The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA Sacrifice 2005

Chronologically, this should have been posted before Unbreakable, so let’s use Throwback Thursday to look back a couple of months in our TNA timeline to the final PPV before their SpikeTV debut. Jeff Jarrett & Rhino war with Raven & Sabu, AJ Styles meets Samoa Joe in the Super X Cup final, and a bunch of other cool stuff happens!

The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA Sacrifice 2005 – Sunday, August 14, 2005

– A video package talking about destiny and sacrifice, while previewing some of the matches on the card, opens the PPV.

– Diamonds In The Rough (Simon Diamond & Elix Skipper & David Young) vs. Sonjay Dutt & Shark Boy & Chris Sabin

Simon Diamond, dressed to wrestle, takes the mic and cuts a promo about how Elix Skipper was a star as part of XXX and will be again under his tutelage. 12 years and counting, Simon. Shark Boy gets the Bite on David Young’s backside and Simon slaps Young, who gets fired up and attacks Sharky. The Diamonds dominate Shark Boy, then Sonjay, although the X Division babyfaces mount a couple of comebacks. In the end, Sabin rolls up Skipper to score the pinfall at 7:21. Oddly enough, that was the same roll-up he used to pin Alex Shelley at Victory Road ’06. ** Solid but meaningless opener. Afterwards, Simon scolds his Diamonds.

– Footage from the Preshow airs of Mike Tenay (with Larry Zbyszko) making the announcement that TNA Impact would be coming to SpikeTV on October 1, but he’s interrupted by (who else) Jeff Jarrett, along with Rhino. Jarrett demands a title shot at NWA World Champion Raven and Zbyszko agrees, but only if Jarrett pins Raven in tonight’s tag team main event; however, if Jarrett gets pinned, he won’t get another title shot for a year. Ahh, if only…

– Shane Douglas interviews the Naturals with Jimmy Hart, who points out that it’s all about the NWA Tag Team Championship they’re holding. Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens show why they should never be allowed near a microphone before JEFF FUCKING JARRETT interrupts them and warns them that, with TNA heading to SpikeTV, their jobs could be in jeopardy in favor of new blood and suggests they stick together. The Mouth of the South thinks Jeff is just being paranoid and leads the Naturals away.

– Alex Shelley vs. Shocker

Tenay notes that this is the rubber match between these two. Shelley displays his great mat wrestling and Shocker answers back with some surprising submission work of his own, as the story of the match is that Shocker has schooled himself in submission style to counter Shelley’s mat technique. On the floor, Shelley sidesteps a somersault dive over the top by Shocker, but Shocker lands on his feet and they go at it around ringside. Shocker applies a cool twisting figure-four, but Shelley grabs the ropes to break it. After some more back-and-forth, Shocker goes for the majistral cradle, but Shelley counters it and uses the ropes to pick up the three-count at 8:50. *** A good mat-based match-up.

– Shane Douglas interviews Abyss and James Mitchell about their “pre-emptive strike” on Lance Hoyt and wonders if they awakened a sleeping giant. Mitchell warns Hoyt that Abyss will do things to him that would make Saddam Hussein cringe and prove that he is the best big man in wrestling history. This is followed by a video package to set up the Abyss/Hoyt match.

– Abyss (w/James Mitchell) vs. Lance Hoyt

West calls this Lance’s “coming-out party” (his hair does look pretty gay) as he takes it right to Abyss early on and hits a slingshot plancha to the floor. They go through some solid back-and-forth big-man stuff until Hoyt catches Abyss with a chokeslam and follows up with a moonsault off the top for a near-fall. Abyss plants Hoyt with the Black Hole Slam, but Lance kicks out and Mitchell slides a chair in. The referee grabs it and Abyss takes it from him, but he eats it when Hoyt nails the Monster with the running big boot and gets a two-count. Hoyt lays Abyss in the corner and puts the chair on his face, then goes out to the opposite apron and springboards in with an incredible Van Terminator. Abyss kicks out again and reverses an Irish-whip, catching Lance in the Black Hole Slam for the victory in 9:09. *** Surprisingly good big-man match with both guys working their asses off.

– A video package recaps the storyline so far between 3 Live Kru and the former Billy Gunn, including Billy changing his name to Kip James because of what BG and his family did for his career. Konnan doesn’t trust Kip and wonders where BG’s loyalty lies.

– Kip James & Monty Brown vs. 3 Live Kru (Konnan & Ron “The Truth” Killings)

BG James is the special referee, and Kip is billed from Marietta, Georgia, home of the Armstrongs. Trying to figure out the storyline and how Monty Brown fits in here makes my head hurt. I bet BG feels like the prettiest girl at the prom with all these big muscular guys fighting over him like this. BG doesn’t play favorites and keeps order on both sides while Monty mocks BG’s shaky kneedrop. Konnan throws his shoe at Kip and then throws it at Monty, but BG gets in the way and the shoe hits him in the back. BG stops Konnan from using a chair and Kip blindsides K-Dog before giving BG a thumbs-up. Kip picks up the chair himself and goes to swing it, but BG pulls it out of his hands and Kip shoves him, so BG unloads on his former partner with the dancing punches. Konnan adds a chairshot for good measure and BG supplies the three-count for 3LK in 7:45, answering all of our questions according to Tenay. * Generic, boring tag match unless you’re a huge 3LK fan.

– Non-Title: Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries

The Fallen Angel is the X Division Champion and Tenay bills this as an “Internet Dream Match” because fans on voted for Austin Aries to wrestle Daniels, who does some mic work about Jeff Jarrett, “Black Wednesday”, and outsiders like Aries coming into TNA. Daniels attacks Aries as the opening bell sounds and they run off the ropes before Aries hiptosses Daniels and applies a front-facelock on the mat. Daniels tries to fight out and finally escapes by running Austin into the corner and chopping away. Daniels whips him to the opposite corner, but Aries floats over and ends up with a two-count after a crossbody off the middle rope. Aries goes back to the front-facelock and Daniels counters with a front-facelock of his own, but Aries escapes and hits Daniels with a dropkick to the face. Daniels retreats to the floor and Aries follows him out with a sweet tope between the second and third ropes. Back in the ring, Aries slingshots in with the twisting corkscrew splash for two. Daniels catches Aries on a floatover attempt in the corner and drops him with a backbreaker. Daniels focuses on the back with a series of bodyslams, then whips Aries into the corner HARD. Knees to the spine from Daniels, but Aries fights out of a rear-chinlock and scores a near-fall off of a sunset flip. Aries runs off the ropes, but Daniels catches him in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and gets frustrated when Austin kicks out. A bodyslam and an Arabian springboard moonsault across the back earn Daniels another two-count. He picks Austin up for the Angel’s Wings, but Aries sees it coming and gets away, so Daniels follows him to the corner and slaps him in the face a few times. Aries flips out of a vertical suplex and responds with a slap of his own, infuriating the X Champion. Drop-toehold by Aries and they slug it out before Aries decks Daniels with a clothesline and a pair of elbows, followed by the Pendulum elbowdrop for a near-fall. I love that move.

Austin’s still selling the back and bounces right back into the ring when Daniels tries dumping him out to the apron. Aries smacks Daniels with a nice dropkick in the corner for two. Daniels tries to flee, but Aries pulls him back in with a side suplex for another two-count and Daniels begs off, only to catch Aries with a jawbreaker and the reverse STO. The Fallen Angel misses the Best Moonsault Ever though, and Aries kicks him in the face before going to the top himself and landing the wicked 450 splash. Daniels just manages to grab the bottom rope to prevent a three-count and catches Aries running into the corner, dropping him with the STO and covering him, but referee Slick Johnson sees Daniels using the ropes for leverage and stops the count. Daniels argues with the ref long enough for Aries to roll him up for a near-fall, then traps Daniels in a backslide for another two-count. Aries sets Daniels up for a swinging neckbreaker, but the X Division Champion swings through it in one fluid motion and plants Aries with the Angel’s Wings for the final three-count at 9:35. ***1/2 Good little match there and a great TNA debut for Austin Aries.

– Shane Douglas interviews America’s Most Wanted, who aren’t happy about teaming with the Naturals in tonight’s eight-man tag, but they’ll do what they have to do to take out Team Canada. Jeff Jarrett interrupts and warns AMW that they are on the “To Be Fired” list before TNA’s SpikeTV debut in October, adding that he heard a new tag team released recently (“Some were good, some were bad, some were DUDS…you figure it out”) are on their way in. In hindsight, that segment foreshadowed not only the debut of Team 3D, but also AMW’s heel turn and alliance with Jarrett.

– A video package airs to recap the Jerryn Lynn/Sean Waltman storyline, from Juventud Guerrera injuring Jerry’s shoulder in 2004 off a very sloppy Juvi Driver (no wonder Lynn had nothing kind to say about him on the X Division DVD), to Lynn refereeing a match between Waltman and AJ Styles, to a backstage confrontation on Impact where Waltman implied that Lynn wasn’t a big enough star to be friends with. Also included is some shaky amateur footage of a Lynn vs. Lightning Kid match probably from 1991 or ’92. Cool to see.

– “Six-Pac” Sean Waltman vs. Jerry Lynn

West and Tenay put over that Waltman and Lynn came up together in the business and that this is their first match-up against each other in over a decade, as well as Lynn’s first match back after the shoulder surgery. Tenay explains that his own love for wrestling was waning in the early ’90s until he saw a Waltman/Lynn match on an episode of ESPN’s Global Wrestling Federation, and goes through the history of how their rivalry in Global led to the Cruiserweight Division in WCW and now the X Division in TNA.

They actually shake hands before locking up as West mentions how he became a “megafan” of the X Division after the four-way match to crown the first-ever X Champion in 2002, featuring Jerry Lynn. After trading armwringers and armdrags and feeling each other out, Lynn sends Waltman out to the floor via spinning headscissors and goes to the top, diving out onto Waltman with a high-risk bodypress. Lynn chops away and charges at Waltman, but Six-Pac catches him and sends him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Back in the ring, Waltman focuses on the shoulder and they trade chops before Waltman takes Lynn down in a nice bodyscissors for a two-count as Shark Boy appears on the stage to watch the match. I think an angle with Sharky idolizing Waltman, and Waltman then using him as his lackey, could have been interesting. Chris Sabin and Sonjay Dutt join Sharky to watch the match as Lynn escapes from a surfboard, only to be caught in a shoulderbreaker. Lynn mounts another comeback, but Waltman tosses him to the floor and runs off the ropes, diving over the top with a great somersault plancha onto Lynn’s shoulder. Waltman tries to suplex Lynn into the ring from the apron, but Jerry reverses it and suplexes Waltman to the floor, crashing down with him in a sick bump for both guys. Lynn still sells the shoulder as they get back in the ring and Jerry hits a dropkick off the top turnbuckle. Lynn unloads on Waltman and goes for the Cradle Piledriver, but his shoulder hurts too much and he can’t do it, so Waltman sneaks in a lowblow and drops him with the X Factor. Fortunately, Lynn gets his foot over the bottom rope to break the pin. Waltman comes off the top with a flying crossbody, but Lynn rolls through and gets two. Jerry runs off the ropes and drills Waltman with a tornado DDT for another near-fall, but when he goes for a tombstone, Waltman reverses it and plants Lynn for two. Waltman scoops up Lynn for a bodyslam, but Lynn slips up onto Waltman’s shoulders and wraps him up in a victory roll for the 1-2-3, Kid, at 15:31 while Sabin, Sonjay, & Sharky applaud from the stage. ****

Afterwards, Waltman shakes Lynn’s hand and hugs him, showing great emotion as Six-Pac looks like he’s about to cry, but suddenly plants Jerry with a single-arm DDT on his bad shoulder. Waltman tosses Lynn into the crowd and drapes his arm over the railing, then whacks the shoulder with a chair. Wow, what a great bunch of guys Sabin, Dutt, and Shark Boy are; why aren’t they running down to help Jerry? Here they come finally, as Waltman goes to the announce table and Tenay chews him out.

– Shane Douglas interviews Team Canada in the locker room and points out that Coach D’Amore is on the sidelines (although they have a picture of him in their locker, much like a middle-school girl might hang a poster of the latest teen heartthrob), while their opponents tonight will have Jimmy Hart at ringside. Eric Young freaks out and worries that they’re screwed, but Petey Williams slaps him and they all bond over a hockey stick.

– A video package explains that AMW and the Naturals are joining forces to eliminate Team Canada so that they can feud over the NWA World Tag Team Championship without the Canadians interfering.

– Team Canada (Bobby Roode & Petey Williams & Eric Young & A1) vs. America’s Most Wanted & The Naturals (w/Jimmy Hart)

Tenay promises that Coach D’Amore will soon return to TNA; I’m sure it was just a coincidence that this was the same night the SpikeTV debut was announced. I love that Naturals double-team where Andy Douglas bulldogs a guy onto Chase Stevens’ knee. James Storm gets tagged in and drops Petey Williams with the Eye Of The Storm helicopter slam (another favorite, ever since Sid Vicious used to use it), but Bobby Roode comes in and clips the Cowboy’s knee. The Canadians isolate Storm and work over his knee as Tenay informs us that Jerry Lynn is being taken to the hospital. The Cowboy finally makes the hot tag to Chris Harris, who cleans house and tags Stevens, which is a visual that West says he can’t believe due to the bad blood between the Naturals and AMW in the past. Eric Young lowkicks Chase and Team Canada cut the ring in half again, quick-tagging and dominating Stevens. The momentum changes when Young climbs the turnbuckles and Stevens springboards off the top rope with an enzuigiri on Showtime, who takes a wicked Flair-style face-first bump down to the floor.

Roode drags Young back to their corner and into the ring, while Douglas gets the tag and cleans house on the Canadians before he and Stevens drill Eric with the Natural Disaster. Roode takes out Andy with the Northern Lariat, Petey hits Chase with a mistimed tornado DDT, and the Wildcat slams Petey with the Catatonic. Roode charges at Harris from behind for the Northern Lariat, but Storm cuts him off with a superkick for a two-count. All hell has broken loose as Young, Williams, & A1 brawl with Storm & Douglas at ringside and Harris leaps off the top onto all of them. On the inside, Roode catches Stevens on the top turnbuckle and waistlocks him from behind, but Harris comes in and powerbombs Roode, who in turn German-suplexes Stevens to the mat. That could have gone so wrong, but it looked great and emphasized that AMW don’t really care about the Naturals. Petey tries to use the hockey stick on Storm, but the Cowboy ducks and ends up on the apron, where he hiptosses Williams over the top to the floor. Roode then whips Stevens into Storm, knocking the Cowboy off the apron, and rolls up the Natural with a handful of tights for the un-deux-trois in 11:11. ***1/2 Afterwards, the Canadians celebrate on the ramp while TNA Security rush into the ring to prevent AMW and the Naturals from killing each other. As he is often wont to do, Jimmy Hart runs around like a chicken with its head cut off.

– Shane Douglas tries to interview Samoa Joe about tonight’s Super X Cup final, but Joe won’t speak. The Franchise acts like a tough guy and demands respect, so Joe replies that he’s showing him respect by not bitchslapping his ass. Shane makes angry faces as the Samoan Submission Machine marches off to battle.

– A video package recaps the 2005 Super X Cup tournament. Samoa Joe beat Sonjay Dutt and Alex Shelley, both via submission, to get to tonight’s final while AJ Styles pinned Matt Bentley and Petey Williams.

– 2005 Super X Cup Final: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles

X Division Champion Christopher Daniels is on commentary with Tenay and West since he will defend the title against the winner on September 11, and refers to the Super X Cup tournament as the “Christopher Daniels Invitational”. We get the Super Special Ring Introductions from Jeremy Borash after both competitors make their entrances. Styles tries to go after Joe’s leg to take him down, but Joe blocks it and fires off a kick that AJ avoids. They trade kicks and Styles legsweeps Joe to the mat, then kicks him in the face and drives some shoulderblocks in the corner. Styles bodyslams Joe (think Hogan slamming Andre, but on a much smaller scale) and drops the knee, but only gets a one-count. Snapmare by Styles, who stiff-kicks Joe in the spine and pulls him up for a series of forearm shots, but Joe catches him with a punch. AJ staggers into the ropes and Joe knocks him out to the floor with a brutal running knee to the face. When AJ stands up, Joe dives through the ropes with the “elbow suicida” and sends him flying into the commentators’ desk. Joe whips Styles toward the guardrail, but Styles effortlessly leaps over the railing and hits Joe with a forearm shot when he charges. Styles then leaps off the railing with a sweet forearm to the face and chops away before returning Joe to the ring and suplexing him for two. AJ applies the Mutalock, but Joe pries AJ’s fingers apart and Styles clamps on a side-headlock. Joe sends Styles off to the ropes and shoulderblocks him down, but Styles takes him down with the half-kipup into a huracanrana. I love that move. Joe runs off the ropes, Styles leapfrogs over, and Joe goes for a kick on the rebound, but AJ does a somersault in mid-air to avoid it and lands on his feet. This guy is Phenomenal. Styles keeps Joe on the ropes with a knee and a forearm, and tries to clothesline him over the top, but the undefeated Samoan Submission Machine is too big. Styles tries again, but still can’t knock him over the rope. Styles tries to get some momentum by running off the ropes, but Joe catches him and spikes him with the standing STO.

Joe whips Styles into the corner and crunches him with the charging knee to the face, then facewashes him. AJ attempts to fight back, but Joe takes him down with a nice legsweep and gets a two-count. Joe snapmares Styles into a sitting position and unloads with a chop across the back and a kick to the chest before dropping the big knee off the ropes and scoring a two-count, as West states that these two have wrestled twice before in their careers, each winning one bout. Daniels adds that he was in attendance for both of those matches and says they both went all-out and could go all night as Joe applies a rear-chinlock, which Styles fights out of and gets shoulderblocked to the canvas. AJ goes for the kip-up huracanrana again, but Joe counters into a vicious powerbomb for a near-fall. When Styles kicks out, Joe holds onto the legs and flips him over into a little something I like to call the Samoan Crab. The crowd rallies behind AJ, who starts to wriggle out, so Joe quickly turns it into an STF instead. That makes me wonder about John Cena’s STFU; I know Cena and Joe trained together, so why can’t Cena apply the hold properly, like Joe? Was he sick that day? Anyway, AJ gets his foot over the rope, so Joe lets go and charges with a clothesline, but AJ ducks it and decks him with a beautiful dropkick. AJ springboards off the middle rope with the moonsault/inverted DDT for a near-fall as the fans chant “This is awesome”, and they’re right. Styles goes to the top turnbuckle and Joe climbs up with him to slug it out before Styles shoves him down to the mat and goes to the apron, following in with a killer springboard senton. NICE. AJ hooks the leg deeper (as Daniels suggested on commentary during his last pin attempt) and scores a near-fall. Joe goes for a legsweep, but AJ jumps in the air to avoid it, lands on his feet, and nails Joe with the Pele Kick. Awesome. Rather than going down, Joe stumbles around until Styles double-legs him and rolls over him for the pin, but Joe kicks out. Styles holds onto the legs and tries to apply his own Samoan (or should that be Georgian?) Crab, but Joe kicks him off before he can get it hooked in. Nice try, though.

Joe runs off the ropes and ducks a spinning forearm before taking AJ down in a sunset flip and turning it into one of Eugene’s favorite maneuvers (when he was a cool wrestling savant instead of a dorky retard), the rolling cradle a.k.a. Terry Funk’s Texas Tumbleweed for a two-count. Styles fires off a Pele Kick, but he’s dizzy from the Tumbleweed and he’s nowhere near Joe so he falls on his face. That’s fucking great. When Styles gets up, Joe decapitates him with a capital-L Lariat worthy of Stan Hansen and scores an extremely close near-fall that even had me going. A half-assed cover gets another two and Joe cat-and-mouses AJ with a series of half-hearted kicks to the face, but Styles gets to his feet and they exchange forearms. AJ finally opens up with punches and knees, backing Joe into a corner and slapping him; unfortunately, he forgot that you just don’t bitchslap Joe, who unleashes with a flurry of palm thrusts to get out of the corner. Out of nowhere, AJ smacks Joe with the Pele and both guys are down as Tenay plays director by ordering the camera to stay on the ring rather than show the fans. The referee gets to nine and both men stagger to their feet as Joe kicks Styles and puts him up on the top turnbuckle, hooking him up for the Muscle Buster. Styles slips out the back door and hits Joe with a dropkick to the back, sending him into the turnbuckles. When Joe bounces back toward him, AJ miraculously hoists him over his shoulders in a Torture Rack for several seconds (OH MY GOD) and slams him to the mat, but he inadvertently hit the ref with Joe’s feet, so there’s nobody to count the pin. Daniels leaves his commentary position and slides into the ring, planting Styles with the STO and trash-talking him. Joe gets up and stares down Daniels, so the Fallen Angel goes to step out and Joe focuses on Styles, but Daniels stops and prepares to hit Joe with the X Title belt. However, Joe turns to Daniels, who begs off from the Samoan and gets clotheslined over the top by Styles. Joe quickly slaps Styles and hooks him up in the corner, drilling him with the Muscle Buster and cinching in the Kokina Clutch rear naked choke. The ref awakens as AJ reaches for the ropes, but he’s too far away and taps out at 15:15. Afterwards, Joe raises the Super X Cup trophy over his head and points at Daniels, who is on the ramp holding up the X Division Championship belt as Tenay states that we have just witnessed a piece of wrestling history. ****1/2 Tremendous action-packed match-up that was a huge chapter in the Samoa Joe legacy.

– Backstage, Raven sits on a flight of stairs with Sabu a few steps above him and cuts a good promo for tonight’s tag team main event, calling the stipulations announced earlier the most dire that Jeff Jarrett has ever faced. Raven says that for Jarrett, the NWA World Title is his “little binky” and he’s lost and scared without it. Raven claims that he and Sabu hate each other, but they are a human cancer and promise pain for Jarrett & Rhino.

– A video package recaps the storyline behind tonight’s main event. Words of wisdom from Raven: “Plans are like tyrants; the simpler they are, the easier they are to execute.” We see Rhino’s TNA debut from last month, when he SWERVED all of us and Gored Raven, forming an alliance with Jarrett. Sabu then made his return to TNA to even the odds and we have a PPV main event.

– Rhino & Jeff Jarrett vs. Sabu & Raven

Chrono Fact #362: As much as I dislike Jeff Jarrett, I have to admit I like his theme song as it fits his character perfectly and is kinda catchy. Sometimes I find myself humming it and singing “It’s MYYY world!” As mentioned earlier, if Jarrett pins Raven, he’ll get a title shot; if Raven (or Sabu, I guess…I’m not sure) pins him, he won’t get another title shot for one year. The crowd chants “ECW” like idiots and Jarrett yells at them. Raven lays his NWA World Heavyweight Championship on the mat like a line in the sand and Jarrett goes face-to-face with him. Jarrett shoves and slaps Raven, who responds with a series of right hands and whips him to the ropes, but Jarrett grabs the rope to stop himself and bails out. Rhino comes in without a tag and drives Raven to ringside with right hands of his own, but Raven smashes him against the guardrail three times with a trio of Russian legsweeps and rolls him back into the ring, where he tags Sabu, who trades punches with the Man Beast. Rhino whips Sabu off for a back-bodydrop, but Sabu flips over him and dropkicks his ankle, then legdrops him across the back of the head for a one-count. Rhino shoulderblocks Sabu down and runs off the ropes, but Sabu hits him with a leg lariat and applies a half-assed Camel Clutch I like to call the Dromedary Clutch due to its one-hump nature. Jarrett quickly breaks it up and Raven comes in to pound on Double J, knocking him through the ropes and tossing him over the announce table.

Sabu and Rhino brawl up the ramp while Raven dumps the contents of a trashcan on the desk and there’s actually garbage in it, including a pizza box. Raven also finds a pizza cutter in there and uses it to slice open Jarrett’s forehead while Sabu suplexes Rhino on the ramp. Raven smacks Jarrett with the trashcan lid and waffles him with the can a few times while back in the ring, Rhino tries to pick up a chair and Sabu stomps on it, crushing Rhino’s fingers. The Man Beast stumbles into the corner as Sabu throws the chair at his head and sets it up, springboarding off the chair to take Rhino out of the corner with a huracanrana. Sabu props Rhino up on another top turnbuckle and stands on the top rope beside him, sending Rhino crashing to the mat with a super huracanrana and scoring a two-count. Sabu sets up the chair and runs off the ropes, but before he can jump onto the chair for the Triple Jump Moonsault, Rhino grabs his foot and trips him so he eats the chair. Jarrett pastes Sabu with a chair through the ropes from the floor and Sabu staggers back into the waiting arms of Rhino, who rolls him up with a handful of tights for a near-fall. Rhino nails Sabu with a straight chairshot for another two-count and tags in the bloody Jarrett, who pounds away on Sabu and sets him on the top turnbuckle, slamming him off with a picture-perfect superplex. Rhino gets tagged back in and covers for two as West emphasizes how important the title-shot stipulation is to Jarrett.

Headbutts from Rhino and he stomps away on Sabu in the corner, then sits him up on top and climbs up with him. Sabu fights Rhino off and knocks him to the mat before diving off with a somersault bodyblock and crawling toward Raven. Rhino grabs Sabu’s foot, but Sabu hits him with an enzuigiri and makes the tag to Raven, who cleans house with punches and discus clotheslines on both Rhino & Jarrett. Raven whips Rhino chest-first into the turnbuckles and decks him with a clothesline, then blasts Jarrett with a running kneelift and one for Rhino. Raven splashes Jarrett in the corner and brings him out with a bulldog, clotheslining Rhino at the same time. Raven covers Jarrett, but Rhino breaks the pin at two and they go through some reversals before Raven ends up planting Rhino with the Raven Effect DDT and covering him. Jarrett pulls the referee out to the floor after a two-count and Sabu attacks Jarrett from behind, rolling him in for Raven, who predictably gets lowblowed by Double J. Jarrett retrieves his guitar from ringside and waits on Raven, but Cassidy Riley (a Raven fanatic shown in the crowd earlier) runs in and takes away the guitar. JJ drops Raven with the Stroke and takes forever to cover him, which means that Raven kicks out. And he does. God, that pisses me off and just demonstrates what a prick Jarrett can be, and I don’t mean that in a good “super heel” way. If I were Raven, I would have kicked out before the ref’s hand hit the mat, but then I’d probably lose my job. Anyway, Jarrett is in disbelief and tags Rhino, who hammers away on Raven with right hands to the head and bites his forehead. Eww, doesn’t he know where Raven has been? Raven comes up bleeding as a result, which is just beyond awesome.

Rhino covers, but Raven kicks out at two and Rhino tags Jarrett, who stomps Raven and locks him in the figure-four. Raven’s shoulders are on the mat and the ref counts two before Raven flips it over and reverses it. Jarrett scrambles for the ropes, but the hold falls apart anyway before he can get there. Jarrett sets up the chair and Irish-whips Raven for the drop-toehold, but Raven avoids it and grabs the chair, tossing it in Jarrett’s face. Raven tags Sabu, who throws the chair in Rhino’s face, then Jarrett’s, then Rhino’s again before setting it up. Sabu runs off the ropes and springboards off the chair, hitting Rhino in the corner and knocking Jarrett off the apron. Sabu sets up the chair again and springboards off of it onto the top rope, springboarding off the rope and landing with a sweet legdrop on Rhino, who spasms but kicks out at two. There’s a table set up at ringside as Rhino retreats to the floor and Sabu springboards off the chair, stands on the top rope, and leaps off over the table onto Rhino. In the ring, Jarrett connects with the drop-toehold onto the chair on Raven and gets a two-count. Raven reverses an Irish-whip and plants Jarrett with the DDT, but Rhino stops the pin at two and rips into Raven with the Gore. Sabu breaks that count and whips Rhino into the corner, but eats an elbow when he charges in. Rhino lunges with the Gore, but Sabu moves and the ref gets Gored.

Sabu throws the chair in Rhino’s face and lands the chair-assisted Arabian Facebuster off the top, but the ref is laid out and can’t count. Sabu kicks Rhino out of the ring, half on the table, and runs off the ropes, but Abyss appears and grabs Sabu by the throat, throwing him back to mid-ring. Abyss presses Sabu over his head and drops him out to the floor, crashing through the table in a nasty bump. Jeff Hardy runs in and hits Abyss with a chair before clotheslining him over the top rope and planting Jarrett with the Twist Of Fate. Hardy goes to the top and lands the Swanton Bomb on Jarrett, then runs away. Um, okay. Raven covers Jarrett and another ref runs in to count the pin, but Rhino breaks it up. Rhino props up a table in the corner, but Raven lowblows him from behind and Jarrett grabs Raven for the Stroke into the table. However, Raven fights him off and hooks Jarrett up for the DDT, but Rhino swoops in and Gores Raven through the table. The Man Beast then drags Raven out of the corner and scores the three-count at 16:23, just before Sabu lands a legdrop on him. **** A wild-as-hell ECW/Memphis-style main event brawl that felt refreshing as an old-school fan at the time. Afterwards, Jarrett looks confused and reminds Rhino that JJ was supposed to pin Raven. Tenay and West wonder what this means for the NWA World Heavyweight Title shot as they close the show.

Afterthoughts: As others have noted, this was a stellar PPV with not one bad match. I’d rate the 3 Live Kru tag match as the worst match on the show, but even that was more basic and bland than outright bad. Other than that, we had a more-than-solid undercard with both the Lynn/Waltman and Aries/Daniels matches being really good, Joe/Styles off the charts, and a very entertaining ECW-style main event. Extremely recommended.

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