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TV REPORTS
7/8 TNA Impact: Caldwell's review of Hoyt & Naturals vs. Team Canada, Abyss chokes Raven, Jarrett mocks Gowen

Jul 9, 2005 - 5:04:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Columnist

TNA Impact Review
July 8, 2005
Taped June 21, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on TNAWrestling.com
Report by James Caldwell, Torch Columnist


- From ringside, Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed us to the show to hype the No Surrender PPV set for July 17.

(1) Chris Sabin defeated David Young at 5:30. West said David Young hasn't been able to put it together in the ring and didn't think he would be able to against Sabin. Nice way of saying Young's doing the job. The match began with a standard lock up before Sabin landed an atomic drop followed by an overhead suplex sending Young to the outside. Sabin gave chase and dropped a leg across Young's throat. Tenay and West continued to make jokes about Young's losing streak in stark contrast to Samoa Joe losing one match in the last three years. Young responded with an Indy-style release German suplex followed by a knock down clothesline. Young locked in a reverse chin lock, which Sabin broke out of before Young scored with a side belly to back suplex. Young ran over Sabin with a clothesline then locked in another reverse chin lock. Tenay said Young was looking good while in control of the match, a stark contrast to the jokes being made earlier about Young's losing streak. Of course, that makes Sabin look like crap considering that the guy Tenay and West were poking fun at earlier in the match was dominating Sabin.

[Commercial Break with PPV and merchandise promos.]

Back from the break, West was shocked that Young had not been pinned yet. Goodness, let's just pull out the scissors and castrate Sabin in front of the entire audience. Sabin scored a tornado DDT and made a pin, but only for a two count. Sabin landed a side kick before missing with a clothesline that Young turned into a sidewalk slam. Young made a cover for a two count only. Young went up top for a high-risk move and missed with a moonsault. Sabin landed a boot to the gut then a missile drop kick. Sabin went for the Cradle Shock and connected in the middle of the ring for the pin and the win.

- After the match, Samoa Joe ran into the ring and smashed Sabin with vicious knee lifts before locking in his trademark chokehold in the center of the ring. Joe finally broke the hold after referee Slick Johnson begged Joe to stop. Joe stared down at Sabin's fallen body.

Match View: Was the goal of the match to elevate David Young, who will not be appearing on the PPV, or Chris Sabin, who will be facing Samoa Joe at No Surrender? If this match occurred without prior knowledge of which wrestler was going to be in an important match on the PPV, my guess would have been Young because Tenay and West did everything they could to put over Young in light of him lasting five minutes in the ring, while also making it seem like there was something wrong with Sabin for having not pinned Young early in the match. Definitely did not help Sabin look strong even in victory.

- Backstage, Terry Taylor was with A.J. Styles. Styles, dressed in a pink shirt and with his collar turned upwards as if Jeff Jarrett had dressed him, told Terry Taylor he wanted time to address Championship committee member Larry Zbyszko about Sean Waltman. Styles said that Waltman cost him the NWA Title at Slammiversary, but he realizes that it was every man for himself and he shouldn't have been so trusting. That aside, Styles was indignant that Waltman came to the ringside area during his match on last week's show to run his mouth about Styles. Styles wanted a match with Waltman to settle their issues. Zbyszko said he appreciates Styles's frustrations with being conned by Waltman and described Styles as someone who reminds him of Waltman when he first started in pro wrestling. Zbyszko said there's an interested third party who represents a pioneer of the X Division. Zbyszko said No Surrender would feature Waltman vs. Styles with Jerry Lynn serving as special referee to make sure the match is settled man-to-man. Styles and Zbyszko shook hands as Terry Taylor smiled in the background.

[Commercial Break featuring more merchandise promos.]

- Terry Taylor moves quickly as he was backstage with America's Most Wanted. Taylor asked AMW if they were back on the same page after struggling to work as a cohesive tag team. Chris Harris said that AMW has proven time and time again that they are the best tag team in the business. Harris said, "The boat may rock once in a while, but that's only going to make us stronger." Harris addressed Alex Shelley and Michael Shane as two nosey wrestlers trying to get involved in business they shouldn't have messed with. James Storm, who apparently had been watching John Cena promos for inspiration, said that Shelley and Shane are like "the king turds of poo poo land." Storm, showing more fire in a promo than I've ever seen, told Shane and Shelley that AMW is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and even twice on Sunday for any fighting opportunity. Storm said AMW would need to find a church after No Surrender to ask for forgiveness for the beating they were going to lay on Shane and Shelley. Solid promo that evoked some real emotions.

(2) Mikey Batts and Zack Gowen wrestled to a No Contest at 1:48. Batts and Gowen shook hands prior to locking up before going into a series of counters and reversals featuring Gowen landing a series of arm drags. Gowen kicked Batts then ran him over with a strong clothesline. Gowen hopped up to the top rope and went for a moonsault, but Batts moved out of the way in time. Batts scored an enziguiri kick after ducking a clothesline before making a pin attempt for a one-count only. Jeff Jarrett came to the ringside area and picked up a mic before heading to the timekeeper. Jarrett forced the timekeeper to ring the bell then took things into his own hands by grabbing the mallet to ring the bell repeatedly. Jarrett said the match was over. Jarrett told Batts and Gowen to get out of the ring. Gowen wouldn't leave so Jarrett got in Gowen's face and said, "Get out of my ring, hopalong." Gowen shoved Jarrett, which only drew a sarcastic smile from Jarrett. Jarrett taunted Gowen with his guitar before mocking Gowen's inability to move well with just one leg. Very tasteless. Jarrett smashed the guitar over Gowen's head before Batts helped Gowen leave the ring. Security circled the ring and Jarrett warned security not to take a step near him because he was going to leave under his own terms. Security stayed outside of the ring. (JC Note: Boy, the next time I'm confronted by eight rent-a-cops in the mall, I'll just act tough and tell security to let me leave on my own terms. That should work! What's that? Oh…it only works in Jarrett's fantasy world of power and control.) Jarrett said that if any of the "new talent" comes into Planet Jarrett, they would have hell to pay. Jarrett said, "Raven, you've got my belt and Abyss, you've got my title shot, and I'm going to be at No Surrender, and I'm taking them both." Jarrett dropped the mic and challenged security to take him away.

Match View: Nothing more than Jarrett playing his real-life crybaby character on television the Internet while interrupting a match for the second week in a row, but then you have Jarrett hopping on one leg to mock Gowen. It was an obvious attempt to draw heel heat, but it wasn't necessary since the very presence of Jarrett on television draws plenty of heat as it is.

[Commercial Break featuring more TNA merchandise.]

(3) Samoa Joe defeated Prime Time Elix Skipper and Shark Boy at 4:11. Mike Tenay indicated that the first person to score a pin or submission would win the match. Joe and Prime Time got in each other's faces as Shark Boy tried to get his nose in the action. Both men shoved Shark Boy away leading to a series of kick and punch exchanges between Joe and Prime Time. Shark Boy sent Joe to the outside before delivering a pancake slam to Prime Time. Joe re-entered the ring and dropped Shark Boy across the top rope before sending him to the outside. Joe sent Prime Time to the corner turnbuckle before running in with a knee smash. Joe placed Prime Time atop the top turnbuckle before slapping him straight across the chest. Joe climbed up top for a suplex, but Shark Boy met both men up top and assisted in a triple pyramid sunset flip and suplex combination. After catching a replay of the pyramid, we saw Joe deliver a double German Suplex to both Prime Time and Shark Boy. Absolutely sick move. Joe tripped Prime Time with a leg sweep then stared down Prime Time's fallen body. Joe delivered a stiff headbutt then charged Prime Time for a shoulder block, but Prime Time moved out of the way and Joe ended up outside of the ring. Shark Boy reentered the picture and Prime Time promptly draped him across the top rope. Shark Boy was nearly a victim of Prime Time's "walking the top rope" huricanrana, but Joe reentered the ring and sent Prime Time off the ropes to the outside before he could execute the move. Shark Boy almost connected with the Dead Sea Drop from his perched position atop the top rope, but Joe reversed it into a Muscle Buster. Joe followed up with a modified chokehold, positioning Shark Boy in Camel Clutch position. Shark Boy tapped out giving Joe the victory.

Match View: TNA continues to let Samoa Joe be Samoa Joe, and in the process, the guy has looked like a monster in the ring. Joe works a solid tough guy heel act that really shines through his facial expressions and constant look of confidence that oozes through the way he handles himself. If TNA is set on developing the X Division into a marketable concept as the core of TNA's product, defining characters, feuds, and storylines as well as they have done with Samoa Joe is the next step to take. Joe has looked strong as the relentless heel throughout the three weeks TNA has used him and the way in which TNA has used him can help define a strong X Division by Joe representing the lead character.

[Commercial Break]

(4) Petey Williams defeated Amazing Red at 4:50. Christopher Daniels, dressed in a suit and tie, joined West and Tenay for commentary on the match to discuss his match against the #1 Contender to the X Division Title, Petey Williams, which is set for No Surrender. The match began with Petey shoving and slapping Red. The response from Red was chops across the chest followed by a kick to the back. Red went for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Petey blocked it before missing with a sit down splash aimed for Red's face. Red shoved Petey to the floor then flew off the apron with a Shooting Star Press. Very nice. Daniels said Petey Williams is one-dimensional with only one devastating move to his credit. A bit of foreshadowing for those of you following along at home. Red flew off the top rope with a drop kick sending Petey to the mat. Petey came back with a quick roll up that resulted in a two count. Petey hung Red upside down in the corner before standing on Red's crotch and placing his hand on his heart to salute Canada. Red came back with a rolling enziguiri kick before climbing up top for a back twisting moonsault - the Infrared - but Petey moved out of the way. Red hopped to his feet and walked into the Canadian Destroyer. Instead of making the pin, Petey locked in the Sharpshooter, which Red tapped out to.

- After the match, Daniels picked up his X Division Title and loosened his tie to yell at Petey. Team Canada's team captain stared him down and signaled that he wanted some gold around his waist. Daniels, with his tie crooked and his jacket opened up as if he was auditioning for the part of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, challenged Petey to take the X Division Title away from him.

Match View: With those being only his second match back with the company since returning after a several month hiatus, it's apparent Amazing Red will be used as nothing more than a glorified X Division jobber during his current run. It's sad to see that after all he gave to the company in the first two years of its existence. Christopher Daniels was solid on commentary, as he usually is, and helped set up his match against Petey by touting his repertoire of finishing moves to combat Petey's Canadian Destroyer. Petey built up heat for himself by showing that he has an additional finishing move Daniels should be worried about. With Daniels dominating the X Division since Destination X, any credibility that can be given to Petey as a legit challenger to Daniels is beneficial to the feud leading into the PPV.

- Backstage, Terry Taylor was still making the rounds and caught up with Monty Brown. Taylor asked Brown about the challenge he laid on 3 Live Kru last week. Brown said he was tired of waiting for the Kru to answer his challenge. Brown said he has The Outlaw by his side while the Kru has their own problems. In one of the best-delivered lines in Impact history, Brown said, "B.G. Jizzle James is somewhere crying in the corner." It wasn't so much what he said, but rather how he said it. Brown mocked B.G.'s standard speech in a successful spoof attempt before changing the tone to a sullen mood when saying James was probably crying somewhere. Just great presence delivering the line. Brown said Konnan and Ron Killings were probably off somewhere shaking it up and getting rid of their problems by pounding tequila. Brown said that he would not issue his challenge again and would find the Kru if he had to, but wanted to deliver a present to the Kru if B.G. James could stop crying. The present? The Pounce. Period. Brown is major leagues on the mic and continues to deliver awesome promos.

[Commercial Break]

(5) Abyss (w/Sinister James Mitchell) defeated Cassidy Riley at 0:48. Riley attacked Abyss with a kick before the bell rang then stomped away on Abyss in the corner. Riley bounced off the ropes and found a big problem in the form of a a big boot to the face. Abyss picked up Riley and delivered a torture rack slam before clutching his arms and rocking back and forth ala Mankind in 1996. Abyss sent Riley to the ropes then planted Riley in the ring with the Black Hole Slam.

- After the match, Abyss signaled that he wanted the NWA Title. Mitchell stood in the ring with his cane and directed Abyss to attack Riley again. Abyss sent Riley to the ropes and delivered a second Black Hole Slam. Mitchell nodded in Riley's direction for a third move, but Raven ran into the ring and attacked Abyss with a steel chain wrapped around his wrist. Raven clotheslined Abyss over the top rope, but a distraction from Jim Mitchell gave Abyss the necessary time to recover and pull Raven off his feet and face-first into the mat. Abyss crotched Raven into the ringpost then Abyss picked up the chain Raven brought to the ring and hung him over the middle rope using the chain as the noose in the equation. Mitchell smiled as he watched the pain Raven was enduring. Security intervened and pulled Abyss away from choking out Raven. While on the floor outside of the ring, Raven held his throat and gasped for air.

Match View: Standard squash turned into another week of role reversal in who came out with the advantage between Raven and Abyss. The June 24 show featured Abyss taking the upperhand on Raven to close the show. Last week's show had Raven take over with a controlling interest in the storyline. This week's show restarts the pattern with Abyss having the lasting image of control in relation to the NWA Champion. Jim Mitchell's presence has really added to Abyss's allure and aura, not just in the storyline, but also in the way he handles himself on camera.

[Commercial Break with more promos including the first advertisement for the "Bound for Glory" PPV set for October 23.]

(6) Lance Hoyt & The Naturals (Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens w/Jimmy Hart) defeated Team Canada (Eric Young & Bobby Roode & A-1 Ralphz) at 8:47. Jimmy Hart cheered on the NWA Tag Champions as Bobby Roode screamed out, "USA Sucks." Chase Stevens took the opening lock up against Eric Young to chants of "Hoyt" and "USA." Young ducked a clothesline but couldn't duck a kick to the gut resulting in a pin attempt for a two count only. Bobby Roode took a tag followed by a back body drop. Andy Douglas entered the ring and ran over Roode with a running clothesline for a two count. Douglas sent Roode to the opposite corner and ran over Roode with a running clothesline. Douglas went to the ropes near Team Canada's corner and A-1 promptly held him back. Roode measured Douglas for a clothesline, but Douglas ducked and A-1 took the blow. The offensive advantage was short lived for Douglas as all three members of Team Canada delivered a "boot to gut" beat down on Douglas as Hoyt and Stevens were held back by the referee. A-1 went to work on Douglas in a neutral corner before sending him to the opposite corner where he caught Douglas flying off the top turnbuckle for a powerslam. A-1 tagged in Young, who delivered stiff right hands to Douglas's face. Douglas scored a sunset flip pin attempt off the ropes, but Young quickly clotheslined him to the mat. The fans began a "Hoyt" chant as Team Canada exchanged quick in and out tags to subdue Douglas and build heat for the inevitable hot tag.

Roode choked Douglas across the throat then locked in a reverse chin lock. Roode suckered Hoyt into the ring causing the referee to turn his back to cut off Hoyt, allowing Team Canada to deliver a three-on-one beat down on Douglas. A-1 scored a suplex and Young entered the ring with a phantom tag. Young drove Douglas to the mat with a reverse chin lock then broke the hold and spit on Chase Stevens's face. Meanwhile, Bobby Roode entered the ring as the babyfaces tried to enter the ring to help Douglas. Roode went for a clothesline, but Douglas ducked and scored a knock down clothesline. Douglas rolled to his corner and scored a hot tag to Hoyt, which put the Impact zone into a frenzy. Hoyt cleared the ring of Young before landing a pancake slam on Roode. Hoyt made a cover, but A-1 broke up the pin attempt. Hoyt mounted Roode in the corner and delivered five "Hoyt punches" before Roode shoved Hoyt to the mat. That wasn't the best decision Roode's ever made as he walked right into a big boot to the face from Hoyt. With Roode out cold on the mat and the rest of the match participants doing battle outside of the ring, Hoyt covered Roode for the pin and the win.

- After the match, Team Canada delivered a beat down on Hoyt as The Naturals finally reentered the ring leading to a huge six-man brawl. From backstage, Petey Williams entered the ring with a hockey stick in hand to deliver a four-on-three beat down on the babyfaces. Petey choked out Hoyt with the stick then Team Canada stood tall in the ring while posing for the hard camera. We faded to black with Team Canada standing atop the opposition.

Match View: Very formulaic tag match with Douglas taking the heel beat down leading to the hot tag to Hoyt that tore the roof down. Obviously, TNA wanted to protect Hoyt as much as possible by leaving him outside of the ring for the entire match until he could get the tag and complete a quick sequence leading to victory. It's amazing how strong of connection Hoyt has made with the audience. If he can deliver consistent one-on-one performances in the ring that do not contain the bells and whistles of outside interference to break the monotony of a given match, Hoyt stands to be in position to challenge for a top spot in the company in the near future. However, as we've seen with John Cena, a strong connection with the audience can over-ride an inability to deliver main event-caliber performances in the ring. Hoyt has the makings of developing into a solid in-ring talent while also budding as a character in TNA. Team Canada continues to develop solid heel heat by finding a way to come out on top despite being over-matched. Petey Williams is shining in his role as the new Coach D'Amore. He's another member of the X Division that can use the strong character development he is currently receiving as captain of Team Canada to help define a more complex and multi-layered version of the X Division alongside Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles, and Christopher Daniels.

---

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
- Sean Waltman vs. A.J. Styles
- America's Most Wanted vs. Alex Shelley & Michael Shane

James Caldwell writes from Southern California where he is eagerly preparing more content for the "31 Days of Caldwell" series, found exclusively on PWTorch.com. Feel free to drop any feedback, opinions, or comments on this week's Impact review to jamescaldwell@pwtorch.com.


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