Coming in 2006 to a bookstore near you…
Once again, a mini-rant, as I watched it last night and didn’t feel like taking detailed notes or anything.
– Sabu d. Abyss. Weird thing running throughout the match, as they kept trying to run the ropes and then realized there were no ropes. It’s weird because they did that realization spot like 10 times. Not my thing overall, but it wasn’t too terribly icky to watch and the sandwich spot to finish for Sabu was pretty neat. **
– Austin Aries & Matt Bentley d. Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong. Alex Shelley will be the next Chris Jericho at the rate he’s developing, mark my words. Between his facial expressions and the “Shelley-Cam” he has all the goods to break out in 2006. Of course, he does the job here to stale Matt Bentley, but that’s TNA for ya. Good double-team stuff all around until the weak superkick finish. **3/4
– Raven d. Chris K. Is that REALLY the best name they could think up? Usual lazy, sloppy Raven match, although it’s nice to see he’s gone back to the ECW threads instead of the kilt. Not much here from Mr. K, who seems to be in need of a few months in the ring to shake off the rust, not to mention a tanning bed. Don’t know and don’t care where the Raven story is going, although you’d think that if Tommy Dreamer was available, that would be the logical payoff. *
– Team Canada d. 4 Live Kru. Another nothing match from these teams, until Konnan pulls the trigger on a heel turn (which is exactly what I said they should do, so they can position the James Gang for AMW in a redneck showdown). Konnan works moderately better as a heel anyway. **
– Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt & Dale Torborg d. The Diamonds in the Rough. I don’t know how Mike Tenay can hype Torborg as the guy formerly known as the Demon and expect that to INCREASE his credibility with the fans. Geez, stick with the MVP gimmick, at least that was related to baseball. Good teamwork here from Sabin and Dutt, and the finish was never in doubt, nor should it have been booked any other way — just do a bunch of media-friendly big spots, have AJ interfere for the win, and take lots of pictures. Call it *1/2
– Christian Cage d. Monty Brown. This was a pretty interesting match, as they spent the first couple of minutes in an awkward groove before Christian suddenly got motivated and carried Monty to a nice little Main Event Style match. The fun heel stuff from Cage was also neat, as it allows him to keep the edge that made him a cult star in the first place. They even do a setup-and-payoff spot, with the turnbuckle getting pulled off early and Brown crashing into it for the Cage win. Me likey. ***
– Team 3D d. AMW. Standard WWE-style tables match brawl thingie, which is interesting because I think Team 3D can really boost AMW from just being able to work standard southern tag matches to a team that can be fully WWE-ready if they ever jump ship. Of course, considering that the tag division is currently non-existant, there’s no reason to want to jump right now, but anything that makes TNA’s stars look like bigger stars is only a good thing. Didn’t enjoy it as much as the crazy six-man brawl from last month, but it was still good. ***
– Samoa Joe d. X Champion AJ Styles to win the title. Now here’s the reason to see this PPV. In a division where everything is criticized for being all flash and no substance, this told the best story I’ve ever seen an X division match tell, with a desperate AJ throwing everything in his arsenal at the monster Joe, but being unable to beat him because he just wasn’t good enough. And when he realized that, it made him all the more fired up and angry, which caused him to make a stupid mistake and cost him the title. This was AWESOME, with stiff shots galore and AJ playing mental chess trying to figure out how to beat the guy, and not succeeding. Sometimes great stories don’t involve the good guy winning right away. It was totally the Sting-Vader of the X division, except an even better match. Whether or not it’ll hold up as MOTY for 2006 by next December, I dunno. But I’ll do my part. ****3/4, for a couple of missed spots like the weird powerbomb spot.
– Jeff Jarrett d. Rhyno. This was the usual Jarrett wankfest, with 18 people running in, using guitars and chairs, hitting the Stroke a bunch of times, etc etc etc. I dunno, **, whatever. Doesn’t matter. It wasn’t a match, it was a Vince Russo tribute. Sting is now old that he thinks the ring is the coat check area, which doesn’t bode well for his involvement in the promotion, especially if he’s getting immediately positioned as the next big challenger to Jarrett when AJ and Joe should be fighting over that title at this point. Blah ending to an overall enjoyable PPV.