Sears Center – Chicago, Illinois – October 12, 2008
MATCH #1: Steel Asylum Match – Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal vs. Curry Man vs. Chris Sabin vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Johnny Devine vs. Petey Williams vs. Shark Boy vs. Super Eric
Referee Rudy Charles is on top of the cage in the event of a “photo finish.” If anyone thinks two people could sneak out of there at one time, you’re an idiot. The guns work together, as do the Prince Justice Brotherhood trio (Eric, Boy, and Man). Devine gets ganged up on for a bit. The Guns, Devine, and Rave execute a triple suplex on the Brotherhood. There’s little rhyme or reason to most of what’s going on. Shelley and Man fight up on the top rope and Man hits a unique jawbreaker. Sabin fires back with a leaping enziguiri. Boy and Eric look out for Man, but Dutt is able to sneak in and hit a kick to the face. Lethal makes the first real attempt to escape, but Rave stops him, only to receive a hurricanrana for his troubles. Shelley follows with a Frog Splash on Rave, and then Man hits Shelley with a clothesline. Eric hits a simultaneous Death Valley Driver on Devine and Dutt. He goes up to climb but the Guns cut him off. The guns wind up in control of the match, picking almost everyone apart. Williams comes back and knocks Shelley out with the Canadian Destroyer. He tries to climb out but Sabin cuts him off. Boy joins them on the top rope and hits a double Chummer. Rave Rocks Boy’s World, but then Devine hits the Devine Intervention, which looks supremely dangerous. Devine takes Lethal down and hits a moonsault. He climbs and Dutt cuts him off. Man joins them and gets knocked down. Dutt knocks Devine right into a Spice Rack. Man gets close to climbing out but Dutt knocks him down. Lethal joins Dutt up top and they slug it out. Black Machismo wins that battle and climbs out to win the match at 12:04. The concept of the match is inherently stupid but all 10 guys worked hard to get it over and there was almost no down time throughout the entire match.
MATCH #2: Knockouts Bimbo Brawl – The Beautiful People & Cute Kip vs. Rhaka Khan, Rhino & ODB
This is a bit of a motley crew. Traci Brooks is the special guest referee. Mike Tenay thinks that if there’s any town that can relate to “One Dirty Bitch” it’s Chicago. What does that even mean? ODB and Angelina Love star the match, and it’s the woman Chicago can most relate to that takes first control. Love rakes the eyes and tags Velvet Sky. ODB goes to work on the arm, and then tags Rhino, who hits an Irish whip and a hip toss. TNA can do man-on-woman violence! That is so cool! At least that’s how I imagine TNA booking meetings going. Rhino motions for the Gore but Kip thankfully saves her. Velvet actually tries to clothesline Rhino? This is stupid. Rhino tags Khan so Velvet tags the person on the team most equipped to handle her. Kip and Khan grab each other in a choke. The man (Kip) wins the choke battle, so Khan grabs his groin. Love comes in to Kip’s defense and Rhaka goes after her arm. Sky distracts Brooks long enough for Kip to hit ODB with the makeup kit. Brooks notices all the makeup on the mat but decides not to ask anyone about it. The Beautiful People continue to double and triple team ODB in their half of the ring. Then ODB tags Rhino, and Kip tags in as well. The match breaks down as Brooks is doing a terrible job as a referee. The men are left alone in the ring. Kip hits a Stinger Splash and goes for the Fame-Ass-Er but Rhino counters with the Gore to get the win at 6:15. Bless that Kip James – with every gimmick he’s given, he always looks like he’s trying as hard as he possibly can to get it over. The match on the other hand was not over with me.
MATCH #3: TNA X-Division Title Match – Sheik Abdul Bashir vs. Consequences Creed
Bashir has been the champion since 9.14.08 and this is his second defense. A decorated Soldier makes the ring introduction for the challenger. Creed starts the match off hot, hitting a clothesline and then dumping Bashir to the floor. Back in the ring Creed hits a high cross body block off the top rope for two. The challenger continues to keep the pressure on the champion. He gets back dropped to the apron, and when he tries a sunset flip through the second rope (like that would work), Bashir knees him in the face and kicks him off the apron. The champ follows Creed outside and slams him chest-first onto the guardrail. Back in the ring he gets a two-count. Bashir trips Creed down to the mat and hits an elbow drop to the back for a two-count. He continues to wear Bashir down and cut off all of his comeback attempts. He uses a sleeper to take Bashir down to the mat. Creed fights back with a superkick of sorts and both men are down. Back on their feet Creed is on a roll but can’t put the champ away. Creed goes up top but he plays to the crowd too much and Bashir goes up to hit a (sort of) super rana. That gets two. Creed comes back and tries a Death Valley Driver, but Bashir reverses it to a rollup and grabs the ring rope for leverage to get the pin at 9:18. Remember when Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, and AJ Styles were having X-Division Title matches in the main event and it was almost as important as the World Title? Nothing against Creed and Bashir, but the X-Title is just pointless filler now, and that’s TNA’s single greatest failure as a company.
MATCH #4: TNA Knockout Championship Match – Taylor Wilde vs. Awesome Kong vs. Roxxi
Wilde has been the champion since 7.10.08 and this is her fourth defense. She and Roxxi wisely work together in the early going to take Kong down. They knock Kong to the floor and then tear into each other. It doesn’t take Kong long to get back in the ring to break up a pin. Kong then throws Roxxi to the floor, where Raisha Saeed takes a few cheap shots on Roxxi. She then focuses on the champion. Wilde gets a victory roll but Roxxi breaks up the cover and throws her to the floor. Unfortunately for her she forgets about Kong and pays for it. Roxxi fires back and hits a swinging neckbreaker and a senton. She goes up top and hits a Thesz Press but Wilde breaks up the fall. Roxxi locks Wilde in a submission move and Kong kicks them both down to the mat. Kong hits Roxxi with a running cross body block for a two-count. She flattens Roxxi with the Implant Buster but Wilde breaks it up. Wilde pays for that with a solid clothesline. With both Roxxi and Wilde down, Kong goes up top. Wilde joins her up there and kicks Kong down to the floor. Roxxi catches Wilde surprised with a kick to the face for two. She goes for the Cajun Drop but Wilde counters it and goes behind for a bridging German Suplex to get the pin at 5:13. Kong is so good it’s sick. The match was pretty good for the time they got.
MATCH #5: Monster’s Ball Match for the TNA World Tag Team Titles – Beer Money, Inc. vs. Team 3D vs. The Latin American Xchange vs. Matt Morgan & Abyss
Beer Money has been the champions since 8.10.08, and this is their second defense. This is the fifth Monster’s Ball match in history, and the first one featuring tag teams. Abyss is 1-3, and everyone else is making their debuts. Steve “Mongo” McMichael is the special guest referee, and boy is he looking old.
Everyone attacks Beer Money to start and it’s a big brawl all over the place. Homicide seems to grab most of the spotlight, and he brings out a staple from his old ROH days, the fork, jabbing it into Devon’s head. Ray brings a cheese grater in and works on Abyss with it. Mongo counts extremely slowly for Beer Money. Storm gets tired of Mongo dogging them, so he brings his beer helmet and a football in the ring to challenge him, and Mongo takes both of them out. More brawling ensues, and Johnny Devine shows up to help his Team 3D cohorts. The three of them conspire to slam Abyss off the entrance ramp through a flaming table. Jacqueline interferes and tries to jump on Mongo, and she receives a spanking for her trouble. Hernandez actually hits the Border Toss on Morgan, which is pretty impressive. Team 3D hits the 3D on Hernandez, on a table covered with tacks. However, Beer Money sneaks in the ring and steals the pin to retain the titles at 20:19. That was super fun chaos, but everything involving Mongo hurt what the wrestlers were trying to do.
MATCH #6: Three Way War – AJ Styles vs. Booker T vs. Christian Cage
This is the beginning of the Main Event Mafia versus Frontline angle, with T and Styles on obvious sides and Cage somewhere in the middle. To literally illustrate that, Cage hangs back and lets them do battle. Then Cage gets in the ring and shakes T’s hand, but that alliance lasts about three seconds before Cage hits the inverted DDT. He then turns his attention to Styles and drops his midsection on the top rope. That sends Styles to the floor, and T makes his way back in to knock Cage to the floor. Styles appears to be going for a springboard into the ring, but instead he moonsaults back to the floor onto Cage! T joins them on the floor and is able to hit Styles with a briefcase when referee Shane Sewell’s back is turned. Cage and T get back in the ring and trade strikes. T lands a flapjack for a two-count and then locks Cage in a chinlock. He continues to wear Cage down while Styles recovers on the floor. Cage fights back and ducks a clothesline, and T bumps off that for some reason, and then they clothesline each other. Way to go Booker. Styles makes it back to the ring with the springboard forearm on T, and he has a few shots for Cage as well.
Cage recovers and clotheslines T to the floor, but then gets smacked with a Styles dropkick. Styles goes for the Styles Clash but Cage avoids it, but he can’t block the second attempt of the flipping inverted DDT, which gets a two-count. T comes back and kicks Cage to the floor and then turns his attention to Styles. He goes for the Axe Kick but Styles avoids it and locks on a Cross Armbreaker. Cage comes in and breaks it up, then takes a rana from Styles. T comes back and hits the Bookend on Styles for a two-count. He goes for the Spin-a-Roony and Cage blasts him with a European Uppercut off the second rope. Styles hits a Pele to knock T to the floor. Cage grabs Styles with an Implant DDT for two. They fight up top and Styles drops Cage down to the mat, but then misses the Spiral Tap. T then takes them both down with a simultaneous axe kick but can’t pin either man. He goes up top but Cage uses Styles to knock him down. Cage then hits Styles with a Spear, but T literally holds the referee back from making the count. Styles and Cage join T up on the ropes, and Cage hits a Super Unprettier on Styles! Cage then stands there and waits for T to hit a Super Axe Kick to get the win at 13:07. The stuff between Styles and Cage was good, but Booker T just looked lost out there.
MATCH #7: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle
Mick Foley is the special guest enforcer. This is Jarrett’s first match since May of 2007, when he dropped a fall to Robert Roode. Angle takes Jarrett down right away and looks confident in doing so. Tenay describes the look on Angle’s face as a “bleep-eatin’-grin.” I hate you, Mike Tenay. Angle grounds Jarrett briefly, but Jarrett counters him and locks on a headlock. That doesn’t last too long, as Angle powers up and runs Jarrett into the corner. Don West calls a European Uppercut a German Uppercut for some reason. Jarrett recovers and sends Angle to the floor, and follows him out with a slingshot dive. He tries diving off the apron, but Angle moves and Jarrett crashes into the guardrail. Back in the ring Angle follows up with some kicks to the ribs. Jarrett comes back with an inverted atomic drop and an enziguiri. He spends too much time strutting and Angle hits a hard clothesline. Angle is in control now, wearing Jarrett down. Jarrett gets a quick rollup for two but Angle clotheslines him down again. He gets up again and hits Angle with a DDT and both men are down. They get to their feet and trade punches. Jarrett wins that battle and hits two lariats and a blue thunder driver for two. Angle recovers and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. They rise and Angle tries the Olympic Slam but Jarrett counters to a DDT for two. He puts Angle up on the top rope and hits a superplex and Angle kicks out at two. Jarrett then locks on the Figure-Four Leglock right in the center of the ring. Angle eventually makes it to the ropes and the hold is broken. He comes back and hits a German Suplex with a bridge for two, and then hits a couple of Rolling Germans. He tries the Angle Slam but Jarrett counters to an armdrag. Jarrett tries a piledriver but Angle winds up rolling through to the Ankle Lock.
Wow, Jarrett survives in the hold for a ridiculously long time. He rolls Angle through to break the hold. Angle hits the Angle Slam but Jarrett kicks out. He goes up for the Moonsault but Jarrett rolls out of the way. The referee takes a bump and Jarrett hits the Stroke. Foley comes in to count the fall but Angle kicks out at two. Angle hits a low blow and then goes to the floor and grabs a chair. He wallops Foley in the face with it, and then delivers a shot to Jarrett as well. Angle revives the referee, but Foley pulls the referee out, having made a miraculous recovery from that brutal shot to the face. He applies Mr. Socko to Angle, and Jarrett smashes the guitar over Angle’s head. Foley counts the pin at 20:07. The problem with special enforcers is that they always have to get involved, and that takes away from the two wrestlers in the match. It was going along really well until all the Foley involvement, but Jarrett looked really good for such a long layoff. It wasn’t quite a classic but it was fairly entertaining.
MATCH #8: TNA World Championship Match – Samoa Joe vs. Sting
Joe has been the champion since 4.13.08 and this is his eighth defense. Sting attacks right away but Joe dumps him to the floor and follows him out with the elbow suicida. They fight up through the crowd for a while, and Joe hits an amazing flying dropkick, landing right on the steps. Tenay announces that there will be no return match no matter what happens, which makes no sense. After several minutes and a few momentum changes, they make their way back to the ring where Joe is in control. Joe tries the Muscle Buster but Sting blocks it and hits a DDT. Sting goes up top and hits a Frog Splash for two. Joe comes back with a kick to the gut and a powerbomb for two. He rolls that into the STF and then a Crossface. Sting tries to fight back but Joe hits the snap powerslam for two. Joe gets confident and Sting makes him pay with a Stinger Splash and Muscle Buster! Or so we thought, because Joe no-sells it. Joe returns the favor with a Scorpion Death Drop and Sting no-sells that. Sting tries a Stinger Splash but the champ counters with the STJoe. Joe hits a series of knees to the head and hopes for a knockout win but Sting gets up. He continues going for knockout blows to the head. For some reason Kevin Nash makes his way to ringside, and I think every BFG main event has had some form of interference; for the second year in a row it’s from Nash. Joe hits a DDT and continues arguing with the referee for some reason. Sting grabs the baseball bat but Nash takes it away from him. Joe hits Sting with a clothesline for a two-count. The referee gets sort of knocked out of the way and Nash hits Joe with the bat. Sting then hits the Scorpion Death Drop to get the pin at 16:53. What a boring match with a terrible finish that made Joe look like a total rube. Sting is beyond limited at this point and the booking is so mundane.
The Pulse: So Sting wins the TNA World Title in the main event for the third year in a row, yawn. The semi-main event and Monster’s Ball were the only matches that went above three stars, and everything else was pretty middling and forgettable.