Background: After being Total Nonstop Action’s resident monster for the past three years, Abyss had found someone who believed he was more than just a destructive force – the man called “Sting”. Sting would unsuccessfully try to force Abyss into distancing himself from the man who would reveal himself as Abyss’ father, Jim Mitchell. The end result was Sting and Abyss waging war in matches where the goal was to figuratively kill and/or literally bury their enemy.
March 11, 2007
Sting vs. Abyss
Though the explanation given by announcer Mike Tenay made the match sound incredibly convoluted, in truth a “Last Rites” match was an extravagant Casket Match where the only way a person could win was by putting their opponent in a casket that would be hoisted into the ceiling for some reason.
Dey was a clubberin’ in Oh-lan-doh, Tony! Abyss survived the initial onslaught of Sting, avoiding a Stinger Splash so the former World champion flew into the steel guardrails. Abyss started using a chair to his advantage, but Sting quickly recovered in the ring and executed his Scorpion Death Drop attack. Since there were no pins in this match, Sting simply Stinger Splashed Abyss until the masked man grabbed one of the candleholders placed on the ring posts to bash a flying Sting in his head. Though his face was painted, the blood pouring down Sting’s face could easily be seen. Abyss signaled for the end, calling for someone to lower the casket from the ceiling. As the lights went out and a blue spotlight shown on the descending casket (or the “death bed” as the announcers continuously called it), the fans couldn’t help but chant, “Fire (Vince) Russo!”
Sting, seeing how close to “death” he was, had no choice but to fire off right hands. Abyss easily knocked Sting down before going after an obviously propped tombstone that Abyss treated as if it weighed at least 300 pounds. Suddenly tripping Abyss into the Scorpion Death Lock, Sting had the big man tapping out. But there were no submissions, so Sting simply let go of the hold and went to retrieve the tombstone. Though smaller and older than Abyss, Sting picked up the tombstone like it weighed as much as a box of cotton. “Boring” chants broke out thanks to the crowd, only to have the intelligence insulted as Sting obliterated the tombstone on Abyss’ face with his trademark baseball bat! Yet, Abyss refused to be denied; choke slamming Sting on the closed coffin to a huge ovation. Yep, the same crowd that was hating the match was now chanting, “T-N-A!”
Since Sting was on top of the casket rather than in, Abyss looked to kill Sting by placing another “heavy” tombstone on the top of two open chairs. Seriously? A flimsy pair of chairs could hold up a tombstone? Before Sting could be superplexed through the tombstone, he bashed Abyss in the head with a candleholder as well. Abyss went sailing through the air, crashing through the tombstone. Yes, through the tombstone! Sting pulled Abyss into the casket, shutting the lid to finally end this one in victory. Of course the casket was lifted into the sky with Sting’s lifeless form on top of it until someone realized it weighed too much and stopped hoisting the casket upward.
Winner: Sting (8:54)
Is It A Classic: One of the main joys of professional wrestling is suspending one’s disbelief for a period of time. But there are instances when that disbelieving ability is lost thanks to pathetic situations and plotting such as this match. Having a good Casket Match is tough enough. But having one full of a bunch of badly created smoke & mirrors just made it that much worse. Sting and Abyss tried, but they didn’t have the chemistry Vader and Sting from almost two decades earlier. A terrible stipulation that created a terrible match.