The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA iMPACT! — Thursday, June 15, 2006
– We’re airing at midnight this week due to the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 3, so technically this should be dated Friday, June 16. Impact kicks off with a slick video package hyping the two top matches for this Sunday’s Slammiversary: the King Of The Mountain match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and Scott Steiner vs. Samoa Joe, followed by the usual opening.
– Speaking of the NWA Title, THE CHAMPION APPEARS ON THE SHOW. What a concept. Christian Cage comes out to a self-titled chant and cuts an almost-heelish promo discussing his four challengers in the King Of The Mountain. Captain Charisma uses retard sign language to tell Abyss he won’t win, rightfully rips on Ron “The Truth” Killings for his stupid-but-over “What’s Up” catchphrase and calls him Busta Rhymes, and suggests that Jeff Jarrett embarrasses himself enough on his own, so he sees no need to do it too. Christian claims that he has something to say to Sting, but before he can say it, the lights dim and Sting makes his entrance. Christian fires off a great line asking Sting if he came out to steal his thunder again, but the Stinger insists that he came to TNA to remove Jarrett. The old Captain Charisma persona resurfaces as Christian says he can see through the Noxzema all over Sting’s face (after all, “Noxzema girls get noticed”) and expresses his doubts about Sting not being interested in the NWA Title. Sting responds that he has nothing left to prove as far as being the World Champion, but Christian makes it clear that King Of The Mountain isn’t about Truth, Abyss, Sting, or Jarrett; it’s all about Christian, because it’s his time. That was awesome and exactly what TNA needs to do with Christian, planting the seeds for a heel turn and a superstar-making feud with the Stinger.
– A prerecorded video features comments from Jeff Jarrett, explaining his strategy for King Of The Mountain: he’s going to wait for the turning point when the egos of Sting and Christian collide, allowing him to swoop in and claim the NWA World Title. Jarrett is best in small doses and it worked here.
– Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviews Alex Shelley & Kevin Nash regarding his “X Division debut” tonight. Shelley claims that Nash’s opponent is like a “clone from the future” of Chris Sabin (because naturally, they can clone people in the future) except for the face, so he put a mask on him. Nash finishes with a brief rendition of “Happy Slammiversary, Sabin” and his “Size Matters” catchphrase. SpikeTV should give these two their own sitcom.
– Diamonds In The Rough vs. The Naturals
Solid tag team match with the Naturals displaying some great double-teams as usual. Tenay hypes Samoa Joe defending the X Division Title next week and also puts over the Konnan/LAX angle with the border around the Spanish announce position. In the end, the Naturals drop David Young with the Natural Disaster, but when Andy Douglas goes for the pin, the ref is distracted and Simon Diamond breaks the pin with a chain to the back of the head, rolling Young on top of Douglas for the pinfall.
Afterwards, the Naturals chase Diamond through the crowd near the Spanish announce table, where Hernandez & Homicide assume the role of border patrol and assault Douglas & Chase Stevens before dumping them back to ringside.
– Shane Douglas makes his way down the ramp and after a commercial break, cuts a fired-up promo in the ring comparing the way that the Naturals are squandering their talent to the way that an “Irish jackass” is squandering the legacy of ECW. Keep in mind this was taped three weeks ago. The Franchise namedrops Bam Bam Bigelow and puts over the late Chris Candido leading the Naturals to the NWA Tag Team Title last year, vowing to do the same for them if they promise to do exactly what he says. Douglas states that “Extreme lives right here in TNA” and the crowd chants “TNA” before the Naturals accept the Franchise’s offer. That has a lot of promise, and like I said last week TNA does a great job of using every minute of airtime they have. In this segment, they put over three tag teams and featured the return of the Franchise as a major player. Tag team wrestling lives!
– Slick Johnson interrupts West and Tenay to inform them that the New Face of TNA Management is here and he wants to see Larry Zbysko, without actually promising that we the viewers will see the New Face tonight.
– After Slick runs off to kiss some new-guy ass, a tremendous video package airs to hype Joe/Steiner featuring both guys talking some intense trash about each other. Steiner claims that he’s smashed Nash, Sting, and HHH and will do the same to the “half-breed” Joe, also calling him a “fat little bastard”. Joe is less personal with his insults but basically promises to kick Scotty’s ass, because he IS pro wrestling.
– Prerecorded comments from Truth to put him over as the hungriest man in the King Of The Mountain. Good stuff, as Killings seemed serious to negate the comments made about him earlier by Christian Cage.
– Kevin Nash vs. Mr. X
Alex Shelley comes out with Nash, who is such a natural heel. Mr. X is of course a masked midget, and this ‘match’ is a lot funnier than it might sound. West does a good job of explaining the psychology behind this of Nash disrespecting Chris Sabin and the X Division. Nash takes the mic and claims that Mr. X really is Sabin under the mask, but Sabin is shown watching in the locker room with Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt. Highlights here include Nash fighting on his knees, diving off the bottom rope with a really bad frog splash, and sitting on a chair to deliver his big boot off the ropes before planting Mr. X with the Jackknife for the 1-2-3. I can’t say it enough… Nashelley are motherf*cking gold together.
– A video package airs featuring highlights of TNA’s Philadelphia debut at the New Alhambra (nee ECW) Arena last Friday night. No mention was made of Rhino or Brother Runt turning down ECWWE, as the big story is the confrontation between Team 3D and the James Gang to hype their “Bingo Hall Brawl” at Slammiversary. That match stipulation makes no sense in the Impact Zone, but I assume they mean it will be no-holds-barred, no-DQ, last team standing, which could be a fun brawl.
– More prerecorded comments regarding King Of The Mountain, this time from James Mitchell on behalf of Abyss. Mitchell promised that there would be a new monarchy in TNA, and long live the new King: Abyss. I love this guy.
– Bobby Roode & Monty Brown & America’s Most Wanted vs. AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels & Raven & Rhino
The face squad clear the ring to kick off the main event, leading to a commercial break. This match serves mostly to hype the NWA Tag Team Title bout and handicap match at Slammiversary, but it’s fast-paced and entertaining enough. The heels isolate AJ Styles and work him over until Rhino gets the hot tag and cleans house. All hell breaks loose with guys hitting moves inside and outside the ring before Gail Kim lands a sweet tilt-a-whirl-headscissor-into-a-tornado-DDT on Daniels, setting him up for the Pounce as the Alpha Male scores the pin. Of course, he doesn’t have a match at the PPV, but before we can really question that booking, we see Larry Zbysko approaching a black car in the parking lot. Larry opens the door and looks shocked as we cut to the usual “Adrenaline Rush” video recap and hype for Slammiversary to close the show.
Overall, not TNA’s best outing, but it served its purpose pretty well as the go-home show for Slammiversary, with some great promos and interesting plot developments. I think Slammiversary will be an awesome show as TNA continues to improve their storylines and characters. Thanks for reading, and see you next week.