TNA Xplosion #83 Results (19th June 2004) - NWA Total Nonstop Action #103 Results (23rd June 2004)
As iMPACT rounded off it's first month on the air, you'd be expecting TNA to be finding the correct formula for it's hour of television each week running alongside a weekly PPV. Coming out of last week's PPV that celebrated two years of the company by having both the NWA World Heavyweight and X Division Championship matches end in No Contests, how would TNA look to explain the results? With D'Lo Brown teaming with AJ Styles to face "The Monster" Abyss and Dallas in a big tag team main event, would this be the episode where TNA would finally crack the code?
Larry Zybszko replaced Dusty Rhodes as the shows judge, "in case" a match went to a time-limit draw.
After X Division Champion AJ Styles had niftily turned Dallas' chokebomb attempt in a hurricarana and scored the pinfall, the June 25th 2004 show concluded with Monty Brown attacking D'Lo Brown, being aided by "The Monster" Abyss' chain, whilst Kid Kash nailed Styles with a Money Maker and continued the beatdown with Dallas. A fairly straightforward way to build to the Brown v Brown PPV match, although weirdly Kash and Styles wouldn't face off again for sometime. Before this, the tag main event had been a strong television clash, following a simple storyline where Goldylocks would give the heels the advantage on the outside, which built into a wonderful hot tag sequence from Styles. Whilst Dallas & Abyss aren't the smoothest wrestlers and Brown's timing was off on a couple of the points, the closing stages of the match feature some fast-paced and exciting action, with a few twist and turns and a devastating looking suicide dive from Brown, before Styles secured the victory.
In more tag team action, Team Canada's Bobby Roode and Petey Williams picked up a big victory over America's Most Wanted, after The Natural's had interfered and nailed Chris Harris with a nasty chair shot. The match follows your regular tag structure, with James Storm in the face in peril role, before Harris cleaned house on a hot tag, but did seem to be going in a different direction in the last few minutes. All four men were involved in a back and fourth melee, which included a superb Tower of Doom that got a big reaction out of the iMPACT zone. It seemed like the ten minute time limit was about to hamper the action, as I'm sure the two teams could have launched into a blistering final stretch with more time, so in a way I was happy to see the screwy finish over having the match go to a judges decision.
Another tag team match saw The Amazing Red, Chris Sabin & Primetime overcome Kazarian, [Kazushi] Miyamoto and NOSAWA [Rongai] in a decent X-Division affair. The standout competitor of the bout was Sabin, whose offence always looked polished and seemed to be the most creative competitor of the match, pulling out a lovely enziguri and DDT combo on Kazarian and NOSAWA at one point, as well as a stunning dive over the top rope. If everyone in the match had been as composed as Sabin, I think this would have been a much better contest as a lot of the action felt rushed and therefore became botchy. The biggest culprit of this is The Amazing Red, who has two major slips whilst trying perform slingshot moves, which stop the match from having the usual free-flowing feel that we've come to expect from the X-Division
If you've read the previous editions of Re-Making an iMPACT, you'll know we aren't the biggest fans of the non-wrestling segments and despite it's absurdity this week was no different. Basically, on the recent PPV, Jeff Jarrett's NWA World Heavyweight title bout with Ron Killings had ended in a no-contest after Killings had used Jarrett's guitar, a move that Director of Authority, Vince Russo had decried would lead to an automatic disqualification and therefore title change. For unexplained reasons a quartet of trumpets played Jarrett to the ring, before Larry Zybszko came out to tell Jarrett he'd have to wait until the next PPV to find out who Russo had decided to give the belt to, despite the decision being surely what this show was made for! We did pop pretty hard when Jarrett nailed Zbyszko with his guitar, for rambling with phrasing like "I just left the big room, Jeffrey". The segment ended in a disappointing scrap between 3 Live Kru and Jarrett's Elite Guard (Collyer & Hernandez)
"The Alpha Male" Monty Brown would continue his undefeated streak with a victory over "Irish" Pat Kenney (Simon Diamond) in a dull as dishwater contest. To say that we're big fans of "The Alpha Male" would be like saying we're big fans gouging our own eyes out. The match was full of wear down holds as the duo struggled to fill their three minute bout with anything remotely interesting. To be fair to Kenney, he did pull out a sweet float over in a superkick, but his character came across a just a generic bloke. I've no idea why he has "Irish" in front of his name either. Is their another Pat Kenney running around, so we need to distinguish between the two? The finish is an awkward set-up into the piss-poor Pounce.
ATPW Scale Rating - 4.05/10
The most-action packed episode to date, there's some top quality wrestling on display here with the main event and semi main event tag bouts both delivering. However, there's also a segment with Jeff Jarrett and Larry Zbyszko which answer none of the questions that the previous PPV asked and kind of paints the companies top heel as a babyface (He takes out an annoying authority figure and then gets attacked by three men) whilst Monty Brown appeared for much longer than I'd have liked. There's a core group of guys that are beginning to become the highlight of the show each week, like AJ Styles and Team Canada, whilst others are proving a drag on our enjoyment of the show, *cough* Monty Brown *cough*.