Hello wrestling fans, and more so, TNA Wrestling fans, the season of goodwill and festivity has nearly been and gone and as we approach the New Year so comes the influx of End of Year Awards, and here at Wrestling 101 I’m handing out my own TNA Awards. So, get your glad rags on and get ready to hit the virtual red carpet for the first ever Making an ‘iMPACT!’ End of Year Awards 2005.
End of Year Awards 2005
Best TNA Wrestler of 2005
I’ll start with possibly the most prestigious award, and an award that certainly has many contenders. In 2005, many people stood up and took notice of TNA, and in particular, took notice of the outstanding wrestlers in TNA. With talents likes AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin, and Alex Shelly just to name a few, its no surprise people are taking note of TNA, and the outstanding talents within TNA Wrestling
As I said, they are many contenders who would qualify for “Best TNA Wrestler of 2005”, but they can only be one winner, and this year, the award goes to Christopher Daniels.
Winner: Christopher Daniels – Chris Daniels has had a superb year in TNA, with numerous, outstanding matches under his belt. In February of 2005, Daniel’s fought AJ Styles in a classic 30 Minute Iron Man Match, and although the “Fallen Angel” failed to win, he did show the wrestling world why he is one of the best wrestlers in the world today. Come April, Daniels defeated three of TNA’s finest for the X-Division Championship, a belt he would hold onto for several months. Daniels defended the X-Division gold against all challengers, including the likes of Shocker, Elix Skipper and Petey Williams.
As well as being an exceptional wrestler, Daniels also proved that he was more than capable when it comes to his verbal skills; he showed that he could cut some intense and captivating promos, as well as deliver in the ring.
At the TNA September PPV “Unbreakable”, Christopher Daniels fought AJ Styles and Samoa Joe in an epic Three Way match for the X-Division Championship, and although Daniels was unsuccessful, the match is regarded as the best match of 2005 and one of the best TNA matches ever. If that wasn’t enough, Daniels once again competed against his old foe AJ Styles in another outstanding Iron Man Match at “Bound for Glory”, once again proving why he is the best TNA Wrestler of 2005.
Overall, Chris Daniels is the total package when it comes to wrestling, he’s a great solid technical wrestler, a great high flyer, a master on the microphone and a great asset to TNA.
- AJ Styles – Like Chris Daniels, 2005 has been a tremendous year for AJ Styles, he’s simply been phenomenal in 2005, and was only just beaten to the best wrestler award by Chris Daniels.
- Samoa Joe – Samoa Joe made his TNA debut in the summer of 2005, and since then has been a dominating force, had Joe been with TNA since the beginning of 2005 I’m sure he’d have received this award.
Best TNA Tag Team of 2005
Tag team wrestling was once a key part of any wrestling promotion, in the 80’s tag teams such as The Road Warriors, Demolition and The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express all drew fans to wrestling shows. Even in later years, tag teams such as The Hardy Boys, Edge & Christian and The Dudley Boys were all key elements in the success of the WWE, so what went wrong?
To be honest, I really don’t know, the WWE really doesn’t use tag teams like they once did, as for TNA, they do seem to be on the road to creating an interesting tag team division, and they certainly have some good tag team talents.
Teams like America’s Most Wanted, Team Canada, The Naturals, Team 3D, Diamonds in the Rough and 3 Live Kru have all dominated tag team wrestling in TNA during 2005, and they have been an integral part of some of TNA’s most captivating storylines in 2005.
But, just like the previous award, only one award can be awarded, and although there is plenty of contenders, in my mind, there is only one clear winner, that being America’s Most Wanted.
Winner: America’s Most Wanted – Just like 2002, 2003 and 2004, the year 2005 has been phenomenal for the duo of Christopher Harris & James Storm. The year started well for Harris & Storm when they defeated Team Canada for the Tag Team gold at the “Final Resolution” PPV, a reign that lasted until April, when The Naturals defeated AMW on an edition of “iMPACT!”
For much of the summer, AMW battled with the Naturals in an attempt to regain the NWA Tag Team Championships but failed in doing so, AMW also fought other TNA teams such as 3 Live Kru and Team Canada.
In perhaps one of the most shocking moments in TNA Wrestling of 2005, at a Border City Wrestling event promoted in Canada, Harris & Storm shocked their fans by helping Jeff Jarrett win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Not only did AMW aid Jarrett, they also pledged their allegiance to the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and turned their backs on their fans.
As “heels“, AMW showed a new dimension to their characters, and proved in the ring why they are the best team in TNA. With a new focus, and willingness to recapture the NWA Tag Team gold at any costs, it wouldn’t’ be long before gold was around the waist of AMW, and this came in October when AMW defeated The Naturals. Towards the latter months of 2005, AMW engaged in a bitter rivalry with Team 3D, which has resulted in some fantastic and brutal matches.
During 2005, AMW have showed their ability not only in the ring, but also on the microphone. As a “face” tag team AMW were as popular as any tag team in North America during 2005, but it’s as a “heel” tag team AMW have really shone. They have performed as good as they always have in the ring, but in 2005, AMW showed that they are much more than good wrestlers, they are entertainers, and deserve to be the TNA Tag Team of 2005.
- The Naturals – Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas have had a breakout year in 2005, they have engaged in some fantastic matches with the likes of AMW and Team Canada.
- Team Canada – A solid year for Team Canada, with Bobby Roode & Eric Young shining as tag team, and singles competitors.
Best TNA Match of 2005
In 2005, TNA was the best national promotion in North America when it came to producing good matches, month after month TNA produced matches worthy of this award.
Matches short-listed for this award include, AJ Styles vs. Chris Daniels “Iron Man” Match from both the “Against All Odds” PPV, and “Bound for Glory”, as well as AJ Styles vs. Abyss from “Lockdown”, plus numerous more matches.
However, in my opinion, the clear winner is from the September PPV “Unbreakable”, and the match is the three Way Match with Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Chris Daniels.
Winner: 3 Way Match with Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Chris Daniels (Unbreakable 2005) – Simply an outstanding match involving 3 of the finest workers in wrestling today, it had everything a wrestling fan could ask for, it was fast paced, technical, high flying, and most importantly, it was exciting. A wrestling match needs to be exciting for fans remain interested, and to be fair, a lot of wrestling matches nowadays aren’t that exciting, but this certainly was.
All three men performed to a phenomenal level, and gave 100%. It’s no exaggeration to say this was the best match in TNA during 2005, and I personally think it outshone any WWE match that was produced in 2005.
- Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles – “Turning Point” 2005 – This was another extraordinary match from Styles and Samoa Joe, once again showing why they are the best in the business today.
- AJ Styles vs. Chris Daniels “Iron Man” Match – “Against All Odds” 2005 – Only some of the best athletes can take part in “Iron Man” matches, and AJ Styles & Chris Daniels certainly proved that they are that good during this match. They were able to keep the crowd entertained and enthralled for 30 Minuets, it’s certainly one of my favourite “Iron Man” matches and it ranks right up there with Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude.
TNA PPV or TV Show of 2005
Just like all the other awards, this award category has plenty of candidates. This was the first year were TNA had put out a full calendar of 12 monthly 3 hour pay per views, as well as producing TNA “iMPACT!” for TV.
With just 1 hour a week, it’s been hard for TNA to put out good TV shows each week, but TNA have tried their best. Pay per View is where TNA really succeed, and the majority of their shows have been superb, but in my opinion, the best TNA Show of 2005 was “Turning Point” 2005.
Winner: Turning Point 2005
This was a superb PPV from top to bottom; this is what the entire card looked like;
- Barbed Wire Massacre: Sabu vs. Abyss
- Matt Bentley & Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong
- Raven vs. Chris K
- Team Canada (Petey Williams, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, & A1) vs. 4Live Kru (Ron Killings, BG James, Konnan, & Kip James)
- Basebrawl: Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin, & Dale Torborg vs. The Diamonds In The Rough (Simon Diamond, Elix Skipper, & David Young)
- Contender’s Match: Christian Cage vs. Monty Brown
- Tables Match: Team 3D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon) vs. NWA World Tag Team Champions, America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm), in a Non-Title Match
- TNA X-Division Championship: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles
- NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Jarrett vs. Rhino
I don’t want to spoil the PPV for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but it really is something to watch, it has something for everyone.
- TNA “Unbreakable” 2005 – A solid TNA PPV featuring some great matches, including the 3 Way Match with AJ Styles, Chris Daniels and Samoa Joe, and an exciting NWA World Heavyweight Championship match.
- TNA “Lockdown” 2005 – When TNA announced that this PPV would feature a card full of cage matches, fans across the Internet laughed at the idea. Nevertheless, when it was all said and done, the PPV was a great effort by TNA, it was something unique and certainly outlived all expectations, and I am looking forward to “Lockdown” 2006.
TNA MVP of 2005
This award is for TNA’s Most Valuable Person in 2005, it’s an award for someone who is an invaluable asset to TNA, be it in the ring, on the microphone or backstage.
When I think of MVP’s in TNA during 2005 a couple of names come to mind, but one person stands out in front of everyone, that being AJ Styles.
Winner: AJ Styles – To put it in simple terms, TNA would be lost without AJ Styles, the guy is an outstanding asset to TNA. In 2005 AJ has once again been a hot commodity for TNA, he’s been involved in some of the best angles of the year, as well as being involved in some of the best matches of 2005.
Everyone knows how great AJ is in the ring, when TNA brand him as “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, its no exaggeration. AJ’s talent in the ring is his greatest asset, and it’s that talent which I’m sure many people tune into TNA for. Its been said that AJ is TNA’s “poster boy” and that really is true, AJ is the face of TNA, and for much of 2005 I’m pretty sure people watch TNA for AJ Styles.
My belief is that as TNA grows, AJ Styles grows, he’s been with the company since day 1, and has developed enormously since that faithful Wednesday back in June 2002. If 2006 is the year TNA rises to the next level, it will also be the year AJ Styles reaches the next level in his career, he’ll go from having a cult like following, to becoming one of America’s most popular wrestlers, he has a way to go yet, but I’m sure he’ll be able to do it.
Overall, what AJ has done for TNA not just in 2005, but since TNA’s existence has been fantastic, and that means he’s more than deserving for this award.
- Mike Tenay – Mike Tenay is certainly a great asset to TNA, he’s what every play-by-play announcer should be like, he has knowledge, he has the broadcast ability, but most importantly, he has the passion.
- Chris Daniels – Best wrestler in TNA today, as well as being a great storyteller and promo guy, Daniels is certainly a good asset for TNA.
Best TNA Signing of 2005
If someone had told me this time last year that TNA would have the likes of Team 3D (formerly The Dudleys Boys), Rhino, and Christian Cage on their roster by the end of 2005, I would have laughed at just the thought of that, but how wrong would I have been.
2005 was the year TNA signed some big acquisitions, as the aforementioned names, and the likes of Austin Aires, Roderick Strong, Samoa Joe, and Alex Shelly, new talent came to TNA in abundance.
As well as some new faces coming to TNA, we also saw the return of some old faces, including Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman, Sabu & Simon Diamond.
The award for best TNA signing of 2005 has to go to someone who not only has made a short term impact with TNA, but someone who will help TNA in the long run, someone who will make a difference, and that person is Christian Cage.
Winner: Christian Cage – This was the move that came as a shock to most people. The former WWE star who at one point was getting a good push in the WWE, swapped all the bright lights of New York, for TNA Wrestling in November. Christian Cage quit the WWE after being unhappy with the way his career was going in the WWE, his contract was up for renewal, and so instead of staying put, he opted out, and showed the wrestling world that there is another option than the WWE.
At the TNA “Genesis” PPV in November, Christian Cage made his debut into TNA Wrestling, and although many internet fans knew of his debut, it was still a historical moment for TNA, bearing in mind that only a few days before, Christian was part of WWE programming; now he was on TNA PPV.
Christian Cage is a great wrestling talent, who is the total package, he has a superstar look, a great sense of charisma, and most importantly, he can wrestle. His move to TNA has been great so far, and where Christian may not have been able to make it as a major star in the WWE (due to no fault of his own may I add), I believe that he can become a major superstar in TNA, and certainly a future NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
- Team 3D – What a debut they had on the debut edition of “iMPACT! “on Spike TV. One of the world’s most decorated tag teams have certainly had a good start to their TNA career, engaging in some brutal matches with NWA Tag Team Champions, America’s Most Wanted, I suspect 2006 will be an even more successful year for Team 3D.
- Samoa Joe – He choose TNA over the WWE, and so far, it’s been a wise choice in my opinion. He’s been involved in some excellent matches, has already won the X-Division Championship, and could easily go onto big and better things in 2006. TNA should do anything they can to keep hold of Joe.
Most improved TNA Worker of 2005
This award goes out to the TNA worker who has improved the most during 2005. The winner for this award is, “Cowboy” James Storm of America’s Most Wanted.
Winner: “Cowboy” James Storm
When America’s Most Wanted were formed back in 2002, I was impressed with both Chris Harris and James Storm as they dominated the tag team ranks in TNA. As impressed as I was with AMW, I always thought that the team would eventually split, much like The Rockers & The Hart Foundation, with Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart breaking through into the singles ranks respectively.
For along time I always thought Chris Harris would be the breakout star of AMW, that was until AMW turned “heel” and we saw a new dimension in their characters, particularly in James Storm.
Storm has showed that he does have a character, and that he can also be a very good entertainer, his promos and interviews have became so much better as a “heel”, much better than when he was a “babyface”. I’ll be perfectly honest with you, Storm’s actual wrestling ability hasn’t improved a great deal, but its his ability as an entertainer which has improved a lot, he has benefited so much from the “heel” turn.
I’m no expert, but I see bright things for “Cowboy” James Storm, whether AMW stay together or not, I believe that Storm has a lot to offer TNA Wrestling.
- Abyss – He’s simply the best big man in wrestling today, and now he has Jim Mitchell as a manager he just keeps getting better and better.
- Monty Brown – He seems to get more charismatic every day, Brown has had a good year in TNA, he’s established himself as a major player in TNA, and hopefully will become NWA World Heavyweight Champion in 2006.
- Eric Young – This Team Canada member has had a great year in TNA, and in the last few months has showed some real character, another guy I expect to have a good year in 2006.
TNA Memorable Moment of 2005
2005 has been a busy year for TNA, we have seen new faces and old faces come and go, we have seen “major acquisitions” and “major announcements”, a Spike TV debut, plus many more memorable TNA moments of 2005. But for me, the award for TNA Memorable Moment of 2005 has to go to the debut edition on “iMPACT!” on Spike TV in October. I know it’s a TV show and not a “moment”, but nevertheless, its getting my pick as it was an historical day for TNA Wrestling.
Winner: TNA “iMPACT!” hits Spike TV
After over 3 years of trying, TNA finally got a major national TV deal in the summer of 2005, and for the first time since the closure of WCW & ECW, wrestling fans would have an alternative wrestling product on national TV.
It was certainly a milestone for TNA, and debut edition of “iMPACT!” on Spike TV was a night to be remembered. The night was full of fast-paced action, with stars like Rhino, Jeff Hardy and Rhino all competing to impress TNA fans. The night also saw Team 3D make a stunning TNA debut, as well as “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash making his return to TNA Wrestling.
Overall, it will go down as a night to remember for all the right reasons, and hopefully it was and will be the beginning of a very successful and rewarding TNA & Spike TV relationship.
- Team 3D Funeral – This segment was easily the best piece of wrestling TV from North America in 2005. I am not being bias when I say it was better than any WWE skit from 2005, and was easily the best TNA segment in the history of the company. If you have not seen it, go out of your way to watch it.
- Christian Cage debuts for TNA – A moment that certainly made an impact across the wrestling world.
– TNA on The Wrestling Channel
Big news for UK TNA fans, TNA have reached a new deal with TWC to air TNA programming on a one-week delay, rather than the current 5-week delay.
A quick note to UK TNA fans, TWC has confirmed that it will air “Turning Point“ on the 8th January 2006 8pm UK Time. For all your TNA TV information from the UK, USA and Canada check out Wrestling101’s TNA TV Guide.
– TNA @ TalkWrestlingOnline.com
The famous US Scene forum over at TalkWrestlingOnline.com has been a hive of TNA talk recently; here are some quick links for you to discuss some various TNA topics. (Please note that the following links may contain spoilers).
TNA brings in NJPW Star– Find out who it is, and who he will be facing from the TNA roster.
TNA Match of the year -Vote for your TNA Match of the year, and see what other TWO members think!
Another WWE star heading to TNA? – Is another WWE superstar really heading to TNA?
Thanks for reading, I will be back in the New Year with a look at the year that was 2005 for TNA Wrestling.
Happy New Year!