The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA iMPACT! — THURSDAY, JULY 6, 2006
– Cold open to Jeremy Borash standing outside Sting’s dressing room when Christian Cage arrives and wonders if Borash has a man-crush on him because everywhere he goes, JB is waiting. Before Jeremy can fully express the depth of his feelings for Captain Charisma, Christian explains that he’s there to tell Sting that although they will be tag team partners tonight, it will be every man for himself during the “Road To Victory” four-way match at Victory Road. Cage got a haircut and a shave, and it did wonders for his look. Good move.
– A slick video package recapping Jim Cornette’s announcements from last week’s company meeting airs before the usual Impact opening.
– Sonjay Dutt vs. Homicide
Homicide enters from the Spanish announce area, accompanied by Konnan & Hernandez, and they get their own special introduction in Spanish courtesy of Moody Jack Melendez. Cool touch, almost reminiscent of the nWo. I’ll do play-by-play for this one, just for Homicide, because THE MAN IS KEEPING HIM DOWN YO!
Homicide attacks to start, but Sonjay takes him down and lands on him with a somersault splash across the back, followed quickly by a standing moonsault for an early two-count. Sonjay charges but Homicide ducks and back-bodydrops him over, but Sonjay lands on the apron, only to be punched down by the Notorious 187. Hernandez holds Dutt in a full nelson as Homicide runs off the ropes, but Sonjay escapes and Homicide crashes into Hernandez with a suicide somersault dive through the ropes. I guess that means Sonjay finally won the Masterlock Challenge! Sonjay rebounds off the ropes and dives over the top with a sweet somersault plancha onto both Homicide & Hernandez, which warrants a replay. Homicide rolls back in the ring and Sonjay goes to springboard in off the apron, but Hernandez trips him up while Homicide argues with the referee. A cover gets two and Homicide hits Sonjay with a spinning back elbow for another two-count.
Homicide takes Sonjay down in an octopus submission, using leverage from Konnan on the outside, but releases the hold so that he can plant Dutt with a superplex. After landing, the Notorious One holds onto Sonjay, Three Amigos style, and drives him down with a Falcon Arrow in a nice combination that gets a near-fall. Homicide takes too long going to the top and misses a frog splash, allowing Sonjay to recover and deck him with a springboard dropkick. Sonjay drops Homicide with an elbow, a clothesline, and a Main Event Spinebuster before squashing him with a killer springboard Asai moonsault for a two-count. Homicide reverses an Indian-Irish-whip and catches Sonjay with a nice Diamond Cutter for two. Homicide hooks Sonjay up for a Vertebreaker/Cop Killa (actually called “the Killa” by Tenay) but Dutt counters into the standing Sliced Bread #2. Sonjay covers, but Konnan molests the ref while Hernandez breaks up the pin and hurls Dutt with an overhead belly-to-belly. Somehow, that’s enough for Homicide to crawl over and score the three-count.
After the bell, Slick Johnson runs in and points out the interference, which Tenay sells as Slick’s way of kissing up to Jim Cornette. Now that’s good booking. The original ref waves his arms around and LAX assault Sonjay until Ron “The Truth” Killings makes the save and cleans house. In front of Tenay and West, Larry Zbysko argues with Slick, who claims that Larry is worried about his Hair Vs. Hair match with Raven, so he promises to show Larry how good he’ll look bald.
– A video package airs after the break recapping the Team Canada storyline, including their most heinous acts and Jim Cornette’s disbanding of the team last week. This is followed by exclusive backstage footage we didn’t see last week, where Cornette says that he is all about opportunities and gives Scott D’Amore and his Canadians one more chance to remain a unit. Eric Young is worried that D’Amore upset Cornette and that he’ll be fired.
– Back live in the Impact Zone, Tenay explains that Team Canada will face Team 3D, Rhino, & Jay Lethal next week in an “All Or Nothing” eight-man match for the opportunity to stay together; in addition, the man who scores the winning pinfall will be awarded a title shot of his own choosing. Eric Young comes down and interrupts the commentators to ask if they know if he’ll be fired, but they have no answers. Slick Johnson, apparently a Photoshop wiz, appears with a stack of pictures of a bald Larry Zbysko and promises to help Eric out if he hands the flyers out to the fans. Eric accepts the offer and starts passing the pictures out, but the rest of Team Canada come out and argue with Showtime as they are unhappy with him.
– Another vignette airs with the Naturals doing pushups as Shane Douglas berates them to provide motivation. Again, this was really well-done and I hope the rumors aren’t true about their planned push being canned because Andy Douglas refused to cut his hair. If so, they should fire him and pair someone else (Elix Skipper maybe?) with Chase Stevens to continue the angle.
– Following the break, footage from TNA’s Philadelphia debut at the New Alhambra Arena is shown of Rhino declaring that he will be staying in TNA, without actually mentioning ECWWE by name. This was followed by backstage comments recorded afterwards, with Rhino cutting an intense, expletive-laced promo putting over TNA. Good stuff.
– Monty Brown vs. Kenny King
Yet another Monty Brown squash, with Kenny getting in a nice reversal and some punches before the Alpha Male kills him dead with the Pounce. Afterwards, Monty gets on the mic and cuts a pretty good serious promo, stating that Samoa Joe (whom he calls a “hippophant”), Rhino, Christian, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and Sting will all feel the POOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNCCCCCCCCCEEEEEE…PERIOD. Looks like Monty took management’s criticism to heart and is dedicating himself to TNA. I like this side of him, as opposed to the overly cartoonish, cutesy promos he was doing last year.
– Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviews Jarrett & Steiner, who promise to eliminate Christian & Sting from the Road To Victory match tonight. Dissension is teased when JB points out that if they do that and Steiner manhandles Joe like he says he will, it will be Steiner against Jarrett for the NWA World Championship. Oh God no, please. Big Poppa Pump is rendered speechless as he contemplates that thought and Jarrett leads him away, accusing Borash of trying to drive a wedge between them just like Cornette.
– After the break, a Paparazzi Productions video is shown featuring Kevin Nash teaching Alex Shelley & Johnny Devine about one of the oldest tactics in wrestling: humiliation. Nash introduces “something that the wrestling fans haven’t seen in…[dramatic pause]…two weeks”, the old bodybag symbolizing the death of an opponent’s career. Shelley & Devine applaud their fearless instructor. Words can’t describe how funny this video is, to me at least.
– Live in the Impact Zone, Nash appears with Shelley & Devine, who are pushing a bodybag in a Costco-style shopping cart. They roll the bodybag, which looks to contain a body, into the ring as Nash announces that they have captured Osama Bin Laden and will be splitting the $25 million reward three ways: $6m for Alex, $6m for Johnny, and the rest for Big Kev. Tenay refers to this as “Nash math”. They unzip the bag to reveal a bound-and-gagged “Osama Bin Sabin” as Nash admits that he didn’t even know Sabin was Al Qaida. Funny, neither did I! Nash orders his boys to put the boots to Sabin, which they do until Jay Lethal sprints down and Nash quickly bails out. Lethal cleans house as Tenay announces that at Victory Road, Lethal & Sabin will meet Nashelley in a tag team match. WWE can have their sick scatological humor; for me, this and the preceding Paparazzi Productions video combined for the most (intentionally) hilarious segment on a wrestling show this year. It really looks like Nash is having a blast and it comes across great on TV.
– Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviews Samoa Joe, who cuts a great soft-spoken promo on his Road To Victory opponents. When he discusses Scott Steiner, Joe gets scary as he vows to make Big Poppa Pump’s kids cry because their daddy can’t hold them anymore. The Samoan Submission Machine channels the ECW Taz as he promises that whether it be Sting, Christian, or Steiner, he will ground and pound and choke them out.
– Scott Steiner & Jeff Jarrett vs. Christian Cage & Sting
West and Tenay put over Sting and the response he gets in the Impact Zone for his entrance. The match kicks off with all four competitors brawling around ringside as Tenay refers to the Sting/Christian pairing as “magical”, which is a description I’m not sure I’ve ever heard in wrestling. Good tag team main event with both squads working well together and a sick bump before the commercial break when Jarrett shoves Christian off the top turnbuckle down to the floor. OUCH.
Following the break, Jarrett & Steiner have Cage isolated and focus on his back as the fans chant “steroids” at Big Poppa Pump, just like the ECWWE fans did to Test this week. They are former tag team partners, so maybe they still “work out” together? Christian mounts a comeback when he flips out of a double back suplex and plants Steiner & Jarrett with a double inverted DDT. Captain Charisma makes the hot tag to Sting, who squashes both heels with Stinger Splashes and clotheslines Steiner out of the ring. Jarrett capitalizes with a lowblow on Sting and hits the Stroke, but Christian pulls the ref out before he can make the count. West points out that Cage is giving Planet Jarrett a taste of their own medicine, as Jarrett has done that so many times. Christian posts Steiner on the floor and goes to the top, but Jarrett meets him and tries for a superplex. However, Christian bites JJJ on the forehead and shoves him down into the waiting arms of Sting, who drills the NWA Champion with the Scorpion Deathdrop. Christian then follows with the frog splash for the 1-2-3.
Afterwards, Sting & Christian celebrate together until Steiner runs in and nails both guys with the NWA belt. Jarrett stomps Sting while the Big Bad Booty Daddy locks Christian in the Steiner Recliner. Samoa Joe (in a t-shirt, beach shorts, and sandals… man, no wonder I love this guy, he’s got my wardrobe) quickly rushes in and attacks Steiner, battering him out to the floor while Sting does the same with Jarrett. Those four continue to brawl through the crowd and up the ramp while Christian gets up in the ring and holds the NWA Title belt. Somewhere in the audience, Sting tells Jarrett that he is “garbage” and “a cancer” before hooking him in the Scorpion Deathlock.
– The show ends with a short video, featuring soundbites from Brother Ray and Coach D’Amore, hyping next week’s Team 3D/Rhino/Jay Lethal vs. Team Canada “All Or Nothing” eight-man match-up.
I know I’m just a TNA mark, but that was a really good, fun show. I’ll even go so far as to say that if you thought RAW was the better show this week, you may officially consider yourself a “sports-entertainment” fan, not a wrestling fan. A couple of good TV matches and some tremendous promos from Joe, Nash, and even Jarrett & Steiner. Top to bottom, nothing on this program made me roll my eyes or feel embarrassed when my girlfriend came into the room, so I’d say that’s pretty good. Thanks for reading, and see you next week.