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7/22 TNA Impact: Caldwell's review of Joe vs. Dutt, Styles vs. Bentley, Sacrifice hype

Jul 23, 2005 - 12:19:00 PM
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TNA Impact Review
July 22, 2005
Taped July 19, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on TNAWrestling.com
Report by James Caldwell, Torch Columnist


- We began with still-shot clips from Sunday's No Surrender PPV focused on Jeff Jarrett swerving the TNA locker room before joining forces with Rhino. We saw clips from Raven's victory over Abyss to retain the NWA Title before Jarrett instructed Rhino to spear Raven.

- From ringside, Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed us to the show as David Young came to the ring for a match against Lance Hoyt.

(1) Lance Hoyt and David Young wrestled to a No Contest at 0:27. Young attacked Hoyt outside of the ring prior to the bell sounding then sent Hoyt into the ring. Hoyt recovered from the sneak attack and pancaked Young. Abyss ran into the ring and jumped Hoyt from behind causing the match to be thrown out.

- Abyss threw Hoyt to the outside then stared down David Young. Abyss grappled Young and delivered a Torture Rack Slam. Hoyt re-entered the ring and Abyss shot him off to the ropes before connecting with the Black Hole Slam. James Mitchell entered the ring and said the attack on Hoyt was a foreshadowing of things to come. Mitchell said, "Abyss is a Weapon of Mass Destruction and I hold the detonator." Abyss grunted over Hoyt's fallen body.

Match View: The match served its purpose of setting up a feud between Abyss and Hoyt, which is a good direction to take both men. Hoyt needs a marquee singles feud to add onto his resume, while Abyss still stands to retain his heat following one month of being in the main event feud by working with the most popular wrestler in Orlando. A promo by Hoyt rather than a 30 second match probably would have best served the purpose of this segment, but no true harm was done.

[Promo Break]

- Mike Tenay introduced the Super X Cup tournament then West and Tenay discussed tournament pairings and potential match ups.

- Following the introduction of the Super X Cup tournament bracket, Christopher Daniels joined Tenay and West ringside to comment on the first match in the first round of the Super X Cup.

(2) Samoa Joe defeated Sonjay Dutt at 9:32 in a First Round Super X Cup match.This was a re-match from the Slammiversary PPV where Joe defeated Dutt in his first ever TNA match. Dutt kicked Joe in the leg before a lock up then landed a series of fast-paced kicks. Joe absorbed the kicks before Dutt landed one stiff kick to Joe's left leg that caused him to fall to one knee. Dutt, showing great intensity in selling his desire to avenge his loss at Slammiversary, pounded on Joe's leg as we went to a break.

[Promo Break]

After the break, we came back to see Joe running right through the computer screen with a suicide dive through the middle ropes onto Dutt. Joe threw Dutt back into the ring and made a cover, only to score a nearfall. Joe shot Dutt off to the corner then ran in with a high knee to the face. Dutt dropped to the seat of his pants then Joe delivered a face wash to Dutt before running out of the opposite corner with a running kick to the face. Tenay bought up the fact that Joe hasn't said a word since joining TNA. Daniels reasoned that Joe doesn't talk so people don't understand where he comes from and that helps him remain a mystery where opponents have a hard time preparing for a match up with Joe. Joe dropped a knee across Dutt's face then locked in a standing abdominal stretch. After Dutt escaped, Joe knocked him down with a back elbow smash. Joe made a deliberate cover, but scored a two count only. Joe picked up Dutt with in the air for a suplex then held him in the air for ten seconds before dropping Dutt with a confident suplex. Joe contemplated his attack then made a cover only to score a two count. The confidence that makes up Joe's character just oozes from his facial expressions.

Joe took Dutt to the corner and delivered a stiff chop before taking time to stare down the ref allowing Dutt an opportunity to fight back with a chop. Joe quickly silenced Dutt with a kick to the gut before delivering a stiff back drop suplex. Joe made a cover, but scored a nearfall only. Joe merely sat down and stared straight ahead to contemplate his next move before sending Dutt to the opposite corner. Dutt ducked a clothesline then slingshot himself to the apron before connecting with a nice springboard drop kick to get heat behind him with the crowd popping for the babyface comeback. Dutt sent Joe to the corner then flew off the top rope with a textbook springboard huricanrana. Joe bailed out to the outside to escape Dutt, so Dutt took the offense to Joe with a baseball slide drop kick. Joe staggered backwards, but didn't leave his feet, so Dutt bounced off the opposite end of the ring then flew over the top rope with a somersault plancha onto Joe, sending Joe crashing into the guardrail. The ringside fans went wild as Dutt stalked Joe before sending him back into the ring. Dutt climbed the top turnbuckle and crashed down onto Joe with a cross body block. Dutt made a cover, but scored a nearfall only. Dutt landed a chop to the chest then a kick to Joe's left hamstring. Dutt scored with another flurry of kicks, but Joe wouldn't fall down. In response, Dutt bounced off the opposite ropes to get some momentum behind his offense, only to run right into a sick powerslam. Joe made a cover, but scored a two count only.

Joe instantly locked in a cross arm breaker on Dutt's left arm. Dutt stretched out his left leg to reach the bottom rope to break the hold. Joe stalked Dutt then paint brushed him with stiff chops to the face. Joe perched Dutt atop the top turnbuckle to go for the Muscle Buster, but Dutt blocked it and bit his way out of Joe's move. Dutt kicked Joe out of the corner to the middle of the ring then waited for Joe to turn around. Dutt went for a huricanrana, but Joe caught Dutt and powerbombed him straight into the mat. Joe held on for a pin attempt, but Dutt kicked out so, Joe instantly locked in his trademark STF following the powerbomb. The crowd popped and chanted, "tap, tap, tap" as Dutt tried to break free. Joe rolled Dutt over - keeping the submission hold locked in - before Dutt could reach the ropes and turned the STF into a chokehold. Dutt tapped out with Joe leaving him no room for escape.

- After the match, Shane Douglas came to the ringside area to try to get a word with Joe regarding his match. Douglas touted Joe's impressive start in TNA before asking Joe for his thoughts in TNA. Joe merely stared down Douglas and refused to give a word before heading up the entrance ramp.

Match View: Another phenomenal match involving Samoa Joe that just adds another reason to build the X Division - and the promotion - around Joe. I say that without flinching because Joe oozes such a strong in-ring charisma through his workrate that you can't help but watch Joe work in the ring with a feeling of excitement and awe. One of the aspects of Joe's work that really stands out is his ability to work as a heel and build up heat for his opponent's babyface comeback with such a well-paced, well-executed heel beat down that you don't lose interest, but gain interest in watching what he's doing to set up sequences later in the match. Many heels are unable to make the methodical heel beat down stage of a match intriguing, but Joe cannot be placed in that category because the guy can flat out work. To this point, TNA's best decision this year is bringing Joe into the promotion.

- Mike Tenay caught us up to speed on the Super X Cup tournament bracket before sending us backstage.

- Standing next to a wall, Sean Waltman was in Jerry Lynn's face. Waltman told Lynn to stay out of his business and to stop trying to steal his spotlight. Lynn said, "Spotlight? You wouldn't have a spotlight if it wasn't for me and all those matches we had years ago." Lynn asked Waltman if he recalled the first time he came to Minneapolis when he was broke and was looking for job. Waltman didn't want to talk about the past, but Lynn reminded Waltman that he was the one who helped Waltman break into the business. Sarcastically, Waltman reached in his pocket and asked Lynn if he wanted some money. Waltman pulled out a bill from his wallet, but Lynn slapped it away. Lynn said it was obvious he wasn't cool enough to hang out with Waltman once he made it to the big leagues since Waltman had his clique to hang out with. Waltman said, "That's right. I worked 300 damn days a year, pal. You think I had time to call you? I barely had time to talk my family." Waltman told Lynn to stay out of his business or it would cost him dearly. Waltman turned to walk away, but Lynn yanked him back to the moment.

Lynn asked Waltman if it ever crossed his mind that trying to hurt A.J. Styles at No Surrender was not right because A.J. has a wife and a newborn to take care of. Waltman indignantly said it didn't cross his mind. Lynn said he figured that was the case. Lynn reminded Waltman he has kids of his own to take care of and that's nobody's business. Waltman said it's a tough business and Lynn responded that he tried to save Waltman from himself when he was messed up with his kids having no one to take care of them. Waltman told Lynn to stay out of his business for the last time. Waltman paused and noticed a fire in Lynn's eyes. Waltman challenged Lynn to take out his emotions in the ring at the Sacrifice PPV in August. Lynn agreed. Waltman told Lynn, "You will go down just like you always did before." Lynn told Waltman to deliver his best shot. Great intensity in the back and forth exchange over the course of the promo. They told a very good story with Lynn trying to reason with Waltman while Waltman just didn't want to hear any words of advice.

[Promo Break]

(3) Kip James & Monty Brown defeated Apolo & Sonny Siaki at 2:21. Don West talked about Kip James and Monty Brown laying out two officials during their No Surrender PPV match, causing the officials to be unable to work the rest of the night. Once again continuing the trend of not being over with the TNA audience, Apolo and Siaki drew some scattered boos from the audience. Siaki stared into the hard camera with a blank look as the fans booed. Mike Tenay said that Kip James was levied a fine for attacking the two officials at the PPV. Apparently, the third degree burns from the cookie sheet were just too much for them to handle. The match began with Brown and Siaki exchanging right hands to the face. Brown took offensive control with a head first slam into the corner turnbuckle before landing a stiff chop to the chest. As Brown took a standing drop kick from Siaki, we saw that B.G. James had moved to the top of the entrance tunnel to watch the action in the ring. Kip James tagged in and dropped Siaki with a stiff kick to the face. Kip landed right hands to the face then Kip shoved referee Slick Johnson to the corner. Brown entered the ring and delivered a Pounce to Siaki that sent Siaki flying into the referee. Brown made a cover, but no referee was there to make the count so referee Rudy Charles ran to the ring and made a quick three count for Brown's pin. Charles called for the bell, but the timekeeper didn't ring the bell. After confusion was sorted out, the timekeeper rang the bell as referee Slick Johnson left the ringside area with a look of disgust.

- After the match, Ron Killings and Konnan hit the ring to attack Kip and Brown. Brown took Killings to the outside as Konnan and Kip battled around the ring. Don West, speaking for everyone who has followed this storyline, said James needs to make up his mind and let people know which side he's on. The brawl continued through the stands to the backstage area.

Match View: Another week goes by where TNA continues to milk B.G. James's decision to set up yet another encounter involving 3 Live Kru and Kip James. It's been far too long of a slow grind to reach whatever pay off TNA has in mind. In the process, Monty Brown is the victim of being bogged down in the never-ending storyline that isn't helping him develop as the future main eventer he is destined to become.

- Backstage, Simon Diamond was chewing out David Young as Young held a towel over his neck. Always quick to jump into any discussion, Shane Douglas approached Diamond and asked him what was going on. Diamond and Young argued over Young being close to winning. Diamond retorted that close doesn't count. Young asked Diamond what he needs to do in the ring to win. Diamond said Young only has half of the game with the physique and impressive in-ring skills, but lacks the mentality to step into the ring and win. Diamond offered his leadership to guide Young to victory. Diamond said he would take Young through the office politics and offered his assistance on a silver platter. Diamond stuck out his hand for an agreement and Young accepted, saying, "I've got nothing else to lose." Diamond said, "You just have more matches to lose." Young and Diamond held their handshake to signal an official relationship.

[Promo Break]

- We saw video clips of two officials being laid out by Kip James at No Surrender followed by backstage video clips of the referees receiving medical attention for the injuries.

- We went backstage where referees Rudy Charles, Slick Johnson, and Andrew Thomas were standing by with Larry Zbyszko. Rudy Charles said there is an unsafe working environment. Zbyszko said professional wrestling is a tough environment and he needs tough officials who can handle the ring. Charles said what happened with Kip James was too much. Charles said that he talked to Thomas and Johnson after seeing that Zbyszko scheduled a re-match between Kip and Brown against Konnan and Killings at Sacrifice and all three decided they were not going to work the re-match. Zbyszko said he needs referees to handle the situation and that's why they get the big bucks. Johnson said, "You can fine, me you can suspend me, or you can even fire me, but I will not do that match." Johnson walked off and Charles and Thomas followed suit. Zbyszko said he needs referees.

- NWA Champion Raven came to the ring with his NWA Title in hand. Raven sat in one corner of the ring to cut a promo. Raven said his plan at No Surrender was to take more punishment than Abyss and outlast him. Raven said he ripped his back to shreds delivering an Evenflow DDT, realizing that Abyss would take even more pain going head first into thumbtacks. The fans cheered as Raven said, "And then, then, then, Jeff Jarrett came down with his insurance policy, Rhino." Raven said Jarrett showed up to steal his thunder before he could bask in the glow of a hard-fought victory. Rhino said TNA isn't big enough for the both of them and one of them would have to go. Raven said he is so fed up with Jarrett that they need to end it once and for all. Raven said Jarrett is a pollution infecting the very air he breathes. Raven was interrupted by Jarrett's music. Jarrett walked down the entrance ramp and said that Raven is always complaining, bitching, moaning, and making excuses. Jarrett said, "No wonder you don't have any friends." Foreshadowing. Jarrett said Raven should be at the top of the list of people to be fired. Jarrett said he can't believe TNA officials want to fire him when he built the company from the ground up. Jarrett said, "I have never liked you and I never will." Jarrett said he wants his NWA Title back and then said everyone knows that Raven is just hiding behind the Championship committee.

Raven retorted that Jarrett is a schemer and once he was done with him, the only thing he would qualify for would be an autopsy. Raven laid down the NWA Title in the center of the ring and challenged Jarrett to come get the belt. From behind Raven, Rhino entered the ring and stood in the opposite corner ready for a gore. Jarrett told Raven to heed his advice from No Surrender and turn around. Raven turned around and side stepped a gore attempt before landing two right hands and a discus clothesline sending Rhino to the mat. Jarrett ran into the ring and took right hands from Raven. Jarrett's distraction was enough for Rhino to catch Raven with a devastating gore. Jarrett and Rhino put the boots to Raven's fallen body then Jarrett locked in a figure four. West said, "Nobody will come out to Raven's rescue." Tenay said, "Raven has no allies." Officials ran to the ring to break up the fight as Tenay and West continued to plant seeds for an ally to help Raven.

[Promo Break]

- Prior to the main event match, Mike Tenay and Don West discussed Michael Shane's legal situation where he was forced to change his in-ring name and chose his real name, Matt Bentley. TNA went through this storyline three months ago with Bentley changing his name three times before settling back on Michael Shane until now. Bentley's promo explaining the legal change is available on TNAWrestling.com, but wasn't put into the Impact broadcast.

(4) A.J. Styles defeated Matt Bentley (w/Traci) at 10:53 in a Super X Cup First Round Match. The crowd started an "A.J." chant, which Bentley tried to block out by covering his ears. Styles set up for his patented back flip drop kick, but Bentley saw it coming and slipped out of the ring to the outside. Bentley regrouped then re-entered the ring and landed a right hand to Styles's face. Bentley landed a series of stiff right hands before sending Styles to the ropes. Styles reversed a whip to the ropes then connected with his trademark back flip drop kick as went to a break.

[Promo Break]

After the break, we came back to find Bentley outside of the ring trying to regroup for the second time in the match. Bentley re-entered and kicked Styles in the gut. Shane delivered a stiff right hand to the face then tried to shoot Styles off the ropes, but Styles reversed a whip and landed a hip toss into a back breaker across his knee. Styles worked on Bentley's let arm before snapping off a textbook suplex. Styles made a cover, but scored a two count only. Styles shot Bentley off to the ropes and landed a sidewalk slam. Styles bounced off the ropes, but Traci grabbed him by the leg. Styles grabbed Traci by the hair and pulled her to the ring apron. Bentley charged Styles, but Styles moved and Bentley nearly hit Traci. Traci hopped off the apron as Styles hit Bentley from behind with a knee to the back. Styles sling shot himself from the ring to the apron for a springboard offensive move, but Bentley blocked Styles and slammed Styles's left arm across the top rope. Styles rolled into the ring giving Bentley an opening to land shoulder thrusts. Styles missed with a shoulder block in the corner and jammed his left shoulder into the ring post. Bentley went after the left arm, wearing Styles down with kicks and punches to the shoulder. Bentley shot Styles off to the ropes then caught Styles with a drop kick to the face. Bentley made a cover, but scored a two count only. Bentley wore down Styles with an arm wrench wearing down the shoulder. Styles fought out and both men exchanged chops before Bentley caught Styles with a single arm DDT. Bentley made a cover, but scored a two count only. Bentley picked up Styles and pulled Styles's arm across the middle rope. Traci wrenched on Styles some more as Bentley distracted the referee.

Bentley dropped Styles with a scoop slam then dropped a knee across the arm before making a cover, which resulted in a nearfall only. Bentley locked in a cross arm breaker, grapevining Styles's left arm between his legs. Styles slipped out, but Bentley dropped Styles with another offensive move focused on the shoulder. Styles fought back with right hands to the face before catching Bentley with a perfectly executed soccer-style back kick to the head to begin his babyface comeback. Styles charged Bentley with a flurry of clotheslines before landing a springboard forearm blow off the top rope. Styles ducked a side kick once both men reached their feet then Styles landed a discus clothesline. Styles set up for the Styles Clash, but Bentley slipped out and scored an STO. Bentley made a cover, but scored a two count only. Bentley landed right hands to the head then caught Styles off the ropes with a powerbomb in a move to counter an attempted huricanrana. Bentley made a cover, but scored a two count only. Bentley, frustrated, instructed Traci to get on the ring apron to toss him a foreign object as she distracted the referee. Unfortunately, the distraction backfired as America's Most Wanted ran to the ring. Chris Harris continued to distract the referee as James Storm entered the ring and dropped Bentley with a super kick to the face. Styles covered Bentley's fallen body as the referee came back to the in-ring action to count a three count for the victory.

- Mike Tenay confirmed that A.J. Styles moves on to the second round of the Super X Cup tournament as the final image of the Super X Cup tournament bracket came across the screen.

Match View: Solid, methodical match that told a story in the ring with Bentley focusing on Styles's arm, but Bentley isn't at the level of being a dominant heel to hold viewer's interest throughout the heel beat down stage of a match. Over time, Bentley has the ability to reach that stage, but isn't quite there yet. The finish to the match effectively moved the storyline to keep heat on Bentley by not having him lose clean to Styles, but Styles shouldn't have been so quick to make the pin on Bentley following Storm's super kick. It made Styles look cheap. A spiral tap, Styles Clash, or other finishing move could have been called for to end the match with Styles holding the lasting image of him finishing off Bentley, not Storm finishing off Bentley for Styles. Certainly, the key positive from this match was TNA allowing the match to reach double digits in time length to tell a good story in the ring. Definitely a move in the right direction.

---

Super X Cup Tournament Bracket

Sonjay Dutt
--------------------> Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe

Alex Shelley
July 29 Impact
Shocker

Matt Bentley
--------------------> A.J. Styles
AJ Styles

Petey Williams
July 29 Impact
Chris Sabin

Matches announced for August 14 Sacrifice PPV
- Finals of the Super X Cup Tournament
- Monty Brown & Kip James vs. Konnan and Ron Killings
- Jerry Lynn vs. Sean Waltman

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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