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8/10 TNA Impact: Caldwell's review of Styles vs. Petey, Rhino vs. Sabin, Sacrifice hype

Aug 11, 2005 - 3:12:00 AM

By James Caldwell, Torch Columnist

TNA Impact Review
August 10, 2005
Taped July 19, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on
Report by James Caldwell, Columnist

- Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed us to the show as Matt Bentley and Traci groped each other atop the entrance ramp. Tenay hyped the main event for the Sacrifice PPV with Raven and Sabu set to take on Rhino and Jeff Jarrett. West screamed, "Hardcore Heaven!" I'm surprised a WWE lawyer didn't pop out from behind the broadcast table and hand West a lawsuit.

(1) Matt Bentley (w/Traci) defeated Shark Boy at 2:25. As Shark Boy came to the ring, the camera focused on a Shark Boy action figure being held up by a fan. Yikes. Shark Boy pointed at Traci, obviously eyeing Traci for another shark bite. Bentley attacked Shark Boy then landed an overhead slam. Bentley connected with a suplex then choked him across the middle rope. Bentley distracted the referee allowing Traci to get in a parting shot. Bentley sent Shark Boy to the ropes but ducked his head too soon allowing Shark Boy to score a jawbreaker followed by a neckbreaker. Shark Boy went to the corner turnbuckle then flew off the top with a missile drop kick. Sharkie made a cover but scored a two count only. Shark Boy mounted Bentley in the corner for ten punches as Traci moved to the apron to distract the referee. Shark Boy released his punches on Bentley then moved to the apron where he took a bite out of Traci's healthy posterior. Traci flung herself to the floor as Shark Boy re-entered the ring to find a super kick straight to the mouth. Bentley made the academic cover for the victory.

Match View: Not enough time to amount to much. Beating Shark Boy isn't exactly something to put on the resume, so as much as TNA gives the appearance of trying to build up Bentley, he needs victories over more important players on the roster. That said, definitely a good move to give Bentley some TV time to keep his name and face out there so viewers don't forget about him.

- We went backstage where Shane Douglas was with Shocker. Douglas asked Shocker about Alex Shelley beating him in the First round of the Super X Cup tournament after Shocker beat Shelley at the June Slammiversary PPV. Shocker said he's accustomed to two out of three fall matches in Mexico, so he challenged Shelley to a rubber match at Sacrifice.

[Promo Break]

- Mike Tenay introduced the Super X Cup tournament brackets then introduced the final semi-final match pitting A.J. Styles against Petey Williams with the winner set to face Samoa Joe at Sacrifice. X Division champion Christopher Daniels joined Tenay and West for commentary. Daniels pointed out that he has defeated both Styles and Petey in X Division Title matches.

(2) A.J. Styles defeated Petey Williams (w/A-1 Ralphz) at 9:19 in a Super X Cup semi-final match. Styles and Petey locked up with Styles taking Petey to the corner. They locked up again and Petey grounded Styles with a side headlock. Styles sent Petey to the ropes then locked in an arm bar. Petey fought to his feet then blocked a back flip drop kick attempt before Styles locked in another arm bar into a hammerlock. Styles grounded Petey then took him to the corner with forearm blows.

[Promo Break]

We came back to see Styles scoring with a reverse huricanrana. Styles delivered a scoop slam then landed a scissors knee drop to the face. Styles made the cover but scored a two count only. Petey landed back elbow smashes to the gut then walked into a back breaker. Styles measured Petey then scored another scoop slam. Styles taunted A-1 then went up top for the Spiral Tap. A-1 pulled Petey out of the ring to the outside to avoid Styles. Styles set up for a high-risk move over the top rope onto both men, but Petey avoided the move and caught Styles on the apron sending him to the floor where A-1 knocked Styles down with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Petey went to work on Styles choking Styles across the middle rope. Petey distracted the referee allowing A-1 to land some forearm blows to the head as Don West nearly pulled a hernia screaming. Petey absorbed a few punches to the gut before knocking Styles down with a clothesline. Petey went for a suplex, but Styles reversed into a flip over suplex into a neck breaker. Both men recovered to their feet with Styles landing straight forearms to the head. Styles knocked Petey to the mat with a spin kick followed by a leg sweep. Petey quickly returned to his feet then took a pump handle into gut buster leading to a cover for a nearfall.

Styles ducked a desperation clothesline then scored a reverse face plant before rolling Petey into a pin attempt for another nearfall. Styles picked up Petey and shot Petey off to the ropes. Petey turned a head scissors attempt by Styles into a Russian Legsweep. Petey set up for the Canadian Destroyer, but Styles blocked it and scored with his patented back flip reverse DDT. Styles made the cover but scored a nearfall only. Styles picked up Petey and set up for the Styles Clash, but Petey dropped to one knee to block Styles's finisher. Styles went for a powerbomb instead, but Petey slipped out and scored a crucifix slam pinning combination for a nearfall only. Petey held his hands in shock as A-1 slipped the Canadian flag by referee Andrew Thomas. Petey picked up the flag as A-1 argued with the referee. However, Styles was able to shove Petey into A-1 sending the flag flying to the floor. Styles went for a roll up but turned it into the la mahistral cradle. Petey slipped out and went for the Sharpshooter only to have Styles counter with a quick small package for the pin and the win.

- After the match, we saw the final brackets of the Super X Cup tournament as Tenay screamed that A.J. Styles will face Samoa Joe at Sacrifice.

Match View: Just a solid match. Nothing spectacular or particularly breathtaking, but it didn't need to be because the crowd was into the match simply because of who was in the ring. Styles and Petey didn't need to pull of a four star match with amazing spots to wow the crowd because they had the audience captivated from the get-go. Daniels added nice commentary to the match, although being involved in a shouting match with Don West isn't exactly the best route to getting a point across. The guy didn't make a living at 2 AM without doing a little screaming.

[Promo Break]

- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with Lance Hoyt. Douglas listed the credentials of Hoyt's opponent at Sacrifice, Abyss. Douglas asked Hoyt what was going through his head. Hoyt said he was thinking about opportunity. Hoyt said he came to TNA for opportunities and didn't have to wait for an opportunity as Abyss brought the opportunity to him. Hoyt said he's looking for some vengeance and destruction on Abyss. Abyss attacked Hoyt from behind with a chair under James Mitchell's direction. Mitchell leaned in next to Hoyt's fallen body then told Hoyt that things didn't start personal until Hoyt made things personal. Mitchell said Hoyt made the worst mistake of his career and life attacking Abyss last week. Standing right next to Hoyt's ear, Mitchell screamed, "This Sunday at Sacrifice, Abyss will crush you like the cockroach you are."

[Promo Break]

- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with Kip James and Monty Brown. Douglas asked Kip and Brown about their match against Konnan and Ron Killings at Sacrifice with B.G. James as special referee. Brown said the "2 Dead Kru" will be the ultimate sacrifice. Brown began to address B.G. James, but Kip interrupted and told Brown that B.G. is exactly who they want as referee because B.G. is Kip's brother. Brown said he hopes B.G. is Kip's brother. Brown mocked B.G.'s ring entrance than told B.G. to ask around for an understanding of what it feels like to feel the Pounce. Brown left with Kip following close behind.

(3) Monty Brown (w/Kip James) defeated Prime Time Elix Skipper at 1:51. Skipper and Brown squared off with Brown delivering an early cheap shot with a forearm to the back. Brown took Skipper to the outside then threw him headfirst into the guardrail. Brown dropped Skipper across the guardrail throat-first then slammed a forearm into Skipper's back. That'll teach you to do an audio talk! (Cheap plug: be sure to check out Torch columnist James Guttman's interview with Elix Skipper in the Torch Audio Update section.) Brown took Skipper back-first into the guardrail then sent him back into the ring. Brown made a cover, but scored a two count only. Brown slapped Skipper across the chest then missed with a back body drop allowing Skipper to come back with a spin kick. Skipper ducked a few clotheslines then jumped off the top rope with a back flip, but Brown delivered the Pounce just as Skipper landed on his feet. Brown made the pin for the win as Skipper jobbed out in under two minutes.

Match View: It's hard to fathom that Skipper has turned into fodder for Monty Brown after being pushed to the top of the X Division back in April. Skipper can bring much more to the table than TNA is allowing him. By booking Skipper in a constant stream of throwaway multiple-man X Division matches on recent PPV's, Skipper's value has dropped as the perception of his character has been watered down. I'm sure TNA could have picked out someone else to put over Brown without inflicting as much damage on a wrestler who deserves better.

[Promo Break]

(4) Simon Diamond & David Young defeated America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) at 3:16 . West and Tenay discussed the odd feeling seeing AMW without the tag title belts for so long. West said, "They've had the belts like 250 times or something." The match began with Young and Storm as West tried to sell Young and Diamond as a legitimate team. Storm landed forearm blows to the face then tagged in Harris, who scored with a clothesline from the top rope. AMW snapped Young's groin then clotheslined Diamond off the apron. Diamond charged the ring and took a double drop toehold from both members of AMW. Diamond rolled back into the ring as Young attacked Harris from behind. Diamond went to work on Harris then tagged in Young. Young landed right hands to the face then missed with a double axe handle blow. Harris flew off the ropes with a clothesline then tagged in Storm. Storm knocked Young down then landed a powerslam on Diamond. Storm snapped off a huricanrana on Young then made a cover, but Diamond broke up the pin. AMW double-teamed Young with a dual back body drop then Storm flew over the top rope onto Diamond with a shoulder tackle. Harris held Young up in the air for a high-elevated suplex as Team Canada ran to the ringside area. Eric Young, holding the Canadian flag/hockey stick, poked Storm in the leg as Storm set up for his trademark super kick on Young. The momentary distraction allowed Young to score a spinebuster on Storm leading to...gasp...a pinfall victory for Young. Mike Tenay nearly had a heart attack announcing Young and Diamond as the victors.

- After the match, Team Canada hit the ring and attacked both members of Team Canada as Diamond and Young celebrated their improbable victory. Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas of The Naturals hit the ring to chase Team Canada and save AMW from further beat down. Jimmy Hart patted his troops on the back as Mike Tenay rhetorically asked if the "strange bedfellows" alliance was formed out of mutual respect or mutual hatred for Team Canada.

Match View: I liked the booking of this match for two reasons. In order of importance, TNA created a very viable reason why AMW wants to get their hands on Team Canada since AMW lost a match to a wrestler with the worst win/loss record since the days of Duane Gill in the WWF and his mentor. That's embarrassing enough and plenty of reason for AMW to have heat with Team Canada going into Sacrifice. The second reason I liked this segment was the fact that Young and Diamond actually won a match. Yes, they won in obvious heel fashion through tainted means, but at least it plants a seed in viewers minds that Young and Diamond aren't so much the push-overs that TNA has portrayed them as. If TNA wants to create compelling matches in the future where "babyface team A" faces Young and Diamond, the match will at least hold a little more interest seeing that the outcome won't be as predictable.

[Promo Break]

(5) 3 Live Kru (Konnan & Ron Killings) defeated Jerrelle Clark & Mikey Batts at 2:44. Without wasting any time after the break, we went straight to the ring where Clark and Mikey Batts, who recently turned heel, were arguing over who was going to start the match. Clark and Konnan started things off with Clark working over Konnan with an arm bar. Konnan countered with a roll over into a hammerlock before Clark countered with an arm twist. The two men exchanged more arm holds before Konnan ducked a drop kick and scored a rolling thunder clothesline. Konnan took off his shoe and threw it into Clark's gut. Ugh. Konnan picked up Clark and dropped him with a lift up slam before opening up Clark's legs for a leg drop straight to the crotch by Ron Killings. Clark blocked a corner attack then hopped to the top rope where he attempted a moonsault onto a standing Ron Killings. Oddly enough, Killings simply stood there like a brick wall as Clark crashed into Killings before Killings slumped to one knee after absorbing the move. We saw B.G. James standing atop the ring entrance staring down at the action in the ring. Killings landed a knock down punch to the face then threw Batts into the ring. Killings and Konnan combined for a leg whip to Batts's face before Konnan dropped Clark with his patented cradle DDT. Konnan landed a powerbomb then covered Clark for the victory.

- We saw B.G. James clapping after 3 Live Kru won the match. B.G. walked to the ring as Tenay and West speculated as to where B.G.'s loyalties lie. Konnan took the mic and sarcastically thanked B.G. for coming to the ring. Konnan said B.G. is too late to do anything to help the Kru. Killings told Konnan not to be a hot head then asked Konnan where his trust of Killings is. B.G. stood on the ring apron facing Konnan and Killings as Konnan refused to buy B.G.'s loyalty.

Match View: I'm going to go out on a limb and say B.G. James and Ron Killings are turning heel on Konnan with Killings appearing to be the level-headed one when he may in fact be in cahoots with B.G. James. Certainly, Konnan could be offering his distrust of B.G. as a distraction from him joining B.G. to turn on Killings, but I don't believe that's feasible because Killings is not strong enough of a character to come back on Konnan and B.G. James. I believe Konnan is strong enough of a character where he can withstand a double turn and get his babyface comeback.

- We went backstage where Shane Douglas was with The Naturals, AMW, and Jimmy Hart. Douglas said he couldn't believe he was seeing AMW and The Naturals standing together. Storm said the tag title belts that are currently around the waist of The Naturals belong around their waists. Harris interjected and said that the tag title belts will never come back to AMW unless AMW and The Naturals take care of the one common problem they both face in the form of Team Canada. Chase Stevens said it's not going to be AMW vs. The Naturals as Sacrifice, but for the first time ever, AMW teaming with The Naturals to take on Team Canada.

[Promo Break]

(6) Rhino defeated Chris Sabin at 7:02. Rhino, without Jeff Jarrett ringside, stalked Sabin then locked up and landed stiff forearm blows to the shoulder. Sabin countered with an arm twist followed by a head scissors take over. Rhino recovered and ran over Sabin with a shoulder block before walking right into a deep arm drag take over. Sabin went for a sunset flip, but Rhino blocked and ran into a drop kick to the face. Sabin missed in the corner as Rhino landed and elbow smash. In an effort to build up Rhino's credentials, Tenay said Rhino has gored several wrestlers on national television lately including JBL, Edge, RVD, and Raven. Brought back a few nice memories of the WWE vs. WCW war. Rhino climbed up top for a high-risk move but Sabin knocked Rhino off the top with an enziguiri kick. Sabin waited for Rhino to reach his feet on the floor then flew over the top rope with a somersault splash onto Rhino. Back in the ring, Rhino countered a whip to the ropes and scored with a Samoan Drop. Rhino made a delayed cover and scored a nearfall. Rhino drove a knee to the face followed by a forearm to the back then held Sabin up in the air before scoring with a nice suplex. Rhino made another cover but could only generate a two count. Tenay said Sabin needed to generate an aerial attack to wear down Rhino. Rhino grounded Sabin to the mat with a reverse chin lock as Sabin asked for audience participation. Sabin reached his feet and drove some hard elbows to the gut before snapping off a huricanrana as he countered a whip to the ropes. Both men lay on the mat for a few moments before they exchanged chops to the chest.

Sabin ducked a final chop then ran over Rhino with a clothesline before scoring with a back elbow smash off the ropes. Sabin scored with a back kick to the gut then caught Rhino in the corner for a Tornado DDT. Sabin made a cover but scored a two count only. Sabin charged Rhino near the ropes and Rhino sidestepped Sabin before throwing him over the top rope to the floor. Rhino went under the ring and pulled out a table. Rhino slid the table into the ring as So Cal Val looked on with concern. She may need consoling. Rhino sent Sabin into the ring where Sabin ducked a clothesline and landed forearm blows to the face. Sabin landed a kick to the gut then a double foot drop kick to the side of the head. Sabin waited for Rhino to get up then flew off the top turnbuckle with a missile drop kick. Sabin made a cover, but scored a two count only. Sabin landed punches to the face then walked right into a spinebuster. Sabin held his stomach in pain as Rhino measured Sabin before scoring with the gore. Rhino made the academic cover for the pin and the win.

- After the match, Raven hit the ring and jumped Rhino. Raven ran over Rhino with a clothesline before landing a knee lift sending Rhino to the outside. Jeff Jarrett hit the ring and Raven clotheslined Jarrett before landing a bulldog. Raven turned around and Rhino scored with a gore in the corner. Jarrett set up Rhino's table in the center of the ring as the lights went out. When the lights came back on Sabu was in the ring with a chair. Sabu threw the chair in Rhino's face before knocking Jarrett down with a back elbow smash. Sabu perched Rhino atop the corner turnbuckle and set up for a power move through the table, but Jarrett placed Raven on the table. Sabu - having taken too long - lost control, which allowed Rhino to powerbomb Sabu onto Raven, who was on the table. However, the table didn't snap as Raven fell off the table and Sabu slid to the mat. Jarrett set up the table again then Rhino powerbombed Sabu through the table. Jarrett and Rhino surveyed the carnage as Raven and Sabu lay motionless in the ring. For good measure, Jarrett locked in a figure four on Raven as we faded to black.

Match View: In the beginning of the match, Sabin and Rhino looked like they were trying to run through the match at 120 MPH when 75 or 80 would have sufficed. However, with Sabin and Rhino having plenty of spots to get in over the course of the match, being given seven minutes was not enough time to pace the match that was planned out. As is the case with most matches on Impact, the action felt rushed without proper time in between holds and moves to allow the action to sink in. That said, Rhino looked at his best and wrestled a match better than 95% of what he did in WWE. Sabin being placed in the main event where he was allowed signature spots and a few believable nearfalls helped him look strong in the end. The show-closing segment was good for what it's worth, but fell flat with that inconsequential feeling that comes with the conclusion of each edition of Impact online.


Super X Cup Tournament Bracket

Sonjay Dutt
--------------------> Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe
------------------------------------------> Samoa Joe
Alex Shelley
--------------------> Alex Shelley

Matt Bentley
--------------------> A.J. Styles
AJ Styles
------------------------------------------> A.J. Styles
Petey Williams
--------------------> Petey Williams
Chris Sabin

Matches announced for August 14 Sacrifice PPV

- Raven & Sabu vs. Jeff Jarrett & Rhino
- Finals of the Super X Cup Tournament - Samoa Joe vs. A.J. Styles
- Jerry Lynn vs. Sean Waltman
- Monty Brown & Kip James vs. Konnan and Ron Killings with B.G. James as special referee.
- Christopher Daniels vs. "The Internet Selection" as to be voted on
- Lance Hoyt vs. Abyss
- Team Canada vs. The Naturals & AMW
- Shocker vs. Alex Shelley
- Jeff Hardy vs. ???

James Caldwell writes from Southern California where he is eager to catch up on some summer wrestling reading. Feel free to drop any feedback, opinions, or comments on this week's Impact review to

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METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 10/4 & 10/7: IWGP World champ Okada vs. Roderick Strong main event, plus Briscoes vs. Time Splitters, more from "Field of Honor," Overall Reax
MCMAHON'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 10/7: TNA Title Series kicks off, Bound for Glory fall-out, more; Overall Reax




RAW POLL 10/12: Vote on Monday's show free polls

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