Let’s take a look at the card –
1. Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy *TNA World Title Match
2. Kurt Angle vs. James Storm
3. Matt Morgan & Crimson vs. Samoa Joe & Magnus *TNA World Tag Team Title Match
4. Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion *TNA X Division Title Match
5. Gail Kim vs. Mickie James *TNA Knockouts Title Match
6. Abyss vs. Bully Ray *Monster’s Ball
7. Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam
8. D’Angelo Dinero vs. Devon
Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Four Way Elimination Match for the TNA X Division Championship Match – Austin Aries vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Kid Kash vs. Zema Ion
I like that they’re trying to refocus on the X Division again, but Jesse Sorensen sucks it hard. I’m no fan of Kid Kash either. The action starts off hot from the get-go, as the champion goes to the floor to avoid getting beaten up. Kash also gets sent to the floor and he’s in no hurry to get back in. Everyone tries schoolboy rollups but no one gets a pin yet. Aries goes back to the floor and Kash wipes him out with a dive. Bodies keep flying all over the place and the crowd seems to be enjoying it. Ion scores the first elimination after hitting Kash with a 450 Splash in about six minutes. Aries tries a 450 on Sorensen but he doesn’t get the pin. Sorensen is able to trap Ion in an inside cradle to eliminate him in about eight minutes. We’re down to Sorensen and Aries, and the remaining lone remaining challenger is in the zone. Ion is hanging around ringside hiding, unbeknownst to both wrestlers, and of course he screws Sorensen over. Aries is able to hit an Avalanche Brainbuster to get the win and retain the title in about 11 minutes.
WINNER – Austin Aries (***)
Backstage, Borash gets a word with Devon’s sons and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero. They say the usual and Pope promises to get a win tonight.
MATCH #2: Devon vs. D’Angelo Dinero
I feel like this feud has been going on forever. Devon charges the ring and takes it to Dinero right away. Dinero tries to bail and Devon won’t give him room to breathe. Pope cuts him off by crotching him on the top rope and he goes to work. This goes on for several minutes until Pope calls Terrence and Terrell into the ring and he wants them to beat up their old man. When they refuse he shit-cans them to the floor. That was a bad choice, as Devon fires up and goes on offense. Devon hits a powerslam for two. Pope comes back with a dropdown neckbreaker and gloats about it. He goes for the DDE but Devon avoids it and is able to grab the Saving Grace to get the pin in about 10 minutes. Father and sons reunite after the match.
WINNER – Devon (**½)
Backstage – Jeremy Borash is talking about the main event and is about to introduce Sting but Velvet Sky cuts him off and proposes herself as the new VP of the Knockouts Division. She has an idea to keep Madison Rayne busy during the Knockouts Title match, and Sting likes it.
MATCH #3: Gunner w/ Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam
The match starts off with some fast-paced back and forth as they wrestle to a standoff. RVD hasn’t changed so much as a pair of socks since I’ve known him as a wrestler. Gunner bails to the floor to regroup with Flair. That proves to be a good idea, as back in the ring Gunner goes on offense. Gunner pitches RVD to the floor and they brawl a bit. Back in the ring RVD hits the single leg missile dropkick and Rollin Thunder for two. They go back to the floor, where Gunner delivers a DDT right on the concrete floor. Gunner rolls RVD back in the ring and gets a pin in about seven minutes. Whatever RVD Is getting paid it’s way too much to be a glorified jobber. The referee throws up the X, which is one of the most annoying byproducts of the business being exposed. RVD does a stretcher job to really put over Gunner, who quite frankly just isn’t very good.
WINNER – Gunner (**)
Backstage – Borash gets a word with the #1 Contender Jeff Hardy, who says he’s modest to the top, and another him is what there will never be.
MATCH #4: TNA Knockouts Title Match – Gail Kim w/ Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James
Velvet Sky comes out and forces Madison Rayne into a shark cage at ringside to prevent her from interfering. Mickie is all over Gail from the bell as Madison screams in the cage. Gail cuts her off and goes to work. The momentum shifts back and forth a couple of times as the women show how evenly matched they are. Mickie hits a Thesz Press off the top rope for two. Gail comes back with a backbreaker. Madison throws Gail a pair of brass knuckles from the cage, and Mickie gets a hold of them and hits Gail for the disqualification in about six minutes.
WINNER – Gail Kim (*)
Backstage – Borash interviews Bully Ray, who is a little bit nervous about entering the Monster’s Ball with Abyss, but still says that this is his kind of match and he’s going to win.
MATCH #5: Monster’s Ball – Abyss vs. Bully Ray
If Abyss loses, he has to rejoin Immortal. Ray avoids Abyss in the early going and goes to the outside for a chair. Abyss responds by grabbing his own chair. They sword fight with the chairs and then Abyss hits a Chokeslam. Ray responds with a big boot. No one has really sold anything yet. Ray pulls a chain out of his pants but it doesn’t really do him any good. Abyss brings more weapons in and no-sells Ray’s offense. Ray grabs a Kendo Stick and Ray responds with Janice. Nothing happens there. Ray throws Abyss into one of the barbed wire boards and his arm is bleeding. Abyss responds with a cheese grater to the nuts. He pulls out a bag of thumbtacks and spreads them out. No one goes through the tacks yet, but a table is brought in and Abyss chokeslams Ray through it. Ray comes back with a Rock Bottom on a barbed wire board for two, and then stacks another board on top of him and hits a senton off the middle rope. Even that isn’t enough to put Abyss away. Ray grabs Janice but Abyss catches him in a Chokeslam right onto the tacks but Ray kicks out at two. The double-tough Ray comes back with a couple of kendo stick shots. Abyss weathers them though and hits the Black Hole Slam onto the barbed wire board to get the pin in about 16 minutes.
WINNER – Abyss (**¾)
Backstage – Borash talks to the TNA World Tag Team Champions Matt Morgan and Crimson, who promise to defeat Samoa Joe and Magnus.
MATCH #6: TNA World Tag Team Title Match – Matt Morgan & Crimson vs. Samoa Joe & Magnus
Joe and Morgan start it off, and neither guy is intimidated by the other as they trade strikes back and forth. Magnus and Crimson tag in and they tear into each other as well. The momentum shifts several times as everyone gets a chance to show off their stuff. Joe takes Crimson down in the corner and executes the Face Wash. Tags are made and Morgan catches Magnus with a fallaway slam. Morgan follows up with the Hellevator and Joe breaks up the cover. The referee loses control of the match and all four men are in the ring. Joe knocks Crimson to the floor and hits the Elbow Suicida to wipe him out. My wife distracts me so I miss what happens, but I catch Morgan and Crimson grabbing Magnus with a double chokeslam to get the win in about nine minutes. I wish that had been longer.
WINNERS – Matt Morgan & Crimson (***)
Backstage – Borash talks with James Storm, who gets the crowd all amped up for his match with Kurt Angle coming up.
MATCH #7: James Storm vs. Kurt Angle
Angle avoids Storm in the early going, frustrating the Cowboy. Storm knocks him to the floor and takes him out with a House Show Dive. He follows Angle out and continues the abuse. Back in the ring Storm continues the assault until Angle cuts him off. Angle keeps Storm on the mat and works over the neck. Storm fights back and also targets the neck, which is always good strategy against Angle. He hits a Lungblower for a two-count. Angle fights back with rolling German Suplexes, which I think shows no respect for Chris Benoit. He follows up with a moonsault, which shows no respect for the Great Muta. Then he goes for the Ankle Lock, which shows no respect for Ken Shamrock. Storm fights it off and hits a DDT for two. They trade finisher attempts and Angle is the first to land one, an Angle Slam. One byproduct of Kurt Angle’s style of hitting a billion finishers in each match is that no one pops for the first Angle Slam anymore because they don’t buy it as a finish. Angle signals for the Last Call but Storm catches it and hits a Codebreaker and a Diamond Cutter for two. Using some referee shenanigans, Angle hits a low blow and the Last Call go get the pin in about 14 minutes. The crowd was surprisingly subdued for that match.
WINNER – Kurt Angle (***¼)
Backstage – Bully Ray, who was brawling with Abyss backstage during the Tag Team Title match, says he now has no idea where Abyss is. Uh, okay.
Elsewhere – Borash talks with TNA World Champion Bobby Roode, who rips on Hardy’s fans and puts himself over. Roode has developed into a really good promo guy.
MATCH #8: TNA World Championship Match – Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode
I find it funny that the tale of the tape shows Roode’s finisher as “Arm Bar.” They start slowly and Roode goes after the arm. Likely to set up for the devastating ARM BAR! Hardy fights back with a flurry of offense and clotheslines Roode to the floor. Back in the ring Roode cuts Hardy off and now goes to work on the back. Roode also works the arm as the crowd is intermittently interested. Eventually they knock each other down, and when they get back up Hardy unleashes a flurry of offense. Roode fights back with the Spinebuster for two and then goes for a superplex. Hardy pushes him down and Roode goes to the floor and it looks like he wants to get counted out. The challenger won’t stand for it and throws Roode back in the ring. That backfires though as Roode kicks the ropes into his junk and then hits the Payoff for two. Hardy comes back with the Twist of Fate and the Whisper in the Wind for two. He goes for another Twist of Fate and again Roode tries to bail. Roode grabs the title belt and tries to use it but referee Brian Hebner stops him. A desperate Roode kicks Hebner square in the groin to get himself disqualified after about 20 minutes. That was going along okay until the stupid finish.
WINNER – Jeff Hardy via DQ (**¼)
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