The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA Impact – June 8, 2006

Continuing along our TNA timeline, weekly recaps of Impact to fill in the blanks between PPVs. This was actually the first review I ever wrote and Scott was kind enough to post it on his old blog way back in 2006. This week on Impact, Sting meets Scott Steiner in a King of the Mountain qualifying match, Kevin Nash and Alex Shelley star in another hilarious Paparazzi Productions segment, and Team Canada battles the James Gang & Chris Sabin in six-man action!

The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA Impact – Thursday, June 8, 2006

– The show kicks off with a nice video package featuring highlights from last week’s King of the Mountain qualifying match that saw Jeff Jarrett pin Raven after the guitar and Larry Zbyszko got involved, followed by hype for tonight’s Scott Steiner vs. Sting qualifier. The Stinger and Big Poppa Pump both cut promos, reminding me of the old Saturday Night’s Main Event show-opening promos, as Jeff Jarrett tells Steiner to finish the job on Sting. Steiner promises to take down “Showtime” and we go to the opening video.

– King of the Mountain Qualifying Match: Scott Steiner vs. Sting

Mike Tenay recaps the previous KOTM qualifying match-ups and fireworks pop before cameras backstage show Scott Steiner flexing on his way out, and the same is done for Sting before his entrance. I always liked that, it makes the match seem more important. Wow, they’re starting off with this match. I figured they would hype it throughout the show. Tenay and Don West hype what a big match this is for TNA and explain the KOTM “reverse ladder match” concept. For those who haven’t seen the first two KOTM matches, I recommend checking out YouTube, especially the second one. Steiner flexes and starts off strong with chops, but Sting quickly turns the tables and has Big Poppa Pump on his knees begging for a timeout within 30 seconds. Sting doesn’t go for it and tosses him to the floor, where he hits Steiner with a chair and assaults him at the broadcast table. Sting dominates and they go back to the ring as Konnan and the Latin American Xchange are shown at the Spanish broadcast position; I like how TNA uses every second of airtime, getting over a relatively minor angle during a slow point in a big match like this. Steiner hits a back kick lowblow to take over as Impact goes to commercial.

After the break, Steiner levels Sting with a stiff clothesline and his flexing elbowdrop for a one-count, but stops to do pushups. VINTAGE BIG POPPA PUMP. Steiner plants Sting with a crisp belly-to-belly for two and locks him in a pretty good Crippler Crossface. I know I’m a TNA mark, but seriously, he has it applied pretty well and it’s a far better choice for a resthold than a chinlock or sleeperhold. Sting refuses to submit and powers his way to his feet, but Steiner pounds him and dumps him with an overhead t-bone suplex before doing pushups again to disrespect his opponent. Steiner puts him on the top turnbuckle for a superplex, but Sting blocks it and bites Steiner, pushing him down to the mat. Sting lands a sweet flying clothesline and both guys slug it out until Sting gains the advantage and decks the Big Bad Booty Daddy with a clothesline, followed by a standing dropkick. How many 45-year-olds do you know who would even attempt a dropkick, let alone actually hit it? Steiner begs off again, but Sting has NO MERCY and bodyslams him to set him up for a pump splash, which gets two. Inverted atomic drop sends Steiner scrambling to the corner, but when Sting rushes in for the Stinger Splash, referee Earl Hebner gets squashed too. I think we all know what’s coming.

Gail Kim jumps on Sting’s back and Sting, being the wonderful Christian man he is, dumps her on the mat. Really though, what else could he do? Jeff Jarrett rushes out and plants Sting with the Stroke, allowing Steiner to cover him, but Earl is still out. You’d think with all the bumps he’s taken throughout his career, Earl might toughen up a bit; the guy’s probably spent more time unconscious than anyone I’ve ever seen. My hero, referee Slick Johnson, runs in through Jarrett’s legs (almost clipping Jarrett’s ankle) to count the pin, but of course Sting kicks out. I still like Slick’s “homage to the World Cup” referee shorts and socks. Steiner can’t believe it and hits a vertical suplex, but when he goes for another one, Three-Amigos-in-slow-motion style, Sting floats over his shoulder and crushes him with the Scorpion Deathdrop. Slick counts two, but Jarrett pulls him out to the floor and punches him before hopping up on the apron and grabbing Sting. As anyone who’s ever watched wrestling knows, this brilliant plan backfires and Steiner accidentally nails Jarrett with a right hand. Sting slowly rolls Steiner up from behind and Earl awakens in time to make his classic slow count, but Jarrett breaks up the pin and Hebner calls for the bell, disqualifying Freakzilla.

After the bell, Jarrett & Steiner try to double-clothesline Sting, but he ducks and knocks them out of the ring with a double-clothesline of his own. However, they return and assault him as West and Tenay praise Hebner for his “gutsy call” of the DQ for outside interference; yeah, what a crazy idea. Ron “The Truth” Killings makes the save, even hitting the Axe Kick on Abyss when he runs in. Jarrett blindsides Truth and the heels pound the faces until Christian Cage runs in and cleans house, standing tall with Sting and Truth. Meanwhile, Steiner freaks out over his loss and does his best Ahmed Johnson impersonation, mumbling that the show stops now and daring anybody to come out. Christy Hemme then informs us that Samoa Joe is due up next as we go to commercial. Uh oh.

– After a Slammiversary ad, Scott Steiner is still in the ring and threatens Chasyn Rance(?) not to step in for his match against Samoa Joe, who makes his way out and gets in Steiner’s face. Big Poppa Pump warns Joe not to eyeball him and piefaces him, but Joe continues with the eyeballing and Steiner piefaces him again. They brawl as an army of guys in Security t-shirts flood out and try to pull them apart. The crowd chants for Joe and this match is money.

– A pretty funny Paparazzi Productions video featuring Kevin Nash and Alex Shelley airs next as they talk about Chris Sabin. Whoever came up with Big Kev’s “3 Keys To Life” chart deserves a raise, that’s funny stuff. Nash asks Shelley to find him a Sabin-like opponent for next week and hypes “the X Division debut of KEVIN NASH vs. X Division Star” (with a little star drawn beside the word “Star”) in a “Size Matters on a pole” match, ONLY on SpikeTV! Shelley likes the cut of Nash’s jib and utters a Joey Lawrence style “whoa”. These two are gold together.

– Following a commercial break, Jeremy Borash asks Larry Zbyszko about signing a match at Slammiversary between Scott Steiner and Samoa Joe, but the Living Legend claims that they need time to put these things together. Slick Johnson arrives on the scene and informs Larry that the New Face of TNA Management will have a decision on the Joe/Steiner match by the end of the hour.

– Sonjay Dutt vs. Jerrelle Clark

Konnan joins Tenay and West on commentary to complain about how much better they have it than the Spanish announcers do. Nice athletic match between Dutt and Clark, but it’s mostly a backdrop for Konnan to accuse TNA of racism against Latinos and claim that the X Division is ripping off Lucha Libre. Konnan points out that the six-sided ring originated in Mexico’s AAA but calls it an “octagon”, and Don West correctly informs him that it’s a hexagon. Konnan has no comeback for that. Man, when Don West is correcting you, maybe it’s time to go back to the Spanish table. They discuss the makeshift border around the Spanish announce table (I love that) and Tenay points to Dutt as a great example of someone of non-caucasian descent who earned his spot. Konnan trashes Dutt and calls him an Uncle Tom. I smell a feud between Sonjay and Homicide. As for the match, Sonjay avoids Jerrelle’s 630 splash and lands a sweet standing shooting star press for the 1-2-3. Konnan challenges Tenay to cross the border and tells him to bring the fans, recliners, and assistant producers with him because he and Moody Jack Melendez don’t have none of that over there.

– After the break, Team 3D are shown in South Philly, PA, and compare the ECW Arena to the Impact Zone, as they both have wildly passionate wrestling fans. I think this, combined with their anti-ECWWE promo last week, is a great way to trash the ECWWE project while still praising the fans and wrestlers of the old ECW and trying to convert them to TNA. The video ends with a striking visual of “3D” in flames.

– Six-Man Tag Team Match: Team Canada (Bobby Roode & Eric Young & A1 w/Scott D’Amore) vs. Chris Sabin & The James Gang (BG & Kip James)

Scott D’Amore is wearing a sweatsuit and doing jumping jacks to get in shape for the handicap match against Rhino at Slammiversary, but tries to sneak a Twinkie, only to have Roode knock it out of his hands and remind him that he’s supposed to be in “intensive training”. That’s a creative and funny way to hype what seems like the least important match on the card. BG helps put Sabin over a bit by saying “Hail Sabin… Hell yeah!” during his intro, then craps on the “bingo hall” and promises to make Team 3D famous. Kip is a male bimbo as usual, but I like their new “Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt” catchphrase because it fits with the team name and their history as Outlaws. BG takes over early on and tags out to Kip, who cleans house on all three Team Canada members before tagging Sabin. Kevin Nash and Alex Shelley rise up on a platform lift behind the crowd to scout Sabin, who stomps Eric Young’s foot and hops around holding his own foot to mock him before unleashing a pair of armdrags. Sabin gets distracted by Nash & Shelley (or as I like to call them in the spirit of celebrity couples like Brangelina: Nashelley), allowing Team Canada to take the advantage as we cut to commercial.

Team Canada work Sabin over as Nashelley discuss the action and film it with Alex’s camera. They do the false tag bit with Sabin and BG, but of course the ref didn’t see it and forces the former Road Dogg out of the ring while the Canadians assault Sabin in the corner. Sabin tries to mount the comeback, but Roode cuts him off and Team Canada continues to work him over while Nashelley snickers. Great flying elbowdrop by Young, but Kip makes the save and Canada pours on the punishment. Sabin is playing a perfect Ricky Morton here, but I really hope Sabin is going over at Slammiversary or he’s really going to look weak. Sabin hits Young with a spinkick to the gut and both men make tags, bringing in Kip to clean house again on the three Canadians. Kip squashes Roode & A1 with Stinger Splashes after dumping Young to the floor, allowing Sabin to dive through the ropes and nail Showtime with a sweet plancha. Meanwhile, chaos reigns as Roode drops Kip with a nice Stunner and catches the hockey stick while the ref is distracted, but before he can use it, Rhino charges in and unloads on the Canadian Enforcer. Rhino and Roode fight on the floor while Kip plants A1 with the Famouser, then tags Sabin, who lands a beautiful guillotine legdrop from the top on A1 for the three-count. BG & Kip crotch-chop in the direction of Nashelley, who look unimpressed as they lower the platform back down to…wherever they came from. I wonder if ECWWE found Gangrel down there. The James Gang celebrates with Sabin as West puts Sabin over as a guy willing to sacrifice his own body for a victory.

– Christy Hemme makes her way out to everyone’s surprise and does the splits on the apron, pleasing wrestling nerds everywhere. She struts over to the announce table and pulls an envelope out of her boot, handing it to West. I know everybody hates this guy, but I love his reactions and facial expressions. He opens the envelope and climbs up on the set to announce that Samoa Joe will indeed take on Scott Steiner at Slammiversary. West high-fives Tenay, who then pumps his fist in joy. This has to be seen to be believed. Two of the most uncool guys on the planet freaking out over this announcement… it’s like the A/V Club having a pizza party or something. It is truly a sight to behold, but it puts over the importance of the match as they made it sound like a huge blockbuster deal.

– Things finish with the usual video recap of the show set to the “Adrenaline Rush” theme and confirms the participants are set for the King of the Mountain match.

Afterthoughts: Another solid show in my opinion as a TNA mark, with the Joe/Steiner faceoff the highlight of the hour, Sting/Steiner being better than it had any right to be due to both guys bringing their working boots, and another funny Nashelley segment. Of course, as always, your mileage may vary.

Join me on my time travels and check out my other reviews on The Chrononaut Chronicles!