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10/22 TNA Impact Review: Rampant Interference Nearly Ruins a Good Show

Oct 23, 2005 - 1:53:00 PM

Paul Madavi, PW Torch TNA Specialist

TNA Impact Review
Aired October 22nd, 2005
Taped 10/11/05 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: Rampant Interference Nearly Ruins a Good Show

On the eve of Bound for Glory, and Mike Tenay welcomes us to TNA Impact. Fireworks and crowd shots start off the show for the home viewer. Tonight, The Naturals will face AMW for the Tag Titles. The show then kicks off with a match.

(1) Samoa Joe defeats Elix Skipper (w/ Simon Diamond) at 2:26. Mike Tenay hypes the debut of Samoa Joe as he walks to the ring. Elix Skipper is accompanied by Simon Diamond. Don West talks briefly about Skipper’s X Division experience.

The bell rings, and Samoa Joe begins with some stiff kicks to Skipper’s legs. Skipper fights back with some kicks of his own. However, Joe nails an enziguiri. He then uses a snapmare to set up Skipper for a chop to the back and a kick to the chest. Joe follows this up with a very good looking knee drop to the face. Joe picks up Skipper and whips him into a corner. Joe charges and nails Skipper with a high knee in said corner. Joe then face-washes Skipper, and hits the Ole Kick to the crowd’s delight. Joe picks up a two-count on the pin attempt. Skipper bridges out of the pin attempt right to his feet and hits a back kick to Joe’s face. He then uses a snapmare to set Joe up for a stiff kick to the back. Skipper gets a one-count. Skipper then goes for a top rope springboard moonsault, which mostly misses Joe. Joe sells the move as hitting his shoulder. Elix tries using a clothesline, but it is reversed into a swift powerslam. Joe then throws Skipper in the corner. He puts him up on the top turnbuckle and tries to grapple him for the Muscle Buster. Skipper accidentally slips out, so Joe gives him a forearm, and then picks him up for the Muscle Buster. I hit rewind on the DVR so I can watch it a few times. Then Joe applies the rear naked choke for the tap out victory.

After the match, Samoa Joe kneels in the ring, and then flexes for the crowd, as they chant his name. Mike Tenay touts Joe’s unbeaten streak in TNA.

The Breakdown

Psychology: This three minute match featured Samoa Joe’s intense, brutal style very effectively. Skipper didn’t come off as a punk either; he was simply out-muscled by Joe. Allowing Skipper to get in a few moves helped establish that Joe is not a monster, in the Abyss sense, but rather that he recovers quickly from his opponents assaults. Joe’s arsenal was devastating. I’m not sure how I feel about Joe using a rear naked to win the match after the Muscle Buster. The Muscle Buster is a good enough of a finisher to be a stand alone. Furthermore, if they wanted to sell the rear naked choke, they easily could’ve done that with Liger at the PPV, and it would mean more if he tapped to it than Skipper. There’s no need to give away all of Joe’s moves in one match.

Action: Once again, TNA packs their squash matches in with as much exciting action as possible. This match featured numerous stiff kicks, a few solid chops, and a couple of amazing grapples by Joe. Joe also showed he could improvise, by grasping his shoulder when Skipper missed the springboard moonsault, and by giving Skipper a good smack when he didn’t get him up for the Muscle Buster the first time.

Entertainment: This was a good, solid fun five minute opening match. Samoa Joe came off as an instant force in the ring.

Impact Scale Rating: 5.5/10 – As good a squash match as you’ll see.

A video package for “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels airs. It’s what we’ve grown accustomed to with highlights of the wrestler, and various TNA personalities praising his ability.

[Commercial Break]

When we return to the show, another video package airs. This one is a general TNA promo video, lauding the innovation in TNA, as witnessed by the six sided ring, and the ability of the TNA wrestlers to use the ring in new ways.

(2) America’s Most Wanted (James Storm & Chris Harris) defeat The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas) at 9:53. This match is for the NWA Tag Team Championship Titles. AMW make their way to the ring first. Harris and Storm play heel during their entrance. The Naturals then make their way to the ring to some pretty good cheers.

The bell rings when Storm and Harris rush Steven and Douglas. Both Storm and Harris are quickly driven from the ring, and regroup at ringside. Stevens then whips Douglas off the ropes. Douglas uses Stevens as a catapult to hit a senton on AMW. Stevens then climbs to the top rope and hits a Shooting Star Press onto AMW. Stevens and Douglas get back in the ring, and AMW tries to regroup on the entrance ramp. Gail Kim comes down the ramp and tries to get their heads straight as we go to commercial break.

[Commercial Break: An add for Bound for Glory is aired right before we return to action]

Back from break, Chase Stevens works over Chris Harris. Andy Douglas tags in and they work the ropes for a minute. Gail Kim grabs Douglas’s boot, which leads to him chasing her around ringside. Of course, as soon as Douglas turns the corner, he runs directly into his own championship belt. Storm distracts the ref in the ring. Douglas is busted open and gets worked over by Storm. He is whipped, but recovers with a high knee off the ropes. Both men tag in their partners. Stevens surges on the heels with a high flying arsenal. He hits a very nice Death Valley Driver for a two-count. Gail Kim tosses Storm her boot, and after Stevens hits a spinebuster on Harris, he gets a face full of boot, while Kim distracts the ref. Stevens kicks out of the pin attempt just in time. Storm then goes for a flying clothesline on Stevens, but takes out the ref by accident. Andy Douglas gets in the ring, and they goad Harris into their finisher, The Natural Disaster. However, the ref is still out on the pin attempt. Gail Kim tries to hit a hurricanrana on Stevens, but he ducks and Storm receives it instead. The Naturals then try to hit their finisher on Kim, but Jarrett runs and gives Douglas a low blow. Harris then runs in with a bottle and smashes it on Steven’s head for the pin, with the ref coming to just after the cheating.

After the match, Jarrett, AMW, and Gail Kim pick at the carcasses.

The Breakdown

Psychology: This match had absolutely everything you hate to see in a championship match. Its’ too bad Stevens and Douglas used their most exciting moves in the very beginning of the match; they could’ve used them for the finish. As impressive as it was, it makes little sense to start a match off with a Shooting Star Press. From then on it went downhill. Gail Kim interfered more than once, and it was her interference that led to the belt busting open Andy Douglas, Jeff Jarrett hitting a low blow, and a glass bottle finisher. One subtle but dastardly act of interference would’ve meant much for than this over-the-top menagerie of run-ins, cheating, and foreign objects. I can understand wanting AMW to look undeserving, but a match like this opens many cans of worms. What will Zybysko do about this? If this goes down, how different is TNA from WWE? Why is this kind of match necessary if TNA wrestlers really have the ability and goods TNA claims? All that being said, The Naturals looked very strong throughout the match, which might be the sole redeeming quality of this match.

Action: The action was pretty good all around. It’s clear that Douglas and Stevens can go. They looked good, even if they blew their, uh, moveset within the first 30 seconds. The Natural Disaster is a great looking finisher, and Stevens hits a very nice Death Valley Driver. AMW didn’t show off much, but that’s part of their heel shtick right now.

Entertainment: The match was pegged to be very entertaining. However, the constant cheating by AMW really took a lot of pleasure out of the match for me. I know the match served a purpose other than pure entertainment, and I can accept that. However, I find the lengths they went to suspect.

Impact Scale Rating: 3.5/10 – What could’ve been a very good match was marred by shoddy psychology throughout.

[Commercial Break]

When we return, a video package airs explaining and hyping the Ultimate X match. Bentley, Williams, and Sabin all promote the difficulty of the match and their respective confidence in their ability to win.

(3) Bobby Roode (w/ Scott D’Amore) defeats Ron Killings (w/ BG James) at 5:07. Bobby Roode makes his way first. Killings dances his way down to the ring. He then dances in the ring. BG James gives us a little introduction for Killings before the match kicks off. Crowd shots show us some of the whitest people in the world flashing the 3LK hand sign, including two Jeff Hardy fans . . . appropriation at it’s finest.

Ron Killings dances some more before the two men lock up. Roode looks confused and upset. Roode starts the match with a kick to the gut. He hits a shoulder block, but Killings hits his own. They continue to work the ropes leading to a couple of arm drags by Killings. Killings then clothesline Roode out of the ring. With Roode at ringside, Killing hits an amazing flying suicide dive on Roode. When the competitors get back in the ring, Roode takes over with a body slam. He then hits a top rope knee drop for a two-count. Roode follows with a couple of driving knees and a back suplex for a pin. Just then, Kip James makes his way down to the announce table. Backstage, Konan is once upset by Kip James coming to the ring. Kip and BJ argue at ringside, while Killings hits a dropkick. Konan comes down and he starts arguing with Kip. Killings comes out to ringside and shoves Kip, and then a fight breaks out between Kip and Konan. Back in the ring, Killings is setting up for his axe kick, but Team Canada runs distraction allowing Roode to nail Killings with a hockey stick for the pin.

After the match, Team Canada celebrates with their glorious red and while maple leaf. BG commiserates with Killings in the ring.

The Breakdown

Psychology: Last week, I thought TNA might be moving away from interference. I was wrong. This match was moving along quite well, and Roode and Killings were evenly enough match, I was actually curious as to who would win. Once the horde of wrestlers came down to the ring, it was clear that Killings was doomed. They gave away the finish of the match, which is a never a good thing.

Action: The action was clean and surprisingly good. Killings hits an amazing diving plancha halfway through the match, which was easily the highlight of the match. Roode’s got plenty of potential to work a good match. He showed a strong offensive set during the match. He might be best off in a dedicated tag team though.

Entertainment: This match was surprisingly fun to watch, until the interference gave away the finish of the match. This is the general problem with interference. If you run it, you give away the finish. If the face overcomes the interference, it looks like he just out wrestled three or four guys, making them look weak and incompetent.

Impact Scale Rating: 4/10 – This match gets a slightly higher score than the tag match because it was the match itself had slightly better psychology and slightly less cheating. Both Killings and Roode showed up for the bout and gave good effort.

Backstage, Shane Douglas interviews Jeff Jarrett, Monty Brown, and Abyss. Shane addresses Jarrett, but Monty grabs the microphone and tells Shane that if someone is to be addressed, it is The Alpha Male, Monty Brown. Brown tells Jarrett he doesn’t want to wrestle with him, but against him. Jarrett then says he’ll give Brown a title shot if Brown can impress him tonight. Jarrett tells him to play his cards right. Brown says he’s got a full hand, and he’s going all in. He gives Abyss the same deal. Nice work by Brown on the microphone. Jarrett held up his end of the deal. Abyss . . . tried.

[Commercial Break]

(4) Jeff Jarrett, Monty Brown, & Abyss (w/ James Mitchell) defeat A.J. Styles, Jeff Hardy, & Lance Hoyt at 13:22. Monty Brown makes his way down to the ring first. They show some football footage of Brown. Abyss then stalks down to the ring with Mitchell at his side. Jeff Jarrett makes his way down to the ring, guitar in hand. Jeff Hardy is the first face to come down to the ring. He’s glowing and covered in paint, just like we like it. Lance Hoyt comes down to the ring dressed all in white. Lance looks good except for the skully. Get rid of that thing. AJ Styles is the last face who strolls down to the ring. One thing this entrance was missing was distinct, recognizable, and memorable music for each wrestler. The crowd noise, along with Tenay and West are a little too loud, and the entrance music is not as audible as it should be. People can really connect with a wrestler through his music, and his entrance on whole. TNA should figure out a way to take advantage of that in their environment.

Abyss and Hoyt kick off the match. They work the ropes for a minute, when Hoyt hits a shoulder tackle. Jeff Hardy is tagged in, but he gets the business end of a clothesline for his trouble. Abyss tags in Brown. Brown viciously attacks Hardy with a stomp and a choke. Hardy recovers with some punches and a clothesline. However, Brown regains the advantage with an overhead butterfly suplex. Brown tags in Hardy and hits a nice dropkick. Right after the dropkick, he taunts Styles with his own pose! Abyss is tagged in, and he continues to work over Hardy. Abyss misses a leg drop, allowing Hardy to tag in Styles. Styles works the ropes. Abyss holds on to the ropes just as Styles goes for a dropkick. However, Styles during the dropkick into a full flip and lands on his feet. As Abyss charges him, Styles immediately rises up and hits a dropkick. Amazing! He then hits the Pele kick on Jarrett, when he tries to run in. Styles clears the ring. Each face then takes a suicide dive on a heel (Styles on Jarrett, Hardy on Brown, and Hoyt on Abyss).

[Commercial Break]

When we return, Styles and Jarrett are at ringside, pummeling each other. Styles tosses Jarrett in the ring, and mounts him in a corner, getting off 10 head punches. He then jumps right off the turnbuckle and hits a swinging DDT on Abyss, who crept up behind him. Styles is then launched by Abyss in leapfrog fashion, but it leads to Styles punching Brown in the face in his corner. Styles then goes for the Styles Clash, but is hit from behind by Jarrett. The interference leads to a big boot by Abyss and a clothesline from Jarrett. Jarrett works over Styles, and then tags in Brown. Brown whips Styles repeatedly into turnbuckles and then hits a running high knee. Brown then works Styles over with some gut punches. He tags in Abyss. Abyss continues to dominate Styles with a massive corner splash. Jarrett tags in and smacks Styles a little. Styles recovers and whips Jarrett. Both men hit a crossbody splash on each other, leading to a standing count by the ref. Jarrett tags in both Brown and Abyss. They go for a double clothesline, but Styles ducks under and springboard atop the two wrestlers. He propels them backwards enough to tag in Hoyt and Hardy. All hell breaks loose as all the wrestlers work each other over. Abyss hits a Black Hole Slam on Hoyt and gets his pin attempt broken up by Hardy. Hardy hits a Twist of Fate and Senton bomb on Abyss, but his pin attempt is broken up by Brown. Brown hits a couple of back breakers and fall away slam. However, when Brown turns around, he eats a big boot. Lance Hoyt has his pin attempt broken up by Jarrett. Abyss pulls Hoyt out of the ring. Styles leaps in off the apron, but is caught by Jarrett. Jarrett rolls through the splash, and grabs the leg. He signals for a figure four, but Styles hits an enziguiri. Styles hits the Osaka Street cutter. Styles then climbs the top rope, but Christopher Daniels grabs his foot just as Styles is about to jump. This leads to Jarrett grabbing Styles, and Brown hitting The Pounce for the pin.

After the match, Hoyt goes after Brown. Christopher Daniels attacks AJ Styles, and chokes him out. Sabu then runs in and takes down Abyss. Rhyno runs in and attack Hardy. Back in the ring, Jarrett taunts Styles. Both Daniels and Jarrett freeze up when Nash heads down the ramp and into the ring. The broadcast ends before we can see of what they’re so afraid.

The Breakdown

Psychology: The third straight match in a row ends with interference! In this case, the cheating was subtle enough that it didn’t automatically doom Styles. The match itself was booked with good back and forth segments, a couple of short face isolations, and really did a great job of featuring and pushing Styles as probably the best wrestler in the whole company. The finish of the match was fun, if a little hackneyed, with each wrestler setting up or getting off his finisher only to be foiled. There were good spots throughout.

Action: This match featured some excellent action. Jeff Hardy and Lance Hoyt contributed the least to the match, but even they had their moments. Featuring AJ Styles was a good move, as all the good moments in this match included him. With few exceptions, the action was crisp and impressive. The wrestlers really used the entire ring and kept everything moving.

Entertainment: This main event basically saved the show. It featured some sound and varied psychological elements, and crisp, exciting action. This is the kind of match that TNA should feature during their two hour show, sans the interference.

Impact Scale Rating: 7.5/10 – This match featured good psychology, great action, and had some good overall entertainment value.

Overall Breakdown

Psychology: As much as I praised TNA last week, I must deride them this week. Interference should be a last resort to gather heat for wrestlers who otherwise can’t. AMW certainly didn’t need the amount of cheating they received to come off as heels, especially given the mortuary skit the previous week. Ron Killings had his fate telegraphed when 5 wrestlers crashed his party. TNA did well to promote PPV matches without giving away anything. AJ Styles and Monty Brown are clearly the future of this company.

Action: There was a lot of good action on the show today. I still think TNA would be better off with three matches per show. It’s a shame that Killings and Roode, who did well in their own right, got twice as much time as Samoa Joe. From an action standpoint, you’ll get more out of 5 minutes of Joe versus Anybody, than you will from 10 minutes Killings and Roode. The main event featured a lot of good spots.

Entertainment: This show about as entertaining as the previous editions of Impact. However, the rampant interference left a bad taste in my mouth. TNA has found a good formula, in terms of their content ratio, and as long as they stick to it, they should produce better than average television. It’s worth a Monday night replay for a taste of Samoa Joe and for the main event, but the middle portion of the show was lacking cohesion and featured the kind of wrestling I’ve seen year on end and of which am severely tired.

Impact Scale Rating: 5.0/10 – Half of the wrestling on this show was very good. The other half was literally destroyed by poor booking decisions. Regardless, TNA accentuated their PPV feuds without giving away any of the scheduled matches, and continued to promote themselves well through video packages. Monty Brown’s stock continues to rise.

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 and make eventful his otherwise boring existence.

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