Greetings, fellow line-crossers!

It’s time for TNA’s May pay-per-view offering, “Sacrifice.” Will Mick Foley retain the World Heavyweight championship? Will Jeff Jarrett lose all official control of the company he founded? Will Kurt Angle meet the same fate as other Godfathers of note and be overthrown? Will Sting ever wrestle again? Let’s find out.

Pre-show Match:

Amazing Red defeats Kiyoshi: Red has slowed down his in-ring style a great deal from his last TNA run. Major knee surgeries do that. He really has clicked with the audience, and is extremely over in a short amount of time. Kiyoshi is rarely seen, and hasn’t received the attention that Red has, so the same can’t be said of him. Red got some loud crowd chants after a twisting dive over the top rope to take out Kiyoshi on the floor, and a tornado DDT. Kiyoshi gets some decent offense in, particularly a Torture Rack into a powerbomb. When Kiyoshi misses on a moonsault, Red hits another DDT and a standing moonsault (Code Red) for the pin and three-count.  

Drowgoddess Thoughts (DGT): These free pre-show matches are a really good idea, and if properly utilized, can generate some last-minute buys. I guess no one is supposed to remember the “Rough Cuts” packages on Kiyoshi, as the guy hasn’t won a match since, well, ever. Amazing Red is a lot like Jeff Hardy in the sense that both really are sloppy when compared with other wrestlers, but it comes off as a very daredevil-ish thing, as if they don’t really think about what they do before doing it. Hardy has improved this, but Red hasn’t. I’m not anti-Amazing Red, not by any means, but he doesn’t do anything that current (and two previous) X-Division guys weren’t already doing. He’s being treated, and everyone is reacting, like someone with abilities never before seen in a wrestling ring, but the truth is that, not only have we already seen what he does, we’ve seen it done better, in many cases. Don West has rapidly become more of an asset to TNA than Mike Tenay has ever been. His lines about sitting down with Kiyoshi prior to the match and talking with him in his native Japanese were absolute gold! 

Main Show:

Match #1: Lethal Consequences & Eric Young defeat the Motor City Machine Guns & Sheik Abdul Bashir: The heels enter first. When the faces enter, Jay Lethal has the boy-panties and glittery robe Macho Man look. Different, for sure. At one point, Alex Shelley jumped off the ring apron and drove a knee into Creed’s head, smashing him into the rail. Nice! Shelley, Sabin, and Bashir took turns working over Creed, but he eventually escaped and tagged in Lethal. Eric Young didn’t tag in or get tagged in for most of the match, and a great deal was made of this. Apparently, Eric Young is not trusted by lots of the wrestlers in the back due to his recent behavior. All six guys fought in the ring at once. Both Lethal Consequences and the MCMG hit lots of double-team moves. Shades of Super Eric as Young gets both Sabin and Shelley on his shoulders and hits a double DVD. Oh, please. John Cena doesn’t work here. Lethal tries to roll up Bashir, who grabs the ropes to stop it. The referee kicks Bashir’s hands, forcing him to let go of the ropes, and allowing Lethal to roll Bashir up with a sunset flip for the pin and three-count. Don West went nuts over the involvement of the referee. Eric Young looked quite displeased, though whether it was over the way his team won the match or that he hadn’t had much of a chance to be in it or get the pin, who knows? Sabin and Shelley bailed, leaving Bashir to rant on his own. Very loud crowd chants of “That was awesome!” Everyone seemed really into this match.  

DGT: High-octane action from start to finish. Why is it that when guys who work for TNA pull off a solid match like this, a match considered to be the match of the night by many viewers, almost every on-line reviewer and comment poster refers to it as ” the usual bunch of spots that didn’t mean anything,” yet when Evan Bourne and Rey Mysterio and even John Morrison do almost the exact same thing, it’s the greatest match on the show and worthy of great celebration? So many people are having fits over “Why did this match even happen? Nothing about it made any sense.” Since when did good storytelling explain everything on the first page? If you’ve actually bothered to watch the show (and a lot of people haven’t, by their own admissions), you know that Lethal Consequences and the Motor City Machine Guns have hated each other since the “Feast or Fired” match when Jay Lethal stole the briefcase that the Guns took down, which turned out to have a tag team title shot in it. The two teams have been at each other ever since, and need no additional explanation or reason to fight. The history between Bashir and Young over the X-Division title is also well-documented. If Lethal Consequences had picked Eric Young as their third man, the Guns would certainly get Bashir, purely out of spite. What doesn’t make sense about this match happening?

Actually, that’s not why the match happened. The real reason this match happened was that I asked for it.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s the ending of my review of last week’s “Impact” and predictions for “Sacrifice,” which was posted on Friday:

“WHAT??? No Motor City Machine Guns on the ppv card? TNA, I thought that we had an understanding that if you wanted my cash, you had to put Chris Sabin on the card! Hell, I actually paid for the ppv with the “Cuffed in the Cage” match because of the last-minute announcement that he was in it. Based on that alone, I should not watch this show. I shouldn’t. But I will. Hey, somebody has to write the official review!”

Some time late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, posted this last-minute addition to the card that would open the show:

Lethal Consequences & Eric Young vs The Motor City Machine Guns & Sheik Abdul Bashir”

Hey, do you have a better explanation? Of course not! While I’m at it, does anyone else want anything? 🙂

Alright, enough of that, back to the rest of the show. 

Match #2: Taylor Wilde defeats Daffney (Knockouts “Monsters’s Ball” match): Daffney (who looks absolutely smokin’ tonight) has Abyss and Dr. Stevie in her corner, while Taylor Wilde goes it alone. This match was pretty short, and though Daffney got in some solid moves, Taylor Wilde actually scored the win with a DVD onto a trash can. The post-match was what mattered here. Dr. Stevie entered the ring and argued with Taylor Wilde, allowing Daffney to recover and attack her from behind. Daffney went for a kendo stick, but Dr. Stevie said no. She went for a crutch, but Dr. Stevie said no. He pulled out a back of thumb tacks and poured them out on the mat. He ordered Abyss to slam Taylor Wilde into the tacks, He refused at first, but Dr. Stevie hit him repeatedly, then removed his belt and struck him several times with it. Abyss started to comply, but Lauren ran out and tried to make the save. When Dr. Stevie shoved Lauren to the mat, Abyss dropped Taylor Wilde, grabbed Dr. Stevie, and slammed him onto the tacks. A close-up shot showed massive numbers of tacks in Dr. Stevie’s back and blood seeping through his white shirt.     

DGT: I hope this marks the return of “The Monster” Abyss, and this embarrassing shell of a character can go away. Team Psycho can now bring in someone to go against Abyss, and he can revel in his need to cause and experience pain again. When the “Monster’s Ball” matches were first used, the concept was dark and psychological. The participants were locked in separate rooms for 24 hours prior to the match, with no food, water, or light. Their entrances to the ring were the first taste of freedom they had experienced in 24 hours, and the question of how each wrestler would handle that was part of the match. Now, it’s just another trash can match. Sad. Look, every concept match that TNA has come up with isn’t crap, and this one could be effective if used sparingly and under the original guidelines. Don West talked about how Daffney reminded him of his first wife. Awesomeness!

Match #3: Suicide fought Daniels to a draw (X-Division championship title match): Suicide appeared in mid-ring, just behind Daniels, this time. Don West talked at length about the “conspiracy” that Daniels had always been Suicide, and that he had gotten some guy to put on the suit and give him an X-Division title shot, knowing that the other guy would lay down and let Daniels win the title. Crowd chants for both were rather strong. Suicide looked more vulnerable in this match than he ever has before. Towards the end of the match, Chris Sabin walks down the ramp to the ring. He has words with the referee, who turns away from the ring in an attempt to make the future Mr. Drowgoddess leave the ringside area. Alex Shelley takes this moment to rush the ring from the other side and nail Suicide with a Codebreaker-style knee to the face. Neither the referee nor Daniels saw it. Once Shelley hit the move and slid out of the ring, Sabin cheerfully complies with the referee’s order to leave the ring area and the referee returns his attention to the actual match. Daniels rolls up Suicide and pins him for a three-count. Daniels wins! Oh, wait. Daniels saw the replay on the monitor as highlights of the match were being shown. He sees the interference of the MCMG, and calls the referee and Suicide back. As badly as he wants to be champion again, he doesn’t want it like this. That was just the Guns pulling their stupid crap, he knew nothing about it, and had nothing to do with it. Give us five more minutes and restart the match. The referee asks Suicide if he agrees. Suicide nods. They get five more minutes. Daniels gets a two-count, but Suicide kicks out. Suicide came back strong, but the time limit expired without a pin being scored. Therefore, Suicide retains the title and the match is a draw. Don West went nuts that Daniels’s plan had failed because the fake Suicide had double-crossed him.   

DGT: I really don’t understand what’s supposedly so hard to follow about this. Don West’s “conspiracy theories” are great, and again, if you’ve actually watched the show over the past month, there’s nothing about which to be confused. This match felt disappointing, somehow. Daniels is a tremendous wrestler, one of the best. Suicide has been fun. Both of these guys can go. Something just wasn’t clicking. It wasn’t a bad match, but it wasn’t the match that I had hoped to see. The reason why isn’t clear, but for an X-Division championship title match between these two guys, something was missing. It wasn’t moves or spots or anything like that. I don’t know what it was. Whatever “it” was, it just wasn’t there. 

Match #4: Angelina Love defeats Awesome Kong W/ Raisha Saeed (Knockouts championship title match): Kong mad! Kong smash! The Wrath of Kong is in full effect for the first part of the match. Love manages to runKong into the ringpost and scamper back into the ring, begging for a countout from the referee. No such luck. Love tried to walk out on the match, but one Glittery Syrian, Raisha Saeed, stopped her. The sparkly ninja outfit came out to play as Love was forced back to the ring. Love went for her hairspray/perfume spray, and Saeed tried to take it from her. Kong rushed Love, who dodged, causing Kong to hit Saeed and knock her from the ring paron. Love used the moment to spray Kong inthe eyes and roll her up for a quick pin and three-count. Post-match, Kong caught Love and splattered her across the mat with two Implant Busters. One for the left and one for the right, as Mike Tenay put it. 

DGT: Good! Angelina Love is a fantastic heel champion, and Kong is getting super-over as the monster babyface. Seeing where this goes will be fun.

Match #5: Samoa Joe defeated Kevin Nash: Joe hits Nash with a chair and tosses him into the steps. Nash bleeds from the forehead. Joe locks in the Kokina Clutch. Nash actually taps out, and Joe gets a clean win. Post-match, Joe shoves aside the referee and locks in the hold again. Security comes out to pull him off Nash. Joe fights them all off and returns to the hold again. Security returns, and this time Joe leaves the ring, grinning all the way, as Scott Steiner runs to the ring and checks on Nash.

DGT: Joe got the win here, which is good. However, the way that Joe fought in this match was nothing like the way he fought in previous matches when he destroyed Jeff Jarrett, slaughtered Eric Young, and even tore apart Scott Steiner. It honestly looked like Joe was told not to make Nash look bad, and to hold back so as not to hurt Grandpa Accident-prone. I’m not saying that this happened, but it makes one wonder. It also should not have taken eight minutes for the Nation of Violence to destroy a 50-year-old near-cripple.

Match #6: Beer Money defeated the British Invasion (finals of the Team 3D tag team tournament): Beer Money was hugely over, and plenty of heat for the British Invasion. There was a great spot where Robert Roode poured beer into James Storm’s mouth to revive him. A solid tag match, but something was missing. Beer Money was a little too dominant for this to be truly competitive. AT one point, referee Earl Hebner makes two counts, but Rob Terry and his gigantic arms pull him from the ring before he can make the third count. Hebner orders Terry to the back, and he actually complies after mild protesting. While this went on outside the ring, Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus (who is noticeably better already, and much more comfortable) brought the “Feast or Fired” briefcase that they stole from LAX into the ring. Williams tries to hit Roode with the case, but misses. Roode gets the case and hits Williams with it, tosses it away, and gets the pin. Beer Money has won the Team 3D tag team tournament.

DGT: Stupid move. Stupid, stupid move. Beer Money were outstanding heels, and will probably make great babyfaces because they’re so popular. All the same, how is their going over here better than going over Team 3D at “Lockdown?” If the British Invasion had won (by cheating, of course), they could take on Team 3D, win the titles from them, and then Beer Money could chase the British Invasion and win the titles back. That would have been a great story. Imagine the promo goodness resulting from the whole “In the short time that we’ve been here, we did something that you haven’t been able to do yet! Rule Britannia!” idea. People seem to be willing to pay to watch Beer Money chase after and eventually kick the crap out of the British Invasion. Why bother pushing the British Invasion if they were going to lose here?  

Match #7: AJ Styles defeats Booker T (“I Quit” match for the Legends title): Booker T enters alone. This match was all seriousness, and went back and forth for a good fifteen minutes. Sharmell came out and cheered on Booker from ringside. When she climbed up onto the ring apron, Booker, in mid-move, almost knocked her down. AJ takes advantage of the momentary stop to lock in a vicious-looking armbar, and yanks repeatedly on the arm in the process. While AJ has Booker down, Jenna Morasca runs down to the ring and throws in a white towel, signifying that Booker quits. Sharmell looks furious.

DGT: NO! Sweet mother of all that is holy, NO!!! Words cannot adequately describe the disgust and outright contempt that flooded my soul when I realized that there was a reason that this “I Quit” match between two top guys was just thrown out there with no real build. The match wasn’t about the Legends title, AJ Styles, Booker T, or even the pride inherent in refusing to say “I quit.” No, this match happened 100% to set up Jenna Morasca vs. Sharmell. I think I need to throw up.

Match #8: Sting defeats Jeff Jarrett, Mick Foley, and Kurt Angle (4-way “Ultimate Sacrifice” match): Sting pinned Angle, essentially stealing the pin from Jarrett.

DGT: I was personally hoping to see Foley pin Angle, earning leadership of the Main Event Mafia and now becoming an even greater threat with their back-up to accompany his title. Jarrett still has control of the company, which is actually good. Sting didn’t retire, as if anyone thought for a second that he would. Foley is still champ. The only real issue with this outcome for the match is that, once again, the internal doings of the Main Event Mafia are supposed to be of such tremendous concern to everyone, when they are still the bad guys who continue to try taking over and destroying the company. Why should anyone care what happens to them? I thought that the title was on the line, period, but apparently, Foley had to be pinned to lose the title. Ok. TNA repeated the stipulations often enough that they can’t really be blamed for this one. That’s fine. Since that was true for the other three guys, it’s only fair that it was true for the champ as well. It really does allow for priorities, in showing who tries to pin whom.  

Overall Show and Final Thoughts: I paid for this show. I enjoyed most of it. The five people who watched it with me, four of whom were long-time wrestling fans, enjoyed it too. None of us felt ripped off, or that our time had been wasted. Sure, some things happened that I didn’t like, but that doesn’t mean that the show was bad. The build to “Slammiversary” has begun, and the possibilities are quite intriguing on a number of fronts. Just how long will Angelina Love be able to run from Awesome Kong, and retain the Knockouts title through cheating, not to mention the question of her finding additional back-up? With Sting taking over the Main Event Mafia, will Angle be forced out entirely, or will the group splinter into factions? Will Suicide be able to dodge getting unmasked? Can Daniels get another title shot? Has Abyss finally broken away from Dr. Stevie and all that is wretchedly pathetic? If so, who will the psycho faction get to go after him? Joe finally has a legit win over Nash. AJ still has the Legends title. Where do Jarrett and Foley go from here? All kinds of things could happen, and if some people would quit acting so high and mighty about it, they might actually have some fun watching. Besides, “Slammiversary” is just outside of Detroit. Oh, if there is a God….  

Peace out,

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