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2/18 TNA Impact Review: Caldwell's Review of Brown vs. Hoyt, DDP & Jarrett, Candido

Feb 18, 2005 - 7:55:00 PM

James Caldwell, Torch Team Contributor

TNA Impact Review
February 18, 2005
Taped February 15, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on Fox Sports Net
Report by James Caldwell, Pro Wrestling Torch Team Contributor

A very special thanks goes to Wade Keller for allowing me to jump in the "Against All Odds" Audio Roundtable Discussion Sunday night to present some insight on the PPV. It was a fun experience and something I'll definitely be looking forward to doing again in the future. With that said, let's jump into our first TNA Impact following Sunday's PPV.

Friday Afternoon Take Away: Dusty Rhodes like Dallas...Page, that is. Trytan's favorite color is green and his least favorite wrestler is Monty Brown. Monty Sopp doesn't like his real name. Jeff Jarrett likes himself. Christopher Daniels doesn't like A.J. Styles. Abyss likes Traci's pants. Kazarian is no longer the future. Chris Candido likes air time.
- We kicked off with Mike Tenay and Don West narrating still shot photos from this past Sunday's "Against All Odds" PPV. The awesome close up shots of A.J. Styles' bloody face wrapped in Christopher Daniels' head scissors submission at the end of regulation during the X Division Title Match were black and white to mask the sight of Styles' blood-soaked face. We also saw photos from Jeff Jarrett's successful NWA Title defense against Kevin Nash.

- From ringside, Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed us to Impact. Tenay said, "We did it again," referring to another solid TNA PPV. West and Tenay discussed the important aspects from the PPV before leading into a video package beginning the feud between NWA Champion Jeff Jarrett and Diamond Dallas Page.

- We went to a video package from the "Best Darn Road Show" at the Super Bowl where Jeff Jarrett laid out Diamond Dallas Page with a guitar shot, setting up "Destination X's" main event Title Match. Tenay also let us know there will be a series of Ultimate X qualifying matches where X Division wrestlers can qualify for a shot at A.J. Styles' X Division Title at "Destination X."

(1) Ron Killings (w/BG James & Konan) defeated Michael Shane (w/Kazarian) at 3:52. Shane and Killings locked up with the fans ringside chanting "Michael Shane." Shane took Kazarian to the corner then delivered a boot to the gut. Shane and Killings exchanged right hands in the corner before Shane stomped Killings down to the seat of his pants in the corner. Shane played to the crowd giving Killings enough time to hop up to the top rope and deliver a missile drop kick. Killings connected with a spin kick then played to the crowd. Killings hopped on to the apron for a springboard move attempt, but Kazarian pulled him off to the floor. Kazarian landed some punches before sending Killings back into the ring. Shane connected with a textbook overhead suplex and made a cover for a two count. Shane placed Killings in the middle of the ring with a scoop slam and climbed up top. Killings recovered and crotched Shane across the top turnbuckle. Killings picked up Shane in a modified Fireman's Carry and dropped him across his shoulder with a reverse shoulder breaker. Shane recovered to his feet after a pin attempt by Killings. Killings ducked two sidekicks and connected with a clothesline. Kazarian distracted Killings, but Killings recovered to shove Shane right into Kazarian. Killings grabbed Michael Shane, who was stunned from his meeting of the minds, and kicked him in the gut before delivering the axe kick for the pin and the win.

Match View: Really solid four minute match. With Kazarian leaving TNA, Michael Shane becomes the most underutilized X Division wrestler in TNA. He has a tremendous amount of potential that can be accentuated if given the appropriate character build up. Killings, on the other hand, was impressive as usual, delivering a highly watchable and smart wrestling performance.

[Commercial Break]

- Shane Douglas was backstage with Christopher Daniels. Douglas propped up the Iron Man Match at "Against All Odds," then asked Daniels what it felt like to lose to A.J. Styles. Daniels said he had Styles beat and Styles was just lucky. Douglas reminded Daniels that he asked for an extension for overtime. Daniels said he doesn't want to dwell on the past, so he's going to shift his focus to running through the entire X Division in order to get another shot at the X Division Title in the Ultimate X Match at "Destination X."

(2) The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas) (w/Chris Candido) defeated Buck Quartermain & Lex Lovett at 3:35. Don West questioned Candido's motives for associating with the Naturals without much of an explanation. West asked if Candido saw something in the Naturals or if he was using them for his own personal gain. The match began with Chase Stevens and Lovett. The Naturals used quick in and out tags to work on Lovett in their corner. Candido taunted Lovett from outside while Douglas choked Lovett across the bottom rope. Douglas kicked Lovett in the groin with the referee's eyes diverted. Douglas missed a clothesline and took a Blockbuster off the ropes. Lovett made the hot tag to Quartermain, who accidentally threw Douglas through the ropes to the outside. (Accidentally because Quartermain tried to send Douglas to the ropes, but Douglas tripped and stumbled through the ropes to the outside.) All four men became involved in the match with Lovett & Quartermain scoring consecutive sit down suplex pinning combinations. The referee counted a dual two count. Candido distracted Lovett & Quartermain allowing the Naturals to score their double team stunner/pancake combination, "the Natural Disaster," on Lovett for the pin and the win. After the match, Quartermain took a "Natural Disaster" at the urging of Candido.

Match View: I like Chris Candido's new affiliation with the Naturals. Candido has the ability to give the Naturals a fire and personality that has been missing from their characterless tandem. Don West did a nice job of questioning Candido's motives for aligning with the Naturals, giving us a backdrop for continuing to watch his association with the Naturals before revealing his true motives. Let's hope TNA continues to develop this storyline.

[Commercial Break]

- Backstage in Dusty Rhodes' pick up truck office, America's Most Wanted and Dustin Rhodes were digging through the hay in the back of the truck. Traci interrupted the proceedings to ask what was going on. James Storm of AMW found a bull rope at the bottom of the hay and handed it to Dustin. Chris Harris looked on as Dustin handed Traci a contract stating he was getting a re-match with Raven at "Destination X" in a bull rope match. Traci examined the document as Abyss snuck up from behind Traci, startling her. Abyss grunted then shoved his NWA Title shot contract down Traci's pants. Traci screeched as Abyss did his "X" arms cross, accompanied by a grunt Gene Snitsky would be proud of. Traci slowly removed the crumpled contract from her pants and held it away from her in attempt to avoid any coodies from Abyss. Tenay indicated Abyss had probably clutched the contract for an entire five days in between Sunday's PPV and Friday's Impact.

(3) Phi Delta Slam (Big Till & Bruno) (w/Trinity) defeated Mikey Batts & Romeo at 2:32. Big Bruno began the match with Romeo. Bruno slammed Batts to the mat then took out Romeo for good measure. Big Till took a tag and no-sold Batts' punches to the gut. PDS continued to exchange hot tags as they worked over a much under-sized Mikey Batts. Batts connected with a side kick to Big Till, who tried to sell a move that left too much light. Till tagged in Bruno while Batts tagged in Romeo. Romeo tried to land a series of punches on PDS, but they shook him off like a bad habit. Bruno delivered a thunderous sit down powerbomb on Romeo with Till following up with a sick top rope Frog splash. Till made the pin for the win.

Match View: Well, if TNA is looking to promote the enormous size advantage of PDS, they're doing a nice job of it. Batts & Romeo looked completely out of their element matched up against PDS. I don't see the benefits of using Batts & Romeo in a match like this because they are juxtaposed to have the appearance of rag dolls. There was essentially no protection for Romeo & Batts while PDS was afforded every opportunity to look monstrous. I can see where they want to build up PDS as a "shock and awe" tag team, but it can be done in other ways than making Batts & Romeo look completely out of their league.

[Commercial Break]

- Dusty Rhodes entered the Impact Zone with Traci and Trinity on each arm. Rhodes ran off his first order of business for "Destination X," which encompassed Jeff Hardy facing Abyss in a "Falls Count Anywhere Match." Rhodes said Jeff Jarrett will defend the NWA Title at "Destination X" against Diamond Dallas Page. DDP came through the tunnel and thanked Dusty, before walking through the stands to the ring. West and Tenay said DDP is the logical choice for challenging Jarrett at Destination X. DDP took the mic and said, "It's D-D-P." I half expected him to say "D-D-Me." DDP said, "Timing is everything...and I can't think of a better time than right now for Diamond Dallas Page to become the NWA Heavyweight Champion of the World." DDP asked the crowd to play a game of Simon Says (not literally, but implied) by repeating, "It's Time" in unison with him. DDP told Jarrett it's time for him to feel the bang. Apparently, DDP's big mantra will be "It's Time" in the build up leading to the PPV. Jeff Jarrett interrupted DDP's rendition of Simon Says by coming out to the Impact Zone. Jarrett said, "It's time for DDP to get out of my ring so I can finish my victory celebration." Jarrett indicated there is a time after each TNA PPV where Jarrett celebrates another victory in the presence of his fans in the Impact Zone. The fans chanted "Drop the Title," which interrupted Jarrett's speech. Jarrett told DDP to either leave the easy way or be dragged out like at the Super Bowl Road Show. Jarrett dropped his NWA Title and jacket, and headed to the ring with guitar in hand. Jarrett dropped the guitar in underneath a turnbuckle then exchanged blows with DDP. Jarrett picked up the guitar and took a swing, but missed. DDP kicked Jarrett in the gut and picked up the guitar. DDP set up for a guitar shot, but Mr. New Age Outlaw entered the ring and kicked DDP in the back. Jarrett and NAO stomped on DDP before Kevin Nash ran in to make the save. Nash and DDP tossed NAO to the outside followed by DDP delivering the Diamond Cutter on Jarrett. NAO pulled Jarrett to the outside while Nash and DDP celebrated in the ring.

Impact Note: Good initial set up for "Destination X" with DDP giving us his motivation that it's his time to win the NWA Title. I say "initial set up" because there needs to be much more added to this feud in the next three weeks leading up to the PPV match. TNA did a very nice job setting up Jarrett vs. Nash for "Against All Odds," so I'm confident TNA will have no problem adding layers of build up to Jarrett vs. DDP.

[Commercial Break]

- A.J. Styles joined Don West & Mike Tenay on commentary. Styles said it's about time he shut up Christopher Daniels. West asked Styles about surviving Daniels' submission move at the end of regulation. Styles said he couldn't believe he fought off the submission and felt fortunate to come out on top in overtime.

(4) Chris Candido defeated Chris Sabin & Shark Boy at 3:20. A.J. Styles talked about scouting each of the three wrestlers in this match in order to find out some details about each potential opponent at "Destination X." Candido began the match by taking right hands from the two babyfaces. Shark Boy and Sabin delivered a double team back body drop followed by a double clothesline sending Candido over the top rope to the outside. Sabin and Shark Boy went to work on each other in the ring. Sabin delivered a huricanrana to Shark Boy, and then was promptly sent to the outside by Candido, who had just re-entered the ring. Shark Boy took a right hand from Candido before Sabin re-entered the ring with a drop kick from the top rope. All three men exchanged offensive advantages at the 2:00 minute mark. Candido wrapped Sabin in a sleeper hold. Shark Boy jumped on Candido's back and locked in a sleeper hold simultaneously. Candido broke the three-way sleeper. Shark Boy mounted Candido in the corner and delivered three punches to the head. Sabin grabbed Shark Boy and tried to throw him across the ring into the opposite turnbuckle, but Shark Boy slipped out. Sabin flipped Candido to the outside then went to work on Shark Boy. Sabin dropped Shark Boy with a drop toehold, and then locked in a reverse figure four, taking an Indian Deathlock vice and flipping it over. Shark Boy was flat on his back in pain as Candido re-entered the ring and pinned Shark Boy while using the ropes for extended leverage. The referee made the three count, which shocked Sabin, who didn't see Candido re-enter the ring and score the win.

Match View: Very nice showcase of Candido's sneaky heel tactics which he used to his advantage as the veteran in the match. Candido is certainly being used in an extensive manner, indicating a major push is in line for Candido. It would definitely be a smart move to push Candido because he has the ability to elevate babyfaces. More specifically, putting Candido and Sabin in a program together would definitely be a smart way to use Candido to put over Sabin and help create some character depth to Sabin's drab character.

[Commercial Break]

- Mike Tenay let us know that Kevin Nash will meet the New Age Outlaw in a No DQ Match at "Destination X."

(5) Lance Hoyt (w/ Kid Kash) and Monty Brown wrestled to a "No Decision" at 6:52. Hoyt and Brown locked up in this big man battle where Brown was under-sized by Hoyt. Hoyt took Brown to the corner and delivered stiff back elbows to the head. Brown ducked a clothesline and tried to clothesline Hoyt over the top rope to the outside, but was unsuccessful. Hoyt fell to the mat so he rolled to the outside with the assistance of a small kick to the side from Brown. Brown stared down Hoyt as Kid Kash tried to help Hoyt back to his feet. Off to commercial we went...

[Commercial Break]

We returned to the Impact Zone with Hoyt scoring a nearfall on Brown. Hoyt clubbed Brown in the corner with a double fist smash while Kash distracted Brown by grabbing his feet. Hoyt clotheslined Brown at the 4:15 mark and scored a two count on a pin attempt. Hoyt placed Brown on the middle rope then delivered a running smash to the back of the head. Hoyt picked up Brown with ease and dropped him with a sidewalk slam. Hoyt made a cover, but scored a two count only. Brown recovered with a backdrop suplex followed by a series of running clotheslines. Brown dropped Hoyt with a fall away slam, showing his tremendous strength. Kash hopped up on the apron and distracted Brown. Brown dropped Kash off the apron with a hard right hand then turned around to find a big boot in the face. Hoyt made a cocky "foot on the chest" pin attempt, which West accounted for as Kash's cockiness rubbing off on Hoyt. Hoyt picked up Brown and appeared to be going for a reverse Outsider's Edge, but there was no true indication he was even setting up for anything other than allowing Brown to slip out and land on his feet. Hoyt attempted a clothesline, but Brown ducked and delivered the Pounce.

Suddenly, the lights went out and Tenay wondered if the plug had been pulled on the Impact Zone. (FSN isn't that upset with the poor ratings are they?!) Some of the house lights came back on with an eerie glow filling the arena. Trytan stood at the top of the Impact Zone ramp and stared at Brown. Brown mouthed, "What?" showing obvious speculation as to what was going on. Smoke filled the entrance ramp tunnel and Trytan disappeared just as suddenly as he appeared. Don West claimed, "Trytan has made it known he wants the Alpha Male." Brown continued to stare at the entrance ramp with a puzzled look on his face as the show closed.

Match View: I'll begin with a bit of criticism for one move I pointed out in the match recap. At the end of the match, Hoyt picked up Brown for what appeared to be a reverse "Outsider's Edge." I call it that because Brown's stomach rather than this back was lying on Hoyt's shoulders. Hoyt made no indication that he was even attempting to deliver a move, allowing Brown to rest on his shoulders before Brown slipped out to his feet. This may seem like a little thing, but every wrestling hold or move needs to have an aura of believability that it can and will be delivered. When a wrestler simply lifts up another wrestler without giving the appearance that he will be making an effort to deliver a move, it looks sloppy. This sort of sloppiness and casual approach to wrestling is one of the key elements holding TNA back from becoming a superb brand of wrestling. As far this match is concerned, Brown continues to run on the treadmill in terms of being solid in the ring, but not quite doing enough to separate himself as one of the premiere big men in TNA. His hunched up shoulders tell the story of a stiff, rigid wrestler who needs more flexibility and fluidity in the ring.

Quick Notes of Interest: The "Destination X" PPV Card is shaping up with the following matches:
- Jeff Jarrett vs. Diamond Dallas Page for the NWA Title
- A.J. Styles defending the X Division Title in a four way X Division Match with unique rules: The match will begin with a two-on-two tag team situation with the first person being pinned eliminated from the match. From there, it will become a triple threat match with the first person pinned eliminated from the match. With two wrestlers left, it will become an Ultimate X battle with the X Division Title hanging above the ring.
- Raven vs. Dustin Rhodes in a Bullrope Match
- Kevin Nash vs. New Age Outlaw
- Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss in a Falls Count Anywhere Match

- We failed to hear anything from Jeff Hardy regarding his loss against Abyss. The only mention of Hardy was by Tenay while narrating still shots of Hardy's death-defying leap off the entrance stage onto Abyss at "Against All Odds." Speaking of Abyss, Tenay indicated Abyss will be receiving an NWA Title shot on a future edition of Impact, but Tenay did not give the week in which it will occur.

- Curiously, no mention of Prime Time was found anywhere on the broadcast despite the enormous push TNA was giving Prime Time stemming from Sunday's PPV and the previous few weeks of Impact before Sunday.

Closing Thoughts: I like what TNA did on this week's edition of Impact by taking the events from Sunday's PPV and weaving those into a series of stories building up towards "Destination X." The initial build up for DDP vs. Jarrett was nice in establishing the foundation for their match, with the premise being more build-up will be added in future weeks. I say that, because at this point, there isn't enough heat between Jarrett and DDP to sell a PPV. TNA has three weeks to add on, and I am confident they will deliver in that respect.

More Dustin Rhodes vs. Raven? Why couldn't they have just ended this whole cluster mess of a feud and put them in different directions? Sure, a gimmick being added to Raven vs. Dustin at the next PPV will help paint a different picture for their match, but if you take crap and paint it blue, isn't it still crap? The foundation and true substance of the match remains the same, this time with more diversion added on to help make their next encounter a lot more gimmicky, and subsequently, more watchable. That isn't saying a lot considering how bad their PPV match last Sunday was.

A.J. Styles added key points on commentary during the Candido vs. Shark Boy vs. Sabin match, giving him an opportunity to show his presence as the leader of the X Division. However, I hate to say it, but A.J. Styles was not that good on commentary. He seemed to tail off towards the end of his sentences as he anticipated Tenay or West butting in with their screaming announcing. Styles needs to be firm on the mic and on commentary if he's inserted in that position again. However, the concept was a very good decision; Styles just needs to hammer out the execution a little more the next time an opportunity arises.

Trytan's debut set up the mysterious character and a potential "Destination X" match against Brown. Receiving some storyline explanations for why Trytan has singled out Brown is expected in the coming weeks. Anything less than promos and/or video packages highlighting Trytan's intentions in TNA and more specifically, against Brown, should be a no-brainer decision for TNA's writing staff. I hope the same mistake isn't made as with Abyss taking out Jeff Hardy on a regular basis without any prior or subsequent explanation for his actions.

Please, feel free to send me feedback on today's show at I'm open to all reader comments and suggestions on the topic of TNA or anything else from the world of wrestling. I'll be checking in with new TNA commentary in my "Sunday Brunch" Lounge column in only two days, so look out for that! Until then, I'll be cheering for my brother's High School basketball team as they try to advance in the playoffs.

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

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He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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