Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – September 20, 2009
MATCH #1: TNA Knockouts Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament Final – Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne
This is the finals of a tournament to crown the first champions. Wilde & Sarita beat Alissa Flash & Daffney and Awesome Kong & Raisha Saeed (who had beaten Traci Brooks & Sharmell) to get here; Sky & Angelina Love beat Madison Rayne & Roxxi and Christy Hemme & Tara (who had beaten Hamada & Sojourner Bolt), and now Rayne is replacing Love (who is out with Visa issues). Got all that? Senior Referee Earl Hebner comes out and tells Slick Johnson he can’t referee this match due to his cavorting with the Beautiful People recently.
Sky and Rayne fret so Sarita dropkicks Rayne to the floor and she and Wilde double-team Sky. Sarita gets a couple of pinning combinations for two-counts and then she and Wilde double-team some more. Wilde tags in and so does Rayne. Sarita quickly tags in and Rayne traps her between the top and middle ropes and then slams her head into the back of the mat. Now the Beautiful People work Sarita over in their half of the ring. Rayne hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Sarita comes back with a sort of float over DDT and both women make tags. Wilde hits Rayne with a dropkick and a Finlay Roll. Sky eats a dropkick as well, and Rayne takes a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. The match breaks down to a brawl and Wilde grabs Rayne in a waistlock and Sarita hits her with a springboard dropkick and Wilde follows with a German Suplex with a bridge to get the pin and become the first champions at 4:51. If that was all the time you had to give this new division, why even start it in the first place?
MATCH #2: Eric Young vs. Hernandez
Young has vowed not to fight his “brother” Hernandez. To reinforce this point he comes out dressed in a business suit. Hernandez gets in the ring and immediately forearms Young down. He throws Young chest-first into the turnbuckles and hits a Northern Lariat. He hits a shoulderblock and Young crashes all the way to the floor. He throws Young back in the ring and delivers the Border Toss to get the win at 0:50. Well that was obviously more a piece to the storyline between Hernandez and the World Elite than an actual match. I don’t much care for Young, so that was a good length for him.
MATCH #3: TNA X-Division Title Match – Samoa Joe vs. Daniels
Joe has been the champion since 8.16.09 and this is his second defense. These two have been involved in some of TNA’s best matches ever. They lock up and Daniels tries a couple of dropkicks but Joe absorbs them and knocks Daniels down with a shoulderblock. Joe sets Daniels on the top rope but Daniels fights him off and hits a rana. When Joe tries taking a powder Daniels follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Daniels takes Joe down with a drop toehold and then hits a knee drop to the back of the head. Daniels hits the Eye of the Hurricane for a two-count. He tries a leap off the second rope but Joe catches him with the STJoe. Joe hits the Big Joe Combo for a two-count. He goes to work with the Yokozuna Nerve Hold, and when Daniels escapes Joe catches him with a back elbow and Daniels is right back in the hold. Joe hits the snap powerslam for another two-count. Daniels comes back with a chinbreaker and an enziguiri. Both men are down and when they get up Daniels hits palm strikes and a leg lariat. Daniels hits a bulldog and a guillotine legdrop. Joe rolls to the floor and Daniels follows him out with the springboard moonsault that Tenay always calls a split-legged moonsault but I don’t see how it’s a split-legged at all. Daniels tries to lift Joe into the ring and Joe throws him into the ring post and then the steel steps. Joe clips the knee while Daniels is standing on the apron. Back in the ring Joe goes to work on the knee now. Joe hits an awesome knee buster that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. He hits the powerbomb for two and then rolls it into an STF and then a single leg Boston Crab. Daniels reaches the ropes. He avoids a kick and takes Joe down with a neckbreaker. Both men are down and when they rise Daniels takes Joe down with a clothesline, a spin kick, and a flying forearm. Daniels slides to the floor and comes back in with a top rope clothesline for two. He hits a Codebreaker for another near-fall. Joe blocks a back suplex and hits a half-nelson suplex for two. Taz used to call that one a Car Crash Suplex. That is what I shall call it from now on. Daniels comes back with an STO and goes for the Best Moonsault Ever. Joe moves out of the way and Daniels lands on his feet but that hurts his injured knee. The champ hits an enziguiri and tries the Muscle Buster. Daniels reverses it and goes for the Angel’s Wings. Joe blocks that and Daniels tries the Last Rites instead. Tenay calls a Koji Clutch but I assure you that the move never happened in this sequence. Joe is able to trap Daniels in the Choke and Daniels taps out at 13:48.
I love that Daniels landed on his feet from the BME and actually sold the injury. It made Joe’s work on the knee actually mean something in the context of the match. The finishing sequence to this was awesome, and the match was the usual goodness from these two against each other. It’s too bad they’re this low on the card, but I’ll take what I can get.
MATCH #4: Falls Count Anywhere Match – D’Angelo Dinero vs. Suicide
This match was added to the card at the last minute. Dinero is cutting a promo backstage and plugging that six hour energy crap when Suicide sneaks up behind him and starts the match backstage! The referee decides to ring the bell and go backstage to join them. They fight around the outside of the building, and Dinero hits an elbow drop on some equipment boxes for a two-count. Suicide comes back with a small package for a two-count as they continue fighting outside. Dinero gets on a golf cart but not much happens on it. The fight continues as Taz makes jokes. I would have an easier time getting into a match if Taz pretended it mattered. Is everything funny to this pumpkin? They finally make their way back to ringside and Dinero is in control. They make it to the ring and Suicide recovers with a springboard missile dropkick for two. Suicide tries to set up a table but Dinero kicks it back into him and sets it up himself. Dinero hits a suplex on the ramp for a two-count. They fight up to the entrance and Suicide blocks the running knees with a shotgun dropkick. Suicide now goes down the ramp and produces another table. He hits a Finlay Roll and sets Dinero on the table. He scales the wall and leaps off for a legdrop but Dinero moves out of the way. Dinero is able to roll over on top of Suicide to get the pin at 12:21. That was the usual walking around brawl with a few high spots thrown in.
MATCH #5: TNA Knockouts Women’s Title Match – ODB vs. Cody Deaner
The title has been vacant since 8.27.09. ODB & Deaner teamed up to beat Angelina Love & Velvet Sky back at Hard Justice in a match that was for the title. Naturally ODB claimed the title but since the Deaner actually scored the pin he tried to lay claim to it. Mick Foley decided that they should face each other to decide who the undisputed champion will be. ODB lets fans grope her on the way to the ring.
Deaner is aggressive in the early going but ODB mops the canvas with him. He tries a low blow, but, you know. ODB clotheslines him and he takes a powder. She goes to the top rope and wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring ODB goes for the Dirty Dozen but Deaner sweeps her leg off the ropes and she crashes down to the mat. Deaner gets a two-count. He works ODB over, hitting a big bodyslam for another near-fall. He tries coming off the ropes with a double sledge but OBD grabs him by the balls and slams him down. ODB completes the Dirty Dozen this time and then hits a Thesz Press off the ropes for a two-count. Deaner backs into the corner and scoops the legs and tries to use the ropes for leverage but the referee catches him. While Deaner argues with the referee ODB has time to recover and she gets a schoolgirl rollup for two. ODB tries a sunset flip and Deaner grabs the ropes, so of course the referee kicks his hands away. That’s negative a million points. Deaner fights back with hits famed Knockout Punch but ODB kicks out at two. He goes up top for a splash but ODB moves out of the way and hits a TKO to get the pin at 7:18. This was bad no matter what the genders were. Can we all just move on from the Cody Deaner era now?
MATCH #6: TNA Legends Championship Match – Kevin Nash vs. Abyss
Mick Foley joins Tenay and Taz on commentary. Nash has been the champion since 8.16.09 and this is his second defense. Also, Dr. Stevie has a $50,000 bounty out on Abyss. Both guys lumber around throwing punches and clotheslines at each other. Nash traps Abyss in the corner and chokes him with his boot. Abyss reverses a whip and squashes Nash in the corner. Nash comes right back and clotheslines Abyss to the floor, and then slams his head into the ring steps. He ambles over to get a chair, giving Abyss time to recover. Abyss throws Nash’s head into the ring apron and then the guardrail. Dr. Stevie is watching on from the entrance, which distracts Abyss. Nash hits a big boot, much to Stevie’s delight. He works Abyss over with his plodding offense. He goes for a Chokeslam but Abyss punches out of it and floors Nash with a flying clothesline. Abyss squashes Nash in the corner and hits a side suplex for two. Stevie distracts the referee and Daffney sneaks in the ring with a taser. Abyss catches her with a Black Hole Slam and then picks up the taser. Stevie jumps in the ring and grabs it from him. While the referee removes Stevie from the ring, Nash hits Abyss with a chair but he only gets two. Nash goes for the Jackknife but Abyss counters with a Chokeslam of his own for a two-count. Abyss calls for the barbed wire bat from Foley. While the ref is distracted with Foley, Nash puts the taser to Abyss’s balls and that’s enough to get the pin at 8:24.
Stevie tries to take the $50,000 away from Nash and eats a Jackknife Powerbomb for his troubles. The match was what you would expect from Nash and Abyss at this point, but as soon as Daffney appeared the match took a real nosedive to stupid and couldn’t recover.
MATCH #7: Lethal Lockdown – Team 3D & Beer Money, Inc. vs. Scott Steiner, Booker T, Doug Williams & Brutus Magnus
I’m not sure why they had to bring Lethal Lockdown to a pay-per-view besides Lockdown, but whatever. Doug Williams starts for his team, while James Storm will begin for his squad. The fight starts up in the aisle and I don’t hear an opening bell when they make it into the ring. I’m surprised at how often that happens (no opening bell). They go back and forth for a bit, Storm getting the first advantage with the Swinging Noose. Storm goes for a cover but you can’t actually win until all eight competitors are in the ring. Moments later Storm hits the Eye of the Storm. Williams comes back with a low blow. Brutus Magnus is the next man out, and Storm kicks the steel cage door back in his face. For some reason Magnus completely no-sells it and Tenay and Taz try to cover up for him. Williams whips Magnus into the cage door, and Storm has the decency to sell it. They work Storm over for a few minutes and then Robert Roode joins the fray. Roode is all over the Brits, and that gives Storm the chance to recover. Beer Money hits a catapult DDT, which is pretty cool looking. The next man out is one half of the TNA World Tag Team Champions, Scott Steiner. He gets in the cage and starts throwing Beer Money around. That pretty much goes on until Brother Devon comes out to even the odds. Taz needs to stop giggling every other second. Booker T comes out holding both TNA World Tag Team Title belts. He certainly takes his time getting there, but when he does he goes to work on everybody. Finally Brother Ray comes out and now the ceiling will lower, bringing the weapons into play. That also means a decision can be rendered. But before Ray can make it into the cage Rob Terry flies in from out of nowhere and takes Ray down, and then bashes a steel chair across his back. Terry then forces the carnie in control of the cage to lower it. The Main Event Mafia/World Elite conglomerate pulls some weapons down and they’re working Devon and Beer Money over. Ray recovers and absolutely kills Terry’s head with the chair. He gets in the ring and blasts everyone else with the chair too. Magnus escapes by climbing to the top of the cage, and the bloody Storm joins him. Roode goes to the top of the cage as well, and Beer Money hits him with a double suplex. Meanwhile Team 3D hits Steiner with the 3D. Booker hits Ray with the Book End. Some chick in the crowd is screaming unnecessarily loud. Beer Money gets back in the ring and they hit Williams with the DWI to get the win at around 21:39. That was quite a bit of fun and having that many guys out there generally means there’s always something going on.
MATCH #8: Rhino vs. Bobby Lashley
I find it hilarious how hard TNA pushed Bobby Lashley despite being stunningly not over, even giving him a stupid nickname – “The Boss.” He was gone what, three months after this? It’s amazing that they spent that much time trying to make Lashley look like a big deal and when they have an actual big deal like Jeff Hardy show up they make him look like a jobber and a lapdog for months.
Lashley attacks with a bunch of punches. He hits a snap suplex for a two-count. He levels Rhino with a clothesline, and the War Machine takes a powder. Lashley follows him out and clubs away. Rhino reverses a whip and sends Lashley into the guardrail. Back in the ring Rhino hits a spinebuster for barely a two-count. Rhino continues wearing Lashley (and me) down with rest holds. Lashley finally fights back with a back elbow and both men are down. They get back to their feet and Lashley shows off his “explosive” offense. Lashley hits a gutbuster. It looks like Rhino has been busted open. Lashley goes for a Spear but accidentally hits referee Andrew Thomas. Rhino hits the Gore and another referee comes out to make a two-count. He goes for another Gore and Lashley counters it with a punch to the face, and that’s enough to get the pin at 7:05. No seriously, Bobby Lashley just won a match using a punch to the face. That match was designed to show Lashley off but it exposed him as a charisma deficient buffoon who believes his own hype.
MATCH #9: TNA World Heavyweight Title Match – AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan vs. Sting vs. Hernandez
Angle has been the champion since 6.21.09, and this is his fifth defense. It was originally scheduled as a four-way match, but Hernandez decided to cash in his Fest or Fired briefcase because he was not satisfied by Eric Young not fighting back in their match earlier. The champ gets right in Hernandez’s face, and Super-Mex throws him around with his amazing power. Hernandez executes an extreme delayed vertical suplex. He clotheslines Angle to the floor and then the bell finally rings.
Styles and Sting work together on Morgan while Hernandez and Angle fight up by the announce table. Hernandez suplexes Angle on the entrance ramp. Back in the ring Morgan uses his power to throw Styles out of the ring. Morgan bodyslams Sting for a two-count. Back up by the entrance, Hernandez sets up for the Border Toss and Eric Young comes out with a club of some kind and hits Hernandez with it. Young then hits a piledriver on Hernandez to effectively take him out of the match and bring us back to where we started.
Angle recovers while Sting and Styles hit Morgan with a double vertical suplex. Morgan powders and the two best friends agree to wrestle. Styles hits Sting with the dropkick, and then takes Angle and Morgan out on the floor with a dive from the apron. Morgan brushes it off and pulls Sting to the floor. He whips Sting into the guardrail and the crowd could not care less. Back in the ring Angle wakes them up with an Ankle Lock. Styles counters with a cradle for a two-count. He hits a nice headscissors that sends Angle to the floor. He hits a baseball slide into a headscissors on the floor. Sting throws Morgan in the ring and Morgan goes to work on him. After hitting Styles with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, Angle joins Morgan in double-teaming Sting. Tenay says the fans are surprised Angle and Morgan are working together; I say they’re bored. Styles makes it back to the ring with a springboard forearm on Angle. Morgan catches him and hits a Fallaway Slam. Sting recovers and clotheslines Angle to the floor, but Morgan then levels Sting with a clothesline for two. Angle gets back in the ring and hits Styles with a belly-to-belly suplex. He kicks Sting to the floor and now the two of them go to work on Styles. Angle tries a charge but Styles avoids him and Angle crashes shoulder-first into the ring post. Morgan knocks Styles down with a dropkick. He works Styles over for a little bit until Styles fights back with a Pele. Angle gets back in the ring and German Suplexes Styles, and then Sting gets back in the ring with a missile dropkick on Angle. All four men are down and when they get up Sting takes control. Sting hits a Stinger Splash on Angle and then has one for Morgan as well. Angle pulls Sting out of the mounted punches with an Olympic Slam for two. Styles hits Angle with the Styles Clash but Morgan breaks up the cover. Morgan takes control, booting Styles out of the air and hitting the Hellevator but Sting breaks it up to no pop. Sting hits Morgan with the “Scorpion Style Death Drop” (Tenay) and Angle breaks it up. He then goes for the Scorpion Style Deathlock and Angle reverses it to the Ankle Lock. Morgan breaks that up with the Carbon Footprint. He charges at String but gets low-bridged and crashes to the floor. Angle is down, and Sting purposely goes after Morgan to clear the way. Styles hits Angle with the springboard 450 splash to get the pin and win the TNA Title for the fourth time at 15:10.
Wrestlers and fans come into the ring to celebrate what should be Styles’ big moment. But if I may play my favorite pinball game here for a minute, I have to say it would have been a much bigger moment for AJ Styles if he had earned it by himself instead of having it handed to him on a silver platter by Sting. I understand that the idea of this was for Sting to pass the torch to Styles, but what it looked like was that Styles needed Sting to step aside in order to win the match. Even given the lame way he got the belt, his reign was shaping up to be an epic one and could have really defined TNA in the Monday Night Era, but they decided to rely on Ric Flair and Rob Van Dam and Hulk Hogan and anything else that’s not AJ Styles. The match was fine but had no crowd heat whatsoever.
The Pulse: The main event is decent but the silliness of the finish hurts the overall effect it was going for. As usual, Joe versus Daniels is really good (though done better many times before) and the Lethal Lockdown match is fun (although also done better before). Nothing else is memorable or worth watching in any way, so unless you really need to see every AJ Styles title victory you don’t really need to see this pay-per-view.