TNA Xplosion #81 Results (5th June 2004) - NWA Total Non-Stop Action #101 Results (9th June 2004)
With the first episode setting out the show's stall nicely in the ring, but featuring a weak World title talking segment, how would the 2nd episode of iMPACT, headlined by a Team Canada vs. Team Mexico six man tag bout, go about building on it's strengths and sorting out it's weakness?
This 11th June 2004 edition of iMPACT was main evented by Team Canada's Bobby Roode, Eric Young and Petey Williams besting Team Mexico's Abismo Negro, Heavy Metal and Mr. Aguila with Roode pinning Metal following some interference from Scott D'Amore and a Roode Bomb. Team NWA's Chris Sabin, Primetime and Jerry Lynn came out after the match to stop the villainous Team Canada from delivering any further damage, with show finishing with everyone brawling in the ring to lead into their Flag Match on the PPV. The two teams didn't seem to mesh, with offence often looking a bit unrefined, with Team Mexico just doing a lot of rolling about and mainly hitting clotheslines. To be fair to the Mexican lads, Aguila and Negro did do a pretty sweet suicide dive and tope conhilo double team at one point. I have got a lot of time for Team Canada however and they are beginning to look like a well-polished team in the ring with D'Amore on the outside bringing that extra heely edge to group with his interference.
3 Live Kru's BJ James, Ron "The Truth" Killings and Konnan quickly disposed off David Young and The Natural's Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens, thanks to a Corkscrew Scissors Kick from Killings to losing streak gimmick inflicted, David Young. The match wasn't particularly good, but I'd take it over the talking that followed any day of the week. It was all a bit messy, again with weekly PPVs to thank for this. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett would come out, only to be interrupted by Dusty Rhodes on the other ramp, who would book Jarrett in a title match with Killings on 23rd June. It was awkwardly worded and with a PPV to push for next week, booking a match for a future PPV begins to make things more complicated than they should ever need to be. The segment would finish with Jarrett promising a "public execution" on this week's PPV. Yay. What? Why? The one saving grace here was that the iMPACT zone's dual entrance ways gave the moment a unique visual.
"The Phenomenal" AJ Styles retained his newly won X Division Championship in a rematch from the last PPV's main event, against Kazarian in a disappointingly brief encounter. The pair wrestled a balanced match, full of smooth transitions and crisp execution, but they never really get to go to that next level and the match suffers from never really changing gears. As beautiful as Styles transition to the Styles Clash is, it comes at a point where I was hoping the pair would begin to up the ante and therefore left me feeling slightly flat. Styles was quickly shifted into a feud with Dallas and Kid Kash after the match, with the tag team taking out "The Phenomenal One", jumping him from behind.
Kash was in action himself, with "The Notorious K.I.D." beating The Amazing Red in another bout that didn't quite live up to my expectations. The one highlight of the bout was a worldie though as Red turned a top rope powerbomb attempt Kash into a hurricanrana! However, I find Kash in control to be really dull, there's not much wrong with what he was doing technically, it just didn't engage me. A spot where he attempted to hit three moonsaults, the first from the bottom rope, second from the middle rope, only for Red to get his knees up on the third, bugged me more than probably should have for it's lack of sense, as did Kash hitting a Double Underhook backbreaker, despite his finish being a Double Underhook Piledriver.
Elsewhere on the show, Monty Brown would go over Sonny Siaki in a squash match.
ATPW Scale Rating - 3.94/10
After a strong start, iMPACT already seems to be going off the rails in it's second week, with a big drop in match quality. The shift to two singles matches, should have seen an improvement and more satisfying action, but despite both Styles vs. Kazarian and Kash vs. Red having their moments, neither will live long in the memory. A PPV main event rematch on TV should have felt much more special than the X Division Championship bout did. The show was once again harmed by an over-complicated and wordy talking segment involving NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett and Dusty Rhodes, with #1 Contender Ron Killings and his 3 Live Kru buddies ending up feeling like an after though. With twelve more weeks until TNA abandons the weekly PPV concept, I'm expecting more of the same until then.
Next Time - Killings v Young