Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – October 23, 2005
PRE SHOW MATCH: Four Way Match – Alex Shelley vs. Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries vs. Sonjay Dutt
Shelley and Strong start the match and take it right down to the mat. They exchange some quick maneuvers and then Strong tags Dutt. The Original Playa from the Himalaya takes advantage of Shelley with some unorthodox offense. Dutt hits a rana and Shelley begs off. He offers a handshake so Shelley slaps him in the face. Shelley runs and Dutt chases, and when they get back in the ring Shelley dropkicks him in the face and then tags out. Strong is in now but Dutt withstands his attacks and hits the Déjà vu. The Messiah of the Backbreaker comes back with chops and Dutt fires back with a dropkick. Aries comes in the ring without a tag and goes to work on Strong. The action is becoming quite difficult to follow. In all the chaos Strong hits Dutt with a half nelson backbreaker for two. Strong continues to work Dutt over with a variety of strikes. Shelley tags himself in and takes over on Dutt with some wacky submission holds. Moments later Aries tags himself in and takes his turn at beating up Sonjay Dutt.
Strong is back to hit Dutt with a whirlybird gutbuster and Shelley breaks up the pin. Moments later they lock each other in a four-way submission hold, with Dutt on the bottom of the pile. No one gives up and the match continues with all four men in the ring trading shots. Strong dumps Aries to the floor and then gets leveled by a Shelley leg lariat. Shelley follows up with a DDT and Dutt pops in with the standing shooting star press. Aries hits Shelley with a Finlay Roll but then Dutt cuts him off with an enziguiri. Shelley pulls Dutt off of Aries, and Dutt hits him with the Asai DDT for two. Strong grabs Dutt and lands a gutbuster for two. Aries breaks it up with a kick to the head, and then hits the brainbuster. He goes up for the 450 Splash but Shelley cuts him off and then Dutt knocks him to the floor. Dutt goes up top and hits Strong with a dragon rana to get the pin at 12:32. That was a good action packed opener to start the show, and a good last minute effort to entice fans to pay for the show.
MATCH #1: Samoa Joe vs. Jushin Liger
They lock up and Joe shoves Liger down to the canvas. Liger comes back with a headlock but it doesn’t get him anywhere. He tries shoulderblocks but Joe pretty much shrugs that off. H takes Joe down with a drop toehold and then dropkicks him in the face. Joe comes back with a forearm and tries to charge but Liger dumps him to the floor. Lighter dropkicks Joe from the ring and then follows him out with a flying body press. Back in the ring Liger tries another cross body block but Joe catches him with a fallaway slam. Joe hits the running knee in the corner and then lands the Big Joe Combo for two. A snap powerslam gets another near-fall for Joe. Moments later Liger avoids a charge in the corner and hit a Koppo Kick in the corner and then a vertical suplex for two. Liger goes up top and hits a Frog Splash for a two-count. Joe fires back with an enziguiri. He goes for mounted punches but Liger slips out and powerbombs Joe. Liger hits a couple of palm strikes but still only gets two. He goes back up top but Joe sweeps his leg and hits the Muscle Buster. Joe then locks on the Coquina Clutch and Liger is out at 7:15. Why even bring Liger in for that? It was fun but basically a squash.
MATCH #2: The Diamonds in the Rough vs. Sonny Siaki, Apolo & Shark Boy
Diamond and Boys start the match for their respective teams. Boy tries using his agility but Diamond overpowers the cult favorite. Now Boy tries the Dead Sea Drop but Diamond slams him off the top rope. Diamond tries a legdrop but Boy moves out of the way and executes the Shark Bite. Skipper tags in, and moments later Apolo joins him in the ring. Apolo hits an Ace Crusher out of nowhere for a two-count. He follows up with a twisting half nelson slam. Diamond distracts the referee and Young illegally interferes to give the Diamonds the advantage. Skipper takes in and clips Apolo out of the air for a two-count. Apolo comes back with an elevated Ace Crusher. Young and Siaki tag in to almost no reaction from the crowd. And it wouldn’t be an Elix Skipper match if Primetime didn’t try a dangerous looking move and almost drop himself on his head. The math breaks down a bit, as Boy, Young, and Apolo all hit dives to the floor. Back in the ring Siaki battles Skipper, allowing Young to sneak in the ring and flatten Siaki with a spinebuster to get the pin at 7:08. That was decent little midcard filler.
MATCH #3: Monty Brown vs. Lance Hoyt
Brown is the aggressor and takes control early on. Unfortunately he gloats too much and Hoyt comes back with a series of punches. Hoyt hits a flying shoulderblock, a clothesline, and a combination flapjack / back body drop combo that thankfully doesn’t kill the Alpha Male. The fight spills to the floor and Brown reclaims control. Brown throws Hoyt back in the ring but once again gloats too much and Hoyt wipes him out with a slingshot dive. Back in the ring Brown simply goes back on offense. Hoyt comes back with mounted punches. He goes back up top for a potential moonsault but Brown hurls him to the floor. Brown hits a vertical suplex and then throws Hoyt back in the ring. He hits a fallaway slam, and yes I am entertained. He goes for the Pounce but Hoyt cuts him off with a big boot. Hoyt goes up and hits the moonsault but Brown kicks out at two! He tries a cross body block off the second rope but Brown catches him and hoists him into the Alpha Bomb! That was impressive, but it only gets two. Hoyt comes back with a Rock Bottom for two. Moments later Brown reverses an Irish Whip and destroys Hoyt with the POUNCE PERIOD to get the pin at 6:33. That was a fun power match but there was really no selling or story to speak of. It worked for them though and they got the crowd into it.
MATCH #4: The 3Live Kru vs. Team Canada
Team Canada is represented by Eric Young, Bobby Roode, and A1. They are accompanied by Coach Scott D’Amore. The 3Live Kru is of course BG James, Ron “The Truth” Killings and Konnan. Young and Konnan start the match for their respective teams. The sad thing is that Konnan destroys all three members of Team Canada without any help from his partners. Konnan is terrible. Roode gets hit with the legdrop to the groin, and the Kru continues to work him over as Kip James watches on from the entrance. After a few minutes Roode comes back with a full nelson drop for a two-count. Roode backs Truth into the Team Canada corner and all three men go to work on him. Truth makes the comeback and makes the hot tag. BG dominates all three Canadians and then the match turns into a pier-six brawl. In a shocking turn of events, D’Amore distracts the referee while Roode hits BG in the face with a hockey stick (which the referee sees Roode getting into the ring with, and then it breaks and hits his leg but he still doesn’t notice). Young gets the pin at 6:01. That was exactly like every other 3Live Kru or Team Canada match.
MATCH #5: Ultimate X Match – Chris Sabin vs. Matt Bentley w/ Traci Brooks vs. Petey Williams w/ Scott D’Amore
This is the eighth-ever Ultimate X match. Williams is 0-2, Bentley is 2-1, and Sabin is 3-2 lifetime in Ultimate X matches. Bentley and Sabin work together to exile Williams to the floor before taking each other on. Sabin hits a rana and then Petey makes his way back in. The action is coming from all sides, with everyone on an offensive mindset. Sabin makes the first trek toward the X but Bentley takes him down with an inverted atomic drop. Traci distracts Petey from the ring apron and rubs Petey’s face in between her boobs. That allows Bentley to almost reach the X but Sabin comes back in and pulls him down. Sabin takes control of both guys, hitting a DDT/Enziguiri combo to take both men out. They’re not down long enough for Sabin to get the X though. Petey takes Sabin to the apron and hits a legdrop, and then hits the slingshot rana on Bentley. Back in the ring Bentley hits a dual Ace Crusher/Neckbreaker combo. He tries to climb to the X but Sabin stops him and hits a powerbomb!
Sabin and Petey battle on the top rope and Petey is able to trap Sabin in a modified Oh Canada. Bentley comes back in and pushes Petey to the floor. He tries to climb up but now Sabin pushes him to the floor. Sabin then wipes out Bentley and Petey with a moonsault to the floor. He’s the first man back in the ring and he slowly climbs up towards the X. Bentley spears Sabin down and the X falls to the mat. Petey wisely tries to grab the X but the referee says he must climb up to get it. Crew members scramble to re-hang the X while the wrestlers battle on the floor. Once the X is re-hung, all three men get back in the ring. Sabin and Bentley go for the X. They knock each other down and the X falls again and this time Petey catches it to, what, win the match at 13:37? Apparently this time when the X fell it was okay but the last time it wasn’t. The problems with this match were definitely not the fault of the wrestlers. It’s just unfortunate that the X kept falling down. Other than that the match was good.
MATCH #6: NWA World Tag Team Title Match – America’s Most Wanted vs. The Naturals
Chris Harris and James Storm have been the champions since 10.22.05 and this is their first defense. The challengers charge the ring and unload on the champions. Chase Stevens battles Storm while Andy Douglas fights with Harris. They’re all over ringside, and Stevens strikes the first major blow by powerbombing Storm into the guardrail. The Naturals then double-team Harris, throwing him into the guardrails repeatedly. After several minutes of abuse, Gail Kim distracts Douglas long enough for Storm to gain control of him. Douglas is busted open. Back in the ring the champs dissect the weakened Douglas. Storm hits the Eye of the Storm for a two-count. Douglas shows inability to build to a hot tag by just tagging Stevens with no buildup.
Even so, Stevens is a house afire, throwing AMW around with reckless abandon. Douglas recovers long enough to help Stevens with a double team but they can’t put Harris away. Storm comes back and tries a superkick but Stevens ducks and hits one of his own. Harris grabs a handful of powder but Stevens kicks it back in his face, causing him to hit his own partner with the Catatonic. The Naturals hit Harris with the Death Sentence but he kicks out at two! They go for the Natural Disaster but Gail distracts the referee. Douglas goes chasing after her, and he winds up getting handcuffed to the guardrail! Back in the ring Gail distracts the referee again and Storm blasts Stevens in the face with a beer bottle. AMW then hits the real Death Sentence to score the pin and retain the titles at 10:37. I always thought the Naturals were incredibly boring but somehow they always had good matches with America’s Most Wanted. This was a good hate-filled brawl and I wonder how on Earth Gail Kim could look so much hotter in TNA than she does in WWE. How does that happen?
MATCH #7: Monster’s Ball – Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Rhino vs. Sabu
The video package says that these guys have been locked up since midnight last night without food or water, but Rhino was on the preshow for fuck’s sake. They waste no time going at it, and Sabu throws a chair right into Abyss’s head. Sabu quickly throws Rhino to the floor and follows him out with a somersault dive. Hardy hits Abyss with Poetry in Motion in the corner, and then to the floor. Rhino and Sabu battle in one part of the arena, while Abyss and Hardy fight elsewhere. Abyss and Hardy make their way back to the ring first. Sabu follows but he doesn’t stay long, hitting a springboard dive on Rhino on the floor. Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate but Abyss counters with Shock Treatment! Rhino comes back in the ring and lays waste to everyone with a steel chair. Sabu doesn’t really sell it. He motions for Jeff to double-team Abyss, but then he double crosses the youngest Hardy brother. A bloody Rhino now takes the kendo stick and unloads on everyone. Abyss comes back with a Chokeslam.
Hardy and Abyss battle up by the entrance while Sabu stacks Rhino on a table at ringside. Sabu hits a triple jump legdrop through the table and both men are hurting. Meanwhile Hardy has Abyss on a couple of tables he set up, and then he goes to the top of the set and hits a Swanton Bomb to break the table! Back in the ring Sabu his Rhino in a Camel Clutch but it goes nowhere. Rhino comes back and blasts Sabu with the Kendo Stick. Sabu comes back with the Triple Jump Moonsault but it only gets two. Abyss is crawling back towards the ring as Sabu legdrops a chair onto Rhino’s face. Sabu greets him with a chair to the face, but then gets caught and dumped over the top rope and through a table on the floor! Abyss gets his bag of thumbtacks but before he can use them Rhino hits a Gore through a table set up in the corner! Hardy is back in the ring now, and bummer for him but Rhino catches him with the Rhino Driver to get the big win at 11:46. That was an awesome chaotic brawl that had some fun spots and very little down time.
MATCH #8: 30 Minute Iron Man Match for the TNA X-Division Title – AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
Styles has been the champion since 9.11.05 and this is his first defense. Daniels attacks Styles before the bell and away we go. He works Styles over for a minute or so and then Styles comes back with a backbreaker. Daniels takes a brief powder and then back in the ring gets met with a dropkick that sends him right back to the floor. Styles knocks Daniels into the crowd and then jumps off the ring steps into the crowd to take him out. Back in the ring Styles grinds away with a headlock. After several escapes attempts Daniels is able to slip out and lock on an armbar. That doesn’t last long though as Styles goes back to the headlock and stays one step ahead of the challenger. He kicks Daniels in the rib and drops a knee (or a forearm according to Tenay) for a two-count. The champion remains dominant as we cross 10 minutes without a fall yet.
Styles comes off the top rope but Daniels catches him with a t-bone suplex. Now Daniels is in control and he wears the champion down, focusing on the neck. He throws in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a two-count. He locks on the Koji Clutch and Styles barely makes it to the ropes to force a break. Daniels slams Styles down and hits an Arabian Press for two. At the halfway point the score is still 0-0. Styles comes back and hits the flipping inverted DDT and both men are down. Back on their feet Styles has gotten a second wind. Styles hits a pumphandle gutbuster for a two-count. He tries a slingshot maneuver but Daniels catches him with a Death Valley Driver for two. Daniels then hits the Iconoclasm but Styles kicks out. Styles comes back with the vertical suplex neckbreaker He tries the flipping inverted DDT again but Daniels catches him with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Daniels then hits the Best Moonsault Ever but Styles kicks out!
We’ve got 10 minutes to go as Styles hits a Rack Bomb for a two-count. Daniels comes back and kicks Styles to the floor and then flattens him with a suicide dive through the ropes. Back in the ring Styles pulls the Pele out of nowhere to knock Daniels back to the floor, and then he hits Daniels with a flip dive. Both men look exhausted on the floor. They make it up to the apron and Daniels backdrops Styles to the floor. Back in the ring now there’s less than five minutes to go. Daniels catches a quick cradle for two. Styles comes back with his own cradle for a two-count. They continue trading pinning combinations but neither man can get a pin. Daniels hits a release German Suplex, and Styles comes back with a discuss clothesline before selling the German. Styles recovers first and gets a cover for two. He goes up top for a cross body block but Daniels rolls through for a close near-fall right around the Two Minute Warning. They kind of meander around and Styles hits an enziguiri for two. Daniels comes back with a jawbreaker and an enziguiri of his own. He tries the Angel’s Wings but it turns into a series of reversals that ends with Styles hitting the Styles Clash to get the first pin at 29:58. He officially wins the match and retains the X-Division Title at 30:00. I miss the pre-Kurt Angle TNA, where guys could wrestle for 30 minutes and only hit one finishing move between them. The selling was a little spotty but these two always had great chemistry together and there was very little resting once they got going. I’m not sure why AJ Styles had to cry about it, but it was a great match.
MATCH #9: 10 Man #1 Contender Gauntlet
The winner of this gauntlet will get an immediate NWA World Title shot against Jeff Jarrett. I wish TNA didn’t call these Gauntlet matches, because they really aren’t. Samoa Joe drew #1, and Ron Killings drew #2. They will wrestle for two minutes, and then a new entrant will join them every 60 seconds. Truth mocks Joe’s dancing from earlier, and Joe rightly takes offense. Joe takes Truth down in the corner and this the Face Wash. Truth springs up to the top rope and hits a blockbuster. The #3 entrant is Sabu. He throws a chair at both Joe and Truth, and then hits Truth with the Triple Jump Moonsault. Lance Hoyt is out at #4. He’s fired up and exchanges strikes with Joe. Hoyt levels Joe with a big boot and then turns his attention to Sabu and Truth. We’re halfway there when Abyss comes out at #5. He goes after Joe as well as they trade chops and neither man will back down. Truth breaks up the skirmish.
Jeff Hardy is #6, and he’s looking worse for wear. Everyone’s just brawling, not much of note happening. Monty Brown is next at #7. He immediately eliminates both himself and Hardy. Rhino is #8 and he eliminates Hoyt with a clothesline. Kip James is #9, and he’s the only one in the match who didn’t wrestle earlier. That gives him a distinct advantage. The final entrant at #10 is TNA X-Division Champion AJ Styles. That means Raven did not get into the gauntlet, which is a major slap in the face to the former NWA Champion who hasn’t gotten a rematch. Abyss eliminates Kip, and then Styles eliminates Truth even though Kip was trying to push him back in. Joe locks Styles in the Coquina Clutch and Abyss pushes them both out. That leaves just Rhino and Abyss, and Rhino quickly hits a Gore and throws Abyss over the top rope to eliminate him and win the Gauntlet at 14:18. I’m pretty sure they said that it would be a regular singles match when it got down to the last two guys. Either way this was the usual, and I wasn’t really into Rhino then and I’m still not today.
MATCH #10: NWA World Championship Match – Rhino vs. Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett has been the champion since 9.15.05 and this is his first defense. It was supposed to be against Kevin Nash, but in a shocking turn of events, Nash got injured, which is why they did the gauntlet match that we just saw. Jeremy Borash even gets in the ring for the special ring introductions. Tito Ortiz is the special referee for the match. Jarrett brings a casket with him for some reason. Jarrett immediately attacks Rhino with kicks and Ortiz never asks for an opening bell. Good job dude.
Jarrett hits a dropkick and gloats about it. The champion does not seem to be taking this match seriously. He takes Rhino to the floor and throws him into the guardrails. He beats Rhino up around ringside, hitting him with a garbage can and slamming his head into the casket. Back in the ring Jarrett hits a clothesline off the top rope, and then another one. He goes for a third one but Rhino catches him and kicks him square in the nuts. Gail Kim makes her way out as Rhino misses the Gore. Gail goes up top and jumps right into the waiting arms of Ortiz. He tries to force her back to the locker room, and Jarrett blasts Rhino in the face with the guitar. Ortiz makes his way back to the ring to count but Rhino kicks out at two. America’s Most Wanted come out and hand Jarrett another guitar. Before Jarrett can use this one Rhino hits the Gore (which Jarrett sells with more surprise than pain, jerk) to win the title at 5:41. Well that was a shit sandwich of a main event.
After the match Jarrett, Team Canada, and America’s Most Wanted beat down Rhino and the 3Live Kru, who tried to save the new champion. Then from out of nowhere Team 3D makes their way down and clears the ring.
BONUS MATCH: Ultimate X Match – Chris Sabin vs. Matt Bentley vs. Petey Williams, iMPACT!, 11.3.05
This is the ninth-ever Ultimate X match. Williams is 1-2, Bentley is 2-2, and Sabin is 3-3 lifetime in Ultimate X matches. They decided to do a rematch due to the controversy at the PPV surrounding the falling X. Bentley is accompanied by Traci Brooks. The winner gets a shot at the X-Division Title in 10 days on the first-ever “Genesis” pay-per-view.
They waste no time in pulling out big offensive maneuvers on each other. Petey tries to climb first but Sabin dropkicks him, sending his head in between the steel support beam. Bentley joins them on the top rope and hits Sabin with a superplex. Petey recovers and goes after Traci at ringside. Bentley comes out to defend his special lady friend. Meanwhile Sabin tries to climb but Bentley catches him and hits a super spinning neckbreaker. Williams grabs Bentley and executes Oh Canada, and then Sabin knocks Petey down and hits a sliding dropkick to the face. Bentley rolls to the floor. Moments later Sabin takes Bentley out with a dive, and then Petey (mostly) hits the slingshot rana. We cut to commercial.
Back from the break Petey is climbing towards the X. Bentley grabs his legs and Sabin nails him with a missile dropkick to knock him down. Bentley takes Sabin down and almost gets to the X but Petey stops him and powerbombs him to the mat. Petey goes up for the X but Sabin hits a pop-up release German Superplex. Bentley goes for the X, and Sabin grabs Petey for a powerbomb, but Bentley kicks Petey over which allows Petey to hit Sabin with a rana. All three men are down, but Bentley is first back to his feet. Petey gets up too and hits Bentley with the Canadian Legsweep and then tries the Canadian Destroyer but Bentley avoids it and blasts Petey with a Head on Collision (Superkick). Sabin grabs Bentley in the Cradle Shock. He goes for the X but Petey brings him down with an inverted atomic drop and then hits the Canadian Destroyer. Bentley is climbing toward the X. D’Amore tries to interfere but Traci comes in and stops him. Petey joins Bentley by the X and kicks him right in the balls, leaving him all alone to grab the X and win the match legit this time at 11:28 (shown). This was better than the PPV match, and not just because the X didn’t fall this time.
The Pulse: The Monster’s Ball, Ultimate X, Tag Team Title, Pre Show, and Iron Man matches all make this show worth watching The last two matches were pretty dull and meaningless since Jarrett won the title back 10 days later, but it doesn’t diminish the good work earlier in the show. I actually miss this era of TNA.