Universal Studios â€“ Orlando, Florida â€“ January 15, 2006
Jeremy Borash and Shane Douglas are hosting the Preshow, which is heavily focused on the return of â€œThe Iconâ€ Sting, as he teams with Christian Cage to face Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown. Also Rhino faces Abyss, Team 3D challenges AMW for the NWA Tag Team Titles, Samoa Joe defends the TNA X Division Championship against Christopher Daniels, and much more.
PRESHOW MATCH #1: Team Canada vs. Lance Hoyt, Jay Lethal & Kenny King
Itâ€™s weird to see Kenny King anywhere outside of ROH. Eric Young, Petey Williams, and A1 are representing Team Canada tonight. Lethal and Williams start it off with some fast-paced X Division-style action. When Hoyt and A1 tag in, it turns into a power matchup. King is super green here. I think at this point though heâ€™s about a year away from getting noticed by WWE again. Team Canada isolates on King in their corner. King fights back with a kick to A1â€™s face and makes the tag to Hoyt. The Big Ticked off Texan is a house afire. Lethal goes up top but misses a diving headbutt on Williams. That leave shim pretty for the Canadian Destroyer and Williams gets the pin at 5:58. That was solid preshow stuff.
PRESHOW MATCH #2: The Latin American Exchange vs. The Naturals
The LAX is Konnan and Homicide at this point. Of course The Naturals are Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens, former two-time NWA World Tag Team Champions. They charge into the ring and take it right to LAX. They hit the dropkick version of the Hart Attack for a two-count on Homicide, and then continue to work him over. Konnan interferes from the apron to allow Homicide to hit a DDT, and then he tags in. LAX isolates Douglas briefly before Stevens makes the hot tag. The Naturals hit Homicide with the Natural Disaster but when the referee tries to get Douglas out of the ring, Konnan clonks Stevens on the head with a blackjack and Homicide rolls over for the pin at 3:51. Not much happening there, but at least it was energetic.
A year after facing each other in the main event, Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown are on the same team. The opening video package talks only about that match.
MATCH #1: Alex Shelley, Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Matt Bentley, Chris Sabin & Sonjay Dutt
Bentley is accompanied by Traci Brooks in a schoolgirl outfit. Don West puts these guys over like a million bucks, saying that kids watch them and say â€œthatâ€™s what I want to be.â€ Man that guy can sell. A week ago on Impact, the Shelley, Aries, and Strong trio beat AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Chris Sabin. So they get to face a lesser team now? Shelley and Sabin start the match. Sabin and Dutt work together to keep Shelley on the mat. Everyone gets a chance to show off in the early going and the action comes at a fast pace. The Generation Next trio takes the first advantage on Dutt. After a few minutes Dutt makes a hot tag to Sabin. Tags become a suggestion as the referee loses control. Sabin knocks Aries to the floor and then wipes him out with a dive. Bentley hits Strong with a superkick, but Shelley sneaks up behind him with a schoolboy to get the win at 10:31. Good choice for an opener here, and the right team went over.
MATCH #2: The James Gang vs. The Diamonds in the Rough
The video package focuses on the James Gang versus the Latin American Exchange feud, so I donâ€™t know why that wasnâ€™t the match instead of this. This is Kip and BGâ€™s first time teaming in TNA, and their first time teaming on Pay-Per-View in six years. The Diamonds in the Rough are Elix Skipper and David Young, managed by Simon Diamond. BG cuts his pre-match promo, and Kip says he has three words for us: â€œGet It, Got It, Good.â€ Um, okay. Skipper and BG start the match. Primetime takes early control but BG quickly turns it around and hits the Shake Rattle and Roll Knee Drop. Skipper Matrixes his way out of the cover and Kip tags in. Young tags in as well and they show off their power. The Diamonds try to double-team Kip but he avoids it and BG clotheslines both Diamonds to the floor at the same time. Back in the ring Young hits BG with the spinebuster and he takes control. Young misses a moonsault and tags are made. Kip is on fire, goofy hairstyle and all. The match breaks down a bit and Kip is able to grab Skipper with The One and Only to get the pin at 7:47. That was a decent, TV-style match.
MATCH #3: International X Showcase Match â€“ AJ Styles vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tanahashi is in the midst of his second reign with the IWGP U-30 Championship, having defeated Toru Yano in a tournament final in Kyoto, Japan on June 18, 2005. They take it to the mat and Tanahashi starts working the arm. Styles cuts him off with The Dropkick to send Tanahashi to the floor. Back in the ring they trade strikes and Styles wins that battle, and then hits The Knee Drop for two. Tanahashi fights back with a nasty release German Suplex. The chants are dueling as Tanahashi works Styles over. Tanahashi locks on a Dragon Sleeper and swings Styles around like a Giant Swing. That gets a two-count. Styles avoids an elbow drop off the second rope and lands a kick to the face. Both men are down. Up on their feet Styles takes control and unleashes a flurry of offense. Tanahashi comes back with the Uncle Slam for two. Looks like some miscommunication as things get awkward for a minute. They fight up top and Tanahashi goes for a super Backdrop Suplex but Styles shifts his weight and lands on Tanahashi. Back on their feet they trade holds and Shannon Moore runs out with a chair and Stylesâ€™ â€œMr. TNAâ€ Plaque. While the referee removes the chair, Moore tries to hit Styles with the plaque but hits Tanahashi instead. Styles takes Moore out and then hits Tanahashi with the Styles Clash to get the win at 11:04. This is one of the bigger disappointments I can recall in TNA. This should have been amazing but was just okay, and crowd dumped all over the finish, and rightfully so. The two competitors show respect to each other after the bell, and Moore steals the plaque again.
MATCH #4: No Disqualification Match â€“ Raven vs. Sean Waltman
Ravenâ€™s pre-match promo is brutally stupid. He doesnâ€™t even know who heâ€™s facing tonight, but if he wins he gets a title shot, and if he loses heâ€™s fired. (5:18)Raven chases after Zbyszko and runs right into a trash can lid to start the match. Back in the ring itâ€™s all weapons-based offense in the early going. Raven is the first one busted open. Waltman uses a shopping cart to push Raven up the entrance ramp. Raven comes back and puts Waltman in the shopping cart and pushes it off the ramp. Back to the ring Raven brings out a table. The referee gets bumped. Zbyszko comes in to play referee but he deliberately doesnâ€™t count for Ravenâ€™s cover. Waltman hits the X-Factor but it only gets two. He goes for the Bronco Buster on a ladder but misses. Ouch. That gets another slow two-count from Zbyszko. Raven sets up a table and a ladder and drags Waltman up, but Waltman fights back with a low blow and then the X-Factor through the table. Waltman covers and Raven gets his foot on the bottom rope and Zbyszko sees it but counts three anyway and Ravenâ€™s TNA career is over at 8:09. This was pretty much just like most every other TNA Raven match.
MATCH #5: Ron Killings vs. Bobby Roode
This feuded started last month on Impact, when Killings pinned Roode twice in succession in about thirty seconds, and then Roode was able to beat Killings once after that. The Truth takes the first advantage and Roode powders. When Roode powders for a second time Truth follows him out with a somersault dive over the ropes. Back in the Ring Roode finally takes over. Of course Dâ€™Amore gets his shots in from ringside, as he often does. Roode lands a knee drop off the second rope for a two-count. He charges into the corner but runs right into a pair of boots. Truth pulls himself to the top rope and delivers a missile dropkick and both men are down. Up on their feet Truth unloads with a flurry of offense. Truth puts Roode up on the top rope for a superplex but Roode drops Truth face-first to the mat. Roode comes off with a cross body block but Truth rolls over for a two-count. Konnan makes his way down and distracts Truth, leaving him prey to the Northern Lariat and Roode gets the pin at 9:52. What an average match and a lazy finish. Why would Konnan think that would be helpful?
BG James comes out to fight Konnan and Homicide runs out to help his fellow LAX member. Truth leaves without helping BG because he wants no part of this feud. Kip James runs out to make the save for real.
MATCH #6: Rhino vs. Abyss
Rhino charges to the ring and the fight is on. This feud started because Rhino wanted to get at Scott Dâ€™Amore, so the Coach hired out Jim Mitchell and Abyss to play defense for him. I like that. Rhino dominates in the early going as the referee allows quite a bit of leeway. Abyss cuts him off and uses his size advantage to keep Rhino down. Rhino fights back with a TKO, which is impressive given Abyssâ€™s girth. He then hits repeated chair shots, and I guess this is a no-disqualification match too. Mitchell distracts the referee, allowing Abyss to hit Rhino with his steel chain. But why was it necessary to distract the referee if he was letting them use a steel chair? Whatâ€™s the difference? I hate TNA sometimes. Abyss goes for the Black Hole Slam but Rhino counters with a spinebuster for two. Rhino sets up for the Rhino Driver but Mitchell blocks it from the apron. Abyss goes for a Chokeslam but Rhino counters with a low blow. Rhino goes for a Gore but Abyss catches him in the Black Hole Slam right onto the steel chair for the pin at 9:18. That was a solid power brawl, but the hypocrisy of the weapons use was rather irritating.
MATCH #7: NWA World Tag Team Title Match â€“ Americaâ€™s Most Wanted vs. Team 3D
Chris Harris and James Storm have been the champions since 10.22.05, and this is their third defense. Theyâ€™re accompanied to the ring by Gail Kim. Team 3D have been the World, WWE, WCW, and ECW Tag Team Champions, 18 time total at this point. (5:37)Brother Devon and Storm start the match. Devon takes control and when Brother Ray and Harris tag in the challengers continue to stay in control. Storm and Harris get a few shots in here or there but itâ€™s mostly all Team 3D in the first several minutes. They use a table but it ends up backfiring on them, giving the champions their first control of the match. Devon avoids a charge in the corner and makes the hot tag to Ray, who cleans house. Ray hits a DDT on Harris for two as the match breaks down. AMW fights back with the Hart Attack for a two-count. Team 3D respond with the Doomsday Device but Harris kicks out. Storm grabs a chair and accidentally hits Harris with it (a nod to their match at last yearâ€™s Final Resolution against Team Canada) but Harris kicks out. Now storm climbs the top rope backwards for some reason (what move has he ever done that way?) and Ray pushes him through the table. Gail Kim gets in the ring and hands Harris a bag of powder right in front of the referee. Ray knocks the powder into Harris, Kim, and referee Rudy Charlesâ€™s eyes. Team 3D then hit the 3D and get the pin to win the titles at 12:40. The referee is still blinded, so Team Canada comes out to beat up Team 3D and they put Harris on top of Ray, so when the referee turns around he thinks Ray is the one he counted down. What a profoundly stupid finish. Referees canâ€™t call what they canâ€™t see, and if you canâ€™t see whoâ€™s being pinned how can you count?
MATCH #8: X Division Championship Match â€“ Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels
Joe has been the champion since 12.11.05 and this is his first defense. These two were tearing it up in ROH around this time too, so this should be good. Daniels brings fast-paced offense right away to try keeping Joe off guard. Joe tries to fight back with strikes but Daniels is ready for him and continues to control. Eventually Joe is able to fight back and he slows the match down. The champ hits the Big Joe Combo (TM Brad Garoon). Daniels fights back with a Codebreaker and both men are down. Back on their feet Daniels hits an STO and then the Arabian Press for two. Daniels hits a Death Valley Driver, which Tenay sells like death, but it only gets two. The sound of his yell is truly horrifying. Joe comes back and locks on an STF. Daniels escapes that but Joe cuts him off with a rana and a huge clothesline for two. Joe charges but Daniels catches Joe with a uranage slam and then hits the Best Moonsault Ever but Joe kicks out at two! Daniels knocks Joe to the floor and follows him down with a slingshot elbow drop. That seems like a nasty landing for Daniels to take. Joe fights back and delivers the Ole Kick. Back in the ring Joe continues the abuse as AJ Styles makes his way to ringside. Joe focuses on the head, landing hard kicks and knees. He hits the Muscle Buster and then goes for the Choke but Daniels reaches the bottom rope. Now Joe brings a chair in the ring and he hits the Muscle Buster right on it! Why is that not a disqualification? Joe drives a series of knees right into Danielsâ€™s head and he is unconscious, so Styles throws in the towel for him at 15:34. I donâ€™t know why the referee wouldnâ€™t stop the match; that seems pretty negligent of him. Other than that one nitpick, the finish was still awesome this was a great match.
MATCH #9: The Return of an Icon â€“ Sting & Christian Cage vs. Jeff Jarrett & Monty Brown
Jarrett is the current NWA World Champion and is accompanied by Gail Kim. Cage and Brown start the match. Jarrett tags in and Cage goes after the arm. Cage goes to tag Sting and Jarrett runs away as Tenay loses his mind. Sting unloads with a flurry of offense, sending Jarrett powdering to the floor. The crowd chants â€œYou Still Got It.â€ The referee loses control early in the match, with all four men in the ring. Kim distracts Cage, allowing Jarrett to dump him to the floor, where Kim takes Cage down with a hurricanrana off the apron! Back in the ring Jarrett and Brown isolate on Cage, duh. Cage fights off a superplex and hits Brown with a Frog Splash, only he canâ€™t go for a cover right away so Brown kicks out at two. Jarrett and Brown try a Con-Chair-Toe, but Cage ducks and then hits a DDT / Flatliner combo to knock both opponents out. The hot tag is made and Sting is a house afire. Sting starts dishing out Stinger Splashes and the referee gets bumped. Brown gets sent to the floor and Sting locks Jarrett in the Scorpion Deathlock. Jarrett taps out but thereâ€™s no referee. Brown breaks up the hold and tries to use the NWA Title belt but both guys duck and Cage sends Brown to the floor. They tease mistrust between Sting and Cage before Sting goes over to crotch Jarrett on the top turnbuckle. Team Canadaâ€™s Bobby Roode and Eric Young come out but they get hit with Scorpion Death Drops! Cage goes up top and wipes out Brown with a dive to the floor. Kim distracts Sting long enough for Jarrett to hit Sting with the belt. The referee recovers but Jarrett only gets a two-count! Jarrett goes to hit Cage with the guitar but Sting busts the guitar up with a baseball bat! Sting then hits the Scorpion Death Drop for the pin at 15:06. Thatâ€™s a solid main event tag team match to cap off the show.