Written By: Jim
July 17, 2005
Michael Shane and Alex Shelley w/Traci vs America’s Most Wanted
After a disappointing last PPV for AMW, they make up for it here. I’m not sure if there’s any real backstory behind this, but the commentators brings up the fact that both Shane and Storm believes they have the best super kick in the industry. Shane does a good job at adding a story to the match by never wanting to be in the ring with Storm. Simple and classic story. Even though Harris was my favorite back in the day, I’m really starting to appreciate how great Storm was in the team. Like Naturals vs AMW at Hard Justice, the two teams battle on the outside with the referee just refusing to count them both out. By time Storm finally gets his hands on Shane, the crowd pops, but not much really happens between the two. AMW gets the win with a GREAT finish where Shelley does an Eddie Guerrero like entrance in the ring, but is instantly hit with a Storm super kick out of nowhere. After the match, Shane surprises Storm with a super kick to get the last laugh. Sadly, I don’t believe Shane and AMW would feud after this. Solid opener with all four men looking good. The referee ignoring basic tag rules does get tiring though. 3 Stars.
Mikey Batts vs Elix Skipper vs Shark Boy vs Sonjay Dutt
Just a time filler featuring the D-list for X-Division wrestlers. Tenay tries to add importance to the match by announcing that the winner would earn a spot in the Super X tournament that would begin that Friday on TNA’s website for iMPACT. Still, it’s not important. Typical X-Division match that just features tons of spots. Even though they’re all faces, Batts is playing the role of a heel and is fairly effective at it. He’d leave not long after this to be signed by the WWE to be a part of their juniors division that never materialized for him. Match doesn’t hold my interest much as there’s a lot of sloppy spots including Skipper botching his top rope walk. Finish comes with Dutt nailing the Hindu Press (Phoenix Splash) directly to the face of Batts. Ouch. Skipper is officially a nobody for TNA now. Two straight PPV losses against the least important X-Division wrestlers has killed off any chance of Skipper being taken seriously. 1 3/4 Stars.
Simon Diamond and David Young vs Apolo and Sonny Siaki
Speaking of nobodies. Simon Diamond returns to PPV back as Diamond after giving up on his face run as Pat Kenney at the end of 2004. He introduces David Young as the newest member of the Diamonds in the Rough, TNA’s answer to WWE’s Job Squad. Surprisingly, this isn’t too bad. There’s a lot of action with no one really looking terrible. Young has the pin on Siaki, but the referee refuses to count since Siaki isn’t the legal man. Since when had that ever stopped TNA before? Lame. Apolo finishes Young off with a TKO. Meh. Both teams are meaningless since it seems clear that TNA wasn’t going to do anything meaningful with Apolo/Siaki. Despite the lame ending, the match wasn’t too bad. 2 Stars.
Samoa Joe vs Chris Sabin
Oh Joe, how I love you so. Great match that started off as a typical early Joe TNA match where he just controls the bout. Don West makes an outlandish claim that he felt Sabin could actually figure out how to beat Joe. Sabin makes an amazing comeback and despite the fact that he has a better chance of beating Triple H in the WWE, he makes the fans and myself believe that he has a shot of ending the newly started undefeated streak of Joe. The longer this go, the crazier the crowd goes. This was a ROH quality Joe match, only shortened to under 15 minutes. Sabin easily looks better than most of his TNA matches. While this was only meant to give Joe over a tougher, yet non threatening X-Division wrestler, this had so much more going for it. Joe wins after a fantastic match with the Musclebuster/Coquinia Clutch combo. Joe’s streak continues. 4 1/4 Stars.
Team Canada vs The Naturals and Lance Hoyt w/Jimmy Hart
Kind of weird seeing Hoyt and Naturals together after Naturals attacked Hoyt at Lockdown. Sadly, with Petey wrestling a singles match, A1 is replacing him in this. Scott D’Amore had yet to return after the Hoyt attack at the last PPV. The Naturals still suck, but they’re teaming with one of the most over guys on the roster, with a super over all time manager and against a faction that is so over as heels. Hell, even the fucking Naturals couldn’t receive a dead reaction in this. Just a typical Team Canada match with the Canadians keeping Chase Stevens again as the face-in-peril. It’s all fun. At one point, Roode goes to use the hockey stick flag behind the ref’s back, but Jimmy Hart gets on the apron. Roode pulls a Guerrero and throws the flag to Hart and feigns being hit in the face. Once the ref turns around, he orders Hart to the back. While Hoyt and Douglas tries telling the ref what really happened, Team Canada triple teams Stevens in the ring. Holy shit I love Team Canada. TNA really needs to put out a Best of Team Canada DVD set. I’d buy it. Eventually the faces gains control, but Team Canada still picks up the win after Roode nails Douglas with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone, that Hart had forgot to take back with him. Team Canada has been on a roll since 2005 began. 3 Stars.
The Full Monty vs Konnan and Ron Killings – Street Fight
I don’t care if TNA didn’t go with it, I’m calling them The Full Monty. Thanks to the WWE legal staff sending TNA another letter, The Outlaw, formerly the New Age Outlaw, becomes Kip James before the match. Even though I bitch about TNA’s overuse of gimmick matches, it makes sense here since these two teams hate each other so much and the angle has been going on since 1992. Surprisingly short match that didn’t feature much other than two referees being taken out. Monty Brown pins Killings with the Pounce. The real reason for the match was simply to have BG James come out and once again tease a reunion with Kip James. BG toys with the idea of hitting Killings with a chair, but decides against it and once again leaves by himself. This feud is just killing me. It’s dragged out and isn’t really advancing at all. What’s worse is that the matches are even worse. 1 1/4 stars.
AJ Styles vs Sean Waltman – Guest Ref: Jerry Lynn
Made at the result of King of the Mountain last month. Jerry Lynn has major history with both men. Lynn had been a partner and rival of Styles since the second TNA show. Meanwhile, Lynn vs Waltman matches drew a lot of attention towards them in the early 90’s before either guy was a somebody. With Waltman and Styles being quality workers, this was going to be good even if they had an off night. Waltman’s still a face, but he has an extra edge about him that the fans rip into. From the apron, Waltman hits a painful looking dive on a standing Styles. Styles face took the brunt of it and he would end up with a bloody mouth and nose. Lynn doesn’t have much of a role until the end when both Waltman and Styles questions him for counting slow. When both men kick out of each others finishers, Waltman attempts to Pillmanize AJ’s leg, but Lynn manages to remove the chair. The ending comes when Styles is trying to roll Waltman up in a sunset flip like pin, but Waltman grabs the ropes for balance. Lynn kicks at the legs, sending Waltman down to which Styles stands up and delivers a Styles Clash. God damn, guest referees cheat so badly in TNA. Really strong match that helped set up Waltman/Lynn at the next show while occupying Styles for a month. 3 1/2 Stars.
Christopher Daniels (c) vs Petey Williams w/A1 – X-Division Title
Just another match on Daniels’ tour of proving his world wide dominance over the X-Division wrestlers. It would be this push that would help turn Daniels into the tweener for the rest of the year. Even though Daniels was starting to feel more like a face due to his performance every month, he’s still a heel. Since Petey’s also a heel, it never felt as if they knew what to do. The chemistry just wasn’t there as much as you would have liked. The big news was that Samoa Joe came out and stood at the top of the entrance watching the match. Joe was already announced as one of the Super X tournament competitors. Great moment as Daniels rolls out of the ring and the eyes of Daniels and Joe meets from halfway across the arena. It’s a small moment, but it only made me want to see them get it on even more. Shave off a few minutes and this would have been a little better. Still, it’s another good match by Daniels and only adds more credibility to him. 3 Stars.
Raven (c) vs Abyss w/James Mitchell – Dog Collar Match – NWA World Title
Not sure if Abyss earned this shot due to winning at Hard Justice or not. This is the PPV debut of James Mitchell as Abyss’ manager. Needless to say, it was a great move adding Mitchell to Abyss. The two had your standard Abyss or Raven hardcore match, but that’s not really a bad thing. The dog collar is used a little, but it never feels like a dog collar match due to all of the weapons used. Still, Raven’s popularity and his underdog fight told a fun story. The final few minutes really got good to end the match on a high note. Raven picks up the win with a DDT to the thumbtacks. Pretty much a perfect way to start off Raven’s title reign. It’s a match style that he was known for and with all of the past he had with Mitchell, there was plenty of reason for the hatred. Minus Jarrett’s title loss, this is easily better than any Jarrett PPV title match up to this point. 3 1/4 Stars.
After the match, Jeff Jarrett comes out to confront Raven. All during the PPV, Jarrett had been trying to talk to the heels in banding together to keep back the incoming stars such as Rhino. Jarrett gives Raven one piece of advise – turn around. GORE!!!!!! by a debuting Rhino to end the first internet era PPV.
There’s a reason why the internet era is remembered so fondly. All of the crap that TNA had been doing before and after it was minimized drastically. TNA was spotlighting guys that the fans actually cared about with Raven, Christopher Daniels and Lance Hoyt. With just his second PPV match, Samoa Joe has already produced a MOTYC. The only really bad thing going on in TNA at the time was the never ending 3 Live Kru/Kip James angle. The booking of the last few months is only going to be made better most notably with Christopher Daniels. After the last four months of dominance, he was a star and someone who mattered. All that was needed was the right angle. You may need to do some skipping, but the show is still worth checking out.