TV REPORTS 12/3 TNA Impact Review: Main Event Falls Way Short of Hype
Dec 4, 2005 - 1:03:00 PM
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Paul Madavi, PW Torch TNA Specialist
Banner design by Jason Funk, Torch VIP
Aired December 3rd, 2005
Taped 11/29/05 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: Main Event Falls Way Short of Hype
The show begins with Don West awaiting the arrival of Raven in the Impact Zone parking lot. He bumps into Samoa Joe, and asks him why he’s here. Joe says nothing, but raises his first to show “AJ” written on his taped up hand. Don West then runs in Bobby “the Brain” Heenan. Apparently the TNA Impact Zone parking lot is the crossroads for wrestling stars young and old. Don West asks what Bobby is doing here. Heenan says it’s TNA Impact, the Sox are being celebrated, and he’s a Chicago guy. Why wouldn’t he be here? West is in awe of Heenan.
(1) Chris Sabin defeats Petey Williams, Austin Aries, and Alex Shelley at 6:03. Williams make his entrance first, followed by the popular Aries. Shelley comes out next, with a video camera on a tripod. The gimmick is that Shelley is a student of the game, and he’s taping his match ups to study the film. Sabin comes out last, to numerous hails.
The bell rings at 4:18. Shelley and Williams as heels attack first. Sabin and Aries manage to fend off the heels with some simultaneous offense. They both hit atomic drops and follow up by tossing Shelley and Williams out of the ring. Sabin and Aries then trade a few forearms, before diving out on the heels. The match then went into one on one match ups as Aries dominated Williams first, and then Shelley. However, Shelley was able to recover on Aries with a brainbuster. Williams and Shelley wear out Aries, but he still manages to tag in Sabin when Shelley plays around with Aries, rather than finishing him off. Sabin surges to finish the match, hitting a Cradle Shock on Petey Williams for the pin.
After the match, Sabin celebrates on the second rope, and The Cradle Shock gets the Morphoplex Move of the Night award.
Psychology: This match had some very nice psychological build up. Austin Aries did a great job of wearing Williams and Shelley out, and they in turn got their licks in on Aries. This made it a lot easier for Sabin to come in and dominate the end of the match with very quick, very effective offensive outbursts. There were lots of spots in the match, but nothing so over-the-top that it ruined the build-up of the finish.
Action: This match had some really high quality action. The wrestlers mixed in some interesting and unique spots, and were really in a good groove with each other. One example was Austin Aries attempting a springboard and Williams grabbing his feet just as Aries hit the ropes. The flow of the action was continuous, smooth, and pretty fast paced.
Entertainment: There was something about this match that made it feel longer, more developed than the average six minute match. Austin Aries did a great job of carrying the middle portion of the match. If one of TNA’s problems wasn’t that they have too many guys on the roster as it is, Aries would be a perfect pick up for a permanent spot and a big X Division push. He’s stunning at times. Overall, everyone put in six good minutes of work, even when on the apron and not tagged into the match.
Impact Scale Rating: 6.5/10 – This was a very fun six minute match, and a great way to open the show.
Backstage, AMW is drinking beers and watching video of the funeral skit from over a month ago. They cut a little bit of average promo on Team 3D.
(2) Abyss (w/ James Mitchell) defeats Kenny King at 1:39. Abyss makes his way down to the ring, and spits on the camera as usual. Terry Taylor awaits his doom in the ring.
The bell rings at 17:04. King tries some offense, but gets no sold. Abyss hits a massive back drop. King fends off the corner splash with his boots, but eats boot himself when he charges Abyss. Abyss then hits the corner splash. Abyss hits Shock Treatment to soften up King some more, before hitting the Black Hole Slam for the finish.
Mitchell and Abyss pose in the ring after the victory. Mitchell grabs a microphone as we cut to commercial.
Psychology: This was a standard Abyss squash. It’s good that they’ve given him a win heading into the PPV next week, because he’s dropped two in a row.
Action: Again, this was a typical squash match showing off Abyss’s three main moves.
Entertainment: As entertaining as your average squash match.
Impact Scale Rating: 4.0/10 – Effective, but nothing special.
When we get back, James Mitchell address Sabu, calling him a sub-literature monkey. The lights promptly go out. Sabu appears in the ring with a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire. Abyss kicks the chair out of Sabu’s hand and then punches him in the face. Abyss tossed Sabu out of the ring, and tosses him into the steel steps a couple of times. He then whips Sabu over the rails and into the crowd. They brawl through the crowd a little bit, and then into the backstage area of the Impact Zone. The cameras follow them. Mitchell convinces a reluctant Sabu to use the chair wrapped in barbed wire. Abyss cracks Sabu on the head with the chair. Abyss turns over a pile of steel barricades on the floor, and chokeslams Sabu onto the pile. It’s a good move putting Abyss over Sabu like this, and having him use the barbed wire of which he has shown so much fear in the past two weeks.
A video package airs showing some of the personal trials and tribulations that Rhino had to endure during his WWE run. These packages are a good idea, trying to get the audience to connect with Rhino. However, Rhino himself may lack the necessary charisma to make the most of the spots. Tenay and West chat briefly regarding the video package, and then some merchandise, when Jarrett interrupts. He calls Tenay to the ring. Jarrett is once again incensed. He says this is Impact, not Dr. Phil. Jarrett accuses TNA management of favoritism. Tenay gives Jarrett the evil eye the entire time. The crowd chants “we want wrestling,” as Jarrett yammers on and on. He responds that they’ll get it when he gives it to them. The crowd then chants “boring” as Jarrett continues to talk about his problems (Jackie Gayda and Gail Kim). The crowd continues to boo, and chant at Jarrett as he finally focuses his promo on Rhino.
Christian Cage then makes an appearance, before Jarrett gets a chance to leave the ring. The crowd chants his name. Christian begins his promo with “Listen up, Slapnuts.” He says he was in the back, listening to Jarrett put the crowd to sleep, minding his own business, when he heard Jarrett mention his name. Christian pays more attention to Jarrett than I do! Christian says he’s not the flavor of the month, he’s Captain Charisma! Christian says that like everyone in the arena, he’s bored of Jarrett. Christian asks what Jarrett has every contributed to TNA besides broken guitars and bad haircuts. The crowd chants, “You got served” at Jarrett. Christian rips on Brown, and says after he takes him out, he’s coming for the winner of Jeff Jarrett versus Rhino, and the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Why? Because that’s how he rolls, of course!
Jarrett decides that Christian can’t get the last word. So he calls Christian down to the ring. Christian first makes like he doesn’t want to come down, but then he runs down to the ring. The two wrestlers brawl for a while. Christian almost gets the Unprettier off, but Jarrett escapes. Afterwards, Bobby Roode runs into the ring and hits him with a clothesline from behind. Roode beats up Christian. When Jarrett gets on the apron, Jackie Gayda runs down and pulls him off. She slaps him across the face again. AMW then come down to Jeff’s aid. Security separates Roode and Christian. Christian breaks free and pummels on Roode as we go to commercial break. Christian’s microphone skills shine through once again in a pretty good segment, than ran a little bit too long.
Backstage, “Bullet” Bob Armstrong and 4 Live Krew are gathered. Mercer puts over the members of 4 Live Krew individually. Mercer does a nice job of putting over the Krew. He finishes by saying that “united we stand, divided we fall.” BG finishes the segment of by saying that they’re going to show Team Canada the difference between a team and a family.
(3) Simon Diamond, David Young, and Elix Skipper defeat Raven at 5:27. This is a House of Fun match. When Raven gets down to the ring, Zybysko awaits him. Larry says he’s giving Raven one last chance to sign the release. Raven declines in his typical fashion. Zybysko vacates the ring. Raven’s opponent will be revealed after the break.
The Diamonds in the Rough come down to the ring after the commercial break. Zybysko first introduces Simon, and then after a slight pause, the rest of the team.
The bell rings at 53:37. Raven manages to cover his butt during the beginning of the match with some clever wrestling. This ends when Skipper and Young drop Raven to the mat and drive him crotch first into the ringpost twice. Young uses a baseball bat on Raven’s crotch. Afterwards, they beat Raven with crutches. They then use the crutches to hold up Raven, and put a trash can in front of his face. Skipper goes to the top rope and hits a dropkick on the mess. Simon Diamond pins Raven, but pulls off at the two-count. They take a pizza cutter to Raven’s forehead, leading to blade job. Cassidy Riley comes in with a kendo stick and beats on the Diamonds for a while, before taking a garbage can from behind. Raven makes a quick comeback, but can’t maintain versus the odds. Zybysko gets on the apron and offers Raven the release form. Raven rejects it, and is hit with a garbage can when doing so. Raven is then tossed out of the ring through a table. The Diamonds in the Rough stack on top of Raven for the pin.
Psychology: This was a one sided beatdown of a match. Having Zybysko come out and give Raven an opportunity to sign the release and end the suffering was a nice touch, ala Braveheart. Otherwise, there was nothing of note.
Action: There was some brutal action in the match. If you like hardcore wrestling this was definitely a pretty decent display, as the Diamonds showed some creativity with the foreign objects.
Entertainment: It was a let down of a match, given that it had been hyped all week and was booked as the main event of the show.
Impact Scale Rating: 5.0/10 – The match served a purpose, but as far as being a good, exciting match, it didn’t do the trick.
Before the show ends, we cut to backstage where Samoa Joe is beating the ever living sh*t out A.J. Styles, ramming his knee into A.J.’s head repeatedly. Joe grabs A.J. by the face and says he doesn’t respect the code. It’s amazing how Joe can do more in 10 seconds and five words than Jeff Jarrett can do in 10 minutes. Well, maybe not amazing, but you get my point.
Psychology: Samoa Joe and AJ Styles once again did wonders with miniscule amounts of time. Their feud is easily the most attractive one, yet gets the least airtime. That’s a shame. Christian Cage did well to bolster what had become an intolerably boring Jeff Jarrett segment. The segment ran a little too long, with Bobby Roode and Jackie Gayde being shuffled into the mix. The segment should just have ended with Jarrett slithering out of the Impact Zone. Getting Abyss some of his heat back was a very good idea, and the timing was good as well. The main event fell way short of the hype. However, I must give TNA kudos for focusing again on character development.
Action: Aside from the opening match, which was excellent, there wasn’t too much action to get excited about. Still, the amount of action on the show was plenty to carry the audience through the hour. The main event could have been a little better.
Entertainment: Overall, the show was fairly entertaining. The highlights were definitely the X Division and Christian Cage. The show is worth a replay on Monday night if you didn’t catch it for those two elements. Once Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles are given the same kind of time 4 Live Krew are (because nobody’s getting Jarrett time), then TNA will really get rolling.
Impact Scale Rating: 5.5/10 – A strong opening match and great promo work by Christian Cage made this a slightly better than average hour of television.
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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