The following is my TNA Impact Wrestling report published on PWTorch.com 10 years ago this week including Sting, Kurt Angle, and Jay Lethal.
KELLER’S TNA IMPACT REPORT
NOVEMBER 30, 2006
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
-The show opened with clips of last week’s debut of Tyson Tomko.
-Konnan screamed at a blond female interviewer because whatever lame concept WWE can drive into the ground, TNA can copy. Konnan cut promos on Petey Williams and Kurt Angle, promising to teach them what thug life is all about. Homicide snuck in two sentences at the end including his tongue-roll.
-The TNA Impact opening aired. Mike Tenay then introduced the show, but he sounded drugged compared to usual. He wasn’t yelling at us for the first time in TNA history. It was nice.
-Out walked Christian and Tyson Tomko. As they walked out, Tenay plugged the Dec. 10 TNA PPV. Christian said he wanted to formally introduce Tomko, the only man in pro wrestling he truly trusts. I’ve heard people criticize hiring Tomko because he’s a WWE washout. That doesn’t matter any more than it matters if he has name value. What matters is whether he brings value to TNA today and tomorrow by adding to Christian’s act and performing on the mic and in the ring. Christian said Tomko and Abyss have a history; he called for Abyss to come out to get reacquainted.
Abyss and James Mitchell walked out. Christian called Abyss a “slobberin’ retard.” Sting’s music interrupted Abyss’s ring intro. It appeared Sting rappelled down from the rafters right above the broadcast table. It was actually a dummy in a Sting mask. Sting then came up behind Christian and Tomko from behind with a baseball bat. Sting held court in the ring and pointed at Abyss and Mitchell. He said he wanted to talk to them man to man, face to face tonight. He said he wanted it to be with Abyss, without Mitchell.
-They went back to B.G. James and Kip James. B.G. told Vince McMahon that all they’re doing is the same thing they did for Vince when they worked for him. “Remember CNN Center?” he said. “Me and Kip, all the wrestling fans around the world. We’ve got two words for you. Stop, please!” Then they laughed. They showed a clip of B.G. shouting into a megaphone outside the WWE Headquarters: “Come out with your pants up.” Okay, that’s pretty funny, actually.
-Christy Hemme plugged the LAX vs. Petey & Angle tag title match later.
-They showed a clip from during the commercial a break of LAX attacking James Storm, leaving him bloodied under a ladder. Tenay said that was their message to Angle and Petey.
1 — CHRIS SABIN vs. JAY LETHAL vs. SONJAY DUTT — X Division Contenders Match
Christopher Daniels joined Tenay and West at ringside. A red-faced Chris Harris walked up to the announcers table and said that LAX won’t have to find him, because he’s going to find them. Daniels talked about the strengths of all three contenders. Lots of crisp, fast-paced exchanges with all three. Lethal gave Dutt the full-nelson suplex, but Sabin kicked Lethal out of the ring and scored the pin on Dutt.
WINNER: Sabin in 2:00 to earn an X Title shot.
STAR RATING: 1/2* — Too short to amount to much. It gave a taste of X Division action, but matches that short make whoever loses look weak.
-After the match, Sabin got in Daniels’s face with some trash-talk. Daniels yanked off his headset and took some steps toward him. Jerry Lynn stepped between them.
-They cut to the back where lAX were beating up Chris Harris. They had him tied up by the neck and left hand to the stairs backstage.
-Christy Hemme plugged the next segment.
-They went to the next VKM segment. They pulled out a construction cone from their trunk. In a funny, unmentioned cameo, they actually had a living human being locked in their trunk. They shouted: “Paul Levesque, Michael Hickenbottom, Vince McMahon, come out with your pants up. Leave the fat, naked, oily guy in the building and surrender at once. I want the 20 bucks from four years ago you still owe me. Come out now and there will be no further consequences. Come out with your pants up.” To be continued.
-Jeremy Borash plugged the latest TNA stuff including the website, DVD releases, action figures, and the TNA Turning Point PPV.
-The went to Tenay and Don West at ringside. They said they’re not sure what’s going on with A.J. Styles. Tenay didn’t make any strange faces this time.
-In a sitdown interview Tenay conducted with Styles, he asked Styles about his on again, off again friendship with Daniels. Styles said like all friends, they’ll get past their issues. Styles objected to the term “mistrust” when it comes to Rhino. Styles said he thinks Rhino wants something from him. Tenay said Rhino wants to help him. Styles said nobody comes around unless they want something. Styles said Tenay has no clue about him. He explained that he grew up in a trailer park with a kerosene heater. Styles came across like he had a big chip on his shoulder. He said he doesn’t need anyone’s help now, he needed help when he was a kid, sick at home alone. Rhino walked up to them and said he just overheard him. He said he doesn’t want to see him go through what he’s been through. Rhino said he had the same upbringing without nice things. He told Styles that the difference between them is he trusts people. Styles said he doesn’t get why they end up at the same place at the same time always. He said next time, it will be trouble. He shoved Rhino and walked away. I like this. I like that Styles has a distinct personality, I like the emotion he’s showing, and I like that Rhino is now doing something other than yelling about Vince McMahon.
-They went to a clip with Kevin Nash telling all of the X Division wrestlers none of them tested positive for steroids. He told Alex Shelley that he has The Clap. Nash then gave Shelley and Austin Starr a brief pep talk. Shelley said he’d get Nash two Ws.
2 — ALEX SHELLEY & AUSTIN STARR vs. RON KILLINGS & LANCE HOYT
Killings dove over the top with a bodyblock onto Shelley and Starr. It was immediately deemed the Sonic Rivals Move of the Night in a sponsored replay. They showed Eric Young in the crowd briefly. Shelley rolled up Hoyt with a yank of his trunks for the three count. As Shelley celebrated, Starr actually shoved a replay on his camera of Shelley yanking on the tights. The ref then reversed the decision.
WINNERS: Hoyt & Killings in 1:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2* — Okay, that was dumb. Why did Starr to that? Maybe that will be answered later. Maybe not. But why would the ref reverse the decision rather than just re-start the match? That can’t be explained.
-Traci Brooks asked Young backstage if he accepted their challenge. She said if he doesn’t, he’s fired. Young said she wants him to be a bikini contest. She told blond interviewer lady that it’s the beginning of his weight loss voyage.
-A video aired on a new act coming, Seratonin. They wear colorful makeup, but otherwise it wasn’t really clear what they’re about. “Where others see fear, we see opportunity… We can turn you into something better, whether you want us to or not.” That’s just one example of their dialogue. It sounded like they were spoofing Ultimate Warrior diatribes.
-Hemme plugged the upcoming main event tag match.
-They went back to the VKM skit. They were sleeping outside the WWE Headquarters. Kip woke up breathing heavily, as if he had a nightmare. He said he had a nightmare that “Dumb to the Extreme was doing something to a fat guy.” B.G. James asked: “Was he naked? Was he putting oil all over himself?” Kip said: “You had the same nightmare I did.” B.G. said: “Those imbeciles actually shot that segment on their television show.” Kip said he wanted to abort the mission. B.G. told him no way, because they’re the last line of defense between that and good television. They plugged more clips were available at TNAwrestling.com
-Sting walked to the ring to his full intro. Then Abyss came out. Sting asked Abyss to sit in a chair in mid-ring. Abyss didn’t do what he asked. Sting said, “Every man his own will. What is yours?” He said he’s watched Abyss climb the ladder and scrape and scrap and crawl and fall through tacks and barbed wire and climb the ladder of success until he ended up World Champion. He said he doesn’t know what mystery lies behind him or about his past, but he is a bona fide champion and a great athlete. He said he let Jim Mitchell lead him around like a puppy dog. He asked him why. “Is it because you’re lookin’ for somethin’? Or is it because you’re looking for someone, someone to lead you out of the torment and pain you’re in 24/7.” Tenay asked, “Is Sting preaching to Abyss.” Tenay said he’s trying to reason with a monster. Abyss sat in the chair mid-ring and hung his head. Sting asked if he wants to be his own champion or his own man now. Sting said, “Is that what it is, Abyss? Or should I say, Chris?” Abyss raised his head. Mitchell interrupted with maniacal laughter. He told Sting he is wasting his time. “Like all men, my monster Abyss is an animal, just like you. Your spiritual pipe dreams don’t make you better.” He told Sting that when he let loose with his rage at Genesis, he proved that he’s no different than Abyss. He said if he wants to save souls, he ought to start with his own. Tenay said Mitchell got in his head at Genesis, and now he’s trying to do the same now. Sting told Abyss he makes his own choices and he has to live with the consequences.
After Sting left the ring, Tomko and Christian attacked Abyss from behind. Tenay said that proves that Christian brought Tomko to TNA to assure he regains the NWA World Hvt. Title. Sting slid into the ring, so Christian and Tomko fled. Abyss looked up and saw Sting standing above him. Sting offered his hand to Abyss. West said Abyss looked confused. Mitchell marched to the ring and waved off Sting, then slapped him. Mitchell led Abyss out of the ring. There’s some good stuff here. They’ve added depth to the Mitchell/Abyss relationship, which had been a bit of a cliche lately, or at least spinning its wheels. They’re also tapping into material Sting can work with in a believable fashion, which is trying to “save a soul.”
-They went backstage where LAX were beating on Petey Williams. Konnan said he had a question for Angle: “How are you going to do against LAX all by yourself?”
3 — KURT ANGLE & PETEY WILLIAMS vs. HERNANDEZ & HOMICIDE (w/Konnan)
Tenay said LAX are using the system they hate against those they criticize, such as hiring a lawyer to fight for their cause. Angle started the match alone. Samoa Joe walked out to replace Petey, playing into the storyline established last week that Angle said he could get a rematch against him as long as they watched each other’s backs. West said this move is a sign of respect by Joe toward Angle. Joe led the crowd in chanting for Angle as Angle fought for a hot-tag. Joe got the hot-tag and worked over LAX. The crowd chanted, “Joe, Joe, Joe.” He applied his rear naked choke to Homicide and Angle applied an anklelock on Hernandez. Jim Cornette came to ringside and called for the bell. Konnan and his lawyer yelled at Cornette. The ring announcer said that based on Samoa Joe not being contractually involved in the match, Cornette was ruling it a no contest. Joe and Angle shook hands afterward.
WINNERS: LAX in 3:00.
STAR RATING: * — Good action. Short match. Hey, a finish that could have been a total disaster of logic actually made sense when all was said and done. I was worried they were going to allow Joe to just walk up and replace Petey, but they didn’t.
-The Adrenaline Rush recap video closed out the show. The best Impact since Russo’s return. Definitely style-wise not for people who want things to play out a little slower, but if they’re going for an adrenaline rush format, this was a good version of that. A lot to sink your teeth into, and no dull spots where you could channel flip, and in the end, it built up a number of feuds and issues headed into the PPV.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S 10 YEARS AGO IMPACT FLASHBACK: 10 YRS AGO: Keller’s TNA Impact Report including A.J. Styles, Sting, Samoa Joe, Roode, Cornette, Christian, Konnan, Homicide