1) X Division Elimination Match: Team Japan (Masato Yoshino, Milano Collection AT, & Puma) vs. Team Mexico (Averno, Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero) v. Team International (Doug Williams, Alex Koslov, & Tyson Dux) v. Team USA (Curry Man & Motor City Machine Guns)- 7
2) Angelina Love v. Gail Kim- 4
3) Sonjay Dutt v. Jay Lethal- 5
4) Beer Money v. LAX (Fans Lumberjack w/ Straps Match)- 3
5) Taylor Wilde v. Awesome Kong - 5
6) Volador jr v. Naruki Doi v. Shawn Daivari v. Kazarian (Ultimate X Match)- 6
7) Kurt Angle & Team 3D v. AJ Styles, Christian Cage & Rhino (Full Metal Mayhem)- 4
8) Samoa Joe v. Booker T -6
The Opening match was a reminder of why TNA was a breath of fresh air instead of the same old same old, bringing in top talent from all over the world, and using young guys who were willing to push the limits in what was called the X Division. This was probably the last time it was really pushed. There was a lot of really awesome work here, I thought all the talent that was brought in really showcased their skills and the beginning and end of the match was quite good. Middle of the match had some rough spots, Bucanero was trying to set up some stuff that didn't come off very well but even though I usually detest Yoshino, he played a great role here. Still did his gimmick of kicking out of every guy's finisher but it all concluded nicely.
Gail was a good leader here, the thing that was nice to watch about this is there was no hesitation between either woman, they knew exactly what they were supposed to do. Love threw a nice Savio Vega kick that impressed me, and a headache inducing superplex didn't make me hate this either. Even Velet outside played her role well.
Another match that I wasn't sure about, given the hokey angle right out of WWE's 1991 scripts but Dutt especially sold his ass off on all of Lethal's crazy offense, even if the crowd was pretty lackluster during it. That was the one element that hurt this, crowd wasn't into it. Dutt also tops the balls out hurricanrana Sabin used in the opener by doing a springboard into his. the brawl outside was as useless as a William Hung Autobiography, but it showed Lethal was able to turn up the intensity. This was merely a place setting for the later meal they would have to end this feud in a crazy chain match.
This gimmick is all fine and good for the local yokles who took time out of their busy World of Warcraft marathon to submit a contest video to get picked by TNA to be here with straps but it doesn't do a damn thing for the viewer. I wouldn't even give some of these freaks a dirty look, nonetheless a leather belt. Beer Money was having more fun joking around with it than anyone was watching it. Nothing really came together to make this into a decent match, even the finish was flat and it was a crazy move off the top, like when people take a nice steak and stuff it with gorgonzola or something, just ruins it.
The formula here worked as well as a Squared + b Squared= c Squared, plucky babyface, small odds, but holds out and somehow seems to counter everything her monstrous opponent throws at her. I guess for this to work more effectively, you don't want it to linger on for a long time, but I wanted to see more of this. Kong is a nasty beast and knows the secret to being a successful monster: (no not wearing Xena's outfit) but knowing how to get so much out of doing so little. Even her camel clutch looked damn near crippling and you really felt Taylor's agony.
I actually just upped my score because as I've said many times, a good or great ending, just like in film, can leave you with a positive point of view after it's over. I thought some of the guys looked as lost as a zebra in a public swimming pool, even though I think Volador v. Doi would be pretty neat as a 6 minute sprint from their chemistry late in the match. The lame part was when all 3 guys were standing around in line waiting to take a shot at Kazarian's injured arm. It looked like lunchtime at Panera Bread waiting for your name to be called, really pointless. But Kazarian's flying legdrop off the grid was pretty nuts, one of the craziest spots I've seen in a while, and reminded me a little of TNA's more reckless stuff from the early days.
This match felt as choreographed as the new Broadway hit "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark." No Peter Parkers here though, just ugly, juiced up slobs. Bubba's a prick, I don't mean that in a good way. It almost seems criminal AJ has to deal with him not bumping and taking liberties with him during 2 spots. Christian takes his token gnarly bump on the ladder and even though it was just used in the last match, pretty swank dive from the top of the steel girder. Frank Trigg wasn't the only one laughing after Rhino took a really protected table bump and D-Von blew out his ankle at the same time. His MMA career's in the toilet, but he was pulling off cocky heel better than most in the company. Finish was only to stroke Trigg's shriveled sack even though Kurt and AJ worked some cool nearfalls. God, TNA does way too many of these multi-man garabage matches.
First off, the Booker videos they played were great material; his "Cribs" episode, and him running that shady bar were as good as any of his goofiest WWE stuff. Match wise, these guys matched up pretty well. Joe wasn't pulling any punches, slapping Book's chest with chops and kicks like Rocky Balboa punching a slab of meat. Joe got some blood too and kind of helped sell his rising anger as the match proceeded. The ending was god awful though and really long and drawn out. Joe's "ole" kick missed by a mile outside and Book bladed majorly for the end where it was barely seen by the cameras. Would have liked to seen the ending go in a different directon and Sting isn't intimidating anyone with that Robert Langdon haircut and Columbine jacket on.