The Big News: It was Serge A Mania runnin’ wild!
Dixie Carter and Eric Bischoff chatted backstage to determine which one of the two was the more ineffective babyface front office character. Actually, Bischoff implored her not to go talk, but she wouldn’t listen. Bischoff was right. Carter, who has her own entrance now, talked about the challenges TNA has faced. She said the critics gave them eight weeks to succeed, but here they are eight years later with more success than ever before. It pays to have the right publicist with the right father employed at the right time. Staggering how many breaks this company has had compared to other groups that have fallen by the wayside, yet they still can’t rise out of minor league status. She called out Ric Flair. He came out and tried to seduce her right away. Carter turned down his advances. She has this look about her when delivering dialogue that makes it clear she’s in over her head. Then again, I’ve known that for eight years now. Seriously, she’s less convincing as a babyface authority figure than Linda McMahon in 1999. Carter she was elated when Flair came into the company, despite the warning from Bischoff and Hulk Hogan than Flair was only out for himself. I’m going to write that again just so the irony sinks in. Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan said Ric Flair was only out for himself. Carter suspended Flair for 90 days because he was the ringleader in the attacks on EV 2.0, Jeff Jarrett, Hogan, Kevin Nash and Sting in recent weeks. Flair called out Fortune, comprised of James Storm, Robert Roode, A.J. Styles, Kazarian, Matt Morgan and Douglas Williams, who all got a big pop from the crowd. Flair wanted to make sure that Fortune wasn’t suspended for 90 days, and Carter stressed they wouldn’t. Flair got upset when Carter stuck to her guns about his suspension, so he teased going after her. Then Serge hit the ring to complete bewilderment from the crowd, who had no idea what was going on. You could’ve heard a pin drop and it was dreadful. Taz and Mike Tenay had to acknowledge that Serge was Dixie’s husband. If Serge has his own legion of fans, what would they be called? The Serge’in Generals? The heels immediately pinned Serge to the mat and Flair teased whipping him until Hogan made the save. Well, Hogan’s music made the save because Hogan can’t run down the ramp, but Flair stopped anyway. Mr. Anderson, Kurt Angle, Pope D’Angelo Dinero and Jeff Hardy backed up Hogan and they had a staredown with Fortune. Hogan said that he was reinstating Flair because if he was suspended, he would miss out on the whipping Hogan and his crew was about to give him. So why was the suspension even written into this whole thing to begin with? Hogan announced that his four guys would face Williams, Styles, Kazarian and Morgan later tonight. Then as Fortune was leaving the ring, about nine members of EV 2.0 came out to brawl. They included Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Stevie Richards, Guido Maritato, Tony Luke, Rhino and Raven. Way too much going on here.
Angle did a promo with Anderson, Dinero and Hardy saying his group was going to kick Fortune’s asses. Dinero didn’t look happy that someone was doing the talking for him.
1. Samoa Joe defeated Orlando Jordan in 2:29. Orlando Jordan was rubbing an action figure of Samoa Joe all over his body, then started fondling So Cal Val with it. Joe, who got a brief “welcome back” chant, took the advantage early with a enzuigiri and caught a standing Coquina Clutch right away, but Jordan made the ropes and started rubbing himself against Joe. Jordan got some offense until he started licking the Joe doll. Joe immediately caught an inverted atomic drop, then got the pin with a musclebuster. *
Jarrett came out to talk with Joe. He said from the day he first saw him on the independent scene, he knew he wanted Joe in TNA. Then Jarrett said Joe has come a long way in TNA, and Jarrett felt like he deserved credit for that. I’ll say. He took a wrestler who arrived with a cult following with the aura of a monster, tailor made to carry a company in the midst of a UFC world. Then he jobbed to the likes of Tomko, Nash and Jordan and hasn’t come within 20% of his drawing potential. Jarrett wanted Joe to be in his corner when Jarrett faced Nash tonight to keep Sting away. So Jarrett and Nash are back to being enemies again after they were both attacked by Fortune last week. Where’s my Excedrin? Joe said he didn’t choose sides because he didn’t have to, and he played for his own team and walked off. Sure made Jarrett look like an idiot.
2. Kevin Nash defeated Jeff Jarrett in 5:04. This was one screwed up deal. Jarrett wrestled like a face. Nash was the heel, but he was cheered. That is, when the crowd cheered because they were shockingly dead, particularly when Jarrett was on offense. In fact, this was as dead a Jarrett match as I can ever recall in TNA. That speaks volumes about the angles leading to this match. Nash exposed a turnbuckle midway through. Toward the end, there was a ref bump. Jarrett rammed Nash into the exposed metal, then hit the stroke. Watching someone Jarrett’s height give Nash the stoke was unintentionally funny. Jarrett had the pin, but Sting ran down and hit Jarrett with the baseball bat---to cheers. Nash got the pin off that. Real bad. -*
Sting started choking Jarrett with the bat when Bischoff came out. Bischoff said Sting having to help Sting shows how far he’s fallen. Sting said he wanted Hogan, but Bischoff distracted Sting long enough to have Hogan come up from behind and hit Sting with a chair on the back. Hogan got cheered. This program just gets worse and worse.
Hogan was talking to Dreamer and asked EV 2.0 not to interfere in the main event. But he told Dreamer that if Abyss interferes, EV 2.0 has to finish him.
3. Beer Money defeated The FBI in 2:41. Luke and Maritato didn’t even get a ring entrance. That was just the start of the burial. Money totally squashed them, with Roode going to town on Maritato. Luke got the hot tag, but didn’t even get a lick of offense. Storm got the pin on Luke after a DWI. Postmatch, Storm gave Maritato the Last Call Superkick, clubbed Maritato over the head with a beer bottle. The segment ended with Maritato getting the DWI, as well. Maritato juiced hardway, and it came off like he was getting a pink slip. DUD
Dreamer gave the EV 2.0 group a pep talk after the FBI got destroyed. Richards vowed to get Abyss’ head on a stick.
The brackets for the TNA title tournament are now: Angle vs. Hardy and Dinero vs. Anderson. It was later announced that next week, Angle and Hardy would team to face Dinero and Anderson in the latest battle of tag team partners who can’t get along. Except both teams will be that way.
Angelina Love and Velvet Sky came out to their old Beautiful People entrance. They both did an interview were they kiss and made up, then embraced. Madison Rayne and the masked motorcycle rider came out to the Beautiful People music, with Rayne proclaiming that was now her music. Rayne did this screaming interview. She’s even more annoying than Joe when he yells, but I guess that’s the purpose since she’s a heel. Standard misogynic Vince Russo dialogue from Rayne about how Love and Sky were filled with silicone and Botox Injections. When Rayne called Sky her little bitch, Sky immediately went after her. It wound up with everybody brawling until the security team, featuring new heels Gunner and Murphy, arrived to break it up.
The Motor City Machine Guns did an interview about facing Generation Me. They started playing Green Day: Rock Band, with Alex Shelley on drums and Chris Sabin on guitar. They played “Basket Case” in case you were wondering. This was product placement as the Guns upcoming match was sponsored by the Rock Band franchise.
Demond Wolfe, Chelsea (she’s still with him, now doing the Miss Elizabeth role of the nice girl being mistreated by a heel) and Brutus Magnus did this skit where they walked around a mall together looking for clothes. They now have a tag team title shot at the next PPV, even though they don’t have one victory as a team yet. Magnus meant to hand over a credit card which had no limit on it to Wolfe, but Chelsea wound up with it and walked away from them while they were oblivious to it.
4. The Motor City Machine Guns defeated Generation Me in 6:02. Both teams worked as faces. Not as high flying as you would think, but still good. Max and Jeremy Buck did N’Sync to Sabin. Max Buck got the heat until rolling through a Toyota Roll on Sabin to make the hot tag. That started a highlight reel by Jeremy, including a slingshot facebuster on Sabin, followed by a top-rope Asai Moonsault onto both Shelley and Sabin that brought the house down. Max hit a spear on Sabin, followed by stereo moonsaults on Sabin for a two count. The Bucks went for More Bang for Your Buck, but after Max hit the Green Bay Plunge on Sabin, Jeremy tried the 450 splash, but Sabin got the knees up and held Jeremy in place while Max accidentally gave him a moonsault while draped across Sabin’s knees. Shelley then came off the top rope with a double foot stomp onto Jeremy’s back. Shelley gave Max a Sliced Bread #2. Then the Guns gave Jeremy the Skull and Crossbones (Reverse DDT/Frog Splash combo) and Sabin got the pin. Guns raised Generation Me’s hands afterwards and everybody got cheered. Taz put over how Generation Me raised their stock by giving the Guns a run for their money. Of course, they defeated the Guns in their first televised match in TNA back in January. ***
Flair cut a promo about how he is TNA until Nash and Sting came up from behind, selling nothing from earlier. Sting choked Flair with his baseball bat and said Fortune had a receipt coming their way.
There was a vignette promoting “Shore” coming soon to TNA, which is Becky Bayless and Rob Eckos.
As Taz and Mike Tenay were running down the PPV card, they cut to the back where Richards had started a brawl with Abyss. I thought Richards wasn’t supposed to go after Abyss unless he interfered in the main event. They brawled forever backstage with Abyss getting the upper hand, vowing to do to Richards what he did to Rob Van Dam. As Abyss was on offense, they abruptly cut to a commercial. After a break, Rhino showed up in the ring challenging Abyss to a fight. Abyss showed up, and Rhino tried to gore him, but Abyss gave him a big boot. Then came even more brawling around the building, which was like watching a test pattern at this point. They fought to the Spanish broadcast table, sending Willie Urbina and Hector Guerrero scurrying. Abyss teased giving Rhino a choke slam off the platform, but Rhino elbowed out of it. They ended up on a platform, where Rhino gave Abyss a gore where he barely had room to take three steps. Rhino was limping badly on his right leg as Abyss was knocked down. So I guess this sets up Rhino-Abyss in Rhino’s first PPV singles match in ages.
Styles cut an inspired promo about how he is the man who built TNA, not anyone with Angle’s crew.
5. Mr. Anderson, Pope D’Angelo Dinero, Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy defeated Matt Morgan, A.J. Styles, Kazarian and Douglas Williams in 8:48. Crowd heat was good. Taz acknowledged Anderson’s travel problems. Crowd got really hot when Hardy tagged in, and he gave Morgan a Hardy’c Arrest. Flair, who wasn’t selling getting choked out with a baseball bat by Sting just 20 minutes ago, grabbed Hardy’s leg and Morgan gave Hardy a big boot. Hardy appeared to sandbag Williams while he was trying to lift him at one point. Flair gave Hardy a low kick while referee Earl Hebner was distracted. Hardy made his comeback by giving Williams a flying clothesline to make the hot tag to Angle, who gave Kazarian a German suplex. Angle clamped on the ankle lock, but Styles hit a flying forearm off the top rope. That set up a hot chain of moves where everybody hit their finishers on each other, including Kazarian giving Hardy the Wave of the Future, but Angle gave Kazarian an Olympic Slam. Afterwards, Dinero tagged himself in and scored the pin on Kazarian, much to Angle’s chagrin. **1/4
Postmatch, Angle got in Dinero’s face about scoring the pin and slapped him. Anderson tried to break it up, but Morgan railroaded him. Beer Money ran down, and it turned into another Fortune beatdown. Styles set up a table on the floor. Then the members of EV 2.0 who were still standing ran down, led by Sabu, who tossed a chair into Williams face. Mick Foley ran down to pummel Flair with forearms. Sabu set up Williams for what appeared to be an attempt at the Arabian Facebuster through the table, but Sabu didn’t get any lift at all off the apron and basically threw the chair at Williams while jumping through the table. One screwed up looking spot that was only apropos to finish the show.
SUMMARY: To in essence, Styles, Roode, Storm and Williams are all guys who have been exclusively in TNA, and they’re the heels. The babyfaces are all guys who have been released at one time or another from the WWE. And TNA officials wonder why they can’t build a name brand. Nevermind the fact that Styles has jobbed constantly to Hardy throughout the year, even when Styles was TNA champion. Or that the Styles crew looked so inept last year when they feuded with the Main Event Mafia---as babyfaces. TNA doesn’t even need to mention the WWE during interviews to make themselves look minor league. Their own booking makes it so transparent. Putting that aside, it was still a bad show.