Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA Impact – 01/11/07

Reviews, Shows, TV Shows

The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA iMPACT! – Thursday, January 11, 2007

– We begin with quick recaps of last week’s major angles (James Mitchell taking Abyss back to the prison and the Samoa Joe/Kurt Angle brawl) while the James Earl Jones voiceover dude asks what Abyss’ secret is and notes that Angle has awakened the rage inside Joe. We then go backstage at the Impact Zone as Angle has been summoned to the office of Jim Cornette, who explains how he’s done a lot for Kurt lately and now wants a favor in return. Angle wonders why he should help Cornette and James E. mentions that he’s the guy who decides NWA World Title shots, so Angle agrees and states that it better be worth his while. After Angle leaves, Cornette says it’ll be worth his while as we go to the Impact opening.

– The small cage is set up at ringside with a “RESERVED” sign on it as Mike Tenay & Don West ponder who and what it is reserved for.

– Maverick Matt vs. Kurt Angle

Matt is accompanied by fellow Serotonin members Kazarian & Johnny Devine (these guys all need name changes to fit this gimmick, I hope that’s in the works) and gets dumped on his head with a release German suplex right off the bat as Angle looks around and West explains that he must be worried about Samoa Joe appearing out of nowhere like last week. Devine distracts the referee and Kazarian grabs Angle’s leg from ringside, allowing the Maverick to level the Olympian with a clothesline as he stomps and chokes away. Vertical suplex barely gets a two-count and Matt applies a chinlock, but Kurt fights out and pops off the three Rolling Germans. Kazarian runs in to receive a release German and Devine takes a face-first bump off a standing release German before Angle plants Matt with the Olympic Slam and hooks in the grapevine anklelock for the tapout. Pretty basic squash, but I was surprised to see Bentley get any offense at all.

– A good music video airs to hype Joe/Angle III at Final Resolution, noting that their 3-month feud will culminate in a 30-minute Ironman Match.

– Team 3D roll up in the parking lot in an army vehicle wearing fatigues as Brother Ray cuts a promo declaring war on LAX and promising to take out Konnan tonight.

– During The Break, Raven wore a funny mask (a leftover prop from Eyes Wide Shut?) and caned Maverick Matt in the ring for losing his match as West declares, “It’s so Raven!”

– Jeremy Borash interviews Samoa Joe, who states that he has his own agenda and plans to cripple Angle tonight as he warns Kurt not to turn his back for any of the 50 minutes we have left in the show.

– “Cowboy” James Storm & Chris Sabin & AJ Styles vs. Petey Williams & Christopher Daniels & Rhino

Gail Kim looks SMOKING HOT as she reluctantly accompanies the Cowboy and the commentators recall that Storm issued an ultimatum last week to choose either him or Chris Harris, but the Wildcat might not return due to his eye injury and Gail needs to work so here we are. We go to break between entrances rather than during the match, which is a step in the right direction, and all six guys go at it when we come back until it’s down to Sabin & Rhino in the ring while Daniels flattens Storm with an Arabian moonsault to the floor. Rhino dominates Sabin and tags Petey, who snaps off a huracanrana and tags the War Machine back in, but Rhino gets caught in the heel corner and stomped by Sabin. Styles tags in and immediately goes for the pin, but Rhino kicks out and battles back with a spinebuster as both guys crawl to their corners and tag out like they’ve been wrestling for 20 minutes. Daniels unloads with the STO on Storm and a Death Valley Driver on Sabin before dropping Storm with a reverse STO and locking on the Koji Clutch, but Sabin breaks it up and Petey sends Sabin sailing through the ropes with tilt-a-whirl headscissors followed by a slingshot huracanrana. AJ clotheslines Petey at ringside while Storm pounds Daniels and tags Styles, but Rhino runs in to Gore the Cowboy right out of his hat before AJ lands the springboard flying forearm on Rhino and faces off with his former partner Daniels. Styles sneaks in a cheapshot, but Daniels unloads on him and dodges AJ’s springboard-moonsault inverted DDT as AJ lands wrong and appears to have tweaked his knee. However, it’s just a ruse and the Fallen Angel pushes the referee out of his way as Styles small-packages Daniels for the 1-2-3. Afterwards, the other heels escape victoriously while Rhino chases AJ through the crowd.

– JB interviews James Mitchell, who has the NWA World Title belt over his shoulder and sounds concerned as he claims that he doesn’t know where Abyss is and threatens to reveal his secret if the Monster doesn’t prove his allegiance to the sinister minister. Now this is more like it, Mitchell seemed worried about Abyss and is only using the blackmail because he feels betrayed by Abyss. I like this better than the tired old story of Evil Manager Uses Monster Heel And Treats Him Like An Animal.

– The fifth event in the Paparazzi Championship Series is a good old-fashioned game of Texas Hold ‘Em, but Sonjay Dutt doesn’t know how to play and Alex Shelley wonders if he’s been living under a rock “…or in India?”. Kevin Nash provides commentary on Shelley’s hand, but of course everybody else can hear him and Alex gets mad. Austin Starr smokes a cigarette (do I smell a feud with Ron Killings?) and asks for a beer, but Nash claims to be “fresh out” despite the bottles on the floor next to him. After the game, the PCS Standings show Dutt in last place with 15 points, Senshi in 4th with 17 points, Jay Lethal in 3rd with 18 points, and Starr & Shelley tied for 1st place with 20 points, so Nash declares that they will wrestle each other at Final Resolution to determine the PCS Champion and if they go the full 10-minute time limit (PCS Title = WCW TV Title, I guess) without a winner, then it will be up to the judges. When asked who the judges will be, Nash assures them he’ll handle it and gives an exaggerated wink. I don’t want to give anything away for those of you who haven’t heard the rumors, but if you’ve been watching the PCS you can probably guess who one of the judges might be and I can hardly f*cking wait.

– Earlier today, JB conducted a sitdown interview with Jean Pierre Lafitte…err Chris Harris, who wears an eyepatch as he explains that he is at risk of losing the vision in his eye and may not be able to return to the ring. Harris can’t believe James Storm did this to him as he laments that they’ll never be able to look back at their success as AMW together and states that he never wanted AMW to end this way. Not a bad emotional babyface promo actually, and we haven’t had a good “lost vision” storyline since Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel 16 years ago.

– When we come back to the Impact Zone, Konnan is down and hurt in the crowd with Homicide & Hernandez attending to him as Tenay credits Team 3D with the “sniper attack” and Ray explains that it was in retaliation to LAX’s assault on Runt last week. Ray claims that LAX won’t just be fighting 3D at Final Resolution, they’ll be fighting “all of us” which I guess means every non-Latino in the world as Devon testifies and Tenay repeats the “all of us” comment. I’m not sure why we didn’t get to see the attack on Konnan, but it does help to make the show feel more spontaneous.

– After the commercial break, JB is backstage and claims to be awaiting Team 3D’s arrival to the Impact Zone. What the f*ck? Eric Young arrives instead and JB asks if his “friend” got the “protection” he needed, but Showtime produces a pill bottle and says his “friend” takes one every day at 4:00. JB wonders if his “friend” is okay from taking the pills and Eric invites Jeremy to feel his breasts, but JB surprisingly turns him down as Team 3D show up and Eric runs away. Ray states it’s been a hell of a night and suggests that Konnan will be gone for a long time as he does a good hard-sell promo for the PPV vowing to kill LAX before Devon testifies.

– The Voodoo Kin Mafia declare victory because they ended up at Alamo rent-a-car in San Antonio instead of the actual Alamo and act like idiots before BG promises to see us on Sunday. BG’s “He lives here, why would he rent a car?” line was amusing, but what a pointless piece of crap this was. Thank Vince for the 10-minute Donald/Rosie horseshit on RAW, because in comparison this 45-second video really doesn’t seem so bad. I just hope they end it at Final Resolution and move on to something else. Hell, have LAX attack Bullet Bob again and do that feud right this time.

– Non-Title: Tomko vs. Abyss

Christian Cage comes out with Tomko, but Jim Cornette informs him that the cage at ringside is reserved for him during this match and calls in his favor as Kurt Angle marches out while Cornette tries to start a “Cage in the cage” chant. Angle backs Cage into the cage and locks him inside as Kurt taunts him with the key and we go to break before Abyss’ entrance. When we come back, James Mitchell comes out the heel tunnel with the NWA Title belt, but Abyss enters through the other tunnel as Mitchell looks shocked. Abyss points at Mitchell and the bell rings as Tomko blindsides the Monster and pounds away until Abyss levels him with a clothesline and then clotheslines him over the top rope. Tomko drags Abyss out to the floor, but Abyss batters him around ringside until Tomko ducks a charging right hand and the NWA World Champion smashes the ringpost instead. Tomko blasts Abyss with the big boot and chokes him before rolling him back in the ring, where he slugs away until Abyss catches him in a chokeslam (combined with a Nuclear Wedgie) for a two-count. Tomko clotheslines Abyss and retrieves a chair, but Abyss boots the chair into Tomko’s face for a near-fall while Samoa Joe charges out and attacks Angle at ringside. Angle escapes a choke attempt and hooks the anklelock, but Joe counters with a tuck-and-roll that sends Kurt crashing against the announce table as TNA Security arrive on the scene to separate them. Meanwhile in a classic camera shot, Christian slowly picks up the key that Kurt dropped and frees himself from the cell as Abyss plants Tomko with the Black Hole Slam and covers him, but Cage runs in for the disqualification and attacks Abyss with a chair after tossing the referee to the floor. Joe has Angle in the Kokina Clutch at ringside while Cage & Tomko choke Abyss with the chair in the ring until the lights go out and when they come back on, THIS IS STING and he makes the save with the baseball bat. Cage & Tomko retreat and TNA Security have separated Angle & Joe while Sting discards the bat and Abyss raises his arm, but the Monster turns on the Stinger and drops him with the Shock Treatment as Mitchell gives the “Doomsday” signal. Mitchell presents the NWA Title belt to his Monster and they hold hands to signify that Abyss has “come home” and Tenay screams about what this means for Final Resolution.

– A video package, set to “One Last Thrill” by The Autumn Offering, closes the show to hype 3D/LAX, Rhino/Styles II in a Last Man Standing match, Lynn/Daniels/Sabin, Sting/Abyss/Christian II (III if you count Nightstick On A Pole from a couple weeks ago) in an Elimination three-way, and Joe/Angle III in an Ironman match for Final Resolution this Sunday.

Afterthoughts: As some observers like to point out using the UFC as an example, the draw for most fans is all about the main event and I think TNA did a great job of promoting Joe/Angle III as a huge match on this go-home show for the PPV, especially with all the highlights shown between them over the last three months. It feels like a big deal and they left me wanting more. They also did a good job of hyping LAX/3D as a marquee tag match and I’m very interested to see how they end the Sting/Abyss/Christian triangle because there are so many ways they could go after this show. Based on the booking of the past couple of weeks, they could logically go with either Sting or Christian winning the belt and defending against Angle. Or if you want to go back further in time as it relates to the booking, Sting or Christian could win the belt and feud with each other, or they could feud without the belt if Abyss keeps it. If Abyss retains, Angle could demand a shot since he beat Abyss a couple months ago. Going back even further, Sting could win the belt and feud with Joe. Or depending on who wins the belt, Joe/Christian or Joe/Abyss could be good matchups. Whatever happens, I think these five guys will be seeing a lot of each other as the core of TNA’s main event scene in 2007 and that is a good thing to me.