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TV REPORTS
3/4 TNA Impact on FSN: Caldwell's Review of Styles vs. Kash thriller, DDP & Jarrett, Team Canada

Mar 4, 2005 - 8:48:00 PM
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James Caldwell, Torch Team Contributor

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


Friday Afternoon Take Away: A.J. Styles is still X Division Champ. Christopher Daniels still hates Styles. The New Age Outlaw has changed his name again. Dusty Rhodes dislikes Jeff Jarrett as NWA Champion. DDP says, "It's my time." Jarrett doesn't think it's DDP's time. Team Canada can't buy a win. Monty Brown is from another planet.
------
- We began with a clip from last week's show where Diamond Dallas Page and NWA Champion Jeff Jarrett brawled through the stands at the end of the show. The New Age Outlaw became involved followed by Kevin Nash, creating a war between Nash & DDP and Jarrett & NAO.

- From the Impact Zone, Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed us to Impact where our main event will be A.J. Styles vs. Kid Kash in an X Division Title Match. Tenay reminded us that Jeff Jarrett will be defending the NWA Title against DDP at "Destination X" on March 13. Cue TNA Director of Authority, Dusty Rhodes.

- Dusty Rhodes, flanked by Traci Brooks and Trinity, came to the Impact Zone. Rhodes described TNA's "open door policy" and brought out one of the top stars from Puerto Rico, Apollo, to the Impact Zone. Rhodes said Apollo will be debuting in TNA next week on Impact. Apollo took the mic and described his feelings about debuting in TNA in Spanish. Darn, I forgot my Spanish from my college class last term. Rhodes translated, "next week, he's going to kick somebody's ass." Rhodes shifted topics to Jeff Jarrett where he proceeded to send a warning to Jarrett that he needed to get his buddies together and meet him in the ring in thirty minutes or be suspended and stripped of the NWA Title.

(1) Chris Sabin defeated Michael Shane at 4:04. The match began with Sabin taking Michael to the mat with a side headlock. West reminded us of the importance of this match because Dusty Rhodes will be watching to see who will be added to the Ultimate X Match at the PPV on March 13. Sabin took Michael to the mat with an arm drag take over. Michael fought out and dropped Sabin with a running knee to the gut. Michael mounted Sabin and landed five punches to the head. Michael delivered a high drop kick to Sabin's chest and followed it up with a side headlock. Sabin broke the hold and bounced off the ropes. Both men connected with running clotheslines, leaving both competitors on the mat. Michael got up first and walked into a side kick to the back of the head. Sabin scooped up Michael and delivered a modified shoulder breaker press. Sabin made a cover, but scored a two count only. Sabin took Michael up to the top turnbuckle for a high-risk move. Michael blocked the move and scored a very nice swinging neck breaker from the top rope. Michael made a cover, but scored a two count only. Michael missed with a super kick and turned around to receive a boot in the gut. Sabin picked up Michael in a fireman's carry and delivered the Cradle Shock to score the pin for the win.

Match View: Fast paced match was very nicely executed. Good four minute match that was solid on action, but very deficient on character development. Neither wrestler really knows what it takes to get over, and without any backstage interviews or anything else of the sort to give us insight into each one's character, viewers are left without much to connect with. A good start would be for Michael to change his gimmick altogether now that he can't use "Shane" anymore. Michael is a horrible wrestling name to go by, so maybe a new outlook on the character could give Michael a fresh start to get himself over.

- We saw a clip from Jeff Jarrett's recent appearance on Blue Collar TV. One of the producers said the show crew was thinking of dumping one of the regular cast members to make Jeff Jarrett a regular fixture on the show. The camera panned back to see Jarrett standing right next to the producer forcing him to give the obviously insincere complement to Jarrett.

[Commercial Break]

- Shane Douglas was in the back with Monty Brown. Brown, having been stalked by the mysterious Trytan the last two weeks, used his interview time to address the newest TNA wrestler. Brown told Trytan, "You have some choices you need to make." Brown told Trytan to "Take your spaceship back to the nearest muffler shop because with all that smoke you came in with, you obviously need to get your exhaust fixed or your oil changed." Brown told Trytan to take his spaceship back to his leader because there's too much Alpha Male for Trytan to handle. Brown imitated a dialogue between Trytan and his planet's leader, "Orson," that went something like this:

Brown imitating Trytan: "Trytan calling Orson."

Brown imitating Orson: "Trytan, have you conquered the great Alpha Male yet?"

Trytan: "No, Orson, I haven't, for the great Alpha Male is a supreme being and he's too much Male for me to handle."

Orson: "For the love of all the little head people, you will face the Alpha Male or suffer the consequences."


Brown ended the dialogue and said Trytan would be exterminated and Pounced. Period.

Impact Note: I'm beginning to wonder if Monty Brown's previous references to the "Serengeti" was just a pseudonym for the far out planet he's actually from. Maybe I'm just not hip to these space planet references or whatever, but Brown's promos on Trytan are childish and completely absurd. Ugh.

(2) Chris Candido & The Naturals (Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens) defeated Petey Williams (w/Coach Scott D'Amore) & Mikey Batts & Prime Time at 3:35. West and Tenay indicated Petey and Prime Time were not happy being teamed together considering their past history from "Against All Odds." The match began with Douglas and Prime Time. Prime Time landed on his feet after missing a back flip splash, but recovered with a back body drop on Douglas. Prime Time scored a suplex and tagged in Petey Williams. Williams told Prime Time to get out of the ring and proceeded to run into a knee to the back from Chris Candido, who was outside of the ring on the apron. Douglas dropped Petey with a hip toss then tagged in Candido. Candido played to the crowd then took Petey against the ropes and caught Petey him with a sweet running powerslam. Candido picked up Petey and held him up in the air for a good ten seconds before dropping him with a suplex. Candido hopped up to the middle turnbuckle and delivered a leg drop. Petey reversed an Irish Whip to the corner and sent Candido upside down into the corner turnbuckle. Petey stomped on Candido's crotch before playing to the crowd. Petey walked into a right hand to the gut then a scoop slam from Candido. Chase Stevens tagged in and took a right hand. Mikey Batts took a hot tag and exchanged right hands with Stevens. Batts delivered a high kick to the head and made a cover, but Douglas broke up the pin. This brought in Prime Time, who clotheslined himself and Douglas over the top rope to the outside. Petey set up Stevens for a Canadian Destroyer, but Douglas reentered the ring and clotheslined Petey to the mat. Douglas sent Petey to the outside and distracted the referee. Mikey Batts went for a wheelbarrow into stunner, but badly missed the spot. Stevens tried to sell the hold, but looked like a bumbling fool. Batts recovered with a side kick to Stevens' head, which left too much light, but knocked Stevens to the mat. Batts made a cover, but Candido broke up the cover with the referee distracted. Candido rolled Stevens over onto Batts and told the referee to make the count. The referee counted a three count for the heel victory. (How does a double axe handle blow to the back of the head lead to a pin?)

Match View: Good build up for the new heel stable in TNA consisting of the Naturals and Candido. Now all they need is a stable name. I hope that TNA will continue to use Candido as the mouthpiece for the Naturals in order to get them over as a tag team. However, more should have been done to capitalize on Petey and Prime Time's tension stemming from their PPV match at the last PPV, "Against All Odds." Consequently, there were too many wrestlers involved in this match to allow for any serious storyline developments, which has been the downfall of TNA as long as they've been around. If they would prioritize storylines they deem important or newsworthy, some of their wrestlers might be able to get over, rather than trying to throw a bunch of storylines together and see what sticks to the wall. With so many people trying to stick on the same small piece of the wall, no one stands out and everyone falls to the ground.

[Commercial Break]

- Dusty Rhodes was in his pick up truck office with Trinity and Traci. Dusty was excited to lay some stipulations on Jeff Jarrett. Dusty said he was also looking forward to seeing Team Triniti vs. Team Traci at the PPV. David Young the winless wonder entered the scene and wanted one more chance to prove himself in TNA. Traci and Trinity were skeptical since he lost to that "NASCAR driver." Dusty consulted with his co-secretaries about giving Young another shot. Dusty was satisfied with whatever they whispered in his ear and gave Young one more shot next week. Young was very gracious and thanked everyone.

(3) Dustin Rhodes defeated Eric Young (w/Coach Scott D'Amore) at 2:59. Dustin tried to get a "USA" chant going before the match. He should have been paying more attention to the match as Eric Young jumped him before the bell rang. Dustin took hard right hands to the side of the head as D'Amore screamed in Dustin's ear from outside the ring. Mike Tenay took a shot at WWE, "TNA is so far ahead of the curve; we had Roddy Piper in the Pit several months ago." Young sent Dustin head first into the top turnbuckle then mounted him for a weak choke hold. Young drove a boot to the throat of Dustin Rhodes then played to the crowd. Dustin reversed a whip to the corner and Young went upside down in the opposite end of the ring. Young hopped right to his feet and flew off the top rope with a double axe handle attempt, but Dustin blocked it with an atomic drop. Dustin clotheslined Young to the mat then perched Young crotch first into the middle turnbuckle. Dustin kicked the middle turnbuckle, causing Young to grab his crotch in pain. Dustin took Young up top and delivered a nice superplex. Dustin had a pin, but Team Canada entered the ringside area and distracted the referee. America's Most Wanted evened the odds by entering the Impact Zone to get a piece of Team Canada. Coach D'Amore found his way into the ring where he was promptly discarded by a stiff right hand courtesy of Dustin Rhodes. Rhodes grabbed Eric Young and delivered a solid powerslam to the mat. Dustin made the cover for the pin and the win.

Match View: Dustin Rhodes continues to be uninspiring in the ring. He leaves excessive light on his right hand blows and can't seem to execute the simplest of moves. Eric Young tried to wrestle a good match, but without a good five minutes to work with, the match wasn't given enough time to develop into more than your usual Impact filler bout. It was nice to see someone equalize the interference from Team Canada, which could lead to Team Canada actually relying on wrestling to win rather than cheating to win. I know it's a good heel tactic to interfere in order to win, but it's so old and pass at this stage that a new direction for the stable is needed.

[Commercial Break]

- Dustin Rhodes was inside the ring at the halfway point of the show just as he promised. Rhodes said, "At Destination X, there will be stipulations. There will be police around the ring." Rhodes said people who have been wronged by taking guitar shots and fallen prey to Jeff Jarrett will surround the ring at Destination X to ensure the fans and NWA receive a fair shake when Jarrett defends the NWA Title against DDP. Rhodes said some of the "policemen" would be members of 3 Live Kru. On cue, out came 3 Live Kru. Rhodes proceeded to introduce the #1 Contender, Diamond Dallas Page, who came to the ring through the crowd. Rhodes said the opportunity is there for DDP to become World Heavyweight Champion, but DDP has to dig down deep and bring it out. Rhodes asked DDP if he was ready to become World Champion again. DDP asked Rhodes, "Do you think that I am ready?" Rhodes answered, "I know you're ready." DDP played Simon Says with the crowd, telling them to repeat "It's Time" in support of him. Jeff Jarrett's music interrupted and the NWA Champion came out with The Outlaw, the Naturals, and Chris Candido. Jarrett went nose to nose with Dusty, informing him, "I am sick and tired of your little schemes to get the NWA Title off my waist." Jarrett reminded Rhodes that none of his previous plans worked, whether it was Randy Savage, Monty Brown, or Kevin Nash at last month's PPV. Jarrett said, "At Destination X, you can have DDP, and it ain't gonna work." Jarrett flung Rhodes' hat off his head, upsetting Rhodes. Rhodes shoved Jarrett prompting a guitar shot on Rhodes, but DDP landed a right hand to Jarrett.

The Outlaw entered the ring and made it a 2-on-1 beat down on DDP. Kevin Nash entered the ring to even the odds. Candido and the Naturals made it a 5-on-2 battle until the 3 Live Kru evened it at your basic Friday night ten men brouhaha. Half of the action spilled to the outside while the other half remained in the ring. DDP took Jarrett to the announce table where he laid into him with stiff right hands. Nash and the Outlaw did battle outside of the ring with Nash sending the Outlaw head first into the corner ringpost. The segment ended with a shot of Jarrett regaining the upper hand on DDP with a back elbow to the gut followed by right hand uppercuts to the chin.

[Commercial Break]

- Christopher Daniels joined Mike Tenay and Don West ringside for color commentary on the X Division Title Match. Tenay indicated that if Styles did not retain the X Division Title, he would not only lose the belt, but also not be a participant in Ultimate X at the PPV on March 13.

(4) A.J. Styles defeated Kid Kash (w/Lance Hoyt) at 16:24 to retain the X Division Title. Wow, they're giving Styles vs. Kash roughly twenty minutes with the match beginning at 4:42 PM. The Fox Box timer indicated this match was being given an official 30 minutes since the X Division Title was on the line. Styles and Kash danced around the ring for the first half minute, feeling each other out, not wanting to make the first mistake. Kash took Styles' arm into an arm bar hold before Styles reversed it into an arm bar of his own. Kash broke the hold before locking up with Styles again. Styles drove Kash to the ropes where Kash ducked under the ropes to break the hold. Styles and Kash jawed with each other before Kash took Styles down with a waist lock. Kash kicked Styles in the gut, but ran directly into a high-elevated drop kick. Kash dropped to the mat and rolled to the outside. Kash recovered on the outside as we went to commercial.

[Commercial Break]

We came back to the Impact Zone where Kid Kash running in and out of the ring trying to play cat and mouse with Styles. Kash made his return to the ring with a sunset flip pin attempt on Styles. Styles reversed it leading to a nice series of pin attempt reversals that drew a respectful round of applause from the crowd. Styles went for the Styles Clash, but Kash reversed it into an arm drag take over. Styles countered with three consecutive arm drag takeovers with the third one resulting in an arm bar submission hold. Kash recovered to his feet and delivered a mule kick following Dallas' distraction of the referee. Kash threw Styles to the outside. Hoyt picked up Styles allowing Kash to fly over the top rope onto Styles with a sweet huricanrana. Kash picked out a fan on the front row and scolded him. Kash taunted Styles and his supporters in the stands before slapping Styles across the chest. Styles blocked a head first smash into the ring apron before sending Kash head first into the ring apron. Kash tried to whip Styles into the guardrail, but Styles leapt over the guardrail, landed on his feet, and dropped Kash with an amazing spin kick. Kash fell to his knees on the outside as Styles grabbed him and attempted a suplex. Kash blocked the suplex and brought Styles over the guardrail to the outside with a suplex attempt. However, Styles slipped out and delivered a kick to the gut. Styles was momentarily distracted by Hoyt's presence ringside allowing Kash to pick up Styles and drop him jaw first across the guardrail. Kash picked up a chair and walked up the entrance ramp. The referee turned his attention to Kash as Hoyt stomped on Styles. Kash threw the chair down and walked towards Styles' fallen body as we went to yet another commercial.

[Commercial Break]

Back from the final commercial on the show, we saw a video clip from the action during the break. The video clip displayed Kash locking in an amazing reverse surfboard stretch before rolling it over into a neck wrench and surfboard stretch combination. Back to live action, Kash dropped Styles with a suplex in the middle of the ring before playing to the crowd. Kash hopped up top for a high-risk move, but Styles recovered and grabbed the ropes, crotching Kash across the top turnbuckle. Styles climbed up top and went for a superplex, but Kash blocked it. Kash set up for a powerbomb, but couldn't get his balance on the top turnbuckle, so the spot was called off for a back body drop from Styles. It was apparent Kash deemed the move unsafe from the position he was in and took awhile to convey the audible to Styles, who finally back body dropped Kash to the mat. It would have been a spectacular move, but it wasn't worth the risk of serious injury to both wrestlers.

Both men laid on the mat as the referee applied a ten count. Christopher Daniels speculated that Kid Kash hadn't worn Styles down enough to score the powerbomb from the top rope. At a count of eight, both men recovered to their feet. Styles blocked a right hand and delivered a right hand of his own. Styles back body dropped Kash to the mat. Styles picked up Kash in a fireman's carry before swinging Kash's back down across his knee. Styles set up Kash for a suplex, but Kash blocked it. Styles tried a second time and delivered a beautiful brainbuster suplex. Styles made the cover, but scored a two count only. Styles picked up Kash, but took too long allowing Kash to score a jawbreaker. Kash sprung up to the top turnbuckle and connected with an amazing huricanrana on Styles. Kash picked up Styles, bounced off the ropes, and caught Styles in a Tornado DDT. Amazing two-move spot that had the crowd ooeing and aweing. Kash made a cover, but scored a nearfall only. Kash set up for the Moneymaker, but Styles slipped out and delivered an enziguiri kick to the back of the head. Styles flew to the apron and went for his patented back flip reverse DDT but Kash had backed up too far in the ring causing Styles to go crotch first into Kash's head. Styles fell to his knees and legitimately sold the blown spot as a low blow. Goodness, that looked painful! Kash laid flat on his back as West indicated Styles miscalculated the distance for his move. Styles quickly rolled up Kash for a pin attempt, but only scored a two count. Hoyt entered the ring with a steel chair. Styles flew off the top rope with a flying fist to Hoyt's head. Hoyt rolled to the outside, bringing the referee's attention with him, as Styles set up Kash for the Styles Clash. Christopher Daniels quickly left the broadcast table and punched Styles in the back of the head, breaking up Styles' finisher. Kash went for a double underhook as the precursor to the Moneymaker, but Styles slipped out and back body dropped Kash into a bridge pin for the three count. Daniels screamed in frustration from outside the ring as Styles was handed the X Division Title.

Match View: Plenty of positives and negatives for this match. I'm going to begin with one positive that I view as the overall best sign of TNA advancing as a wrestling promotion. Giving Styles vs. Kash twenty minutes to put on a solid wrestling match was the best step TNA has taken with their Impact show. As long as I've been doing Impact Reviews, I've been clamoring, begging, and requesting better wrestling matches that are given ample time to tell a story. Finally, TNA delivered on my plea and allowed for plenty of time to tell a great story inside the ring. Styles and Kash used this vote of confidence from TNA to deliver a good bordering on great wrestling match that was effective for both wrestlers. Additionally, these types of athletic showcases should be a staple not an exception on each Impact broadcast. Negatively speaking, throwing in two commercial breaks in the middle of this match really hindered what could have been a four star match. The flow was broken twice over the course of the match, making it difficult for viewers to get back into the action upon returning from break. TNA could have allocated more time to commercials earlier in the show rather than concentrating two into the final quarter hour. Overall, the match just couldn't quite reach that third gear necessary to make it stand out as a classic match. It was close, but not quite there, but by any means, that's not a bad thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the match and I hope everyone gets a chance to catch this match on the weekend replays.

- Backstage, Abyss running around like a lunatic looking for someone, presumably Jeff Hardy. Abyss crashed and thrashed Dusty Rhodes' pick up truck office then moved to the other end of the parking garage where he kicked some boxes. The camera shifted over to the rooftop of a trailer to find Jeff Hardy in squatting position looking through binoculars at Abyss' fruitless search for destruction. Fade to black.

March 13 TNA "Destination X" PPV Line Up:
- Jeff Jarrett vs. Diamond Dallas Page for the NWA Title with "police" in the form of 3 Live Kru around the ring.
- A.J. Styles defending the X Division Title in a four way X Division Match with unique rules: The match will begin with a two-on-two tag team situation with the first person being pinned eliminated from the match. From there, it will become a triple threat match with the first person pinned eliminated from the match. With two wrestlers left, it will become an Ultimate X battle with the X Division Title hanging above the ring.
- Raven vs. Dustin Rhodes in a Bullrope Match
- Kevin Nash vs. The New Age Outlaw
- Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
- Monty Brown vs. Trytan


Closing Thoughts: I liked the emphasis TNA placed on the X Division over the course of the show. The main event was solid, and an example of something TNA should strive for on every single edition of Impact. That said, we still don't know who is going to be in the Ultimate X Match outside of A.J. Styles. As I said last week, some sort of announcement or information provision should have been made to give viewers the detailed criteria Dusty Rhodes is looking for in deciding which three wrestlers will partake in Ultimate X. It can be inferred that Christopher Daniels will be one of the participants, but that doesn't take away from the fact that TNA has dropped the ball in substantiating the way in which Rhodes will make his decision. We needed something specific to grasp hold of and TNA failed to give us that information. Next week, there is no choice, but we shouldn't have to wait that long to receive an update.

To me, TNA really dropped the ball on building up DDP as the challenger to Jeff Jarrett and the NWA Title. As I said last week, TNA needed to decide whether to expand on the "It's Time" or "retribution for WCW" aspect of DDP's desire to beat Jeff Jarrett at the PPV. TNA choose not to expand the issues in any sense, relying on a rehash of DDP's initial "It's Time" speech. As a result, there's nothing in this feud that makes me want to see DDP win the NWA Title. In comparing the build up to the Nash vs. Jarrett and DDP vs. Jarrett Title Matches, Nash's build up absolutely blows DDP's out of the water. There was so much effort placed into building up Nash as a legitimate contender, while barely anything has been done for DDP. Unless next week is a drastic change, this Title match won't be anything people will be looking forward to watching. I need more substance and TNA hasn't delivered, yet.

Weekend Replay Factor: Kash and Styles' main event was solid, despite the two commercial breaks, making it the only real redeemable value of the show. I highly recommend spending twenty minutes watching the match. Everything else was skippable.

Please, feel free to send me feedback on today's show at revenge_nwo@yahoo.com. I'm open to all reader comments and suggestions on the topic of TNA or anything else from the world of wrestling. I'll be checking in with new TNA commentary in my "Sunday Brunch" Lounge column in only two days, so look out for that! Until then, find your favorite wrestling tape, snuggle up with a loved one, and enjoy a night of fun.


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