TNA Impact on Spike TV
May 31, 2007
Taped May 28 in Orlando, Florida
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
We open with a recap of the King of the Mountain qualifying matches two weeks ago and one week ago, with Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe qualifying already. They plugged Jeff Jarrett vs. A.J. Styles for tonight’s qualifying match.
Center ring, Jim Cornette welcomed us to the show. He said Angle and Joe have qualified for KOTM, and tonight, Jarrett and Styles were scheduled to meet tonight. However, Jarrett has been dealing with serious family issues and he received a phone call an hour ago that he would not be able to make it to the show to compete. They cut to a TNA office worker in the front row for a round of applause. Cornette then said he has a tough decision to make regarding Jarrett’s spot in the match. Christian Cage’s music interrupted and he walked out with Styles and Tomko. Christian suggested Cornette has a double standard, then he said they’re going to have a party without Cornette invited. Christian then told Cornette to do the right for once and award Styles the victory due to forfeit. He continued to rant on Cornette that the way he does business is a complete joke. Christian got a cool heel fan pop for complaining about the booking of the Sacrifice main event. He then got in Cornette’s face, close enough to read the prescription on his glasses, and told him that it’s his show and Cornette need not forget. Boos from the crowd.
Cornette then snapped back that he’s about to do some bad business, because he was going to do just what Christian suggested and raise Styles’s hand. But, now he’s going to change his mind and do better business. Cornette said the fans want to see a match, so he’s booking Styles in a match since Christian showed him the error of his ways. A fan screamed that Styles should face Tomko, so Cornette booked Tomko and thanked the fan. Styles snapped on Christian, but Christian calmed him down, then demanded to know who’s he facing in his qualifying match. Cornette didn’t provide an answer, then Tomko then backed up the entrance ramp as Christian and Styles argued in center ring. Fun opening segment that gave Cornette a credibility boost by outsmarting Christian.
Jeremy Borash stood backstage and said he keeps his ear to the ground on who’s being hired, fired, and who’s looking for work. He plugged the TNA Mobile service. Christopher Daniels then got his interview time to discuss his situation with Sting. Daniels enlightened us that Sting sent him on the path he’s currently on, but the strength of his own convictions is too much for Sting. He said Sting needs to embrace his faith, then told Sting to make his choice.
Backstage, Leticia found Eric Young in Jim Cornette’s office. Cornette then interrupted and Young explained the deal with Robert Roode. Ms. Brooks then led Roode into Cornette’s office. Cornette told Roode to forget the depositions, the lawyers, and the contracts. He asked Roode if he was man enough to sign on for a match with Young where Young would be set free if Young wins, and Roode could do whatever he wants with Young if Roode wants. Roode said he’s man enough, so he agreed to the match. Roode left after giving Young a verbal parting shot, then Cornette told Young to listen to him about the match. Mr. Backlund then interrupted and demanded to get his book back from Alex Shelley. We had a great, intense segment between Roode and Young that was completely killed by Backlund’s insanity. Backlund demanded a match, but Cornette needed to see a medical release or a waiver.
Rhino came to the ring for a match with Christopher Daniels, who was greeted by Sting on the entrance ramp. There’s your heroic babyface attacking an opponent from behind. Sting smashed Daniels with a chair, then he took him into the ring and delivered a Hogan big boot. He then clotheslined Daniels over the top rope to the floor. They fought into the stands as Rhino stood in the ring waiting for his opponent. After a few minutes of Sting dominating the PPV-style walking brawl, they ended up in the back area of the arena and Sting drove a baseball bat to the gut. Daniels gasped for air while flat on his back, then Sting drove the bat into Daniels’s throat. He then left out the back door as Rhino continued to stand in the ring.
Rhino took a mic and said he came to the ring to knock Daniels’s teeth down his throat, but Sting already took care of that. He said he came here to earn his check. He issued an extreme challenge (not to be confused with an Extreme Rules challenge) to anyone in the back, and LAX’s music answered the challenge. Konnan led out Hernandez and Homicide, then Konnan took the mic and said it’s become very apparent that TNA management has tried to screw LAX for a while. Konnan said TNA gave the Dudleys 1,000 matches until they took the titles away from them. He said LAX is the sickest and the meanest tag team in all of wrestling, then Konnan spotted Hector Guerrero sitting in the crowd. Konnan said Hector sold out, then asked if he would tuck his head between his legs like a typical Guerrero. He said Hector doesn’t have any balls, then Hector jumped the guardrail and stood on the apron next to Rhino.
1 — RHINO (w/Hector Guerrero) vs. HOMICIDE (w/Konnan and Hernandez)
We join the match mid-action with Rhino slamming Homicide into the corner turnbuckles before taking a back body drop. Homicide then side-stepped Rhino and tossed him over the top rope. He followed with a cannonball suicide dive on the floor. Hernandez delivered a right hand or two for good measure, then he tossed Rhino back into the ring. Homicide went up top and landed an elbow drop for a nearfall before applying a neck vice. Rhino made his comeback with an overhead toss, then he set up for the Gore, but Hernandez grabbed Rhino’s foot. Homicide then decked Hector off the apron, but Rhino caught Homicide with a Gore for the win.
After the match, Hernandez instantly jumped Rhino. Konnan then took his crutch and tried to nail Rhino, but Hector cut him off. Hernandez jumped Hector from behind, though, and Konnan jabbed his crutch into Hector’s gut. Konnan then rammed the crutch into Rhino’s gut before Chris Harris made a random save. The former Pirate took a crutch blow to the back, though, and Konnan continued to nail the babyfaces with crutch shots. Homicide then opened up Harris’s forehead with right hand blows. LAX did the burial closing on Hector as their music hit.
WINNER: Rhino in 4:00. As usual, the post-match angle took precedence over the in-ring wrestling. That said, tremendous heat for the segment. Crowd was red hot. LAX was cooled way off for several weeks after losing the NWA Tag Titles, but this was a good way to get them back on track with a hot segment. We still don’t know why Chris Harris is involved here. (*1/2)
Backstage, Borash found Samoa Joe for an interview. Before Joe could put two words together, Kurt Angle interrupted and told Joe to stop worrying about Styles and Tomko and worry about him. Angle said that last week, he made a statement that if he’s going to cripple someone, he’s going to tell them first. Angle vowed to cripple Joe, then Joe said Angle better pray he doesn’t get him first. "Let the games begin," Joe said. Here we go again.
Backstage, Leticia interrupted a Christian Coalition meeting. Styles screamed at Christian for always getting him in trouble with these random predicaments. Tomko was all smiles, then Christian asked Tomko what was so funny. He told Joy Boy that they’re both his family, but brothers fight sometimes. Christian said the better man would win tonight, then after that, everything would be cool. Christian asked for team spirit, then they did a Little League cheer. Tomko cut off the cheer, though, and grabbed Styles by the neck. He said it would be short, quick, and painless. He let go of Styles’s throat, then left, and Christian was left to assuage Styles’s fears about the match.
2 — X Division champion CHRIS SABIN vs. KAX — non-title match
Tenay and West talked about how unbelievable it is that Sabin has had a lengthy title reign. The unspoken sentiment here was that Sabin isn’t a credible champion. The match started with Kaz on the offensive as the crowd established a rooting interest for Kaz. Sabin then cut him off with a thumb to the eye before knocking Kaz to the floor and hitting a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Sabin slapped on a reverse chin lock, but Kaz fought to his feet and Sabin cut him off. He playfully slapped Kaz across the face, but Kaz caught him with a leg sweep before hitting a turnaround leg drop for a nearfall. Kaz then hit a karate-style leaping front kick for a close nearfall. Sabin showed ass when Kaz grabbed a handful of trunks, then Sabin hit a side kick. Kaz suddenly countered the Cradle Shock with the Wave of the Future spinning slam for a close nearfall. Crowd popped for the nearfall. They fought up top, and Kaz landed another martial arts front kick to the face. Kaz then set up Sabin up top for possibly the Flux Capacitor, but Kaz was distracted by Raven, Martyr, and Havoc’s presence on top of the building. Sabin then crotched Kaz and landed a basement dropkick. He finished him off with a Cradle Shock for the win.
WINNER: Sabin in 6:00. Wow. Easily the best X Division match in months, possibly this year on TV. Reminded me of the great matches I saw Kazarian have in California three years ago. Crowd was red hot, they were into Kaz, and Sabin was over as a heel based on the underdog status for Kaz. (**1/2)
They cut to a video package with B.G. James cutting a promo on Basham and Damaja. He said they did what they shouldn’t have done and woke up a pissed off cowboy. He screamed that they better bring their "A" game to their next match because no one walks out of a fight except a James. Indeed. "Get it? Got it? Good," he said in closing. An old school territory promo, but with a bit too much screaming.
They cut to Eye Spy where Jay Lethal made a cup of coffee for Kevin Nash. Nash went for homoerotic overtones by saying he likes his coffee hot and black. Sonjay Dutt then interrupted and said the Playa from the Himalayas is done. He said we would see a new Dutt on next week’s show. Lethal did a Savageism about Lethal freaking everyone out.
3 — A.J. STYLES vs. TOMKO — King of the Mountain qualifying match
Christian Cage didn’t come to the ring with either man. The bell sounded, then Styles and Tomko danced around the ring before locking up. Christian then walked down the ramp with a chair in hand and talked to Styles. Tenay plugged that two former World Champions would face off next week in the King of the Mountain qualifying match. Back to the action, Styles charged Tomko, but Tomko side stepped him and Styles slid through the ropes to the floor. Christian helped Styles to his feet and gave him a pep talk.
Styles was in control out of the break. They cut to footage from during the break when Tomko was distracted by Christian, allowing Styles to take out Tomko’s knee from behind. Back to the action, Styles continued to work on Tomko as Christian tried to reinforce Styles’s childish glee. Styles landed a stiff kick to the thigh, then Kurt Angle walked out on stage for a closer look. The fans turned and watched Angle, then Samoa Joe walked out behind Angle and "accidentally" bumped into Angle on the ramp. Back in the ring, Tomko made a comeback and gave Styles a big powerslam into an overhead slam for a nearfall. Suddenly, Styles landed a Pele soccer kick, but Tomko shook it off and tossed him into the corner. Christian and Tomko started talking again, which allowed Styles to hit a springboard forearm smash. Christian hopped on the apron and pulled the referee in for a conference. Meanwhile, Styles slipped to the outside and retrieved a chair, but Tomko gave him a big boot to the face and made a cover for a nearfall. Christian picked up the chair, then Tomko and Christian argued over possession of the chair. Styles took advantage by rolling up Tomko from behind for the pin and the win.
Afterward, Tomko stared down Christian, who backed off the apron and said he didn’t do anything. He backed up one entrance ramp while Angle and Joe started jawing on the opposite entrance ramp. In the midst of this, Styles smiled and jogged in place inside the ring to celebrate his victory.
WINNER: Styles in 10:00 to qualify for the King of the Mountain. We got about six minutes of wrestling with the mid-match commercial. Wrestling was secondary at times to the action outside of the ring, but a dramatic match that finished with a non-traditional non-clean finish that built on the earlier segments of creating more tension within the Christian Coalition. Joe and Angle watching from ringside added more importance to the match.