November 17, 2006
Impact: Hot show genesis of something bigger
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling

It's here! It's finally here! The debut of TNA on Spike TV primetime has finally arrived. What a solid card they have lined up to boot. A tables match, a barbed wire steel cage match, the debut of Kurt Angle and the X Division championship on the line. TNA has shown they can hang with the big boys, this is a big step to becoming one of them.

The show began with a brand new intro package with the tagline being that TNA "is wrestling." Good work and a great slogan for a company that truly lives by it.

"Showtime" Eric Young opened the show officially by leading fans into the building as confetti fell. What a spectacle. Tenay, West and even Young hyped the show while LAX made their way to the ring. LAX promised to burn the American Flag and just as they were about to AMW ran out and an all-out brawl ensued. LAX had the upperhand until Gail Kim made her return and hit Homicide with a huricanrana. She attempted to hit Hernandez with one, but he caught her and set her up for the Border Toss, AMW was able to save her and lay out LAX, chasing them to the back. Hot opener.

A Samoa Joe video package aired, leading into...

Match One - "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe vs. Jay Lethal

This was pretty much a squash to get Joe over even more, introducing him to the primetime audience. Good move as Joe is one of the frontrunners in TNA. Joe dominated and locked in the rear naked choke to pick up the win.

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

Post Match - Joe kept the choke locked in until Sonjay Dutt ran from the top of the entrance way and hit him with a shooting star press. Joe countered some attempted offense by Dutt, locking him in the rear naked choke as well. Chris Sabin started walking to help Dutt, but turned around as Jerry Lynn screamed at him for leaving his partners out there. Sabin is surprisingly a very good heel. Kudos to him.

In the back, Christy Hemme caught up with LAX and Petey Williams who were on their way to their car so they could burn the flag. Hemme decided to follow them and keep Tenay and West posted on this on-going saga.

A recap of Kurt Angle's headbutt to Samoa Joe was shown. Awesome.

Eye Spy Productions played a bit where they were in the bathroom doing a mock trial. Kevin Nash was the judge with wig and all, while Alex Shelley and Austin Starr pleaded their cases. Starr claimed that Shelley cost him the match on last week's Impact. Shelley objected, but Nash overruled him. Starr smiled as we drifted off to...

Jeremy Borash who was standing by with Team 3D. Brother Ray and Brother Devon talked about how they were going to beat the tar out of the Naturals and make sure that the last thing they heard was "Devon get the tables!" Team 3D shows so much emotion, they are a great asset to the TNA roster.

Match Two - Tag Team Tables Match - The Naturals w/ "The Franchise" Shane Douglas vs. Team 3D

Both teams went at it hard and heavy. Shane Douglas tried to get involved and was 3D'ed through a table. The Naturals returned the favor, putting Devon through some wood with a 3D. The Naturals are starting to work their way back up and Team 3D is a perfect feud for them. Not only will they improve, but the angle thus far has gone very smooth.

Winners Via Putting Their Opponents Through A Table - The Naturals

A video package played highlighting "The Monster" Abyss. More great work, again good idea to spread these out throughout the broadcast to introduce their stars to a new market. TNA's production has grown in leaps and bounds and it really shows.

Eric Young continued pumping the Impact Zone full of TNA chants, as Matt Bentley, Frankie Kazarian and Johnny Devine came out dressed in their punk attire. Very interesting to say the least. They said that they have learned to sacrifice and that a genesis has begun. Apparlently they are listening to a leader of some sort, most likely Raven. A 911 call played over the Impact Zone as the James Gang (er, now the Voodoo Kin Mafia ... VKM) broke in and cleaned house on the ring. They got on the mic and ran down DX in so many ways and issued an open challenge to Vincent K. McMahon. They said they were serious about their declaration of war and vowed to bring their war to his front door. Old school segment here, the work of Vince Russo.

A package aired hyping the Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match. Should be an excellent match. Rhino and Christian have been consistent in delivering big. Back from commercial break another package was shown featuring the Best of the X Division Volume 2.

The Nash/Shelley/Starr dilemma continued as Shelley told Starr to cut it out about him costing Starr his match. Nash yelled that the court was adjourned and went back into the stall, leaving Shelley to read an "In Recess" sign. Hysterical.

Jeremy Borash spoke with "The War Machine" Rhino who promised to break Christian Cage in half with the Gore! Gore! Gore!

Match Three - Six Sides of Steel Barbed Wire Cage Match - "Captain Charisma" Christian Cage vs. "The War Machine" Rhino

This match was one of the best in Impact history. Christian was ripped open by the unforgiving steel and barbed wire, with Rhino raking him across it left and right. Cage used the bolt cutters to cut a section of barbed wire, but wasn't able to escape through it as Rhino met him on top and used the barbed wire to tear him up. Rhino brought the straightjacket into play, but it was used against him as Cage tied him up to the top rope and got the chairs. He went to whack Rhino, but instead caught a shot to the netherregions, allowing Rhino to break free. The chairs were used as Rhino hit Cage with a sick TKO style move that sent Cage ribs first onto the back of the chair. The match rolled on with the end coming when Rhino Gored Cage through the cage door and to the floor, meaning that Cage hit the floor first for the win. Tremendous match and serious candidate for TNA's match of the year. It was that good. On a side note, the key didn't play a major factor as neither competitor used it to ultimately escape.

Winner Via Escaping The Cage - "Captain Charisma" Christian Cage

Another video package aired introducing the X Division. A lot of great prospects in that field.

Jim Cornette was shown speaking with David Eckstein of the St. Louis Cardinals about TNA and how he enjoys it. It's cool that TNA has such a good relationship with the MLB to the point where the World Series champs actually participate in putting TNA over. It's really a big help for them and introduces them to yet another market.

Match Four - X Division Championship Match - "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles (C) vs. Chris Sabin vs. "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels

Good match here, good to have the X Division represented in this form. Lots of action, Christian Cage came out during the match and put himself over as the real number one contender to the Heavyweight Championship, prompting AJ Styles to dropkick him off the ring apron and fight him back up the ramp, retaliation for costing him his match on the last edition of Impact. While Styles and Cage brawled, Sabin went for the Cradle Shock on Daniels only to get rolled up for the pin. After the match Styles and Daniels argued.

Winner Via Pinfall and NEW X Division Champion - "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels

Back to the Nash/Shelley/Starr skit. Nash, coming out of the toilet stall, told them to rise, or stand taller. Nash mentioned a match between Shawn Michaels and The Bleu Brothers in 1995 at MSG and said that Shelley was guilty and owed Starr $100 for punitive damages. Shelley said that Starr wasn't even suing him and wanted to appeal, but it didn't make a difference to Nash who walked off with his bare rear end showing from his judge's robe to which Shelley responded, "He must work out." Very funny stuff.

WHAT YOU THINK
TNA debuts in primetime tonight on Spike TV. Which best describes your TNA viewing habit?
I always watch Impact - 41%
I sometimes watch Impact - 46%
I've never watched Impact - 13%
In the back, Christy Hemme was with LAX and Petey Williams who were about to burn the flag. They poured gasoline on it and gave the torch to Petey who all of sudden turned face and said he couldn't burn the flag because it represented opportunity. LAX then beat down Petey until the "po-po's" showed up and they bailed, leaving Christy to check on Petey. Back to Mike Tenay in the Impact Zone who said he doesn't respect LAX, but he does respect Petey Williams.

Don West did his little plug, back to the old school HSN bit for him.

Abyss w/ Father James Mitchell and Kurt Angle were shown as they came out for...

Match Five - "The Monster" Abyss w/ Father James Mitchell vs. Kurt Angle

Another great match and a good way for Angle to debut in TNA as an in-ring performer. Abyss has grown so much since his debut in TNA and it's really a testament to him. He certainly deserves the Heavyweight championship at some point. Mitchell wheeled out a wheelbarrel full of thumbtacks, but Angle was able to avoid getting slammed into them. The match ended when Angle reversed Abyss and locked in the Ankle Lock forcing Abyss to tap out.

Winner Via Submission - Kurt Angle

Post Match - Samoa Joe came out and Sting repelled from the rafters leading to Sting and Abyss going at it while Joe and Angle brawled. Sting put Abyss into the tacks, then fought to the back where Sting was hung upside down and beaten with his baseball bat. In the ring, Joe busted Angle open and locked in the rear naked choke.

A recap of TNA's History was shown, capping off an excellent Impact.


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  • TNA Wrestling: The 50 Greatest Moments DVD

    Chris Sokol wants to congratulate TNA on moving up. Having covered Impact since the FSN era, this is certainly a milestone for the company, a milestone they should be very proud of.


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