Ring of Honor Beating the Odds September 6th, 2003

September 6, 2003

From the Charbonneau Field House in Wakefield, MA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The show starts with CM Punk, alongside Colt Cabana, cuts a promo on Raven. He says that he wants Raven to remember how he is a failure and that he began wrestling so he could get his mission across. He ends by saying he will taken Raven out for good then walks away as Cabana is shown. Cabana says that he is not going to say something funny or talk about how Dunn & Marcos’s mothers wanted to be his groupies as he is serious and going to make a name for himself in the Field of Honor.

Raven is shown backstage telling us the world his filled with kings and queens and heaven and hell. He then informs us that for Punk, heaven is not an option as he welcomes him to his Clockwork Orange House of Fun. Raven then promises to “kill” Punk then finishes off this promo with a maniacal laugh.

Field of Honor Qualifying Match
Block B
Jimmy Rave vs. Colt Cabana

Lively crowd tonight. Cabana starts the match by stalling in the corner. Both guys trade arm wringers as the announcers put over the tournament and the “pure wrestling” aspect. We are now shown footage from before the show of the Backseat Boyz at the gimmick table harassing Gabe Sapolsky and Rob Feinstein then yelling at fans to get out of their way until they run into Julius Smokes and Homicide, who yells at them for being late. The argue as the Carnage Crew are laughing in the background then a brawl breaks out. Homicide then tells Feinstein to stop being a “pussy” and fine those “faggot-ass niggas.” We are finally back to the action as Rave takes down Cabana with an armdrag, with the announcers putting down the Backseat Boyz for unprofessionalism. Cabana challenges Rave to knock him down with a shoulder tackle then trips him up as the crowd applauds. Cabana whips Rave into the corner then puts him in a surfboard as we hear that all of the Field of Honor competitors will have cameras on them in the back at all times. Cabana hits a backdrop and gets two off of that. Rave tries to fight back with chops but keeps getting cut off. Cabana gets two off of a gutwrench powerbomb then catches him in a bearhug a few times. Rave connects with an enziguiri for two but Cabana comes back with a leg drop. Cabana misses a top rope twisting senton as Rave follows up with a shining wizard as both men are down. Rave hits a floating DDT for two then catches him with an armbar off of a springboard. Cabana takes control with a modified version of his Colt 45 then targets the back for a bit. Rave ends up putting Cabana in a crossface but Cabana powers out and hits the Colt 45 for the win (13:06) **.

Thoughts: Not much of a match. It did get better at the end though. The main focus was on Homicide and Acid as their feud is not going away. The secondary focus was on Cabana as his win keeps him going in the tournament as they story with him is that he wants to prove himself as a wrestler and stop acting like a goofball.



Backstage, AJ Styles tells Rave he lost because he went for the arm instead of the neck then gives him some advice. Styles appears to be the mentor for Rave.

Colt is shown as he says he is honor as the doctors and his family and friends told him not to wrestle tonight but he did as he is going to the top.

Diablo Santiago w/ Oman Tortuga vs. Slyk Wagner Brown w/ April Hunter

Before the match, the Outkast Killaz corner Hunter but Brown flipped into the ring to scare them off. Match starts with Santiago jumping Brown from behind. Santtiago kept taunting the crowd as that allowed Brown to hit him with a missile dropkick. Brown then hit a press slam and followed that with a standing moonsault. Santiago goes outside as Brown sends him into the guardrail with a baseball slide. Back inside, Santiago works over the back of Brown then they fuck up a super kick spot that missed by a mile but Brown sold anyway. Santiago gets two with a bridging slam but misses a diving headbutt as both men are down. Brown wins a slugfest then hits some sort of half-assed Thesz Press for two. Catatonic slam gets two. Santiago comes back with another bridging suplex as he is now bleeding from his nose. Brown almost botches a float over then catches Santiago with a sitout powerbomb for the win (4:19) 1/4*. After the match, Tortuga tells Brown they are not down and that Hunter was checking him out all match. Tortuga then Hunter to come with him then gets attacked in a sequence to show off Hunter, who was probably bigger than Tortuga anyway.

Thoughts: This match sucked. The point was to get Brown and Hunter over but Brown was a bad wrestler and did a ton of flips in the match for some reason. Hunter got over a bit for beating on the Outkast Killaz as they seem to be building up to a match between the four.



Scramble Match
Dunn & Marcos vs. Izzy & Dixie w/ Special K vs. SAT’s vs. Backseat Boyz

We are informed that Homicide & Julius Smokes are “tearing” up the locker room due to the Backseat Boyz being here tonight. This starts off the same as every other scramble match with guys pairing off and going at rapid speed. One cool move was when Joel countered a tarantula from Izzy with an Alabama Slam. Less blown spots than usual here too. Izzy busts out a few cool hurricaranas here as well. Dunn & Marcos hit a nice version of the Demolition Decapitation on Dixie for two. The match breaks down with the SAT’s botching a double-team move as they are incapable of having a match without at least one. The announcers talk about the Tag Team Title situation due to the Amazing Red’s injury and how Gary Michael Capetta will address that later tonight. THe match breaks down again as Kashmere takes out almost everyone with a senton. In the ring, Joel and Izzy take turns kicking each other then climb up top where Joel takes Izzy off with a Spanish Fly to the floor on top of everyone, drawing a “holy shit” chant form the crowd. They head back inside as the action breaks down again until Acid hits Joel with a high knee for the win (8:44) **1/4.

Thoughts: These tag scramble matches were really tiresome. The only team worth a shit was the Backseat Boyz as the others were probably incapable of wrestling an actual tag match. Despite all of that, this was more cool moves and less botched spots than usual, making it a bit entertaining at least.



Field of Honor
Block A
Matt Stryker vs. John Walters

Both guys feel each other out to start. They battle over a test-of-strength then trade moves until Walters stretches out Stryker in the ropes. Stryker takes a breather then re-enters as he takes down Walters and works a front facelock. They end in a stalemate as the crowd applauds then Walters works the arm. Stryker takes him down with a dragon screw and works the leg briefly before putting on the Stryker Lock. Walters is able to make it to the ropes then Stryker goes back to working the leg. Walters knee gives out as he was Irish whipped into the ropes then Stryker grapevines the leg. Stryker is unable to put Walters away then gets caught with a lungblower as Walters continues to sell his leg. Walters is up first and eventually hits his Hurricane DDT for a nearfall. Stryker comes back with rolling German Suplexes then takes him down and tries to work the leg but Walters crawled over to the ropes. Walters comes back with a La Magistral then lifts him up for a  chokeslam and drops him across his knee for a backbreaker. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Stryker getting a nearfall with a German suplex. Walters tries to hit Stryker with a powerbomb but his leg gave out as Stryker fell on top of him for the win (12:38) **3/4. After the match, Walters grabs the mic and tells us that he has been wrestling in the area for three years and talks about having pride and wanting to win before shaking Stryker’s hand.

Thoughts: Above-average match but I still dont really care about either one of these guys. Walters selling of the leg was questionable at times and his promo after the match was extremely long-winded. Stryker is a fine technical wrestler but had no personality or even a decent look and would be best served in a jobber role.



Homicide interrupts Feinstein as he is eating wanting to fight Trent Acid tonight, even giving up his title shot. Feinstein tells him he can make it happen.

Hydro & Deranged & Angel Dust vs. Carnage Crew & Justin Credible

The Special Guys are freaking out over the fact they have to fight these guys. Match starts with Loc getting the best of Hydro as the announcers put over the Homicide vs. Trent Acid match that will take place later tonight. Credible works over Angel Dust then kisses Becky Bayless as the announcers crack jokes about her being a whore. He then hits Angel Dust with several rolling suplexes as the crowd goes nuts. Deranged and DeVito are now in the ring as Deranged hits him low then hammers away in the corner. DeVito fights back and takes him down with a dropkick. Outside, Special K yell at Slugga and order him into the ring. He heads in as Loc slaps him in the face then chops away. Loc hits him low but gets caught with a reverse chokeslam as Angel Dust runs in and grabs a headlock. The Special K guys are now beating on Loc and that goes on for a bit until he hits Angel Dust with a backdrop driver then tags Credible, who runs wild. The match breaks down as all three Special K get whipped into each other. Carnage Crew hits Deranged with a Splash Mountain/Neckbreaker combo but Slugger makes the save on the pin attempt as the match breaks down again. Slugger holds up the Carnage Crew for Angel Dust and Hydro, who accidentally hit him with missile dropkicks that Slugger did not even know how to sell correctly. Credible takes Slugga down with a super kick then grabs Bayless and pulls her onto the apron after she tried to trip him but Deranged breaks that up then hits Credible with a spin kick for two. The match breaks down again as all we hear is Julius Smokes yelling at Slugga, asking him to follow him as he agrees with both guys heading to the back. Hydro and Angel dust take out the Carnage Crew with dives, leaving Deranged and Credible in the ring. They battle up top where Credible takes him off with a tombstone piledriver from the middle rope and gets the win (15:32) *1/2. After the match, DeVito destroys Hijinx with a chair then they drag Bayless into the ring for the spike piledriver but Credible prevents them as he asks for the tables as the Carnage Crew put her through the table from the apron with the spike piledriver. DeVito can barely walk after the move.

Thoughts: This feud looks like it will continue but this match really fell apart the last couple of minutes. It turned into a disaster. DeVito seemed to hurt himself putting Bayless through the table but still managed to really protect her with the move. Slugga has now apparently joined up with Smokes and Homicide as Special K is without their muscle.



Gary Michael Cappetta is backstage with some updates. He tells us that Low Ki has fractured his jaw during a recent tour of Japan and will be out indefinitely. Also, the Amazing Red will be out as he is undergoing surgery for an ACL injury as the Ring of Honor will have a Tag Team Gauntlet Series that will begin next show at Glory By Honor II when new Tag Team Champions will be crowned. He then brings out the Briscoe Brothers as Mark tells us that they are young and unsure what they want to do with their lives but now they want to win the Tag Team Titles. Cappetta tells us that Mark will face BJ Whitmer tonight and that Jay will take part in the four-way match, with the winner getting a title shot. After that, the SAT’s ask the Briscoes why they hurt Red, thinking that they were boys. The Briscoes tell them they were just trying to win the match. Christ, that was an awkward exchange. Jay improved by leaps and bounds in his promo skills while the other three have not.

Mark Briscoe vs. BJ Whitmer

The crowd chants for Briscoe as Whitmer has him in a headlock. Briscoe comes back with a spinning heel kick then grounds Whitmer as the announcers put over how much of an upset it would be if Briscoe won this match. Briscoe gets a nearfall with a crossbody but Whitmer fights back. He hits a gutbuster that gets two then works a surfboard. The announcers are trying way too hard to put Whitmer over by pretending that he has had all sorts of incredible matches. Well, you can say that many other guys in this company too. Whitmer beats on Briscoe outside of the ring as he targets the ribs. Back inside, Whitmer gets another nearfall with a gutbuster. He locks on an abdominal stretch but Briscoe counters with a hip toss. Whitmer goes back on offense after Briscoe missed an elbow drop as he continues to target the ribs. Whitmer sends Briscoe to the floor with a hiptoss but Briscoe is able to cut him off on a dive to the outside. Briscoe suplexes Whitmer onto the floor then flies out with a shooting star press as the crowd starts a “holy shit” chant. Briscoe repeatedly whips Whitmer into the guardrail then heads back inside, hitting a springboard dropkick for two. Briscoe then catches him with a uranage after a reversal sequence but that only gets two. Whitmer comes back with a superplex but that is not enough to get the win. Dragon suplex gets two. Briscoe comes back with an exploder for a nearfall. Whitmer then hits an exploder of his own after a reversal sequence but that is not enough for the win. They now battle up top where Briscoe takes him off with a belly-to-belly that looked really sloppy but it was enough for the win (13:50) **3/4.

Thoughts: Another match that was above-average but hurt again by a lack of psychology as they kept on hitting a ton of big moves then ended it with something that looked less painful than most of what they were doing to each other. The ending was also anti-climatic, which is a bad sign as you cannot build to a finish in a match that lasted almost fourteen years long. Still, Briscoe was just a teenager and was wrestling at a level far above most with the same experience. I also felt that the announcers gave away the finish with how they constantly talked up Whitmer and how much of an upset it would be if Briscoe won.






Feinstein is backstage asking the fans if they have any information about the attack on Lucy at the “Wrath of the Racket” show. If you do, send it to the company website.

Trent Acid w/ Johnny Kashmere vs. Homicide w/ Julius Smokes 


Before the match begins the camera cuts to Raven in the locker room, who is breathing heavily, as he tells Punk he will kill him. We are back to the action as these two go back and forth at a quick pace. Acid cuts off Homicide with a kick on a dive attempt then suplexes him onto the floor. Acid pulls the guardrail forward and asks the fans to move back then takes out Homicide with a quebrada. They go back and forth again then Homicide tosses Acid into the guardrail as he was in midair and holy shit did that look like it hurt. He places Acid on a chair then flies out and hits him with a tope con hilo. The action heads back into the ring as Homicide destroys Acid in the corner. He sends Acid to the floor with a running knee smash as they play up that Acid has an eye injury as he is bleeding. A dazed Acid heads back inside where Homicide goes back on offense. Acid is able to come back with a missile dropkick then hits a flurry of moves but remains dazed. Homicide hits a T-Bone suplex for a nearfall but Acid comes back with a low blow then brings a chair inside as the ref is tied up with Smokes. Acid takes him off of the top with a Backseat Driver as Homicide’s head whacks the edge of the chair. Ouch! Now they trade Yakuza kicks until Acid knocks him down but that only gets one as they go at it again until both men are down as the crowd goes nuts. Homicide blocks a kick then takes Acid down with a Dragon Screw before locking on the STF. Acid makes the ropes but Homicide puts the hold back on as Acid once again is able to make it to the ropes. Acid knocks Homicide down with a forearm smash as his nose is pouring blood. Acid waits up top but Homicide knocks him down then hits a Super Ace Crusher for two as Kashmere interrupts the pin. Smokes chases him around until Acid takes him out. Acid catches Homicide with another Yakuza kick as he was chasing Kashmere but that is not enough to put him away. Homicide breaks up a sleeper with a low blow then is able to hit the Cop Killa after failing previously and that is enough for the win (15:00) ***1/2. After the match, everyone shakes hands as the fans start an “R-O-H” chant.

Thoughts: Wild match. These two beat the crap out of each other and earned their paychecks with this performance. The next logical step is to have the rubber match to their feud. Acid looked like someone who could have been a star but drugs ruined that among other things.






Christopher Daniels is shown with Allison Danger talking about destiny. This is shot in black-and-white. Danger is holding up the ECWA Title. Daniels says that his goal has always been to be the Ring of Honor champion but he will not be here tonight as he is defending the ECWA title. Daniels closes by telling Samoa Joe that he is the only thing standing in his way and says that at “Glory By Honor II” he will fulfill his destiny by winning the title. I’ll say it before and I will say it again, the Fallen Angel gimmick held Daniels back. It came off too corny for someone positioned near the top of the card.

Four Corners Survival Match
Chris Sabin vs. Jay Briscoe vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe


The rules for this are as follows: Winner gets a title shot in the future. However, if Joe wins, the loser will not get a title match as long as Joe is the champion. Sabin and Briscoe start off the match as they work a decent little sequence that ends in a standoff. AJ and Joe tag in as now the NWA-TNA and RoH champs are in the ring but Sabin tags himself in and tries to attack AJ but fails. Sabin tags Joe, who starts kicking Joe. AJ then bails and tags Briscoe, who gets knocked down a few times. AJ tags back in as Briscoe catches him with a powerslam as all four guys keep tagging in and out until the match breaks down until everyone ends up in a standoff. That looked far to contrived and the crowd didnt care at all. Joe and Briscoe take turns beating on Sabin for a bit until he comes back with a catatonic backbreaker. Joe tags and puts Briscoe in a Boston Crab that looked painful as AJ breaks up the move. Now we are at the point where the guys all break up submission holds so they can have a chance to win a title shot. Briscoe is taking a beating here as he is getting put in all sorts of submission holds. He rolls away from a splash attempt by Sabin and finally makes the tag as AJ clotheslines Sabin to the floor. Joe takes him outside with an enziguiri then hits him with the ole kick. He tries it again but Sabin spears Joe then gets drilled with a super kick by AJ. All three guys outside brawl until Briscoe takes them out with a senton. In the ring, Briscoe chops Joe in the corner. Joe plants a charging Briscoe with an uranage. Joe follows with a powerbomb then locks on an STF but Briscoe reaches the ropes. AJ is in and messes up the Phenomenon but still gets two. The match breaks down as Sabin hits the Future Shock for two then Briscoe hits him with a Splash Mountain. Joe uses a rolling cradle on Briscoe that AJ breaks up at two. AJ botches a springboard move but salvages it somewhat by making it a leg drop. AJ then hits Sabin with a Styles Clash after a reversal sequence but Joe breaks it up then everyone takes turns kicking each other as the match has broked down again. AJ and Joe hit Sabin with a double enziguiri then Briscoe swoops in and hits Sabin with the Jaydriller and gets the win as the other two were unable to break up the pin (21:15) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match but nothing to write home about or anything. Briscoe winning was a surprise as they put over both of them strongly on this show. With the news of the new Tag Team Champions being crowned next show, it seems like they have put the Briscoes and Backseat Boyz at the top tier of teams.



Cappetta is with Justin Credible as they are fielding questions from the crowd. Some clown asks him if “Bret really fucked Sunny” then Credible said that he did then follows that he is just telling them what they want to hear.  After that, Special K jumps him from behind until the Carnage Crew make the save but they also end up getting beat down.  We can see the crew put together the cage as this is happening.






Clockwork Orange House of Fun Match
CM Punk vs. Raven


They fight over a lockup as Cabana is now ringside. Raven whacks Punk with a trashcan then chokes him out with a chain as Punk is already busted open and now wearing a crimson mask as Raven is ramming him into the cage. Punk is able to now send Raven into the cage as he now takes control of the match. Punk whacks Raven with a shovel then opens him up some more with punches to the forehead. He now uses the garbage can as the announcers tell us that Punk and Raven will pick opponents for each other as Raven has selected Terry Funk to face Punk at “Glory By Honor II” as Punk selected Steve Corino for Raven, who comes back with a DDT as Cabana breaks that up by tossing a chair at him. Raven runs over to him but gets the door slammed in his face. Punk comes back with a DDT but that just gets two. Raven whacks Punk with a chair a few times but is unable to put him away. He sets up a table but Punk hits him low and lays him across the table then heads to the top of the cage. Raven gets up and meets him there as they trade punches until Punk gets tossed off and through the table. Raven climbs down and but Punk is just able to kick out. Raven then hits a super kick then sets him on the top rope as he puts Punk through the table with the Raven Effect and gets the win (11:45) ***1/2. After the match, the lights go out and when they turn back on Raven is shown tied-up to a giant “X” with barbed-wire draped over his neck as Cabana is also in the ring. Punk grabs the mic and that while Raven had won this battle he will not win the war. Punk then leaves as the referees

Thoughts: Good match. These guys bled all over the place and the hype delivered for the most part, although you would have expected this match to last longer. With Raven winning the battle and Punk getting his heat back, this feud will continue. Punk looks like more of a star after each show. His character was awesome.






Joe talks about Daniels talking about his destiny of winning the RoH title as he talks about always being the bully and never the underdog as Daniels’ destiny is to get choked out and dropped on his head by him. He closes by saying that he is “pro wrestling.”

Final Thoughts: Solid show. Some of the undercard was garbage but the main storylines are going strong and they appear to be doing more with the tag division than scramble matches with the announcement that new champions will be crowned. Punk/Raven remains the hottest feud but they built up the Briscoes, Homicide, and the Backseat Boyz tonight. The Field of Honor hasnt really impressed all that much to be honest with Cabana the central part of that storyline. All in all, the promotion has more positives and negatives at the moment and I look forward to each show.

Vince McMahon and Triple H at Odds Over Who Will be Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania Opponent?

According to Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com, Vince and HHH have been “butting heads” when deciding who should be Lesnar’s opponent at WrestleMania. HHH reportedly wants Lesnar to face Roman Reigns while Vince wants him to face The Rock. Some people backstage have even reported that Vince tends to undercut HHH while others believe it is a case of the two playing “good cop/bad cop” as there are no hard feelings between the two.

WM Odds

Via the Observer's daily update:
Odds at the Betfair Sportsbook
 
Undertaker -5000
Brock Lesnar +1100
 
Daniel Bryan -3300
HHH +1000
 
WWE title
Daniel Bryan -800
Batista +650
Randy Orton +1400
HHH +1400
 
Will C.M. Punk appear
Yes +333
No -600
 
John Cena +200
Bray Wyatt -225  

That's quite the long odds on the Bryan-HHH match.  I'm actually thinking they can do their usual goofy "both guys lose and end up in the four-way" booking so that Bryan can win the title by beating HHH, thus giving both feel-good moments in one.  Plus then the insider betting crew can clean up. 

Legit betting odds for Wrestlemania XXIX

Hi Scott,
 
Long time reader,
 
There is a sports betting company in Australia offering odds on Wrestlemania (sportsbet.com.au), just thought I'd send them along for some interesting discussion on the blog.
 
Most are pretty obvious, but there are a few surprises about how big a margin they're paying on some matches, in particular Swagger v Del Rio and Ryback v Mark Henry. They're also basically giving Rock no chance.
 
 
Tons of Fun & Funkadactyls ($1.30) v Teams Rhodes Scholars & Bella Twins ($3.10)
 
Jack Swagger ($3.40) v Alberto Del Rio ($1.25)
 
The Undertaker ($1.06) v CM Punk ($7.00)
 
Triple H ($1.25) v Brock Lesnar ($3.40)
 
John Cena ($1.11) v The Rock ($5.50)
 
Ryback ($1.14) v Mark Henry ($4.33)
 
Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston ($2.30) v Team Hell No ($1.53)
 
Fandango ($1.25) v Chris Jericho ($3.40)
 

I dunno about those Jericho odds, actually.  That's pretty long for a match where they could switch it up just to fuck with people.  I'd give Punk even longer odds, though.  
 

Against All Odds 2012

Against All Odds 2012
Date: February 12, 2012
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Jeremy Borash

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re back stateside again and I’m genuinely excited for the main event. With Russo officially out of creative now, things are looking up in TNA and it only took them ten years to get this far. The main event is Roode defending against Ray, Hardy and Storm in a four way which could actually go to any of them. That’s not something I’m used to in multi-man matches as you can almost always write off someone. Let’s get to it.

Hardy arrives to open the show.

We get a video of Hogan talking about how awesome TNA is. It’s followed by a video about the fourway.

Borash is in Tazz’s place. I can’t complain there.

Zema Ion vs. Jesse Sorensen

This is a #1 contenders match for the X-Title. Tazz has had a death in his family apparently. I’m sorry to hear that. Ion walks into a northern lights suplex and gets clotheslined outside. Sorensen ranas him to the floor to start and Ion steals the football that Jesse gave a fan. What a villain! Sorensen misses a baseball slide and Ion puts the football by the steps. Back in and a missile dropkick puts Jesse down.

Ion fires off a moonsault to the floor and his knees hit Sorensen right in the head. That gets a nine count but Ion breaks up the count for no apparent reason. The referee throws up an X and the match is over at 3:36. I’m not going to rate it because they only just got going when the injury occurred and I don’t think it’s fair to grade part of the opening to a match. It was ok though.

There’s a different ring announcer here also.

Christy is in the back with Roode who says that he always get things done and is still the champion. Hardy has had a bunch of chances but has always failed. Roode has beaten Storm time after time. He doesn’t get what Ray’s problem is. Roode can’t wait to laugh at Sting after he wins.

Here’s Robbie E who issued an open challenge earlier today. He has Big Rob with him and talks about the challenge. Anyone that wants a shot (not mentioned if the title is on the line or not) can come get it.

TV Title: Robbie E vs. Shannon Moore

…..REALLY? They have all these people on their roster that can’t get on TV at all and they pick Shannon Moore? Well at least it’s not Eric Young. Shannon armdrags Robbie around and Rob tries to take a walk. Robbie uses his usual basic offense as Moore tries to speed things up. JB talks about going clubbing with Robbie in Topeka, Kansas. Robbie knocks him through the ropes and into the barricade to take over. Back inside we hit the chinlock which is quickly broken.

Shannon keeps trying to go up but Robbie stays on him. Moore makes his comeback and a bulldog gets two. Out to the floor and an Asai Moonsault puts the champion down. Back in and I think Moore spits at Big Rob. Moonsault press misses and a clothesline gets two for the champ. Robbie goes up but gets crotched and a top rope rana gets a near fall. O’Connor Roll gets two but Robbie kicks out, sending Shannon into a right hand from Big Rob. An inverted DDT keeps the title on Robbie at 9:25.

Rating: C. This got a lot better as things sped up, but I could pop in a Best of Robbie E DVD if I ever need help sleeping. He’s so boring on offense and I have no idea why this was given ten minutes. I’d assume it has something to do with the time being short, but if not then they need help. This did improve as it went along though.

We recap the Knockouts Title feud. Tara won a triple threat and that’s about it.

Knockouts Title: Gail Kim vs. Tara

Tara takes over quickly to start with some snapmares by the hair. Gail gets sent to the apron but she pulls Tara down by the hair to take over. Big boot gets two. Gail hits a missile dropkick and Madison walks out on her. They’ve been having problems lately. Kim works on the knee which has been bothering Tara lately according to JB. There’s an Octopus Hold by Gail but Tara stumbles into the ropes.

Top rope rana puts Tara down but Gail doesn’t cover. That allows Tara to snap off a powerslam and both girls are down. Gail gets up first and tries another top rope rana but Tara backdrops her off and a moonsault off the top hits Gail. The landing hurt Tara’s knee again though. She loads up Widow’s Peak anyway but the knee gives out and Gail hits a knee crusher and Eat Defeat for the pin at approximately 7:00.

Rating: C. This was a decent match with a story being told in the knee injury of Tara. That’s far better than what I’m used to in women’s wrestling anymore so I’ll give this the benefit of the doubt. Also it had an Octopus Hold in it and that makes any match instantly better.

James Storm says he’s ready for Roode and it’ll be a big party when he wins the title.

Recap of the tag title match. Crimson/Morgan beat Magnus/Joe after the latter won the Wild Card tournament. The challengers won a kind of handicap match in England and then got beaten up in England, meaning the only time they’ve had success against the champions is in a two on one situation.

Tag Titles: Magnus/Samoa Joe vs. Crimson/Matt Morgan

Morgan and Joe start things off. Morgan shrugs off some shoulders to start and hits a shoulder of his own for two. Off to Crimson and Magnus with the power guy taking over. Back to Morgan and the champs double team a bit. Suplex gets two for Morgan and it’s Red Boy again. Magnus hits a clothesline to bring Joe back in as the challengers take over. A big boot to the shoulder by Magnus sets up a Joe backsplash for two.

There’s a chinlock by Magnus to Crimson as things slow down and we enter into a traditional formula. Crimson misses a right hand and Magnus suplexes him for two. Back to Joe who peppers Crimson in the corner with right hands. A big boot out of desperation put Joe down and there’s the double tag to give us Morgan vs. Magnus. The big man cleans house with knee lifts and a double clothesline.

He charges into a Magnus boot though, but it doesn’t seem to matter as a spinning slam into a Rock Bottom (I think Chris Harris called it the Catatonic) gets two. Magnus and Joe can’t hit their double team finisher but Crimson accidentally spears Morgan. Crimson is sent to the outside and the snapmare and elbow combination gives us new champions at 10:00.

Rating: C+. Pretty good tag match here and I’ll overlook the questionable booking for the sake of giving me something to like on this show. Nothing has been bad but this first hour has come and gone with nothing significantly above average at all. Joe getting a title is a nice sight though.

Bully Ray tells the feeble woman called Christy to go home. He has the number of all three guys and is in the best shape of his career.

X-Division Title: Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley

Feeling out process to start as things begin quickly. Shelley pounds away with chops and strikes. The fans are split here as Shelley’s Sliced Bread attempt is countered with a shove. A clothesline puts Aries outside and he hides under the ring. He comes out from the other side and shoves Alex to the floor so he can hit the suicide dive. Back in now and the champ is in control.

Aries works on the shoulder of Alex. A kick to the shoulder gets two and we go to a neck crank. Pendulum Elbow misses and Shelley comes back with a clothesline. Sliced Bread is blocked again but Aries is rammed head first into the buckle. Aries heads to the floor to hide under the ring again but as he comes out, Shelley is waiting on him with a suicide dive. Back in Finlay’s Celtic Cross hits for two for the challenger.

Aries takes out the knee and hits the Pendulum Elbow. Not playing to the crowd and wasting time makes your offense more efficient. Who knew? He loads up the Brainbuster but Alex knees his way out of it. They fight to the apron and a Death Valley Driver to the apron nearly kills Shelley. That and a double ax from the apron gets two. 450 misses and Shelley hits Sliced Bread #2 for a VERY close two.

Aries fires off a bunch of knees to the face and hits the Brainbuster for another close two. Shelley fires off some kicks but can’t hit Sliced Bread again. The fans think this is awesome and I can’t really argue with them. Aries counters and hits another Brainbuster which sets up the Last Chancery to finally gets him the win via tap out at 15:11.

Rating: B. This is what the opener should have been a shorter version of. Having this match in the middle of the card is a good idea because the crowd was getting bored and needed something to fire them up. When all else fails, have two small guys go out there and fly everywhere with near falls. It’s tried and true and almost always works.

Hardy says his back is still hurt but he’ll be fine. Creatures, mount up.

We recap AJ vs. Kaz and the Daniels factor in a video that I think was used on Impact.

AJ Styles vs. Kazarian

Kaz is in a shirt which he tries to remove but Daniels says no. AJ controls with a headlock and rips the shirt off himself. They fight over the arm as the fans are all over Daniels. Kaz gets sent to the floor and AJ is in control. Backbreaker puts Kaz down as Styles is working on the back. A flying forearm puts Kaz on the floor for a minute but AJ gets it back inside to avoid Daniels.

A bridging Indian Deathlock with a facelock cranks on Kaz’s back even more. Kaz comes back and slams AJ down so that the spinning springboard legdrop (Wave of the Future maybe?) can get two. Spinwheel kick gets two. Now Kaz works on AJ’s back with a hard whip in and a jumping Russian Legsweep for two. Leg lariat gets the same. Kazarian hooks a double chicken wing on the mat but AJ fights up to his feet.

They slug it out and AJ takes over with a pair of clotheslines and an enziguri. Styles sets for an atomic drop but slams Kaz face first instead, getting two. Styles Clash and Fade to Black are both countered and Kaz hits a dropkick to regain control. AJ grabs a jawbreaker but can’t hit the Clash. Kaz kicks him to the apron and hits a slingshot DDT onto said apron as we hit the floor. Slingshot cutter gets two back in. This is getting good.

AJ is sat up on the top and Kaz hits a running superkick to almost send him to the floor. Kaz goes up for the Flux Capacitor (C4) but AJ knocks him down with a headbutt. Moonsault into the reverse DDT gets a very close two. AJ tries a suplex into a neckbreaker but Kaz reverses into a hard Downward Spiral to put everyone down. They go into a pinfall reversal sequence which gets two for both guys and ends with a Pele to put Kaz down. AJ is sent to the apron and loads up a springboard forearm but instead hits a gorgeous Asai Moonsault to take out Daniels. He tries to springboard at Kaz but jumps into Fade To Black for the pin at 18:37.

Rating: B. Can’t argue with this one either. AJ is always awesome to see when he has time and the ability to be himself. Kaz can do great stuff too, but I could do without Daniels ever being near AJ Styles again. At the end of the day, AJ is going to win the feud with him again, just as he has every time they’ve feuded.

Gunner and Bischoff are in the back and they have a towel for Hogan to throw in to save Garrett.

We recap Garrett vs. Gunner. Gunner was a killer for awhile until Garrett Bischoff beat him with the Nepotism Driver. Garrett got DDTed on the floor but came back with a new trainer: Hulk Hogan. Tonight it’s basically Hogan vs. Eric with Gunner and Garrett as their surrogates.

Gunner vs. Garrett Bischoff

Garrett comes out to Hulk’s music. Garrett controls to start with his usual stuff. He’s in the workout pants still. Gunner takes over for a few moments until Garrett hooks a backslide and front facelock. At this point he has less of a moveset than Andy from Tough Enough. Gunner pulls him into the middle buckle and takes over again.

The beating goes on for several minutes and there’s nothing to say. It’s a guy with experience and some ring skills beating on a guy who knows a total of about 5 moves. This is getting ten minutes on PPV in the second to last match on the card, making it longer than the tag team title match. Gunner works over the neck for the most part.

Eric gets in Garrett’s face so Hogan decks him. Gunner hits probably his fourth neckbreaker but on the next attempt Garrett grabs the rope. Hogan picks up the towel but Garrett says no. And then Gunner DDTs him for the pin at 11:57. Yes, it actually got that much time. Why does this surprise me?

Rating: F. There is no justification for this match to get this much time on a PPV. None. I can’t stand this story because it’s not about Garrett or Gunner. It’s about Hogan, just like it always is. Hogan isn’t putting anyone over, because that would make him look weak and Impact Wrestling is all about him and Bischoff. I know I sound like some whiny fan boy here but this has been old since it started and it’s just going to keep going. How many people can’t get time on a PPV so that Eric’s son can be out there and bore everyone to death?

Sting, in blue and white facepaint, says he’s the enforcer so that everyone is on their best behavior. It’s SHOWTIME!

Video on the main event. The idea is that Roode will do whatever it takes to keep the title and tonight he’s up against huge odds. Everyone talks about how much winning means to them.

TNA World Title: Bobby Roode vs. James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray

Sting is the guest enforcer. This is the match I’ve really wanted to see and I don’t think there’s a wrong answer for a winner here. The match will be judged on how well it goes to get to the ending, which is a very rare situation. There’s a ton of time here too. Even after spending ten minutes on the intros, we have almost half an hour if needed. Ray cuts off Christy and does his own intro. Somehow he’s lost an inch from when he talked about himself earlier in the night. Hardy gets a CRAZY pop. I’m pretty sure this is one fall to a finish.

Roode wants to work with Ray but Ray just glares at him. Yeah it’s one fall. Roode keeps pitching his tag team idea but Ray walks to the floor and folds his arms. Hardy and Storm team up and play ping pong with Roode’s jaw. Sitout front suplex by Hardy sets up a neckbreaker by Storm for no cover. They invite Ray into the ring but he’s cool to chill on the floor. We get word that Sorensen has a neck injury and will undergo further tests.

Storm tries to steal a pin on Hardy but only gets two. Beer Money reunites for a bit for a double suplex on Hardy but there’s no union there. Ray comes in and beats on Hardy as Roode and Storm are on the floor. The fans chant D-Von’s Better at Ray. Superplex gets two on Hardy. Storm rams Roode into the steps but Ray kicks James through the ropes. Ray talks to Roode, saying he wants a spike piledriver. Hardy counters though and Storm is back in.

Hardy and Storm try a double superplex but Ray comes back and adds a powerbomb to make it a Tower of Doom with Roode taking the brunt of it. Ray tries to pin everyone and gets a bunch of twos. Bubba Bomb to Hardy is countered into the Twist to send Ray to the outside. Roode plants Hardy but Ray breaks up a spear attempt for some reason. Ray fires off a corner splash at Jeff but takes the referee out instead.

Bubba Bomb hits Hardy but there’s no referee. Sting tries to wake up Hebner as Ray FREAKS. Ray walks into the Twist but there’s still no referee. Roode spears Hardy down because main event guys have to use a minimum of two spears a year. The referee is back and the Last Call (perfect one) kills Roode. Ray makes the save by pulling the referee out. Storm dives to the floor and hits the poor referee again. Hardy hits the Twist on Roode in the ring and loads up the Swanton but Roode rolls away.

Roode brings the belt in but Sting pulls it away. They get in each others’ faces and Roode shoves him. Roode says hit me but Sting won’t do it. He spits at the Stinger and Sting accidentally hits Hardy with the belt. It’s Summerslam 97 all over again! Roode insists that Sting count but Sting takes forever…and he counts three for the pin at 15:14.

Rating: B-. Good match but it came off as a little underwhelming. The Against All Odds theme was a good idea, but Storm and Ray stayed down forever off moves that weren’t really anything of note. This also illustrates the main problem in the main event: it’s been focused on Sting vs. Roode rather than Roode vs. anyone else. That’s ok at times, but it’s going to have to end in a match between them and hopefully not in another Sting title reign.

Roode laughs a lot to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. There was more good than bad here, but the bad parts were pretty bad. The second half minus Garrett vs. Gunner is a very solid effort and a good sign of what this company is capable of. The first hour looks like a total mess but I have to wonder how much their timing was thrown off by the injury. It’s a good show, but with some pretty decent sized adjustments it could have been very good.

Results
Zema Ion b. Jesse Sorensen via countout
Robbie E b. Shannon Moore – Inverted DDT
Gail Kim b. Tara – Eat Defeat
Samoa Joe/Magnus b. Matt Morgan/Crimson – Middle Rope Elbow To Morgan
Austin Aries b. Alex Shelley – Last Chancery
Kazarian b. AJ Styles – Fade To Black
Gunner b. Garrett Bischoff – DDT
Bobby Roode b. Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy and James Storm – Roode pinned Hardy after a belt shot from Sting

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