TNA Destination X '07
March 11th, 2007

Amazingly, the unit I put together last month held together for this month, as my friends and I got together for another TNA PPV. Some are diehard wrestling fans like myself, who are rooting for Samoa Joe to finally get that NWA World Title. Some are more held-back fans who are simply curious what the hell an Elevation X Match is. Whatever the reason, we've split the fees, which means that I can write a quick review on the PPV. Now if only I can convince them to join me with Wrestlemania! But, then, that's a subject for another day. Right now, it's all about TNA.

Let's get to it.

TNA Destination X '07
Posted by the Accelerator, March 11th, 2007

- The preshow features the "Black and Blue Carpet", showing wrestlers arriving. Not much to say here, as we see Eric Young arrive with Robert Roode & Miss Brooks.

- Christian Cage arrives and is given a package from New Japan, where Tomko is right now. Tomko says he'll be back when he gets his promised title shot. Anyone sense a Russo swerve?

- A casket arrives and is brought into the building. Ok.

- Robert Roode & Miss Brooks bring Eric Young to the ring, with Roode slapping Eric and daring him to hit him (which would cause Young's contract to be voided). Young says he has a friend who thinks he doesn't have to be Roode's slap-dog, but he still backs down again.

- Scott Steiner arrives with his girls, and is too focused on Angle (and Leticia) to want to talk to Christian. Burned!

- Keiji Mutoh (aka the Great Muta) arrives! What the heck? That would be wild if he's part of the special tag-team, but somehow I doubt it.

- Team 3-D w/ Johnny Rodz arrive and talk about LAX. This carpet thing just isn't working for me, but at least they're trying different things.

- Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe arrive in the same limo, set for their matches tonight. Hey, Joe? He broke your girlfriend's ankle, remember? Now you're sharing limo fare? Continuity? Sigh.

- Jeremy Borash shows off the dangers of the Elevation X match while wearing a harness. I'd be scared, too.

- BTW, there were several promos for the different matches tonight during the preshow, but I didn't bother writing any of them down. After all, they're not exactly important to the story, are they? At least, I hope not.

- We have our opening video, touting the big matches of the night. Mike Tenay & Don West, as usual, are our announcers. Tonight's PPV is dedicated to another great wrestler who has passed away, "The Big Cat" Ernie Ladd. This has been a really bad year so far regarding wrestling deaths (Bigelow, Awesome, Bad News, Black Shadow, and now Ladd, and I've probably missed one or two).

The Latin American Xchange (Hernandez & Homicide)(c) w/ Konnan vs. Team 3-D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon) w/ Johnny Rodz, Non-Title Ghetto Brawl:

Wait, non-title? When did that happen? Sheesh, what's wrong with the belt being on the line, considering that Team 3-D already won one of these Street Fight brawls on Impact? Not a great start right there. Anyhow, Konnan points out Hector Guerrero, who has joined the Spanish Announce Team. This one quickly becomes hardcore, with garbage cans, cookie sheets, and other weapons coming into play. LAX gets control for a while, with Hernandez shockingly getting a dive over the ropes onto Devon! The big man can fly! The brawl continues, with the fans really getting into it.

Crowd: "This is awesome! Clap, clap, clap clap clap"

Crutches soon become weapons, as Hernandez feels the metallic choke. The two teams fight through the crowd, with Devon stealing someone's shades. Hey, if the fireworks can set the building on fire, they surely can blind you, so why not come prepared? It's hard to tell who's really winning this one, as it's all about hardcore spots. Brother Ray uses a chair to good effect, smashing Homicide with it. But Homicide soon comes back, using a piece of the wall to hammer Devon. We get back to the ring, with Devon getting the first pinfall attempt with a powerslam on Homicide. Hernandez comes in and uses both hands to throw Devon with a Chokeslam, getting another 2 count. Devon and Hernandez go at it for a while, with Devon using the ever-dangerous trash can lid. Brother Ray gets into the action with a Superplex on Hernandez. But Homicide catches Ray and gives him a Hurricanrana, then gets a two count. Absolutely no real flow in this one, but it's still a pretty good match.

Team 3-D unites to deliver the Wassup Headbutt to Homicide, and Brother Ray orders Devon to get the tables, after a drink of beer. The table comes in, but so do the Latino Nation, who charge the ring! The five wrestlers easily start beating on Team 3-D, so Rodz makes his way in, trying to make the save. Homicide takes care of him, though, but then the Devon Family enters, and we've got EVERYONE going at it! In the ring, Devon nearly pins Hernandez. Homicide gets involved, but the 3-D is hit! Somehow, though, Homicide kicks out. Hernandez is back, as Devon gets put up for the Border Toss. He gets free, though, and we've got another 3-D! Machete stops the count by pulling out the ref! A ticked-off Brother Ray climbs the turnbuckle... and dives on the Latino Nation!! Yowsa! For some reason, Alex Shelley is at ringside, filming. He distracts Devon, who gets a low blow from Homicide. Shelley then enters and nails Devon with the camera!! Shelley sets up Devon on the table, then climbs the turnbuckle... and delivers a Frog Splash!! Take that, Hector! Homicide back to make the cover, and this match is a win for LAX!

Ace Thoughts: Ok, I have to admit, these teams surprised me with a pretty good match here. LAX is such a great tag-team, and I really am happy that they got the victory. The only problem I have is, if they were going to win anyway, why weren't the belts on the line? It would have added a little more drama to the match! Still, very nice hardcore brawl to start the night. We'll just have to see if the other matches tonight can stand against it, or if we'll have too much gimmicks for it to matter.

- Borash talks to Rhino, who admits that he is a little afraid. That's it, man, hype up the danger of the Scaffo, er, Elevation X Match.

James Storm & Jackie Moore vs. Petey Williams & Gail Kim, Double Bullrope Match:

Thank god this one's still pin or submission, instead of touching the four corners. As expected, Storm and Williams are attached, while Kim & Moore have the other rope. Storm & Jackie try to take advantage early, but Kim & Williams quickly slam them both, then choke them with the ropes. Williams locks up Storm, as Kim smacks him around. Williams and Storm head to the outside to fight it out, leaving the women in the ring. Amazingly, it's almost all faces early on here, as Kim puts on a small wrestling clinic in the ring, while Williams sits Storm in a chair and clotheslines him. Storm finally gets control by using the ref as a shield. He beats on Williams and hangs him by his feet, booting him. We go old school, with the Eye of the Storm, but Petey kicks out at 2. Storm then opts to try for the Canadian Destroyer, but can't pull it off, as Williams escapes and whips away at Storm with the Bullrope. For once, Williams can truly "reel him in", but Storm avoids the Destroyer. By the way, Kim & Jackie are still fighting on the outside. We're just focused on the guys. Williams gives Storm a low blow with the bullrope, then gets a Cradle DDT for a 2 count. The women come back in, with Kim clotheslining Jackie and suplexing her. Both women collide, taking them out. Meanwhile, Storm goes for the Superkick on Williams but misses, and Williams sets again for the Destroyer! However, Jackie is there for a low blow on Williams! A second Superkick connects, and Storm gets the pin for the victory.

Ace Thoughts: Nothing to write home about. Decent 8 minutes worth of wrestling, don't get me wrong, but it seemed like, even with the Bullropes, it was a match that could have been on Impact. We didn't even get the expected run-in by Chris Harris. Oh well. Again, nothing to complain about, but also little to praise. Just a decent match.

- Leticia interviews Scott Steiner again, who still thinks he's going to beat Angle. Christian Cage interrupts, needing Steiner's help, since Tomko isn't in the country. Steiner, though, says that Cage is on his own. Cage thinks about it, then takes Leticia with him. Has the "Instant Classic" got a plan?

Austin Starr vs. Senshi, Cross Face Chickenwing Match:

So Jim Cornette set this one up, stating that the only way to win is to force the opponent to tap out to Bob Backlund's finishing maneuver. This could be very good or very rough. We'll soon see. Starr attacks quickly, punching away at Senshi, who's more than willing to come back with his own chops. Senshi takes charge and delivers a dropkick, followed by a Chickenwing attempt, which Starr escapes. Senshi's not done, though, as he gets a hip toss and a drop-toe hold, and there's the first Chickenwing! Starr quickly gets to the ropes. Senshi tries for it again after a few chops, but Starr gets away. This has been a chopfest from Senshi so far. Senshi finally makes a mistake, missing a splash in the corner, and Starr takes advantage by trying to soften up Senshi's back and shoulder. Starr lands a suplex, then applies his own Chicken Wing, but Senshi gets free. Starr in full control now, trying again and again for the Chicken Wing, as Bob Backlund comes out to view the action. This soon distracts Starr, who yells at the legendary wrestler. Seconds later, Senshi gives Starr a spinning kick to get back in it. Those kicks he's delivering have to hurt!

Starr takes a note from his old Generation Next buddy, Roderick Strong, and delivers a combo suplex to smash Senshi's knee. After a dropkick, Starr locks on the Chickenwing, but Senshi reaches the corner to escape. Senshi manages a running Dropkick, then goes to the top rope. But Starr shoves the ref into the ropes, sending Senshi out of the ring. Starr soon follows, getting a Suicide Dive onto his opponent. Starr back in total control with a Slingshot Splash, but he can't get the Starr Buster, as Senshi fights free. Starr reverses into another Chickenwing, but again Senshi escapes with chops. Senshi blows a charge into the turnbuckle, though, smashing into the post, and now Starr's got the Chickenwing applied on the mat! However, Backlund gets involved, telling the ref that, since Senshi's feet are under the ropes, the hold has to be broken! Starr and Backlund exchange words, allowing Senshi to recover and apply the hold himself! Starr fights, then taps out! Senshi wins!

Ace Thoughts: Honestly, I think these two wrestlers did a pretty good job considering the restraints that were on them. I'd love to see a Three Falls Match between the two, or even just a normal 15-minute match. Unfortunately, even though both wrestlers are potentially great stars, Bob Backlund is the focus of the storyline right now.

- Borash interviews AJ Styles, who says that Rhino should be scared of the Elevation X Match.

- Christy Hemme is out to announce her mystery team, which brings out VKM as well. Kip makes a bunch of lame jokes. I hate this angle, btw. Hemme announces her team, the... Heartbreakers? Damn. I had my heart set on the Bashams.

Voodoo Kin Mafia (BG James & Kip James) vs. the Heartbreakers (Romeo Roselli & Antonio Thomas) w/ Christy Hemme:

BG goes at it with Thomas, with James getting in his normal dancing punches. A big boot gets 2 early on, and the fans are already ticked off. Kip and Roselli go at it next, with Kip seemingly in control until Hemme trips him from outside, but even that doesn't last very long. Thomas takes out BG on the floor by shoving him into the apron. But Thomas opts to hold BG for a dive attempt from Roselli, and of course, BG moves, causing the Heartbreakers to collide. Hemme gets involved again with a low blow on Kip, but Kip's wearing protection. No, not THAT, a cup! Sheesh, people. Kip puts the cup in Hemme's face (yuck) as Lance Hoyt appears for some reason and takes Hemme away from the ring. I don't have a clue why he's there, other than to get a pay-off. The Heartbreakers, meanwhile, nearly win with a double Flapjack on Kip. The Heartbreakers dominate Kip for a while, with Roselli pulling BG off the apron at one point to avoid the tag. Even after a Senton, Kip manages to struggle to the corner and tags in BG, who is a trailor park of fire! With Kup taking out Roselli, BG gives Thomas a Pumphandle Slam for the victory.

Ace Thoughts: Maybe I'm prejudiced because I was thinking about so many great tag-teams out there on the market right now. The Bashams, the Briscoes, the Kings of Wrestling, et cetera. Yet we get the team that WWE already horribly mis-used and destroyed. There's no heat there. Plus, of course, VKM got the unneeded win, as the Heartbreakers were already jobbers when they came in, and now they're SUPER-jobbers. This is the part of the DVD you can fast-forward when you get to it.

- Christian Cage, with Leticia, confronts Abyss in his cage. Cage pushes the 'family' angle and even gives Abyss an autographed picture! Surprisingly, Abyss seems to like the idea of taking out Samoa Joe, as the two punch fists.

Chris Sabin(c) vs. Jerry Lynn, TNA X Division Title Three Falls Match:

The two foes lock up and shove each other, showing their disdain. Lynn shows a little more after he delivers a slap to Sabin. Lynn dominates for a while, leading Sabin to head to the outside. Lynn chases him, which is always a mistake, as Sabin catches him coming into the ring with stomps. Sabin chops away at Lynn and sends him into the ropes, but Lynn answers with a headscissors takedown, followed by a Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker for a 2 count. Something's happening in the crowd, btw, but I'm not sure what. Even referee Earl Hebner seems interested. The fight continues to the outside, as Sabin comes off the apron for a knee strike. He sends Lynn into the guardrail, then, after re-entering the ring to break the count, Sabin tries a baseball slide, but misses, with Lynn sending him onto the rail! Sabin, though, comes back to slam Lynn on the apron, then gets an elbow for 2. Sabin seems cocky, as he grabs Lynn's hair, but Lynn comes alive and gets a boot, followed by a Tornado DDT off the turnbuckle to win the first fall!

Lynn makes fun of Sabin, to the fans' delight, angering the champ. After a few exchanged moves, Lynn sends Sabin into the crowd, then comes off with a Crossbody into the crowd! Nice. We go back into the ring, with Lynn preparing another high-risk maneuver, only to have Sabin catch him on the turnbuckle. Sabin gives Lynn an Enziguiri on top, then delivers a Hurricanrana off the turnbuckle. Oh, but Lynn hangs on and rolls him up, and we nearly have a new champion! Sabin back in control with a Backbreaker DDT, then applies a Chinlock, which Lynn escapes, getting another Crossbody for a close 2. After a few more pinning attempts, Lynn goes for a Hurricanrana, but Sabin turns it into a Powerbomb and gets his feet up on the ropes, winning the second fall.

Sabin doesn't waste any time after the fall, immediately trying for repeated pins, but this time Lynn won't stay down. Sabin delivers a Side Backbreaker, then uses the ropes to get a Standing Fist Drop to land. Lynn comes back with clotheslines and a quick roll-up, but Sabin kicks out. Lynn also tries a German Bridging Suplex, with no luck. Sabin comes back by running and kicking Lynn in the back of the head, a vicious hit that leaves Lynn open for the Cradle Shock! But somehow Lynn kicks out, and Sabin can't believe it. Sabin opts to try Lynn's finisher, the Cradle Piledriver, but Lynn reverses it. Lynn then goes for the Piledriver himself, but someone's on the apron in a Sting mask! The distraction allows Sabin to low blow Lynn and land another Cradle Shock, and this time it's enough, as Sabin retains the X Division Title. After the match, the masked man goes after Sabin, and it's Christopher Daniels! The Fallen Angel is back! He gives Sabin the Angel's Wings, then smacks Lynn with the X Division Title, followed by Last Rites! Both X Division competitors are laid out by the Fallen Angel!

Ace Thoughts: Surprising ending, have to admit it. I thought Daniels had decided to go for something better than the X Division Title? I was really hoping to see a Daniels/Joe World Title match-up sometime in the future. As for the match, it wasn't bad, as we got to see some pretty good moves from the 'father' of the X Division, but I was hoping to see the end of Sabin's title reign so that he could get some heat back. So will this set up a Triple Threat Match for the belt? As in, the Triple Threat match we saw a while back? I suppose I can't get too bummed about this. I mean, at least we DO have some continuity, as Daniels departed for a while after the Lynn/Sabin matches.

- Jim Cornette mentions that there's going to be an announcement regarding Lockdown on the next Impact. Intrigue! Cornette's interrupted by Christy Hemme, who says that she's not going to quit. Cornette offers her a secretarial position. Funny thing is, the sexists are being regarded as the faces in the feud. Wild.

AJ Styles vs. Rhino, Elevation X Match:

Styles has come prepared, wearing some thick gloves. I guess that will help him hold on better? That'd be my guess, at any rate. The two men curse each other out before the fight begins, spilling out onto the floor. Styles uses his own offensive ways, using the railing to get a forearm to land. Rhino comes right back with a clothesline. Styles gets Rhino into the apron, then decides to make the climb to the top of the Elevation X structure. Boy, that was fast. I expected more battling on the bottom first. With Styles standing on top, Rhino makes the climb, and trust me, Styles really made it look easier. Somehow, Rhino makes it up there, with Styles shaking the structure to try and overbalance him. Styles, overconfident, spits at Rhino, whose rage takes over his fear. The two fight on top, with Styles almost knocking Rhino off. Styles tries to dropkick him, but Rhino continues to hang on. Styles tries some more boots, then joins Rhino, with both using the rigging to stay on.

Rhino almost gets rid of Styles, but Styles is quick enough to get inside the structure, hiding from Rhino. The fans don't let that slide, as they tell Rhino where Styles is. Both back on the structure, with Styles booting away at Rhino. Styles slams Rhino facefirst onto the structure, but still can't get Rhino to fall. Styles calls for the Styles Clash, which would be incredible on the platform. But Rhino stops it, tripping up and punching away at Styles. Styles comes back with a jawbreaker, then brings out some sort of powder! But before he can use it, Rhino blocks it, sending it instead into Style's eyes!! A blind Styles can't get out of the way as Rhino charges, giving Styles the Gore on top of Elevation X!! Styles is barely hanging on, so Rhino comes over and steps on Style's hands, and there he goes!! It looked to me like Styles turned the right way and protected himself on the landing, but it's still a good-sized drop. Rhino stands on top as the victor, as medics come out to help the fallen Styles.

Ace Thoughts: I've actually seen several scaffold matches in my time, and I have to admit that this one probably was one of the better ones. It was very innovative, thanks to the agility of Styles. Of course, we can't leave out Rhino, who really did well in a high-risk environment, obviously not one of his specialities. I won't call this one a great match, or even a must-see match, but the crowd reactions helped make this one worth watching, if you happen to get the DVD.

- Kurt Angle is interviewed by Borash. He talks again about wanting to be the best wrestler, and he's going to prove it against Steiner.

Kurt Angle vs. Scott Steiner:

It's a strange feeling, in a way, having no gimmick for the match. This match starts off old-school, with lock-ups and headlocks. Steiner pushes Angle off and gets a shoulderblock, then flexes his muscles. Another lock-up, another headlock, and another shoulder block from Steiner. Angle heads outside the ring to think about things, then comes back in. Steiner's still showing off the physique, so Angle nails him with a headbutt, returning the favor from earlier this month (of course, Angle wasn't wearing the steel covering to cut Steiner open, but we've still got some blood). Angle lets loose his rage on Steiner, choking him. Steiner tries to come back with chops, but takes a flying shoulderblock from Angle. Angle tosses Steiner with a Belly-To-Belly Suplex, then clotheslines Steiner over the ropes. Outside, Steiner takes control, repeatedly slamming Angle on the steep steps. We go back inside, with Steiner getting a clothesline and an elbow drop for the first pin attempt.

Angle starts to come back, but Steiner shuts it down with clotheslines, then puts Angle in a chinlock. Angle manages to escape, giving Steiner a Back Suplex. Angle then goes wild with 3 straight Germans, then tries for the Angle Slam. Steiner blocks it, though, giving Angle a Belly-To-Belly and gets a 2 count on the pin attempt. Steiner tries to continue the offensive, but Angle surprises him with the Angle Slam, only to have Steiner kick out at 2. It's time, as Angle goes for the Ankle Lock, putting it on! But Steiner rolls out of it, sending Angle face-first into the corner. Steiner quickly rolls him up, but Angle's out at 2. Angle later hits the steel post, which allows Steiner to lock him in the Steiner Recliner! Angle uses his legs to get free, almost getting a pinfall. Steiner, though, stays in control, tossing Angle to the outside (and damn, did Angle fall badly).

Steiner follows him out, sending Angle into the railing, then goes back in for the count. Angle manages to get back under the ropes into the ring, but Steiner's there to meet him, giving Angle a modified version of the Angle Slam! Steiner then locks on the Recliner again, trying to make the Olympic Hero tap out! Angle fights and gets free, then lands his own Angle Slam! Angle yanks down the straps and applys the Ankle Lock, trying the break Steiner's ankle! Steiner fights to the ropes, but Angle pulls him back, so Steiner has to kick him off. Steiner then gets a clothesline, but his ankle's in bad shape. Steiner continues, though, getting Angle on the top turnbuckle. Angle fights back, then goes for a Sunset Flip, and, after a short time of struggling, Steiner falls, and the ref... counts to 3? The crowd ain't happy.

Ace Thoughts: And to think, I was actually looking forward to this match. Actually, it wasn't all bad, but that ending completely destroyed it. I'm sure the idea was to keep both men strong off of the surprise pin. The only problem was, it didn't look like Steiner wanted to give up that pin. He took the weakest-looking bump to get pinned, which in turn hurt the match. I was really expecting more between a match-up between Steiner & Angle, which shows you how much my opinion of Steiner has gone up since he came to TNA. Oh well. It is what it is.

- Borash interviews Samoa Joe, who's ready to begin the era of Samoa Joe. Hey, sounds good to me.

Abyss vs. Sting, Last Rites Match:

This one's pretty bizarre, I have to say. It's basically a Casket Match, with the added benefit of having the casket raised to the roof to declare a winner. The ring is dressed up to fit the atmosphere of the match. Abyss and Sting quickly start brawling outside the ring, with Sting missing a Stinger Splash and hitting the railing hard. Abyss is on the offensive, nailing Sting with repeated chair shots. Back in the ring, Sting starts to come back, chopping away at the monster. Abyss nearly catches Sting on the run, but Sting reverses into a Scorpion Death Drop! Wow, that didn't take long. Abyss gets up, so Sting lands two Stinger Splashes. But that well was too tempting, so Sting goes for a third, only to get destroyed by Abyss smashing him with a candleholder!! Sting's got a Crimson Mask over his facepaint! Abyss calls for the casket system to be lowered from the ceiling, complete with smoke and music. Let's just say the fans aren't exactly happy with the ambiance.

Crowd: "Fire Russo! Fire Russo!"

Abyss, paying no attention to the chants, puts the bloody Sting into the casket, but Sting fights his way out, chopping away again at the big man. But Abyss kills the rally with a big boot, then goes and grabs a tombstone from ringside. Yes, a tombstone. He goes to kill Sting with it, but Sting blocks it and comes back, getting Abyss in the Scorpion Deathlock! The monster actually taps out (rather unnecessary, I believe), but the match continues. Sting smashes Abyss with a chair, as the fans are giving a "Boring" chant. Sheesh, at least give some respect to the blood loss here, people! Sting breaks the tombstone over Abyss's head with a baseball bat, then places Abyss inside the casket. Abyss, though, won't let it close. He escapes, then grabs Sting, Chokeslamming him on the casket!!! Damn, Sting's laying it ALL out for this one! What a bump! Abyss does some rearranging, placing a tombstone between two chairs, then sets up Sting on the turnbuckle for a potential Powerbomb! But Sting gets free, smacking Abyss upside the head with another candle-holder, and Abyss falls into his own set-up, crushing the tombstone! Sting then gets Abyss into the casket again and finally manages to close it, winning the match. Abyss heads up to the ceiling.

Ace Thoughts: Ok, I admit, the fans didn't respect this one, and there were definite gimmicks here that just weren't cool. But you have to admire the beating Sting took, at his age, to make this match almost worth seeing. No joke, I was actually scared for the Stinger here. You may not like the match, but at least respect the workers in the match. Without them, it could have been a whole lot worse. You disagree? Just picture this as Kane vs. Khali. Yeah, looks a lot better with Abyss/Sting now, don't it?

- Leticia interviews Christian Cage again, who has lost another ally now that Abyss is down. Cage sees the Great Muta and tries to talk him into being his ally against Samoa Joe, supposedly so that Muta can become popular again while hanging with Cage. This leads to Muta spitting the Green Mist on the locker! Man, I wish they could have found him someone to wrestle tonight, but at least we got to see the legend again in America.

Christian Cage(c) vs. Samoa Joe, NWA World Heavyweight Title Match:

Joe comes out with his Polynesian Dance Troupe! Cool. Borash does his usual main-event announcing, and we're ready to go. Samoa Joe kicks away at Cage at first, sending him to the apron. We have an exchange of locks, with Joe winning out, giving Cage a shoulder block, then slapping him around in his usual style. Cage comes back with an elbow, then goes for a Crossbody off the 2nd turnbuckle, but Joe simply walks away to avoid it. He kicks away at Cage's head, then goes for the first pin, a 2 count. Joe kicks Cage to the floor and follows, but a reversal sends Joe into the ringpost. Cage wants to use a chair, but the title changes hands on a Disqualification, so he can't use it to get himself out of trouble. Cage instead runs at Joe, which is a huge mistake, as Joe grabs him and drops him on the floor! Joe then sends Cage into the crowd, as we brawl through the fans. Joe smashes Cage with a crutch, ummm, guys? This isn't hardcore, remember? The ref's being lenient, though, as he doesn't count out either man.

Joe continues to dominate Cage in the crowd, giving him the Olay Kick! We go back towards the ring, with Cage DDT'ing Joe on the apron to get the advantage back. They roll into the squared circle, as Cage drops an elbow on Joe for a 2 count. Christian stays in control for a few minutes, choking and scraping at Joe. The Samoan Submission Machine comes back with those dangerous headbutts, but Cage gets an Inverted DDT out of a suplex attempt for another 2 count. Cage does his standing-choke on the ropes on Joe, but then decides to slap the challenger. Joe comes back with punches, then catches Cage coming off the turnbuckle with a high-landing kick! After slugging it out from their knees, the two wrestlers get up, with Joe taking control with some forearms and a 10-Punch run in the corner. Cage's attempt to turn it into a powerslam fails, as Joe stays on top with more punches. Joe runs and scrapes his boot across Cage's face for a 2 count, then later uses a knee shot for another 2. A third pin attempt ends the same way after Joe Powerslams Cage. The crowd is really wanting a victory for Joe tonight.

Cage tries to reverse a move into the Unprettier, but Joe turns it into a Powerbomb for another pin attempt, then locks on several submission holds in succession, trying to make Cage tap out. Cage gets free though, using the ref, then springs off the ropes and lands the Unprettier! Joe kicks out at two, as the crowd tries to breathe again. Cage applies a headlock, but Joe escapes, then Spears Cage off the apron and to the floor!! Cage has had enough, as he starts walking up the aisle, but Jay Lethal, Petey Williams, and the rest of the X Division is looking out for Joe, as they send Cage back into the ring! Joe delivers the Island Driver to Cage, but the ref is distracted with the other wrestlers and makes a late 2 count. Cage blocks a kick from Joe with the referee, which, in most cases, would cause the DQ (and the title change), but apparently not now. Cage uses a chair on Joe, but the ref's still down. Cage tries to hit Joe again, but Joe's fired up, slapping away on Cage. He picks the champ up and delivers the Muscle Buster!!! The ref, after a nudge from Joe, starts the count, but Cage kicks out after a slow 2! Joe goes for the Choke submission hold, with Cage escaping via a low blow. Cage, for some reason, opts for high-risk, but Joe catches him with an Enziguiri on the top turnbuckle, then applies the Choke in the ropes! But as the two fall to the mat, Cage rolls into a pinning predicament and uses his feet on the ropes to steal away the victory!!

Ace Thoughts: Damn. If there ever was a time to put the title around Samoa Joe's waist, this was probably it. Cage had plenty of excuses, due to his entourage not being there, and I don't think anyone would have thought any less of him if he lost the belt here. In fact, I was already thinking about Cage getting his unit back together to re-take the belt (as Cage could easily work out a title shot for Tomko, freeing him of his obligation). That's not the way it went, however. Still, definitely the best match of the night, as the crowd was behind everything Joe did in there. The ending leaves a lot of us hurting, but in wrestling, things don't always have a happy ending. It'll definitely be interesting to see what match highlights Lockdown. Will it be a WarGames style match, or will Cage have to defend the belt against, say, Joe AND Angle? We'll have to see. As for this PPV, it has its good moments and its bad moments. If you like gimmick matches, then this one's probably for you. If you like mat wrestling, then you might want to wait for another wrestling event.

The Accelerator