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Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – December 11, 2005
Mike Tenay and Don West are on commentary.
PRESHOW MATCH: Jon Bolen, Joe Doering & Buck Quartermain vs. The Naturals & Lance Hoyt
Chase Stevens starts the match with Quartermain as Tenay and West ignore them to hype the card. The battle quickly spills to the floor and just as quickly gets back in the ring. Andy Douglas tags in and he picks up where Stevens left off. Quartermain goes to the eyes and tags Bolen. Douglas cuts him off with a dropkick and tags Hoyt. Doering gets the tag as well, and he can nearly match Hoyt in size. This is essentially an extended squash here. Just as I type that the Job Squad uses some chicanery to take advantage of Douglas. That lasts all of about a minute before Hoyt gets tagged back in and dominates. The Naturals hit Quartermain with the Natural Disaster but Quartermain rolls to the floor. Hoyt knocks Doering to the floor and then hits Bolen with the Blackout to get the pin at 7:11. I’m fine with Hoyt and the Naturals being on the preshow.
MATCH #1: Barbed Wire Massacre – Sabu vs. Abyss
Abyss attacks right away because he’s afraid of the barbed wire and wants to get the match over with. Sabu of course isn’t afraid and takes it to Abyss with a chair. It doesn’t take long for Abyss to throw Sabu into the barbed wire, repeatedly, and Sabu is busted open. Sabu produces a spike and gouges Abyss’s arm to make it bleed. Both men get a taste of the barbed wire, and a chair wrapped in barbed wire finds its way into the ring. Abyss goes for the chair-assisted Earthquake Splash but Sabu gets the chair up into the groin and then clobbers Abyss with it. The Monster slides under the wire to the floor but he’s not safe there as Sabu follows him out with a dive. Sabu throws a barbed wire board into the ring, but before he can get back in Abyss drops his midsection right on the barbed wire. Abyss drops Sabu stomach first on the board. Ouch. Abyss sets up a barbed wire board in the corner and tries a charge but Sabu avoids it and Abyss gets a face full of barbed wire. Sabu then kicks Abyss backwards to sandwich him between the boards, and then drops a leg to get the pin at 10:59. Normally barbed wire matches aren’t my thing but they did a really good job with this one.
MATCH #2: Roderick Strong & Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries & Matt Bentley
This is an interesting combination of guys. Bentley is accompanied by Traci, and they were really pushing the “Bentley Bounce” at this time. It’s too bad how little charisma that guy has. Aries and Shelley start it off with some fast paced back and forth. Strong tags in and the pace continues to be breakneck. When Bentley tags in Shelley and Strong isolate him and try to keep him in their half of the ring. Aries receives the same treatment when he tags back in, as Shelley and Strong operate like a well-oiled machine. Interestingly, Aries and Strong were about to become the ROH Tag Team Champions at this time. Bentley gets a hot tag and is all over both of his opponents. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring at the same time. Somewhere in all the chaos Bentley drills Shelley with the Superkick (complete with a weird sell from Shelley) for the pin at 8:04. The action was fun but it meant nothing and the finish was out of nowhere.
MATCH #3: Raven vs. Chris K
This was part of the never-ending Raven versus Larry Zbyszko feud. Raven’s promo at the beginning makes him sound like someone who came up with a bunch of little quips rather than a guy just talking on the fly. That’s how I’ve long felt about Raven promos. K wastes no time in going after Raven and hitting a swinging neckbreaker. The battle spills to the floor and K continues doing a number on his former WCW rival. After a few minutes Raven avoids a moonsault and locks on the Ankle Lock but K breaks out of it. Raven comes back and kneelifts K to the floor. He throws K around a bit and then brings a chair into the ring for the drop toehold but K avoids it. K can’t avoid a powerbomb though, as Raven drops him right on the chair. Raven then hits the Raven Effect to get the pin at 5:45. That was decent but would have been better suited for Impact.
MATCH #4: The 4Live Kru vs. Team Canada
The 4Live Kru is BG James, Kip James, Konnan, and Ron “The Truth” Killings. Team Canada is represented by Petey Williams, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, and A1. Kip and Roode start the match. I just realized that this is the second Turning Point in a row that Team Canada has fought the Kru in some fashion. Konnan’s first contribution to the match is to throw his shoe at Williams, and then Truth hits the top rope legdrop to the groin. The Kru is dominant in the opening minutes here. Team Canada finally cuts off BG and works him over in their corner. That doesn’t go on too long before Kip gets the hot tag. Sometimes I forget how big of a guy he is. The match turns into a brawl and Konnan stands tall with Kip. Konnan intercepts a chair from Young, and then blasts Kip with it and instructs Roode to pin him, so Team Canada gets the win at 7:17. That was an adequate tag team match but I’m not at all interested in the saga of the 4Live Kru.
MATCH #5: Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt & Dale Torborg vs. The Diamonds in the Rough
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan is on hand to do commentary. I completely forgot that he did some TNA appearances. Tenay has the balls to tell Heenan to lay out for Borash so he can do ring announcements. How dare you Mike Tenay? Heenan will talk over whomever he wants whenever he wants (especially if it’s Borash) and it is YOU who will keep your filthy mouth shut. The Diamonds in the Rough are Simon Diamond, Elix Skipper, and David Young. The babyfaces are accompanied by White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski, and several players, including Johnny Damon, are at ringside. Skipper and Sabin start the match. They try some chain wrestling and Sabin almost kills Skipper during an armbar. It was pretty amazing. Young tags in and Sabin continues on offense and makes the tag to Dutt. Is this the last match Heenan ever commentated? Man, Dale Torborg is a big dude. The Diamonds take over on Dutt in their half of the ring. After a few minutes Dutt makes the hot tag and Torborg is on fire. The match breaks down and the babyfaces are rocking it. Sabin and Dutt take out Young and Skipper with dives to the floor, leaving Diamond and Torborg in the ring. Diamond hits Torborg with a catcher’s shin guard, but only gets two when Pierzynski pulls the referee to the floor! Heenan leaves the booth to distract the referee, and Damon gives Pierzynski a home plate to crack Diamond over the head with! Sabin then hits the Cradle Shock and Dutt follows with the Hindu Press to get the win at 8:01. That was a lot of fun.
MATCH #6: Christian Cage vs. Monty Brown
This is Christian’s first TNA pay-per-view match. Brown shows off his power right off the bat. You could even say he’s trying to show that he’s the Alpha Male. Brown even goes for an early Pounce but Christian powders to avoid it. They go back and forth a bit and Christian throws Brown to the floor, and then follows him out with a dive off the top rope! Back in the ring Christian gets a two-count. Brown comes back and gorilla presses Christian all the way down to the floor. Back in the ring Brown continues to use his power to keep Christian subdued. At one point Christian accidentally pulls one of the pads off a turnbuckle; we’ll see if that plays into the finish. Eventually Christian gets his second wind and hits a hard tornado DDT for two. They fight up to the top rope and Cage knocks him down, then follows with a Frog Splash but it only gets two. Brown comes back with the Alpha Bomb but only gets a two-count. He tries to drive Christian into the exposed turnbuckle but winds up eating it himself! Christian follows up with the Unprettier to get the win at 12:36. Those two are well matched and this was an excellent meshing of styles and a good showing for Christian on his way to a title shot.
MATCH #7: Tables Match – Team 3D vs. America’s Most Wanted
You’d think the titles would be on the line here, but you’d be wrong. Team 3D runs up the ramp to start the fight immediately! Brother Ray and James Storm battle up by the entrance while Brother Devon and Chris Harris take the fight to ringside. I never heard the opening bell, by the way. The brawl continues as most Team 3D matches tend to. The tables come into play pretty early and everyone take turns saving their partner from a wooden fate. I love how Mike Tenay refers to Asian countries as “The Orient.” Get with the times, bro. Team 3D scores the first elimination, nailing Storm with the Death Sentence through a table to take the advantage. Moments later they take Harris up by the entrance and deliver the 3D through a table to get the win at 10:39. That was the usual boring brawl from Team 3D in TNA. And as it turns out they injured James Storm driving him through the table. Good job, guys.
MATCH #8: TNA X-Division Title Match – AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
Styles has been the champion since 9.11.05 and this is his third defense. This is his fifth reign with the title, while Joe is in the midst of an undefeated streak that began back in June. The champ goes on the attack before the bell, which is wise strategy considering Joe’s dominance in TNA thus far. Joe comes back with some vicious strikes and kicks AJ right to the floor. He follows him out and continues the abuse. The pace is pretty ridiculous in this one, with both guys going all out from the get-go. Joe swings AJ head-first into the guardrail and delivers a running kick to the chest. Back in the ring Joe hits the Big Joe Combo (TM Brad Garoon). The challenger is absolutely dominating at this point. Finally AJ avoids a charge in the corner and backdrops Joe to the floor. AJ follows him out with the Fosbury Flop! Back in the ring AJ hits a springboard forearm to the back of the head for a two-count. The flipping inverted DDT gets another near-fall. Joe catches a snap powerslam out of nowhere for his own two-count. AJ comes back and tries the Styles Clash, but settles for a powerbomb and gets a very close near-fall. Joe responds with a huge clothesline but it only gets one! That just makes Joe angry, so he hits a double underhook powerbomb and AJ again kicks out at one! Joe locks on the Choke but AJ escapes and hits the Pele. They fight up to the top rope and AJ powerbombs him down and then turns it into the Styles Clash but Joe kicks out! AJ foolishly tries an O’Connor Roll but Joe grabs him and Chokes him out to win the X-Division Title for the first time at 18:54. These two tore it up in the X-Division and this was probably their best singles match ever. It was just one of those matches where everything clicked and the characters were strong and everyone looked good. This is one of the best matches in TNA history.
After the match Joe continues the assault on AJ until Christopher Daniels, previously injured by Joe, makes his return and the save for his friend.
MATCH #9: NWA World Championship Match – Jeff Jarrett vs. Rhino
Jarrett has been the champion since 11.3.05, and this is his first defense. The champion starts the match by going after the arm, but Rhino overpowers him and goes after the arm himself. Jarrett comes back with a dropkick for just a one-count. He then goes back to the arm and wrist. Rhino comes back with a press slam and hangs the champ off the top rope. He then knocks him down into the guardrail and slingshots himself over the top rope right onto Jarrett. They fight up into the crowd and Rhino tries a suplex from a concrete barrier, but Jarrett blocks it and knocks Rhino down. Rhino reverses an Irish whip and Jarrett gets slammed into the wall. They continue fighting all over the arena, and Jarrett is busted open. Rhino uses a chair and I guess this match is no-disqualification too. They fight towards the back and onto some scaffolding. Jarrett uses a chair and whacks Rhino across the back, and the challenger crashes off the scaffolding through a table below. Within moments Rhino suplexes Jarrett on the ramp and resumes control. Wow, maybe he could have sold a table bump longer than 15 seconds? He grabs a table and stacks it against the entrance ramp. He hits the Gore but the table doesn’t break and they slide down the entrance tunnel. That actually looked kind of cool.
Borash announces that both men have a count of 10 to return to the ring. I believe I made my feelings about that known earlier in this review. Petey Williams and Eric Young come out and throw Rhino down the tunnel and try to help Jarrett get back to the ring. Rhino barely makes it back to the ring and he is fired up now. He hits a flying clothesline and has to fight off Petey and Young. He hits a spinebuster but Jarrett kicks out. Rhino goes to the top and Petey crotches him down. No-DQ, I guess. That gives Jarrett the chance to hit a superplex for two. Rhino comes back with a TKO for two. The referee accidentally takes the Gore, and Jarrett goes for the Stroke. Rhino reverses that to a belly-to-belly suplex. Bobby Roode comes out to battle Rhino now, as well as A1. Rhino quickly hits the Gore on A1, but Roode levels him with the Northern Lariat. Rudy Charles barely sells Rhino’s Gore by making the two-count. Jarrett grabs the guitar and smashes it over Rhino’s head. Rhino kicks out at two. Jackie Gayda comes out, and I don’t think this storyline ever paid off. She slaps Jarrett, and then Rhino hits a Gore, from which Jarrett kicks out. Security comes out to drag Jackie away. Rhino sets up two chairs and goes for the Rhino Driver. Scott D’Amore comes down and whacks him with a hockey stick. Jarrett then hits the Stroke onto the chairs to get the pin at 17:29. I still don’t understand how TNA distinguishes some kinds of interference and foreign objects that are okay to do in front of the ref, and others that you must hide. How many times do I have to say this in this review? The match was doing fine until the interference turned it into a six-on-one match.
After the match the lights go out, and when they come back on the spotlight is on a chair is sitting in the middle of the ring with black boots and a baseball bat on it. The video screen shows a picture of a scorpion, indicating that Sting is on his way to TNA in 2006. Oh, goody.
Tags: AJ Styles, Jeff Jarrett, Rhino, turning point