TV REPORTS 7/1 TNA Impact: Caldwell's review of Styles vs. Shelley, Dutt vs. Waltman, No Surrender hype
Jul 1, 2005 - 5:06:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Columnist
TNA Impact Review
July 1, 2005
Taped June 21, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on TNAWrestling.com
Report by James Caldwell, Torch Team Contributor
Well, that's more like it. With TNA signing a deal with Real.com to stream Impact broadcasts through Realplayer, accessing Impact was 10,000 times more better than last week's fiasco of downloading problems.
- Impact opened up with video clips highlighting last week's speech by new NWA World Champion Raven. Raven's speech didn't last long as Jim Mitchell interrupted and sent his new client, Abyss, on the attack. The last moment we saw was Raven being choked out by Abyss and his trusted metal chain.
- From ringside, Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed us to the show for a discussion of last week's broadcast when Abyss choked out Raven after Jim Mitchell gained Abyss's trust to manage him.
(1) Sean Waltman defeated Sonjay Dutt at 4:17. Instead of a standard lock up, Waltman delivered a crotch chop to Sonjay Dutt, drawing a mixed response from the crowd. Waltman reversed a collar and elbow lock up into a go behind followed by some taunting paintbrush slaps to the back of the head. Waltman locked up with Dutt again, with Dutt scoring a reversal of Waltman's early offense with an arm drag take over. Another lock up resulted in a side headlock by Waltman. Waltman shot Dutt off into the ropes leading to a sequence of float-overs and leapfrogs until Dutt scored a slam. Waltman indignantly popped up to his feet and threw Dutt through the ropes to the outside. Waltman went to the outside and chopped Dutt across the chest. Waltman tried to send Dutt into the ring, but Dutt hooked the corner ringpost and swung back for a drop kick to the chest. Dutt sent Waltman back into the ring and followed up with a rolling moonsault splash. Dutt sent Waltman to the corner and ran in to find a big boot to the face. Waltman drove Dutt to the mat with a reverse chinlock, which Dutt broke out of only to walk into a lift up slam by Waltman. Waltman dropped a leg across the neck then made a cover for a two count. Waltman missed with the Bronco Buster then turned around to find a running knee to the chest. Dutt snapped of a suplex then went off the middle turnbuckle with a nice moonsault. Dutt took Waltman to the corner and went for ten punches, but Waltman delivered a low blow out of the sight of the referee leading to the X Factor faceplant for the three count and the victory.
Match View: Solid four minutes of wrestling with Dutt showing great intensity in the ring. Mike Tenay hinted that Dutt appeared to be upset following the vicious beating he took at the hands of Samoa Joe at the Slammiversary PPV and wanted to prove he wasn't such an easy push over. Despite the loss, Dutt came out looking strong since Waltman had to cheat to win and Dutt continually responded to Walman's offensive outbursts by countering with strong moves of his own. Tenay set up the impending feud between Waltman and A.J. Styles by referring back to Slammiversary when Waltman cost Styles the NWA Title.
[Commercial Break featuring a video package for No Surrender on July 17.]
- We saw a video clip from Slammiversary when Lance Hoyt sent Coach Scott D'Amore packing with a beat down following Hoyt's loss to Bobby Roode.
- Following the video package, Terry Taylor was backstage with Bobby Roode, Petey Williams, Eric Young, and A-1 Ralphz of Team Canada. Taylor asked Roode why Team Canada was missing their leader. Roode said D'Amore is in traction with wires and tubes hooked up to every part of his body. Every part? Young said Team Canada is screwed without D'Amore. Petey interrupted to say he's the captain and chastised Young for doubting Team Canada's abilities without D'Amore. He's no Paul Heyman, but Petey pumped up the troops to enter the Impact zone for an attack on Lance Hoyt.
(2) Lance Hoyt defeated Eric Young (w/Petey Williams) at 4:41. Before the match began, Don West indicated that Lance Hoyt lost his match to Bobby Roode at Slammiversary, but no one remembers that because of the post-match beat down he delivered to D'Amore. Well, genius, you just reminded everyone that he lost. Now they all remember! To the match where Young went right for a collar and elbow lock up, driving Hoyt to the corner. Hoyt didn't mind and shoved Young to the mat. Petey distracted Hoyt giving Young an opening to shove Hoyt to the middle ropes for a cheap shot by Petey. Young worked on Hoyt with ten punches in the corner, but Hoyt pulled him down at three punches. Hoyt sent Young to the opposite corner with a hard whip causing Young to Flair flip to the ring apron. Young went up top for a double axe handle smash, but Hoyt caught him by the throat and flung him to the opposite corner. Hoyt went for ten punches or ten "Hoyt's" as the Impact zone refers to them. Hoyt missed with a big boot as Petey pulled Young out of the ring to the outside for a meeting of the minds to help Young regroup.
[Commercial Break featuring a spot for Raven's DVD.]
We came back to find Hoyt distracted by Petey Williams giving Young another opening to deliver a heel beat down on Hoyt. Young choked Hoyt across the throat with a knee then stomped on Hoyt's back. Young slapped Hoyt across the face, which woke up the big Texan leading to huge knock down clotheslines followed by a high back body drop. Hoyt knocked Petey Williams off the apron then delivered a big boot to Young leading to the pin for the win.
- After the match, Team Canada hit the ring and delivered a four on one beat down on Hoyt. With all four members of Team Canada stomping on Hoyt, including Eric Young immediately after taking the loss, The Naturals hit the ring to make the save for Hoyt. The NWA Tag Champs held up Hoyt's arm in recognition of a new alliance.
Match View: Well, all the excitement of seeing Coach D'Amore eliminated from ringside took a hit when Petey Williams assumed D'Amore's role as lead interferer. Certainly, it helped Lance Hoyt look strong by basically winning a handicap match, but I'm leaning towards a negative evaluation with Petey picking up right where D'Amore left off. At least it's a wrestler taking control of the situation where more heel heat can be placed on Petey, who actually has a chance to draw for the company unlike D'Amore, but the principle remains that Team Canada needs something different to hang their hat on than constantly interfering in matches.
- Terry Taylor was backstage with Monty Brown to discuss Brown's non-inclusion in the NWA Title picture. Brown, apparently auditioning for Taylor's job, asked himself a question of how he can be the Frank Sinatra and the Rodney Dangerfield of TNA all at the same time. Brown said he is the King of the Mountain, did it his way, and destroyed everyone put in his path. Brown reminded viewers that he pinned Raven within the first 30 seconds of the King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary. Brown ran down the other participants in the KOTM match, citing his sound destruction of everyone involved, including pins on Waltman and Styles. Brown said he doesn't receive the respect he deserves despite his destruction at Slammiversary. Brown addressed 3 Live Kru, saying he doesn't have a problem with the Kru, but the Kru has their own problems. Brown issued a warning that the Kru would have something very destructive to worry about, and that's the Pounce. Solid promo.
[Commercial Break featuring more TNA merchandise.]
(3) Abyss (w/Jim Mitchell) defeated Sonny Siaki (w/Apolo) at 4:11. Mike Tenay and Don West discussed Jim Mitchell's role as the bridge connecting Abyss to the NWA Title. Abyss knocked down Siaki within the first two seconds of the match then absorbed hard chops to the chest before blocking a whip to the ropes. Siaki halted in his tracks causing Abyss to charge him. Siaki waited for Abyss to make the mistake and sent him through the ropes to the outside. Siaki flew over the ropes with a cross body block attempt, but Abyss caught him and threw him into the guardrail. Abyss sent Siaki crashing into the ring steps as Jim Mitchell directed traffic. Abyss sent Siaki back into the ring and covered him for a nearfall. Abyss landed a knock down right hand to the top of the head then a stiff chop to the chest. Abyss lined up Siaki in the corner and landed another stiff chop to the chest. Abyss delivered a scoop slam then hopped up to the middle rope for a huge frog splash. The unnatural frog splash wasn't enough to subdue Siaki, who kicked out of a pin attempt. Abyss went for a chokeslam, but Siaki blocked the move and bounced off the ropes for a nice rolling neck breaker. Siaki landed a right hand then ducked a clothesline and snapped off a huricanrana on Abyss. Siaki waited for Abyss to get up then flew off the top turnbuckle with a high-risk move, only to run into a chokeslam by Abyss. Abyss made the academic cover, but Siaki kicked out at two. Siaki ducked a clothesline then made the fatal mistake of bouncing off the ropes giving Abyss the opening to deliver the Black Hole Slam for the pin and the win.
- After the match, Abyss picked up his chain and threatened to use it on Siaki, but Apolo entered the ring with a chair to fend off Abyss. Abyss retreated through the ropes to the apron, but waited for Apolo to turn his back and re-entered the ring to attack Apolo from behind. Abyss delivered a beat down on Apolo as Jim Mitchell orchestrated the attack. Abyss wedged Apolo's steel chair in between the top and middle ropes then picked up his chain and choked Apolo around the neck. Raven ran into the ring and Abyss cut him off with a clothesline and big boot to the face. Abyss punched Raven in the face but walked into the Raven's Effect DDT. Raven picked up Abyss's chain and wrapped it around Abyss's neck before yanking him across the ring into the steel chair in the corner. Raven picked up the mic and challenged Abyss to a Dog Collar Match for the NWA Title at No Surrender. Raven also added that there is no way to end the match other than pinfall, insinuating that Abyss cannot quit even after the vicious beat down Raven delivers at No Surrender.
Match View: This was one of the better match and post-match segments I've seen on an Impact broadcast. First, there was Abyss actually wrestling a lengthy match to break the mold of the standard squash match formula for his previous one-on-one matches on Impact. Furthermore, Abyss looked strong matching up against an opponent of similar size and build, while also making Siaki look good. Siaki hasn't had much of any momentum in recent months, so even in the midst of a loss, Siaki managed to gain some momentum with a strong showing against Abyss. The post-match beat down by Abyss on Apolo was great psychology because the one knock on Abyss has always been his as the "dumb big guy" without brains. The subtlety of waiting for Apolo to turn his back before delivering the attack was a nice touch to show that Abyss has brains to back up his brawn. Finally, the beat down by Raven restored his heat after taking the show-closing beat down by Abyss on last week's Impact. Great set up to the Dog Collar Match that accentuated Abyss's strengths and restored Raven to a strong position.
- Simon Diamond came to the ring with his protégé, Trytan, and took the mic to address a problem he has. Diamond said he has recruited Trytan to resolve his problem. Diamond said everyone else has the problem because he has the answer – Trytan.
(4) America's Most Wanted (James Storm & Chris Harris) defeated Simon Diamond & Trytan at 4:47 . The match began with Diamond and Harris. Harris ran over Diamond with a hard shoulder block followed by a knock down clothesline. Diamond reversed a whip to the ropes and tagged Trytan into the ring. Harris ducked a clothesline as Jeff Jarrett interrupted the match to confront Mike Tenay and Don West at the broadcast position. Jarrett said he wanted to speak with Larry Zbyszko and asked whom he should blame for not receiving his NWA Title opportunity. Tenay told Jarrett to look in the mirror to find out who is to blame. Jarrett said he should be ahead of all other title contenders, which Tenay responded by saying Jarrett should have kept control at Slammiversary. Jarrett demanded answers and asked Tenay to provide answers since he's the Internet guru. Jarrett said he ran Hardy, Sting, and a host of others out of TNA. Tenay responded by saying that Jeff Hardy has been suspended by TNA. Jarrett said, "I may not be talking about Jeff Hardy." Boy, if that's not any bigger of a hint. Jarrett continued to barter back and forth with Tenay about his NWA Title shot then said someone was going to pay if he didn't receive answers. Security escorted Jarrett out of the Impact zone as we went back to the match going on in the ring.
Chris Harris ran over Trytan with a clothesline then took Diamond down with a full nelson slam for a nearfall. Trytan picked up Harris and went for the T-3 (F-5), but Harris reversed the move and delivered a suplex before sending Trytan out of the ring. Harris sent Diamond to the ropes then ducked down allowing Diamond to run right into a super kick by James Storm. Storm made the academic cover for the win, restoring some teamwork and unity to AMW.
Match View: With Jeff Jarrett occupying a full three-quarters of the match with his complaints to Mike Tenay about not receiving an NWA Title re-match, the match in the ring received virtually no attention other than a quick statement after the match that AMW appeared to be working together once again. There isn't much to analyze with the camera focused more on Jarrett than the match.
- Terry Taylor was backstage with X Division Champion Christopher Daniels. Daniels said he has become a symbol of excellence and a representation of professionalism in the ring. Daniels said he is redefining the X Division one opponent at a time. Daniels said he beat Mexico's finest Luchador - Shocker - and America's finest X Division wrestlers - Chris Sabin and Michael Shane. Petey Williams interrupted and said Daniels hasn't beaten Canada's finest X Division wrestler. Petey offered his credentials as a challenger by asking Daniels if he saw the number that Team Canada did to Lance Hoyt earlier. Daniels said, "Lance Hoyt is no Christopher Daniels." Petey tried to take the X Division Title from Daniels to save him the embarrassment of losing, but Daniels held back and agreed to an X Division Title Match. Petey told Daniels he would see him at No Surrender.
(5) A.J. Styles defeated Alex Shelley at 8:03. The initial lock up resulted in Shelley taking the upper hand with a punch to the gut. Styles shot Shelley off the ropes then Shelley ducked under Styles and drove Styles to the mat before shooting him off to the ropes before running right into a patented back flip drop kick by Styles. It took a few extra moves, but Styles completed the dropsault sequence. Styles drove a scissors fist to Shelley's face then scored a nice turn around suplex resulting in a pin attempt for a two count. Styles sent Shelley head first into the corner turnbuckle then sent him to the opposite corner turnbuckle. Shelley begged off in the corner then delivered a thumb to the eye giving him the opportunity to drop Styles headfirst into the middle turnbuckle. Shelley waited for Styles to get up then scored an enziguiri kick to the side of the head. Shelley worked over Styles with a neck vice, twisting Styles's neck in an unhealthy fashion. Styles punched Shelley from his knees, but Shelley quickly put Styles back on the mat with a kick to the gut and a stiff kick to the back. Shelley picked up Styles then took him to the mat with a quick submission move stretching Styles's neck in one direction and Styles's legs in another direction. Shelley received a chorus of boos from the crowd then sent Styles to the corner before running in with a double knee smash to the gut. Shelley delivered a forearm blow to the face then locked in another submission hold, turning a standard chinlock into a chinlock with an arm bar. Booker T should be paying attention. Styles broke the hold and scored a reverse spin kick before following up with stiff clotheslines. Styles delivered a forearm blow to Shelley's face, bringing up blood from Shelley's nose. Sean Waltman came to the ringside area to join Tenay and West on commentary.
Back in the ring, Styles worked on Shelley's broken nose as Waltman indicated Styles is naïve and needed to be taught a lesson at Slammiversary because the King of the Mountain match was every man for himself. Meanwhile, Shelley had recovered from Styles's offensive attack. Shelley dropped Styles with a reverse DDT then made a pin for a nearfall. Shelley picked up Styles and went for a move off the ropes, but Styles countered with a huricanrana out of nowhere. Styles made a pin attempt, but Shelley kicked out and Styles rolled the pin attempt into the Styles Clash for an amazing combination resulting in the pin for the win.
- After the match, Waltman said he was impressed with Styles's victory, but said he wouldn't lose to Styles if he got in the ring with him. Waltman left the broadcast table and went to the ring where he stood on the apron and clapped for Styles. Styles didn't appreciate the congratulatory expression. Waltman got in Styles's face as Jerry Lynn entered the ring to break up the potential fight between Waltman and Styles to close the show.
Match View: Excellent technical match. Fluid wrestling at its finest. With Impact broadcasts shown exclusively over the Internet, TNA needs to address its audience of hardcore wrestling fans who are more interested in solid wrestling than squash matches and TNA certainly made a conscious effort to deliver. This was a shining example of allowing wrestlers be wrestlers. Sure, the match wasn't given enough time to play out in full to tell a complete story, but the content made up for the match being less than minutes. Incorporating Sean Waltman's comments about Styles being naïve having not experienced the things Waltman has experienced is a great set up to the Waltman vs. Styles feud because it sets up the opportunity for Styles to continue developing as a stronger character. Plus, being able to work with a veteran in a solid program gives Styles the rub that can elevate him and the X Division. This is the type of "big stars working with core roster stars" concept that I advocated over and over when the influx of big name stars first came to TNA, and I'm glad to see Waltman used in a way where he can give his rub to Styles.
Matches Announced for the July 17 No Surrender PPV.
- NWA Title Match – Raven vs. Abyss in a Dog Collar Match
- X Division Title Match – Christopher Daniels vs. Petey Williams
- Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin
James Caldwell writes from Southern California where he is eagerly preparing more content for the "31 Days of Caldwell" series. Feel free to drop any feedback, opinions, or comments on this week's Impact review to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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