By: Daniel Wilkenfeld of PWTorch.com
Jeff Jarrett starts the show by informing us that, due to Angle’s attack on him and Foley last week, he has been suspended without pay for one week. That doesn’t seem like such a stiff penalty. Jarrett says that the silver lining in all of this is that Angle’s salary will be donated to “a very good cause”.
Don West is back at the announce table. He starts off sounding remorseful, and wants to tell everyone that if he had last week to do over…he wouldn’t change anything. Because he was right, and spoke out for everyone who’s ever been betrayed. Until he hears otherwise he’s still part of the TNA announce team, and there’s nothing Tenay can do about it.
Mick Foley comes down to the ring. He says that it is with great pleasure that he introduces our World Heavyweight Champion, Sting. When Sting joins him in the ring, the first thing Foley does is to thank Sting for saving him from Kurt Angle last week. But he’s realized that that’s probably not the only time Sting’s saved him. He reminds us of how last week he related the story of dropping his apron-to-concrete elbow drop, and how as awesome as the move was, no one would have cared if it had been on anyone else. Everything Mick’s done since, all the world titles, all the books, have all stemmed from that moment. So since Sting has saved him repeatedly before, he’d like to save Sting now. He wants Sting’s assurance that win, lose, or draw at Destination X we’ve seen the last of the Sting who’s a member of the Main Event Mafia. Because TNA needs the old Sting back, executive shareholder Mick Foley needs the old Sting back, and, most of all, the fans need the old Sting back. Sting finally speaks, saying that he appreciates all the nice things Mick’s said (the crowd, sensing the coming “but”, boos here), but he can’t let an egomaniac like Kurt Angle determine his future in the MEM. He’s got no problem with Steiner, Booker, or Kevin, and has the same sort of history with them that he has with Mick. Mick says that the difference is that he never used Sting like those three have as part of the MEM. Speaking of those three, here they are. Nash wants to know who Mick is that he thinks he can tell Sting what’s going on. Mick’s barely been here for a cup of coffee, and whether he’s wearing a suit or not, he’s still front office. Sting shouldn’t listen jeopardize everything now that they’re so close to their goal of bringing respect back to the business. Sting gets ticked about that, pointing out that Kurt didn’t show him any respect when he spat in his face two weeks ago. Nash replies that Kurt isn’t here now. Moreover, they knew he was a hot-head when they teamed up with him, but damnit, he’s their hot-head. When Nash goes into battle he wants Kurt at his back, but he wants Sting too. So at Destination X, they can have their match like warriors, and shake hands at the end, or Sting can turn his back on the MEM. Maybe he’ll be able to live with that, but Kevin, Scott, and Booker won’t (I can’t tell if that was a threat, which might have been the point).
We see Kurt Angle walking around backstage, despite having been banned from the building.
The X Division stars pick their favorite Ultimate X moments. I agree with AJ that it’s between Kaz’s jumping Stunner and Daniels’s leap to the title from the scaffolding.
Lauren is in the back with Lethal Consequences, who are tricked out in new suits. She asks what the occasion is, and they say that they’re just happy to spend the bonus money Jarrett gave them for being the future of TNA. Lauren is suspicious about the timing of that bonus. Lethal takes advantage of wearing a jacket to try to drop an elbow on it, Ric Flair style, till Creed reminds him that that’s the wrong character.
(1) ALEX SHELLEY (w/CHRIS SABIN) vs. KIYOSHI (w/NO LIMIT)
X Division Championship Match
No Limit are apparently a Japanese tag team. Kiyoshi and Shelley start off trading strikes, till Shelley nails a Snapmare and a Bulldog. When he tries to charge in the corner Kiyoshi plants him face first on the ring post. He chokes Shelley against the rope, then sits him up for a low clothesline for two. He goes to the top rope; Shelley tries to cut him off, but eats a strike to the throat and a big elbow for two. Kiyoshi locks in the nerve hold. Shelley powers out and catches Kiyoshi’s leg in a Dragon Screw. He randomly Tunes up the Band, then hits a Bulldog into a sitting position and bounces off the turnbuckles with a Cross Body Block and a sort of Sit-Out Body Slam for two (I’m blanking on that move’s name—if anyone knows it feel free to chine in). Shelley goes for Sliced Bread #2, but Kiyoshi shoves him out. Shelley tries to hit a Slingshot DDT, but Kiyoshi catches him with a quick kick to the chin. He follows up with a running dropkick and an Inverted DDT for two. Kiyoshi tries to finish off Shelley with a Kamikazee Head Butt (can I not call it that since he’s Japanese?), but Shelley rolls out of the way. Shelley comes back with a Brain Buster and a Frog Splash for the win.
Winner: Alex Shelley in five minutes. *3/4. I don’t know why they only gave it five minutes—that was Kiyoshi’s best performance (here) to date.
As Shelley celebrates in the ring Suicide zips on down. Shelley tries to catch him before the lights come back on, but he drives Sabin’s head into Shelley’s crotch, drops Sabin onto Shelley, drives Sabin into the corner, then finishes Shelley off with his Modified Flap Jack. He grabs the belt for a moment, the makes his suicide gesture and vanishes.
In the MEM locker room Steiner’s warning Kurt that if he keeps this up Jarrett will suspend him for a month. Kurt wants to know what Jarrett’s going to do to him—take some more of his spare change? Jarrett’s a has-been without any real power. Kevin warns him to listen to someone else for a change, like he failed to last week. The last thing they need now is to give Jarrett more reason to banish Kurt, or risk more drama between Angle and Sting. Kurt assures them that he’s not here for Sting, but only to have fun. Booker breaks the news to Angle that his salary was given to The Front Line, who’ve spent it on new suits. Kurt replies with a “new suits?”, which leaves Booker to ask why he always repeats everything. That’s a good question. Kurt reasons that if the suits were bought with his money, then they’re really his property. So just for fun, he’s going to go collect his property.
We recap Beer Money getting people fired in their Off the Wagon Challenges. Lauren has them in the back, and she wants to know whether they’re sorry they’ve put people out of work during a recession. Roode understands that it’s a recession—he’s lost truckloads of money, but his only trouble is that he has truckloads more. He wants to know what people didn’t understand about the rules of the Off The Wagon Challenge—its career vs. title. Storm chimes in that in the case of LAX tonight, what they don’t understand is English. So they don’t get that one of them will be going home tonight, and not even be able to afford their clothes from the goodwill store. Lauren asked if Roode’s sorry, but Storm is the one who’s sorry—he’s sorry about LAX’s damned luck.
Speaking of LAX, they come down to the ring. Hernandez has been given his briefcase back, and Tenay claims that if they get fired they won’t be able to cash in their title shots, which closes one obvious loophole in their potential firing. Hernandez claims that tonight they’re reclaiming the barrio, and bringing home their tag team titles.
Booker T is on the phone backstage. He says something about how it’s important to come down to the arena and not be a criminal anymore, but I couldn’t honestly follow most of it. Sorry.
We see more videos of people trying to win a night with ODB. Shark Boy has thrown his fin into the ring.
Kurt Angle is beating the hell out of Consequences Creed backstage. He pulls off “his” jacket, and tells Creed to warn Jarrett that he’s coming after him too.
(2) THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (w/CUTE KIP) vs. SOJOURNER BOLT & RHAKA KHAN vs. RAESHA SAEED & AWESOME KONG vs. TAYLOR WILDE & ROXXI (w/”THE GOVERNOR”)
I’m fairly confident it took me longer to type up all those names than it’ll take the women to have this match. Saeed and Taylor start things off under Four Corners Match rules. Wilde hits a quick running arm wrench and a Twisting Leg Scissors. Bolt and Roxxi tag in, and the Beautiful People interfere from the apron to let Bolt take control. Madison Rayne makes her way down to the ring.
Love is in control of Taylor Wilde when we come back. She tags in Sky, who chokes Taylor in the corner. Wilde slips away, and we get the classic Double Clothesline Takedown. Roxxi and Love tag in. Khan comes in for no clear reason, and reacts to a kick from Roxxi a good six inches before it connects. Roxxi also knocks back an interfering Bolt and Saeed, but Kong keeps her busy enough for the Beautiful People to retake control. Roxxi slips away from them and goes for a Double Clothesline—Sky gets nailed but Love ducks, only to get whacked by a returning Taylor Wilde. “The Governor” takes advantage of the distraction to hit The Thrilla from Wasilla on Love, but when Roxxi tries to follow up Cute Kip distracts the ref. Madison Rayne interferes with a dropkick off the top rope, and the ref turns around just in time to see Love finish Roxxi off with a Lights Out.
Winner: The Beautiful People in six minutes. I don’t get why they’re putting Khan on my TV before she’s ready. That can’t be in her best interests. ½*
JB wants Jeff Jarrett to know whether there will be further repercussions for Kurt Angle. Jarrett assures him that there will be, but storms off before saying what they’ll be.
We recap AJ Styles repeatedly jumping Booker T for no discernible reason. This is, without a doubt, the greatest feud in TNA history. Sadly, I just realized that I’m only half kidding.
Booker T, Sharmell, and Steiner come down to the ring. Don West questions how AJ could ambush people from behind. Tenay tells him to get over his own issues already. Booker wants to address a few things. We all heard Booker talking about AJ growing up in a trailer park, coming from a whack town in Georgia, and something something truck stops (or maybe drug stops). But Booker was wrong, and AJ’s taught him to be more humble. So he wants AJ to just come out, and bring him his title. They’ll both be better for it, and Booker won’t press any charges. After a few moments, he assures AJ that Steiner’s just hanging out, and isn’t going to do anything. Booker waits a few more seconds, then just orders AJ’s punk-ass out to the ring. AJ’s music hits. Booker and Steiner, being morons, stare at the entranceway as AJ comes from behind with the belt. He’s only in control for a second though before the numbers game catches up with him. When Steiner whips him, he’s able to slide out of the ring, grabbing the title as he goes. As AJ walks away he’s caught by “police” in full riot gear. Booker escorts AJ out, but one of the cops stays behind with Steiner. He pulls off his mask, and it’s Samoa Joe. He knocks Steiner down and puts a knife to his throat, as the crowd chimes in with a surprisingly literal “Joe is gonna kill you” chant. Eventually random security guards talk him down some.
West rails against Tenay’s anti-MEM bias as we recap what happened moments ago.
Booker T has AJ escorted to a car that he claims will take him to jail. Tenay then rails against Booker for involving the authorities. Umm…I’ve lost track of who the heel is on the announce team.
Speaking of the announce team, West says that he can’t stand any more of this. He takes off his headset and storms off. As he goes, Kurt Angle tosses Lethal out onto the entranceway, and beats him down to the ring. Lethal rallies for a second, but it doesn’t last long. Kurt rolls Lethal into the ring, nails the Olympic Slam, takes the suit jacket, and leaves.
In the back, Jarrett tells JB that he’d hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but Kurt’s left him with no choice. JB asks if that means Jarrett will fire him, but Jarrett says no—he’s going to kick his ass. That’s good, because within continuity he can’t fire Angle anyway.
Abyss is talking to Dr. Stevie. Rachael takes the opportunity to go to bed, thus reminding me of why I married her. He talks about how he learned that Tom and Jerry weren’t really fighting, they were playing. Dr. Stevie wants to hear about whether Abyss has been successful in weaning off weapons. Abyss replies that between Dr. Stevie and his girlfriend Lauren he’s completely over his addiction.
(3) MATT MORGAN vs. SHANE SEWELL
Morgan tosses Sewell to the mat after a quick lockup. Sewell is mad, and Morgan pretends he’s scared. Sewell goes for a head lock, but Morgan just slams him to the mat again. He sets Sewell up in the corner, but decides that would be a good time to chat with the ref. Sewell nails a Missile Dropkick and a running forearm. He runs around the ring, and when Morgan tries to follow him in he crotches him on the ropes. Morgan comes back with a Sit Out Power Bomb, his reverse elbows in the corner, and a Side Drop (like a Side Slam, except he just lets him go and doesn’t bother to drive him to the mat). He nails his leap-over guillotine, and pauses to tell the camera that that’s why he’s “The Blueprint.” He hits a Fall-Away Slam, but lifts Sewell off the mat before the three count. Sewell Sewells up. Morgan initially no-sells the offense, but then eats a blatant low blow behind the back of the referee. Sewell goes to the top rope, but when he tries for another dropkick Morgan just swats him away. He nails the Hellavator for the win (though I think he might have accidentally DDTed himself in the process).
WINNER: Matt Morgan in four minutes—squash.
After the match, Morgan grabs a mic and bag of tacks from under the rings. He tells us that these are the most important thing to that sideshow freak Abyss—not fame, not women, not even money, but just these stupid tacks. Abyss is nowhere near his level—he was graduating first in his class while Abyss was in a mental institution. Since Morgan couldn’t bring Abyss up to his level, he’ll be stooping down to Abyss’s. He challenges him to a 10,000 Tacks Match at Destination X.
Lauren is in the back with Eric Young, who’s apparently the last member of the Frontline with a new suit. Poor Rhino. She asks if he’s concerned to be next on Kurt’s wish-list. EY says that Kurt should be thanking him for buying this suit at The Salvation Army, where everything’s half off on Wednesdays. The rest he spent on a new surround sound system for his game room, where Angle’s welcome to join him. Angle wants to join him now, however, as he jumps him.
Cornette is in Jarrett’s office, trying to convince him not to get into an altercation with Kurt. He looks to Mick for support, but Mick informs him that “once a wrestler, always a wrestler.” As Jarrett’s about to head out, Sting walks in and tells him to just wait. This will all be over in two weeks, so Jeff can wait for Sting to finish dealing with Kurt himself. Jarrett promises that he’ll leave something of Kurt for him to deal with.
(4) BEER MONEY INC. (w/JACQUELINE) vs. LAX
Tag Team Championship Off the Wagon Challenge
If they’re serious about closing the Feast or Fired loop hole, I can only assume that this will end with a DQ—though I’d be happy to be proven wrong and have LAX begin their journey to having all the gold. Storm starts things off with a side headlock on Homicide, who shoots him off and nails a Spinning Reverse Elbow. He makes the tag to Hernandez, whom Storm drives into the corner. Roode tags in—Hernandez is about to nail a Delayed Vertical Suplex when Storm makes the save. They try to Suplex Hernandez, but he reverses it into a Double Suplex of his own. They roll out of the ring. Homicide knocks them down with a Baseball Slide, then has Hernandez Border Toss him over the top rope and onto both members of Beer Money.
Storm has Homicide set up in the corner. Homicide fights him off and looks for a Tornado DDT, but Storm slips out and nails the Back Stabber. Roode tags in for a Double Suplex, then they go into the Beer Money pose. Homicide gets some distance, but then runs right into a Snap Power Slam from Roode for two. Roode taunts Hernandez into the ring, then Storm joins him for the illegal double team. A Double Underhook Back Breaker gets two. Roode tags in, but when they try to lift Homicide up for some double team move Homicide flips out and makes the tag. Hernandez nails a Double Slingshot Clothesline on his way into the ring. He stacks Beer Money up in the corner, tosses them around with his shirt, and nails a big splash. Roode tries to come at him from the top rope, but Hernandez catches him and transitions into a Sit Out Power Bomb that Storm has to break up at two. Storm comes and whips Hernandez off into the ropes, but Hernandez just runs him over. Roode nails a series of chops, but when he comes off a rope for more leverage he eats a POUNCE-esque shoulder block. They roll out of the ring; Homicide tries to follow them out with a Baseball Slide—they dodge, but then he ducks between them and they accidentally hit each other with clotheslines. When Storm and Roode stand up, Hernandez flies out over the top ropes and knocks them down again. Homicide chases Jacqueline away from the ring, but Roode takes advantage of the distraction to drive him headfirst into the barricade. Inside the ring, Hernandez tags a swig of Storm’s beer and spits it back out into his face. He sets up for the Border Toss, but Roode comes into the ring and whacks him with a chair right in front of the referee. It’s a DQ—who would have seen that coming?
WINNER: LAX by DQ in 10 minutes. It would have been a lot better if I’d seriously believed that it could have ended any other way. ** (it’s still an LAX match after all.)
After the match, Beer Money continue to beat down Hernandez. Homicide tries to make the save, but they throw the chair into his head (for those concerned, he blocks with his arm). They keep beating down LAX till Team 3D run down to make the save. Devon signals that they want the belts. Ray grabs the mic, and reminds Beer Money of how they’ve put two people out of work. They might be cool with that, but he thinks it stinks. Thankfully he knows of a team that’s looking for a shot at them, and it’s a team that’s won tag team titles twenty f!@#ing times. In case they hadn’t figured it out, it’s Team 3D. Devon tells his brother to testify, as Beer Money seem decidedly unhappy.
Tenay runs down the card for Destination X.
Kurt Angle comes down to the ring—where did Team 3D go? Don’t they hate Kurt Angle? Kurt’s followed by MEM security, but he sends them to the back. He calls out to Jarrett, asking if he’s ready in the back, cause Kurt’s ready in the ring. Jarrett and Sting have gotten him seriously demented, so tonight he’s going to eat up Jarrett as an appetizer, and at Destination X Sting will become the main course.
Jarrett’s music is just starting as we come back. He walks slowly down the ramp, with taped up wrists but without the guitar. He and Angle start trading blows the second he gets into the ring. Jarrett gets the better of it and clotheslines Kurt out of the ring. He follows him out and slams his head into the barricade three times. He tosses Kurt out into the crowd and slams him against a wall. He drags Kurt up the steps, then whacks him back down some. Kurt ducks below a right hand, lifts Jarrett up Atomic Drop style, and crotches him on the rail. Kurt knocks him the rest of the way down to the floor, then pounds on him for a bit. Jarrett comes back with a flurry of right hands and a knee lift. He pounds Angle into the top of a wall, but Kurt reverses momentum with a low blow and some strikes. He tries to whip Jarrett into another wall, but Jarrett reverses and tosses him into the wall a few more times. Jarrett tosses Kurt out an exit and slams it shut. Team 3D and Foley come out to congratulate Jeff as the crowd thanks him for his efforts.
Where We’re Going: The final visual of Jeff Jarrett celebrating with Mick Foley and Team 3D said a lot. The Main Event Mafia is no longer feuding with The Front Line, but with a veteran tag team and a couple bookers. I’m genuinely confused as to why Team 3D came out rather than Lethal Consequences and Eric Young—you’d think they’d be the ones who would want to celebrate Kurt’s comeuppance the most. I can only assume that they were selling their respective beat downs, but by pro wrestling standards the beat downs really didn’t have all that much to sell. More likely, they are just no longer a part of the main event feud at all. Speaking of which, where is Rhino? Is he injured? If so, why did they bother to bring him back for about a week, then not tell us why he left again? These are not rhetorical questions.
Star of the Night: Hernandez. Hernandez not only wrestled as he always does, but proved once again that he can cut a serviceable, and arguably even above average, promo.
Overall: The show started off incredibly strong. The interaction between Foley, Nash and Sting added a certain degree of depth to a storyline that badly needed it. Shelley amazed as always, Suicide was cool enough to make us forget his awful, awful gimmick, and then…well, then we started hitting problems. For about the next hour, there really was almost nothing worth watching. The show rebounded a bit with the tag match, but the extremely predictable ending cost it what momentum it had, and Team 3D getting a title shot instead of LAX getting a rematch seems like an odd call. The main event brawl was fun enough, but why it made sense to have Jeff Jarrett look like he can beat the hell out of Kurt Angle eludes me—no one looks like they can beat the hell out of Kurt Angle.