The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA iMPACT! — THURSDAY, JUNE 29, 2006
– The show opens with clips recapping the finish of last week’s X Division Championship three-way, as well as clips of Jim Cornette’s comments and Sting and Christian running into each other outside Cornette’s office last week.
– Christian Cage makes his entrance and mentions the company meeting later tonight, but states that he doesn’t want to wait to hear a bunch of political b.s. (I have to wonder if he made some kind of anti-WWE reference that was edited out) and calls out Sting, who gets a good pop for his entrance. Christian claims that Jim Cornette is going to return the NWA World Title to him later and makes some paranoid accusations about Sting wanting to be World Champion, but the Stinger cuts him off and calls him “Jeff Jarrett”. OOOOOHHH, I’d be insulted too. Christian points out that he isn’t wearing white pants and asks if he looks like a complete ass, which is too easy for even Sting to resist as he responds that right now Christian does. Sting cuts Christian off again and talks about how Cage is cracking under the pressure of the World Title situation before announcing that he met with Cornette last week to set up a tag team match for next week pitting Sting & Christian against Jarrett & Scott Steiner. Sting takes Christian to task for second-guessing him until Captain Charisma cuts him off this time and exclaims that next week, it will be SHOWTIME. Some good character development here for the Captain as we hopefully build toward a heel turn in the future.
– Following a commercial, Jeremy Borash interviews Scott Steiner & Jeff Jarrett, who cut a promo about next week’s tag match, tonight’s company meeting, the NWA Title, and Samoa Joe.
– Team Canada (Petey Williams & Eric Young) vs. Chris Sabin & Jay Lethal
Scott D’Amore has the Bobby Heenan neckbrace on to sell the Gore he took from Rhino at Slammiversary and has Bobby Roode & A1 at ringside with him. Clips are shown from last week of Eric in the crowd with his “Don’t Fire Eric Young” sign, as the story in this fast-paced tag team bout is Eric preventing his Team Canada teammates from cheating and interfering so that he won’t be fired. For example, when the ref is distracted, Roode gets on the apron to hold Sabin while A1 prepares to charge at him, but Eric jumps in front of Sabin to stop A1 as we go to commercial. That’s awesome.
When we come back, Eric stops Petey from doing the “O Canada” nutstomp in the corner and gives a thumbs-up to the referee. His fellow Canadians aren’t happy and D’Amore even slaps Young, but he and Petey continue to work over Sabin until Sabin counters a double-team and makes the hot tag to Lethal, who cleans house and gets a near-fall on Petey with a nice chicken-wing bridging suplex. Sabin takes out Roode & A1 at ringside with a beautiful somersault plancha over the top as Alex Shelley makes his way out with his new cameraman, Johnny Devine, to record the carnage. Meanwhile, D’Amore pushes Lethal off the top turnbuckle and Williams finishes him off with the Canadian Destroyer for the three-count. Afterwards, Eric shakes the ref’s hand and D’Amore smacks him around.
– A vignette airs featuring Shane Douglas putting the Naturals through a grueling workout in the ring and running up and down the bleachers in a stadium. This was actually better than I thought, as the Franchise was like a boot-camp instructor pushing Chase & Andy to their limits.
– Monty Brown vs. Norman Smiley
Norman gets in some offense early on as Don West actually recalls that the last time we saw Mr. Smiley was a few months ago when he was on the receiving end of a chairshot from Scott Steiner. It may be a little thing, but I really like continuity and stuff like that. The Alpha Male takes control though and quickly smashes Norman with the Pounce to continue his winning streak angle as we go to break.
– No Disqualification: America’s Most Wanted vs. Team 3D
AMW come out first and hide outside the other entrance tunnel to ambush Brother Ray & Brother Devon when Brother Runt leads them out, making sure to cover their ears when the pyro goes off. Nice touch and great strategy. Storm & Harris batter Team 3D around ringside before getting into the ring, where Harris scores a two-count on Ray after an impressive superplex. Double suplex on Devon gets two for Storm before we go to commercial.
After the break, AMW are both down in the ring as Ray tosses a trashcan of weapons into the ring. Devon whacks the Cowboy with a kendo stick while Ray cracks the Wildcat over the head with what I believe is a computer keyboard. Take that, you internet geeks! Ray crushes Harris’ crotch with a crutch and they go out to the floor as Devon chokes Storm with the kendo stick and gets a two-count after a sloppy powerslam off the ropes. Harris is busted open when he returns and bodyslams Devon before diving off the middle turnbuckle with a legdrop for two. Ray comes back in and plants Harris with a Rock Bottom for two, but when he grabs the kendo stick, Gail Kim runs in and hits him with the trashcan lid. Ray no-sells it and discards the stick, opting to grab Gail by the hair and scoopslam her before placing the lid on her groin region. Runt comes in with a golfclub and smacks the lid with the club in a horrifying portrayal of violence against women. Runt looks proud of himself, but Storm hits him with a superkick, only to fall victim himself to the “Whazzup” headbutt from Devon & Ray. The crowd calls for tables so Team 3D head to the floor and retrieve a table from under the ring, but Harris dropkicks the table into their faces when they get it up on the apron. AMW set up the table at ringside, but they don’t get to use it as Devon is rolled back into the ring, where the Wildcat grabs the trashcan and the Cowboy picks up a beer bottle. They argue over which weapon to use and Harris ends up bashing Storm with the can inadvertently when Devon ducks. Storm collapses as Team 3D drill Harris with the 3D and Devon covers him for the 1-2-3.
Afterwards, Team 3D’s celebration is cut short when the James Gang appear on the ramp with new music (featuring gunshots and the “Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt” line) and bring up 3D’s challenge from last week. B.G. explains that the James Gang’s family tree has some deep roots, so they went out and found the ugliest, nastiest, biggest, baddest family member they could find. B.G. has two words for 3D: “Turn around”. Instead of dropping poop or green slime on Team 3D, it’s Abyss, who mows down Ray & Devon with a double-clothesline while B.G. & Kip laugh. Runt tries to take down Abyss with the Acid Drop, but the Monster tosses him over the top rope through the table that AMW had set up earlier. Sick bump. B.G. does what I assume is a Jim Ross impersonation as he exclaims “MY GOD, HE’S GOT A FAMILY!” and “HE’S DEAD, HE’S DEAD!” Pretty funny and heelish, the closest they’ve come to the New Age Outlaws since their reunion.
– Following the commercial break, it’s time for the company meeting, as there is a red carpet and a podium set up in the ring with Jim Cornette; all the wrestlers (except Sting and Team 3D) are assembled on the respective face and heel ramps. Interesting to note that the James Gang are on the face side while Abyss and James Mitchell are with the heels, which is also where Samoa Joe, Scott Steiner, and Jeff Jarrett are standing, although Joe is closer to the back. Cornette addresses LAX first and states that a ‘work stoppage’ in TNA means a ‘cheque stoppage’ (I’m sure an old Scott Keith ECW joke could be made there somewhere) but advises that Jiffy Lube is still hiring if they don’t want to return to action. His second order of business is that Team Canada are all under individual contracts, so with a snap of his fingers, Team Canada is disbanded, popping the crowd as Scott D’Amore collapses. Thirdly, Cornette books a rematch for the NWA World Tag Team Title at Victory Road, but with a twist: it will be AMW & Gail Kim against A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, & the Amazon a.k.a. Fried Eggs in a six-person mixed tag bout for the belts.
Next, Cornette calls Earl Hebner, Larry Zbysko, and Jeff Jarrett into the ring, but Scott Steiner comes in too. Cornette mentions that he and Hebner have been friends for 20 years and says that referees should command credibility and respect. Earl agrees, but Cornette tells Hebner that he’s crooked and fires him, calling for security to escort him out of the Impact Zone and adding that he’s sick of hearing about Montreal. I think he speaks for most of us, and that had to be a shot at WWE. Eric Young hilariously celebrates Earl’s firing. Cornette then addresses Zbysko and states that if he fires Larry, TNA has to pay him the remainder of his contract; however, if Larry breaches his contract by not performing, they won’t have to pay him anything. Zbysko is confident that he won’t breach his contract, so Cornette brings up Larry’s combover and books him in a Hair Vs. Hair match at Victory Road against Raven. Larry isn’t happy and refers to Cornette as a “Pee Wee Herman geek” (come on Larry, you can do better than that; whatever happened to “spudhead”?) before storming off.
Finally, Cornette picks up the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt and states that he doesn’t like the idea of just handing over titles to your neighbor or your son-in-law. I wonder who he could possibly be talking about. Cornette explains that Jarrett did win the King Of The Mountain match (grrrrrrrrreeeeeat) and has noticed that what TNA fans want more than anything is to see Jarrett “pounded into a puddle of country gravy”, so he announces that he will give the NWA belt to Jeff if he agrees to defend it against the winner of a four-way match at Victory Road: Christian Cage vs. Sting vs. Scott Steiner vs. Samoa Joe. The crowd chants for Joe, but Cornette deflates the fans by handing the belt over to Jarrett. Ugh. Jarrett gloats as the crowd is relatively quiet with disappointment and challenges Christian to start next week’s tag team match tonight. Sting appears from behind and attacks Jarrett while Christian goes after Steiner and the crowd stands and watches. Man that’s scary; I can’t blame the fans for being extremely disappointed, but TNA definitely needs to get the f*ck out of Orlando ASAP. Sting squashes Jarrett with the Stinger Splash and tosses him to the floor while Christian dumps Steiner out as well. Sting brawls with Jarrett on one side of the ring while Christian backs Steiner up the heel ramp, where Samoa Joe casually throws his towel away and takes Big Poppa Pump down in the Kokina Clutch. The crowd chants for Joe as he rolls his eyes back in his head Undertaker-style while choking Steiner out.
– No video recap to close the show; just a reminder about the big tag team main event next week.
Well, that was a LOT of talking for a promotion called Total Nonstop Action, but Cornette’s promo had a point and furthered several different storylines, as did the opening promo with Christian and Sting. It really sucks that Cornette basically handed over the NWA Title, but he made it clear that he did it because he wanted to see Jarrett get destroyed by the winner of the four-way at the PPV. There were other ways to do it, but this could turn into an interesting angle. My prediction is that Joe wins the four-way but doesn’t get the title until Bound For Glory in October, since that’s supposed to be “TNA’s WrestleMania” and could be the first PPV outside Orlando. With enough build and a clean finish in the blowoff match, it could be huge. We’ll see. Anyway, thanks for reading and see you next week.