I can’t seem to pick one thing to recap and stick to it…
Hopefully I can stick to THIS.
Shooting Star Press – home of independent wrestling? Nah…. Home of PRAISING independent wrestling and slamming the WWE? Much better! Now we’ve got our bases covered!
And so starts year two… And what better to kick it off than a…
Vince Russo package! Well, not really, it’s actually a highlight package documenting the feud between AJ Styles, D’Lo Brown, Raven, and Shane Douglas – with enough Russo to feed a third world country. We also can’t forget last week’s exciting main event with the return to wrestling of Sting and Sean Waltman…and yes, Russo’s in here as well.
TONIGHT: America’s Most Wanted and Triple X in a steel cage for the NWA World Tag-Team Titles… Blowoff or another screwjob – we shall see.
MIKE TENAY and DON WEST welcome us, and we’re wasting no time apparently in going straight to…
AMERICA’S MOST WANTED vs. TRIPLE X (in a cage match for the NWA World Tag-Team Titles)
Skipper and Daniels will be defending as usual – with Lo Ki still out.
TALE OF THE TAPE - TNA’s first ever cage match - NWA’s two best teams - Triple X 4-0 vs. AMW but…
JEREMY BORASH does the introduction. Why isn’t this the main event? I’ll give anything to see all four guys pummel Borash into a bloody heep.
We’re off! Everyone wastes no time in beating the fuck out of eachother – the way things should be. Triple X hit a double suplex on Harris, but Storm is in to even things out, and Harris comes back with a bulldog. Together, AMW throws Elix Skipper into Chris Daniels. Tenay: “This is not a climbing contest! We’re not going to see anyone win by climbing over the cage.” And god bless ‘em for it! Harris works over Daniels for a bit – but Elix gets tagged in, and the heels ram Harris into the mesh. Skipper tries the first pin of the match, but with the bottom rope ensures it’s only a two. A closeup reveals that Harris is already bleeding. And it’s a messy cut. Harris gets to his feet – and Skipper hits a double jump moonsault from the TOP rope and it hits beautifully! Daniels is tagged in, and he tries a pin for 2. Daniels hits a superkick and falls on top of Harris – which gets 2. Skipper is back in, and he tries his luck at a pin, with the same result as earlier. Harris fights back with a strong looking lariat – and sits inches from the corner. Storm gets the hot tag and you could repackage him as a maid because he’s cleaning house. Elix is backdropped against the cage and falls on his head – and Daniels takes a neckbreaker. A powerslam scores 2. Daniels quick throws Storm into the cage, then sets him up on the apron – and drives his knee into Storm’s head which hits the cage. Elix comes off the top with a crossbody to Storm, who was being held up in midair by Daniels. Elix slowly covers, and gets 2. Storm is able to tag out – and for the second time, Skipper gets backdropped into the cage and on the apron. Harris grabs Daniels and does the battering ram spot from one end of the cage to the other. A full nelson slam gets two – and Daniels is sliced wide open. Daniels recovers, hits the Angels Wings…and only gets 2! Storm saves Harris from a further beating with a clothesline to Daniels. Daniels recovers – and fights Harris all the way to the top rope. Daniels fights Harris off…and hits a uranage from the middle of the top rope! Skipper nails Storm with a belly to belly, and slams him into the cage. We have another bleeder – with Skipper being the only non-victim. Skipper heads to the top of the cage – but Harris cuts him off and POWERBOMBS HIM from the top! Good lord!!!! Harris covers…for 2! Daniels Rolls the dice on Storm, and gets a 2. Harris and Daniels again fight to the top…and Harris SPEARS him from off the turnbuckle towards the middle of the ring! And that’s a 2. Skipper finds Storm, and hits a Play Of The Day – before returning to his climb to the top once again. And FROM THE TOP he hits a crossbody! This is insane. The pin attempt is good for only 2. Skipper goes back up again – but Harris is right behind him, and shoves Skipper off the top to the floor! So locked inside the cage, it’s 2-on-1, and Daniels knows it… He screams at Skipper to get the fuck back in, then desperately tries to escape. Skipper tries to save his partner…so Harris knocks him off the cage coming back in. Hah! Storm suckerkick hits – Harris hits the Death Sentence…and it’s a 2??? That’s your finish 99.9% of the time! Skipper once again tries to get back in – and again Harris kicks him off the cage. Harris now goes all the way up…AND HITS A TOP OF CAGE DEATH SENTENCE! (Legdrop while opponent is on your partner’s knee) Forget it – Daniels is dead! And with that, the pin is academic, and the 6 month chase finally comes to an end for America’s Most Wanted. (17:48) ****1/4 What an absolutely brutal, messy cage match and a beautiful way to end the feud once and for all!
Tenay and West hype more matches for later on…
Here comes D’LO BROWN, unannounced and unexpected apparently. D’Lo does not want the cage to come down. D’Lo goes over his history with AJ Styles, and re-stakes his claim to get an NWA World Title shot. But not tonight… Tonight, he wants AJ Styles to look him in the eyes and tell him why he’s aligned with Vince Russo. And an answer is forthcoming, because AJ STYLES makes his way down…but we don’t get a chance to get an answer, because D’Lo starts beating the hell out of Styles! Alleyoop – and Styles hits the top rope – which D’Lo follows up with the Thesz Press. AJ tries to climb out of the cage, but D’Lo won’t let him and throws him into the cage. The crowd chants “BUST HIS HEAD”! AJ fights D’Lo off and climbs over the top…and only halfway down before D’Lo hits the cage HARD and AJ flies about 6 feet backwards and 8 feet down. D’Lo follows him out and suplexes him across the floor. Absolutely intense… D’Lo grabs a chair and runs back towards AJ – nails him and the chair breaks in two! D’Lo has to grab a second chair and throws it back into the cage…followed by AJ! D’Lo clotheslines AJ…and suddenly ANDREW THOMAS is in to referee – which means I guess it’s a match?
D’LO BROWN vs. AJ STYLES (in a non-title match)
D’Lo immediately gets 2. AJ comes back with a boot to the midsection, winds up – and cracks D’Lo over the head. D’Lo joins the Brothers In Blood, victim #4 tonight. AJ places a chair on D’Lo’s face and drops a knee. Blood is on the camera lense, which is really cool. AJ puts D’Lo’s head in the opening of the cage, and slams the door shut. D’Lo fights back and throws AJ head first into one of the steel poles holding up the cage. Two clotheslines follow – into D’Lo’s swigning uranage. Sky High powerbomb hits – and signals for the Lo Down! D’Lo to the top…and shrugs, saying “to hell with it” and heads to the top. And in comes VIC VENOM to ruin a perfectly good match. (4:37) ** AJ throws a chair at D’Lo which knocks him off the top, and then beats him down with the chair back inside – followed by a bat shot, bat courtesy of Vince. TRIPLE J runs down to save the day – but can’t as they’re locked inside the cage. Styles Clash hits on the chair – and Russo orders the referee to count 3.
Backstage, MY LEAST FAVORITE WRESTLER is taking out JULIO DINERO and ALEXIS LAREE. Shane Douglas ducks a superkick – and it nails Trinity instead, giving us a nice shot of her ass as she rolls away. Douglas hits a belly to belly – and heads into the arena, likely to talk about The Clique holding him down and Dick Flair being afraid of him. Here we go… “What am I doing here in TNA?” If you don’t know – then go the hell home. Oh, nevermind, he’s thought of something…. 10 years ago, he threw the NWA World Title in the trash. And he’s mad as hell that Raven would dare try to resurrect a dead title. I wonder how he feels about the United States Title on Smackdown! being resurrected, considering he killed that title too…albeit in a completely different manner. “NWA officials wouldn’t return my calls, imagine that…” They likely got tired of hearing you talk. So to get here, he asked an old friend to get his foot in the door, and in exchange he’ll take out Raven. RAVEN comes out, hopefully to make Shane shut up. Raven beats on Shane for awhile – but DISCO INFERNO joins the frey against Raven, and kick him down the stairs. CM PUNK tries to save, but it fails, so when you need superman, who better to call? SUPERMAN! Gilbertti and Douglas run away, while Jarrett stands there with a chair.
NEXT WEEK: Sting – Behind The Paint, an interview with Mike Tenay.
Inside the arena, the lights are dimmed. Why? Because TNA won’t sanction Jerry Lynn vs. Justin Credible. Why not? Because it’s likely to put everyone to sleep.
HEADBANGER JUSTIN vs. JERRY LYNN (in a non-sanctioned lights out match)
And the fight is on. Nice of NWA to provide a referee and air the match despite not sanctioning it. We’re live from somewhere with lots of cars sitting on a lawn. Perhaps Bob Holly’s front yard. Lynn throws Justin head first into a van – and threw a mesh fence. They brawl over to another fence, and we do the cheesegrater spot – Jerry taking the grating. In the back of a pickup – Lynn throws Credible out and into a bunch of milk crates? Behind a truck? A table is turned upside down outside – but isn’t used, as we head into the back of the Asylum, and Credible is put through some cardboard. They fight back to the ringside area – with Justin being thrown over the railing. Lynn wanders over, and takes a jawbreaker over the rail. Ow! Lynn recovers, runs at Credible and dives over the railing. Lynn runs Justin head first into the TNA Girlie Cage – injuring LOLLIPOP. Lynn is concerned, and cops a feel. He turns back to Justin, tries a cradle piledriver on the stage, but gets backdropped. Tombstone set up by Justin – Lynn rolls backwards off the shoulders, cradling Justin, and gets 3. Feud – begone from my TV! (3:33) 1/4* Lynn continues to express concern for Lollipop, and Justin throws Lynn into the guardrail again. Handcuffs are brought out, and Lynn is stuck on the TNA girlie cage. A chair is used, Lynn takes a beating, meaning we’re due at least one more match. Bloody victims now total 5.
GLEN GILBERTI tells SEX that they’re not allowed to call themselves SEX according to Vince Russo – and slaps Daniels for losing the tag-team titles. He orders CHRIS SABIN to keeps the “Cruiserweight Title”, and wants Shark Boy’s mask for some reason. Wow – could all this lead to the exciting return of Dean Roll?
FRANKIE KAZARIAN vs. CHRIS SABIN (in a non-title match)
I smell a spotfest. Tenay and West note that this is more of a test for Kazarian to see if he can hang with the big boys – and it wouldn’t be fair to the other X-Division competitors if they started handing out title shots. Sabin hits a headscissors takeover – Kazarian tries a standing somersault legdrop that misses – and Sabin follows with a rana. Kazarian off the middle rope with a back elbow, and hits two dropkicks. Sabin needs to roll out – but Kazarian’s right there, so Sabin rolls back in to avoid any high flying attacks. From the apron, Kazarian hits a slingshot DDT! A cover gets 2. A single leg dropkick gets 2. Sabin comes back with a Tornado DDT, and the champ gets 2. Sabin throws Kazarian over the top – and follows with a tope con hilo! Kazarian is thrown into the steps, rolled in, and the champ is on the attack. Springboard clothesline – and that’s only a 2. Scoop slam, legdrop, 2. A dropkick hits, and we move to the chinlock. In a spotfest! I find that strangely funny. Kazarian tries to escape by standing, so Sabin turns it into a neckbreaker, while using the knee on the way down to add a backbreaker. In one of the neatest spots I’ve ever seen – Sabin hits the corner – tries to leapfrog Kararian, but Kazarian stands patiently behind and sticks out a knee for a self-induced atomic drop! Very smart. The boys start trading pinfall attempts back and forth with all sorts of neat counters – for about fifteen 2 counts in 40 seconds. Sabin stops that game with an enzuigiri…and covers for 2. Sabin pulls out the figure-four headscissors – and Kazarian has nowhere to go. Sabin lets go, and kneedrops Kazarian in the face. That’s 2. Sabin whips Kazarian – tries a backdrop, but Kazarian lands on his feet and connects with a bicycle kick! Sabin jumps onto Kazarian’s back – but can’t follow up with whatever he was trying, and gets nailed with a Back To The Future. Even with the bridge, he can only keep Sabin down for 2. Kazarian leaps to the top – but Sabin is RIGHT on him in seconds – with a German suplex all the way across the ring. Holy shit… And that doesn’t even end it. For about the 15th time tonight, a TNA chant breaks out. Kazarian recovers, takes Sabin on his shoulders – and hits a Death Valley Driver in the corner, with Sabin still lying upright in a tree of woe… Unfuckingbelievable. And as an unintended slap in the face to RVD – Kazarian tries to legdrop Sabin from the other turnbuckle across the ring. Sabin smartly moves, and Kazarian hits nothing but canvas. Sabin gets back in the ring – and hits a version of D’Lo’s swinging uranage, but adds the knee for a backbreaker. Sabin attempts a baseball slide dropkick in the corner, but Kazarian moves – and Sabin goes into the ring post balls first. Kazarian tries something from the top, but he’s cut off – Sabin tries the Future Shock…can’t get it – and Kazarian nails a Wave Of The Future DDT. And again, that’s only 2. Sabin to his feet, double chickenwing suplex with a bridge…and that gets two. Sabin can’t believe it – to the top – and gets cut off with a superkick. Kazarian to the top…and words escape me. A one man Spanish Fly, which Tenay dubs a Flux Capacitor. Kazarian covers…and pins the champ! Wow! (11:54) ***1/2
GOLDILOCKS is with SHANE DOUGLAS, who apparently isn’t done talking yet. Douglas claims he’s got 22 years in the business, which is extending the truth JUST a little… He challenges Jarrett and Raven to a match tonight.
Tenay and West kill time…
Here’s a highlight package! Kid Kash beats women proudly. Erik Watts does not…on camera. So Kid Kash got himself a monster that looks like an out of shape Mankind. (Yes…an OUT OF SHAPE MANKIND. Ponder that!) The monster keeps attacking Erik Watts, and later Goldilocks.
KID KASH vs. ERIK WATTS
I hope the last paragraph explained why these two have issues… Because it sure didn’t help ME understand. Either way, here we go… Kash tries a springboard crossbody but Watts is JUST TOO STRONG and powerslams him. Kash charges, and gets backdropped to the outside of the ring. Chances of Watts taking that bump currently sit at 9,000,000:1. Kash jumps off the steps and gives Watts a rana. Back in, Kash heads up top and hits a clothesline – good enough for 2. Kash works submission moves, but they don’t really look convincing based on the size difference. Well, until he applies the Dragon Sleeper – which DOES look good! Watts does escape, and hits a bicycle kick, stumbling in the process… Big legdrop – only 2. Kash uses a thumb to the eye and a dropkick to the knee to drop Watts back to the mat. After a chinlock for awhile – Watts makes his comeback by SHOVING KASH AROUND, and finally hitting a chokeslam for 2. Kash tries to come off the top – but Watts catches him in midair, hits the powerslam, and gets 2 again. Triple jump rana half works – but Watts can’t flip correctly, so Kash quickly hits a jumping DDT to get Watts down, but 2 is all we can muster. Kash shoves around the referee who shoves him back. Kash can’t hit the Money Maker on Watts because he’s far too heavy – and takes a double leg slam for his trouble. Running forearms start – and the E-Bomb is attempted…but Kash fights him to the corner, leading to a ref bump. Second E-Bomb works – and THE MONSTER hits the ring. Uranage, ref wakes up, Kash covers, goodnight. (8:34) * Blah.
GOLDILOCKS saunters down to ringside to be with her stud.
It’s time for this week’s Interrogation. Playing the role of Don West is BG JAMES. It’s actually a quite funny segment – with James going so far as to shill half a Juvi Juice calendar for $19.95 (other half still pending the divorce), and choking while trying to sell a Barry Bonds rookie card. Pointless, but funny.
NEW JACK tells SHARK BOY (in a pool) that he has no time for his games this week. Shark Boy keeps trying to lure New Jack into the pool by offering him various pool toys – and an octopus ring toss game manages to get New Jack wet. I don’t get it. Go away New Jack.
UPDATED HARD TEN BRACKETS
Mike Sanders ---------------------- Brian Lee |Mike Sanders -------------------------------------------- Slash New Jack | -------------------------------------------- New Jack | |New Jack ---------------------- ---------------------- Sonny Siaki ????? ---------------------- ---------------------- Vampire Warrior |Sonny Siaki | -------------------------------------------- Devon Storm The Sandman | -------------------------------------------- The Sandman | ----------------------
THE SANDMAN vs. SONNY SIAKI (in a hard 10 semi-finals match)
Siaki attacks Sandman during his beer drinking ritual to go up 1-0 via trashcan lid shot. Another shot – 2-0. Sandman throws a bunch of weapons in the ring, and rolls Siaki in. Whip to the turnbuckle – Siaki goes down. Sandman sets a chair on the face of Siaki and slingshots himself from the apron and legdrops on it. 2-1. A Sandman chant breaks out – but he’s looking like garbage. Sandman carries a chair to the apron – another slingshot legdrop…2-2. And he starts smoking. I don’t know if he’s drunk or thinks this is entertaining to be honest…. Sandman sets a chair in the corner – tries a whip, but Siaki reverses, and Sandman hits it. 3-2 Siaki. Siaki tries smoking…and chokes on it. Sandman heads to the floor following a neckbreaker – and gets a trashcan thrown at his from Siaki, who takes a 4-2 lead. Sandman falls back on a table from the blow – Siaki perched on the top turnbuckle…he dives…and it hits. 9-2 Siaki now – and anyone using logic at this point grabs a weapon and finishes him off through any means necessary. But he’s too hurt to go on, and Sandman starts wailing away with whatever he can – and suddenly it’s 9-6. He sets up a table on the apron/guardrail – puts Siaki on it, and he heads up. Senton from the top puts Siaki through the table and ends the crap. (4:53) DUD
Sandman advances with an 11-9 victory, which means he’ll face New Jack in this tournament finals next week for the Hardcore belt. Speak of the devil, NEW JACK hits the ring, while West goes on and on about some hardcore dream match. New Jack promises to beat the hell out of Sandman next week, and “put an end to it right here”. I hope by that he means no more hardcore. And they share a beer.
JEFF JARRETT stands with GOLDILOCKS and wonders if he can trust Raven. RAVEN joins us, and says that Jarrett’s near the top of his least favorite people on earth “but if I don’t have to worry about you Stroking me from behind, I think we’ll be alright.” Ew.
SONNY SIAKI runs around looking for Vince Russo.
MIKE SANDERS tries to take SHARK BOY’s mask – with an attack in the pool. He doesn’t get it, but does destroy the octopus. Prick.
JERRY LYNN drops by the announce table to announce he’s going to face Justin Credible again next week, this time in a Russian chain match.
DON WEST runs down next week’s matches. David Young and Sonny Siaki face AMW for the tag-team belts, the aforementioned Lynn/Credible showdown, New Jack against Sandman, Erik Watts fights The Monster, and more…
SONNY SIAKI is interviewed by GOLDILOCKS. “Starting tonight in NWA TNA there will be some changes.” Goldilocks then gets choked out by TRINITY.
GLEN GILBERTI and SHANE DOUGLAS vs. RAVEN and JEFF JARRETT
Raven and Douglas get into it right away on the entrance way before we even see Jarrett. Gilberti joins the fuss – and here comes Superman. He takes Douglas to the guardrail – before focusing attack on Disco. Meanwhile, Raven takes Douglas to the inside – and throws him over the top, and out – which the camera misses. Raven flies over the top – and takes out both Gilberti and Douglas simultaneously. Jarrett almost accidently clocks Raven on the apron – but they halt and both nail Douglas. Gilberti is launched into the crowd. Raven on the otherside stands on Douglas’ throat – hopefully destroying his larynx. Gilberti gets some shots in on Jarrett who have taken to brawling in one section of the crowd, while Raven and Douglas have paired off on the entrance ramp. Jarrett rejoins Raven – and Raven hits a drop toe hold onto a trashcan. Gilberti wanders over – but he’s thrown around some more. Everyone goes back to ringside – Douglas runs off the apron – hitting no one, and nailing the guardrail again. Jarrett throws Gilberti on the broadcast table. He grabs a chair and clocks Glen. They head in, Gilberti reverses a whip – and Jarrett accidently knocks Raven off the apron. Gilberti with a neckbreaker, covers, and gets 2. Raven holds his ankle on the floor – and Douglas stands in the corner, so I guess a tag-team match has started. Douglas in, drop toe hold, cover, 2. They trade a couple nearfalls, and Raven gets back to the corner. Jarrett makes a blind tag – and RUDY CHARLES misses it, so no tag. The heels change up while the ref isn’t looking – and Gilberti applies a sleeper. Fans chant “DISCO SUCKS”. Jarrett fights out of it with a jawbreaker, makes the tag – and Raven’s a house of fire. Running knee lift drops Douglas, and a double bulldog takes them both down – and even scores 2 on Douglas. Evenflow! Gilberti breaks the count. Jarrett gets in to help – but Gilberti sends him out and over the top. Douglas dropkicks the knee of Raven, and tosses a chain to Gilberti. The ref is distracted – Jarrett gets in with a guitar and slaps Gilberti. Ref counts 2, and stops – though no one knows why… The angle is bad, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and say a foot is on the rope. Jarrett tries to Stroke Douglas – but Douglas counters with a belly to belly, Raven hits the Evenflow, the ref slowly counts 2, Douglas kicks out, this match is a goddamn mess…. Everyone looks confused in the ring right now. JAMES MITCHELL wanders down to ringside while Raven works over everyone. He clears the ring – Michell gets in…and throws a GREAT fireball right in the eyes of Raven. That’ll end this one… (11:02) **1/4 And, in the great tradition of Monday Nitro, we are out of time.
TNA would be hard pressed to remember one thing – that when the fans go home, the thing that sticks in their minds most is the main event… Before throwing out an awesome brawl to end a 6 month feud at the start of a card, you’d damn well better have a great main event to cap off the evening… The tag-team champions should be considered main eventers – and they would make very unique main eventers as they would be so based on the success they’ve achieved in NWA, and not elsewhere. Pushing the same WCW losers that helped sink the company in the first place isn’t going to help the problem, it’ll simply stall the natural progression of everyone else.
That said, the first hour or so was fantastic, and as usual the fed is showing real progress. So I can’t be too bitter. However, like everything else in life, it needs some work.
And on that note, I’m out. See you (hopefully) next week!
Welcome to another EXCLUSIVE, JAM-PACKED and SOMEWHAT HAIRY edition of Inside The Ropes, the only wrestling column that also advertises a "Best Shirt Ever! EVER!!!". I'm Canadian Bulldog, jobber to the stars. Welcome.