the Wave of the Future (spinning downward spiral) for two. The referee JUMPED over them to get there and got to three before Williams kicked out but who cares about that? Steiner distracts Kaz and it’s enough for Petey to hook the Destroyer and we’re done.
Rating: B-. Good opener here with both guys looking good. Kaz was getting a world title shot on Thursday so this was a bit worthless by comparison. Obviously he would lose there but that’s another story. This was fast paced but the lack of selling started to show in the middle as nothing could keep someone down for more than ten seconds.
Scott Steiner rants about not being on the show tonight or not getting (another) title shot. Steiner says he’s going to screw Kaz tonight. Uh………….oh there’s Abyss to keep this only rated PG-13. Steiner throws Petey at Abyss who takes the biggest Black Hole Slam EVER. There’s one for Steiner and one for Khan too.
We run down the card which is how we roll around here.
Eric Young pops up with a microphone and says Elvis is here. Oh geez.
Video on Nash who is guest enforcer tonight in the main event.
Nash is with JB and says this is all about money and Joe is more of an investment than a friend. If Joe wins tonight, Nash wins. If Joe loses tonight, Nash loses.
Video on how the Knockouts are better than the Divas. That’s true around this time.
Here are some shots of Memphis including Graceland.
ODB/Roxie/Gail Kim vs. Beautiful People/Moose
Moose is a chick that is almost as tough as Kong and is the mascot of the Beautiful People. She broke her leg in a hardcore match in an indy company and hasn’t been seen in TNA since. The Beautiful People leave Moose in the ring and she gets triple teamed. Roxie has the really short haircut here due to losing a match at Sacrifice. Gail and Moose officially start us off.
And make that Roxie as everything breaks down quickly. The Beautiful People try to leave but Gail and ODB don’t let them. Moose gets a flapjack for two. Off to Velvet who likes being on top of Roxie. The heels take over on Roxie and Moose hits a bad looking TKO for two. Velvet puts on an Octopus Hold and bites the hand at the same time. Hot tag to Gail who cleans house, putting all three chicks down and hitting a top rope cross body on Velvet for two.
Angelina takes out Kim’s bad knee and the heels take over again. They must have some time to work with here. Love works over the knee and my goodness we have psychology in a match involving breasts. Edit: breasts that don’t belong to Joe. They really are better than the Divas. Half crab goes on for a bit to work on the leg more. Moose comes in for a bridging Indian deathlock as Gail is in trouble.
There’s a Brock Lock (over the shoulder leg bar) but Gail gets the rope again. The referee is in a bowtie and shorts. That’s quite a look. Gail finally breaks free and there’s ODB off a tag. Thesz Press gets two on Moose and it breaks down again. ODB picks Moose up and hits a British Bulldog style powerslam for the pin.
Rating: C+. I liked this and the knee work was a nice touch. Gail has a bad knee coming in and the announcers pointed it out so it’s not like it was hard to miss. Little things like that one can add up a lot of points in a match and this is a good example of it. That made sense for the heels to go after and they did, showing some thinking which is a big part of psychology.
Video on Rhyno who says he’ll win King of the Mountain and the title.
Rhyno says he’s made peace with Christian (that wouldn’t last) and his second chance starts tonight.
We talk about LAX vs. Team 3D which is streets vs. hardcore. They’re only 20 time tag champions at this point. LAX won some way too complicated tournament final last month to get the titles and this is the rematch.
Tag Titles: Team 3D vs. LAX
3D are the heels. Knowing them though they’ll turn twice on the way to the ring though. D-Von vs. Hernandez to get us started. Ray has a chain to start but it gets taken away. I hope the referee at least said please. The fans want tables almost immediately. Good sign in the crowd: “D-Von! Get the table dancers!” The champs dominate to start but it’s off to Ray pretty quickly.
Ray tries to get technical with Homicide for some reason. The fans still want tables. Homicide is like cool man and grabs some armdrags to get control. Ray puts him on the top and pats his head so Homicide dropkicks him down. Hernandez clears the ring (no tag. Cheaters) and both of them dive through the ropes to take out the Dudleys. Homicide tries to go up again but D-Von shoves him down, sending his head into the railing.
Ray punches Hector Guerrero and knocks Salinas down. She has some big old bouncy boobs too. Ray holds up a title belt for some reason while D-Von works on Homicide in the ring. A back elbow puts Homicide down and the Dudleys act all innocent and nice. I miss heel teams doing things like that. Big side slam by Bubba gets no cover. Back to D-Von and the fans say 3-D sucks. I agree. It just makes some of the background clearer and the glasses make the movie darker.
The referee misses the hot tag and the half brothers beat Homicide even more. By trying to stop homicide, does that make them vigilantes/crime fighters? They go up top and Homicide bites the ear and hits a jawbreaker to take D-Von down. There’s the double tag and the fans do not care at all. Hernandez gets a back drop to Ray, prompting him to shout DIOS MIO!!! The delayed vertical hits D-Von for two.
Homicide comes back in with a top rope cross body for two. What’s Up is set up for Hernandez but Homicide makes the save. Salinas and Hernandez do What’s Up on Ray with Ray saying come on. Johnny Devine comes in and is taken out by Hector. Ok then. D-Von takes Homicide up top but Hernandez makes the save, resulting in a Gringo (Diamond) Cutter off of Hernandez’s shoulders for two. Everything breaks down again and Ray hits SuperMex low. They set for 3D but Homicide rolls up Ray while D-Von is waiting on Hernandez to turn around for the pin. I like that.
Rating: C. Not a great match or anything but the ending was good. The problem here I think is that we saw the same match the previous month at Sacrifice so it’s not like this is some great new idea here. Salinas’ boobs are the best thing about it with the ending coming a close second. Not great but it was fine for what it was I suppose.
Video on Roode who says he’ll win KOTM. He got in first so he’s been able to study all of his opponents the longest. That makes sense.
Roode says he’s wanted to prove he’s main event material for his entire run in TNA. He looks around the locker room and sees guys that have done it rather than just talking about it. The talking stops tonight. Pretty good promo here and it was kept simple.
Video on Kong being awesome. Hey that was funny. She has a $25,000 challenge thing going on at the moment which would eventually be claimed by Taylor Wilde (I think). Kong is Knockout Champion here too.
The idea is she fights “fans” who are of course plants. JB issues the challenge and hey look it’s Serena of the Straightedge Society and Sojourner Bolt. Serena is hot with hair. Bolt goes by Josie Robinson.
Awesome Kong vs. Serena Deeb
Deeb is in street clothes. She said she had been training in MMA and tries some not MMA stuff and Kong takes over quickly. We’re out to the floor quickly and Kong swings her into the railing like a giant swing. Kong goes after Bolt too and back in we go. Implant Buster and we’re done. This was a total squash.
Post match Kong shoves Bolt and we’re getting a second one.
Awesome Kong vs. Josie Robinson
Josie (Bolt) jumps Kong and gets in some shots which actually work. Kong punches the post by mistake and we’re in the ring now. Never mind as the spinning back fist kills Bolt dead. There’s a clothesline and the Awesome Bomb ends this. This was a squashier squash than the first one.
Post mauling….Eric Young comes out. Kong is still in the ring at this point. Young brings out “Elvis” who is booed off the stage. Everyone is just waiting on Kong to eat him. The fans just do not care and it’s obvious. Young has already left and Kong is like dude….what am I doing here? There’s an Awesome Bomb and the fans couldn’t be happier. They couldn’t get Honky Tonk Man for this? I ask because of the next segment which will make that make more sense.
Video on Christian who says he’s getting the title back.
Christian says he wants to get the title back because he still loves being the best. His win/loss record is better than anyone else over the last year and he wants to be considered among the best ever after tonight.
We recap the wedding with Jay Lethal and So Cal Val. Sonjay Dutt has a crush on Val and is trying to steal her away. Lethal had a bachelor party with Christy in a cake which was better than most bachelor parties if nothing else.
First though, a picture of Beale Street which is where the blues were born.
There’s a minister in the ring that looks like Ian McKellen. First of all here are the groomsmen: Ace Young of American Idol, Kamala (IN A TUX!!!), Jake Roberts (see what I was getting at with the Honky Tonk….oh man Jake is bombed), Koko B. Ware (with green hair and Frankie) and George the Animal Steele…who isn’t here. Oh ok he just didn’t come down the entrance. If there’s ever been a man that lives a gimmick like him, I want to see it.
The maid of honor is some chick I’ve never heard of and Dutt is the best man. Yeah because THIS couldn’t go badly right? Lethal comes out to Pomp and Circumstance which is almost appropriate here. Val is indeed stunning in her dress. We get to the speak now part and nothing is said. Jay (in sunglasses) says I do. Val is about to and heeeeeeeere’s Sonjay!
Jay says it’s cool and Sonjay says he’s talking to Val. He asks her to marry him instead. Lethal gets in his face and a brawl breaks out. The American Idol guy comes in and gets cracked in the head for the pop of the night so far. Koko lays Dutt out for a bit so here’s Kamala. He and Koko beat on Dutt and Steele wants in too. Jake pulls out the snake (the animal one, not his) and Kamala runs in a nice bit of continuity. Dutt gets some snake and Steele has a turnbuckle. This feud would go on for about 5 months before Val FINALLY turned on Lethal for Dutt who was released soon after and it was never mentioned again.
Video on Booker just like the rest of the people from earlier in the night.
Booker talks about signing with TNA and being given nothing after he arrived. He’s coming to take the title because it’s what this is all about. We get a WWE reference and he kind of morphs into King Booker as the promo goes along.
We recap Kurt vs. AJ. This is about Karen and AJ allegedly having an affair. I think this is around when they were legitimately separating so this is pretty weird stuff. Kurt thought there was cheating so Kurt had his friends destroy AJ and then beat him with a chair. AJ is out for revenge.
Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles
Think this will be good? Tomko is with Angle. The fans like AJ more than Kurt. They hit the mat and guess who wins that part. AJ speeds things up and sends Angle to the floor with an armdrag. Back in and Angle tries to speed it up so AJ hits that dropkick of his to take over. Tomko talks some trash to let Angle get the fingers to the eye. Jesse Ventura is smiling somewhere off that.
Angle tries to speed it up again and he hits the post shoulder first. Springboard forearm puts Kurt down but he knocks AJ to the floor. Hebner stops Tomko from interfering and the bald man is gone. Kurt protests so AJ fires off a huge flip dive that Angle was too far back for so only AJ’s legs hit Kurt. It looked scary for awhile. Back in now as it’s time to get to the meat of the match.
AJ gets some two counts off basic moves. It’s kind of weird seeing AJ in control like this. Angle takes over and works over the back a bit as some annoying fans have those sticks with 2 on them. He fires off some forearms and AJ might be bleeding from the nose/mouth. Kurt snaps off a belly to belly and a vertical one gets two. Another backbreaker gets two. Kurt pounds away in the corner and puts him in a superplex position but AJ counters in midair almost into a gordbuster.
They slug it out and AJ grabs a pumphandle gutbuster for two. AJ starts in on the neck. This is Kurt’s first match back from a month off due to a neck issue. Angle busts out the rolling Germans but AJ reverses the last one and hits a release German on the American hero. A discus punch is ducked and Angle gets a release German on the American non-hero of his own.
Angle stalks him for the Slam and AJ is gone. Somehow he counters into a DDT as Tenay isn’t sure what Angle was going for. How did he used to be called the Professor? He sounds like Mary Ann at times. Angle rolls through a Clash into the ankle lock but AJ rolls through that. There’s the moonsault into the reverse DDT for two. AJ goes up and Angle climbs the corner and hits the belly to belly for two. Ankle lock is countered and Styles hits the Pele for two as Kurt grabs a rope.
Another Clash attempt is countered into the ankle lock again and it’s in the middle of the ring. These two tend to have matches based around the idea of who can hit their finisher first. The good thing: the finishers actually FINISH the matches. Well there goes the referee as AJ kicks the hold off. Angle is sent to the floor and here’s Karen with a chair. She gets Kurt’s attention but won’t let go of the chair. AJ gets up and uses the distraction to hook the Clash and gets the pin.
Rating: B+. Another good match here from these two but it wasn’t as good as their last man standing match from a few months later. AJ hadn’t hit his best period yet but it was coming. Their best ever was probably at Hogan’s debut show but that’s a different story. Either way this was another good match and was great for the second main event.
Angle pops him with the chair post match and Tomko runs interference to keep security out. The ankle lock goes on and Angle pounds away a bit.
Joe says he’ll keep the title. He talks about wanting it to be about wrestling and not the politics or the opportunists etc.
Video on the King of the Mountain match through the years. It’s kind of a mess but it’s TNA’s mess. The idea is there are five people and the referee holds the belt. You have to pin an opponent to qualify to win. The person pinned goes to the penalty box at ringside for two minutes. Once you get a pin, you’re allowed to attempt to hang the belt. As in there’s a hook above the ring like a belt would hang from in a ladder match. Now you have to take the belt and put it over the ring, hanging it up there. Make sense?
TNA World Title: Samoa Joe vs. Robert Roode vs. Booker T vs. Christian Cage vs. Rhyno
No one in history has come in as champion and left as champion. Nash is guest enforcer. Everyone gets a video on their way to the ring so this takes a LONG time. Now let’s have big match intros. The entrances for this match have been going over ten minutes already. Nash is the referee holding the belt and we’re FINALLY ready to go. It’s a big brawl all around to start with Rhyno and Christian working on Roode and Booker fighting Joe in the ring.
Scratch the in the ring part as they’ve switched places. Rhyno and Christian destroy Roode with a lot of double teaming but here’s Booker. Booker shoves Christian off the top to the floor and he’s holding his knee. The axe kick and Gore both miss and here’s Joe again to fight Rhyno. Joe gets a running boot and a backsplash for two as Roode makes the save. Roode tries a flying clothesline but Joe just steps to the side. I still love that.
Christian is back in now and the knee looks ok. He hits an inverted DDT on Roode but gets struck down by Joe. Scoop powerslam gets two for Joe. He ties the Canadian in the Tree of Woe and hammers away and is in total control here. Booker trips him up and pulls him to the floor, pounding away out there. Booker comes back in and meets Rhyno with a Book End for a pin. Booker is now eligible to hang the belt and Rhyno is in the box for two minutes.
He’s got the belt now and Nash isn’t happy. The ladder is brought in and Christian hits a baseball slide to send it into the faces of Booker and Joe. Christian sends Roode over the top and here’s Rhyno out of the box. He and Christian go at it even though they’re friends. Rhyno loads up the Gore but Joe trips him up and crotches him against the post. Joe is like screw it and hits a spinning dive to take out Rhyno, Booker and Roode all at once.
Christian is like I can top that and goes on top of the box and dives off to take out all four of those guys. Christian channels his inner Dudley and sets up a table on the floor. Back in the ring Captain Charisma has the ladder but Roode gets a chair from somewhere and pops it against the ladder into Christian’s head for the pin. Roode and Booker are now eligible. Less than thirty seconds later, Rhyno rolls up Roode to become eligible too.
Nash beats up Roode to make sure that he gets in the box along with Cage. Rhyno goes up with the belt but Booker makes the save. Joe hooks a cobra clutch on Booker and Cage is freed from his namesake. He goes on top of the penalty box and hits a frog splash onto Booker to become eligible and send Booker to the box. Roode is out as well. Quick recap: Everyone but Joe is eligible and Booker is in the box.
Roode goes up but Joe suplexes him off the ladder. Now Christian goes up and is taken right down with a big cutter off the ladder. Gore hits Joe and everyone is down. Booker is out of the box and can’t even stand up. Ok maybe he can as he grabs the belt and blasts Nash and Rhyno and Joe and Roode. Down goes Christian too, leaving Booker as the only person conscious. Since he’s mostly a heel though, he stops for a Spinarooni.
Nash comes into the ring and powerbombs Booker off the ladder. That makes sense given that he was provoked. Joe tries a MuscleBuster on Christian but he escapes. Joe knocks Christian through the table from earlier as Roode sets up the ladder. Roode goes up but Joe takes him down with a MuscleBuster. Joe immediately goes up and hangs the belt to retain. That was a fast ending but it was effective and smart.
Rating: B-. This wasn’t a classic or anything but it was a pretty solid King of the Mountain match. I don’t think many people were thinking Joe would lose here, namely due to a lack of an A-List challenger outside of maybe Booker or Christian. The idea here was how does Joe win it and he did a good job of that here. Pretty fun match despite the traditional insane rules this match has.
Overall Rating: B. Can’t complain much on this one as it’s a solid show all around. They didn’t try for something epic and in exchange the show worked. The big matches are good and the majority of the matches are good so there aren’t many complaints. The company was doing well in 08 and the mixture of young and old is a big reason why. Then they focused on just the old and things went downhill but that’s TNA for you. Good stuff here.
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