TNA Xplosion #85 Results (3rd July 2004) - Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling #105 Results (7th July 2004)
We called the last episode we looked at "The worst episode of iMPACT so far" and considering the show has hardly set the world a light in it's first five week's on the air, that's not a great sign for this fledgling product! Could TNA do any better for this 9th July 2004 edition of the show?
The main event would see the first use of the time limit gimmick as a newly re-formed Triple X (Primetime & "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels) would come out victorious over new NWA World Tag Team Champions The Naturals (Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens) via judge's decision after Larry Zybszko awarded them the match. This was one of the strongest tag bouts that has featured on iMPACT over the last six weeks, with the two teams gelling well and producing a pacy contest that played to the strengths of the two teams. A sequence following the hot tag, where Daniels would hit both the Best Moonsault Ever and the Angel's Wings for near falls was extremely well put together. The one thing that majorly bugged me about the match was that the teams ended up swapping the sides of the ring they were in, which made the production feel a tad amateur. The time limit gimmick was used nicely, building up Primetime & Daniels, whilst not having to have the World Tag Team Champions get pinned. America's Most Wanted ran off Douglas & Stevens after the match, but the main beat at the very end was the tease of a potential rematch between the teams after they had two well-received bouts in 2003.
In the show closer, Team Canada's Petey Williams would come out victorious over X Division Champion AJ Styles and Chris Sabin in a triple threat, after nailing Sabin with a Canadian Destroyer. Now, when you look at the three names in this bout, you know you're going to get a good match and that's exactly what we got here. With a superb pace, the match was full of spots involving the three men, like Williams reversing a middle rope Styles Clash attempt into a rana sending Styles crashing on a grounded Sabin, a DDT combination by Styles and Sabin's funky enziguiri and DDT combination. There's also a great near fall thrown in, when Sabin hit Williams with a Gory bomb, only for Styles to break up the cover with springboard 450 splash. The timing of the spot makes the moment. The finish was put together nicely with Styles being more focused on hitting a tope conhilo onto rivals Michael Shane and Kazarian at ring-side, before Scott D'Amore's distraction prevented Sabin from hitting the Cradle Shock and Williams to take advantage for the pinfall. A fun and clever match featuring three of the brightest talents for the first month and a half of the show.
If two previous matches made this sound like a pretty good show, we also had The Elite Guard (Collyer, Hernandez & Onyx) going over 3 Live Kru (BJ James, Konnan & Ron "The Truth" Killings in a seriously shite match. Considering all three of The Elite Guard have a number of years of experience under their belts, they all look incredibly green, awkwardly taking 3LK's offence and barely being allowed any of their own. To be fair to them, when Konnan hits the ring for a hot tag, the 39 year old just stands still in the centre of the ring, whilst the Elite Guard bump around him, including a nasty hip toss to the outside. The finish is a load of bollocks also, as Jeff Jarrett turns up while Konnan has a Tequila Sunrise on Collyer, whack old Konnan 2012 on the head with a guitar, before Hernandez gets the pin. IF HERNANDEZ WAS THE LEGAL MAN, WHY HAD KONNAN GOT COLLYER IN THE TEQUILA SUNRISE? You fucking shitter, Konnan. The best thing about this entire debacle was when Elite Guard marched to ring in their berets! Then to make things just that little bit worse, Dusty Rhodes (58) & Larry Zybszko (52) meandered to the ring to scare off Jarrett & Elite Guard after the match.
The rest of the show, featured a couple of squash matches as Kazarian & Michael Shane went over D-Ray 3000 & Shark Boy, whilst Abyss and the newly christened "Baby Bear" Alex Shelley (because he's managed by Goldylocks, geddit? Hawhaw) dispatched of Jerrelle Clark & Mikey Batts. We also got a rambling promo from Dusty Rhodes & Larry Zybszko following their run-in, to promote a ten man tag team GUITAR ON A POLE match for the PPV in five days time (wowza).
Tag Team Match: Triple X - "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels & Primetime def. The Naturals - Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens in ten minutes
Tag Team Match: Kazarian & Michael Shane (with Traci) def. D-Ray 3000 & Shark Boy in 3 minutes, 15 seconds
Tag Team Match: "The Monster" Abyss & "The Baby Bear" Alex Shelley (with Goldylocks) def. Jerrelle Clark & Mikey Batts in 2 minutes, 58 seconds
Six Man Tag Team Match: The Elite Guard - Collyer, Hernandez & Onyx def. 3 Live Kru - BJ James, Konnan & Ron "The Truth" Killings in 3 minutes, 48 seconds
Three Way Match: Petey Williams (with Scott D'Amore) def. AJ Styles and Chris Sabin in 5 minutes, 47 seconds
ATPW Scale Rating - 4/10
The two top matches on this show are strong television bouts, both with different things to enjoy about that and both being very easy to watch. It's unsurprising that these matches feature those who have become the highlight of iMPACT in it's first 6 weeks, like AJ Styles and Chris Sabin, with Christopher Daniels being added to the mix this week and heavily impressing. Like previously, the storyline surrounding the NWA World Heavyweight title continue to hold the show back, as the weekly PPV's mean that TNA is having to try to promote ten man tag team bouts with a guitar on a pole. Over-looking the major talent on their roster, guys like Dusty Rhodes and Larry Zybszko, who are years past their prime are being presented as world beaters, for reasons that continue to escape me. That's before getting into the ridiculous Elite Guard or how much 3 Live Kru suck.
Still, it was definitely better than last week's edition!