VIOLENT PANDA Wrestling Review: TNA Unbreakable 9/11/05
TNA Unbreakable 9/11/05
OK! I used to watch TNA every week back when they put on their $10 weekly pay per views. Over time, they broke me down with their insistence on 3 run-ins per show, inexplicable pushes, and of course the never-ending hell that is the Jeff Jarrett Main Event run. I even reviewed the PPVs for 411 for a while in 2003. I later gave TNA a try again when they changed formats to monthly $30 PPVs. I bought the first one, Victory Road, and saw that things really hadn’t changed.
But since TNA is finally coming to TV, I might as well try to get back on the bandwagon.
One quick note. At a live indy show last year, I learned a terrible secret of pro wrestling. You know that cracking noise that is made when guys like Tajiri and Shawn Michaels bust out superkicks? That sound is from them slapping their hands on their thighs. That’s why some guys have shiny vinyl on the side of their tights. It makes a louder noise when slapped. I point this out because it has really ruined a lot of great spots for me, and if I’ve noticed it (and I know other fans have), then it’s time to talk about it openly. Maybe I’m telling you something you already know. If so, then you’re a smarter fan than I. Anyway, let’s check out this night of THIGH-SLAPPING INTENSITY!!
Meanwhile, on Sunday Night Heat, an EVIL BASHAM is squashing Nigel McGuiness. How did Paul Birchall get his spot? I still say Nigel will make it to the E.
Jeremy Borasch is LEATHER ORANGE and decked out in a leisure suit. But his hands are as pink as a piggy. He talks about nothing.
In the back, Traci Brooks is interviewing Larry Zbysko (playing an owner type of guy). Traci is real natural in her role. Larry says Raven vs. Rhino will be a Raven’s Rules match by Raven’s request. He calls Raven a whiner, though technically Larry is whining when saying that. Please please keep Jarrett out of this match. Oh, who am I kidding. Why did I order this show?
Somewhere else, Shane Douglas says that fans are ready for things to get unbreakable. That would be so frustrating, if they chant for tables and then the table is unbreakable. In fact, that would be terrible. Shane YOU ARE A LIAR! HE’S A LIAR
I love Don West. He runs down the card and he still thinks everything is the greatest thing ever.
Cassidy Riley vs. Jerelle Clarke:
– Cassidy is now a follower of Raven. Expect Billy Manchild to reprise his follower role soon as well.
– Arm drags lead to the INDY FACE-OFF PLUS APPLAUSE!
– Monty Brown hits the ring and doles out a lariat which Jerelle gives the COVETED FLIP SELL! Monty has a mic, but Cassidy Riley refuses to back down. Awesome. He eats a PUUUOONNCCCCEEEE!! Fans chant “One more time!” but he doesn’t oblige for some reason. Monty gets on the mic and wants a shot at the world title at the next PPV. He takes a while getting to his point and the crowd unloads the beyond beyond-stale “What?” chant. It seems like the only way to kill that is to structure your sentences with as few pauses as possible. Here comes Jeff Jarrett. Fuck. Can I unpay for this PPV? Is that a “TRIPLE J” chant? JJJ says Monty owes his job to Jeff. And he is THE GAMEUHHHH. Monty Sopp is here! And he gets between them!
Paragraph break for skimmers. I like that this segment is coming off of natural relationships, not forced. It’s that ECW ordered chaos kind of thing that I like. I’m pretty sure TNA is playing a layer of crowd noise on the audio. You hear women going WOOO over and over, but the crowd visual doesn’t match up. Anyway, Jeff Hardy comes out and gets in Jarrett’s face. I am wondering if his rock generica theme is by his band, PeroxWHY?gen? (PeroxWHY? indeed) Hardy brawls with Jeff, and the girls and kids love Jeff, while the “smart” fans hate Jeff (ALL HE DOES IS SPOTS AND IS SLOPPY), so you get an awesome, intense mixed reaction.
Raven promo – “I am a human cancer”. He is eminently quotable.
Tracy is in the back with AJ. AJ cuts a generic promo about how he is phenomenal. Man, will someone help this guy out with this stuff already? It’s been THREE YEARS!
Mikey Batts vs. Shark Boy:
– Mikey is YOUR generic heel of the match! I’d love to see Shark Boy vs. Darkness Crabtree.
– Crowd loves the Shark Bite. They should re-form the Shark Boy/New Jack tag team, that ruled.
Fan has a sign: “WWE Owns My Name” hahahaa.
– Shark Boy does a funny spot where he pretends to be crotched on the top rope, luring Mikey in so SB can hit the Deep Sea Drop for the win.
OK match, I guess.
Somewhere in the crowd, Borasch calls these fans the “wildest fans in wrestling”. Well, maybe except all the Nashville internet fans, who he went out of the way to get rid of because they weren’t giving “proper reactions”.
End of Pre Show. Time for the actual PPV.
They still use that ghetto, homemade FBI warning.
Here’s the intro video that former WWE production guy Dave Sahadi is so high on: A football style intro, complete with NFL Monday Night Football music. We see wrestling footage while a bad Howard Cosell impersonator talks about wrestling like it’s football. I am guessing a lot of younger fans have no idea who the hell Howard Cosell is. Pretty lame.
We see the crowd and you really get the feeling that something special is brewing. The fans are ALIVE.
Diamonds in the rough (Simon Diamond, Elix Skipper and David Young> vs. Konnan, BG James & Ron Killings:
– Ron Killings still dances to the ring. He should be on the fox show “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE?” so someone can tell him: “NO.”
– Konnan still does ARRIBA LA RAZA and BG does the New Age Outlaws intro and By Gawd 1997 will never die! Now where’s my tamagotchi?
– The combination of the pumped-in crowd noise, the real crowd noise, and the announcers NON STOP RAMBLING make this hard to listen to. The endless punches and stomps make it hard to watch.
– How is David Young still in TNA? How many pushes is he going to get? He’s just taking up a spot that mother f’ing HOMICIDE can actually do something with.
– There’s a neat bit where Elix matrixes out of something, and Konnan is there to send him right back to the mat with an inverted DDT!
Konnan gets the pin I think. He still feels like he could be a main eventer, though supposedly he gets exhausted after five minutes. BG celebrates the win by rapping into the camera. hehe what a goof.
Winners: Konnan, BG James & Ron Killings
Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong:
– This is going to rule. “Generation Next” and “ROH” chants.
– Strong presses Austin over his head and then chucks him into the turnbuckle, looked awesome.
– Strong needs a beard or something. He looks too much like an intern at an investment firm.
– Strong unloads a THIGH-CRACKING DROPKICK, followed by a good leg-whack boot in the corner.
– STIFFNESS~~ is the new high spot, and Austin Aries unleashes lariats that are twice as good as the clothesline from Hey-yell.
– Aries Slingshot twisting press gets two. Strong busts out his press into a double kneedrop, HUGE nearfall, crowd totally bit into that.
Aries hits the 450 for the win! Good match! Maybe 3 stars, maybe? I sort of see the argument for “less is more”, in that there was a lot of movement and inconsequential stuff going on in the first half that really did nothing but make the wrestlers tired.
Winner: Austin Aries
Shane is in the back with Monty Brown and Mr. Ass Man. Crowd is busy chanting “That was awesome!” and it’s drowning out the promo, so the sound guy tunes them down somehow.
Kip James & Monty Brown vs. Lance Hoyt & Apolo:
– Apolo is STILL in TNA, and he STILL ISN’T OVER! I hope this match is real short.
– It isn’t. Man, Sonny Siaki is still in TNA too! He makes a quick appearance on the ramp. Lance Hoyt is INSANELY OVER. “Lance will HOYT you” chant, ahaha. These fans are great.
– Monty breaks out a charging thigh-slapping butt slam in the corner, I guess that’s supposed to be the sound of two torsos slapping together.
– Lance does mounted punches, and instead of counting along the crowd just yells “HOYT” with each blow, hahahaa.
– Man it’s 8:36 PM and this match is still eating time. You know, out of these four wrestlers, I bet Vince wants Apolo. He’s muscly, has short hair, tattoos and a blank stare. He’d fit right in.
– Tangent. In the Ross Report, JR mentioned that “individuality” doesn’t exist anymore in young wrestlers. He should clarify, there’s no individuality amongst body builders who try to wrestle. Individuals in the indies: Colt Cabana, Necro Butcher, Super Dragon, Larry Sweeney, Nate Webb, Homicide etc etc etc. There’s plenty of individuals, but unfortunately they’re not on roids and not good at just punching and kicking and cutting bad scripted promos.
Miscommunication occurs but Monty ends up getting the win. Boring match. I like Monty though.
Winners: Kip James & Monty Brown
Traci’s in the back. With all these signings of former WWE “divas”, you can almost SENSE the half-assed women’s push that TNA will abandon in two months.
She is with Team Canada, and of course they can’t combine to form the personality of one normal human being. Oohhh Bobby Roode says someone’s going to be CANADIAN-IZED, which means they get free health care, which is pretty awesome.
Pete Williams vs. Chris Sabin:
– Tenay is honest about why Shocker couldn’t be here to face Sabin. Pretty cool that he just tells it straight (scheduling problem, basically). IMO, Shocker is SO three years ago. I finally got a look at this Mistico guy and TNA would be wise to get a hold of that him RIGHT AWAY!
– Williams is seated on the apron, Sabin charges him on the concrete and LEAPS UP, drilling Petey with a dropkick! Awesome spot!
– Petey counters a powerbomb attempt into a DDT! Beautiful! Dueling chants break out. This crowd is ON FIRE!
– Kind of contrived spot where Sabin ends up jumping backward off the turnbuckle for no reason other than to get drilled with a dropkick square in the back. Cool looking, though.
– Paul London needs to come back to TNA.
– Sabin unloads with a RUNNING TURNBUCKLE POWERBOMB!
The finish is clever, with Sabin escaping the Canadian Destroyer and landing the cradle shock for the win. Crowd is not happy, they seemed to get on heel Petey’s side as this went along.
Winner: Chris Sabin
As the guys are lying there, SHAWN MICHAEL’S COUSIN hits the ring and hits a SHAWN MICHAELS” COUSIN SUPERKICK WITH A HBK THIGH SLAP ~CRACK~! Fans are happy to see him and chant “Welcome back”. He is known as Matt Bentley now (because the WWE owns the names of WWE wrestlers’ relatives) and cuts a promo on how he decided not to go “up north” and wants an ultimate X match, the match that Low Ki made famous. No! Sorry! Matt says HE made it famous! Because, you know, he was there while all those awesome spots took place and then he got the win because he’s related to somebody famous.
Abyss vs. SAH BEWWWWW:
– The crowd rolls out an awesome chant, where they go “UUUHH OHHH! AAA BYYSS!” in a sing-song fashion. These fans are so great. They are making the show a million times better.
– This match is THE SHIT! One of the main reasons to get the replay. Sabu takes an overhead belly to belly out of the ring and THROUGH TWO TABLES!
– Crowd chants “WE WANT THUMBTACKS”. One minute later, Abyss gets them out from under the ring. He pours them on the mat, and there’s this great tease/reversal sequence which ends with a spring DDT countered into a BLACK HOLE SLAM onto the tacks! It’s a RIOT SCENE as the crowd freaks out and Abyss picks up the win.
A GREAT match. Sabu-haters should note he is not “sloppy” in this. This is one of the main reasons to go out of your way to see this PPV.
Shane Douglas is in the back with Alex Shelley. It turns out Shelley and X Pac just won a Chris Candido Memorial Tag Tourney for a shot at the tag titles, but now Waltman has no-showed this PPV. Shelley is kind of funny as he claims that this will not derail the “Total Nonstop Alex” world tour.
Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy:
– If Jeff gets Canadian-ized then he’s going to have to get a haircut and start wearing what everyone else is wearing.
– “Fuck em up Bobby” chant. Wrestling companies still can not figure out their fans or how to deal with their reactions.
– Bobby wants to be a generic heel and so he actually yells “USA SUCKS!” for the cheapest heat of the evening. It does work, though, with a majority of the fans giving him “USA!” chants.
– Canadians run in and try to hit Jeff with the Canadian flag to help Bobby steal a win, but it backfires. But then SUPER J shows up, and shows them how a main event star uses a Canadian flag to screw Jeff Hardy. He pokes Jeff with it and ref no-sees it and Bobby wins.
Winner: Bobby Roode who thinks USA sucks
Shane Douglas is in the back and does an interview where the Naturals and AMW are all in each others faces and saying nothing of importance other than “I’m going to wrestle you tonight and I hope we beat you”. Real lame.
NWA Tag Title 4 Team Elimination Match – Team Canada vs. Alex Shelley vs. AMW vs. The Naturals(c) w/Jimmy Hart:
– The Candido family is at ringside and the announcers just BURY Waltman for no-showing and basically slapping Candido’s family in the face. I mean, they bring it up over and over throughout the match. I thought it was a work, but Waltman was nowhere to be found on the rest of the show
– Where’s Jerry Lynn, anyway? I love that guy.
– “We want X Pac” chant, boy that is scary.
– I instinctively go for my fast forward button as this match begins to get boring (which lasts for the entire duration). Canadian “A 1” guy gets tons of chants, but literally every time he’s in the ring, he does NOTHING BUT BOOT CHOKES! Come on, now! Come on!
– Heyyy I was just thinking Johnny Candido should team with Shelley, as he looked pretty good on the UXW show I reviewed. And hot damn, Johnny jumps the rail and tags in. Then… he gets pinned almost right away. WHAT THE FUCK. That was really stupid.
– Ohhh now a Canadian locks in a sleeper. There is NO NEED for a rest spot in a match with eight men! And if this hold is supposed to be used to garner support for the face, then please take it back to 1985.
– I don’t even like Raw’s Cade/Murdoch team, but I’ll take them over AMW, who have not improved at all in three years. Cade and Murdoch need a cool name, though, like Southern Comfort (already taken though).
AMW gets eliminated via CANADIAN HOCKEY STICK ohhh man so uninspired. Really dull match. And it won’t END! Jimmy Hart crotches somebody or some crap.
Hey the World Title Match is next! I like that, they put the X Division in the main and all the title matches are at the top of the card. I like it like that, it makes sense.
Rhino cuts a promo in the back. He says he went through 4 years of wrestling hell. He says there’s finally no “hollywood bitches” telling him how to show emotion in the ring, and no corporate asskissers to deal with. AWESOME.
World Title Match – Rhino vs. Raven(c):
– Let’s see how long it takes for Rhino to get winded.
– Seems like they could have milked Rhino’s return a bit better by having him gore his way through the roster for a few months. I always felt that TNA blows their wad too quick when it comes to main event programs.
– Raven brings PLUNDER!! To the ring!! …!!
– “EC DUB” chant, uh oh, might have to edit that out of the DVD release because you can’t say stuff owned by the WWE or you’ll get sued!
– Raven cuts Rhino’s head up with a pizza cutter and the crowd chants “We Want Pizza”. Hah, these fans are so great.
– THREE MINUTES! Rhyno’s gasping for breath! See, he got hit with plunder, and then stumbled out of the ring and now he’s just exhausted. Four years of 5 minute matches will do that to you, I guess. As my friend Mike says, “WWE ruins wrestlers”.
– Rhyno wields a BEER KEG and pounds Raven with it. “Staple Gun” chant, Raven uses it. TNA should go out of their way to do whatever the fans ask, I bet it could lead to some great moments and a terrific atmosphere.
– Raven flunkie Cassidy comes out and tries to cheat on Raven’s behalf, but almost costs him the match instead.
– Raven props up a ladder, and then powerbombs Rhino on it and it BENDS IN HALF! Looked NASTY!
– Rhino brings in the SHOPPING CART! Hehe this should be good. Through a series of reversals, Rhino ends up goring the cart in a great spot.
– FUCK. JJJ run in! Are you kidding me? Hardy makes the save. This Jarrett thing is so far past the point of ridiculousness.
– Raven retains. So this match ends up being more of a way of putting the spotlight on Jarrett/Hardy. Raven is THE CHAMP! HE should be the focus! That is why he has the belt, right?
This was a pretty good match, but Sabu/Abyss kind of stole their thunder.
We get another video package hyping the main event. It features some awesome match footage, with two people talking over it, saying things that sound kind of cool but actually make no sense. An old witch woman says something, then Darth Vader says something, back and forth. The best, or worst, part: WE DO NOT WRESTLE AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD – BUT PRINCIPALITIES Hahahaaaa oh lord.
I always felt that Daniels was sort of the Kurt Angle of the indies. Like Angle, he forces his matches to a certain level of quality no matter who he works with. I’d like to see Angle vs. Daniels some day.
X Title Match – Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Chris Daniels(c):
– The announcers talk about AJ’s history in TNA, and it’s so ludicrous how many title changes this company has had in three years. AJ has won and lost the X title FIVE TIMES, the world title 2 or 3 times, and held the tag belts at least twice. What’s the point? Why not let him just keep a title for a long time? Joe held the ROH Title for a year and a half and it was a unanimous success.
– They do the boxing intros and the crowd is really, really into it. All three guys are over. The fans don’t have a favorite, they love all three.
– They start off by stealing the Chikara Crossbones “kick Mano in the back” spot. Crowd loves it.
– There’s so many awesome bits from start to finish, I’m not sure what to point out. This is one of those rare matches that is as good in the beginning as it is in the middle. This isn’t one where they wander around stomping and choking for 15 minutes before going into a great finishing sequence. This is pure goodness. I call it an “all finish” match.
– AJ does a SPRING SHOOTING STAR onto both guys out of the ring.
– I notice AJ has roid rage, but I don’t think he has roids. He seems like he’s got a big chip on his shoulder in real life. What’s that all about?
– Daniels gives AJ a monkey flip toward Joe, AJ CONVERTS TO A RANA! AJ’s body control is unbelievable. I bet most other wrestlers would botch that 19 out of 20 times.
– AJ breaks up a Joe submission with his corkscrew Spiral Tap. This is already in Match of The Year territory, this is just off the charts.
– “This is awesome” chant. THE WHOLE ARENA.
– Crowd EATS UP Joe doling out a boot SOLE to the face, followed by a Togo-esque senton.
– Daniels SOMEHOW HOISTS JOE UP for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!
– Both guys out of the ring, Joe with a TWISTING SENTON – You have got to be shitting me! That was incredible!
– Joe grabs both guys on the top turnbuckle, and gives them a TOP ROPE DOUBLE BACK BODY DROP! Massive TNA chant.
– They slowly unfurl their finishers… Not in the usual manner of a three way where they all kick out of each other’s finisher… But over the course of 8 minutes or so each guy dominates and finally clinches it, but the third man makes the save. Crowd had trouble following a little bit. The heat was hurt a shred by this.
– Daniels actually tilts his head TOWARD AJ when AJ unloads with forearms. Man that guy is awesome.
AJ puts Joe in a TORTURE RACK! And holds it for a good 10-15 seconds! “THIS IS AWESOME”. Man what a match this is.
– Best Moonsault Ever!! Pin, Joe breaks it up and hits some DISGUSTING kicks to Daniels’ face.
– Daniels goes for the Angel’s Wings, but AJ powers him over for a bridge: 1, 2, 3!!
Winner: AJ Styles
Wow! GREAT match! Seriously, one of the best matches of the year BY FAR!
Overall, I’m not sure what to say. I guess I like how Jarrett leaves the X Division alone, so you can enjoy it unfettered. But what bugs me is that the world title scene could potentially be great. I like Raven, Abyss, Sabu, Jeff Hardy and Monty Brown. They make for a fantastic list of main event guys. I also hope TNA continues using hardcore-style matches in their world title scene. It further sets them apart from the WWE main event style. WWE simply cannot (and will not) put on matches like Sabu vs. Abyss.
Oh yeah, the tag title scene blows.
Sabu vs. Abyss and the X Title three way are matches that you should go out of your way to see. I’m starting to get excited about wrestling again! This is a THREE out of FIVE.
I kind of feel bad for ROH, as they are just getting completely ripped off. Both their talent and their style. As time goes on, I wonder if Gabe’s involvement in Florida’s FIP will be what helped TNA become a legit threat to the WWE.