Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – August 14, 2005
PRE SHOW MATCH: Sonny Siaki & Apolo vs. Mikey Batts & Jerrelle Clark
I’m pretty sure Batts and Apolo were under contract with WWE at one time, and I feel like Siaki may have been as well. Poor Jerrelle Clark. Batts and Apolo start it off. Apolo uses his power to throw Batts around, hitting a tilt-a-whirl slam. He slaps Batts across the face and makes the tag to Siaki. They hit a flapjack for a two-count. Siaki takes Batts down with an armdrag. Batts rakes the eyes and makes the tag to Clark. Siaki recovers pretty quickly and hits a spinning neckbreaker for two. Batts hits a knee to Siaki’s back from the ring apron and then Clark hits a rana. Clark hits another rana for a two-count. Siaki is so physically similar to The Rock it’s scary. Clark tags Batts back in and Siaki meets him with a series of punches and chops. Batts hits a modified spinebuster for a two-count. He hits a step-up enziguiri and makes the tag. Clark hits a headstand moonsault for two. He goes for a springboard moonsault but misses and lands on his feet. Siaki catches him with a big powerslam and both men are down. They make tags and Apolo is a house afire. Apolo hits Clark with a superkick, and then hits Batts with a powerbomb for two. All four men get in the ring and Clark gets double back body-dropped. Apolo lifts Batts up over his head and Siaki brings him down with an Ace Crusher to get the victory at 4:26. That was perfectly acceptable preshow wrestling.
MATCH #1: The Diamonds in the Rough vs. Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin & Shark Boy
The Diamonds in the Rough are represented by Simon Diamond, David Young, and Elix Skipper. Young and Boy start the match with some chain wrestling. Boy hits a neckbreaker for a two-count. Young comes back with a clothesline out of the corner, but then misses a legdrop. Boy executes the Shark Bite, and Young responds by knocking him down with a right hand. Skipper interferes behind the referee’s back, and then Young makes the tag to the leader of the Diamonds in the Rough. Diamond hits a couple of vertical suplexes and then makes the tag to Skipper. Boy needs to make a tag here. He does just that, and Dutt is a house afire. Skipper cuts him off with a nice backbreaker. He works Dutt over and knocks Sabin off the apron. Young is tagged in and Dutt catches him with a hurricanrana. Dutt makes the tag and now Sabin is in. Sabin catches Diamond with a hurricanrana for a two-count. He hits a missile dropkick for another two-count. Young and Skipper come in to rescue their leader and the match breaks down. Dutt hits Young with an enziguiri but Diamond breaks up the cover. Skipper executes the rope-walk rana and then Young hits the spinebuster for two. Boy comes in the ring and hip tosses Young to the floor. He follows Young out with a slingshot dive. Sabin and Skipper are left in the ring. A series of reversals ends with Sabin trapping Skipper in a jackknife pin for the victory at 7:24. That was a fun opener and a fine way to get more people on the card.
MATCH #2: Alex Shelley vs. Shocker
Shocker pinned Shelley back at Slammiversary in June, and then Shelley beat Shocker in a semifinal match of the Super X Cup Tournament in July on Impact, so this is the rubber match. They start off with some mat wrestling. Shelley goes after the knee, trying to ground his more experienced opponent. Shocker fights out of the hold. Both men get back to their feet and Shocker takes Shelley down, also working on the leg. Shocker then switches gears and goes after the elbow. Shelley comes back and goes after the knee. Shocker knocks Shelley to the floor, but then gets drilled with an enziguiri. Shelley goes for a DDT but Shocker blocks it. Shocker drops Shelley face-first on the apron and then hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Shelley snaps Shocker’s neck off the top rope and then charges in, but Shocker takes out his knee and Shelley spills to the floor. Shocker hits a springboard cross body block to the floor. Back in the ring they trade strikes, with Shocker getting the better of it. Shocker hits a clothesline in the corner and a bulldog. He hits a kick to the face and then puts on a twisting figure-four leglock. Shelley escapes and hits running knees to the chest and a tornado DDT for two. Shocker comes back with another unique submission hold. He turns that hold into a different hold, and Shelley grabs the ropes. Shocker hits a release German Suplex. Shelley comes back with a twisting Dragon Screw Leg Whip. He tries a leg submission but Shocker rolls him into a cradle for two. Shocker knocks Shelley down and hits a slingshot elbow drop for two. Shelley rolls through a sunset flip and they trade dropkicks to the face. Shocker goes for La Magistral but Shelley blocks him and wraps his legs in the ropes to get the pin and win the rubber match at 8:55. They did some pretty moves and stuff, but there was absolutely no story going on in the match whatsoever.
MATCH #3: Abyss vs. Lance Hoyt
I don’t understand what it is people love about Jim Mitchell; either way he’s accompanying Abyss to ringside. The future Vance Archer comes charging out and goes right after the Monster. He hits Abyss with mounted punches in the corner. He ducks a clothesline and Abyss takes him down with a shoulderblock. Hoyt recovers and clotheslines Abyss to the floor. He follows him out with a slingshot cross body block. Abyss reverses a whip and sends Hoyt into the barricade. Back in the ring Abyss charges at Hoyt in the corner, sandwiching him between himself and the turnbuckles. Hoyt fights back with chops to the chest. Abyss tries another charge in the corner but Hoyt moves. Hoyt tries a charge in the corner but Abyss moves. Abyss goes for a chokeslam but Hoyt blocks it, only to get dropped with a clothesline. The Monster hits a splash off the second rope for a two-count. He throws Hoyt’s shoulder into the ring post. Then he throws Hoyt’s shoulder into the other ring post. Hoyt comes back with a clothesline off the second rope and a flying shoulderblock with the injured shoulder. Abyss comes up and goes to the second rope, but Hoyt catches him with a chokeslam. Hoyt hits a beautiful moonsault but Abyss kicks out at two. If I hear the phrase “coming out party” in regards to Hoyt one more time I’m going to scream. Abyss catches Hoyt in the Black Hole Slam but Hoyt kicks out at two. Mitchell throws a chair in the ring, and Hoyt boots it right back in Abyss’s face but he can only get a two-count. Hoyt takes Abyss down and sets the steel chair up against his face. Abyss helpfully holds the chair there as Hoyt hits a corner-to-corner dropkick right on the chair. Somehow Hoyt doesn’t get disqualified but rather gets a two-count. Moments later Abyss hits another Black Hole Slam to get the pin at 9:13. Hoyt’s selling was almost non-existent and the bit with the chair was puzzling, but otherwise the match was fairly entertaining. I wish they hadn’t tried to shove the “coming out party” down our throats, because it rarely works when you have to force it.
MATCH #4: Kip James & Monty Brown vs. Konnan & Ron Killings
BG James is the special guest referee here. He was caught between the two sides in this battle, and some referees got beat up last month, so none of the real referees wanted to work this rematch. That’s the short version of the story behind this feud. I miss Monty Brown like you wouldn’t believe. Brown and James attack Konnan and Killings during their entrance. Referee James doesn’t call for the opening bell, as all four men brawl in the ring. Konnan clotheslines Kip to the floor while Killings hits Brown with a kick to the face. Brown goes to the floor as James gets back in the ring to get double-teamed. Killings hits the flying legdrop to the groin, and the match spills back to the floor. Konnan throws a chair at Kip but doesn’t get disqualified. Finally BG restores order and we wind up with Brown and Killings in the ring. Brown slams Killings down and hits the Shake Rattle N’ Roll Knee Drop. Kip and Brown control the action, working Killings over in their half of the ring. Killings and Brown crack heads, and then both get up and make tags. Konnan hits the Rolling Thunder on Kip and then the K-Factor on Brown. He takes off his shoe and whips it at Kip, and then accidentally hits BG in the back with it. Konnan hits another K-Factor on Kip, and then goes outside to get a chair. BG takes the chair away, and when Kip tries to use it BG takes it away from him too. Kip shoves him, so BG responds with a series of jabs. Konnan blasts Kip with the steel chair and BG counts the fall at 7:50. That was a nothing brawl in a feud that I never cared about in the first place. The 3Live Kru was always lame.
MATCH #5: Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries
Daniels is the X-Division Champion, but the title is not on the line here. Aries won an internet poll to earn this match against the champion. He beat Roderick Strong, Jay Lethal, and Matt Sydal. He grabs the belt and Daniels takes exception, hitting Aries with a series of right hands to start the match. It’s funny to hear Don West talk about “Ring of Honor” on the air. Aries is able to take the early advantage with some of his signature offense. Daniels cuts him off and locks him in a front facelock. Aries gets out of it and hits a dropkick to the face. Daniels tries to regroup on the floor and but Aries follows him out with the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Aries hits the twisting slingshot splash for a two-count. Daniels comes back by catching Aries and hitting him with a shoulder breaker. He bodyslams Aries a couple of times for a two-count. Daniels continues to control the pace of the action. Aries breaks out of a rear chinlock and gets a sunset flip for two. Daniels cuts him off with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. He slams Aries down and hits an Arabian Press (which Tenay has always called a split-legged moonsault) to the back for two. Aries fights back and they trade strikes; Aries takes Daniels down with a clothesline and a couple of elbows. He hits the Power Drive elbow for a two-count. He hits his other stupid elbow in the corner and then the IED for a two-count. Aries hits the side slam for another near-fall. Daniels comes back with a jawbreaker and an STO. He goes for the Best Moonsault Ever but misses, and Aries hits a kick to the head. Aries goes up top and hits the 450 Splash but luckily for Daniels he’s close to the ropes and it’s only a two-count. Daniels hits an STO out of the corner and tries a pin with his legs on the ropes but referee Mark Johnson won’t allow it. The champ argues, allowing Aries to get a schoolboy rollup for two. Aries gets a backslide for two and then goes for the Brainbuster. Daniels reverses it to the Angel’s Wings and that’s enough for the pin at 9:34. That was like a truncated version of a Ring of Honor match at the time, so it was pretty good for the time they got.
MATCH #6: Sean Waltman vs. Jerry Lynn
The history between these two men goes way back. They trade holds right away and wrestle to a standoff. Waltman wisely goes after Lynn’s previously injured shoulder, which is just good strategy. Neither man can gain a solid advantage, both are so evenly matched. Lynn hits a ropewalk armdrag but then Waltman knocks him down with a spin kick. Moments later the match spills to the floor and Lynn hits a cross body from the top rope down to the floor, wiping Waltman out. Lynn chops away at Waltman, but then runs toward him and gets picked up in a powerslam position. Waltman drives Lynn’s shoulder into the ring post. Back in the ring Waltman continues to attack the shoulder, and Lynn sells it like a champ. Shark Boy is shown watching the match from the ramp, and then Chris Sabin joins him. Waltman hits a nice shoulder breaker for two. Sonjay Dutt joins the crew on the ramp to watch the match. Waltman misses a Bronco Buster. Lynn finally makes a comeback with a head scissors. He charges at Waltman and gets dumped to the floor. Waltman follows him out with a dive. He gets back in the ring and tries to suplex Lynn back in, but Lynn reverses it and suplexes Waltman to the floor! That looked sick. Back in the ring Lynn hits a missile dropkick. Lynn hits a Thesz Press. Waltman tries a hurricanrana but Lynn catches him with a sit-out powerbomb for two. Lynn sets up the Cradle Piledriver but his shoulder is too injured to execute it. Waltman hits him with a low blow and the X-Factor, but Lynn gets his foot on the bottom rope before the three-count can be made. Lynn reverses the momentum on a high cross body off the top rope for a two count. He hits a tornado DDT for another two-count. He goes for the Tombstone Piledriver but Waltman reverses it and Lynn kicks out at two! Waltman picks Lynn up but gets over-confident and Lynn grabs a victory roll out of nowhere to get the win at 15:23. That was a shockingly excellent match from two guys I would have thought washed up. Usually rematches years down the road don’t work out but this one sure did. Waltman raises Lynn’s hand and hugs him, but then hits Lynn with a shoulder breaker while Tenay loses his mind. He hits Lynn’s shoulder with a chair, and then Sabin, Dutt, and Boy run back out to make the save. Weren’t they already out there, and why did they go to the back so quickly?
MATCH #7: Team Canada vs. America’s Most Wanted & The Naturals
Team Canada is represented by Petey Williams, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, and A1. They are without their manager Scott D’Amore tonight. The Naturals are the current NWA World Tag Team Champions, and are accompanied by their manager Jimmy Hart. Young and Andy Douglas start the match. They quickly tag out to Stevens and Williams, and Stevens hits him with a punch to the gut coming off the top rope. Stevens makes the tag to James Storm, who hits the Eye of the Storm. Roode interferes behind the referee’s back, clipping Storm’s knee. Now Roode gets tagged into the match officially and he goes to work on the knee. Team Canada works together on Storm’s knee, until Storm comes back with a big lariat on Williams. Storm makes the tag to Chris Harris. The Tennessee Wildcat is a house afire on everyone. He hits a stalling vertical suplex on Young for a two-count. Storm makes the tag to Stevens and they hit a double team back body drop. Young hits a low blow behind the referee’s back and makes the tag to Roode. After a few minutes Young gets tagged back in and he goes to the top rope. Stevens fights back with an enziguiri and Young takes a sick bump to the floor. Douglas gets tagged back in and he’s all over everyone. The champs hit the Natural Disaster, but Roode lasts Douglas with the Northern Lariat. Williams hits Stevens with a DDT. Harris hits Williams with the Catatonic. Roode goes for the Northern Lariat on Harris but Storm blasts him with a Superkick for two. The match has completely broken down. Almost everyone is on the floor and Harris wipes them out with a dive off the top rope. Back in the ring Stevens and Roode are battling it out. Harris rejoins them in the ring and sets up a Tower of Doom spot. AMW goes for the Hart Attack but A1 grabs Harris and pulls him to the floor. Williams tries to hit Storm with a hockey stick but Storm avoids it. Storm heaves Williams to the floor on a big pile of bodies. Roode rolls Stevens up and grabs a handful of tights for the pin at 11:10. That had a ton of action in it and everything looked good.
MATCH #8: Super X Cup ’05 Finals – AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
In first round matches: Joe beat Sonjay Dutt, Alex Shelley beat Shocker, AJ Styles beat Matt Bentley, and Petey Williams pinned Chris Sabin. In the semifinals Joe beat Shelley and Styles beat Williams. That brings us to where we are today. Christopher Daniels joins the commentating table, since the winner of this match gets a shot at Daniels’s title at Unbreakable. They start off cautiously, both men avoiding each other’s strikes. Then they start hitting each other with kicks. Styles sweeps the legs and unleashes offense. He picks Joe up and slams him down, and then hits the knee drop for a count of one. He goes for a clothesline but Joe cuts him off with a punch and then boots Styles down to the floor. Joe follows Styles out with an elbow suicida, knocking Styles into the announce table. Styles comes back by jumping over the rail and then hitting Joe with a flying forearm over the barricade. Back in the ring Styles hits a vertical suplex for two. Styles locks on a Muta Lock but Joe breaks free so he goes to a headlock instead. Joe gets a shoulderblock but Styles pops up with a short rana. Styles tries to clothesline to the floor but Joe won’t have it. Joe catches a charging Styles with a modified STO. He hits a running knee to the face in the corner and then delivers the face wash. He sweeps the legs for a two-count. West notes that these two have wrestled each other in two past singles matches (one in ROH that Joe won and one in PWG that Styles won), so this is a rubber match of sorts. Joe keeps Styles grounded with a chinlock so they can call their next spots. He hits the powerbomb and then turns it into the Samoan Crab. Styles almost powers out so Joe swings it over to the STF. He makes it to the bottom rope and when he gets up he’s able to hit Joe with a dropkick. Styles hits the inverted DDT for two. They take the battle to the top rope and Styles shoves Joe down to the mat. Styles hits a springboard senton for two. He hits a Pele and then rolls into a jackknife pin for two. He rolls back and goes for the Styles Clash but can’t lift him. Joe comes back with the rolling sunset flip, or Texas Tumbleweed if you’re Terry Funk. Styles tries another Pele but is disoriented and doesn’t hit it, so Joe hits a brutal lariat for two. They get up and trade strikes, which Styles surprisingly wins with a sick kick to the face. Tenay freaks out at the camera man for daring to cut away from the ring for half a second while the referee is counting both men down, and then freaks out about keeping track of the count. He gets worked up about the weirdest stuff and I just hate his voice. Joe tries the Muscle Buster but Styles fights out of it and hits a rack bomb, taking the referee out in the process. Daniels leaves the announce table to get a closer look. He sneaks in the ring and delivers an STO to Styles. He appears to be getting ready to hit Joe with the belt but Joe catches him. Styles clotheslines Daniels to the floor. That gives Joe the chance to hit the Muscle Buster and then locks on the Choke and Styles taps out at 15:07. That was an awesome match that didn’t really need Daniels’s interference, but it didn’t take too much away from the match overall. These two have great chemistry.
MATCH #9: Jeff Jarrett & Rhino vs. Raven & Sabu
One of these things is not like the other. If Jarrett pins Raven he’ll get a shot at the NWA Title; but if Raven pins Jarrett, then Jarrett won’t be able to get a title shot for an entire year. Raven and Jarrett start the match for their teams, and Jarrett quickly bails. Rhino comes in and sends Raven to the floor. Raven comes back with three Side Russian Legsweeps into the barricade. West brings up the question of what happens if Sabu scores a pinfall. Speaking Sabu, he comes in the ring and sloppily goes to work on Rhino. The match breaks down a bit, with Raven and Jarrett taking the fight to one side of the arena, while Sabu and Rhino battle in another area. Raven finds a pizza cutter and slices Jarrett’s forehead with it. Sabu hits Rhino with a suplex on the entrance ramp. Raven blasts Jarrett with a trash can lid. Jarrett is busted wide open. Back in the ring Sabu takes it to Rhino. Sabu hits a super hurricanrana on Rhino for a two-count. He goes for the triple jump moonsault but Rhino sweeps his leg and Sabu’s face collides with the chair. Jarrett hits Sabu with a chair from the floor, and then Rhino adds a chair shot but Sabu kicks out at two. Jarrett gets tagged in and hits a superplex before tagging right back out to Rhino, who covers for two. After several minutes of abuse Sabu makes the tag. Raven unloads on Rhino and has punches waiting for Jarrett as well. The champ is all over both opponents. Raven hits Rhino with the Raven Effect but Jarrett pulls the referee to the floor. Sabu throws Jarrett in the ring, but that backfires as Jarrett hits a low blow. Is this a no-DQ match? I don’t remember hearing that announcement. Jarrett tries to bring the guitar in, but Cassidy Riley sneaks past security to take it away from him. No matter, as Jarrett hits the Stroke anyway for two. Rhino comes in and goes to work on Raven, even biting him. Raven is busted open now as well. Jarrett comes in and locks Raven in the Figure-Four Leglock. Raven turns it over and the hold gets broken. Jarrett sets up a chair and goes for the drop toehold but Raven avoids it and throws the chair at Jarrett’s face. Sabu and Rhino get tags and Sabu throws chairs at both Rhino and Jarrett. He hits Air Sabu on both men and then lands a triple jump legdrop on Rhino for two. Rhino rolls to the floor, and Sabu dives out after him. Back in the ring Jarrett hits the drop toehold on the chair this time but only gets two. Raven comes back with the Raven Effect but Rhino breaks it up. Rhino drills Raven with the Gore but Sabu breaks that one up. Now Rhino tries to Gore Sabu but misses and hits the referee instead. Sabu hits Rhino with the chair assisted legdrop off the top rope. He looks to put Rhino through a table on the floor, but Abyss comes out and breaks it up, sending Sabu through the table with a chokeslam. Jeff Hardy then shows up out of nowhere to blast Abyss with a chair and clotheslines him to the floor. He then hits Jarrett with the Twist of Fate and the Swanton Bomb. Raven covers Jarrett and a new referee slides in but Rhino still breaks it up. Rhino brings a table into the ring and sets it up in the corner. Raven hits Rhino with a low blow. He goes to DDT Jarrett through the table but Rhino breaks that up by hitting a Gore right through the table to get the pin at 16:16.That was a surprisingly entertaining match; they worked hardcore spots into the tag team formula and it really worked.
The Pulse: I hadn’t seen this show in years and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it held up. The last four matches are good to very good (even close to great), half of the matches total reached three stars or high and none were below one-and-a-quarter stars. This is a bit of a forgotten gem in the TNA canon.