Compuware Arena â€“ Plymouth, Michigan â€“ October 22, 2006
MATCH #1: Kevin Nash Open Invitational X-Division Gauntlet Battle Royal for Bound for Glory
Tenay, you are not cool when you use terms that wrestlers use like â€œblown up.â€ Shut up. Weâ€™re not even two minutes into the show and I hate you already. The #1 entrant is Austin Starr. From the looks of Starrâ€™s back heâ€™s been reading Triple Hâ€™s book. Sonjay Dutt is #2 and here we go. Nash is joining Tenay and West on commentary.
A new entrant will come out every 60 seconds. Nash talks about being one of the best high-flyers of all time while Starr and Dutt go back and forth. Maverick Matt is #3. I believe this is Mattâ€™s fourth name in TNA (Michael Shane, Michael, and Matt Bentley, with Martyr still to come). Starr and Matt double-team Dutt, who comes back on them with a springboard clothesline. The #4 entrant is Jay Lethal and he comes to Duttâ€™s aid. A1 comes out at #5, which is fine because the X-Division is about No Limits. Next out at #6 is Zach Gowen, a Detroit native. He hits Dutt with the moonsault but then Starr levels him with a clothesline. Kazarian is #7, and he works with his tag partner Matt to eliminate Dutt. Not much happens until Sirelda makes her way out at #8. Kazarian immediately slaps the taste out of her mouth, so she comes back with a side suplex. Starr also goes right after her, and she makes him pay with an inverted atomic drop. Starr hits her with a low blow (which Iâ€™m made to understand would hurt a girl, I mean come on itâ€™s still a sensitive area) and then A1 clotheslines her to the floor. Shark Boy is #9. Nashâ€™s protÃ©gÃ© Alex Shelley comes out at #10. This match seems designed for him to get the win.
D-Ray 3000 is entrant #11. Boy and 3000 use the battering ram and toss Matt to the floor. Johnny Devine is #12 and he tosses Gowen to the floor. But both feet didnâ€™t touch! Say his name â€“ Primetime Elix Skipper is entrant #13. He flies around with reckless abandon. Kazarian goes for a move off the top rope but Starr pushes him down to the floor to eliminate him. Short Sleeve Sampson comes out at #14. Meanwhile Boy and 3000 have been eliminated. Starr battle Sampson and embarrasses him. Norman Smiley is #15. He and Sampson execute the double big wiggle. Shelley then eliminates Sampson and the final entrant is Petey Williams at #16. For some reason Sampson chases referee Slick Johnson around ringside, and Slick gets in the ring and decides to join the match. It is an open invitational. Slick eliminates Skipper and Smiley, and then Williams dumps him to the floor. Williams hits Lethal with the Canadian Destroyer. Shelley eliminates Williams, and then Starr eliminates Devine. Starr goes after Shelley, but Devine grabs his foot from the floor. Shelley charges but gets backdropped right onto Devine, so weâ€™re down to just Starr and Lethal. Paparazzi Productions is having a disagreement on the floor. Meanwhile Lethal hits Aries with the Lethal Injection for two. Lethal goes up top but Aries knocks him down and drills him with a kick to the head and then the Starrbuster to get the win at 17:11. That was mostly a way to get more people on the car and to get Starr over, but the crowd really wanted the hometown boy Shelley so they seemed really deflated after he was gone. Match was the usual collection of battle royal spots.
MATCH #2: Four Way Tag Team Match â€“ The Naturals vs. The James Gang vs. Americaâ€™s Most Wanted vs. Team 3D
Shane Douglas comes out to introduce the Naturals. AMW is without Gail Kim, who was injured by Hernandez on the last episode of iMPACT!. (7:15)Chase Stevens and James Storm start the match. Storm hits a dropkick and Ray tags himself in. Ray hits Storm with a Rock Bottom and then hip tosses a charging Harris. BG James tags in and he and Ray work together on AMW for some reason. The match breaks down and bodies and action are all over the place. They work in a Tower of Doom spot. Harris tries the Catatonic on BG, but BG reverses it and hits the Pumphandle Slam. Stevens then grabs BG with a sort of Go 2 Sleep. Storm then hits Stevens with the Eye of the Storm. Devon hits Storm with the Saving Grace. Douglas hits Devon with a tornado DDT. Ray hits Douglas with the Bubba Bomb. Kip hits Ray with the Fame-Ass-Er. The James Gang and Americaâ€™s Most Wanted fight up the entrance. That leaves Team 3D and the Naturals in the ring. It turns into pretty standard Team 3D fare at this point. The Naturals hit Devon with the Natural Disaster but Devon kicks out at two. Moments later 3D hits the Naturals with the 3D to get the win at 6:55. That was more like an iMPACT! match.
MATCH #3: Monsterâ€™s Ball â€“ Abyss w/ James Mitchell vs. Brother Runt vs. Raven vs. Samoa Joe
Jake Roberts it the special guest referee. They waste no time in getting the weapons involved. Raven and Runt briefly work together. Joe is in the midst of a feud with the recently debuted Kurt Angle so he definitely looks like a bigger deal in the match than the other three. Abyss hurls Runt into the crowd, and the morons toss him right back to the floor rather than letting him crowd surf. Raven and Abyss go out to the floor as well, and Joe wipes them out with a spinning suicide dive. Joe and Raven battle up the entrance ramp, and Raven knocks him off the ramp and through a table! Runt and Abyss climb up some scaffolding for no real reason and Abyss throws him down to the platform. The cameramen miss Abyss jumping off the scaffolding onto Runt, but thankfully they have a replay. Back in the ring Abyss covers Runt and Roberts makes the slowest count of all time and Raven breaks up the cover. Abyss hits Raven with the Earthquake splash for another very slow two-count.
Joe makes his way back to the ring and dumps Raven to the floor. Abyss tries to hit Joe with a Joe but Joe kicks him in the nuts and then slaps him in the face. Joe hits the snap powerslam on a chair but Raven breaks up the cover. Raven then drop toeholds Joe to the floor. Abyss grabs the bag of thumbtacks but Roberts doesnâ€™t want him to use them so he threatens to bring out the snake. That doesnâ€™t make any sense â€“ why would Roberts care if they use tacks? Itâ€™s a Monsterâ€™s Ball match! Raven disagrees with Jake and motions to DDT him but Abyss breaks it up and now is able to unload the bag of tacks. Mitchellâ€™s â€œClick, Doomsdayâ€ thing is so stupid. What did anybody ever like about that guy? Abyss throws Raven to the floor and Joe comes back in. Joe hits a senton that squashes Abyssâ€™s face into the tacks! He goes for the Coquina Clutch but Raven breaks it up with a steel chair. Roberts then takes the chair and hits Raven with the DDT. Joe then crushes Raven with the Muscle Buster for the pin at 11:09. Joeâ€™s awesomeness elevated this one but a lot of it made no sense and it was just a collection of spots.
MATCH #4: Loser Gets Fired â€“ Eric Young vs. Larry Zbyszko
This was during Youngâ€™s most annoying phase, the â€œDonâ€™t Fire Ericâ€ thing. They shockingly stall to start. In fact they stall for about two and a half minutes. Finally they lock up and Zbyszko catches Young with a kick to the gut and then locks on the abdominal stretch. Young reverses it to one of his own and Zbyszko pokes the referee in the eyes and breaks the hold. Zbyszko tries to use a weapon (looks like brass knuckles). Young then takes the weapon and hits Zbyszko with them to get the pin at 3:25. That might have been better suited to free TV.
MATCH #5: TNA X-Division Championship Match â€“ Senshi vs. Chris Sabin
Senshi has been the champion since 6.22.06 and this is his fourth defense. They aggressively lock up to start and fight to a standoff. Sabin tries to kick but Senshi wins that battle. Senshi goes for a whip but Sabin reverses it and looks to be going to the hesitation dropkick but Senshi avoids it. Sabin gets a La Magistral cradle for two, and then dropkicks the knee. Senshi comes back with Black Magic to take control. He goes to work with kicks and submissions, and cuts off Sabinâ€™s comeback attempts. After several minutes Sabin is able to catch Senshi with the springboard missile dropkick. That gives Sabin the advantage. He sends Senshi to the floor and then follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Sabin hits an enziguiri and then lands the hesitation dropkick. Sabin tries a powerbomb but Senshi counters it into the Dragon Sleeper, and Sabin backs him into the corner to break it. Senshi goes for the cartwheel kick but Sabin dropkicks him out of the air. Sabin hits a tornado DDT but it only gets two. He tries a super rana but Senshi rolls through it and hits a double stomp to the chest for two! Sabin comes back with a surprise running Yakuza kick in the corner. He follows up with the Cradle Shock but Senshi kicks out! Sabin takes Senshi up top for a super Cradle Shock but Senshi blocks it and hits kicks to the chest, and then back on the mat Senshi hits the shotgun dropkick. Senshi goes up and hits the Warriorâ€™s Way but Sabin just gets his foot on the bottom rope. The champ locks on the Dragon Sleeper but Sabin rolls it into a cradle to get the surprise pin at 12:49. I generally find it pretty annoying when finishers donâ€™t end a match but an inside cradle does. Other than that this was really good though, and much better than the No Surrender match with all the shenanigans.
MATCH #6: Eight Mile Street Fight â€“ Christian Cage vs. Rhino
This feud has such gay overtones to it. Theyâ€™re saying things like â€œI share the last 10 years of my life with youâ€ and things like that. They start the fight outside the arena and Rhino is the aggressor. They make it inside and fight on top of a Zamboni. Rhino is still in control, hammering away on his former friend. Cage comes back with an eye rake and then hits Rhino with a fake street lamp. You see, the street lamp is supposed to signify that theyâ€™re on Eight Mile, but if theyâ€™ve ever been down Eight Mile they would know street lamps are a bit too luxurious for that area. Rhino comes right back and starts filling up the ring with chairs. He hits Cage across the back with one of the street lamps for a two-count. He sets up for a Gore but Cage plasters him with a chair to the face. Rhino sells that for all of about six seconds before going back on offense out on the floor.
Back in the ring Rhino sets a table up in the corner. Cage gets a quick schoolboy rollup for two, and then cracks Rhino with an 8 Mile Road sign. He goes out and grabs a ladder, as we learn that Rhino is busted open. Cage hits the Unprettier but Rhino kicks out at two. He cracks Rhino in the face with the ladder and then goes outside the ring and grabs a steel chair and a straightjacket. He traps Rhino in the jacket and goes for a one-man Con-Chair-Toe but Rhino moves. Rhino gets up and is able to kick Cage in the balls. The referee unlocks Rhino and the crowd boos? They fight over to the ring apron and Rhino hits a piledriver off the apron through a table on the floor. Back in the ring Rhino covers but Cage gets his foot on the bottom rope at two. Rhino goes for the Gore but Cage moves and he hits nothing but table. Cage covers for two. He follows up with an Unprettier on top of a table for two. He stacks chairs, tables, a sign, and a ladder on top of Rhino. He then dishes out a series of chair shots to the pile and thatâ€™s enough to keep Rhino down at 14:30. That was the usual street fight type of match, and Rhino didnâ€™t care about selling at all. The finish was very creative though.
MATCH #7: NWA Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match â€“ AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels vs. The Latin American Xchange
Styles and Daniels have been the champions since 9.24.06 and this is their first defense. These teams have great chemistry together. For some reason thereâ€™s no opening bell but the champs charge into the ring and the fight is on. Styles and Daniels take early control with some well executed double team moves. The referee gains control and now theyâ€™re tagging in and out. Styles drills Homicide with the dropkick and then he and Daniels work him over. The match breaks down a bit with all four men in the ring and LAX takes control. Hernandez hits Daniels with an Electric Chair Drop and Homicide follows with a Macho Elbow for two. Konnan passes Homicide a fork and he uses it on Danielsâ€™s forehead. Hernandez slams Danielsâ€™s back into the cage and then hits a massive powerbomb for two. Homicide gets Tequila and spits it in Danielsâ€™s eyes and then dumps it into the cut on his head. They take the fight up t the top rope and Daniels comes back with a couple headbutts and than a super hip toss!
Styles gets the hot tag and he nails Homicide with the flipping inverted DDT, and then hits Hernandez with a springboard flying forearm. Daniels recovers and the match has broken down to a big brawl, but the champions take control. Styles drills Homicide with the Pele. Daniels drives the fork into Homicideâ€™s head, and then Styles grinds it onto his cut. The action is coming at a breakneck pace until everyone takes someone else out with one of their signature moves. Styles is up first and he climbs to the top of the cage. Homicide and Daniels join him up there and then Hernandez comes over to complete the Tower of Doom. Styles is able to stay on top of the cage, and he floes down onto Hernandez with a huge cross body block. Everyone gets up and more signature moves start flying. Hernandez climbs to the top of the cage and misses a big splash much to the horror of some random chick in the crowd. Konnan uses a coat hanger to reach through the cage and choke Daniels out. The referee seems not to notice but Iâ€™m pretty sure there are no disqualifications in cage matches. Meanwhile Homicide hits Styles with the Gringo Killer to get the pin and regain the titles at 14:40. These teams delivered once again, with everyone working hard to make each other look good, and an awesome finish to the match and feud.
MATCH #8: NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match â€“ Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting
Jarrett has been the champion since 6.29.06, and this is his third defense. Sting is putting his career on the line, and Kurt Angle is the special guest enforcer. Tenay wonders if Sting carrying the baseball bat is a tribute to the Detroit Tigers (who were in the World Series around this time, and the show took place in Detroit). Not like Sting has been carrying the bat since like 1997 or anything. I hate you, Mike Tenay.
Jarrett takes the early advantage as Sting seems to be slightly off his game. Sting outwardly shows frustration in the early going, as Jarrett has counters for everything Sting tries. Jarrett hits a dropkick and Sting powders. Sting gets back in the ring and makes the people cheer for him. Jarrett spits on him so Sting hits a powerbomb. He follows up with a modified Snake Eyes and then clotheslines Jarrett to the floor. Angle tries to herd Jarrett back to the ring, and the champion takes exception and they argue. Meanwhile, Sting just hangs out in the ring. He finally comes out and Jarrett just stands there and lets Sting punch him. Sting now throws Jarrett around ringside, into the guardrails and such. Jarrett reverses a whip and now Sting crashes into the guardrail. The champ tries to use a chair but Angle stops him. Sting recovers and they fight up the ramp, where Sting suplexes Jarrett. He tries to use a chair now but Angle stops him as well. Jarrett tries to hit Sting but he moves and Jarrett hits Angle instead. The champion then hits a DDT and drops Sting on the guardrail. They get back in the ring and Jarrett is firmly in control. They blow a simple spot (Stingâ€™s fault) and then both try cross body blocks and they hit each other. The referee almost counts both of them out, but Angle wants to see a winner, so he jumps in the ring and gives referee Charles the Olympic Slam.
Both men rise to their feet and Sting is getting the better of a punch exchange. He hits an inverted atomic drop, a couple of clotheslines, and a Stinger Splash to the back. He follows up with the Scorpion Death Drop but Jarrett kicks out at two. Jarrett recovers and hits the Stroke, but Sting kicks out at two. Fans at this point in TNA are already conditioned to not expect one finisher to end a match so they barely pop for them anymore. Sting comes back with a Tombstone Piledriver but that only gets two. He goes up the ropes but Jarrett hits a low blow and goes for the Super Stroke. Sting fights it off and tosses Jarrett to the mat. He tries a big splash (really?) but Jarrett gets the knees up. The champion locks on the Figure-Four Leglock but Sting turns it over. Jarrett is right in the ropes so the hold is broken, and Jarrett locks on an Ankle Lock right in Angleâ€™s face. Sting rolls out of it and sends Jarrett to the floor. He tries to use the baseball bat but Angle takes it from him. Jarrett brings the guitar into the ring and smashes it over Stingâ€™s head. Sting no sells it and locks on the Scorpion Deathlock. Jarrett taps the title away at 15:02. That was a decent match, and the finish was hot, but the body of the match never really felt like it was building up to anything. I like that there was no real interference, and the Angle involvement made sense. Still, Sting is just way past his prime.
The Pulse: If you really like Sting Iâ€™m sure the main event will do more for you than it did for me. As usual the undercard has some good stuff on it (tag title match, X-Division title match, but thereâ€™s also a lot of junk. For whatâ€™s supposed to be the biggest show of the year, it didnâ€™t really deliver.