PPV REPORTS 6/19 TNA Slammiversary PPV: Caldwell's "Alternative Perspective" Review
Jun 20, 2005 - 2:12:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Team Contributor
TNA Slammiversary PPV Alternative Perspective Review
June 19, 2005
From Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida
Report by: James Caldwell, Pro Wrestling Torch Team Contributor
- After opening crowd shots and a quick camera shot of So Cal Val, Jeremy Borash and Shane Douglas were ringside to kick off the pre-game show hyping the PPV and the three-year anniversary of TNA, whiched started in Huntsville, Alabama on June 19, 2002. Borash publicized the debut of Samoa Joe while Douglas generated a crowd pop mentioning Lance Hoyt.
- We went to a video recap of recent storyline occurrences in TNA before sending it over to Mike Tenay and Don West ringside.
- Larry Zbysko stood in the center of the ring to say there has been turmoil in TNA and that Dusty Rhodes crumbled under the weight of trying to handle the young talent in TNA. The crowd started a "Dusty Sucks" chant before Zbyszko said Dusty has no future in TNA. Zbyszko said the prevailing rumor is that Dusty quit TNA, when he was really fired. Before Zbyszko could finish the announcement, Jeff Jarrett interrupted with guitar in hand. Jarrett told Zbyszko to tell the truth and stop lying. Jarrett said, "Dusty Rhodes is just like Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Jeff Hardy, Sting, Hulk Hogan – none of them are around here because I ran them off." Jarrett said he ran Dusty out of town without even doing anything. Jarrett said he built TNA from the ground up and would be coming to the ring later tonight to beat four men to reclaim the NWA Title. A chant of "boring" came up as Jarrett said he would take back his moniker of "King of the Mountain."
- As Jarrett stood in the ring, Raven came to the ring through the crowd as Zbyszko called for security. Raven took the mic and said he was astounded by Zbyszko's incompetence. Raven asked Zbyszko how Sean Waltman could be in the King of the Mountain match when he pinned him at the last PPV. Raven said Zbysko is in cahoots with Jeff Jarrett. Raven said he went to the USWA when he first came into the business and was stopped by Jeff Jarrett. Raven said he's tired of Jarrett's political games as Jarrett pretended to fall asleep. Raven demanded that he be put into the King of the Mountain match. Jarrett said all Raven does is complain and "bitch about things that you never get done." Jarrett said Raven doesn't deserve to be in the match because he's not a professional wrestler. Jarrett said Raven and his friends in the bingo hall are one big group of collective idiots. Jarrett said the hardcore revival and resurgence is a bunch of crap. Jarrett slapped Raven across the face then took a hard right hand to the face from Raven. Security ran into the ring and subdued Raven as Jarrett got into a fight with a Jeff Hardy fan ringside. Jarrett finally had enough, took the fan over the guardrail, and smashed him to the ground before slamming a guitar over his head. Security held Jeff Jarrett over the Spanish announce table as Jerry Jarrett made an appearance to scream at Jeff. Security dragged Jarrett to the back as the Jeff Hardy fan was escorted up the entrance tunnel.
- Borash, Douglas, Tenay, and West tried to sell the development like the nWo days when production was malfunctioning and no one knew what was going on.
- Before the first match on the pre-show, Apolo and Sony Siaki came to the ring before being confronted by Simon Diamond, who came to the entrance tunnel and said he recruited a person to make sure he's never forced out of TNA again. Diamond introduced his "seven foot wrecking machine," Trytan.
(1) Simon Diamond & Trytan defeated Sonny Siaki & Apolo. Trytan hit his T-3 (F-5) finisher on Siaki for the finish after Simon Diamond hit a super kick. Trytan was impressive and Diamond looked to be in good wrestling shape, but not particularly fit. Standard tag match.
- Mike Tenay asked someone in the truck to let us know what was going on as they went to a backstage segment where Jeff Jarrett was in handcuffs while Jerry was talking to police acknowledging that Jeff screwed up. As security held Raven back, Zbyszko gave into Raven's wishes and added him to the King of the Mountain match against his own better judgment. Raven smiled as security released him from their grip. So, who's the NWA Champion? Oh, that Styles guy.
- Borash, Douglas, and West screamed about the craziness as they ran down the PPV line up. Borash said questions need to be answered and they will be answered at the PPV. Interesting approach in selling the PPV to people who tuned into the pre-show. West looked like he was going to blow a gasket as he continued screaming into the camera.
- We went to a video clip highlighting feuds, storylines, and wrestlers before leading into the PPV.
Live PPV Show Review
- The opening video package highlighted the beginning of TNA "as youthful zealots embracing the promise of tomorrow." We saw clips of all the big name TNA stars from TNA's past before seeing childhood pictures of Jeff Jarrett. I could have done without that. The voice over guy said TNA had become the embodiment of youthful dreams before welcoming us to the third anniversary celebration.
- From ringside, Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed us to the anniversary celebration amongst crowd shots. Tenay said the night had become chaotic to match the chaos coming into the PPV. We saw clips of Jarrett snapping on the Jeff Hardy fan before being escorted out of the building in handcuffs. Tenay said Jarrett had been arrested and taken out of the Impact zone, taking him out of the King of the Mountain match completely. Tenay reminded us that Zbyszko added Raven to the King of the Mountain match.
(1) Shark Boy defeated Zack Gowen, Delirious, Jerelle Clark, Amazing Red, and Prime Time Elix Skipper. Tenay said this was the best way to kick off the show with the X Division, which West said put TNA on the map. Delirious and Prime Time started things off with Delirious playing to his comedic gimmick. Prime Time didn't appreciate it, so he kicked Delirious in the gut. West talked about Shark Boy's lawsuit against Disney for the use of the Sharkboy name in "Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl." Amazing Red took a tag and generated a "Welcome back" chant. Red went to work on Prime Time leading to Clark taking a tag in from Prime Time. Red and Prime Time exchanged head scissor takeovers before Red delivered a spin kick to the face. Gowen tagged himself in and went for a leg drop, but missed. Shark Boy took a tag from Clark and dropped Gowen with a drop kick. Shark Boy went for a suplex, but Gowen countered with a reverse DDT. Prime Time tagged himself into the ring and argued with Gowen. Shark Boy and Prime Time spilled to the outside leading to Clark connecting with a springboard moonsault on Shark Boy and Prime Time. Amazing Red cut off Gowen and Delirious before hitting a corkscrew moonsault onto Clark, Prime Time, and Shark Boy. With Gowen in the corner, Prime Time, Delirious, Clark, and Prime Time found themselves in the Tower of Doom predicament in the corner with all four men taking a blow. The action broke down into a high spot, high impact fest with pin attempts broken up by the freshest man. With Delirious running around in the ring like a madman, Shark Boy kicked Delirious in the gut before delivering the Dead Sea Drop from the top turnbuckle leading to the pin for the win.
Match View: As expected, a high spot fest meant to generate crowd pop after crowd pop, but without meaning much. Obviously, without TV time to build up the characters involved in the match, there isn't much of an opportunity to give personality to the match, but it would be nice if the X Division wrestlers were known for something other than high spots.
- Backstage, Abyss was staring into a mirror while holding his patented chain around his neck. Abyss screamed into the camera then broke the mirror.
- Shane Douglas was backstage with Shocker, who was dressed in overalls, a beanie, and sunglasses. Interesting look. Shocker said he was going to dominate with his lucha style of wrestling. Alex Shelley interrupted Shocker and said he could do Shocker's lucha libre style because he had been studying Shocker. Shelley said he could wrestle lucha as well as Japanese, European, American, and MMA styles if the time is right. Shelley stormed off before Shocker screamed at him in Spanish. Douglas, confused as ever, asked what Shocker said. Shocker told him not to worry, but said Shelley got himself into something he can't handle.
(2) Shocker defeated Alex Shelley. During the opening moments of the match, Tenay said there's only one place to find out the news on their television deal, TNAWrestling.com. Tenay said future editions of Impact will now air online every Friday on TNAWrestling.com. After touting Shocker's illustrious history in Mexico, Tenay went for the cheap McDonald's commercial hype. Shocker and Shelley went into a technical wrestling match within the first few minutes with Shelley becoming frustrated to where he stepped out of the ring to collect himself. Back in the ring, Shelley begged off on Shocker before kissing his foot. Like a good heel, Shelley suckered Shocker into a kick to the gut. Shelley ran over Shocker then walked into an ankle wrap before taking a missile drop kick to the chest. Shocker scored a head scissors take over sending Shelley to the floor. Shelley bounced back into the ring then threw Shocker over the top rope to the floor. Shelley went for a plancha, but Shocker moved out of the way causing Shelley to eat floor. Shocker flew off the apron with a drop kick, sending Shelley crashing to the unpadded section of the ringside area. Back in the ring, Shocker went for a moonsault, but Shelley got his knees up in time with Shocker's ribs taking the brunt of the blow. Shelley scored a rolling back suplex as Shocker gasped for air on the mat. Shelley picked Shocker up and delivered a Russian Legsweep before locking in a nice body scissors submission hold. Shelley slowed down the pace of the match to give Shocker time to recover from having his ribs smashed. The slow down allowed Shocker to recover in time to counter a missile drop kick with a drop kick of his own. With Shelley on the floor, Shocker scored a nice suicide dive. Shocker and Shelley went back into the ring where Shelley went for a package pin before delivering a double foot kick to the chest. Shelley connected with a rolling fisherman suplex before making a cover for a two count, only. The two exchanged some nice pinning combinations with Shelley drawing the crowd into the match. Shelley scored a double knee smash to the chest before missing with a clothesline leading to Shocker to rolling him up with a leg trap pinning combination for the victory.
Match View: Shocker delivered a solid effort on PPV for the second straight month. Alex Shelley's promo before the match set a nice backdrop for a match that otherwise would have been void of any back story to make the match mean anything. With Shelley coming across much better than in the months where he played the "Baby Bear" gimmick in 2004, Shelley has potential to challenge Daniels for the X Division Title if he is brought into TNA for a long-term program.
- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with the 3 Live Kru. Douglas asked BG James where his loyalties lied. Konnan interrupted and asked James to be truthful. James took the mic and said he did some soul-searching and realized his actions in the past and relationship to The Outlaw may have opened him up to questioning. James said he was giving his dedication to his familia and would let his actions speak louder than his words. James repeated that his actions would speak for himself pretty much selling a heel turn. James offered a knuckle-to-knuckle handshake agreement, which Konnan accepted. Ron Killings wasn't so quick to join in, but finally accepted because he wanted to believe James's truth.
- We went to an extended video package highlighting the lengthy history of misunderstandings amongst James, Konnan, and Killings. In a "high school yearbook" style video package, we also saw clips of the history of 3 Live Kru.
- Don West said he's not sure if he believes BG James 100% and wondered aloud if James was going to turn to the dark side. Tenay said James would let his actions speak for himself, but did see unity backstage.
(3) Ron Killings defeated The Outlaw. Killings came out in blue jeans rather than standard wrestling gear. After an initial lock up, Outlaw took Killings in a head lock before getting into a shouting match with the fans ringside. Outlaw knocked over Killings before kicking Killings in the gut. However, Killings responded with a head scissors take over. Outlaw quickly recovered with a hard forearm blow to the head. Outlaw stomped Killings down in the corner before turning his attention to the referee to argue. Outlaw regained the advantage with a low blow in plain sight of the referee. Killings moved out of the way of a corner splash before being knocked out to the floor. A fan held up a chair, which Outlaw tried to whip Killings into, but Killings reversed the whip and sent Outlaw headfirst into the chair. Back in the ring, Outlaw regained the advantage with a reverse chinlock. Outlaw grounded Killings before mounting the middle rope. Outlaw delivered a crotch chop to the fans ringside before leaping off the top rope for a high-risk move, but flew right into Killings's foot. Killings came back with a series of right hands before scoring a flying forearm smash to the face. Killings went for an axe kick, but Outlaw moved out of the way and countered with the Fameasser. Outlaw refused to make a pin attempt, so he hooked Killings in Cobra Clutch position for a lift up slam, but Killings slipped out and rolled up Outlaw for a very awkward three count.
- After the match, Outlaw attacked Killings and delivered his cobra clutch lift up slam. Outlaw shot a middle finger to the crowd before going under the ring to pick up a chair. Outlaw set up for a chair shot on Killings, but BG James ran into the ring and stole the chair away. Outlaw told James to hit him and even taunted him, but James couldn't pull the trigger. Konnan ran into the ring and shoved Outlaw in the back before stealing the chair. Outlaw scampered out of the ring as Konnan and Killings questioned James.
Match View: The Outlaw looked like he had other things on his mind during the match and didn't connect with the audience in a way that translated into having a desire to be wrestling. He didn't offer any signs of being into the match. The storyline progression served its purpose for setting up what should have been the pay-off to the storyline, but as we found out later, it was just another step, while being stuck in neutral.
- Backstage, Douglas was with Team Canada. Bobby Roode offered a question to Lance Hoyt whether he felt like a superstar just because he has "a bunch of lously losers chanting his name." Roode told Hoyt to prepare to be Canadianized. Petey Williams said The Naturals will have a short-lived tag title reign. Coach D'Amore jumped in and said he doesn't care about The Naturals's legendary advisor because he's a great general and has Team Canada prepared for victory. D'Amore said there are other great generals such as "Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini," but he's a great wrestling general.
- We saw clips highlighting the feud between The Naturals and Team Canada leading to tonight's NWA Tag Title Match.
(4) The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas) defeated Team Canada (Petey Williams & Eric Young w/Coach Scott D'Amore & A-1 Ralphz) to retain the NWA Tag Titles. Mike Tenay speculated as to whether The Naturals were playing mind games by mentioning their new advisor or if a person was really guiding The Naturals. Funny, when you have three weeks without TV, you can manipulate video and storylines to turn a former heel tag team to babyfaces such as TNA did with The Naturals. D'Amore got in Tenay and West's faces and asked where The Naturals's advisor was. The match began with Eric Young and Chase Stevens. Young pulled Douglas down by the hair before going into an exchange of right hands. All four men became involved in the ring until Young collapsed to the mat holding his knee. Young popped up after Stevens took the bait and sent him to the floor where Team Canada pounded on Stevens. Back in the ring, Young set up Stevens in the tree of woe before tagging in Petey. Petey stomped on Stevens before pounding on him with hard right hands. Young ran over Stevens before putting him in Team Canada's corner for a double team beat down. Petey placed Stevens on the mat and locked in a sleeper hold. Stevens broke the hold, but Young pulled Stevens to the mat by the hair. Petey and Young continued to exchange quick in and out tags while D'Amore and A-1 added their two cents of offense from outside the ring. The beat down on Stevens went on for a good eight minutes as West and Tenay put over the severity of the beat down to where West suggested he would throw in the towel if he had a towel.
Stevens finally fought back out of the heel corner before A-1 tripped Stevens preventing him from making the tag. Douglas ran to the other side of the ring to take out A-1, but couldn't get back in time to take the hot tag. Finally, Douglas took the hot tag and dropped both members of Team Canada with high-impact offense. The action broke down in and out of the ring with Petey and Stevens doing battle inside the ring while Young and Douglas did battle out of the ring. Stevens put Petey up on his shoulders then Douglas flew off the top turnbuckle with a clothesline, sending Petey crashing to the floor. The Naturals caught Young off the ropes and set him up for the Natural Disaster, which they connected with. Stevens went for a pin, but Petey broke up the pin attempt. Petey went for a Canadian Destroyer on Douglas, but Douglas reversed it allowing D'Amore to hit Douglas with his Canadian flag/hockey stick. Jimmy Hart ran to the ring and tossed his megaphone to Stevens, who cracked the megaphone over Petey's face. Stevens made the cover for the victory to retain the tag titles.
- After the match, Jimmy Hart celebrated with the tag champs as Team Canada was dumbfounded in the ring.
Match View: Jimmy Hart is the type of manager who can really help The Naturals become the next big tag team in TNA. Without a manager by their side, The Naturals just felt bland during the match. Granted, Chase Stevens taking a near eight-minute beat down didn't help, but there was something missing from the tag champs. Hart certainly has a place on-air rather than strictly behind the scenes, so I hope his new role will be mutually beneficial for Hart and especially The Naturals.
- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with Sean Waltman. Douglas asked Waltman how he managed to get the wildcard spot in the King of the Mountain match amidst all the backstage politicking. Waltman said he is a hell of a backstage politicker. Waltman said he would be a lone wolf in the NWA Title match despite being a man who likes unity. (Read: the Clique).
(5) Samoa Joe defeated Sonjay Dutt. Mike Tenay put over Samoa Joe, sounding genuinely excited to see him after watching him on DVD's and tapes. Tenay put over Joe and his Ring of Honor accomplishments, hyping him as a major force on the Indy scene. Joe went right after Dutt with stiff right hands then went into his traditional slap-fest, driving Dutt to the corner. Dutt took a short offensive advantage before Joe absolutely crushed Dutt in the corner with a modified Rock Bottom that looked sick on camera. Joe took Dutt in the corner and delivered a face wash before running out of the opposite corner with a stiff running kick to the face. Tenay continued to put over Joe as Joe laid into Dutt with stiff right hands. Dutt fought back from his knees with right hands of his own before Joe dropped Dutt with a right hand of his own. Joe no-sold a series of kicks before landing a leg sweep and a sentaun bomb to Dutt's stomach. Joe missed with a shoulder thrust against the ropes, sending him crashing to the floor. Dutt measured Joe then flew over the top rope with a somersault splash onto Joe. Back in the ring, Dutt went for a cross body splash, but Joe caught him in mid-air. Dutt slipped out and went to work on Joe's knee before landing a drop kick to the chest. Dutt scored an enziguiri kick to the side of the head then went up top and connected with a 450 splash. However, Dutt didn't connect in full, allowing Joe to kick out at two. Dutt went back up top and went for a back corkscrew splash, but Joe moved out of the way and caught Dutt with a high-impact powerslam. Joe took Dutt to the corner and delivered a stiff slap/punch combination before connecting with a Muscle Buster! Joe wasn't done, so he slapped on a rear naked chokehold, which Dutt tapped out to.
Match View: Awesome debut for Samoa Joe. Mike Tenay did his finest work on commentary, delivering the right amount of excitement and hype to make Joe seem special in his debut match. Joe took care of his part by working his style and making himself look "major leagues" in the process. Dutt took his share of offense so this wasn't a total squash, but Joe accomplished his task of looking strong. Great all around match with solid commentary, solid work, and a great approach to debuting Joe.
- We went backstage where Raven was pondering deep thoughts on a flight of stairs. With candles along the steps above Raven's seated position, Raven said he would crush those below him amongst the wheels of death. Raven said he would leave his opponent's wives widows and the parents of his opponents childless. Raven said he is a human cancer with only one solution to destroy the cancer. Raven said the only solution is to become barbaric and amoral enough to reach his level of destruction. Raven said he would fulfill his destiny of becoming NWA World Champion.
(6) Bobby Roode (w/Coach Scott D'Amore) defeated Lance Hoyt. The front row of fans, wearing "Hoytamania" t-shirts, finally got to see their beloved son, who was more than amped for his match. Roode and Hoyt got into a shoving match early on, with Hoyt sending Roode halfway across the ring with a strong-armed shove. Hoyt clotheslined Roode over the top rope to the outside as the Impact zone chanted, "Hoyt, Hoyt, Hoyt." Outside of the ring, Hoyt slammed Roode headfirst into the apron before confronting D'Amore, who begged off. The distraction was ample enough to give Roode the opening to shove Hoyt off the apron into the guardrail. D'Amore, ever the cowardly heel manager looking to seize an opening, sent Hoyt back-first into the guardrail ringside before sending him back into the ring for Roode to slap him around. Roode taunted the front row of Hoyt fans by choking him across the bottom rope. Roode went to work on Hoyt, driving a knee into Hoyt's gut with successive running knee lifts. Roode locked in a seated abdominal stretch before releasing the hold to deliver a solid snap suplex. Roode went up top for a high-risk move, but Hoyt caught him up top and powerslammed him off the top turnbuckle to the floor. Hoyt got his wind back and ran over Roode with a series of clotheslines followed by a pancake. Hoyt delivered punches in the corner before catching Roode for a solid chokeslam. Hoyt went up top for a moonsault, but D'Amore held onto Hoyt's feet giving Roode time to run into the corner and deliver a top rope powerbomb. Hoyt kicked out of a pin attempt. Hoyt came back on the offensive, but Coach D'Amore intervened once again, allowing Roode to come up from behind Hoyt and deliver a stiff left arm lariat to the back of the head. Roode made a cover for the cheap victory.
- After the match, Tenay and West were indignant about D'Amore's presence ruining TNA matches. D'Amore took the mic and screamed at Hoyt about taking a lesson. Roode delivered a stiff post-match beat down to Hoyt as Roode screamed about teaching Hoyt a lesson. D'Amore asked Hoyt what he thought about the beat down. D'Amore slapped Hoyt until Hoyt grabbed D'Amore by the throat. Roode prevented anything further from happening by running over Hoyt with a clubbing forearm. D'Amore stripped down to his pants and went for a top rope moonsault, but Hoyt moved out of the way. Roode was shocked and was quickly sent to the floor via Hoyt's big boot. D'Amore, caught in the ring with Hoyt, tried to escape, but Hoyt grabbed him by the pants, revealing D'Amore's bare ass. Tenay chimed in, "Crack kills." Hoyt built up the heat for a chokeslam then went up top for a moonsault, which he connected with in full. Team Canada returned to the ring as Hoyt played to a very hot crowd. D'Amore was stretchered out of the Impact zone as the fans and Tenay sang the go-away song.
Match View: As two top-notch athletes with developing ring skills, Hoyt and Roode have the necessary ingredients to rise to the top of TNA within the next year. They worked a solid match tonight while Coach D'Amore was his usual annoying self. If D'Amore's post-match beatdown served as the storyline write off for Team Canada's coach, then it's time to celebrate. Team Canada needs a new dynamic to their in-ring action that doesn't require the constant interference of D'Amore.
- Hey, it's the NWA Champion, A.J. Styles! Shane Douglas was with the Champion as he slapped on his ring gear in preparation for his title match. Styles said he's not the Champion during the King of the Mountain match because he's a challenger trying to fend off four other guys. Styles held up his NWA Title and said some people see adversity as an obstacle, while others see it as an opportunity. Styles said he sees the King of the Mountain match as the biggest opportunity of his career. Styles clutched his NWA Title belt to close the promo.
- We saw video clips highlighting the miscommunication and distrust between America's Most Wanted and 3 Live Kru, respectively.
(7) America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) defeated 3 Live Kru (BG James & Konnan). Konnan took the mic and did his usual pre-match routine. James did his usual routine as James Storm stared at BG James with a less-than-thrilled look of disdain. Tenay and West speculated on the condition of 3 Live Kru as it pertains to whether there's trust between two. Konnan went to work on both members of AMW before taking his shoe off and chucking it at both opponents. Eventually, Konnan succumbed to a double team beat down by AMW with Storm and Harris exchanging quick in and out tags. AMW continued to work the offensive as a heel-style tag team, grounding Konnan in their corner. Konnan blocked a top rope move by sticking his boot up in mid-air. After dropping Storm with a facebuster, Konnan tagged in James, who went to work on both members of AMW. James delivered a punch in the corner on Harris before delivering a crotch chop. James turned around and walked right into a stiff side kick by James Storm. Storm made a cover, but scored a two count only. AMW went back to quick in and out tags working over James in their corner. Harris went for a top rope clothesline, but James avoided the maneuver and scored a punch to the gut. James ducked a clothesline and delivered hard right hands before sending Storm crashing into Harris. The Outlaw ran to the ringside area and got into a fight with Konnan allowing AMW to score a double team maneuver on James. Konnan turned his attention to James too late to make the save giving AMW the pinfall for the victory.
- After the match, James was very upset with Konnan for not being in Kru's corner for a tag, as Outlaw merely smirked as he tried to play off the situation as if he had nothing to do with what happened. Konnan, unfazed by James's quick "blame game" attitude, offered a knuckle-to-knuckle handshake, but James shook him off and walked out of the Impact zone. Smirking, Outlaw walked up the entrance ramp as Konnan stood in the ring.
Match View: This was a slow match with more build up to a storyline that should have had its pay-off weeks ago, but still has not reached its conclusion. Either TNA has no idea what to do with the involved players following the ultimate storyline pay-off or TNA feels like they can milk the break up a little longer until the time is just right. Unfortunately, the time passed by many weeks ago and now it's just become frustrating watching the same stagnant storyline development.
- We saw video clips highlighting the storyline pitting Michael Shane and Traci against Chris Sabin and Trinity. Mixed in with the clips of the inter-gender feud were clips of Christopher Daniels – the odd-man out – and how he gained the X Division title.
(8) Christopher Daniels defeated Michael Shane (w/Traci) and Chris Sabin (w/Trinity) in an elimination match to retain the X Division Title. Don West pointed out that Traci was looking nice tonight. Trinity, sporting cavewoman hair and an outfit with enough holes to put Miss Jackie to shame, offered an early distraction to Tenay and West. Daniels and Sabin got into a shouting fight before Shane went to work on Daniels. All three men went to work on each other before Shane and Sabin traded blows, continuing their heated rivalry. Daniels dropped Shane, sending him to the apron, before Daniels landed a flying drop kick on Sabin. Sabin slipped out of a tilt-o-whirl slam before walking into an STO, which Daniels turned into a modified neck wrench submission hold. Shane flew off the top rope with a flying elbow drop onto Daniels, which broke up the hold. Shane and Sabin worked together, inadvertently, when Shane threw Daniels into the air, which Sabin saw as an opportunity to powerbomb Daniels. The action spilled to the outside where Shane and Sabin did battle until Shane moved out of the way for a split-legged moonsault by Daniels, which Sabin took the brunt of. Back in the ring, Shane dropkicked Sabin. Daniels re-entered the ring and asked for an opportunity to drop kick Sabin. Daniels and Shane exchanged words over who had the better drop kick. Daniels turned his attention to Sabin, so Shane grabbed Daniels by the head and threw him through the ropes to the floor. Shane picked up Sabin and landed successive right hands to the head before Shane kicked Daniels off the apron to the floor. Shane landed a sling shot leg drop on Sabin before a making pin attempt, which resulted in a two count. Daniels struggled to his feet on the floor as Shane went to work on Sabin with more right hands to the face.
Sabin reversed a whip to the ropes and Daniels back body dropped Shane over the top rope to the floor. Daniels laid into Shane with hard right hands and boots before Sabin flew over the top rope with an attempted plancha. However, Daniels was in position to catch Sabin across his knee with a gut buster. Back in the ring, Daniels went for Angel's Wings on Sabin, but Sabin slipped out and kicked Daniels in the head before delivering a nice Tornado DDT on Shane. The camera focused on Trinity's holey outfit as Tenay and West couldn't help but make a comment. Sabin kicked Daniels out of the ring to the floor before Sabin delivered a suplex. Sabin set up for Cradle Shock, but Shane reversed it and sent Sabin to the ropes. Instead of bouncing off the ropes, Sabin flew over the top rope with a plancha onto Daniels. Back in the ring, Sabin flew off the top rope with a springboard drop kick to Shane's back. Traci tripped Sabin from outside the floor so Trinity tripped Shane. Trinity and Traci entered the ring and we had a Catfight! Where's Joey Styles when you need him? With TnA flying everywhere, Trinity knocked Traci to the floor before Daniels set up Trinity for Angel's Wings. Meanwhile, Sabin grappled Shane for the Cradle Shock. With Daniels watching, Sabin delivered Cradle Shock to Shane before making the cover, eliminating Shane. Daniels waited for the three count then delivered a stiff Angel's Wings to Trinity. Sabin, unfazed by his escort taking a stiff finisher, simply shrugged it off and stared down Daniels for the next round of wrestling. Tenay and West speculated that Sabin merely used Trinity to neutralize Shane and Traci.
With the match down to Sabin and Daniels, the two went into a hot exchange of offensive moves and counter-reversals. Sabin scored a flying bulldog, but couldn't make a cover because of sheer exhaustion. Sabin locked up Daniels with an "x" German Suplex with bridge for a two count. Daniels reversed a whip to the ropes then scored a tilt-o-whirl slam followed by stiff headbutts before finishing him off with an STO. Daniels put Sabin in position for a moonsault then flew off the top rope with a sweet Best Moonsault Ever. Daniels had the pin, but Sabin kicked out at two. Sabin fought back against Daniels with stiff right hands but missed with an Enzuigiri kick. Daniels, thinking he was smart, bounced off the ropes, but ran into an enziguiri kick on the Sabin's second attempt. Sabin connected with a top rope tornado DDT and scored a two count on a pin attempt. Sabin went for Cradle Shock, but Daniels slipped out and connected with Angel's Wings for the three count and the victory.
Match View: Great wrestling match with solid back and forth action. The storyline progressed nicely and we saw the first hint of character development for Chris Sabin. If TNA can take Sabin's "all business" attitude and develop that into a strongpoint of Sabin's character with some more variables thrown into the mix, we might be looking at a total X Division wrestler who can be marketed in ways TNA wasn't able to do before. Sabin is due for character development, so even the slightest bit of development serves as a positive step forward for Sabin. I'm not sure Trinity got the outfit, but she might want her money back or at least a discount for only getting half of a dress.
- Shane Douglas was backstage with Monty Brown. Douglas asked Brown about the King of the Mountain match and what effect seeing Jeff Jarrett hauled off in handcuffs would have on his preparation. Brown said Jarrett would have no effect on him. Brown cut a solid promo on all four of his opponents, mocking each one's trademark mannerisms. Great promo that set the tone of the match. Brown's promo skills have really improved.
(9) Raven defeated A.J. Styles, Monty Brown, Abyss, and Sean Waltman in a King of the Mountain match to capture the NWA World Heavyweight Title. Jeremy Borash ran down the rules, which require a doctorate in TNA Booking to understand. After Brown, Abyss, and Waltman came to the ring, Raven's music played, but was nowhere to be seen. Eventually, Raven came to the ring through the stands and sat down in the corner of the ring. Styles came out to a huge crowd pop then took a ladder from the top of the entrance ramp and brought it to the ringside area to stand above everyone else and pose for the crowd. Waltman, standing on the penalty box, stared down at Raven, who poked him in the leg. Waltman, portrayed as a babyface on recent TNA television, was routinely booed by the Impact audience. The match began with Waltman diving off the penalty box onto Raven. Styles wasted no time with a high spot, flying off the top of the ladder with a huricanrana on Abyss. Brown bounced off the ropes and Pounced Raven in the middle of the ring. Brown made the early pin putting Raven in the penalty box for two minutes and giving Brown eligibility to place the NWA Title above the ring. Styles flew over the penalty box onto Abyss and Waltman outside of the ring. Brown, Waltman, and Abyss were in the ring then Raven left the penalty box before his time expired. Borash, not aware, still made the countdown. Brown picked up Waltman and delivered a powerbomb before making the pin to put Waltman in the penalty box. Raven set up a table outside of the ring as Waltman struggled to enter the penalty box. Styles hit a high-impact move, but the camera missed it while needlessly focusing on Waltman. Brown ran off the ropes and Pounced Styles across the ring to the outside. Sick! Raven pulled Styles out of the ring to the floor and pinned Styles on the floor, placing Styles in the penalty box and given Raven the opportunity to place the belt above the ring. Abyss set up for a Torture Rack slam, but Raven smashed Abyss in the face with a trash can. Raven ran over Abyss with a hard clothesline before the camera caught Waltman and Styles exchanging strategy in the penalty box.
Waltman escaped the box then grabbed a trashcan and used it on Brown and Abyss. Abyss waited for Waltman to turn around after smashing Brown and kicked the can into Waltman's face. All four men laid in the ring as the two-minute countdown for Styles expired. Meanwhile, Abyss delivered the Black Hole slam to Monty Brown before pinning him to give him an opportunity to place the NWA Title above the ring. Brown was dragged to the penalty box for his two minutes. Back in the ring, Raven dropped Styles with a side slam then made a cover for a two count only. Raven kicked Styles in the face then went for a DDT, but Styles reversed it into the Styles Clash. Styles had the pin, but Abyss kicked Styles in the face breaking up the pin. Styles responded with an enziguiri kick to the head sending Abyss to the outside. On the outside, Waltman delivered stiff chair shots to the head before placing Abyss on the table outside of the ring. Waltman called to Styles, who saw the opportunity and delivered an awesome Spiral Tap from the top turnbuckle through the table! Styles made a cover on Abyss and scored a three count to place Abyss in the penalty box and give Styles eligibility for some ladder climbing. Brown's time in the box expired so he went right after Raven with stiff kicks to the gut. Raven reversed a whip to the guardrail and sent Brown crashing into the guardrail. Styles climbed up the ladder to place the NWA Title on the hook above the ring, but he dropped the belt. Waltman, appearing to have Styles's interest in mind, handed him the belt, but then dropped Styles with a kick to the gut before scoring an amazing face buster off the ladder to the mat! Waltman made the cover on Styles for a three count giving Waltman eligibility, while also placing Styles in the penalty box.
Raven, using a staple gun, stapled Waltman's head as Abyss's time expired. Waltman low blowed Raven then stapled Raven in the crotch. Abyss took a reciprocal staple to the balls. Abyss should have stayed in the penalty box for his own betterment. Waltman set up a table in the corner then set up a ladder and climbed up top as Styles's time in the box expired. After Styles found himself on the ladder, Abyss shoved Styles and Waltman off the ladder to the floor with Styles crashing through a table outside of the ring. Brown pounced Abyss off the ladder through a table before Raven dropped Brown with the Raven's Effect DDT. Abyss, throwing out long-term selling, tried to stop Raven, but Raven threw Abyss off the ladder. Raven climbed the ladder and placed the NWA Title atop the hook above the ring to win the match.
- After the match, Raven stared at the belt as it hung above the ring. Waltman stared in disbelief. Brown was shocked. Styles was out cold outside of the ring as he laid on a table. Raven pulled down the belt and placed it around his waist as Tenay said Raven never would have fulfilled his destiny if not for Zbyszko placing Raven in the match. Raven sat on the top turnbuckle as all active participants collected themselves with Waltman disgusted as he stood atop the entrance ramp.
Match View: Shock. Awe. Uncertainty. A.J. Styles losing the NWA Title in his first title defense in TNA was the shock of the night. Furthermore, Raven winning the NWA Title was not expected. I fully expected the Dusty Finish to close the show with Dusty Rhodes running to the ring to warrant the match decision null and void because he suspended Raven, but Larry Z. reinstated Raven. That didn't happen, so now Raven is World Champ. Shocking. At some points, the match felt like one of those WWE elimination-style cruiserweight matches with illogical pinfalls occurring every few moments. I was also disappointed that Styles was not given the forum to shine as NWA Champion. On a positive note to close out the show, at least "delusional" Jeff Jarrett wasn't in the main event!
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