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5/13 TNA Sacrifice PPV results and review: Bobby Roode vs. Rob Van Dam in a ladder match for the TNA Title, Samoa Joe and Magnus vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian for the TNA Tag Titles, Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members will be listening to my exclusive audio review of TNA Sacrifice later tonight. You can score ad-free access right now and correspond with other members in the Dot Net Members' Forum throughout the show by signing up for membership by visiting Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
Aired live on pay-per-view
Orlando, Florida at the Impact Zone
Backstage, referee Earl Hebner entered Bobby Roode's locker room. Roode handed him the TNA Title belt and told him to hang it up because he's taking it back later tonight. He told Hebner to tell that to Hulk Hogan and Rob Van Dam... The opening video was shown...
Powell's POV: Earl needs the belt over two hours before the main event? Someone from TNA should keep an eye on Hebner to make sure he isn't pulling a Juventud Guerrera.
Mike Tenay and Taz introduced the show from their perch on the stage... Christy Hemme served as the ring announcer...
1. Samoa Joe and Magnus vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian for the TNA Tag Titles. The crowd cheered Joe and Magnus as they got the better of Daniels early on. The challengers came back and double teamed Magnus. Joseph Park was shown sitting in the crowd. He's also Tweeting from his seat tonight. The fans chanted "Joe." No, not for Joseph Park.
Joe hit an awesome uranage on Daniels at 9:00. The heels went right back to work on Magnus, but Joe pulled Kazarian from the ring. The champs hit their finishing sequence on Daniels and Magnus went for the cover, but Kazarian recovered and pulled him out of the ring to break up the count. Nice tease. A short time later, the challengers went High/Low on Magnus, and Daniels pinned him to win the match and the titles...
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian defeated Samoa Joe and Magnus to win the TNA Tag Titles in 10:50.
Powell's POV: A good opening match. I figured the tag champs were doomed once the heels escaped their finisher. I assume this will either lead to a rematch at Slammiversary or we're going to see A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle form a partnership later tonight. If you read my preview and predictions, then you know I'm leaning toward the latter. Heck, maybe all three teams can get in on the fun next month.
The announcers spoke about the main event from their perch and set up a video for the TNA Knockouts Title match...
Powell's POV: Joseph Park tweeted that Joe and Magnus were robbed and he labeled it "borderline felonious." Someone is tweeting for him. There's no way Abyss spelled felonious even with spellcheck's help.
2. Gail Kim vs. Brooke Tessmacher for the TNA Knockouts Title. Gail shoved Tessmacher down to start the match. Brooke hit a dropkick, but Gail went on the offensive for a bit. Brooke came back with a nice face-plant and followed up with a top rope elbow for a near fall.
Gail went for her finisher, but Brooke pushed her leg away and hit Eat Defeat instead. However, Gail fell out of the ring, so Brooke wasn't able to pin her. Gail came back and pinned Brooke moments later while draping her feet over the top rope for leverage...
Gail Kim defeated Brooke Tessmacher to retain the TNA Knockouts Title in 6:50.
Powell's POV: Brooke has come a long way. Unfortunately, Gail is just plain boring. She's a talented wrestler, but she needs a stronger character and her offense tonight was dull. I'm happy with the finish. Brooke has a good look and has really improved as a performer. I'd like to see more of her in the title picture rather than the usual "challenger of the month" format they've been going with.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Kazariand and Daniels. They had the tag straps over their shoulders. Kazarian said A.J. Styles got to the top of TNA by "whistling Dixie." They continued to taunt Styles over the photos they showed on Impact last week...
Powell's POV: Is there a reason Dixie Carter doesn't fire the Daniels and Kazarian from a storyline standpoint? I assume they'll fill in the hole eventually, but it seems silly that not only haven't they been fired, but they were still given a title match when they're revealing supposedly scandalous photos of the boss. After all, I would never let Chris Shore get away with showing off all of those scandalous photos of me, Kate Upton, and Mila Kunis.
3. Devon vs. Robbie E and Robbie T for the TNA TV Title. The Robbie's worked as a team early on. Devon held his own early, but then the numbers game got to him for a bit. Robbie T was on the verge of pinning Devon when Robbie E broke up the count. Robbie T eventually got upset and backed Robbie E into the corner. Devon plowed into Robbie T, who slammed into Robbie E, and then Devon rolled up Robbie T for the pin.
Afterwards, Robbie E yelled at Devon from the ring and then turned to find an angry Robbie T looking at him. Robbie E tried to leap into his arms. Robbie T looked pissed, but then he pulled Robbie E in close and gave him noogies to show they are still buddies...
Devon defeated Robbie E and Robbie T to retain the TNA TV Title in 5:35.
Powell's POV: Robbie T not getting pissed at Robbie E makes perfect sense. Why ruin a friendship over the Little Red Toy Belt That Nobody Cares About?
A video package set up the Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy match...
Mr. Anderson walked out and did his asshole entrance speech from the stage. He's still from Green Bay. His city's team is not the defending Super Bowl Champions and their rivals to the west will not be playing their home games in Los Angeles...
4. Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson. There was back and forth action with the crowd rooting for Hardy early on. Anderson targeted Hardy's arm. Hardy came back with his own version of the Mic Check. Later, Hardy went for the Whisper in the Wind, but Anderson avoided it. Anderson hit a Twist of Fate for a near fall.
Anderson went for the Swanton at 10:25, but Hardy got his knees up. Hardy came back with his own Swanton for a good near fall. Hardy and Adnerson traded punches in the middle of the ring. Jeff got the better of it and tried to do a double leg drop between Anderson's legs. Anderson pushed him off hopped on him in a pinning position and referee Earl Hebner counted the pin even though Hardy's shoulders were up at two...
Mr. Anderson pinned Jeff Hardy in 11:40.
Powell's POV: Earl screwed Jeff! Well, that was an bad finish regardless of whether Hebner screwed up or that was done to create controversy to set up a rematch. Hardy clearly had his shoulders up and Hebner counted to three anyway. Anderson shot a couple of looks to Hebner. The announcers acknowledged that it was a bad finish. Well, Taz did. Then Tenay killed any smidgen of credibility he had left by saying he wasn't sure because it was so close. Both wrestlers tried hard but we've seen them wrestle way too many times and they have no storyline support. Hey, let's do it again next month!
Backstage, Christy Hemme interviewed Austin Aries, who said it's not in his nature to be bullied around. He said Bully Ray measures men by size. Aries said he measures men by skill...
Powell's POV: I've had this same conversation with my girlfriend many times.
A video recapped the end of Thursday's Impact Wrestling with Abyss telling Joseph Park to back off before he gets burned...
Jeremy Borash interviewed Joseph Park in the stands. Park said he rode all of the rides he could fit on at the theme park and then put over the atmosphere in the Impact Zone. Park said he didn't see the end of Impact. He said he knows his brother is close. He said he was going to sit back and watch Austin Aries "kick Bully Ray's a..." He stopped short and said there were a lot of kids in the building...
Crimson came to the ring for a promo. He said everyone knows what he's capable of. He boasted about taking down Matt Morgan on Impact Wrestling "singlehandedly and I didn't even break a sweat." He said all he does is win. He said no one in the back wants to fight him and neither do any of the fans.
Crimson said he went to everyone in the back and told them he was here, undefeated, and was issuing an open challenge. Crimson called for referee Brian Hebner to join him in the ring. A small "We Want Steiner" chant broke out briefly. Crimson told Hebner to ring the bell and count to ten so he could get another check in the win column. Hebner obliged.
Eric Young's music played as Hebner's count got to eight. ODB accompanied her storyline hubby. ODB took the mic and said she's beaten bigger broads than Crimson. Young said that if Crimson was good enough for her, he's good enough for him...
5. Crimson vs. Eric Young (w/ODB). Young jumped out to a fast start and got a good reaction from the live crowd. ODB got in the ring. Crimson shoved her to the mat. Young responded by taking his shorts off to reveal bikini briefs with the American flag. Young roughed up Crimson, but then made the mistake of checking on ODB. Crimson hit him from behind and hit his finisher for the win...
Crimson defeated Eric Young in 4:00.
Powell's POV: The moral of this Mother's Day story is that women just get in the way of a man's success. Or that winners shove women to the ground. I'm not really sure which.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash asked Bully Ray a fan's Twitter question. The fan wanted to know how Ray can compete with a much younger and much faster Austin Aries. Ray said he doesn't do Twitter. He said that when he is on Twitter, he trends on Twitter. Ray said he goes old school via Myspace when he's online...
Powell's POV: I love the way none of the wrestlers ever actually answer the fan Twitter questions. The Myspace line was great. Is it true Myspace is going to pay a former WWE wrestler who isn't on tonight's show a fortune to do something on their forgotten social networking service?
A video set up Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray...
6. Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray in a non-title match. Joseph Park was shown making his big lower lip face in the crowd during Ray's entrance. The crowd was into Aries, who took a big boot to the face and took a huge bump off the top rope and went back first into the guardrail. A few people rightfully chanted "Holy shit." Aries had some huge welts on his back from the spot.
Aries spent the next couple minutes selling (and presumably in legit pain), but he fired up in a huge way and yelled as he went after Ray. "You're crazy," Ray said as Aries stood with his arms behind his back waiting for a chop to the chest. Ray teased another chop but instead rakes his eyes.
Aries threw a series of kicks at Ray and then ran off the ropes. Ray grabbed him and threw him into the air and then hit a 3D like move on the way down. Ray covered Aries, who kicked out at the last moment. The announcers played up the way Aries showed heart by kicking out no matter what Ray throws at him.
Joseph Park walked to ringside. Ray shoved him down. Aries used the distraction to hit a suicide dive. Bully headed back to the ring and Aries caught him with a missile dropkick and then followed up with a running dropkick in the corner. Aries hit the Brainbuster for a great near fall.
Ray came back and went for the Bubba Bomb, but Aries avoided it by landing on his feet. Aries applied the Last Chancery. Ray tapped out. Park was shown clapping at ringside...
Austin Aries defeated Bully Ray via submission in 12:05.
Powell's POV: The best match of the show thus far. I like the story they told with Aries showing great heart regardless of what Ray hit him with. I hope we see more of Aries beating heavyweight wrestlers so that he eventually becomes a regular in the division and the focus isn't on the size differential. I could have done without the painful bump, and I really could have done without Joseph Park's involvement. I'm ready for them to get to whatever the payoff is.
Highlights aired from Impact of Daniels and Kazarian taunting Styles with the photos of him making out with Dixie Carter...
Backstage, Jeremy Borash asked A.J. Styles for his thoughts on the situation. Styles played dumb and acted like Borash was talking about his match with Kurt Angle. Styles eventually said he's not talking about photos, Kaz, Daniels, or Dixie. He said he was there to wrestle Angle...
A video set up the Styles vs. Daniels and Kazarian match, er, the Angle vs. Styles match...
7. Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles. Tenay and Taz agreed that this was a wrestling purist's dream match. Styles wore black gloves, presumably so he doesn't leave fingerprints on Dixie Carter. Or maybe he just got back from taking a few rounds at the batting cages.
The big spots included Angle doing his suplex off the ropes, Styles blasting Angle with a Pele Kick and a Styles Clash for a good near fall, and Angle hitting an Angle Slam for a near fall. At 18:40, Angle hit the Styles Clash for a near fall of his own. At 19:35, Styles hit a springboard 360 legdrop for a near fall.
At 20:00, Styles was going for a top rope move when Daniels and Kazarian came out and interfered. Angle hit the Angle Slam for another near fall. Angle applied the Ankle Lock and Styles tapped out. Kazarian and Daniels attacked Styles afterward until Angle made the save. Afterward, Angle helped Styles to his feet and hugged him...
Kurt Angle defeated A.J. Styles via submission in 20:35.
Powell's POV: I know I'm supposed to rave about anything Styles and Angle do in the ring together, but I was bored for the first ten minutes of the match. It's not the fault of the wrestlers. We've seen them wrestle one another too many times and I don't think we've ever seen a third hour pay-per-view match have no storyline support. It didn't help that everything about the pre-match setup involved Daniels and Kazarian, so I just kept waiting for the interference. Angle and Styles worked very hard. The near falls were well executed, but the fans weren't given any inventive to truly care about who won or lost.
Highlights aired of Kurt Angle hitting a moonsault on Mr. Anderson at a Lockdown event... The announcers spoke about the move as one of the top ten moments in TNA history and hyped next month's Slammiversary pay-per-view. The announcers spoke about the Sacrifice main event...
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Bobby Roode, who said something doesn't feel right. He was referring to not having the TNA Championship because it was hanging above the ring. Roode accused Hulk Hogan of trying to stack the deck against him. He said he will climb the ladders into the history books by becoming the longest reigning TNA Champion in just ten days...
A video set up the main event...
Powell's POV: Assuming Roode leaves with the TNA Championship, I hope TNA books him in a title match on Impact this week to play up the possibility that someone could beat him to prevent him from breaking the record. Perhaps then they could follow up with a big in-ring celebration with James Storm crashing the party in his return.
Tenay ran through the tale of the tape. They actually listed the height and weight of both wrestlers and their finishers, and then went to the bullet points... Van Dam and Roode made their entrances for the main event... Jeremy Borash handled the in-ring introductions for the main event...
8. Bobby Roode vs. Rob Van Dam in a ladder match for the TNA Title. There was a cool spot at 8:00 with Van Dam performing a running body scissors on Roode's abdomen and twisting him into the ladder that was set up in the corner. Van Dam put the ladder in front of Roode in the corner and kicked it into his throat.
Van Dam followed up with a running kick that drove a chair into Roode. The production truck did a good job of changing camera shots at the point of impact so it looked like he tagged him in the face with the chair when he may have hit the ladder. At 10:00, a ladder tipped over and knocked Roode on the head. Roode came back with a big spinebuster that drove Van Dam onto one of the two ladders that were set up in the ring. Ouch!
Van Dam came back with a monkey flip that sent Roode onto the other ladder that was leaning against the second rope turnbuckle. Van Dam followed up with rolling thunder. They did a closeup of Van Dam's bloody elbow, which appeared to be swelling up. Van Dam went to the corner and played to the crowd before going for a Five Star Frogsplash. Roode moved and Van Dam crashed onto one of the ladders at 13:40.
Van Dam tumbled to the floor. When he tried to return to the ring, Roode drove a ladder into his gut and knocked him back to the floor. Roode set up a ladder and slowly climbed toward the title belt. Van Dam recovered and tried to jump from the corner onto a ladder. He landed awkwardly with his knee between the rungs, and then he twisted his knee and/or ankle in about three different directions as he tried to reposition himself and then free his leg from between the rungs.
Van Dam got back to his feet and climbed the ladder behind Roode, who kicked him three times. Van Dam took a bump onto the ladder. Roode reached up and pulled the title belt down to win the match. After the match, Van Dam stood up and shoved a ladder toward Roode. He tumbled out of the ring and hobbled while putting his weight on one leg.
A trainer was there to check on Van Dam, who appeared to be injured and understandably unhappy about it. The announcers played footage from the match. Roode celebrated in the middle of the ring with his title belt to close the live portion of the show... A Slammiversary hype video aired...
Bobby Roode defeated Rob Van Dam in a ladder match to retain the TNA Title in 15:30.
Powell's POV: That's the most satisfying pay-per-view main event I've seen from TNA in some time. The wrestlers worked hard and put themselves through a lot of abuse long before suffered the injury. It's a shame that happened and there will understandably be a lot of second guessing about the decision to put him in a ladder match at this point in his career, but he did a hell of a job up to that point. It's hard to say whether they had to abort the planned finish, but Roode finally left a pay-per-view match looking strong.
Overall, it was great to see TNA deliver better finishes to most of the matches. The pacing of the show was solid and this was the best B-level (non Big Four) pay-per-view effort we've seen from TNA in some time. The outcomes were mostly predictable (see my predictions article), but at least those outcomes seemed logical and served a purpose beyond surprising the hardcore fans. They didn't do anything to sell me on Slammiversary aside from delivering a better than usual pay-per-view, but I suppose they have the next month of television to accomplish that. I'll have more to say about the show in the Dot Net Member Exclusive Audio Review later tonight.
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