TNA Sacrifice 2012
May 13th, 2012
Impact Wrestling Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: Unknown at this time
May 13th, 2012
Impact Wrestling Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: Unknown at this time
Welcome back everyone to another edition of 411's LIVE TNA PPV coverage. I am your loyal host and recapper tonight once again and though Sacrifice hasn't exactly been known as a blow-away event in years past for the company, this year's card doesn't look half bad with a ladder match between Bobby Roode and Rob Van Dam for the TNA World Title set as our main event an undercard featuring Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson, Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray, and a tag title match between Joe & Magnus and Daniels & Kaz among others. If most of those matches can deliver, I'll be a happy customer. Hard-sell over, let's start the show!
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
TNA Tag Team Title Match
Samoa Joe/Magnus © vs. Christopher Daniels/Kazarian
Looks like we're starting off tonight with the tag title match. Magnus and Daniels start off trading wristlocks before Magnus gets the upper hand with a pair of scoop slams. Magnus delivers a beautiful vertical suplex to Daniels and Joe tags in to lay in some rights before Daniels is able to bail finally to catch his breath and tag Kaz in. Joe tags Magnus back in and the faces put together a few double team moves. Daniels tris Magnus up from the floor and Kaz hits him with a springboard leg-drop before tagging Chris back in. Daniels works over Magnus a bit as the camera shows Joseph Park, the brother of Abyss, in the audience. Kaz tags in to continue working Magnus over with a bow and arrow stretch, but Magnus is able to break free and get the hot tag to Joe. Joe does his signature walk-away spot as Daniels misses a moonsault and eats the uranage out of the corner from Joe. Daniels takes Magnus down with a judo toss (even though he's not legal) for a two count. He tries the BME but misses and Joe nails him with a pele kick just as Magnus hits the top rope elbow drop. That combo usually ends it for the champs, but Kaz breaks up the pin. Joe gets sent out of the ring and the heels hit a variation of Total Elimination on Magnus to pick up the win and the titles at 10:54. Match was just as solid as you'd expect out of these four, but I have to question taking the belts off of Joe and Magnus just as they were really starting to get over and come into their own as a team. Good opener, but it lacked a certain spark. **3/4
Taz and Tenay put over the usual social media blabber.
TNA Knockouts Title Match
Gail Kim © vs. Brooke Tessmacher
If only Brooke could wrestle half as well as she looks. She takes it right to Gail at the bell with a monkey flip and Brooke looks to use Gail's own finisher, Eat Defeat, on her to no avail. Clothesline from Gail and she follows with a cross-body in the corner. Backbreaker from Kim and she stretches Brooke out a bit until the challenger is able to break it up and build up a bit of momentum with a nice elbow drop from the top for a two count. Brooke nails the champ with her own finisher, Eat Defeat, but the move sends Gail out of the ring and by the time Brooke brings her back in, she's able to kick out. Gail crawls away and when Brooke chases after her, she rolls her up and puts her feet on the ropes for extra leverage to get the cheap win and retain at 6:54. This was actually much better than I was expecting and I might have to take my opening comments back because Brooke seems to have actually improved a good bit in the ring. Cheap finish, but you come to expect that from the KO division. **
Backstage the new TNA Tag Team champions Kazarian and Christopher Daniels are with Jeremy Borash. Instead of talking about their title win though they go right into talking about AJ Styles again. Can we PLEASE get something for Daniels and Kaz to do that doesn't involve AJ Styles for once? Pretty please?
TNA Television Title Match
Devon © vs. Robbie E vs. Robbie T.
Who booked this crap? Devon makes a fool out of both guys early, sending T out and slamming E to the mat with a uranage before T pulls him out of the ring for a sloppy clothesline. Back inside the heels double-team Devon some more as Robbie E gets a few near-falls. Devon sends E out of the ring and eats a running powerslam from T, but E hits the ring to break up the count. The heels argue for a bit until Devon rolls Robbie E up to retain at 5:34. About as exciting as your average Xplosion main event---which is to say not very. Lord knows why this company feels the need to have Devon carrying the TV title when it could be used to get a young talent over. Blegh. 1/2*
Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
Odd to see these two so low on the card, but maybe it'll motivate them to step their game up. Both men slap hands at the bell in a sign of respect and then lock up. Wristlock exchange and Hardy dropkicks Anderson out of the ring. He sends Anderson face first into the steel steps and Hardy pulls the steps out for the Whisper in the Wind, but Anderson moves and Hardy crashes into the steel guardrail instead. Back inside Hardy hits a Russian legsweep and a leg-drop to the abdomen. Anderson blocks the slingshot dropkick in the corner with a pair of boots and tries for a few near-falls. Anderson starts to work over Jeff's arm, trapping it behind him and slamming him to the mat. Hardy is able to break it up and nail Anderson with his own finisher, the Mic Check, but only gets two. Anderson responds by hitting Hardy with his own finisher, the Twist of Fate, but Hardy kicks out at two as well. Anderson tries a Swanton, but Hardy gets the knees up. He hits his own Swanton, but Anderson kicks out again! Jeff tries the legdrop to the abdomen again, but Anderson blocks it and counters into a roll-up that Hardy appears to kick out of at the last milli-second, but the bell rings and apparently the ref counted to three, giving Anderson the odd win at 11:55. On replay it appears Jeff absolutely kicked out before 3. The match itself was good but not quite up to some of Jeff's matches in the last few months, and the weird finish didn't help matters. Still, this is the match of the night so far. ***
Christy Hemme is backstage with the Greatest Man That Ever Lived, Austin Aries. She asks him a question from a fan on Twitter about whether he's intimidated by Bully Ray, and Aries scoffs at the question. He tells us it's about skill, not size, and tonight he's going to show Ray who the better man is.
After a quick replay of the return of Abyss on Impact this past week we cut to Jeremy Borash, whose in the audience with the brother of Abyss, Joseph Park. The fans even start a "Joseph!" chant for him, proving once and for all that the Impact Zone will literally chant for anything and anyone. He says he's going to kick back and watch Austin Aries kick Bully Ray's ass.
Crimson makes his way out next to cut a promo. Heelish Crimson is so much more tolerable than babyface Crimson. He was originally set to take on Matt Morgan here but the company apparently ran out of contractual appearances for him, which seems like something you'd be able to avoid. Crimson issues an open challenge, brings in a ref, and has him begin counting to 10 even though no one's here. Before the ten count though Eric Young and ODB come out and apparently EY is here to accept the challenge.
Crimson vs. Eric Young
EY locks up with the ref when he hits the ring but then realizes he's wrestling Crimson and clotheslines the big man out of the ring. It's not long before Crimson has taken the upper hand though, tossing Young out of the ring easily. ODB tries to get in Crimson's face to defend her man, but Crimson shoves her into the corner, enraging Young who strips off his pants to reveal an American flag pair of tights. He cleans house on Crimson then hits an elbow drop, but ODB gets sent out of the ring in the process. When he goes to check on her Crimson pulls him around and hits him with the Red Sky to pick up the win at around 5:00 (the "official bell" started before Young ever even came out). Pretty much just an excuse to get Crimson a quick pin in lieu of the blow-off match with Morgan, inoffensive but nothing particularly good. Heel Crimson > Face Crimson though, easily. *
Backstage Bully Ray tells Jeremy Borash that he doesn't mess with that TWITTAH thing, no, he's old-school....he still rocks MySpace! He tells Aries that he won't be able to get him into the brainbuster tonight, no matter how big his heart is. Awesome promo from Ray, as usual.
Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray
The build for this one has been great with these two exchanging excellent promos for weeks. Both men start trash-talking in each other's face at the bell and the crowd is hot for Aries as he looks to lock up, but Ray ducks out instead. Ray spits right in his face and Aries fires back with big rights and lefts in the corner. Aries bites a chunk out of Ray's pride and joy (his calves) and the fans love it. Aries climbs to the top rope but Ray boots him right off the top and he just plummets back and head first into the steel guardrail! Holy shit, Austin Aries is DEAD. That was one of the sickest bumps I've ever seen, and Aries has several straight up neon-purple bruises and welts on his back already from that. I'm still cringing from that bump a full two minutes later as the crowd chants "Bully sucks!" Ray works a brief bear hug but Aries breaks it up with big Mongolian chops. Ray lays in some chops on Austin but he just stands right back up and demands to know if that's all he's got. Ray responds with a chop so stiff it would make Kobashi cringe but Aries won't stay down, as he gets back to his feet and asks Ray for some more, but instead of obliging Ray goes right for an eye-rake like a true heel. Aries slips out of a powerbomb attempt and hits a discus elbow, but Ray responds by launching him 10 feet into the air and giving him an Ace Crusher in mid-air! Somehow Aries still kicks out though. Ray grabs a steel chain from ringside and this brings Joseph Park down to ringside to try and alert the ref. Ray brings him onto the rampway and grabs a chair, but turns around only to meet the heat-seeking missile tope from Aries. Back inside Aries hits a missile dropkick then nails Ray with the brainbuster! He actually got him up for it! Ray kicks out at two though to everyone's shock. Ray tries for a powerbomb again but Aries slides out of the move at the last second, flips over, and applies the Last Chancery submission to Ray...and Ray taps out! Aries picks up the win at 13:17. This totally exceeded all of the expectations I had going in, I was expecting a solid big/little man contest but what we got here was so much more. Aries took one of the sickest beatdowns I've ever seen (including a bump on the railing so sickening it would make an early 90s Cactus Jack blush) to build up just fantastic heat for the finish, which practically had the place coming unglued by the time Aries hit the brainbuster. Excellent story told here from both men, kudos. ***3/4
Backstage AJ Styles is with Jeremy Borash to voice concern over his match with Angle next if he isn't focused. He doesn't want to talk about the Dixie Carter photos though, he's just here to wrestle damnit.
AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle
We've probably seen this match twenty times in the past, but considering how awesome they usually are, I can't exactly complain. Great amateur sequence to start with Angle gaining the upper-hand predictably. Leapfrog from AJ and he blocks a belly-to-belly attempt before both men tease going for their finishers (the Styles Clash and ankle lock respectively) unsuccessfully. Side headlock by Angle, but AJ breaks it up with a dropkick and tries a headlock of his own. Angle gets sent to the floor and AJ tries for a pescado as Angle moves and he lands on his feet. Angle tries a German suplex on the floor, but AJ flips over onto his feet in a neat spot. Back in the ring he can't block the overhead belly-to-belly suplex from Kurt though. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Kurt and he follows with a back-body drop. AJ hits a fireman's carry slam on Angle, nailing his neck over AJ's knee in the process. Angle blocks another Styles Clash attempt but gets sent out to the floor, where AJ nails him with a springboard forearm off the top rope. Back in the ring Kurt sets Styles up on the top turnbuckle and then belly-to-belly suplexes him off for two. Styles hits the pele kick out of nowhere though and then follows with the Styles Clash, but this is TNA remember so of course it only gets two. Does anyone's finisher ever actually FINISH a match anymore? Release German suplex from Angle takes Styles inside out. Both men trade forearms and Kurt avoids the backflip-into-reverse DDT spot Styles is famous for before hitting the Angle Slam (only for two of course). Angle looks to hit AJ with his own Styles Clash, but AJ blocks it and the follow up ankle lock attempt from Kurt. Kurt turns him around and tries for the Clash yet again, and this time he connects, but again Styles kicks out. Angle misses the moonsault and Styles goes for the springboard 450, but doesn't get quite enough air though and can't complete the second rotation, turning it into a flipping back senton of sorts instead. Kazarian and Daniels run down to ringside now though and trip Styles up behind the ref's back, allowing Angle to hit the Angle Slam...but AGAIN Styles kicks out so Kurt just locks him into the ankle lock and Styles taps out at 20:51. After the match Daniels and Kaz jump Styles again, but Angle makes the save for his opponent. Face turn for Kurt? The match itself wasn't as good as some of the classics these two have had in the past, but when you've got Angle and Styles in the ring together, even when they're off it's still a great contest. Some smart psychology behind some of the counters too. ***1/2
We get another "Top Ten Moments of TNA" clip, this time highlighting Kurt Angle's insane moonsault off the top of the cage against Mr. Anderson back at Lockdown 2010, which is still one of the craziest spots of the last few years.
Elsewhere backstage Jeremy Borash is with the World champion Bobby Roode, who doesn't feel right without the World title around his waist right now. He makes the usual promise of victory and takes off as we get the pre-match hype package.
TNA World Title Ladder Match
Robert Roode © vs. Rob Van Dam
Good thing they turned this into a ladder match because I'm not sure anyone really card about a non-gimmick match between these two. Barely a minute passes before both men are out on the floor to no one's surprise as RVD drapes Roode over the guardrail and hits his trademark spinning leg-drop off the apron on him. Back in the ring Roode nails a DDT. He slides out of the ring to grab a ladder but turns around just as RVD slingshot-flips himself out of the ring onto him. Back inside Roode jumps Rob from behind and sets up the ladder in the corner, but winds up getting sent face-first into it instead. Jeremy Borash for some reason is one of our camera-men outside the ring, as I guess JB really DOES do just about every odd job for this company at times. RVD gets catapulted face-first into the ladder in the corner and Roode slams it over his back for a bit of good measure. Bobby sets up the ladder against the second rope and tries for a suplex, but RVD counters with a suplex of his own onto the ladder before hitting a beautiful Lionsault on Roode against the ladder. RVD scissors his legs around Roode's legs and sends his back of the head into the ladder yet again as these guys just aren't wasting any time getting to the spots. Rob grabs a chair from ringside and hits the running dropkick on Roode in the corner with the ladder draped over him (double the steel and only half the price!). RVD grabs another, oddly colored ladder and tries climbing it, but Roode climbs up to meet him at the top and sends him off lazily. Rob knocks Roode off the ladder by sheer accident but eats a lariat. Huge spinebuster from Roode sends Van Dam back-first onto the new ladder in a nasty spot. Not to be out-done, Rob sends the champ into the second ladder with a big monkey flip and then follows up with the Rolling Thunder. RVD sets Roode up on another ladder in the center of the ring and then tries for the Five Star Frog Slash from the top rope, but Roode moves and Van Dam eats steel. Roode sets up the ladder and tries to climb it when Van Dam makes his way back to the ring and tries to leap from th top rope onto the ladder, but his side of the ladder collapses under his leg and Rob crashes to the mat in an ugly botch. Rob is able to recover but Roode sends him off the ladder again, this time sending Van Dam's skull into a steel chair on the mat. This allows Roode to grab the title and retain at 15:26. Aside from the botch at the finish this was your usual fun car-crash ladder match with both guys just going straight to the crazy high spots because of the lack of time left on the show. Still, RVD really is great in these kinds of matches and this was non-stop action the whole way through. I could have definitely used another five minutes here instead of, say, Crimson vs. Eric Young earlier in the evening, but otherwise a good way to close out a solid show. ***1/2
We go off the air with RVD checking in with some trainers at ringside about his possibly injured ankle while Roode celebrates with his title in the ring.
Bottom Line: Well I said that as long as all of the main matches on this show delivered in one way or another I'd be a satisfied customer, and that's exactly what happened. The tag title opener was solid if unspectacular, Aries/Ray was an outstanding slice of superb storytelling, Styles/Angle was it's usual goodness, and the main event delivered the high spot fest fun you expect from a ladder match. Everything else was pretty disposable, but I doubt anyone bought this show for the TV title match. Solid show with a good crowd for once (unlike Lockdown last month) and a pretty easy Thumbs Up even if there was nothing amazing here.