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TNA Sacrifice 2010: I Missed the Phillies for this?

TNA Sacrifice 2010-So, I hear TNA Wrestling’s due for some major talent cutbacks this week. This ain’t gonna be pretty. Maybe I should hold off on my “TNA Employment Depth Chart” column until after the bloodletting, so I don’t end up writing a dated piece.

-Speaking of making sacrifices, it’s time for TNA Sacrifice 2010, which is live from Orlando, FL. I know, I’m shocked as well. Mike Tenay and Taz bring us the proceedings, while fighting the urge to play the TNA Drinking Game. Seriously, if the rules said you had to take a sip for every production gaffe or incomprehensible plot point, what time would you be wasted by? 8:35? 8:40? By the way, this is Eastern time, so any of you LA-ites, you’ll be hammered before dinner is served. Not that that’s unusual or anything.

-The event begins with a dictionary quote, defining the word “sacrifice”. That’s what Justin does when he has to review a TNA pay per view when the Phillies are on and trying to sweep Milwaukee.

-Jeff Hardy says he’ll sacrifice his career AND his reputation. Quick, somebody alert Doc Brown! Jeff wants to go back in time! TO THE FIRST BUSH ADMINISTRATION!

-Things kick off with a #1 contender’s match between the Motor City Machine Guns (Dustin Diamond and every stoner you know imitating The Rockers) against Beer Money (James Storm and his human saddlebag Robert Roode) and Team 3D (Who are in 2010 what the Legion of Doom was in 1998). Conventional wisdom says you go with Beer Money here to win, then have them lose against the Outsiders, and split the team so that Storm can go on to bigger things. As for Roode, well, there’s always YouShoots.

-Taz informs us that “Bee Munney iz off da chotts”. I was thinking the same thing.

-Typical fast paced action from the two younger teams, whereas 3D is….well, hey, they’re actually trying as well. Brother Ray’s not even relying on wearing a Paul Pierce jersey or anything to piss off the Orlando fans, so good on him. Maybe if the effort is this strong across the board tonight, it might finally rudder the TNA ship?

-Nahhhhhhhhhh

-Chris Sabin stops in the middle of this important match to do his “Michigan Hand” gesture, pointing to where Detroit is. If his hand really were Michigan and that spot were the Motor City, then he’ll get arthritis in that joint, and it’ll be so painful that it’ll gradually cripple his entire hand, and need a medical bailout from the government.

-Sabin gets the hot tag, and oddly enough, things die down after a hot start. That was weird. TNA matches are like SNL sketches from the 1970’s. Great action, innovation, but no clue how to finish strong.

-Storm spews beer into Brother Ray’s eyes, leaving Ray susceptible to a double neckbreaker by the Guns, who score the pin. Wow. On the one hand, I’m a little stunned to see Sabin and Shelley in the contender’s role, but, on the other hand, hearing the sound of the internet explode when they’re simultaneously Jackknifed and Outsider’s Edged is worth it. Match was decent.

-Tenay and Taz pontificate on the false allegations made by Desmond Wolfe and Chelsea, regarding Abyss and his imprisonment. Man, prison angles are so lame now. Why not just have Abyss throw a boulder through a McDonalds window and blame Bobby Heenan for his corruption?

-Global Title match is next, and speaking of corrupt, Orlando Jordan’s getting the shot against Rob Terry. At the same time I’m typing this, Dixie Carter and Eric Bischoff are standing in a room, mystified about why buyrates and ratings haven’t moved up. I’m clueless too, guys.

-Orlando makes his descending entrance, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the terrible rumors that Chris Kanyon committed suicide over Orlando’s stereotypical portrayal of gays in wrestling. I sincerely hope it’s not true, but it does speak volumes that he worked in WCW during 1999 and 2000 and that time period couldn’t break his will, yet this did. Really sad, when you think about it.

-To sum up the match: Terry’s a slug and Orlando’s about as polished and refined as a shallow grave. On a positive note, Orlando uses a vulgar pinning attempt to try and pin Terry, just to drive home the point that he’s open about his sexuality. I’d say that TNA was beating us over the head with it, but that just makes it dirtier.

-Crowd chants “End this Match”. I always knew Orlando was full of oppressive homophobes. Don’t blame Jordan and Terry because Vince Carter gave the best effort out of all the Magic today.

-The Magic make me think of J.J. Redick, who makes me think of flopping, which is good, because this match was a flop. Terry ends it with a choke-anage thing to keep his well-earned title. Bad match, made worse by OJ attacking afterward. Oh, why can’t this feud end?

-Meanwhile, Team 3D has a convo with Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal, aka “Ink Inc”, which may be the worst tag team name since “Gymini”. Do I dare ask how Moore and Neal even got a tag team title shot? Unless it falls under some sort of “feed the fodder” rule or something.

-Finally, a silver lining, as Kazarian defends the X Division title against the man who was forced to vacate it for not having volcano insurance, Douglas Williams. TNA can’t possibly screw up anything X Division related, can they? Well, except for the period when the belt was held by Matt Bentley, who may or may not have been one of the more obscure Nitro Girls. I never found out for sure.

-Kaz and Douglas exchange chain wrestling, which is so much better when there’s less of it. It’s my personal complaint against ROH and the X Division: they beat a good thing into the ground by making it commonplace. I mean, you need charismatic brawlers, botching divas, larger-than-life characters, and the like to provide a balance, so that when two men like Kazarian and Williams have their match, it feels fresh and special. ROH seems to get it now, and their product is more rounded as a result, which I feel is right. But I won’t argue if you think different.

-It’s amazing how underrated Douglas Williams is, and that he never hit it big until now. The man has a good build, a lot of personality, and can wrestle his head off. He may lack the conversational subtlety of William Regal and the larger than life personality of Davey Boy Smith, but he’s a fit on any roster. Just a natural heel.

-The mark of two vets: Williams methodically works the neck of Kaz, and Kaz uses his crowd pleasing array of quick offense to build a comeback around. If both men were at least 6’2″, they would be on Raw right now. They’d be losing to Sheamus, but Hell, they’d be on Raw.

-Williams spikes Kaz in the corner with a posted powerbomb, and then adds a brainbuster across his knee. Just amazing stuff, and it works in the context of Williams working the neck. Kaz gets a desperation Wave of the Future, but it’s not enough, as Williams spikes him with Chaos Theory (corner roll German Suplex) to reclaim his X Title. Very good match, which is sadly going to be forgotten when TNA fills their quota of one or two stupid incidents per PPV. It’s coming, you know it.

Speak of the Devil, here’s a “hidden camera” that miraculously catches Desmond Wolfe and Chelsea going over the false allegations they made against Abyss. These hidden cameras never catch anyone doing anything mundane. Just once, can’t they horn in on Jay Lethal ordering from Dominos? Wouldn’t THAT be more fun than Impact, actually? Jay Lethal spending all day in character as Black Machismo? Wouldn’t you like see Machismo order a pizza in character? Dixie, make it happen.

-3-0 Phillies. Argh, why must I agree to review these shows?

-Next, Madison Rayne puts her Women’s Title on the line against the career of Tara, who is 39 going on 48. Tara says she would love another run in WWE. And when I dream, I want a pet unicorn.

-Tara’s working heel for this match, which is code for “I’m about as relevant these days as Pogs, so here goes nothing”.

-So the story is that Tara hits big move after big move and can’t put the champ away. If you bet money with your friends that Tara was going to win, two things come to mind. One, you’re about to lose, and two, why are you betting on wrestling, you dweeb?

-Rayne finishes Tara off, and Tara tearfully leaves to a mild ovation. Next stop for Lisa Marie Varon: SHIMMER, YouShoot, or Wrestler’s Rescue? See, THAT you could bet on.

-Eric Young sucks up to The Band. Good to see Eric Young blossom from loser heel to confident babyface at the fans encouraging to calculating heel to loser heel again. It’s a touching story.

-The Band defends their Tag Titles against Ink Inc, and unless Jeff Hardy’s lending some of his “magic crystals” to Hall and Nash, they’re not selling for Shannon Moore.

-Hall and Nash do the classic “heel assisted abdominal stretch”, and the camera goes to a wide shot for some reason. So to recap: TNA will pan wide for accidental nudity and heel tactics, but not for blood. I’d love to see a list of their priorities, just once.

-Wow, they’re letting Moore get in offense on two hosses! TNA HAS TURNED THE CORNER! ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE….oh wait, Eric Young just threw in a kendo stick. And then Brother Ray assaulted him, and then hit Neal in the skull with the stick. Because Ray is crazy. Band retains, which was a waste.

-Here’s my problem: Shannon Moore very clearly was working hard out there, but for what? Is he going to get a big piece of the TNA pie in terms of on-air activity for the foreseeable future? If not, then why would fans want to invest in him and his hard work? Same with WWE: if everyone’s pushes are pre-determined, why are we tuning in to root for guys who’ll never go over ever? It’s not fair to the fans, and it makes us change the channel to watch something that delivers what is demanded by the consumer. Vince and Dixie should really think about that.

-Abyss and Wolfe is next, and if Abyss wins, he wins Chelsea. Maybe he’s going to make her go to acting school with him, who knows.

-Slow start, and there’s actually a dueling chant. The cheers for Wolfe are actually louder. Hulk Hogan, you are no King Midas. Speaking of Hogan, we’re about to warp back to 1988 to some “classic” Hogan-style booking, so keep your arms inside the time machine, lest they fossilize on the trip back.

-Chelsea throws Wolfe a pair of brass knucks. Abyss gets hit with them. Abyss kicks out on 2 and begins to Hulk Up (Now known as “Abysmalizes”, in my canon). Abyss goes through the Hogan routine, and then lands the Black Hole Slam on Wolfe for the win. Man, if you’re Nigel McGuinness, don’t you wish you’d passed that WWE physical way back when?

-Abyss tells Chelsea that he’ll see her Thursday, and I’m guessing it’s going to be a rehash of the George Steele/Miss Elizabeth “Beauty and the Beast” booking. If the crowd defecated on this further, Dixie could take credit for producing “Two Girls, One Cup: Electric Boogaloo”.

-Ken Anderson calls his fans “assholes” and gets cheered. All he needs to do now is steal Bill Hicks’ routine and he’ll be making bad Ford truck commercials in no time.

-Ken Anderson takes on Jeff Hardy next, and I’m relieved. This seems like a safe bet for a good match, and my fingers are crossed. But fear not, the middle digits are still prepared to give their general consensus of the show.

-Good brawl to open the match, with Anderson getting the adult male cheers and Hardy getting women and children to sing his praises. Note to TNA: WWE makes money off of Cena by ignoring the boos. Those cheering for him are kids and virginal women, and they buy merchandise. Push Hardy to the moon, and push him now, criminal litigation be damned.

-Hardy gets crotched and Anderson mocks him. Was there anyone more born to be a heel than this guy? Damn it, people, stop cheering for him. If he turns face, it’ll ruin him! BOO HIM! LET’S HAVE A REAL HEEL FOR ONCE! Maybe Anderson needs to firebomb some ROH PPV to get some heat back.

-Rolling Kenton Bomb makes its return! TNA is like the Island from LOST: everything that goes there is reborn. Except for Brother Ray’s metabolism.

-Anderson hits the Mic Check, but Hardy uses the ropes to break the pin. Hardy soon gets the Twist of Fate, but tries the Swanton and gets crotched again. Both men fall off after Anderson tries his super Kenton, but Hardy goes back up and lands the big Swanton for the win. Good match, if disjointed. At least nothing convoluted or dumb happened, so that’s like a four star match for TNA.

-Afterward, Anderson tries a handshake and Hardy backs away. Jeff shoulda shook it. Now Anderson might give some damning grand jury testimony, you face painted freak.

-Sting and Jeff Jarrett is next, and the only thing that could possibly interest me here is if they re-enacted their horrible match from Halloween Havoc 2000, in which Demolition Ax and Chris Harris showed up as fake Stings. At least re-enact it for the sake of the 98% of fans who refused to watch it the first time.

-Sting, on behalf of anyone who suffered through Super-Jarrett from 2002-2006, beats Jeff bloody before the match, and batters him into oblivion. Say, Sting’s religious, can we anoint him for Sainthood?

-Sting pins him in seconds with the Scorpion Death Drop. Positive. Five. Stars.

-Sting then pushes Jarrett off of the stretcher, just for fun. I’m downright giddy. Somewhere, Kurt Angle and a jar of Vaseline share a room, and it’s just lively, I’ll bet.

-Hogan comes out to escort Jarrett away, and Tenay emotes concern. Given that Mike has sat in on some of those horrid booking meetings, shouldn’t he be cheering along with the rest of us? C’mon, Mike, let your voice be heard.

-RVD and Styles for the World Title rightfully finishes. Fun fact: 11 years ago tonight, Rob Van Dam defended the ECW Television Title against Jerry Lynn at ECW Hardcore Heaven. On the same show, Taz defended the ECW Title against Brother Ray in the main event, when they weighed a combined 400 lbs less than now. Six years ago tonight, RVD opened WWE Judgment Day, teaming with Rey Mysterio against….Team 3D. With….Taz on commentary. This is all so random and mind-blowing that…..what point was I making again? Oh well. I’m sure it was about how much TNA sucks. Anyway, moving on.

-AJ Styles steals the “make the ref hold the ropes open for me” routine from Ric Flair. Let’s hope he doesn’t steal his fiscal sense, too.

-Slow start, with some old ECW-style stalling from Van Dam (the one thing I never liked about him), and he and Flair have a little pantomime serve-session. C’mon guys, it’s up to you to make this show “decent”, because right now, it’s hovering at “$35 Thunder”.

-RVD takes control outside, and Flair gets a little bit too involved, thus getting thrown out. Flair, however, joins the announce table. I’m sure that’s not legal, but hey, on the list of things TNA has done that make no sense, that’s as benign as it gets.

-Flair says he’s going to have to take Dixie Carter back to the hotel suite tonight. Hey, Ric, since you’re further in debt that Freddie Mac, how about you do your job and PUT THE MAIN EVENT OF YOUR EMPLOYING COMPANY OVER?! Dixie, you’re looking to begin cutbacks? I know the first guy you can fire.

-Styles mounts a comeback with a swanton over the ropes and it turns into the stunt show we were all not-so-secretly hoping for. RVD misses the Five Star early, and AJ hits the springboard forearm shiver for 2, which pisses Flair off. Yeah, end the match for Ric’s sake, the escort service closes at midnight.

-RVD’s Rolling Thunder is blocked by AJ Styles’ knees, and the challenger grasps his knee in pain. Knowing AJ and his matches, he’s probably hurt for real, since he never sells an injury for more than six seconds.

-AJ finds the strength to hit a tower hacker bomb for 2. Alright, he was just selling then.

-The two exchange pin attempts, and the sequence ends with AJ landing a springboard reverse DDT. Meanwhile, the crowd’s more mild than picante sauce. The mild kind, anyway.

-Flair and Jay Lethal then get into a pointless brawl on the floor, and Taz is all “We got a championship match going on here!”. Is Taz on the writing staff? Can I be the first to recommend him? They stay with Lethal putting a figure four on Flair long enough to kill the vibe of the finish, which is RVD landing the Five Star Frog Splash to retain. Great match, but the buzz was ruined by the needless distraction. I never thought I’d call Jay Lethal a distraction, but there you go.

-CYNIC SAYS: It’s TNA, so you need to keep expectations low, but there was some good points in RVD-Styles, Hardy-Anderson, and Kaz-Williams. Everything else, however, was either crap or not enough to keep one’s interest. In other words, it’s your typical “2 steps forward, 4 steps back” TNA affair.

And with the bloodletting forthcoming, let’s see what Dixie does to try and rectify the problem.

I’m sure it’ll be hilarious.

Justin Henry is a freelance writer who enjoys putting his thoughts and opinions into text. His love of professional wrestling, as well as enjoyment of writing, has led to the creation of the Cynical Examination, his personal writing haven. Justin can be found on Facebook, Twitter, his website portfolio, or he can be e-mailed at [email protected].

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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