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2/4 TNA Impact Review: Caldwell's Review of DDP & Brown vs. Naturals, Styles vs. Daniels, Nash Nearly Naked

Feb 4, 2005 - 7:55:00 PM
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James Caldwell, Torch Team Contributor

TNA Impact Review
February 4, 2005
Taped February 1, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on Fox Sports Net
Report by James Caldwell, Torch Team Contributor


Friday Afternoon Preview: Last week on Impact, Jeff Jarrett took the brunt of Orlando, Florida's passionate disapproval of the NWA Champion, wreaking havoc on an important Title Match promo. Now that Jarrett has picked up his hat, his coat, and left, will he show his face on Impact this week? Also, A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels promise to add another chapter in their fire-hot feud as they draw closer to what should be an epic 30 Minute Iron Man Match at "Against All Odds." All that, plus some good ole fashioned squash matches in this week's TNA Impact Review.
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- We kicked off with a video clip from two weeks ago when Abyss threw Jeff Hardy through a table. A clip from last week showed Hardy and Abyss continuing the mayhem with a full-fledged brawl all across the Impact Zone.

- From ringside, Mike Tenay welcomed us to the Impact Zone where we will see the debut of a new team formed out of mutual respect, Monty Brown & Diamond Dallas Page. Tenay and West were joined by Christopher Daniels, "God's gift to the announce table." (I thought Jeff Hammonds fit that description.)West hyped up Kevin Nash, who according to West, has been working harder than ever to be ready for his NWA Title shot against Jeff Jarrett at "Against All Odds."

(1) Petey Williams (w/Coach Scott D'Amore) defeated Shark Boy at 5:55. Defying the rumors that Shark Boy fell by the wayside like his partner, D Ray 3000, Shark Boy made an impromptu appearance to wrestle the former X Division Champion in the opening bout. The match began with Petey Williams locking up with Shark Boy. Williams dropped Shark Boy with a shoulder block early on, and then missed with an elbow drop allowing Shark Boy to get in some offense. Shark Boy and Williams exchanged slaps then Shark Boy dropped Williams across his knee. Williams caught Shark Boy in the corner and hung him upside down in the Tree of Woe. Shark Boy bit Williams as the former X Division Champ stood atop his stomach . Williams fell to the outside and Shark Boy connected with an over the top rope plancha, sending Williams crashing to the floor. Back in the ring, Williams reversed a tilt o whirl slam attempt into a side head scissors take down. Williams connected with a suplex then perched Shark Boy atop the top turnbuckle. Williams hung up Shark Boy in the Tree of Woe again. This time, Williams distracted the referee allowing D'Amore to choke Shark Boy. Williams made a cover, but scored a two count only. Williams delivered a snap mare take over then connected with a drop kick to Shark Boy's back. Williams set up for a Canadian Destroyer off the top turnbuckle, but Shark Boy blocked the move and scored a sweet huricanrana. Shark Boy called for Williams to get up then knocked him down with two straight clotheslines. Shark Boy went up top and scored a nice missile drop kick. Shark Boy made the cover, but scored a two count only. Shark Boy took Williams to the corner and delivered nine punches and a bite to the head. Williams reversed an Irish Whip to the ropes and scored a back breaker. Williams went for the Canadian Destroyer, but Shark Boy countered it and landed a nice neck breaker. Shark Boy made the cover, but scored a two count only. Shark Boy went for a Reverse DDT off the top turnbuckle, but Williams reversed it, flipped Shark Boy to his feet, and then scored his sick Flip-over Piledriver, the Canadian Destroyer, for the pin and the win.

Match View: Real solid wrestling match. Williams did a bit too much over-selling, but was very effective as the favored heel. The announcers did a solid job of building up Shark Boy as a comedy act, but a comedy act who cannot be underestimated or else he will find a way to beat you. Daniels added solid commentary to complement Tenay and West, doing a nice job of building up the X Division aspects of the match. For one of the first times ever in TNA, Shark Boy was afforded the opportunity to show himself as a solid wrestler, and not just a comedy act. Good action.

- Cassidy Reilly was in the back with Dustin Rhodes. Reilly thanked Rhodes for having his back against Raven's attacks last week. Raven entered the scene and "apologized" to Reilly for breaking his fingers. Raven complemented Rhodes for his past work and said Rhodes always seemed to be lost in the shuffle. Rhodes took exception as Raven told Rhodes, "Imagine your scrotum in a vice." Yes, that's right, Raven told Rhodes to imagine his scrotum in a vice. Rhodes told Raven to imagine "my foot up your ass." Raven left and Rhodes warned his protg, Reilly, about people like Raven.

(2) A.J. Styles defeated Buck Quartermain at 3:35 in a non-Title X Division Match. Styles and Buck began the match exchanging whips off the ropes. Styles dropped Buck with a scoop slam then delivered a hard right knee to Buck's face. Styles glared at Christopher Daniels, who was still ringside for match commentary. Styles scoop slammed Buck then went to the outside to jaw with Daniels. Buck came into the scene to jump Styles from behind, sending him crashing into the announce table. Daniels told Styles that bad things happen when you don't pay attention to your opponent. Back in the ring, Buck laid into Styles with right hands. Buck dropped Styles with a nice swinging neck breaker then hopped up to the middle rope. Buck attempted a middle-rope leg drop, but Styles moved out of the way. Styles delivered hard chops to the chest, and then dropped Buck with a hard clothesline. Styles flew off the ropes and connected with a springboard fist splash to Buck's face. Styles set up Buck for the Styles Clash then turned to face Daniels to give him a full view of Styles' finishing move. Styles connected with the Clash, then made the cover for the win.

- After the match, Styles took the mic and asked Daniels if the real reason he was doing commentary was to scout the X Division Champion. Styles asked Daniels what was preventing him from stepping into the ring to show why he's so tough. Daniels said he expected a statement from a "spoiled brat," like Styles, who has had everything handed to him by Dusty Rhodes and TNA. Daniels said he's tired of Styles ducking him over the past three years, so he's going to make Styles wait until "Against All Odds" to get a piece of the action. We actually had two people issuing that statement since Don West was noticeably mouthing Daniels' lines right along with him. Styles responded that he would shut Daniels' mouth once and for all at "Against All Odds."

Match View: Great storyline development. Styles came across as much more intense in the ring, not giving into the heel tactics from Daniels. Additionally, Styles looked more aggressive in the ring, as it appeared he was intent on proving to Daniels that he deserves to be the X Division Champion despite Daniels' opinion on the contrary.

- Backstage in Dusty Rhodes' pick up truck office, Dusty Rhodes was watching video clips on a portable DVD, which showed some action from two new tag teams courtesy of his co-secretaries, Trinity and Traci. Rhodes said the two new tag teams would square off in the "Against All Odds" pre-game show to see which secretary would become the permanent secretary to Dusty Rhodes.

(3) Jeff Hardy defeated David Young at 6:03. Young jumped Hardy from behind before the bell rang. Tenay let us know that during the Hardy vs. Abyss match at "Against All Odds," there will be two envelopes up for grabs in the match. One will be empty, and one will contain a contract for an NWA Title shot on a future edition of Impact. To the match, where Young assaulted Hardy with crushing forearm smashes in the corner. Young delivered a drop kick to the back of Hardy's head, then "delivered" head butts, but barely made it anywhere near Hardy's head. Hardy scored a two count off a sunset flip, but was quickly clotheslined back to the mat by Young. Hardy tried to mix in a few right hands to the gut, but Young fought back with punches to the head. Young delivered a snap mare takeover, and then locked in a sleeper hold. Hardy fought back to his feet and broke the hold with elbows to the gut. Hardy bounced off the ropes and ran into a hard clothesline. Young snapped off a nice suplex, and then made a cover for a two count. Young and Hardy exchanged right hands from their knees then fought back to their feet where Hardy delivered a kick to the gut. Hardy sent Young head first into the top turnbuckle then whipped Young into the corner turnbuckle. Hardy took a kick to the gut then scoop slammed Hardy to the mat. Young went up top for a top rope moonsault, but Hardy rolled out of the way just in time. Both men laid on the mat as the referee applied a ten count. Hardy and Young reached their feet at four with Hardy dropping Young with a flying fist off the ropes. Hardy sent Young into the corner then went to the outside where he picked up a chair. Hardy propped a chair in front of Young then flew off the seat of the chair with a flying leg smash in the corner. Hardy stomped on Young in the middle of the ring, and then went up top. Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb from the top rope, leaping further than I've seen him leap for his finisher. Hardy made the cover for the win.

- After the match, Abyss made his way to the ringside area. Hardy flew off the top rope and splashed Abyss, sending him crashing to the floor. Hardy and Abyss brawled through the ringside area all the way to the back.

Match View: Solid action from Hardy. From a wrestling standpoint, it wasn't a four star classic, but it served the purpose of giving Hardy some much-needed wrestling work in the ring. This was an ideal 5-7 minute match that you would like to see Hardy put forth on a regular basis. The storyline involving Abyss & Hardy is being done well from a physically aggressive standpoint, but from a storyline perspective, we know nothing about this feud. More on that in the closing thoughts.

- Michael Shane & Kazarian confronted David Young in the back. Kazarian & Shane told Young he needs to wrestle someone he can easily beat...someone like Jeff Hammonds. Young was skeptical so Kazarian let him know that NASCAR stands for "Non-Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks." Young kind of liked that, but didn't like 3 Live Kru's interruption. BG James warned Shane & Kazarian that they were making a mistake by underestimating Hammonds. James, Konan, and Killings threw out their obligatory, hackneyed catchphrases, then left. Kazarian & Shane tried to pep up Young by telling him that 3 Live Kru was talking about his momma.

(4) Abyss defeated Lex Lovett at 0:48. Lovett took a clothesline right off the bat then was dropped to the mat by a Torture Rack Slam. The fans chanted for the Black Hole Slam and Abyss obliged by dropping this week's jobber with the devastating finisher. Abyss made the cover for the quick win.

- After the match, Abyss went under the ring and pulled out a table. Abyss tried to set it up in the ring, but one of the table legs was broken off from the table. Eventually, Abyss set it up and grabbed Lovett for a power bomb attempt through the table. Jeff Hardy ran to the ring and made the save for Lovett. Abyss dropped Hardy with a boot to the face then set up for a press slam through the table. Hardy slipped out and sent Abyss through the table with a DDT. Hardy appeared to catch the blunt of the blow when he came up holding the back of his head. Abyss laid on the half-broken table as Hardy went back up the entrance ramp. Let's just hope we don't see Hardy and Abyss sporting facial burns and bandages on next week's edition of Impact.

Match View: The match meant nothing, but the post-match storyline was solid in giving Hardy a "one-up" on Abyss, who has been the aggressor throughout the feud. We still do not know why Abyss hates Hardy so much causing him to show so much aggression against Jeff, so maybe we'll get some sort of background on this feud before their PPV match. Otherwise, this feud has a bunch of aggressive spots to set up for a hardcore match at the PPV, but there doesn't seem to be any reason why we should care who wins. Did Hardy say something bad about Hardy's mom? Did Hardy cheat on Abyss' girlfriend? What did Hardy do to make Abyss so upset? Neither one has the mic skills to give us that info, so someone else, Douglas, Tenay, or West, need to present a background story on this feud.

- Mike Tenay and Don West broke down the NWA Title picture where West informed us that Kevin Nash is ready and prepared for the NWA Champion, Jeff Jarrett. West sent us to Shane Douglas, who has been spending every moment over the last week following Nash. (That's almost like cruel and unusual punishment.)

- Shane Douglas was in the backstage area where Kevin Nash was receiving a full back massage from the "unknown female" TNA masseuse. Douglas said he can honestly vouch that Nash is in the best shape of his career. Douglas paused mid-sentence and Nash slowly picked his head up from the massage table to find Jeff Jarrett in the room. Jarrett swung a guitar and nearly took Nash's legs out, but Nash moved out of the way in time. Jarrett warned Nash about the PPV as we got a close up of Nash's Calvin Klein covered butt. I guess TNA was aiming for the elusive 18-34 female demographic on this one. Either that or Rico came up with the script for this segment.

(5) Diamond Dallas Page & Monty Brown defeated The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas) at 10:30. Tenay let us know that Dusty Rhodes gave this match fifteen minutes to allow for a decision in the ring, and not from a judge. Tenay also informed us that Brown & DDP will be facing Scott Hall & Team Canada's Bobby Roode at "Against All Odds." DDP killed a solid minute fighting through the crowd to enter the ring. The Naturals jumped the babyface tandem prior to the bell ringing. The Naturals choked Brown and DDP in the corner, but the babyfaces fought back. Brown clotheslined Stevens over the top rope. DDP whipped Douglas towards the ropes where Brown awaited to back body drop Douglas over the top rope and into the awaiting arms of Chase Stevens. The Naturals recovered on the outside as Brown & DDP smiled in the ring.

After a commercial break, we came back to find DDP and Andy Douglas exchanging offense in the ring. Douglas took control when DDP was distracted by Chase Stevens. The Naturals exchanged tags as they continued to work on DDP in the middle of the ring. The Naturals lured Monty Brown into a typical babyface mistake of trying to get involved in the action, causing the referee to face Brown, with his back towards the double team tactics of the Naturals. DDP fought out of the opposition corner then was grounded to the mat by Chase Stevens. Stevens blocked a front pancake attempt and grounded DDP face first on the mat. Stevens took right hands to the gut, but fought off DDP with a side slam. Stevens choked DDP in the corner as Monty Brown ran over to the corner to take out some frustration on Stevens. Stevens played to the crowd then turned around to find a recovered Dallas Page. DDP tried to fight to his corner for a tag, but Stevens pulled him to the mat by the hair. Douglas tagged in and grounded DDP to the mat. Stevens made another tag into the ring and grounded DDP to the mat. Brown continued to stew on the outside as Stevens held DDP in the middle of the ring. The Naturals pushed DDP back to the Naturals' corner cutting DDP off from his corner again. DDP elevated Stevens over his head and slammed him into Andy Douglas. DDP struggled to his corner and finally made the hot tag to Brown. Brown clotheslined each Natural then dropped each one with right hands. Brown dropped Stevens with a double under hook suplex then lifted up Douglas for a sloppy fall away slam. Brown bounced off the ropes and delivered the Pounce to Chase Stevens. Stevens flew halfway across the ring and into DDP, who was lying on the mat. DDP recovered to his feet and dropped Douglas with a Diamond Cutter as Brown made the cover on Stevens for the win.

Match View: Seeing DDP in the ring for eight minutes of a ten minute match is not exactly the best way to spend a Friday afternoon. DDP doesn't have the wrestling ability to hold viewers' interest for long stretches of time during a match. If TNA is so hell-bent on protecting Monty Brown's inability to wrestle, then they need to pair him with someone who can actually wrestle for long periods. I would much rather see Brown struggle through five minutes of wrestling to give him practice at selling opponent's offense than seeing DDP struggle to not pass out from being in the ring too long. This was not a match that should have been in the main event.

- Backstage, Val Venis Kevin Nash was wrapped in a towel, sporting a very mean scowl on his face. In slow motion, Nash walked through a backstage hallway, which led to the locker room door of Jeff Jarrett. We closed the show with Nash placing his hand on the door handle. Ooooh!

Closing Thoughts: I really liked the "Against All Odds" hype that TNA put forth on today's show. Each segment seemed to target a specific match or storyline at the PPV, with the goal being to add an extra dimension to why we should care about each match. Specifically, A.J. Styles delivered a solid promo on Christopher Daniels following a nice showcase in the ring. Instead of being placed in a position where Daniels can over-match him on the mic, Styles was put in a position to succeed where he became the aggressor by offering an open invitation to square off in the ring. Daniels' denial of the open invitation was effective in developing his heel persona of being "all talk, no action." By that, Styles showed up Daniels, giving him a needed edge that TNA failed to present the past two weeks when Daniels came across better than Styles.

This show was an opportunity for another babyface to get the upper hand on a heel opponent as Jeff Hardy evened the table spots at one apiece in relation to his "Against All Odds" opponent, Abyss. Hardy finally wrestled a solid match prior to Abyss' run in, giving us a taste of wrestling action void from Hardy's performances since coming to TNA. The ability is there, it's just a matter of Hardy caring enough about his wrestling performance to be consistent in the ring.

On the topic of wrestling, there has been a noticeable increase in solid wrestling matches on Impact. In the past, you would pick up one solid wrestling match or two if you were lucky. However, over the past few weeks, three out of five solid matches has been the norm. Petey Williams vs. Shark Boy was very well done. Mike Tenay, Don West, and Christopher Daniels did a nice job building up Shark Boy as a legitimate wrestler, despite the goofy gimmick. The aforementioned Hardy vs. David Young match was a solid bout as well. Styles vs. Quartermain was very nicely done, mainly due to the commentary from Daniels and Styles' new-found intensity. The other two matches were there for what they were worth, but the ratio of three out of five still held true. This newfound commitment to solid wrestling action is definitely a nice development in the new Rhodes era.

The one match I am most looking forward to at "Against All Odds" outside of the obvious Styles vs. Daniels match is Hall & Roode vs. Brown & DDP. This is the type of match that can give Bobby Roode, the next big thing in TNA, the substantial rub he needs. This will also be a test for Roode to see how he fares in a "superstar match" outside of Team Canada's grace. Hopefully, Hall & DDP will do their best to put over Bobby Roode and to a lesser extent, Monty Brown. Both Brown & Roode some rub from the established stars in the match, but Roode could benefit the most by having a breakthrough performance at the PPV.

In an odd twist, Jeff Jarrett was barely noticeable on this week's edition of Impact. Sure, Tenay and West did their fair share of NWA Title Match hype, but the only visual we picked up from Jarrett was his sneak attack on Nash. I suppose the chants and ill-treatment from Orlando on last week's show made Jarrett a little gun shy to make another appearance live in front of the Impact Zone. It's funny how much of an effect the audience can have when Jarrett vs. Nash goes from the headline storyline over the past two weeks to a backseat story this week.

As always, feel free to send me feedback on today's show at revenge_nwo@yahoo.com. I'm open to any and all reader comments and suggestions on the topic of TNA or anything else from the world of wrestling. I'll be checking in with full commentary on TNA in the Sunday Brunch in only two days, so look out for that!


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