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MATT FACT: I told ya so.


I’m now convinced that they’re doing it on purpose.  There’s no other explanation.  TNA is using the names of their PPVs as some sort of carny code to make fun of the Smackdown locker room.  Remember their last PPV I reviewed?


WWE: “Hard, Just Us?”


TNA: “No Sur!!” 


NWA TNA No Surrender

Live PPV from Orlando, FL



The pre-game show was opened by Shane Douglas and The ‘Rash (seriously, that’s what Jeremy Borash once tried to get over as his “cool” nickname).

Abyss and “Sinister Minister” Jim Mitchell cut a promo.  Well, Mitchell did, anyway.  From there, they recapped the events that led to tonight’s main event, including the Slammiversary angle where Jeff Jarrett was arrested for impersonating a main eventer.

‘Rash was distracted by Cassidy Riley standing behind him in the crowd.  Cass was dressed like the ECW era Stevie Richards, complete with Daisy Dukes.  Cass said “nevermore.”  Hmmm…this scenario sounds familiar for some reason.  Hey, what’s this on my clipboard?

If you’re scratching your head about the booking of Mr. Riley, join the club.  One week, he’s Dustin’s protégé/partner, then he’s back to being Jobbercules.  I think they missed the boat during the Dustin-Raven feud by not having him turn against Dustin and become Raven’s lackey.

 --Impact review, 5/6/05
Jarrett came out for an interruption.  JJ complained that he was the world champion for a while (so did everyone else), and whined about not being booked on this PPV.  TNA’s true #1 babyface, Professor Mike Tenay confronted JJ with a great “enough already” promo.  I’m sure this was supposed to be Angry Mike channeling the IWC.

Jarrett talked about the recent “Black Wednesday” when the WWE went kill-crazy with releasing guys.  Jarrett said that over the past few months, up to 50 wrestlers have been canned.  How did he get that number?  Was he counting Pregnant Dawn Marie as two?  Did he remember to count Dusty, Dustin, DDP, Kid Kash, and Hector Garza?  Jarrett proceeded with a good woot promo (despite wearing a shirt made from my grandmother’s drapes), saying that TNA would likely sign all the free agents, but fire current TNA wrestlers in order to do so.  Jarrett played the “job security” card in trying to rally the TNA troops against any incoming “new talent.”  Jarrett chided fans for getting “suckered into that Matt Hardy BS storyline.”  Yeah, and don’t forget the time us dumb schmucks thought Hulk Hogan was coming to TNA!  No, wait.  Actually, the Jarretts were the only ones who fell for that one.


Jarrett demanded to know if Rhino was in the building.  Tenay confirmed it.  That was supposed to be the money line of the segment, but humorously enough, the fans were so busy chanting “We want Rhino,” they didn’t hear Tenay’s answer and didn’t make with the pop.


This was clever and the best use of Jeff Jarrett in years, plus it did a good job of building suspense for potential “new talent” dream matches, like AMW vs. The Dudley Boyz, A.J. Styles vs. Billy Kidman, and Trytan vs. Kenzo Suzuki.

After the woot, Don West stood up to give Jarrett his two cents on the matter, so they immediately cut away to a video feature precapping the Styles-Waltman match.  They must have watched the Foley preemptive strike at
“One Night Stand.”

A) Shocker pinned Jerrelle Clark at 4:16.  [Mike]

Note the demotion for Shocker, who I sometimes call “Shock,” which rhymes with “stock,” which is something that plummets if a wrestler can’t wow fans when working with Petey Williams or Christopher Daniels.  I admit it, I was high on Shock when he came in, but one letdown after another killed him in the eyes of myself, and apparently the office, as well.  It’s an encouraging sign that TNA gives new talent an honest-to-gosh chance to get over, but if they don’t catch on, it’s time to try someone else.  (Jeff Jarrett notwithstanding.)  The crowd actually BOOED Shock and cheered Clark.  “Mr. 630” has been an underutilized worker for months now, and Orlando has taken notice.  Clark carried it to a passable filler match, which Schlocker won clean with a “Shocker spear” rollup.

They precapped tonight’s XD Title match.  Christopher Daniels claimed Petey Williams was “one dimensional” with his Canadian Destroyer finisher, so Petey officially added the sharpshooter to his arsenal.  I say “officially” because he’d been using it for months, but just now, guys have started tapping to it.  Hey, leave Petey alone.  It took Ric Flair something like 20 years before non-jobbers started losing to the figure-four.


Nice PPV open with an emphasis on “The Future,” but why are they plugging an ex-TNAer who is currently the star of Velocity?  The open was moving along just fine until Monty Brown enthusiastically vowed to “screw the Kru.”  No Sur, I didn’t much like that.

1) America’s Most Wanted (“Tennessee Cowboy” James Storm & “Wildcat” Chris Harris) beat Michael Shane & Alex Shelley (w/ Traci) at 11:47.  [David]

They dropped the “Michael” from Michael Shane’s name for some reason.  Shane and Storm are feuding over who has the best superkick.  Why, because it got over so great when Perry Saturn and Glacier had the exact same feud in WCW?  I kid, I kid.  I’m a mark for anything that heats up a finisher, so I was into this.  On the latest “Beyond The Mat” DVD, Jesse Ventura asked Barry Blaustein and Mick Foley to name one finisher today that nobody has kicked out of.  They couldn’t.

Traci kept interfering, prompting Harris to take action.  The Wildcat-Pussycat issue ended with Harris handcuffing Traci to a ringpost.  Has he been reading my diary?  AMW did their all-around-the-mulberry-bush brawl, this time eating up four painstaking minutes.  At least other spots I hated, like the worm and the stinkface, were done in seconds.  During said brawl, Storm did a stage dive, but no one was there to catch him.  Swell, guys.  Just tell him that you weren’t in position because you were high.  He’ll understand. 

The match ended full circle with Storm hitting a superkick on Shane for the pin.  But moments later, Shane cock-blocked AMW’s celebration by blindside-superkicking Storm.  Good opener that told a solid story.  There is serious potential for S&S as a heel team.  Only knocks against the match are 1) Shane recovered from Storm’s winning superkick WAY too fast, and 2) That damn brawl (again).

They recapped the Tenay-Jarrett woot.  You know, the one that happened a whole 40 minutes ago.  I actually thought about doing a copy-n’-paste of my above comments about it here again just to see if anyone noticed.

Backstage, Team Canada mourned their fallen leader, Coach Scott D’Amore.  Behind the scenes, D’Amore heads up the groovy new creative team.  His first act was to write himself off of television so he could focus on booking everyone else without the McMahon/Russo/McMahon/Rhodes/McMahon/Nash/McMahon temptation to push himself at the expense of everyone else.  Even better, D’Amore’s exit angle put heat on Lance Hoyt, who the fans love.  Hoyt gave D’Amore a chokeslam and an impressive moonsault which led to a stretcher job.  MAJOR respect to D’Amore for not only being a team player, but already rocking our collective socks off as the new booker.


The TC bit finally gave the guys a chance to talk for themselves.  The lads cut decent promos, and hilariously paid tribute to D’Amore by howling an awful chorus of “O, Canada.”  Jarrett interrupted the barbershop quartet to plead his case against Rhino and the incoming newbies.  Petey Williams told Jarrett that he could count on their support, but after JJ left the scene, Bobby Roode told his fellow hosers that Jarrett couldn’t be trusted.

2) Sonjay Dutt won an XD sudden-death four-way over Elix Skipper & Mikey Batts & Shark Boy to qualify for the Super X Cup tournament at 8:16.  [David]

The tourney final will take place at the next PPV (8/14/05), with the winner becoming the #1C to the XD Title at the next next PPV (9/11/05).  So yeah, the winner of this PPV match could end up in another PPV match to earn the right to wrestle at yet another PPV match.  It’s boxes in boxes full of boxes, but hey, it’s the most long-term booking TNA has ever shown, so it gets a thumbs-up from me.


Dutt is now called “The ORIGINAL Playa From The Himalaya.”  The hell?  Was there a “Fake Playa From The Himalaya?”  Between this and the Disney thing, Dutt and Shark Boy should form a tag team called The Patent-Pending Express or Trademarked Team 2000.  Skipper’s new spot is to ask the crowd what time it is.  They shouted back, “Prime Time!”  Actually, it was 8:31pm Eastern time.


PT and Dutt started out, doing the headscissors spot where Dutt had more revolutions than Great Britain.  Batts, with his snazzy new threads, entered to a chant of “Mikey sucks.”  He turned heel sometime within the last few months of the homeless Impact show.  Mikey tagged in Shark, who got absolutely no reaction.  So naturally, Don West crowed about what a great cult favorite Sharky is with the fans.  Mikey ran in so Shark could bite his rump.  That spot has definitely worn out its welcome, but at least it didn’t take four minutes.  PT blind-tagged himself in, which actually made sense given the sudden-death rules.  Did I mention how good the booking has been lately?


PT did the Matrix move, but Dutt came in with a stomp off the top.  NICE.  “TNA” chant.  It took me half the match to realize that the thing on the side of Dutt’s tights was supposed to be the Taj Mahal.  I thought it was an old-school Cylon from Battlestar Galactica.  Skipper went for the rope-walk hurracanrana on Batts, but he fucked it up and Humpty-Dumpty’ed.  Fans helpfully pointed this out by chanting, “you fucked up” at him.  All four wound up back in the ring atop opposite corners.  Dutt BK-bombed Batts, while Sharky sunset-bombed PT.  “A” for effort, but the timing was off.  They did the “car crash” sell for a few seconds, then Dutt danced with Shark.  Batts tried to follow Dutt to the top, but slipped on the ropes.  He got it right the second time and German-suplexed Dutt off the top so Dutt landed in a moonsault on Shark.  I will never forgive the announcers for not calling that move the “Batts Shark repellent.”


PT caught a Batts reverse crossbody and stuck him with his “sudden death” finisher.  I really wish he wouldn’t use that move in a match with sudden-death rules.  It’s just too damn confusing.  And hey, this IS Florida.  Suppose after PT hit that move, an elderly fan had a fatal heart attack out of nowhere?  The ensuing run-on sentence could wreak havoc upon the space/time continuum as we know it.  Does TNA wish to destroy all of creation??

Shark went for his DSD (dead sea drop) on PT.  He blew it bad, but PT sold it anyway.  Dutt cock-blocked Shark and finished off Batts with a SICK Hindu press that seemed to hit even worse than the Juventud-London landing from a few days ago.  Okay spotfest of a match.  Like a reverse enema, everybody got their shit in.  Too many screw ups to warrant a higher rating, though.

As The Kru Turns.  B.G. James isn’t in the building again.  Konnan gave up on the guy, but Ron Killings kept the faith.  Hey, at least it’s fleshing out the characters and giving each a distinctive voice.  That said, I haven’t seen acting this bad since “Hogan Knows Best.”

3) Aportion & Sucky Siucki beat Simon Diamond & David Young at 5:43 [Mike]

SD did his shtick on the stick, informing the crowd, “Simon has a problem.”  I’ll say.  His ex got knocked up by another guy, then fired altogether.  Simon is apparently starting a new stable, his “Diamonds In The Rough.”  Simon put over David Young as a gifted athlete who never had the proper guidance.  That’s probably the only time you’ll see the words “put over David Young” in a TNA PPV report this year.


Highlight was Young doing an Asai moonsault at ringside.  Lowlight was moments later when Aportion tried a flip dive to the floor, casually bouncing off the heels’ backs and gently landing on his feet.  Credit where it’s due, the announcers tried to put it over as that much more impressive.  Siucki and Young had a slapfight that fans got into.  Go figure.  Siucki and Simon screwed up a diamond cutter spot quite severely.  Young hit the spinebuster on Siucki, but ref Andrew Thomas wouldn’t count because Siucki wasn’t talented.  I mean, legal.  Aportion snatched Young into a nice TKO for the pin.


Not great, but it told a story, and exceeded expectations seeing as how Aportion and Siucki were involved.

TNA Deathwatch Update: They’re already plugging their 10/23/05 PPV, “Bound For Glory.”  They’re hoping that this will be their Wrestlemania, as the announcers pushed hard that this annual PPV will be the new “Fall classic.”  For their sake, I hope they do well on Spike, otherwise BFG will be the first “annual” PPV to only have one show.

4) Samoa Joe choked out Chris Sabin at 14:04.  [FRITZ]

Sabin got a subtle push simply by coming out last.  You wouldn’t show a Joe match to a non-fan you’re trying to convert, but for those of us who love the Bret/Benoit “realistic” style of wrestling, the guy is a breath of fresh air.  Joe’s first wave of attack came from a series of various kneedrops/kneelifts/kneeshots.  The guy is the George Washington Carver of knee-strikes, I tell you what.  Both guys were dead solid brilliant in their performances.  Everything Joe did looked like a crippler, even something as basic as a vertical suplex.  Likewise, Sabin was outstanding as the lionheart who wouldn’t stay down.


Sabin made a comeback by catching Joe with his best-in-the-biz springboard dropkick, followed by another dropkick as Joe recouped on the apron, then capped off with a picture-perfect running dropkick off the apron to Joe on the floor.  West leapt on the chance to point out that this was the most effective anyone in TNA had been against Joe so far.


Dueling chants ensued, with a small pocket of fans trying to sing along with Joe.  Give ‘em another month or two, and the whole building will be rocking it.  Joe hit a SWEET “snap powerslam” for a nearfall.  Sabin did a great agonized facial when Joe kicked out of a wicked tornado DDT.  Joe caught Sabin off the top with – you guessed it – the knee.  Joe hit a sharp high-angle powerbomb for a nearfall, then rolled into a STF/Crippler crossface/armbar playlist, so Tenay could fully sell the “Samoan Submission Machine” gimmick.  Sabin did the never-say-die stretch, earning a well-deserved pop when he finally made the ropes.  Dueling chants again.


You could actually FEEL the match going to the next level, as Joe was fuming that Sabin had lasted this long.  Joe tried to set up Sabin for the muscle buster, but Sabin fought back and managed to give Joe a running Ligerbomb for another nearfall.  Fans were on their feet.  Joe escaped the cradle shock, but Sabin hit an enziguiri.  Sabin went upstairs, but Joe caught him and hit the muscle buster.  That’s my new favorite finisher.  Well, half-finisher, anyway.  That move is the setup for Joe’s choke sleeper.  Sabin’s arm dropped three times and that was that.


Fans rightly chanted, “That was awesome.”  A must-see MOTY candidate.  Best straight match I’ve seen since Angle vs. Benoit at the RR03.  This match truly lived up to the promise of “total nonstop action.”  Everything built to something, plus the shots were stiffer than Lord Alfred Hayes.  Joe lived up to (and added to) his rep tonight, while Sabin looked like a million bucks even in defeat.  Given all of the above, I can forgive the fact that Samoa Joe is clearly a phony.  Real Samoans wrestle barefoot.  And they wear grass skirts.  But like I said, we’ll let it slide.  This time.

The Team Canada six-man tag was precapped.  Hoyt took out D’Amore, while The Naturals hooked up with Jimmy Hart.  This flowed into a promo with the babyfaces.  The wrestlers each got in a good line.  Jimmy wrapped it up by saying he had “age and experience,” while his team had “youth and enthusiasm.”  If you put this promo up against Jimmy’s legendary body of work over the years, it was subpar.  But if you put it up against the standards of today, it was one of the top ten manager promos of the year.  Again, big ups to D’Amore for being so selfless, but dammit, I want to see a D’Amore-Jimmy feud.

5) Team Canada (Bobby Roode & “Showtime” Eric Young & “A1” Alistair Ralphs) beat Lance Hoyt & NWA World Tag champions The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas, w/ Jimmy Hart) at 14:40.  [David]

Good 80s-style six-man, chock full of spots where the faces ran off the heels.  Chase hit an impressive moonsault to the floor, followed by Hoyt doing a running dive.  Respect for Hoyt’s work ethic, as he gets better each time out.  You really get the feeling that he doesn’t want to disappoint the fans who chant for him.  Hoyt may not be HOF-bound, but dammit, the business would be in better shape if we had more guys like him in some areas.  From all accounts, Hoyt is a super nice guy and the reason Orlando loves him is because he’s accessible above-and-beyond outside the ring, to where he makes a habit of hanging out with fans after the matches.  There was even an army of “Hoytamania” t-shirts in the front row.


Roode threw the famous TC hockey stick to Jimmy, then dropped to the mat and pretended Jimmy hit him with it.  I should be sick of that spot, yet I’m not.  Ref Andrew Thomas ejected Jimmy despite protests from Hoyt and Douglas.  Meanwhile, the cannucks were beating the hairspray out of Chase in the ring.  Storyline was that the face team’s game plan fell apart without Jimmy.  Speaking of improved guys, Roode has really come into his own as TC’s powerhouse bully.  Makes me wonder what the hell they need A1 for.  Chase channeled the ghost of Ricky Morton in selling for TC and firing back with the occasional hope spot.


WE INTERRUPT THIS REVIEW FOR A PSA:  We at TWF are fully aware of the fact that Ricky Morton is still alive.  E-mailing us with the sole purpose to inform us of this fact is unnecessary.  We now return to this review already in progress.


…and that’s why Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” should replace “Pomp And Circumstance” for high school graduations.  Anyway, Chase finally made the “Hoyt tag” and the big man cleaned house.  Hoyt drilled Eric with a NICE swing-slam, as Eric is another guy who is underrated as hell.  Hoyt goozled Roode, meeting A1’s attempted save with a superbly-timed big boot.  Hoyt went ahead and chokeslammed Roode, causing the fans to achieve Hoytgasm.  Hoyt gave Eric a spinebuster, prompting Douglas to tag himself in and drop a big elbow off the top (which the cameras missed).  Ref bump.  The Nats went for their Natural Disaster finisher, but Roode used Jimmy’s megaphone to conk both Nats.  Eric pinned Douglas, presumably to set up a TC title shot.  There was a sly insinuation that Jimmy deliberately left his lethal megaphone behind, suggesting a heel turn next month.  Yet another good, fun match that showcased everyone involved and exceeded expectations.

As The Kru Turns II.  Despite the fact that it’s been a whole 45 minutes since we left our heroes, we still don’t know where B.G. has been dipping his biscuits.

Mean Shane interviewed Monty Inc.  Brown insists on calling their foes, the “2 Live Kru.”  Sure, it’s not the most creative zinger in the world, but if it ups the probability that Brown might spontaneously burst into singing “Me So Horny,” I’m all for it.  Outlaw put over B.G. and the James family.  Mind you, 95% of the audience doesn’t know that the James family actually achieved their wrestling fame as the Armstrong family, but who’s counting?  Outlaw further pontificated that to honor this great family, he will now wrestle as “Kip James.”  The Gunn name has not been this badly desecrated since Butterbean turned Bart into a human bobblehead at WM15.  Y’see, the WWE had threatened TNA with legal action, claiming “Outlaw” was too similar to “New Age Outlaws.”  Hence, this.  Screw it, I’m still calling them “Monty Inc.”  If Daniels and Skipper were still “XXX” after losing an “X,” I’m invoking my creative license.


As the promo wrapped up, Jarrett dropped by yet again.  WTF is he now?  TNA’s wacky neighbor?  Larry didn’t get this many walk-ons in the entire fourth season of Three’s Company.  Still though; Intrigue/character development = Good.  Kip drank the Jeff-Aid, but Brown said he’d only put out if JJ could get him a World Title shot.

6) Monty Inc. (“Alpha Male” Monty Brown & Kip James) beat 3 Live Kru (Konnan & Ron “The Truth” Killings) in a no-DQ streetfight at 5:26.  [David]

This was largely a garbage brawl with a month’s worth of ref bumps.  Kip bladed early.  Move of the match was when Killings hurracanrana’ed out of an attempted Alpha Bomb.  Killings and Brown danced well while the other two stiffs were on the outside.  In all honesty, that’s the best possible way they could have booked this thing.  Kip gave Konnan an awful DDT on the floor.  B.G. showed up on the ramp, just in time to watch Truth get pounced and pinned.


Kip took the mic and had two words for BGJ.  Fans yelled “suck it,” but Kip corrected them and called BGJ “my brother.”  BGJ teased taking a chair to Killings, but instead threw the chair down and walked off, remaining undecided.  This is a tough one as it’s been slow-burning for so long, fans are losing interest, but still, there’s really no point in pulling the trigger until they’re back on TV.  Hey, I just thought of something: If B.G. does reunite with Kip, won’t that leave Brown high and dry?


There was a reason many ECW “icons” never made it big anywhere else.  Some stiffs NEED all the plunder in order to keep fans’ attention.  Still though, this was good for what it was, and exceeded expectations.  Okay, so that was “exceeded expectations” in the backhanded Kevin Nash way.

They precapped Styles-Waltman again, followed by JL cutting a nice, intense promo.  He said that he didn’t just tag and feud with both guys in the past; he had BLOOD FEUDS against them.  Through gritted teeth, JL ominously vowed that the best man would win. 

7) A.J. Styles pinned Sean Waltman at 14:35.  Jerry Lynn was special referee.  [Kerry]

Deserved “welcome back” chant for JL.  The guy is one of wrestling’s greatest unsung talents, and his return is a huge plus for both the company and the fans.  Tenay put over the history between JL and Waltman, as well as adding that TNA’s first NWA Tag champs were JL and Styles.  First ambiguous JL spot was when Waltman used JL for leverage to tumble out of a hold.  Fans did the dueling chants, calling Waltman, “X-Pac.”  WWE owns the name “X-Pac,” yet Waltman still has the word (?) “PAC” on his outfit.  I guess he can always claim it stands for “Porno Assfucked by Chyna.”


Match was all A.J. (including a bee-yootiful flip dive to the floor) until Waltman lifted up A.J. in an atomic drop position on the floor, and then crotched him on the post.  Scariest spot of the night saw Waltman hit a senton from the top to the floor, causing A.J.’s head to hit the guardrail with such a crack, Jake Roberts could have put it in a pipe and smoked it.  A.J. started his comeback by lucha-launching Waltman crotch-first into the post as a receipt.  JL didn’t call either low blow, and just let the guys go at it.  A.J. opened up the arsenal with his springboard forearm (which looked great) and quebrada DDT (which didn’t).  Waltman flipped out of a suplex attempt and kicked A.J. low.  JL didn’t seem to mind.  A.J. caught Waltman off the top with a dropkick.


When Waltman kicked out of a backslide, A.J. rolled with it and hit the Styles Clash.  Waltman kicked out at two, with A.J. (and the announcers) selling it huge.  A.J. missed the spiral tap, allowing Waltman to hit the X-factor for a nearfall.  I dunno, the whole kicking-out-of-each-other’s-finishers can work once in a blue moon, but to me, it just seems like a shortcut.  Waltman tried to Pillmanize A.J.’s leg with a chair, but JL scuttled it out of the ring.  Finish was a tribute to the classic Tommy Young spot, as Waltman grabbed the ropes to thwart A.J.’s sunset flip, but JL kicked Waltman’s hand loose.  As Waltman fell back, A.J. rolled through again and hit a second Styles Clash for the pin.  Waltman blamed JL for the loss, setting up Waltman vs. JL for the next PPV.


Great timing, great execution and a great finish made for a great match.  Waltman’s best match in 11 years.  Styles’ best match since April.  The fact that JL didn’t turn against one guy didn’t hurt the match, but again, they’ve gotta be careful with the will-he-or-won’t-he stuff.  Milk it too long and it’s an interest-killer.  Then again, maybe it’s all a double-swerve and since neither man will take a side, JL will end up tagging with B.G. James as “Team Switzerland.”


Be vewy vewy quiet…Jeff Jawwett is hunting for Whinos.  No, not Scott Hall.  It was an Elmer Fudd reference.  Don’t you kids know anything about classic television?  BAH!  Anyway, that wacky JJ confronted Larry Zbyszko.  When JJ asked where Rhino was, Larry got off a good comeback.  (“I’m not running a day care!”)  To look at these two, it must have been Wacky Tacky Shirt Day in Orlando, because Larry was rocking a Big Dogs shirt opposite Jarrett’s grandmotherly floral pattern.


The precap for Daniels-Petey aired again.  So I guess the last one was a pre-preview while this one is a re-recap.  Or something.

8) XD champion “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels pinned Petey Williams (w/ A1) to retain the title at 16:19…I think.  [Kerry]

Dueling chants straight outta the gate.  It’s already great and rewarding to watch this match.  Technically, both guys are heels, yet they’re so good and so over, fans love them and pour on the heat in a manner that transcends the face/heel standard.  Orlando might just be the coolest wrestling crowd I’ve ever seen.  ECW fans were way too quick to shit all over stuff and chant “You fucked up.”  On the other hand, Orlando always conveys a genuine enthusiasm, respect and appreciation for the good stuff.  Did you notice how the crowd for One Night Stand swiped Orlando’s “This is awesome” chant?


First highspot was Petey hitting a slingshot dive into a hurracanrana on the floor.  Petey does that move better than anyone (even Sabu in his heyday).  Petey took over with the Canadian legsweep and the “O Canada” spot.  The second scariest move of the night was when Daniels caught an attempted hurracanrana and powerbombed Petey’s back right into the ring apron.  Daniels worked the back as the dueling chants picked up again.  Petey had a hope spot with a flurry, but Daniels DRILLED Petey with a flatliner into a Koji clutch.  A1 grabbed Petey’s leg and pulled them both to the ropes for the break.  Great sequence capped off with a good “strongman” spot.


Petey finally made a comeback with a nice reverse-DDT out of a tilt-a-whirl.  Samoa Joe watched the match from the ramp, planting the seeds for Joe-Daniels at the October PPV.  Daniels teased bailing on the match, but stopped short when he saw Joe.  A1 pitched Daniels back in the ring where it was all Petey until Daniels caught a float-over out of the corner and hit a Death Valley Driver.  Daniels signaled for the BME (best moonsault ever), but Petey tripped him and locked in the sharpshooter.  A1 tried to pull the rope away (a la Paul-Dave), but the ref caught him, so Daniels wound up making the ropes.


Petey went for the Canadian Destroyer, which West called the “Canadian Bomb.”  They tumbled into a sunset flip tease, followed by Daniels setting up for Angel’s Wings.  Petey stuffed the move by dropping to his knees, prompting West to excitedly shriek “LOOK AT WHAT WILLIAMS DID!!  HE GOT HIMSELF SMALL!!”  Christ, I hate West all over again.  They got into a slugfest when both were standing on the second rope.  Daniels got the best of it and bodyslammed Petey to the mat while standing on the second rope.  Yet another great inventive spot.  This is as good as it gets, folks.


Finish saw A1 toss a chain to Petey, but Daniels reached into his trunks and pulled out his own chain.  Daniels literally beat Petey to the punch, hit the BME (best moonsault ever) and…


…my goddamn screen went black.  A second later, the bell was ringing and Daniels music was playing, so I presume that was the pin.  It couldn’t have waited another three seconds?  Screw you, Cox Communications.  Screw you and the diseased weasel that impregnated your mother, leading to your birth.  You don’t fuck with my Daniels-Petey matches, bitch.  Now if you want to black out everything at SummerSlam except the Rey-Eddie match, then we can be friends again.


Anyway, this was a tremendous match that was every bit as good as I expected and then some.  Christopher Daniels has gotta be one of the three best-rounded wrestlers in the U.S. today (Benoit and Eddie being the other two).  Also, this match was another huge step in building Petey’s already-impressive career.  For the third time tonight, two great wrestlers just tore down the house.

Right about now, it was obvious to me that unless the main event was a total stinker, No Sur was fixing to go down in history as the best-wrestled PPV since WM17.

The main event was precapped, featuring waaaaaaaaaay too much Jarrett.  It was a dark premonition of what was to come.


9) NWA World champion Raven pinned Abyss (w/ “Sinister Minister” Jim Mitchell) in a “No Surrender” dog-collar match to retain the title at 19:01.  [Kerry]

It’s official.  Best-wrestled PPV in over four years.


Fans were already doing their “Go Abyss” chorus before he even got in the ring.  He doesn’t even have to do anything at this point; they just have fun chanting it.  If we ever get Abyss vs. Samoa Joe, it’s going to sound like a turf war at a karaoke bar.


Match opened with Raven playing chair-ball with Abyss.  West marveled at the “thickness” and “weight” of the chain.  What would Freud say?  Seriously, though, the chain/collar was perfect in that there was enough room for the guys to move around, yet just short enough for them to do reel-‘im-in spots.  Abyss planted Raven on a pile of chairs, but missed a legdrop onto the heap.  ‘Byss choked Raven with the chain, but Raven chaired his way to freedom.  Then Raven retrieved his trusty staple gun and stapled a dollar to Abyss’ forehead.  That practice is actually encouraged in Tijuana strip clubs.  In fact, it’s rude NOT to do so.


Abyss posted Raven, and it was officially a double-juicer.  Abyss and SinMin set up a couple tables by the elevated entrance.  Abyss tried to chokeslam Raven off the ramp, but Raven kicked him low and the monster took the Nestea plunge through a table.  Apparently, Abyss never saw any of the 7,356 ECW matches with Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer.  Following Raven to a higher altitude can only end badly.  In another inspired spot, Raven’s celebration ended abruptly when Abyss’ corpse yanked the chain, sending Raven off the ramp through the other table.  Tommy never thought of that one.  Abyss tortured Raven with the chain while SinMin laid in the taunts.  ‘Byss set up a third table vertically against a post, but Rave rose from the dead and charged into Abyss with a crossbody that sent him through Table #3.  Back in the ring, Raven pulled out all the stops with a discus clothesline, bulldog, and “Raven Effect” DDT for two.  Rave briefly sold the disbelief that Abyss kicked out of his finisher (What did I just get done saying?!), then hung Abyss over the ropes until SinMin saved Abyss with a cane attack.


Abyss uncollared himself, but the referee didn’t notice.  To be fair, neither did I until the announcers pointed it out.  Kudos to the bookers/announcers being on the same page, which also hasn’t happened in American wrestling for at least four years.  This led to Abyss retrieving his precious bag-o’-tacks.  Abyss spilled the thumbtacks onto the mat, and the crowd dug it.  If Abyss ever turns babyface, he should swerve us by having candy in the bag instead.  Abyss ripped Raven’s shirt off.  West roared that it was “a sign of disrespect,” so Tenay actually had to point out that thumbtacks hurt more if there is no shirt to offer some protection to the skin.  I wonder if West is really this clueless behind the scenes.  LOOK AT THAT, MIKE!!  THAT GUY IS WALKING AROUND WITH A RAZOR BLADE AND A BAG OF WHITE POWDER!!  HE MUST BE GOING OFF TO SHAVE AND TREAT HIS ATHLETE’S FOOT!!!!”

Abyss prepared to cast Raven upon the thumbtacks, but Cassidy Riley ran-in for the save.  Said rescue consisted of Abyss chokeslamming Cass off the top rope through a fourth table at ringside.  Yup, he’s Stevie 2.0, all right.  Abyss pounded Raven in the corner until Rave powerbombed him off the second rope into the tacks.  What is this, like the fourth time that the big goof has been plopped onto to his own tacks?  He might want to think about taking the tacks out of his repertoire.  Or maybe he has a fetish with being a human bulletin or something.  Raven got a two-count and went for another RE, but Abyss turned it into a tight black hole slam for another kick-out-of-a-finisher nearfall.


Abyss went to chokeslam Raven into the tacks, but Raven turned it into a second RE, sending them both into the tacks for the pin.  Raven sold it huge even though it was obvious from the close-up shot that none of the tacks actually stuck in his back.  Is he made of Teflon?  Still though, it’s the thought that counts, I actually prefer it when a wrestler DOESN’T get mutilated, and the idea of Raven sacrificing himself into the tacks to finish off Abyss was the perfect finish to a great, entertaining-as-hell hardcore match.

After the match, Jarrett’s music hit and he taunted Raven from the apron.  As Jarrett provided the distraction, Rhino hit the ring and gored Raven.  Fans chanted “Rhino” as Jarrett picked up “his” championship.  This sets up Jarrett & Rhino vs. Raven & Sabu for the next PPV.  The announcers were aghast that it was all a big swerve and Rhino was actually aligned with Jarrett all along.  I was relieved that the PPV then went off the air before Jarrett could have an impromptu match and REALLY ruin the show.
Once the PPV went off the air, the PPV channel showed an ad for next Sunday’s Great American Bash PPV, featuring Smackdown superstars like JBL, Booker T, Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, The Big Show, and Joy Giovanni.

PPV MVP: Scott D’Amore.  With all the greatness on this show, it’s too tough to single out one wrestler, so the nod goes to D’Amore as the awesome head of the awesome new booking team.  In the year I’ve been watching TNA, this is the best it’s ever been.  Considering how bad this company has been at its worst, to turn it around from a creative standpoint is a bona fide miracle.

PPV LVP: Jeff Jarrett.  Sucky Siucki’s two-show streak comes to an end thanks to Planet Jarrett orbiting way too close to the real world.

Overall over-analysis:  You need to see this PPV.  Forget about Jarrett.  There were so many good matches on this show, people are still arguing over which one was the best.  When was the last time THAT happened?

This Observer’s Thumb…………………..is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY up.



Harry Simon is a trivia-fueled wisenheimer who has been writing about pro wrestling off and on for 16 years and counting. Harry has written trivia pieces for both the Wrestling Observer and Live Audio Wrestling websites, and contributed a ton of research to his fellow Las Vegan Mike Tenay in preparation for the first NWA TNA PPV in 2002. Harry has also done play-by-play, color commentary, and ring announcing for indy promotions. Harry invented the Von Erich Match Rating System, which you can learn about HERE.
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*All Pics and Logos created by Sean Carless

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).