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8/26 TNA Impact: Caldwell's review of Raven vs. Roode, Waltman & Shelley, Unbreakable hype

Aug 28, 2005 - 12:45:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Columnist

TNA Impact Review
August 26, 2005
Taped August 16, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on TNAWrestling.com
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch.com Columnist


- Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the show amidst opening crowd shots. Tenay announced Raven vs. Bobby Roode for the main event.

(1) Sean Waltman & Alex Shelley defeated Abyss & Shark Boy at 4:10 in a Chris Candido Cup first round match. Waltman and Shelley walked to the ring as if they were a natural tag team. I could see them becoming a legit heel tandem. Tenay brought up a potential communication issue between Abyss and Shark Boy because of the oddball pairings found in the tournament. Shelley and Shark Boy started the match with a lock up. Shelley took Shark Boy to the mat with a headlock before popping up to his feet to stare down Shark Boy. The two locked up again with Shelley slapping Shark Boy in the face before tripping Shark Boy with a leg sweep. Shark Boy avoided an elbow drop and landed a drop kick. Shark Boy landed a series of chops before biting Shelley in the backside. Shelley ran to the corner and tagged in Waltman, who ran into a hip toss. Shark Boy sent Waltman to the ropes and Waltman came back with a hip toss into a leg drop. Waltman chopped Shark Boy across the chest then scoop slammed him. Waltman clotheslined Shark Boy in the corner then missed with a second c-line and Shark Boy rolled up Waltman for a quick two count.

Waltman came back with a kick to the gut followed by a tag to Shelley. Waltman whipped Shelley to the corner for a corner splash on Shark Boy. Waltman followed in with a Bronco Buster as Shelley slapped Abyss, who was standing on the ring apron. Abyss entered the ring for the first time and went for a double chokeslam on Waltman and Shelley, but they blocked the move only to run into a double clothesline. Waltman fell to the outside as Abyss dropped Shelley with the torture rack slam. Shark Boy congratulated Abyss then walked into a Black Hole Slam after taunting Shelley and Waltman. With Shark Boy laid out in the middle of the ring, Shelley dropped Shark Boy with the Shell Shock twisting fisherman suplex for the pin and the win. Abyss and James Mitchell walked away pleased with their work.

Match View: Well, Abyss obviously wasn't being paid by the victory or amount of time spent in the ring. The "random drawing" format of the tournament has created some interesting teams to mix up the tag formula while also giving us a possible permanent team in Waltman and Shelley. The two looked like a natural fit working together and both bring a brash, heel cockiness to the ring. With TNA having a tag division that has seen way too many tag title matches pitting some combination of The Naturals, AMW, and Team Canada against it each other, it would be nice to add a fresh team into the mix. Shelley and Waltman are a good fit even after the Candido Cup.

[Promo Break]

(2) Simon Diamond & David Young defeated Mikey Batts & Jerrelle Clark at 2:44. Clark and Young started things off with Clark landing right hands to the face before kicking Young in the back of the head with a drop kick from the apron. Clark hit a springboard huricanrana sending Young flying to his corner. Diamond slapped Young across the face and told him to wake up. Meanwhile, Batts tagged in and charged Young only to find a sidewalk slam from Young. Young tagged in Diamond. The two double teamed Batts with back elbow smashes and various tag team work as the fans chanted "Mikey Sucks." So much for Batts generating the babyface comeback for his team. Batts came back with a drop kick followed by a tag to Clark. Clark fired off a drop kick on Diamond before running into a sick inside out clothesline from Young. Young delivered a spinebuster then pinned Clark for the victory. Diamond and Young celebrated the victory.

Match View: Just an inconsequential match that continued the storyline of Young developing into a wrestler capable of winning under Simon Diamond's tutelage. I just don't see how Diamond and Young can contribute to the product without appearing to be filler. Defeating a team like Batts and Clarke, which TNA has put no effort into developing, isn't saying much.

[Promo Break]

- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with Larry Zbyszko to discuss important matters. Douglas brought up Spike TV and plans for the Unbreakable PPV. Zbyszko said he inherited a mess from the previous administration (Oh, Dusty!) and has to sort things out now. Zbyszko announced a four-team NWA Tag Title match at Unbreakable with The Naturals defending against America's Most Wanted, Team Canada, and the winning team from the Candido Cup. The match will be elimination style. Douglas tried to ask another question but Christopher Daniels barged through Zbyszko's office door and interrupted. Daniels said, "I'm the most important part of this Spike TV deal." Somewhere, Jeff Jarrett did a spit take. Daniels brought up A.J. Styles's repeated interference in his affairs with Samoa Joe. Daniels said Styles blindsided him last week and now he has to look over his shoulder causing him irreparable damage to his ability to defend his X Division Title. Daniels suggested that Zbyszko fire, suspend, or chain Styles to a radiator in the basement. Daniels said, "If it wasn't for Christopher Daniels, you'd be on the Championship Committee of a softball team." Somewhere, Sid Vicious did a spit take. Daniels asked Zbyszko what he was going to do to prevent Styles from interfering in his business at Unbreakable. Zbyszko offered his philosophical ideology of "keeping it simple, stupid" and announced that since he can't keep Styles out, he's going to add him in. Daniels nearly had a heart attack as Shane Douglas laughed. Zbyszko confirmed Daniels vs. Joe vs. Styles for the X Division Title. Douglas told Daniels, "It doesn't look like you got what you wanted." Daniels gave a "gee, you think?" look then stormed off.

(3) Apolo (w/Sonny Siaki) defeated Prime Time Elix Skipper (w/Simon Diamond) at 5:06. Skipper ducked a lock up and tripped Apolo before Apolo threw him across the ring. Diamond checked on Skipper's condition and offered encouragement.

[Promo Break]

Skipper went for a waistlock but Apolo blocked with an ugly overhead toss sending Skipper neck-first into the top turnbuckle. Apolo made a cover but scored a nearfall only. Apolo tried to shoot Skipper off to the ropes but Skipper tripped Apolo and dropped him with a chop block to the back of the knee. Skipper locked in an STF and wrenched back on the leg. Apolo broke free and landed stiff chops to the chest. Skipper delivered a snap mare takeover into a kick to the back. Skipper kicked Apolo in the chest then Apolo fired back with a running powerbomb. Diamond tried to rally Skipper from ringside. Both men returned to their feet and Skipper kicked Apolo in the knee. Skipper flew off the top turnbuckle with a back flip splash for a nearfall. Skipper went for a top rope leg drop but Apolo moved out of the way. Apolo, apparently not a fan of long-term selling, popped right to his feet and kicked Skipper in the face. Apolo lifted Skipper in the air with relative ease then placed him in fireman's carry position before connecting with an ace crusher. Apolo made the cover for the victory as Diamond simply shook his head in disdain from outside the ring.

Match View: Throughout his tenure in TNA, Apolo hasn't sold very well for the opposition. With Elix Skipper struggling to simply get air time on Impact, Apolo didn't do Skipper any favors by popping up from Skipper's key offensive move in the match to deliver a superkick followed by an F-5 type maneuver without much struggle. I hope TNA actually has something in mind for rebuilding Skipper's character because he remains one of the more popular wrestlers on Impact despite management burying him.

- Shane Douglas was backstage with Kip James and Petey Williams. Douglas said the team must have a great inside track to victory in the Candido Cup. Kip said veteran does not mean old, it simply means he's that good. Kip said he was looking forward to working with Petey and his Canadian Destroyer finisher. Monty Brown interrupted and said the two of them are going to do things his way and not the Kip James way anymore. Brown entertainingly mocked Petey Williams's Canadian Destroyer then told Kip to take care of business in the tournament before getting his head back in the game. Brown said he has big plans and those plans involve Kip. Brown said he's never asked anyone to watch his back but gladly accepted Kip's offer to watch his back. Kip smiled. That smile turned upside down, as did several hundred others, when Jeff Jarrett walked into the picture and said management is hunting down TNA wrestlers to push out of the company. Jarrett looked at Petey and asked about his loyalty. Petey said Coach D'Amore and all of Team Canada stands behind Jarrett. Kip James said he stands behind Jarrett. Jarrett turned to Monty Brown for his response. Brown looked at Jarrett like he just offered a fashion tip. Brown said he's never trusted Jarrett, especially when he didn't receive his NWA Title match opportunity after helping Jarrett retain the NWA Title when Double J was champion. Brown said Jarrett blew his agreement so now he's serving notice to Jarrett, TNA, and anyone else who wants to come into TNA that he's taking what rightly belongs to him: the NWA World Title. Jarrett merely stared in Brown's direction as Brown walked away. Very hot segment.

[Promo Break]

(4) Konnan & Lance Hoyt defeated Kip James & Petey Williams at 6:49 in a Chris Candido Cup first round match. Konnan took the mic before the match and did his usual routine. Hoyt and Konnan shook hands before the bell then Konnan got in Kip James's face. Konnan and Petey started things off with Konnan taking Petey down with an arm drag. Konnan kicked Petey in the knee before landing a right hand to the face. Konnan tagged in Hoyt then shot him off to the corner where Hoyt clotheslined Petey. Konnan took his shoe off and threw it into Petey's chest before chucking his other shoe into Kip James's face as Kipper argued with the referee. Petey attacked Konnan from behind as Konnan charged Kip. Petey and Kip exchanged quick in and out tags working over Konnan in their corner. Tenay said Kip James and B.G. James held the WWE Tag Titles on five separate occasions. Hoyt finally took the hot tag and took Kip down with a sideslam. Hoyt went for a chokeslam on Petey but Petey kicked Hoyt in the knee. Petey set up for the Canadian Destroyer but Hoyt slipped out and powerbombed Petey. Kip went for a knee lift on Hoyt but Konnan tripped Kip from outside the ring. Hoyt waited for Kip to get up then ran him over with a big boot to the face. Hoyt made the cover for the win.

Match View: Standard, formula tag match. As in the backstage promo, Petey seemed to be overshadowed in the match as the younger guy who didn't seem to belong in the storyline. It didn't help that he was virtually blocked out of the ring by the taller wrestlers. The Monty Brown-Kip James storyline has a bit of intrigue attached to it as Brown floats in no-man's land until TNA can get behind him once he signs a contract.

- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with Chris Harris and James Storm of America's Most Wanted for some thoughts on the tag title match at Unbreakable. Harris said they got their tag title match and an opportunity to beat the hell out of The Naturals, which is something they want. Harris said they will walk into Unbreakable as the most dominant tag team in wrestling and will walk out as the tag champs. Storm said it's going to be a tough fight at Unbreakable.

[Promo Break]

- Backstage, Larry Zbyszko was walking around the backstage area with Shane Douglas. In the deepest, darkest corner of the backstage area, Zbyszko and Douglas found Jeff Hardy watching the Ultimate Insider's DVD. No wait. Jeff was found hanging upside down from a metal structure. Jeff casually said, "You wanted me back? You got me back." Jeff flipped back up out of camera shot. Nice ab strength. Zbysko told Jeff to come back down and talk to him like a man. Very nice use of Jeff to create an insane, mysterious character capable of making surprise appearances to wreak havoc. A crazier version of Sting during the WCW vs. NWO days.

(5) Raven defeated Bobby Roode (w/Petey Williams) at 9:25 in a non-title match. Raven laid the NWA Title down in the middle of the ring then stood face-to-face with Roode. Roode shoved Raven so Raven shoved him back. The two walked around the ring before Roode faked a lock up and kneed Raven in the gut. Roode stomped on Raven in the corner then screamed out to the audience, "Who's the greatest?" Roode charged Raven in the corner and ate corner turnbuckle as Raven moved out of the way. Raven kicked Roode in the head then sent Roode shoulder-first into the corner turnbuckle.

[Promo Break]

Raven landed a chop to the chest then sent Roode into the corner turnbuckle once again. Petey stood on the apron to yell at the referee. Raven approached Roode and walked into a mule kick to the crotch. Roode ran over Raven with a stiff clothesline then choked Raven across the throat. Roode landed right hands as he sold a left shoulder injury. Roode gouged Raven's eyes and throat as he continued to sell the left shoulder. Roode snapped off a suplex then made a cover and scored a two count. Roode choked Raven with his right hand then made another cover for a nearfall. Raven came back with a left arm yank, but Roode fired back with a kick to the head. Roode distracted the ref then Petey predictably choked Raven as the young girls in the arena screamed in disgust. Roode made a cover but scored a nearfall. Roode locked in a sleeper hold in the middle of the ring. Just once, I would like to see the referee drop the person's arm three times for the ultimate buzz kill. Raven fought out of the sleeper hold with back elbows to the gut and went for a comeback but Roode slammed Raven to the mat with a hair pull. Raven rolled to the outside and Roode followed out. Roode drove Raven back-first into the apron followed by the guardrail. Raven reversed a slam with a Russian Legsweep into the floor padding. Raven dragged himself back into the ring then Roode followed in.

Raven kicked Roode against the ropes then landed stiff left hands followed by a discus clothesline. Raven clotheslined Roode then connected with a knee lift. Raven dropped Roode in the middle of the ring with a bulldog then made a cover for a nearfall. Raven kicked Roode in the face then ran into a drop toehold. Raven flew to the outside and Petey shoved Raven into the ringpost. Roode landed stiff right hands to the face after making a cover for a nearfall. Roode set up for his patented left arm lariat but Raven ducked and Roode took out the referee. As the referee slumped down as if he was hit by a ton of bricks, Raven slapped on an ankle lock in the middle of the ring. Petey entered the ring and attacked Raven with his hockey stick breaking up the hold. Petey set up for the Canadian Destroyer but Cassidy Riley entered the ring and attacked Petey. Roode hit a nice combination drop toe hold into single leg Boston Crab. Raven fought the pain for a few seconds then flung Roode to the opposite side of the ring where he knocked heads with Petey, who was standing on the apron. Roode staggered backwards then turned around and found the Raven Effect DDT. Raven made a cover as the referee came alive and counted to three.

- After the match, Rhino hit the ring. Raven met Rhino with a left hand and clothesline. Raven dropped Rhino with a bulldog before Abyss hit the ring and attacked Raven. Rhino and Abyss exchanged kicks and stomps on Raven's fallen body before the lights went off. The lights came back on revealing Sabu in the ring with a chair. Sabu walloped both Abyss and Rhino with the chair before clotheslining Abyss over the top rope to the floor. Sabu kicked Rhino out of the ring then saluted the sky. Sabu chucked a chair over the top rope onto Abyss as James Mitchell held Abyss back. Sabu checked on Raven's condition as Abyss stared down Sabu.

Match View: Solid one-on-one match that was given ample time to amount to something. Good move by TNA (well, Scott D'Amore) to place Roode in a main event situation for another opportunity to get some rub and grow as a performer where fans perceive him as more than just Team Canada's lackey. The post-match segment effectively set up two matches at Unbreakable with Sabu making a return appearance. Unfortunately, Raven still has the look of a lame duck champion who hasn't held or carried himself as a champion. With Raven scripted to have two people - Riley and Sabu - save him from a loss and post-match beat down, respectively, TNA isn't exactly establishing Raven as a strong champion. It's a safe bet Raven's days as champion are numbered.

---

Chris Candido Memorial Cup Tournament Bracket

Simon Diamond & Mikey Batts
----------------------------------------> Shocker & Sabin
Shocker & Chris Sabin

B.G. James & Cassidy Riley
----------------------------------------> Killings & Dutt
Ron Killings & Sonjay Dutt

Sean Waltman & Alex Shelley
----------------------------------------> Waltman & Shelley
Abyss & Shark Boy

Kip James & Petey Williams
----------------------------------------> Konnan & Hoyt
Konnan & Lance Hoyt

Matches announced for September 11 Unbreakable PPV

- Raven vs. Rhino for the NWA Title
- Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe vs. A.J. Styles for the X Division Title
- The Naturals vs. AMW vs. Team Canada vs. Winner of Candido Cup for NWA Tag Titles
- Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy (announced on TNA's website)

James Caldwell writes from Southern California where his DVD selection is Man on Fire. Feel free to drop any feedback, opinions, or comments on this week's Impact review to jamescaldwell@pwtorch.com.


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