PPV REPORTS 9/6 TNA PPV review: Keller's ongoing "virtual time" analysis of live event
Sep 8, 2004 - 8:55:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
TNA PPV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 8, 2004
LIVE FROM NASHVILLE, TENN.
The final TNA Wednesday night PPV is here. For commentaries previewing this show, check out The Lounge area (see left menu bar for the link) as there were several articles this week looking at the end of this weekly TNA tradition after about 26 months. I can't say this feels like the final Nitro, but it does feel like the end of something.
-After four minutes of angle recaps, they went to a different camera angle to open the show than usual as Mike Tenay introduced the show. Then they went to Jeremy Borash in the ring for intros for the opener.
1 -- JOHNNY DEVINE & PETEY WILLIAMS vs. SHARK BOY & D-RAY 3000 vs. DELIRIOUS & SONJAY DUTT vs. MICHAEL SHANE & FRANKIE KAZARIAN vs. MIKEY BATTS & JERELLE CLARK vs. AMAZING RED & CHRIS SABIN
The first round of this tag team elimination match is scheduled to be fought battle royal style until only two wrestlers are left. In the opening seconds, Sabin was almost eliminated, but instead he head scissored Williams out of the ring. If one wrestler from a team was eliminated, it didn't mean the entire team was eliminated as is typical for tag team battle royals. Delirious was eliminated next at 1:30. D-Ray was eliminated when he leaped over the top rope to the ring apron, then got knocked to the floor. Kazarian eliminated Sabin at 2:30. Shane eliminated Batts at 3:00. Kazarian and Shane eliminated Shark Boy at 4:00. Shane was eliminated at 4:45. Red was eliminated at 5:30. Kazarian and Devine eliminated Dutt, then Kazarian eliminated Devine. That meant the final two were Kazarian and Batts.
WINNERS: Kazarian and Batts at 7:30.
STAR RATING: * -- Okay action, but basically just one elimination after another without any strategy or storyline to sink your teeth into. It felt rushed.
2 -- MIKEY BATTS & JERELLE CLARK vs. FRANKIE KAZARIAN & MICHAEL SHANE
Tenay said that because James Storm hadn't been cleared to wrestle yet by doctors, The Naturals would face Christopher Daniels & Primetime for the NWA Tag Team Titles. Clark missed his 630 splash, but then Batts schoolboyed Shane from behind for a quick three count win.
WINNERS: Batts & Clark at 4:36.
STAR RATING: *
-Scott Hudson interviewed Christopher Daniels & Primetime backstage. Hudson reiterated that Storm wasn't cleared to wrestle. Primetime said tonight would be their night and their opponents would need more than their A-game. Daniels said "Triple X has always been two men with like minds." Actually, Triple X was originally three men. The Naturals then attacked Daniels and Primetime with powder and chairs. Tenay said the Naturals went "way too far this time." Good promo. I think that was the longest promo Daniels has done in TNA not counting the vignettes about the "Fallen Angel" gimmick which never went anywhere.
3 -- ERIK WATTS & SONNY SIAKI & DESIRE vs. ABYSS & ALEX SHELLEY & GOLDY LOCKS
Tenay talked about what an emotional night it was for everyone, but rather than talking about this being the final Wednesday night PPV - which they have yet to bother to tell their loyal viewers about - he said it was due to the anticipation of the Jeff Jarrett vs. Jeff Hardy match. At 5:00 tagged in against Siaki, who then tagged in Desire. That led to an immediate brawl with the women bailing out before touching. Goldy and Desire then fought, but Abyss broke it up by grabbing Desire. At this point, it seemed Goldy told Abyss to let her go for some reason. Erik Watts's wife jumped on the ring apron to tell Abyss to stop. Goldy slapped Abyss. Abyss grabbed Goldy and let go of Desire. He then gave her a backbreaker which popped the crowd. Desire then covered Goldy for the win. Tenay said Abyss "finally snaps on Goldy."
WINNERS: Siaki & Watts & Desire when Desire pinned Goldy at 7:45.
STAR RATING: 3/4*
-Hudson interviewed Scott D'Amore, who was wearing one of Terry Taylor's sequined robes. D'Amore said after he beats Dusty, he'll no excuses and only his failure staring him back in the face. Good promo from D'Amore.
4 -- A.J. STYLES vs. KID KASH
Tenay said TNAwrestling.com billed this as the final meeting between these two. They cut backstage where medics were tending to Daniels and Primetime. Styles and Kash fought at ringside in the opening minutes. At 5:30 Kash broke the first table by back suplexing Styles into a table propped in a corner. Styles came back a minute later and bashed Kash over the head with a table piece, then knocked him off the ring apron with a springboard roundhouse kick and Kash crashed through a table at ringside. At 9:45 Kash threw a table into the ring. He got into a slugging exchange with Styles. Styles hit an inverted DDT at 10:30. Styles and Kash fought on the top rope. Dallas came to ringside through the crowd and swung at Styles, but missed and hit Kash instead. Styles then elbowed Dallas off of him and gave Kash a Styles Clash through a table to win the match.
WINNER: Styles at 12:36.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- An enjoyable clustermess of a gimmick match.
-As Styles returned to the back, Petey Williams attacked him and threw him back into the ring. Dallas helped beat down Styles. Williams then gave Styles the Canadian Destroyer. Kash then hit a frog splash. 3 Live Kru ran out for the save.
-Hudson interviewed Dusty Rhodes backstage. Dusty said something about people pushing the car he's driving or something. I'm sure this all makes sense in his head, but it comes out sounding like the late Marlon Brando. Dusty closed out by saying, "I'm moving up to the East Side, baby." I would have paid money to watch a three hour PPV just of Dusty and Brando talking to each other.
5 -- DUSTY RHODES vs. SCOTT D'AMORE (w/Vince Russo as special referee)
Really slow opening five minutes, with D'Amore cheating to get advantages. Tenay announced finally that this would be the final live Wednesday night TNA PPV, but didn't say that TNA would be offering monthly PPVs afterward. I don't get this company at all. He said there would be "Best of" shows the next three weeks and left it at that. Tenay said the Naturals would be defending the tag titles, but said he didn't know who the challengers would be. I say Scott Hall & Kevin Nash. Dusty elbowed ref Russo at 5:45 with an elbow. It was obviously on purpose. Russo grabbed a baseball bat and thought of hitting Dusty with it. Dusty turned around and Russo yelled at him. Dusty then hit D'Amore with an elbowdrop for the win. Tenay said as a result of the win, Dusty retains his place in TNA. Afterward, Dusty offered a handshake to Dusty. Team Canada attacked Dusty from behind. 3 Live Kru made the save.
WINNER: Dusty at 6:45.
STAR RATING: DUD
-Hudson interviewed The Naturals who said nobody was left to defend their tag titles against. They joked it might be Shark Boy & D-Ray or Batts & Clark. They said they didn't care who the opponents are, they're entering the ring as champs and leaving the ring as champs. Sounds like they're not leaving the ring as champs.
6 -- THE NATURALS vs. PRIMETIME & CHRIS HARRIS -- NWA World Tag Team Championship
Okay, no Hall & Nash yet. Larry Zbyszko walked out and introduced the make-shift team of Primetime and Harris, the healthy members of the two teams that were supposed to battle for the tag titles earlier. At 10:00, after a long stretch of boring matholds by the Naturals, Primetime hot-tagged in Harris. Within seconds Primetime was recovered enough to climb to the top rope and hit a Rocker suplex bodyblock combo. Four-way action ensued. Harris mistakenly almost clotheslined Primetime, leading to an argument between the partners. Tenay said it was just an accident, but Primetime walked out. The Naturals double-teamed Harris and went for a pin. Primetime had second thoughts on leaving and charged back to the ring. Harris kicked out. Douglas grabbed powder. The ref caught him with it. Chase Stevens grabbed a chair. Primetime then hit Stevens first with a chair of his own. Harris then took Douglas down and scored a pin.
WINNERS: Chris Harris & Primetime at 12:25 to capture the NWA Tag Titles
STAR RATING: * -- Blah match.
-They went to a series of predictions by TNA wrestlers making their picks for the NWA World Title match.
-West and Tenay did their final ringside Wednesday night plugfest. Tenay talked about the best of PPVs coming up including the Best of 2004 Tag Matches next week, Best of the X Division in two weeks, and Best of the Heavyweights in three weeks. Tenay then announced Victory Road '04 for Nov. 7 rather anticlimactically and then quickly went to Hudson backstage. Monty Brown interrupted Hudson.
-They showed Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Hardy backstage warming up. No promos from either all show. Then they did ring introductions. When Hardy entered the ring, he slapped Jarrett. Officials separated them during ring intros. Jarrett interrupted and jumped at Hardy. They were separated again and Jeremy Borash continued his ring intros with less than 20 minutes left in the PPV. I can't believe with all the hype they gave this match that they're not even going to try to make it a decent length main event. They have 15 minutes max for the most heavily hyped PPV main event. They really don't get it.
7 -- JEFF JARRETT vs. JEFF HARDY -- NWA World Hvt. Title match
The prematch scuffles were nice at creating a sense of tension between the two wrestlers. Jarrett came up from a ringside pre-match conflict bleeding from the forehead. They finally just rang the bell to start the match. Jarrett's face was covered in blood as he put on a serious look and went after Hardy with some punches. Jarrett missed an enzuigiri when Hardy ducked, so Jarrett rolled out of the ring. Hardy dove onto Jarrett at ringside. Tenay pointed out that Hardy was IC Champion, having defeated Triple H back in 2001. It's nice that they saved that little factoid for when the match had already started rather than incorporating that credibility-boosting fact into the 97 weeks of hype for this match. At 2:30 Jarrett went for a Stroke off the second rope. Hardy easily blocked it and bulldogged Jarrett to the mat for a two count. Hardy jumped off the top rope onto Jarrett into the crowd at 4:00. They brawled up the rafters. Geez, Jarrett can't even work a good regular in-ring match in this circumstance? He has to fall back on every played out 1999 shortcut every time he wrestles. Jarrett teased tossing Hardy over the railing. Hardy then fought back and did the same to Jarrett. They brawled back to ringside at 6:00. Hardy delivered a front powerslam and then hit the Swanton. The ref was nowhere to be seen at first, but then entered the ring and counted to two. Jarrett kicked out. They showed Monty Brown watching from the stage. Jarrett then surprised Hardy with a Stroke out of nowhere for a near fall at 7:30. Jarrett then applied the figure-four. They showed Raven watching from the rafters. Abyss was also shown watching from the side of the stage. Dusty Rhodes walked to ringside to cheer on Hardy. Hardy reversed the figure-four and maneuvered it into a Spineline. Jarrett reached the ropes to force a break. When he bailed to ringside, Dusty threw him into the ring. Hardy applied another Spineline. Jarrett again reached the bottom rope, then bailed out at ringside and punched Dusty in the face. Dusty yanked Jarrett to the floor and punched away at him. Vince Russo ran to ringside and yelled at Dusty, ordering him to the back. Russo set his bat on the ring apron. Jarrett swung the bat at Hardy. Hardy ducked. Russo yanked the bat away from Hardy. Hardy blocked a Stroke and hit a Stroke-like move of his own. He then went to the top rope, but missed the Swanton. Jarrett then pulled out a guitar and KO'd Hardy with it.
WINNER: Jarrett at 11:09 to retain the NWA World Hvt. Title.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Unbelievable. That score is generous considering the weeks of hype building this up. How TNA's braintrust can consider an eleven minute main event even close to appropriate for the circumstances shows how troubled this promotion is no matter what their TV or PPV situation. Length aside, we got the same cliched brawl through the stands and the same played out mess with Russo and Dusty plus a tainted finish with the guitar. This promotion is so out of touch with where the industry is today compared to five or fifteen years ago, it's really sad. The braintrust of this promotion are relying on old tricks, having no idea that wrestling has reinvented itself in many ways, including in WWE or ROH, many times over since these formulas they're using worked.
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