April 14, 2006
Impact: A thoroughly thrilling Thursday
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling
TNA made its primetime, Thursday night debut on Spike with a bang. They showcased their highly-talented X Division, threw in some hardcore action and topped it all off with the television return of Sting. What more could you ask for?
Match One - TNA X Division Championship Match - "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels (C) vs. "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe
This match was joined in progress, and from the beginning it was all Joe. Daniels head connected with the ringpost, busting him open. Joe used the gash to his advantage, further opening it up, beating Daniels head like a rag doll. Joe utilized the Boston Crab and STF, but neither one could force a submission out of Daniels. Daniels came back with a few ensguris and a BME, allowing him to get several near falls, but when he attempted to superplex Joe from the top rope, he was stopped and dropped with an Island Driver for the win. Why, oh why is Joe back in the X Division? Great match though.
Winner Via Pinfall and NEW TNA X Division Champion - "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe
*After the match, Sabu's music played and the fans were reminded that Sabu would be facing Joe in an X Division title match at Lockdown.
Jeremy Borash talked to Sting in the back, who ran down Jeff Jarrett, claiming he was too scared to face the Stinger. Maybe he was smart and wanted to get some of the younger talent over. Novel concept.
Mike Tenay and Don West talked about Lockdown, before pitching to a video package that hyped the feud between Christian Cage and Abyss. Cage stated that there has never been a person he wanted to beat more than Abyss. Should be another great match from "Captain Charisma."
Match Two - Falls Count Anywhere
Street Fight - America's Most Wanted ("Wildcat" Chris Harris and "The Tennessee
Cowboy" James Storm) w/ Gail Kim and Jackie Gayda vs. Team 3D (Brother Ray and
This was an odd match considering the rules, when action took place in the ring, tags needed to be made, not sure how that all made sense, but whatever. Kim and Gayda got in the ring at one point, with Kim slapping Gayda all around. Team 3D went to 3D Kim, but AMW made the save. They fought throughout the Impact Zone, with Storm getting thrown through a wall. The match made it back into the ring and it looked like it was all said and done when 3D hit a modified 3D, but Petey Williams came down and pulled referee Mark "Slick" Johnson out of the ring and clotheslined him. The rest of Team Canada joined in and the mugging began, leading to the ref throwing the match out, which made a lot of sense considering all the "No Contests" from the last Impact, on top of the fact that their were supposed to be no rules in this match. Moving along, Matt "Spike Dudley" Hyson hit the ring and cleaned house, throwing Eric Young out, stomping on Williams and hitting Bobby Roode with an Acid Drop. Team 3D took care of A-1 by putting the big man through a table. All is well in Dudleyville...err...3Dville?
Winners - NO CONTEST
Global Impact took a look at the Nascar/TNA House Show from last week. Looked to be a solid card. Jeff Hammond even took a guitar shot. At least he didn't do that stupid elbow drop again. Or did he?
We came back from commercial break and were greeted by a Sting Promo Video hyping Lethal Lockdown. Another promising match for Lockdown.
In the back, Jeremy Borash spoke with Jeff Jarrett and his team. Jarrett informed Borash that he wouldn't be wrestling Sting, but "Showtime" Eric Young would be.
Match Three - "Showtime" Eric
Young w/ Coach Scott D'Amore and Alex Shelley vs. Sting
This was Sting's first televised match in five years. This was also a huge a step in the right direction and some smart match-making by the booking committee of TNA. Sting wrestling on TV and putting over two superb young talents, it all comes together. Sting had things going his way, until he missed a Stinger Splash on the outside, which allowed Young to get in some offense, however, his best was not enough. A Stinger Splash caught Young and D'Amore, sending Team Canada's Coach to the floor. Shelley tried to get involved, but got knocked out for his troubles. Young fell victim to the Scorpion Death Drop and was pinned, making the Stinger's TV return a success.
Winner Via Pinfall - Sting
Shelley attacked Sting after the match, but wound up in the Scorpion Death Lock. Jeff Jarrett came down with the guitar, but Sting used his bat to break it. The rest of Team Jarrett came down, but they were fended off by a bat wielding Team Sting, which consisted of "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles, "The War Machine" Rhino and "The Truth" Ron Killings. Sting made it official that his team was ready for war.
They ended things with a video package highlighting this landmark episode.
TNA delivered in a big way, making this
episode as special as it needed to be. While it could have included an in-house
appearance by Christian Cage, Abyss, Monty Brown, etc., the show held its own.
The matches were good and the show was well put together.
Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and is curious what SLAM! Wrestling Producer Greg Oliver brought back for him from Chicago.