Opening Match: The Rock 'n' Rave Infection (w/Christy Hemme) vs. LAX.
This comes as a result of a member of the Latino Nation attacking Christy Hemme and the R&R complaining to management about "man on woman" violence. Gee, I wonder how that's going to play out, especially because the Mystery Latino does not in any way, shape, or form *move* like a woman. I guess I should have typed Mystery Latina. Rave renews pleasantries with Homicide for a bit before Hernandez and Hoyt tag in. Tenay calls it "like a mirror image." Yeah, I can't even tell them apart, Mike. LAX cleans house, but Homicide's suicida gets cut off. Hernandez (Or is that Hoyt? I can't tell) hits a tope. LAX get in some spiffy doubleteams involving a bow-and-arrowlock. Hernandez starts killing bitches by tossing them around the ring. That will be a recurring theme. Hoyt falls to the floor, and Homicide finally hits his rolling suicida. Christy saves Jimmy from the Border Toss. JIMMY'S GONNA PUT THE MOVES ON HERNANDEZ! Hernandez crotches Rave on top and finishes him with the Super Border Toss at 6:48. Not a bad little opener. After the match, Christy goes low on the Mystery Latino, but it's no-sold, and the Latino unmasks to reveal… a giant pair of breasts attached to Shelley Martinez. I'm guessing they're going to come up with another name for her because the announcers acted like this is the first time they've ever seen her. **1/4
In the back, James Storm beats Eric Young at a game of "Never Have I Ever." He heels it up by working in the Boomhauer-speak and taking credits for the 1967 Detroit riots.
In the back, AJ Styles continues to waffle.
Black Reign vs. Kaz.
I like Kaz, but I'm not really digging the space-age jammie top. Kaz hits a springboard elbow and a clothesline off the apron. Black Reign whips him to the barrier but misses a charge. Kaz gets tossed off the ramp and hits his hip. Back in, Kaz elbows out of a chinlock, and they collide for a double KO spot. Reign misses a corner charge and eats a slingshot DDT. ONE, TWO, TH-NO! Black Reign avoids the springboard legdrop and hits Lights Out. It only gets two, and Kaz is able to avoid the former Curtain Call (Play Misty for Me?) and hit the Wave of the Future at 4:41. This was a total clash of styles. After the match, Kaz steals Misty. I'm not sure if that makes him a face or a heel. *1/4
In Angle's lounge, Karen Angle refuses to accept any advice from Jeremy Borash… or Kurt Angle. Funny. She says she'll handle the AJ Situation on her own, but Kurt tells JB to follow her and find out what she's up to.
TNA Knockout Title, No DQ: Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong.
Oh, this is so Vader-Sting. Kong knocks Gail off the apron before the match begins and no-sells everything Gail throws at her. Kong sets up for a powerbomb through the announce table, but Gail kicks her way out of it. More Kong ass-kickery on the inside. She works in a swinging sleeper and just tosses Gail aside. Gail goes up but eats a spinning backfist that knocks her off the top. She wrenches her knee on the way down. Kong chases her down and swings her into the barricade. The brawl works its way up into the crowd where Kong steps on Gail's throat. Gail tries to fight back with a water bottle. Women's Hardcore Wrestling is still struggling to catch up, I guess. They fight back to ringside, and Gail throws Kong's shoulder into the post. Gail comes off the top with a crossbody – CAUGHT by Kong. Kong tosses her back in and hits another spinning backfist. Gail tries a sunset flip and nearly gets squashed, but she moves out of the way. Gail avoids a charge but jumps off the top right into a chokeslam. She counters that to a wheelbarrow, but Kong slams her down with a facebuster. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Kong doesn't agree with the count, so she powerbombs Slick Johnson. She adds a chairshot just for him having the nerve to be bald. Gail takes the chair away from her, though, and BLASTS her with it. FROGSPLASH! A new ref runs in. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Kong reverses a Goku-Raku Neckbreaker to a chokeslam. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Kong picks up the second ref for the Awesome Bomb, but Gail clips her knee and rolls her up for the win at 12:44. I would have thought that they'd book a rematch at the PPV, but, being TNA, they hot-shotted the title to Kong on Impact. ***3/4
In the back, Karen finds AJ Styles in the men's room and convinces him to join the Angle Alliance. Mrs. Angle, you're trying to seduce me. ODB, who is quickly becoming the female JBL, comes out of the stall and advises everyone to light a match. Sadly, AJ no-sells the poopy smell, which I figured would have been the payoff to the segment.
Father James Mitchell tells Abyss that he needs to tell the truth to save his soul. If you're going to do a Jack Nicholson impression, Mitchell, you have to do the eyebrow thing.
Judas Mesias (w/James Mitchell) vs. Abyss.
Mesias chops away but gets pressed onto his face. Abyss clotheslines him over the top and whips him into the stairs. Mesias yanks him out and wraps his knee around the post. Abyss picks him up and plants him, but he makes the mistake of going after Mitchell. D'oh. Mesias clips him from behind and tosses him into the stairs. Back in, Mesias jumps right into a chokeslam but elbows out of it. Abyss boots him down (with the bad leg **sigh**) and hits a buttalanche. West says Mesias has to stop this "entourage" of punishment. Not sure exactly what he was going for there. Abyss wedges a chair in between the ropes, but his "tunnelvision" (Tenay and West's word of the day) gets the best of him. Abyss fights back and flings Mesias' head into the chair. That sets up a chokeslam for two. Mitchell returns with a mystery bag. Abyss one-ups him with a barbed-wire chair. Mesias picks up the chair as the ref confiscates the barbed-wire one. WHACK! Mesias only gets two and runs right into the Black Hole Slam. The ref is with Mitchell, though. Abyss drags Mitchell in and tries to chokeslam both Mitchell and Mesias, but Mitchell grabs the ref. That allows Mesias to hit the Red Mist and send Abyss straight to hell at 11:03. There's nothing worse than being able to call a match 20 seconds before the moves happen. After the match, the heels douse Abyss in gasoline and threaten to set him on fire. Yeah, give the Sinister Minister fire. That's a good idea. The ref's run in and keep Mitchell from lighting it up. *3/4
Crystal interviews Kevin Nash who says wrasslin' is a crazy business and he just likes makin' money.
Recap of Robert Roode running down Tracy, leading to a feud with Booker T and Sharmell. Booker claims he treats his wife like a queen. **Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk**
Crystal teleports over to the interview area to get a word with Booker T. He tells everyone to fear the wife.
Mixed Tag: Robert Roode & Miss Brooks vs. Booker T & Sharmell.
Much stalling from Roode early. Booker finally catches up with Roode and smacks him around for a while. Roode boots him in the gut and distracts the ref while Miss Brooks… does nothing. Booker sets up for the Scissors Kick, but Roode hops over him and hits a running dropkick. Roode gets pissed because Brooks is refusing to cheat, so he tells her to get down on the floor. She does and then trips up Booker T. She feels real, real bad about it, though. Booker tries for the Scissors Kick but crotches himself. Roode busts out a sick surfboard. He folds Booker up for two and then makes Brooks slap him. It's pretty weak, though. She refuses to do it again, and Roode smacks her around, constituting a tag. Sharmell hops in for some kitty scratchin'. In the melee, Sharmell gets rolled up but kicks Brooks into Roode. Tracy is so shocked that Sharmell is able to roll her up for the win at 11:06. **
After the match, Roode gets pissed at Brooks, but he NAILS Sharmell when she tries to intervene. Everyone looks worried, but Sharmell gets a standing ovation when she walks out under her own power.
Christian Cage claims he doesn't need anyone's help. He runs down Karen Angle for trying to seduce AJ Styles when she can't even satisfy her man. Oh no he di'nt! By the way, was this angle supposed to be between Kurt and Christian or Christian and Karen?
The Drinking Series continues with Edward 40-Hands. Gotta hand it to Crystal for dressing down here and then running over and getting dressed up for her interviews. Storm wets himself.
We watch the entire process of setting up the ring for the Ultimate X. As fascinating as that is, maybe this time could have been better served doing a video package. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume Storm accidentally pissed on the tape. It does allow Tenay to tell us that Sharmell has been taking to the hospital with a "jaw problem."
Clock mismanagement Part II: After we've watched the crew set up for a good 3-4 minutes, Team 3D comes out to cut a 3-4 minute promo. Why not just have the promo from the top of the ramp during the set-up? That way we don't have to sit through 8 minutes of down time. Anyway, Brother Ray runs down Val and puts over his athletic prowess.
X-Division Title, Six-Man: Jay Lethal & The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Johnny Devine & Team 3D.
The MCMG are still selling the wrist injuries from Impact. Team 3D works over the hands. PSYCHOLOGY~! Lethal saves them from going through tables, but neither one of the Guns can make it across because of their wrist injuries. Lethal tries but gets pulled down into a DVD by Devine. Devine goes up but gets yanked down onto his head by the Guns. OWWWWWWW! Team 3D, apparently having watched King of the Ring 1999 go all Keystone Cops while trying to reach the belt. Cool spot as Brother Ray goes up, but Lethal springboards from the outside and grabs onto the rope, blocking Ray's path. Lethal falls off, so Ray tries to go across. Wow, that's some major sagging on that rope, there. Ray falls off, and he and Lethal duel again. Ray shoves him off but misses a diving elbow. Devine comes in and hits a Press Jawbreaker and a curbstomp. Sabin springboards in and Tornado DDTs Devine. Shelley misses a plancha, though, and gets his hand smashed with a kendo stick. Since both members of 3D are just too fat to get over on their own, D-Von uses Ray to boost him up and keep him from falling. Lethal knocks them over, though. Goofy spot as Ray puts Devine on his shoulders, but Lethal ranas him off. Lethal gets nailed by Ray, much to the chagrin of SoCal Val. Team 3D decide to use a ladder, which Tenay claims is against the unwritten rules. The Guns hit stereo enzuigiris, though. That allows Devine to go up the ladder, but Sabin shoves it over. Devine falls into the tables. Mind you, I didn't say THROUGH the tables. He just kind of bounces off them and falls to the floor. Lethal tries to springboard, but Team 3D nails him with a ladder. D-Von goes up and grabs the belt at 12:02. Pretty bad outside of Devine's bumping around. **1/4
Candice asks Samoa Joe if things are okay between him and Nash. Joe thinks things are okay now, which virtually guarantees that they aren't.
TNA Tag Team Titles: AJ Styles & Tomko vs. Kevin Nash & Samoa Joe.
Tenay puts over how well Nash and Joe are working together recently, so things are definitely okay. Has the point been driven home yet? Things are okay between them, so you should definitely NOT worry about one of them turning. In fact, you should be totally surprised if it happens. Joe and Nash take turns tossing AJ around. AJ goes to work in Nash's knees to turn things around. Nash lays around on the mat selling for a while (which is just *so* in character for him) before coming back with a sideslam. Joe gets the tag and cleans house on Tomko. Back elbow by Joe. Big Boot by Nash. Joe with the T-Bone suplex, but AJ springboard dropkicks him. Another dropkick gets two. AJ and Joe slap it out, which goes badly for AJ. He tries to springboard into a rana, but Joe counters to a powerbomb. Snap powerslam for Tomko. Nash calls for the hot tag… PSYCHE! He walks away. I had no idea that was going to happen. No clue. None at all. Still, Samoa Joe is able to fight out of Au Revoir or the TNA equivalent. He hits AJ with the MuscleBuster, but Tomko breaks it up. Fans chant, "Thank you, Tomko!" AJ and Tomko finish with Au Revoir at 12:11. The match was mostly AJ & Tomko offense, so the turn didn't really affect much as far as how good or bad it was. I guess Joe is the new Sting. **1/2
Drinking Championship Series: Storm makes EY do a beer bong, which Storm laces with an apparently SUPER FAST-ACTING "stuff." Storm gets to pick the stips for their match. And remember, kids, drink responsibly. By the way, this *has* to set up ODB versus Storm at some point.
Kurt is happy that his wife is such a ho that she was able to seduce AJ over to their side.
TNA Heavyweight Title: Kurt Angle (w/Karen Angle) vs. Christian Cage.
Christian has been turned into the default babyface by the crowd, which is fine if they actually turn him face because it will act like an overness slingshot (heel vs. heel usually does). Christian elbows out of a belly-to-belly and flapjacks Angle. Angle posts himself and gets tossed to the outside. They slug it out, and Christian wins. Christian slingshot kicks him and hits a springboard plancha. Back in, Christian comes off the top… right into a belly-to-belly. Kurt tosses him over the top. Ouch. Back in, Angle hits another belly-to-belly, and Christian rolls to the floor. Karen gets in a cheapshot. Back in again, Kurt armdrags Christian, but Christian rebounds with a spear that reeks of awesomeness. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Christian goes up but gets backdropped off. MOOOOOOOONSAAAAAAULT! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Angle picks him up, but Christian counters to a DDT. A reverse DDT sets up the frogsplash, but there's no water in the pool. Angle gets two. ROLLING GERMANS! Anklelock, but Christian shoves out of it and rolls it over into a small package, but Angle rolls through *that* into another Anklelock. Awesome! Christian rolls him up again for two and goes up. Angle runs up and hits a belly-to-belly superplex for two. Back to the Anklelock, but Christian counters to a Texas Cloverleaf. Angle reverses to the Anklelock again. Christian reverses to an Unprettier attempt, but Angle shoves him away. Christian goes up, and this time he bites Angle when he runs up for the superplex. Nice. That leads to a frogsplash for two. The ref nearly gets bumped, but Angle uses the distraction to go low and hit the Angleslam. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Christian rolls through the Anklelock and hits the Unprettier. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Like an idiot, Christian stops to argue with Karen. Angle jumps him but winds up in his own Anklelock. AJ Styles runs down, pulls Karen off the apron, and apparently makes up with Christian. Oh, but he waits for him to turn his back and hits a springboard elbow. Kurt catches Christian on the fly and hits the Angleslam for the win at 18:40. Started slow and just kept building down the stretch. I don't mind the interference here because the whole angle for the past month was "AJ is going to interfere in the match, but for whom." ****
The 411: The Knockout match and the TNA World title match are just enough to make this a mild recommendation, but the company *still* has the same problems they've had since You Know Who showed up. You can't book "swerves" the same way over and over again and still expect them to be shocking.
Mild thumbs up, but be ready to fast-forward to get to the good stuff.