The normal TNA and Impact! videos play and a disturbing thought enters my mind. Have you noticed that the Impact! video totally blows the SmackDown!, Velocity, and Heat opening videos out of the water? Definitely not Raw, but I’m pretty confident on the other three. What’s disturbing about that is the money WWE puts into production versus the money TNA does. Wow.
Six Man Tag
America’s Most Wanted & Jeff Jarrett Vs. The Naturals & Jeff Hardy
Surprisingly, I liked this opening bout. It started off well with Jarrett jumping Hardy as he did the stupid crawling thing to try and portray a gimmick I think no one cares about. From there, all six brawled which lead to some good stuff like a snap suplex from Stevens to Storm and then some great ledge fighting by Harris and Douglas. Ledge fighting, like apron fighting, is a completely lost art, but at least ledge fighting gets more play than the apron fighting outside of Battle Royals. These two did an excellent job of doing it with the teases over and over again, but the finish was a little anti-climatic of just throwing one guy into another. Not as big as they were leading too. They tried to remedy that with nice double team move by the Naturals onto AMW, but I still don’t think they made up for the anti-climatic ledge finish. When they got in the ring, the match quality bogged down a bit here and there, but it didn’t last much longer from here so it wasn’t really enough to drop it from the good rating I’m going to give it. In the ring, they were a little spotty considering they no-sold the Naturals double-team move and then no-sold the Superplex. They were up in less than thirty seconds for both which really doesn’t bode well for the rest of the match. James Storm brought a beer bottle into the ring which I thought was great as there is nothing better than a beer drinking redneck. Why else would WWE be pushing Trevor Murdoch? The finish was also great like the ledge work earlier with the repeated teases that had me thinking that Jarrett and AMW would actually job before a PPV. Shocking, I know. They teased finishing move after finishing move until the Naturals got up Jarrett and were interrupted with a Superkick and the Stroke by Jeff Jarrett for the win. Good opening and great finish, but the middle was a little weak. All in all, I still enjoyed it and it only furthers the notion that TNA knows how to do tag team matches. All they need to do now is sell a bit more and we will be all fine and dandy.
Winners: America’s Most Wanted
Star Wrestlers: Chris Harris & Andy Douglas
The ledge work in the opening brawl was by far the best spot or series of spots in the match. The repeated tease over and over again was hot and I love the look of fear in each man’s eyes. Yes, the end to the ledge fighting was very, very anti-climatic, but it doesn’t take anything away from the work the two did on the ledge, just didn’t do much to help the match as it progressed. No one else really struck me as “star wrestler” here as the ring work wasn’t that impressive, so I’m going to have to give it to Harris and Douglas for the best ledge work I’ve seen in a while.
After the match, the heels handcuff Hardy to the guardrail and then they go for the Death Sentence onto Stevens through a table they set up. Douglas got wind of it and fought back, but then AMW came back and hit a Team 3-D to Douglas through the table. That’s all good and well, but wasn’t the table supposed to be reserved for Team 3-D? I mean, that’s what it says. Still a good opening bout and segment though and Jarrett ruled with the green highlights from Hardy’s body paint.
We then go to another video package of Rhino pumping up for his rematch for the NWA World title. These are some good promos and are getting me more and more pumped up for Rhino. Rhino talks about how he gave the fans what they wanted: to beat Jarrett. He goes over to curse (with some annoying beeps) and ends by saying that he is the challenger today but will be the champion tomorrow. Good package and really just confirms my recent love of Rhino. The guy has had a fire lit under his ass since being fired from WWE and has really come into a stride of work better than any of his past ECW or WWF/E work. Good for you, Rhino.
Commercial break times one equals a very hot opening segment. Am I sick?
Coming back, Raven is being held back by security as Zybsko and him argue some more about his release and what-not. Raven wants his title shot, but Zybsko says he lost last week and he doesn’t reward that. From there, Zybsko tells Raven to wait for what he has at Turning Point (another WWE reject who can’t even use his name?). Raven says he doesn’t care because he will put them in a casket and is coming for Zybsko after that. He says Zybsko won’t get up this time and Zybsko throws a hissy fit over the fact that Raven threatened him. Normally, Zybsko isn’t that bad, but god damn I wanted to slap the guy as he bitched about being threaten. “Waa, you can’t threaten me! Waa!” What is this, a women’s locker room?
Samoa Joe Vs. Amazing Red
This was a pretty drawn-out squash which I actually enjoyed, but mostly because Joe kicked the living shit out of a wrestler I hate: Amazing Red. What is really so amazing about him? That he can no-sell virtually the whole offense you have thrown at him and make you look weak because of it? Seriously, things like that should not be cheered for because it is one of the main reasons why wrestling has gone on a down swing since 2001. I loved Alex Shelly outside the ring with a video camera during the match. A lot of people hate the gimmick, but at least TNA is doing something with him and from the looks of it, I think Joe will eventually want Shelly in the ring because Shelly keeps interrupting his matches with the damn camera! After that interruption, Red made a comeback that started off good with the kicks but then went into complete over-kill mode with a small Huricanrana (which didn’t even latch onto Joe’s head as the cameras saw) followed by the Standing Shooting Star Press. Now, let me ask you this: if you were beat up for a good five minutes, would you really have the energy to spin around almost four times in under thirty seconds? Doubtful. Anyway, Joe kicked out and went right back to working over Red and teaching him how to sell. He eventually hit the muscle buster followed by the rear naked choke, but as I thought Red was going to pass out (which I would have preferred), he taps out in the weakest way possible. There is a reason you don’t have tap outs like that, Mr. Red. How would that sell the pain you’re in? Yes, we know you’re weak, but if you really want it to end, I doubt you would tap very gently like a dainty slap. Jeez, someone send Red back to school.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Star Wrestler: Samoa Joe
Joe was the only one making this bearable and I really think Joe and Low Ki are the only two people to give Red some good matches, but simply for the beat-downs they give him with some rugged intensity. The day I give Amazing Red “star wrestler” in this series is the day that I will denounce everything I hold holy in this life.