Once again, Chessarmy will not be joining me as I preview TNA's latest PPV offering. I feel like I'm doing him a favor by not asking him to add his thoughts because with the way Chessarmy feels about TNA right now, his contribution to this blog would probably consist of nothing but 4 letter words. I can't say I blame him for that either. The TV show is a crowded, overbooked, gimmicky mess, and Sacrifice looks like... well...
KNOCKOUTS TITLE vs. CAREER
Tara vs. Madison Rayne (c)
Tara has made it known on her MySpace page that her contract is expiring at the end of the month and that she and TNA have not been able to agree to a new one due to -- you guessed it -- money issues. Given the stipulation, this will most likely be her last match in the company and that's just fine with me. The writers inexplicably tried to turn her into a heel in the weeks leading up to this match against also-heel, Madison Rayne, and then during what was probably her last iMPACT, they had her squash Taylor Wilde AND Sarita in 2 separate matches which, considering she's leaving the company in a few days, makes about as much sense as the now-infamous lockbox title change did -- NONE! Anyway, unless Tara and management come to terms on a new contract, which seems unlikely given what we now know about the situation, it's not a question of if Tara will do the job here, but how.
Who should win: Madison Rayne. Madison is a lame duck champion right now and we all know it. She desperately needs some credibility to prove that she was given the title for reasons other than her looks. Beating Tara clean could do that. I know there's this baffling booking philosophy among this creative team that heels can never win matches clean, but since Tara is leaving, there's no reason on earth why that can't happen here, and it would be the best thing they could do for the champion.
TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
Ink Inc. vs. the Band (c) (ugh)
Stop me if you've heard this one. You create a new tag team, give them a title shot on PPV, and then at the 11th hour, you take the titles off the guy they were feuding with and give them to 2 fat, half-crippled senior citizens so that your tag team championship match that you want fans to pay money to see now has absolutely no build up whatsoever. Only in TNA, folks.
For Christ's sake, it's a tag team that hasn't even had time to get over yet vs. 2 guys that are so old, they shouldn't even be in the ring. Have I mentioned yet that I am NOT going to order this PPV?
Who should win: I suppose whichever team wins the titles from Hall & Nash could get some kind of rub, maybe. But that rub would be absolutely wasted on the mohawk boys who, BTW, have been a tag team for all of 5 minutes and haven't even proved that they deserve a title shot much less a title run. To have those 2 poseurs with the tag team belts when Sabin & Shelley have been a team in TNA for over 3 years and STILL haven't won them would make me sick. God help me, but... Hall & Nash should retain, but ONLY until a worthy team can earn a shot against them. And for the record, by "worthy team" I mean the MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS, GOD DAMN IT!
#1 CONTENDERSHIP TO THE TAG TEAM TITLES
Beer Money Inc. vs. Motor City Machine Guns vs. Team 3D
Yeah, I'm putting this ahead of the tag title match because, hell, this is going to be a much better match and we all know it. Hall & Nash can barely move and it's going to take more than what Moore & Neal have got to carry them to something watchable. This on the other hand, should be very good if it gets any real time. Beer Money are always great, 3D can still go when they want to and the Machine Guns are physically incapable of having a bad match. Damn, what does it say about a PPV when a match with no build up that was added at the last second looks like one of the best matches on the card?
Who should win: The Guns & Beer Money have a DVD of their greatest matches coming out soon. Simple common sense would tell us that either of those teams should win the title shot, go on to win the tag titles and then feud over them with the other team to get fans excited for that DVD and drive up sales when it's released. But as we've learned by now, the TNA writers don't seem to have the capacity to understand common sense anymore.
The way this was set up, it looks like Ink Inc. may win the titles and 3D may go over here setting up a student vs. teacher feud with Neal and 3D, and if I cared about Jesse Neal or his tag team at all, that might interest me. But it doesn't, and it certainly doesn't outweigh the benefits of doing MCMG vs. Beer Money for the titles to boost those DVD sales.
The smart thing would be to have 3D do the job to either of the young teams, which probably means the writers will throw logic and good business sense to the wind and have 3D win the title shot. Having said that, I will say that Sabin & Shelley should win it because they've been waiting for a title run for over 3 years and they @#$%ing deserve it a hell of a lot more than Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal.
GLOBAL TITLE MATCH
Orlando Jordan (SHOOT ME!) vs. Rob Terry (c)
God help us all... It's the walking insomnia cure vs. the human piss break. If you think for one second that I'm even going to discuss this feud, you can kiss both sides of my ass. I absolutely refuse to watch anything involving Orlando Jordan. As a straight person, I find his gimmick to be offensive and exploitative, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. I can only imagine what gay wrestling fans out there are feeling when they're asked to boo a character because he's gay and shoves his gayness in people's faces. Plus, there's the unfortunate fact that Jordan has no talent as a wrestler, and for that matter, neither does his opponent. Leave it to TNA to book a match between a horribly offensive walking stereotype and a 'roid monkey, neither of whom are over or can wrestle, and then ask us to choose which guy to support based on who sucks less.
Who should win: I would like to go on the record saying that I am NOT going to watch this match. When this match comes on, I'm going to run to the bathroom and take a giant crap, which I imagine is what most of the fans in the iMPACT Zone will be doing as well.
It really doesn't matter what happens here because regardless of who wins, the fans lose. But if I have to pick the lesser of 2 evils, I'll go with Terry. Damn you, TNA; I don't know how it came to this, but you actually have me hoping for Rob Terry to win a match. It's almost as if you WANT me to give up on your company.
X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH
Douglas Williams vs Kazarian (c)
While I agree that this match needed to happen, the fact that Williams refuses to relinquish the title belt is pretty stupid. He doesn't get to make that decision. Why doesn't company management just force him to give up the belt? Yes, he got screwed over when he was stripped of it for missing Lockdown due to travel conditions beyond his control, yes, he should be pissed off about it, yes, he is entitled to a chance to win it back, but the fact that he's still walking around with the belt and no one, not even the current champion, is even addressing the issue is just dumb. It should be a fine match though.
Who should win: Kazarian
CHELSEA vs. RING
Desmond Wolfe vs Abyss
Every week, when iMPACT comes on, I ask myself why the longest running storyline on this show revolves around a WWE Hall of Fame ring. And every time, I'm forced to remind myself that the reason is because this is TNA and apparently it's just not meant to make sense anymore.
When the fans were allowed to vote for who they wanted to get a world title shot, Wolfe came in first in the poll, and Abyss, the man Hogan anointed as 'TNA's John Cena,' came in dead last. The exact same thing happened in the second poll TNA put up. That's a pretty good indicator that people are about as taken with this Abyssamania crap as I am (not very). The fans have spoken, and according to them, Desmond Wolfe is the man and Abyss is the stain on the darkest part of Wolfe's underwear. And yet, for the last several months, Abyss has been pushed as a force, and Wolfe like a curtain jerker disguised as an upper midcarder. This needs to end. Now.
Who should win: Desmond Wolfe goes over, takes the WWE Hall of Fame ring and does exactly what any self-respecting TNA star SHOULD have done with it in the first place -- he throws it in the trash, because this is TNA, not WWE, God damn it.
Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett
What is the point? Seriously, what is the point of doing this match? If these guys absolutely have to be in the ring at all, they should be facing the young talent and putting them over. Sting vs. Jarret isn't going to do anything to benefit the company long term. We've already seen this match before, the fan votes in TNA's heavyweight ranking poll indicate that overall interest in both of these guys is pretty low, any intrigue in the mystery of why Sting turned heel was pissed away by the writers waiting way too long to give the explanation, and considering how much Sting has declined as a performer in the last few years, it's probably going to take a better worker than Jeff Jarret to carry him in the ring. So again, I ask you: why is this match happening?
Who should win: Sting. Frankly, I really don't care who goes over in this match. But since pretty much all the top heels in the company have been Hogan's bitches for months, they really need to start getting their heat back.
Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy
Gosh, let me think about this one for a minute. One of these guys easily ranks among the most entertaining stars on this show, has a lot of momentum and just came off a hot-as-hell match with Kurt Angle at Lockdown. The other is borderline-incoherent, has shown himself to be unreliable in the past, is about to go before a jury on drug trafficking charges and could be looking at some serious jail time in the near future. Hmmm... Yeah, this is a tough one.
Who should win: Mr. Anderson. If I were Hardy right now, I'd be a little less concerned with not dropping the ball in this match and a little more concerned with not dropping the soap in the shower. He's only filling this spot until the Pope heals up from his shoulder injury anyway, so there's no reason to derail Anderson until then.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
AJ Styles vs. Rob Van Dam (c)
It's pretty clear that TNA put the title on Van Dam as a ratings stunt. One week later, iMPACT scored a 0.5 and now the show is going back to Thursday with the company's tail wedged firmly between it's legs. So, I guess that ratings stunt didn't work out so well, huh?
Van Dam's terrible promos lately are reason enough why he shouldn't be the champion, IMO. Plus, they made AJ look weak by having him lose the title the way he did. Hogan's boys have the rule of the roost right now, while Flair's team, comprised of all the top young heels in the company, has largely been turned into the job squad. That doesn't make for compelling TV. The heels have GOT to gain some ground here and that starts by taking the world title back from a man who has been in the company for all of 2 months.
Who should win: AJ Styles
FINAL THOUGHTS: Good Lord, this card is depressing. This has to be one of the most uninspired cards TNA has put together in recent memory. Jordan vs. Terry and the Band vs. Ink Inc. are enough to convince me to save my money and download this thing on Monday. But then you add a Knockouts match wherein the feud has been booked completely ass-backwards, and Sting vs. Jarret, which doesn't interest me at all at this point, and that's enough to offset any enjoyment that could be derived from everything else on this show. The fact that there are now 9 matches booked means that some of them are probably not going to get enough time, though in the cases of the global and tag title matches, that's probably a good thing. Even the main event, which should be great, doesn't hold much intrigue because the TNA writers, in their infinite wisdom, decided to give that match away for free on iMPACT a few weeks ago and now expect us to pay $35.00 to see it a second time. Um... why?
To be honest, I hope the buyrate for this PPV tanks horribly. Maybe that will force TNA to get it through their heads that they need to try a lot harder if they want people to actually shell out money for this stuff.