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Sacrifice 2006
May 15, 2006

by Jason Longshore
OnlineOnslaught.com's TNA Pinch Hitter


I can understand the move away from giving away matches on the pre-show, but can they at least get more than ten minutes of footage that’s repeated three times? How about one match (or angle) live from the Impact Zone along with the taped packages? Mike Tenay also needs to stop saying that every card is the “greatest in TNA history.” It seems like I’ve heard that before every PPV.

That said, nothing of importance to report from the pre-show, let’s get to the PPV proper…

Ah, we are on the precipice of greatness. The soothing tones of voice-over extraordinaire Jimmy Earl Jones are back. A standard, solid introduction to the show.

I’m putting money on Mike Tenay wetting himself twenty times while thinking about Samoa Joe teaming with Sting.


These two teams are scoreless in the competition, so a win is really important here. Team Japan comes to the ring with Liger, all in CTU outfits. Tenay says it’s Liger’s group in Japan, the Control Terrorism Unit. I’m thinking Jushin is a bit of a Jack Bauer fan. Liger feels like he’s live in Tokyo with all of the “Let’s Go Liger” chants.

The match begins with some nice mat work, and some cockiness from Petey. Petey comes back with a nice headscissors. Liger pulls the top rope down to send Petey out to the floor. He follows that up with a dive off the top rope onto Petey. Williams rams Liger into the guardrail, but is attacked by Team Japan at ringside. Where in the hell is Team Canada? Liger’s in control back in the ring. He locks in the Romero Special, the inverted surfboard. He then turns it into a modified Dragon Sleeper, which looks extra nasty. Petey escapes, but eats a body slam for his troubles. Liger goes for a frog splash, but Petey got his knees up. Petey scores again with a spinning heel kick. Petey is extra fired up with the trash talking. Liger avoids a charge in the corner, but Petey comes back with an enziguiri kick to the back of the head. He follows that up with a dropkick to the back of the head and a sweet tornado DDT for a two count. Liger fights back with chops, but Petey takes the momentum back with a Side Canadian Legsweep. Petey calls for the Canadian Destroyer, but Liger escapes and counters with a Palm Thrust. He takes Petey up for a powerbomb, and the satellite goes out. I’m guessing this is happening to everybody, because I’m getting the InDemand message of “TNA Will be right back!”

I guess TNA doesn’t know that this happened, because I’m greeted upon the return with Tenay talking about the important win for Team Japan. I’ll just take his word for it…

Borash introduces us to AMW, Gail, and Jackie. Jackie is still crying. Borash tries to ask what’s going on, but Harris cuts him off. He’s also not worried about Gail being barred from ringside, saying that “they have friends in high places.” Storm says that AJ didn’t get the job done at Lockdown because he’s “still breathing and still drinking.” Borash finally gets to ask Jackie why she’s been crying to four weeks and she says she’s pregnant. Harris and Storm take off, and Gail goes off on Jackie. She says that everybody hates her and now she’s fired.


I still wonder why Daniels comes out to AJ’s music. They are in the matching red and black tonight. Tenay tries to get Harris kept away from the announce table, but has no luck. Harris demands that Don West wish Chris’ mom Happy Mother’s Day. Aww…

AJ and Daniels attack before the bell. Daniels and Harris fight on the floor and AJ hits his classic dropkick on Storm in the ring. They then double team Storm and get a two count. Harris tags in and Daniels arm drags him across the ring. Daniels takes Harris down with a dropkick of his own. He then goes for the Jericho pin on Harris, trying to pin him with his boot on his chest. AJ comes back and locks in an Indian Death Lock on Harris. Storm breaks it up. Daniels comes back in with an STO on Harris. Quick tag back to AJ and they work the left arm of Harris. They work him over in the corner as the crowd chants “Pussy cat.” Harris finally comes back with a poke to Daniels’ eye and gets the tag to Storm. Storm takes Daniels down and talks some trash to the crowd. AMW hits some of their classic double team moves on Daniels. Harris hits his delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Storm distracts the ref and Harris chokes Daniels. Daniels tries to fight them both off, but Storm cuts off the tag. Harris clobbers Daniels with a back elbow for another two count. Daniels avoids a shoulder blaock in the corner, and is able to tag in AJ. AJ murders Harris with a discus clothesline for two. They set up the Tower of Doom spot, but Daniels is smart enough to push Harris off of him on the top. He then hits Harris with a cross body off the top for a two count. They brawl out into the crowd. AJ goes to the top rope and dives on Harris over the guardrail. Holy crap! AJ chops Harris, but Storm comes back on Daniels. They’ve got AJ alone now, but Daniels cuts off the Hart Attack from AMW. Daniels sets up for a DVD, which is enhanced by AJ’s Pele. That only gets two though. AMW comes back, with Harris killing Daniels with a spear for two. AJ takes them both out with a double clothesline off the top rope. Storm goes for the 8 Second Ride, but AJ fights out. Harris gets AJ up on his shoulders and Storm hits a Super 8 Second Ride for a two count. Daniels hits a Rock Bottom on Storm. They follow with a BME and a frog splash from AJ, but Storm kicks out at two. Storm goes for a pin with his feet on the ropes, but the ref spots it. AJ tries to set up the Styles Clash, but Storm fights him off and takes him down with a low blow. A superkick looks like it ends it, but Daniels flies from outside the camera range to break it up. Daniels hits the Angel’s Wings, but Harris breaks up the pin. Daniels takes Harris to the outside and the ref is taken out as well. A billy club comes bouncing down into the ring, and we see that Gail Kim is up in the rafters. AJ hits the Clash on Storm, but Harris breaks up the pin with the club. The ref didn’t see it, and counts the pin on Styles so AMW retains.

Borash is backstage with Zybysko and A-1. Larry bitches about Raven while A-1 lifts weights. A-1 doesn’t even know Larry’s name, what a moron. Slick Johnson shows up and says that we’re going to find out who the new face of TNA management next month at Slammiversary. Slick teases Larry by saying it’s Roddy Piper, then Vince Russo, then Ultimate Warrior. Borash is a moron and believes it each time. I’d still love to know how Slick Johnson of all people is the guy with all the inside information.


Zybysko follows A-1 to ringside. He brings a chair into the ring and sits down to wait on Raven. Raven enters from the top of the bleachers. He looks pretty nuts with white hair. Larry talks trash to Raven, and A-1 tosses the chair into Raven’s head. Zybysko gets in a few cheap shots on Raven as he leaves the ring. He goes to sit down with Tenay and West while A-1 beats Raven down. They brawl at ringside, with A-1 getting the better of it. Tenay and Zybysko bicker like little kids while A-1 slams Raven into the guardrail. Back in the ring, and A-1 hits Raven with a series of shoulder blocks in the corner. A-1 clobbers him with a splash in the corner. The crowd finally starts to get behind Raven, but A-1 continues the assault. A-1 finally figures out how to take the pad off the turnbuckle, and then he splashes Raven into it. That gets a two count. Raven finally comes back with punches in the corner. He takes him down with his clothesline out of the corner. Raven kicks A-1 in the chest repeatedly, and then hits the chinlock/backbreaker combo. Raven avoids another splash in the corner, with A-1 landing chest first on the exposed turnbuckle. That gives Raven the opening to hit the Evenflow DDT for the win.

Zybysko grabs a mic and goes into the ring and calls Raven back to the ring. He says he can’t take it anymore and says they’re going to settle it right now. Zybysko attacks him as he rolls into the ring, but security breaks it up. They do the pull apart brawl, with Zybysko tossing off two security guys.

Jarrett and Steiner are backstage with Borash. Borash says Jarrett got one-upped on Impact Thursday with the announcement of Samoa Joe as Sting’s partner. Jarrett says Sting got desperate. He says Sting can’t trust Joe. He says that Sting and Joe won’t be able to coexist. Steiner says that Joe made a mistake thinking he could wrestle outside the X Division. Steiner says Joe’s winning streak is ending tonight.


Roode has a swank new robe. I’ve grown to hate D’Amore’s stupid, “Ha Ha Ha” thing he yells at the camera. Tenay says Rhino is known for the “Gore finishing hold.” Is Mike drinking tonight?

The crowd is pumped for this one surprisingly. They lock up, with neither getting the advantage. Roode kicks Rhino in the gut, but Rhino takes him down with a shoulder block. Roode comes back and slaps Rhino. That just pisses Rhino off, and he back drops Roode. He then pounds him in the corner and tosses him over the top rope. They brawl at ringside, with Roode making a comeback. He slams Rhino into the guardrail, but Rhino suplexes Roode onto the ramp. They head back to the ring. Rhino catches Roode charging in, and he goes to the top rope. D’Amore starts poking him with the hockey stick, which gives Roode a chance to knock Rhino off to the outside. D’Amore gets in some cheap shots on Rhino while Roode distracts the ref. Roode hits a spinning neckbreaker on Rhino for two. Roode chops him in the corner. He then hits the flipping neckbreaker a la Shane Douglas. Tenay comments on Roode attacking Rhino’s oft-injured neck. Roode hits a backdrop suplex, and follows it up with a middle rope knee drop. Rhino starts to come back, but Roode slams him down by the hair. The crowd chants for Rhino, and Roode just paint brushes him. Rhino takes offense and attacks him, but Roode fights him off again. Roode tries to choke Rhino out, but Rhino is able to fight to his feet. A series of clotheslines gives Rhino control. He hits a shoulder block in the corner and a spinebuster gets a two count. Roode tries to roll to the outside, but Rhino cuts him off. Roode drops Rhino’s neck across the top rope though. Rhino cuts Roode off on the top rope, and follows up with a superplex for another two count. Roode catches Rhino going for a clothesline and scores with a Rock Bottom-like slam. The ref cuts Roode off from using the hockey stick. Roode misses on a Northern Lariat attempt, and Rhino comes back with a belly to belly suplex. The crowd starts chanting for the Gore, but D’Amore hits Rhino with the hockey stick. Rhino no sells it like he’s Hulk Hogan and tries to attack D’Amore. The Coach slips out of his jacket, but the distraction is enough for Roode to finally hit the Northern Lariat and get the win.

Borash is backstage with Team 3D. Brother Ray cuts a silly promo that mentions 9/11, Bush getting elected to a second term, and OJ. Devon and Ray argue about OJ’s guilt/innocence. Ray finally gets to the point, talking about how they beat the former New Age Outlaws for the WWE titles.


They really could’ve gotten more mileage out of this feud. Instead, it was thrown together at the last minute and everybody has looked pretty dumb in the build-up. BG talks some trash about Brother Ray and says that it took a lead pipe to beat them back in the day. He then does his standard spiel, and the crowd really doesn’t care. Ray walks straight to the ring instead of posing for his pyro. West finally brings up that the WWE title match where the Dudleyz used the pipe was the only time that these four men faced off in the ring. Devon gets the better of Kip in the early going. Kip comes back with a big boot and a neckbreaker. Kip scores again with a dropkick, but Devon pops right back up. BG and Ray tag in. Ray arm drags BG, and BG seems surprised that Ray knows a wrestling move. BG shows him how the arm drag’s done, and the crowd reacts to it like the James Gang are the heels. BG hip tosses Ray and then follows up with the little seen dropkick. Ray is shocked that BG can still do that. Ray catches BG with a dropkick and fans have heart attacks in the crowd. The crowd chants for Bubba after that. Great way to start this match, they’ve gotten the crowd into it now. Ray goes for his 3 punch combo, but BG ducks the elbow. BG goes for the Shake, Rattle, and Roll, but Ray ducks the punch. Devon crotches BG on the ringpost. The crowd says that they would like some tables. Devon beats the hell out of BG in the corner. Devon hits a falling Headbutt to BG for a two count. Ray comes back in with a neckbreaker. BG is finally able to escape the onslaught, and he tags in Kip. Kip hits a big backdrop on Ray. He follows up with Ass Man Splashes on Ray and Devon. All four are in the ring brawling at this point. The James Gang goes for stereo ten punches, but they only get to about seven. Kip gets tossed to the floor, and Team 3D hits the Dudley Device on BG for a two count. Kip breaks up another pin attempt. They set up for the 3D, but Kip breaks it up. BG goes under the ring for a lead pipe and he clocks Devon with it to get the pin.

Abyss and James Mitchell are backstage with Borash. Mitchell cuts his usual crazy promo on Christian while Abyss poses and grunts.

They go back to Tenay and West, who have just been informed about the satellite disruption during the opening match. They replay it so we know what happened. Liger hit a running Liger Bomb on Petey for a two count. Petey blocks a suplex and hits a spinning neckbreaker. Team Japan distracted the ref long enough for Petey to get hit with a low blow. That gave Liger the chance to get the pin. They even put a Japanese flag over Petey’s face. Nice touch.

Tenay tells us that highlights of the match will also be on the website tomorrow to make it up to the fans. Very cool that they acknowledged the problem and are making good on it.

Christy Hemme comes down and she will present the trophy to the winner of the World X Cup. Good to see they’re getting the most out of her signing.


You have to be thrown over the top rope to be eliminated. When it’s down to the final two, then pinfalls and submissions count. It’s standard TNA gauntlet rules. Minoru and Puma are starting things off. Minoru is such a cocky bastard, he offers Puma a handshake. Puma takes it, and takes some spit to the face as well. Minoru decks him with a sweet dropkick. Puma avoids elimination, and comes back with a springboard dropkick. Minoru clobbers him with a series of kicks, and then takes him down with a brainbuster. Minoru wants to pin Puma, but pins don’t count yet. I guess somebody didn’t translate the rules to him. Petey Williams is in next. He turns on Minoru after initially teaming with him. Petey hits a sweet tornado DDT on Puma. Chris Sabin is out next. He chops everybody. He then hits a nice spin kick on Minoru. He whips everybody into one corner. He hits a springboard moonsault off the middle rope, taking out Puma and Minoru. Goto is out next for Team Japan. Goto hits a spin kick on Sabin. Minoru and Goto pose in the middle of the ring. Incognito is out next for Team Mexico. He arm drags the crap out of Petey Williams. Petey goes to the outside, but Incognito kills him with a suicide dive. Tenay tells us that Incognito was studying to be a priest. Hotshot Johnny Devine comes out and hits a double stomp on Incognito in the corner, followed up by a double knee shot. Sonjay Dutt is out next for Team USA, and he hit a body press off the top rope to enter. Sabin and Dutt double team Petey. Dutt hits an inverted hurricanrana on Devine, which pops the crowd. Incognito hits a modified powerbomb on Sabin. Black Tiger is out next for Team Japan. Dutt eats a dropkick from Black Tiger. Black Tiger then locks in an Ankle Lock on Petey. The crowd is starting to get a little antsy as the ring is filling up. Magno is out next for Team Mexico. He hits a spinning springboard arm drag on Devine. There’s all sorts of stuff going on the ring, but nobody’s been eliminated yet. This is insanity, I can’t keep up with all the moves. Eric Young is out next and he seems perplexed as usual. The crowd goes nuts for Young. Dutt hurt his ankle on going out of the ring. He and Incognito have been eliminated, and medics have been called for Sonjay. Alex Shelley is out next for the USA. Shelley hits a ridiculous double team DDT on Petey and Young. Sabin and Devine have been eliminated. Liger is out last for Team Japan. He chops everybody he can find. All four members of Team Japan are in the ring. Magno gets hit with a backbreaker by Liger. Magno hits a superplex on Liger. Liger backdrops Magno out of the ring. Shocker is out last for Team Mexico. He is the proverbial casa de fiero. Shocker eliminates Black Tiger. Tyson Dux is out last for Team Canada. He hits a ridiculous elbow drop on Puma. Shelley eliminates Goto. Jay Lethal is the last man out. Lethal kills Minoru with a kick. He eliminates him with a second kick. Liger is the last man left for Team Japan. Shocker chops the hell out of Shelley in the corner. Shocker is eliminated by Shelley. Young and Dux try to double team Liger, but he catches them celebrating. Dux eliminates Liger. Lethal eliminates Young. Dux is eliminated. Shelley and Lethal are working well together. Petey avoids a charge by Shelley and he’s elminated. Lethal is eliminated by Puma. Petey and Puma are the final two. Petey hits the Canadian Destroyer on Puma to get the win in the Gauntlet.

While Tenay and West try to figure out the scoring, Kevin Nash shows up. He grabs Puma and hits the Jack Knife. He then drops him with a big boot after pushing him off the ropes. He grabs a mic and says he’s pissed off. He says he doesn’t know who any of the guys are in the battle royal. He hits his “mediocre big man” line again. He says he’s not mediocre, he’s pretty damn good.

Tenay wonders what’s going to happen now, Team Canada and Team USA ended up tied at 5 in the World X Cup. He quickly switches to bitching about Kevin Nash. Then, he switches back to wondering how the World X Cup is going to be decided. I’m thoroughly confused.

Samoa Joe is backstage with Borash. Joe says he was brought here to complete a task, not sing “Kumbaya” with Sting. He says he’s going to knock Jarrett of his throne and says he’s going to make his reputation tonight by killing Steiner’s. Good, short promo by Joe.


Tenay announces that the tiebreaker for the World X Cup will be on Impact on Thursday, it will be Petey Williams v. Chris Sabin to decide it. Tenay brings up Joe’s past communication problems with tag partners. The crowd is going nuts for this. Sting and Jarrett start it off. Sting tosses Jarrett off twice. Jarrett comes back with a slap. Sting no sells Jarrett’s punches and beats him down. He repeatedly slams Jarrett face first to the mat. Jarrett bails to gather himself. Steiner tags in. Steiner overpowers Sting and chops him in the corner. Sting hits a second rope splash on Steiner. He then hits a top rope double clothesline on Jarrett and Steiner. The crowd chants for a tag to Joe. Sting teases it, and finally does it. Joe and Steiner face off. This definitely has a big time feel to it. Joe pie faces Steiner. Steiner chops Joe in the corner. He wails on Joe, Joe turns it and beats the crap out of Steiner. Big Poppa Pump comes back with a release overhead belly to belly suplex. Damn… They lock up again, with Steiner getting the better of it. Joe turns it again, but Steiner clotheslines him down. Steiner does his classic elbow drop pin, complete with push ups. Joe and Steiner trade shots in the middle of the ring. Jarrett cheap shots Joe, which sets up a second overhead belly to belly. Steiner tosses Joe to the outside. Steiner gets a two count when Jarrett rolls him back in. Jarrett tags in and scores with a sweet dropkick. The crowd chants for Joe. Jarrett catches him with a clothesline in the corner, followed up by the Jarrett Strut. Joe catches Jarrett charging in and drops him with a one handed slam. Sting tags in and gets a two count on Jarrett. He drops both Jarrett and Steiner and tries to lock in the Scorpion on Steiner. Jarrett breaks it up and DDT’s Sting. Steiner gets a two count. Steiner hits his patented belly to belly on Sting for another two count. Jarrett tags in and puts the boots to Sting. Jarrett locks in a front facelock on Sting, staying between Sting and Joe. The ref misses the tag when Sting fights over to the corner. Sting and Steiner collide in the ring, Steiner’s down and Sting eventually falls headfirst into the little Scotty’s. Jarrett and Joe tag in. Jarrett is not pleased, begging off. Joe murders Jarrett with a flying knee. Joe gets him with a powerslam, but Steiner breaks up the pin. Joe hits Steiner with a dropkick, followed up by a senton. Joe takes them both out with a double clothesline. Joe stacks Jarrett and Steiner in the corner. Joe goes in with a flying knee, followed up by a Stinger Splash. Gail Kim puts Jarrett’s foot on the bottom rope after a slam by Joe. Sting and Steiner fight at ringside. Jarrett low blows Joe and hits the Stroke. He takes too long on the cover though, and Joe kicks out. He sets Joe up on the turnbuckle for a middle rope Stroke. Joe fights him off and hits the Muscle Buster. Joe pins Jarrett!

Sting offers his hand to Joe, but Joe walks off. Finally, after a lot of thought and prodding from the crowd, Joe shakes hands with Sting. Joe leaves and start walking up the ramp, but Steiner attacks Sting with a chair. Tenay and West wonder how Joe didn’t hear the chairshot. Steiner hits him again, but Joe doesn’t turn around. Jarrett shows up with his gee-tar and the crowd starts chanting for Joe. Jarrett blast Sting with the gee-tar, and Joe finally turns around. He doesn’t go to the ring though, he just leaves. Jarrett and Steiner continue the assault on Sting. Rhino, the James Gang, Daniels, and Sabin finally come out to run them off and save Sting.

After a video package, Borash interviews Christian. Christian calls Mitchell “Elvira with a sex change.” He says Abyss isn’t the champ because he’s carrying the belt, Jeff Jarrett did that for four years. Ah, a zinger! Christian says this is the match that he made famous. He lets the crowd hit his catch phrase, because that’s how he rolls.


Nice shots of Abyss walking backstage to the ramp before his music hits. It’s going to take these guys a minute to the get the crowd going after that last match. They do the same backstage camera work as Christian makes his way to the entrance ramp. Borash has made his way to the ring for the super special main event introductions.

They trade moves in the ring in the early going, with Christian scoring with a spear. Abyss comes back and hits his goofy splash in the corner. Abyss goes out to get the ladder, but Christian kicks it back into his face. Christian takes the ladder, but Abyss cuts him off. Abyss beats Christian around the ringside area. Back in the ring, Abyss is in control. Christian is able to come back by see-sawing the ladder into Abyss’ face. He then Cactus Jack clotheslines Abyss out of the ring. It’s Christian’s turn to beat Abyss around the ringside area, but Abyss tosses Christian over the guardrail. They brawl through the crowd. Christian slams Abyss’ head into the wall of the bleachers. They make their way back to the ring. Back in the ring, Abyss sets Christian up on the propped up ladder. He goes for the goofy charge, but Christian avoids it. Christian goes for a charge, but Abyss pushes the ladder into Christian’s face. Abyss sets up a chair between the ropes. They trade counters on the whip to the corner. Abyss tries to float over, but Christian kicks Abyss right in the balls. He then slams Abyss head first into that chair. Christian starts climbing for the belt, but Abyss dumps the ladder over. Christian was able to land on his feet though. Abyss decks him with a big boot. Christian avoids a press slam, Abyss avoids a German suplex. Abyss takes Christian over with an overhead release suplex onto a ladder. Abyss grabs two tables and brings them to ringside. He then goes under the ring for a third table and brings that one inside the ring. Abyss sets up for the powerbomb, but Christian fights him off. Abyss tosses Christian into the turnbuckle chest first. He sets Christian on the ladder, but Christian avoids the splash again. Christian slams the ladder on Abyss, and then lays him on top of it. Christian goes for the frog splash, but Abyss moves out of the way. Abyss grabs his chain, but Christian is able to avoid the chain shot. Christian grabs the chain and chokes Abyss with it. He then climbs to the top rope and tries to hang him. Abyss is able to use the chain to pull Christian down through one of the tables at ringside. Abyss sets up the ladder and starts to climb. He gets his fingers to it, but Christian cuts him off with a chair shot. They both climb the ladder, until they tip it over. Christian got caught up on the ropes when he fell. Mitchell gives Abyss the bag of tacks. While they’re setting up the tacks, Christian is able to sneak in to hit the Unprettier on Abyss on the ladder. He is able to catch Mitchell and Rock Bottoms him into the tacks! Christian then blasts Abyss with the chair in the back of the head. He sets Abyss up on the table and climbs the ladder. Instead of grabbing the belt, he decides to hit a frog splash off the top of the ladder to put Abyss through the table. He goes to climb again and Abyss can’t stop him. Christian is still the NWA World Champion, and now he has the belt to prove it.


· Bad luck on the opening match satellite problems. At least TNA did the best they could to address the problem, and show the finish. It was a pretty good opener too.

· Where in the hell was Team Canada during that match though? They’re at ringside all the freaking time, but skip out on the World X Cup? Team Japan was there, but the Canadians leave Williams out there by himself. It bugs me even more than Tenay and West didn’t mention this. The biggest part of Team Canada’s gimmick is their interference in matches, so their absence was even more glaring here.

· The finish was a little flat, but the tag title match was very good. It was nice to see AMW in a good match again. I didn’t hate the finish as much as some people, because you knew AMW were going to retain the belts. After holding them this long, they shouldn’t drop them to a makeshift team like AJ/Daniels.

· After the spot at Lockdown and their interaction here, I’d like to see a high profile AJ v. Storm match on Impact this month.

· Seriously, who in the hell would be trusting Slick Johnson with insider information?

· I hope Raven can get healthy soon. I know he’s been battling health problems, and it really showed in his match with A-1. I’m guessing the match was booked as it was because of this. A-1 did come off like a supreme jobber after dominating the match, but losing after one DDT.

· Again, no Team Canada to back A-1 up, what’s up with that? Coach D’Amore isn’t dumb enough to believe that Zybysko was all the help A-1 would need. Larry’s run in TNA has proven his character to be one of the most incompetent in wrestling history.

· I was surprised the crowd was so into the Rhino v. Roode match. I had forgotten all about the backstory behind it. I guess the people just really like Rhino, and hate the Canadians.

· Brother Ray’s pre-match promo was awful. Don’t mention 9/11 on a wrestling show, it’s not going to work. Don’t use it in comparison to one of your matches. The series of arguments between Ray and Devon over racial issues is exceedingly stupid. We’re not going to see them feud over it, so why bother? He’s delivered two of the worst promos of his career in recent months, what’s going on with him?

· That said, I actually enjoyed the match. The fans definitely decided to pull for Team 3D over the James Gang, so the finish worked even better than it could have. Ray’s dropkick was hilarious, and really surprising. I wonder if they’re going to try to get more out of this feud now.

· I liked the idea of the World X Cup, but the execution was really sloppy. It was hard to keep up with the standing because of the format and the lack of updates on it from Tenay and West. It’s ridiculous that they didn’t make comments about the standings as the Gauntlet went on, especially as it got towards the end. If you’re going to create a competition like this, you have to treat it as a competition and not just a series of matches.

· The booking of the Gauntlet was also really weird. The Sonjay Dutt injury could’ve been the reason, I’m not sure. Why did Sabin get eliminated so early? Especially with them going with a Williams v. Sabin tiebreaker on Thursday, it made no sense. It was too confusing to keep up with everything.

· If I go with the theory that Sonjay’s injury screwed up everything in the Gauntlet, I’m going to assume that he was supposed to be in the ring when Kevin Nash showed up. Dutt was the one that bitched about Nash’s comments on Impact, and he’s the one that Nash talked about on TNA’s website. Beating up Puma did make Nash look like a bully, but not much else. It’d also be nice if Big Kev could’ve cut that promo without seeming like he was reading from note cards. Okay, “mediocre big man” line, check. “Size does matter,” check.

· Tenay was hilarious after the Gauntlet. First, he’s going nuts wondering what’s going to happen with the World X Cup. Of course, it takes them forever to actually update everybody on the standings. Then, Tenay’s railing on Kevin Nash. Then, he’s freaking out about the Cup. I was definitely having WCW flashbacks on that one.

· Samoa Joe’s promo was excellent. It was even better in the context of what happened after the match.

· The bookers did an excellent job with the Joe/Sting v. Jarrett/Steiner match. The crowd got what they wanted, Joe hitting a Muscle Buster and getting the win. Sting looked strong. Jarrett was at his sissy best. Steiner was in great form. The interaction between Steiner and Joe was great, I want to see a one on one match between the two of them. The way Steiner was booked here, that’s possible now. It’s almost as if they erased the crappy booking WWE did with Steiner with that one match and he’s back to his old WCW days.

· The scene post match was also handled perfectly. Joe spelled it out in his promo. He was there to do his job and didn’t have to be buddies with Sting to do it. He did that job, and that was it. Of course, he was also able to raise his own profile by winning the match. He had no reason to save Sting after the match, and it would have been out of character for him to do so. It sets up some interesting situations now. Joe v. Steiner is already established, but Sting will have some issues with Joe now as well. I’m interested to see how that plays out, hopefully no game shows will be involved.

· Good main event, with Christian settling the issue with Abyss once and for all. Mitchell is always up for taking a crazy bump to end a feud. He took an insane beating from Raven back in the day to end that feud, and took the thumb tacks bump here. Although it’s sort of by default, he’s by far the best manager going today. Nothing too insane during the match, but it served its purpose and had enough crazy bumps to keep the crowd happy.

· What’s next for Christian? They do have pretty much a blank slate to work with now. I guess we’ll see on Impact this week.

That will do it on my end. Impact is back this Thursday with the tiebreaker between Petey Williams and Chris Sabin for the World X Cup, along with more fallout from Sacrifice. Until then…


Jason Longshore is your second-most-favorite wrestling fan/writer from Atlanta, GA.

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