Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – May 24, 2009
MATCH #1: Lethal Consequences & Eric Young vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir & The Motor City Machineguns
Sabin and Lethal start the match. They do the usual back and forth stuff, with Lethal taking the first advantage, and going over to tag Young. Sabin recovers and tags Shelley, and Young takes over on him with a series of elbows for two. Young tags Creed, and Shelley gets out of a headlock and puts on a sleeper. Creed breaks it with a jawbreaker. They continue trading offensive maneuvers at a fast pace, with Creed mostly keeping the advantage. Shelley makes the comeback with some kicks, and then tags Bashir in. Creed regains control and hits the somersault lariat for two. Bashir comes back with a jawbreaker and he tags Sabin. Creed once again retakes control and tags Lethal. Lethal Consequences double-teams Sabin, as Don West mistakenly says that Young hasn’t been in the match yet. Sabin and Creed trade punches, and Bashir interferes by pulling Creed to the floor and Shelley hits a knee to the face off the ring apron. Back in the ring the Guns and Bashir isolate Creed in their half of the ring. After a few minutes and some heel miscommunication Creed makes the hot tag to Lethal. The match breaks down to a brawl, with Young and Creed battling the Guns on the floor. In the ring Lethal hits Bashir with a slam for two. The referee has completely lost control, with wrestlers coming and going as they please. Lethal hits the Lethal Combination on Shelley, and Bashir gets triple-teamed. Sabin hits Young with an Ace Crusher, which Tenay calls “the Cutter.” I hate Tenay, a lot. Everyone starts hitting big moves, and Creed hits a Creed-DT for Lethal to get a two-count on Bashir. TNA should really just book Six Man Mayhem like Ring of Honor does, because that’s essentially what this match is. Bashir hits the WMD Driver on Lethal for two. The Guns unleash a series of kicks to Creed’s head, and Young gets the same treatment. Young comes back and delivers a Death Valley Driver to both Guns at the same time. Bashir tosses Young to the floor. Lethal gets back in the ring with a sunset flip on Bashir, and they do that stupid spot where the referee kicks Bashir’s hands off the ropes for the pin at 13:55. That was the usual spotty garbage, but it’s really not a bad way to start a show. It loses points for the finish though.
MATCH #2: Monster’s Ball – Taylor Wilde vs. Daffney
This is the first-ever Monster’s Ball match involving the TNA Knockouts. Daffney attacks the former Knockouts Champion with a kendo stick right away, but Wilde avoids it and goes to work. Wilde hits three elbow drops for a two-count, and then goes to the floor to grab some weapons. Daffney gets control of a street sign and bashes Wilde in the face with it. She slams Wilde onto a trash can lid, and works her over. Daffney goes for a bodyslam but Wilde slips out and drives Daffney’s head into a trash can, and then bashes her about the head and face with a cookie sheet. Wilde now puts Daffney in a trash can and beats her with a hockey stick, and then hits a dropkick. Daffney essentially no-sells that beating, but Wilde hits her with a Death Valley Driver onto a trash can for the pin at 3:35. This was just a backdrop to the Ultra Stupid Dr. Stevie storyline. On its own it might have actually been okay. After the match Stevie tries to get Abyss to chokeslam Wilde onto a pile of tacks, but that interviewer chick Lauren comes out and convinces him not to. This angers Stevie, and he threatens Lauren, so Abyss chokeslams Stevie into the tacks instead. I hate this angle, but the crowd popped pretty big for the chokeslam.
MATCH #3: TNA X-Division Title Match – Suicide vs. Daniels
Suicide has been the champion since 3.15.09, and this is his third defense. The champ starts the match aggressively, taking Daniels down for an early two-count. He hits a suplex for another two-count. Daniels comes back with a shoulderblock and then goes into a headlock. Suicide breaks it and hits a swinging neckbreaker and a dropkick, sending Daniels to the floor. He follows Daniels out with a somersault off the apron. Back in the ring Suicide maintains control with a variety of offense. Daniels comes back with an abdominal stretch. Suicide breaks the hold with a hiptoss and goes back to work on his challenger. Daniels comes back with a dropkick, and then this a split-legged moonsault for two. They keep trading control back and forth, with no one getting a sustained advantage. Daniels knocks Suicide to the floor and tries the Arabian Press and Suicide gets his knees up. They trade moves on the floor, and when they get back in the ring both just stop selling the beating they just took. Suicide knocks Daniels back to the floor, and Chris Sabin makes his way out to argue with the referee, while Alex Shelley hits Suicide with a Code Breaker in the ring. Daniels gets back in the ring and gets Suicide in a cradle to score the pin and win the X-Division Title for a fourth time at 12:06. Then Daniels sees video footage of what happened, and he wants the match restarted because he doesn’t want to win that way. Daniels asks for five more minutes, and both Suicide and Rudy Charles agree, and the match is restarted. The offense is coming fast and furious in round two here. Suicide gets a quick rollup for the first near-fall. I’m wondering why they had to limit it to five minutes – why not just restart the match straight up? Suicide gets another rollup for two, but Daniels rolls this one into the Koji Clutch. Suicide escapes that and moments later he hits a shotgun dropkick for two. They trade more moves but neither man can hold the other down. Time winds down and we’ve got a time-limit draw at 5:00 (total match time 17:06). Suicide retains the title in a totally overbooked match that the crowd didn’t really react to at all.
MATCH #4: TNA Knockouts Women’s Title Match – Angelina Love vs. Awesome Kong
Love has been the champion since 4.19.09 and this is her first defense. She’s clearly intimidated by the challenger, and spends the early parts of the match trying to avoid her. The champion even tries escaping through the crowd but Kong drags her back. Kong throws Love around ringside for a while, and apparently there’s no count of any sort. Love comes back by using the ring post to her advantage, and then rolls into the ring hoping for a countout. Back in the ring Love kicks Kong in the face, which apparently is called the Botox Injection. Kong recovers and Love tries to run, only to be stopped by Raisha Saeed. Back in the ring the challenger hits a legdrop but decides not to go for a pin. Kong goes up to the second rope and misses a big splash. Love goes outside the ring and grabs her hairspray or whatever, and Saeed tries to stop her. Unfortunately that just distracts Kong, and Love is able to spray Kong in the eyes and gets a rollup for the pin at 6:01. That was pretty cleverly booked, and Kong’s selling is so good. It actually could have gone on a bit longer; it felt paced like a TV match. Kong is one of the top five workers in the company, male or female.
MATCH #5: Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Nash
I wonder what the black towel Joe wears during his ring is supposed to foreshadow. Nash tries to overpower the Nation of Violence early on, but Joe weathers the storm and puts on a leglock. The seven-foot Nash is able to reach the ropes, but Joe quickly sends Nash to the floor and throws him into the guardrail. Nash recovers and brings a chair into the match, but he misses and Joe uses it on Nash instead. The referee objects but Joe doesn’t seem to care. Nash is busted open, and Joe attacks it viciously. Back in the ring Joe tries the Choke but Nash avoids it and goes on offense. Joe recovers and hits a kick to the head off the second rope for two. He once again goes for the Choke, but Nash reaches the ropes and Nash hits a low blow. Nash hits a side suplex for two. Joe comes back with a kick to the chest and a senton for two. He once again puts the Choke on, and this time Nash taps out at 8:02. The match was shockingly decent, and how often does Kevin Nash tap out clean?
MATCH #6: 3-D Invitational Tag Team Tournament Finals – Beer Money, Inc. vs. The British Invasion
Robert Roode & James Storm beat Lethal Consequences and Eric Young & Jethro Holliday to get to the finals, while Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams beat the Latin American Xchange and Suicide & Amazing Red to get here. Williams and Roode start the match with some chain wrestling. I think Doug Williams is my favorite wrestler in TNA. Williams uses wrestling to gain an advantage, and Roode comes back with fast paced and high impact offensive maneuvers. Roode makes the tag to Storm, who hits a Russian legsweep for two. Beer Money continues controlling the British Invasion, even using Storm’s favorite beverage as an offensive weapon. The Brits try to regroup on the floor, but Roode back drops Storm over the ropes, wiping out the whole team, including big Rob Terry. Williams and Magnus use some shady tactics to take over on Storm. After a few minutes of abuse Storm makes the hot tag to Roode, and he hits Williams with a big spinebuster for two. Rob Terry interferes, and Williams hits a pop-up European Uppercut on Roode for two. The match turns into a pier-six brawl in the ring. Magnus gets dumped to the floor, and Storm hits a hurricanrana off the top rope (!), and Roode follows with a Superfly Splash. Terry pulls the referee to the floor, and gets ejected for it! Williams tries to use the Feast or Fired Case, so of course winds up getting hit in the face with it, and Beer Money wins the tournament, the trophy, the cash, and the title shot at 10:46. I like all four of these guys and they could have gone longer than they did. Still, it was the best match of the show so far.
MATCH #7: “I Quit” Match for the TNA Legends Championship – AJ Styles vs. Booker T
Styles has been the champion since 3.15.09, and this is his second defense. They start a bit cautiously, as Tenay and West note that Sharmell is not at ringside tonight. Styles gets the first advantage, but the action is still moving pretty slowly thus far. He starts working on Booker’s leg. Styles tries a springboard, but Booker kicks him out of the air and sends the champion down to the floor. Back in the ring Booker is all over the champion, going after his throat and neck area. After several minutes of Booker on offense, Styles fights back and they trade blows in the center of the ring. Styles wins that battle with a Pele Kick and both men are down. They get back to their feet and Booker hits a big spinebuster. Styles comes back and knocks Booker to the floor, and follows him out with a slingshot dive. He rams Booker’s head into the ring post and rolls him back in the ring. Sharmell makes her way to ringside as Styles hits a springboard flying forearm. Styles goes for the Styles Clash but Booker avoids it and almost accidentally runs into his wife on the ring apron. That distraction allows Styles to put on a cross armbreaker, and Jenna Morasca comes down and throws in the towel at 16:46. Leave it to TNA to book a match in which the loser has to say “I Quit” and then no one says it. Booking AJ Styles versus Booker T as a backdrop to the stupid Sharmell versus Morasca feud is also pretty insulting.
MATCH #8: Four Way Ultimate Sacrifice Match for the TNA World Title – Mick Foley vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle vs. Sting
Foley has been the champion since 4.19.09, and this is his first defense. Unlike most four-ways, only if Foley is pinned will the title change hands. Angle is putting his role as leader of the Main Event Mafia on the line, Jarrett is putting his stake in the company at stake, and Sting is wagering his career. Sting and Foley take it to the floor, while Jarrett and Angle battle inside the ring. After a while they trade places. Then they all fight on the floor; Sting and Foley battle through the crowd while Angle and Jarrett fight around the announce table. Jarrett and Angle get back to the ring, and Angle is firmly in control. Foley hits Sting with a piledriver on the entrance ramp. Meanwhile, Jarrett has Angle in the Figure-Four, and Angle reverses it to an Ankle Lock. Foley brings out Mr. Socko, and now Jarrett is stuck in a double-submission. Angle doesn’t appreciate that and kicks Foley to the floor. That gives Jarrett sufficient time to get up, and Angle tosses him with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Foley joins the commentary team, and Tenay says it’s the first time anyone has ever done that in a championship match, but the Rock used to do it regularly. Sting makes it back to the ring, and the Main Event Mafia double-teams Jarrett. Egos get the better of Angle and Sting, and they end up fighting each other. Angle throws German suplexes at everyone. He then notices Foley at the announce table, so he charges at Foley with a somersault, which looked completely ridiculous. Then he hits an Angle Slam and throws Foley in the ring. Jarrett hits Foley with the Stroke, but Angle breaks up the two-count and hits Jarrett with an Angle Slam. Sting then comes back in and traps Angle in the Scorpion Deathlock. Please Mike Tenay, can you stop calling it just “The Scorpion?” Jarrett breaks that up with a schoolboy for two, and then he and Sting clunk heads and knocks each other out. They even do the stupid spot where Sting collapses into Jarrett’s balls. Foley brings out another Mr. Socko and puts dual Mandible Claws on Jarrett and Sting. Meanwhile Angle puts Foley in the Ankle Lock, and Foley rolls him out of it and Angle accidentally hits the referee. Sting hits Angle with the Scorpion Deathdrop but the referee is still out. Jarrett hits Sting with the guitar, but still no referee. Foley hits Jarrett with a chair, but of course Jarrett kicks out at two. Angle hits Foley with a Superfly Splash for two. He then traps both Jarrett and Sting in Ankle Locks, and Foley breaks that up. Foley hits Angle with the Double-Arm DDT but Sting breaks it up. Sting tosses Foley to the floor and follows him out. In the ring Jarrett sets up a chair and delivers a Super Stroke, but Sting comes in and steals the pin at 14:57 to become the new leader of the Main Event Mafia. Despite not really caring about any of these four guys, they managed to put on a pretty entertaining match that makes Sting kind of look like a jerk.
BONUS MATCH: Amazing Red vs. Kiyoshi
It doesn’t take long for the first high spot to hit, as Red knocks Kiyoshi to the floor and hits a twisting body press over the ropes. Back in the ring Kiyoshi takes control with kicks and other strikes. A sliding clothesline by Kiyoshi gets two. Kiyoshi puts on a sleeper and Red escapes, but Kiyoshi hits a kick to the face for another two-count. A chop to the head off the top rope gets another two. Red comes back with a tornado DDT and both men are down. Back to their feet Red hits a dropkick and a leg lariat for two. Kiyoshi fights back with a reverse fireman’s carry slam for two. He then misses a moonsault, and Red capitalizes with a leaping Flatliner, and then the Red Star Press for the pin at 7:02. That was a solid preshow match, but the Red Star Press is such a weak looking finisher.
The Pulse: Well most of the matches were at least solid, but nothing was really worth getting all that excited over, as nothing got higher than three stars. Also, knowing that even though he lost the match, Angle remained Godfather of the Main Event Mafia kind of makes the whole main event seem pointless. Just another day in the life of TNA, I guess.