THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It’s that time of the month where we journey into TNA territory, where four men are putting something on the line, with Mick Foley, Jeff Jarrett, Sting and Kurt Angle in the main event of Sacrifice, shown on a three day delay here in Britain on Bravo 2, with Don West and Mike Tenay handling commentary duties.
The show opens with a six man tag-team match, with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag-Team Champions The Motor City Machine Guns and Sheik Abdul Bashir taking on Lethal Consequences and Eric Young. It’s the usual X Division-type affair here, fast paced action with some great double team moves from both combinations, and it’s enthralling to watch. Every man involved looked great, even Eric Young. There you go, I said something positive about Eric Young! Anyway, plenty of near falls in this one, with West constantly asking the question about why Lethal and Creed never tagged Young into the match, with Lethal getting the pin on Bashir. Black Machismo went for the sunset flip, but Bashir held onto to top rope, with the referee kicking Bashir’s arms out of the way so Lethal could get the pin. A very good opener, exciting stuff.
Then it’s on to the Monster’s Ball match, and, for the first time, Knockouts are competing, with Daffney, accompanied by Dr. Stevie and Abyss, against Taylor Wilde. Before the match began Tenay asked if Wilde was the best sort of Knockout for this kind of match. Well, perhaps if they hadn’t fired “The Hardcore Knockout” Roxxi, Tenay wouldn’t have had to ask that question. It’s a wild brawl (no pun intended), with both Knockouts using anything they can get their hands on to beat the hell out of each other, with Wilde getting the pin after using a death valley driver onto the rubbish bin, ending an entertaining match. Things didn’t end there though, with Dr. Stevie coming into the ring, and, after telling Daffney not to hit Wilde with a kendo stick and a hockey stick, brings a bag of thumb tacks into the equation, ordering Abyss to choke slam Wilde into the tacks. At first Abyss refuses, but when Stevie berates him, Abyss grabs Wilde, and is only stopped by backstage interviewer Lauren, who came running down to the ring. This angered Stevie even more, who began whipping Abyss with his belt, only to find himself on the receiving end of a choke slam – into the tacks.
The first title match of the evening follows, with Christopher Daniels challenging Suicide for the X Division title. Yes, you read that correctly – Daniels versus Suicide. Messrs Tenay and West spent a great deal of time having a go at each other about the Daniels/Suicide conspiracy, West’s comments about how the match is “obviously choreographed” is somewhat ironic considering that wrestling matches are pre-determined anyway! But let’s get back to the matter at hand. The encounter between the masked man and the former Fallen Angel is great, just what an X Division title match should be, with tons of great action. Towards the end Chris Sabin came out to the ring to argue with the referee, while Alex Shelley came out from the crowd to attack Suicide. After ushering Sabin away, Daniels got back into the ring and rolled-up Suicide for the title winning pin. But that wasn’t the end of things. Daniels grabbed the microphone, saying that he didn’t want to win that way, and asked the referee for five more minutes, which Suicide readily agreed to. So with the match re-started, the fast paced action continued, with plenty of near finishes, with the five minute overtime period expiring, and the X Division title going back to Suicide. Nice way to play out this interesting scenario.
The second title match of the evening follows, with Awesome King, accompanied by Raisha Saeed, challenging Angelina Love for the Knockouts title. It’s the proverbial Davina v Goliath battle here. Kong basically dominates Love for the most part, who manages to get in fleeting moments of offence, but in the end it was the champion who emerged victorious. Love attempted to bring a spray can into the ring, but was stopped by Saeed on the ring apron. Love soon won that battle when she dodged out of the way of an oncoming Kong, sending Saeed crashing off the apron onto the floor. While the referee was checking on Saeed, Love sprayed Kong in the eye, and got the winning pin. This didn’t sit too well with the monster, who basically took Love apart, leaving her lying in the middle of the ring, ending a very good match. But hey, I’m a massive Awesome Kong match anyway!
Grudge match time, with the Main Event Mafia’s Kevin Nash taking on Samoa Joe. This won’t go down as one of the most graceful matches in wrestling history. We got the slow, methodical approach from Nash, matched with the high impact stuff from Joe. It was okay, but it didn’t exactly set my pulse racing. Joe got the win in this won, with Nash tapping out to the rear naked choke. After the match Joe attacked Nash again, as well as taking out the MEM’s security team.
Then it’s on to the final of the Team 3D Tag-Team Invitational Tournament, with Beer Money Inc, Robert Roode and James Storm, facing The British Invasion, Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams, accompanied by Rob Terry. Now, with Nick Aldis, the man behind the Magnus gimmick, threatening me with legal action if I say anything negative about him on the internet, I’m unable to review this match. So because of this, here’s how you can make a decent Martini;
* 2 1/2 oz gin
* 1/2 oz dry vermouth
* 1 green olive or lemon twist for garnish
* orange or Angostura bitters (optional)
1. Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice cubes.
2. Stir for 30 seconds.
3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
4. Add a dash of orange or Angostura bitters if desired.
5. Garnish with the olive or lemon twist.
The third title match of the evening follows, with Booker T challenging A.J. Styles for the Legends title in an I Quit match. Now when one thinks of an I Quit match, you think of two wrestlers going at it, balls out, hitting each other with whatever they can get their hands on, putting people through tables and throwing them into spotlights in an attempt to get their opponent to say those two little words. Well, this wasn’t what this match was about. It may have been an I Quit match, but it was fought more like a submission match, not that there’s anything wrong with that, because the action was good, and well executed, with a somewhat controversial ending. As Styles applied an armbar, Booker refused to quit, and as Mrs. T watched on, Jenna, a woman I’ve never seen before and who is apparently another member of the MEM, came running down to the ring and threw in the towel, with the referee ending the match immediately. Now, here’s what’s wrong with that ending – if it’s an I quit, how can it be ended if someone throws the towel in? The screwy ending detracted from the importance of the match.
Main event time, with Mick Foley defending the TNA World title against Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle and Sting, with tons of stipulations. If Foley is pinned, he loses the title. If Angle is pinned, he loses the leadership of the Main Event Mafia. If Jarrett is pinned, he gives up his shares in TNA. If Sting is pinned, he retires. Now that lot’s out of the way, it’s down to the match itself. This one broke out into two separate matches straight away – Angle v Jarrett and Sting v Foley. We quickly got the obligatory fight through the crowd with Sting and Foley, before the champion, breathing quite heavily, took a rest by joining the commentary team. After that the match-ups changed as time went on, with several pins missed while the referee took a snooze, before Jarrett took Angle down off the middle rope with the Stroke onto a steel chair. He didn’t win the match though, as Sting quickly slid into the ring to get the winning pin, taking Angle’s place as the leader of the MEM in the process. Well, this match was good, but it just had too many damn stipulations!
In conclusion – the 2009 version of Sacrifice only gets an okay from this writer. Some of the booking left me scratching my head a little. You had two matches where action took place after the bell, and I Quit match that lacked the intensity that a match of that nature required, as well as a screwy ending, a match where one of the announcers goes on about it be choreographed, and a main event that just had too many stipulations. I can’t fault the action in the majority of the matches (well, those that I’m legally allowed to review), but the endings and the stipulations dragged down the quality of the show. Without them things would have been a whole lot better.