TNA Sacrifice 2009 Review: Part 1
Why am I doing this?
In case you want a non-spoiler version of what happened— as I won’t reveal who won matches, just in case you want to watch it (by replay or by DVD) first.
The next iMPACT! will reveal what happened, but until that happens this could be handy.
I will also be doing reviews of matches and cards from years gone by. In addition, if you want some analysis of what happened, it's here. If you are debating whether it is worth paying for these PPVs, or seeing it on DVD later, this can help.
First off, we see Jeff Jarrett, Sting, Kurt Angle and Mick Foley arrive, with the Ultimate Sacrifice match hyped up.
Hey, Sting has a nice car!
This is a standard segment, except for Mick Foley’s arrival, which had a good dose of humour.
Mick Foley is not a serious champion and this lets him get away with light entertainment that may otherwise undermine the seriousness of the match.
Proudly displaying the TNA World Heavyweight Championship was befitting considering that Foley takes the title seriously on-screen. His talking in the background was a good touch too.
What I like best about Mick Foley’s arrival is his being charming and likeable, as with some of his other vignettes.
He is not a simple heel, but a complex character, in shades of grey. This is good as it fits what TNA is trying to do and this is the way to do it.
TNA should use this approach more. Show their other side in places where it doesn’t create confusion about their alignment.
Six Man Tag Team Match: IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions The Motor City Machine Guns and Sheik Abdul Bashir vs. Eric Young and Lethal Consequences
In the entrances, there is an interesting lack of heel heat for Bashir: in fact, I heard rhythmic clapping for him. Lethal comes in a white, translucent robe.
This is the usual, good-quality fast-paced match from the X Division. These matches are great as preliminary matches (rather than matches in itself) as preliminary matches are actually benefited by using less psychology, or at least using it in a different way to ease into the show, pump them up and build up the rest of the card.
This match was no exception and it succeeded in its role.
That being said, there was purpose here beyond just being entertaining. For many minutes, Eric Young wasn’t involved except at the very beginning, which highlighted the Lethal Consequence/MCMG rivalry and Eric Young’s frustration with his lack of opportunities. The timing and cohesion of the match to suit Eric Young was done very well.
There were a lot of different moves being used, including double teams and there was never a dull moment.
Was it occasionally chaotic?
Yes, but it didn’t take away too much from the match. There were some slower paced moments in there as well.
Overall, the pace wasn’t overwhelmingly fast, though more contrast between the fast pace and a slower pace, especially as time went on would have helped the match became great.
Selling wise, it was nothing special; exactly what one would expect from such a fast paced match.
They could have stayed down longer to give more time between big moves and some smaller, more complex things but the absence is entirely understandable, especially as airtime best goes elsewhere.
It is difficult to have a fast-paced match and put in great selling without slowing the pace a lot. There is an art to selling and without mastery; matches in this style will rarely have great selling.
The match was action packed and used the time well, as expected in PPV X-Division bouts. The flow was good considering the pace.
A tad chaotic, this is good, but it was a little too chaotic once or twice when everyone was in. Execution had flaws, but that is natural considering the pace. There was a big move where you could clearly see a botch.
Crowd loved this match. You could see the crowd getting more into it as the match progressed- the mark of an effective preliminary match.
There was a “This is Awesome Chant” and a TNA chant both around the 11 minute mark. I loved the “Motor City” (Group 1) “SUCKS!” (Group 2) chant. There was USA chanting going on as well. There were spots that played right to the crowd and good use of posing, especially considering this being a prelim. match.
Even though there are many matches like this one out there, this match didn’t look any worse in comparison. It was fun, it showcased what the X Division had to offer and a good way (though not extraordinary) to start the night. Post-match was meaningful, unlike a number of other X-Division matches.
About the Score:
Note: I score out of 10 for 10 separate categories, with one decimal place used.
0.0 is the lowest value and 10 being the highest. An overall score is also given, with 100 being the highest possible score. I score on psychology within each category.
Placement: How well was the match placed on the card, how did it contribute to the rest of the card?
Crowd Response: How strong was the crowd response? Not just cheers or jeers, but chants which indicate stronger involvement. What did the wrestlers do in the match to generate a response?
Relevance: How much sense did it make for the match to happen at all? Were the right people involved? How appropriate was the match and the ending?
Pacing: Was there enough contrast in speed? Did the pace captivate the audience? Did it strength the match as a whole?
Selling: Facial reactions, sounds, staying down for enough time, technical touches like attempting and failing a move (not by botching). Did the match come across as brutal, or intense, or exhausting? Did the message come across?
Cohesion: Did the match logically flow? Was it easily followed by the audience? Did pre-match and post-match moments make sense?
Timing: Was enough focus placed in the right places? Was the match given enough time? How effectively was time used?
Moves: Variety of moves used, technical execution, selection of moves.
Entertainment Value: How good is it to viewers? This score is basically my opinion on how strongly I recommend the match, or warn you away from it.
The Test of Time: How does it stand in comparison to other matches? If a historical match, has time hurt it?
Placement: 5.9- Average
Crowd Response: 8.5- Well above average
Relevance: 5.2- Average
Pacing 5.3- Average
Selling: 5.2- Average
Cohesion: 6.2- Generally average, but had some standout moments
Timing: 6.3- Generally average, but had some standout moments
Moves: 7.5- Above Average
Entertainment Value: 8.6- Well above average
The Test of Time: 8.4- Well above average.
Overall: 67.1- High quality bout from the X Division
Any comments? Other opinions? Feel free to contribute.
Everyone places different weight on what they see. The more opinions known, the easier it is for people to determine whether they want to see it.
The TNA Announce team hypes up the main event, and then they go through other matches on the card.
Main event hyped again, pre-show video with Sting talking with some of the TNA talent, notably the younger talent. Very brief, highlighting the possibility of his retirement.