The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA iMPACT! Primetime Special — Thursday, November 3, 2005
– This was TNA’s first (and only, so far) two-hour primetime special on SpikeTV, which was a pretty big deal considering they’d just debuted on Spike one month earlier. Mike Tenay hypes it appropriately as a very special night as the cameras pan over the rabid fans in the Impact Zone before we get a nice video package showing the evolution of TNA. We see Elix Skipper’s death-defying cagewalk huracanrana and TNA’s debut in Nashville, as well as clips of various superstars that have appeared in TNA, including Nash, Hall, Hogan, Savage, and Sting. The video goes on to show TNA’s new generation of homegrown stars, some of the crazy bumps they’ve taken, the debut of Team 3D, and Rhino winning the NWA Title from Jarrett before we go to the usual Impact opening.
– Jeff Hardy & Lance Hoyt & Sabu vs. Diamonds In The Rough
Clips are shown of Jeff’s “freaking insane” dive at Bound For Glory during his entrance, and Tenay mentions that the Diamonds are at an all-time high after their win at the PPV, proving that even lower-card matches matter. Lance dominates Simon to start until Diamond tags David Young and Hoyt tags Hardy. Tenay begs us to call any wrestling fans we know and tell them about TNA as Hardy lands the Whisper In The Wind for two. The Diamonds isolate and control Sabu until he hits a springboard clothesline and tags Hoyt, who cleans house as all hell breaks loose. Amidst the chaos, Hardy lands the Swanton Bomb on Skipper for the three-count, ending the Diamonds’ winning streak at one.
Afterwards, Abyss runs in and plants the limping Sabu with the Black Hole Slam before Hardy & Hoyt weakly double-clothesline the Monster over the top rope and attend to Sabu.
– Shane Douglas interviews Jeff Jarrett, who promises to win the belt in his “one and only rematch” against Rhino tonight so that TNA Management can’t get rid of him. Jarrett compares this evening to groundbreaking moments in world history before Monty Brown interrupts him and claims that he deserves the title shot. Jarrett informs him that the rematch clause was in his contract, and the Alpha Male states that he hopes Jarrett wins because he wants to take the gold from him. Monty advises Jeff to watch his match tonight to see how it’s done, because it will end with the PPPOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNCCCCCCEEE…PERIOD!
– Monty Brown vs. Brian Gamble
The Alpha Male shows off his power arsenal and squashes Gamble with the Pounce, but there’s no “period” as he lifts Gamble to his feet and blasts him with another Pounce. Still no “period” as Monty drags Gamble off the canvas and Pounces him one more time for the victory.
– A video feature airs on new NWA World Champion Rhino.
– Another video feature airs after the commercial break, this one about the X Division focusing on Styles, Joe, Petey, Sabin, and Daniels.
– Christopher Daniels & Alex Shelley & Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries & Sonjay Dutt & A.J. Styles
Joe just stares down Shelley when he gets in Joe’s way during their prematch posing in the ring and Alex quickly backs off. Idiots chant “ROH” during the babyfaces’ entrance. Aries and Shelley start off with some good fast-paced stuff and Austin slingshots in with the twisting splash for an early two-count. Aries tags Dutt and drops the Pendulum Elbow, followed by Sonjay’s Sprinkler Elbow for two. After some more of Sonjay’s weak offense, Shelley drops him with a back suplex and tags Joe, who kicks the shit out of Sonjay and whips him to a neutral corner. Sonjay leaps up to the top and goes for a bodypress, but Joe just calmly walks away and Dutt splats on the mat. Joe crunches Sonjay with a pair of flying knees in the corner and prepares the facewash, but Daniels tags himself in to the surprise of Joe.
Sonjay snaps off an armdrag and a huracanrana on Daniels and tags Styles, who dropkicks the Fallen Angel, propelling him to the heel corner, where Joe returns the favor by tagging himself back in. Joe kicks Styles in the leg and they run off the ropes as Joe calmly walks away from a leapfrog and suddenly charges, but Styles is waiting with a drop-toehold and applies the Mutalock. Shelley comes in to help, but Sonjay catches him in a tilt-a-whirl octopus hold as Daniels enters and Aries flattens him with a bodypress off the top. Aries quickly dropkicks Daniels’ knee and traps him in a deathlock/headscissors combination as the three faces have the three heels in submission holds for a cool visual.
The ref breaks up the illegal men and Styles tags Aries before sending Joe to the corner. Aries whips A.J. at Joe, hitting a splash-clothesline in the corner, followed by a running dropkick from Austin. Joe collapses as Aries hiptosses Shelley and back-bodydrops Daniels. Shelley & Daniels retreat to the floor and Aries nails them both with a suicide dive through the ropes. Aries climbs on the apron, but Joe knocks him back out with a running kick to the face and throws Austin back in himself. Snapmare by Joe leads to the chop across the back, kick to the chest, and kneedrop off the ropes for two. Aries fights out of a rear-chinlock, only to be snap-powerslammed by Joe, who aggressively tags Daniels.
Aries flips out of a back suplex and Daniels charges, but Aries ducks and the Fallen Angel accidentally forearms Joe on the apron as Shelley tags himself in and Austin tags A.J., who cleans house on Daniels & Shelley. Styles forearms Joe, but Joe just roars in his face so Styles runs off the ropes and hits a jumping forearm. Joe still won’t go down, so Styles goes out to the apron and springboards in with a forearm shot that knocks the Samoan Submission Machine off his feet. Shelley catches Styles celebrating, but A.J. reverses the waistlock and drills him with a German suplex followed by the inverted Clash, which gets two until Daniels breaks the pin.
The Fallen Angel drops the Phenomenal One with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and the STO before Sonjay slams him with the standing Sliced Bread #2. Joe decapitates Sonjay with a vicious lariat and tries to get Aries, but he ducks and catches Joe in the crucifix drop. Aries goes to the top, but Shelley shoves him down to the floor and follows with a suicide dive through the ropes. In the ring, Daniels charges at Styles but he ducks and Daniels hits Joe, so Joe tries to hit Styles and A.J. dodges him, causing Joe to deck Daniels. Daniels argues with Joe as Styles hits the Fallen Angel with an enzuigiri and Daniels cracks heads with Joe, knocking the big Samoan out to the floor while A.J. plants Shelley with the Styles Clash for the 1-2-3. I guess that doesn’t count as a loss for Joe either.
– A video feature airs on Jeff Jarrett. As if we don’t see enough of him. I believe this and the Rhino video from earlier are available on the Roster section of the TNAWrestling.com site if anyone is interested.
– Shane Douglas interviews Rhino, who says he is a war machine and has the heart of a champion. Raven interrupts and accuses Rhino of stealing his title shot before TNA Security arrives on the scene with Larry Zbysko, who orders Raven thrown out of the building. Rhino promises to Gore Jarrett tonight and keep the NWA Championship.
– A video package airs recapping the saga of Team 3D in TNA, vowing revenge on everyone who played a part in the mock funeral for their careers a couple of weeks prior.
– Team Canada (Bobby Roode & Eric Young) vs. Team 3D
Tenay announces that the main event for Genesis would be AMW & Jeff Jarrett vs. Rhino & Team 3D, which didn’t particularly thrill me at the time. Eric Young looks frightened and exits the ring after circling Brother Devon a few times, so Roode starts off instead and gets pounded. Roode fights back and tags Eric, who doesn’t fare much better as Ray tags in and overpowers Showtime. Ray holds Young’s legs up as Devon goes to the top for the “Whazzup” headbutt, but Roode shoves Devon to the mat and Eric hits Ray with a back heel kick as we go to break. When we come back, A1 and Coach D’Amore are choking Devon over the rope from ringside.
Roode holds Devon in a chinlock as Tenay touts TNA as the “new wrestling alternative”; not exactly the best timing for that little spiel, Professor. Devon fights out and makes the tag, but referee Mark Johnson was busy with Young and didn’t see it, so he ushers Ray back out while the Canadians stomp Devon and continue to work him over. Finally, Devon double-clotheslines Young & Roode and makes the hot tag to Ray, who cleans house. A brutal powerbomb on Eric gets two when Roode breaks the pin and 3D drop him with the back-suplex/neckbreaker double-team. A1 swings the hockey stick on the apron, but 3 Live Kru come out and pull him down while Young falls victim to the 3D and Ray pins him.
– A video feature looks back at previous Ultimate X matches.
– Ultimate X: Petey Williams vs. Chris Sabin vs. Matt Bentley
Don West says this is Sabin’s sixth Ultimate X match. I guess they’re either not counting the one in Puerto Rico anymore, or they’re reading the same notes from Bound For Glory. Bentley and Sabin team up on Petey to start and then fight each other. Petey climbs the turnbuckles but before he can go any further, Sabin dropkicks him from behind and chokes him on the scaffolding. Bentley superplexes Sabin and Petey goes after Traci at ringside rather than climb up. Traci backs away but Coach D’Amore blocks her exit, so she climbs up the scaffolding and Petey grabs her foot until Bentley saves his girl and helps her down. Meanwhile, Sabin is climbing up but Bentley brings him down with a wicked swinging neckbreaker off the top.
Petey catches Bentley trying to climb and performs the “O Canada” nutpress before Sabin hangs Petey upside-down and hits a pair of dropkicks to the face. Sabin runs off the ropes, but Williams drops down so Sabin dives through the ropes and nails Bentley. Sabin tries to stop Petey from climbing, so Petey snaps Sabin’s arm over the top rope and slingshots out with a slightly flubbed huracanrana as we go to break. When we come back, Petey is on the cables going toward the X, but Bentley holds his feet while Sabin brings him down with a dropkick to the gut. Sabin still sells the neck and the arm as Matt snaps Sabin’s arm over the top and climbs the cables, actually unhooking part of the X before Petey powerbombs him down.
The X dangles by one hook and the crowd chants “Please don’t fall” as Petey climbs the turnbuckles, but Sabin runs up and German-superplexes him off the top. Awesome. Bentley climbs the cables and Sabin tries to grab his legs, but Bentley wraps his legs around the cable, so Sabin hoists Petey up in a powerbomb position and Petey tries to grab Matt. Instead, Bentley dropkicks Petey and Petey takes Sabin down with a huracanrana in a cool spot as all three guys are laid out. Bentley pops up and unloads HBK-style on Petey, who comes back with the tilt-a-whirl Russian legsweep and signals for the Canadian Destroyer, but Bentley escapes and nails him with the superkick.
Sabin goes for the Cradle Shock but Bentley slips out and fires off a superkick, which Sabin catches and plants Matt with the Cradle Shock. Sabin climbs the cables, still selling the pain in his shoulder, and gets near the X but Petey pulls him down in an inverted atomic drop and drills him with the Canadian Destroyer. Petey sells a knee injury as Bentley climbs the cables and D’Amore comes in to stop him, but Traci spears him and they roll around catfight-style. Hey, I’d do the same thing if I were the booker. Petey joins Bentley on the cables and kicks him in the yambags before unhooking the X and dropping to the canvas to win the match and earn a shot against X Division Champion A.J. Styles at Genesis.
The “Morphoplex Move of the Night” is the Canadian Destroyer on Chris Sabin. Whatever happened to Morphoplex anyway?
– Backstage, the rest of Team Canada are assaulting 3 Live Kru with hockey sticks. Thrilling.
– NWA World Heavyweight Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Rhino [champion]
Jeremy Borash performs the Super Special Ring Introductions after both men make their entrances and we go to break before the opening bell so that we get to see the match uninterrupted, which is a great idea. After the opening lock-up, Rhino shoulderblocks Jarrett down, so JJ responds with a dropkick and does the Fargo Strut. Jarrett reverses an Irish-whip and drop-toeholds Rhino, paintbrushing the back of his head. Jarrett struts again as Rhino rises behind him and unloads with right hands and a nice press slam. Rhino goes for an early Gore, but Jarrett bails out and Rhino follows him to the floor and tosses him into the crowd, where the NWA Champion rams JJ’s head against a chair being held by a fan.
Rhino chokes Jarrett on the guardrail and slams his head on the announce table before retrieving a table from under the ring. Jarrett attacks Rhino from behind and rolls him into the ring, where he eats an elbow from the Man Beast, who sets JJ up for the Rhinodriver on the middle turnbuckle but Gail Kim runs out and distracts Rhino long enough for Jarrett to shove him over the top down to the floor. Jarrett batters Rhino around ringside, with Gail getting a kick in, and sends him back in. We get the Ray Traylor tribute with the running choke and the sliding punch from the floor before Jarrett whips Rhino hard to the corner and…applies a bearhug? This really is a Boss Man tribute.
Rhino fights out of the bearhug, but Jarrett catches him with a knee to the gut for two and applies a chinlock, which actually makes sense because Jarrett has been targeting the neck. Rhino battles out and drops Jarrett with the TKO, and they’re both down. Rhino decks Jarrett with a jumping clothesline off the ropes and spears him in the corner, but when he charges again, Jarrett kicks him in the knee and cinches in the figure-four after pulling down Rhino’s kneepad. Nice touch there. Rhino finally turns it over and Gail dives off the top with a legdrop, but Rhino releases Jarrett and rolls out of the way. Rhino presses Gail overhead and threatens to throw her down on the table, but the ref stands in the way and Jarrett rolls up the NWA Champion from behind for a two-count.
Jarrett tries for another pin with his feet on the ropes, but the ref catches him at two. Jarrett argues with the ref and Rhino plants him with a spinebuster for a near-fall. Belly-to-belly comes next and Rhino charges with the Gore, but Jarrett moves and sends him into the turnbuckles. Rhino reverses a whip, but Jarrett ducks a clothesline and Rhino clobbers the ref. Jarrett swings his damn guitar, but Rhino ducks and Gores the challenger. The ref is down so Rhino threatens to use the guitar, but AMW come out and distract the Man Beast, allowing Jarrett to sneak in a lowblow. They bring Rhino out to ringside and AMW kill him with the Death Sentence through the table, which just looks nasty. Storm returns Rhino to the ring and Jarrett drops him with the Stroke for the three-count to regain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for the fifth time.
– Backstage, Team 3D are laid out and handcuffed to a railing, covered in blood. Tenay speculates that the carnage has AMW’s fingerprints all over it, but it looks like the Brood’s bloodbath to me. There’s a dated reference nobody will get in 10 years. AMW celebrate with new NWA Champion Jeff Jarrett in the ring to close out TNA’s first-ever primetime TV special.
Afterthoughts: This was really a great two-hour wrestling show, although I believe it drew a 0.8 rating due (in my opinion) to weak promotion and the fact that TNA had only been on SpikeTV for a month. As a point of reference, Scott gave the X Division six-man “****1/2 and maybe higher” and **** to the Ultimate X; when’s the last time RAW or SmackDown gave you THAT? I also think Rhino/Jarrett was an underrated match, as some people’s hatred of JJ clouded their judgment. Yeah, it sucked that Jarrett won the belt back, but if you can get past that, it was a well-worked main event with some psychology and a great table spot. The Ultimate X rematch here is included as an extra on the Bound For Glory ’05 DVD for those interested. Anyway, this was a damn good program and gives me hope if TNA gets a permanent two-hour show.