TNA: In The Zone for 6/22/06

TNA: In The Zone for 6/22/06

Wow, it seems as if at least some of the people in Orlando were paying attention last week. You might remember that I stated the opinion that it seemed as if they weren’t even trying. Well, this week, at least a few of these guys have stepped up their games. Let’s figure out who those people are, as we determine who is In The Zone.

We start off this weeks show with clips of Slammiversary. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I didn’t spend good money to watch Jeff Jarrett win the King of the Mountain match. Especially in a screwball finish.

Then enters Jim Cornette. His name has been synonymous with NWA for years. Back when the WWE tried to bring back the old NWA title, Cornette was there. Back in the old days, Cornette was managing the Midnight Express. As a kid, I remember being a fresh, young wrestling mark, wondering if Cornette had a cast iron load inside his tennis racket case. Welcome back Jim. Business (to steal a phrase) is about to pick up.

Cornette tells us that he has changes in store. He tells us that the wrestlers are going to be held accountable for their actions. He tells us all the things that a baby face manager says when he is all fired up, and the crowd doesn’t seem to be into it. He gets a mixed reaction at best. That sucks. This guy IS NWA. Don’t people realize that this is what they’ve been asking for? Jarrett comes out and demands HIS belt from Cornette. Cornette doesn’t cave, and JJ looks like a whiney little bitch.

Then we have a match. Styles and Daniels defend their newly won NWA Tag Team Championships against their toughest opponents to date, the Diamonds in the Rough. What, too much hyperbole there for ya? Well, if I’m being honest, I have had steaks that were tougher than the DitR. During this match we see a lot of decent action, but the announcers ignore it. The wrestlers have stepped up their games here, but the ANNOUNCERS have completely ignored it. DitR are booked here like a legitimate challenge, but when the important spots are hit, the announcers are busy talking about anything else.

Tenay: “Don, did you wash your taint before the broadcast? It’s smelling mighty rank.”
West: “I sure didn’t Mike, I wanted to be sure everyone knows how bad I stink!”

You want an example? Triple X was once THE dominant tag team in TNA. Do you know who was on that team? Right, Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper (and Low Ki, but more on him later). So when Skipper tries to do his rope walk spot, but Daniels counters it, do the announcers acknowledge this? Hell no. Don West needs to be replaced.

Oh, AJ and Daniels win the match. Really. I mean it. I sure don’t recognize the manly chick that helped them, though. I was really hoping to see Jackie in this role.

In the back, it’s apparent that Jeremy Borash didn’t pay attention to Jim Cornette’s command to keep the cameras away from his office. Maybe it’s Borash that’s getting fired next week. (I’m still rooting for Don West) Anyway, Borash is camped out in front of Cornette’s office where Sabin, Jay Lethal and Eric Young are waiting for their meetings with the new boss. JJ brushes past them to get into the office. Blah Blah Blah. I was more entertained by the antics of a Jobber like Eric Young than I was by God Almighty Jarrett.

Match 2 of the night is Monte Brown against some jobber who doesn’t even get an intro (though Tenay says his name is Jason Rantz). This match is a total squash. They let us know that Monte has decided to start a new winning streak, like Samoa Joe’s. Word to the wise, Monte, Joe built his streak on the backs of LEGITIMATE threats like AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. Eric Young could squash this kid. There is no honor to be found in beating up the defenseless.

After the match, Konnan plays the race card, and invites Monte to join LAX… ummmmm… Monte isn’t Latin, dog. WTF? Monte declines (and there’s the face turn!!!!) Ron Killings comes out to see what’s up, though, and walks right into an LAZ trap. The Latin American Beat Down follows. Does this mean that we might get to see LAX versus the Alpha Male and the Truth? That would be damn awesome. Lets just be sure that we don’t turn this into the Gang Wars that we saw in the old WWF.

We get more comedy in the back from Eric Young. Sabin and Lethal come out of Cornette’s office looking pleased. I want to know (as Eric does as well) how they skipped him in line. Sabin lets us know that there is something brewing. Something Nash will love. Then Christian Cage comes along. Skips Eric in line, and meets with Cornette.

The showdown that we get next is a lot of fun. The James gang and Team 3D fake us out, and end up playing a game of the Dozens. Of course it breaks down when Brother Ray steps on the Armstrong family honor. Violence, of course, ensues. Brother Runt shows up again, and takes out the James Gang by himself. I love that little dude.

I have to comment on the James Gang using the DX crotch chops. You do NOT want that infecting the TNA audience. This is a family show, after all.

And Borash is STILL outside of Cornette’s office. I wish Jim would come out and brain him with a tennis racket.

The Knockout photo shoot was hot. Every one of these girls is smoking hot. Jackie may be (in my opinion) the perfect female specimen. I also have a newfound respect for So Cal Val. These girls are being underutilized, in my opinion. We need an NWA Women’s Championship.

We get the last match of the night next. Samoa Joe versus Senshi versus Sonjay Dutt. We know going in that this is a three-way match for only one reason. They want to put the belt on Senshi without hurting Joe’s undefeated streak. I hate to tell you, he’s lost the belt twice now. Streak over. I have much love for Joe, but it’s time for him to move on with his career.

During the match, Eric Young comes out with a “Don’t Fire Eric Young” sign. The crowd is behind him. They actually chant for him. A great gimmick would be for him to get “fired”, and have to earn his way back.

Of course Steiner shows up and lays Joe out with a chair, allowing Senshi to pick up the win, and the X-Div title, with the Warrior’s Way. Holy shit that move has to hurt. Of course Joe isn’t happy. Put the NWA World title on him, and I bet he’ll shut up. He’s due.

All in all, a pretty good show. The guys all seemed to have their hearts in it, which is good. I have to say, though, that one guy really impressed me. I said earlier that I have been a mark for this guy since I was a kid. This week, the new face of TNA Management, Jim Cornette, is In The Zone.

Oh, and fire Don West.