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Impact: A good mix of hype and action
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling


On the eve of Final Resolution, TNA embraces itself to feel the Sting. That's right, the time has finally arrived. No more Scorpion filled TNA Trons, no more dusters and baseball bats left in the ring. Sting will make his physical return to the company, but not without one last message here on Impact.

The traditional recap sends us into our opening contest...

Match One - "The Monster" Abyss w/ Father James Mitchell vs Jay Lethal

Lethal dodged a couple of early bullets, diving out of the way on an oncoming splash. He attempted to knock Abyss down a few punches and an enseguri, but it had little to no effect. Lethal bounced off the ropes and was caught in a press slam followed by The Shock Treatment. Mitchell jumped on the apron and told Abyss to finish Lethal, which he did, with a Black Hole Slam. Poor Lethal.

Winner Via Pinfall - "The Monster" Abyss

The 2005 TNA Year End Awards Winners:

  • Knockout of the Year - Jackie Gayda (Very bad call, I can understand giving her a push, but let's be realistic.)
  • Finisher of the Year - The Canadian Destroyer (I was hoping it would be the POOOOOOOUNNNNCEEEEEEE! Period.)
  • Who to Watch in 2006 - Christain Cage (As long as he is used properly, there should be no doubt.)
  • Tag Team of the Year - Team 3D (Same as Gayda. AMW and Team Canada were there the entire time and wrestled on Impact on more than four occasions.)
  • Memorable Moment of the Year - Christain Cage's Debut at Genesis (It was definitely one of the more memorable moments. Good choice.)
  • X Division Star of the Year - "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles (Styles has it for this year, but with the recent influx of X Division stars, I think it will be hard for him to win it again.)
  • Feud of the Year - "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels (I'll give it to them, it was an entertaining feud.)
  • Match of the Year - Barbed Wire Massacre - "The Monster" Abyss vs Sabu (This was incredibly brutal.)

In the ring, Mike Tenay stood with the "Mr. TNA 2005" plaque, which he then presented to "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles. That's three years in a row for Styles. "The Phenomenal One" went on to talk about his accomplishments and let Tanahashi know that at Final Resolution, he was going to show him how "Phenomenal" 2006 is going to be for AJ Styles. At this point, "The Prince of Punk" Shannon Moore hit the ring and threw powder in Styles' face. He then confiscated the award and ran away as Styles' followed. Moore vs Styles at Against All Odds?

They played a highlight video to hype the AJ Styles vs Hiroshi Tanahashi match at Final Resolution. Should be a good match. I am glad to see TNA reaching out and grabbing some overseas stars.

Next up, we went to some fan comments about the return of Sting. Again, let's hope he is still in ring shape.

Back from commercial break, Don West and Mike Tenay talked about the recent attack on "Bullet" Bob Armstrong by Konnan, Apolo and Homicide. They talk about how Armstrong needed to have surgery on his knee due to the beating he sustained. They then rolled the footage before sending us backstage to "The Franchise" Shane Douglas.

BG told Douglas that he had nothing to say to him, but for Konnan it was a different story. BG ripped into his former friend and let him know that the James Gang was coming to take him and his boys out.

"The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels joined Tenay and West to again test his voice on commentary for...

Match Two - "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe vs Cassidy Riley

Joe wasted no time, immediately pounding on Riley. During the match, Shannon Moore and AJ Styles came running out. Moore slid threw the ring and back out, but as Styles went to do the same, Joe punched him. Styles retaliated with a Pele Kick, before continuing his chase. Riley saw the opportunity and made the cover, but only for two. Riley went for a springboard moonsault, but caught Joe's knees. Joe followed up on his attack, delivering The Muscle Buster, followed by the rear naked choke.

Winner Via Submission - "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe

After the match, Joe went outside the ring and grabbed a steel chair. He went to deliver a Muscle Buster on Riley onto the steel chair, but Daniels stopped him. Daniels ducked a chair shot, hit an enseguri, before grabbing the chair and whacking Joe in the back. Joe scurried out of the ring as Daniels stood tall.

They aired more comments from the TNA Fans about the impending return of Sting.

In the backstage area, Shane Douglas stood by with Jackie Gayda, and questioned her about the letter she sent to Jeff Jarrett. She went on about how this was between her and Jarrett, and how she wants her demands met. Team Canada's Coach Scott D'Amore came in and told her they could work together. Gayda informed him that they could, as long as all her demands were met. She told him that they should be met or else "You know what will hit the ceiling." D'Amore told her that some of her demands were outrageous. She told D'Amore that things get a little cold in Canada this time of the year, to which D'Amore asked her if that was threat. Before this dialogue could go any further, Shannon Moore and AJ Styles came barreling through. Styles caught Moore and began punching him until security tore them apart.

Match Three - Team Canada (Petey Williams, "Showtime" Eric Young and A-1) w/ Coach Scott D'Amore vs Matt Bentley, Chris Sabin and Sonjay Dutt w/ Traci Brooks

First of all, it's good to see the X Division represented loud and proud on this week's edition of Impact. Back and forth contest here. Alex Shelley joined the combatants at ringside with the "Shelley Cam." Traci tried to get involved early on, distracting Petey Williams and allowing Bentley to get a roll up for a two count. A-1 and Sonjay Dutt came in next, trading shots, with A-1 getting the better of the overall exchange. Eric Young made an appearance next, picking up where A-1 had left off. Sabin and Williams were the final pair of legal competitors to enter back into the ring. Sabin went for a Cradle Shock, but it was blocked, Sabin came off the ropes, but was tripped by Shelley, leading to TNA's 2005 Move of the Year, The Canadian Destroyer. Somebody call Morphoplex!

Winners Via Pinfall - Team Canada (Petey Williams, "Showtime" Eric Young and A-1)

They aired a video package that featured Raven's thoughts on his TNA career and what he thinks of the company now. This has been a decent feud between Raven and Larry Zybysko. But the question remains, will the Commish lace up or is another curveball headed our way?

In the ring, Jeff Jarrett and "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown came out to rant and rave about the way TNA Management is treating them. They flat out tell TNA that Sting won't get the job done. Jarrett finished up, telling Sting that he used to like him, but now it's 2006 and things are different. Again, I wouldn't agree with putting the belt on Sting at this state of the game. Hopefully their PPV tag match catapults Christian Cage into a title match.

Match Four - America's Most Wanted ("Wildcat" Chris Harris and "The Tennessee Cowboy" James Storm w/ Gail Kim vs "Captain Charisma" Christain Cage and "The Man Beast" Rhino

Cage and Rhino dominated early on, sending AMW all around the ring. AMW began cheating to get the momentum in their favor. Cage got the tag in, but it was only a matter of time before AMW's tactics caught up with him. Momentum shifted again as Cage was able to block a superkick attempt from Storm and hit a reverse DDT. Rhino came back in and did a little damage, Cage went for a top rope crossbody on Harris for a two count. As Rhino and Storm ducked it out on the floor, Cage went for the Un-Prettier on Harris, but Gail Kim intervened and low blowed Cage. Team 3D came out and escorted Kim away from the match, but before they left, they hit Harris with a 3D. Storm got back into the ring just in time to get Gored, as Cage ascended the ropes and landed a Frogsplash on Harris for the three count.

Winners Via Pinfall - "Captain Charisma" Christain Cage and "The Man Beast" Rhino

As Cage, Rhino and Team 3D celebrated, Monty Brown, Jeff Jarrett and Abyss came in and attacked them. The faces were absolutely decimated. AMW and Team 3D fought to the backstage area as Abyss gave Rhino a vicious Black Hole Slam. Cage was able to send Jarrett out of the ring, but once he turned around, he was hit with the POOOOOOOOUNNNNNNNCEEEEE! Period. Brown held Cage up as Jarrett took his guitar and slammed it over the head of Cage. As Jarrett and Brown surveyed their damage, the lights went out and a voice played over the PA system. The voice spoke to "The Queen of the Mountain" and "The Alpha Female" and let them know that at Final Resolution it was going to be "Showtime!"

This edition of Impact provided some good hype and really showcased all the major matches that will be occurring on Final Resolution. It was good to see a mix of main event stars, X Division stars and TNA Knockouts -- something we haven't normally been getting on Impact. If there are a mix of stars on the roster, we should seeing a mix of stars on TV.

Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and is glad that Sting will finally be partaking in some physical activity.