The Dames’ Diatribe on NWA:TNA – September 17th, 2003
After an unexpected (and much deserved, in my opinion) week off, I’ve got some explaining to do. As I’ve said plenty of times to my best friend (www.KeithAlexanderOnline.com...I had to sneak it in there somehow), there isn’t a scapegoat I enjoy pointing my finger at more than Cablevision. Well, it turns out that our good old pals screwed me once again by not getting the 1 cent PPV, hence the no show last week with the Diatribe.
Well, I’m going to pay for my week off with this show plus the added burden of reviewing WWE’s Unforgiven this weekend, EXCLUSIVELY at TheSmartMarks.com. Yes, it’s a burden. You know the card. It won’t be fun.
Speaking of EXCLUSIVE content, one of TSM’s newest, most promising writers, Jay Doring, recently conducted a candid interview with NWA Wildside’s Dan “The Dragon” Wilson. It’s a great interview, quite possibly the best one ever done on the site, as The Dragon talks about not just NWA Wildside, but NWA:TNA, Ring of Honor, the WWE and isn’t afraid to share his thoughts.
Oh, let’s just hit the recap already.
The FBI WARNING OF DEATH is coming to take your Hair vs. Hair match away from you!
We get another good video montage voiced by Jeremy Borash to start the show, recapping Simon & Swinger’s tag title victory over AMW three weeks ago. He then states that tonight, 4 teams will be vying for the number one contendership to the tag team titles. As it turns out…this match will be the first match of the night!
America’s Most Wanted vs. B.G. James & Ron “The Truth” Killings of 3 Live Kru vs. The Disciples of the New Church (w/ Father James Mitchell) vs. Kid Kash & Abyss for the Number 1 Contendership to the NWA Tag Team Titles
Match Background: Three weeks ago, AMW lost the NWA Tag Titles to Simon and Swinger and are looking to get it back. The other three teams are looking to get a shot at the tag titles as well. Simple, isn’t it? First team to score a pinfall wins.
The Match: 3 Live Kru (not spelled Krew like I originally thought) come to the ring first and Konnan riles up the crowd on the mic. B.G. takes THE STICK~! and says that next week, 3LK will be dropping…their new single? If it’s anything like Randy Savage’s “Be A Man” rap song, I’m ALL OVER IT BABY!
Konnan joins the announcers as James Storm tangles with Slash to start the match up. AMW hit a double team atomic drop into a side Russian leg sweep for a quick two count, but Kid Kash breaks it up. AMW uses some more double teams but Sinn breaks up the pinfall. Slash and Sinn come into the ring and combine for a unique double Samoan drop for a two count. Sinn tosses Storm to the outside, but Harris follows him out to protect him from an attempted attack by Mitchell.
Back in the ring now, B.G. James tags himself in and tries to get a pinfall on James Storm. He goes for the Humphandle Slam, but Storm floats over and connects with a superkick. Konnan on commentary preaches about the experience factor of the teams and calls Slash by his former name, Wolfie D when talking about the New Church. Kid Kash comes in to work on B. G. and hits his springboard dropkick across the ring for a two count. Kash sets B.G. up for a 2nd rope elbow, but misses as he moves out of the way. Truth is tagged in and hits his spinning axe kick immediately. Kash gets up, whipping Truth into the corner but Killings floats over allowing B.G. James to assist in a double team on him. Crazy Legs Kneedrop gets a two count on Kash, but it’s broken up by Sinn. Truth comes in and Kash decides to PISS HIM OFF by flipping him off repeatedly. Truth goes after him but Kash tags in Abyss and everyone just looks at him.
Abyss charges and in a very funny moment, Truth gets an arm twist…and then every other wrestler in the match besides Kid Kash tags in one after the other and does the same thing, rendering Abyss helpless! It finally leads back to Truth and Abyss and as Abyss reaches his corner, Kid Kash slaps him. Kash yells at him for a few seconds…and Abyss ERUPTS! He’s a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! taking out EVERYONE in the ring except for Kash! B.G. James starts the Shake Rattle and Roll punches on him, but Abyss ducks the last blow, only for both AMW members to spear him at the same time and finally taking the big man down!
Storm hits a pescado on Abyss on the outside, but gets caught. Harris then performs a pescado of his own in order to knock him down! Meanwhile in the ring, Kid Kash sets up Truth for the Money Maker, but Terry Taylor comes from behind and hits him with two low blows. Truth be told, no pun intended, Taylor was late on his cue as Kash had to hold Killings for a few seconds doing nothing. Anyway, Truth then picks up the doubled over Kash and hits the True Conviction for the pinfall!
Winners: B.G. James & Ron “The Truth” Killings
My Opinion: This was a nice energetic first contest as the crowd got into it and the charisma of most of the guys involved really came out. 3LK as the number one contenders works for me as they desperately need to keep AMW away from the tag title picture after being in it for several months now. 3LK are over and Simon & Swinger need strong challengers that are NOT AMW.
Terry Taylor’s interference (which makes sense as Kash has slapped and disrespected Taylor two weeks in a row) will most likely result in several weeks of Taylor trying to convince Abyss to turn on Kash. That should be interesting. *3/4
We go to Don West and Mike Tenay who pimp tonight’s card including Jerry Lynn vs. AJ Styles for the NWA Title. All of a sudden, the lights go out and the bagpipes start up as Roddy Piper makes his way to the ring where a wooden stool is awaiting him. Tenay talks up Piper’s NWA history, mentioning all of the territories he was in before he went to the WWF. Tenay then says that when the WWE “turned their collective backs on Roddy Piper”, he has “come home” to the NWA.
Piper gets on THE STICK~! and confuses everyone with talk about losing his winnings and clouding the line between reality and fantasy. Alright…it’s been about two minutes and he hasn’t stated anything of importance just yet. He talks about seeing that “thing on the Internet” (WWE’s press release) and having to come home and hear his son ask him if he’s a drug addict. He gets emotional and throws the stool out of the ring. After having burned all of his bridges, he compares himself to a kid that has no one else to depend on…he’s coming home. He says that the NWA:TNA is “a rocket about to take off” and he wants in, apparently. All of a sudden, the lights slowly come back on full blast and Vince Russo appears at ringside.
Russo stands on top of the announce table as Piper directs his comments towards him and says that he made a mistake the last time he was on the show because he didn’t break Russo’s neck. He’d love to though, “just because your name is Vincent”. Russo then gets on the STICK~! and says that Piper “ripped his heart out” by alluding to Owen Hart’s death the last time he was on the air (although Owen isn’t mentioned by name this time around). Russo tells him that the only reason Piper is there is because no one wants him. He doesn’t want him either and takes offense to the fact that Piper wants to jump on the NWA:TNA bandwagon that he (Russo) claims he created. He says that TNA has to decide…either Russo goes or Piper goes.
Russo says that if he goes…so does the NWA Champion, AJ Styles. As Russo makes his way back up the ramp, he asks Piper a rhetorical question, asking if he really cares about the NWA or if he’s just looking out for himself like always.
We go to a video package on the D’Lo Brown/Sonny Siaki rivalry when ends with the announcement of a casket match. To my surprise, the match is taking place right now. Why didn’t they wait a couple of weeks to promote a gimmick match like this?
D’Lo Brown vs. Sonny Siaki (w/Trinity) in a Casket Match
Match Background: These two men have been feuding ever since Sonny Siaki cost D’Lo Brown his first shot against AJ Styles and the NWA Title almost two months ago. Since then, Siaki has cost D’Lo practically every title shot that he had against Styles, causing D’Lo to target him, naturally. A few weeks ago, Sonny Siaki said that he was going to bury D’Lo’s career and brought out a casket for a mock eulogy, but D’Lo was inside and gave him a beating, tossing him and Trinity in the casket. They then faced each other the following week in a one on one match with Siaki coming out on top thanks to interference by Trinity. Tonight, they face each other in a casket match.
The Match: For the first time that I’ve ever seen, the casket is actually in the ring as opposed to being at ringside.
D’Lo rushes into the ring and connects with right hands and a back elbow immediately. D’Lo tosses Siaki face first into the casket and then places him inside. He closes it halfway and goes to close it completely, but Trinity distracts him and Siaki gets away. He gets the momentum again but succumbs to a D’Lo calf kick. D’Lo hits a vertical suplex and stands the casket in the corner, like a propped up ladder. D’Lo then whips Siaki across the ring into the casket back first.
D’Lo charges, but Siaki lifts him up and D’Lo meets the casket face first. Siaki then drops the casket on him (which can’t be THAT heavy if they’re picking it up with no problem), taking the clear advantage in the match. He picks it up and removes the inner lining of the casket (making the ring look a pillow fight just broke out) only to have D’Lo come back and hit a back body drop and a pair of clotheslines. Siaki then reverses an irish whip, causing D’Lo to smack right into it. With D’Lo being held by Trinity in the corner, Siaki then shoves the casket onto D’Lo’s back several times. Siaki sets the casket in the ring again, closing it before charging at Brown. D’Lo catches him and hits the SKY HIGH~! with Sonny landing on the closed casket! D’Lo goes to the top rope for the Lo’ Down (which Tenay mistakenly calls the Down Low) and hits it with Siaki on the casket!
All of a sudden, Jamal of 3 Minute Warning comes in and starts beating on D’Lo Brown! He hits his Samoan Drop, followed by a top rope splash and he and Siaki place D’Lo in the casket to give Sonny the victory.
Winner: Sonny Siaki
My Opinion: The match wasn’t very good, but then again, most casket matches aren’t. The fact that the casket was in the ring allowed them to use casket-based offense (which is a phrase I NEVER thought I’d use), which is a first. The former Jamal seems to be going by his old wrestling name, O.G. Ekmo based on the fact that “Ekmo” was on the front of his jersey tonight. He and Siaki are probably together because of their Samoan heritage. *1/4.
In the back, Scott Hudson is with Don Callis who’s on the phone. Hudson interrupts him and asks who TNA is going to choose to keep, Piper or Russo. Callis says that he’ll get to that later, but for now he wants to state that Jerry Lynn should NOT be receiving a World Title shot whatsoever tonight. Before he can address the Russo/Piper situation, Erik Watts interrupts him and tells him that regardless of what Callis says the match is happening because Watts said so. Russo then interrupts the both of them and then pulls Callis away for a private word.
Chris Sabin, Michael Shane & Nosawa vs. Frankie Kazarian, Eric Young & Juventud Guerrera
Match Background: Five out of the six competitors in this match were in the great Super X Division tournament two weeks ago, with the exception being Eric Young who is making his TNA debut in this match. Interestingly enough, none of the wrestlers on the same team faced each other during the tournament.
The Match: TNA’s production crew screws up during the introduction, with “Showtime” Eric Young’s graphic reading “David Young” instead.
Shane and Young look to start the match out but Shane taunts Juvi, who’s on the apron, so Young tags in the Juice. Juvi comes in and locks up with Shane getting a quick pair of one counts before connecting with some chops. Shane hits a spin kick on Juvi before tagging out to Nosawa. Nosawa and Juvi both escape tilt a while backbreakers before Juvi is able to connect with a basement dropkick on him. Juvi then tags in Eric Young who after an extended irish whip sequence, ends up botching the first move he performs: a roll up into a Nosawa basement dropkick. Not only was that move just done by Juvi, but Nosawa got tangled with the ropes because of Young so it looked worse.
Sabin comes in who takes over on Young in the corner. Young hits a dropkick and a calf kick on Sabin before tagging out to Kazarian. He combines with Young for a double hiptoss and splash/legdrop combo for a two count on the former X Division champion. Kazarian then hooks on an arm twist on Sabin, but Michael Shane trips him up and pulls him to the outside. He whips him into the steel guard rail before throwing him back in. Kazarian gets nailed by a Sabin springboard spinning wheel kick before Shane comes in and goes to work on “The Future”. Shane goes for a Tornado DDT out of the corner, but Kazarian fights him off and heads up top with him. Shane fights him off again and hits a swinging neckbreaker off the 2nd rope for a two count!
Sabin comes back in to face Kazarian, but Frankie hits a Yakuza kick and crawls towards his corner. Shane cuts them off and all three of the heels try a triple powerbomb on Kazarian, only for him to escape with a rana. Kazarian then comes off the ropes with a double back elbow before tagging in Juventud! Juvi comes flying in with a cross body on Shane and Nosawa and a double face jam. Sabin attacks, but Juvi reverses a powerbomb into a sloppy DDT on the way down. A spinning wheel kick on Juvi sends Nosawa to the outside. Juvi crashes onto Nosawa on the outside, only to be followed by Michael Shane who hits a somersault tope. Eric Young then hits a suicide dive out to the floor onto three men. Kazarian then follows suit as it’s HIGH FLYING TIME~! Sabin then gets a running start and goes FLYING to the outside with a springboard somersault onto all 5 men!
Sabin is back in with Juvi and goes for a reverse suplex, but Juvi reverses it…and sits out with a JUVI DRIVER~! Juvi heads to the top for the 450 Splash, but Michael Shane crotches him. Sabin then places Juvi across his shoulders and performs a sit out powerbomb from that position that Tenay says is called the Cradle Shock for a broken up two count. Kazarian then comes in and NAILS the Wave of the Future on Sabin! Shane then comes in and goes for a superkick, but gets caught. Kazarian goes for one of his own but also gets caught and Shane DDT’s him down. Shane sets Kazarian up in the corner for Sweet Shane Music, but gets tripped up by Juvi.
In the ring, Nosawa kicks the shit out of Eric Young and then says that he’s going to finish it. He sets him up for a Tajiri-like kick to the head, but Young slaps him away and hits a wheel barrow into a neckbreaker that was awfully sloppy. Sabin comes in and nails Young with the X Title. As Sabin turns around to put the title away, Michael Shane sneaks up from behind and steals the pinfall for the team.
Winners: Chris Sabin, Michael Shane & Nosawa
As Chris Sabin looks on visibly upset with Shane for stealing the pinfall, it’s shown that Frankie Kazarian literally stopped wrestling to talk to a young blonde girl at ringside, which the announcers take note of.
My Opinion: A bit sloppy at times, this wasn’t nearly the quality of any of the singles matches that took place during the Super X Tourney. Where ever Eric Young is from…send him back. He did nothing of note and blew almost everything he tried. Juvi was great, as was Sabin, but you can’t expect them to carry both teams. With Sabin winning the X tourney last week and Shane stealing the pinfall, I sense a Shane/Sabin program approaching with Sabin possibly turning face. He’s over with the home crowd, works well and Shane’s gimmick seems to suggest that he’ll be the heel. Kazarian is going in another direction entirely and although he pinned Shane last week, his actions this week don’t suggest an upcoming Kazarian/Shane program. *1/2.
We go to a video package recapping the ongoing feud between Christopher Daniels and Jeff Jarrett. We now go to the back where Chris Daniels is with three young men who are all holding candles and dressed in religious garb. He preaches to them about getting Jeff Jarrett to see the light and sends them on their mission.
Jeff Jarrett now comes to the ring and gets on THE STICK~! His first order of business is addressed to Erik Watts as he demands his World Title shot, seeing as how guys from Low-Ki to Jerry Lynn have gotten one lately. He then says that in terms of Russo or Piper, the choice is easy because Piper cares about the business, Russo does not. Within two minutes, Jarrett stumbles over about five different words. He then directs his comments towards Daniels as Jarrett says that he’s going to hunt him down.
In the back, Scott Hudson is with Mad Mikey…who’s mad about the fact that he’s teaming with “Jaws”, as Mikey calls him. Shark Boy is playing with a remote blow up doll, pissing off Mikey…who breaks the doll, Scott Hudson’s microphone and the remote control before literally pulling Shark Boy by his fin out to the ring.
Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger (w/Glenn Gilberti) vs. Shark Boy & Mad Mikey
Match Background: Simon and Swinger won the tag belts three weeks ago, as I’ve stated already about three times. Shark Boy and Mad Mikey have never teamed up before. Naturally, the tag champs have to work the show, but since there isn’t a number one contender, this is a non-title match. That’s a nice little touch by the NWA, seeing as how most promotions usually just give an undeserving team a title shot while the other teams have to earn it on the same show.
The Match: Swinger and Mikey start out with Swinger hitting some right hands. Mikey comes back by actually elevating the larger Swinger into the air and down onto the mat. Mikey then gives us another comedic treat as he goes for “Pre School”, the Undertaker’s “Old School” maneuver done off the bottom rope. Shark Boy comes in with a dropkick on Swinger and goes for the mounted punches in the corner, but ends up dropped on the turnbuckle. Simon Diamond comes in and gets rana’d by SB before he tags out to Mikey. They knock down Diamond and look to double team him, but SB decides to do the Big Wiggle first, pissing off his partner. They hit the double elbowdrops anyway for two. Swinger distracts Mikey enough allowing Diamond to superkick him and a double team by the tag champs.
Simon and Swinger beat up on Mikey for a few minutes before Mikey is able to avoid elbowdrops from beoth men and tags in SB. SB dropkicks both men and hits a NICE neckbreaker on Swinger for a two count. Simon comes in and goes after SB but ends up flying to the floor, knocking Gilberti down. SB mounts Swinger in the corner and this time, gets all of the punches off, including a Shark Bite. Swinger whips him into the other corner but EATS BOOT and he hits the Dead Sea Drop! The referee goes for the cover, but Gilberti places Swinger’s foot on the ropes. This prompts Mikey to go storming over towards Gilberti and attack him, leaving SB vulnerable to the PROBLEM SOLVER~! and the pinfall.
Winners: Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger
My Opinion: This should have been nothing more than a squash, but Shark Boy and Mad Mikey got a little more offense than I thought they would. The fact that Gilberti placed Swinger’s leg on the rope after SB hit the Dead Sea Drop bothered me because Swinger looked weak because of it. He could have put his foot on the rope himself. Either way, it was a clean win for the heel tag champs, which is just what they needed. ¾*
In the back, Jeff Jarrett brawls with the three men sent out by Daniels (one of which looks like Alter Boy Luke, which would make a whole lot of sense). Jarrett takes out two of them, but a third ends up taking Jarrett into the building. They brawl past a merchandise table and go up the stairs where he tries to toss Jarrett off the balcony. Jarrett turns the tables, no pun intended, as he reverses it and tosses the kid over the balcony, sending him crashing through the table.
We now go to a video package on AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn, including quotes that read “Hands Down…Feud of the Year in 2002” and “Lynn & Styles put TNA on the map”. This segues into both men talking about their feud and the fact that a year has passed. Styles says that he’s past Lynn, who’s never won the NWA Title…and Lynn reminds Styles that he’s pinned him three times in the past.
AJ Styles (w/Trinity) vs. Jerry Lynn for the NWA World Title
Match Background: Believe the hype when it comes to these two men. In 2002, a better feud could not be found. On the second broadcast of NWA:TNA, AJ Styles defeated Jerry Lynn twice in a double elimination X Division match to win the vacant title. They then won the tag team titles together, but all was not well as Styles didn’t respect the veteran Lynn. This caused major friction between the two, who ended up trading the X Title several times and had the tag straps vacated. The feud ran from June of 2002 all the way to November 2002, including Ironman matches, Ladder matches, 2 out of 3 falls matches, and several title matches. Jerry Lynn won the feud in November, pinning AJ Styles.
Since then, AJ Styles has won the NWA Title and Jerry Lynn has been in several feuds, never to tangle with his former rival until now. If anyone knows how to defeat AJ Styles, it’s Jerry Lynn. In my opinion, this could have and should have been dragged out several weeks as the ongoing storyline as of late is the fact that AJ Styles doesn’t have any challengers. Jerry should have reminded Styles of their past and asked for a shot, only to have to earn it…but then again, I’m not writing the shows.
The Match: Of course, we get boxing style intros for the match by Jeremy Borash.
When the bell rings, AJ and Lynn shove each other until AJ smugly chops Lynn across the chest. Lynn responds with a slap to the face and the match is on.
They start out with some chain wrestling, only it to end in a stalemate. Lynn gets the first real blow in the match with a clothesline and stomps away at him in the corner. Lynn then monkey flips Styles into the corner, following it up with a spinning tilt a whirl backbreaker with an AMAZING sell by the NWA Champion. Lynn gets a two count off of it, but AJ comes back with a quebrada and hooks on the reverse DDT. Lynn reverses that into a reverse suplex onto the ropes and Lynn dropkicks Styles down to the floor. Lynn follows him down and whips the champion into the guard rail, only for AJ to slide underneath it. Trinity distracts Lynn, allowing AJ to use the guard rail as a springboard, but it backfires as Styles lands on Lynn’s knee.
Trinity distracts Lynn on the outside, allowing Styles to catapult Lynn into the steel steps. When AJ picks up Lynn, Lynn is busted WIDE open and Styles simply attacks the wound with repeated right hands. Styles sends him back into the ring for a nearfall, but Lynn starts to fight back. It’s useless as Styles NAILS him with a back elbow and knocks him down. Styles then sets up Lynn for a Tornado DDT in the corner, but Lynn reverses it into a Northern Lights Suplex into the turnbuckles! While Lynn is recovering on the mat, I can’t help but notice that his blond hair is COMPLETELY red and soaked in blood!
Lynn gets up and back body drops the champion, following it up with a swinging neckbreaker and a TKO! ONE…TWO…NO! Lynn charges at Styles in the corner, but the champion sidestep him and Lynn runs into the top turnbuckle. Styles springboards himself onto Lynn’s shoulders for a rana, but gets caught with a MASSIVE running sit out powerbomb! ONE…TWO…NO! Lynn picks up the champion and looks to go for the Cradle Piledriver, but Trinity shoves the ref into them, allowing Styles to slam Lynn hard. Styles then hits a PICTURE PERFECT BRAINBUSTER~! for ONE…TWO…NO! Trinity places a chair into the ring and signals for the Styles Clash. Jerry counters and hits a Kryptonite Krunch for ONE…TWO…NO! The ref is pulled out by Trinity! As the ref argues with her, Styles looks to use the chair on him, but Lynn kicks him in the midsection. He sets him up for the Cradle, but AJ low blows him and hits his vertical suplex into a neckbreaker combo on the steel chair! ONE…TWO…NO! AJ then hits the STYLES CLASH~! and gets the pinfall.
Winner: AJ Styles
My Opinion: Good match between these two, although they’ve had better. I was quite surprised to see a relatively clean pinfall by the champion. Out of all of the matches he’s had since winning the title, AJ has never looked stronger. This could have really been something if they had promoted this match for a few weeks. **3/4
Immediately after the match, Vince Russo comes to the ring with his trusty bat and hugs the champion. Russo grabs the mic and calls out Don Callis so he can decide whether or not it’s he or Piper that leaves. Instead, Dusty Rhodes comes to the ring.
Dusty tells him that he’ll make it quick and simple. He tells Styles that it’s not up to TNA or Russo or anyone else if Styles decides to leave, it is Styles’ decision and his alone. Dusty then interrupts his speech momentarily to tell Styles and Russo that he’ll stick that bat up their asses if they try anything, to a pop. Dusty pleads with AJ to leave Russo and be his own man because he doesn’t need him. He tells Styles that he is a leader, the man that represents all of the NWA and he doesn’t need them at all. He talks more sense to him and finally tells him that AJ has the desire to be the best and it shows…so he has to make a decision. Dusty then says that Russo just wants a cut of the winner’s profits…because the champion gets paid the most.
Styles gives Russo’s bat to Dusty to a pop as Vince goes crazy! Styles then attacks Dusty from behind though as the cheers die down and Rhodes fights back. Dusty is distracted by Russo, allowing Styles to hit him in the back with the title belt and they beat down the Dream. Roddy Piper comes down the aisle, but Red Shirt Security come down and manhandle him! Piper fights them off as best as he can, but they literally drag him away. As Styles continues to beat up on Dusty, Jeff Jarrett makes the save and the heels scatter.
This was probably the best promo I’ve seen Dusty Rhodes do in a LONG time. Combined with the relatively clean win by Styles and the fact that the fans want to cheer him, I’m sure that many fans out there actually bought a Styles face turn for a second.
Tenay and West promote next week’s show, but stop midway as there’s a situation in the back. In the back, Piper is going crazy as he’s held back by Red Shirt Security and both Callis and Russo are screaming. Finally, Don Callis states that he’s made his decision…and tells security to remove Piper from the building. This brings out Jeff Jarrett who grabs Callis…but Red Shirt Security is right there to pull him off.
We now go to a video package on the upcoming Raven/Douglas Hair vs. Hair match.
We go to the back where Scott Hudson is with Shane Douglas and James Mitchell. Douglas looks especially pumped up tonight. James Mitchell vows to have Raven’s hair cut tonight.
Raven vs. Shane Douglas in a Hair vs. Hair Match
Match Background: When Raven faced Jeff Jarrett and AJ Styles for the NWA Title on June 11th, Shane Douglas made his TNA debut and cost him the title. He singled out Raven’s followers, The Gathering the following week and gave his reasoning for his interference. Raven was trying to win the NWA Title, a title which Douglas himself threw down when he declared that he was ECW through and through back in 1994. Both men, former ECW World Champions, never really crossed paths in that promotion.
Now, in TNA, they’ve faced each other a numerous amount of times in various tag team matches as Douglas has aligned himself with Father James Mitchell and the Disciples of the New Church. In these six-man matches, Douglas has gotten the pinfall on Raven each and every time thanks to a mystery man that has been attacking Raven. They had their first encounter on August 13th, with Raven defeating Shane Douglas in a one on one match, but afterwards, Shane Douglas tried to cut off a snippet of Raven’s hair. The following week, Raven was almost hung by the New Church and the mystery man, only to come back later on that night and defeat Shane Douglas in the finals of a Gauntlet match to become the number 1 contender to the NWA Title. When he faced Styles for the belt, Douglas and the New Church made sure that he didn’t win it and in the Wargames match two weeks ago, they cut off snippets of his hair. Their plan was revealed as James Mitchell stated that he wants to rob Raven of his dignity and his identity…he wants to shave him bald. So tonight is the Hair vs. Hair match…and the winner will be shaved bald.
There is a side note to this match. In the Ring of Honor promotion, Raven has been feuding with fellow Gathering member CM Punk in a captivating feud which was supposed to have Raven facing Punk in a Hair vs. Hair match this past weekend in Boston. A couple of weeks ago, TNA pulled their political power and basically told Raven not to do the match in ROH, but to do it in TNA…with Shane Douglas instead, enraging Ring of Honor fans. This past weekend, CM Punk and Raven faced each other in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun match to make up for the fact that the Hair vs. Hair match was canceled. TSM’s very own Jay Doring and Chris Petrillo (aka the Paradise City Ninjas) went to the show and have a review of it on the site right now. Anyway, TNA has enraged ROH fans who were clamoring for the Hair vs. Hair match that they promoted for months and instead got a shitty cage match.
The Match: They stare each other down to start but Franchise gets distracted by some unruly fans. They start slugging it out with Raven getting the advantage and tossing Douglas to the outside. Douglas comes back in as Raven leaves to get some separation, but it doesn’t work as Raven gives chase again. Douglas hits an arm twist, only to get nailed with a right hand and Douglas bumps off it, which I LOVE.
They lock up again as the fans are solidly behind Raven. They fall to the outside and lock up there as well, with Raven getting the advantage, whipping him into the guard rail. They begin brawling in the crowd with Raven nailing Douglas with a chair. He then hands the chair to some fans, who hold it up as he rams Douglas into it.
They end up back at ringside and Raven tosses Franchise back in and puts on a Cobra Clutch! Douglas fights it off, but Raven goes for the Raven Effect! Douglas drops down to escape and ducks as Raven charges, sending him flying to the outside again. Douglas follows him out, looking VERY blown up already and Raven counters with a Russian leg sweep into the guard rail…which looked VERY sloppy. He rams Douglas’ head into the steel steps and Douglas doesn’t even look like he’s trying anymore. Douglas is bleeding now and Raven drop toe holds him into the steel steps. The crowd chants for Raven as Douglas walks away, with blood dripping from his forehead. Raven tries to ram him into the announce table, but Douglas counters and throws him into the steel steps HARD!
Raven is busted open and Douglas goes right after the wound…and just like the great heel he is, he takes Raven’s blood and taunts the fans with it. Douglas hits a rolling neck snap in the ring on Raven and then hooks on an abdominal stretch. Raven reverses it and hooks on the Cobra Clutch. Douglas escapes and puts on another ab stretch, only to be hiptossed by Raven. Douglas goes for it again, but Raven reverses it and puts it on him. Douglas then hiptosses Raven over the top rope to the floor and Raven hits hard on the apron on the way down. Douglas looks MIGHTY blown up at this point and can barely stand.
He tosses Raven back in and while he’s choking Raven, he’s spitting profusely in the ring. All of a sudden, Douglas LITERALLY starts VOMITING in the ring! He gets up and Raven, I assume improvising, low blows him…and Douglas doubles over and vomits some more! Raven goes for a pinfall and Douglas kicks out at two. The announcers try and put over Douglas’ tenacity by not being pinned, despite being ill. Douglas takes a chain out of his boot as Raven sets up an open chair and when Raven goes to pick up the Franchise, he gets nailed with the chain! Douglas with the cover…ONE…TWO…NO!
Douglas then goes to whip Raven, but it’s reversed and Raven drop toe holds him into the steel chair for two. Raven hits a running bulldog on Douglas onto the chair and gets a two count on it again. Douglas gets up and whips Raven, but Raven hits a superkick! The ref goes for the count, but Slash pulls the ref out! Raven goes back on offense and bulldogs Shane…into the ref, who’s looking at Slash in the ring. Now everyone is down in a big heap.
Raven tosses Slash out of the ring, but turns around into a superkick as Sinn comes into the ring. Sinn and Slash pull two tables from under the ring and put it in the ring. They hold Raven for Douglas, but CM Punk and Julio come in to neutralize the New Church. Meanwhile, Douglas sets up one of the tables…only for Raven to hit the Raven Effect for ONE…TWO…NO! Raven perches Douglas on top and looks to superplex him through the table, but Douglas shoves him through the table! ONE…TWO…NO! Douglas then sets up the other table as the ref removes the first one and Douglas places Raven on it. Raven pops up as Douglas perches himself on the top rope and DDT’s him through the table! ONE…TWO…KICK OUT!
The lights come off as it’s apparent that the production crew missed their cue. When the lights come back on, the mystery man is in the ring…and it’s revealed to be…VAMPIRO!
He picks up Raven and DDT’s him. Douglas crawls over…ONE…TWO….THREE!
Winner: Shane Douglas
My Opinion: This was a HIGHLY disappointing match as Douglas was extremely blown up, was vomiting in the ring and ended up just being sloppy. The finish was botched because of a production error and it’s just silly that Raven can be pinned off a simple DDT, but not going through a table or anything that Douglas did to him towards the end. I do like Vampiro as part of the New Church stable because their personalities fit. *
James Mitchell, Douglas and Vampiro sit Raven down in a chair and begin cutting his hair with machine clippers…and it looks mighty painful as it seems they’re cutting him with the clippers. They put a mirror in front of Raven as they finish…and he’s shaved bald.
Overall: After the great shows that TNA has been putting on as of late, this was a bad show with only one good match, that being AJ Styles vs. Jerry Lynn. The Raven/Douglas feud seems to be over with Raven now seemingly feuding with Vampiro. Who knows where AMW will go. What will happen now that Raven is bald? Will they ever bring back Teddy Hart!?
Unfortunately for TNA, this definitely wasn’t the type of first impression that they wanted to make for those who are purchasing TNA for the first time. A lot of people saw the 1 cent show last week and for them to tune in this week and get this steaming pile of crap is just counter productive. If anything, they should have loaded this show…or ran the Super X/Wargames show this week instead. Who knows how many people will be willing to come back now.
Well…I’ll be one of them as I’ll be here next week with a new Diatribe. Same for Sunday’s Unforgiven, EXCLUSIVELY at TSM.
Great recap as always, Dames. I purposely waited till your column went up this week before looking for event results elsewhere.
Here's my one question: Is Vince Russo not DEAD-ON RIGHT about Piper? He's only in TNA because the guy has nowhere else to go... Many years ago, Pipes used to be my favorite, but it's kind of sad to see how far he's fallen.
An EXCLUSIVE JAM-PACKED interview with The EPA? An open letter to Brock Lesnor that he has no doubt read by now? The very latest Ring of Horror news? All this, plus commemorating this week in history in the latest Inside The Ropes!!!
Indeed, Russo is spot on about Piper. It comes across that way to everyone (except for the announcers, of course) when you think back about the fact that he said basically the same thing the first time he was around then jumped to the WWE. That isn't to say that there isn't a place for Piper in TNA though.
Originally posted by The DamesIndeed, Russo is spot on about Piper. It comes across that way to everyone (except for the announcers, of course) when you think back about the fact that he said basically the same thing the first time he was around then jumped to the WWE. That isn't to say that there isn't a place for Piper in TNA though.
Every recap I've read has failed to mention that Piper's opening words were from a MATCHBOX 20 song!! "I'm not crazy...I'm just a little unwell. I know, right now, you don't care..." I thought that was the lamest intro ever!
He could be entertaining, either as a manager or in a backstage Piper's Pit-type show. But, for God's sakes, keep him out of the ring. And lose the Russo-Piper stuff; it's just boring.
Your recap was definitely on point. This was a really shitty show--especially the week after the 1 cent PPV.
(Note to webmaster ZRC: Because I am on vacation this week, visiting beautiful London (Ontario), Paris (Ontario) and Madrid (Ontario), I have enclosed a really old edition of ITR that goes back TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK!!! Enjoy.)