TNA makes their Northeast debut as they invade the ECW Arena! Samoa Joe defends the X Division Title against AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels in yet another three-way classic, Rhino battles Jeff Jarrett, and more ECW-style insanity than you can shake a barbed-wire baseball bat at!
The Chrononaut Chronicles: TNA Hardcore War 2006 – Friday, June 9, 2006
– I ordered this DVD from Highspots and since I haven’t noticed any other full-length reviews anywhere, I thought I’d do one. This was TNA’s Northeast debut at the former ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA, and by all accounts it was a success. The crowd was hot, the action was intense, and it comes across superbly on DVD. I’m not getting any kickbacks from this, but if you’re interested, you can order it and for $10 more, you can get the following night’s event in New Jersey, which features Joe vs. Rhino vs. Abyss in a Monster’s Ball main event.
– There’s a little entrance set with video screens behind and above it, kind of like “RAW meets the TNA Asylum from the Nashville era,” only smaller. Jeremy Borash comes out to welcome Philadelphia to TNA and introduces Christy Hemme, who promises a “present” later on if the fans keep the energy level high.
– Shark Boy vs. Simon Diamond
“Simond Diamond”, as the chyron says, draws “Welcome Back” and “ECW” chants, but he takes the mic and explains his problem: the Philadelphia mutants are stupid for continuing to chant “ECW” like nothing ever happened. Simon talks about how they closed the doors on the company even though the so-called “smart marks” chanted those three letters, but his mic stops working so they chant “You fucked up” and he decides to lock up finally. Great stuff on the mic to turn the crowd, though. Diamond blocks the Dead Sea Drop and hiptosses Shark Boy off the top, but the masked man battles back and Shark Bites his mudflaps. In the end, Sharky finishes off Simon with the DSD. **1/2 Solid opener with the expected comedy spots.
– Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt
Sonjay uses a Bollywood tune for his entrance here, and the two competitors shake hands. The commentators (Jeff Harris and some other dude…don’t know either of them, but I’ll call the other guy “Clay Aiken” because he sounds similar when he gets excited about something) point out that this is the Philadelphia debut of the X Division and bring up the history of ECW introducing Lucha Libre to the US, which perfectly sets up this Lucha-style match-up. After exchanging Mexican armdrags and other fast-paced maneuvers early on, Lethal ends up in the first row and Dutt dives over the railing onto Jay in the laps of some fans. Sonjay is in control for the next few minutes and scores some near-falls, but Lethal comes back with a sick seated dropkick to the back of Sonjay’s head and gets in the hiptoss/cartwheel-dropkick for a two-count. Swandive headbutt almost gets three, but Dutt blocks a superplex and brings Lethal down in a sunset-flip powerbomb for two. After kicking out of a beautiful moonsault and avoiding a Lionsault, Lethal puts Dutt away with the overhead release dragon suplex. ***1/2 “That was awesome” chant afterwards pretty much sums up this bout.
– Anything Goes: Abyss vs. Brother Runt
No James Mitchell, but of course Runt gets the “Welcome Back” and “Spike” chants while Abyss mimes his plans to throw the former Dudley into the crowd. Take a drink every time the fans chant “ECW”. Runt hugs Hat Guy and Hawaiian Shirt Guy in the front row as the crowd chants “LSD”. I think you’d have to be on acid to wear the shirts those guys have on. “You’re a Dudley” chant causes Runt to revert back to Little Spike as he grins and waves like a goof before slugging it out with Abyss. The Monster whacks Runt with a chair and places it on Runt’s chest, but when he goes for an Earthquake splash, Runt raises the chair and Abyss gets it right in the prunes. Abyss presses Runt overhead and tosses him from the ring into the crowd, which lets Spike crowdsurf a bit before Abyss busts him open with a beer can to the forehead and batters him around ringside. “Can’t see shit” chant as Abyss abuses Runt throughout the crowd and rams him against various brick walls.
Abyss sets up a table at ringside and lays Runt on it, but the little guy fights back with several chairshots and puts Abyss on the table instead, chaining the Monster down with his own chain and placing a chair on top. Runt then leaps off the top with the double-stomp onto the chair on Abyss, but the table doesn’t break. That had to hurt. Back in the ring, Runt gets a two-count and lands the Acid Drop for a near-fall. Runt prepares another Drop, but Abyss counters with the Shock Treatment for two as the fans chant “TNA”. Abyss slams Runt’s head through a chair wedged in the turnbuckles for another near-fall and retrieves the thumbtacks, spreading them out on the mat before pushing Runt’s face down on them as the “ECW” chant returns. Runt gets fired up from the pain, but Abyss presses him overhead and drops him down on the tacks. We get a “Holy shit” chant and Abyss plants Runt with the Black Hole Slam on the thumbtacks for the three-count. Afterwards, in a pretty funny improv Abyss grabs a ringside photographer and repeatedly points at his TNA t-shirt to start a “TNA” chant. I guess the ECW chants were getting to him too. The crowd chants “Thank You Spike” and “ECW” again as Runt exits the ring. ***1/2 Great wild brawl; this is probably what we would have seen at Hard Justice if the fire hadn’t happened.
– Gail Kim vs. Traci Brooks
Christy Hemme is our special guest referee for this TNA Knockouts match-up and tries to pat down Gail (like any referee has done THAT in the last 10 years), but she protests and points at Traci, who is more than happy to oblige. Christy feels Traci’s boots, bare legs, and even her ass before groping her breasts. Gail backs Traci into the corner and Christy gets between to separate them, putting one hand in Traci’s ample cleavage and smiling when she realizes where her hand is. Traci seems to like it, too. Gail goes to the corner again and Christy squeezes in the middle, but there’s no break this time and the three Knockouts roll around on the mat. Traci avoids a floatover in the corner and yanks down Gail’s shorts, revealing an incredibly tiny g-string. Gail pulls up her shorts and works over Traci, applying a Tarantula and a Stretch Muffler before Traci mounts a comeback and unloads on Kim. Traci rips off her top (calm down, she’s wearing a bra) and misses a splash in the corner, but she counters a DDT and Traci rolls up Gail for the 1-2-3. Afterwards, Christy stops Gail from attacking Traci and they level Kim with a double clothesline before pulling off Gail’s top. She’s wearing a bra, too… perverts. Gail runs away as Traci and her puppies celebrate with Christy, who also removes her top to reveal her…bra? Apparently her big surprise was that she was wearing a bra. Not really my thing, but this put the T and the A in TNA, with some solid wrestling sprinkled in for good measure.
– Jeff Jarrett vs. Rhino
This is one of the rare times Jeff Jarrett isn’t the NWA World Champion and Borash announces that this is his New Alhambra Arena debut as JJ soaks in the “Fuck You Jarrett” chants and takes the mic. Jarrett insults the fans and the Arena and receives a “Shut the fuck up” chant, but he responds by cluing them in (“I own this mf’er, and I ain’t goin’ nowhere!”) and says he’ll talk as long as he wants. It’s so hard to tell where the character ends and the real Jeff begins, but that was a good line. I’m still in favor of him being revealed on TV as a part-owner of TNA, and this is a perfect example of how it would make him more entertaining. Jarrett gloats over “Vinnie Mac” owning ECW (that’s gotta hurt) and promises to add Rhino to the list of guys who’ve had their farewell matches in the ECW Arena, after which they can “roll his dead-ass carcass up to Stamford” to his new home. Jarrett was in his element here and cut one hell of a heel promo directed at the smark population.
Rhino gets “Welcome Back” and “ECW” chants as he grabs the mic and says that he didn’t come out to talk; he came out to “kick your fuckin’ ass, bitch!” and we get a “Fuck him up, Rhino, fuck him up” chant. Earl Hebner is our referee and we get the requisite “You screwed Bret” chants, so Earl gets the mic and replies that if they think he screwed Bret, they’re “dumb as shit” and he’ll save his breath. “You got fired” chant is directed at Earl, but Rhino has the mic and informs them that he got fired too, then hugs Earl. Rhino puts over the Hebners as good people and confirms that the same motherfucker who fired them last year wants to hire him this year. They finally lock up and Jarrett drop-toeholds Rhino, walks down his back, and does the Jarrett Strut. Rhino then shoulderblocks Jarrett down and performs his own version of the Jarrett Strut, which is funny.
Jarrett bails out to adjust his kneepads, but Rhino follows him to the floor and they brawl through the crowd and around ringside. Back in the ring, Rhino is on the middle turnbuckle when Gail Kim appears to distract him, allowing Jarrett to knock the War Machine over the top to the floor. Jarrett controls Rhino outside and inside the ring, scoring a two-count with a crossbody off the top. Rhino follows Jarrett to the top next time and superplexes him down before unloading on the former NWA Champion. Belly-to-belly gets two as Gail gets her very own “Slut” chant from the classy ECW fans. Rhino misses a splash off the middle turnbuckle, but Jarrett only gets a two-count and engages in a shoving match with Earl. Jarrett drops Rhino with the Stroke and takes forever to cover, so that means Rhino’s going to kick out. And he does. Rhino mounts a comeback and Gail comes in to slap him, so the War Machine presses her overhead and threatens to throw her out but Hebner stops him. While Earl is busy with Gail, Jarrett brings the guitar in and swings, but Rhino ducks and Gores Jarrett for the three-count. *** Afterwards, Rhino receives a “Thank You Rhino” chant and takes the mic to discuss his contract status. Rhino actually gives credit to Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer, and even Vince McMahon before announcing that he’ll be staying in TNA. I think he made the right decision.
– Petey Williams vs. Jerry Lynn
Petey is welcomed with “Petey” chants and gets a surprisingly big pop, while Jerry Lynn gets “Welcome Back” and “Jerry” chants. Jerry scores an early two-count after a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but Petey runs away and Jerry lands a nice somersault dive off the apron to the floor. Lynn powerbombs Petey against the edge of the ring apron in a brutal-looking bump as the fans chant “You’ve still got it.” Still selling the back, Petey drops Lynn’s throat over the railing to take the advantage and hangs Jerry in the tree of woe, but refuses to do the “O Canada” nutpress because the fans cheered for it. Now that’s a heel. Jerry then hangs Petey in the tree of woe and performs his own “Oh say can you see” nutpress, which is funny. Jerry goes for a sunset-flip powerbomb to the floor, but Petey counters with a legdrop on the apron and gets two.
Jerry keeps kicking out of pin attempts and counters a bulldog with a backbreaker as he builds a comeback, using a Northern Lariat followed by a second-rope legdrop to score a near-fall. Running Ligerbomb gets two, but Petey comes back with the tilt-a-whirl Canadian Legsweep and signals for the Destroyer. Lynn counters and hooks Williams up for the Cradle Piledriver, but Petey counters and Jerry rolls him up for two. Petey applies the Sharpshooter and the crowd responds with a loud “Tap” chant, but Jerry escapes and locks in his own Sharpshooter. After making it to the ropes, Petey drills Jerry with the Canadian Destroyer for the pinfall. ***1/2 Lynn sells the neck afterwards and receives a “Thank You Jerry” chant as he takes the mic and thanks the fans for sticking with him through all the bullshit he’s endured in various promotions.
– TNA X Division Title: Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe ©
Before Joe makes his entrance, Daniels takes the mic and explains that although he and Styles are tag team partners now, tonight they both want to be X Division Champion again and may the best man win. Borash performs the Super Special Ring Introductions after the entrances, and all three guys get great pops with Joe getting the biggest. Joe bails out immediately, so AJ shrugs and rolls Daniels up for a two-count. Great action early on as Daniels ducks a clothesline from Styles and Joe slams him with the standing STO. AJ kicks Joe’s knee and applies the Mutalock as the commentators mention Joe’s knee injury that was never acknowledged by TNA, but Joe bites out of it. Daniels grabs Joe in a dragon sleeper, but Styles charges so Daniels catches AJ in a Rock Bottom, slamming him on top of Joe as he drops Joe in an inverted DDT. Cool spot. Split-leg moonsault on Joe gets two for the Fallen Angel.
AJ goes for a springboard, but Joe pushes his feet out from under him and AJ falls throat-first on the top rope, crashing to the floor before Joe dives through the ropes and wipes out both Styles and Daniels. Joe posts Daniels and creams Styles with the Ole Kick, then throws Daniels on AJ’s lap and hits another Ole. The Samoan Submission Machine dominates in the ring until he charges at Styles for a running facewash and Daniels cuts him off with a semi-Pounce, knocking Joe to the floor. Styles then does an incredible shooting star press over the top onto Joe to earn a “Holy Shit” chant. Springboard forearm back in gets two on Daniels and the fans chant “This is awesome.” Joe catches a kick from AJ and flips him upside-down, but Styles lands with an inverted DDT on Daniels and drops Joe with a regular DDT at the same time. Damn, that was awesome. Styles covers Joe but he kicks out, so Styles covers Daniels for another two.
Daniels and Styles battle on the top until Joe brings them both down with a double overhead superplex as the “Joe” chants ring out. Snap powerslam on Daniels, who kicks out at two and gets locked in a cross-armbreaker until Styles springboards in with an amazing 360 splash on Joe to break the hold. Daniels lands the Best Moonsault Ever on Styles for a near-fall, but Styles counters the Angel’s Wings and nails the Pele on Daniels before Joe beheads AJ with a lariat. Joe sets up Styles for the Muscle Buster, but Daniels stops him and hooks Joe for the Angel’s Wings. Styles breaks that with a dropkick off the top, knocking the Fallen Angel out of the ring as Joe locks in the Kokina Clutch and Styles taps out. ***** Wow, that was a pretty awesome match and a worthy addition if TNA ever releases a DVD devoted to the series involving these three.
– Afterwards, Daniels attends to Styles until America’s Most Wanted hits the ring and beats down the Phenomenal Angels. The crowd chants “We want Dudleys” as James Storm gets the mic and asks what kind of show could end without the greatest tag team in the world, adding that if the fans don’t like AMW, “Sorry ’bout yo’ damn luck.” “Brokeback Mountain” chant as Chris Harris denies the inference by claiming they fucked everyone’s sisters last night and cuts a heel promo ripping on Philadelphia and the ECW tag teams. The Wildcat reiterates their challenge and the lights go out, but when they come back on, it’s the James Gang in the ring and they get booed too. BG asks if the fans expected Sandman or Balls Mahoney, but says they are the best damn tag team and Kip calls the bingo hall a “shithole.”
Team 3D appears on the video screen to interrupt and compares the Gang and AMW in this Arena to “four round pegs in four square holes” since they don’t belong. In an “OOOOOHHH” moment, Ray asks if BG is just upset about losing his crackpipe and advises Kip to stop rummaging through his sister’s underwear drawer and try to get his “Barry Bonds gear” back. Ray & Devon then walk through the front door into the crowd, where Ray does some more trashtalking. He denies that the Gang sold out Madison Square Garden 57 times and says that they carried the main-eventers’ bags instead. Funny line as Ray claims that BG could have married Vince’s daughter, but “the other guy” beat him to it. Ray welcomes everybody to their home and BG can’t believe the fans still buy that shit, but Ray says they’ve bought it for 10 years and still love it, adding that if it weren’t for them, guys like BG & Kip couldn’t have gotten over. Ray makes another steroid crack at Kip as BG tells Hat Guy to shut the fuck up, but Ray goes over and proclaims him his brother “Hat Guy Dudley.” Ray wears Hat Guy’s hat and announces that they’re going to have themselves a good ol’ “South Philly Motherfuckin’ Street Fight,” which means Falls Count Anywhere in Philadelphia. And it is on!
– South Philly Motherfuckin’ Street Fight: America’s Most Wanted vs. The James Gang vs. Team 3D
Team 3D clears the ring to start as the fans chant “Dudleys,” but the opposition take control with a 4-on-2 strategy that sees BG and Storm attack Devon while Harris and Kip assault Ray as the one-sided brawl spills into the crowd. BG keys Devon’s forehead while Ray fights back and slams Harris through the beer table after tossing Kip over it. This is just a wild brawl all over the building. Devon mounts a comeback of his own and whacks Storm and BG with a chair and a trashcan. Ray batters Kip out into the front hallway, but the dazed Kip flips him off, so Ray bites the finger and Harris chairshots Ray. They drag Ray back inside and double-team him in the crowd until Ray battles back and the match finally returns to the ring, where 3D retrieves tables and a ladder.
Then history is made as Ray asks for some chairs and the fans give him more than he asked for, bombarding the ring with chairs as the James Gang retreats to the aisleway and Ray grabs the mic, noting that now they know what he meant when he talked about the crazy Philly fanatics. A “TNA” chant breaks out as BG informs Philadelphia that they just fucked themselves out of a “hell of a finish” and they exit with a “fuck you.” AMW can be seen wandering around ringside and the fans chant “Thank You Dudleys” as Ray announces that the winners of the match are Team 3D. Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
– Ray challenges a barechested dork to get in the ring and Devon threatens to “buttfuck” him, but Ray reminds him that guys like that pay their house payments and they finally leave him alone. Ray mentions that the fans always chant “ECW” and renames the building the “TNA Arena” which draws some boos, but Ray tells them not to boo because the ECW they’re being forcefed sucks and they know it. He calls out Styles & Daniels, who come to the ring and look slightly confused at the mound of chairs. Ray states that 3D are the past and the Phenomenal Angels are the future as the crowd cheers and Ray continues to put them over. That is cool. Runt…aw hell, Bubba’s calling him “Spike” so I will too…Spike joins the party as Ray predicts that Daniels & Styles will win the NWA World Tag Team Championship at Slammiversary and they all shake hands.
Spike gets the mic and recounts his history with ECW and WWE before pulling out a contract he was sent for ECWWE One Night Stand and asking the fans what they think he should do. Spike issues a “screw you” to McMahon and Heyman as he has a bit of trouble tearing up the contract, but the point is made and Devon testifies to it. Spike, Devon, & Ray soak in the cheers with Styles & Daniels. It’s too bad TNA didn’t air pieces of this on Impact too.
– There’s a brief cut, and we see Daniels & Styles still in the ring after Team 3D have left. The Fallen Angel has the mic and puts over the Dudleys and the ECW locker room as a family, and compares it to TNA which he says is also like a family as we get a “TNA” chant. Daniels expresses how proud he is that TNA is making an impact and thanks the fans for being a part of it. Team 3D and Daniels & Styles stand at the entrance set and raise their arms to end TNA Hardcore War 2006.
Afterthoughts: Awesome f’n show. I’ll never claim to be an old-school ECW mutant because we never got ECW here until the TNN show, but I dig what they did and I think TNA did a great job of putting on an ECW-friendly lineup. Hardcore War was more ECW than ECWWE was, that’s for damn sure. We got the comedy opener, the T&A, the high-flying, the great wrestling, the giant-killing, the tremendous three-way dance, and a crazy insane brawl, along with the “I can’t believe he just said that” trashtalk and a show of respect to the locker room and the fans. The atmosphere was electric and I have to admit, it was pretty funny seeing the reaction Jarrett got in the Smark Fatherland. I’d love to see TNA do a PPV like this now, but guys like Sting would likely be booed out of the building.
I highly recommend buying this, although viewer disrection is advised as the profanity is all uncensored unlike a certain other so-called ECW DVD. Also, the show is on DVD-R and apparently not all DVD players will play it, but they have a list of compatible players at the Highspots website. However, my player isn’t on their list and it works, so who knows. Anyway, awesome stuff here and great video/audio quality so if you’re a TNA fan, what are you waiting for? Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the future.
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