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CALDWELL'S IMPACT REPORT 12/8: Christian's first TNA match, Samoa Joe dominates, Jarrett's green hair

Dec 9, 2005 - 1:56:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist

TNA Impact Review
December 8, 2005
Taped November 29, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on Spike TV
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist


In a nutshell: Fans cheer heel Simon Diamond... Jarrett has green hair... AMW cheats to win... Rhino isn't a piece of crap anymore... Abyss still fears barbed wire... TNA gives away Christian's first match, but Christian comes out strong... Bobby Roode has promo time... A.J. Styles's promo time is interrupted... Samoa Joe is still a monster... Turning Point is "the deepest card ever" for a TNA PPV... Media exposure = worth a full segment?

(1) America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) and Jeff Jarrett beat The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas) and Jeff Hardy at 4:02. AMW came to the ring with a table to promote their tag match against the Dudleys at Turning Point. Jarrett interrupted Hardy's creepy ring entrance and attacked him on the entrance ramp. A brawl broke out in the stands in a repeat of the main event from TNA's November PPV. Jarrett came up with half his body covered in green paint after brawling with Hardy. The match moved to the ring at 1:45. After a series of high spots, Storm brought a beer bottle into the ring. The Naturals stole the beer bottle. Stevens slammed Storm in the middle of the ring and Hardy to hit a Swanton Bomb. Hardy made a pin attempt, but Harris pulled Hardy out of the ring. The Naturals went for the Natural Disaster on Storm, but Jarrett low blowed Douglas. Stevens took a superkick from Storm then Harris hit Stevens in the head with a handcuff. Jarrett hit the Stroke for the win.

Afterwards, AMW brought a table into the ring and sent Stevens through the table with a 3D. Jarrett - green hair and all - directed traffic in the ring then celebrated.

Match View: The usual cluster match involving Jarrett and AMW. The Naturals and Hardy have lost a lot of momentum lately. Without Jimmy Hart, the Naturals have no one pulling strings for them to gain anything more than minimal exposure. Jarrett and AMW didn't look good having to cheat to win against three guys with no experience teaming together and no recent victories and the beer bottle gimmick has already lost its value.

- A third introspective video package on Rhino aired. "I thought I was done," Rhino said as clips of him training in Detroit aired. "When you hear you're a piece of crap for four years, you begin to believe it. I have nothing to lose and nothing to gain." Solid video series over the last three weeks as TNA has tried to build a main event PPV match around Rhino making the babyface gimmick in his personal life. If there's any fault to the string of videos, Rhino came across very bitter about WWE and not as focused on promoting his own traits and qualities.

(Commercial Break)

- Raven was backstage being held back by security members who looked like they couldn't hold a small child back from an ice cream truck. Larry Zbyszko offered Raven another opportunity to sign his contract release. Terry Taylor stood in shock as Raven threatened to drop Zbyszko on his head. Zbyszko said he would have a huge test for Raven at Turning Point. Raven said he didn't care.

(2) Samoa Joe beat Amazing Red at 2:35. Alex Shelley came to the ringside area with a video camera to tape the match. Joe missed with a series of clotheslines then absorbed kicks to the leg. Joe ran over Red with a stiff clothesline then stalked Red's body as the TNA camera focused on Joe's blood-stained towel. Joe slapped and kicked Red then dropped a knee across the throat. Joe convulsed as he stalked Red. Joe drove a knee to Red's face in the corner then went for a face wash, but Shelley got too close to the corner with his camera and caught Joe off guard. Joe paused and glared at Shelley, who apologized profusely. Red took advantage with an awkward huricanrana that Joe shouldn't have sold. Red tried to attack Joe off the ropes, but Joe caught him with a snap powerslam. Joe hit the Muscle Buster then forced Red to tap out to the Kokina Clutch. Afterwards, Joe chased Shelley out of the ringside area.

Match View: I'm indifferent to the squash match formula since I've seen it too many times before. However, Joe was afforded an opportunity to display his mean streak to sell his match against Styles. It just sucks that, once again, the only X Division wrestling on the show is a three-minute-and-under squash match. No sound follow up on last week's show-closing segment with Joe beating up Styles is inexcusable. A five-second video package at the end of the show doesn't constitute acceptable follow-up. Shelley's video gimmick has potential. At least it's something for an X Division wrestler.

(Commercial)

- Mike Tenay was in the ring with X Division Champion A.J. Styles, Chris Sabin, and Sonjay Dutt. Tenay said pro wrestling in 2005 will always be remembered for TNA debuting on Spike TV, three hour Sunday PPV's, and the X Division's emergence. Right. Tenay listed the accolades of the Chicago White Sox. (I've spent the last two months trying to recover from the Astros losing and this isn't helping.) Tenay introduced Bobby Heenan, Dale Torborg (without the KISS gimmick), and A.J. Pierzynski. Tenay asked Heenan about Chicago winning the World Series. Pierzynski talked about growing up with wrestling then presented the X Division wrestlers with an autographed baseball bat. After more gift exchanges, A.J. Styles tried to talk, but he was interrupted by Simon Diamond. Diamond, who was wearing a suit and was accompanied by Elix Skipper and David Young, said he didn't want to interrupt, but didn't see why they were taking time out of a wrestling show to present items to baseball players. The fans cheered the heel, acknowledging a truthful statement. Understandably. (See, a heel should lie and make statements that can be easily refuted by the babyface in the ring or through a return statement on the mic. When a heel speaks truth, the give-and-take is compromised.)

Diamond ran down Pierzynski's batting average from the previous season. Torborg took a similar browbeating for failing in wrestling then turning to baseball. Demon shoved Diamond. Diamond, who was on fire on the mic, said Pierzynski had to bring his own Designated Hitter to the show to bat for him. Diamond said he only hits home runs then slapped Torborg. A brawl broke out with Pierzynski trying to get involved. Trying not to incur an injury that would give the White Sox grounds for releasing him from his contract, Pierzynski allowed a security member to hold him back while the brawl spilled to the outside. Does media exposure for TNA add up to using five minutes of television time on a non-wrestling segment to - fingers crossed - increase the buyrate? I guess we'll find out.

(Commercial)

(3) 4 Live Kru (Kip James & Konnan w/B.G. James and Ron Killings) beat Helvis & Sinn at 0:47. Konnan did his usual pre-mic work. B.G. James did his usual pre-match work. Kip James said his Dave Chappelle catch phrase. Helvis and Sinn attacked Konnan and Kip from behind. The offensive advantage didn't last long as Kip took Sinn down with a Cobra Clutch slam. Konnan forced Helvis to tap out the Tequila Sunrise for the win. Afterwards, Bob Armstrong gave a "thumbs up" from the entrance ramp.

Match View: Not much to this one. Establish the babyfaces against weaker competition to set up the PPV rematch of the rematch of the rematch against Team Canada.

- Terry Taylor was backstage with Bobby Roode and Scott D'Amore. Roode shoved Taylor away after grabbing the mic. Roode said Christian Cage had an opportunity of a life time to join Team Canada and he made a stupid choice. Roode said Christian turned his back on the entire country of Canada. A sudden chorus of boo's were piped into the interview. D'Amore said he finally saw the true person Christian is when he opted not to side with Canada. D'Amore said Christian is too egotistical and their friendship ended when Christian dropped him on his head. More crowd noise was piped in when D'Amore mentioned Jeff Jarrett by name. Good to see Roode have extensive promo time although the audio sweetener killed the segment.

(Commercial)

(4) Christian Cage beat Bobby Roode (w/Scott D'Amore) at 8:27. Tenay pointed out that the match was Christian's in-ring TNA debut. So much for saving the debut for PPV. Roode and D'Amore argued strategy outside of the ring so Christian attacked Roode outside of the ring. Christian chased D'Amore then walked into a clothesline from Roode. Christian responded by reversing a whip to the ring steps. The match moved to the ring at 1:00. Referring to Turning Point, Don West said, "It's probably the deepest card we've ever had." He really said that. Tenay said TNA has booked a "basebrawl match" between Diamonds in the Rough and Torborg, Dutt, and Sabin. D'Amore stomped on Christian's back after Roode sent him out of the ring. Back in the ring, Roode went to work Christian. Roode worked on Christian's ribs and lower back using corner shoulder thrusts and a gut buster. Roode ate boot from the middle rope then did a Flair flop. Christian ran over Roode with a discus clothesline.

D'Amore slammed the edge of his hockey stick into Christian's back as the referee was distracted. Roode covered Christian and the referee suddenly stopped at two and reprimanded D'Amore. Very awkward ten-second delay. The referee took a bump in the corner then Monty Brown hit the ring and attacked Christian from behind. D'Amore got involved as Brown went for a Pounce on Christian, but Christian moved and D'Amore took the blow. Christian threw Brown out of the ring. Roode came up from behind Christian with the Canadian flag. Christian turned a clothesline attempt from Roode into a drop toehold with Roode eating mat and flag. Christian scored the pin for the "John Cena" victory - earning fan sympathy by winning with the deck stacked against him.

Afterwards, Christian celebrated then Brown came in from behind and waited for Christian to turn around. Brown clotheslined Christian then gave him the Pounce.

Match View: Solid, but not spectacular in-ring debut for Christian. I feel Christian's debut should have been saved for PPV, but TNA did an admirable job of having Christian come out of the match looking very strong. Winning with the deck stacked can have beneficial results for a wrestling promotion's top babyface.

- The broadcast unceremoniously cut to a clip of Abyss walking to the Impact zone with James Mitchell. Tenay shouted that Abyss was on his way to the ring.

(Commercial)

- In the ring, James Mitchell was with Abyss. Mitchell threw the thesaurus and threats at Sabu. Abyss has decided to face his fear of barbed wire. Mitchell said he would collect Sabu's flesh after the barbed wire match at Turning Point and feed it to his dogs. The lights went out, came back on, and Sabu was in the ring. Abyss looked scared as Sabu stared down Abyss.

- The show finished with a brief video preview of each match at Turning Point.

For overall show thoughts and a preview of the Turning Point PPV, check out James Caldwell's weekly audio update, which will be posted on Friday.


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