SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following is James Caldwell’s TNA Impact report from ten years ago this week featuring Kurt Angle, A.J. Styles, Jay Lethal, and many others.
TNA Impact on Spike TV
October 19, 2006
Taped October 9 in Orlando, Florida
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
– We start with a recap of Kurt Angle’s interview last week. They showed Samoa Joe’s promo at the beginning of the show followed by clips of the not-quite-a-lights-out match between Joe and Christian. Nice intro this week. Well, outside of showing Raven, Runt, and Abyss horsing around with Joe.
– Mike Tenay was center ring with important documents. What’s the interest rate on the note? Oh wait, that’s the day job. Tenay said if Joe doesn’t hand over the title belt on the show, he would be removed from the roster immediately. The fans booed. We have ourselves a show this week.
– Don West introduced the show. The aforementioned men who enjoy horsing around spilled to ringside brawling near the announce table. Raven landed some trashcan lid shots on Runt. They all looked blown up. This was comedy hour. Raven slammed a steel chair to Abyss’s head. Raven then crotched Runt across the guardrail. In the ring, Raven sent Abyss into a steel chair with a drop toe hold. He landed left hand blows, but Abyss dropped him with the Black Hole Slam. Tenay said Joe hasn’t arrived at the building yet. The lights then went out and Jake Roberts walked out. Tenay exploded. Jake walked to the ring with a black bag over his shoulder. Roberts looked blown up after walking down the ramp. Abyss was shocked as James Mitchell looked on with fear. Roberts then opened his bag and pulled out a snake. Abyss stumbled backwards and spilled out of the ring. Abyss’s eyes bulged out of his head. Runt grabbed the bag and told Roberts to get the snake in the bag and leave the ring. Roberts grabbed Runt and gave him a DDT. Tenay wanted an explanation. Roberts took the mic. He said TNA asked him to referee the Monster’s Ball match at the PPV. He said he would not referee, but he would be the guide to (random crowd applause). What the? I know they had to do a serious editing job with this, so I guess they did the best with what they had. Still, a rough segment.
– Borash was outside. A car pulled up near the garage entrance. Borash thought it was Joe, but he stopped when the door opened. “Oh my god,” he said. Kurt Angle walked out and he was met by silence. Couldn’t they have piped in some crowd noise? Angle smiled and said that he said it was real. Damn real.
– TNA gets star struck at Bound for Glory, says Austin Aries.
– Tenay said it’s already been an eventful show this week. Oh my, they just reinforced an angle, recapping Angle walking out of the car in the previous segment.
– Christian Cage walked out to the ring with two chairs. Tenay said Borash is trying to chase down Angle for an interview. Christian teased throwing his shirt into the crowd, but he tossed it ringside. Norman Smiley walked out to some 1970’s porn music and dressed in a football outfit, complete with helmet, pads, and practice jersey. Possibly the goofiest outfit ever.
1 — CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. NORMAN SMILEY
Tenay said Christian left an open contract in his locker for an Orlando Street Fight. Apparently, Smiley thought it was an Orlando Predators Fight. Smiley went for the Big Wiggle early on, but Christian countered with the Unprettier. Christian then slammed a chair on top of another chair next to Smiley’s head for the win.
WINNER: Christian in 2:00.
– After the match, Christian pulled out a straight jacket from under the ring. He ripped off Smiley’s football outfit and tried to put him in the jacket, but Shark Boy ran to the ring to make the save. Christian cut him off then slammed Sharkie in the head with Smiley’s helmet. The bell rang continuously, but no one wanted to save these two men. Christian placed Sharkie in the straight jacket, but then Rhino ran to the ring to make the save. Christian bailed. He stood on top of the ramp with eyes bugging out of his head. Rhino paced the ring then stared down Christian. West screamed as he ran out of oxygen. Tenay hyped their BFG match.
– Borash was still outside the building waiting for Joe. A random man walked up to Borash. It was Eric Young. Borash asked Young about his announcement. Young didn’t want to talk about, but Borash said Young has a match with Zbyszko where if Young wins, he’s back in the company and Zbyszko is done. Young then said he already saw Joe in the building. Borash wanted the scoop. Young said Joe’s a man of his word and there’s not another man who can take the belt from his hands. Borash was convinced by a man wearing a goofy black hat and jacket too long for his body. Borash said it’s going to be interesting with Angle and Joe in the building. Nice job of building toward anticipation for the inevitable confrontation with constant reminders early in the show.
[Commercial Break. Impact replay at 6 p.m. and BFG special midnight on Saturday night.]
– Borash was with Dutt and Lethal backstage. They were wearing shower caps on their head. They were very giddy about Angle being here. Lethal said they’re training for Senshi by talking in deep voices and playing Mortal Kombat. Jerry Lynn walked in and told them to stop goofing around and get ready for their match. Senshi ran into the locker room and slammed both men into the lockers. Senshi fought Lethal up the entrance ramp to the ring.
2 — SENSHI (a/k/a Low Ki) vs. JAY LETHAL — Non-title match
Senshi rolled Lethal into the ring. West said there’s no time to goof around when TNA is moving to (earlier) prime time in a month. He said it has cost Lethal and Co. when they’ve brought out the Jackass stunts. Senshi missed a top rope splash but then landed a body kick. Senshi scored with a Mickinoku Driver for the decisive win. Chris Sabin hit the ring after the match. Senshi kicked Sabin in the chest and Sabin flew to the corner turnbuckles. Senshi then landed a double boot stomp to the chest. Senshi screamed down at both babyfaces.
WINNER: Senshi in 2:00. They needed Senshi to be strong going into the PPV, but they have done nothing to make Sabin look like a credible threat the last four weeks on TV and they’re burying the babyfaces in the X Division.
– Time for the Kevin Nash press conference. Shelley and Nash were at some bar/pool hall. Nash said what’s important isn’t Angle, but the “Kevin Nash Open Invitational X Division Gauntlet Battle Royale… at Bound for Glory.” They had a poster with the match name. Nash said Shelley’s going to be in the match, and an old partner of his is going to be in the match. He said he told Shelley that Hall’s going to be there. Shelley was upset he wasn’t given the scoop ahead of time. “No, <i>Monty</i> Hall might be there,” Nash said. “Oh, you got me!” Shelley said in between laughs. Nash said he’s in negotiations with Bob Newhart, Cecil Fielder, Tom Zenk, Erik Watts, Carol Burnett, and all the remaining alive members of the band, Abba. He said they have one entrant signed, Alex Shelley. Nash said he’s in negotiations with Hogan if they can get him away from shooting Crocodile Dundee 3. This show needs more Nash and Shelley.
– Tenay and B.G. James had a pre-tape sit down interview. Tenay asked B.G. about his comments towards Kip last week. B.G. said Tenay doesn’t know a damn thing about Jeff Jarrett. He said there’s no heat between himself and Kip, but everyone needs to know about Jarrett, the man. He said everyone knows about Jarrett’s questionable business calls, but Jarrett, the person, has done a lot to help him in his life and his career. B.G. said people shouldn’t bury Jarrett, the wrestler, but realize that Jarrett, the man, is a damn good man.
– Tenay said he was shocked by what B.G. said. West said he was surprised that B.G. stood up for Jarrett and took his side. All right, this is intriguing, just to see if they can actually turn Jarrett babyface by playing the sympathy card. I can see fans pulling out the fake tears and Kleenex when they try to push this on the live audience, but it might work in the end.
3 — AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (CHRIS HARRIS & JAMES STORM w/Gail Kim) & LAX (HOMICIDE & HERNANDEZ w/Konnan) vs. KIP JAMES & B.G. JAMES & CHRISTOPHER Daniels & A.J. STYLES
They showed footage from last week when Daniels was separated from Styles as LAX beat down Daniels behind a cage wall. The action broke down before the bell rang. It spilled to the outside. The new Spanish announcer threw water on Daniels. Daniels responded by cuffing him to the cage wall. They cut to a break as Kip worked on Hernandez in the ring.
Hernandez dropped Daniels with a shoulder breaker out of the break. Styles took a hot tag and dropped Homicide with the back flip DDT. He then dropped Harris with a Pele kick, and Storm landed a superkick on Styles to block the Clash. The action broke down with the heels arguing amongst themselves. Styles then rolled up Homicide for the win. Tenay announced AMW vs. Team 3D vs. James Gang vs. Naturals at the PPV. Afterwards, AMW argued with LAX. Konnan piefaced Gail Kim and Gail came back with a slap to the face. Konnan smiled and the fans chanted, “You got bitch slapped.” He told LAX to calm down, then he turned them loose on AMW. A fight broke out with Konnan slapping both members of AMW with the slapjack. Gail tried to jump on Homicide’s back, but Hernandez pulled her down and gave her the Border Toss. Sick bump with Gail in the air for a good amount of time. LAX then “buried” Gail and AMW with various flags. Homicide and Hernandez mugged for the camera.
WINNERS: Styles & Daniels & James Gang in 7:00. They got over LAX as a strong heel team, but they really shifted the focus far, far away from the issue between LAX and Styles/Daniels.
– They aired another Sting video package, quoting the Bible and putting Sting in the same sentence as Jesus in the form of the Alpha and the Omega. A rainbow of colors from Sting this week.
– Tenay was in the ring. Earl Hebner was in charge of the Documents. Samoa Joe walked to the ring dressed in a suit. I like the upgrade. Joe had the NWA Title belt in his hands. Tenay needed an answer from Joe. Joe took out the Documents from the manila envelope as the fans chanted, “Keep the title.” Joe ripped up the folder containing the Documents. “There’s your answer,” Joe said. The fans booed him. The lights went out and a Kurt Angle video packaged aired. Angle emerged from through the stage. He held an American flag over his shoulders as he walked to the ring. Pretty surreal. Angle entered the ring and screamed. Joe laid down the belt in front of Angle. Joe and Angle stared each other down as Angle took off his jacket. Angle gave a head butt then hit the Olympic Slam on the belt. Angle picked up the belt as Joe came to his feet. Joe walked up behind Angle as blood trickled down his face. He had one of this “I’m going to kill you and eat your guts with a fork” looks on his face.
Joe spun Angle around and gave him a sick kick to the side of the head. I have to pause here and say the crowd heat was off the charts. Joe picked up Angle and tried to apply a rear naked choke, but Angle turned it into a mat hold before security ran to the ring. Jarrett slid in the back door and grabbed the NWA Title belt as Joe and Angle fought. Jarrett ran up the entrance ramp with the title and then he paused. It was almost as if he was reflecting on his career and wondering if his four-year quest to keep the title belt was worth it anymore. He then looked back to the ring and ran through the tunnel. Meanwhile, back in the ring, a cast of thousands separated Joe from Angle. They tried to fight each other again, with Joe having a sick look on his face as the blood continued to trickle down his face. The crowd heat was sick. On paper, the idea of Angle and Joe touching before their first PPV match created a visual of TNA striking a match and burning money with a smile. As it played out, this was beyond the amazing Finlay-Lashley pullapart brawl from Smackdown earlier this year and it got you excited about this promotion, this future match, this PPV, and what Angle can contribute to TNA.
– They closed with a video package recapping the matches for Bound for Glory with Fozzy taking care of the music. They showed Chris Jericho with his band standing on top of a building. My goodness, what a piece of video work. If that doesn’t get you excited to see a PPV, nothing will.