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TV REPORTS
7/29 TNA Impact: Caldwell's review of Petey vs. Sabin, Shelley vs. Shocker, Sabu's return

Jul 30, 2005 - 3:51:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Columnist

TNA Impact Review
July 29, 2005
Taped July 19, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on TNAWrestling.com
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch.com Columnist


- We began with video clips highlighting the key events from last week's show including first round Super X Cup tournament matches and Raven taking a two-on-one beat down from Jeff Jarrett and Raven.

- From ringside, Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed us to the show to introduce a three-way X Division match.

(1) Sonjay Dutt defeated Prime Time Elix Skipper and Shark Boy at 4:00. With this match being a single elimination triple threat match, all three wrestlers began in the ring together with Shark Boy taking a drop kick from Dutt. Shark Boy recovered with a kick to the gut on Prime Time before flipping Dutt over the top rope, but Dutt held on and skinned the cat. Dutt hopped up to the top turnbuckle off the apron then attempted an A.J. Styles back flip reverse DDT, but Prime Time caught Dutt in mid-air and dropped him with a powerslam. Prime Time went for an axe kick, but Dutt kicked Prime Time in the face. Shark Boy caught Dutt in the corner for a Dead Sea Drop attempt, but Prime Time kicked Shark Boy in the stomach sending him crashing to the floor. Prime Time took Dutt to the corner, but Shark Boy re-entered the ring and broke up a top rope move. Shark Boy rolled up Prime Time, but Dutt broke up a pin attempt with a drop kick. Prime Time scored with a double underhook butterfly suplex on Dutt before landing a European uppercut. Prime Time and Dutt were caught up in the ropes with Dutt sending Prime Time over the top rope to the floor in a nice counter-reversal series. Shark Boy went for a plancha onto Prime Time, but Prime Time caught Shark Boy and dropped him across the guardrail. Prime Time kicked Dutt square in the back before taking Shark Boy headfirst into the corner ringpost. Prime Time, who was "showing some serious attitude," according to Don West, sent Shark Boy back into the ring before taking a drop kick off the apron from Dutt. In the ring, Shark Boy went for a lift up slam, but Dutt countered with a reverse Stunner - flipping backwards into a reverse DDT while gripping Shark Boy's neck - leading to a pin for the win.

Match View: Better than your average X Division match where the wrestlers are told to hit a bunch of high spots without purpose or meaning. Tenay and West did a fine job on commentary presenting this match as having meaning with Dutt looking to rebound after last week's loss, while accentuating Prime Time's edgier (read: heel) character. Shark Boy was just Shark Boy, but the match - despite having no inherent value such as a title, tournament, or #1 Contender's spot - helped define Sonjay Dutt as being on the brink of reaching the top tier of the X Division. Meanwhile, Prime Time continues to lose matches. Not to pull out fantasy booking, but the recent streak of suffered by Prime Time could lead to a major blow up by Prime Time where he blames the fans, management, or some other inanimate object for the losing streak that has held him down in TNA. A full-fledged heel turn could be defined by a rampage of destruction to wreak havoc on the X Division with the benefit being the re-establishment of his character in storylines.

[Promo Break]

- Backstage, Larry Zbyszko was with B.G. James. Zbyszko said he had problems stemming from the feud between The Outlaw and Monty Brown against 3 Live Kru. James said, "You've got it all wrong just like all the fans do. I am not the instigator here, I am the victim." There's your heel turn with the fans being accused of having the issues wrong. Zbyszko sarcastically said, "Oh, the victim in the middle." Zbyszko said he's stuck without officials to referee the re-match at the Sacrifice PPV. James said he wouldn't get in the ring to referee that match either because of how unsafe it is. Zbyszko decided that there was only one person fit for the job and handed a referee shirt to B.G. James. James sarcastically asked, "What’s this?" Zbyszko said it's a referee t-shirt and James was going to wear it to officiate the PPV match. James was not thrilled.

- Mike Tenay recapped the first half of the first round matches from the Super X Cup from last week's broadcast with Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles advancing to the second round.

(2) Alex Shelley defeated Shocker at 5:28 in a First Round Super X Cup match. Shocker and Shelley locked up in center ring with Shocker taking Shelley down to the mat. Shocked grounded Shelley with a front chancery, which Shelley turned into a hammerlock. Shocker countered and sent Shelley through the ropes to the outside. Back in the ring, Shelley took Shocker to the mat with a headlock. Shelley took Shocker's legs out from under him and Shocker reciprocated the move until both men stood off in center ring. Applause greeted both men as they went nose-to-nose. Shocker slapped Shelley sending Shelley to the floor as we went to break.

[Promo Break]

Back from the break, the action was in the ring where Shocker ran over Shelley with a shoulder block. Shocker scored with a single arm DDT, which drew up a chorus of boos from the Impact Zone despite Shocker playing the babyface. Shocker landed a spinning elbow drop to Shelley's chest, which resulted in a two count only. Shocker charged Shelley in the corner with Shelley dropping Shocker throat-first across the top rope. Shelley threw Shocker to the outside then bounced off the opposite ropes and landed a suicide dive on Shocker. Shelley sent Shocker back into the ring then stood on the apron and taunted Shocker. Shocker went for a suplex into the ring, but Shelley floated over Shocker and shot Shocker off to the ropes for a take down. Shocker countered a scoop slam with a tilt-a-whirl back breaker before climbing up top. Shocker connected with a frog splash and made a cover, only to score a two count. Shocker went for a clothesline, but Shelley ducked and rolled up Shocker with his own pinning combination move to score the victory. Shocker pounded the mat in frustration after losing while Shelley pointed to his head as if to say he outsmarted Shocker.

Match View: Tenay was solid on commentary for the second match in a row where he subtly foreshadowed the ending when he used the first portion of the match to focus on Shelley's intense scouting of opponents to learn how to use some of his opponent's own moves. With Shelley winning the match using Shocker's traditional roll up pinning combination, Shelley looked strong coming out of the match for outsmarting his opponent. Shocker's style of wrestling still hasn't caught on with the audience, but you can always count on him to work hard in the ring. A few more minutes could have allowed the match to tell a more complete story, but the match was good for delivering the intended purpose.

- Backstage, Sinister James Mitchell was standing in front of Abyss. Mitchell said TNA officials are up in arms after Abyss left an entangled collection of bodies in the ring during last week's show. Mitchell said Abyss was not going to wait in line for a title opportunity unlike other people on the roster. Mitchell said, "The laws of natural selection indicate there are prey and predators, and as far as Abyss is concerned, everyone in his way is prey." Mitchell said Abyss nor himself have anything against Lance Hoyt, but Hoyt just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time last week. Mitchell said Abyss will destroy TNA with violence never before seen with the result being found in Abyss displaying his dominance over TNA. Abyss grunted in the camera as Mitchell cackled with joyous destruction on his mind.

[Promo Break]

(3) Cassidy Riley and Mikey Batts wrestled to a No Contest at 0:59. Riley, the unofficial treasurer of the Flock, came to the ring mimicking Raven's traditional mannerisms. Batts, continuing the momentum of his new heel character, stared down Riley, who sat in the corner prior to the bell sounding ala Raven. Riley and Batts exchanged punches and slaps with Riley landing harder right hands followed by a knock down clothesline. Riley scored with a knee lift then did Raven's "arms extended" pose in front of the hard camera. From behind, Rhino entered the ring and gored Batts, causing the referee to throw the match out. With Jeff Jarrett offering commentary on the mic, Rhino gored Riley. Batts took a piledriver as Jarrett told Raven to come to the ring.

- With the match thrown out, Raven's music hit and the NWA Champion came to the entrance ramp. Raven said Jarrett and Rhino probably forced Raven into a tag match situation figuring Raven has no friends. Raven said he really doesn't have friends, but after spending sweat in the ring for 17 years, it's amazing how two people can form a bond that transcends pain and suffering inflicted upon one another. Raven said, "Sometimes when you have no friends, an enemy will do." The lights went out in the arena. When the lights came back on, Sabu was in the ring standing behind Rhino and Jarrett with a chair in hand. Sabu dropped Rhino and Jarrett with chair shots then set up a chair in the center of the ring and connected with an Arabian Facebuster on Rhino. The fans chanted, "ECW." Raven said the match will be a two-on-two battle at No Surrender. Raven pointed at Sabu and said, "The man is homicidal, suicidal, genocidal, and I can promise you one word - pain." Sabu mimicked Raven's "arms extended" pose in respect for his partner.

Match View: Well, I guess Cassidy Riley hasn't achieved "friends" status with Raven since Riley has done everything in his power to befriend Raven. Maybe Riley should send Raven a nice Hallmark card with his favorite Edgar Allen Poe piece of poetry. Considering Raven and Sabu have had some of the more brutal matches in TNA history, TNA nicely explained why Raven was willing to team with someone who has made him wear the crimson mask on more than a few occasions. It was nice to see TNA focus on storyline consistency rather than just throwing two people together for no reason without explaining the history between the two.

[Promo Break]

(4) James Storm (w/Chris Harris) defeated Matt Bentley (w/Traci) at 6:43. In this battle of super kicks, Bentley wanted nothing to do with Storm early on as he played a game of cat mouse in and out of the ring. Bentley landed stiff right hands to Storm's face before driving him to the corner with a big boot to the throat. Bentley shot Storm off the ropes, but ducked his head too soon allowing Storm to throw Bentley over the top rope to the floor. Storm hooked Bentley with a front face lock and crotched him across the guardrail. Storm sent Bentley back into the ring, but took too long getting back into the ring allowing Bentley to take advantage of the delay. Bentley took Storm to the outside and sent him back-first into the ringpost followed by the guardrail. Back in the ring, Bentley delivered a scoop slam followed by a knee drop across the throat. Bentley drove Storm to the mat with a reverse chin lock. Storm fought out with back elbows then Bentley countered with a knee to the gut. Bentley covered Storm, but scored a two count only. Bentley took Storm to the corner and scored with a superplex. Bentley dropped Storm by the hair then made a cover resulting in a nearfall.

Bentley choked Storm across the middle rope then distracted the referee allowing Traci to choke Storm some more. Bentley went for a suplex, but Storm countered with a quick small package. The false comeback was short-lived as Bentley popped up and clotheslined Storm to the mat. Storm came back with right hands but Bentley delivered a thumb to the eye to regain the momentum. Bentley locked in a chin lock and used Traci's outside presence to add extra leverage to his hold. Storm fought to his feet and broke free. Storm went for a super kick, but Bentley blocked it. Bentley went for a super kick, but Storm blocked it. Bentley recovered and scored a knock down clothesline. Bentley took Storm to the corner for another high-risk move attempt. Bentley went for a second superplex, but Storm blocked the move and flung Bentley off the top to the mat. Storm hooked Bentley by the neck as he sat atop the top turnbuckle then connected with the "Eight Second Ride" - a turnaround reverse DDT - for the pin and the win.

Match View: Bentley lost clean to Storm, but Tenay and West put heat back on Bentley by describing how dominant Bentley was throughout the match. The commentary made the match result seem like a fluke win for Storm that came out of nowhere after he took an extended beat down where Bentley seemed poised to win. If TNA can play off Bentley's loss as a fluke on future programming, then both purposes of elevating Storm through victory and allowing Bentley to regain his heat will be served. The match itself was average with Bentley still trying to find a rhythm as the lead heel working the proactive position in the match.

[Promo Break]

- Backstage, A.J. Styles was with Shane Douglas. Douglas asked Styles about the Super X Cup tournament and his potential second round opponent. Styles said, "It wasn't long ago when the X Division made A.J. Styles. It might sound cocky, but maybe it was A.J. Styles who made the X Division." (Planting seeds of a turn?) Styles said Petey Williams and Chris Sabin are phenomenal athletes, but the winner will find out why they call him phenomenal.

- Mike Tenay talked about the Super X Cup bracket indicating Samoa Joe vs. Alex Shelley will be a second round match and A.J. Styles will take on the winner of Petey vs. Sabin. Christopher Daniels joined Tenay and West for color commentary, reminding viewers that the winner of the "Christopher Daniels Invitational" will face Daniels for the X Division Title.

(5) Petey Williams (w/A-1 Ralphz) defeated Chris Sabin at 11:45 in a First Round Super X Cup match. The two best friends outside of the ring squared off to begin the match with Petey shoving Sabin to the ropes before taking Sabin to the mat with an arm drag. Sabin fought back with a clothesline. Sabin went for a Cradle Shock, but Petey slipped out and landed on his feet. Both men blocked simultaneous enziguiri attempts before standing off to give the audience a chance to give applause. The initial flurry set up a story of both men knowing too much about each other having wrestled together or in opposition too many times to count.

[Promo Break]

Back from the break, Petey held Sabin in a waist lock. Sabin fought out with hard elbows then ran over Petey with a shoulder block as Tenay reminded viewers that Sabin won the first Super X Cup when he defeated Juventud Guerrera. (Hidden message: Take that, WWE.) After taking a shoulder block, Petey took a stiff kick to the back followed by a double foot drop kick. On commentary, Daniels took a pot shot at Raven then said he needed to be the face of the company as X Division champion, not someone like Raven. A-1 tried to get involved in the match, but took a forearm blow outside of the ring. The momentary distraction allowed Petey to fly off the apron with a tornado DDT sending Sabin straight into the floor. Back in the ring, Petey made a cover, but scored a nearfall. Petey stomped on Sabin then landed forearm blows to the back. Petey scored with a drop kick to the back then choked Sabin across the middle rope. A-1 choked Sabin as Petey distracted the referee. Don West said, "I wouldn't mind seeing A-1 banned from the building." Petey landed stiff chops to Sabin's chest then missed with a second chop. Petey took a shortcut and poked Sabin in the eyes to retain offensive momentum. Petey locked in a reverse chin lock wearing down Sabin. Petey dropped Sabin across his knee then taunted Sabin as he lay on the mat. Petey landed stiff forearm blows then scored with a hip toss. Petey made a cover, but scored a nearfall.

Petey delivered a scoop slam then a leg drop across the throat. Petey made another cover, but scored a nearfall. Sabin fought to his feet with punches and elbows to the gut before Petey threw Sabin by the hair through the ropes to the outside. A-1 stomped on Sabin's fallen body as Petey distracted the referee. Petey took Sabin back into the ring and landed forearm blows to the back of the head. Petey hung Sabin upside down in the corner then stood on Sabin's crotch for the "Oh, Canada" crotch stomp. With Petey too busy singing the national anthem, Sabin shoved Petey through the ropes to the outside then charged through the middle ropes with a suicide dive using the last ounce of energy remaining. Both men tried to catch their breath outside of the ring before re-entering the ring. Sabin scored with an atomic drop, a jawbreaker, and then a drop kick to Petey's head. Sabin missed with a kick to the face but didn't miss with a kick to the gut. With Petey bent over at the waist, Sabin set up for a powerbomb and connected with a nicely executed running Lygerbomb. Sabin went for another powerbomb, but Petey slipped out and scored with a Northern Lights release suplex.

Petey called for the Canadian Destroyer, but Sabin slipped out. Petey swept Sabin's legs out from under him then locked in a Sharpshooter. Sabin, positioned in the center of the ring, dragged both men to the ropes where he reached out to the ropes and broke the hold. Petey missed with a forearm, but didn't miss with a boot to the gut. Petey hopped up top for a cross body block attempt, but Sabin caught Petey and dropped him across his knee with a back breaker followed by an exploder suplex, which resulted in a pin for a two count only. Sabin staggered Petey with an enziguiri kick then connected with the Cradle Shock. Sabin made a cover, but referee Rudy Charles was distracted by A-1's presence on the ring apron. Sabin scored the visual, unofficial three count then released the pin and told the referee to pay attention. Meanwhile, Petey picked up the Canadian flag/hockey stick and crunched Sabin in the stomach. A-1 hopped off the apron as Petey discarded the evidence. With Sabin bent over at the waist, Petey delivered the Canadian Destroyer flip over piledriver then covered Sabin for the pin and the win to advance to the second round of the Super X Cup.

- We saw Sabin lying flat on his back with a glazed-over look in his eyes to close the show.

Match View: The first portion of the match was a slowly fought "grind it out" battle between two friends who wrestle similar styles and told a story of knowing each other's counters to counters. It was like watching two NFL teams from the same division playing in the playoffs where both teams know each other too well to give in and make a mistake. The final few minutes was very fast-paced and took the match to a higher gear. Seemingly every Chris Sabin match begins with the same slow-down match tempo followed by a three or four minute flurry of offense that picks up the tempo. Petey served as a strong compliment to Sabin and the two put together a solid finish that was ruined by yet another round of outside interference by Team Canada. It's really just annoying more than a way to build heat. For all the progress TNA's booking staff has made in paying attention to detail and coming up with nice scripts for the promotion, the booking committee should be able to come up with a different way to generate heat on Team Canada rather than relying on the cheap outside interference finish. It's time to come up with an alternative that doesn't cheapen the finish of every match members of Team Canada are involved in.

---

Super X Cup Tournament Bracket

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

Alex Shelley
--------------------> Alex Shelley
Shocker

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

Petey Williams
--------------------> Petey Williams
Chris Sabin

Matches announced for August 14 Sacrifice PPV
- Raven & Sabu vs. Jeff Jarrett & Rhino
- Finals of the Super X Cup Tournament
- Jerry Lynn vs. Sean Waltman
- Monty Brown & Kip James vs. Konnan and Ron Killings with B.G. James as special referee.

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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