On April 27, 2014, TNA aired their second pay-per-view of the year, Sacrifice. The first half of 2014 was an interesting time for TNA. MVP and The Wolves debuted. Magnus won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Sting left. Bobby Lashley returned. Willow had his way. So, here we are, one year later. It would be an understatement to say things have changed, as far as the six-sided ring, performers, and television deal. This time period stands out as "stale" to me. The word negative also comes to mind. Despite this, TNA managed to put on a rather decent pay-per-view with Sacrifice. Who wants to take a trip down memory lane?
The show kicked off with The Wolves challenging The BroMans for the TNA Tag Team Championships in a 3-on-2 No Disqualification match. The Wolves had already won the titles once at a TNA live event in February 2014. The BroMans managed to take it back just a few weeks later in Japan. What we saw in this match was ten long minutes of these guys showcasing their skills to kick the pay-per-view off. In the end, The Wolves overcame the odds and won their second TNA Tag Team Titles. This had to be the best way to start the show.
I'll never forget asking the other readers and fans in the Sacrifice Open Thread what a Committed Match was. And they had no clue either! Mr. Anderson and Samuel Shaw had been feuding for awhile now. Christy Hemme was also involved. Sam Shaw was not someone you wanted to be around. Mr. Anderson took it upon himself to make sure Shaw ended up in the crazy house, and that's exactly what happened. Shaw wasn't seen or heard from for awhile after this match.
The third match on the card was one that received a bit of criticism. Willow and Kurt Angle were set to team up against the duo of Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud. Angle had only returned a few weeks prior on Impact (And as we know, would only be around for less than a month after Sacrifice due to injury). I don't remember seeing much build for this on TV. The match wasn't bad, but it just wasn't great. Spud was left alone in the ring as Willow and Angle finished him off, while EC3 watched in disgust from the ramp. All I can say is thank goodness the Willow character is no longer around.
Next up was the final match in the Best of 3 Series for the X-Division Championship pitting Tigre Uno against Sanada. Oh, how I miss the days where the X-Division was more than an after-thought. This was a perfect X-Division Championship pay-per-view match. It didn't really have an actual story, however, it had a purpose. In my opinion, this was Tigre Uno's best televised match to date, which is kind of sad. Tigre Uno is underrated and underutilized. Sanada retaining made sense and he continued to reign as X-Division Champion throughout the summer.
The longest and best match on the card saw Gunner and James Storm going at it once again, this time in an I Quit Match. What was so good about this one? Gunner and Storm were friends and even Tag Team Champions. There came a point where Storm didn't like that Gunner was making a run for the World Title, so James did something about it. That culminated in a Last Man Standing Steel Cage Match at Lockdown in March. The feud continued until Sacrifice, where both competitors were putting it all on the line. This match was so brutal, and featured many different hardcore spots. One of the best parts of the match was Gunner's face being covered in blood, yet, he didn't quit. He was a true fighter. In the end, Gunner managed to score another win, just like he did at Lockdown, over his former partner.
The other thing I wanted to touch on with this match, was the fact that Gunner picked up two big wins over Storm, but it was Storm who remained in regular storylines and TV appearances. Gunner continued to float in the midcard with Mr. Anderson and Chris Melendez during the summer of 2014.
Just look at this incredible photo on Storm holding Gunner in a submission! This isn't something we get to see in WWE or TNA these days:
Madison Rayne defended her Knockouts Championship against Angelina Love. The newly-reformed Beautiful People were after Rayne in a big way. Rayne didn't want to join them, so Love and Velvet Sky took matters into their own hands. Love earned her title shot by winning a four-way number one contender's match on Impact. The match was decent. In the end, Angelina Love emerged victorious, winning her record-breaking sixth Knockouts Title.
In the first main event of the evening, Bully Ray was set to take on Bobby Roode in a Tables Match. This feud was started at Lockdown when Bully cost Team Dixie the win when he slammed Roode and then put him through a table. I finally started watching Impact weekly at the very beginning of April. Looking back on it, I don't remember any build for this match on TV. Was there much build? The match was a good one. There was also a very memorable spot where the referee, Brian Stiffler, was supposed to be hit by Roode's feet, but Stiffler wasn't in the right spot, and didn't get hit, but sold the spot after a second of contemplating what to do! The finish saw Dixie Carter come out "disguised" as an old man, and ended up costing Bully Ray. Roode won, but did we ever see him much after this pay-per-view? Nope.
Finally, it's main event time. Eric Young shockingly captured the World Title from Magnus just weeks before the pay-per-view, in the main event of Impact. I wasn't very familiar with Young or Magnus at the time, so I didn't care a whole lot to see the rematch this soon, because it felt obvious who was going over. The match turned out to be worth-watching. It was a good back-and-forth contest from bell to bell. As I expected, EY retained his World Title.
The pay-per-view received mixed feelings all across the board. Some fans liked some things, while others were in disgust with the way the company was going. I continued to watch and dedicate my time to TNA during the summer, and I'm glad I did. I found several talented wrestlers that I never knew about, because I primarily just watched WWE. I didn't mention this before, but I will now - This was my first TNA pay-per-view. Was it the best? No. But I thought it was worth watching for multiple reasons.
What did you think of Sacrifice? Do you still watch TNA now? I'd love to hear from you below in the comments area.
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