Ahh…it’s football season again. I’m sure some of you out there couldn’t care less about it, but sadly, because of the dreaded football season, Smackdown is being pre-empted here in NY and being broadcast Saturday at 8…you know, when everyone isn’t at home.
I wish I could blame this on Cablevision, just to vent a little more venom their way. Oh well.
Before we get into this week’s Diatribe, I’d like to turn your attention to an article that I HIGHLY recommend. By reading this, I assume that you’re a TNA fan or at least keep up with the promotion from time to time. For those of you who are unaware of this, ring announcer Jeremy Borash writes a weekly Ross Report-esque column on the events of the TNA promotion, which he calls From the Inside”. He even mentioned me once.
Anyway, for months now, TSM Writer Bryan Staebell has been writing TNA previews for the site, but never has gotten the attention that he really deserves. He’s decided to dump the “preview” for something better, his new column called “From the Outside”, where he analyzes the current TNA status, feuds and gives his opinion as well as a preview of the show. It’s an amazing read and without question the best work he’s ever done so I suggest you go, read that…and then come back here.
Welcome back. Time for the Diatribe.
Bob Barron’s TNA tape starts off in the middle of the opening video package, so no FBI warning for you. You’re safe….for now.
The video package is the usual coverage from last week, but during the finish of the Jarrett/Legend match, they slow down and show you Christopher Daniels standing in the crowd before he struck. That’s just cool as I don’t think ANYONE saw him there, blended in with the crowd until TNA pointed it out just now.
We go to the intro and amazingly enough, the strap match is first!
Americas Most Wanted vs. Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger (w/ Glenn Gilberti) in a Non-Title “Rawhide Strap Match”
Match Background: A couple of weeks ago, Simon and Swinger faced AMW in an NWA Title match and were seconded by Glenn Gilberti. It was a good match, but in the end, AMW were able to retain their titles. The following week, Gilberti, along with Simon and Swinger, accused Jeremy Borash and the NWA of showing favoritism to AMW, so they attacked him only to have AMW come to the rescue. They then faced each other two weeks ago and just before AMW were about to defeat them again, Gilberti came in with leather straps and the three of them beat the everloving shit out of the cowboys with it them. This obviously took the feud to a new level because they now HATE EACH OTHER~! and all that. Last week, Simon and Swinger deafeated Shark Boy and Norman Smiley and afterwards, went after Jeremy Borash again. Before they were able to whip Borash with the straps, AMW came running in for the save and issued a challenge for a strap match for tonight, which was immediately accepted.
The Match: Gilberti is actually dressed like a cowboy and seems to be growing a goatee. At first glance, you wouldn’t even know it was him.
This isn’t your traditional strap match as there are four straps near each corner, connected to the ring and the men are NOT bound by them.
The match starts off with the teams pairing off and end up brawling on the outside. Eventually, they get into the ring and Harris connects with the first high impact maneuver with a Lou Thesz press and mounted punches on Diamond. Harris goes to one of the corner to whip Diamond, but Gilberti pulls the strap away just in time to prevent the strap-on-flesh action. The distraction allows Simon to get up and tag in Swinger who connect with a doubleteam for the first two count of the match. Swinger sets up Harris as Diamond uses the strap first with a lashing to the back.
Harris gets thrown to the outside, only to get whipped by Gilberti on the outside. Diamond suplexes him back into the ring (and Don West marks out for that for some reason) before working him over in the corner. Swinger comes in and clotheslines Harris, so Diamond attempts the same but tastes the strap instead. Swinger charges, but gets elevated over the top to the floor and the lukewarm tag is made to Storm who DDT’s Diamond. Storm gets the strap and wraps it around Diamond’s neck, but Swinger makes the save. Storm is the one who gets hung over the top instead as Harris argues with the official. Gilberti tosses in Storm, who kicks out of a Swinger pinfall attempt at two.
Diamond comes in and straps Storm across the back twice before tossing him outside to Gilberti again as he distracts the official. Gilberti uses the straps on Storm as well and then holds him for a Diamond pescado, but of course, that doesn’t work as Storm moves out of the way. That wouldn’t have worked anyway! Silly Gilberti.
Storm tries to make the tag to Harris, but gets stopped momentarily by Swinger, who eats an enziguiri for his troubles. Storm makes the tag to Harris who full nelson slams Swinger down and follows it up with a BAAACK body drop and a few strap lashing for good measure. Diamond comes in to interrupt it though, only to get a left arm lariat from the Wildcat. Storm runs in and just goes BONKERS with the strap on Diamond’s back and then leaps to the outside to chase Gilberti around. The ref tries to stop Storm, allowing Gilberti to try and interfere….only to get speared by Harris. Gilberti’s already got an injured back, which is why he isn’t wrestling and watching his selling after that bump lets me know that maybe he shouldn’t be taking bumps yet.
Harris and Storm then start whipping Gilberti with the straps, but Diamond and Swinger get up and toss out Storm to have the double team advantage on Harris. They combine for a double flapjack for a two count and Swinger perches Harris on the top turnbuckle. As this is going on, Storm comes off the top rope with the WORST MISSILE DROPKICK EVER on Diamond. Seriously, it looked more like a titled double stomp to the shoulder than a missile dropkick.
Swinger goes to superplex Harris, but Storm gets under him and powerbombs him…superplexing Harris in the process! Storm goes for the cover on Swinger: ONE…TWO…NO! Diamond gets up and wails on the weakened Harris before heading to the 2nd rope. He leaps off, but gets caught by Harris, who hooks on the SHARPSHOOTER~! (albeit a bit sloppy) and Storm starts whipping Diamond across the back at the same time for what seems to be the easy submission. Diamond starts to tap out, but the ref is out of position as Swinger and Storm get into a scuffle at ringside and Gilberti then distracts the official, allowing Swinger to come in with a chair! He nails Harris across the back and the ref goes in for the pin attempt! ONE…TWO…NO! I totally bought that as the finish right there!
Gilberti tosses Swinger another chair and goes to use it, but the ref takes it away from him. As the ref goes to throw it out of the ring, Gilberti tosses him another chair, but Storm ducks the chair shot attempt and hits a superkick to the face with it! ONE…TWO…NO! That incites a “That was Three” chant by the crowd as AMW signal for the Death Sentence!
Harris leaps off the top for the legdrop portion of the move, but connects with nothing but the mat as Diamond superkicks Storm away! That was a GREAT counter to the move and one that hasn’t been used yet! ONE…TWO…NO! Diamond sets Storm up on the top as Harris shoves Swinger into Gilberti, who was standing on the aprong and subsequently sends him to the outside. Harris gets under Swinger, who then turns Diamond around for a DOOMSDAY SWINGING NOOSE~! ONE…TWO…THREE!
Winners: Americas Most Wanted
After the match, Gilberti, Swinger and Diamond attack post match and steal the tag titles before leaving the arena…in a non title match!
My Opinion: This feud so far has been great for both teams as they gel very well in the ring and it always seems as if Simon and Swinger are just a hair away from defeating the tag champs. This was as good if not slightly better than their first match with AMW and I’m a bit surprised that they weren’t allowed to go over in the non-title match. The fact that they attacked post-match and stole the titles (plus the fact that the blow off is never a non-title match) signals that this feud….will continue! Yay for all those involved and you the viewer. ***
Don West and Tenay run down the card for tonight…and mention that Chris Daniels will preach a sermon to that heathen, Jeff Jarrett about the righteousness of Sports Entertainment and the NWA Title.
They direct us to the back where red shirt security informs Jerry Lynn that Don Callis has barred Lynn from the building. Callis then appears as smug as ever, asking “what’s the problem?” like the typical jerk manager and then informs Lynn that he’s barred from the building for excessive violence. He tells him that dropkicking a scale into Elix Skipper’s face last week was too much for the viewers at home…so he gives him a sheet of paper with guidelines to read and tells him to “go home and think about what you’ve done” in the most condescending manner possible. Lynn obviously isn’t happy with this and takes it out on his carry on luggage. Yes, he took it out on his carry on luggage.
We now go to comments from the competitors in the X Division #1 Contendership match up.
Michael Shane is up first as he specifically says that he’s cousins with Shawn Michaels and was trained by the Heartbreak Kid. A lot of people got on my case for calling him his cousin and not his nephew as he’s portrayed in other promotions such as Ring of Honor, but hey…it’s coming from Shane’s mouth. He gets his HBK relation out of the way first, because he wants to make a name for himself….and then proceeds to cut a promo with a semi-heelish tone to it. He IS a heel in the other promotions, so who knows…maybe TNA will turn him.
Joey Matthews is next…and talks about himself in the third person. He talks about his passion…for MONEY, which is what drives him to the gold. In order to get the money, he has to get the gold. The only way this promo could have rocked any harder is if he said “first, I’ll get the money, then I’ll get the power…then I’ll get the women.”
Danny Doring’s turn for a promo and he looks a bit different since the last time we saw the Danaconda in ECW. He’s got a short hair cut with spiky blond hair, looking a lot like Jake from Tough Enough 2, but minus the Mohawk. He’s just yelling in this promo for some reason. HE’S JUST THE CAMERA GUY!
Now it’s Shark Boy’s turn to talk…so we get Norman Smiley talking for him instead. He’s trying to fire up “Fish Head” as Doring called him, but all Shark Boy wants to do is the Big Wiggle.
I really liked this as it was the first time that TNA allowed promo’s in their multi-man X Division matchups and it really makes the title seem more important. Plus, it gives the guys that are new to TNA (Doring, Shane and Matthews) a little more time to flesh out their characters and get over with the home audience.
Michael Shane vs. Shark Boy vs. Joey Matthews vs. Danny Doring
Match Background: This match is to determine the number 1 contender to the X Division Title. Michael Shane debuted with TNA last week, immediately receiving an X Division shot against Chris Sabin, but was unsuccessful. Shark Boy has been receiving a bit of a push lately, but mostly as a tag wrestler. He’s been in tons of elimination and multi-man matches for a shot at the X gold, but hasn’t won one yet. Joey Matthews used to work in ECW briefly teaming up with another indy wrestler, Christian York. This is Matthews first appearance in TNA since the VERY FIRST TAPING back in June of 2002 and is his first time here as a singles competitor. Also making his TNA debut is Danny Doring, who is a former ECW Tag Team champion and one of the last men to hold those titles along with his partner, Roadkill.
The Match: Damn, Doring seems to have really bulked up…or he just looks huge compared to the other guys in the match.
Doring offers his fist to Shane in a show of sportsmanship prior to locking up, but Shane turns him down and gets tackled for it. Doring is all INTENSE~! as he goes after Shane, but Matthews tags himself in and attacks from behind. They hit a double BAAACK body drop on him and whip him again, but Doring slides under the ropes, allowing Shark Boy to come off the top with a sloppy double dropkick on both men. SB goes for a suplex on Matthews, who floats over, but it’s reversed and SB ends up taking him down with a head scissors and an armdrag. He tags in Doring who works together with SB to treat Matthews like a pinball. In a cute spot, he teases a punch after a series of them and Matthews covers up…only for Doring to pinch his nipples instead.
Doring gets whipped into the corner and knocks down Shane with a forearm, who then decides to trip him up and double team him with Matthews. Doring is able to get a bicycle kick on Matthews and tags out to SB, who hits a pair of dropkicks and his facebuster on Shane. Matthews comes in but gets stopped by THE HAND….and Shark Boy does the Big Wiggle. Doring and Shane end up battling on the outside as Matthews disposes of Shark Boy, so Matthews comes out after Doring as well. Doring comes back with a pescado as Shane works over SB now. Shane then concentrates on Matthew and Doring and hits a GORGEOUS Somersault Tope Con Hilo on the long side of the ring! With all three men down now, Sharkey comes down onto Shane…with some sort of a crossbody.
Back in the ring, Matthews hits an inverted DDT on Doring, but SB is able to interfere. He goes for the Dead Sea Drop, but Matthews counters and goes for a top rope rana. SB holds on and gets Matthews in position, hitting the DSD on him! Doring then comes running out of nowhere and takes down Sharkey with a BIG clothesline. Doring comes off the top with a guillotine legdrop, but he can’t make the cover.
All of a sudden, Elix Skipper comes running in and hits a sloppy Alley Oop on Doring and a Tilt-a-whirl Rock Bottom on Matthews. The Play of the Day on Shark Boy before he takes THE STICK~! and stands on the top of the announce table.
Skipper says that he’s going to beat up “punk after punk” until he gets Jerry Lynn in the ring.
Amazingly, the match is allowed to continue and Michael Shane, the only man that Elix didn’t attack, comes in and “warms up the band” like a spaz, before hitting a NICE superkick on Matthews. He covers him for the elimination. Doring gets the same treatment and also gets eliminated! SB is now on his feet and the crowd is booing Shane! He goes for the superkick again, but SB blocks it, spins him around and hits his unique neckbreaker! ONE…TWO…NO!
SB gets Shane into the corner and hits the 10 punches, plus the biting…but Shane comes back with a FISHERMAN’S DDT~!! for the three count and the win.
Winner: Michael Shane
My Opinion: Michael Shane, who I’ve been told is better as a heel, really played it up tonight and got some heel heat towards the finish of the match. The match itself was a bit sloppy and nothing more than a bit of spots. As much as I like Elix, his interference really made the other guys look bad, especially after Elix didn’t come out smelling like roses after being pinned in 15 seconds last week. *1/2
Scott Hudson is in the back with Erik Watts, who ends up quoting Spider-Man and tells him that “With great power, comes great responsibility” with a straight face. Watts then says that in the history of the NWA, there’s never been a Steel Cage match for the title. Wow…I’m sure he meant just TNA, but the NWA? Come on. I’ll let you guys have a field day with that one. Watts says that if “Team AJ” even peeks through the curtain tonight, AJ will forfeit the title.
We now go back into the ring where Shane Douglas has THE STICK~!
He talks about pinning Raven last week, as only he can do before getting into a tirade about being the kind of superstar that TNA calls upon for star power. He goes back to the subject of Raven and says that it’s really not about the New Church and Father Mitchell. He calls out Raven…and his music starts up!
Douglas looks towards the ramp, but Raven appears from behind and attacks with right hands and a discus clothesline. Douglas regains the advantage after an eye rake and plants some right hands into Raven’s head. Raven counters eventually and goes for the Raven Effect, but Douglas counters THAT and goes low on him. Raven spills to the outside, so Douglas goes into pursuit, sending him back into the ring. Douglas misses a clothesline and Raven hits a superkick! Douglas gets up…into the RAVEN EFFECT~! Raven then unfurls a body bag…and goes to put Douglas in it, but Father James Mitchell’s voice appears over the PA.
We now go to the TNA Tron, where Jim Mitchell and the New Church have Alexis and Julio bound, gagged and tied to each other! Mitchell tells Raven that he has to make a choice. Save his friends, or finish off The Franchise. Brian Lee lights a kendo stick on fire and Mitchell tells Raven that if he chooses to find his friends…follow the smell of burning flesh!
Raven goes off running to the back as The Franchise laughs eerily in the ring.
In the back, Scott Hudson is with Larry Zbyszko. Larry cuts his usual monotone promo on Kash, which only lasts about 10 seconds anyway.
Kid Kash vs. Larry Zbyszko
Match Background: Two weeks ago, Kid Kash interrupted a Legends ceremony that Larry Z was a part of. Last week, Kid Kash beat his former trainer Ricky Morton after his bodyguard, Abyss, came in and delivered a sit out Torture Rack backbreaker. This week, he’s facing Larry Z who hasn’t been in TNA in quite a while and was last seen wrestling and then managing AJ Styles for about 2 or 3 weeks.
The Match: Kash wears a Heel Section shirt (although not the one we’ve been accustomed to seeing) to support the group, which is it at ringside, although not nearly in full force as before their boycott.
Kash pulls a Zbyszko by stalling for a few minutes before locking up. The fans chant something about Larry being old, so he motions about using a walker playfully before telling them to kiss off. It’s nice to see the old schools playing up to chants. Kash goes for a go behind, but Larry reverses it and puts on a hammerlock. Kash tries for a figure four, but Larry shoves him off and everything seemed pretty crisp. Kash tries to wrestle Larry again, but Larry takes the upper hand on the mat, working the arm…but Kash gets a rope break. The crowd chants “Old As Dirt” at Larry as Kash hits a cross body on him for two…and then Kash gets into a shoving match with the ref. Rudy Charles slaps Kash to the mat to a pop, so Kash turns his attention back to Larry. Kash puts on a sleeper with Larry escapes, but Kash ends up putting the Iron Claw instead. Larry puts on an Iron Clow on Kash’s NUTS instead and follows it up with a big BAAACK body drop. Larry puts on a Canadian Backbreaker and backs into the corner as he spies Abyss coming into the ring. Abyss charges, only for Zbyszko to move and avalanches Kash instead! Larry tries to take on Abyss, but can’t over power him as Abyss hits The Black Hole (Spinning Bossman Slam) on him…and SOMEHOW, the ref didn’t see a damn thing. Kash rolls over for the pinfall and the win.
Winner: Kid Kash
My Opinion: There’s something about Zbyszko’s ring work that actually gels well with the high flyers that he’s wrestled in TNA. Although this match was very short, Larry didn’t do too badly and I would have liked to have seen this gone longer. He even played up to the crowd tonight, which was pretty amusing to see. I really wish I could give this more. *
We’re now with Scott Hudson, who is with Raven…who’s ANGRY. He’s found Mitchell’s “hideout”, but Julio & Alexis are nowhere to be seen. He yells that he is looking for Mitchell…who happens to be in the ring.
Julio and Alexis are still bound and gagged in the ring as Mitchell cuts a promo on Raven, telling him that he’s gone soft since he’s not as selfish as he once was. Raven comes running in and takes out the New Church! He uses a trash can lid on them and then attempts the Raven Effect on Mitchell, but Shane Douglas comes running in and breaks it up. He hits the Belly to Belly and the New Church puts the boots to him.
Julio somehow becomes undone and spears Slash down to a big pop! Unfortunately, that’s all he gets as he EATS a big boot by Brian Lee. Mitchell sets up Raven’s body bag…and puts Raven in it.
We get another Mad Mikey video….and this week, he’s destroying his alarm clock with a hammer. He’s then shown on the basketball court, playing against someone who’s using his height as a clear advantage in a taunting manner…so he kicks him in the midsection, beats him down and uses his body to dunk!
“Mikey Is Mad At People Who Won’t Take His Calls”. He’s shown outside using a cell phone and getting mighty frustrated, so he goes inside and beats up the receptionist, choking him with a phone cord. He’s then shown beating up his roommates again, this time for drinking his milk which CLEARLY had a “Mikey” label on it.
Quick clips are then shown and he’s seen sitting on a swing reading “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff’. My former bitch of a boss gave me that book before she fired me last year.
In the back, Scott Hudson is with Gilberti, Swinger & Diamond, who are wearing the belts and call out AMW. Everyone gets a turn on the mic, but AMW attack RIGHT when Swinger is finally about to cut a promo. They couldn’t wait? They brawl for a few minutes, leading Simon and Swinger into the building where they beat on them some more.
They end up in the ring and AMW are in firm control as Harris takes one of the belts off and continues to land right hands on them. Gilberti comes in and grabs said title belt and beats them about the head and neck with it, before handing Swinger and Diamond the leather straps again and AMW get whipped…AGAIN. Gilberti tosses the title belts on top of AMW’s body and they pose to BIG heel heat in the Asylum!
We go to a video package for Sabin/Kazarian’s history, but it covers the last two weeks for some reason.
Chris Sabin vs. Frankie Kazarian for the X Division Title
Match Background: This feud started a little over a month ago when Frankie Kazarian defeated Chris Sabin in a GREAT one on one non title match. The following week, things intensified as Kazarian lobbied to get a shot at the X Champion, but instead got AJ Styles and a shot at the World Title instead. Sabin interfered in that match and after the neck-crunching STYLES CLASH ‘03~!, Kazarian was down for the count. The following week, still injured from the aforementioned move, Kazarian competed in a number 1 contenders elimination match for the X title, which he won…but Sabin decided to give him his title match right afterwards and was able to put him down in record time.
They faced each other once again, one on one, with Kazarian 100% this time and Kazarian was able to pin Sabin by using one of his signature maneuvers, The Wave of the Future, on the X Title that Sabin brought into the ring. He was awarded the X Title, but a second referee came down to protest the decision and it was then reversed and Sabin was able to escape with the X Title again.
Michael Shane came in and faced Sabin for his X Title last week and Frankie Kazarian was declared the Special Guest Ref and for the most part, was an unbiased official. Then, Sabin piefaced him, causing Kazarian to hit one of his signature maneuvers on him, The Wave of the Future, and then went to administer the three count. Right before his hand came down for the three count, another referee came in and ejected Kazarian as the official for his clear bias in the match and while this went on, Sabin was able to defeat Shane with a belt shot to the face.
This week, they’re going to do it one more time. One on one for the X Division Title.
The Match: The match starts off quickly as Kazarian shows a LOT of fire with a leg lariat, a HARD clothesline, a HARD irish whip and a swinging dropkick to the chest of Sabin! Kazarian is REALLY fired up, but Sabin kills that quickly with a German suplex into the turnbuckles! This starts up a “Hail Sabin” chant as Sabin kips up and clothesline Kazarian as he come running off the ropes. Even Tenay acknowledges the “Hail Sabin” chants as he puts throws vicious crossfaces before kneeing him in the corner, big time. Sabin gets a two count off a suplex for two as West and Tenay mark out for Sabin’s youth and talent. Kazarian goes for a cross body, which Sabin attempts to turn into his swinging Rock Bottom over the knee, but Kazarian continues his momentum and connects with a crucifix for two!
Sabin is a DICK as he catches a Kazarian clothesline, STO’s him down and looks down at his fallen opponent with a SMUG look on his face. It’s official. I ADORE CHRIS SABIN.
We hit the chinlock and Kazarian quickly gets out, but Sabin trips him up and gets on the apron for some sort of a springboard offensive maneuver…only to eat a kick to the back of the head! Sabin falls to the outside and Kazarian baseball slides out, but Sabin gets out of the way. They battle near the ramp and Sabin elevates him over his head, only for Kazarian to swing back down with a DDT ala Matt Hardy. Kazarian throws him back into the ring only for a two count.
Back in the ring now, Sabin charges only to get elevated over the top onto the apron. He gets a shoulder block and climbs to the top, but Kazarian catches him and hits a Back to the Future off the 2nd rope for two!
Sabin gets up and charges at Kazarian in the corner, but EATS BOOT! Kazarian goes up top and Sabin comes running up for a Super German Suplex, but Kazarian remembered the first time he took it and holds on! Kazarian knocks him down and repositions himself, only for Sabin to come popping up with an over head suplex off the top! “Hail Sabin” indeed!
They brawl as they get up and neither man gets the advantage. Kazarian goes to clothesline Sabin, but he ducks and almost nails the ref. Sabin then dropkicks him from behind and the ref ends up bumped. Sabin goes to ringside to get his X title and brings it into the ring. He NAILS Kazarian in the head with it and covers him with it! ONE…TWO…THREE!
Winner: Chris Sabin
His music begins to play, but another ref comes down to alert the first ref of Sabin’s use of the title belt. The match is then restarted!
Sabin goes for Future Shock in the ring as the refs argue, but Kazarian gets out and NAILS the Wave of the Future. The ref runs in…ONE…TWO…THREE!
Winner and NEW X Division Champion: Frankie Kazarian
A THIRD ref comes in, TAKES the title belt and tells Jeremy Borash that he’s taking it to Erik Watts.
My Opinion: OK…now THAT was Bullshit. This match started out GREAT and seemed to be on par with their first match if they had kept up that pace for another 5-7 minutes. I was surprised that Sabin got the pinfall relatively clean, because I figured that they would eventually give the title to Kazarian, but Sabin’s work has been SO good lately that I would just leave the belt on him. When the second ref came in, I didn’t mind because it was reminiscent of what happened when Kazarian used the belt a couple of weeks ago. Then, Kazarian got the QUICK pin on Sabin and that just marred the match some more. THEN, we get this no decision crap!? Ugh. A GREAT match, ruined by overbooking. **1/2.
We’re SUPPOSED to go to a 3 Live Crew skit, but TNA is experiencing technical difficulties, so they’ll torture us with bad comedy a little later.
They end up fixing it though as 3 Live Crew now to go the trailer park with “At Home with B Jizzle”. Konnan and Truth arrive, but don’t know where B.G. is, so they ask someone working on their car. He directs them towards his location…and then he started rubbing himself. For some reason, TNA ends up playing this in slow motion.
They find B.G., shirtless (with a tattoo on his stomach that reads “Dogg”) and playing in a poor man’s creek. They go into the trailer….but the rubbing guy is still following them, rubbing himself some more. THIS IS TORTURE!
B.G. is playing the harmonica with Truth outside when Konnan walks out of his trailer dressed like a bum, literally. Truth spots the rubbing guy and starts chasing him. KILL HIM!
It then says ‘3 Live Krew” returning to the Asylum next week.
OK, seriously…what the FUCK was the point of that? TNA is wasting money on these guys doing useless skits that aren’t putting anyone over. If anything, they’re turning people off! They aren’t funny anymore, 2 out of the 3 guys can barely wrestle and they’re just WASTING The Truth! WHAT WERE THESE SKITS SUPPOSED TO ACCOMPLISH!!!
When we come back, the TNA ring crew is setting up the cage….
But then CHRISTOPHER DANIELS BEGINS SPEAKING SO SHUT YOUR MOUTHS!
He talks about casting the first stone at tradition, since he just could NOT stand idly by and watch “Tradition” spread like cancer! This amazingly enough starts a “save our souls” chant! So, he took it out on “Tradition’s” biggest follower.
He comes before us to TESTIFY~! how Sports Entertainment has saved him! He says that for 9 years, he followed the route of Traditon, but when he joined Triple X and SEX, he saw Tradition for what it truly was…Stagnation. He breaks it down for the HEATHENS, as he refuses to allow Tradition to stop the metamorphosis of Sports Entertainment. He asks who is ready to change…and there’s a bevy of hands and people shouting out “me me me me me!” I wish I was there, dammit!
He goes up to some RANDOM KID and gets in his FACE, telling him that from his expression alone, he can tell that he will reject it. Then he goes up to an old woman and says that she won’t embrace change either…HE IS RULING THE MIC!
He goes up some other punk kid drinking a soda…and asks him if he’s ready to change. The PUNK throws his soda at Daniels, so he teaches that kid a LESSON by throwing him to the ground and giving him a beating of biblical proportions! Jeff Jarrett comes running down to make the save, but he’s too late. Daniels has late…and has enlightened us all.
I’m such a sinner. I need help.
Jarrett gets on the mic and calls out Daniels, inviting him into the cage, which is only half way done. Jarrett sits in a chair, waiting for Daniels until he comes back…but Red shirt security come down to remove Jarrett from the ring. Black shirt security then come in and approach Jarrett…and then the two security groups end up shoving each other!
Jarrett, distracted by all of this, doesn’t see Chris Daniels come back in and he gets taken down and nails with a ton of right hands. Jarrett gets the advantage, only to get pulled off by the Red shirts. Daniels, who is NOT held back by anyone, kicks him low and hits the Last Rites on him…as security just WATCHES.
That was such a good segment. I can’t say anything else. I am LOVING THIS.
Moving right along, we go to a video package for Styles/D’Lo…dating back to May 28th. They dub tonight’s match up “The Final Showdown”.
We go to Tenay and West, who announce that Erik Watts will make a ruling on the X Title next week. They announce Raven vs. Douglas (finally) and 3 Live Crew coming back, but they’re interrupted by AMW. AMW say that they’re sick and tired of Glenn Gilberti interfering all the time, so next week, there’ll be a 6 man tag. Simon, Swinger & Gilberti against AMW. Harris says that we won’t have to wait to find out who their partner will be because he’s “on the line” right now. Then, Dusty Rhodes voice comes through the PA, sounding like he’s on the phone and spews some nonsense, like always. Yay…Dusty Rhodes. That makes me want to watch….right.
We gets comments from AJ & Russo prior to the match in a sit down interview with Tenay. He asks him why he would associate himself with Vince Russo. AJ says “Why? Why not?” He says that while he got all his titles on his own, with Vince, he’ll be the World Champ forever. Tenay asks him about him backstabbing D’Lo Brown to get the NWA Title…and Styles basically says that he never learned anything from D’Lo, but D’Lo probably learned a lot of stuff from him. Tenay talks about the stips of tonight’s match up, specifically Russo cuffed to Watts and asks Styles what he feels about it. Styles tells him that it’s a stupid idea since Russo is only his coach, so with his presence alone, he’ll have his strength.
Tenay tells AJ that he’s been blinded by Russo…and AJ starts to respond, but Russo whispers in his ear that he can go now, so Styles gets up and quits the interview in mid-sentence.
Russo gets up in Tenay’s FACE and tells him that if he has something to say…say it to him directly. Tenay doesn’t back down at all and tells him that he KNOWS that he’s only about power and having more of it. Russo tells him that the next time he’s disrespectful to him or the champ, he’ll be “held responsible”. Tenay wants to know what that means. Russo puts his hand on Tenay’s face, which is quickly swatted away as Russo dodges the question by saying that he doesn’t want to know what that means…Tenay brings up Jarrett, which gets Russo even more pissed off. Russo closes by TELLING him…to pay him and AJ the proper respect OR ELSE.
For months, they’ve been teasing something between those two. Just do it already!
We now go to comments from D’Lo Brown with Scott Hudson. D’Lo says that it’s his time…and while he’d do anything to be World Champ, he wouldn’t sell his soul to Russo, like Styles did. He says that tonight…is his night and he’ll be the World Champion.
AJ Styles vs. D’Lo Brown for the NWA World Title in a Steel Cage Match:
Match Background: This better be the blowoff match because this Match Background just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
A couple of months ago, AJ Styles and D’Lo Brown were the hottest tag team in TNA and were on a great winning streak, but they didn’t want to be the tag team champions, they wanted singles success, namely, the NWA World Title. They faced each other in a one on one match for the #1 Contendership the week after their mutual break up and AJ was able to move on after some interference unknown to him. AJ eventually won the title, but with the help of Vince Russo, which D’Lo Brown took offense to since he felt that he had taken Styles under his wing and shown him that he could do it on his own.
After their initial confrontation where D’Lo was jumped by AJ after messing with Russo, D’Lo faced AJ in a non-title impromptu cage match, which ended when Russo interfered on Styles’ behalf. Two weeks later, D’Lo challenged AJ to an NWA Title match as he claimed to have an equalizer for Vince Russo and his interference, which ended up being a small cage. The cage wasn’t enough as Sonny Siaki and Trinity came out to assist AJ and Russo and once again, Styles was able to retain the title.
To try and take Russo out of the picture, the following week, D’Lo faced Sonny Siaki at the start of the show with the stipulation being that if he should win, he’d get 5 minutes alone with Russo. Naturally, D’Lo won, but instead of getting 5 minutes with Russo, he got beatdown for 5 minutes by Siaki, Styles, Russo’s other pawn, Legend and Trinity with Russo looking on.
Then, in what seemed to be the definitive end to this feud prior to the match, D’Lo faced AJ one more time in a 2 out of 3 falls match for the NWA Title that took 3 different segments during the program. AJ was able to pin D’Lo in the first fall due to Sonny Siaki’s interference, but wasn’t able to win the second fall as he lost by submission. Siaki happened to interfere in that fall as well, but it didn’t affect the finish. The last fall was a ladder match and after Siaki’s interference AGAIN, D’Lo and AJ both climbed the ladder and fell down with the title. The referee’s decision was that the match was in effect a draw, since D’Lo never decisively defeated Styles, so the champion retained.
Last week, Sonny Siaki decided to take all of the credit for Styles’ title defense, which didn’t sit well with the champion. He interrupted his mic time to essentially tell him and Trinity that he didn’t need their interference and could do it on his own. This brought out D’Lo Brown, who asked AJ for one last shot to see who is truly the better man. Unfortunately, while AJ was receptive to it at first, it was nothing more than a ruse as he and his cohorts beat down D’Lo again. The new Director of Authority, Erik Watts, then made tonight’s match up, which should settle it all. It’s come full circle as D’Lo will now face AJ Styles for the NWA Title in a Steel Cage with Sonny Siaki, Trinity and Legend barred from ringside and Russo handcuffed to Watts at ringside.
The Match: Erik Watts comes down to the ring first, with a pair of handcuffs…which is actually more like a 2 foot chain with cuffs on either side.
We get boxing style intros from JB, of course. Russo accompanies AJ in the ring during the intros, but leaves once the intros are over to be cuffed to Watts.
The crowd starts up with a HUGE “D’Lo” chant as the bell rings. AJ teases a lock up several times and on the last attempt, throws a HARD kick to the thigh of D’Lo to get the advantage. D’Lo recovers and they counter a bunch of stuff until AJ dropkicks D’Lo in the back, sending him towards the cage, but D’Lo stops short.
Watts gets the crowd going with a BIG “Russo Sucks” chant as D’Lo knocks down AJ and creeps towards him. Styles tries his nip up rana, but D’Lo hooks him and catapults him towards the cage. AJ is able to hold on and actually hits a back elbow off of it! Russo tries to tell Styles something, but Watts yanks him away. They blow an irish whip, but AJ makes up for it by clotheslining D’Lo HARD. Brown returns the favor with a clothesline that was even WORSE for a “D’Lo” chant. D’Lo tries to float over AJ in the corner, but Styles goes low, snap mares him and kicks him HARD in the back. AJ tries to spring off the ropes, but D’Lo catches him and tosses him into the cage. D’Lo starts raking AJ’s face across the cage, but still no blood. D’Lo knocks the champion down and says that he’s heading towards the top. NOW Styles is bleeding visibly as he crotches him down and hits a springboard enziguiri! AJ hits D’Lo with a baseball slide to the back of the head (!) as the crowd chants “AJ Sucks” and then hits him with a front dropkick sending him into the cage. As subtle as he tried to be, you can still see D’Lo gig and slide the blade out of the cage.
Both men are on their feet now and AJ charges…into a Samoan Drop! AJ goes for a clothesline, but D’Lo ducks and tosses AJ with a dangerous, SLOPPY German suplex! He follows that up with a BAAACK body drop and he’s now challenging AJ to his feet. AJ fights back and goes for the Styles Clash, but D’Lo picks him up and slams him down. D’Lo heads up to the top rope and hits the Lo’ Down! ONE…TWO…NO!
D’Lo now charges at AJ in the corner, but AJ lifts him up and nails him into the cage! He slams him down and hits the STYLES CLASH~! ONE…TWO…NO! AJ gets up and comes running at D’Lo, but Brown lifts him up and drives him into the cage before running across with ring with a Sky High! D’Lo gets up and tosses AJ into the cage again and just TOSSES him down with a spinebuster! D’Lo climbs the cage and heads ALL the way to the top!
At ringside, Russo throws powder in Watts’ eyes and tries to shake D’Lo off the top of the cage. Watts tries to battle back and slams Russo into the cage, causing D’Lo to fall all the way down, crashing and burning. Now both men are down and the ref is counting…but AJ is able to crawl over and get a pinfall attempt. ONE…TWO…THREE.
Winner: AJ Styles
After the match, Legend, Siaki, Trinity and Russo come into the ring to congratulate AJ. Russo gets on the mic and says that there’s no more contenders. Russo continues to talk trash as we go off the air…
My Opinion: While it was certainly a solid bout, it was disappointing compared to what I was looking forward to. They blew a few spots, but that was minor. The match was too short and my guess is that they were running long setting up the cage, which cut into the match itself. That’s why they had the AMW/XXX cage match FIRST, so they’d have 20 minutes and they delivered a great, great match. Not to mention, the finish. The finish definitely hurt the match because people being cuffed to someone NEVER works as a way to deter interference. That’s the whole point of a cage match…so no one can interfere! Well…I’m curious as to who will be the next contender for AJ Styles. **3/4.
Overall: All in all, I came in looking forward to three matches tonight and was disappointed by two of them, Sabin/Kazarian and AJ/D’Lo. The Chris Daniels/Jarrett segment was without question the highlight of the show, personally and from an in ring perspective, the tag match was as good as I thought it would be. I’m enjoying most of the feuds right now, although a few need some work or just a good blow off match. The 3 Live Krew skits are now over it seems and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Let’s see what TNA can do next week.
I just wanted to say that these are great recaps and I'll have to start reading them from now on. Typically, when do you end up posting him (here, or on any other sites)? I usually find some other recap to read the night of the event, but if yours is available around the same time....
Anyways, good work. Keep it up!
Kain Interview: the first since he's been unmasked!!! Major changes to SummerShow main event!!! All this plus an interview with Kain in the latest Inside The Ropes!!!
I post them on my site, TheSmartMarks.com, Online Onslaught and Lords of Pain. My site gets it first, usually at around 1-2am on Thursday or so, LOP a few minutes later and it shows up on OO on Friday.
The reason why mine is a day late is because I don't get to watch the event live, I get a tape the following day. I make sure to stay away from recaps or anything so it's not spoiled for me.
They have been submitted and should be posted soon. 01Apr02 RAW Albany, NY 04Apr02 SD Rochester, NY 08Apr02 RAW Phoenix, AZ 11Apr02 SD Tuscon, AZ 15Apr02 RAW College Station, TX If you read them regularly, enjoy.