TV REPORTS 12/11 TNA PPV Turning Point: Madavi Breaks Down Turning Point
Dec 14, 2005 - 3:53:00 PM
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Paul Madavi, PW Torch TNA Specialist
TNA Turning Point
Aired December 11th, 2005
Taped 12/11/05 at Universal Studios Orlando, FL
Aired on PPV at 8:00 PM (ET/PT)
Report by Paul Madavi, PW Torch TNA Specialist
The Lowdown: Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles Deliver
The pre-show entertainment includes a 3 way tag match between the team of Andy Douglas, Chase Stevens, and Lance Hoyt and the team of Buck Quartermain, Nolen, Doring. Douglas and Stevens provided most of the entertainment, as Quartermain, Nolen, and Doring worked WWE style heel match. Douglas, Stevens, and Hoyt took the match when Hoyt hit a standing cross powerbomb.
TNA then airs some video clips for the upcoming matches, while the ring is prepared for the barbed wire match. After that, James Mitchell cuts a promo about how Abyss tried to escape his institution, or prison, or wherever he came from, by climbing the walls of his containment unit, only to be caught up in barbed wire the entire night before finally escaping. Thus, the fear Abyss has of the barbed wire. James Mitchell does an excellent job, while Abyss lets loose with a number of primal screams. Then more videos . . .
Borash shoves an apple in Boston Red Sox Johnny Damon’s face, and then tears up the apple on the barbed wire to show us what Abyss and Sabu are about to put themselves through. Then we get a video for the Team 3D versus AMW match. We are then treated to more videos and yelling from various TNA talkers.
(1) Abyss (w/ James Mitchell) Sabu at 11:22. This is a no ropes barbed wire massacre match. Abyss and Mitchell make their way down to the ring first. The camera shows shots of all the barbed wire, and barbed wire accessories. Sabu makes his entrance with chair in hand. Sabu has the chair kicked out of his hand as he enters the ring. He steps back out and picks up a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. He swings, but misses at Abyss. The two wrestle to a little bit of a stale mate, when Sabu picks up a chair and hit Abyss. Sabu then leaps onto Abyss’s shoulders, and get him to fall for a two-count. On the kick out, Abyss tosses Sabu into the barbed wire ring ropes. Sabu has his head run on the barbed wire, and appears to catch his hand in some of it as well. The two men trade punches. Sabu tries to rush Abyss, but is pressed and thrown into the barbed wire ropes. He gives Abyss a mule kick to the groin, and then pulls out a shiv and stabs Abyss with it a few times. Sabu then sets up a chair and tries to use it to leap unto Abyss, but Abyss dodges, and Sabu is catches his leg on the barbed wire. Abyss then attempts to charge Sabu, but is caught with a drop toe hold and is flung into the wire. Both men are bleeding at a pretty good rate now. Abyss hits Sabu with a straight punch and then chokeslams him on a steel chair. Mitch hands Abyss a chair wrapped in barbed wire. Abyss sets it on Sabu, and goes for a leg drop. However, Sabu flips the chair so that Abyss catches his crotch on the barbed wire. Abyss rolls out of the ring, but is caught by a leaping Sabu, who launches out of the ring and onto Abyss’s shoulder. Sabu then slides on of the barbed wire tables into the ring. Abyss gets up, and catches Sabu with a kick. He suplex Sabu stomach first onto the top barbed wire ring rope. Sabu cuts his hand getting himself off the barbed wire. Abyss then sets up the barbed wire table in the middle of the ring. He goes for a powerbomb, but Sabu punches out of it. Abyss then tries for a chokeslam, but Sabu bites his hand. Finally, Abyss presses Sabu onto the barbed wire table. Sabu delicately peels himself off the table while Abyss sets another one up in the corner. When Sabu gets up, he manages to avoid being whipped into the table set up in the corner. Abyss charges and catches himself on the table. Stuck to it, he reels backwards. Sabu gives him a kick, and Abyss falls on the barbed wire table of the floor. A seated Senton on the table gives Sabu the pin, and victory.
After the match, the Sabu stomps on the top table a few times. Referees help remove the tables from Abyss, who must be in agonizing pain. After the ring is cleared, Abyss is consoled by James Mitchell backstage, while he gets stitched up.
Psychology: At first, it looked like this match was not going to really do much in terms of building up actions. I think the guys were probably just preparing mentally for the finish of the match. The last couple of minutes had a strong build. They saved one truly shocking moment for the finish of the match, and it worked (unlike a certain match later tonight). It was a little weird watching a match of that kind of gravity first thing on a card, but it was a good idea putting it there, as the time it took to break down the ring was enough time to come down from the finish of the match and get ready for the show to restart. It would’ve lost that momentum in the middle of a show anyway. The finish of the match was really very strong.
Action: The action seemed a little forced at first, the barbed wire spots seemed to come without real flow. However, the last few minutes of the match had some truly brutal moments, and built nicely to a big finishing move.
Entertainment: I really enjoyed the way they closed out the match. It turned the whole thing around for me. This was what you’d expect to see from a barbed wire match. For some reason, James Mitchell really stood out in this as well. His consoling of Abyss after the match was a nice touch, as was his pre-match promo.
Rating: 5.5/10 – The second half of the match is pretty good.
(2) Matt Bentley (w/ Traci) & Austin Aries defeat Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong at 7:07. Shelley and Strong make their way down first. They set up the home video camera and mug for it a little before getting in the ring. Aries comes out next. Then Bentley makes his solo entrance with Traci.
Austin Aries and Alex Shelley begin action with some very quick, very deft chain wrestling. Aries applies a headlock and works with it through a couple of spots, including leaping out of a head-scissors counter into a drop kick. Shelley manages to sneak in a heel kick and tag in Roderick Strong. Aries works Strong over briefly before tagging in Bentley. The faces hit a double suplex, followed by a double elbow for a two-count. Strong gets in a cheap shot after the pin attempt and tags in Shelley. They work Bentley over in their corner with some kicks and chops. Bentley uses a hurricanrana and a jump kick to take control. He slams Strong and tags in Aries who hits a spinning splash. Aries tries to mount some offense, but is caught by Shelley on the ropes, leading to the first Strong backbreaker of the night. This is followed by a moonsault by Shelley. Strong tags in and hits a back suplex/neckbreaker combo with Shelley. The heels continue to dominate, and hit another big double team spot a minute later with a dropkick/backbreaker combo. Shelley and Strong remain in control until Aries manages to roll out of a back suplex attempt and tag in Bentley who surges on the faces. Bentley hits a big elbow drop on Shelley for a two-count. Shelley comes back with a running enziguiri. Strong hits a double knee gut-buster, and Shelley follows with a top rope splash. Austin Aries runs in and knocks Strong out of the ring and into the Shelley cam, allowing Bentley to hit the super kick and get the pin.
After the match, the faces celebrate in the ring and we’re given a replay of the gut-buster combo.
Psychology: This match featured your basic tag psychology. The faces got off to a hot start, and were then brought down a notch by the heels. Aries worked as the isolation and bump man for the match, allowing Bentley to be the big babyface hero. It was the standard story we’ve seen a bunch of times, without any noticeable variation to it.
Action: The action was the real focus of the match, and it was quite good. Alex Shelley, Austin Aries, and Roderick Strong showed the kind of timing and trust you only get with working closely for extended periods of time. They pulled of some truly impressive spots that actually fit in the context of the story. Aries once again worked a very strong match, acting like the glue of the match. Strong and Shelley displayed some impressive offense.
Entertainment: This was a fun way to restart the PPV after the barbed wire match. There were a few moments when the pace slowed down, and it was noticeable because these guys usually go 100 mph all the time in their TNA matches. Still, there’s plenty to ooh and ah over. The double team moves by Shelley and Strong were stupendous. The history of those three ROH wrestlers and their comfort level with each other is amazing, and consistently leads to some of the best work in this country.
Rating: 6.5/10 – This was a fun match, and a good way to restart the PPV.
(3) Raven defeats Chris K(anyon) at 5:08. Raven makes his way to the ring, and is met by Zybysko, who wants him to sign the release. Raven insults him with his usual assortment of verbose half witticisms. Chris K is announced and makes his entrance. He snarls the entire way down to the ring.
The bell rings and the two men go at it right away with punches. Chris K hits a neckbreaker early on, allowing him to take control of the ring. The two men brawl at ringside for a few minutes, including Raven hitting a side Russian leg sweep on Chris K into the steel barricade. Chris K manages to recover and hit a hangman on Raven. Chris K then hits a top rope leg driver, but follows up by missing a moonsault. This allows Raven to apply an ankle lock. Chris K breaks the submission, but it leads to a pummeling by Raven. Raven hits a charging knee sending Chris K out of the ring. Raven tosses a steel chair in the ring, and hits a powerbomb on Chris K directly onto the steel chair. Raven hits the Raveneffect DDT for the pin.
After the match, Zybysko demands Raven signs the release, but Raven refuses. Security has to separate them once again.
Psychology: This match featured Chris K dominating the first half, with Raven making a strong comeback in the second half of the match to pick up the win. Raven is finally able to get in the head of Larry Zybysko at the end of the match, according to Mike Tenay. By Zybysko bright red complexion every time he’s on air, I’d say Raven was already in there. Anyway, there just didn’t seem to be too much going on in this match or storyline. I’m not sure about the selection of Chris K as the mystery opponent. A lot of guys betta’, I’d say.
Action: Chris K did an excellent job of selling for Raven, which has always been the big man’s real skill. The two kept the match going at a steady pace, and it actually had a few moments where the two guys actually looked crisp working together. I was less convinced with Chris K’s offense. He looked winded early on in the match, but you could tell he was working through it as best as he could. Raven was pretty much the same Raven we’ve seen.
Entertainment: I have to say, this match felt like a trip in the way back machine. Raven and Kanyon going at it in an uninspired match, makes it feel like the good old days. Not a PPV caliber match.
Rating: 4.0/10 – There really wasn’t enough in this match to warrant a higher rating. It felt like an average TV match.
(4) Team Canada (Petey Williams, A1, Eric Young, & Bobby Roode) defeat 4 Live Krew (BG James, Kip James, Konnan, & Ron “The Truth” Killings) at 7:16. Team Canada make their way down to the ring first. Coach D’Amore yells at the camera as usual. 4 Live Krew dance all the way down to the ring, in the ring, around the ring. The Truth raps for a while. Kip James looks ridiculous, sporting curled little blond pigtails. I’m not sure if a guy once known as the Ass Man should be sporting that haircut. Konnan and BG do their thing on the microphone and the match finally kicks off.
Eric Young starts off the match, but as soon as he gets an eyeful of Kip, he turns around and tags in Bobby Roode. The crowd gets into it for a while before the two lock up. Kip James controls the match early on with a shoulder bump and an arm drag. Kip hits a vertical suplex for a two-count. Petey Williams tags in but is immediately press slammed. Konnan tags in and chucks a shoe, and everything breaks down. 4LK all get in the ring and The Truth hits a leg drop on Williams. Killings then works over Eric Young who tagged in. BG James is tagged in. He manages to hit several of his spots on Eric Young, including his shaky knee drop. Team Canada then manages to isolate and stomp away at BG James. A1 makes the tag and hits a suplex for a two-count. Team Canada continues to isolate BG. Bobby Roode returns, hanging BG upside down in a corner. He distracts the ref, allowing Petey Williams to salute Canada. BG is whipped by Roode and Williams. He counters with a double lariat. Kip is tagged in, and he surges on the heels. The match breaks downs as everybody gets in the ring. The ring is cleared except for Konnan, Kip, and Bobby Roode. Kip hits the Fameasser on Roode. When Eric Young slides in with a steel chair, Konnan stomps him and takes the chair. When Kip turns around, Konnan nails him with the chair, and tells Roode to make the pin. Roode cautiously does so for the win.
After the match, BG gets in Konnan’s face about it. Konnan gives him a chair-shot for good measure. Ron Killings looks on in disbelief, as Konnan tries to tell him it’s okay.
Psychology: I honestly didn’t see the finish of this match coming, which means I wasn’t paying attention to the feud with much focus. However, that being said, everyone handled the finish perfectly. From Bobby Roode’s reluctant pin attempt, to Ron Killing’s look of utter shock, the finish of the match was the only really important portion of the bout, and it was pulled off well by all involved. Konnan, in particular, looked like he wasn’t quite all there. Well done.
Action: This match featured what we’ve seen and what you’d expect from this match up. There wasn’t anything that really stood out for me in terms of action. It was standard TV wrestling fair, on a PPV.
Entertainment: The ending was done well enough that I don’t consider this match a flop. However, it very well could have been. The forgettable action was overshadowed by the meaningful storyline advancement, in a story that has taken a long time to develop.
Rating: 4.5/10 – You’d like to see a little bit better action on a PPV. They should’ve let Killings run house for a while.
(5) Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, & Dale Torborg (w/ A.J. Pierzynski) defeat The Diamonds in the Rough (Simon Diamond, David Young, Elix Skipper) at 8:00. Bobby Heenan joins Tenay and West at the announce booth, and gives Tenay guff from the get go. Dutt makes his way down first. He is followed by Sabin, who is followed by Torborg and Pierzynski. The Diamonds come down together.
Elix Skipper and Sabin kick off the match with some good looking, acrobatic chain wrestling. It’s some of the most beautiful wrestling of the night. Elix Skipper tries to flip out of an armbar, but the spot is blown and Skipper lands right on his neck. He’s okay though, as he gets up and hits a dropkick right away. Sabin avoids a shoulder tackle, and manages to dropkick Skipper out of the ring. Sabin taunts Skipper, who tags in Young. Young tries a top rope splash, but is caught with a drop kick. Dutt tags, and hits a splash off the top rope. Dutt hits a leaping kick and another splash before tagging in Torborg. Torborg punches the Diamonds out of the ring, before pressing Dutt and chucking him out on the gathered heels at ringside. The heels are chased back in the ring by A.J. Pierzynski. David Young manages to hit a spinning face plant on Dutt, allowing Simon Diamond to tag in and control Dutt with some punches. Skipper tags in and gives Dutt a stiff kick to the back. Dutt tilt-a-whirls around Skipper three times, before Skipper grabs him and plants him on his face in another botch moved. Young tags in and hits a high angle spine buster. Dutt manages to sneak away from Young and tag in Torborg who clears the ring, and hits a falling chokeslam on Simon Diamond. All six men get in the ring. Sabin gives Dutt the assist on a flip reverse DDT. Sabin follows up with a hanging dropkick. Sabin and Dutt then fly out of the ring at the same time. This leaves Simon and Torborg in the ring. Diamond nails Torborg with a shin protector, but A.J. pulls the ref out of the ring. Heenan then comes out to distract the ref, allowing A.J. to nail Simon Diamond with home plate. Sabin hits Cradleshock, and Dutt hits a flipping splash for the win.
After the match, the faces celebrate. A.J. signs home plate. Then Sabin and Dutt present Torborg and Pierzynski with TNA rings.
Psychology: This match was better than I expected. Skipper, Sabin, and Dutt are all very good wrestlers, and it payed off having them carry this match. The match consisted of mostly back and forth action between the two teams. There was some isolation, but the focus of the match was more on action than anything else, until the finish. Bobby the Brian and A.J. Pierzynski actually pulled off a pretty good cheat-to-win finish. They must’ve practiced it a few times, because it was pretty well timed.
Action: The action in this match was really good. Aside from a couple of very dangerous and awkward looking bumps, everything was crisp and clean and fun to watch. Torborg was less than impressive, but that’s to be expected. They kept his involvement to a minimum, which was good. I actually got pissed off that they kept showing Bobby the Brain, when they should have been showing the action. I can hear Bobby. Hearing Chris Sabin does me no good.
Entertainment: This was a surprisingly entertaining match. The action was fast and furious and there was enough of a storyline to carry it along. The finish also worked out better than I thought it would. Torborg and Pierzynski actually added to this match, which is much more than you can usually expect from these “star” studded affairs.
Rating: 5.5/10 – A good effort by everyone involved made this an above average match.
(6) Christian defeats Monty Brown at 12:35. Monty Brown makes his way down to the ring first. He sniffs the camera, and wipes his nose on the top rope. Christian Cage makes his way down to the ring to a roaring Impact Zone.
The two men circle each other for a while after the bell rings. They lock up, and Brown shoves Christian to the mat, and then walks over and wipes his nose of the top rope. They get up in each other’s faces and jaw. It leads to an open hand slap by Christian. They exchange punches, with Brown retaining control. They work the ropes. Christian ducks a lariat, and chops away at Brown. Brown recovers and whips Christian, setting up the Pounce, but Christian slides out of the ring. Brown runs out after him, and Christian hops back in the ring. Christians mocks Brown by wiping his nose on the ropes. They work at ringside briefly before going back into the ring. Christian kicks out of a press and tosses Brown out of the ring. Christian climbs up to the top turnbuckle and hits a gliding splash out on Brown. When they get back in the ring, Christian gets a two-count. Brown begins to dominate the match with his strength. He hangs Christian up on the top rope, and then press slams him out of the ring. Brown beats on Christian outside of the ring. Brown continues to control back inside the ring, with a pancake on Christian. Brown uses some striking for several minutes, before hitting a big overhead suplex for a two-count. He follows up with a big knee to the back. Brown pulls Christian off the turnbuckle, and Christian holds on so hard, he removes the padding and exposes the metal turnbuckle. Brown continues to beat on Christian. He applies a bow and arrow lock around the steal ring post. Christian manages to reverse a whip on the outside, sending Brown flying into a ring post. Back in the ring, Christian unleashes a flurry of punches. Christian hits a tornado DDT for a two-count. He then climbs to the top rope, and is met up there by Brown. Christian bites Brown’s head, and hits a Frogsplash after Brown hits the mat. The crowd immediately chants “Eddie.” Brown presses Christian off him at the two-count. Christian lands on the ref. He is out. Brown hits an Alphabomb and has Christian pinned for a good two second before the ref comes around to make the pin. Brown clobbers Christian. He tries to drive Christian into the turnbuckle, but Christian ducks the attempt. He hits the Unprettier for the pin and victory.
After the match, Brown recovers from the Unprettier quickly, but looks somewhat dazed and pissed.
Psychology: The back and forth action, the peaks and valleys of the match would’ve been much better if the two wrestlers were able to kick it into a higher gear. The match kept the same pacing through out, and that hurt it. Still, Monty Brown and Christian Cage had a well planned out finish that still left some doubt in the air. You got the feeling that Christian got the better of Brown this time. The story itself was good, the wrestlers just weren’t able to pull it of at 100% effectiveness. However, it was not a failure by any means. That being said, the story was primarily just back and forth surges, and even with the turnbuckle wildcard thrown in there, it seemed a little neglected.
Action: The action never really picked up to the point that it should have. Brown and Cage seemed to work one steady, grinding pace the entire match, right up until the finish. Some chain wrestling, or a submission move or two might have helped fill out the middle of the match. There were some excellent spots though, including Christian leaping off the top turnbuckle onto Monty Brown at ringside.
Entertainment: This match could’ve been better, but it certainly could’ve been worse. It seemed like the match they had laid out was a good one, but a bit ambitious for the two wrestlers. If they were able to fill out the match with just a few more moves, and a clean up the storyline a little, it would’ve been a pretty good match.
Rating: 5.5/10 – There was enough good action and storytelling to overshadow the shortcomings of the performances.
(7)Team 3D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon) defeat America’s Most Wanted (James Storm & Chris Harris) at 10:26. This is a table match. A pumped up and puffed up Team 3D make their way down first. The crowd chants “Tables.” AMW make their way down to the ring next. However, before they can get off the stage, Team 3D storm them.
The match begins with extensive brawling outside of the ring. Brother Ray sets up a table on the entrance stage. Brother Devon beats on Harris at ringside. Brother Ray works over James Storm on the announce table. James rakes the eyes and sends Brother Ray into the steel barricade. Back in the ring, Harris hits a delayed suplex on Devon. He goes for a pin, but it’s a table match. Devon hits a double clothesline, allowing 3D to take over the match again. Brother Ray then cheerleads the crowd and asks Devon to get the table. A table is set up in the middle of the ring. Chris Harris manages to get up and move the table before James Storm is driven through it. They set the table up in the corner. Ray then saves Devon from being whipped into the table. Brother Ray tries to superplex Harris into the table, but Storm moves it out of the way. Meanwhile, Devon sets up a table right alongside the ring. Storm charges Ray inside the ring, but is back dropped out onto Devon and Harris. Storm tries to hit a hurricanrana to send Ray into the table, but Devon moves it. Storm then hits a super kick on Devon. Devon counters a 3D attempt into a DDT. Chris Harris is sent out of the ring by Ray. Team 3D hits the Death Sentence on Storm for the first elimination. Harris then rolls in with a chair and knocks around 3D for a little bit. Harris works his way to the ramp where he is put through the table with a 3D.
After the match, Team 3D celebrate and Storm is helped out of the ring, as he was apparently concussed during the Death Sentence.
Psychology: This was a pretty routine Team 3D table match setup. The brawling throughout the early part of the match felt somewhat haphazard and repetitive. However, once they got to teasing table breaks, the match really picked up. The match might have been better if Wildcat had been able to even the odds before losing. However, Team 3D needed to pick up a convincing win.
Action: The brawling elements of the match were kind of boring. However, once the tables came into play, the action picked up. It’s too bad Team 3D isn’t in better shape, because they used to be good in ring wrestlers, quick and powerful.
Entertainment: Yet another decent but not special match on the PPV. After the barbed wire match, it’s hard to really be impressed by the tables. Still, it’s not like I would characterize this snooze fest.
Rating: 5.0/10 – A decent table match.
(8) Samoa Joe defeats A.J. Styles, to become X Division Champion at 21:00. Samoa Joe makes his entrance first, carrying his now familiar bloody towel and some highlights in his hair. A.J. Styles comes down to the ring to a very loud Impact Zone.
2:04 into the PPV, the bell rings and A.J. immediately charges Joe unloading a flurry of punches and kicks. A.J. hits a snap suplex, and is pumped when he gets up. He continues to work Joe with some stiff kicks, elbows, and knees. They work the ropes, which leads to A.J. hitting a massive dropkick that flattens Joe. Styles works Joe over in a corner. Joe manages to work his way out. Both men break and talk a little smack before Samoa Joe takes over. He hits a flurry of severely stiff kicks, before kicking A.J. right out of the ring. Joe hits a hard chop, and tosses A.J. out of the ring. On the apron, Joe tries to suplex A.J. out of the ring, but he is hung up on the top rope instead. A.J. jumps out onto the apron, but has his leg kicked out from under him by Joe. Joe then picks up A.J. and whirls him around by the legs and slams him hard into the barricade. Joe then whips A.J. into the barricade by the ramp, and follows up with a running straight kick. Joe rolls A.J. back into the ring, and unloads some more kicks, fully in control of his opponent now. Joe hits a vicious looking knee drop, and continues to work A.J. over. Styles sells like only he can, flopping on a kick. Samoa Joe hits a flapjack and follows it up with a back senton for a two-count. Joe then applies a rear chin lock with knee. A.J. works out of it, but is whipped into a corner for yet another hard running kick. Samoa Joe sets up A.J. for the face wash, but A.J. grabs his foot and pushes Joe off. A.J. starts a surge, but Joe stops it with a right hand punch. A.J. is sent reeling into a corner, where hits a running kick to the seated A.J. From the angle we get, it looks pretty much like he kicks A.J. full force right in the head. Joe takes a little breather after the spot. When he gets up, he gives A.J. a few light kicks to the arm and back, toying with him. Joe sets up A.J. for a chop, and then whips him. The whip is reversed, and A.J. winds up standing on the apron. He struggles to get into the ring, and Joe takes advantage, with some clubbing blows. A.J. manages to hit a standing enziguiri, but Joe catches him on the follow up hurricanrana attempt, and turns it into a powerbomb. At the two count, Joe turns A.J. over into a Boston crab. A.J. manages to escape the hold before tapping. Joe whips A.J. into a corner and charges him. A.J. back drops Joe out of the ring. Joe catches his back on the apron on his way out. A.J. heads over to the opposite corner, and then charges and hits a Fosbury Flop on Samoa Joe! Joe crawls back into the ring. A.J. climbs the turnbuckle and hits a springboard elbow smash on the back of Joe’s head. A.J. flips out of a back suplex attempt, and hits a springboard reverse DDT for a two-count. A.J. charges Joe one more time, but is caught with a powerslam for a two-count. Joe looks around, frustrated, as both wrestlers are bleeding from their mouths. Joe kicks at A.J., but it only seems to psych A.J. up. A.J. absorbs some punches and kicks to get off a couple of nice looking high kicks to Joe’s head. A.J. then hits a beautiful powerbomb on Joe right in the middle of the ring for a two-count. A.J. charges Joe when he finally gets up, but is sent flipping by a massive clothesline. A.J. kicks out at one. Joe then hits a double arm powerbomb, and A.J. kicks out at one again. A.J. is Styling up in a very believable way. He hits a Pele kick on Joe, which sends the big man to the mat. A.J. then sets up Joe for the Muscle Buster, but can’t get in on. Joe teases a top rope Muscle Buster, but that doesn’t hold either. A.J. tries to put on a Styles Clash as best as he can, but Joe kicks out at two! A.J. is shocked, but manages to roll up Joe for another pin attempt. Joe reverses the attempt into a Kojita clutch. A.J. struggles in the hold for over a minute, very near the ropes, but he doesn’t have enough left in him, and Joe gets the submission victory as A.J. passes out.
After the match, Joe pulls A.J. (you can see his lip busted wide open) to his feet, and clobbers him with the X Division belt. Joe kicks a couple of security officers out of the ring and grabs a steel chair. He lays down the chair, probably for a Muscle Buster, as the crowd chants “Joe’s gonna kill you.” Christopher Daniels runs in and makes the save. Enough security and referees get to the ring to break up the action.
Psychology: Wow! Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles built a strong, meaningful, and effective story in the ring. The escalation of offense by each wrestler was masterfully put over. The match had 3 acts, peaks and valleys, and an exciting and engaging finish. Joe played a vicious heel with tact and skill. A.J. Styles was a rare thing, a fiery underdog that was entirely believable. Everything worked in this match. I found myself cheering out loud at TV wrestling for the first time in a long time. I’ve rarely wanted a babyface to win a match as badly as I did this one. I’ve rarely been as in awe of a heel after a big victory as I was at the end of this match.
Action: Bar none, some of the best action of the year. Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles pulled out all the stops. Chain wrestling, brawling, submission, slamming, kicking, and high flying action were all displayed with deft and within the context of the story. The brutality of wrestling was better relayed in this match than any of the gimmicked matches. This was a very stiff match. At times I was legitimately concerned by some of the kicks A.J. took. I know A.J. is tough and can take it, but Joe might want to tone it down just a little.
Entertainment: Well, this was a MOTY candidate for me. The action and psychology blended perfectly in a well told, well timed match. The amount of emotion that Joe and A.J. poured into the match completely overshadowed the poor promoting of their feud prior to the match. They managed to hook me right away, and kept me hooked all match long. They did the same with the Impact Zone.
Rating: 10/10 – This match lacked nothing.
(9) Jeff Jarrett defeats Rhino at 17:03. Rhino tears down to the ring to loud cheers from the Impact Zone faithful. Jarrett comes down to the ring guitar in hand. The crowd boos him viciously, particularly once the music is turned off. Borash introduces the combatants before the match kicks off. It adds a nice sense of importance.
The two men take a little time circling each other, before locking up in a test of strength. Rhino controls the test, but Jarrett uses a low kick to get out of it. They chain wrestle for a minute or two. Jarrett hits a dropkick for a two-count, and follows up with an arm drag into a leg lace wrist lock. Rhino picks up Jarrett with the lock still applied and smashes his head on a turnbuckle. He then press slams Jarrett. He then sends Jarrett out of the ring, and the two brawl through the crowd until Jarrett is busted open. They come back to ringside, and Rhino starts hitting Jarrett with steal chairs. They then climb up some scaffolding, where Rhino is sent down through a table after a chair shot. Tenay and West scream bloody murder. Jarrett then hits Rhino with another chair shot before dragging him back to ringside. Rhino recovers surprisingly quickly and hits a suplex on the entrance ramp. Rhino grabs another table, and sets it up at the chute entrance. He Gores Jarrett through the table, but it doesn’t break. That looked dangerous. They sell the move through a few replays. Jarrett is out cold, when Team Canada rush in and attack Rhino. They drag Jarrett to the ring so Rhino can be counted out. However Rhino rushes back to the ring just in time. Rhino surges and fights off Jarrett and Team Canada at the same time. Rhino hits a spinebuster for a two-count. Rhino climbs to the top rope, only have Petey Williams yank his leg. Rhino sits prone for Jarrett, who hits a superplex. Ref bump is the next trick they pull out of the bag. Rhino fights off a Stroke attempt and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Jarrett is in perfect position for a Gore, when Bobby Roode comes down to the ring. Rhino takes him out, and A1 comes rushing down, just in time to eat a Gore. Roode hits a lariat from behind, but it only gets Jarrett a two-count. Jarrett runs out of the ring to get his guitar, which he promptly smashes on Rhino’s head for a two-count. Trick number 17 in the match involves Jackie Gayda come down to the ring and slapping Jarrett in the face, just in time for Rhino to hit a Gore. The ref is late in making the count and Jarrett kicks out at two. Rhino sets up two chairs opposite of each other for which to top rope piledrive Jarrett through. However, Scott D’Amore hits Rhino from behind with a hockey stick, and Jarrett hits the Stroke on the chairs for the win.
After the match, the lights go out. When they come back on there is a chair in the middle of the ring with a trench coat and some boots on it. This signifies that Sting and Jarrett will untie their forces in 2006 in what might be the most efficient effort yet to run TNA out of business.
Psychology: They pulled out all the stops. There were tables, chairs, a guitar, 4 or 5 run-ins, hockey sticks, fake tits, brawling through the crowd, and ref bumps. All these things took the place of an actual match happening. I guess they were trying to provide something radically different than the previous match. They succeeded.
Action: Like I said, they crammed that baby full of it. From a purely action perspective, that was probably the best way to use Jarrett and Rhino. The escalation of things just got a little ridiculous. Still, there was plenty going on to watch.
Entertainment: If it made any kind of sense for all those things to have happened in one “super” match, I’d be a lot more entertained by it. Instead, it just feels desperate.
Rating: 3.5/10 – The match was just so over the top, it was impossible to enjoy it on anything other than a farcical level.
Psychology: TNA said they would change pro wrestling tonight. Unwittingly, they came through when they put the X Division Title on Samoa Joe. The chances of them ever realizing this happened are slim. Joe made a statement picking up the belt on the best match of the PPV, and one of the best matches of the year. Putting the barbed wire match on first wasn’t a bad idea, as the setup and breakdown would’ve killed any momentum the PPV had built. The beginning of that barbed wire match was kind of slow, but Sabu and Abyss built to a strong finish with what I thought was a strong psychological build up to the barbed wire and Abyss sandwich. Christian Cage and Monty Brown both cut good promos (actually, Christian’s was excellent), and managed to present a watchable match. That’s good news for TNA. Jeff Jarrett starred in the match in which everything happened. You name it. It happened. Tone that down. The rest of the matches didn’t really add up to match. It was all watchable, but unimpressive story telling.
Action: There was no shortage of matches, or action. TNA Presents Mostly ROH tag match was pretty fun to watch and had tons of action through out. Of course, the X Division overshadowed the Heavyweights, but that’s kind of the point of the X Division. Sabin and Dutt looked pretty good out there as well, despite Dutt taking a couple of dangerous looking bumps. The rest of the matches all showcased solid action. Nothing really noteworthy, though.
Entertainment: Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles made the PPV. There was enough other content for the PPV to seem worth the cost and time. But make no mistake, Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles earned most of it themselves. I hate to bash the match, because I like Rhino, but the main event just paled in comparison. The match was just to over the top. Moreover, I can’t bring myself to care about Sting. TNA might just finally kill itself in 2006, if this is their big plan.
Rating: 6.5/10 – Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles rock the party that rocks the party.
Paul Madavi writes his PPV 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.
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