SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Fri, July 30, 2010



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

House of Hardcore VII


Signmania VIII


Beulah McGillicutty


Big Event 7 fan fest


Raw in Buffalo


SHIMMER tapings


Alexia Nicole







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT





Impact: Dreamer wrestles
By KARSTEN SCHOOL - The Fight Network


We start this week with a cold open, going straight to the ring where Tommy Dreamer, Mick Foley, Raven, Rhino, Stevie Richards and Brother Devon are holding court in front of a rabid crowd. Dreamer says that this is the loudest he's ever heard the Impact Zone in the eight weeks he's been coming around, and I'd have to agree.

Dreamer says that there's a lot of buzz going around for the Hardcore Justice pay per view on August 8th, but due to the legal implications that come from using certain letters of the alphabet, they've had to come up with a new acronym; the ECW alumni are now going by "EV2.0" (which is never explained or defined...Extreme Veterans maybe?). Dreamer thanks Devon for joining them and welcomes him back to the family, but mentions that there's an angry man in the back who won't put his differences aside, namely Brother Ray. Devon says that he doesn't know what's going on with Ray, because even though they have their differences so do all families, but for some reason Ray won't move past those differences this time. Devon calls Ray out to settle things between them once and for all.

Ray comes down to the entrance ramp, and Devon asks him personally to join the rest of his family in EV2.0. Devon says that it's with them that Team 3D got their start, and EV2.0 have had their backs since day one. Devon asks Ray if he's in or out, and Ray turns to leave, before being called back by Dreamer. Dreamer says that he and Ray are best friends, but enough is enough. He likens Hardcore Justice to being like if Ray's favourite band Kiss got the original line up together again for one last show. Dreamer says that Hardcore Justice isn't about trying to recapture past magic- it's about taking one last night to say thank you to everyone that supported them over the years (which the fans answer with a "one more time" chant). Foley chimes in, saying that Hardcore Justice will be one hell of a show with Ray or without him, but it will be that much better if Ray is willing to participate.

Foley says that he's not a fortune teller and he can almost guarantee that we all make mistakes, but he's willing to bet that if Ray doesn't take part in Hardcore Justice, when he looks back on his career some day that will be the one thing he regrets more than anything else. Ray again turns to leave, but now it's Taz's turn to chime in from the announce table, simply telling Ray to just do it. Ray climbs into the ring and stares down Devon, then says he has one question for him- are they going to get to light someone on fire? Devon breaks out into a grin and nods, as the crowd loudly chants for EV2.0 (clearly coached to do so, which was a smart move). Ray says what the hell, it sounds like fun- he's in. Ray hugs Devon and Dreamer and high fives the other members of EV2.0.

The festivities in the ring are suddenly interrupted by Hulk Hogan's theme music, as the Hulkster makes his return to Impact after being absent for several weeks. As Hogan comes down to the ring, Taz mentions how surreal it is to see Hogan and the boys from Philadelphia in the ring together. Hogan says that it looks like EV2.0 is going to ride again, and he thinks that's pretty cool, thanking them for doing so in TNA. Hogan says that if he had known what Dixie Carter was planning he'd have included a few extra surprises, but either way he welcomes them to TNA.

Hogan calls Carter's announcement last week a shot heard 'round the world, and he agrees with her comparison last week that likened ECW's impact on nineties professional wrestling to his own influence in the eighties. Hogan says he missed the EV2.0 experience the first time around because while they were tearing things up in ECW, he had a black beard and was ruling his own world. Hogan says that he's looking forward to seeing it firsthand this time, so he can't wait to see hardcore ride again. He also says that since everyone is such a giving mood lately, he and Eric Bischoff have something else to give the fans, which Bischoff will announce later tonight.

Before Hogan can go into any further details, he's cut off by the arrival of Abyss, with Janice in hand. Abyss says that he hates to break up the extreme reunion, but They are not happy, in fact They are damn right pissed off. Abyss says that this reunion was never part of Their plan, it was never supposed to happen, and They hold one person responsible- not Dreamer (though Abyss says his time has come), not Foley or the sheep in the crowd or even Hogan... They hold Dixie solely responsible. Hogan tells Abyss that he couldn't care less what They say or don't say, like or don't like, and warns Abyss that he should hit the road and go find a shrink to get his head examined.

Hogan says that Dreamer is a guest in TNA, and nothing is going to go down with him until Hardcore Justice. Abyss responds that They have given him orders to take Dreamer out, and promises that there will be no Hardcore Justice at all. Hogan says that Dreamer will step up when he's good and ready to, but Dreamer interjects that with all due respect, he'd love to fight Abyss tonight, if it's okay with Hogan and Dixie. It looks like we have our main event, as we head into the first break of the night.

[commercial break]

We come back to a video hyping Hardcore Justice. The Sandman and Sabu are both featured prominently, though as of this writing neither of them has been announced for the show.

In the Beautiful People's locker room, Velvet Sky and Lacey Von Erich are again arguing about Madison Rayne. Rayne comes in but shows some uncharacteristic contrition, admitting that everything the Beautiful People have accomplished they did so together. She points out that they hold all the gold in the Knockout division and asks why they would want to jeopardize that with in-fighting. Sky again brings up how Rayne said she didn't need them anymore, how she brought in a fourth member to the team (whose identity Sky and Von Erich still don't know) without consulting them first, and finally how she teamed last week not with either of them, but with Sarita.

Rayne responds that as for Sarita, she has a number one contender's match against Angelina Love this week for a shot at Rayne's Knockout title. She also says that she extended an invitation to both Sky and Von Erich to join her and her helmeted bodyguard last week, and it was Sky's choice to turn her down. Rayne says that she won't beg Sky, but she wants things to go back to how they were before. She apologizes and offers a truce, which Sky grudgingly accepts.

Sarita vs. Angelia Love (Number One Contender's Match to the TNA Women's Knockout Championship)

Love is referred to by the announce team as a former four-time Knockout champion, so despite being stripped of the title last week, her last reign is still official. Love opens the match with a go-behind into a Side Headlock. Sarita pushes her off, but Love connects with a pair of Shoulder Blocks, covering after both of them but not even getting a one count. Sarita sweeps Love's leg, but Love recovers fast and returns the favour, leading to a brief respect spot. Love goes to tie up again, but Sarita uses the referee as a shield, then hits Love with a cheap shot to the back and a kick to the gut. Sarita whips Love into the ropes, but Love comes off of them with a fast Running School Boy. Love delivers some forearms but Sarita trips her chest-first onto the ropes, and delivers another kick to the midsection. Sarita delivers some shots in the corner, followed by a Snapmare for two.

Love dodges a charge in the corner and rolls Sarita up with another Schoolboy, but Sarita escapes and hits her with a Clothesline, followed by a trio of Elbow Drops. Sarita puts Love into the Camel Clutch, and pulls at her hair. Love fights back with right hands, but Sarita takes her down with a Reverse Backdrop Suplex for two. Sarita stacks Love up in a Prawn Hold cover and grabs her tights for leverage, but the referee spots the dirty tactics and admonishes her. After arguing with the referee for a moment, Sarita goes for another Backdrop Suplex, but Love drops down behind her and delivers some more punches and a Spear, followed by more punches on the ground. Love keeps rolling with a Running Back Elbow, a Spinning Wheel Kick and a Flying Clothesline before stalking Sarita and finishing her off with the Botox Injection for three. Good match- I'd like to see Sarita get a run at the title the next time we have a babyface champion.

Winner- Angelina Love (for a shot at Madison Rayne's TNA Women's Knockout Championship)

Backstage, Eric Young is hanging out with his partner for later tonight, the unfortunately returning Orlando Jordan. Young is joking around, which annoys Jordan, who says he needs to be focused. Young says that he's all messed up on rum candy (which he says you only need to be nineteen to buy in Canada), and he just spent a week in Moosejaw (which he assures Jordan is a real place). Jordan asks Young if he's mentally challenged, so there's another reason to dislike him. Young responds that he wouldn't challenge a mentalist to anything, and since he's been kicked in the head and fallen off the top rope recently, he's not all there right now. Young assures Jordan that he has a plan for tonight, and he'll be bringing back up to ringside for their match.

[commercial break]

Ink Inc. (Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal) vs. Orlando Jordan and Eric Young

Before the match, we get some clips from Xplosion that show how Young suffered a head injury after being kicked in the noggin by Suicide, which is pretty much the exact same angle as the one they did with Perry Saturn and Moppy about nine years ago. Jordan comes out alone, "seductively" stuffing his used chewing gum into So Cal Val's mouth, much to her disgust. Young eventually comes out carrying a manikin wearing one of Jordan's pink feathered boas. He sets the manikin up on the apron next to him, tying it in place with the tag rope. Jordan starts the match against Neal with a clubbing blow to the back and elbow strikes to the back of his neck. Neal comes back with forearm smashes, but runs into a Back Elbow from Jordan. Jordan delivers some pointed elbows to the top of Neal's head, followed by some knee strikes to the chest and a blatant choke in front of the referee. Jordan delivers a Snapmare to Neal transitioned into a Read Chinlock, as Taz compares OJ to the likes of Adrian Adonis and Adrian Street (but not Rico Constantino). OJ hits Neal with a Swinging Neckbreaker and delivers punches from the mount, until Moore breaks things up. Neal comes back with a Jawbreaker and tags in Moore. Neal tries to make the tag to Young, but Young pulls the manikin's hand in the way, and OJ tags it in instead. Young climbs to the top rope and throws the manikin at Moore, who dodges the inanimate Cross Body, causing the manikin to crash into the mat and one of its legs to snap off. In the confusion, Neal and Moore hit OJ with a Double Dropkick to the back, sending him crashing into Moore who flies off the apron to the outside. Neal and Moore finish Jordan off with a Samoan Drop/Mooregasm combination, and Moore covers Jordan for the three count.

Winners- Ink Inc. (Shannon Moore over Orlando Jordan by pinfall).

[commercial break]

When we return, Ric Flair, AJ Styles, Kazarian and Beer Money are in the ring. Flair says wherever Jay Lethal is, he knows that Flair is a wrestling god, but what he may not realize is that Flair is also a wrestling genius. Flair says that every contract he signs has a rematch clause in it, and next week he'll exercise that clause in a Street Fight against Lethal. Flair says that he's prepared to bleed, to sweat and to pay the price of a lifetime, and tells Lethal (who he oddly refers to as his "smallest black brother") that he had better be ready too. On to other matters though, Flair announces that Robert Roode and James Storm have officially been made the final two members of Fortune, and he welcomes them into the group, referring to them as the real muscle in TNA (and a handful outside the ring as well, as some lucky girls may soon find out).

Roode says that he and Storm are honoured to be a part of Fortune, but they knew it was only a matter of time before Flair asked them to join, because how can the greatest Faction in wrestling today not include the greatest tag team in the business? Roode says that tonight is a huge night, because he and Storm are going to beat the Motor City Machineguns for the third straight time in their cage match tonight, to sweep the best of five series and make Beer Money four time TNA World Tag Team Champions.  Flair next introduces the new TNA Global Champion AJ Styles, and his partner Kazarian. Kaz takes a dig at the WWE's Nexus stable, saying that Fortune isn't a silly gang of angry rookies, but a group of seasoned veterans that just happen to be the best at what they do in all of the "TNA Galaxy".

Styles says that Fortune is the best because Flair deserves the best, and he deserves respectability. Styles promises to bring respectability to his new title, and to that end he's renaming the championship. Styles says that a Global title doesn't draw ratings, but fortune does, so the title will now be known as the TNA Television Championship. That's the third name the belt has gone by in the less than two year's it's been around, but I always liked the concept of a TV title in the midcard. Styles promises to defend the title at every TV taping and on every pay per view, starting next week against Rob Terry, assuming Terry can get past Kazarian tonight, because Kaz may well cripple the Freak. Flair closes by saying that he and the rest of Fortune will be at their hotel going all night long, and if there's a girl in the audience between the ages of eighteen and twenty eight who has long dark hair and a full sweater, she may get a chance to take a ride on Space Mountain tonight.

As Fortune prepares to leave, they're interrupted by the arrival of Kurt Angle. Angle says that he's glad to hear that Styles plans to honour his new title, but adds that it's important to honour your commitments as well, like Angle's commitment to climb the Rankings System and eventually win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Angle says that unfortunately for Styles, he's the next wrestler in Angle's path. Angle and Styles stare each other down as we again go to break.

[commercial break]

Beer Money Inc. (Robert Roode and James Storm) vs. The Motor City Machineguns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley) (Steel Cage Match, Match Three in a Best of Five Series)

Beer Money is the first team out to the ring and they stand poised to ambush the Guns as they enter the cage, but the Guns outthink them by coming out through the crowd and climbing the cage behind their backs. Roode and Storm figure out what's going on at the same time and turn around, only to be met with a pair of Cross Body Presses from off the top of the cage. The Guns throw Storm and Roode into the cage wall, then go after Storm with one of their signature combinations with an Inverted Atomic Drop from Shelley, a low Dropkick from Sabin, a Koji Clutch from Shelley and finally a low Running Dropkick from Sabin. Shelley drops down to all fours and Sabin steps off his back to deliver a Running Elevated Dropkick to Roode which sends him into the cage wall, busting him open.

Sabin leaves Shelley and Storm in the ring as he heads out to the apron- apparently they're tagging in and out for this match, which makes absolutely no sense for a cage match under no disqualification rules (though on the plus side, it makes the match a hell of a lot easier for me to recap). Shelley delivers a series of forearms to Storm followed by a low spinning back kick and tries to climb the ropes, but Storm cuts him off and takes him off the second rope with a Neckbreaker. Storm tags in Roode, who is covered in blood already. Roode lays Shelley out with a haymaker, before quickly tagging Storm back in. Storm hits Shelley with a Scoop Slam and an Elbow Drop, followed by a Running Knee Drop from Roode. Storm makes the cover, but Shelley kicks out at two. Storm tags Roode back in, and Roode takes Shelley down again with a Snapmare into a Rear Chinlock. Shelley elbows out of the hold and hits Roode with a few kicks to the midsection, capped off by a Spinning Back Crescent Kick.

Shelley tries to make a tag, but Roode powers him into the corner and sets him up for a Superplex. Shelley counters by ramming Roode's head into the cage and he sits Roode on the top rope, then sends him down to the mat with a great Diving Hurracanara off the top rope. Roode and Shelley both make tags, and Sabin comes in with a pair of Flying Forearms for both members of Beer Money, followed by a Diving Split-Legged Dropkick that takes them both down. Sabin forces Roode into the corner then hangs Storm upside down on his Roode's shoulders (in the Piledriver Position). With Beer Money in this vulnerable situation, Sabin hits Roode with a Yakuza Kick and Storm with a Hesitation Dropkick, then runs up Roode's chest to nail Storm with an Acid Drop. Sabin covers Storm, but Roode breaks it up. Shelley comes back in and hits Roode with a Leaping Enzuigiri. He goes for a Shiranui but Roode pushes him off so his foot slips off the ropes, pinning him between the ropes and the cage.

With Shelley momentarily incapacitated, Roode levels Sabin with a big Lariat. Roode meets Shelley up top again, but Shelley has freed himself and sends Roode into the cage wall with a Reverse STO from the top rope. Roode falls down to the mat, and Shelley follows him with a Double Foot Stomp. Shelley nails Storm with an Elevated Flying Forearm off of Sabin's back, but Sabin misses a follow up Elevated Running Back Elbow, hitting the turnbuckle hard. Storm hits Shelley with a Fireman's Carry into a Swinging Reverse STO, which I'm sure has some obscure Japanese name I'm not familiar with. He charges at Sabin in the corner but Sabin gets his boots up. Sabin goes for a Running Hurracanrana, but Storm reverses that with a Powerbomb into the cage wall, followed by a Powerbomb/Back Stabber combination with Roode. Storm covers, but Sabin manages to kick out at the last possible moment. Roode and Storm both try to climb out of the cage, but Shelley ends up between them on the top rope.

Shelley shoves Roode so that Roode crotches himself on the ropes, then takes Storm down with an Avalanche Jawbreaker. Sabin manages to climb up to the top of the cage, but instead of climbing out he dives back into the ring with a big Cross Body Press onto both members of Beer Money! Of course, that makes no logical sense if you can win by escaping the cage...unless both members of a team need to climb out, in which case I guess he wouldn't want to leave Shelley alone against two opponents...I'm over thinking things again, aren't I? In the ring, Storm reaches through one of the holes in the cage that the cameras shoot through and grabs his trademark bottle of beer, as Sabin sets Roode up for a Neckbreaker. Storm swings the bottle at Sabin, but Sabin sees him coming and dodges, and Storm accidentally smashes the bottle over Roode's head. With Roode out cold, Sabin and Shelley hit Storm with a combination Neckbreaker/Diving Cross Body Press, and get a double pin on both heels, bringing the best of five series up to 2-1. Do I even need to say that this was another fantastic match?

Winners- The Motor City Machineguns by pinfall.

[commercial break]

As we return, Mister Anderson's music is playing in the Impact Zone, but instead of Anderson coming out we get Matt Morgan, aping Anderson's mannerisms. Morgan tries to summon Anderson's magic hanging microphone to introduce himself, but it won't drop; Morgan yells at the guy in the rafters until he lowers it to about eight feet over the ring, forcing Morgan to jump up to get it. Morgan introduces himself as standing damn near eight feet tall, weighing a "bone crushing" four hundred and eighty four (and a quarter) pounds and hailing from the mean streets of Fairfield, Connecticut. He's the DNA of TNA, the MVP of Spike TV, the Blueprint, Matt Morgan... Morgan.

The real Anderson comes out next, looking somewhat peeved. He summons his own magic microphone on the stage, joking about how hard it was for Morgan to do the same. Anderson meets Morgan in the ring, and Morgan asks him if he finds it ironic that it was the steel microphone, Anderson's very calling card, that Morgan used to leave Anderson in a pool of his own blood. Morgan taunts Anderson, saying that for once TNA's resident loud mouth doesn't have anything to say. He closes his eyes and sticks his chin out, daring Anderson to hit him as hard as he wants to. Anderson teases taking a swing, but instead drops down to his knees and punches Morgan square in the balls. Morgan falls to the ground rolling around in pain and Anderson gets a few more punches in, but when Anderson stops to taunt him Morgan grabs Anderson by the face and forces him to the ground.

Morgan chokes Anderson and stomps at him, then grabs the hanging microphone and tries to strangle Anderson with the cord. Jeff Hardy runs out to make the save, and Anderson and Hardy end up teaming up to stomp on Morgan. A pair of security guard run out and physically pull the babyfaces off of Morgan, throwing Hardy out of the ring. The security guys (who Taz identifies as "Murphy and Gunner") hold Anderson's arms, allowing Morgan to score a few cheap shots. When Hardy runs in to help Anderson, he's tackled by the security guys. Morgan bails out to take a powder as trainers D'Lo Brown, Pat Kenney and Al Snow run out and force the guards to back down. Everyone in the ring continues to argue as we go to break.

[commercial break]

We return to clips of what just happened. Backstage, Christy Hemme is with Anderson and Hardy, who are still fuming. Anderson says that for years Murphy and Gunner have been trying to break into the wrestling business, and tonight they went too far trying to get themselves seen. Anderson says that they've got what they wanted, because tonight Murphy and Gunner are going to face him and Hardy in a match- and they should bring that seven foot tall goof Morgan with them. Apparently, we'll be having a handicap match later tonight.

Kazarian (with AJ Styles) vs. Rob Terry

As Kazarian and Styles make their way out to the ring, we see a clip of Kaz screwing Terry out of his Global title last week. Before the bell, the referee orders Styles to the back. Styles objects, and before leaving he spits at Terry. The distraction lets Kaz get the drop on Terry with a Dropkick to the back, but Terry quickly comes back as the bell sounds, shoving Kaz to the mat. Kaz gets back to his feet, but immediately runs into the Freakbuster, and Terry gets the win in about twenty seconds.

Winner- Rob Terry

Kaz recovers fairly quickly, but seems to be in a state of shock at losing so quickly. As we prepare to go into another commercial break, Eric Bischoff is shown preparing to make his big announcement.

[commercial break]

Matt Morgan, Gunner and Murphy vs. Hardy and Anderson

I looked it up during the last break, and apparently Murphy and Gunner are NWA Anarchy's Mikael Judas and Phill Shatter. Jeff and Murphy almost start the match, but Morgan tags himself in. Then Hardy tags in Anderson. Then Morgan tags in Murphy. Then Murphy tags in Gunner. What's with the time wasting? Gunner and Anderson finally tie up and Anderson applies a side headlock. Gunner shoves him off, but Anderson comes back with a Shoulder Block. Anderson blocks a Hip Toss and hits Gunner with a Swinging Neckbreaker for two. Anderson applies a Standing Front Facelock, but Gunner punches hit way out and tags in Murphy. Murphy stomps away at Anderson in the corner then drives his shoulder into Anderson's midsection. Murphy drops down into a Three-Point Stance and charges at Anderson, but misses and runs into the ring post. Anderson rolls Murphy up with a Schoolboy, but only gets two.

On commentary, Taz puts over Murphy's experience wrestling in Puerto Rico, and his background as a football player. Hardy tags himself in and goes for Poetry in Motion with Anderson, but Murphy knocks him out of the air with a hard Clothesline. Murphy tags in Gunner, who blocks a Twist of Fate attempt, but Hardy recovers fast with the Whisper in the Wind. Hardy tags Anderson back in, but Murphy takes a cheap shot from the apron, pulls Anderson down to the mat by his...hair? Scalp?...while the referee is distracted by Morgan. Morgan abruptly walks out on his partners, as Gunner applies a Rear Chinlock on Anderson. Hardy makes a blind tag as Anderson reverses the hold into the Mic Check. Hardy follows up with the Swanton Bomb for three.

Winners- Jeff Hardy and Mister Kennedy (Hardy over Gunner by pinfall).

This was all very weird...I guess maybe TNA has plans for Judas and Shatter and wanted to bring them in with a high-profile angle, but it feels like a blow off for the team already. They lost clean to the babyfaces in their debut, and TNA really can't put them with Morgan since he abandoned them. It just comes across as pointless, like they got to the tapings without any plan for Morgan, Anderson and Hardy and decided to book something on the fly.

Backstage, Christy Hemme catches up with Hulk Hogan as he's on his way out of the arena. Hogan says that the fans are going to freak out when they hear Eric Bischoff's announcement, and he'll deal with the repercussions of that next week, but right now he's rushing off to a meeting in New York City.

In the ring, Bischoff is standing by with Miss Tessmacher. Bischoff says that the end always hands on the beginning (whatever that means). He says everyone should get out a pen (he pulls one out of Tessmacher's cleavage) to write down what he has to say. On August the 12th, Bischoff promises that we'll see something we've never seen before. He says that Dixie Carter inspired and motivated him by giving Tommy Dreamer and EV2.0 the chance to give back to the fans and have their special moment. Bischoff says that it was the right thing to do, as was bringing back Mick Foley after Bischoff fired him (though Bischoff seems even more disingenuous than usual). Bischoff says that if Dixie can give back to the fans, so can he and Hogan. They called Spike TV and asked to raise the bar, and with Spike's cooperation they're going to make the episode of Impact on August 12th a pay-per-view quality show. Basically, the show that was originally planned for Hard Justice is going to take place in a slightly abbreviated form on Impact instead.

Bischoff starts to announce the main event for that show, but he's cut off by the arrival of Abyss. Abyss grabs Bischoff's microphone and says that he just got done talking to Them, and They want Abyss to be the one to make that main event. Abyss says They have him a blueprint which involves himself, Rob Van Dam, a fifteen foot ladder and Janice hanging over the ring. Abyss says that he and RVD will have the most extreme match ever, and he plans to climb the ladder, grab Janice, and use her to rip the flesh off of RVD's ass. Abyss tells Bischoff to make the match or else feel the wrath of Janice himself, and Bischoff wisely books the match. Abyss says that Bischoff is alright with him, but Janice hasn't forgotten how Bischoff bitch-slapped him a few weeks ago, and she wants to show Bischoff what a real bitch is. Abyss starts to stalk Bischoff, but RVD runs out with a chair in hand to make the save. RVD throws the chair into Abyss' face and nails him with a Diving Thrust Kick, then stomps at him in the corner and surfs the chair into Abyss' face. Abyss rolls out of the ring and RVD jumps at him off the bottom rope, but Abyss dodges and RVD connects with the guardrail. D'Lo Brown and Pat Kenney run out with chairs to back Abyss off, while Al Snow retrieves Janice from where Abyss dropped her in the ring. Tommy Dreamer's music starts to play, as he comes out for his match against Abyss. As we head to the last break of the evening, Snow passes Janice to Dreamer.

By the way, I'm calling it now- I'm betting that Bischoff (and possibly Tessmacher) are Abyss' "They," and on August 12th Bischoff is going to side with Abyss to screw RVD out of the World Heavyweight Title, thereby screwing up every bit of good work that TNA has accomplished over the past few weeks. I hope I'm wrong, but TNA has done this enough times in the past that I think my cynicism is fairly well founded.

[commercial break]

Abyss vs. Tommy Dreamer (Street Fight)

We join this match in progress, as Dreamer is throwing weapons into the ring. He nails Abyss with trash can lid shots to his head and back, but Abyss lifts Dreamer up and crotches him on the guardrail. The crowd loudly chants for Dreamer as Abyss climbs into the ring and wedges a chair in between the ropes in the corner. Dreamer comes back with trash can shots to Abyss' head. He sets two trash cans in the ring side by side, but Abyss recovers and hits Dreamer with a Sidewalk Slam onto the trash cans. Abyss hits Dreamer with a comically small cookie sheet, followed by a shot with a Singapore cane. (On commentary, Mike Tenay announces that for match four in the Best of Five Series next week, Beer Money will take on the Motor City Machine Guns in an Ultimate X Match). Abyss wrenches at Dreamer's neck, but Dreamer escapes by raking the Monster's eyes.

Dreamer blocks a Chokeslam and hits Abyss with a Running Cross Body, followed by a shot from another cookie sheet and a Lariat for two. Abyss  hits Dreamer with a Back Elbow in the corner, then launches Dreamer face first into the wedged chair. Abyss lays the chair on top of Dreamer and sets him up for a Vader Bomb, but Dreamer recovers and pulls Abyss down into the Tree of Woe. With Abyss hung up, Dreamer nails him with a can shot to the balls, then puts one of the trash cans in front of Abyss' face and kicks it into him with a Running Dropkick. Dreamer is really working his ass off considering he has a torn MCL right now. Dreamer heads to the outside and looks under the ring, pulling out a big board covered (well, partially covered) with barbed wire. Dreamer nails Abyss with another cane shot to the back and lays the board down in the ring.

Dreamer sets Abyss up for a Death Valley Driver, but his injured leg gives out on him. Abyss kicks Dreamer in the knee and goes for another Chokeslam, but Dreamer reverses again. Dreamer tries for a DDT, but Abyss reverses with a Clothesline. He climbs out of the ring and retrieves Janice, then begins to stalk Dreamer with his lethal weapon. Abyss wings Janice, but Dreamer dodges and Abyss connects with the top turnbuckle. Dreamer rolls Abyss up with a Schoolboy for two. Dreamer then stands Janice up in the corner and tries to whip Abyss into her, but Abyss stops himself and knocks Dreamer silly with a hard punch to the face. With Dreamer out on his feet, Abyss finally Chokeslams him into the barbed wire for the win.

Winner- Abyss by pinfall.

After the match, Abyss again threatens Dreamer with Janice, but Raven runs down with a steel chair. He backs Abyss away, but then turns and hits Dreamer with the chair! Raven hits Dreamer with the Even Flow DDT onto the chair- the show ends with one of ECW's most epic rivalries apparently revisited, and presumably we have our first match for Hardcore Justice.

*****

Impact tonight wasn't as good as it has been over the past few weeks, but I still enjoyed the show overall. Though the main event didn't do much for me, the Best of Five series has been phenomenal, and I'm happy to see TNA continuing to establish themselves as everything WWE isn't. The transition from ECW to EV2.0 was well done- clearly the fans were coached before the show, and that was a smart move, especially since it meant they were red hot from the very moment the cameras turned on. I also love the idea of running the August 12th Impact like a pay-per-view, since there's a good chance Hardcore Justice will draw at least some curiosity buys, and any new viewers on the following Impact will now see TNA at its best.