The Dames’ Diatribe on NWA:TNA for July 23rd, 2003
Hey guys, by the time you read this, it should be my 23rd birthday! Hooray for me!
Send me birthday wishes or I shall have you all killed by the FBI Screen of Death that appears before every TNA broadcast. Trust me, with the extreme shittyness of this week, I need it.
Speaking of bad weeks, I’d like to ask you all a question that hopefully I’ll get a bunch of responses on. I was considering making a blog or an online journal of sorts. I’ve got a ton of stories and a new digital camera and have just been interested in making them public, but I don’t want to waste my time if there isn’t any interest. So….do you think I should go through with it? E-mail me people, let me know.
Also, I'll be covering WWE Vengeance this weekend, EXCLUSIVELY for TheSmartMarks.com, so make sure you come on back for that.
Bob Barron’s recording skillz completely skip over the FATAL FBI Screen and whatever video packages they may have had and go right into tonight’s live broadcast. In an absolutely surreal moment, someone in the audience is actually holding a cut out of Doug from the Heel Section! How in the WORLD did he get a cut out done? I need to do that.
Well, we kick things RIGHT OFF with the first match of the 2 out of the 3 falls match between AJ Styles and D’Lo Brown.
AJ Styles vs. D’Lo Brown in the first fall of a 2 out of 3 falls match for the NWA World Title
Match Background: For weeks, the dream of both competitors was to be the NWA World Champion. Both went up against Jeff Jarrett and failed due to interference by S.E.X., so they joined forces and took on the SEX faction week after week in various tag team matches. They climbed up the ranks quickly as a fluid team, yet never lost sight of the big prize, the World Title. After they were in a pre-lim match, they expressed their feelings about the politics in TNA because they feel like they’ve been HHHeld down. They ended their partnership on good terms in order to focus their attention on the World Title…and in Week 47, they TORE THE HOUSE DOWN when they faced each other to see who got the shot against Jarrett. Raven ended up costing D’Lo the shot and AJ went on to win the NWA Title with the help of Vince Russo. D’Lo felt betrayed by this and demanded answers…but got into a brawl with AJ instead. They then had an impromptu cage match a few weeks ago which ended when Russo interfered and AJ gave D’Lo the Styles Clash onto a steel chair. The following week, D’Lo made the save for Frankie Kazarian after a match with AJ and demanded a title shot. Russo agreed that AJ would give him one, but he’d be in the corner. D’Lo said that it was fine because he’d have an equalizer, which ended up being a cage that he put Russo in. The cage wasn’t enough to keep the odd at one on one as Sonny Siaki interfered and allowed AJ to retain the title via a D’Lo-esque Frog splash. Last week, D’Lo was able to “earn” 5 minutes alone in the ring with Vince Russo, but naturally, it ended up being a heel beatdown on D’Lo to close the show. The match was signed for tonight and it seems as if it will be in the same format as the first 2 out of 3 falls match TNA had: the first fall now, the last two later on. AJ Styles was also in that match, against former rival Jerry Lynn. The first fall of this match is pinfall only. Also to be noted is that Vince Russo is barred from ringside during the matches tonight.
The Match: AJ Styles is accompanied to the ring by Trinity tonight. We get boxing style intros by JB…and I wonder if we’ll hear them again later on. If my ears do not deceive me, I believe that D’Lo got a very small amount of boos during his intros. Hmm.
They lock up and end up at a stalemate after a couple of AJ shoulder blocks and no sold by D’Lo. A shoulder block by D’Lo ends up turning AJ inside out in return. D’Lo knocks AJ to the outside and throws him back in immediately to hit a top rope clothesline halfway across the ring! That gets the first two count of the match before AJ attempts a rana on D’Lo. D’Lo blocks it and goes for the Styles Clash, but AJ reverses it in a unique fashion by holding onto one leg, taking D’Lo down and putting on an ankle lock. D’Lo then reverses it and puts the ankle lock himself, but it doesn’t look nearly as crisp compared to Kurt Angle’s ankle lock reversals. D’Lo then switches up and somehow ends up planting AJ with a reverse powerbomb for a two count.
D’Lo sends AJ to the far corner, but its reversed and AJ is able to catch D’Lo in mid float over to SLAM him down hard to the canvas. GORGEOUS flipping dropkick connects and AJ earns himself another two count. D’Lo recovers and gets a nice back suplex to take advantage again. D’Lo goes for a clothesline, which AJ ducks and Styles lands a NICE flipping enziguiri to take Brown down again! A small “D’Lo” chant starts up…which is then nullified by a small “AJ” chant by the females in the crowd. D’Lo comes back with a couple of clotheslines, but AJ hits a spin kick and takes over again. D’Lo then hits his calf kick off the ropes and his Farrooq spinebuster for another two count. Coming off the ropes, AJ runs into D’Lo’s midsection and gets a Northern Light Suplex for two. D’Lo sends AJ to the outside and looks to go flying, but Trinity involves herself and D’Lo is down. AJ with the SPRINGBOARD 450 SPLASH~! and gets ONE…TWO…NO! AJ sets up D’Lo again and heads to the top, but gets crotched with his back to the ring. D’Lo heads to the top and puts his hands around AJ…and then moonsaults as he fallaway slams him! WOW! Trinity distracts the ref during the pinfall attempt! Sonny Siaki then comes running in and hits the SIAKALYPSE NOW~! (sloppily I might add) and places AJ on top of D’Lo! The ref turns around…ONE…TWO…THREE!
Winner: AJ Styles
My Opinion: I’m rather surprised that AJ won the first match. While it makes D’Lo the underdog in the next two matches, I don’t believe that he’s going to win the title at all tonight, so I figured that D’Lo would have gotten the pinfall, taking the advantage into the next 2 matches, only to lose by interference both times. That IS the way that AJ has been booked lately. With that being said, this match was slowly coming into its own and the first fall didn’t have nearly the amount of time I thought it would. I guess they’re going to go balls out at the end then. **
Tenay and West run down the card and let us know that tonight, the new Director of Authority WILL be chosen. I hope those who honestly believed that it was to be Eric Bischoff are silenced by it too.
Elix Skipper comes to the ring for his match with some new theme music, which he recorded. While the song is cool, it REALLY doesn’t vibe with his video package because it’s the same promo that they played for a while…and his speech is overdubbed with the singing.
Elix takes THE STICK~! and begins speaking like a girl! No, that’s just his voice.
He asks the camera man to focus on him, especially his abs. Don West: “Those look like mine.”
He challenges anyone in the back to face him and “burn his house down”.
All of a sudden, a new video package is played with a sound bite from the movie “Network” saying “I’m mad at hell…and I’m not going to take this anymore!” It’s a video for someone named Mad Mikey, who then takes a cue from Matt Hardy’s gimmick and reads: “Mikey is mad at Elix Skipper’s Voice!” Mad Mikey is then revealed to be…the former Crash Holly! The Mattitude gimmick stealing makes sense then…
Elix Skipper vs. Mad Mikey
Match Background: Elix has never faced Crash Holly, erm, Mad Mikey before…at least not on TV anywhere. This is Mikey’s first match in TNA and his first appearance since being released from WWE a couple of weeks ago. There is no real background for this match…but if you REALLY want a stretch it out, here’s one for you. Elix now brings a scale to the ring for his “Pound for Pound” gimmick and Crash used to do the same during his “Super Heavyweight” stint. BATTLE OF THE SCALES~!
The Match: For the record, “Mikey” is wearing the same get up for the most part. A sleeveless shirt and shorts…but he’s no longer a bleached blond. His hair is darker now that he’s no longer a Holly cousin.
Elix trips up Mikey as Tenay runs down all of his title reigns as Crash Holly…which exceed over 20 with the Hardcore Title ALONE. They bounce off the ropes a few times and Mikey connects with a back elbow to a small pop.
Mikey then performs a tilt a while backbreaker on Elix! I didn’t know he could do that. He looks to head up to the top, but decides not to and comes back in to put the boots to Skipper. He then puts Skipper ¾’s away from the turnbuckle that he begins climbing! There’s absolutely NO WAY he’s going to make that unless he suddenly developed Rob Van Dam’s high flying ability. He leaps off the top…lands on his feet ON PURPOSE and then hits a jumping splash onto Skipper in a funny spot that he’s dubbed the “Hop Splash”. He’s going to be a comedy wrestler…his fate is sealed.
Even Tenay and West laugh about it as Mikey told them he would debut the most feared finisher in the country and Tenay steals MY material and calls it “the DREADED Hop Splash”. Well, anyone can capitalize, yes, but I MAKE THE SARCASTIC COMMENTS!
Elix then recovers and hits a reverse suplex, hanging Mikey on the top rope by his midsection. Elix then goes for what looks to be one of his new signature spots with his springboard HIGH ELEVATION legdrop to the back of the head! YES~!
Elix goes to work on Mikey now (it is VERY hard for me not to call him Crash) and puts him in a neck vice for a few moments. Mikey is able to come back and get a roll up for two, but Elix hooks him with his neck toss…thing and then legdrops him on the back of the head again on the apron, concentrating on the neck.
A “Mikey” chant breaks out as Elix taunts Skipper with a Twist of Fate attempt, but Mikey pushes out of it and hits a neckbreaker of his own! They begin slugging it out and Mikey gets the advantage and becomes a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! He hits a Stun Gun and a bulldog for a two count! He comes off the top with a cross body for two! Elix goes to the eyes to get up…but Mikey recovers quickly and goes for a clothesline. Elix “Matrixes” out and Mikey almost nails the official, allowing Elix to try and hook him, but is unsuccessful. Elix chases Mikey into the corner and gets rana’d into the turnbuckle for a two count. Mikey starts pulling on Elix’s leg (literally, you sick bastards), but Skipper is holding onto the ropes and the ref makes Mikey back off. Elix gets the scale from the corner and looks to use it, but Mikey stops him and a tug of war for the scale begins! WHO IS BETTER AT SCALE USE! I SHUDDER TO THINK!!!
The ref ends up winning the tug of war by taking the damn thing away from Mikey and Elix uses the distraction to hit a BIG tilt a whirl into a Rock Bottom that gets the three count. Well, it looks like Elix isn’t using the Play of the Day anymore.
Winner: Elix Skipper
My Opinion: Well, “Mikey” didn’t show much in the way of hidden, held down talent, but was still a solid competitor, if just a comedic one. The Elix push continues as he uses more and more signature maneuvers and he should be making a run at a title soon enough. *1/4.
A video package then plays on Legend and Jeff Jarrett’s new rivalvy…because THEY HATE EACH OTHER~! and all that.
Legend then appears from a locker room in the back, with security all around him, looking like a mixed breed of Al Snow and Bryan Clarke. He tells security to follow him to the ring and keep their eyes open, obviously for Jeff Jarrett.
Legend comes into the ring and gets on THE STICK~! He begins an anti-American promo, stating that he’s from Canada and he’s sick that the fans would back up an American folk hero like Jeff Jarrett. Man, they are REALLY trying to keep Jarrett as a face, aren’t they? He actually convinces the crowd to be pro-Jarrett with his promo and a “USA” promo erupts, getting his promo over. THEN…
Legend says “Do you honestly think that Jeff Jarrett deserves a shot at the NWA Title?” The crowd responds…with silence.
Legend then says “No, No, No!” a bunch of times to which the crowd responds with “Yes, Yes, Yes” and it looks like Legend might have found himself something to work with…
He then tells security to make sure that Jarrett doesn’t make it to the ring “while I wipe the ring with a bunch of Americans”.
Legend vs. Altar Boy Luke & Matt Sydal in a Handicap Match
Match Background: This is Altar Boy Luke and Sydal’s second match in TNA, their first being a 6-man elimination X Division match which Frankie Kazarian won. Note: Altar Boy Luke was never eliminated…but just walked away for some stupid reason. This is Legend’s second official match in the promotion.
The Match: The two men go to work on Legend in the corner immediately and try a double sunset flip, but Legend holds on and picks them both up by their heads. They get away and go for a double clothesline, but Legend ducks, gets on the mat, nips up and clotheslines both of them inside out!
Legend then works over Sydal in the corner before connecting with a BACKHANDED clothesline, putting him down. Luke then moonsaults off the second rope, but gets caught and dropped backwards in a weird sit out move. Legend goes for the pinfall, but lets Luke up. Snake Eyes on Luke and a running boot to the head maintains the advantage for Legend…until Sydal comes back in. Legend charges at him in the corner, but EATS BOOT! Sydal comes off the top, but Legend wraps his hand around his throat…and lifts him by his throat AND one of his legs in a weird sit out chokeslam variation. The pinfall is broken up by Luke…who then gets F5’ed for his troubles.
Jeff Jarrett then comes to the top of the ramp with a guitar and sits down to distract Legend. The distraction almost costs him as Sydal comes off the ropes with a springboard clothesline and Luke goes to the top as Sydal holds him. Legend powers over him and tosses Sydal into Luke in the corner, crotching him! Sydal then jumps onto his back and puts on a sleeper…but Legend calmly walks to the corner where Luke is sitting and hooks BOTH men onto his back and sits down for a double Stunner! WOW!
Legend with Stone Cutters on both Luke and Sydal for a dual pin and the match is over.
My Opinion: Some cool offense by all three men involved earn it a ½*, but it was mostly a Legend squash.
Right after the bell rings, Jarrett gets on the mic and confirms the end of the match. Security then moves out of the way for Jarrett as their “contract” with Legend is over and they begin brawling in the ring…because THEY HATE EACH OTHER~! and all that.
Jarrett actually gets a good reaction from the crowd in all this and gets The Stroke on Legend. He gets the guitar and goes to crack Legend over the head…but more security come into the ring to stop it.
You see, I don’t think I’ve ever explained this. There’s apparently two types of security in TNA. Red shirt and black shirt. Black shirts are the same guys that they always have been and have generally been seen as dimwitted men who always arrive too late. The red shirt security are big muscular guys who debuted recently, who seem to always arrive just on time to save the heels…hmm.
The red shirts come out and Legend is escorted to the back as the main security guy argues with Jarrett in the ring. A shoving match breaks out and Jarrett resorts to punches and knocks down the bigger man, who is now known as Northcut.
In the back, Scott Hudson is eavesdropping on a backstage argument between AJ Styles and Vince Russo on their approach for the next fall.
A new Fallen Angel promo airs…CHRIS DANIELS IS COMING TO SAVE YOUR SOUL~!!!
AJ Styles vs. D’Lo Brown
Match Background: See the first match. This match is submission only. AJ Styles is leading 1-0 right now and this is a must win for D’Lo.
The Match: As D’Lo walks down the ramp, Sonny Siaki attacks him from behind and they begin brawling. AJ rushes out and clips D’Lo from behind, working the leg already. The ref’s eject Siaki from ringside as D’Lo tries to fight back, but AJ dropkicks the knee to take over again. AJ puts on the MUTA LOCK~! to work on the leg some more. D’Lo is visibly limping now and falls victim to an AJ spin kick.
D’Lo gets up and AJ goes for a crucifix…but actually turns it into a CRIPPLER CROSSFACE~! Brown makes the ropes and gets the break, but AJ is CLEARLY at an advantage and he hooks on a leg lace. AJ transitions it into a Indian Death Lock and then changes into a camel clutch to wear D’Lo down some more. AJ then picks up D’Lo and begins pounding into him with right hands and bounces off the ropes, but D’Lo takes the moment to hit a Bubba Cutter (One man 3D, elevated Diamond Cutter) and get some separation!
D’Lo gets to his feet with the use of the ropes and connects with a big time forearm on AJ. AJ trips up D’Lo and puts on the SHARPSHOOTER~! to declare his love for me and everything that is good and holy in this world! AJ pulls him into the middle of the ring, but D’Lo doesn’t recognize and tap out.
D’Lo then remembers what was SUPPOSED to happen at Survivor Series ’97 and reverses the Sharpshooter into one of his own! He ends up kneeling with it, like Jericho USED to do with the Walls of Jericho, back when it was the Lion Tamer and gets the tap out and the fall!
Winner: D’Lo Brown
My Opinion: I ADORED the finish. ABSOLUTELY adored it. Well, yes, AJ didn’t have his legs worked on at all and D’Lo didn’t have the advantage at all until the end, but I just love a good Sharpshooter. D’Lo, of course, gets the victory, sending us to a ladder match main event later on tonight. This match was 90% AJ on offense, but D’Lo sold well and AJ showed us that he can also transition well and isn’t just a spot monkey. *1/4.
West actually makes a good point about AJ’s tap out. There’s a third fall coming up, so since AJ is the least injured of the two and couldn’t escape, he tapped out quick and he’ll have the advantage in the ladder match later on tonight.
We now go back to a pre-taped segment between Mike Tenay and Don Callis. Tenay asks Callis to clarify his position as Management Consultant for TNA. He states that in the past, wrestling companies have had management that knew wrestling, but didn’t understand how to run a business. There were also those who knew how to run a business, but didn’t understand wrestling. He is the perfect medium…because he’s perfect in both. Tenay asks him about his anti-Hardcore stance. Callis says that he’s not anti-Hardcore at all, but he’s checked the figures and it’s not what the fans want (damn right), so he had to take some actions, such as “downsizing” the Sandman and New Jack.
He says that he’s also against the scantily clad women in TNA because the fans don’t want that either. Tenay then retorts that the fans have been chanting “Let Them Go” every time they get into a fracas. Callis responds by stating that he has to protect fans from their instincts for they know not what they do…and then says that Tenay is “under qualified to discuss business with someone of his education”. I LOVE Don Callis at his asshole-ish best.
Tenay then says that it’s simple…give the fans what they want. Callis just laughs and says “Since when do the customers know what they want?”
We now go to the ring where Nurse Veronica has THE STICK~! Last week, my beloved Tracy was missing and a new woman was brought in as a member of BitchSlap, dressed as a cheerleader. I didn’t realize who it was at the time, but it was Valentina a.k.a. J Love of XPW and Northeast indy fame. After seeing her perform at the Elk’s Lodge a couple of years back and even chatting with her on AIM a couple of times, I’m glad to see her finally get some national exposure. I’ll admit, she might not have a great deal of talent, but she’s damn cute.
Nurse Veronica introduces herself…and Valentina, who gets to keep her name and calls them the BitchSlap girls. I hope Tracy isn’t out of the group…
She makes a challenge to the TNA girls and Lollipop and Apryl start walking down, but get stopped again by black shirt security. Referee Rudy Charles gets in the ring and grabs THE STICK~! and agrees with the fans…”Let Them Fight!”
Security gets out of the way and a cat fight starts up in the ring. Don’t worry, it’s not a real match. Trinity then comes in and tosses the TNA girls to the mat, seemingly supporting BitchSlap. She attacks both of them as their held by Valentina and Veronica and then gives Lollipop a powerbomb!
3 Live Crew then head out for their latest adventure…entitled “B Gizzle in the Hood!” Oh boy.
Konnan and Truth are trying to teach B.G. James how to act in the hood…but he’s very hesitant to the idea. “B Gizzle” then interviews a black man and acts him if he’s packing heat…and the guy takes offense, naturally. Truth and Konnan have to walk over and defuse the situation.
James then asks another black man outside of a grocery store if he just bought himself a “forty”…and once again, the guy takes offense. He seems to take it well though, telling B.G. that he has two words for him and says “Suck It” while crotch chopping.
Konnan and Truth tell James that he has an hour to “fit in” and start “Big Pimpin” or else he’s out of the group. James freaks out…but realizes what he has to do and goes to a hair salon.
B.G. walks out in full Austin Powers like Pimp gear…and gets mocked by the entire community. Konnan and Truth just HAVE to laugh as B.G. tells him that he’s being recognized….
Next week: “K Dizzle Presents: Suntan Superman vs. Jose Cuervo”. Looks like they’re going to the barrio.
You know…I STILL don’t get these segments. This is the second unfunny one in a row…and it has NOTHING TO DO WITH WRESTLING!
In the ring, Glenn Gilberti asks Jeremy Borash to come into the ring. JB complies and Gilberti tells him that since he loves AMW so much, he bought him a costume so he could be their valet. He puts on a silly outfit on him and JB doesn’t look pleased. After Gilberti puts his hands all over Borash, JB shoves him as AMW come into the ring and attack the former Disco Inferno. They strip Gilberti until he’s down to his underwear and Simon and Swinger come into the ring and attack from behind.
Americas Most Wanted vs. Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger for the NWA Tag Team Titles
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 and AMW were able to retain their titles. Last week, Gilberti, along with Simon and Swinger, accused Jeremy Borash and the NWA of showing favoritism to AMW. They attacked Borash and AMW came to the rescue, staring a feud with Simon and Swinger and now…THEY HATE EACH OTHER~! and all that.
The Match: They begin brawling in the middle of the ring and Gilberti goes back up the ramp to get dressed again. Harris elevates Storm up and over the top onto Simon and Swinger on the outside and decides to hit a plancha on both men himself. They begin brawling on the outside for a moment before heading back in. Simon and Harris lock up and Swinger sneaks in to clothesline Harris down and swing the momentum to their team. A tilt a whirl into a reverse DDT double team earns them a two count as Tenay lets the fans know that as a team, Simon and Swinger are more experienced than AMW. Swinger works over Harris with some knee lifts and then taunts Storm to gain a double team in the corner. Diamond comes in and gets a snap suplex and a float over for a two count. Harris is able to recover and get a Thesz press on Swinger and tags in Storm…who is a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~!
Storm riles the crowd up with his offense and drives Swinger down with an inverted scissors stomp for two. Diamond goes to the outside and pulls Storm out, driving him onto the safety rail before getting hit from behind by Harris.
Back in the ring now, Simon and Swinger connect with a double inverted Russian Leg Sweep and get a near fall from it. Swinger is visibly annoyed and upset by the near fall and starts scraping and raking Storms face before hitting a back suplex for two. Diamond hits the Simon Series on Storm and gets a near fall on Storm as well. Storm gets up and they begin a slugfest and both men end up down after a collision. Storm gets up and hits an UGLY back suplex on Diamond before making the tag to Harris for a small pop.
Harris then morphs into a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! and hits a Full Nelson Slam on Swinger. He sends Diamond out to the floor and hits a NICE cross body onto Swinger for two. AMW attempt the Hart Attack, but Diamond pulls the top rope down and Harris goes crashing down to the outside leaving Diamond to superkick Harris into a Swinger roll up! ONE…TWO…NO!
They begin working over Storm and Diamond runs towards the ropes, but Harris gives them a dose of their own medicine and pulls the top rope down, sending HIM to the floor! Swinger then charges at Storm who catches him and sets him up for the DEATH SENTENCE~! as Harris heads to the top! They hit it and they go for the cover…ONE…TWO…
It’s broken up by Glenn Gilberti who comes into the ring with a cowbell and hits both members of AMW over the head with it! The referee has called for the bell!
Winners via DQ: Americas Most Wanted
He hands Simon and Swinger some bull ropes and they whip the SHIT out of AMW as Gilberti hog ties them! The attack lasts for a few minutes as AMW try to stop them…but are just defenseless. Some referees come in to get Simon and Swinger off, but it does no good. Swinger goes CRAZY with the whip as security comes in and eventually, they walk off…
My Opinion: This match was must sloppier than their first encounter, but still a solid bout. With Simon and Swinger as one of the only other heel teams not named The Harris Brothers, I’m pleased that this match was ended on a DQ and not blown off so quickly. With the post match attack, I’m sure that now they’ll REALLY HATE EACH OTHER~! and we’ll get more goodness from these two teams. **1/4.
We get a video package on the Raven/Douglas/New Church/Gathering/Mitchell feud that has been brewing in recent weeks on TNA.
We go to the back where Scott Hudson is with the New Church & Shane Douglas. “We’ve seen men fight for money, we’ve seen men fight for titles…but it’s not often we see pure, unmitigated hatred as a motive.” THEY HATE EACH OTHER~! Hudson wants to know why he HATES Raven so much.
Mitchell: “Mere hatred doesn’t begin to describe how I feel for Raven.” He doesn’t answer the question…but does say some cool, sick shit.
Raven, CM Punk & Julio vs. Slash, Brian Lee and Shane Douglas (with Father James Mitchell)
Match Background: About a month ago, Raven was attacked by Shane Douglas during a match, which lead to the revelation that Father James Mitchell was behind it all. He wanted Raven to suffer and feel the pain that he felt when he was legit injured a few years ago instead of listening to Raven “whine and bitch and moan” all the time. Mitchell then threw a fireball in Raven’s face, which took him out for a couple of weeks. CM Punk, who has been trying to impress Raven in recent weeks, faced Douglas to try and get some revenge for Raven, but ended up getting a fireball in the face as well. So did Alexis when Douglas faced Julio. Raven returned last week, but so did Slash and Brian Lee, making it a 3 on 1 assault with Mitchell at the helm. Now, The Gathering is back in full force and it’s time for a 6 man tag.
The Match: For the record, Alexis Laree is not with the Gathering tonight. The Gathering rush into the ring and CM Punk & Julio take out the New Church with dropkicks and clotheslines as Raven and Douglas battle it out in the corner. Raven clotheslines Douglas over the top and the faces celebrate.
Raven and Douglas finally go to lock up in the ring one on one, but Douglas tags out instead. Slash and CM Punk come in instead and Punk T-bones him and connects with a running knee lift and discus punch for two. Punk goes for a rana, but Slash sits out for a powerbomb and tags out to the Killdozer, Brian Lee. Lee brings the pain and tags out to Douglas, who double teams Punk with Slash. Slash goes for a running knee and crashes into Lee instead, sending him to the floor and Punk tags out to Julio who becomes a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! with his spinning back kicks! Julio gets a full nelson into a swinging urinage for a broken up two. Slash gets the whirly bird for a broken up two on Julio and Douglas comes in to further the punishment. Lee works over on Julio now and Slash heads to the top. He goes for a senton and Julio moves out of the way and makes the hot tag to Raven! That’s right…he’s a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! as well as he comes in and just starts wrecking ass left and right. Raven takes out the New Church and points at Douglas…so Douglas leaves ASAP! Raven gives chase and they brawl near the former SEX locker room…and all of a sudden, a large arm in white reaches out and pulls Raven into the locker room!
In the ring, Punk and Julio are alone with Slash and they hit a double dropkick on him. Julio heads to the top, but Douglas crotches him and Slash puts Punk on his shoulders…Douglas heads to the top and connects for a Doomsday Device! Slash then goes under the ring and fetches a table. They place it into the ring and prop it into the corner as Raven crawls out of the corner, bloody and being stalked by Father Mitchell. Raven makes it all the way to the ring and is able to fight off the New Church! He ends up whipping Slash into the ref and Raven Effect DDT’ing both members of the Church before going after Douglas! He almost gets the move off, but Mitchell comes into the ring and pulls Raven off…
Raven tries to attack Mitchell, but Douglas spears Raven through the table and gets the pinfall…
Winners: The Disciples of the New Church and Shane Douglas
My Opinion: Pretty decent brawl. They’re slowly building up to Raven/Douglas, which is a good thing here. Once this rivalry is over, Punk & Julio have enough chemistry to vie for the tag titles and the Church can always be put back into the title scene. All in all, this was alright. **
Sting: Behind the Paint.
Tenay asks him about what he’s done since WCW closed and asks about his Christianity. Sting tells him that it’s the focal point of his life right now and that wrestling had its good and its bad side, so he needed it. His lifestyle changed…and it wasn’t easy to fit in the locker room that way, but he did it. Sting puts over Ted DiBiase and Nikita Koloff and how they’d preach in the locker room and how they supported him.
Tenay then thanks him as it appears that this segment is now OVER.
That interview was just a waste of time.
Tenay is in the ring with the mic and states that the NWA recognizes the legends of the sport. Harley Race, Corsica Joe, Ricky Morton, Larry Zbyszko and Sara Lee come into the ring and are introduced by Mike Tenay. He puts over everyone big time…but especially Race who he calls “the best wrestler on God’s Green Earth” to a pop.
Kid Kash then comes into the ring with his own microphone. Tenay is offended that Kash would crash the party, but Kash dismisses him quickly. Kash says that he came down to thank everyone personally. Kash tells Sara Lee that she was one of the original “working rats” in the business and thanks her for it. Kash says he won’t bother commenting on Corsica Joe because he’s got Alzheimer’s and wouldn’t remember it anyway. He then turns his attention to Ricky Morton, who trained Kid Kash many years ago. “You needed a partner to hold titles…I don’t.”
Kash then turns to Harley Race and makes the usual comment about multiple championship reigns. “You might have held it 8 times, but they’ll remember you getting pinned 9 times.”
Morton gets upset and calls his former protégé an ungrateful punk. He talks about how he trained him and how disrespectful he’s become, so Kash slaps him! They all head towards Kash…so he runs and puts his arms around Sara Lee’s head, almost like a sleeper, holding her hostage.
Erik Watts comes into the ring, dressed VERY sharp and grabs Kash by the hair from behind before chokeslamming him! Watts takes the mic and tells Kash that he’s going to officially welcome him to the Director of Authority now...”and if you’ve got any questions or comments, you can stop by my office at any time!” He then holds Kash for Race to hit him and tells him that legends are not to be disrespected.
Tenay and West give us a run down of NEXT week’s card. Chris Sabin vs. Michael Shane in Shane’s debut! Double pole match between Jeff Jarrett and Legend.
West is about to name one last match when Raven’s voice comes over the PA. He’s in his usual balcony spot and says that he likes the taste of his own blood. He then says that while he’s taken a lot of punishment, he’s only just begun. Raven then makes the mistake that EVERYONE makes and flubs the name of his own signature match. He challenges Mitchell to a 6 way “House of Orange…er…Clockwork Orange House of Fun Match. I’m so excited I can’t even pronounce it correctly!”
AJ Styles vs. D’Lo Brown in a Ladder Match in the 3rd and Final fall for the NWA World Title
Match Background: See the first match. The score is now 1-1 and this is the final fall. This is D’Lo’s first ladder match in TNA, but AJ Styles has had several and has the experience factor tonight. He faced Low-Ki and Jerry Lynn all the way back in Week 10 in a ladder match and faced Raven in a ladder match for the number one contendership. He didn’t win either of those matches, however.
The Match: Styles is seconded by Trinity once again in this match. Styles runs up the ramp to get the ladder, but D’Lo cuts him off and takes him back to ringside. Tenay says that D’Lo’s undefeated in ladder matches that he’s competed in all over the country and Puerto Rico.
D’Lo whips AJ into the guard rail and once again impresses the shit out of me by sliding UNDERNEATH the guard rail into the crowd and shoving it into D’Lo’s midsection as he comes charging. AJ then goes to climb over, but D’Lo uses the stairs to jump and cross body AJ into the crowd! Back at ringside now, D’Lo goes for the ladder after tossing AJ back into the ring and brings it down the ramp. AJ comes charging for a suicide dive, but D’Lo just tosses the ladder in his direction and AJ’s head connects HARD! DAYUM. D’Lo then goes under the ring and sets up a table at ringside!
D’Lo then sets AJ for a suplex, but AJ flips over and connects with a springboard head scissors, taking Brown to the outside! AJ with a GORGEOUS Somersault Tope Con Hilo takes D’Lo down now! AJ then tosses the ladder onto D’Lo and AJ goes to ringside to get a chair. D’Lo comes back in and Styles waffles him across the back with it. AJ then tosses the ladder in the ring and props it up in the corner. AJ then whips D’Lo into it…and then the ladder falls right on him again! That gets a replay and deservedly so. Trinity hands AJ a chair and he uses it again with a shot to the back before wedging it in the corner. D’Lo gets up and sets the ladder up under the belt. He starts climbing, but leaps off onto his feet as AJ pushes it off, but D’Lo isn’t able to avoid the ladder a second time as Styles tosses it at his face. AJ rams D’Lo in the midsection with it and starts climbing it. D’Lo catches him and tosses him off.
Now it’s D’Lo’s turn to climb and got as far as to touch the belt, but AJ is able to shove him off the ladder onto the ropes. AJ goes underneath the ring and finds nothing…so he goes to the other side and sets up a ladder on the other side of the ring. D’Lo then comes outside…and back body drops him on the ramp and sets him up on the table! D’Lo sets the ladder up…and starts climbing it!
FROG SPLASH THROUGH THE TABLE OFF THE LADDER! DAYUM!
D’Lo gets back into the ring and sets up the ladder! AJ is NOT moving! D’Lo starts climbing the ladder and grabs the belt…but Sonny Siaki comes in and topples it over! D’Lo goes flying over the top rope…and overshoots the table, barely making contact with it and not breaking it at all! AJ comes back in and starts climbing it…but D’Lo is able to make it in! They start brawling on the ladder…and both men pull the belt down! Both men fall and the bell rings…but the ref can’t decide who the winner is because they’re both holding it! Russo comes RUNNING into the ring and starts yelling at the ref…who goes to talk to Jeremy Borash.
Borash’s decision is….that since AJ was not decisively defeated, the match is basically a draw, which means that AJ retains the title.
Russo celebrates like he won the lotto and that’s the end of the show…
My Opinion: The match was going quite well until the convoluted finish. I don’t understand why they didn’t just have D’Lo lose the match because of Siaki’s interference. It might have been clichéd, but it would have been better than that. I’m simply grateful that they didn’t decide to hold up the title. **3/4.
Overall: I’ve had a really bad week and this show didn’t exactly put a smile on my face. Nothing truly stood out and the 2 out of 3 falls match was disappointing as a whole. My main question is now…who’s in the title picture? Other than a cage match, which would be logical, this seemed to be the blowoff between AJ and D’Lo, but there was no real decision rendered. Where was Jerry Lynn this week? Where was Chris Sabin? Shark Boy and New Jack? Did we have to waste time on that silly 3 Live Crew segment that had ZERO direction to it?
The main problem that I see right now is that unlike a few months ago when EVERYONE was vying for the titles…the divisions are just weak. ROH’s Michael Shane debuts next week and while he may be slightly overrated from what I hear, I’m all for developing the X Division. The tag division needs more than two teams and the NWA Title picture needs more than just D’Lo Brown. Hopefully, this will all be solved soon.
‘Til next week,
The Dames, Damian Gonzalez
Remember, it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to. Also...my Vengeance Diatribe this weekend EXCLUSIVELY at TheSmartMarks.com.
I really hate that 2/3 Falls thing where they seperate the three matches. Would it kill them to have had clean finishes in the first two falls and then do their stupid overdone run-ins in the last fall?
I don't even like the whole Don Callis angle or his fat guy but Don Callis cutting any kind of promo is better then no Don Callis.
Given the banter between Callis and Tenay, I wouldn't mind seeing them add Callis to the commentating team instead of being a manager.
I would have preferred if they kept all three falls together or done two skits instead of three separate ones. It takes away from the momentum of the matches.
Don Callis rules it on commentary and he's the only guy that I would like to see replace West. West, while not the best announcer in the world, has a nice little chemistry with Tenay that I don't think can be easily replaced.
Great recap. The show didn't sound all too impressive but your writing flair made the summary of it all interesting. In particular your quote about Benoit's promo ability, that had me in stitches. It's interesting, this 4 GM thing.