TV REPORTS 2/18 TNA Impact Review: The Breakdown
Feb 19, 2006 - 2:07:00 PM
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Paul Madavi, TNA Specialist
Banner design by Jason Funk, Torch VIP
Aired February 18th, 2006
Taped 2/8/2006 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: The Christian Cage Era Begins!
A video recap of highlights from Against All Odds airs. The video concludes by saying a new chapter in professional wrestling begins on Impact!
The show starts with the introduction of the NWA Champion, Christian Cage. Christian cuts an effective promo on his years of striving to be a champion, and the prestige of carrying a belt that is 90 years old. He says his name is now forever connected to the likes of Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, and Ric Flair . . . Christian says all he needed was an opportunity to prove himself, and he did just that. Christian mentions that Monty Brown is the new #1 contender. The crowd is 100% behind Christian throughout the entire promo. Christian delivers a nice promo reconnecting and wrapping up all his points at the end. It’s a good move to start the show with the new champ.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash is interviewing Jeff Jarrett, who is with Scott D’Amore, Eric Young, and Gail Kim. Jeff Jarrett is not concerned about losing the belt, because he’ll climb his way back to the top. He says he eliminated Sting from wrestling in just one match. When Eric mumbles something, Jeff turns around and tells him to shut up. They then play up possession of the Jackie Gayda sex tape, which will have a viewing party later tonight.
(1) Jay Lethal defeats Shannon Moore, Roderick Strong at 3:13. Shannon Moore comes out first to a smattering of boos. Roderick Strong comes out next to his standard entrance. Jay Lethal is the last entrant. He’s looking pumped and is working the crowd and camera on his way down the ramp.
Shannon Moore starts the action by attacking Roderick Strong. Lethal joins the fray and the bell rings. Moore, Lethal, and Strong exchange arm drags. Lethal and Strong team up, hitting a springboard face plant on Shannon Moore. Shortly after, Moore hits a leg lariat off the top ropes on Lethal, sending him right into a German suplex from Strong. Lethal recovers to hit a hurricanrana on Strong, sending both men out of the ring. Moore flings himself off the top rope, hitting both men with a moonsault outside of the ring. Back in the ring, Moore hits a T-bone suplex on Lethal. Strong saves the pin, and hits a half nelson backbreaker. Lethal breaks the pin and hits the slingshot suplex for the pin.
Psychology: This was a fast paces match with a lot of spots. Usually that precludes good psychology, but in this case, each of the combatants took advantage of big moves hit by the other two to score with a large hit of their own. The result was a nice flow to the match, and a smart but exciting finish. Jay Lethal’s star is rising faster than I expected. I wonder if some if it has to do with the punishment of Strong and Aries for being late to the PPV.
Action: This is some of the most exciting wrestling you’ll see. With Strong and Lethal in the ring, Moore put in his best effort so far in TNA. All three wrestlers were clicking, and the action was quick and hard hitting as a result. The result was a very short, but very stylish match.
Entertainment: Yet another fun opening X Division match. It’s nice to see Jay Lethal picking up some wins, as he is a great talent and obviously blends well with Roderick Strong. Fun stuff!
Impact Scale Rating: 5.5/10 – I’m loathe to give such a short match such a high score, but this really was fun to watch.
After the match, Tenay and West talk briefly about Jay Lethal’s consecutive wins, and then introduce a video package for Ron Killings. The video package features Killings going over his history trying to get into the music business at a young age, and then playing football in college, but then ultimately selling drugs for a living. He talks about rising up out of that environment. It’s nice to know more about Killings, as he’s still got a ton of potential. My only problem is that the video package made it seem like Killings cares more about music than he does about professional wrestling!
Jeremy Borash is backstage with Kip James and BG James. Bullet Bob Armstrong joins them, and they cut promo on LAX. The James Gang is a little set back by Bullet wanting to join them in a six man tag, but Bullet is resolute.
(2) The Latin American Exchange (Konnan, Machete, and Homicide) defeat La Migra (Donovan Morgan, Michael Modest and Ryan Draco) at 1:03. LAX make their way down to the ring first. La Migra await them in the ring.
The bell rings and Homicide takes one of the opponents out of the ring. Machete works over Donovan Morgan in the ring. Machete and Homicide execute a top rope bulldog for the pin.
Konnan comes in after the match and beats up La Migra with the makeshift black jack. Konnan cuts a promo on Bullet Bob Armstrong in the ring. He says he didn’t attack Bullet at the PPV because he doesn’t have a wrestling license. He tells Bullet to get a license. Last time they met, he sent Bullet to the hospital. This time it’ll be permanent.
Psychology: This was a very quick squash match to put over LAX.
Action: The top rope bulldog is an okay finisher, but it’s not as exciting as the Cop Killer.
Entertainment: Konnan cut a pretty good promo after the squash was over.
Impact Scale Rating: 3.5/10 – Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
Jeremy Borash is backstage with Larry Zybysko and Samoa Joe. Zybysko announces that it will be Styles versus Daniels versus Joe in an Ultimate X match at Destination X. Joe turns on the intimidation. He says that when he came to TNA, they didn’t realize what he’d do to win. He says they have no idea what he’ll do to remain champion. He says he doesn’t like having stunts pulled on his such as this one. He says that rather than calling Zybysko “The Living Legend,” they might just have to call him “Legend.” Nice work by Samoa Joe putting himself over as a mean spirited, while at the same time showing some reservations about the Ultimate X format.
(3) Christopher Daniels and Austin Aries wrestle to a No Contest decision at 1:42. Austin Aries comes down to the ring first. He fakes out on the audience a couple of times with some near miss high fives. Christopher Daniels comes down next, he looks like he just came from the Matrix.
Aries kicks off the match with an attack from behind, and a neckbreaker for a two-count. He clubs away on Daniels’s back, and hits a pendulum elbow drop. Daniels comes up punching, but is back into a corner by Aries. Aries struts, allowing Daniels to get in the STO. He follows up with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He sets up Aries for the Angel’s Wings, but instead turns it into a rear naked choke. Samoa Joe comes flying into the ring, but Daniels gets up just in time to just the X Division belt shot. Daniels lays Joe out with punches. Daniels goes for the BME, but Joe gets his knees up. Samoa Joe kicks away at Daniels, knocking him down. Joe goes for the steel chair Muscle Buster, but A.J. runs in and picks up the chair and levels Joe with a mean chair shot. The crowd chants “A.J.” Styles walks over to Daniels and says, “this wasn’t for you,” before throwing the chair at Daniels.
Psychology: The purpose of this match was to get some heat on the Ultimate X main event coming up. To that end, it worked well. It’s clear that Joe, Daniels, and Styles have got a lot of beef between the three of them. I’m interested to see how they continue to build this match. Another minute to draw out the Muscle Buster and A.J. save would’ve gone a long, long way.
Action: Good action during the short time period they were given.
Entertainment: Everything moved too quickly to be really enjoyable. If they had given Joe a few minutes to set up the Muscle Buster, after really working over Daniels, and then had A.J. run in, it would have been more much tense and effective.
Impact Scale Rating: 4.0/10 – Good idea, not enough time to do it right.
A video package airs showing highlights from Ultimate X matches past. The dangerous nature of the match comes through loud and clear.
Backstage, Ron Killings, Brother Ray, and Devon do the “wassup” thing from a few years back to show us how cool they are. They’re ready for their match.
Jeremy Borash is backstage with Jeff Jarrett, Gail Kim, Eric Young, Scott D’Amore, and Alex Shelley. They are starting to watch the Jackie Gayda sex tape, when Jackie rolls in and grabs the remote control. She concedes, and says she’ll leave as long she gets the tape. That’s not what Jarrett wants though. He wants Jackie to join his stable, otherwise the sex tape goes out on the internet. He says he’s not going to let her quit like Sting did. Eric Young once again pipes up. Jarrett gets in his face about it. D’Amore interrupts and asks Jeff not to lay his hands on a member of Team Canada, and then turns around and smacks Eric Young hard. Jarrett then gives Shelley his second homework assignment: to document that Sting is gone from TNA. Gail Kim and Scott D’Amore taunt Jackie Gayda.
(4) Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) and Ron Killings defeat Team Canada (Petey Williams, Bobby Roode, and A1 Ralphz w/ The Canadian Flag) at 6:41. Team Canada come down first in unison. Ron “The Truth” Killings comes down by himself, and dances in the ring. Team 3D come down next.
We return right before the opening bell. Bobby Roode begins by dominating on Brother Ray. Petey Williams tags in and works over Ray’s arm. Ray recovers allowing Devon to tag in. They hit a sidewalk slam/leg drop combo. Killings tags in and controls the ring until Bobby Roode grabs him by the hair dropping him to the mat. Roode tags in and the isolation of Killings begins. A1 hits a backbreaker for a two-count, and then hangs Truth in a tree of woe. Petey Williams sings O’ Canada. The isolation continues. Killings manages to turn a suplex into a jawbreaker, allowing him to tag in Devon. Devon surges on the heels and cleans house. Devon hits Saving Grace on Roode, but the pin attempt is broken up. They hit “wassup” on Roode, and then Killings hits the the flying top rope leg drop on A1. Ray mistakes Killings for Devon in a brief bit of comedy, and then turns and tells Devon to get the tables. Team Canada brawl with Team 3D outside of the ring. This leaves Truth with A1 in the ring. Truth hits the scissors kick for the victory.
After the match, AMW run in and immediately beat up Killings. They handcuff him to the corner, but Rhino runs in and makes the save, including a Gore on Harris.
Psychology: This was just another formula tag match. Imagine for a minute that there was only one book. Let’s say, Stephen King’s Salem’s Lott. It’s a good book, no a great one, but a good one. It’s a nice read. But it’s the only book available in the whole world. Two hundred billion copies of Salem’s Lott. That’s what it’s like to watch televised tag team wrestling.
Action: The action was pretty good. Team 3D really go out of their way to incorporate unique tag team moves into their matches. It’s a small touch, but it makes a world of difference in making them look like a cohesive unit. Ron Killings is a good wrestler with the ability to use some difficult and innovative moves. I look forward to his return to singles wrestling, and would even like to see him wrestle Christian Cage for the title at some point.
Entertainment: The solid action of the match was brought down a notch by the same old formula storyline that is televised tag team wrestling.
Impact Scale Rating: 4.5/10 – Just nothing special when it comes right down to it.
Backstage, Borash is catching up with Monty Brown. Brown is on the war path, and storms into Christian’s locker-room as we go off air.
Psychology: Christian Cage and Samoa Joe both did their parts as champions to prove their value on the microphone. They did not ramble on, and never felt soft or rehearsed. There’s a lot of money waiting to be drawn by Monty Brown and Christian Cage roughing each other up on the microphone. There’s a lot of money waiting to be drawn by Samoa Joe roughing up wrestlers in the ring. TNA has two very good champions and some very good contenders; they should spend as much time promoting them as possible, and just plain forget about giving Team 3D and Team Canada so much time at the end of the show. That is my main complaint here. Seven minutes of this show could have helped build the important title matches, but instead went to a non tag team title feud. It just doesn’t seem to make sense.
Action: Aside from the X Division triple threat match, and Ron Killings, the show was at or just below the average mark for action. I still think fewer matches would really help TNA get their particular brand of wrestling action over much more effectively.
Entertainment: Despite the low match ratings, I give the show an overall thumbs-up in the entertainment department. The package as a whole was a very watchable hour of television. There were some good promos, there were some nice moments in the matches, and early promotion for the Destination X pay-per-view was good.
Impact Scale Rating: 5.5/10 – Good PPV hype and strong performances by the champs make this an above average 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.
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