TV REPORTS 11/19 TNA Impact Review: TNA Airs Solid Show with Good Character Development
Nov 20, 2005 - 1:00:00 PM
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Paul Madavi, PW Torch TNA Specialist
Aired November 19th, 2005
Taped 11/15/05 at Universal Studios Orlando, FL
Aired on Spike TV at 11:00 PM (ET/PT)
Report by Paul Madavi, PW Torch TNA Specialist
The Lowdown: Holy Smokes, Character Development!
The show begins with video highlights of TNA Genesis, focusing on the arrival of Christian Cage, Kip James and Konan finally reconciling, and Samoa Joe devastating Christopher Daniels after they paired up in a tag team match. The package makes a decent argument for catching the replay, if it’s still available at this point.
(1) Samoa Joe defeats Jerrelle Clark at 2:01. Samoa Joe enters the Impact Zone first. He is introduced as “the undefeated Samoan Submission machine.” They show the highlight of Samoa Joe brutalizing Daniels. Joe is wearing a bloody towel over his shoulder. Jerrelle Clark is then announced.
The bell rings at 3:50. Joe starts off the action by nailing Clark with a series of the kicks to the mid section. Clark attempts to fight back, but kicked harder into a corner. Joe hits a high running knee, which sets up his face wash. Joe sets Clark up in a corner and chops him a couple of times. Clark is whipped into the opposite Clark. He goes for a DDT, but is thrown off by Joe. Joe then hits a running kick and then a senton splash. Joe hits a Muscle Buster and then applies the Kojita clutch for the submission victory.
After the match, Joe holds on to the Kojita clutch for an extra thirty seconds or so. A.J. Styles appears on the big screen and runs down Samoa Joe for stepping over the line and breaking the X Division code. A.J. does a great job of coming off as very upset, and yells at Joe. A.J. then challenges Samoa Joe to a title match.
Psychology: This was another typical Samoa Joe squash match. Joe came off as being vicious with a series of stiff kicks and holding on to his submission for longer than necessary. It was also good that Tenay and West stressed how Samoa Joe had broken an unwritten code with his behavior at the PPV. I can’t say enough about TNA giving A.J. Styles a minute or two to talk after the match. This gives his upcoming match versus Joe some meaning, and allows the fans to invest a little more in Style’s character, which is a mix of a babyface and a badass.
Action: Samoa Joe and Jerrelle Clark carried their weight, making every spot in the short match looking crisp, believable, and congruous with the TNA style.
Entertainment: The Samoa Joe squash match is beginning to wear slightly thin. However, the interjection of evil into Joe’s character, and the juxtaposition with Styles at the end of the match did a lot to make this more than your average X Division opening match.
Impact Scale Rating: 6.0/10 – Sure, it was a squash match, but the action was good and TNA injected a fair amount of character development into its (arguably) two biggest stars.
Mike Tenay welcomes us back to Impact. He is joined by Don West. On December 11th, TNA will present their latest PPV, “Turning Point.” A.J. Styles will face Samoa Joe. Abyss and Sabu will be in a barbed wire match, in what is sure to be a train wreck of a match. Jeff Jarrett interrupts Tenay and Don West, coming down to the ring with the NWA belt over his shoulder and Gail Kim at his side. Jarrett wants to know his opponent is. Jarrett is pissed off that Tenay does not know who he’ll be facing. Tenay says Zybysko has the answer. Jarrett says he’s going to go get his answer right now. Now what was the point of that?
(2) AMW (Chris Harris & James Storm) defeat Sonny Siaki & Apolo at 6:05. AMW make their way out to the ring first. Siaki and Apolo come out to Siaki’s music. They barely get in the ring before getting attacked.
The bell rings at 15:23. Siaki and Apolo hits a series of double team arm drags, which leads to AMW exiting to ringside in order to regroup. Don West says he expects a let down from AMW soon, as is typical after having so many big wins.
When we return, Apolo is clotheslined by Storm. Harris tags in and works a little bi with Apolo, before falling victim to a big boot. Siaki tags in and surges on both heels. Storm runs in and breaks up a pin attempt by Siaki. Apolo then hits a superkick, leading to a double knee back breaker from Siaki. Storm busts a bottle on Apolo’s head at ringside, which distracts Siaki and allows James Storm to nail him in the head with the cuffs. AMW hit the death sentence for the victory.
After the match, AMW set up a table in the corner, and spray paint “3D” on it. Just as they are about to put Siaki through the table, Team 3D run down and chase AMW out of the ring. Brother Ray grabs a microphone. He’s been talking to Larry Zybysko. AMW and Team 3D will have a table match at “Turning Point.” They then chuck the table at AMW, miraculous missing the ringside crowd.
Psychology: The meat of the match included some pretty good back and forth action. The pace was frantic, and AMW did a good job of working with Apolo and Siaki. It was nice to see something other than the typical tag team isolation formula in effect. However, was it really necessary for AMW to cheat to defeat Apolo and Siaki? In reality, they should be able to take them out without doing so. Given that both Harris and Storm are very good wrestlers, the constant cheating only takes away from their heat, rather than adds to it. It seems superfluous, and unnecessary, especially when they clearly outclass their opponents as in this match.
Action: This match had several minutes of good solid action in the ring. Both Harris and Storm are solid in ring wrestlers. It’s nice to see the tag belts on a team who work so well together, and carry their weight individual as well. Siaki and Apolo were efficient, and carried out surges effectively.
Entertainment: This was a fairly entertaining match. Solid is how I would describe it. Though it really lacked any special elements, it was still good. I am perturbed by AMW being booked to cheat to win this match. It just seems like they’re clearly better than Siaki and Apolo as a tag team. Why would they need to cheat? Even as a shortcut, it felt forced.
Impact Scale Rating: 5.0/10 – This was a decent tag team match, but nothing special. Do AMW need to cheat in EVERY match?
Jeff Jarrett and Shane Douglas await Zybysko outside of his office. Jarrett instructs Gail Kim to call Zybysko on his cell phone. He wants his answer now!
A video package airs detailing the trials and tribulations of 3 Live Kru and Kip James, which culminated in Kip helping 3LK winning their match at Genesis. Backstage, BJ, Konan, and Ron Killings get into an argument. Shane Douglas asks BJ what his big announcement will be next week, which leads to dissention because Konan and Killings were not informed of said announcement. 3LK is falling apart!
(3) Rhino defeats Abyss (w/ James Mitchell) at 12:10. Abyss comes down to the ring first with Mitchell at his side. Rhino rushes down to the ring. He climbs the ropes for to soak up some cheers. The Rhino chants disturb Abyss.
The bell rings at 34:36. Rhino chants start off the match. Abyss controls the early part of the match with a number of clubbing blows on Rhino. Rhino fires back with punches of his own, eventually knocking down Abyss. The two men brawl around the ring, mixing in some rope work. Abyss steps out of the ring to regain his composure, but Rhino dives right out after him with a slingshot.
When we return, Rhino has a wrist clutch and body scissors combination working. Abyss punches out of the hold. Both men get up, which leads a big clothesline by Rhino, sending Abyss out of the ring. Jim Mitchell distracts Rhino (apparently hurting his ankle in the meantime). This allows Abyss to grab Rhino’s legs and drag him crotch first into the ringpost. More Rhino chants rock the Impact Zone as Abyss controls the match. He continues to pound on Rhino. Abyss applies a chin lock, which Rhino punches out of. Rhino then hits a leaping lariat. Rhino hits a corner shoulder block, and tries for a second but eats a big boot instead. Abyss follows up with some punches. He tries to whip Rhino, but it is reversed into a spinebuster by Rhino for a two count. Rhino then slides out of the ring and pulls out a table. He sets the table up in one of the corners. Rhino tries to whip Abyss into the table, but he is reversed and sent flying into a turnbuckle for a hard bump. Abyss tries for a Chokeslam, but Rhino elbows out and hits a belly to belly suplex. Rhino goes for a Gore, but Rhino gets out of the way just in time, sending Rhino flying into the table, which breaks in half and lies in shambles in the corner. Abyss gets a two-count. He picks up Rhino for Shock Treatment, but the lights go out. When they come up, Sabu is at ringside with a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire. Abyss is distracted, leading to the Gore and the victory for Rhino. Abyss takes a big bump for the Gore
After the match, Rhino celebrates his victory. The Gore receives the Morphoplex move of the night.
Psychology: Rhino really dominated this match a lot more than I thought he would. However, given that he’ll be headlining a PPV once again, it makes sense to get him over as much as possible. The match itself featured mostly striking and brawling, intermixed with some slams and a big table spot. It actually felt a lot like a WWE match in the pacing and amount of action provided. The wrestlers worked hard and built well towards the finish of the match. Sabu’s interference was expected, given their upcoming PPV match.
Action: The action felt a little slow at times, but that is to be expected given the size of the competitors involved. Rhino and Abyss were a little off at times, and very crisp at others. Rhino going through the table was a sight indeed. The action definitely picked up quite a bit at the end of the match, which probably saved the match.
Entertainment: This was a solid match, with a good stop mixed into the respectable brawling style action. While the match was fundamentally sound in terms of psychological build up and presented some decent action, there wasn’t much about it that was memorable or extraordinary. Of course, every match can’t be a show stopper.
Impact Scale Rating: 6/10 – A good effort in a sound wrestling match made this event slightly better than your average 10 minute wrestling bout.
Backstage, in Larry Zybysko’s office, Jeff Jarrett is informed that he’ll face Rhino at Turning Point. Jarrett asks why Raven, or Monty Brown don’t get title shots instead, which is a good question. Zybysko asks why Jarrett is so concerned because he doesn’t particularly like those guys either. Jarrett says it’s not fair. Gail Kim tells Zybysko that he’s on thin ice, very thin ice.
It’s the debut of Christian Cage on TNA Impact! Christian has a great entrance and good theme music. The crowd goes nuts for Christian Cage. Christian grabs the microphone and starts his promo (after the crowd chants his name for a little bit). He says he’s ruffled some feathers with the things he said. He says that in case you’ve “been living under a rock and missed the PPV” he’d recount. Christian came to TNA, not for money, but to get the respect he deserves and to take the NWA Heavyweight championship. If any of the boys in the back have a problem with it, he doesn’t care, because that’s how he rolls.
Monty Brown comes down to the ring and tells Christian to “hit the brakes” on that garbage. He says Christian is “not up North anymore.” Brown cannot generate heat with his Serengeti catch phrase. Brown says that the “quantity of speech is not indicative of the quality of thought.” He says Christian hasn’t said anything or proven anything. Brown says that he’s rolled over everyone in his path, and that Christian will have to go through him to get the title. Brown is about to get off his Pounce catchphrase, but Christian interrupts him. He says he knows Brown likes to “pounce on men.” Christian says Monty sounds afraid of losing his spot, and he should be. Christian says Brown needs to find someone else to pounce on (emulating Brown’s promo style). This leads to a fight breaking out, which ends in Brown hitting The Pounce on Christian Cage and standing over him as the show ends. This was an excellent segment. Christian’s promo ability is bar none better than anyone else in TNA, and it really led to Monty Brown stepping his game up to match it as well. It’s wonderful to see TNA focus on Christian at the end of their show, and it’s wonderful to see them not hot shot Christian over Brown immediately. The sooner these two guys occupy all of the time Jeff Jarrett and Rhino consume the better off TNA and its fans will be. Clearly, Brown and Christian Cage are the future of the TNA Heavyweight Division.
Psychology: This week’s edition of Impact did two things exactly right. It built well towards the Samoa Joe versus A.J. Styles PPV match, by letting Samoa Joe’s action speak for him, and A.J. Styles speak for himself. These two are clearly the best and brightest in the X Division, if not all of wrestling, and it’s important that TNA pays attention to their character development. They mustn’t drop the ball on this in the coming weeks. The same goes for Christian Cage and Monty Brown, the second accomplishment of this week’s Impact. Cage and Brown had an excellent show ending promo segment, which most importantly established that Brown is still one of the top dogs in TNA. Former WWE wrestlers do not just come in and take over. This is excellent booking because there is payoff in seeing Christian take the very top role in TNA, but it’s important that they do not hot shot him there. Both Brown and Christian put in excellent microphone time. I’d say the one flaw tonight was AMW not going over Siaki and Apolo clean. Harris and Storm are two of the best wrestlers on the roster. Sometimes, being legitimately better than the faces can create more frustration and resentment from the fans towards the heels than constant cheating. Furthermore, if AMW cheat in every single match, then that loses all meaning as well.
Action: The action took a little bit of a back seat to the character development tonight, which frankly was sorely needed. That being said, the three matches presented still gave the viewers plenty of wrestling action to watch over the hour show. The fact that there were three matches also gave Rhino and Abyss time to develop their match, which gained a whole lot from the extra three or four minutes it had as a result of them not cramming in one more squash match. If I had my way, there’d be three matches every week.
Entertainment: This was an entertaining show. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it showed that TNA is willing to play around with their Impact formula a little and offer the fans some variety. I think the low rating last week was a result of fans getting the same exact thing week in and week out, and we’ll see a rise in rating next week as a result of this week’s show, which featured good action, and as importantly, good character development that will get us invested in the action of future shows.
Impact Scale Rating: 7.0/10 – TNA showed than can wisely build for the future, while still providing an entertaining show.
Paul Madavi writes his Impact reviews from Madison, WI where the beer is fresh, and the cheese is aged. If you’d like to respond to any of the content above, please email him and make eventful his otherwise boring existence.
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