Tonight, live from Orlando, FL TNA presents its latest pay per view offering, Sacrifice. As we've talked about on RingRap Audio and in print, the build has been a bit lackluster but there's still titles to be decided and scores to be settled. Tonight's card is as follows:
The BroMans and DJ Zema (c) vs. The Wolves; TNA Tag Team Championship
Madison Rayne (c) vs. Angelina Love (w/Velvet Sky); TNA Knockouts Championship
Sanada (c) vs. Tigre Uno; TNA X-Division Championship, Best of Three Series Conclusion (tied at 1-1)
Eric Young (c) vs. Magnus; TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Kurt Angle and Willow (Jeff Hardy) vs. Rockstar Spud and Ethan Carter III
Bully Ray vs. Bobby Roode; Tables Match Rules
Gunner vs. James Storm; I Quit Match Rules
Refresh the page for ongoing live results and reaction to tonight's pay per view event here on Ring-Rap.com. Hit me on Twitter with your thoughts too @Bill_SoonerFan!
Show Open, Live from Universal Studios in Orlando, FL
Opening video package hits, featuring Magnus talking about the title match against Eric Young.
The announcers check in and hype up some matches on the card, focusing on the gimmick matches and the title match.
Match #1 - The BroMans and DJ Z (c) vs. The Wolves; TNA Tag Team Championship, 3 on 2 Handicap Match
Z comes out first and he tells us he and his squad will make the Wolves howl in pain. Edwards gets a mic and runs down the number of times that BroMans kept the belt by DQ. He hands a document to Christy Hemme, and this is now a no disqualification match.
Wolves clear the ring early and howl, then hit the heels with double suicide dives. Back in the ring, the Wolves team up on Robbie E with double team moves. Eventually the numbers catch up and the champs use that to their advantage to gain control of Eddie. They isolate him at that point.
Richards starts the comeback with a double huracanrana. Tenay gushes over it but the move defies all logic. Richards gets a hot tag and gets the better of the heels. Z cuts off the comeback, then tries to hit him with the laptop but hit Jesse by mistake. The Wolves go on a run of offense, then hit the double stomps from opposite corners to pick up the victory.
Winner - The Wolves to claim the TNA Tag Team Championship
The match wasn't bad, but there's a bit of a logic malfunction going on. With the no-DQ stip, why would Richards wait on the apron rather than run in and save Edwards? And why would TNA not announce the stipulation on TV so that it seemed like the heel champions had an insurmountable advantage? The live crowd did enjoy the Wolves' offense and they reacted for the title change. Tenay felt like he was asleep and there was no punch to his call at the end.
Tenay and Taz talk at the announce position, and hype up the additional title matches on the show.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash talks about the "committed" match, then interviews Sam Shaw. They stand by the van that will be used for this one. Shaw says he won't allow himself to be committed. He talks about his mother and dedicates the match to her. "Christy, this one's for you..." They feed it into a recap video for the Shaw/Anderson/Hemme drama.
Match #2 - Mr. Anderson vs. Sam Shaw; "Committed" Match
Sam Shaw comes out. Tenay says that Christy Hemme won't introduce the competitors to this one. Shaw glares at the crowd, and cameras pan to Christy at ringside. Mr. Anderson hits the ring and Shaw bails out. Back in the ring now, the bell sounds and we're underway.
More cat and mouse. Shaw grabs Christy and shoves her toward Anderson, who saw this trick coming and punches Shaw in the mouth. Anderson lights Shaw up, then leaves a woman at ringside hanging when she asks for a high five. Shaw goes on offense and locks on his triangle choke hold. Anderson sells being knocked out as Christy looks on from a safe distance.
With Anderson out, Shaw stalks Christy. The official checks on Anderson. Shaw brushes aside the same woman who tried to high five Anderson and stalks Christy into the ring. Christy slaps Shaw and he likes that. Christy leaves the ring and escapes. Shaw smiles, turns around and eats a clothesline from Anderson. Things spill to the floor and Anderson works strikes.
Anderson slams Shaw on the ramp and tells Shaw they're going for a ride. Someone in the crowd says "Can I go?" Turn those mics down, TNA. The fan keeps rattling on with commentary as Anderson beats up Shaw by the production area.
Things spill to backstage, and Anderson asks JB for a mid-match interview. He asks how the match is going, and Anderson impersonates Shaw and says things aren't going wel right now. Kinda funny. He throws Shaw on a cart and wheels him toward the parking lot, hitting various trunks along the way. Anderson checks out the van, but Shaw blasts him from behind.
Christy shows up again, and she tries to calm Shaw down. She puts her hand on his chest, then knees him in the nuts. Shaw looks at her like he was just betrayed, then Anderson hits him with a sloppy Mic Check to put him in the van. Anderson rolls him the rest of the way in, then closes the doors. Christy yells "woohoo!" and the ref calls for the bell. Anderson and Christy send the van on its way.
Winner - Mr. Anderson.
Anderson really tried. This went on too long, and should have been on TV, not on PPV.
JB interviews Ethan Carter and Rockstar Spud. EC3 says Angle will never beat him. Spud accuses Willow of trying to break his leg. He says he is there to make sure that EC3 gets his win over Angle.
Match #3 - Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud vs. Kurt Angle and Willow
EC3 starts with Angle, and he stalks Carter to his corner. Carter tags Spud and Spud's worried. Spud tries to mount Heart of a Lion, but Angle tells him to stop and tag Carter. Angle shouts at Spud, so Spud tags out to Carter. Carter gets in the ring reluctantly, then ducks out to the other side. Carter finally gets in and Angle drops him to the mat. Carter takes some moves, then bails and tags in Spud.
The heels argue about that whole situation. Hardy grabs the umbrella, and while the heels argue he splashes them from the top. Hardy does a dance. Angle tries a follow-up move but eats the ring steps. Hardy keeps control of the match in the ring while Angle sells outside on the floor. Eventually the numbers catch up to Hardy.
Angle gets back in the fray to help double up on the heels. Things break down, with Hardy dumping EC3 to the floor. Spud is alone with the faces. Spud takes the Twist of Fate into the Angle Slam. Hardy goes up top and hits the Swanton Bomb for the win. Angle still doesn't have his decision on EC3 though, and he backs away from the ring while Angle glares at him.
Winner - Kurt Angle and Willow
Angle was protected here as he might still be dealing with leg issues. He spent most of the match out of the ring. The match was fine but really would be a better TV match than a PPV match. It also feels like a mis-use of Hardy and Angle on PPV.
Eric Young was in the locker room "earlier today" and he says it was his dream to become World Champion and he did. EY says it has been the best two weeks of his life, but people have to understand he is doing this for everyone who has been told "no." He says it feels good to be defending the TNA Championship at Sacrifice.
They run a Knux vignette. He is shown driving, and apparently en route to the arena. Knux says there will be four - Rebel, Knux, and two others. She doesn't like the sound of that. Knux says if they plan to get the carnival up and running again, they need all the help they can get.
They run a video package for Sanada.
Match #4 - Sanada (c) vs. Tigre Uno; TNA X-Division Championship, Best of Three Series Conclusion
Streamers fall as a part of Tigre's entrance. Uno catches Sanada early on with a hold. He tries a springboard move but takes a drop kick instead. Sanada hits a really nice dragon suplex for two. He tries it again a short time later, but Uno avoids and hits a nasty high cradle to a DDT. Uno tries the 450 Sabertooth splash but crashes and burns. Sanada hits a moonsault to follow up and grab the win. The two men shake hands afterward.
Winner - Sanada to retain the X-Division Championship
As predicted, the fans didn't care about this because TNA hasn't given us a reason to care. The live crowd did react to the high spots though. The guys worked hard, but this really was a spotfest. Some of the big moves down the stretch ended up having no effect because they would hit the move, then move to the next spot.
Backstage, JB hypes up the I Quit match then interviews James Storm. He says he has been the star maker over the past few months. Storm says he made Gunner and his dad a star. He says just as he made a star, he can break one too. He vows to make Gunner say I Quit. Storm says that Gunner will find out sooner or later that God will cut you down.
We get a recap of their story via video.
Match #5 - Gunner vs. James Storm; I Quit Match
Early on, Gunner eats the security barrier. An extra piece ends up falling on Gunner. Gunner goes under the ring and grabs a trash can and a kendo stick. Storm attacks him before he can unload with them though. The referee checks on Gunner and he says "no no."
Storm jabs Gunner with a chair then hits him across the back. Storm and Gunner trade trash can shots, which quiets a small yet vocal "AJ Styles" chant that got going. Storm wins the trash can exchange, but Gunner gets the lid and slams it over Storm's head to win the war. Gunner charges Storm and he moves, so Gunner crashes in the corner.
About ten minutes in, Storm grabs a beer bottle and stalks Gunner. Gunner drags himself to his feet and turns but eats the bottle. Some fans chant "one more beer!" I will take them up on that, thanks. Gunner growls "no" when asked if he wants to quit. Storm draws blood then slaps a Boston Crab on. Gunner gets the rope break, and Storm shoves down the referee. Storm takes the belt from him and whips Gunner with it.
The beating continues, but Gunner refuses to quit. "Piss off" he says at one point. Storm hits the Last Call, but Gunner still doesn't quit. Some live fans are asking for more blood at this point. Gunner shouts "never!" over and over. Storm continues his assault, then Gunner starts to no-sell. Storm slams him into the buckle, then Gunner starts his comeback. He suplexes Storm and Storm ignores the question from the referee.
Gunner sets up an F5 attempt, then hits another. Storm ignores the "do you want to quit" again. Gunner sets up chairs and goes out for the loose guardrail section. He sets those up on the chairs. Gunner hits a big superplex off the top onto that setup. Gunner is slow to get up but Storm is still down. Gunner grabs a shard of glass and threatens to cut Storm unless he quits. Gunner prepares to cut him, but Storm yells out that he quits.
Winner - Gunner
The fans just didn't seem into Gunner as a face, but this was a good match. Borrowed a little from Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum TA from back in the day too. Storm played a great heel, but in spots where you'd expect a vocal reaction to Gunner's offense as a face, there were more heelish chants for Storm. They did react to Gunner's offense when he hit some cool moves though. It's part of the problem with today's wrestling - fans are more conditioned to react to the offense in the ring rather than the story. Doesn't hurt that characters aren't presented strongly anymore.
Backstage, JB talks to the Beautiful People. Angelina says she doesn't understand why she's being framed as the bad girl in her dispute with Madison. Angelina says she came back as a giver. They took Madison in years ago and she became something because of them. Velvet rolls her eyes in reaction to Madison's ungratefulness. Love vows to become champion because "this division desperately needs a makeover."
Match #6 - Madison Rayne (c) vs. Angelina Love (w/Velvet Sky); TNA Knockouts Championship
The Beautiful People come out first. They do a little tease with the referee to try and get favor. Madison Rayne looks determined coming to the ring. Madison goes on the offense first, and Angelina rolls out for a regroup. Velvet tries to get the better of Madison while Angelina distracts the referee. Madison comes back and takes out both Beautiful Ones outside.
Back in the ring, Madison tries a corner charge but misses. Velvet kicks her in the head and Love gets a near fall out of it. Love tries a cross body but misses it, and takes a spear. Madison has a pinfall moments later, but Velvet runs a distraction. The referee buys in, and gets flung away. That allows Velvet to spray Madison with mace, and Angelina gets the cheap roll-up win to capture the belt.
Winner - Angelina Love to win the Knockouts Championship
You could have rolled one of the Beautiful People's matches from a couple years ago, and no one would have been the wiser. The creative around this is poor. The fans have no reason to care about Madison Rayne and they were flat overall for this match.
Backstage, JB talks to Bully Ray. Bully recaps being told he only has so much time to talk. He says he's tired of talking and is ready to fight. He puts Roode over as a good wrestler, but says this is a fight. He shouts that everyone is begging for him to put Roode through a table. Bully leads a "tables" chant, then vows to put Roode through one tonight.
They run a video package to highlight this feud, going back to when Bully cost Team Roode the ten percent ownership stake at Lockdown.
Match #7 - Bully Ray vs. Bobby Roode; Tables Match
The two men face off mid ring, then back off. The ref calls for the bell and this is underway. The vocal people in the crowd start a "Shit Factor" chant. Taz tries to explain, but Tenay doesn't want to talk about it. Things move outside and Ray throws Roode into the ringpost. The crowd encourages Ray to stack up tables, but he puts them side by side. The live crowd doesn't like that. Ray turns around to get Roode but takes a right hand.
Roode stalks for more offense. Roode hits a neckbreaker and sets up a table to suplex Bully through. Roode took too long though, and Ray recovers and blocks the attempt, coming back with one of his own. Ray keeps up the pressure with chops to the chest, then teases a powerbomb through the table. Roode blocks that, so Ray tries again. Another block. Ray tries a third time, and the referee takes a bump. Typical TNA. Referee acts like he was shot. Ray puts Roode through a table, but the referee was down so no decision.
Ray realizes what happened, and TNA cuts to a replay that shows nothing. Taz says the referee got kicked in the face, but it's not on the replay. Ray throws in another table and the referee's next of kin probably should have been notified because he's just dead.
Ray drags Roode to the floor. Ray puts Roode on two tables and goes up top. An individual in black, looking like one of the cameramen, gets on the apron. The individual shoves Bully from the rope and he crashes through the tables. The bell sounds, as the referee has come back from the dead. Zombie Earl Hebner? The fans don't know how to react as the individual wipes their hands. Some finally realize who it is.
Dixie. Fucking. Carter.
She starts to shout at Ray in her familiar voice. She screams to never double cross her, then pulls the disguise off to reveal herself to the crowd. Ray is out, and Roode glares at him before leaving the ring.
Winner - Bobby Roode
I've got nothing. Seriously. With Ray being the most over face in the company at the moment, and the fans' slow reaction to who was in the disguise, I guess it worked on that level. But...just...damn.
Backstage, JB interviews Magnus. He calls Eric Young a liar, a phony champion, and a joke. He says he is the thinking man's competitor who will take back what is his. He says you could call him Wreck It Ralph because there's no one he'd rather be than himself.
The video package focuses on Young's title win and Magnus saying that he isn't like the fans that Young represents.
Match #8 - Eric Young (c) vs. Magnus; TNA World Heavyweight Championship
JB handles the old-school in-ring introductions for this one Brian Hebner is the official.
About five minutes in, Magnus catches EY coming off the apron and hits him with a powerslam on the floor. Neat spot. Back in the ring, Magnus goes on the offense and plays to the crowd for heat. There's a small "EY" chant going.
After a few minutes of Magnus on offense, EY mounts a comeback with punches and a flying forearm. Young clotheslines Magnus then does a Flair Flip in the corner before he shoulder blocks Magnus on his way back in. Young hits a belly to belly but misses a moonsault.
Magnus lands a uranage, then drops his top rope elbow for two. Young comes back with a piledriver attempt, but Magnus counters with a double leg takedown into a cloverleaf. Young breaks it in the ropes, then takes down Magnus and locks on a sloppy looking rendition of the Scorpion Leg Lock.
Young goes up top for some reason and Magnus meets him there. He punches EY then slams him down. Magnus goes for a weapon, but the referee spots it and takes it away. Young kicks Magnus and piledrives him, but Magnus kicks out.
Young tries for a second piledriver but Magnus counters. EY catapults Magnus to the corner then hits the second piledriver. Young goes up and delivers his own top rope elbow to get the pinfall win.
Winner - Eric Young to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
The show closes with an ad for Slammiversary on June 15.
I feared we'd get a bunch of nonsense in this one, but we didn't. Very glad for that. I figured we would see Abyss on a run-in, but he didn't and I'm not complaining about that. TNA does a better job of booking their babyface champion because they seem to be able to resist the temptation to overbook the finish like when a heel goes over. Mechanically, this match was good, but Eric Young just isn't established enough for me to care about wins and losses. TNA still has a lot of work to do to make the title, and EY's run, feel important.
Overall this show was flat. The card wasn't all that inspiring on paper but there was the chance it could deliver. It lacked the heavy overbooking (except Dixie doing her bit) we normally have been getting from TNA, but nothing was built in a way that rendered this show much more than a throwaway event. If the card appealed to you, then you were probably very happy with this show. I thought we got a lot of good effort but the surrounding build just didn't do anything for the show. And nothing certainly seemed to excite me about where we are going forward from here.
I'll have all the fallout from tonight's show on Thursday with TNA iMPACT live coverage, and we'll discuss this show in detail on RingRap Audio as well. Be sure to join us then, and thanks for following along tonight!