TNA Impact
November 3rd, 2005

It was labeled as one of the biggest nights of TNA history, which I fully believe was accurate. With a good show in a prime-time slot, TNA has the chance to finally start on the path towards really competing with WWE. With a bad show, TNA might start fading rapidly. So what did TNA bring to the table on this Prime-Time Impact? Let's get to it.

- They had one of their fabulous opening packages, covering a lot of the 'important' history of TNA. This included Jeff Jarrett knocking out Hulk Hogan in Japan, before Hogan claimed injuries, stayed away from TNA, and returned to WWE. It's about the only time I was happy for Jarrett.

- Match #1: Jeff Hardy, Lance Hoyt, & Sabu defeated the Diamonds In The Rough (Simon Diamond, Elix Skipper, & David Young). Not a bad start, although I felt that the Diamonds In The Rough could have used a little more offense. They got a lot of praise from Tenay & West, though, so I guess that counts for something. Near the end, I did notice that Sabu threw a chair at one of his opponents, which threw me off a little. But you've got to keep in mind that TNA is based around ECW right now, in many ways, so I guess weapons are just normally allowed. Anyway, Hardy got the win by hitting the Swanton on Skipper.

- After the match, Hardy & Hoyt left the ring, while Sabu seemed hurt, holding his ankle. Seemed kind of callous of them, but oh well. Anyway, Abyss came into the ring and attacked, giving Sabu the Black Hole Slam. Hardy & Hoyt then heroically entered the ring to get rid of Abyss, knocking him over the ropes. Considering this is the second-to-last show before the next TNA PPV, they definitely should be promoting their matches for it, so good job.

- Shane Douglas interviewed Jeff Jarrett, who talked about the TNA Management out to get him if he doesn't win this rematch. He's interrupted by Monty Brown, who says that he actually wants Jarrett to win, so he can take the belt from him. Jarrett says that everytime he talks, Monty shows up like a stalker. Ummm, did you not get the "Alpha Male"/Hunting references there, Jeff? Brown said you can call him Alpha Exlax, because he's going through Jarrett to get the belt. Ok, nice analogy.

- Match #2: Monty Brown killed Brian Gamble. Ok, maybe not literally, but he certainly didn't do him any favors. Shortly into the match, Brown gave Gamble the Pounce, and the crowd went crazy, calling for it "One More Time". Brown, since he actually has time this week, complied, Pouncing Gamble again! And the crowd STILL wasn't satisfied, so, after some serious effort at getting Gamble on his feet, Brown landed a THIRD Pounce, then quickly made the pin on the corpse for the victory. Man, if TNA doesn't give this guy an NWA World Title run, they're insane.

- They ran a Rhino video package, which I say about time. This should have been run last Impact, when Rhino was coming in as the champion. Better late then never. They followed that, after the commercial break, with another X Division package. That's one thing I've really liked about Impact: even if you don't know any of these guys, the video packages will clue you in.

- Match #3: AJ Styles, Sonjay Dutt, & Austin Aries defeated Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, & Alex Shelley. This match is almost impossible to describe, it was that good. The action was fluid throughout most of it, and the crowd just couldn't get enough. Let me just list my three favorite moments: 1) Styles hit Daniels and Shelley, knocking them down, then hit Joe, who yelled in his face! Styles resorted to running hits, then came off the top rope with a swing to finally knock Joe down; 2) An arial shot as all three faces put the heels in submission holds (it only lasted a second or two, but it was still cool); 3) Styles reversing Shelley into a REALLY fast Styles Clash for the win. Hell of a match, and it really made all 6 men look good.

- A video package on Jeff Jarrett ran. Basically the same one as before, except with the World Title not being mentioned.

- Shane Douglas interviewed Rhino back stage, and man, was he intense. I honestly never knew he could give a good interview like that (wassup with that, WWE?). Raven then interrupted with his own menace, talking about how Rhino gave him advice, then stole his title. Rhino replied that he was just following his own advice. Just as I'm beginning to think that something needs to be done about the interview area, security shows up and drags Raven off AGAIN, with Zbyszko saying that Raven wasn't going to ruin their special. Zbyszko, I'm starting not to like you.

- Another video package, this one documenting everything between Team 3-D and Planet Jarrett/Team Canada.

- Match #4: Team 3-D (Brother Ray & Brother D-Von) defeated Team Canada (Bobby Roode & Eric Young). Part of me really wishes that they'd give Roode a singles run at the belt, just because I think he could do well. Hard to see it happening, though. Team 3-D looked pretty good in this match. It made me wonder why WWE decided to give them up as well. Maybe it's just the difference in styles. In the end, D'Amore & A-1 tried to interfere, but were stopped by 3 Live Kru. This allowed Brother Ray & Brother D-Von to catch Young with the 3-D, winning the match.

- Jeremy Borash, while doing the announcing, said that this was the first Prime-Time Ultimate X Match. A lot of people have decried this, since there was one on the Best Damn Sports Show Period. I personally couldn't care either way. It's a pretty minor thing.

- Match #5: Petey Williams won the "#1 Contender Ultimate X" Match over Matt Bentley and Chris Sabin. This match was definitely better than the one at the PPV, although there was one moment, when Bentley fell from the ropes, that the X teetered on one chain. A chant immediately went up from the crowd: "Please Don't Fall! Please Don't Fall!" Now that's a dedicated fan base. Once again, too many moves to count in this one. The one that shocked me was a Release German Suplex by Sabin off the top rope on Williams. I thought Williams was dead. In the end, after a series of finishing maneuvers, Bentley started to make the climb, with D'Amore entering the ring to stop him. Traci tackled him, a slightly disturbing sight, but the distraction allowed Williams to catch up with Bentley and give him a hanging low blow, causing Bentley to drop and allowing Williams to get the X, becoming the #1 Contender. Great match.

- Team Canada was shown in the back beating down 3LK. I smell a plan from Jarrett.

- Jeremy Borash announced both Jarrett and Rhino to the ring before the last commercial break, a smart way to do things. Don't break up the main event, keep the crowd interested. Rhino was UNBELIEVABLY over; the crowd was chanting like crazy for him, and you could really feel, for the first time, that he was truly a deserving World Champion. Of course...

- Match #6: Jeff Jarrett defeated Rhino to regain the NWA World Title. Sigh. This one stung me; I hated the ending, because I really think they had a chance to get Rhino really moving as the champion, and they balked, immediately giving the belt back to Jarrett. Up to the end, though, it was a good match, with Gail Kim interfering repeatedly for Rhino. In the end, America's Most Wanted came out as well and put Rhino through a table on the outside with the Death Sentence (ouch), then Jarrett got the Stroke, even as the referee (who had been nailed) recovered enough to make the count.

- After the match, Team 3-D was shown in the back, bloodied and battered once again and handcuffed to a guardrail, making sure that they couldn't interfere. Tenay brought up the broken glass, saying that obviously meant that AMW had done it. You think? Planet Jarrett celebrated the return of the belt in the ring, as the show came to a close.

Summary: Ok, in comparison with the normal fare of Raw and Smackdown, this night, in the words of Dude Love, kicked some serious booty. I was extremely impressed with this one, and although I know they couldn't do stuff like this every 2-hour show (if they had a regular time slot), I'm still hoping that the ratings go through the roof, inspiring Spike TV to give TNA the shot on Thursday nights. It's known as a wrestling night still, and I bet a lot of people tuned in.

The matches were fantastic, and I really think the two 6-Man Matches were really smart. Rather than bore the fans with short singles bouts, they gave some time to all of the wrestlers to get in some moves, pumping the crowd for their cheers. Is it any wonder that the crowd was on their feet for the main event? My only qualm, as I mentioned above, was Rhino already losing the belt. His reign is now up there with Kane's WWE World Title bout: as in, it really didn't matter.

Still, the PPV's looking to be in good shape. I'm really hoping that the tension seen between Samoa Joe & Christopher Daniels in their match leads to a bout between them at Genesis. That would be incredible. Add to that Styles vs. Williams, the Six-Man Main Event Tag, and Sabu vs. Abyss, and you've got a solid card. My only question is, where does Brown fit in? Who will he fight to prove himself the #1 Contender? My vote? It's pretty obvious. RAVEN.

The Accelerator