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NWA-TNA ON PPV
The Road to TNA's Unbreakable PPV
September 9, 2005

Compiled by Jason Longshore
OnlineOnslaught.com's TNA Pinch Hitter

 

Weíre less than a month away from the debut of TNA on Spike TV.  The ads are already running, the hype has already begun.  While this monthís Unbreakable PPV does seem like a place holder until the Spike TV run begins, the quality should still be very high.  The card this month is very strong.  Weíll kick off the ďBest TNA PPV Preview in All of the LandĒ with a recap of Impact from the last month. 

 
August 19
Results:  Samoa Joe d. Jerrelle Clark, Chris Sabin/Shocker d. Simon Diamond/Mikey Batts, Rhino d. Sonny Siaki, Ron Killings/Sonjay Dutt d. BG James/Cassidy Reilly, The Naturals d. Team Canada (Young/A-1) via DQ
Thoughts:  Here lies Jerrelle Clark, another victim at the hands of Samoa Joe.  Daniels is crafty though, he cheap shots him with his title belt.  This brings out AJ and he ends up taking them both out, interesting.  Jarrett continues panhandling for title shots, Rhino wants no part of it.  I guess Batts isnít even good enough for the Diamonds in the Rough.  Maybe he could be the Prodigette if they get desperate.  Monty says Kip James is stupid, thanks Captain Obvious.  Tenay tells us that Waltman injured Jerry Lynn after their match at the PPV and Jerry will be out for at least a month.  Rhino kills Siaki, which really isnít anything new.  Interesting dynamic with the new Get Along Gang (aka 3LK) facing off in the Candido Tournament, the silly dancing was good fun.  Every TNA show should have a combination brawl/match involving AMW, The Naturals, and/or Team Canada, itís always good stuff.  .    
 

August 26
Results:  Sean Waltman/Alex Shelley d. Abyss/Shark Boy, Simon Diamond/David Young d. Jerrelle Clark/Mikey Batts, Apollo d. Elix Skipper, Konnan/Lance Hoyt d. Kip James/Petey Williams, Raven d. Bobby Roode
Thoughts:  The Ass Bite of Doom could be one of my favorite moves in wrestling today.  Too bad Abyss killed him with a Black Hole Slam.  Holy crap, did I just see David Young hit a spinebuster and win a match?  Well, they were facing even bigger jobbers, but still.  I do like the Diamonds in the Rough deal and really hope it goes somewhere.  Daniels ranting and raving to Zybysko ends up getting AJ thrown into the X Division title match, which I fully support.  Poor, poor Elix Skipper, now heís taking losses against Apollo?  Diamonds in the Rough do not lose to jobbers like Apollo, get ready for the Muskateer outfit Elix.  Monty makes his claims for the World Title, another proposition that I whole heartedly endorse.  Good to see AMW bring back their ďSorry About Your Damn LuckĒ catch phrase, I always liked that one.  Now if James would only start telling us what his Mama told him againÖ  Jeff Hardy is still retarded, nothing new to report there.  Raven, please keep the grunge outfit, Iím begging here.  Raven and Roode had a really good match.  Besides Hoyt, Roode has to be right up there in the Most Improved category. 

September 2
Results:  Sean Waltman/Alex Shelley d. Konnan/Lance Hoyt, Shark Boy d. Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin/Shocker d. Ron Killings/Sonjay Dutt, Sonny Siaki d. Monty Brown via DQ, James Storm d. Chase Stevens,
Thoughts:  No Konnan pre-match speech?  I guess thatís why they took the loss.  I really like the team of Waltman and Shelley.  The Jarrett conspiracy stuff better have a good payoff, like JJ getting the pink slip or something.  Otherwise, itís been a giant waste.  So, Shark Boy gets a pin on Daniels?  I know AJ interfered to help, but que?  Nothing against Sharky, but que?  The Shocker/Sabin v. Killings/Dutt match was great stuff, especially considering weíre dealing with guys who donít work together on a regular basis.  I like the tension between Shocker and Sabin, thatíd be a nice match to see down the line.  I think Monty has paid his dues enough by this point, itís time to push him back up the card.  I think Siakiís been underutilized, but I feel like Iíve seen Monty kill him about 847 times now.  I feel like I could be in the minority, but Iím looking forward to Raven/Rhino, nice video package here.  Good stuff with Storm v. Stevens, those guys always deliver, whether itís singles or tag matches. 

September 9
Results:  Sean Waltman/Alex Shelley d. Chris Sabin/Shocker, Samoa Joe d. Shark Boy, Chris Harris d. Andy Douglas & Eric Young, Elix Skipper d. Sonjay Dutt, Sabu/Raven d. Abyss/Rhino
Thoughts:  Waltman/Shelley was definitely the team to win the Candido Tournament, theyíre an excellent pairing that could continue after this month.  Iím still not sure whatís going on with Skipper.  Sorry I donít have any more detailed thoughts, due to time constraints, I havenít been able to see this weekís Impact.  Check it out for yourself at TNAWreslting.com.

And now: the TNA PPV Prediction Posse is back together to break down the card for you this month. We do have a new addition, who could possibly be the former Angry Fat Man, but that's pure speculation. We'll see if Cory can hold on to his lead, he's currently sitting on 71%....

RAVEN vs. RHINO
TNA Title Match

Raven has held the title since June 19's Slammiversary PPV and the King of the Mountain match. He's defended it against Abyss and was involved in a tag match last month with Sabu against Jeff Jarrett and TNA newcomer Rhino. Rhino pinned Raven last month to set up this World Title match. The main stipulation of that match was that if Jarrett was able to pin Raven, he'd get a title match. If Raven pinned Jarrett, then Jarrett wouldn't get a title shot for a full year. Director of Authority Larry Zybysko decided that since Rhino got the pin, he'd get the title shot. They've been going at it all month on Impact. There's been Gores, cheap shots, post-match beatdown, the whole nine yards. These two did have the best WWE Hardcore Title match on record, so this match could be a nice surprise. This battle of different eras of ECW should be interesting, I wouldn't expect much in the way of scientific wrestling here. 
  

The OOutlOOk
Raven wins: 6 votes   --|--  Rhino wins: 0 votes

Michael T. Ford says... Raven d. Rhino.
Not since Shane Douglas has the NWA World Championship been transitioned into the ECW World Championship so smoothly, and Raven managed to do it without the aid of a garbage can. Still, Raven appears lost without his familiar foils, although he can surely put together a good bloody brawl. One thing that TNA can do is deliver on a promise to give you a quality garbage match. So what about Rhino? I'm not to sure why we should think that he should win, except for the fact that he promised Jeff "would Shane Douglas sue me if I started calling myself 'The Franchise,' even though I sign his checks?" Jarrett a title shot if he won. Oh Jeff, you puppet master! Still, until Rhino gets his character better defined, he's a main event jobber like Abyss. Raven vs. Jarrett at Bound For Glory, dammit! 
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Raven d. Rhino.
You know, as much as I would love to distance TNA from the WWE and talk up the vast differences between the two, there's an unfortunate truth: the World Heavyweight Championship is seemingly attached to only one man. While this isn't by any means an original thought, it's been more apparent over the past month as Jarrett's whining has easily surpassed Rhino's badassery. It's a shame, too, because Rhino is a good foil for the champion Raven. Rhino's mic time has been limited, but solid, and the less than a handful of confrontations the two guys in this match have had over the past month have been relatively memorable, especially Rhino Goring Raven while being held back by security guards back in August. Still, all this is for naught. I could have easily just said, "Look. TNA needs a recognizable champion when they debut on Spike. Raven fits the bill. He wins, and whatever his next feud is will be a showcase of the TV deal. I see a clean Raven pin with Jarrett doing something at the end of the match or after. 
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Raven d. Rhino.
Ever since popping up in TNA a couple months ago, Rhino's been on a tear. He's got the NWA title in his sights and that means he's gunning for Raven. Jeff Jarrett has naturally thrown himself into the picture by trying to get Rhino to give HIM the title shot instead. Even though Jarrett was the one who brought Rhino into TNA to take out Raven, Rhino only promised Jarrett the shot after Rhino has beaten Raven. 

I'm going with Raven here. He's a popular, recognizable name for TNA to showcase on their debut on Spike. Oh, he'll lose the title at Bound for Glory, but until then he's the champ. I'm predicting some Jeff Jarrett shenanigans and general tom-foolery, possibly involving some of Jeff's mysterious "new talent." Raven wins. 
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Raven d. Rhino.
Raven just seems to be the best guy to carry the title onto Spike TV and the best foil for Jarrett's "ally with me against TNA" thing (since him desperately trying to get the title back seems like the story they're going with for Spike). I can't say the feud itself is doing much for me. More or less comes off as the 2nd part of the Abyss feud, which more or less struck me as a time waster/establishment feud. Not that Rhino (or Abyss) aren't viable contenders, but the full extent of the story seems to be "hey, I want the title!" And of course "look, Jeff Jarrett's trying to manipulate me and I'm rebelling just like Abyss, Monty Brown, the Outlaw, Nash, and pretty much everyone since Ron Killings 3 years ago did." I think I'm finally beginning to get all "JJJ" hating with this guy. 

The match should be good. They know each other and their styles work well together. Jarrett's probably involved, and there's probably at least some chance of Sabu, Abyss, or Monty Brown. And I'm not real sure what Jeff Hardy is headed for. But I still think it's just a way to kill time until Spike TV starts up with Raven as champion. But I always get these things wrong. I think I've called the main event right once since we started doing this. 
Ralphus says... Raven d. Rhino.
This match is a result of the main event at the last ppv where Rhino pinned Raven in a tag match to win a shot at the title. These guys should have a very entertaining brawl and I'm predicting some bad ass ECW style spots in the match. My only problem with the match is that the outcome is pretty much certain: Raven is going to be hanging onto the title going into the Spike deal. He's better known and Rhino is a relative newcomer to TNA, so Raven has more feuds pretty much ready to go(unless TNA wants to do a soft reset of storylines and stuff, which I think would be pretty stupid). I expect J-E-double F J-A-double R-e-double T to get involved in this match somehow, possibly costing Rhino a win and turning Rhino facesque in the process.
Jason Longshore says... Raven d. Rhino.
I've always liked Rhino, but I don't think he's the guy to hold the World Title going into the run on Spike TV. That's not to say that he can't hold it later on, but I think Raven is a bigger name and should be the champ when TNA is exposed to its biggest audience in its history. The match itself should be a blast. I'm expecting the hardcore ECW-style action will be toned down on the rest of the card, so I'm expecting all of the tricks to be pulled out of the bag for this one. Their WWE Hardcore Title match will be tough to live up to, but they should have the chance to surpass it. On most nights, this would be a contender for Match of the Night. 

 

CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. AJ STYLES vs. SAMOA JOE
X Division Title Match

Last month, Samoa Joe won the Super X Cup and the right to take on Christopher Daniels for the X Division Title at Unbreakable. He made AJ Styles tap out for the first time in TNA to make this happen in the final match of the tournament. AJ didn't take too kindly to that, or Daniels' interference in that match, and made his presence felt on Impact. Daniels ran out for a post-match attack on Joe, but AJ made the save. The Fallen Angel complained to Zybysko that Styles would interfere in his match with Joe. Larry said that since he can't control AJ, he'll just put him in the match. Although it makes the Super X Cup tournament sort of pointless, I'm all for it. AJ came out on the September 2 Impact and distracted Daniels, allowing Shark Boy to get the upset win in a non-title match. The champ could be vulnerable heading into this tough match-up. 
  

The OOutlOOk
Daniels wins: 6 votes   --|--  Styles/Joe win: 0 votes

Michael T. Ford says... Daniels wins.
It was pretty nice of them to start calling the title the X Division Championship of the World, because the internet IS world wide. (*rimshot*) But as a card-carrying smark, nothing toasts my poptart like this matchup, a contest where pretty much ANY win is good for the company, because ANY of these guys can make a great champion. That being said, there can only be ONE winner. Daniels has been feasting on the rest of the X Division like a vampire, while Joe has been devouring them whole. AJ Styles, it would appear, is going to do the job, because there's no fun otherwise. Joe pinning AJ allows Daniels to say, "You may have won the title, but you didn't beat me. I want a rematch at Bound For Glory!" Daniels pinning AJ allows *Joe* to say, "You may have retained the title, but you didn't beat me. I want...HEY!" Call me a purist, but I don't much go for the title switch in the Triple Threat Match as a big blowoff, and since the next PPV is the blowoff PPV, I figure Daniels will escape with the belt, but only until Bound For Glory, where Joe gets to kill him. (AJ gets to go over Abyss again to get his heat back.) 
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Daniels wins.
Wow, wow, wow. I think I'm more psyched about this triple threat than any other match (aside from maybe Angle/Michaels I) on any company's PPV all year. I've professed my love for Daniels and Styles here before, and even if it was an umpteenth rematch between the two, I'd be happy. A few months ago, I was underwhelmed by Samoa Joe, but once again I've been proven an idiot and now see him as a legitimate star. I'm sorry for doubting. Anyway, we all know this match will be the cat's pajamas; the real question now is the outcome. As with everything on this PPV, the SpikeTV deal comes into play here. If Raven is going to be a face champ, I think with this title they need to have someone chasing the other major title. Daniels is such a flamboyant and sinister champion that it would be a shame to deprive the (hopefully) new TNA audience of his character. So I'm going to take Daniels squeaking out a win here, and either they'll make it a gimmicky rematch at the next PPV or they'll give Joe the one-on-one encounter at Bound For Glory. Until then, The Fallen Angel will hold down the fort with entertaining ease. 
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Daniels wins.
Two months ago, TNA had their annual X-Cup Tournament. This year's winner would also be granted a title shot at Chris Daniels' X-Division title. Unsurprisingly, Samoa Joe steamrolled over the competition, including A.J. Styles, and earned the shot. Now the first rule of TNA booking states that if A.J. Styles doesn't have anything to do at a PPV, just throw him in a match that's bound to kick ass, even if he doesn't deserve it. So, the TNA "championship committee" decided to make it Joe vs A.J. vs Daniels for the belt. 

Wow. I'm totally down with that. The injection of Styles into the match was, well, lame, but if it makes the match more entertaining I won't complain. I'm picking Daniels to pin Styles, preserve his legacy, and generally come out of this match looking like the total over-confident chicken shit that he is. Awesome. A.J. will amaze. Joe will pummel him. In the end, Daniels will use this to his advantage and retain his belt. Joe will still technically remain undefeated, and A.J. still won't know how to cut a promo to save his life. Daniels wins. 
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Daniels wins.
Ohh, ohh, ohh! Match should be soooo good. 3 great wrestlers who know each other very well. What's not to love? And the mutual hostility/bad assness of the 3 guys has worked for me. Its probably the toughest pick for me since there's reason to buy into any of the three carrying the title onto Spike. Styles is - of course - TNA's signature 100% TNA guy who they're going to want to highlight. Joe's undefeated and pretty much rampaging his way through TNA. And Daniels has been defeating the entire X Division in defending the title and finally becoming a singles star in TNA. Daniels feels like the right guy to carry the title onto Spike and it doesn't feel like the right time to end his impressive reign. Nor does the feud seem to be built up enough to warrant that title change. It also doesn't seem like the right time to end Joe's undefeated run but you can probably get around that by pinning Styles. To the end his involvement makes even more sense besides the awesomeness of the 3 of them being in the same program. AJ's got some nice Teflon status that should let him get pinned (Joe knock him cold from behind and Daniels steals the pin?) and it gives everyone a reason to stay angry for a while. 
Ralphus says... Daniels wins.
Another match that is a result of a match-up at the last ppv (smelling something here? It's called CONTINUITY! Omgwtfbbq?), where Joe beat AJ in the X Division Invitational or some wacky tournament to earn a shot at the title and win a big ass trophy. But WAIT! The dastardly Daniels interfered and might have cost AJ the match. So in steps Championship Committee member Larry Zbiscuit and we have AJ added into the match. I'm not going to complain, this match should reek of awesomeness to the highest degree. In the September 2nd Impact, AJ got revenge by costing Daniels a non-title match to the lowly Shark Boy. The addition of AJ makes it hard to call, though. Straight up Joe vs. Daniels and I would think that Joe wins, because of the unbeaten streak and obvious huge push he's getting(and I'm not arguing with said push, Joe is the bees knees in my opinion). But now that AJ is a factor, you could conceivably have a finish where Joe is not involved to keep the streak alive and give him a legitimate gripe for a rematch. And that's where I think they'll go, with AJ being the odd guy out just since he's generally one of TNA's most over guys. Him losing here doesn't hurt him, so...
Jason Longshore says... Daniels wins.
Now, this should be your Match of the Night. Daniels and AJ have always had good matches, and now TNA is throwing Samoa Joe into the mix. I think I'm the only one, but I'm still not completely sold on Samoa Joe. His moveset is very unique, but I think because of that, he's too dependent on smaller opponents to look good. In this match, he won't have any problems though. I would wait to expose him more to the national audience with Spike TV before putting the belt (either belt) on him. I wouldn't have a problem with AJ regaining the title, and he probably deserves it after all he's done with TNA since Day One, but I think Daniels will retain. The loss to Shark Boy was a nice touch to make him look vulnerable, but the Fallen Angel will hold on to his title. 

 

THE NATURALS vs. AMERICA'S MOST WANTED vs. TEAM CANADA vs. SEAN WALTMAN/ALEX SHELLY
Elimination Match for the TNA Tag Team Titles

It all boils down to this. Team Canada, AMW, and The Naturals hate each other. They despise each other. They wish bad things to happen to each other's mothers. They probably always will. These mainstays of the tag division have been fighting each other in various combinations for years now. And, there's nothing wrong with that. The matches are always good to excellent. This month, you throw the winners of the Chris Candido Memorial Tag Team Tournament into the mix. The tournament paired veterans with younger guys, the winner getting a shot at the NWA World Tag Team Titles. Waltman and Shelley were by far the best pairing, they work very well together. Their individual bitchiness is multiplied tenfold when they're paired together. 
 

The OOutlOOk
AMW wins: 2 votes  -|- Waltman/Shelly win: 2 votes
Team Canada wins: 1 vote -|- Naturals win: 1 vote

Michael T. Ford says... AMW wins.
The Candido Cup produced mixed results, as the title shot stipulation, I'm pretty sure, was a new development. So the tournament champs get to be the odd team in the multiway match that pretty much includes the division's only champions or challengers since about 2003. And it would be cool to predict some sort of shakeup, but with the Three Dimensionals set to debut, it's all about the safe choice. Harris & Storm win, AMW vs. Naturals at Bound For Glory. 
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... The Naturals win.
I think Team Canada will be out first, and relatively quickly. The announcers will play Waltman and Shelley as the "wildcards" in this match, but TNA's tag division doesn't need to put a tag strap on a guy who might leave, much less one on a 3-week old team. So, the 1-2-Pack Syxx Kid and Shelley will be gone second. AMW is obviously TNA's money team, so the question is whether or not it's time to put the straps back on the best team in all of wrestling during 2004 or hold them off for a one on one match, possibly at Bound For Glory. I'm going with the latter. The Naturals escape yet again, and My Brother and James Storm will seek revenge. 
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Waltman/Shelley win.
The Naturals hate AMW. AMW hates the Naturals. Everybody hates Team Canada. That's the way it's always been and probably always will be. Because of all of these grudges flying around, TNA's phantom "championship committee" agreed to put them all in a multi-team tag team elimination match. Also included in the match would be the team who managed to win the Chris Candido Memorial Cup Tournament. Teams of a veteran and an up-and-coming TNA star were paired together "randomly" to compete for the cup and the team of Waltman and Shelley ended up winning the thing. So they're in! 

Fuckin' a they're in. Waltman, aside from his asinine skipping to the ring, has really impressed me in his run in TNA. He's really turned it on. Alex Shelley just plain rules. Watch this week's iMPACT (available now at TNAwrestling.com) and look at how this kid reacts to stuff in and around the ring. He's becoming one of my favorite things about TNA. Anyway, my man-crush on Alex Shelley has led me to pick him and Waltman to walk away with the tag straps. Team Canada will be there to receive a beating. AMW and The Naturals will be too busy trying to beat each other to a pulp to notice Shelley and Waltman cheating their asses off, and sneaking out a win. Just for fun, the order of elimination: Team Canada, Nats (upset!), AMW... Waltman/Shelley win. 
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Waltman/Shelley win.
I think this might be the end of another unspectacular reign for the Naturals. Things just haven't really worked out for them. But the whole Naturals/AMW/Team Canada thing has really worn on and something new needs to happen. My guess is Shelley and Waltman scoring the upset and evading the face teams. AMW is the only of the 3 established teams that seems to have been getting pushed in the last few weeks on Impact so I'd guess for them to take the lead. 

Shelley and Waltman have really entertained me in the last few weeks. They work well together and every time I see them I like the idea of the team more and more. With Michael Shane (noone recognizes him as Bentley) apparently gone from TNA it left Shelley without his partner and his character pretty much IS X-Pac. It just seems to work so well. Plus, keeping with my "what's the best way to hit TNA" approach, Waltman seems like a good recognizable and talented guy to carry the titles onto Spike and it gives Shelley a nice way to attract attention to him and make him a star. Have AMW (the team that I'm sure many fans have heard about but not seen) try and get the titles off the punk villains (with the Naturals and others thrown in to help Shelley/Pac to establish their nature) and all's good. This was pretty much my hope for Waltman's best use for a while now. He's been doing a great job and if he's secure to stick around with TNA for a while that should continue. 
Ralphus says... AMW wins.
Waltman and Shelley won the Chris Candido Memorial Cup Tournament to earn a shot at the titles at the ppv. The other three teams, you'll recall, were involved in a donnybrook of an eight man tag at the last ppv(that darned continuity again!). The past couple of Impacts have seen members of the three teams face off in singles matches or triple threats, where AMW were acting decidedly heelish, and where the Naturals and AMW were so pissed at each other they had trouble remembering there was a 3rd participant in the ring(Showtime Eric Young and his dastardly Canadian Fauxhawk). AMW won both of those matches, so logic would dictate that they would lose this weekend. I also really like the pairing of Waltman and Shelley. BUT! We are headed to SpikeTV, and need to have the belts on the embodiment of the tag divison in TNA. No, not Shark Boy and New Jack you putz! AMW. A HEEL AMW.
Jason Longshore says... Team Canada wins.
I honestly wouldn't be surprised if any of these teams wins this match. The Naturals have been solid champions, and they do have the name value with Jimmy Hart as their manager. AMW has had a bit of a resurgence lately, although I still think they could use a heel turn to spice things up. I really like the teaming of Shelley and Waltman, but I don't think they should get the titles this quickly. Team Canada, in whatever permutation, is a solid heel team. Since there's more options on the face side of the tag team division, I think now is the time for a title change. The match itself should be a blast. There will be brawling, but not of the hardcore variety like the Raven v. Rhino match. It should be fun. 

 

ABYSS vs. SABU

Abyss joined Rhino in a little post-match attack of Raven on Impact. This led to the lights going out, and Sabu arriving with a chair. He took both Abyss and Rhino out. James Mitchell revealed that Abyss has joined forces with Rhino to take out Raven. Sabu teamed with Raven on Impact this week to defeat Abyss and Rhino. For a spin off match, this isn't too bad. These two actually had a series of matches back in the weekly Wednesday night PPV era that were pretty fun to watch. 

  

The OOutlOOk
Abyss wins: 5 votes   --|--  Sabu wins: 1 vote

Michael T. Ford says... Sabu d. Abyss.
TNA's H.E.A.V.Y.*weight (*Hardcore Extreme Aggressive Violence, Y'all) Division has managed to keep churning out brawls and gimmickry that excite the masses, so who am I to argue with the flimsy logic here. Abyss wants a piece of Raven, and apparently Raven is Sabu's prag, so I guess if it's good enough for Oz, it's good enough for me. Since Abyss won last month, he isn't ALLOWED to prevail here. Sabu will point up, Abyss will tilt his head back, Sabu will say, "Made You Look!" and he will win. 
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Abyss d. Sabu.
For a long-time wrestling fan, I'm pretty dumb in regards to Sabu. I don't know his habits of coming and going or what his agenda is. What I do know, though, is that they need to keep a big man hot for Spike TV, and Abyss is the best they've got. This should be a helluva brawl, as both guys are more than qualified to bring the violence and do all the smashy-smashy that the Orlando crowd will like. Abyss earns a little respect in a bout with thumbtacks, chairs, tables, and chains while Sabu keeps his status. Just like in Communism, everybody wins! 
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Abyss d. Sabu.
Sabu is buddies with Raven. Abyss hates Raven. James Mitchel hates Raven. James Mitchel wants another title shot for Abyss. Abyss doesn't get it. Abyss wants to take it out on Sabu. I guess. 

There'll be lots of TNA's typical heavyweight brawling with chairs, chains, tables, some thumb tacks and I'm gonna guess that barbed wire makes an appearance as well. Why not? Abyss could stand to get a nice solid win and recement himself as a legit contender for Raven's title. Sabu will bump like crazy for him. It won't be pretty, but it could be fun. Abyss wins. 
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Abyss d. Sabu.
Mainly because I don't see the point of Sabu winning. Sabu's a good featured part time wrestler for TNA. He carries some name value, serves as the rebel who doesn't really need a reason for a fight, and can put on an entertaining show. He and Abyss should pull that off. Leaps over the ropes. Chairs. A table. Bunch of blood. And Abyss should come away as the winner and monster at the end. Like the world title feud, it kinda strikes me as a way to kill time and put on some decent matches until they have to get into new programs for Spike. Not much more. But the feud made sense with the Raven tie in and, again, it should be a violent, bloody, ECW-like brawl. 
Ralphus says... Abyss d. Sabu.
This match is a result of Abyss running around and beating the crap out of everyone in an order to get another title shot. When he beat the crap out of Raven, Sabu, apparently still suffering amnesia and not remembering that he was feuding with the champ prior to his injury months ago, took exception. I foresee a decent enough brawl with Abyss eventually going over in order to cement himself as a credible heel challenger for the title once Impact starts airing on Spike.
Jason Longshore says... Abyss d. Sabu.
I'm glad Sabu has returned, but Abyss needs the win to stay in the top of the card. Jim Mitchell will definitely come into play for Abyss. Unfortunately, the Monster will probably eat some thumbtacks as has become his custom lately. I don't think this one will be very long, but it should be solid. 

 

JEFF HARDY vs. BOBBY ROODE

Poor Jeff Hardy. He had a ready made return to TNA when his brother was on his way. The reunion of the Hardy Boyz would have been huge. However, Matt decided to go back to WWE instead, leaving poor Jeff twisting in the wind. TNA did take him back, he returned at last month's PPV to keep Jarrett out of the main event tag match. Instead of facing Jarrett here, he gets Team Canada's enforcer, Bobby Roode. Roode had a really good match with Raven this past month on Impact and has really been on the rise as of late.
  

The OOutlOOk
Hardy wins: 6 votes   --|--  Roode wins: 0 votes

Michael T. Ford says... Hardy d. Roode.
People always considered the Canadians a peaceful country, so it was certainly surprising when they launched an attack on Imagi-Nation. And like the Trojan War, it comes down to a battlefield challenge: Canadian Warrior Bobby Roode against The Charismatic Enigma, Imagi's champion. In preparation for this match, as well as the impending move to Spike TV, Hardy has been studying the mixed martial arts techniques of UFC combatants, so look for him to employ a diverse repetoire of stiff strikes, a ground and pound offense, and grappling throws and submissions....before jumping off of really tall things onto his opponent. 
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Hardy d. Roode.
I'm almost tempted to buy the Jeff Hardy DVD just to see if there's a "chapter select" option for all of his blown spots. I'm pretty apathetic to his return, although I do understand it's one more "mainstream" name to add to the big cable launch that I'm already tired of talking about. Ugh. Still, a win by Roode doesn't do much, as Jeff will probably advance to a more compelling, central storyline, so it's hard not to pick Jeff Hardy jobbing as bad as his brother has over the past month. 
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Hardy d. Roode.
Jeff hardy was suspended by TNA a few months ago for basically flaking out like the retarded little frootloop that he is and thereby missing a PPV appearance. That's a big no-no, Jeff. Anyway, TNA management has decided to give him a second chance by forcing him to leave his Imagi Nation and return to TNA by facing Team Canada's Bobby Roode at the PPV. 

Whatever. This match exists for one reason and one reason only: to appease TNA's cult-like Jeff Hardy constituency. He's back. He'll jump off of something. The Hardy fans will scream and buy t-shirts. Whoopty shit. Roode may be able to make the prerequisite build-up beat-down entertaining, but there's no doubt about it... Hardy wins. 
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Hardy d. Roode.
I guess? No buildup that I can remember and Team Canada has really been slipping into the background as of late (which is probably smart since they're talented but rather meh). On the other hand Hardy had some weird interaction with Zbyszko and looks like is going to be pushed as the freak again back from his suspension. I'm not really sure what you do with him besides have him be a pain in the sides of The Living Legend and Jarrett but maybe there's some surprise or story in this match that starts to give us a clue. Or maybe he just becomes an antagonist of Team Canada since he can probably put on some decent matches with Roode, Young, and Williams. To that extent the match could be good if kept short and weird. 
Ralphus says... Hardy d. Roode.
Am I missing a reason for this match? Maybe so. Whatever, basic offense from Roode and blown spots from Hardy. Hardy wins, charismatically. And enigmatically.
Jason Longshore says... Hardy d. Roode.
It wouldn't be my choice, but I think it's the choice TNA will go with. Hardy's whole situation in TNA has been screwed up by his own stupidity (no showing a PPV) and his brother not coming into the company after all. He doesn't really have anything going on right now, except acting like a freak. Is that really new? Since I don't think TNA is ready to push Roode higher on the card, Hardy gets the win. Hopefully, Team Canada dumps him in a barrel of paint remover after the match. 

 

MONTY BROWN/KIP JAMES vs. APOLLO/LANCE HOYT

I just keep waiting for Monty Brown to finally lose it and kill Kip James. Not yet, unfortunately. He did take Sonny Siaki, Apollo's usual tag partner, out of action though. Lance Hoyt, Orlando's favorite, will be replacing him. Hoyt, teaming with Konnan, did defeat Kip's team in the Candido Tournament. 

  

The OOutlOOk
Brown/James win: 3 votes
Apollo/Hoyt win: 3 vote

Michael T. Ford says... Hoyt/Apollo d. Brown/James.
While Sonny Siaki is repackaged, Apolo gets stuck with someone who has an easily-chanted name, and gets to face James/Brown. There will be incredible amounts of no-selling, and there will be a Pounce. And yet, oddly enough, Hoyt will win. 
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Hoyt/Apollo d. Brown/James.
The "Kip James" moniker seems kind of pointless now, huh? Brown and The Assman have been in all sorts of people's b'ness lately, messing up some matches and costing people wins. Lance Hoyt continues his very, very odd yet intensely loyal Hoytamaniac following, while Apolo is...also in this match. The Alpha Male keeps preaching about great things, and you'd think this is one guy TNA could push and try to get the new cable audience to accept and cheer. But for some reason, I see Hoyt's push continue and the nigh-invulnerable Kip Gunn and Brown beaten but not buried. Let's hope we get an actual feud for any of these guys for Bound For Glory. A big Hoyt Boot finishes Kipster off. 
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Brown/James d. Apollo/Hoyt.
Basically, Kip and Monty were having some issues stemming from the whole 3LK debacle, but that seems to be over, for the moment anyway. They aren't happy with TNA's lack of support for them individually, as big-time contenders, so together they're running amuck on TNA's roster. First victim? Sonny Siaki. Monty and Monty... er, Kip... decimated Apolo's tag team partner by crushing his throat. They then turned their attention on Apolo, and Lance "such a nice boy" Hoyt came to the rescue. Siaki is too damaged to wrestle, so Hoyt gets his spot at the PPV. 

Wake me up when I give a fuck. Okay, that's not fair. The build-up for this was short, but sweet and the match should be decent enough. It's just the second-most "meh-worthy" match on the card. Continuing their swath of destruction, Monty and Kip will win. 
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Brown/James d. Apollo/Hoyt.
Seems like an easy enough call. Hoyt isn't Apolo's regular partner and Brown's been pushed the last few weeks hard on Impact. It makes sense to have him in full scale "Alpha Male" role for the start of Spike and a makeshift tag team can't be hurt by the loss. The match should be solid if nothing else, presuming its kept short. I can't say I'm a fan of any of these guys' wrestling abilities but I wouldn't consider any of that a butcher. Keep it under 10 minutes, put Brown over, and there's a Hoyt/Brown feud there for you if you want to push two of your biggest fan favorites on an unfamiliar audience. This actually might be the first time I'm a little interested in Hoyt and I'm not really sure why I like Brown so much. I'm probably even a closet James fan. 
Ralphus says... Hoyt/Apollo d. Brown/James.
File this under bad continuity! Not literally shoddy, just continuity I could do without. Monty Brown and Kip "The Outlaw" James are taking on Lance Hoyt and Apolo after injuring Sonny Siaki, Apolo's tag partner. Lance Hoyt, paragon of virtue and justice that he is, took exception to this. I predict a lot of "Hoyt! Hoyt!" chants from the humanoids in attendance and another inexplicable victory for Lance Hoyt, mainly because I think the bookers are frightened of riots from the fans if they book Hoyt to lose. Maybe he IS the smartest man in professional wrestling? I dunno.
Jason Longshore says... Brown/James d. Apollo/Hoyt.
I just don't care about this one. Apollo is one of my least favorite guys in TNA, and I don't really care about how he wants revenge for his buddy Sonny Siaki. Hoyt will get the local fans going. Monty needs to be higher on the card, and he might be headed that way after he gets this match out of the way. My version would go as follows: Monty Pounces Apollo out of the ring, he Pounces Hoyt to get the pinfall, and then he Pouces Kip just for fun. 

 

3 LIVE KRU vs. DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH

Simon has a PPV match. His Diamonds in the Rough have been gaining a little momentum recently, actually winning a few matches. David Young even got a pinfall, can you believe it? They try to climb up the TNA totem pole by defeating fan favorites 3 Live Kru. The Kru had their problems recently, with BG James being the center of it, but everything was resolved last month when BG stopped bowing down to Kip James. We'll see if things stay rosy for the Kru this month. 
  

The OOutlOOk
Diamonds win: 5 votes   --|--  3LK win: 1 vote

Michael T. Ford says... Diamonds in the Rough d. 3LK.
TNA's "Diamonds in the Rough" will defeat 3 Live Kru, continuing to fuel speculation of an impending breakup. Neither Ron Killings NOR Elix Skipper will be referred to as an "uppity negro," though. 
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... 3LK d. Diamonds in the Rough.
I think The Diamonds in the Rough would be so much better if Simon Diamond was winning all the matches while the shitty guys always lose their matches. The gimmick would have some depth to it: the master can get it done, so why can't the pupils? It seems as if these Diamonds just kind of win and lose on a whim, which doesn't lend much credence to the name. Now for a list of my least favorite all-time wrestling personalities: 

1. Steve "Mongo" McMichael 
2. Konnan 
3. Anyone who still chants along to Konnan's decade-old spiel and doesn't realize how dumb or ironic one is for doing it. 

There, that's better. Still, I think 3Live Kru is still a necessary little faction, and I think they're well served here in a feud with some talented but lately-jobbing stars. Just because I want to be specific, BG James gets the pinfall on Skipper and Diamond reams his team out. 
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Diamonds in the Rough d. 3LK.
3LK's back together! But there's still a problem. Konnan still isn't happy with their situation, while Killings and James have decided to go back to their old ways. They dance around and wear silly-looking, ill-fitting clothes. Oh, those wacky fellas! I suppose since Monty and Kip were busy, the TNA management deemed it necessary for 3LK to take on Simon Diamond and his Diamonds in the Rough: Elix Skipper and David Young.

Ladies and gentlemen, your official most "meh-worthy" match on the card. All of the guys here are capable of good things. Together, however, I'm sensing a "clusterfuck." Konnan will flip out, or Kip James will come out and interfere to keep the James Gang thing simmering for Bound for Glory, but for certain, Simon Diamond and his students will cheat their butts off. Diamonds in the Rough win. 
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Diamonds in the Rough d. 3LK.
Actually I have no idea on this one. 3LK just got all reunited and didn't seem to have anything come out of the Candido tournament matchups. Simon Diamond's crew is getting pushed though. Simon's come back into TNA, thankfully back from that train wreck of a redo on his character, Skipper's getting some personality after toiling around after the Daniels feud, and Young's actually getting pushed. I actually love the teaming of these three and they could make a great team/stable. Diamond's gimmick could also serve as good catapult for a younger/less known guy who is sort of bullied by Young and Skipper. And it's just finally cool to see Young being treated seriously. He's got talent and he's got personality so it's about time he got treated well. Please don't let this all be a tease and the stable go to the way of pretty much everything else Diamond and Young have been involved in with TNA. 

3LK just seem like a means to the end. They create a good foil for the Diamonds (I'd find that name so lame if Simon didn't play the dork so well), will get fans interested, and won't be hurt by a loss. They did some mild teasing of James and Killings considering siding with Jarrett while Konnan dismissed it, but honestly I have a hard time seeing them actually continuing with it after the whole Outlaw story. I'd guess it was just used to get over the idea that JJ was making a somewhat compelling argument and that Spike TV is a big deal. I'd half expect a TNN/Cyrus/Network sort of story if Smackdown wasn't already redoing that one. 
Ralphus says... Diamonds in the Rough d. 3LK.
At least this match accomplishes the feat of getting poor Elix Skipper on ppv. I think that Simon needs to add some weirdos to his collection of "Diamonds", though. Maybe Cassidy Reilly in a musketeer's outfit? I can only hope. Since I hate 2/3 of the 3LK, I'm going with the Diamonds on this one. Hopefully Truth will do most of the ring work here for his side.
Jason Longshore says... Diamonds in the Rough d. 3LK.
This could be a nice match early in the card. The Diamonds in the Rough crew could end up being a good midcard clique with some development. For that reason, I think they need the win here. 

 

LATE CHANGES AND ADDITIONAL MATCHES

Due to some travel difficulties, TNA has had to change up the card late on Thursday. Petey Williams v. Austin Aries had been announced on the TNA website. They planned to announce Chris Sabin v. Shocker, a match that had been built up on Impact all month. However, Shocker will not be able to make it to Orlando for Sunday's PPV. Petey Williams will step in to face Chris Sabin on Sunday. Austin Aries will still be involved in a "Showcase Match", but now it's against Roderick Strong, another Ring of Honor mainstay. I was looking forward to Sabin v. Shocker, but this could work out for the best. Sabin and Williams had one of the best X Division Title matches in TNA's history, so they should deliver the goods. Hopefully, Aries and Strong will be able to impress the TNA bigwigs enough to be brought back. 

I hope you enjoy the show this weekend. If you want to wait to check out the reviews before you order the replay, check back here on Monday. See you then...

E-MAIL JASON
BROWSE THE TNA RECAP ARCHIVES

Jason Longshore is your second-most-favorite wrestling fan/writer from Atlanta, GA.


  
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