For an easy to navigate archive of my TNA reviews, just visit Total Nonstop Ziegler!
Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – June 19, 2005
PRE SHOW MATCH: Apolo & Sonny Siaki vs. Simon Diamond & Trytan
Former tag team partners Diamond and Siaki start the match for their teams. Siaki takes control with a series of chops and armdrags. He hits a leg lariat for two. He rams Diamond into the turnbuckle and tags Apolo. They hit a flapjack for a two-count. Apolo hits Diamond with a powerslam for two. Trytan grabs Apolo from the apron and snaps his neck off the top rope. Diamond then officially tags the monster into the match. Trytan levels Siaki with a big boot to the face and then tags Diamond back in. Apolo comes back on Diamond with a neckbreaker and they’re both down. Siaki gets the hot tag and he’s on fire. He hits a lungblower for two, and now we’ve got a brawl on our hands. Apolo levels Trytan with a superkick for two (even though neither of them is legal). Diamond avoids a charging Apolo, ramming his shoulder into the ring post. That leaves Siaki alone in the ring. Diamond hits Siaki with a superkick and Trytan follows up with the T-3 to get the pin at 3:55. That was an okay preshow match.
MATCH #1: Six Way X-Division Match – Zach Gowen vs. Delirious vs. Jerrelle Clark vs. Amazing Red vs. Elix Skipper vs. Shark Boy
Delirious loses his mind at the sound of the bell, and no one is quite sure what to do. He starts the match proper with Skipper. They trade kicks and Skipper wins that battle, and then hits Delirious with a butterfly suplex and a gut wrench suplex. Delirious tags Red into the match. The pace quickens and Skipper tries to ground the high-flyer. Clark tags himself in off Delirious and hits Red with a rana. He tries the handspring moonsault but misses and Red unleashes a flurry of offense. Gowen makes a blind tag on Red and immediately misses a guillotine legdrop. Boy gets tagged in and goes to work on Gowen, scoring a couple of near-falls. Gowen comes back with an inverted DDT on Boy, and then Skipper tags himself in. Boy clotheslines Skipper to the floor and tumbles out with him. Clark follows them out with a beautiful springboard moonsault. Red is the next one out, hitting the Infrared. Delirious goes up top and it’s the beginning of the Tower of Doom spot. Gowen hits Clark with a moonsault and Boy breaks up the pin. Boy clotheslines Gowen to the floor. Skipper hits Boy with a spinning uranage, but Red breaks that up. Red then hits Skipper with the Red Star Press and Clark makes the save. Clark hits Red with an Awful Waffle and Delirious breaks that up. Delirious hits Clark with the Cobra Clutch Backbreaker, and then hits Skipper with the Panic Attack. Boy grabs Delirious with the Dead Sea Drop to get the pin at 6:27. That was a perfect opener, and a reminder of the time TNA cared about the X-Division enough to give these six guys the opening slot on an important pay-per-view.
MATCH #2: Shocker vs. Alex Shelley
Shocker looks ridiculous in his overalls, sunglasses, and stocking hat as he talks to Shane Douglas backstage. Alex Shelley interrupts with his own sunglasses on. They take it right down to the mat to start, trading holds back and forth. Tenay mentions a McDonald’s commercial that Shocker was in, but I have no memory of that. Shocker is able to stay one step ahead of Shelley with his lame looking offense. He avoids a Shelley dive to the floor, and then hits him with a dropkick off the apron. Back in the ring Shocker tries a moonsault but Shelley gets his knees up. Shelley uses some creative submissions but Shocker won’t give in. He goes up top but Shocker dropkicks him out of the air, sending Shelley to the floor. Shocker follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Shelley gets a unique rollup for two. Shelley hits a dropkick to the face and a spinning vertical suplex for two. They trade cradles but neither man can score a pin. Shocker comes back with a solid right hand, but Shelley responds with a pinning combination for two. Shelley goes for a tornado DDT but Shocker counters with the Shockwave to get the pin at 10:44. That was an entertaining mat based match, even if Shocker does absolutely nothing for me at any point in time.
MATCH #3: Ron Killings vs. Kip James
They start with some basic back and forth chain wrestling. James uses his size advantage, so Killings comes back with a headscissors. For some reason James argues with the referee, allowing Killings to go up top for a missile dropkick. They follow that up by hilariously blowing a hiptoss. I know I’m not trained as a wrestler, but a hiptoss guys? Ouch. James comes back from that with a low blow. He whips Killings into the corner but misses the Stinger Splash. Killings fires back with right hands that send James to the apron. He tries to kick James to the floor but James moves, and Killings crotches himself on the top rope. James kicks Killings back to the floor, and then rams his head into the steel steps. He then calls the next spot on camera rather loudly, directing Killings to smash his face into a steel chair being held up by a fan. James only sells it for a few seconds before going back on offense, locking on a reverse chinlock in the ring. He stops that and goes to the second rope for the jumping something or other, but Killings gets his foot up in the face. Killings is on fire now, flying all over the ring. He goes for the Axe Kick but misses, and James hits the Fame-Ass-Er. He goes for the Cobra Clutch Slam but Killings counters it with an O’Connor roll to get the pin at 7:37. The sad thing is that James’s shoulders weren’t even down. I know neither of these guys are amazing technicians, but they must have been nervous or something because it looked like amateur hour out there.
MATCH #4: NWA World Tag Team Title Match – The Naturals vs. Team Canada
The Naturals have been the champions since 4.29.05 and this is their second defense. Team Canada is represented by Petey Williams and Eric Young, and is accompanied by Scott D’Amore and A1. Young and Chase Stevens start the match. They go back and forth, and take turns slamming each other down by the hair. Then they trade slaps and punches. Stevens wins that battle and makes the tag to Andy Douglas. Young pokes the eyes and makes the tag to Williams. Douglas hits a couple of armdrags. He slams Williams down and locks on a leg submission, and Young has to break it up. That turns the match into a big brawl briefly and Stevens gets a two-count on Young. Moments later Young appears to have injured his leg and they keep that up for about 10 seconds before he reveals he was faking it. Stevens gets knocked to the floor and double-teamed by D’Amore and A1. Back in the ring Young puts Stevens in the Tree of Woe and Team Canada goes to work. Williams and Young dismantle Stevens for several minutes, focusing on his lower back. Finally Douglas gets the hot tag and he’s all over the Canadians. Douglas hits Williams with a full nelson backbreaker for two. Williams comes back and locks on the Sharpshooter. Young goes up top but Stevens gets back up and tosses him onto the top rope! Stevens goes for a powerbomb but Williams counters with a DDT. Williams goes for the Sharpshooter but Douglas hits a release German Suplex for two. The match breaks into a brawl, and the Naturals are able to hit their own version of the Doomsday Device but it only gets two. The Naturals hit Young with the Natural Disaster but Williams breaks up the pin. Williams hits Stevens with the Canadian Legsweep. A1 hits Douglas in the back with a hockey stick when Douglas bounces off the ropes. The referee gets distracted but I’m not quite sure with what. Maybe it was just to allow the Naturals to unveil their new “spiritual advisor,” Jimmy Hart. Stevens blasts Williams with the megaphone and Douglas gets the pin to retain the titles at 15:16. That was a solid formula tag match but they could have cut a few minutes out of the heat segment. The Naturals never really did much for me.
MATCH #5: Samoa Joe vs. Sonjay Dutt
This is Joe’s debut match with TNA. Joe immediately hits a couple of hard kicks and beats Dutt down in the corner. Dutt comes back with some acrobatic offense but runs right into an STJoe. Joe follows up with the Big Joe Combo for two. He takes Dutt down in the corner and administers a face wash. Dutt tries to fight back but Joe sweeps the legs and hits a senton for two. Joe tries a charge in the corner but Dutt moves and Joe falls to the floor. Dutt follows him out with a somersault dive over the top rope. Back in the ring Dutt tries kicks of his own, including a springboard missile dropkick for two. Dutt hits a 450 Splash for two. He goes back up and misses Indian Summer and Joe hits a snap powerslam for two. Joe back Dutt into the corner and hits the Muscle Buster. He then locks on the Choke for the win at 6:25. That was a solid match, but for a debut it should have been more of a squash. Dutt got way too much offense in, but they still managed to make Joe look like a big deal.
MATCH #6: Lance Hoyt vs. Bobby Roode
Hoyt overpowers Team Canada’s Enforcer in the opening moments. He clotheslines Rode to the floor, and Roode trips him and pulls him out there with him. Hoyt is able to regain the advantage there, but D’Amore distracts him and Roode hits a knee to knock Hoyt off the apron and into the guardrail. D’Amore takes several cheap shots and throws Hoyt back in the ring. Roode goes to work now, focusing on the neck. He goes up top and Hoyt slams him down to the canvas. Hoyt hits a series of clotheslines and a flapjack. He hits mounted punches, and then flattens Roode with a chokeslam. D’Amore once again interferes, causing a delay before Hoyt goes up top for the moonsault. Roode powerbombs Hoyt out of the corner but it only gets two! A frustrated Roode almost uses the hockey stick but the referee stops him. Hoyt hits a Rock Bottom and goes for the Boot but D’Amore once again grabs him by the leg. Roode blasts Hoyt with the Northern Lariat to get the pin at 7:23. That was mostly competent but the amount of interference by D’Amore seemed excessive.
MATCH #7: BG James & Konnan vs. America’s Most Wanted
Konnan and Chris Harris start the match. It doesn’t take long for miscommunication between Harris and Storm to rear its ugly head. Konnan takes off his shoe and throws it at Harris in the corner. Storm seems irritated by that and kicks Konnan in the head on his way out of the ring. Now Harris takes Konnan down and goes to the corner to tag Storm in for the first time. AMW makes quick tags to keep the fresh man in the ring. After a few minutes Konnan catches Storm coming off the top rope with a boot to the face. Konnan then hits the K-Factor and makes the lukewarm tag to BG James. Initially James is a house afire, but Storm cuts him off with a brutal superkick for two. Harris hits James with a bulldog for two. Storm hits the Swinging Noose for another two-count. Finally James comes back with a series of jabs, and Harris accidentally knocks Storm off the apron. Kip James comes out and gets in a fight with Konnan. That leaves James alone with AMW, and they hit him with the Hart Attack for the win at 6:58. That was pretty heatless for two teams that were two of the most over teams in TNA.
MATCH #8: Three-Way Elimination Match for the X-Division Championship – Christopher Daniels vs. Matt Bentley vs. Chris Sabin
Shane is accompanied by Traci Brooks, and Sabin is accompanied by Trinity. Daniels has been the champion since 3.13.05, and this is his third defense. The math starts off fast and furious, with everyone throwing punches and strikes at both of their opponents. Daniels gets the first move of any consequence, locking Sabin in the Koji Clutch. Bentley breaks it up with a top rope elbow drop and goes for covers on both men with no success. Moments later Bentley hits Daniels with a powerslam for two. Daniels comes back with a jawbreaker but then gets powerbombed by Sabin. Both Bentley and Sabin get dumped to the floor, and Daniels hits Sabin with an Arabian Press. Back in the ring Daniels and Bentley take turns beating on Sabin, and then Bentley double-crosses Daniels and tosses him to the floor. Bentley hits Sabin with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. They’re keeping up a fast pace with very little resting this far. Daniels backdrops Bentley to the floor, and when Sabin tries to wipe him out with a dive, Daniels catches him with a gutbuster. Back in the ring Daniels goes to work on Bentley. Daniels goes for the Angel’s Wings but Bentley powers out of it. Sabin comes back in the ring with a kick to Daniels’ face that led right into a Tornado DDT. All three men rise to their feet and Sabin takes control. Daniels takes a powder. Sabin hits Bentley with a suplex and then wipes Daniels out with a dive on the floor. Back in the ring Sabin hits a springboard dropkick for another two! Traci trips Sabin from ringside and Trinity responds in kind. That leads to a mid-match catfight in the ring between the female valets. Trinity throws Traci to the floor, but Daniels grabs her and sets up for Angel’s Wings. At the same time Sabin has Bentley up for the Cradle Shock. Sabin makes the right decision and hits the Cradle Shock for the pin at 10:55, allowing Daniels to plant Trinity with the Angel’s Wings. We’re down to Sabin versus Daniels for the X-Division Title now.
The pace remains quick, as Sabin hits a snap powerslam for two. Sabin hits a Hurricane DDT for two. Daniels comes back with a Death Valley Driver out of nowhere for a couple of two-counts. Now the champion is in control, wearing Sabin down. Sabin fights back with a schoolboy rollup out of nowhere for two. He hits a bulldog but can’t make a cover. Back on their feet Sabin hits a straightjacket suplex for two. You don’t see that move in TNA every day. Daniels comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a series of headbutts, and then takes Sabin down with an STO for two. The champion hits the Best Moonsault Ever but Sabin kicks out at two! Sabin fights back with a jumping enziguiri and a swinging Tornado DDT for a two-count. Daniels sends Sabin to the apron, and when Sabin tries to springboard back in Daniels kicks the ropes out from under him. The champion then hits the Angel’s Wings to get the pin and retain the title at 17:08. That was almost non-stop action from bell to bell and they worked some really cool spots in. I think Michael Shane may have been underappreciated.
MATCH #9: King of the Mountain Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Title – AJ Styles vs. Raven vs. Sean Waltman vs. Abyss vs. Monty Brown
Styles has been the champion since 5.15.05 and this is his first defense. Waltman dives off the top of the penalty box to take Raven down and the match is underway. Outside the ring Styles hits Abyss with a rana off the ladder. In the ring Brown hits Raven with a POUNCE and gets a pin. So Brown is eligible to hang the belt, and Raven has to spend two minutes in the penalty box. I can tell this one is going to be hard to keep up with as well. Styles wipes Abyss out with a big dive over the ropes. Back in the ring Waltman covers Brown for a two-count. Abyss gets back in the ring and Waltman takes him down with a spin kick. For some reason Raven exits the cage before the time has run out, but Borash counts it down anyway. Brown kills Waltman with a powerbomb and gets a pin to send Waltman to the penalty box. Back in the ring Styles is in control of Brown and Abyss, but it doesn’t take long for Brown to come back and hit a POUNCE on the champion. Styles rolls to the floor but Raven wisely covers the champ to get the pin. Raven gets back in the ring and hits Brown and Abyss with a trash can. Styles and Waltman make a plan to work together when they get out of the cage. Waltman rejoins the fray and uses a trash can until it gets used back on him. Styles comes out of the box just as Abyss hits Brown with the Black Hole Slam for a pin. Moments later Styles hits Raven with the Styles Clash but Abyss breaks up the pin. Outside the ring Waltman brutalizes Abyss with a steel chair and then sets him up on a table. Waltman holds Abyss down as Styles puts him through the table with a Spiral Tap! That’s enough for Styles to get his first pin. Back in the ring Styles makes the first attempt to hang the belt but he drops it. Waltman hands it to him, but then double crosses him and hits the X-Factor off the ladder for a pin. Now everyone is eligible to hang the belt. Raven finds a staple gun and uses it on Waltman’s head. Waltman comes back and staples Raven’s nuts, and then does the same to Abyss. Tenay forgets that Waltman pinned Styles and thus is eligible to hang the belt. Styles and Waltman climb the ladder simultaneously but Abyss pushes them down to the floor. Abyss tries to climb the ladder but Brown POUNCES him off the ladder through a table. Raven then hits Brown with the Even Flow DDT and hangs the belt at 14:21.
I did not expect that match to hold up at all, but that was ridiculously entertaining. Sure, it was two years too late in giving Raven the title, but the action was non-stop and they used the interesting rules in some clever ways. I miss Monty Brown.
Tags: Abyss, AJ Styles, Monty Brown, raven, Sean Waltman, Slammiversary, TNA