Slightly random review, but I’ve got a copy of the PPV version which is always great. Like discovering new episodes of Dr. Who that have been hidden in a salt-mine in Kent. Except there’s demand for those things.
Oh no, wait: I’ll pretend I’m reviewing it for Black History month.
Johnny Devine pinned Shark Boy in the pre-show. One of the highlights of the Impact Zone circa 2006 was the Ritalin-enthused crowd reacting to everything in a major way. Here, these two guys who know their place come out for the pre-show and the crowd reacts like the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death. Match was Pre-Show-y.
Diamonds In The Rough take on The Naturals. Both teams are managed by ECW alumni who were better mouth-pieces than wrestlers. It’s just begging for sketches with both teams demanding to be paid by the manager, but he uses the gift of the gab to get out of the situation and hype them into winning tonight’s match. Every week.
Match was flippy-floppy, slippy sloppy. Douglas makes a big deal of the relaunch of The Naturals and name-drops the late Chris Candido…but ruins it by insulting Ric Flair and mentioning WWE’s One Night Stand event. Douglas might as well be standing on the side of the road with a sign over him saying ”Will reference Dick Flair for money.”
Backstage, Christian Cage calls Sting a carton of milk.
Freshly-microwaved Rhino (who TNA decided to push incredibly hard after he decided to shoot on WWE and One Night Stand, which came to bite them in the arse as it meant Samoa Joe had to sit back and wait another two years) takes on the freshly demotivated Monty Brown. So, Rhino destroys Brown and moves on to the main event push? No? Oh, they go to a double count-out on PPV? Oh. Well of course. Match started off well but then after two ref bumps and a non-finish it’s like ”ah who gives a fuck.”
Backstage, Borash talks about ”Sonjay Datt” and Bombay, despite it not existing anymore.
LAX gets an awesome music video about how militant and Spanish they are. Take the Nation of Domination and add Konnan and you’ve got 2006 era LAX, a clique so heinous they had a work stoppage and made demands to TNA…who had no choice but to acquiesce. It’s always great when bad-ass heels win in wrestling.
They’re wrestling R-Truth and Sonjay Dutt, which is an odd pairing BUT WAIT. Truth and Konnan were former team-mates and Konnan tried to turn Truth to the ways of Public Enemy albums but Truth was like ”No, I need to dance and jig like Al Jolson” and given the interviews Konnan has done since leaving TNA about the racism in the company, this may have been the actual conversation backstage. So Truth is teaming with Dutt to prove TNA gives fair shots to blacks. Well that wasn’t actually said, but it’s implied. And LAX beat them after Hernandez obliterates Dutt with the Border Toss, thus proving The Man sucks. Good match and story.
Backstage, Steiner gives his trademark Nicholas-Cage-playing-a-man-who-doesn’t-realise-he’s-brain-damaged interview:
We follow up the backstage interview with…an in-ring segment! Luckily it’s the disbanding of Team Canada and it’s fun due to the enthusiasm of the crowd who verbally abuse everyone but fan-favourite Eric Young the ENTIRE SEGMENT. Manager Scott D’Amore praises all the members, telling Robert Roode ”it’s only a member of time you’ll be World Champion” (hey, good call Scott!), Petey Williams ”you’re my son” and asking A1 ”who are you again?”
He turns on Eric in a big way due to Eric being the guy who took the pin-fall which split the team. TNA was never really able to pull the trigger properly on Eric, instead having him just kind of ‘there’ with weaker gimmicks over the years.
The mystery opponent for Senshi to defend his X-Division Title turns out to be…Kazarian, who does a decent impression of a man not in shape. It didn’t help that Senshi dominated for 90% of the match and when Kaz was given a chance to do something pretty…he blew it. Match elicited a ”This Is Boring” chant mid-way through.
Larry Zbyszko wrestled Raven for hair. Match was less than four minutes and featured a ref bump, low-blow and two finishers. Worked really well as a parody of WCW main events. Sadly, Raven was going through his Axl Rotten stage, and retired Larry may have been in better shape than him.
Larry loses his hair, which should be mildly amusing but Slick Johnson, the worst referee in the history of the business, is involved and drags it down to Chuckle Brothers-level of humour. If you don’t know who Slick Johnson is, just imagine Big Dick Johnson with AIDS.
Kevin Nash teams up with Alex Shelley to take on Jay Lethal and Chris Sabin. If you’re not familiar with TNA during this time and are dubious at the presence of Nash: don’t be. Nash’s character during this time, where he played an over-the-top parody of himself intent on getting the X-Division Title, was one of the most entertaining things in all of wrestling. Sabin pinned Shelley via a completely-vertical sunset flip. Match was definitely PPV-worthy. Crowd was reluctant to boo Nash. They’re only human.
The pre-match video helpfully remind us all that Billy Gunn blacked up that one time:
Even TNA’s YouTube won’t show the whole segment. Anyway, The James Gang and Abyss brawl with Team 3D who all turned down ECW contracts for One Night Stand.
Fun Fact! The Dudleys’ last WWE match was One Night Stand 2005. Not many wrestlers can say they headlined a PPV and were then immediately let go.
The match is a fun brawl. Nothing revolutionary, but people hit other people with stuff. Abyss tosses Runt into the crowd and they surf him in a tribute to the famous Bam Bam Bigelow crowd toss…but the crowd clearly doesn’t go to many gigs and end up dropping poor Runt right on his fucking head. Good job he can take it, eh?
(video courtesy of JP Nichols)
America’s Most Wanted take on AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels in a rematch. They had great matches in the past so TNA decided to involve AMW’s manager Gail Kim and some debuting woman called Sirelda. On paper, the idea of introducing a new wrestler by having very-over wrestlers interact with them is a good one but it only works if the newcomer is any good. And it *really* doesn’t work if the established wrestlers are four of the best on the roster and the crowd expects really good matches out of them. So all Sirelda ends up being is a giant albatross around the next of this match because the participants realised they can’t just make her sit in the corner with a dunce’s hat on, so she gets two sequences with Gail Kim and they’re both ‘not-stellar’. Match was still good, but without Googling I know everybody who’s reviewed this match will have said ” but it would have been better without the women.”
Also, Slick Johnson The Worst Referee In the History of The Business ends up getting in the way of sunset-flip pin, so Styles has to pin with via thirty-degree angle pin that would have been broken up by a sneeze from James Storm.
And then we come to the main event, the Four-Way Road To Victory match between Samoa Joe, Sting, Christian Cage and Scott Steiner. The long name is to distract you from the fact it’s not for the title. Did it work? Only just.
The non-stop nature of four-ways (when done right) is here, with Steiner elbow dropping Joe through a table at ringside and landing on his own head so far that he left a big, white hair mark on the floor. The Jarrett turns up to throw gasoline into Sting’s eyes so he has to leave the match for a while so he can sit on a couch and drink Mr. Pibb. While that happens, Steiner suplexes Christian on his head off the top rope and Joe goes ”Oh my God” and immediately tries to pin both men. Then outside, the now-famous Gif happens but in real life:
Sting arrives when everyone’s down, gives Steiner a Deathdrop and pins him after wrestling for five minutes total. Match was everything good and bad about wrestling.
There’s some good stuff here but it’s definitely a set-up show rather than a blow-off. Check out Team Canada disbanding, some LAX promos and watch the above Gif until it gets boring.