TNA champion AJ Styles vs. Pope Dinero
Earl Hebner threw Ric Flair out of ringside before the match. Hebner actually physically forced Flair up the apron. The building started chanting, "We want Flair." Jeremy Borash did the big time title bout ring introductions.
They locked up and Styles nailed a Beel Toss early. They did some good back and forth wrestling early. The fans were doing the back and forth chants. Dinero took control and almost got a pin with, I kid you not, a side roll. Dinero hiptossed and slammed Styles, then hit a series of arm drags. Styles retreated to the corner in shock. Styles tried to make a comeback but Dinero kept control.
Styles shoulderblocked Dinero down but was caught with a forearm and a series of elbows. Dinero was over big-time. Dinero caught Styles with a kick but Styles sidestepped Dinero and sent him into the cage shoulder-first. Styles drilled him with a perfect dropkick to the face. Styles muscled Dinero up and slammed him down on his shoulder. Styles continued to work on Dinero. Styles then turned his attention to Dinero's leg from the issues Pope had with it due to Desmond Wolfe.
Dinero avoided a Styles kick and sent Styles into the cage head-first. He DDT'd Styles but came down favoring his shoulder. Styles missed a punch but Pope didn't. Dinero cleaned house with several shots and backdropped Styles. He nailed an inverted atomic drop and flying shoulder tackle. Dinero hit a pimp slap on Styles, then caught Styles in a leapfrog attempt, turning it into a powerslam for a two count.
Styles caught Dinero with a shoulderblock in the corner. Styles missed a punch in the corner but thumbed him in the eye. Styles went to the top rope and scored with a flying forearm for a two count. Dinero came back with a diving headbutt but only scored a two count. Taz pondered where Dinero had a separated shoulder.
Dinero went for a move but Styles escaped and hit the Pele Kick for a two count. He nailed a 450 splash for a two count. Styles was pissed he didn't get the pin. Styles went to the top of the cage and dove for a high cross bodyblock but missed. Dinero rolled him up for a two count. Place went nuts. Dinero hit a backstabber for a two count. Styles was in the corner and reached out to grab a pen from a cameraman. He stabbed Dinero in the eye with it. Styles hit a discus clothesline, then the Styles Clash and scored the pin.
Your winner and still TNA champion AJ Styles!
Your winner and still TNA champion AJ Styles!
Really great match, to the point they didn't need to go with the pen bit and I'm a little sad that they did. However, you can't take anything away from the work here and it did make sense for his character. Really good stuff.
Jeremy Borash caught Eric Bischoff coming in and tried to get a word with him but was blown off.
Lethal Lockdown: Team Hogan vs. Team Flair.
Abyss and Robert Roode start out. They are going five minutes. They are claiming Abyss has a hairline fracture of his hip from the car crash on Impact. Robert Roode worked him over early but Abyss fought back with chops and punches in the corner. Abyss choked him with his boot. Abyss threw Roode into the cage several times. Roode came back with a rolling snap mare. Roode tossed Abyss into the cage. Roode started stomping Abyss. Roode worked over Abyss as the clock counted down.
Rob Van Dam hit the ring and began working over Roode with punches in the corner. Van Dam hit a spinkick in the corner. He nailed Roode with Rolling Thunder. Van Dam, who was bandaged from his wound earlier, looked to be bleeding again. Abyss was down in the corner hurting while Van Dam controlled the situation.
Desmond Wolfe came out to even things up. Abyss was waiting for him at the door but Roode lowblowed him. RVD went after Roode but Wolfe dropkicked him into the cage, then rammed him into the cage a second time. Team Flair worked over Team Hogan.
The next man out was Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett was pure white meat babyface, killing everyone in the ring from Team Flair. He hit a double noggin knocker on Wolfe and Roode, then ran them both into the cage at once. Jarrett went for a hurancanrana but was powerbombed down. Wolfe attacked RVD and ripped his face against the cage. Wolfe went after Abyss and tried to take the ring from Abyss, since Chelsea wants it.
Next out for Team Flair was James Storm. He spit beer in Abyss' face and attacked Jarret with a series of rights. Van Dam was bleeding heavily at this point. Jeff Jarrett nailed Roode. He nailed a suplex after holding Roode up for a period. The battle continued.
Next out was Jeff Hardy for Team Hogan. Hardy didn't come out. They went to a shot backstage of Sting and his baseball bat standing over a prone Hardy. If this isn't a build for Hardy to make the save here, TNA severely screwed up. If this is a set up for Hogan to make the superman save, they TRULY screwed up. Hardy is a way bigger star at this point and if he doesn't hit the ring, what the hell is that about? He was hit with the best fireball ever seen in wrestling and is good to go six days later, but a bat shot knocks him out of a main event revenge match? REALLY? I guess we will see.
Out comes Sting, who never even took off his leather jacket. The roof and the weapons lowered for the Lethal Lockdown with a 4 on 3 Everyone grabbed weapons and Team Flair began working over Team Hogan. Trash cans, lids, cookie sheets, a steel pipe, chairs and more were used on the Hogan team.
Jeff Jarrett caught Wolfe coming off the ropes and nailed a trash can shot. RVD followed suit. RVD nailed Sting with a trash can. Sting no sold it and hit RVD with a baseball bat. Roode tossed RVD into the cage. Jarrett pulled himself up using the cage. Beer Money throttled Jarrett into the cage and the door opened. Jarrett went to the floor. Beer Money followed and beat Jarrett on the floor.
Abyss pulled out tacks. He ripped Sting's jacket off. He tried to chokeslam Sting on them. Wolfe attacked Abyss. Abyss fought him off and went for the chokeslam again. Storm drilled Abyss with a beer bottle. Jeff Hardy's music hit and Hardy ran out with a singapore cane, cleaning house on everyone and anyone from Team Flair. The place immediately began chanting for Hardy.
Jarrett drilled Wolfe with a guitar shot. RVD came off the top with a five star frog splash. Sting tried to clothesline Abyss into the tacks. Abyss nearly toppled over but caught Sting and chokeslammed Sting into the tacks. Never thought we'd see that. Hardy climbed up the cage and dared Beer Money to meet him. They followed him. Hardy began nailing them with cane and trash can lid shots.
Beer Money worked over Hardy on the cage after overwhelming them. They set up a table on top of the cage. Taz had a great call, saying, "Why the hell is there a table up there???" They teased hitting the DWI through a table but Hardy fought them off with the cane. He hit the Twist of Fate on Roode on top of the cage. Hardy set Storm on top of the table, then set up a ladder that was also, mysteriously, on top of the cage.
Hardy went to the top of the ladder and stood on it. He nailed a splash through the table. The entire place went nuts chanting for TNA and "Holy sh**."
Ric Flair's music hit, which of course, makes no sense, but whatever. Flair hit the ring in street clothes and began working on Abyss in the ring. He starts trying to get the ring off Abyss' finger. He began biting the finger. So, of course, Hulk Hogan's music hits and out come Hogan. Hogan looked to be limping. Flair began backing off when Hogan hit the ring. Eric Bischoff came running out and got in the middle of them. Hogan began demanding to know where Bischoff has been.
Bischoff begged Hogan to calm down. Bischoff pulled out brass knucks, then tossed them to Hulk. So, the swerve is there is no swerve and Hogan needs to get one over on Flair again. Hogan nails Flair, who immediately bled more than anyone else on the show. Hogan and Flair faced off while EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE MATCH STOPPED. Flair took a bump into the tacks and was then hit with a trash can.
Abyss hit the Black Hole Slam on Wolfe and scored the pin.
Your winners, Team Hogan.
This thing was schizophrenic. That's the best way to describe it. They had a backwards dramatic build, then teased no Hardy. Hardy made the save for the team and you had the big dramatic ending with a crazy bump. Then, everyone else was forgotten about and it became the Hulk and Flair show.
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