The SmarK Rant for TNA Final Resolution 2006
– Live from Orlando, FL
– Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Don West
– Once again, we’re going with a less-talk-more-rock format, cutting out the play-by-play to streamline things a bit.
– Austin Aries, Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong v. Chris Sabin, Matt Bentley & Sonjay Dutt. Nice to see Sabin changing up his dated look, and it’s a lesson that roughly half the guys in TNA could take. Instead of spending millions on Sting and expensive promotional videos, invest in a BARBER and give the generic white guys that populate this promotion some distinctive looks. Some SICK double and triple team stuff from Generation Next, as Dutt plays Hindu-in-peril and rotates 8 times before every move. Speaking of people who need a barber, stat, Jerry Lynn comes out to watch the match. Sabin’s video game offense, like holding a headlock on one guy while kicking at two other guys, is like something out of Prince of Persia. Speaking of which, that’d be a pretty good gimmick for someone. Anyway, everyone fires off their crazy highspots, leaving Bentley alone to get rolled up by Shelley. (Generation Next d. Dutt/Bentley/Sabin, Shelley rollup — pin Bentley, 10:28, ***) Weak finish and Bentley (another guy who needs a haircut) is getting left behind by the more interesting X division characters.
– The Jobbers in the Rough v. The James Gang. Speaking of hair, as seems to be the theme already, does Kip James look in the mirror and go “Oh yeah, this looks GOOD.” Did someone actually convince him that Zippy the Pinhead is a macho look? BG’s new pre-match schtick feels like it’s held together by chewing gum and safety pins, as the poor crowd doesn’t know what to chant, and Kip’s addition with “Get it, got it, good” is not only more than three words, but “I’m Kip James, Bitch” would work way better in that spot. The James Gang has the star aura as a team, but their shelf life is going to be extremely short before people get sick of them again, so they need to move fast and match them up against AMW to make a few bucks before that happens. Pretty dull stuff with BG moving slowly before playing Ricky Morton. Too much offense for the Diamonds when the James Gang should have been showcased as revitalized and the new hot thing, and the win didn’t feel it meant anything. (James Gang d. Diamonds in the Rough, Kip James cobra slam — pin Elix Skipper, 7:39, *1/2)
– AJ Styles v. Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tanahashi definitely has the look, excepting the rat-tail. AJ wrestles vaguely heelish here, playing to the fickle TNA fans. Tanahashi moves a lot like young Muta used to, which is probably why Tenay was making the comparisons, but at least it’s apt. The match is a bit of a style clash (pardon the pun), as Tanahashi’s offense doesn’t seem to gel with AJ’s, and AJ’s comeback feels too random instead of something that builds organically from the heat segment. They’re trying to build drama with tough two-counts, but I don’t feel the drama. Even worse, Shannon Moore ruins the match with a run-in finish that leads to the Styles Clash. (Styles d. Tanahashi, Styles Clash — pin, 11:01, **3/4) If you want people to be upset with Moore, than having Styles LOSE might have been a good way to do it. Just a thought, although the Styles-Moore feud does nothing for me.
– Raven v. Sean Waltman. This would be hardcore rules, which means that Chyna can run in and have revolting sex with Waltman at various points. Waltman looks and acts like a guy collecting a paycheque and nothing else. They should have gotten Perry Saturn for this spot. Is the shopping cart the same one that Sean has to load up at the liquor store before seeing Chyna naked? Some entertaining spots, like Raven driving the cart into Sean’s head, but once it gets into the ring it dies like a normal person’s erection upon seeing the Chyna-Waltman sex tape. Oh, and there’s a ref bump in a hardcore match, that tells you everything right there. Larry Z takes over as ref, and counts as slow as he wrestles. Waltman puts Raven through a table to win, but SCANDAL, as Raven has his foot on the ropes. First of all, it’s a hardcore match, so it shouldn’t matter, and second, if his career is on the line and he’s too lazy to kick out, then f*ck him, he got what he deserved. (Waltman d. Raven, X-Factor — pin, 8:10, *1/4) Afterwards, Jackie Gaida lets us know that this is bigger than we thought, and there’s a mole in CTU! Oh, sorry, that’s 24.
– Ron Killings v. Bobby Roode. I know this is a verboten subject for TNA, but if they’re gonna keep repushing Bobby Roode, they need to do the other half of the equation and repackage him into something else as well. The Wildcat Wendall Cooley/Al Perez look went out in the 80s, and Team Canada is a dead issue. Change his name, change his tights, cut his hair, and find something different for him to be, otherwise people will continue to not care. Nice series of pinfall reversals early on leads to Roode taking over after a shot to the post. Nothing special, but quite enjoyable, as Roode works on the back until the Killings comeback. Yet another run-in finish, however, as Konnan distracts Killings, leading to the loss. (Roode d. Killings, Northern Lariat — pin, 9:49, **3/4) Really ruined a good little match.
– Abyss v. Rhino. Energetic start as they slug it out and brawl. Slows down a lot with Abyss on offense, settling into the usual kick-and-punch stuff. Rhino comes back with a chair, as I guess this is also hardcore rules? Abyss uses a chain to counter that, although why he’d bother distracting the ref when the chair was perfectly OK is beyond me. Should have been the finish, but things drag on a bit longer until the Black Hole Slam finishes. (Abyss d. Rhino, sideslam — pin, 9:14, **)
– NWA World tag titles: AMW v. Team 3D. Borash’s intro brings to mind an interesting bit of trivia about the ex-Dudleyz — not only are the first and only team to hold all of the WWE, WCW and ECW titles, but they’re the only team to win the WWE belts in both the original WWF format and WWE format, as well as the only team to win both the RAW and Smackdown versions of the tag titles. Good intensity from both sides, as going for the tables leads to D-Von getting into the wrong place. Hot tag to Brother Ray and it’s BONZO GONZO, but D-Von breaks up the Death Sentence. Doomsday Device gets a big pop from the crowd. Storm hits Harris with a chair by mistake for another near-fall. Storm gets tossed through a table, leaving Harris alone, and Gail Kim’s powder accidentally blinds the ref, but he counts the pin on Harris after 3D anyway. Team 3D appears to be champions, but WAIT, in fact Team Canada attacks Ray and puts Harris on top, leaving the blinded ref to think that he counted the pin for AMW, and thus they retain. (AMW d. Team 3D, ???, 13:01, ***) Good lord, what mushrooms were they smoking when they came up with THAT one?
– X title: Samoa Joe v. Christopher Daniels. Thankfully Joe has washed his towel, leading me to wonder what kind of detergent gets out dishonorable blood stains. Good story to start, with Daniels trying to out-think the brute force of Joe, but getting too fancy and suffering the consequences. Nice run of stuff from Daniels, leading to a memorable Death Valley Driver on Joe. However, losing his cool leads to Joe wrapping him up with an STF. Joe’s rana into a lariat is awe-inspiring stuff. Daniels retaliates by dropping an elbow from inside the ring to the floor, but Joe kicks his head into the railing and nearly kills him (in storyline terms, of course), so I’d say he wins. Daniels is thus dead on his feet and Joe calmly dismantles him with a series of headshots and Muscle Busters, bringing AJ Styles out for yet ANOTHER run-in finish. Joe throws unprotected knees that would shatter Daniels’ skull in the real world, so AJ throws in the towel despite not being Daniels’ second. And couldn’t the ref have just made that call? That’s what he’s THERE for. (Joe d. Daniels, knee strikes — submission, 15:37, ***1/2) I’m very curious who they bestow the first win upon.
– Sting & Christian Cage v. Jeff Jarrett & Monty Brown. Faces control Jarrett early, of course, with Christian in particular looking fired up. Sting takes over as the fans chant “You’ve still got it” because he can throw a dropkick. And yet they boo AJ Styles because he won a worked award over Samoa Joe. This is why they need to tour. A missed highspot puts the heels in charge, with Sting serving his best purpose — standing on the apron and waiting for the tag. Cage avoiding a conchairto is a nice touch, as Sting gets the hot tag and uses his usual stuff. Sting and Cage don’t trust each other, then they do, then Team Canada runs in, then Jarrett uses the belt, then uses the guitar, then Sting uses the bat, and it’s over. (Sting & Cage d. Jarrett & Brown, Sting scorpion death drop — pin Jarrett, 15:07, **1/4) This was a whole lotta nuthin’ with a ton of Jarrett’s usual nonsense to flesh it out to 15:00.