The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA iMPACT! — THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2006
– Impact kicks off with a video package recapping the introduction of Jim Cornette as the New Public Face of TNA Management last Sunday at Slammiversary, interspersed with clips from the King Of The Mountain match and the aftermath, including Larry Zbysko and Earl Hebner running off while Cornette took the NWA World Title belt from Jeff Jarrett.
– Jim Cornette is already in the ring with the NWA Title belt and a clipboard, stating that TNA is a promotion with all the potential in the world but is in need of structure and order. The way he words it almost makes it sound like he wants to turn TNA into an ‘anti-ECW’ company, with rules actually being enforced and no chaos. I wonder how well that will go over. Cornette cuts another great promo for those who missed the PPV to explain his role in TNA and says that he has been holding closed-door meetings all day long because he doesn’t want to air dirty laundry in public, warning Jeremy Borash to stop knocking on his door. Cornette addresses the Latin American Xchange and warns them not to miss another meeting or it will be their last, and promises that he will fire somebody next week as an example that he’s serious, prompting a “Fire Jarrett” chant from the crowd. Cornette joins 95% of the wrestling world in disapproving of the ending to the King Of The Mountain match and declares that there is no NWA World Heavyweight Champion right now, but promises that he will have a major announcement regarding July 16’s Victory Road next week. James E. brings up his history with Jarrett and his family, mentioning that Double J’s grandmother would be just as ashamed if she wasn’t dead already, and says that he’ll have a decision about the championship next week. However, Jarrett is impatient and confronts Cornette on the ramp off-mic, vowing to get his belt back if it’s the last thing he does. Cornette replies that it will be the last thing he does and storms off. I love Cornette in this role and am willing to give this storyline a chance to play out, but I’m not a fan of Jarrett remaining in the World Title picture. AT ALL.
– NWA World Tag Team Title: AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels [champions] vs. Diamonds In The Rough
Before the match, clips are shown of the Phenomenal Angels (for lack of a better team name) capturing the NWA Tag Team Championship from America’s Most Wanted at Slammiversary, as well as clips of the Diamonds In The Rough defeating Styles & Daniels three weeks ago on Impact with help from AMW. Obviously this is their first title defense and it’s a good one, with both squads hitting some nice double-team maneuvers and working well together. The commentary is too busy hyping the X Title match and the TNA Knockouts DVD preview later to point out that Daniels and Elix Skipper were former champions together as XXX, which should have been a big selling point to this bout. Oh well. Daniels goes for the Angel’s Wings on David Young while the referee is distracted, but Simon Diamond runs in and breaks it up. The “Neutralizer” chick from Slammiversary makes the save and bodyslams Simon before tossing him out to the floor, all while the ref is still distracted. Didn’t he feel the ring shake? Daniels then lands the Best Moonsault Ever on Young, followed by the frog splash from AJ for the 1-2-3. Tenay says we still don’t know the Neutralizer’s name, so we’ll call her Fried Eggs in honor of her less-than-perky breasts. Gail Kim runs in and jumps on Fried Eggs, but Eggs grabs her by the throat for a chokeslam, which is interrupted by AMW, who pull Gail out of the ring and retreat.
– Backstage, Jeremy Borash is standing outside Cornette’s office door with Eric Young, Chris Sabin, and Jay Lethal, who are lined up for their meetings with the new boss. Eric is sure he’ll be getting fired because this ALWAYS happens to him, but of course JEFF FUCKING JARRETT cuts in line and storms into Cornette’s office as we go to commercial. After the break, Jarrett emerges from the office unhappy and says that Cornette told him he’d have to wait seven days to find out his decision. Borash reacts with surprise, even though Cornette said that in the opening promo twenty minutes ago.
– Monty Brown vs. Chasyn Rance
Quick basic squash ending with the Pounce to get over the Alpha Male starting a new winning streak, hoping to get noticed. Afterwards, Konnan gets on the mic and sweet-talks Monty, inviting him to join LAX. Monty wordlessly declines the invitation and leaves the ring as Konnan mentions the name of Ron “The Truth” Killings, who much like Beetlejuice or Candyman, suddenly appears after his name is spoken and asks the crowd what’s up. Konnan sweet-talks Truth too and forces a hug on him (man, this is almost as gay as RAW) but alas, the 3 Live Kru reunion is not to be as it’s just a setup for Homicide & Hernandez to attack Truth and dump him over the guardrail to ringside.
– Backstage, JB is still outside Cornette’s door with Eric Young, who apparently got “zoomed” since Sabin and Lethal were in the office with Cornette despite Showtime being ahead of them in the line. Still paranoid about being fired, Eric drops to his knees in front of Borash and asks JB to give him “something”. That’s one way to keep your job, I guess. Borash advises Eric to voice his concerns to the public as the lightbulb goes off over Eric’s head. Sabin and Lethal come out of Cornette’s office and won’t disclose what was discussed, only saying that Kevin Nash is going to love it. After they leave, Young warns Borash not to tell anybody about their secret plan, right in front of a television camera. This guy is hilarious.
– Following the commercial, Borash intercepts Christian Cage before he goes into Cornette’s office and asks what he hopes to get out of his meeting. Christian calls him “Seacrest” (still love it) and says that if Cornette wants to do the right thing, he’ll put the belt back around his waist.
– Elsewhere backstage surrounded by virtually the entire TNA midcard, Team 3D and the James Gang engage in a so-bad-it’s-good “Yo’ Momma” joke contest (refereed by Slick Johnson) that goes too far when Brother Ray brings up B.G.’s daddy, noting that his old man is an Armstrong and his whole family is a bunch of losers. Well, Bubba has him there; just check out the WCW Saturday Night archives. The four men brawl out to the ring, where the Gang lay out 3D until Brother Runt runs in and takes down Kip with the Acid Drop. Ray throws down a challenge for a six-man at Victory Road if B.G. & Kip can find a partner. Tenay teases that the James boys will bring Bullet Bob out of mothballs, so hopefully that means it won’t happen.
– Still outside Cornette’s office, Borash interviews Christian when he comes out and Captain Charisma reiterates that Cornette is making him wait until next week to find out the fate of the NWA Championship. It’s great that they’re hyping next week’s show, but I think we get the point. Anyway, Sting walks in and explains that he has something he wants to talk to Cornette about, but he’s not ready to tell Christian about it yet.
– A preview of the new TNA Knockouts DVD airs next featuring Gail Kim, Christy Hemme, Jackie Gayda, Traci Brooks, and So Cal Val the ring girl. I still won’t buy it, but for those of you who are into Divas-type stuff (you know who you are) this is actually pretty hot.
– X Division Title: Senshi vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Samoa Joe [champion]
West points out that Senshi and Sonjay were the two finalists in the X Division Ranking match at Slammiversary; it’s a nice touch to explain how guys are earning title shots, as they did earlier with the Diamonds In The Rough. I’m going to try my hand at play-by-play again for this one, so feel free to skim through if you’re not into that.
Senshi nails Sonjay to start and goes after Joe with forearms and chops, but when he whips him to the ropes, the champ rebounds with his trademark flying kick to the face. Joe kicks Senshi out to the floor and Dutt charges, but Joe ducks and Sonjay goes over the top rope with a somersault plancha on Senshi. With both challengers on the floor, Joe looks to the crowd to see Eric Young jumping around with a handmade sign reading “Don’t Fire Eric Young”, which prompts a “Don’t Fire Eric” chant. That’s great. Security ushers Eric away while Joe goes to the floor and sends Sonjay into the guardrail before slamming Senshi face-first on the apron. Joe sits Sonjay on a chair and unleashes some right hands before creaming him with the Ole Kick, called the Facewash by Tenay. Joe goes long and charges at Senshi from the announce position, but the former Low Ki meets him with a sweet clothesline. Senshi rolls Joe back in the ring and fires off some kicks, but Joe responds with slaps as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Senshi has Joe on his knees and whacks him with a Tajiri-like kick for a two-count. I really wish TNA would sign Tajiri and reunite him with James Mitchell, because I think Tajiri/Senshi would be a great match-up. Senshi tries to apply a dragon sleeper variation, but Joe flips him over and hits him with a stiff kick to the shoulder. Joe whips him off to the ropes, but Senshi rebounds with a dropkick to the knee and goes for a shining wizard. Joe ducks, but Senshi stops behind him and hits him with a back kick to the back of the head. NICE. Sonjay returns to the match with a flying crossbody off the top for a two-count on Senshi. Dutt takes Senshi down with a drop-toehold and follows it up with a running somersault splash across the back, followed by a standing moonsault for two. Sonjay goes after Joe with kicks, chops, and punches, but when he tries a leapfrog after an Irish-whip, Joe catches him in mid-air and plants him with a flapjack. Senshi unloads on Joe and runs off the ropes, but Joe catches him with the best inverted atomic drop in the business and follows with a running kick to the face. Joe squashes Senshi with the senton backsplash as the crowd chants “Joe’s Gonna Kill You”, but Sonjay surprises the champ with a springboard huracanrana that sends him out to the floor. However, when Sonjay runs off the ropes for a dive, Joe hops up on the apron and cuts him off with a palm strike to the face before applying the Kokina Clutch chokeout on the ropes from the apron. Senshi charges over but Sonjay kicks him away, so Senshi tries again and this time Dutt is able to get out of the way and Senshi nails Joe with a dropkick that knocks him off the apron. Dutt drops Senshi with that flipping reverse X Factor maneuver he does (is there a name for that?) to score a near-fall while Scott Steiner appears at ringside and waffles Joe with a chairshot. Great sell by Joe, who just collapses like a heavyweight fighter getting knocked out in the 10th round. Senshi takes advantage by hitting a handspring kick on Sonjay in the corner and goes to the top, diving off with the awesome double-foot stomp (called the Warrior’s Way) on Dutt for the three-count to capture the X Division Championship.
Afterwards, Senshi celebrates with the belt while Joe smashes the ringpost with the chair. Good TV match and that finisher just looks wicked, while also advancing the Joe/Steiner storyline. I just hope they’re going the HHH/Batista route with Steiner putting Joe over again.
– Backstage, Borash catches Sting when he emerges from Cornette’s office and asks him how the meeting went. The Stinger replies that it went perfectly and that Cornette will work out just fine because he got everything he wanted, but doesn’t reveal what was discussed. The usual “Adrenaline Rush” video recap closes the show.
While I absolutely hate that Jeff Jarrett is still in the World Title picture, I enjoyed this week’s program as it got Cornette over as someone with absolute authority who isn’t afraid to step on any toes and won’t let personal relationships get in the way of business. If they can stay true to the character, it will be great for TNA as it gives them a way to eliminate screwy finishes like the ending of the King Of The Mountain. Add to that a fun tag match and a very good X Title three-way, and this was a good show. See you next week.