Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – January 16, 2005
The opening video package highlights the NWA World Title match, the Ultimate X match for the X Division Title, and the NWA World Tag Team Title match. Mike Tenay and Don West are on commentary. Before the first match can even begin, Shane Douglas gets a word with NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett, who talks trash about his three potential opponents tonight.
MATCH #1: The 3Live Kru vs. “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels, Matt Bentley & Kazarian
Daniels and Konnan start the match. Konnan dominates on the mat and with his power, and when Bentley comes in he takes the legdrop to the nuts from Ron “The Truth” Killings. The Kru generally dominates in the early going, tagging in and out to keep a fresh man in the ring. Daniels and Kazarian use their speed and wiles to take advantage of BG James. It doesn’t take long for James to come back with a powerbomb on Daniels, and tags are made. The match breaks down, with all six men in the ring. You know what – Don West is an underrated announcer. I said it. Bentley winds up alone in the ring with the Kru, so James and Konnan hold him in position for a leaping axe kick from the Truth. That’s enough to get the pin at 8:20. I’m certainly not the biggest fan of the 3Live Kru, but using them on opening match six-man tags was the best way to use them.
MATCH #2: “Primetime” Elix Skipper vs. Sonjay Dutt
This is one of those vague “winner will probably at some point get a shot at the X Division Title.” Why not just make it a Number One Contender’s match? The crowd starts with dueling chants right away. Dutt scores the first big move, a satellite headscissors that sends Skipper to the floor. He follows him out and takes Skipper out with a somersault off the steel barricade. Back in the ring Dutt keeps Skipper on the mat. Dutt focuses his attack on the arm, which is wise because Skipper is stronger than he is. He goes up top for the Hindu Press but Skipper leaps up to the top rope and dropkicks Dutt down to the floor. That was impressive. Skipper works Dutt over on the floor, and then back in the ring returns the favor by going to work on the arm. He goes for the Play of the Day but Dutt blocks it. Dutt tries a Lionsault but Skipper gets his knees up. These two have done their homework, Jess. Skipper hits the slingshot lariat. They fight up to the top rope and Dutt hits a nasty sunset bomb. Dutt hits a backdrop suplex for two. He follows up with a tilt-a-whirl DDT for two. He goes up again for the Hindu Press but Skipper moves. Skipper then hits a spinning uranage slam for the win at 10:13. That was a good little match when I pretty much expected nothing.
MATCH #3: Dustin Rhodes vs. Kid Kash
Kash attacks right away but Rhodes is ready for him and clotheslines him to the floor. Back in the ring they trade control back and forth without much rhyme or reason. Kash goes for a superplex like a minute into the match (#AreYouSeriousBro) but Rhodes shoves him down and Kash appears to injure his knee. Of course it was all a ruse, and Kash now goes to work on Rhodes’s leg. Kash uses a variety of moves to injure the leg, including a frog splash and a figure-four leglock. Rhodes turns the figure-four over but Kash is able to slip out. Back on their feet they trade sleepers and Kash brings Rhodes down to the mat. Rhodes powers his way back to his feet and levels Kash with a series of clotheslines and punches. He hits an inverted atomic drop but that makes his knees buckle. Good selling from Dustin in this match. Kash goes up top for a cross body block and Rhodes rolls through for a very close near-fall. Kash escapes the Curtain Call and hits an enziguiri for two. He argues with the referee, who shoves him down. I hate that – referees should never touch the wrestlers. Seconds later, Rhodes hits a Bulldog, or as Tenay calls it, “powers him down bulldog style,” to get the pin at 10:52. Rhodes was game and was selling really well, but Kid Kash is Kid Kash. How has he gotten as many jobs as he has?
MATCH #4: Raven vs. Erik Watts
The video package for this match reminds me of what a nonsensical feud it was. I don’t know if there was ever a real resolution to it. Watts has truly terrible gear. He tries to start the match with a chair but Raven is ready for him and takes control out on the floor. Back in the ring Watts takes control, sending Raven back to the floor. Raven walks up the ramp and Watts chases after him, bringing him back to ringside. Watts drops Raven nuts-first on the barricade and clotheslines him down. Back in the ring Watts hits a Chokeslam and then grabs a chair instead of going for the cover. Referee Mike Posey pulls the chair away and Raven hits a low blow. Raven sets the chair up in the turnbuckles and drives Watt’s head into it. I don’t know how that’s not a DQ. Raven goes for the Drop Toehold but Watts counters and slams Raven’s face into it. If he tried to take the chair away earlier why is it okay now? Watts is on offense now, hitting a Boot of Fear and some punches in the corner. Raven drops Watts face-first on the turnbuckle. They trade strikes and Watts wins that battle with a Buckle Bomb for two. Raven comes back and puts on the Ankle Lock, and when Watts escapes he runs right into a superkick. Watts comes back with an STF but Raven counters right back to the Ankle Lock. Once again Watts powers out and hits a sad looking Chokeslam. Watts hits a real Chokeslam to get the pin at 10:20. That was sloppy and dull.
MATCH #5: Falls Count Anywhere Match – “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy vs. Scott Hall, special guest referee Rowdy Roddy Piper
Hall cost Hardy the NWA Title back in the main event of Victory Road in November, setting up this disaster of a match. Piper spends a good long while patting Hall down, and he finds several weapons hidden on his person. Hall then finds handcuffs hidden on Piper for some reason. Hardy dominates in the early going, hitting the Whisper in the Wind. He tries a cross body block but Hall catches him with a Fallaway Slam for two. Hall argues with Piper and gets rolled up for a quick two-count. After another fast count Hall rolls to the floor for a breather. Hardy dropkicks Hall off the apron and then wipes him out with a slingshot dive. He slams Hall into the steel steps and throws him back in the ring. The awkward brawling continues and Hall regains control with some clotheslines in the corner. Hall hits a Chokeslam for two. Piper gets bumped and Hall retrieves a pair of brass knuckles from one of the corners. Piper recovers and pokes Hall in the eyes. That gives Hardy the chance to hit the Twist of Fate and the Swanton Bomb to get the pin at 5:51. That was brutal.
Hardy says he’s coming after Jeff Jarrett, and Piper announces that he has a shot at the title (which he didn’t). Then from out of nowhere Abyss comes charging out and hits the Shock Treatment and the Black Hole Slam! The rumor at this time was that Abyss was heading to WWE, so this actually was a big shock and set up a fun feud between the two.
MATCH #6: Last Man Standing for a shot at the NWA World Title – Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kevin Nash vs. “The Alpha Male” Monty Brown
Earlier tonight Nash proposed to Page that they work together to take Brown out. Page and Brown do battle early on while Nash stands there and watches. That sounds about right. Brown knocks Page to the floor and now Nash takes his shot at Brown but gets nowhere. Nash doesn’t give up though, and he’s able to catch Brown with a side suplex for two. Brown fights back with a backdrop suplex and Nash takes a powder. Apparently this is an elimination match and you can be eliminated by pin, submission, or going over the top rope. Page takes control of Brown, hitting a couple of clotheslines for two. Brown responds with a knee to the gut and a DDT, but Nash breaks up the cover for some reason. Nash and Page now work together briefly, but when Nash charges at DDP he ducks and Nash goes over the top rope and is eliminated at 5:52. That’s a stupid way to get eliminated from a Triple Threat match. Meanwhile, Page hits the Diamond Cutter but Nash pulls him to the floor before the pin can be counted. Brown comes back with a small package for two. Page gets a schoolboy rollup for two, and then hits a huge lariat for another two-count. Brown comes back with a knee to the gut and some forearms for two. He continues on offense, hitting a big fallaway slam. A powerslam gets two for Brown, who can’t believe it. Page hits a back elbow out of nowhere and goes for a Diamond Cuter but Brown pushes him off and hits the Pounce, Period, to get the win and the title shot at 9:41. That was just all over the place, but at least the right guy went over.
MATCH #7: NWA World Tag Team Title Match – Team Canada vs. America’s Most Wanted
Bobby Roode and Eric Young have been the champions since 12.5.04 and this is their first defense. Team Canada tries to stall in the aisle but AMW runs out there to start the brawl. James Storm and Young battle on one side of the arena while Harris and Roode fight on the other. After about two minutes Harris and Young make it to the ring to start the match proper. Young already has a huge knot on his forehead, and Harris goes right to work on the noggin. The challengers are absolutely dominant here and the crowd is going nuts for them. Finally Team Canada cheats a little bit to gain the advantage and they go to work on Storm. The pace in this match has been consistently fast. After several minutes Storm avoids a charge and Roode crashes shoulder-first into the ring post. Harris gets the hot tag and he’s on fire. Is Harris one of the biggest disappointments in recent memory? For a guy who seemed to have so much talent he sure amounted to nothing. AMW goes for the Death Sentence but it gets turned into a Tower of Doom spot instead. D’Amore interferes and pays for it when AMW handcuffs him to the steel structure used for Ultimate X. AMW hits Young with the Hart Attack but it only gets two. Johnny Devine comes running out to interfere, hitting Storm with the hockey stick but Storm kicks out at two! Harris takes Devine out with a spinebuster, and then AMW hits Roode with the Powerplex. That’s awesome because Triple X isn’t together as a team anymore so they can’t use it, but Roode kicks out. Harris hits Young with the Catatonic but the referee is distracted. Devine slides a chair in the ring and Harris tries to grab it from him and Roode hits a Northern Lariat, causing Harris’s face to crash into the chair. That’s an awesome spot. Young covers but Harris gets his foot on the bottom rope at two! Devine, not paying attention, accidentally hits Young with the steel chair, and Harris rolls him up to get the pin and win the titles for a fifth time at 19:11! What an incredible tag team match, and it’s amazing to think that it took over six years for TNA to make anything out of any of these guys as singles wrestlers.
MATCH #8: Ultimate X Match for the X Division Title – Petey Williams vs. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs. Chris Sabin
Williams has been the champion since 8.11.04 and this is his fifth defense. This is the sixth Ultimate X match; Sabin has been in four of them and is 3-1, Styles has been in one and is 0-1, and Williams has been in one and is 0-1. Sabin is already a two-time X Division Champion, and Styles has held the title three times. I expect the action in this one to be very fast paced so my play-by-play probably won’t be able to keep up. Williams gets taken out early so Styles and Sabin can battle each other. Styles takes everyone out with a dive to the floor and goes up, but Sabin knocks him down and goes for the belt himself. Scott D’Amore gets in the ring to block Sabin and does, so the referee sends D’Amore back to the locker room! Good move referee. Even without the Coach around, Williams is able to take control of Sabin. The offense is coming from all three guys, with no one taking a clear-cut advantage yet. Very few attempts to retrieve the belt have been made so far. Styles and Williams climb out to where the belt is and Sabin pulls Styles down while Williams just hangs there and doesn’t pull the belt down for some reason. I hate spots like that. The action continues to come fast though as the crowd chants “This is Awesome.” Styles goes up for the belt and Sabin hits him with a missile dropkick for one of the most famous bumps in TNA history. Williams takes Sabin to the floor with a clothesline and all three men are out. Back in the ring Sabin hits Williams with the Cradle Shock and goes up for the belt but Styles pulls him down right into a powerbomb and then a Styles Clash! Styles tries to grab the belt but his arm is injured and he can’t hang on. Williams takes his opportunity to hit the Canadian Destroyer. Sabin hits Williams with an awesome Buckle Bomb. He goes up for the belt and Williams joins him and they fight over the belt. While they fight over it, Styles leaps off the top rope and snatches it from them to win the match and the title at 19:53! That is probably the best Ultimate X match ever, with some awesome spots and only one or two goofy ones. The pace was frenetic and the crowd was hot.
MATCH #9: NWA World Heavyweight Title Match – Jeff Jarrett vs. “The Alpha Male” Monty Brown
Jarrett has been the champion since 6.2.04 and this is his sixth defense. These two had a match on Impact back in December that was pretty decent and I thought Brown may have been taking the title there. Jarrett comes into the match with an advantage because Brown has already wrestled tonight. He takes an early advantage and struts. Brown comes back using his power. He hits a powerslam for two. They spill to the floor and Brown catches Jarrett in a dive and hits a backbreaker. Brown tries to ram Jarrett into the post but Jarrett escapes and sends Brown into the post instead. Now they fight into the crowd and up by the announce table. Any way they can shut Tenay up is good with me. Back in the ring Jarrett locks on a sleeper. Brown escapes and gets a small package for a close near-fall. They run into each other and knock heads, so both men are down. Back on their feet Brown hits the Alpha Bomb but Jarrett kicks out at two. Brown follows up with the Circle of Life but Jarrett kicks out again. Referee Rudy Charles gets bumped and Jarrett bashes his guitar over Brown’s head but Brown kicks out at two! Jarrett grabs a chair and Brown picks him up in an electric chair drop before getting hit in the face with it. They crash to the mat and Jarrett covers but only gets two. Jarrett then hits Brown with the NWA Title belt but Brown kicks out again! Brown fires up now and goes for the Pounce but hits the ref instead. That was pretty contrived. Jarrett grabs another guitar but Brown blocks it and hits a Chokeslam. Brown then bashes the guitar on Jarrett’s head (which would be a great finish) but there’s no referee to count. Finally referee Andrew Thomas makes his way down but Jarrett is able to kick out. The Impact Zone is not happy. Brown goes for another Pounce but Jarrett hits him with the broken guitar. Jarrett then hits three Strokes to get the pin at 16:19. The match was a solid TNA main-event style match and the crowd was hot for Brown. This would have been a great time to put Monty Brown over huge and create a new star, someone who wasn’t big in WWE or WCW, but TNA didn’t seem to have much interest in that at this point in time. That’s a real shame.
Tags: final resolution, impact wrestling, jeff jarrett, Monty Brown, TNA