A very good day to you all and welcome to the Scavenger Hunt! I am Simon “HobosGhost” Knowles and I bring to you another five clips from the magical/bizarre world of wrestling (sports entertainment if you will).
It is a special episode involving stars who have at one time or another made an appearance in TNA yet not kept around for long.
24th June 2005
Samoa Joe vs Delirious
This match kicks us off as Samoa Joe shows his ruthless abilities to hurt people in the ring as he takes on ROH/Chikara star Delirious!
Delirious is currently in charge of booking for ROH as well as ROH’s training school. His unorthodox style of wrestling, running around the ring screaming and his incoherent ramblings graced the screens of TNA fans from 2003-2005. Samoa Joe makes short work of him here in what would be the last appearance in TNA for Delirious.
Maybe Samoa Joe will work with Delirious again but in ROH now Joe has departed TNA!
14th May 2006
Petey Williams vs Jushin “Thunder” Liger
Here we have the opening contest of TNA’s Sacrifice PPV as Jushin Liger representing Japan takes on Petey Williams representing Canada in the World X Cup! Liger had made one prior appearance for TNA at Bound For Glory 2005 in a losing effort to Samoa Joe. TNA had a working relationship with NJPW at this time so talents from both companies would appear on the others shows from time to time.
Petey Williams would go on to win the World X Cup final gauntlet match later in the night but for only 2 nights, Jushin Liger appeared on TNA PPV. Of course Liger wouldn’t leave NJPW at this late stage in his career but a worthy conclusion in this weeks Scavenger Hunt as I hope you agree.
Gut check Challenge
28th February 2013
Ivelisse Velez vs Lei’D Tapa
Ivelisse Velez currently appears for Lucha Underground but not only did she appear in this gutcheck match but she was also once signed to WWE’s developmental division.
Having started her career for WWC in Puerto Rico in 2005, Ivelisse would make her way to the WWE in 2011 when she was selected as one of the 14 contestants for that years Tough Enough. She had to withdraw due to injury but was still signed by WWE in November 2011. After being released in August 2012 she had a tryout match against Tara on October 11, 2012 in TNA. Despite winning this gut check match she wasn’t signed but Lei’D Tapa did sign for TNA and got training at OVW. Ivelisse made 2 more appearances for TNA representing Aces + Eights on the TNA at the World X Cup One Night Only PPV and the Knockouts Knockdown One Night Only PPV.
Currently one third of the Lucha Underground Trios Champions, the former SHINE Champion is vast becoming one of the top wrestlers around. Shame WWE and TNA didn’t see that.
Jon Moxley vs Dr Porter (?)
Hard to find out much about this match as it never aired on TV but here is “The Lunatic Fringe” himself Dean Ambrose as Jon Moxley….in a TNA ring! Dean’s former Shield team mate Seth Rollins also appeared in TNA briefly as Tyler Black which seems a missed opportunity. This was Ambrose/Moxley’s only venture into TNA as he would return to the indie scene before being snapped up by WWE, and the rest is history. TNA could have had two thirds of The Shield on the books, imagine that!
Final Destination 2006
15th January 2006
AJ Styles vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Would you believe that Hiroshi Tanahashi who is regarded by many as one of the best wrestlers around had nine matches in TNA in 2006 and 2008! Appearing on PPV twice, this would be his first appearance for TNA in a great quality battle against the man who has just beaten Tanahashi for NJPW’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship, AJ Styles! Again like Liger, Tanahashi appeared as part of a talent exchange agreement between TNA and NJPW. In Tanahashi’s short time in TNA he appeared mostly at house shows and Explosion tapings. He did beat Roderick Strong and took part in a 4 team tag ladder match before heading back to NJPW in 2008. A talent that NJPW value so highly got a taste of American wrestling with TNA, just like his main rival Kazuchika Okada did once upon a time!
That concludes this weeks special episode! It’s funny looking back at talents that are big in one company that were let go by others for not making the grade/no deal presented etc. Other talents such as Seth Rollins (as mentioned), Adrian Neville, BJ Whitmer, Jimmy Jacobs, CM Punk and 1 half of the Vaudevillians in NXT Simon Gotch all appeared at some point briefly early in TNA’s existance. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into TNA’s past! I hope you will visit next week for the next Scavenger Hunt!