TV REPORTS 9/9 TNA Impact: Caldwell's review of Raven & Sabu vs. Rhino & Abyss, Candido Cup, Unbreakable
Sep 10, 2005 - 4:37:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Columnist
TNA Impact Review
September 9, 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 publicized the X Division and NWA Title matches at Unbreakable coming up on Sunday. Tenay set up the Chris Candido Memorial Cup tournament finale between Chris Sabin and Shocker against Sean Waltman and Alex Shelley.
(1) Sean Waltman & Alex Shelley beat Shocker & Chris Sabin at 7:20 in the Chris Candido Memorial Cup finals. Waltman and Shelley resembled a legit tag team walking to the ring together. It would be a great move to unite the two together for a permanent tandem. Sabin and Shelley started things off with Shelley taking Sabin down with a headlock before screaming out, 'This is wrestling, people!" Shelley dropped Sabin to his stomach then stretched Sabin's back while holding onto the hair for extra illegal leverage.
Shelley continued to work on Sabin with mat wrestling submission holds. Waltman threw some crotch chops at the crowd from the apron. Sabin slipped out of a submission hold and scored with a series of deep arm drags. Shocker tagged in and Shelley begged off before slapping Shocker as if he was slapping a fly with a flyswatter. Shelley quickly scampered to his corner and tagged in Waltman. Waltman walked into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker off the ropes then scampered to his corner for a tag to Shelley. Shelley ran into a drop kick from Shocker then Sabin tagged in. Shelley begged off and even kissed Sabin's foot. Sabin responded with a double foot smash to the chest. Sabin connected with a second, but Shelley responded with a stiffer double foot kick a second later after playing a no-selling opossum. The action spilled to the outside with Waltman scoring a somersault splash on Sabin and Shocker after Shelley moved out of the way. Waltman showed some fire then came back into the ring to work on Sabin. Waltman and Shelley exchanged quick in and out tags to work on Sabin with Shelley showing some nice heel facials. Sabin fought out with an enziguiri kick then tagged in Shocker.
Shocker came in hot and ran over everyone with kicks to the face then dropped Shelley with a release German Suplex. Sabin flew off the top turnbuckle with an attempted drop kick on Shelley, only to find a chest-full of Shocker as Shelley ducked out of the way. Sabin checked on Shocker before turning around to find a stiff superkick from Shelley straight to the jaw. Sabin instantly grabbed his jaw as he rolled out of the ring. There's your broken jaw. Shocker mounted Waltman in the ring and Waltman escaped with a low blow while the referee was attending to matters outside of the ring. Waltman dropped Shocker with the X-Factor then pinned Shocker to win the Candido Memorial Cup.
- After the match, Waltman hoisted the Candido Cup as he celebrated with Shelley. The fans chanted, "Chris Candido." Back in the ring, Sabin - broken jaw and all - walked into the ring and tried to reconcile with Shocker. The two hugged then Shocker attacked Sabin from behind as Sabin began to leave. Shocker stomped on Sabin as Sabin held his jaw in obvious pain. The fans showered boos on Shocker as he kissed his biceps.
Match View: Just a standard tag match, but effective in telling the story of Waltman and Shelley doing whatever it takes to win while Shocker and Sabin continued to have differences that finally caused Shocker to go off. Shelley's jaw-busting superkick on Sabin was absolutely sick. This wasn't a Shawn Michaels catching 5 feet of air on Hulk Hogan type of superkick. Waltman and Shelley have impressed as a legit tag team since their first round match in the tournament. I'm hoping for a Waltman & Shelley victory at Unbreakable to give the tag division a fresh team to build around.
- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with Monty Brown to explain his actions from last week when he severely injured Sonny Siaki. Earlier in the show, Mike Tenay said Siaki's throat and windpipe area was severely injured after Monty Brown slammed Siaki's throat inside a steel chair. Douglas told Brown, 'You have cut a wide and impressive path of destruction." Douglas said Brown will be teaming with Kip James against Apolo and Lance Hoyt at Unbreakable. Brown said his attack on Siaki explains how the Serengeti is getting more dangerous everyday and Lance Hoyt is a rising star in the eyes of everyone except for himself; Hoyt is nothing more than a buffoon of a giraffe who's just waiting to get Pounced. Brown said he and Kip will dominate and destroy Hoyt and Apolo. "While everyone is chanting, Hoyt, Hoyt, Hoyt," Brown said to Lance Hoyt, "you will be getting hurt, hurt, hurt!" Brown closed with his "Pounce. Period." line in a quiet tone after screaming through the previous portion of the interview.
- Shane Douglas was backstage with X Division Champion Christopher Daniels. Daniels said this is the most important time in TNA's history as the seconds tick away until TNA's unveiling on Spike TV. Daniels said people need to know and see who will step up and be a leader in TNA. Daniels rhetorically asked if it will be Jeff Jarrett, Monty Brown, Rhino, or Raven. Daniels said it will be none of the above for it will be himself and only himself. Daniels said, "More than ever, I am Mr. TNA and my heart has six sides and it beats Spike TV." Daniels said Spike TV is banking on Daniels. Daniels rhetorically asked if A.J. Styles or Samoa Joe is the man to break his spirit and desire to carry the TNA flagship. Daniels said, "That will never happen." Daniels said he will not be denied or deterred from showing each fan that his desire, will, and spirit is unbreakable. JC Note: All Daniels needs is a podium and a 100-person choir and he's set on the preacher gimmick. Great promo.
(2) Samoa Joe defeated Shark Boy at 1:32. Joe stalked Shark Boy after the opening bell before missing with a clothesline. Shark Boy scored a few right hands before running into an inverted atomic drop. Joe ran over Sharkie with a kick to the head then made a cover for a nearfall. Joe headbutted Shark Boy in the corner then washed Sharkie's face before running in with an attempted running kick, only to have Shark Boy block the kick to the face. Shark Boy bit Joe's foot then landed ten punches in the corner. That pissed Joe off as Joe scored with a sick powerslam off the ropes. Joe took Sharkie to the corner and scored with the Muscle Buster before locking in the Kokina Clutch, which Sharkie tapped out to.
Match View: With Shark Boy scoring a victory over Christopher Daniels on last week's show, I can see where TNA wants to give Shark Boy a push, but him being the first person to block Samoa Joe's charging kick in the corner was a mistake. The first time someone actually resists that kick should be in a major match, not in an Impact squash match. Otherwise, good match to further establish Joe's dominance. An appearance by Styles or Daniels on commentary or watching ringside would have helped. Even having Styles or Daniels ringside to distract Joe as he ran into the corner for his charging kick would have softened the blow of Shark Boy blocking the kick.
(3) Chris Harris (w/James Storm) defeated Eric Young (w/A-1 Ralphz) and Andy Douglas (w/Chase Stevens & Jimmy Hart) at 5:32. Douglas and Harris exchanged words in the ring before the match while Eric Young stood in the corner with a look of amusement on his face. Young tried to intervene and both opponents double-teamed Young on instincts. Douglas threw Young over the top rope to the floor then Douglas stomped and punched Harris in the corner. Douglas walked into an inverted atomic drop then Harris followed up with a stiff clothesline. Young re-entered the ring and was instantly tossed over the top rope by Chris Harris. James Storm and Chase Stevens began brawling ringside as A-1 Ralphz tried to get involved as a careful observer. The referee threw all non-wrestling participants out of the match as more referees came to the ring to escort the external participants to the back. Meanwhile, Sean Waltman and Alex Shelley were carefully watching a backstage monitor to scout their opponents for Unbreakable.
Once order was restored, Eric Young dropped Andy Douglas with a clothesline. Young picked up Harris and dropped him with a modified Death Valley Driver. Young argued with the referee then dropped Harris with a side kick followed by a scoop slam. Young knocked Douglas to the outside then went up top and dropped an elbow on Harris. Young made a nonchalant cover and scored a two count. Douglas re-entered the ring and punched Young before turning around to find no-sell Harris land a clothesline from the top turnbuckle. Harris dropped Douglas with a high vertical suplex then made a cover for a nearfall. Harris took Young up top for a suplex attempt but Young threw Harris off the top. Young set up for a missile drop kick on Harris, but Harris moved out of the way and Douglas took the drop kick square in the chest. Harris grabbed Young and dropped him with the Catatonic then pinned Young for the victory.
- After the match, Harris and Douglas nearly scuffled again as Waltman and Shelley watched the proceedings from a backstage monitor.
Match View: Very good set up for the eight-man NWA Tag Title match at the PPV. Nothing fancy, just build the conflict and let the story unfold to build heat on all involved parties. TNA put The Naturals in a major underdog situation with Chris Harris winning the match, Waltman and Shelley looking very confident backstage watching the match, and Eric Young sitting back and laughing at the AMW-Naturals feud. This feud has received more attention than any other leading into Unbreakable. Direct correlation to Scott D'Amore at the head of the booking committee? You betcha. That's not a bad thing, though, because they've gone a nice job building heat the last four weeks.
(4) Prime Time Elix Skipper (w/Simon Diamond) defeated Sonjay Dutt at 3:34. Skipper attacked Dutt before the bell under instruction from Simon Diamond. Skipper dropped Dutt with a sit down slam before making a quick roll up for a nearfall. Skipper threw Dutt to the outside then followed up with a whip into the corner ringpost. Skipper took Dutt back into the ring where Dutt fired back with a whip to the ropes followed by an enziguiri kick. Dutt's offense was quickly silenced as Skipper landed a belly-to-belly overhead suplex. Skipper clotheslined Dutt in the corner then took his time walking around the ring allowing Dutt to fly off the top rope with a springboard drop kick. Dutt kicked Skipper in the face then snapped off a huricanrana. Dutt scored with a back flip moonsault then went up top. Skipper grabbed the referee and pulled him close allowing Diamond to shove Dutt off the top rope to the mat. From the opposite side of the ring, David Young ran inside the ring and dropped Dutt with a spinebuster. Skipper hoisted Dutt into position for the Sudden Death neck drop and connected with his finisher. Skipper made the cover for the victory much to the approval of Diamond and Young.
Match View: If you would have told me nine months ago that David Young would be helping Prime Time Elix Skipper win a match, I would have told you that you're crazy. Nine months ago, Skipper and Christopher Daniels were at the top of the TNA mountain as they were involved in one of the best TNA PPV matches ever when they wrestled the six sides of steel match at Turning Point. Now, Daniels is TNA's longest reigning X Division champion and Skipper has to win matches via Simon Diamond and David Young's assistance. What a difference nine months makes.
- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with Jeff Jarrett. Douglas said he was shocked, but Jarrett interrupted before Douglas could say what he was shocked about. Jarrett said Douglas shouldn't be shocked about the politics of this company. Jarrett said no one is going to be around after TNA cleans out the roster in favor of new talent for the Spike TV debut. Jarrett said TNA is still all about Jeff Jarrett and he declared he will get his belt back at Unbreakable. Jarrett dared anyone to stop him.
(5) NWA Champion Raven & Sabu defeated Rhino & Abyss (w/James Mitchell) at 8:09. Rhino delivered an opening shot on Raven while Abyss pounded on Sabu, taking him down to one knee. Sabu ducked a clothesline and kicked the air next to Abyss's feet causing Abyss to fall on his face. Outside of the ring, Abyss sent Raven crashing into the guardrail then turned around to find Sabu crashing down on him with a somersault dive. Raven took Rhino into the ring and pulled out his snot rag. Raven drove his nasal cleanser to Rhino's face then slammed him. Sabu tagged in and landed a springboard somersault leg drop before locking in a Camel Clutch. James Mitchell distracted the referee allowing Abyss and Rhino to take the momentary advantage. Rhino choked Raven in the corner with a boot to the throat as Tenay and West discussed the psychology of wrestlers arguing with the referee following a nearfall. Abyss pounded on Raven in the corner as Sabu asked for a tag. Abyss tagged in Rhino as a slap in the face to Sabu. Rhino went for a suplex but Raven countered with a snap suplex of his own.
Raven tried to reach his corner but Rhino cut him off (1) and drop kicked him to the outside. Rhino sent Raven back into the ring then spit on Sabu. Rhino taunted the audience and Raven took advantage by driving Rhino into the corner. Raven crawled to his corner but Rhino cut him off again. (2) Raven delivered a front face jawbreaker and crawled to his corner, but Rhino cut him off (3) and tagged in Abyss. Abyss sent Raven headfirst into the corner turnbuckle then charged the corner and missed a splash. Raven crawled to his corner and Abyss cut him off. (4) Abyss locked in a neck wrench submission as Mitchell shouted instructions from outside of the ring. Abyss slammed Raven down then tagged in Rhino. Rhino dropped a leg across the throat then delivered a series of kicks to the back and front. Abyss tagged in and went to the top turnbuckle. Abyss went for a leg drop, but Raven rolled out of the way and tagged in Sabu.
Sabu clocked both Rhino and Abyss with chair shots then clotheslined Abyss over the top rope to the outside. Sabu flew off the seat of his chair with a springboard clothesline on Abyss. Abyss went back into the ring and took a gore from Rhino as Raven moved out of the way. Sabu climbed up top and flew off the top turnbuckle with a magic carpet facebuster on Abyss. Sabu made the pin for the win.
- After the match, Rhino gored Sabu. Raven tried to attack Rhino but Abyss answered with a stiff clothesline on Raven. Rhino took Sabu's chair and smashed Raven with the chair repeatedly. Rhino held up the chair as Raven writhed in pain outside of the ring. Mitchell held up Abyss and Rhino's arms as the show closed.
Match View: Solid tag match. Good set up for both feature singles matches at Unbreakable with the tag match resembling the type of chaotic mess than can be expected Sunday night. The heels cutting off Raven from making the hot tag four times was a nice variation on how 95% of TNA tag matches play out. As usual, the Impact main event-before-the-PPV ended in a wash with the babyfaces and heels each scoring a measure of revenge through either a victory or post-match beatdown. Even Steven going into the PPV will suffice.
Chris Candido Memorial Cup Tournament Bracket
Simon Diamond & Mikey Batts
----------------------------------------> Shocker & Sabin
Shocker & Chris Sabin
----------------------------------------------------------------> Shocker & Sabin B.G. James & Cassidy Riley
----------------------------------------> Killings & Dutt
Ron Killings & Sonjay Dutt
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------> Waltman & Shelley
Sean Waltman & Alex Shelley
----------------------------------------> Waltman & Shelley Abyss & Shark Boy
----------------------------------------------------------------> Waltman & Shelley 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. Sean Waltman & Alex Shelley for NWA Tag Titles
- Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy
- Sabu vs. Abyss
- Chris Sabin vs. Petey Williams (originally Sabin vs. Shocker, but Shocker can't make it to the PPV)
- Monty Brown & Kip James vs. Apolo & Lance Hoyt
- Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries (announced on TNA's website)
- Diamonds in the Rough vs. 3 Live Kru (announced on TNA's website)
James Caldwell writes from Houston and Southern California where his DVD selection is The Jolson Story. Feel free to drop any feedback, opinions, or comments on this week's Impact review to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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