5/15 TNA Sacrifice PPV results and review: Sting vs. Rob Van Dam for the TNA Title, Kurt Angle and Chyna vs. The Jarretts, Beer Money vs. Matt Hardy and Chris Harris for the TNA Tag Titles
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members can look forward to Jason Powell's exclusive audio review of TNA Sacrifice later tonight. You can join them right now on the ad-free version of the website and correspond with other members in the Dot Net Members' Forum during the show by signing up right now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
Live from Orlando, Fla.
At Universal Studios
The show opened with a video package that showed Sting and Rob Van Dam training as a song played. It also included footage of them in the ring... Mike Tenay (with Taz) introduced the show on commentary...
Powell's POV: Did they leave out the usual audio track intentionally? I hope so. The music was nothing special, but the narrated pay-per-view preview introductions tend to lay it on pretty thick.
1. Mexican America (w/Sarita, Rosita) beat Ink Inc. in 9:35 Jackson James was the referee. Jesse Neal carried the American flag to the ring. Taz noted that there was a loud "USA" chant from the live crowd. He stressed that Mexican America "is about those four individuals." He assumed there were Hispanics who don't like their message.
Back and forth action during the opening minutes. The heels got help from their ladies at ringside, and they double teamed whenever James was distracted. Moore broke out the Finlay move of catching a sliding Anarqia with the ring skirting, and then performed an Asai moonsault on Hernandez. In the end, Hernandez hit a new slam finisher on Neal and got the clean pin...
Powell's POV: Decent action in the opener, but I just never got into the match. It was encouraging to see the first match end clean, particularly with the heels going over. It would not have sent a great message to go with the usual "heels cheat to win" finish in the opener given their new wrestling-heavy hype. I like Hernandez's finisher. It looks vicious, but it doesn't look reckless like his Border Toss does.
Tenay and Taz spoke at ringside about this being the first pay-per-view of the Impact Wrestling era, and then previewed some of the top matches. They were interrupted by Jeff Jarrett's entrance music...
Jeff Jarrett helped Karen Jarrett limp onto the stage. She was wearing a walking boot on one foot and a high heel on the other. Jeff handed her crutches to use so that she could get to the ring. Jeff said an MRI revealed that Karen has a grade three sprain, and her ankle is broken in two places. The fans booed. "That's not my prognosis, that's the doctor's," Jeff responded.
Jeff said they couldn't compete in the tag match as a result. They tried to leave the ring, but Mick Foley's music stopped them. Foley said he saw the MRI and indicated that it was actually the foot of a 6'6 African American male. Foley said he suspected that Karen was going to magically be okay.
Karen told Foley that she had nothing to wear. Foley said he had Miss Jolene make Karen an outfit so she could face Chyna. The fans chanted for Chyna. Foley raved about the outfit he had made and how good Karen will look while she's having her butt kicked all around the Impact Zone. Karen removed the walking boot and threw it to ringside as Foley headed backstage...
Powell's POV: The segment was nothing special and I don't think it was worth risking the possibility of losing some viewers who may have been left wondering whether this match would actually happen.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Brian Kendrick, who was back in deep thinker mode. He spoke about how the X Division and the title don't mean as much as they should because of the powers that be...
2. Brian Kendrick beat Robbie E (w/Cookie) in 6:45. Kendrick was in zen mode and received very little reaction from the live crowd. Time to give up on this horrible gimmick. Kendrick put the hood of his robe over his head and sat down in the ring. He came to life shortly after the bell rang and performed moves while wearing his robe.
Kendrick hit a few spots and then sat down in what Tenay called "the yoga pose." Robbie charged him, but Kendrick avoided it and went back on the offensive. He sat down on the top rope played to the crowd with more poses. Kendrick went to ringside and told a hysterical Cookie that "God has a plan for you." Good lord (pun intended).
Robbie caught Kendrick with a shot, causing Kendrick to bleed from the mouth. Robbie went on the offensive and Kendrick continued to wear the dumb robe. He finally took it off after hitting a missile dropkick at 6:00. Robbie went for a neckbreaker, but Kendrick avoided the move and performed a dropkick that resulted in a clean pin.
Kendrick got some cheers down the stretch following the crickets reaction he received during his entrance. Kendrick offered his hand to Robbie afterward. Robbie asked what was wrong with him. Cookie got between them. They eventually left the ring, and Cookie called Kendrick a freak...
Powell's POV: Kendrick was pushed on television as the guy leading the X Division charge, so I assumed he was finally putting this lousy guru gimmick to rest. Kendrick is a talented guy, but this gimmick just plain sucks. He's crying about the X Division wrestlers not receiving better treatment, yet he's out there working an entire match in a robe. This is the kind of campy crap that I'd like to see TNA eliminate as part of their rebranding.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Tara, who said Madison Rayne has been treating her like crap. Still, she said she's torn over who she wants to win and noted that Madison got her job back. Madison stormed onto the scene and told Tara to stay backstage because she didn't want Tara to cost her the match... A video recapped the Tara and Madison drama...
3. Mickie James beat Madison Rayne in 6:55 to retain the TNA Knockouts Title and give Tara her freedom. Before the women could lock up, Tara's entrance music played and she walked to ringside despite Madison's previous order. Madison went to ringside and yelled at her. Tara pointed out that Madison was being counted out. Madison ran back to the ring, but Mickie hit her with a slick kick.
Madison ended up going on the offensive. Tara clenched her fist a couple of times and looked conflicted as to whether she should punch Mickie. There was a ref bump. Madison went to ringside and pulled that dumb loaded glove she wore previously out, but Tara took it away.
A short time later, Mickie went for the Thesz Press off the top, but Madison moved and the ref was bumped again. Tara entered the ring with the stupid loaded black glove on and acted like she didn't know which woman to hit. Madison pleaded with her. Tara acted like she was buying it, and then struck Madison, which led to Mickie getting the pin...
Powell's POV: Crappy ref bumps and a loaded black glove sends a big message that nothing has really changed in TNA.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Fortune. Kazarian spoke about his match with Max Buck and said he wouldn't be a star if he was thrown by a ninja. Styles addressed his match with Tommy Dreamer. He said it was a no DQ match, and he won't have any problem wrapping a chair around Dreamer's head and knocking sense into him.
Beer Money was up last. Robert Roode addressed Matt Hardy and said it's 2011, and Beer Money is the best tag team in the world. James Storm said he's not there to tell jokes and sell DVDs. "I'm here to drink my beer and whoop your ass," Storm said. Christopher Daniels was with the group, but did not get mic time...
4. Kazarian beat Max Buck to retain the X Division Title in 11:20. Buck didn't get much of a reaction when he came out. He acted heelish despite the fact that he was hanging with Kendrick's crew on television a couple weeks ago. Max got some offense in early and the crowd wasn't very responsive.
With Max on the ring apron, Kazarian ran the ropes, dove over the top, and performed a sunset flip powerbomb that Buck took on the mat and exposed floor at ringside. A "this is wrestling" chant broke out. A short time later, Kazarian hit a Shining Wizard kick for the clean win...
Powell's POV: Kazarian looked like he let his gym membership lapse. He's not out of shape or anything, he just didn't look as built as he has in the past. The wrestlers had a hard time getting the crowd to react. Yes, they got the "this is wrestling" chant, but it's not like the fans were booing or cheering loudly for either wrestler. The fans appreciated the effort of both wrestlers, just as I did, but it didn't feel like either wrestler was really over, which is disappointing because Kazarian has been getting good reactions. I blame the lack of focus the match received beforehand more than anything the wrestlers did.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Abyss, who spoke about his wounds and how he lost his bottom teeth and kept going. "Those teeth were delicious," Abyss said with a laugh. He said he's going to teach Crimson a lesson in pain and humility. He said Crimson's "little undefeated streak" comes to an end tonight... A video recapped the Crimson vs. Abyss feud...
Powell's POV: The promo established everything it needed to. By the way, bonus points for Abyss's recent entrance music change. The old music just brought back too many bad memories of times when they lost their way with the character.
5. Crimson beat Abyss in 10:25. Abyss controlled a lot of the early offense. He went to ringside and grabbed the stupid board with nails in it known as Janice. He swung and missed because he would have killed Crimson, who came back with a spear for a near fall.
Abyss went to the corner and came off with a second rope splash, but Crimson kicked out. Tenay told the story by saying that Abyss had to be wondering what he has to do to beat Crimson. Moments later, Crimson came back with a sky high powerbomb...
Powell's POV: There were cheers for the finish, but the fans didn't seem all that interested in either guy. There's only so much blame you can give the Impact Zone crowd. Granted, a crowd that isn't overexposed would cheer louder, but I just don't get the sense that either wrestler is all that over. Crimson is getting the big push, but the fans haven't bought in yet.
A video showcased the Beer Money vs. Matt Hardy and Chris Harris match...
6. Beer Money beat Matt Hardy and Chris Harris to retain the TNA Tag Titles in 13:20. Harris, who heard a Braden Walker chant, grew some facial hair, which helped cover up his double chin. He wore trunks and boots rather than the Braden Walker singlet. He's packed on a lot of girth since the AMW days. Speaking of which, he wore AMW ring gear.
Hardy did the bulk of the work for his team early on. At 5:00, Roode got a flurry of offense on Harris and he had to work hard to get the crowd to react. The ongoing theme was that Harris was going out of his way to avoid former partner Storm. The announcers noted that Hardy is a full-time competitor in Impact Wrestling, and was spending more time in the ring than Harris.
At 10:00, Storm and Harris finally ended up in the ring together. Storm dominated his former partner and the crowd enjoyed it. Beer Money was setting up for their finisher on Harris, but Hardy broke it up. Harris ended up hitting a spinebuster on Storm, only to have Roode return the favor on harris.
Storm and Roode did the Beer Money routine. Storm hit the Last Call superkick on Harris. Storm and Harris teamed up for the Death Sentence finisher on Harris and scored the clean pin. The announcers were quick to point out as the move was happening that it was the old AMW finisher...
Powell's POV: The crowd would have been hotter if there had been more of an issue established between Storm and Harris. Yes, they are former tag partners, but this match really could have used a beatdown angle or something to make it seem more personal to the fans who weren't watching back in the AMW days. It will be interesting to see whether this is the end of the line for Harris. I assume it will be based on the outcome of the match.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Bully Ray, who said he looks like a guy who listens to Lady Gaga. Ray went on a rant and then shoved Borash aside. Ray said A.J. Styles is lucky he didn't end his career with a powerbomb. Ray said he's going to take out Styles, take out the rest of Fortune, and then take out Styles's wife. He said he's not taking her out "like this," rather he's "taking her out the way I want to"...
7. Tommy Dreamer beat A.J. Styles in a no DQ match in 12:55. They fought in the ring early and then headed to ringside, where Styles poured a fan's drink on Dreamer. They ended up battling into the crowd Dreamer slammed a TNA banner over Styles's head. It appeared to be flimsy cardboard, but Styles suffered a small cut on the side of his face.
They headed to to the ring and used a trash can and lid. A "we want fire" chant broke out as Styles set up a table in the ring. A "this is awesome" chant started. Well, at least they're not chanting "this is wrestling" for the garbage match. Styles set up a move in front of a table.
Bully Ray ran out and stumbled over a can while striking him from behind. Daniels ran out and ran off Ray. Dreamer very safely piledrove Styles onto the rickety table and scored the pin. Tenay noted that Dreamer targeted the spinal injury that Bully Ray caused via the powerbomb off the stage...
Powell's POV: Good effort from both men and the live crowd reacted to the garbage style even if it wasn't for me. I am mildly curious to know what Ray is holding over Dreamer's head to make him be a heel. I assumed it was because Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff would fire him if he didn't comply, but Mick Foley gaining power would seem to eliminate that as a storyline option.
A video recapped the Jarretts vs. Kurt Angle and Chyna drama...
8. Kurt Angle and Chyna beat Jeff Jarrett and Karen Jarrett in a mixed tag match in 10:15. Jeff bickered with a guy at ringside and then knocked his hat off. The fan appeared to spit at Jarrett as he was walking away. Chyna received a good reaction from the live crowd. The gear that Foley hyped for Karen was very tame. Likewise, Chyna's gear looked low budget.
The crowd chanted for Kurt Angle. Tenay noted that the "Impact Wrestling Zone" was supporting Kurt. Both announcers have used that new name for the studio. A loud "Chyna's gonna kill you" chant broke out as Kurt and Jeff opened the match. Kurt got the better of the situation and tagged in Chyna for a pop. Karen looked terrified.
The "Chyna's gonna kill you" chants continued as Karen stood on the floor. Jeff ended up attacking Kurt from behind. He yelled that he's the legal man, so Chyna had to leave the ring. The announcers said that was accurate because while Kurt tagged Chyna, Jeff never tagged Karen. What?!?
At 7:30, Jeff went for The Stroke, but Angle countered with the ankle lock. Moments later, Kurt hit the Angle Slam for a near fall. Jarrett caught Angle with a low blow. Angle tagged in Chyna, who fell while performing a bodyslam on Jeff, and then suplexed him. Chyna pointed at Karen, who backed off the ring steps and down to the floor.
Karen rolled inside the ring and backed into Kurt, who smiled at her. Chyna clotheslined Karen in the corner, and followed up with a "DDT style move" (according to Tenay) that is better known as The Pedigree for a big pop. Chyna and Kurt applied ankle locks to The Jarretts and got the win...
Powell's POV: Jeff and Kurt carried the match and did a nice job of building up the crowd's anticipation for Chyna getting her hands on Karen even though Jarrett's "legal man" excuse made no sense. The crowd was into Chyna, who looked very rusty. Karen actually gets my vote for MVP of the match. No, not from an in-ring standpoint, but her facial expressions were great, and the fans definitely wanted to see Chyna get to her.
The announcers spoke at the desk about the main event. Taz spoke about the differences in styles between the champion and the challenger... A video set up the TNA Title match...
Mr. Anderson's music played and he walked onto the stage wearing a Packers No. 4 jersey with "Mr. Anderson" on the back. He said he was going to be the guest commentator and was going to do a little scouting. Anderson comically introduced himself...
Powell's POV: They really should have hyped that Anderson was going to be on the pay-per-view. He was showcased on Thursday's television show as the battle royal and the new No. 1 contender, but he was never actually advertised for this pay-per-view.
Jeremy Borash handled the introductions for the main event, but he introduced the wrestlers as they made their entrances rather than waiting for them to get to the ring, which didn't feel as special as the usual championship match approach. Van Dam took the belt from referee Earl Hebner and posed with it. Sting flashed a good look to show that he was surprised and wasn't pleased...
8. Sting pinned Rob Van Dam to retain the TNA Title in 11:50. Tenay noted that Anderson will face the winner at next month's pay-per-view. Anderson said the match is a tossup and he doesn't care who wins because he's an "equal opportunity ass kicker." "I could take both of these guys," Anderson said.
Tenay pointed out that RVD beat Sting in a match when he made his debut on Impact Wrestling. Anderson was in comedy mode early on and he was distracting from the match. The production team used a split screen shot that featured Sting and Van Dam in a big box, and Anderson talking in a smaller box. Anderson asked if the show was PG at one point.
Sting and Van Dam brawled into the crowd at 8:30. Van Dam kicked Sting and fell backwards. RVD hit hard in an accidental fall in the bleachers above the main floor. Sting took a hard tumble down the stairs a few seconds later. Van Dam did the thumb pointing routine and then dove onto Sting.
Both men took the match back inside the ring. After a couple minutes of back and forth action, Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop and scored the clean pin. Anderson told the announcers that he has something for Sting on Impact. The announcers narrated highlights of the match.
Van Dam raised Sting's hand and they hugged. Anderson said he was going to the ring to congratulate the champ. By the time Anderson made it to the ring, Van Dam was gone. Anderson approached Sting and they had a staredown to close the show...
An ad hyped the Slammiversary pay-per-view for June 12...
Powell's POV: Good effort by both men in the main event. They took some necessary shortcuts and the live crowd was into the match. The finish was flat in that the fans didn't pop for it, but they were into Sting's post-match celebration. Anderson was distracting on commentary. He spent the entire match doing his schtick rather than putting over the action.
Overall, the first two hours of the show felt unimportant. The mixed tag match and the main event got a good reaction out of the crowd, but it wasn't enough to save this pay-per-view from earning the "missable" tag that many of us thought it was even going into the show. I'll have a lot more to say about the show tonight in Dot Net Members' audio, and on Monday in the TNA Sacrifice Hitlist.
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