Unbreakable: TNA’s Best Match Ever (Plus Final Thoughts On TNA PPVs)

Date: September 11, 2005
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 775
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Don West

For those of you that keep track, this is the final TNA PPV that I haven’t done. The reason I chose this one for the last spot is the main event, which is universally considered the best TNA match of all time. Meltzer gave it five stars and I have yet to hear anyone say anything bad about it. The interesting thing is this is during the dark ages for the company, as they’re off TV here and wouldn’t get back on for another three weeks or so. Due to that and the main event, the rest of the show is almost totally forgotten. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is themed like an old school radio announcer and how TNA is the new national pastime. It runs down the main events, which also includes Raven vs. Rhyno for the title. That and the triple threat are the only matches mentioned. I liked this and the stupid idea was kind of cute.

3 Live Kru vs. Diamonds in the Rough

The Diamonds are Simon Diamond, Elix Skipper and David Young. After Konnan does his usual schtick, Elix and BG start things off. This was the same pairing that started off the match at the previous PPV I did. Elix uses his speed to control early but BG comes back with the same moveset he’s been using for years. Young tries to come in and gets double teamed by Killings and James. Back to Skipper and the Diamonds get in some triple team action on the former Road Dogg. Seriously, that’s what they call him quite a few times. BG escapes, hot tags Konnan, a shoe is thrown and the X-Factor pins Young. Seriously, that’s it.

Rating: D. What in the world was the point of this? It was like four minutes long and the match sucked. This was a horrible choice for an opener but I guess the fans are happy with the ending. The Diamonds were a really weak mini stable and I don’t think anyone ever cared about them in any way, shape or form. Really bad choice to start the show here.

We recap the preshow with Brown, Jarrett and Hardy all wanting the BFG title match. That would go to Kevin Nash on paper but Rhyno in reality.

Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong

Aries takes him to the mat immediately as the fans chant about Generation Next. West explains that they’re stable mates in ROH as Strong takes over again. Aries (who looks really weird without his mustache) nips up and takes over again. A dropkick sets up a headlock on the mat for Aries as Austin is in control. Strong tries the Strong Hold but Aries spins out of it and we get a standoff.

Aries’ monkey flip is countered and Strong busts out the backbreakers. He throws Aries into the buckle for two and follows it up with a butterfly suplex for the same. Another backbreaker gets two and Strong stays on the back. He mixes it up by putting on a full nelson with his legs, only to get rolled up for two. Strong goes to a safer chinlock but Aries pops up. That gets him nowhere though as Roderick dropkicks him down for two.

Strong is continuing his career run of not being that interesting in the ring with this match. Aries comes back with a clothesline and hits the Pendulum Elbow for two. The slingshot spinning splash gets the same and Strong is in trouble. A backbreaker out of nowhere (he’s the Messiah of them you know) gets Strong control again and the double knee gutbuster gets a VERY close two. Aries blocks the Strong Hold and hits the corner dropkick. The brainbuster sets up the 450 for the pin on Strong.

Rating: B-. Fun match but it came and went. There’s nothing else to this one at all with no story behind it or anything. This was a way for these guys to get out there and fly around a little bit which worked, but it doesn’t advance anything or prove anything. It was a good match and that’s all it was supposed to be though.

Monty Brown isn’t worried about teaming with Kip James. Cue Kip who says Monty should apologize to Jarrett for wanting a title match. Monty says no so Kip says get your head in the game. Brown says his catchphrase and that’s about it.

Monty Brown/Kip James vs. Lance Hoyt/Apolo

James/Brown injured Apolo’s normal partner Sonny Siaki so this is about revenge. Hoyt and Kip start and this could get bad in a hurry. Lance is a big guy with some agility but he needs someone to work well off of. Kip tries his usual stuff but can’t do anything against Hoyt’s power. After getting slammed by Lance, James heads to the floor for a break. We’ll try Monty instead and it’s the same result minus the break.

Off to Apolo who is a short but well built guy who was a big star in Puerto Rico but he just kind of left TNA one day and was never heard from again. Monty, the biggest star in this match (at this point) gets beaten back and forth for a few minutes like a pinball. It’s FINALLY off to Kip who has a bit more luck. Now we get to the meat of the match with Hoyt in trouble, which is an acceptable option.

Brown and Kip take turns on the big man, trying to keep him down with work on the knee. Brown keeps him in the ring with pure raw power, which is the best thing for a guy like him to do. Off to Kip and he immediately screws up, getting caught in a double clothesline which allows the double tag to bring in Brown and Apolo. Apolo cleans house but gets caught in the Fameasser. That gets James nowhere as he walks into a big boot and the moonsault from Hoyt but Brown knocks him to the floor. Apolo superkicks Kip down but turns around into the Pounce from Brown for the pin.

Rating: D+. Another dull match here but it wasn’t as bad as the opener. Brown was a war machine but he kept getting stuck in stupid matches like this instead of having a big continued push. He wouldn’t have been a great champion but he would have been a solid challenger, kind of like a muscular JBL. This was decent enough though.

Team Canada is without Coach D’Amore due to an injury he has. Petey tries to pep up the team instead and everyone talks about their respective matches tonight.

Petey Williams vs. Chris Sabin

Unless I’m mistaken, they play the wrong music here and Petey comes out to Abyss’ music at first. Sabin was supposed to face Shocker but AAA pulled Shocker out so Williams is the replacement. Sabin works on the arm to start and takes Petey down with an armdrag. They head to the floor for nothing but Sabin comes back in with a middle rope elbow. They head back outside but Chris’ sunset bomb off the apron is blocked.

Sabin tries a dive off the apron but hits barricade to give the advantage to the Canadian. Back in now and Williams puts him into the Tree of Woe for O Canada. A backbreaker gets two for Williams but Sabin starts his comeback with shots to the ribs. Petey is like screw that and hits a big DDT for another two. Off to a chinlock as the fans do their dueling chants thing.

Petey chokes away as Tenay talks about September 11 and Hurricane Katrina. Sabin gets in a kick to the back of the head and everyone is down. Chris gets up first and fires off forearms before they trade chops. Sabin takes over with kicks and a fisherman’s buster for two. Cradle Shock and the Destroyer are both countered but Williams grabs a Sharpshooter.

Sabin gets to the ropes and Petey is getting frustrated. A tornado DDT out of the corner gets two for Chris and both guys are down again. The Canadian hits a Russian legsweep on the American for no cover. The Destroyer is broken up again but Sabin’s missile dropkick misses. The Sharpshooter goes on again but it’s worse than Rock’s. After that gets broken up, Petey misses a charge into the corner and Sabin drives him into the corner again. The Cradle Shock is broken up again, as is the third Destroyer attempt. Cradle Shock (a fireman’s carry into a kind of piledriver) finally hits for the pin for Sabin.

Rating: B-. It’s Sabin vs. Williams. Were you expecting anything but a good and solid match here? The X-Division was on fire at this point and they could have some random matches like this one or the one earlier and have a good match out of it. Good stuff here and considering there was no story to it, this was pretty impressive.

Matt Bentley returns post match and superkicks both guys. He wants an Ultimate X match at Bound For Glory which I think he wound up getting.

We recap Sabu vs. Abyss. This is fallout from a tag match last month that I don’t remember at all. They’re both violent and that’s about it.

Sabu vs. Abyss

James Mitchell wants to make it No DQ and of course it is. Sabu fires away with right hands but they have next to no effect. Abyss throws him around but Sabu keeps coming, likely due to his history of head trauma. A big boot puts Sabu down but he keeps coming back with chops. The fans want tables less than two minutes into the match. Does foreplay mean nothing to these people?

Instead Sabu gets a chair and pounds away with it, including hitting an Arabian Facebuster with it for two. A clothesline puts both of them on the floor and there’s the table. That one is broken though (as in it broke while he was setting it up) so Abyss sets up one of his own. Sabu uses the distraction to hit a flip dive over the top rope and out onto Abyss. They head back in and Sabu charges straight into a backdrop through the two tables at ringside. That’s a bad stretch of luck for him there.

Abyss sets up a table in the ring but takes FOREVER to do it, allowing Sabu to come back with chair shots to the head. Now the fans want thumbtacks. These people are never satisfied. Sabu goes up top with the chair and drives Abyss through the table for three, but Mitchell puts Abyss’ foot on the rope. You know, because in a match based on pure carnage, a foot on the rope is good enough to break it up.

Abyss goes under the ring and gets the tacks which are spread on the mat. They take turns teasing going into the tacks for a bit until Sabu whacks Abyss with a chair. That gets nowhere so Sabu springboards into a Black Hole Slam onto the tacks for the pin with no feet on the ropes this time.

Rating: C+. It’s Abyss vs. Sabu in a hardcore match. What else were you expecting here? They beat on each other with weapons for awhile, Sabu got thrown around a lot, Abyss got hit in the head with a lot of stuff, and someone got thrown into the tacks. What else were you expecting here? The match was just ok but eventually they would have a solid hardcore match with barbed wire everywhere which was a lot better.

Sean Waltman isn’t here tonight so Alex Shelley, the partner he won the Chris Candido Memorial Tag Team Tournament with, will be getting his title match with someone else.

Tenay and West talk about what we just heard.

Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy

Geez wouldn’t THIS be a different match today? Hardy is back in the ring after a few months away, I believe doing a no show. They trade clotheslines to start as Hardy tries to use his speed against the power guy of Team Canada. Well the second power guy of Team Canada as A-1 took that spot from him. Roode heads to the floor and Hardy dives onto him to take over. Back in and Hardy loads up Whisper in the Wind but Bobby pulls him onto the ropes to break it up.

A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Bobby as he starts working on the back. Scratch that as it’s a neck crank instead. He switches that up and puts a knee in Jeff’s back and pulls on the arms instead. Hardy comes back with a sunset flip for two but Roode rolls out and hits a low dropkick of all things to take over again. Belly to back suplex gets two. Jeff gets in some right hands and the Whisper in the Wind hits this time for two.

Roode goes back to the back of Hardy but Jeff sweeps the leg and drops his legs between Roode’s legs to slow Roode down again. Jeff goes up but Petey Williams pops up with a hockey stick shot to break up the Swanton. Roode’s superplex attempt is broken up so he runs the ropes like Angle and hits a superplex for a delayed two.

The hockey stick comes in but Jeff kicks him in the ribs and hits the Twist to take Roode down and out to the floor. Jeff loads up a Swanton to the floor but Roode moves before the jump. Petey tries the Destroyer on the floor but Jeff escapes. Now Jeff Jarrett comes out (Hardy attacked Jarrett last month) and blasts the other Jeff with the hockey stick and rolls Roode in for the pin.

Rating: C-. Roode was next to nothing at this point but he was starting to get better. Obviously he would get WAY better eventually as would Hardy, but at this point it was a midcard match. Hardy and Jarrett wouldn’t do much for awhile as they had had their big match almost a year earlier. Not much here but I could think of many worse ways to spend ten minutes.

We recap the tag title match. There was an eight man tag last month between the Naturals (champions), AMW, and Team Canada. Tonight it’s those three teams plus the winners of the Candido tournament in an elimination match. That’s about it.

Jimmy Hart and the Naturals say they’ll keep the belts. AMW comes up for a glare and Storm says his catchphrase.

Tag Titles: The Naturals vs. America’s Most Wanted vs. Team Canada vs. Alex Shelley/???

The Canadians are Eric Young and A-1 here. The Naturals (Andy Douglas with the black hair and Chase Stevens with the blonde) come out with a towel like Chris Candido always had. He was their manager too so that’s a very nice touch. This is elimination rules too. Shelley has no partner here. It’s a big brawl to start until it’s Stevens vs. Storm get us going. Shelley quickly tags himself in to try to steal a pin on Stevens but it only gets two.

Stevens fights back and A-1 hits a knee to Shelley’s back to make sure Stevens isn’t in trouble. That doesn’t sit well with Chase but while he’s yelling, Eric Young tags himself in and beats on Shelley. Off to A-1 for a chop in the corner and a suplex for two. Back to Eric with a front facelock and the double teaming continues. The announcers rip Waltman to no end but Shelley hits a Stunner to Young and a DDT to A-1 at the same time. Johnny Candido, Chris’ brother, jumps over the barricade and gets on the apron to be Shelley’s partner. Not that it matters as he’s almost immediately hit low and rolled up for the pin.

We’re down to three now and it’s Storm vs. Young. There’s the Eye of the Storm for two as AMW is in control. Out to the floor with A-1 interfering again to take over. Back inside and Young gets a suplex for two before A-1 comes in for some choking. Young hooks a chinlock as this match is starting to get dull. Storm FINALLY superkicks Young down and dives for the hot tag to Harris.

Wildcat cleans house and hits a Thesz Press to A-1. Bulldog takes the same guy down but A-1 breaks up the Catatonic. Harris hooks a pretty nice delayed vertical for two on A-1 but as he loads the same move up on Young, A-1 hits him in the back with the hockey stick. Young rolls up Harris for the pin and it’s down to two teams. Stevens comes in again and drops a bunch of legs on Young for two.

Back to Douglas and Young gets the advantage back with some choking. Jimmy leads USA chants on the floor but Douglas gets caught in a Samoan Drop for two. They head to the floor and Eric shoves Jimmy down. That’s crossing a line brother. Douglas hits a jumping knee out of nowhere and there’s the hot tag to Stevens.

The comeback is short lived as A-1 powerbombs the tar out of Stevens to stop him cold. Everything breaks down and Young superplexes Douglas for two. The Canadians load up a Doomsday Device but Jimmy pays them back for attacking him earlier. Young gets crotched and the Natural Disaster to the steak sauce man gets the pin to retain the belts.

Rating: C+. This was ok but it started dragging a lot at times. The stuff with Shelley was a mess but at the same time that wasn’t his fault, due to Waltman no showing. The Naturals were good and having Hart with them helped more than anything else they could have done for themselves. Decent match here but it ran longer than it needed to. At the end of the day, you can only see these people face each other so many times, which is what happened with the Naturals vs. AMW.

Bound For Glory ad.

Rhyno blasts the WWE and says that he’ll win tonight.

We recap the world title match. Rhyno debuted two months ago by Goring Raven through a table. Last month he got a pin in a tag match over Raven to get this title match. That’s about it and Jarrett is lurking for the winner.

NWA World Title: Raven vs. Rhyno

This is No DQ and Raven is defending. Raven brings in his shopping cart full of weapons as is his custom. The weapons are brought in almost immediately and Rhyno bails. He finds a kendo stick from somewhere but stalls more anyway. Raven’s Rules include falls count anywhere apparently. They both have sticks and it’s time for a duel. I don’t think Thesz and Brisco ever did anything like that other than that one show in Boston back in 63. Rhyno knocks him down and chokes with something we can’t see. Apparently it was a nunchuck.

Raven comes back with a pizza cutter to bust Rhyno open. The fans chant that they want pizza. WELL GO BUY IT YOU FREAKING TIGHTWADS! You didn’t pay for a ticket so go buy yourselves a slice! They head to the floor and Raven rams him into a keg. WHY IS THERE A BEER KEG? Either way Rhyno is busted open and Raven finds a ladder. Rhyno hits him with the keg and Raven hits him with the kendo stick. Some cane shots to the back get two.

Raven puts on an ankle lock but Rhyno makes a rope. He slugs Bird Boy to the floor and pops him in the back with a chair a few times. Back inside and Raven is busted open by a garbage can shot. Rhyno does a Joe Face Wash in the corner but Raven grabs the foot for the ankle lock again. Rhyno shrugs that off and pulls out the staple gun. He staples the head of Raven, right on the cut. They didn’t even do that back in Boston in 63.

Rhyno goes up but misses a splash, hitting a chair instead. They slug it out with Raven taking over via the discus lariat. A knee lift puts Rhyno down in the corner and there’s the bulldog for two. Rhyno fights back and here’s Cassidy Riley (Raven worshipper) to help but his distraction means Raven’s DDT only gets two. Rhyno sets up the ladder against a chair like a ramp and then pounds away in the corner on Raven in front of it. If you don’t know what’s coming here, you’re an idiot. That only gets two and both guys are spent.

Rhyno seesaws the ladder into Raven’s face and the champ is in even more trouble than he was before. That also gets two so Rhyno brings the shopping cart inside. This is starting to look like their Backlash 2001 Hardcore Title match which is a good thing. Raven rams him into the cart and avoids the Gore, sending it into the cart. That’s right out of the 01 match and here’s Jarrett. He loads up a belt shot but Jeff Hardy comes down to take the belt away. Raven DDTs Jarrett and Rhyno to retain.

Rating: B-. Decent brawl here but it was too messy for my tastes. Raven was a good champion but him being off TV makes him mostly forgotten. That’s a shame too because he breathed some fresh air into the main event scene. He would lose the title four days later in Canada at some other NWA event, likely because the NWA thought it was a good idea. Anyway, decent match but nothing great.

We recap the main event. Daniels is champion and Joe won the shot last month over AJ. They threw Styles in there anyway and this is the result. Not much else needs to be said.

X-Division Title: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels

Daniels is the longest reigning champion ever at this point, AJ is a four time champion and Joe is undefeated. This is TNA’s greatest match ever so let’s see if it holds up. AJ and Joe team up to beat down Daniels to start which is kind of a surprising move. Joe kicks him HARD in the back and AJ does the same thing. It turns into a contest and I think Joe wins by a hair. Daniels gets up but Joe kicks him in the face. Cool sequence.

AJ grabs a fast rollup on Joe and we’re ready to get going. They trade pinfall attempts so fast that I can’t type them until Joe hooks a modified Rings of Saturn. Daniels breaks it up and kicks AJ down for no cover. Joe chops the champ and hits a standing enziguri to knock him to the floor. AJ takes Joe down but Daniels is back in to take over on Styles, getting two. Joe chops them both in the corner but Daniels fires back with chops of his own.

Styles headscissors both guys down into opposite corners and fires off kicks at Joe. Joe is like screw that and suplexes him down overhead style. There’s the Facewash to Styles but Daniels breaks up the running kick to the face. Daniels hits a springboard moonsault onto Joe on the floor but you know AJ has to top him, so he hits a springboard shooting star to take both guys down. He rolls Joe back in for two and things slow down a tiny bit.

Actually scratch that as Styles hits the drop down/dropkick combo for two. Daniels comes back in again and monkey flips AJ at Joe but AJ twists in mid air into a rana on the fat man. Daniels O’Connor rolls Styles for two and then launches him over the top and out to the floor. A flying knee sends Joe into the corner and Daniels slaps him in the face. Joe will have none of that and slaps Daniels back but Daniels rolls him up for two.

Joe counters the rollup into the Clutch so Styles busts out Spiral Tap to break up the hold. That gets two on both guys and Daniels sends Styles back to the floor. An STO puts Joe down but AJ breaks up the BME. I feel like I’m talking to a 3 year old after that last exchange with all the spelling. Daniels gets caught in the Tree of Woe and AJ kicks away, but Joe splashes AJ into Daniels. A running dropkick to the face breaks the Tree and Daniels is out.

The running big boot that Joe does knocks AJ’s head into Tallahassee somewhere and the backsplash gets two. Daniels comes back out of nowhere and hits the Death Valley Driver on Joe. Everyone is down until Daniels covers Joe for two. AJ gets sent to the floor and both he and Daniels miss moonsaults. They slug it out so Joe hits a corkscrew plancha to take both guys down. The fans are losing their minds over this stuff. Back in and Daniels breaks up the MuscleBuster but Styles goes up too. AJ and Daniels fight on the top so Joe backdrops both of them down at the same time.

Joe gets up first and he looks MAD. He and AJ slug it out with AJ taking over but Joe slugs him right back and hits a big old German release suplex to take over. There’s the MuscleBuster but Daniels comes in with the belt. He charges at Joe but the Samoan hits a snap powerslam to cut that off. Joe picks the belt up but Daniels kicks it into his face. Daniels and AJ slug it out and that just feels appropriate. A blue thunder bomb out of nowhere gets two on Styles.

Release Rock Bottom puts AJ down and the BME gets two as Joe makes the save. Daniels puts a Dragon Sleeper on Joe and hooks the Last Rites (rolling cutter which he didn’t use that often) to send Joe to the floor again. AJ bounces back up and hits the moonsault into the reverse DDT for two. Styles goes up but Daniels hits a palm strike to stop him. Daniels superplexes him down but he can’t cover. Joe comes in and covers both guys for two.

Joe focuses on Daniels and hits his powerbomb into the Boston Crab into the STF sequence so he can call a LONG spot to Daniels. Daniels (wearing a wedding ring) gets the rope so Joe beats up AJ a bit more. He fires off forearms but AJ snaps off the Pele to take over again. The Rack into a neckbreaker gets two for Styles but Daniels is back up. AJ hits a sunset flip into the Clash but Joe makes the save at two. Daniels ducks a charging Joe to send him tot he floor. AJ and Daniels slug it out and Daniels tries the Angel’s Wings. AJ counters into a bridging backdrop and stays on top for the pin and the title.

Rating: A+. Yeah that’s the easy answer but there’s no real other option to go with here. This was about twenty three minutes long and the longest they go without action is maybe 20 seconds. These three have incredible chemistry together and it was a great example of what smaller guys can do. It’s not the best match in TNA history by a mile but it’s the best match by a few feet. Great match.

Daniels looking up from his knees and shouting NO is the perfect way to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. The show is good overall but it’s not a masterpiece. At the end of the day, everything other than the main event is ok but there’s nothing worth seeing aside from that. The main event is an absolute classic for the speed and workrate alone. This is probably the company’s best period ever and it’s a shame that it wasn’t on TV at all. Pretty good show here but the large majority of the worth of it is on the main event. The rest is pretty skippable.

With that, I’ve reviewed every three hour TNA pay per view (this is being written with Slammiversary 2012 being the most recent PPV). I know there are a lot of the two hour shows and I’ve got the first seventeen scheduled already so they’re coming soon. As for TNA, as a whole I think there are more bad/weak PPVs than good ones, but some of them are very good. There are some excellent shows such as Slammiversary 2012, Sacrifice 2007 and Bound For Glory 2011 among others.

In short, TNA is just like most wrestling companies. The PPVs can be hit or miss but it depends on what you have going into them. The problem in the early days of the shows was that they didn’t have a lot of material to fill the cards out with, but that was due to them only having an hour a week for TV. TNA has since fixed a lot of their original issues but like any other company they’ll continue to have ups and downs for years.

The best period is probably 2005-2006 before Angle got there and the company started to evolve into something more like a WWE style company. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate, but the company has grown up a lot over the years. At the moment things are on a hot streak but that could change at any given moment. Overall the shows are probably more bad than good, but there are great TNA shows and they’re worth checking out if you can find them in full.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews


  1. The Killjoy says:

    How weird is it to see the guy who voices the TNA commercials in the BFG bumper.

  2. Derek Hamel says:

    KB, if you read this, I’m just curious to get your opinion on what a few of TNA’s other best matches might be. Like everyone, I agree that the 3 way on this show was their best, at least the best TNA match I ever saw, although there’s multitudes of bouts I haven’t seen.
    After this match, what would you say is next?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I read all the comments.

    There are some great Angle matches at Lockdown. Also there’s a forgotten classic between Storm and Harris at Sacrifice 2007 in a Texas Death Match.

  3. Derek Hamel says:

    Yeah, I’m an Angle fanatic, I mentioned attending the Lockdown when he moonsaulted onto Mr Anderson. I’ve heard about the Storm vs Harris match, I’ll have to check it out. Thanks.