Saturday, 15 September 2007

TNA Sacrifice 2006 on TWC - TV Review

It’s that time of the months again as we once more enter the TNA Impact Zone for their latest monthly pay-per-view, Sacrifice, shown on a one week delay on The Wrestling Channel here in Britain. Our hosts, as always, are Professor Mike Tenay and Don West.

The show begins with the final second round match in the World X Cup, as Canada’s Petey Williams takes on the legendary Jushin Liger. While Liger brings his team-mates to the ring, Williams, surprisingly, comes alone> This was a great opener for the show, a battle of the generations if you will, as both men pulled off some great moves and sequences, and it was somewhat ironic that Williams lost the bout because of Team Japan’s tactics, which saw Liger getting the win with a variation of the face buster. Even more irony followed as Team Japan draped their national flag on the fallen Williams.

After Don and the Professor run down the rest of the card, Jeremy Borash catches up with America’s Most Wanted, who predict victory in their upcoming title defence, all while Jackie is sobbing, as she reveals she’s pregnant. That’s enough for Gail Kim, who fires Jackie on the spot. We then get a promo video from AMW’s challengers, the X Division dream team.

On to our first title match of the evening, as, with Gail Kim banned from ringside, America’s Most Wanted defend their NWA titles against A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels. Despite hardly having teamed with each other before, Styles and Daniels showed some great team work, with their double-team moves looking like they’ve been together for years as they controlled the champions early on. But Storm and Harris soon came back strongly to regain control of the match. This was a great match, with back and forth action and two teams seemingly tailor made for each other, with AMW once again getting a tainted victory. Even though she was banned from ringside, Gail Kim made her way up to the rafters, and as the referee took an accidental bump to the outside of the ring, she dropped a night stick down. After Styles tried to pin Storm after a Styles clash, Harris grabbed the night stick and took Styles out. As the referee came back into the ring, a groggy Storm pinned Styles to retain the titles.

In his office, Larry Zybyszko is interviewed by Jeremy Borash, who praises the man he’s chosen to take Raven out, Team Canada’s A1. Referee Slick Johnson then arrives on the scene, announcing that the new face of TNA will arrive at Slammiversary next month. So how come a referee knows what’s happening, but the boss doesn’t? Anyway, Slick then claims to know who the new boss is, throwing out names ranging from Roddy Piper to the Ultimate Warrior, before telling Larry he’ll have to wait until next month to find out. Then it’s time for a video package highlighting the recent happenings in the Raven/Zybyszko feud.

Back in the Impact Zone, as Raven faces A1, who brings Larry along for company. Raven’s recent health problems have obviously taken a toll on him, as he looks rough as hell. The Canadian took control early on, after throwing a chair at Raven, but the former champion came back after a few minutes of punishment, before Larry’s attempted interference backfired, and Raven pinned A1 after a DDT. Then, as Raven went to leave, Larry called him back to the ring, as security had to separate the two after a brawl.

Backstage, Borash interviews Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner, showing a great deal of confidence before their match against Sting and Samoa Joe. Is it me or is Steiner looking even more of a freak these days? Following this, another video package is aired, showing the rivalry between Rhino and Team Canada.

Next up, Bobby Roode, as usual with Scott D’Amore, takes on Rhino in a battle of the powerhouses. Both men, especially Roode, really impressed me in this one, with Roode centring his attack on Rhino’s surgically repaired neck, with the coach getting in a few cheap shots for good measure. Rhino came back strongly, but interference from D’Amore lead to Rhino’s downfall, as Roode took him down with his northern lariat to get the pin.

Backstage, Borash interviews Team 3-D, as they remember the last time they faced the James Gang, a match when the former Dudleys defeated the former New Age Outlaws for their first WWE titles. We then see the video package documenting the rivalry between these two teams.

On to tag-team action, as Team 3-D faces the James Gang. Definitely a match for the nostalgia buffs here, as well as being an example of how poor the WWE tag division is at the moment. A good mid-carder here, with both tandems given the opportunity to show that they can still go, with B.G. pinning Devon after clobbering him with a lead pipe, bringing back memories of six years ago.

In a dark corner somewhere, Borash chats with Abyss and James Mitchell about the full metal mayhem match with Christian. This is once again evidence that Mitchell is one of the best promo guys in the business.

Back in the arena, it’s time for the World X Cup Gauntlet match, with the trophy to be presented by the lovely Christy Hemme. By now you all should know how I hate reporting on gauntlet/rumble/battle royal matches, so we’ll keep this one brief. Tons of fast paced action……Petey Williams defeats Puma to win the bout with the Canadian destroyer….team U.S.A. and Canada tied on five points each. There.

But that wasn’t the end of things as none other than Kevin Nash strode to the ring and power bombed Puma before bragging about how he can beat anyone in the X Division.

Backstage, Borash asks Samoa Joe if he’ll be able to get along with Sting. The big man promises to take Jarrett and Steiner to the cleaners, before we get a video package looking at the run-in to the big match.

We then move on to the big tag-team encounter, pitting Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner against Sting and X Division champion Samoa Joe. This bout proved one thing - that Samoa Joe is more than capable of hanging with the big boys in TNA. With Steiner once again unimpressive, Joe was the star of the show, putting on some great exchanges, especially with Jarrett, before eventually getting the pin on Double J after his patented muscle buster. Then the real drama began. After shaking Sting’s hand, Joe left the ring, and walked away as Jarrett and Steiner attacked Sting from behind, and it was only when other members of the roster came down that Jarrett and Steiner ran for cover.

On to some more footage, with music that would sound great in a Hitchcock film, looking back at the rivalry between Abyss and Christian Cage, before Borash catches up with the belt-less champion as he promises victory in the main event.

Time for the main event, full metal mayhem as Christian Cage defends his NWA World title against the monster Abyss, who as always has James Mitchell by his side. Although this feud has had an excellent build-up, and this match was good in it’s own way, given what’s happened in the past, it lacked intensity, and at times both men seemed at a loss for what to do while the other was setting up the toys. This month it was James Mitchell’s turn to take the obligatory bump on the thumb tacks, with Christian climbing the ladder to reclaim the belt moments later.

In conclusion - TNA once again put on another good show, with Samoa Joe proving to be the star of the night. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Joe in the main event picture - as long as he doesn’t have a singles match with Scott Steiner.