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COMMENT





Impact: Kicking off the World X Cup
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling


Get your passports ready, the World X Cup begins this week on Impact! Team Japan is in the house and primed for action with Team USA, while Team USA captain Jay Lethal is set to take on the unbeaten Samoa Joe in an X Division Title match. It's time to sit back, relax and enjoy the 60-minute adrenaline rush known as Impact.

The show started with a recap of Sunday's Lockdown PPV. Make that three good ones in a row for TNA.

In the deep, dark regions of the arena, "The Monster" Abyss and Father James Mitchell are shown walking with the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Mitchell cackles at the fact that he walked out with the belt and signaling for Doomsday once again.

The Impact intro played as Abyss and Mitchell made their way to the ring. Mitchell laid down the gauntlet, challenging anybody in the back to come out and try and take the title from Abyss. Cue Rhino's music...

Match One - "The Monster" Abyss w/ Father James Mitchell vs. "The War Machine" Rhino

Both men looked physically beaten down, having both competed in brutal matches at Lockdown. Abyss had the upperhand on Rhino throughout the contest, with Rhino getting the edge every once in a while. At one point, "The War Machine" had Abyss down, but while the referee was distracted by Mitchell, "The Canadian Enforcer" Bobby Roode hit the ring and caught Rhino from behind with a Northern Lariat. Mitchell called for Doomsday as Abyss planted Rhino with a Black Hole Slam for the win.

Winner Via Pinfall - "The Monster" Abyss

After the match, "Captain Charisma" Christian Cage hit the ring and took it to Abyss, sending "The Monster" and Mitchell scurrying to the back. While in the ring, Cage grabbed a mic and challenged Abyss to a Full Metal Mayhem Match at Sacrifice. Tables, Ladders, Chairs and Chains are all promised, but don't be surprised if some thumbtacks are brought into the mix.

In the back, Jeremy Borash stood by with Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner who informed us that at Sacrifice, they would be taking on Sting and a partner of his choosing. Larry Zbyszko barged in looking for Raven, but Borash was clueless as to his whereabouts. Zbyszko also informed Jarrett and Steiner to head to the ring later on, as Sting would announce his partner for Sacrifice. Back to the Raven situation, will "The Living Legend" step back in the ring on a TNA PPV?

TNA rejoins us on PPV with Sacrifice on May 14.

A Paparazzi Productions vignette followed, with Alex Shelley knocking on the door of Kevin Nash. A big interview is promised for the next edition of Impact. With any luck, Nash will avoid injury when talking to Shelley.

Match Two - World X Cup Round One Match - Team Japan (Hirooki Goto and Minoru Tanaka) w/ Black Tiger vs. Team USA (Alex Shelley and Sonjay Dutt)

Look at this, Shelley gets to do the Paparazzi Cam and a match, it must be his lucky day. These two teams have matched up very well, putting forth a great match at Lockdown. Scott D'Amore and Petey Williams joined the commentary for this one, announcing that Johnny Devine and Tyson Dux would be joining the mix of Team Canada. Throughout the match, Jerry Lynn and Chris Sabin sat in the back taking notes. Shelley and Dutt showed great teamwork and finished off Team Japan with a Sliced Bread/Moonsault combo.

Winners Via Pinfall - Team USA (Alex Shelley and Sonjay Dutt)

World X Cup Standings:
Team USA - 2 points
Team Canada - 0 points
Team Mexico - 0 points
Team Japan - 0 points

Jeremy Borash joined us from the back once again, this time with "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles and "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels. The two decided to join forces to take on America's Most Wanted on the next edition of Impact.

A Senshei vignette played. Low Ki's Japanese warrior gimmick could do well in TNA, he's a great talent to bring back.

Jeremy Borash and Larry Zbyszko stood in the ring to ring announce for the X Division championship match, but Raven made his way through the crowd, chasing Zbyszko off as the title match got underway...

Match Three - TNA X Division Championship Match - "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe (C) vs. Jay Lethal

It's good that Lethal gets all these opportunities, however, this wasn't much of an opportunity, as he was pretty much destroyed by Joe. Sure Lethal got a few moves in, but this match was another showing of how devastating Joe can be. A springboard from Lethal proved to be detrimental, as he was reversed into an STO type slam, followed by a Muscle Buster.

Winner Via Pinfall and STILL TNA X Division Champion - "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe

Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner came through the tunnel, facing off with Joe on the entrance ramp. Once they got in the ring, Sting came out and began taunting Jarrett and Steiner, telling them they could pick Sting's partner by choosing Tunnel one or Tunnel two. Sting decided to make a gameshow out of the ordeal, bringing out Christy Hemme as his helper and cueing up some game-showesq music. Sting told Jarrett he had the option of picking a tunnel or facing totally new possibilities next time around. Jarrett decided to forgo the tunnel picking, as Sting brought out the two men he had waiting, Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger. The three men stared down Jarrett and Steiner as they retreated to the back in shock.


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    Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and wants you fans to play a little game as well. Which of the following did the last segment of Impact remind you of? a) an episode of WCW Nitro or b) an episode of Cops? Send your answers to CJS137@aol.com.