Since June 11, 2003 – AJ Styles has consistently cleared every one of the World Title contenders. Here’s a video package to back this up, showing wins over Jeff Jarrett and D’Lo Brown. However, he hasn’t done it alone – helped by Vince Russo. But could his fate be in trouble? New director of authority Erik Watts has vowed to bring the title back to tradition. Tonight, Gauntlet For The Gold returns! Raven, Konnan, The Sandman, Shane Douglas, Kid Kash, Ron Killings, Abyss, BG James, Christopher Daniels, Sonny Siaki, Legend, D’Lo Brown, and Jeff Jarrett. Who will get the next shot at AJ Styles?
We are LIVE from The Asylum, and we’re not wasting any time! RAVEN and MY LEAST FAVORITE WRESTLER are fighting in the ring. CM PUNK takes an ass kicking from SYNN in the back. JULIO DENIRO and ALEXIS LAREE have SLASH hanging by a thread on the staircase. Raven drops Douglas with an Evenflow and grabs the stick. He’s tired of the mysterious attacks – and warns his masked stalker against a war. The best part of this? While he’s calling out the mystery man, he stops to stomp on Douglas every few seconds. The challenge – a Clockwork Orange House Of Fun. The lights go out, and SOMETHING’S going on, thanks to the helpful strobe effect. We return and THAT KLAN GUY has hung Raven over the top rope, with help from the rest of the Church and JAMES MITCHELL. The guy in white looks a little too much like Kevin Sullivan. PLEASE tell me I’m wrong. The Gathering hits the ring to save Raven from death.
MIKE TENAY and DON WEST show concern for Raven, by calling the hanging “exciting”.
TONIGHT: Gauntlet For The Gold, Sonny Siaki vows to bury D’Lo Brown, double bullropes for the World Tag-Team Titles, Jarrett works double duty – tagging with Watts against Daniels and Legend, and the Ultimate X hangs above the ring.
SCOTT HUDSON wants a quick word with JERRY LYNN. Lynn reminds us he’s never had a big money run in this business (I’m shocked…no really, Mr. JL had $ written all over him), and whines about having to feed his mortgage and pay his daughter. THE JACKYL arrives, and has a whole list of offences that Lynn has gone through. Callis only fines him $5000 for his behavior, and knowing his financial situation declares “no personal cheques!” Lynn goes nuts, and RED SHIRT SECURITY hauls him out of the building again – likely without pay.
Frankie Kazarian and Chris Sabin have been feuding for approximately 15 years. Here’s a video package. 2 weeks ago, Michael Shane managed to get involved somehow – getting an X Division title shot, and later a #1 contenders ladder match. So that brings us to tonight, Kazarian, Sabin, and Shane, Ultimate X.
X FACTORS - Historic first ever Ultimate X Match - Brain child of TNA officials - “No limits” and “no ladders”
MICHAEL SHANE vs. FRANKIE KAZARIAN vs. CHRIS SABIN (in an Ultimate X match for the NWA X title)
JEREMY BORASH does the intros because Michael Buffer costs. Sabin heads to the floor to avoid getting caught up in a fight, so both guys follow – but can’t catch him, and give up and beat eachother. Let it be said that Sabin’s the smartest man in wrestling. He sneaks in to enzuigiri Kazarian, and climbs the ringpost towards the cable for an early win. Michael Shane’s on it, and hooks the leg of Sabin. Sabin drops – blocks a TKO but takes a neckbreaker. Shane goes up, and Kazarian pulls him down. Neckbreaker for Shane – and Kazarian rushes to the corner. Sabin cuts him off early – but winds up on the shoulders of Kazarian soon thereafter. Shane bolts up and across the ropes – and Kazarian wanders midring with Sabin on his back, so Shane hooks his legs around Sabin and delivers a rana off the shoulders. Yakuza kick for Michael Shane from Kazarian leaves him as the lone man standing. Kazarian goes across the cable quickly, and Sabin has to rush over to yank him down. Kazarian throws him out of the ring to rid himself of that distraction – and catches Shane out of the corner of his eye going for the belt. Kazarian rushes up another turnbuckle and climbs across as quickly as he can and meets Shane at the belt, fighting over it. Sabin meanwhile has snuck back in and dropkicks the both of them, and all three splatter. Sabin goes outside to get a chair from a helpful fan – and starts hitting everyone inside the ring. The chair is wedged between the top and middle turnbuckles, and Shane goes headfirst into it. Kazarian, in his continued quest to morph completely into RVD uses a Van Daminator. Sabin comes back with a windup slam RIGHT THROUGH THE CHAIR. It literally crumpled as Kazarian came down which is one helluva visual. Outside, we get a look at a top notch bladejob by one Michael Shane! Nice guy Chris Sabin grates it further with his elbow. Sabin now knows he’s got a great shot at the belt and starts his way across the ring. Shane is back in – grabs a chair, and clocks Sabin! Sabin falls, and the belt falls too…which is REALLY too bad because these guys have been working their asses off. The referee calls for the bell – and demands they re-hang the belt. A CREW rushes in to run it up the ladder as quickly as possible. I’m kinda hoping Chris Sabin shoves the ladder over while they’re up there, but no dice. All three brawl on the floor. Michael Shane gets whipped into the guardrail – and the belt hangs back in the middle of the ring. Back in, Sabin goes for a DVD on Shane – but Kazarian’s on the top rope with a sunset flip – showing off Sabin’s ass to the free world. Sabin rolls through the move with Shane on his shoulders and drops him down with a Samoan drop AND dropkicks Kazarian at the same time. A well deserved “hail Sabin” breaks out. He goes for a double leg slam on Kazarian, but Michael Shane delivers a dropkick, Kazarian wraps the legs and Sabin gets SPIKED head first backwards! I’ve NEVER seen that and it looks like it hurt like hell. Shane’s a bloody mess – looking like his cousin from inside a Hell In A Cell. Kazarian climbs across – going for the belt, but Michael Shane goes too, and kicks him off from behind. Chris Sabin now joins the fun and gets in behind Shane. Shane wraps his legs around Sabin’s head from the cables, Sabin drops and POWERBOMBS HIM FROM 10 FEET OFF THE MAT! That’s NOT an exaggeration either! Sabin goes back across for the belt – but Kazarian stops him and spears him from the corner!!! The belt falls again, awwww fuck. The referee again demands the belt be hung back up, and here comes that crew again. It’s put up far faster than last time. Kazarian and Shane fight in one corner, while Sabin goes across the other. Sabin’s ALMOST there, and Kazarian sees him and makes a mad crawl for it. They meet in the middle – fight like animals with lots of kicking before both fall back into the ring. Michael Shane lies on the floor, in a pool of his own blood. Kazarian and Sabin go for it again – and again meet in the middle. Kazarian hooks his legs over the cable this time – commando crawl style, and Sabin winds up falling. It’s Kazarian’s belt to grab, but HOLY SHIT, Michael Shane is on his feet and flying like a monkey across the cables. It took him about 1 and a half seconds from the corner to the middle. He sneaks in, grabs the belt, and falls down before Kazarian can grab it!!! We have a new X Division champion! (13:48) ****1/4
Yes, the belt fell twice – but these guys worked hard to put on an entertaining match, and the gimmick itself is brilliant. I hope they bring it back again in the future…with the belt better supported. Michael Shane celebrates by dying.
An exciting hearse is here! THE SON and TRINITY watch the unloading of a casket – symbolizing the career of Jim Ross. Oh sorry, I mean D’Lo Brown.
JOHNNY SWINGER and SIMON DIAMOND (with the Manager Of Champions) vs. AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (in a bullrope match)
From the August 6th TNA recap: “I’ll just go on record and saw the next time AMW puts the belts up against Diamond and Swinger, the titles are going home with the bad guys.”
This is a Tejas Tornado match as well sez Tenay. It’s All Gimmicks All The Time tonight! Chris Harris is tied to Simon Diamond, Swinger tied to James Storm. Swinger is immediately tied up like a hog. Outside, Harris wraps his rope around Diamond’s neck and drags him around, while Swinger is slammed on the stage. In the ring, Storm puts Swinger on his shoulders, Harris comes in and clotheslines him off. Diamond takes a Catatonic from Harris, who looks to finish the job, but Gilberti runs in with a Chartbuster. Diamond crawls over, cover, 1, 2, kickout by Harris. Diamond takes over with lots of punches, and outside, somehow Johnny Swinger has taken control of Storm. The pads around the ring are removed, and Storm is slammed on the concrete. Don West is helpful: “Stay out of the ring Gilberti!” Fun with ropes – America’s Most Wanted gets choked out. Double team stomping on Storm – but he comes back with a superkick to Diamond and a clothesline for Swinger! James Storm roars – my cat meows – everyone’s excited! Harris takes a cowbelt to Diamond, Storm does the same to Swinger, Storm covers, and gets a 2! Diamond rolls out, and yanks Chris Harris into the ringposts that were setup for Ultimate X. In the ring, Storm gets a couple of nearfalls on Swinger. Swinger gets in a lowblow though, so Harris tries to get back in to stop the change of control. Inside, he takes a jawbreaker from Diamond across the top rope – while Storm pulls the rope between the legs of Swinger, crotching him sorta. Diamond gets to the apron – and Harris turns to SPEAR him tope style!!!! Both men fly to the outside. Gilberti knocks out Jeremy Borash and tosses the world titles in the ring! Meanwhile, Death Sentence is setup for Johnny Swinger, but there’s Glen to pull Harris from the top. Swinger clocks Harris with the title belt, 1, 2, 3. (8:35) ***3/4 On the MAJOR plus side, that was a wild way to (maybe) cap off the feud. For kicks, Swinger and Diamond continue their attack, while Disco Cowboy cheers them on.
THE GATHERING without Raven stand with SCOTT HUDSON. Julio wants a piece of the New Church RIGHT NOW. THE NEW CHURCH hits the scene and a massive brawl erupts.
In the ring, THE ACEHOLE and TRINITY are getting way too much time. We relive the final days of WCW by holding a mock funeral while Siaki does hit 14th rate Rocky impression. Trinity shows off her shiny breasts. Siaki reads a sarcastic eulogy and leaves flowers on the casket. To the shock of no one, D’LO BROWN pops out of the casket and beats the hell out of both. Trinity gets thrown face first into the casket and dumped inside. Siaki’s the exclamation point, getting tossed in as well, lid slammed shut – and D’Lo dances on the lid. That’s a little bit sadistic.
At the announce booth, MIKE TENAY celebrates this great victory for D’Lo by, I am not making this up, making his Mad Face. DON WEST giggles, and sells me some baseball cards.
JUST JOE and CHRISTOPHER DANIELS get mic time with SCOTT HUDSON. Daniels figures if the fans won’t listen to his words, then perhaps they’ll watch his actions.
SYNN and SLASH (with Father James Mitchell) vs. CM PUNK and JULIO DENIRO (with Alexis Laree)
I guess the Killdozer had prior engagements tonight. Perhaps he’s all set to return to the WWE as Chainz with a new haircut and motorcycle, allowing SummerSlam to once again be headlined by Taker vs. Taker. Pier 1 brawl to start. The Gathering take control – with Punk backdropping Julio onto Synn outside. CM follows with a tope. Back in – Slash bumps Synn off the apron and takes a double superkick, which Punk scores a 2 from. Synn yanks down the top rope as Punk goes off, sending him outside. CM gets hung over the top rope, and Slash dropkicks him headfirst off the ropes to the outside. Julio meanwhile is trying to get into the ring but keeps getting cut off from making a save. Back elbow from Slash, scoop slam from Synn, and a cover gets 2. A standing vertical suplex connects, and Synn chops away. Punk tries to fight his way back to his corner – diving over Slash, but Slash holds on and keeps him inches from the tag! Punk hits Synn with a hammerlock clothesline – and then knocks himself and Slash out with a double clothesline. With both guys down, Punk is able to tag in Julio who has Yakuza kicks for all! Bulldog for Slash, neckbreaker for Synn, clothesline to the outside for Slash, cobra clutch Flatliner for Synn! He covers and gets 2. Synn comes back with a superkick – but Punk is in immediately to place Synn on the top turnbuckle. As he mounts, Slash has a handful of powder which he throws right into the eyes of Punk – and that’s followed by a Synn powerbomb! 1, 2, kickout by Punk!!! Julio gets back up and clotheslines both guys. Julio puts Synn on his shoulders – and Punk comes off the top with a Blockbuster – Julio covers, and gets 2 before Slash breaks it up. Overhead belly to belly from Slash to Punk! Mitchell gets up to the apron, and has a spike in his hands, waiting for Julio. They fight towards him, and Alexis hits the ring and kicks the ropes, crotching Mitchell, saving Julio! Alexis to the top – jumping DDT on Slash! Full nelson slam from Julio to Slash – but the referee is distracted with Punk and Synn on the floor. Wait for it… there’s SHANE DOUGLAS. Chain to the back of Julio’s head – Slash rolls over, there’s the pin. Blah. (7:05) **1/4 Mitchell once again comes in with the spike, and again Alexis cuts him off, so Douglas headbutts her and gives her a belly to belly. And for kicks, Douglas cuts off her hair. The New Church yuks it up – and Douglas says hi to Raven.
MIKE TENAY sits down with ERIK WATTS. Tenay wants to know exactly what he did to become the director of authority. Apparently the body of TNA was seeking someone for quite awhile – and while everyone figured they’d bring in someone old and hard in their ways, likely to play favorites, they came to him. Politics is a thing for “up North”. They needed a young gun who’s been through the games.
TNA owns 51% of the NWA – and is a promoting arm for NWA. He runs through the fact that as NWA took off, the promoting arm sticks its head in…
When Watts was in another federation being held down (oh god…) – he thought Jeff Jarrett was behind it. So when he came to TNA, he went after Jarrett as a result. After being stuck on Xplosion however, he realized that it doesn’t matter if anyone holds him down – because if you knock on a door and someone doesn’t answer you blow out their window and let yourself in. Jeff Jarrett taught him this, and as a result they’re now friends. Oooookay…
Gay jokes! Don Callis, AJ Styles, and Vince Russo’s have threesomes on beaches. I am sadly not making this up… He says there’s not enough room in TNA for Erik Watts and Vince Russo.
Back in the Asylum, DON WEST wants to know who’s going to be leaving – Watts or Russo?
We head down to the vacationing VIC VENOM and THE CHAMP. Styles and Russo are lying around in robes – Russo scratching his balls. (Why, oh WHY…) Styles talks about beating D’Lo Brown and Jeff Jarrett, and wants to know where on earth Sting is? He’s called him, written letters, sent e-mails, and nothing. Sting’s apparently afraid. Russo develops a Boston accent making fun of the Gauntlet. AJ shows off a new flip into the pool to impress Russo, and Russo says “now that’s my boy”. This show is getting really weird.
LEGEND and CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. ERIK WATTS and TRIPLE J
As is the norm in this place, everyone brawls to start. HOLY SHIT – Watts jumps RIGHT over the guardrail onto Legend. Impressive, yes, Watts is 6’6” and isn’t the world’s most mobile guy. Punches are traded. In the ring, Daniels and Jarrett go at it. Daniels pounds away, and headbutts Jarrett. Jarrett comes back with a dropkick – but Legend’s in. Jarrett takes a drop toe hold from Legend right into the knees of the awaiting Daniels. Legend clotheslines Jarrett and gets 2. Daniels comes back in and whips Jarrett into a big boot from Legend, and follows with a dropkick. Fistdrop is spot on – and a front facelock is applied. Jarrett tries to power out and gets a tag to Watts – and does get the backdrop, but Legend’s in to stop the tag. Jarrett hits him with an atomic drop, and in comes Watts. It’s blind though, the referee was too busy taking dictation from Daniels – and Watts is sent back out while Daniels hits a moonsault for 2. Legend annoys Watts, who is stupid enough to distract the ref allowing a double team. Jarrett fights Legend off with a big boot and elbows Daniels. Jarrett again gets a tag, this time on Legend’s shoulders – and again the referee misses it. Daniels rushes in and hits a 3-D while Jarrett’s still in position. Watts has had enough and cleans house anyway. Backdrop for Daniels, bicycle kick for Daniels, bicycle kick for Legend! Watts E-Bomb’s Legend backfirst into the turnbuckle, and chokeslams Daniels for 2 before it’s broken up by Legend. Watts goes up (!!!) and hits a backwards dropkick! Jarrett with a spinebuster on Daniels for 2. Daniels comes back with a Flatliner – but misses with the double spring moonsault. The Stroke is blocked by Legend who comes in with a superkick, and Daniels gets 2! Out of nowhere, Jarrett rolls Legend up and gets the pinfall. What the hell is that finish? (8:18) ** Post match – the new S.E.X. works over Team Tradition with some of the weakest chairshots I’ve ever seen. BLACK SHIRT SECURITY saves us from exposing the business too much. RED SHIRT SECURITY hits the ring as well – and a brawl erupts between the two, finally having had enough of eachother. JERRY LYNN dressed in black shirt has snuck back in and attacks the red shirts! Red shirts get control however and drag him back out, while Lynn rages on. So with security gone – Legend and Daniels continue their assault, dropping Watts throat first over the guardrail. FREDDIE and JASON come in from the crowd – and handcuff Watts to the guardrail, and correct me if I’m wrong but they sure look an awful lot like Russo and Styles. Jarrett fights everyone off until Jason gives him a Styles Clash, and they take off their masks. Tenay: “What a swerve by Russo!” Don’t get me started. Russo tells Jarrett there’s no gauntlet for him, which in Russo talk means there IS a gauntlet for him. Since Raven was also hurt earlier though, Jarrett’s victory isn’t a sure thing by any stretch – so put your money on Sonny Siaki because that’d be the most irritating. Everyone drags Jarrett out to the back and shove him in the hearse.
HE’S COMING… Roddy Piper’s music plays.
Pre-recorded footage! DUSTY RHODES promises to teach Glen Gilberti all about tradition, next week on TNA – in a bullrope match.
GAUNTLET FOR THE GOLD (for the #1 contender to the NWA world heavyweight title)
Entrant #1 is KID KASH, which is really too bad since I was kinda hoping he’d win. #2 is K-KRUSH – not good for the former champ. Kash stomps away on Killings – but he quickly comes back with a missile dropkick. Tenay reminds us you can win by pinfall, submission, or being tossed over the top. Super fallaway slam on Kash! Kash comes right back with a double springboard rana – and we’re introduced to #3 CHRISTOPHER DANIELS. Kneedrop immediately on Killings. Killings comes right back with a spinning heel kick and press slam. Kash hits Killings with a backbreaker. Killings needs help, and help he’ll get in the form of #4 B JIZZLE. Kash applies a Hand To The Face, but it doesn’t last and both heels wind up on the wrong end of hiptosses from the 2 Live Krew. Shake, Rattle, and Kneedrop on Kash. Killings chokes out Daniels with the boot. James tries to toss Kash, but he skins the cat and remains alive. He tries again on the other side – and skins it again. Here comes #5 – THE SON. Siaki helps the heels to regain control, and I don’t like this one heel for every face they’re doing. Killings remains on his feet to attack Kash, while Siaki and Daniels work over James. #6 is TRIPLE J’S MUSIC. He’s of course in the hearse, and not here for the time being, so it remains 3-on-2. Siaki gets a microphone to announce that Jarrett’s not here – so they should tune in next week to see more Siaki, because he’s winning this match. Siaki goes back to choking out James. #7 is D’LO BROWN – and he’s followed closely by MAD MIKEY. In all this confusion – Sonny Siaki gets dumped by a D’Lo Brown dropkick which the camera misses completely. (8:22) And we’re all the better for it. Mikey’s furious that he’s not in the Gauntlet match and throws a crazy tantrum. Short powerbomb is hit on Kash by D’Lo, and here comes #8 MANKIND. Sweet – put him over! Abyss goes right after James and chokes him out. Mikey continues whining on the outside, off mic. James goes for his irritating punches – Killings tries to help with a dropkick, but gets caught and LAUNCHED taking a mansized bump to the floor! Good lord dude, stay to fight another day. (10:18) Abyss rules. There goes James, taking a less than mansized bump. (10:29) We’re due for an entrance, and there’s #9 THE SANDMAN. Beer can in one hand, kendo stick in another – where’s Don Callis? Meanwhile, Abyss dumps Kid Kash for the hell of it. Kash isn’t gonna be happy with that. He may be liable to beat his monster. *rimshot* (11:03) Mad Mikey gets into the ring and right in Abyss’ face. So Abyss dumps him anyway. Mikey throws another fit. Where the hell is Daniels? I see D’Lo, Abyss, and Sandman. Sandman throws a beer to Abyss – then spits it into his face and clocks him three times with the kendo stick. Abyss no sells and drives him down with the Black Hole! Oh, there’s Daniels, okay, I didn’t miss anyway. #10 is LEGEND, and Abyss is rocking my world! D’Lo gives Daniels a neckbreaker – and Legend kicks the kendo stick back into Sandman’s face. Chokeslam for Sandman – and D’Lo goes after Abyss. Sandman’s bleeding. D’Lo made a mistake even wasting his time and gets taken down with the Black Hole. Abyss turns his attention to Daniels and chokes him out. Heel or face, Abyss doesn’t care. ABYSS SMASH! #11 is KONNAN, rubbing his testicles. Enough of that tonight! Rolling thunder clothesline! He clothesline Daniels, and even gives Abyss an X-Factor. Legend kicks Konnan in the back of the head – and the Legend/Daniels combo give Sandman a roll of the dice. They dump Sandman. (15:10) #12 is MY LEAST FAVORITE WRESTLER, which means unless we’re in store for a SWERVE Raven’s last. Konnan backdrops Legend out, which was a little unexpected. (15:57) Daniels puts a crossface on Konnan – but Abyss hits his sitdown Torture Rack thing on Daniels to save Konnan. And here’s #13 RAVEN, bloody and bandaged. Tenay goes on about how hung Raven is! Oh my! Oh…the ANGLE, right. Superkick for Daniels. Abyss grabs Raven and chokeslams him – but Raven is right back up and actually dumps him! (17:48) Crap, so much for that. Konnan yells “orale” for fun. Jawbreaker from Daniels to Konnan, and he’s sent over the top. (18:37) Daniels hits the Angels Wings on D’Lo and dumps him. (19:04) We’re down to 3. Angels Wings on Raven is blocked and he catapults Daniels out! (19:23) Douglas realizes who he’s left with and begs off. Raven charges – and hits a Cactus clothesline sending both guys out, but when it’s the final two, it’s only pin or submission so nothing counts. Douglas grabs a chair and clocks Raven. He goes for the pinfall – 1, 2, Raven kicks out!!! Douglas looks freaked – and sets up the chair for the drop toe hold. It’s reversed however, and Raven hits his own move for once! Both guys are down on the mat – and Douglas is the first guy up, and covers for 2! Raven gets a small package, which is good for 2. Douglas up immediately and clotheslines Raven – and goes for a belly to belly, reversed into a small package for 2. Douglas is furious and clotheslines Raven – calling again for the belly to belly. Raven headbutts him like crazy and hits the Evenflow!!!! 1, 2, 3!!!!!!!! (22:23) **** Raven can barely stand to celebrate the win, and the announcers celebrate – and we head immediately to the credits.
Fairly clean wins, two **** matches, another at ***3/4 – if your area is like mine and carries replays all week ORDER THIS SHOW!
See guys, it’s not hard.
EDIT: I initally claimed the tag-team titles changed hands when in fact they apparently did not. TNA was unclear about the situation. I've edited the recap accordingly. Thanks.
Good review as usual. Stage Two has no Punk/Steamboat fallout since it was in Chicago and Punk is a superface there, so no one was going to boo him. In fact it's really weird if you watch both shows back-to-back like they occured, because the St.