Throughout the month of June, we will be celebrating 20 years of TNA/Impact Wrestling with our #Impact20 series of reviews, columns and podcasts. One particular series will look at a handpicked selection of the best TNA/Impact Wrestling Matches of All-Time.
Six Sides of Steel
Chris Harris & James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels & Elix Skipper
TNA Turning Point 2004
December 5, 2004
This is the greatest match in TNA history and it has one of the greatest visuals in professional wrestling history.
America’s Most Wanted and Triple X had been feuding for the better part of two years and traded the NWA World Tag Team championship. The blood feud between the two teams even led to the first steel cage match in TNA history where Storm and Harris got the victory with their finish off the top of the cage.
Things took a weird turn in 2004 where both teams formed an uneasy alliance to go after the dastardly duo The Naturals, who held the championship at the time. Chris Harris and “Primetime” Elix Skipper would team together to dethrone the Naturals but would lose the titles to the team of James Storm and Christopher Daniels two weeks later. Things were looking good for this makeshift alliance until Storm and Daniels lost the belts to Team Canada’s Bobby Roode and Eric Young.
And then the blood feud was back on!
Both sides blamed the other for losing the prestigious belts and things escalated in a brutal Last Man Standing match at Victory Road where America’s Most Wanted was victorious. Triple X still led the series 4-3, however, and the boiling bad blood finally ran over. In order to guarantee an end to this two-year-long feud, the commish Dusty Rhodes ordered that the losing team at Turning Point would be forced to disband… but it would be in the match they made famous in the company: the steel cage!
The six sides of steel set the mood as both teams walked out for the feud ender. Triple X were as cocky as ever claiming they were the best tag team in the world. America’s Most Wanted, however, were super focused as they walked right into the ring ready for the fight of their life. The violence started right from the opening bell as Christopher Daniels bled buckets after being thrown into the cage within the first minutes of the match. With Daniels leaking like a faucet, America’s Most Wanted had the advantage early on.
Not going down without a fight, Daniels and Primetime fought back and opened Harris up using the cage before revealing they had a pair of handcuffs hiding under Daniels’ towel in the corner. Leading up to this match, Triple X used the cuffs against AMW and beat the faces down on more than one occasion. This night was no different. Harris was trapped and forced to watch his tag team partner be the victim of long brutal beatdown that left him a bloodied heap in the middle of the ring. Daniels and Skipper cut Storm open with the key to the cuffs and condemned Storm to a death sentence.
Storm fought back and dropped the heels to the mat. Almost nothing but a bloody corpse, Storm wrangled the key off the mat and give it to his partner. A fired up Wildcat unlocked himself and was a ball of rage in one of the most unique forms of a hot tag ever. The energy brought Storm back to his feet and the faces went on a tear, bludgeoning their rivals with rights and lefts and then throwing them into all sides of the cage.
Neither team could put the other away no matter what they tried to do. Triple X planted Storm with the Death Sentence, America’s Most Wanted’s own finishing move but the Cowboy somehow managed to kick out. Each wrestler was able to dig a little bit deeper to hulk up and kick out for the sake of their team. Desperate times call for desperate measures and the two teams knew that they would have to go above and beyond to keep their partnership alive.
TNA cage matches at the end did not have the escape rule and must have a definitive victory via pinfall or submission. Going to the top to try and hit a match-ending move, Daniels was cut off by Chris Harris and both men fought all the way to the top of the cage. Harris kicked Daniels down but Primetime scaled the cage. Skipper fumbled about on the top of the steel cage as the crowd in the iMPACT zone pleaded and hoped that he wouldn’t die.
Primetime Elix Skipper managed to get his balance and the rest is history.
Elix Skipper's mind blowing cage walk was 16 years ago today. pic.twitter.com/J4M7FMJDKs
— Garrett Kidney (@garrettkidney) December 5, 2020
Skipper put his right foot forward, walked the slim top of the cage like a tightrope and hit Chris Harris with the most beautiful hurricanrana in wrestling history. The crowd went absolutely bonkers as Don West marked out with an impassioned “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME”. It’s insane that Elix Skipper has since said that he was not scared during the spot!
Not to be outdone by his partner, Daniels climbed to the top of the cage and launched himself to hit a 20-foot elbow drop on Harris. This was followed by a tower of doom spot that left everyone beaten and battered on the ring mat. Despite losing buckets of blood, all four men continued to brawl until Daniels climbed to the top rope one last time only for Harris to rally and knock him down. The Fallen Angel had fallen and was now prone to whatever happened next. Harris, in sweet poetic justice, used the very same handcuffs he had been placed in on Daniels.
Turnabout is fair play as Primetime Elix Skipper was left without a partner against Harris and Storm. Skipper ate a Storm superkick and the end was near for the isolated Primetime. Storm signaled for the Death Sentence from the top of the cage but Chris Harris had other plans. The Wildcat threw up the Triple X sign and America’s Most Wanted crushed Skipper with the Powerplex, Triple X’s own finishing maneuver to put the final nail in the coffin.
Christopher Daniels screamed in agony in the corner, reaching out to try to stop it, but was forced to watch his tag team partner be pinned in the middle of the bloodstained six-sided ring. After a grueling twenty minutes, Triple X was no more. America’s Most Wanted finished the feud as the winners, despite the overall win-loss record between the two teams ending at 4-4.
There have been some truly fantastic matches in TNA history but this is the most “TNA” match in company history. It’s a beautiful combination of a bloody Southern-style brawl mixed in with the cutting-edge X-Division style that put the company on the mat. This was a true alternative to WWE at the time. Tag team wrestling in the main event with two years of build to help the match reach the highest of highs.
While it will be mostly remembered for the absolutely insane Elix Skipper cage walk, the wrestling in the match itself was top-notch. This is not your typical spot fest. Every single little thing in the match built to the balls to the walls spots at the end of the match where both teams fought for their lives. Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper looked tremendous in defeat and this era of Triple X went out with a bang.
As for James Storm and Chris Harris? It might be time we start asking ourselves if we’re sure that America’s Most Wanted aren’t the greatest tag team ever.