Thanks for the feedback on the Unbreakable review, and thanks to Scott for plugging it in the Wednesday Wackness sticky post. Now we move on to the first PPV of TNA’s SpikeTV era, featuring the Ultimate X match, Monster’s Ball 2, and a 10-man Gauntlet to determine the challenger for Jeff “Yes, He’s Champion Again” Jarrett’s NWA World Title!
The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA Bound For Glory 2005 – Sunday, October 23, 2005
– For those who have forgotten or weren’t around, the main event was scheduled to be Kevin Nash returning to TNA to challenge Jeff Jarrett for the NWA Title, but Big Sexy checked into the hospital late Saturday afternoon due to “cardiac issues” and wasn’t cleared to wrestle on Sunday, leaving TNA without a main event for their first PPV of the SpikeTV era.
– A really well-done video package, hosted and narrated by the deep-voiced black guy who does a lot of voiceovers for both TNA and the NFL Network, opens the PPV. He manages to work in most of the PPV names from the past year (i.e. “Against All Odds, they faced a Turning Point and proved to be Unbreakable”) while clips from the PPV being named are shown. This is the grandest night in TNA history.
– Samoa Joe vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger
Joe performs a Polynesian dance with family members during his entrance and gets a huge reaction, while Liger is greeted by the old Japanese wrestling tradition of throwing multicolored rolls of toilet paper into the ring. Interesting to note that Joe was in the main event of last month’s PPV and now here he is in the opening contest. Liger offers a handshake, but the director decides to show Simon Inoki of New Japan in the audience, so we’ll never know if Joe accepted the hand of friendship. Joe and Liger collide but neither man budges, so Liger invites Joe to run off the ropes for a shoulderblock and when he does, Jushin drop-toeholds him and hits him with a seated dropkick to the face. Joe ends up on the floor when Liger sidesteps a charge, and Liger flattens Joe with a plancha off the top turnbuckle.
Back in the ring, Liger goes to the top and leaps with a bodypress, but Joe catches him and slams him with a Samoan drop. Joe crunches Liger with the charging knee to the face in the corner and snapmares him into a sitting position on the mat, then chops him across the back, kicks him across the chest, and drops the big knee off the ropes for a two-count. Tenay states that this is Jushin’s TNA debut and goes through his WCW history as Liger fights out of a rear-chinlock and gets caught in Joe’s snap powerslam for two. The Samoan Submission Machine throws Liger into the corner and charges with the knee, but Liger moves and whacks Joe with a nice Koppo(?) kick as called by Tenay. Liger goes for a vertical suplex but Joe blocks it, so Liger stomps on his foot and suplexes him over for two. Frogsplash off the top follows for another two.
Liger prepares the palm thrust off the ropes, but Joe avoids it and hits Liger with an enzuigiri. “Joe’s Gonna Kill You” chant as Joe sets Liger on the turnbuckle and climbs up, but Liger drops down and powerbombs Joe out of the corner for a near-fall. Liger fires off three consecutive running palm thrusts to knock Joe down for another near-fall. Liger goes to the top but Joe kicks his feet out and plants him with the Muscle Buster before locking in the Kokina Clutch. Liger tries to fight it, but he passes out, the ref drops his arm three times, and it’s over in a brisk 7:27. Chrono Fact: This was my first TNA PPV after years of WWF/E, so I fully expected Liger to start shaking his arm before it dropped the third time and fight out of the hold. To me, this was a very cool finish and this was when I started to believe the hype about Joe. Liger sells it like he’s dead afterwards. ***1/2 Relatively short match but very good; I like it even more upon rewatching it.
– Clips are shown of wrestlers signing autographs at the Fanfest held the day before, as various fans put TNA over as “real wrestling” and state that they don’t want to see a bunch of soap-opera stuff. Looks like a fun time.
– The male and female winners of the TNA “Gut Check” competition (apparently their version of Tough Enough) are shown in the audience: Jon Bolen, who was in WWE developmental afterwards, and Jamie D, later known as Sirelda in TNA.
– Backstage, Simon Diamond hypes up Elix Skipper & David Young for their six-man match tonight.
– Six-Man Tag Team Match: Diamonds In The Rough (David Young & Elix Skipper & Simon Diamond) vs. Apolo & Sonny Siaki & Shark Boy
Ever wonder what it would be like if Rock & Batista teamed up, but lost their charisma in a freak accident? I present to you Siaki & Apolo. Simon blocks a Dead Sea Drop early on and hiptosses Shark Boy off the top, but misses a legdrop and Sharky bites his ass, which the commentators smartly sell as a psychological tactic. At one point, Apolo has Young on his knees in mid-ring, with Siaki in the corner behind him and Skipper in the opposite corner; Primetime runs up Young’s back and springboards off of Apolo onto Siaki, but the spot gets messed up, which is too bad because it was looking pretty cool. Sonny, Skipper, and Sharky end up on the floor and Young dives onto them with an impressive springboard Asai moonsault. Simon motions that he’s going to dive next, but Apolo superkicks him and leaps over the top with a somersault plancha. I’d like to see Batista try that. Back in the ring, Primetime elevates Siaki and Young catches him on the way down with his wicked Arn Anderson spinebuster for the three-count at 7:03. ** DIAMONDS WIN, DIAMONDS WIN, DIAMONDS WIN!
– The finish to the four-way X Division match on the Preshow airs, with Sonjay Dutt hitting the Dragonrana on Roderick Strong to score the victory, as Alex Shelley and Austin Aries were too late to stop the pin. Also from the Preshow, Raven demands the title shot since Nash is out, but Larry Zbysko says he’ll decide Jarrett’s challenger his own way. Raven chokes Larry, but TNA Security pull him off and hold him while Rhino cuts a promo calling Raven “pathetic” because a girl got to his head. Ah yes, the forgotten “Raven’s girlfriend is making him soft” angle that went nowhere. Rhino then Gores Cassidy Riley.
– Shane Douglas interviews Jeff Jarrett, who claims that Kevin Nash checked into the hospital to avoid an ass-whuppin’ from him. The NWA World Champion says Zbysko can pull a name out of a hat and it won’t matter who the challenger is, listing off the potential contenders and adding “Screw [name here]” to each one until Monty Brown interrupts him and states that he wants Jeff to say it to his face. The Alpha Male smells fear, but Jarrett advises him to concentrate on his opponent tonight because it’s playoff time and Monty can’t afford a loss.
– Lance Hoyt vs. Monty Brown
Tenay dedicates the PPV to Da Crusher, who passed away the night before, and points out that Monty is used to big-game situations from his NFL career. They fight out to the floor and Monty orders the front row to move out of the way as he prepares to toss Lance into the crowd, but makes a U-turn at the last second and sends Hoyt into the ring instead. Then he mocks the fans for being stupid because he does what he wants to do. Good stuff. Lance capitalizes and slingshots over the top with a plancha on Monty. Back in the ring, Lance goes up top for the moonsault, but Monty shoves him all the way down to the floor and suplexes him at ringside. Monty displays his strength in the ring with a fallaway slam and runs off the ropes for the Pounce, but Hoyt counters with a boot to the face and lands the moonsault for a near-fall. Brown catches Hoyt coming off the middle turnbuckle and slams him with the Alpha Bomb for two. Monty reverses an Irish-whip and blasts Hoyt with the Pounce to earn the win in 6:29. **1/2 That was actually a surprisingly solid match.
– “Global Impact” footage is shown of Sonjay Dutt, Shark Boy, and Simon Diamond meeting fans in Bombay, India.
– Shane Douglas interviews 3 Live Kru as BG James says they are tighter than ever and will prove it against Team Canada. Kip James interrupts and offers to counteract Coach D’Amore by coming to the ring with them. BG & Truth think this is a good idea, but Konnan disagrees and storms off. Kip says that’s fine.
– Six-Man Tag Team Match: Team Canada (Bobby Roode & Eric Young & A1 w/Scott D’Amore) vs. 3 Live Kru (Konnan & BG James & Ron Killings)
Eric Young is afraid of their own pyro, which is funny. 3LK are without Kip James, and Konnan & BG do their usual shtick on the mic while some fat goof in the front row dances like an idiot and the guys around him try to distance themselves from him. K-Dog cleans house on the Canadians and throws his shoe at Eric, who takes an exaggerated bump over the top as a result. 3LK show some good teamwork as Kip, in his “I’m Kip James, B*TCH!” t-shirt, appears on the ramp to watch the match. Team Canada eventually take control and gang up on Truth in their corner as a “New Age Outlaws” chant breaks out. Killings makes the tag to BG, who unloads on Team Canada as all hell breaks loose. D’Amore distracts the ref while Roode bashes B.G. with the hockey stick, allowing Eric to score the pinfall at 6:08. *1/2 Never saw that one coming.
Afterwards, the Canadians assault BG & Konnan until Kip runs down and pulls his “brother” out of the ring. Kip grabs a chair and enters the six-sided squared circle as Team Canada hold Konnan for him, but Kip nails A1 instead and chases off the Canadians. K-Dog looks stunned.
– Shane Douglas interviews Larry Zbysko, who says that everybody wants a shot at the NWA Title but he’s waiting for a call from Upper Management. Larry tells Shane to leave him alone, but promises that he’ll be the first to know the decision.
– A video package airs to set up the Ultimate X, featuring comments from tonight’s participants and footage from previous Ultimate X matches.
– Ultimate X: Petey Williams vs. Matt Bentley (w/Traci Brooks) vs. Chris Sabin
Tenay explains that the first competitor to climb to the middle of the Ultimate X and grab the X will be deemed the #1 Contender to the X Division Championship. God, I miss the Bentley Bounce. West says that Sabin has been in six Ultimate X matches including one in Puerto Rico. Really? Bentley and Sabin team up to knock Petey out of the ring and then go after each other to start. Sabin goes for the X, but Bentley climbs up and brings him down in an inverted atomic drop. Petey starts to climb the turnbuckles, but Traci beckons him to the apron and rubs his face in her cleavage. I think he’s the real winner already. Meanwhile, Bentley is climbing toward the X and Petey finally notices, but Sabin hits Petey with an enzuigiri and yanks Matt down to the canvas by his foot.
With Bentley in the corner, Sabin lifts Petey in the Razor’s Edge and charges across the ring, hurling Petey into Matt. NICE. Sabin plants Williams with a tornado DDT and hits Bentley with an enzuigiri at the same time. I love that. The crowd chants “Hail Sabin” as Chris tries to climb the X, but Matt pulls him down and whips him to the ropes. Sabin ducks a clothesline and soars over Petey (standing on the apron) to the floor, trying a sunset-flip powerbomb, but Petey blocks it and legdrops him on the apron. Bentley slides out to ringside and Petey slingshots over the top with a sweet huracanrana on Matt.
Back in the ring, Bentley drops his two opponents with a simultaneous stunner on Petey and neckbreaker on Sabin, then goes for the X, but Sabin follows him up and crashes down with him in a nasty powerbomb. Damn, that was some serious whiplash. Williams and Sabin slug it out on the scaffolding and Sabin ends up hanging upside-down from the turnbuckle, but rather than climbing across for the X, Petey displays his love for his country as he stands on Sabin’s yambags and sings “O Canada”. What a true patriot. Bentley takes the opportunity to shove Petey off the top down to the floor and goes up top, but Sabin frees himself and pushes Matt down to the floor beside Petey. Seeing that his opponents are still alive, Sabin moonsaults off the top down onto Bentley and Williams at ringside. Holy fuck, that looked wild.
Sabin climbs up and gets near the X, but Bentley brings him down with a jumping spear. And then it happens: the huge metal X accidentally falls to the mat and time stands still as the TNA Road Crew bring in a ladder and hang the X back up to a smattering of boos. The wrestlers do their best to fill the time as the crowd chants “Use the ladder”, but sadly the crew take the ladder with them. Bentley and Sabin climb up and meet in the middle of the Ultimate X, kicking at each other. They both crash to the mat and the X falls again, right into the waiting arms of Petey as Tenay says that’s not how to win the match…just before referee Mark “Slick” Johnson calls for the bell and declares Petey the winner in 13:13. Afterwards, even Petey looks slightly puzzled as Coach D’Amore hugs him. Sabin storms off up the ramp while Bentley goes after ring announcer Jeremy Borash at ringside and exits in a huff with Traci as the unhappy fans chant “Bullshit”. ***1/2 It was an impressive spotfest, but the X falling down and then the screwy finish knocked it down a few notches.
– A video package recaps the saga of America’s Most Wanted. We see the “Controversy in Canada”, when AMW turned heel and helped Jarrett regain the NWA World Title from Raven; AMW leaving Team 3D a bloody mess, followed by the funny “funeral” for the former Dudleys; and AMW regaining the NWA Tag Team Championship from the Naturals in heelish fashion on Impact.
– NWA World Tag Team Title: America’s Most Wanted © (w/Gail Kim) vs. The Naturals
Gail Kim makes her TNA PPV debut escorting AMW, while Andy Douglas has his head bandaged as a result of being hit with a beer bottle on Impact. The Naturals explode on AMW right off the bat and brawl out to the floor, where Chase Stevens ends up powerbombing James Storm on the guardrail in a nasty-looking bump. This leaves Chris Harris on his own and he begs for mercy, but the Naturals just beat the hell out of him as the commentators lament AMW’s heel turn. A distraction from Gail turns the momentum as Storm busts Douglas open at ringside and scores a near-fall after the Eye Of The Storm. AMW work over Andy’s wound until he escapes and tags Chase, who cleans house and gets a two-count on the Wildcat after some heel miscommunication.
Gail tosses powder to Harris, but Stevens kicks it in his face (the irony is delicious) and the blinded Wildcat inadvertently slams the Cowboy with the Catatonic. The Naturals execute the Death Sentence on Harris, but he kicks out. They set Storm up for the Natural Disaster, but Gail distracts the ref and Andy goes after her on the floor rather than completing the finisher. What a moron. He grabs Gail by the hair, but Harris saves her and handcuffs Douglas to the railing. Stevens fights valiantly on his own, but Storm smashes a beer bottle over his head. When the ref sees the broken glass, Storm explains that a fan threw a bottle in the ring. AMW execute the Death Sentence and Harris pins Stevens to retain the gold in 10:37.
Afterwards, Storm waffles the handcuffed Douglas with a chairshot at ringside and AMW trash-talk him. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was the blowoff to the AMW/Naturals feud that began in 2004 with AMW as the faces and the Naturals as the heels and ended the other way around, so that was pretty cool. *** I was a big mark for AMW’s old-school tag team style, which was sorely lacking in WWE at the time.
– A video package sets up the Monster’s Ball match, explaining that the four participants would be in solitary confinement without food, water, or light for 24 hours before the match, and anything goes/bring your own weapons.
– Shane Douglas interviews Father James Mitchell, with Abyss behind a fence in the background. The sinister minister explains that Abyss spent countless nights and days of his childhood locked in a dark room with no food or water, so inviting him to the Monster’s Ball would be like inviting a combat veteran to a paintball game. Great analogy. Mitchell is awesome and deserves his own talk-show segment; maybe call it “The Devil’s Advocate” or something.
– Monster’s Ball 2: Rhino vs. Abyss (w/James Mitchell) vs. Sabu vs. Jeff Hardy
Rhino brings a trashcan full of weapons, Abyss brings a chain and a bag of thumbtacks, Sabu brings a chair, and Jeff Hardy brings some fluorescent bodypaint. One of these things doesn’t belong here. Sabu tosses Rhino over the top rope and slingshots out with a somersault plancha, while on the other side of the ring, Hardy springboards off the chair and sails over the top, landing on Abyss at ringside. Sabu is the first to bleed as he and Rhino brawl into the crowd while Hardy dives off the bleacher fence onto Abyss. Rhino is bleeding now too and Sabu springboards off a chair, standing on the top rope before diving down onto Rhino at ringside.
Back in the ring, West makes a funny comment about Hardy going without food or water many times (because he’s a junkie, you see) as Abyss counters the Twist Of Fate into the Shock Treatment and Sabu gets a one-count on Jeff. Hardy recreates the Poetry In Motion double-team by springboarding off Sabu’s back onto Abyss in the corner, but when Hardy gets down on all fours (do I really need to make up my own joke here?) and invites Sabu to use him as a springboard, Sabu hilariously punts him in the ribs. Rhino canes everybody and charges at Abyss, but the Monster chokeslams him on a chair for a near-fall. Abyss assaults Hardy with a ladder at ringside while Rhino whips Sabu with a weightlifting belt.
The carnage spills out of the ring again as Sabu props up a table on the apron and guardrail, then springboards off the top and crashes Rhino through the table. Meanwhile near the stage, Abyss is laid out on a table in the crowd as Hardy climbs up on the entrance set and DIVES ALL THE WAY OVER THE STAGE WITH A SWANTON BOMB ON ABYSS THROUGH THE TABLE! Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, that was the most insane thing I’ve ever seen from someone not named New Jack. Abyss crawls back to the ring and catches Sabu, dropping him over the top and through another table set up at ringside. Mitchell hands the bag of thumbtacks to Abyss, but Rhino Gores him through a table in the corner. The Man Beast goes to the middle turnbuckle and Hardy goes after him, but Rhino plants him with the Rhinodriver off the turnbuckles for the three-count at 12:20. **** Still holds up as one of my all-time favorite violent stunt-show spectacles.
– Shane “OOOHH” Douglas interviews Larry Zbysko, who explains that we will have a 10-man battle royal with the winner challenging Jarrett for the NWA Championship tonight. Jarrett interrupts, but the Franchise oddly cuts him off and pleads Double J’s case for him. Jarrett says he won’t have time to prepare a gameplan and he’s tired of being screwed, but Zbysko points out the stupidity of his bitching since the eventual challenger will have already wrestled his own match and the battle royal before the title bout. JJ still complains anyway.
– A video package recaps the Styles/Daniels feud, completely ignoring the three-way with Joe at Unbreakable and making it look like AJ’s current run as X Champion started when he won the belt from Daniels in the overtime period of their first Ironman match at February’s Against All Odds.
– TNA X Division Title – Ironman Match: Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles ©
A timer in the upper-left corner of the screen counts down from 30:00 as Daniels attacks Styles from behind to kick off the match and dominates the opening minute with a back heel kick and a nice press slam. The action spills to ringside as Styles runs and leaps off the ring steps, over the guardrail, onto the Fallen Angel in the crowd. AJ returns Daniels to the ring for a two-count and cranks on a side-headlock that Daniels just cannot get out of, until he manages to roll the Phenomenal One’s shoulders on the mat for a pin attempt, and when Styles kicks out, Daniels uses AJ’s own momentum from the kick-out to escape and apply an armbar. That was a neat little counter. Styles flips out and drops a knee off the ropes for two before slamming Daniels’ head into each of the six top turnbuckles for another two-count.
Styles hooks in the Mutalock, but Daniels bites AJ’s hand to break the hold and Styles goes to the top. Daniels catches him coming down and slams him with an exploder suplex to take control. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two and Daniels cinches in a neck vice, but Styles fights out and scores a near-fall with a reverse cradle. Styles rolls up Daniels, but the Fallen Angel kicks out and locks the X Division Champion in the Koji Clutch, the same hold he applied near the end of their first Ironman match at Against All Odds. AJ powers his way to the ropes to force a break, so Daniels lands a split-leg moonsault for two as we near the half-way point. Daniels tries for another tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but Styles slips out and springboards off the middle rope with the inverted DDT to put them both down.
When they get up, AJ unloads with elbows and kicks before taking Daniels down with a brutal pumphandle back-suplex for two. Pumphandle stomachbreaker gets another two. Daniels staggers to his feet as Styles springboards in, but Daniels catches him in mid-air and drills him with the Death Valley Driver for a near-fall. Daniels sits Styles up on top and brings him down with a running straitjacket slam for two. Styles slips out of a spinning neckbreaker and drops Daniels with the cool vertical-suplex-into-a-reverse-neckbreaker for two. AJ goes for another springboard inverted DDT, but Daniels snapmares out of it and thunderbombs Styles for a close near-fall. Best Moonsault Ever earns Daniels another close two-count, but he gets frustrated and Styles hoists him up in the torture rack before slamming him down for a near-fall as we’ve got less than 10 minutes to go with neither man scoring a fall yet.
Daniels avoids a splash in the corner and knocks Styles out to ringside, banging his thigh on the steps on the way out. Ouch. When Styles stands up, Daniels nails him with a suicide dive through the ropes and rolls him back in. However, when Daniels gets up on the apron, AJ knocks him back down to the floor with a surprise Pele Kick and follows up with a beautiful no-hands somersault flip over the top rope. Styles tries to suplex Daniels into the ring, but the Fallen Angel blocks it and brings AJ back out with a nasty back suplex to the floor. They do a dramatic crawl back in and Daniels hooks Styles in a rolling cradle for a near-fall as a sick bruise forms on AJ’s thigh. Daniels bodyslams Styles but Styles holds on and wraps him up in a small package for two.
AJ misses the Pele and Daniels bridges into a pin for two. Oklahoma sideroll by AJ gets two as we near the 3-minute mark. Styles goes for a handspring elbow off the ropes and Daniels catches him in a release German suplex, but Styles pops right back up and decks Daniels with a discus clothesline, putting both of them on their backs. Styles manages to roll over on Daniels for a two-count and comes off the top with a flying bodypress, but Daniels rolls through and hooks the trunks for a close near-fall. Less than a minute to go and AJ blasts Daniels with an enzuigiri for two. Daniels answers back with a jawbreaker and an enzuigiri of his own before hooking him up for the Angel’s Wings, but Styles flips over with a bridge (a la Unbreakable) and gets two as Daniels bridges back up and Styles rolls him up. Daniels kicks out and AJ pulls him up into the Styles Clash, slowly rolling over for the deciding fall with one second remaining to retain the X Division Championship, 1-0, in 30:00. ***3/4 Solid match-up, but it didn’t really develop a flow until the last half with the numerous near-falls.
– A promo for next month’s Genesis PPV. That name doesn’t really make sense for a PPV.
– 10-Man Gauntlet to determine the #1 Contender for Jeff Jarrett’s NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Tenay says we won’t even know the participants until they are introduced, but they are apparently the Top 10 contenders to the World Title. Samoa Joe is the first entrant, followed by Ron “The Truth” Killings, as this is similar to the Royal Rumble with a new entrant every 60 seconds after the initial two-minute period between Joe and Truth. Truth heelishly mocks Joe’s tribal dance from earlier and gets booed, but Joe beats the hell out of him with facewashes. Truth comes off the top with a nice somersault neckbreaker, but can’t get Joe over the ropes as Sabu enters at #3 with a chair, which he throws at both guys and lands the Triple Jump Moonsault on Killings. Sabu then springboards off the chair with a leg lariat on Joe in the corner as Lance Hoyt is #4 and slugs it out with Joe.
Joe assaults everybody as #5 is Abyss, who stares down Joe in a cool moment. They trade chops and Abyss grips Joe’s throat, but Joe grips the Monster’s throat as well until Truth jumps on both guys and spoils the fun. #6 is Jeff Hardy, who slowly limps out and goes after everyone. Monty Brown comes out at #7 and immediately hammers Sabu with the Pounce before Hardy charges at him. Monty catches Jeff and tosses him over the top, but goes over with him; however, it looked more like Monty throwing Jeff out and then jumping over the top rope himself. The crowd boos that sad performance and both guys are eliminated. #8 is Rhino, still bleeding from the forehead and holding his ribs, but he clotheslines Hoyt over the top for the 3rd elimination while Joe dumps Sabu over the top. Sabu lands on the apron and Rhino knocks him down to the floor, marking the 4th elimination as entrant #9 turns out to be Kip James, which is definitely trading down.
Kip cleans house as the commentators speculate whether Sabu was eliminated, since it wasn’t shown clearly on camera. AJ Styles staggers out at #10 as West and Tenay can’t believe that Raven was excluded, another step in the feud with Zbyszko. Who else is on this “Championship Committee” anyway? AJ tries to put Truth over the top, but he stays on the apron and holds onto the ropes while Kip lands on the apron near him, courtesy of Abyss. Kip sacrifices himself to prove his loyalty to 3 Live Kru by shoving Killings back into the ring as Abyss knocks James to the floor for the 5th elimination. Styles dumps Killings over the top, but James catches him and keeps pushing the upside-down Truth back in while AJ tries to push him out. Joe finally hits Truth with a dropkick, causing Killings to crack heads with Kip, and stomps Truth to the floor for the 6th elimination. That was a cool little way to advance a completely different storyline.
The crowd chants “Joe’s Gonna Kill You” as the Samoan Submission Machine kicks away at Styles while Abyss pounds Rhino, giving us our Final Four. Joe traps Styles in a standing Kokina Clutch near the ropes and Abyss dumps them both over the top for the 7th and 8th eliminations. I guess that doesn’t count as a loss for Joe either. Rhino then Gores Abyss and throws him over the top rope to win the Gauntlet in 14:12 and earn tonight’s title shot. ** Lost in all this is the fact that Tito Ortiz will be the guest referee, which I don’t think was mentioned all night until right now.
– NWA World Heavyweight Title: Rhino vs. Jeff Jarrett © (w/Gail Kim)
Tito Ortiz is introduced first as Rhino is a bloody heap in the corner. A casket is wheeled out behind Jarrett since he had promised to bury someone’s career tonight, as the NWA World Champion rushes the ring and stomps away on Rhino. Dropkick by Jarrett, followed by the running choke on the ropes and the sliding right hand from the floor in our Big Boss Man tribute of the evening. Jarrett knocks Rhino out to ringside, where he rams the Man Beast into the railing and smashes his head on the announce table before ripping off a piece of the set and hitting him with it. Head-first to the casket goes Rhino and Jarrett drops his ribs on the casket as Ortiz meekly orders Double J to take it back in the ring.
Jarrett slaps Rhino a few times and returns him to the ring, where he dives off the top with a flying clothesline. Jarrett off the top with another clothesline, and he goes back up again, calling Rhino a “little bitch” as he dives, but this time Rhino catches him by the throat in mid-air and throws him up, kicking him in the yambags (or “nuts” as West eloquently put it) on the way down. Rhino charges with the Gore, but Jarrett sidesteps him and sends him into the turnbuckles. Gail Kim dives off the top, but Tito catches her and blocks her slaps before forcing her out of the ring and following her up the ramp. Meanwhile, Rhino ducks a guitar shot and goes for the Gore, but Jarrett busts the guitar on his head in the most brutal-looking guitar shot ever.
Ortiz returns to count the pin, but Rhino kicks out and Jarrett can’t believe it. Chris Harris comes out to distract Tito while James Storm slides another guitar in, since Jarrett apparently can’t use any other weapon. The Wildcat shoves Ortiz, who responds with a big right hand and does the same to the Cowboy when he hops up on the apron. Jarrett picks up the guitar and turns around into a Gore from Rhino, who covers JJ as Ortiz administers the three-count at 5:30 to give the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to the Man Beast. *1/2
Afterwards, Jarrett and AMW assault Rhino until 3 Live Kru make the save. Team Canada flood into the ring to tip the scales and beat the hell out of 3LK as the casket is brought in. Jarrett waffles Rhino with the guitar and the new NWA Champion is sealed inside the casket as Jarrett stands on top of it holding the belt. Suddenly, Team 3D’s music plays as Ray & Devon charge out and clean house with help from the revived 3LK. Of course, poor Eric Young is the lucky recipient of the 3D, as Rhino gets out of the casket and they throw Eric in there instead. And people wonder why this guy is paranoid? Rhino stands on the casket with the NWA belt and the babyfaces celebrate as the heels protest on the ramp to close TNA’s first SpikeTV-era PPV.
Afterthoughts: As I mentioned, this was my first TNA PPV and compared to the WWE’s Unforgiven PPV I had ordered the previous month, this just blew me away at the time. My only concern with TNA was Jarrett as champ, so seeing Rhino win the belt was a huge surprise and great to see, even if it didn’t last long. The Ultimate X screwup was very unfortunate, but TNA made up for it by featuring a rematch on the SpikeTV primetime Impact special a couple weeks later, which is also on this tape so I think I’ll recap that next. Watching this PPV again, it’s a great show with a feel-good ending of Rhino capturing the World Title after winning the Monster’s Ball and the Gauntlet; the crowd popped for it, but it didn’t have the impact it might have had because he was portraying a semi-heel earlier on the Preshow. Armchair bookers criticized TNA for the five-minute main event, but for the end result they wanted, I think they did the best they could. Nonetheless, I recommend Bound For Glory ’05 for the chaotic nature, the great matches, and the surprise ending.
For more of my reviews, visit my own blog, The Chrononaut Chronicles!