The SmarK Rant for TNA Final Resolution 2005
– Live from Orlando, FL.
– Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Don West.
– You know, these video packages to open the show are getting REALLY damn good. Much better than the WWE’s lately, in fact.
– Opening match: Michael Shane, Kazarian & Christopher Daniels v. 3 Live Kru. Konnan starts with Daniels and they trade wristlocks and take it to the mat, but Konnan gets the rolling clothesline and cleans house on the heels. The Kru triple-team Shane with a Whazzup and Killings comes in and slugs on him. Killings dodges him and forearms him down, but Shane gets a jawbreaker to bring Kazarian in. James & Killings do some dance moves and double-teaming, and James works on the arm. I’m really shocked that the WWE hasn’t stolen this gimmick yet. Kazarian unsuccessfully tries to tag Shane, and then opts to run away instead, leading to a chase that leaves James in no man’s land and on the receiving end of some beatings. Daniels gets a dropkick and Kazarian gets an awesome pump kick in the corner, and they continue to work him over. James comes back with a powerbomb on Daniels, and it’s hot tag Killings. He does the dancing axe kick for two on Shane, but Daniels saves. And now it’s BONZO GONZO and they start doing finishers at a frantic pace until Shane and Konnan clothesline each other and everyone is out. Triple slugfest leaves Kazarian and Daniels on the floor, and Shane alone. Inverted DDT gets two for Konnan. They set him up for another triple team, but Kazarian saves and Daniels catches James with an STO. He then showboats and tries a quebrada outside on Killings, but misses and hits Kazarian. Shane is alone again, and this time the Kru don’t blow it, finishing with a leg lariat from Killings at 8:18. Too short, as I was really digging this, but still a great opener to fire up the crowd. ***
– Elix Skipper v. Sonjay Dutt. Dutt grabs a headlock to start and gets powered down by Skipper to start. Dutt walks up the ropes and leaps over, into a sunset flip for two, and then another rollup gets two. Crazy flying headscissors puts Skipper on the floor, and he takes a breather. Dutt baseball slides him and charges, but ends up in the front row. He recovers with a dive back into the ringside area, however, flattening Skipper out of nowhere. Tremendous. Back in, that gets two. Dutt takes him down with an armbreaker and works it, but Skipper makes the ropes. Dutt tries to snap Skipper’s arm on the top rope, but they kinda blow it, so Dutt gets a springboard dropkick for two. Skipper is selling the arm, so Dutt really goes for it, pounding it with an armbar takedown, but he goes up and Skipper pops up and dropkicks him to the floor. Well, you don’t need the arm to do that, I’ll give him that. On the floor, Skipper works the back and crotches him on the railing, which gets two back in the ring. Skipper gives him a taste of his own medicine, taking him down with a vicious armbreaker and then kicking him in the shoulder. A roundhouse kick misses, so he recovers with a back kick for two. Dutt counters the POD, but a Lionsault hits knee. Skipper gets a gut wrench and springboard clothesline. They head up and Skipper fights for a superplex, but Dutt powerbombs him down instead. Dutt makes the comeback and clotheslines Skipper down a few times, setting up a backdrop suplex for two. Tornado DDT gets two. He goes up and misses, so Skipper hotshots him into a spinning uranage for the pin at 10:13. Good enough to fire up the crowd, but not enough to steal the show, which is exactly how good it should be. ***1/4
– Meanwhile, DDP and Nash plot against Monty Brown. Never trust anyone who dyes their hair that often, I say.
– Kid Kash v. Dustin Rhodes. Kash attacks to start and gets nowhere, as Dustin slugs him down and clotheslines him out. Back in, Kash attacks again and gets foiled again, and Dustin catapults him into the ropes. Dust goes up and gets caught, but fights Kash off and slugs him down. Kash fakes a knee injury after hitting the mat, and no one’s buying it. And of course he goes low and makes the comeback, dropkicking Dustin’s knee and then working it over. He goes to a spinning toehold, but Rhodes gets a backslide for two. Kash goes low and remains in control, but Dustin cradles for two. Kash keeps kicking at the leg and drops a knee on the knee. Figure-four time, but Dustin fights out and comes back with a sleeper. Kash reverses, looking almost comical trying to jump on Dustin’s back with what looks like a 3 foot height difference, but manages to take him down. They slug it out and Dustin catches him with a clothesline and slugs him down. Atomic drop, but it hurts the knee. Crowd chants “Walk it off”. Kash hits him with a high cross, but Rhodes rolls through for two. Kash misses a high kick and Dustin goes for the Curtain Call, but Kash reverses to an enzuigiri for two. He stops to argue with the ref and gets bulldogged for the pin at 10:51. The size difference looked absurd on paper, but damned if they didn’t fight tooth and nail for every bit of this one until it was pretty good. ***
– Raven v. Erik Watts. That was a pretty short heel run for Erik. Raven attacks to start and takes him out of the ring for a Russian legsweep into the railing. Back into the ring for some boot-raking action, although a knee in the corner clearly misses by a foot. Raven slugs him down for two, and tosses him again. Back in, Watts comes back with a missile mule kick and they brawl up the ramp. Back to ringside, Watts takes him into the railing and crotches him there. Back in, the chokeslam follows, and he grabs a chair. The ref grabs it from him, however, and Raven goes low. He grabs the chair himself and sets it up in the ring, ramming Erik into it. Why is that not a DQ? Watts blocks the DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM by…not running. Oh man, that’s opening up a huge can of worms with regards to the irish whip in general, but whatever. Watts fights back and gets the big boot, but he doesn’t want the pin. Can I get a second opinion on that? Raven hotshots him for two as this thing grinds to a halt. Watts gets the scary powerbomb into the turnbuckles, and this time he gets two. Another chokeslam is countered by Raven into an anklelock (where did THAT come from?), and then a superkick gets two. Watts takes a Jannetty bump off a clothesline, even though physics dictate that he shouldn’t have done it that way, but Watts takes him down with the dreaded STF, which Raven counters to the anklelock. It’s like the marital arts portion of the Special Olympics or something. After all that, a chokeslam finishes Raven at 10:18. Well, the good match streak had to end sometime, and Watts was as good a bet as anyone. * Raven begs for forgiveness afterwards. He should beg for our forgiveness after that mess.
– Jeff Hardy v. Scott Hall. Roddy Piper is the special referee, just to up the crazy and/or drugged quotient of the match. Piper finds various cutlery hidden in Hall’s jumpsuit, to the point where it gets a bit cartoonish. Hardy’s hankies tonight are purple and green, indicating he likes to get pierced and he’s hunting for a daddy. Well, Hall’s old enough to be his dad. And he brought a fork. Hall catches him with a blockbuster slam and they brawl outside, and back in Hardy gets the legdrop before getting pounded down. Corner clothesline by Hall and he takes him down and pulls on his disgusting hair (and when your hair looks gross next to SCOTT HALL, that’s saying something), and a chokeslam gets two. Ref bump and Hall finds his backup international object, a pair of brass knuckles, but Piper recovers and saves Jeff. Twist of Fate and swanton finish at 5:53. Well, at least it was short. 1/4* Speaking of short, apparently Abyss’ negotiations with WWE didn’t last as long as he thought they would, as he returns and lays out Hardy.
– Monty Brown v. DDP v. Kevin Nash. Nash is starting to have that Kenny Rogers thing going on. Well, at least he’s in better shape than Hall. Page trades headlocks with Brown while Nash looks on. I see he’s up to his usual level of work tonight. Page works the arm and tries a Diamond Cutter, but Brown blocks. Page gets another headlock, but Brown knocks him out of the ring. Finally Nash decides to earn his keep, fighting for a lockup with Brown and getting powered into the corner as a result. Nash responds by doing his imitation of Brown. Well, nobody said he wasn’t funny. Nash pounds him in the corner and gets the dreaded Emerald City Slam for two. Back to the corner, but Nash actually TAKES A BUMP, as Brown suplexes him. Oh man, he’s EXTRA motivated tonight. Nash bails to shake off the exertion, leaving Page and Brown, as DDP gets the discus clothesline for two. Monty comes back with a DDT for two. Big Kev makes the save and they work Brown over in the corner, but Nash charges Page and gets dumped, and thus eliminated. Kevin’s “bump” over the top was less a drop than a casual hop out after a light fall to the apron, for those keeping track. DDP gets the Diamond Cutter on Brown, but Nash saves. Brown cradles for two, but charges and misses, and Page gets two. Page gets a lariat for two. Amazing how the match picks up 500% after Nash is out of it. Brown uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS for two and gets a corner clothesline as DDP bumps all over for him. Powerslam gets two. Page comes back with a back elbow and goes for another Cutter, but Brown Pounces him for the pin at 9:37 to earn the title shot tonight. Last couple of minutes were pretty decent. *3/4
– NWA World tag titles: Bobby Roode & Eric Young v. America’s Most Wanted. Harris and Storm now have their names on their tights, and I encourage all similar-looking white people in wrestling to do the same, because it just makes my life that much easier. It’s a big brawl outside to start, and Team Canada gets the worst of that. Young takes a flying headscissors on the ramp from Storm, while Roode brawls with Harris at ringside. That finally leads them into the ring, and Harris starts pounding on Young. He tosses him for a nice bump and Team Canada needs badly to regroup. Harris shoulderblocks him down again, and Young bails and tries to leave before Harris brings him back in. AMW double-teams both guys, and then tosses Roode onto Young to get rid of him. And then they toss Young out of the ring, onto Roode. These guys are great. Back in, Storm keeps destroying Roode, reversing a powerbomb into a rana for two. Finally a cheapshot from Young slows Storm down, and Roode gets a neckbreaker to put the champs in control. Young chokes him down, and Roode gets a suplex for two. Storm fights out of a chinlock, but eats a knee and they work him over in the corner. Young slugs him down for two. Backbreaker gets two. Young chokes him down, but Storm finally fights back on them and gets an enzuigiri on Roode, then another on Young to knock him off the apron. Roode cuts off the hot tag, however, and Young drops the flying elbow for two. Young hits the chinlock, but Storm fights out and gets a sunset flip for two. A clothesline puts him back down, however. Roode drops a knee for two. Back to the chinlock, but Storm flips out. This time the enzuigiri misses, however, so he has to dodge a charging Roode to escape him. Hot tag Harris, as he bulldogs Young and rams Team Canada into each other, setting up a full nelson slam on Roode and lariat for Young. Delayed vertical suplex gets two on Young. It’s breaking loose in Tulsa as Storm powerslams Roode for two and they set up for the Death Sentence, but Young breaks it up. He tries a rana off the top, but Storm somehow powerbombs him into Roode from that position in a crazy spot. That gets two. Storm superkicks Roode, but Scott D’Amore pulls the ref out. AMW catches him and uses the handcuffs that Scott Hall found on Roddy Piper in an earlier match (how’s that for continuity?) and they hit Young with a Hart Attack for two. A Death Sentence is then interrupted by Johnny Devine, leaving Harris to chase Roode while Storm tries a helicopter slam on Young. Devine breaks the hockey stick on Storm and Young gets two. They stop to go after Devine, allowing Roode to try a suplex, but AMW reverses it into their powerbomb/suplex combo for two. Crowd is going CRAZY at this point. Catatonic for Young, but the ref is distracted, so Devine puts a chair into play. Roode bulldogs Harris onto it, but Young only gets two. Devine swings blindly with the chair, just in case, hits Young, and AMW are the new champions at 19:14. Finish ran out of steam at the end, but the rest was just awesome stuff. ****
– Ultimate X: Petey Williams v. AJ Styles v. Chris Sabin. Three-way slugfest to start and Williams bails, leading to a chase with Sabin, as Styles looks on and waits. Styles and Sabin pinball Petey and then Sabin whips Styles into him with a clothesline, before Styles alley-oops Sabin into him with a dropkick. I sense they don’t like him. Petey bails, leaving Styles & Sabin to trade wristlocks. Styles springboards in and misses, so Sabin hits him with an elbow and they criss-cross. That allows Williams to drag him out, so Styles hits them both with a crazy flip dive. AJ starts climbing and Sabin follows to stop him, then dropkicks AJ into the steel scaffolding holding up the cables. OUCH. Sabin starts climbing the cable now, but D’Amore gets involved and pulls him down. That allows Williams to get back into things and stomp him. The ref gets rid of D’Amore as everyone takes a breather. So back to the match, Petey sends AJ into the post and goes after Sabin, elbowing him down into a rolling vertical suplex/backdrop suplex combo. Sabin tries to fight back and Williams takes him down for a Sharpshooter, but AJ sneaks up and starts traversing the cables. Williams releases to pull Styles down, then hits him with a german suplex. He gets rid of Sabin and hangs AJ in the Tree of Woe, but he fights back with a soccer kick. Sabin tries climbing and AJ pulls him down, then brings him into electric chair position while Petey climbs the cables. He drops down and hits Sabin with a rana off Styles’ shoulders, however. These guys are mental. And now Styles and Petey both climb the cables and meet at the belt, but Styles falls off via Sabin, leaving Williams hanging at the belt. Styles regroups and springboards off the top, slugging Williams to the mat from the air. How do they THINK of this stuff? Sabin makes another climb and Styles follows, so Sabin brings him down with a rana. Crowd chants “This is awesome” and I’m inclined to agree. Petey goes for the Destroyer, but Sabin reverses to a Cradle Shock, and AJ springs out of nowhere with the double inverted DDT, finally hitting that move for the first time I’ve ever seen. Then it’s up the cable with the other two out, but Sabin gives AJ some of his own springboard medicine, dropkicking him down to the mat again. Petey and Sabin end up on the floor and Petey climbs the scaffold, then wedges AJ’s arm in the steel before he wriggles free. Sabin sneaks in and hits Williams with the Cradle Shock, then climbs the cables again, but AJ saves and pulls him down into a Styles Clash attempt, which Sabin counters with an armbar. AJ counters that with a powerbomb, into the Styles Clash. Back up for AJ, with no one in sight, but the arm is shot and he can’t hang on. Petey dives in and hits him with the Canadian Destroyer to really add insult to injury, and AJ is out of it. Tornado DDT for Sabin and it appears to be Canada’s night, as he climbs again before Sabin yanks him down and spikes him into the corner with a crucifix slam. Sabin and Petey climb again and AJ is dead, and both guys meet in the middle and fight over the belt. They get it loose and have a tug of war, but AJ makes one last desperate dive, knocks the belt out of their hands, and regains the title at 19:53. Three ****+ matches in two PPVs is a pretty good record for TNA. This was the craziest of crazy spotfests. ****1/2
– NWA World title: Jeff Jarrett v. Monty Brown. They fight over a lockup to start and Jarrett takes him down and struts. Dropkick and more strutting. He tries to overpower Brown, but that’s not happening, and in fact he gets press-slammed as a result. Jarrett takes him into the corner and tries to hiptoss him out, but that plan backfires pretty clearly, and Brown powerslams him for two. Brown goes up and lands on the foot, but catches the foot in a nice spot and drops a headbutt for two. He charges, however, and lands on the floor, allowing Jarrett to try a pescado off all things, which Brown shrugs off. He tries to spear Jarrett into the post, but JJJ reverses and sends him into the crowd for some brawling. Jarrett schools him with a chair and they fight to the announce table, where Jarrett drops a chair on Brown’s back and then charges with the belt. The ref stops that and they head back in. Jarrett gets the sleeper and Brown fights out after some drama, and he reverses it. Jeff turns that into a kneecrusher, but Brown cradles for two. Jeff charges him and crotches himself on the ropes, but Brown misses his own charge. They collide for the double KO and Jarrett is up first. They slug it out, and Jarrett fails to heed the lessons of history: Never get into a slugfest with a big black dude. Brown powerbombs him for two. Neckbreaker gets two. Jarrett works him over with knees and goes for the Stroke, but the ref is bumped. Brown charges and hits boot, allowing Jarrett to grab his guitar and El Kabong Brown for two. Next up, a chair, but Brown tries to counter with an electric chair, so Jarrett hits him in the head to bring him down. That gets two. Next up, the belt, and what is normally the most devastating object in wrestling only gets two. And now Brown is PISSED. He fights back, but Pounces the ref by mistake and Jarrett finds ANOTHER guitar, goes to the top…and gets caught. Brown chokeslams him and kills him with the guitar, but there’s no ref. Another one counts two. Brown sends Jarrett into the corner, and Jeff grabs the remains of the guitar and hits Brown with it, and three Strokes and a low blow finish at 16:17. That was completely the wrong finish for that match and putting Brown over there would have MADE him, but I guess Jarrett-Nash is the big draw. I can’t even TYPE that with a straight face, sorry. This was overbooked to the extreme, but they sucked me in with it, so it worked. ***1/2