TNA Bound For Glory - 10/23/05
by Scott Christ
Last TNA I watched and paid much attention to was the Sacrifice show. I tried to watch the Spike show but outside of the funeral for the Dudleys thing it just hasn't been very good. They need an extra hour or even just an extra half hour. Two minute matches do nothing for anyone.
I ordered this show for the X four-way featuring four guys I like, and also Joe/Liger. Actually without Joe/Liger I would've told this to cram it without thinking twice. So what's the free match? You guessed it, hoss!
ALEX SHELLEY v. RODERICK STRONG v. AUSTIN ARIES v. SONJAY DUTT
This was basically a "make 'em all look good" match, and they were all on-point if you ask me. I felt this didn't go overboard, though it was action-action-action-action. Shelley is great in this just being a dick, he doesn't even scrape the surface of the things he CAN do physically. His heel persona has gotten worlds better from the first TNA run, but I guess if you stop calling him the Baby Bear that'll happen. Strong threw a bunch of chops and a few backbreakers. Aries was lightning in a bottle, quicker than a hiccup, all that mess. I know some folk have gotten down on Aries in a big way but I still like the dude. Sometimes I just want to see a sumbitch go 100 miles an hour. I've been a Dutt fan since his showing at IWA's Simply the Best show this year, and he supplied the high flying. You had four guys with distinct styles meshing well. Loads of fun, tons of entertainment, and the live crowd ate it up, and though they eat up everything, it's worth noting. Dutt pinned Strong with a rana from the top. Just a showcase, but a good one.
Now it is PPV time. And what do they kick off with? You guessed it, hoss!
SAMOA JOE v. JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER
So basically I'm already done with everything I care about. Joe's entrance with the Polynesian dancers and drums is awesome. I have a feeling some geeks are going to feel like they're making a Dancing Islander out of Joe with it, but they'll be entirely missing the point. Liger got a bunch of streamers. Dueling chants had come up in the first match and they'd come up again here and every match after. I was really looking forward to this, and while I realized it was TNA with PPV time constraints and that it wasn't going to be EXCELLENT, I felt this match never clicked. They both seemed to be on entirely different wavelengths. Joe demonstrates his size and strength advantage early, but for the most part it's a non-issue really, because they only gave them like seven or eight minutes. Why fly Jushin Liger in, pay him, and then have him wrestle for ten minutes and lose in a really anticlimactic fashion? Joe won with the muscle buster and it just sort of happened that way. This was OK but way below a lot of expectations I figure, and it didn't feel all that special past the first few minutes when the atmosphere and fact that it was Joe v. Liger was carrying it. There was really nothing bad about what they delivered, they just didn't deliver much to get excited about.
SIMON DIAMOND, ELIX SKIPPER & DAVID YOUNG v. SHARK BOY, APOLO & SONNY SIAKI
Why even bother with this? Skipper and Shark Boy are my two least favorite wrestlers, so once they were in the ring together I felt like dying, and I was throwing my cap and wanting to go to sleep. I was really tired anyway, which is why I was hoping Joe/Liger would be saved until the middle of the show so I'd have something to look forward to. This was standard bullshit from the five of these guys that I have no time for and standard good stuff from David Young in the brief periods he got ring time. Skipper is painful to watch. Young pinned Siaki on a spinebuster. Siaki has got to get better someday, or else he's absolutely got to just stop it already. Watching Skipper/Siaki in 2005 is disturbingly similar to what a match between them as green Power Plant trainees would've looked like five years ago. Siaki's big white elbow pads look horrible. Meltzer called Apolo's dive "great" but he must have been high because it looked like crap as they all caught him and just stood there, then eventually decided to go down with it. If they HAD to stand there because he overshot, how does that make it great? Anyway, let's move on.
LANCE HOYT v. MONTY BROWN
They like to call Hoyt a 6'9" ticked off Texan, which would be a lot cooler if he looked more like Bruiser Brody and less like a hybrid of Test and a Girl Gone Wild. How can you be a big, tall, supposedly tough guy, and not only throw punches that look THAT SHITTY, but also have highlights in your hair and a freaking lower back tattoo? What is wrong with Lance Hoyt? Match stunk, Brown won with the pounce.
3 LIVE KRU (Konnan, BG James & Ron Killings) v. TEAM CANADA (A1, Eric Young & Bobby Roode, with Scott D'Amore)
Kip James offered to be in their corner before the match, but Konnan still thinks he sucks, and Konnan is right. This didn't go long enough to be too annoying, plus Konnan threw his shoe so I was satisfied. I like Eric Young as the jumpy scared guy. Roode cracked the hockey stick over Road Dogg's head, and the blade broke off and hit the referee in the leg, but he didn't seem to notice. That was the finish. The Canadians all jumped on Konnan after, and Kip came down to hit Konnan with a chair while they held him, but surprise surprise instead he cleans house on Team Canada.
PETEY WILLIAMS (with Scott D'Amore) v. MATT BENTLEY (with Traci) v. CHRIS SABIN
I wouldn't say I'm a fan of Ultimate X matches, but they are always worth appreciating in many respects, because there's never been one where the guys in it didn't really go all-out to try to make it special. This one was no different, however it was unfortunate as like the first one, the goddamn prize in the middle fell off the cables just when they seemed ready to REALLY kick it up another notch. A few minutes later, it started wobbling again with Bentley and Sabin down, and Petey just stood under it and caught it. They called the finish there, and Bentley did his Michaels post-Montreal impression, Sabin stormed out, and Petey just kind of shrugged and half-frowned. Crowd chanted bullshit. I felt bad for them, because they were trying to put on a show, and it just didn't happen because of more technical screw-ups. It was at this point in the show that everything had decidedly fallen apart from my perspective.
NWA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
AMERICA'S MOST WANTED (champions, with Gail Kim) v. THE NATURALS
I'm really digging AMW as heels, with Harris as the smooth, more city member, and Storm as the drunk asshole that sits around in a towel, Toby Keith-style cowboy hat and his title belt, drinking beer with Gail Kim. This was pretty solid, and I liked it way more than I've ever liked any other AMW/Naturals match I've seen. The smaller Naturals playing face makes it better I think. AMW aren't the best in-ring heels yet but they've got the personality of it all down pat, and that counts for something. Storm took a nasty powerbomb into the guard rail outside and was out of the match for a while while the Naturals double-teamed Harris brawling around the ring. Eventually Storm came back. It never really quite made it into being a proper tag match, which was fine. Naturals did the death sentence on Harris but couldn't get the pin, and eventually Douglas got handcuffed to the guard rail and AMW took advantage of Chase Stevens, pinning him after another beer bottle shot and the death sentence.
ABYSS (with James T. Reverend) v. RHINO v. SABU v. JEFF HARDY
In theory, Monster's Ball is a hellaciously stupid idea that insults everyone's intelligence. In practice, it's just a good WWF hardcore title scramble. Lots of brawling, bunch of weapons but they didn't go too overboard there. Sabu and Rhino paired off for the majority, leaving Hardy and Abyss together, and those were the proper pairings. The swanton dive that Hardy did off of the top of the entrance ramp to the floor way the hell out and down was just insane. I seriously thought he was high and had lost his marbles. I thought James Mitchell had run over to tell him, "YOU CAN'T JUMP THAT FAR YOU IDIOT!" I thought Hardy was going to land short and die. But he didn't, he jumped way the hell out and down and crashed through two tables and Abyss. It was a highlight reel spot all the way. It was vintage Jeff Hardy. It was really kind of beautiful. Rhino pinned Hardy with the Rhinodriver from the second rope. There was nothin' wrong with this.
TNA X DIVISION TITLE MATCH
30-MINUTE IRON MAN MATCH
CHRISTOPHER DANIELS v. AJ STYLES (champion)
I have never in my life liked a Daniels/Styles match. I like Daniels, and I really like Styles sometimes, but I have never, ever, ever liked them against each other. I confess I didn't pay a lot of attention to this, almost nodding off a few times, not because it was so bad or anything (what I remember was big move, near-fall, rest, big move, near-fall, rest, repeat), but because I was 103% certain they were only doing one fall and it was a set 30 minutes, and that's just kind of dull. It's like the thing where you don't want to find out when you're going to die. If you know, what's the point of anything? If I know when this match is going to end, why bother? The only thing I'm unsure of is who wins, and I'm not that unsure about it. The match was fine, if you liked them before you'd probably like this. They slowed their usual pace way down. The one thing I really remember was Styles taking a fall to the outside through the ropes and smacking his thigh on the steps, which must have hurt like hell. They did the finish with about 10 seconds left, and Styles got the three-count at 29:58 with the Styles Clash. Crowd was embarrassing early on in this, with more dumb dueling chants and then the horrendously pointless YOU'RE BOTH AWESOME chant. Fuck off already. We get it, you guys are way smart and cool. I hate these phony ass crowds.
Oh, yeah, since Nash is in the hospital, Zbyszko eventually decided that a ten-man gauntlet match would take place to decide who wrestles Jarrett tonight. The entrants were, in order: Samoa Joe, Ron Killings, Sabu, Lance Hoyt, Abyss, Hardy, Monty Brown, Rhino, Kip James and Styles. Rhino won, eliminating Abyss last. They managed to eliminate Joe and not make him look any weaker, as he was choking Styles out and Abyss got them both from behind.
NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH (with special referee Tito Ortiz)
RHINO v. JEFF JARRETT (champion)
They had, like, no time left for this. Maybe 10 minutes. I don't think it went quite that long. Jarrett dominated the brutalized and tired Rhino, but Rhino fought back and even avoided a guitar shot. On the bounce back going for the gore, Jarrett hit him with it anyway. He only got two as Ortiz was busy trying to restrain Gail Kim's fury, and eventually Rhino got the gore for the win and the title. AMW and Jarrett took it to Rhino, but 3LK came out to even it up. Team Canada then ran in, and the Dudleys followed them as a surprise, allowing the faces to stand tall with Rhino holding the belt up. The match was really nothing, but hey, at least Jarrett lost, as hotshotted as it was.
I didn't care for this show. It felt really, really long, and by the end the live crowd was dead because they spent so much time chanting for different people and telling everything that IT WAS AWE SOME and all that shit. A lot of stuff didn't live up to expectations for one reason or another, and really I think my favorite match of the night was the one they showed for free. You should download a clip of Hardy's dive, though, at the very, very least. Sacrifice was a much better show.