Roode retains yet again to cap off thrilling Sacrifice
MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
Bobby Roode is closing in on being the longest-reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion for a reason: He just keeps winning. His title reign, though, was put to the test at Sacrifice as he faced Rob Van Dam in a ladder match with the title on the line. Who would survive the brutal match and walk away champion to cap one of TNA's best pay-per-view efforts in a while? That match highlighted an excellent card that also saw tremendous matches between Bully Ray and Austin Aries and Kurt Angle and AJ Styles.
Emanating from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Sacrifice featured four championship matches, but none bigger than the TNA World Heavyweight Championship ladder match between Bobby Roode and Rob Van Dam.
The two battle back-and-forth through the early part of the match and Roode is more than holding his own in a match RVD was supposed to have a rather large advantage in. RVD plants Roode on the ladder and then hits a springboard moonsault onto him. Now RVD is taking over and using the ladder to his best advantage.
RVD sets Roode up in the corner and puts the ladder in the front of him. Then he dropkicks a chair into the ladder into Roode. They climb the ladder but neither man can get a hand on the title. They slug it out in the centre of the ring. RVD hits the ropes but runs right into a Double R spinebuster in which Roode plants him right on the ladder. Roode, though, gets his receipt as RVD monkey flips him onto the ladder and then follows that up with Rolling Thunder.
RVD again plants Roode on a ladder in the middle of the ring and goes to the top. He comes flying off for the Five Star Frog Splash but Roode rolls off the ladder and RVD crashes and burns into the ladder.
RVD is recovering on the outside when Roode climbs a ladder. RVD jumps to the top rope and hops to the ladder, but it buckles and RVD's ankle and leg is caught up and twisted badly. He somehow seems to escape this unscathed, but then Roode drops him off the ladder and RVD goes head-first onto a steel chair on the mat. Roode climbs a few more rungs on the ladder and grabs the belt to retain the championship.
The next TNA pay-per-view is Slammiversary on June 10.
After an opening video package, Mike Tenay and The Tazz welcome us to Sacrifice, an eight-match card from Orlando, Fla.
Match #1 - TNA World Tag Team Championship - (c) Samoa Joe (Isle of Samoa) & Magnus (Norfolk, England) vs. Christopher Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) & Kazarian (Anaheim, Calif.)
Joe and Magnus in total control early. Great teamwork shown by the champs here, some nice double team maneuvers. Joe with a back splash and Magnus with a back body drop. The champs are rolling until Daniels drops down from the apron and trips Magnus, allowing Kazarian to hit a springboard leg drop to take over.
The challengers work Magnus over but he escapes a headlock and then drills Kazarian with a clothesline to make the tag to Joe. Daniels in and Joe runs wild, including walking away from a leaping crossbody attempt. He hits a uranage and Joe and Magnus start to go for their finish but it's broken up.
Daniels hits a uranage and goes for the BME but Magnus moves. Joe hits the splash, kick and snap mare and Magnus follows with the elbow but Kazarian pulls Magnus out of the ring at two. It goes back-and-forth for a few seconds until Magnus ends up in the ring with Daniels. Magnus goes for a suplex but Kazarian clips his knee. Kazarian and Daniels follow with a Total Elimination and that does it!
Winners via pinfall and NEW TNA World Tag Team Champions: Christopher Daniels & Kazarian
Match Rating: 7/10
Match #2 - TNA Knockouts Championship - (c) Gail Kim (Toronto, Ontario) vs. Brooke Tessmacher (Houston, Texas)
Tessmacher keeps going for Eat Defeat early on, but Kim is smart to it and eventually takes over. Tessmacher starts to get going and hits a big face buster. She heads to the top and hits a big elbow drop but Kim kicks out at two. They rise and Kim goes for Eat Defeat but Tessmacher counters it into Eat Defeat of her own, but the move sends Kim through the ropes and through the floor. Tessmacher grabs Kim and throws her into the ring but can only get a two count.
Tessmacher grabs Kim but Kim scoops her up in a cover and throws her feet on the ropes and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA Knockouts Champion: Gail Kim
Match Rating: 6/10
Match #3 - TNA Television Championship - (c) Devon (New York City) vs. Robbie E (Seaside Heights, NJ) vs. Robbie T (Now Residing in Seaside Heights, NJ)
The Robbies are completely in control of Devon here. T is contributing but E is getting all the pin fall attempts. E ends up tumbling to the floor, so T hits a power slam and goes for the cover but E stops the referee from counting. T is not pleased about this turn of events and gets rather angry. He stalks him but Devon runs T into E in the corner and rolls T up to retain the title.
Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA Television Champion: Devon
Match Rating: 4/10
Match #4 - Mr. Anderson (Green Bay, Wisc.) vs. Jeff Hardy (Cameron, NC)
Competitive, back-and-forth match. Anderson uses the Twist of Fate on Hardy but it only goes for a two count. Anderson goes to the top and tries a Swanton Bomb but Hardy gets his knees up. Now Hardy goes to the top and hits a Swanton Bomb of his own but Anderson kicks out at the last moment.
Hardy goes for the double leg drop down the middle but Anderson deftly blocks it and stacks Hardy up and gets the pin. It was a photo finish.
Winner via pinfall: Mr. Anderson
Match Rating: 5/10
Match #5 - Open Challenge - Crimson (Brooklyn, NY) vs. Eric Young (Nashville, Tenn.)
Young doing well for himself in the early going until Crimson just throws him right over the top rope and to the floor. Crimson goes and gets him and once back in the ring, he hits a sit-out suplex for two. T-Bone suplex connects for Crimson. He stalks Young until ODB hops in the ring and goes after Crimson. He shoves her to the mat and gets in her face. This gets Young real mad. He grabs Crimson and starts firing up.
Body slam connects and he follows that with a top-rope elbow for two. He goes to help ODB up, but as he does, Crimson shoves him into her and she goes tumbling to the floor while Young turns right around into Red Sky and that does it.
Winner via pinfall: Crimson
Match Rating: 5/10
Match #6 - Bully Ray (New York City) vs. Austin Aries (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Ray runs away in the early going but gets the edge and goes to work on Aries as they sell the size disparity big here. Aries escapes a bear hug but then Ray sends him into orbit with a back body drop. Aries tries to get going and fight through Ray's chest chops but Ray rakes his eyes. Aries works some elbows and then skins Ray's forehead on the top rope.
WHAT YOU THINK
What did you think of TNA Sacrifice?
It was great - 15%
It was okay - 9%
Didn't like it - 12%
Didn't see it - 65%
Aries charges Ray in the corner but runs right into a big boot. Ray follows with a uranage but Aries kicks out at two. Aries tries to use some kicks but Ray throws him off the ropes and hits a one-man 3D, launching Aries into the air and hitting a cutter on the way down.
Ray is getting frustrated at this point. He grabs his chain but then Joseph Park comes down from the crowd to the front row to protest. Ray pulls him into the ringside area and grabs a chair, but Aries comes flying through the ropes with the suicide dive. They head back into the ring and Aries hits a missile dropkick. Corner dropkick connects for Aries. He follows that with the Brainbuster but Ray kicks out at two!
Aries lifts Ray, but Ray kicks him in the gut. He goes for the Bully Bomb but Aries slides out and Ray falls flat on his face. Aries immediately jumps on him and locks in the Last Chancery. Bully Ray taps!
Winner via submission: Austin Aries
Match Rating: 9/10
Match #7 - Kurt Angle (Pittsburgh, Pa) vs. AJ Styles (Gainesville, Ga.)
Styles hits a power bomb and then goes for a headlock, but Angle elbows his way out of it, only to be knocked out of the ring by Styles. Styles goes to slingshot to the outside, but Angle sidesteps it and goes for a German suplex but Styles gets up high and lands on his feet.
SACRIFICE IN PERSON
Some notes from SLAM! Wrestling's Ranjan Chhibber, who was in the crowd at TNA Sacrifice:
Crimson cut the worst promo ever. So the crowd chants, "We want Steiner! 609!" while he droned on.
Crowd gave biggest pop to Austin Aries vs Bully Ray so far. Bully entertained crowd with his verbal commentary during match, as he told ref to count faster, etc. Woke crowd up after misguided Crimson match (lots left to go to bathroom, etc., during that match). Lots of false finishes which fooled crowd each time. Crowd stood up for last few minutes of match.
Kurt Angle vs AJ Styles was a great technical match, but the crowd was slow to warm up to it after the previous match. The crowd was not into the false finish when Angle kicked out of a Styles clash. Some in crowd commented that the match was too long at that point. Ditto for when AJ kicks out of Angle slam, and multiple other two counts. The crowd heated up again when Daniels and Kaz ran in. Angle got lots of crowd support during the match, and the crowd popped when Angle helped AJ at the end.
The crowd into the main from the start, even booing the announcement that Roode was from Toronto, Ontario, Canada (hey!). There were "E-C-W" and "T-N-A" chants. The loudest roar was when RVD got a chair. The crowd screamed angrily when Roode grabbe the ladder to win -- some didnt believe it, some thought it would be false a finish.
They end up back in the ring and Angle takes over, working and pretty much grinding Styles into the mat. Styles works his way out of a nasty headlock and they hit the ropes and crossbody each other. Both men slow to get up. Styles with a wheel kick and then a DVD-esque backbreaker for two. Styles goes for the Clash but Angle escapes. Angle charges but Styles sidesteps and Angle goes to the floor. Styles comes flying out of the ring with a springboard flying forearm.
Back in the ring, Angle hits the run-up throw from the top rope for two. Angle goes for the Angle Slam, but Styles gets out, hits the Pele and follows with the Clash but Angle kicks out at two. Angle follows this with a release German suplex for two. Both men down now.
They rise and hit a bunch of reversals that ends in Angle hitting the Angle Slam for two. Now Angle goes for the Styles Clash himself but Styles back drops him. Angle, though, goes for the ankle lock but Styles puts a stop to that. He goes for a head scissors but Angle uses that to turn it into the Styles Clash but Styles kicks out of his own move at two.
Angle pulls Styles near the corner and goes to the top for the moonsault but Styles moves out of the way. He heads to the apron and hits a springboard splash but Angle kicks out at two. He tried for the 450 but didn't quite make it, hitting him back-first.
Styles again goes to the top, but Kazarian and Daniels run out. Styles hits Kazarian, but as the referee breaks that up, Daniels trips Styles. Angle hits the Angle Slam but Styles kicks out, in all fairness, after the three count. We continue, though, and Angle puts Styles in the ankle lock complete with grapevine. Styles knows he isn't going anywhere and taps out.
Winner via submission: Kurt Angle
Match Rating: 8/10
After the match, Daniels and Kazarian put the boots to Styles, but Angle takes care of them and sends them packing.
Match #8 - Ladder Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship - (c) Bobby Roode (Toronto, Ontario) vs. Rob Van Dam (Battle Creek, Mich.)
Winner and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Bobby Roode
Match Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
Matt Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.