Pope went right after Abyss early but was cut off. Abyss called for the casket to be open but Pope slowed himself when Abyss tried to shove him in. Pope battled back but was clotheslined over the top to the floor. Pope landed on his feet and pulled Abyss out, sending him into the steel steps on the floor. Pope continued the assault, sending Abyss into the railing.
Pope drilled Abyss with a series of knees to the head. Abyss fought back and went for his running charge in the corner but Pope avoided it and nailed the Stinger Splash in the corner. He hit a jumping faceplant. He went to the top but Abyss slammed him off the top rope onto the casket. That’s a crazy bump to take, especially since a bump like that is what nearly crippled Shawn Michaels in 1998.
Pope was brought back to the ring and pulled him back to his feet, where Abyss kills him with a running charge in the corner. Pope, on his hands and knees, tries to avoid Abyss and trips him into the casket. Abyss gets up on the apron and headbutts Pope down.
Abyss brings his arm down, clubbing Pope over the back. The crowd began rallying Pope. Abyss worked Pope over and placed him in the casket. Abyss went to close it but Pope stopped him from closing it. Pope went to the top and hit a flying shoulderblock off the top. He fired up with a series of rights and an Judo Throw. Pope nailed an inverted atomic drop, then a bulldog off the second rope.
Pope tried to position Abyss into the casket. He placed him but Abyss grabbed him by the throat before it could be closed. Abyss fought his way back to the ring and nailed the Black Hole Slam. Abyss rolled him to the casket but Pope fought out of it. He nailed Abyss low and cleaned house with several kicks and punches but Abyss drilled him in the mush with a forearm. Pope cut him off and hit the DEE in the corner.
He began dragging Abyss to the casket and rolled him He went to slam it down but Abyss punched through the wooden casket, nailing Pope low. Abyss came out of it with a bloody hand. I hope he didn’t break any fingers on that needless spot. They battled on the apron. Abyss chokeslammed Pope into the casket and closed it.
Your winner, Abyss.
Match was solid. They were handicapped here as it’s hard to do this type of match when it’s so closely associated with the Undertaker. Abyss really looked like he messed up his hand after the match.
Backstage, Samoa Joe and Jeff Jarrett faced off. The referee told them that the only way to win the match was submission or tapout. Gunner and Murphy attacked Samoa Joe from behind and laid him out. Jarrett pretended to be appalled and told them, “Come on guys, I have a submission match.”
They went to a Jeff Hardy video package, which stopped. They then went to a Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Jarrett package. They are having some problems in the production truck tonight.
SUBMISSION MATCH: SAMOA JOE VS. JEFF JARRETT
Jarrett came out dressed like a MMA fighter. I love the hell out of this faux fighter gimmick. As Joe came to the ring limping, TNA trainers tried to stop him from coming out but he blew them off. The fans were all over Jarrett for “selling out.” They started slow and worked it like an MMA bout, although Joe was selling the leg to give Jarrett an early advantage.
Jarrett went after Joe’s leg and Joe went to his back, daring Jarrett to go after his guard. Jarrett went for it and ended up turned into a cross armbreaker. Jarrett went to the ropes to break it up. Jarrett dated Joe to get up. Joe did and muscled Jarrett to the mat for a keylock but Jarrett again went to the ropes. Joe worked over Jarrett with strikes in the corner and teased a Facewash.
Jarrett pulled Joe’s leg out from under him and slammed the bad ankle into the ringpost. He returned to the ring and locked Joe in an anklelock. Joe grabbed the ropes to break the move. Jarrett cinched on a figure four grip on the ankle in the center of the ring. Joe rolled through to escape. Jarrett went back to the ankle but Joe kicked him off in the corner. Joe began peppering him with punches and rolled through into a legbar. Jarrett made it to the ropes.
Joe nailed an inverted atomic drop and a discus forearm. Joe nailed a back senton and went for a keylock. Jarrett used his legs to make it to the ropes. Joe powerbombed Jarrett and cinched in a Texas Cloverleaf. Jarrett fought his way to the ropes and made it. Jarrett pulled himself out of the ring and to the floor. Joe followed and locked in a rear naked choke on the floor. The referee broke it, even though Jarrett was tapping, as they were out of the ring.
Back in the ring, Joe went for another armbar submission. Jarrett tapped but his feet was outside the bottom rope. The referee went to make the call, then realized Jeff’s positioning. Joe missed a flying knee in the corner but caught Jeff with an Uranage. Joe went for the Muscle Buster and nailed it. Joe locked in the rear naked choke. Gunner and Murphy made their way to the ring. Joe wiped them out on the apron. Some fans were chanting for Kurt Angle. Jarrett grabbed Joe from behind and cinched in an ankle lock in the corner of the ring on the bad ankle. Joe began screaming and when he couldn’t get to the ropes, finally tapped.
Your winner, Jeff Jarrett!
Match was decent, but if you aren’t in love with MMA, it was also awfully repetitive. The finish made sense in that it was their first match and the heel should go over, especially if Samoa Joe’s status is tenuous until he signs a new deal. Some good stuff here if you like watching submissions.
Christy Hemme interviewed Ken Anderson. Anderson was talking about whether he’d be fair and just as a referee when Matt Morgan showed up and asked Anderson to make it a No DQ match. Morgan said that everyone knows Immortal and Fortune will hit the ring the second Jeff Hardy is in a position where he’s hurting. He said let them and let’s make sure he can’t get DQ’d. Anderson didn’t give him an answer on the request and said, he’s going to call it right down the middle, “like an a**hole would.”
TNA CHAMPION JEFF HARDY VS. MATT MORGAN WITH MR. ANDERSON AS THE SPECIAL REFEREE
Ken Anderson told Jeremy Borash to announce the match as No DQ, so Morgan gets his wish.
Morgan cornered Hardy in the corner and worked him over with a series of punches. He dragged Hardy around the ring, slamming him into the buckles and choking him against the ropes. Morgan bounced off the ropes and came crashing down on Hardy, then dropped a guillotine legdrop across the apron.
As he returned to the ring, Hardy nailed him, then used the ropes to slingshot kick Morgan on the floor into the railing. He sent Morgan into the post on the outside as Anderson demanded he bring Morgan back into the ring. Hardy tossed Morgan into the ring and locked on a rear chinlock. The crowd rallied Morgan to his feet. Hardy began nailing Morgan with shots to no effect.
Morgan whipped Hardy into the corner but Hardy came back with an elbow. He went for Whisper in the Wind but missed. Morgan drilled Hardy with a side slam. Morgan nailed a discus clothesline for a two count. Hardy came off the ropes but was caught and nailed with a Fall Away Slam for a two count. Hardy caught Morgan with the Twist of Hate (formerly Fate) for a two count.
Hardy worked over Morgan with punches but was cut off with The Carbon Footprint. Morgan began selling that his knee was bothering him. Morgan covered Hardy but Hardy draped his foot over the bottom rope. Morgan grabbed Hardy for a suplex but his knees buckled and Hardy landed on his feet. He nailed Morgan and covered him for a two count. Hardy nailed a double sledged legdrop for another two count.
Hardy went for a swanton but Morgan got his knees up. Hardy was hurt but Morgan sold the injured knee. Anderson began counting them both down on the mat. Hardy went to the floor as Morgan made his way back to his feet. Hardy walked out as Anderson began counting him out. Anderson refused to count to ten as Hardy was intentionally getting counted out. Hardy pie-faced Anderson when he told the champ to get back in the ring, then did it several more times. Anderson attacked Hardy, beat him down on the outside and tossed him back in the ring. Hardy screamed at Anderson but Hardy was rolled up by Morgan for a two count.
Hardy nailed another Twist of Hate but Anderson began counting extremely slow and froze after two. Morgan finally kicked up and Anderson acted like it was extremely close. Hardy went to the floor as Morgan made his way up. Hardy drilled Morgan with a chair in the leg. He went for the Twist of Hate but Morgan sent Hardy off. Hardy bumped Anderson out of the ring.
Morgan covered Hardy as referee Jackson James was brought to the ring by Eric Bischoff. Bischoff slammed Anderson into the ringpost. Jackson counted the pinfall as Morgan pinned Hardy but Bischoff broke it up as he would have gotten to three. Morgan warned Bischoff to back off. Morgan called for a chokeslam on a chair but Hardy kicked him low and hit the Twist of Hate on a chair. Jackson James counted three.
Your winner and still TNA champion, Jeff Hardy!
They showed a shot of a bloody Anderson out on the floor with blood pooling under his head.