TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S IMPACT REPORT 12/17: Joe-Lethal, Shelley-Bentley, Jarrett wages war
Dec 18, 2005 - 7:48:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
TNA Impact Review
December 17, 2005
Taped December 13, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on Fox Sports Net
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
- The show began with video clips from Turning Point from barbed wire to Sting and all points in between.
- Mike Tenay said the face of TNA in 2006 changed at Turning Point. Because of Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles? No, Sting. Tenay said TNA hit a home run at Turning Point. Before Tenay could talk about Sting changing the face of TNA, Jeff Jarrett's music predictably hit. Jarrett came to the announce table seeking details about Sting. Jarrett said management has a war. Before Jarrett could continue, Samoa Joe's music hit. Joe and Jarrett had a stare down on the entrance ramp. Joe calmly walked past Jarrett on the way to the ring. People would pay to watch that match just to see Joe deliver a stiff series of kicks to Jarrett.
(1) Samoa Joe beat Jay Lethal at 3:34 in a non-title match. The heated rivals in Ring of Honor paced around the ring before locking up. Joe ran over Lethal with a shoulder block. Lethal came back with an arm drag. Joe answered with an arm drag. A frenetic exchange resulted in a stand off to a strong applause. Joe kicked Lethal in the chest repeatedly. Joe walked into a drop kick and running leg kick. Lethal made a quick cover for a nearfall. Lethal delivered a kick to the back of the head. Joe countered a whip to the ropes and delivered a boot to the face. Joe hit a Sentaun splash on Lethal then stared him down. The fans chanted, "Joe, Joe, Joe." Joe slapped Lethal across the chest then charged the corner with a running knee. Joe washed Lethal's face then charged the corner with a kick to the face. Joe caught Lethal off the ropes and snapped off a quick powerslam. Joe took Lethal to the corner and hit the Muscle Buster before locking in the Kokina Clutch, which caused Lethal to tap out. Joe took the X Division Title and smirked at the hard camera.
Match View: Impressive debut match for Lethal. For many fans, this was the first time seeing Lethal in the ring. He had enough offense to show just a small percentage of what he can do the ring. However, this was about Joe putting the crowd into a frenzy to open the show. The tease of Jarrett-Joe prior to the match planted a seed down the road.
- Shane Douglas was backstage with Konnan and Ron Killings. Douglas asked Konnan about ambushing Kip James at Turning Point. Konnan said he didn't trust Kip the minute he walked into TNA. Konnan said he would attack Kip over again if given the chance. Konnan said Kip isn't family and B.G. James can't decide who runs with the Kru as family. Killings said Konnan should have talked about it before taking action. Killings said he's tired of being caught in the middle and he's done with it. Konnan pleaded with Killings to listen to reason.
(2) Alex Shelley beat Matt Bentley (w/Traci) at 3:50. Shelley brought his handheld camera to the ringside area and set it up for video taping purposes. Bentley and Shelley locked up with Bentley taking the early offensive advantage. Tenay hyped the Turning Point replay. Don West said there weren't enough body bags to take people out of the Impact Zone on Sunday. Tenay said Jeff Jarrett is on a rampage backstage. Shelley wrapped his legs around Bentley's head and slammed him into the mat with a head scissors stomp. Shelley scored with a DDT then made a cover for a nearfall. At 2:45, the camera picked up on Shannon Moore standing on the top of the entrance set in his "Prince of Punk" gear. Shelley was momentarily distracted allowing Bentley to take the offensive advantage. Shelley delivered a thumb to the eye then quickly rolled up Bentley with a crucifix pin for the win.
Match View: A match with plenty of promise, but severely hurt by distractions. They couldn't build momentum and nothing really developed over the course of four minutes. However, Shelley used the time to get himself over and to continue building his character.
- Backstage, Jeff Jarrett and Shane Douglas walked into the America's Most Wanted locker room. Jarrett said they need to find Monty Brown and see what side he's on. Gail Kim stoically walked into the locker room and confronted Jarrett. Jarrett brought up Jackie Gayda and Gail snapped on Jarrett. Jarrett said it's not what it looks like. Jarrett went for a hug, but Gail shoved him away. Jarrett said they would talk about things after they find Brown. Boy, what an innocuous storyline.
- Shane Douglas quickly found Abyss and James Mitchell backstage. The camera zoomed in on a lengthy and bloody cut across Abyss's arm. Douglas talked about Abyss staring down his fear of barbed wire. Douglas asked Mitchell if Abyss deserves a title shot. Mitchell said no one has given so much to one company and received nothing in return. Mitchell said Abyss has conquered each obstacle and he's ready to win the NWA World Title. Mitchell equated Abyss to a weapon of mass destruction. Abyss screamed and grunted. From the side, Scott D'Amore approached Mitchell. D'Amore said he had a business proposal. Mitchell left with D'Amore.
(3) Rhino beat Joe Doering at 1:48. Rhino kicked Doering in the gut then pounded on him with punches to the head. Rhino stomped on Doering then kicked him in the corner. West talked about Doering making it through TNA's training program one year ago. Doering and Rhino had a miscommunication on a whip to the ropes. Rhino hit a belly-to-belly suplex then connected with the Gore for the win.
Afterward, Rhino took the mic. Rhino said he kicked Doering's ass. The fans chanted, "You got screwed." Rhino gave Jarrett credit because it took Jarrett and all of his buddies to beat him at Turning Point. Rhino said he beat Jarrett across the arena and made him bleed. Rhino said he would go through each and every member of Team Canada before getting his hands on Coach Scott D'Amore. Rhino said he would cut D'Amore in half with a gore.
Match View: Standard squash match. The promo was more impressive than the match, which isn't saying a lot. Good intensity from Rhino to set the stage for his anti-Canada campaign.
- The camera continued to follow Jarrett around backstage. Douglas continued to tag along as the interviewer. Jarrett approached Diamonds in the Rough and asked if they were with him. Simon Diamond said he was offended Jarrett questioned their allegiance. Jarrett gave a brief pep talk to Elix Skipper and David Young. Gail Kim snuck up behind Jarrett and asked if they could talk. Jarrett said it would have to wait. Gail said she wanted to talk now. Jarrett brushed her aside again. Boy, what an innocuous storyline.
- Shane Douglas caught up with Larry Zbyszko backstage to talk about Raven. Zbyszko said he lost control of himself at Turning Point. Zbyszko said he's going to choose an opponent and situation for Raven at Final Resolution. Zbyszko said that if Raven wins the match, he will receive an NWA Title match. If Raven loses, he's out of TNA for good.
(4) Team 3D (Brother Devon & Brother Ray) beat Diamonds in the Rough (Elix Skipper & David Young w/Simon Diamond) at 11:04. 3D attacked DITR before the opening bell. 3D dropped Skipper with a sidewalk slam/leg drop combination. Ray snapped off a neck breaker and the fans quickly asked for tables. Skipper walked into a clothesline then Ray made a cover for a nearfall. Young entered the ring ill-advised and took a double pancake. Devon press slammed Skipper over the top rope to the floor. Diamond and Young checked on Skipper before break.
Ray worked on Skipper before Diamond tripped Ray from the outside. Skipper grazed Ray's face with a kick to the face allowing DITR to take control. Ray no-sold a series of punches as Dave Hebner took notes on the match from the entrance ramp. The fans chanted "You screwed Bret" at Dave. Well, considering Dave drove the getaway car, he could be considered an accomplice. Ray no-sold kicks to the gut and told Skipper to kick harder. Ray came back with a kick to the gut and went for a tag, but Skipper cut him off. Skipper and Young exchanged tags to work on Ray. Ray and Skipper decided not to sell forearm blows. Ray connected with a seated Bubba bomb before staggering to his corner to tag in Devon. The heels fed Devon for power offense. All four men brawled in the ring. Skipper was tossed to the outside. 3D hit a hangman's neck breaker on Young. Diamond got on the apron and distracted the referee. Skipper tried to attack Devon, but Devon ducked and Skipper knocked Diamond off the apron. Ray placed Skipper on his shoulders and Devon hit a top rope clothesline. Young entered the fray and took a 3D. Devon made the cover for the win.
Match View: Basic tag match. Team 3D is still living off name recognition and they're showing no signs of advancing their in-ring style. At least no one was injured.
- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with Jeff Jarrett, Team Canada, Gail Kim, and Scott D'Amore. Jarrett asked D'Amore about Monty Brown. D'Amore said he couldn't convince Brown of anything. Jarrett asked Gail what was wrong. Gail said nothing was wrong. Jarrett ordered everyone to the ring and Gail indignantly followed behind. Boy, what an innocuous storyline.
- Mike Tenay narrated clips from the Video Game Awards in Hollywood where Jeff Jarrett and A.J. Styles made appearances. As if this was a throwback to the Mean Gene 900 number days, Tenay said, "You'll never guess who Jarrett bumped into backstage." They showed a clip of The Rock walking out on stage. He's lost a significant amount of body mass.
- Jeff Jarrett and his entourage of AMW, Abyss, Mitchell, Canada, D'Amore, and Gail Kim stood in the ring. Jarrett told the fans to sit down and shut up. No one heeded his words. Jarrett was immediately greeted by chants of "boring, boring." Jarrett rambled on about new wrestlers joining the company. Jarrett said it was time for a war against TNA management. D'Amore said he's on Jarrett's side. AMW pointed to their tag titles to show they are with Jarrett. Jarrett addressed Abyss. Jarrett said Abyss has nothing to show for his dedication to TNA. Abyss nodded affirmatively that he's with Jarrett. Jarrett called out Monty Brown. Brown stood at the top of the entrance way and walked to the ring. Brown sniffed around the ring for clues. Brown said he needs to run wild and not be limited. Brown said he wants to be let loose and management hasn't allowed him to. Brown said Jarrett's a liar but Jarrett makes sense. Brown offered his services to Jarrett. Tenay screamed that he thought Brown was his own man. Jarrett extended a hand then Brown shook his hand. The lights flickered on and off as the Sting logo flashed on the screen. From the entrance ramp, Rhino, Team 3D, and Christian Cage stared down Jarrett and the gang. Jarrett smiled at the sight of a war on hand. So much for Gail Kim getting some answers from Jarrett.
Closing Thought: Let's pretend for a second that a casual fan - the same casual fan TNA believes left wrestling in 2000, but is still out there and will be drawn to the product after watching Attitude era wrestlers take up an abundance of television time in 2005 - tunes into the program and hears Jeff Jarrett talk about TNA management stacking the deck. Let's assume the fan doesn't know anything about backstage politics and the fan's only exposure to TNA is what happens on television. That fan is probably asking who or what TNA management is. Larry Zbyszko is the only authority figure on television, but he hasn't been included in Jarrett's storyline. As of right now, management is an inanimate object that has not been identified on camera. In Jarrett's self-minded attempt at an ironic storyline by presenting himself as opposite management to take aim at Internet fans, the booking committee has lost sight of explaining this concept of "management" in terms of what's presented on camera.
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